How do you get started with implementing better copy for your business?
It all starts with DEEP consumer psychology and TIMELESS persuasion principles.
A few things to consider before pursuing copywriting – you have to change the way you view your marketing, your customer, your marketplace and yourself.
This is why the most important ingredient in copywriting at the start is research
When it comes to copywriting, you don’t need to be hypey, or clever. You need to have a deep understanding of psychology – what makes people tick, and what makes people buy.
And also… break up paragraphs into smaller ones, please 🙂
Maximum 2-5 lines per paragraph.
1. CALL OUT YOUR AUDIENCE
Customized marketing – Call out your customers by their name.
Or… if you’re addressing your ideal audience as a group of people, then call out the community or tribe they belong in.
Think about your marketing, who do you sell to?
If you're selling to everybody, you're selling to nobody.
So be very clear and specific about who your audience is.
Here is some good headline examples:
- Attention Senior Restaurant Owners!
- Are you a Pet Owner with a Pet Business?
- Style Guide For Men Under 5’8”
In the body, describe their problems in more detail as this builds trust.
- Are you sick and tired of… (insert pain point here)
- If you are experiencing problem A, B and C… (fill in the blanks)
People usually buy… NOT because they understand what you sell…
But because they feel understood. When people think you understand what their challenges are, they will be more open to reading what you have to say.
In fact, most of the time if you understand someone deeply, or even more than they understand themselves, they automatically think you have the solution to their desires.
Now that you know your ideal audience and what their pain points are, offer them help needed to overcome their issues.
2. GRAB THEIR ATTENTION WITH YOUR BIG PROMISE HEADLINE
Headlines can be on a webpage, subject line of an email, or the first sentence on your social media.
The promise headline should go in the email subject line or headline for the purpose of getting a prospect to open and read more of the email. You don't want them to delete or skip the email or ad copy.
Don't waste time. Directly answer the audience’s question:
"What's in it for me?"
Enter their world. Enter the conversation that's going on in their head. What are they going through?
Get out of your ego, and get into your prospect's ego too. Describe their problems better than they could. This is what will make you effective as a copywriter.
Don't talk about how great something is. Address the problem in a story that describes an experience similar to what your reader is going through.
In fact, there’s three solid ways you can do this one…
- Me Too: This is when you have the same product as someone else. People would be asking what the difference between you and the competitors are.
- Me Better: Your promise is that you are better than your competitors. This could be good claim in some scenarios.
- Me Only: This is the ideal way to differentiate. Your entire promise is completely different than anyone else, and that makes you stand out in the eye of your competitors and much more desirable to purchase from
Not everything you sell has to be there, but the closer you are to this level, the more power you have in the marketplace.
To differentiate yourself you must spend some time thinking about...
"what is something I can promise that other people cannot?"
This is what will make you stand out.
Most entrepreneurs and business owners don't know how to do thorough, critical thinking. This means having truly introspective and deep thinking about your marketplace, potential customer, big promise, and headline.
Think about what value you can deliver that other people cannot.
If you want to write a good headline…
Write at least 12-30 headlines.
Write more than one to compare which words to keep, switch out or combine, then pick the ones that work well.
This is common practice done by everyone from email copywriters, to YouTube channels. Headlines matter.
For example consider Fedex, they have spent time marketing delivery and speed, so customers now associate express shipping with their name. Ex: “Let’s FedEx it”.
People are willing to pay more if they want something delivered in a timely fashion, so this company charges more.
What is something that you can promise? What’s the big promise you can use in the headline?
- Triple Your Sales
- Burnout Prevention
The bad examples are simply too vague, general, typical, overused, not precise. These are fluff words. People don't know if they are true before they buy. They also can't quantify them.
These things are assumed already, so they are not compelling enough to make people buy.
3: CALL OUT YOUR ENEMIES (Or create “common enemies” )
Remember… Us vs. Them.
This is who you are NOT. Show that you are the opposite of your competitors.
Do not explain why you are better. Just show WHAT you are against, and what you don't believe in.
For example, the Apple Mac promotes themselves as being modern, skinny, cool, and newer compared to PC being not that cool & outdated.
Let's say your competitor is complex and you're simple...
EMPHASIZE THAT. In fact, I actually worked for a company who was the leader in their field because of their emphasis on being simple.
On the contrary… if the competitor is overly simple, you can position yourself as being more thorough and more detailed. Instead of only 1 step, you have 10 steps to ensure that the quality is there.
They’re calling out their enemies who do overly fancy and techy products. They are calling out a specific crowd and telling them that they don’t really need all of those parts.
