Tag Archives for " copywriting "
The Enquirer is the quintessential must read for any copywriter.
Many of the great copywriters, including a personal favorite of mine, Joe Sugarman focused on rag mags like The Enquirer to help them write in the language of the everyman.
Nowadays, we have apps to judge our writing…to let us know if we are creating ads understandable to the average 5th-9th grade reader…
But those apps cannot demonstrate the key ingredient to any great copy…something The Enquirer, Cosmo, and the New York Times (among many other great publications) have truly mastered…
And something I see copywriters struggle with often.
The Headline + The Perfect Lead Paragraph Combination
Now, I’m not talking about what lead for what audience a la Breakthrough Advertising.
I’m talking the one-two punch so fierce the reader MUST READ FURTHER…
Almost 100% of my own writing, other’s copy I critique, and the vast majority of sales copy and content I see could do this far better…
Notice, I’m not talking the entire lead…I’m talking the first one or two paragraphs of the lead.
Read all the copywriting texts and blogs you wish…gather all the great ads and the best swipes. But DO NOT MISS studying The Enquirer, Cosmo, and The New York Times as great sources of Headline/Lead combos.
Study the combination of the two…how one leads to the other…and how that lead paragraph gives you a synopsis of precisely what you’ll learn in the story…and teases you to keep reading.
Here are a few examples:
Spaceman John Glenn’s Surprising Dying Regret
John Glenn was a heroic fighter pilot, a two-time astronaut and a U.S. Senator, but the American icon was haunted by a deep regret – he didn’t become President of the United States.
A good example of telling the whole plot in the first paragraph…while still leaving the reader sort of scratching their head…how did this longing play out in his life? Why didn’t he run? Can we, as humans, ever truly be satisfied with our accomplishments?
Frozen Tots Sue Their Modern Family Mom
Sitcom sexpot Sophia Vergara is tangled in a bizarre legal wrangle – she’s being sued by her own frozen embryos.
I mean, who would not want to read more about frozen embryos bringing their mom to court???
Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease’
ROSEBURG, OR – Some voters in rural Oregon are seeing what happens when taxpayers force government into retreat. Libraries are blacking out. Jails might be next.
As a reader, two things hit me…it is possible to not pay taxes, and prisoners may be let loose all over the land. MUST READ MORE…
You get the drift.
These periodicals survive, even in the age of the internet, because they drag people in with their headlines and their opening paragraphs (and of course the images). As marketers and copywriters, we can look to these articles as articles that work to get readership, rather than looking at various sales letters as samples without necessarily know how well they converted.
Obviously you will still need to learn psychology and technique for writing persuasive sales copy…if that is your thing. And all the psychology and persuasive writing…even the very best offer can’t hit home without the reader becoming sucked in first.
Lindsay of the Leads
If you haven’t claimed your seat for the Stupendous Live Online Conference Connection Follow-Up Workshop…Get in here!
May 23, 5pm Pacific, ZOOM (with video)
I just closed my second 5 figure deal from my last conference,…and I am going to teach you how to do exactly the same.
Even if you can’t attend in person, the replay and a Q&A chat session will be available to you so I can answer your questions directly.
You desire for your wallet explode under the strain of the sacks o’cash generated by your incredibly crafted copy…right? Riiiiight?
Chances are your offer needs a revamp, an overhaul, a makeover.
I say this from vast experience in offer redesign….your heart is in the right place, but your positioning is all wrong.
If your offer has bullets like these, your shots are whizzing by your mark:
The above bullets were taken from the offer section of real sales letters. And some sales letters were pretty good…
Until the reader reaches the offer section…and finds the “how” rather than the “what”…
Irresistible offers do NOT focus on the “how”…the method of delivery is largely irrelevant to why people buy.
As Jeff Walker, creator of Product Launch Formula, puts it “Your offers is about the transformation FIRST, plus a little about the stuff.”
None of the bullets above talk to transformation. Sure, the sales letters leading up to the offer often did a decent job describing the “why” behind the program (some better than others), but all totally lost it at the most crucial place…the offer!
“Six weeks of one-on-one calls” could be “Together, we will develop a concrete action plan to reach your goal weight and ongoing accountability in a series of six one-on-one coaching calls.”
“Eight modules…” could be “You will want to bound out of bed each morning with a smile, make more money with less struggle, and eliminate procrastination in your daily life when you invest your effort into this intensive purpose discovery process.
See what I mean, jelly bean?
Try this game with the other two…or even with any offers you see on the internet.
I’d love to see what you come up with…
Covered head to paw in long, thick, black and tan fur, the love of my life is one hairy beast.
