In the first post in this series, I gave you the 30,000-foot-view of the personal process I use to write copy for myself and my clients.
We then took a deep dive into step #1, which is creating a compelling offer.
This week, we’ll work our way through steps #2 to #5.
We’ll take a look at how to research your competition (so you can use the dirt you dig up to dial in your offer even more, making it irresistible to your best prospects)…
… How to uncover your prospect’s deepest, darkest emotions and desires…
… How to quickly and easily create sizzling hot benefits…
… How to prove everything you say beyond a shadow of a doubt…
… And finally, an incredibly powerful way to pull it all together and write the best copy of your life, even if you have absolutely no experience writing copy!
First you’ll need to download my Ultimate Copy Blueprint companion Excel file. It’s the same Excel worksheet I use to brainstorm, organize and write all of my copy.
Even if you downloaded it last time, you’ll need to download this updated one.
Ok, so let’s get at it…
STEP #2: How to “Steal” from Your Competitors to Create An Instantly Compelling Offer
In order to be competitive in the marketplace, your offer has to be competitive.
For this step, refer to the “COMPETITION” tab on the Excel file.
The single most important thing you can do during your research is to check out your competition and inventory everything you can find out about them.
What products out there are similar to yours?
What does the offer consist of?
How do the features and benefits compare?
The bonuses? The price? The guarantee?
Be thorough, and carefully examine their marketing and advertising.
As an example, compare the fictitious offer we created last week to this actual offer from a competitor (this is a real product, but the name has been changed)…
The Experts Blueprint System
328-page master manual.
10-step audio training session set (12 CDs).Quick-start guide.
2′ x 3′ wall poster (diagram of the complete 10-step strategy).
Demonstration videos for each of the 10 steps (including all technical stuff).
Resource Directory (a list of the resources, vendors, web sites and tools they use for each step – delivered online).
Done-For-You-Services and Outsource Directory (a list of other people or companies you can outsource certain things to – delivered online).
Member’s only discussion forum.
Bonus DVD #1: The Experts Blueprint System Live Video Orientation” (90-minutes).
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Set up of your web site for you on your own domain with a customized and search engine optimized blog, with all the right plug-ins and settings (a $497 value).
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One payment of $297.
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Online order form. The entire course is shipped hard copy. Only some of the supplementary material is delivered online.
Now, if you were planning to launch our fictitious product from last week into this market, how do you think the offer would fare against your competitor?
Do you think you might want to improve your offer just a bit?
Do you think comparing your offer to other offers in your market will help you to create a better product and give your buyers a better experience?
STEP #3: How to Crawl Into Bed With Your Perfect Prospect, Without Being the Slightest Bit Creepy
Now it’s time to dive deep into your prospect’s mind.
For this step, refer to the “EMOTIONAL INVENTORY” tab on the Excel file.
In order to write powerful copy, you need to be fully knowledgeable about all the key factors that may affect your prospect’s buying decision.
Namely… her beliefs, feelings, thoughts and behaviors.
Knowing these details about your prospect gives you a huge advantage, as it allows you to enter the conversation the prospect is already having with herself.
You, me, and every other human being on the planet — we are always having a conversation with ourselves in our own minds. Sometimes it’s about what we’re going to eat for lunch. Sometimes it’s about things a whole lot more important than that.
More often, it’s about our goals. Our dreams. Our needs. Our desires.
Your job when you sit down to write copy is to enter the conversation that your prospect is already having with herself.
If you can understand her hopes, dreams, and desires… then you have the tools necessary to seize her attention and offer a powerful solution to a problem she already has and wants desperately to solve.
If you’re trying to sell her something she doesn’t need… well, then you’re doomed to failure before you ever get off the ground.
Her BELIEFS affect her thoughts, and determine how open she is to the claims you make, including whether she believes your product can help her:
What does she believe fundamentally about the issue/problem?
What does she believe about the forces that affect this market?
What does she believe about this type of product?
What does she believe about other editors or spokespeople in this industry?
Her DESIRES must be known if you’re to persuade her to buy your product:
What is her most urgent problem regarding this issue that she wants solved?
If she could wave a magic wand, what would she want more than anything else in this area?
What does she most want to avoid?
Her EMOTIONS are often what drives her; she buys because she feels a certain way, wants to feel a certain way, or wants to avoid an unpleasant feeling:
How does she feel when she looks for the kind of product you’re selling?
How does she feel about your industry?
How does she feel about your competitors?
How does she feel when she reads your ad?
How does she feel about your offer?
Take a look at the “EMOTIONAL INVENTORY” tab on The Ultimate Copy Blueprint for some sample answers to get you started. Then think about your own market, and your ideal prospects and customers, and start to develop your own character profile.
