Category Uncategorized

If you are a copywriter, you are also a salesperson.

Put your hand up if you’re in sales?

Put your hand up if you’re a copywriter?

If you put your hand up for the second question but not the first, think again. If you are a Copywriter, you are also a salesperson. That is the point of copy: to sell.

This is where people go wrong. I hear it all the time. “Oh, I’m not a salesperson, I’m a coppppppywriter, did you hear that? I write coppppppy.” They always emphasise the word ‘copy’. I get where they’re coming from, we’ve been conditioned to think salespeople are annoying.

When I say salesperson, you imagine someone on the phone pestering you to buy their latest product.

It’s not nice when you think you’re a wordsmith to find out, you are actually a salesperson, I get that. But until you come to learn that you are, in fact, a salesperson, your copy is not going to improve.

There is a difference between writing good copy and writing well. Writing good copy involves selling something to someone or persuading them to think the same way you do. Writing well involves understanding theory.

You tell someone you’re a copywriter they say wow, you tell them you’re a salesperson and they think of this guy.

http://tkographix.com/are-you-a-good-salesperson/
http://tkographix.com/are-you-a-good-salesperson/

But you don’t have to tell people you’re a sales person, you just have to know inside that you are.

If you cannot sell your product to a person in real life, how do you suppose you’re going to sell it online?

One exercise I do with my clients is to get them to sell me their product. The catch? The only words they are allowed to use are the ones on their website. Do you know how many times I have been blown away and considered buying something from someone? NEVER. They find it difficult, some are even embarrassed by their copy because it’s just not what they would say out loud, so why, oh why would anyone ever want to read it? If they don’t want to read it, how do you expect them to be persuaded to buy something because of it?

There are FOUR steps I want you to take. Once you’ve taken these steps, you should understand the purpose of copy but also understand how you can start writing copy that actually sells.

 

Step 1: Tell yourself you are a salesperson. Write it down. like this

[NAME] – Copywriter & Salesperson

When people land on your website you have a chance to sell to them. You only have one chance. Don’t fool yourself into thinking If they don’t understand it they will come back. They won’t.

Step two is to reach for the sale. Have it in your mind.

Don’t focus on writing the best piece of content you’ve ever written. You’re not looking to win a literary award. Focus on ensuring your copy sells.

Don’t try and be everything to everyone. If you have created a piece of software, don’t spend vital selling time trying to explain everything about it, listing endless reasons why everyone should buy it. When you sell, keep one person in mind, your ideal customer and pitch to them and them only. If you do this, they are more likely to buy from you.

Intercept their questions, get to the point and cover any um’s or ah’s they may have. Ideally, to sell something successfully you need to have been a customer. Would you buy this product if someone else was selling to you, why or why not? Tackle the why nots, and make sure they’re covered in your sales pitch.

  • Perhaps you wouldn’t buy it because you think it’s too expensive. Write down that the price has been reduced.
  • Perhaps you wouldn’t buy it because you don’t trust the person. Add testimonials.

You might think what you have to say is cool or interesting but look at everything you’ve written and ask yourself this question.

Is what I am trying to say in any way going to push these prospects towards a sale?

Step three: Use the language of your audience. If you’re selling something light-hearted, do not use technical language you only understand if you read your copy alongside a thesaurus.

IF PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY, THEY WILL NOT GIVE YOU THEIR MONEY.People think copywriting is about buzzwords, or token phrases used to improve conversions. THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

I read a book once called 150 copywriting words that sell. No one could write a good book of 150 copywriting words that sell unless they wrote one for each website that existed. There are no “set words that sell” because it’s different for each business or website.

The best way to know what words to use is to simply take the words your customers give you and rewrite them into something that’s your voice. Think about it.

Your customers are the ones who are talking about your product, they are also the ones buying your product. Use what they say to sell to other people. Salespeople have, for a long time repeated what their customers have said to them. It’s just the way it works.

Here’s an example of two conversations. The first one did not convert, but the second one did. I wonder why.

Salesman BOB: Hello, sorry to bother you, I have a hoover here it’s really good for getting up dust, I would love to show you more about it.

Homeowner 1: I’m sorry, we use a brush because we find it’s better at tackling the carpets.

Salesman Bob: would you say brushes are better for carpets?