Tipping the scales at over 80 lbs, he’s a big boy…and handsome as heck, especially when he smells like vanilla and shines like the sun.
Still, when I checked out the website for a new pet cut salon, I balked at the price. $90! Plus a tip! His hair cut, a shave no less, costs more than my own!
And then…right on their home page, a link to an article entitled “Why your dog’s groomer charges more than your hairdresser” with reasons like
You get the idea…
As a copywriter (whether professionally or for your own business) understand that blog posts should never be “just content.” Otherwise, you’re wasting your readers’ time and your own.
Blogs are often treated as the red-headed-stepchild of copywriting, often for good reason. Blogs generally do not create a “direct response” so their impact on sales is often near impossible to quantify. Far too many “writers” charge far too few pennies to flood the interwebs with mediocre and meaningless blog posts, so the art of content becomes devalued.
Don’t waste your prospects’ or customers’ very limited attention on fluff.
CHUCK your content unless it is infotaining (ie. not boring), relationship building (builds know, like and trust) and does at least one of the following:
Done properly, blogging (just like daily email) can be an intensely persuasive method for attracting potential customers, spreading your influence and differentiating yourself against the drivel.
A good blog (just like a good daily email) can create long term readership, referrals (shares) and rapport. Rapport builds trust…and trust builds sales…and sales bring the sacks o’cash.
Mind bloggingly yours,
Lindsay “Never Waste A Website Visit” Sacks
Want to see the rest of the dog blog? It’s here.
I (practically) cried at the gym today. Real tears. As in, I had to have the following stern discussion with myself:
“Lindsay! There is no crying in the gym. You’ve gotta be tough. Think of the Olympians!”
Less than one year ago, I was in really solid shape. In this same gym, I could show up daily and rock through my workouts…lifting over 225 lbs. with my legs, more than 10 times…or lunging around the building with heavy weights overhead.
Back then, I could finish an hour long spin class. And do more things…
Today…I was fatigued to the point of nausea after only 15 minutes. At a very low pace.
I never chose to leave the gym.
My hands chose it.
First with an injury to my left thumb, then with some sort of nerve damage in my right fingers.
I could have gone back, but I didn’t. Instead, I began to write and work like a madwoman (and follow the work with ice cream and candy corn and Cadbury cream eggs).
I used pain and then rain as an excuse to stay home.
I got sick and then tired.
Enough is enough.
Thankfully, I had my trainer to return to…
The same trainer who kicked me out of the gym when my hand was broken but I would not get it taken care of…
He pushes me to finish, but reminds me to be patient. He teaches me about muscle memory and assures me I will get back to where I was.
He will not allow me to quit but he will also not allow me to compare where I am now to where I was when I was at the top of my game.
He makes me want to go to the gym, even when it is hard, even when I get nauseous or dizzy from exertion, even when I’m frustrated because I can’t do what I used to. I still want to go.
And so it must be for any coach, guide or mentor.
Whether you pay her for 1:1 coaching or whether you receive your mentorship from afar through daily emails.
As I reviewed your surveys, I noticed several things…
I felt a distinct frustration in the group…and I know you all wanted more concrete pathways to selling.
I get it. Marketing is fun but it sure is frustrating.
Happily, there is no one-size-fits-many solution to making money quickly. Sure the goo-roos will tell you their program is one way, or even a guaranteed way…but if that was so, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?
I cannot walk into the gym, have a trainer hand me the workout plan that built Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 20 something body into a 7-time Mr. Universe winner, and expect it to squeeze my 40 year old body back into a bikini like shape by May.
I need a trainer’s knowledge, his guidance, his gentle nudge when I’m tired or frustrated or just want to quit. I need to be accountable to show up and to push myself.
So too, I cannot expect one step-by-step, fill-in-the-blank tool to provide me a path to copywriting superstardom and rockstar millionairess status. I need my mentors to show me how they made it…what principles they followed to attract clients, to write converting copy, to build their expertise, their teams and their good name.
And you, my friend, do too.
The best we can do as we learn and grow is to surround ourselves with the people right in front of us on the path we wish to take…those who will mentor us and show us the way and push us through our frustration and fears.
Who will help you forge your way to more clients, better results and greater mastery of your craft?
If you are truly committed to learning to grow your copy business through networking, connecting, prospecting, selling and exceptional service and results, your mentor could be me:
I have one spot open for 1:1 mentorship and will not take on another person until after summer at the earliest… connect with me if you are interested.
I have read your comments, received your emails, and I have heard you.
Great workshops and technical emails are in the works to help you move up the ladder on your way to success…
I am writing you this email from my couch.