They’re not saying “our product is so much better and cheaper”. They’re creating a contrast so they can compare.
They SHOW people they are different, they don’t TELL them.
It’s the difference between a restaurant saying they have “the best spaghetti in town.” vs. displaying the plaques for their awards on their wall.
The psychology behind Us vs. Them is that you’re not saying you’re “better”. Instead you’re explaining what you’re against, what you stand for and what you don’t believe in.
This works in connecting with an audience that shares the same opinions, so when they see your message, they will say, “I hate that too!”
4: STORIES MOVE THE WORLD
Stories sell like crazy. This is because human beings are ingrained to pay attention to stories, coming from the past when humans bonded with their tribes through storytelling around the campfire.
For Example: La Mer Skin Care, a high-end facial brand, their story is about a doctor who extracted the ingredients from the ocean to create products that his wife can safely use.
Think about even some of the highest grossing movies. They do well simply because people want to experience the exciting emotions from watching them.
People pay to be moved. So you can sell products or a service with your story.
Facts tell. Stories sell. People buy with emotion, then justify with logic.
Here are two types of stories:
- The Backstory – This includes relatable stories that describe where you got started.
- The Client Story – Client testimonials. What people say about you is infinitely more powerful than what you can say about yourself, so utilize client stories. When prospects read these stories, they can relate. “This person is just like me, and got results. I want
that too!” Collect as many of these as possible.
Stories are powerful because we feel like we can be a part of it. People get emotionally involved as we want to put ourselves in the story. Because people don't buy with logic, you need to get prospects emotionally involved.
5: WRITE LIKE YOU TALK
"What's up, Bro? Open that email fam".
This one might actually be one of my favorites.
I used to always get criticized in my college papers for being “too informal”
When you think of real life persuasion vs. school language. The biggest flaw to when you're writing is by being boring.
Use a casual tone to make a personal connection.
Think about it… when you open the college textbook or peer-reviewed research journal…
Your brain is in full-blown analytical mode...
Which in case you didn't know, is also full-blown BULL-SHIT DETECTING mode. Meaning, your bullshit detector is firing on all cylinders.
You ARE NOT going to buy anything when you’re in full-blown analytical bullshit detecting mode!!
So write like you talk.
When it comes to copy, you want to be very personal. Imagine talking to your ideal customer one-on-one, in a casual conversation. Don't use very big, technical words. Just speak casually as if you're really trying to talk with them & help them.
It's not about you sounding smart, it's about you actually connecting with them and showing how you can help them get their needs met.
Don’t write as if you are talking to a group of thousands, because at any given time, your reader or prospect is typically reading your copy or watching your video by themselves. So you should talk to them on a one-on-one basis to make that connection.
Remember that the purpose of the headline is for them to read the first paragraph. The purpose of the first paragraph is for the reader to continue with the following paragraph.
A big mistake that a lot of copywriters make is using "I" or "We". Use "YOU" instead. Because there's typically only one person reading the letter or email.
Copywriting is a one-on-one connection, from the writer to the reader.
Readability is also important. Keep everything simple. Use short sentences and simple words. Use 1-5 sentences per paragraph. Remember that one little word can create an entirely different emotion.
Don’t speak to your audience in groups. For example, don’t refer to them as "ladies and gentlemen", because this will feel like you’re not directly addressing the reader, and this breaks the personal connection.
Think of your ideal prospect, and just talk to that person as individual.
Imagine that this person is sitting across the table from you, and you want write to that person. Transcribe what you say, to start off, then convert it into writing.
The ideal outcome is always to close. Having a casual and conversational tone, and even sometimes having grammatical errors or typos, are not a big deal as long as your copy is successful at generating conversions.
6: PAIN OVER PLEASURE
People don't buy their way into something. They buy their way OUT of something.
Find what people are complaining about and use that message to put in front of the audience.
(Short & sweet I know).
7: DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU ARE THE EXPERT
Build credibility with testimonials, results, statistics and research. Always talk to readers as if they are skeptical.
Assume that they don't like you, don't trust you, and don't know you. So you should give high value. Don’t “say” what you’re good at, instead show the numbers of how much you’ve done.
8: EXPLAIN WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE
A lot of companies default by differentiating by going cheaper, competing by price, instead of thinking about what really makes them unique.
If customers give you objections, like asking for a discount, it's usually because they can't differentiate you from your competition. So don't be better, be different. Have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Ask yourself why should people do business with you, besides any other option out there as well as doing nothing?