Homeowner 1: Yes I think so, my old hoover used to get clogged up, it didn’t work well. If your hoover had magic suction plates I might consider it, but thanks for you time. Goodbye.

 

Salesman Bob: Hello, sorry to bother you. I just noticed you had carpets in your hallway. I’ve got a hoover here and if you like I could show you the magic suction plates. They’re a lot more effective in getting up the dust than say using a brush. It’s free of charge.

Homeowner 2: Oh wow, that does sound really good. I’ve been looking for something like that, sure if it’s free why don’t you come in.

*30 MINUTES LATER*

Salesman Bob: There you go. I know how aggravating it is having to switch from a brush to a hoover, but this hoover just has it all, as you can see. Thanks for your time Ma’am.

Homeowner 2: How can I buy this? I would like to buy one today!

Do you see. Use the words of the customer, get in their mind. Let them know that you think the same way and they’re much more likely to give you their money.

STEP FOUR: Make sure the customer can buy with ease.

Don’t fall at the final hurdle here. You have them hooked, they want to buy your product or service, but where is the buy button? Let me tell you a secret, your customers are fickle. You might have won them over with your copy, but the minute you ruin their experience, they are unforgiving. They will not return.

Do not:

  • Request them to fill in 20 form boxes including giving you the name of their first friend, childhood pet and mother’s maiden name
  • If you can cope only knowing their postcode, then only take their postcode.
  • Ever heard of PayPal? Use it as well. Give them more than one way to pay.
  • They’re trying to buy, they’re happy to buy, don’t distract them. Let them make the sale
  • Let them know they can trust you. So far, you have made them like you or your product, but remember this relationship has only been there a short while. The lady bought the hoover from the guy because she trusted it would work as she SAW it in action.

Where to go from here:

  1. Look at the content you’ve already written and question whether you had sales in mind when you were writing it. Remember, you’re not writing a poem, you’re not trying to write a novel or epic piece of academic content, you’re trying to sell.
  2. Write a list of any barriers that might stop someone buying your product and make sure your copy addresses all of these barriers.
  3. Let me know if you have managed to do this. I would love to hear your experiences. You can contact me directly at hello@jordieblack.com

How to write blog posts people want to share

How to write a “YES, YES, YES” blog post.

Have you ever read a blog post and said “oh boy, I sure wish I could write like that”? I know I have. I read blog posts regularly & I totally understand the almost overwhelming feeling you experience when you read a good one. I also understand the utter boredom of reading uninteresting blog posts.

Maybe you’re the person writing the dry and boring blog posts? If you are, I am here to help you start writing blog posts that have you and others saying: “yes yes yes”.

The different kinds of content.

There are different kinds of content in any genre of writing. 

The two types of content.

  • Filler content
  • The content that often gets people saying “yes, yes yes”.

For many people, maybe for you too, creating content is not your only job role. You have other things to do as well. For this reason content perhaps isn’t a top priority.

The first kind of content people think of is filler content. If your content isn’t being received highly, chances are you are writing filler content. Filler content is everywhere. I guarantee if you have an idea for a blog post, it’s already been written. Filler content generally doesn’t interest anyone because it says nothing new.

Think of filler content as buying a card for your great-aunt. You don’t really like her so you buy a generic card like everyone else and she ends up with a series of almost identical cards for her birthday.

Granted, filler content is easy. All you have to do is Google your proposed blog title, read a few of the already existing blog posts and with that knowledge, write your post. Simple, right? It may be simple, but doesn’t mean it’s any good.

See the chances of filler copy going “viral” is slim to none. No one cares because they’ve read it all before.

Think about it like this. Suppose you have a blog all about natural disasters. Filler content would be a blog post called “Ten largest volcanoes in the world”.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 11.51.07

Why would anyone want to read your list of ten volcanoes when they can read all these other lists of 10?

The problem you might face, like so many others is you think filler content is all you can create because of how long it takes to create the other type of content. You believe the other type of content takes months to put together, especially with your already busy schedule. But that simply isn’t the case.

THE SECOND TYPE OF CONTENT

The second type of content is what people miss out on. It’s the content that often gets people saying “yes, yes yes”.

The second type of content has people saying “yes yes yes” because it SAYS SOMETHING NEW

Let’s go back to our volcano example. Okay, you want to write something about the biggest volcanoes because you think your readership will appreciate that.