I just cancelled on a date with a guy that is cute, but a bit overly encumbered with children for my personal dating needs…
I am 10 hours deep into a 24 hour intermittent fast, so I can maybe squeeze into some form of non-elastic wasted pant for Digital Marketer’s Traffic and Conversion conference this week…
And I am reading the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi (if you have not read it…it’s a top 10er so go get it).
So…to repeat, I flaked on being physically with a human to fast and read about the importance of connecting with people over meals.
OK, the title of the book isn’t totally literal, but still…
But coaching and training shouldn’t be.
I see far too many mentors and coaches taking advantage of people, selling promises of accomplishments they have not yet reached.
The coaches make the promised six figures or (ugh) 10x their investment simply through selling the coaching.
Alanis Morissette* would have a field day with those guys…Don’t ya think? Yeah…I really do think.
Mentors and coaches should have accomplished what they are showing you how to accomplish.
As I have and do with my own programs.
Still I will freely admit that my purpose behind Copywriter Confidential Collective is slightly ironic…
The reason I decided to create programs for new copywriters and freelancers (and anyone who sells a 1:1 service) is simple, yet…
I want to show you how to succeed…
Because the more I am surrounded by success, the more success I have.
Back in my corporate days and into my freelancing days, I was mentored, coached and trained in the exact skills I am now using to attract and retain copy clients.
I have spent my adult life studying connection, attraction, promotion, sales, persuasion, and client retention…along with whatever my main superpower was at the time (finance, marketing, copy)
By paring down all of the valuable lessons I’ve learned, and sharing the BEST of the BEST with you…
I become reinvigorated.
The tools in my shed get sharper.
I find the principles among the tactics.
My writing gets better.
My team of referral copywriters becomes far stronger.
And best of all, I feel good and you feel good and we do happy dances (alone, in our own privacy) together.
One of my mentees just landed the biggest deal of his career. Guess who got to do a happy dance that day….ME!
I can only keep what I give away…and I’ve tried to keep this program affordable for all (without losing my shirt in the process).
Head over to the CCC page before all of the seats are filled.
(Editor note: REGISTRATION CLOSED ON March 10, but you can get on the wait list here)
Cheers to a win/win!
P.S. If you missed yesterday’s FAQ video…check it out here.
**Millenials: Alanis Morssette was a popular 90s singer
His proposal landed coveted projects making him a copy star, with lots of cash and a travel lifestyle the envy of the world.
Still, I scoffed at his ways. The proposal read like a mid-form sales letter…aggressive and full of bravado, with images and bold typeface and pure bravado.
Nothing like mine at all. My proposal was professional, high brow, reminiscent of my accounting days…and it was working.
Why recreate the wheel…I was too busy and too…
I was afraid if I wrote a sales letter proposal, the prospect would not find my copy good enough. And would not hire me. So I maintained my low prices and boring businessy ways.
I hit some wins, attracted some big name clients, and decided to make more money.
Suddenly, my tired ole proposals would not convert and I was headed for the poor house…
Fear of failure drove me to try his methods (after spending thousands on his coaching)…and BOOM! Every proposal since has brought cold hard cash into my coffers.
My new proposal template has brought me over $10K in the last two weeks alone.
Crafting the perfect proposal for your niche, knowing how to properly price and present your pricing, identifying and overcoming objections and finding social proof even if you’ve not had many clients or wins…is just one of the many income-generating, client wowing skills you will learn in CCC.
Where will you be in 6 months without CCC? You could be in the same exact position you are now, paid far less for your expertise than you are truly worth…
Or for less than $10 per day, you could be closing with confidence, generating a solid income. You could have leads coming directly to you…rather than you begging them to notice you in a noisy crowd. You could finally be on the path toward freelance freedom.
The choice is yours to make. I’ll be inside.
The mentor who puts up with my resistance and persuades me to do it his way is Trevor “ToeCracker” Crook. Follow him on the ole Facebook…his headlines alone will make your day!
A few years ago, my now ex-bf and I decided it would be “fun” to sell our stuff out of my garage one Saturday morning.
The fact that we were bored enough to need the entertainment of a garage sale when both of us were making tons of dough might have been my first clue to our impending doom…
Garage sales are a ton of work and rarely lucrative, even if your wares are worth a lot and barely used.
Because garage sale buyers are seeking “almost free” deals. They are not looking to receive 30% off a barely used BBQ. They want to spend $25 for a BBQ. They are not looking to spend $100 on a once used Kate Spade bag. They are looking for purses that cost $5.
Deal seeking connoisseurs will absolutely spend all day scavenging sales for these deals…leaving your fancy undervalued goods sitting on the tables in your garage until you either lower the price or close up shop…
The same is often true if you rely on job sites for your prospecting. Sure, a few copywriters have made great money on Upwork and the like…but more often I hear of freelancers tell me the horror stories:
And the freelancers put up with it because they fear retaliation of bad reviews, and because they simply do not know a better way to sell themselves.