- We’re the best
- We’re the biggest
- We care about you
- We offer more
- Best customer service
- 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance (GEICO)
- One for one. Each pair of shoes your purchase = a pair of shoes for a child in need.
- Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed. (Domino’s Pizza)
9: THE THREE BOXES METHOD
This is the use of contrast pricing. Think about when you are selling and closing, it comes down to an offer. If you provide only one option, the customer will only give you one answer – either yes I will buy, or no I will not buy.
If you offer them two options, A or B, now their minds will be focused on saying yes or no to either one of them.
If you give three options – done properly – chances are that the customer will choose the middle option. The three options would be something like, “Basic, Intermediate, Advanced”, or “Small, Medium, Large”.
“Option A, B or C”. Option A, the basic version of your offer, should look as lousy as possible. The biggest one, Option C should be really expensive. Knowing that most people will not buy either, you are actually positioning the middle, Option B, to be the most compelling one.
In fact many service companies will show on their website, three main subscription types with #1 obviously being the cheapest and lowest overall value, and #3 being the most value, but also most expensive too. However, they got this guy in the middle called #2, which they show as having the best value for the price, and probably also have some type of sticky ribbon on it proclaiming "Best Offer" or "Best Value".
You've probably seen that before haven't you?
It's pretty clever right? If they do this well, usually #2 get's a lot of signups and the company get's more sales.
Another popular way too...
Price aside... is that you position Option A as something ya know "meh, not really that exciting"... Then position Option B as something that "COMPLETELY blows Option A out of the water". And then finally, position Option C as something ever slightly better than Option A, but still really not that exciting at all.
This makes Option B the clear winner here.
10: UNIQUE GUARANTEES
Use an unusual but effective guarantee. For example:
“Hey _____, as you know I can't give you all your money back. But what I can guarantee is that if you don't like the place that I am going to move you into, I will work with you to find a new home - absolutely free, commission free and I will give you $500 towards moving into your new home. That's how much I believe in my service.”
Offer a creative or fun option and guarantee if the customer doesn't like your service or product.
The more authority you have in the marketplace, the less you have to use a guarantee.
Make yourself look like a rare commodity.
11: TALK ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT BUYING
People don't buy not because they don't believe in you. What often stops them from buying is because they don't believe in themselves. Most people have low self-esteem and don't see themselves changing.
So create pain. Make them think about they’ll miss out on and what the consequences are when they don't buy. What will happen if they don't buy your product? What problem do you solve?
Tell your unconfident customers what happens if they don't buy NOW. Eventually, when they hit the tipping point, they will make the purchase.
12. SHOW DON'T TELL
Show, don’t tell. Show emotion and paint a vivid picture with decorative storytelling, so that readers can picture the story in their heads.
DO NOT be vague here...
Really quick, imagine these two example here:
"Imagine no more neck pain keeping you from doing what you want?"
"Imagine no more neck pain keeping you from playing outside with your family & loved ones?"
WOAH... Kinda crazy right?
If you don't get it... here's the difference, in the first example, "Imagine no more neck pain keeping you from doing what you want?"
"...what you want"... whoever is reading that, what they want might actually be to just sit in bed all day long and watch The Office...
Therefore neck pain really is not stopping them from doing what they want.
However in the latter example... neck pain certainly keep you from playing outside with your family & loved ones. So the person experiencing something like that, if they read that copywriting it's probably gonna hit really deep.
So always be crystal clear. Paint the visual & don't leave the reader guessing what's possible, and what could be real.
SHOW THEM (don't tell them) what could be real.
This is one of the biggest drivers in effecting storytelling. It is one of the most powerful tools you could ever use in copywriting, and one of the most difficult to master.
Here’s a couple examples below…
“I felt mentally and physically drained.”
“I’ll never forget the way I felt when I made my first online sale. I was so excited.
“My legs barely hold up my body as I crawl onto the sofa. I try to cry myself to sleep but the tears came without a sleep.”
“It was 2:30 AM and a strange time to be checking my email. But there it is, the notification for my first online sale. I ran upstairs, and I woke my wife – I did it! I did it! She warned me if I didn’t calm down the noise would awake the kids in the next room. But as far as I was concerned, no one in the family should be sleeping at a time like this. I was now an official Internet Marketer.”
Hold on to these 12 rules like it's your free complimentary playbook. If you're extra ambitious though, and want to REALLY elevate the copywriting in your business to get more clients and more sales, then I invite you to visit this link right here.
You'll get a cheatsheet, and some extra details as well to increase copywriting & conversions for your business.