I’ve already shown you the amount of “top ten largest” articles that are out there. So you need to put a spin on it. You don’t always need to do endless research, you don’t need to spend months writing your post, you just need to SAY SOMETHING NEW.

Examples:

  1. Ten volcanoes that are bigger than small islands
  2. Ten volcanoes that are younger, yet bigger than you are
  3. What would the world be like if the top ten volcanoes all went off at the same time.
  4. Already you have content people might pay interest in because you’re saying something DIFFERENT.
  5. Anyone can compile a list of large volcanoes, and a few people and go out and conduct first hand research of the volcanoes but everyone can, despite not many doing so, can create epic content that leaves you saying “yes”.

Do you want to know another secret about “yes yes yes” writing?

It’s all in the aim. The aim of good “yes yes yes” writing is not to write an academic piece only lecturers can understand; the aim of “YES YES YES” writing is to help your readers understand something more clearly.

Look at a blog post you thought was good and had the “yes yes yes” reaction to.

  • Their writing isn’t good because they use good words.
  • Their writing isn’t good because they have good use of Grammar.
  • Their writing isn’t good because they have used 10 statistics per paragraph.

Their writing is good because they look at the content through new eyes and give you information in a way you haven’t yet considered.

How to stop yourself writing boring posts?

To stop yourself writing boring posts I say there are three steps.

  1. Decide what sort of content you want to write
  2. Do a google search to see how most people present the information (remember there is a very small chance you will be able to write a blog post no one has ever written before. If you do, chances are the blog post is not relevant.)
  3. Think about the topic and try and think of it through a new eyes. How can you say something new?

Now you’ve stopped yourself writing boring posts, how do you write interesting content?

People come to me and say they’re trying to think of content through new eyes but the only thing they can think of is a generic boring response.

There are four key ways to look at content. Today I’m going to let you know these four ways. Once you’ve read them, try using it with your content  to see if you can see it in a different light. At first, you will need to keep checking back to my descriptions, but if you do it often enough, you will be able to do it naturally. If you can use all four ways even better.

Empathy: Empathy involves showing the readers you understand their problems. Example: You’re unsure about a scientific fact, would you rather a P.H.D lecturer say this to you “this is so easy how the hell do you NOT understand this? Wow you must be really dense” or would you prefer someone to sit down, explain and let you know it’s totally normal to not understand; and it’s easy to move from not understanding to understanding?

Through empathy, you reassure the person their problem is okay, is simple to fix and you will be the one to fix it. Do this and you’re going to have the person “yes yes yes’ing” by the end of your post.

Reality: Show the problem affects real people. Write things like “have you ever had the problem of….”, “it’s really common to feel like….” let them know their problem exists in the real world; and they’re more likely to listen to your solutions. Remember a blog post should always try and address and solve a problem.

Emotion: You need to appeal to people’s emotions. This is not to say you write a sob story at the beginning of every post. Convince your readers they’re reading content from a real person who feels things. How many times have you read the information the aircraft give you before take off and said “yes yes yes”? My guess is never, because it’s not emotional, it doesn’t mean anything (apart from life or death if you follow the instructions incorrectly). But the truth of it is, you don’t really care.

Story: Craft your content around a story. “What would Goldilocks and the three bears think of these three reasons to upgrade your website”. People by nature are gossips. They love stories. The truth of it is, stories are easier to read and digest than other forms of content. We get lost in the story and the message behind it follows. It’s the perfect way to add “yes yes yes” moments to your content.

How do you put this all together?

Back to our volcano example:

Headlines: How I almost died trying to take a photo of the largest volcano in the world. (Story)

I’ve been to all 7 wonders of the world. Nothing, however, quite compares to seeing your first volcano. (Story).

Most people have never seen a volcano in person, but want to. Today i’m going to show you how I almost died trying to take a photo of the biggest volcano in the world (reality). I’ve always been a dare-devil and i’m the sort of person who take risks if I see an opportunity. (Emotion).

I made some mistakes trying to take the photo of the volcano but i’ve since then learnt better and safer ways to do it. In today’s blog post, i’m going to show you how you can too. (Empathy).

See, not hard at all is it? Why not write a blog post for your own company. Pick a generic, boring done-before topic and turn it into something really fascinating. When you’ve done feel free to send it to me at hello@jordieblack.com

I would love to see what you created.