Do you want to know the secret to capturing people’s immediate attention with your copy?
It’s simple: you start with the “happily ever after.”
Here’s what I mean…
Every worthwhile product, program, or service solves some sort of problem or challenge.
… Yoga solves the problem of not feeling comfortable in your own body.
… Fresh paint solves the problem of being tired of looking at your smudged and faded walls and embarrassed to invite people over to your home.
… And leadership coaching solves the problem of feeling insecure in your abilities to inspire others to follow your lead and give their best effort to your vision.
Every marketing story is like a fairy tale in that it’s all about a hero (your client) overcoming a monster (their problem or challenge) with the help of a magic tool or fairy godmother (your products or services) – and achieving the “happily ever after” they longed for.
… The yoga practitioner feels healthy and strong in their body and has more energy and agility to enjoy life.
… The painter is able to look around their home with pleasure and pride and feel excited to invite others over to enjoy the space.
… And the coaching client is able to inspire their team to show up as their best selves and achieve huge wins for the organization!
But UNLIKE fairy-tales, a strong piece of sales copy doesn’t start with “Once upon a time…”
It starts with the “happily ever after.”
It makes a PROMISE and says this is what you will experience if you pay attention to these words and take action on the offer you’re about to discover!
And it paints a clear picture of what that happily ever after will look like and feel like so your ideal client or customer is immediately able to understand the positive impact your offer will have on their lives if they decide to take action on it.
This is what I call my “fairy-tale rule” of copywriting…
You get super clear on who the hero is, as well as the monster or challenge they need to overcome and what their “happily ever after” will look like once they have experienced the positive impact of your offer in their lives.
Then START your copy with that “happily ever after” to capture people’s interest and convince them to keep reading!
What do people want to know most about your business, products, programs, and services?
The answers to these six questions:
QUESTION 1: “WHAT AM I GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS?”
The first thing people want to know as soon as they are presented with a piece of copy is this: how is reading & taking action on your copy going to positively impact their life?
Is it going to help them solve a big problem they’ve been dealing with?
Is it going to provide them with a tool or information that’s going to make their lives easier or more enjoyable in some way?
Whatever big impact your offer is going to have on their lives, THAT’s what people most want to know BEFORE they even get into reading your copy. So make sure you answer this question first and you will do a better job of ensuring that people keep reading!
QUESTION 2: “HOW WILL THIS OFFER OR INFORMATION BENEFIT ME?”
What are all the different, specific ways your product or service is going to benefit your ideal clients or customers?
How is it going to improve their life, increase their joy, fill them with relief, or confidence, or strength, or make their lives easier?
The more your copy highlights these different benefits and makes it easy for people to visualize themselves experiencing it, the more deeply engaged they’re going to be in your copy and the more compelled they’re going to be to ACT on it.
QUESTION 3: “WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE OR INCLUDE?”
What are the specific details of your offer? How big is it, how long does it last, what different ingredients or elements are included in it, and how does it work?
Be sure to focus on the information that you think is going to be most important to your ideal customers or clients – and describe it in the terms and language that will be most meaningful to them. This makes it easier for them to visualize themselves experiencing the benefits of your offer.
And the easier it is for them to visualize themselves experiencing it, the more likely it is they will take action on it!
QUESTION 4. “WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE YOU?”
What makes you the ideal person to offer this solution? What can YOU offer that others don’t?
What specific skills, experience, or qualities do you have to be the ideal person to give your ideal clients or customers what they’re looking for?
Before they hit that buy button, people are going to want to know what makes YOU the person they want to do business with!
QUESTION 5: “WHAT DO OTHER PEOPLE THINK ABOUT IT?”
What do the people who have taken action on your offer think about it? Did it live up to their expectations and deliver on the promise you make?
This is often the clincher that gives people the reassurance they need to take an important action and hit the “buy” or “register” button.
QUESTION 6: “WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET IT?”
What specific action do people have to take in order to enjoy the wonderful experience you have just promised them?
Whatever it is they need to do, it’s a good idea to make your answer to this question super clear and obvious in your copy, so people are easily able to identify it at a glance.
When your call to action isn’t immediately clear and obvious – or it’s hard for people to understand what they’re supposed to do – the AMOUNT of action you get will never be as high as it could be.
So those are the 6 questions people are going to want to see answered in your copy.
It doesn’t matter who they are, or what kind of business you have, or what your offer is.
If you do a good job of providing clear, effective, and empathy-driven answers to these questions in your copy, you will see a higher level of engagement and action on your landing pages, emails, ads and more.
Does your copy paint a crystal clear picture for people?
Here’s why I ask: the easier it is for people to visualize themselves doing something, the more likely they will be to actually do the thing!
It’s so much easier to take an action you can clearly imagine yourself doing, as opposed to something you can’t see happening in your “mind’s eye” at all.
That’s why, when you write copy for your website, landing pages, emails, and all that fun stuff, it’s a good idea to choose words that create a clear visual picture and make it easy for people to “see” what you’re saying.
Here are some tips to help you do that:
TIP 1: TELL A STORY
Everybody loves a good story! We humans are a story-telling species and have been conveying important information to each other in story form since the dawn of time. So if you want people to pay more attention to the information you’re sharing, share it in the form of a narrative story.
TIP 2: FOCUS ON *THEIR* EXPERIENCE
Imagine what their lives look like right now and what they might be thinking and feeling about. What are their hopes, challenges, worries and delights?
Then consider how experiencing whatever it is you’re offering them will change their lives. What will that experience look like and feel like for them? And how will they feel, and what will their lives look like when they are experiencing the “happily ever after” of using your products or services?
The clearer you get on this, the easier it will be for you to create a picture they can see and relate to.