To make great money as a freelancer and create real freedom for yourself, you MUST master the skills of prospecting, networking, pricing, selling and wowing your clients.
You know you have the copy chops, but are you a master connecter? Do you know how to price and sell yourself with ease? Can you identify and target only those clients that will deeply appreciate and gratefully pay top to dollar for your copy? Is your website filled with persuasive testimonials? Are most of your sales from repeat customers and referrals?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions…do yourself a favor today and subscribe to my list. I teach all of this and so much more in my free daily tips.
(SUBSCRIBE BUTTON can be found on the side bar)
Get MORE out of your copy career. Let me entertain you, delight you, and help you make more money!
Until tomorrow my friends…
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Each time I’m at a loss for words, I turn to the greatness of others.
After writing over 50 emails in the past week…I have found myself at a loss for words. So I turn to my childhood friend, author of a favorite book I’ve read countless times:
A Fable from Ole Aesop:
Two men were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on their path.
One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and concealed himself in the branches.
The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he could.
The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch a dead body.
When he was quite gone, the other Traveler descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of his friend what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear. “He gave me this advice,” his companion replied.
“Never travel with a friend who deserts you at the approach of danger.”
Rather than blast the false prophets, the fly-by-night “gurus”, the thieves and fake friends dying to take advantage of you and then run off at the first sight of danger (after you’ve given them your credit card number, of course)…
I offer you this more positive tip of the day:
Consistency of action, progress, growth and support.
Don’t desert your plan at the first sign of danger of failure…instead stick with your gut, commit to what’s possible, reconcile when necessary, move forward with purpose.
And when you get frustrated, down, stuck…remember, you are not in the game of business alone. Ever.
After all, I am only an email away.
Now allow me to borrow a little bit of greatness from you…
Send me a subject line you’d love for me to use, and if I do, you will win a $10 Amazon Credit. Only available to members of my mail list – CLICK HERE to sign up
An old subscriber to my email list, a man who unsubscribed immediately upon learning I would be sending daily emails, felt it necessary to give me a piece of advice before leaving.
“Nobody wants to hear from you every day”
I’ve also had clients really worried they would turn off their own large lists if they begin to email more than the boring ONCE A WEEK newsletter, fearing unsubscribe doom, yet acknowledge they love my daily emails.
No need to fear my dears.
I learned this early on from my email mentor Ben Settle (the rockstar of all things email marketing)…. you will become closer to your list, more endeared, more worthy of their hard earned dollars if you nurture the crap out of your relationships.
For me, that means talking to you daily. Letting you in on my secret marketing tips and why I do what I do.
I want you to succeed.
I want to bring levity into your life.
Like I did for subscriber Leah, who sent me email love just this week:
“I just had to thank you for this email…LMAO”
The moral to the story is this, my friend:
Never ever worry about unsubscribes. Never listen to those who tell you “no one wants to hear from you every day.”
Your tribe, your ideal clients, your unique audience wants to hear from you, learn from you and, yes, they even want to buy from you.
Go forth and nurture your tribe,
I always love to hear from you…let me know what you are enjoying and what you need help with. Thank you for being a part of my tribe.
NOTHING makes me happier than getting loves from my list. Even Sacks O’Cash coming in from programs and clients make me feel as warm and fuzzy as those who are inspired by my words.
Not that I don’t love sales…like, that’s my bread and butter baby…
But getting an email like this from Houry, a subscriber in Dubai, gives me all the feelz…
“You’ve asked me to write a recommendation right after my complementary session with you, although you gave me some wonderful tips I still thought it was too soon to ask..
Then you started sending this amazing newsletters, I’d rather call them little “informative” and super “inspiring” stories, that you actually pushed my button to start thinking in a creative way of marketing my business, instead of just sticking to my old boring routine. I’ve unsubscribed from almost 90% of the marketing emails that I receive daily, to keep room for the ones I truly appreciate, yours is my top priority, I just can’t wait to read what you’re going to write next.
Today I want to thank you for being such an inspiring and passionate person. Please keep up the great work!”
What I love most is this: Houry takes these little tips I send and she becomes inspired…and thinks differently about her marketing.
THIS is what I am to do…help business owners, freelancers, marketers, and writers think differently about how they sell products so they can stop fiddling around with the small dollars and start making an IMPACT.
Only a few more days till I (finally, I know) spill the deets on CCC (Copywriting Confidential Collective). Will you be one of the 10 that join???
Better get on the list…first invite goes to those who have hit the link.