TIP 3: INCORPORATE THE SENSES
Great writing makes people feel like they are there in the scene being described. And the easiest way to do that is to speak to their senses! What will the experience of using your offer and enjoying the happily ever after look, feel, sound, smell, and taste like? When you create a full sensory description of the scene, you make it so much easier people to imagine themselves experiencing it.
TIP 4: USE POWERFUL WORDS
Your writing packs more of a punch when you use strong, evocative nouns and verbs that do a better job of bringing your descriptions to life. For example, instead of “went to,” say “explored.” Instead of saying “walked,” say “hurried, hustled, or sauntered.” Instead of saying building, say “skyscraper” or “shack.” Strong nouns and verbs also eliminate the need for adverbs and adjectives which eliminates unnecessary wordiness and gets more meaning across in fewer words.
TIP 5: SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE
Before you describe something, ask yourself: “How would my ideal clients or customers describe this? What words would they use?” The more you speak in their terms, the easier it will be for them to immediately understand and imagine what you’re saying.
TIP 6: ALWAYS ASK: WHAT MATTERS MOST TO THEM?
Consider the thing you’re describing or offering and ask, “What aspect or element or this thing are my ideal clients or customers going to appreciate most?” That’s what you should focus on! For example, if you offer pre-natal yoga classes, it’s probably better to emphasize how it will relieve hip and lower back pain and make it easier for heavily pregnant women to sleep, as opposed to how it will help them improve their flexibility and tone their upper body.
So those are my six tips on how to help your ideal customers or clients “see” what you’re saying in your copy. If you’d like to learn more powerful writing tips to help you elevate your copy game and get better results with your marketing, join me for WordPower Academy this fall! Our first live copy coaching session is on October 12th – I hope to see you there!
I have a fun 5-minute brainstorming exercise to share with you today.
It’s one I use in my writing classes to help people kickstart their writing brain and get themselves in a positive and creative frame of mind that makes their words flow easier.
And it starts with a simple question:
>> What do you LOVE? <<
What are the things that touch your heart and thrill your senses and fill you with awe and inspiration?
I’m talking about the PEOPLE, places, things, even the ideas, philosophies, or ways of thinking, or the experiences that you’ve had that you REALLY, TRULY love.
Using a timer to give yourself a strict 2-minute limit, write down all of the ideas that occur to you in relation to that question: what do you love?
Once your 2 minutes is up, review your list and choose ONE person, place, or thing on it. Then set your timer for another 2 minutes and use that time to write down everything you can about that thing. Again, the idea is to get as much down as possible within the 2-minute time limit.
Then, when you’re done, close your eyes and visualize yourself experiencing the emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations you associate with that thing. Then thank that person, place, or thing for the joy it has brought into your life and release it from your thoughts.
Now you’re ready to write!
Why start your writing sessions brainstorming about love?
Brainstorming about something you LOVE can fill you with positive feelings and help you feel more connected to the world around you. It can also tune you into a deeper sense of purpose.
This can help to infuse your writing with passion and purpose that will do a better job of capturing people’s interest and attention – and inspiring a higher level of engagement and action.
So if you ever sit down to write something and aren’t feeling particularly excited or motivated about it, take 5 minutes to brainstorm about the people, places, and things you love.
I guarantee you’ll feel more energized and inspired to write!
Have you noticed how my posts always start with a short one-sentence paragraph?
(Like that one.)
That’s because a short, snappy sentence surrounded by lots of white space is much more effective at capturing attention and conveying a potent serving of information at a glance.
Which means it’s more effective at sparking curiosity and compelling people to read!
But if ALL of your paragraphs are short, their impact will diminish.
When you have a bunch of similarly sized sentences in a row, they all start to look the same – and that makes the words so much harder to read. Your eye gets lost in the sameness and has to put more effort into focusing on where it is and where it’s supposed to go next.
Same goes if all of your paragraphs were two-line sentences or three-line sentences. The monotony of repetition makes it harder for people to read your words and understand your meaning at a glance.
And that’s a problem – because when your copy isn’t easy to read,people don’t read it.
That’s why it’s important to use a “choppy” paragraph structure for your copy.
(For example: start with a one-line paragraph, then a really short half-line paragraph, a two-line paragraph, a couple of one-line paragraphs, then a three-line paragraph, and so on…)
This goes for ALL of your copy: your landing pages, website copy, emails, social media posts and more.
By varying the size of your paragraphs – and the amount of white space around your words – you make it easy for the eye to track its way through your words and immediately understand your meaning.
And that will make it so much easier for you to keep people READING.
That’s right – it’s time to sit down and write something to share with your ideal clients or customers online.
(An email, landing page, or social media post, perhaps?)
So you sink into your favourite chair with a cup of tea and your computer. And you stare at the screen and get ready to write.
And you stare.
And you stare.
And you stare.
But the words don’t come.
Because the truth is, you’re not sure what to say. OR how to say it.
Sure, there’s a ton of stuff you could say about who you are, and what you do, and what you offer and why.
But what should you say? And how do you articulate it so that your words do a great job of engaging your readers and compelling them into action?
That’s the big question!
The good news is, there is an inexhaustible source of insight and inspiration that can help you get clear on the answer – so you always know what kind of content to share, and how to express it in a compelling and engaging way.
And that inexhaustible source of insight and inspiration is…?
The people you are writing for!
When you begin every writing session with the question, “What will THEY most appreciate?” you will find it easier to get out of your own head and think about the world and your industry and whatever it is you have to offer from THEIR perspective.
This will make it so much easier for you to understand what THEY are going to find most interesting and valuable – and how to communicate it in a way that conveys maximum meaning to THEM.