The more you know, the more you’ll be able to infuse your copy with the intimate details you need to show them. Details that prove you not only understand their needs on a deeply personal level, but also have the perfect solution to those needs.
They’ll automatically come to know, like and trust you… and that’s the first step to getting them to invest in you!
STEP #4: The “5 Ladder Method” for Creating Sizzling Hot Benefits in Record Time
Now it’s time to look at your product’s features.
More importantly, how to transform those features into rich, emotionally-charged benefits that get your prospect salivating uncontrollably. When you do this, you’ll find your copy starts to take on a life of its own.
For this step, refer to the “FEATURES & BENEFITS” tab on the Excel file.
Here’s WHY this is so important…
When you know your prospect on a deep level, you know what moves them.
And when you know what moves your prospect emotionally, you know what product benefits you need to showcase and magnify in your copy.
First, it’s important to understand the difference between features and benefits.
Features are the concrete, tangible components of your product. Benefits are what those features do for your prospect.
Most beginning copywriters have a tendency to focus on product features to the exclusion of everything else. They focus on what the product has, rather than what the product does for the prospect.
You’ve got to know the features, yes. But you must dig deeper than that, and turn each individual feature into a powerful emotional benefit.
Here’s how you do that (and move from simple, boring features to high-powered emotional benefits) using a feature from our fictitious product above …
Step ONE: Primary Feature
List one of the main features of your product.
“Action Plan” worksheets for each module/chapter.
Step TWO: Reason Why
How and why is that particular feature advantageous to your prospect? What is the reason WHY that feature exists?
You get more than three dozen detailed “Action Plans” – checklists covering everything from finding your niche and selecting keywords, to researching your competition and creating your first online course – walking you through everything you need to know to start your own highly successful online business. Because in order to achieve real and lasting success (without having to experience all the painful trial-and-error I had to go through) … you need to have a complete road map that shows you step-by-step exactly what to do and in what order.
Step THREE: Functional Benefit
What does that feature actively DO for your prospect?
Makes it easy and enjoyable for you to build an online business from scratch – by helping you get more done in less time, so you can build your new business as quickly as possible.
Step FOUR: Dimensionalized Benefit
Write a vivid description of what that benefit looks like in your prospect’s life.
Finally, you can rest easy knowing you are following a proven, easy-to-implement road map for online business success! Gone will be the days spent frustrated and alone, filled with self-doubt and wondering “what the heck do I do now?” Instead, you’ll discover the path to achieving your dreams truly can be a simple one – with the freedom to pursue your passions, to spend quality time with friends and family, and to become financially free once and for all!
Step FIVE: Emotional Benefit
How does that benefit make your prospect feel?
Imagine the joy, freedom and exhilaration of building your own online business from scratch – using nothing more than your laptop and the simple, step-by-step process you’ll find in this training program. No more lingering self-doubts about whether you’ve made the right decision. No more worry about waking up one day to find you’ve spent three months stuck down a dead-end rabbit hole. Just the satisfaction of knowing you’re on your way to building your very own high-profit business. And all the while, you’ll be building a legacy that your family, friends and colleagues will admire and respect!
Can you see how going through this powerful process with each and every feature your product has to offer will help you uncover all of its rich, emotional benefits?
Can you see how doing it will virtually write your copy for you?
STEP #5: 18 High-Power Strategies for Infusing Proof and Credibility Into Your Copy
Proof is the fifth and final piece of the puzzle.
For this step, refer to the “PROOF ELEMENTS” tab on the Excel file.
Proof is the glue that holds your offer, ideas, features, benefits and all the rest of the elements you’ve intricately woven into your sales copy together.
It doesn’t matter…
- How great your product is…
- How much better you are than the competition…
- How intimately you know your prospect…
- How magnetic the emotional benefits of your product are…
- Or how great your offer is…
… If you can’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything you say is true, your copy will quickly collapse like a house of cards when viewed under the intense scrutiny of a skeptical target market.
In the first part of this series, I said relationships matter more than anything. This is where your relationship with your prospect plays a major role.
What I mean by that is, if the people on your list know, like, and trust you – and everything you put out gets eaten up by them simply because YOU created it – you’ve got a major advantage.
You won’t need to write world-class copy to get world-class results.
But there’s no excuse to use that trust as a crutch and be lax in your marketing.
If you go to the “PROOF ELEMENTS” tab on The Ultimate Copy Blueprint, you’ll see that I’ve listed 18 powerful ways to build proof and credibility into your copy.
Use these – and the spaces provided at the top of the worksheet – to brainstorm your own list of proof elements for your product or service, and you’ll easily find yourself writing much stronger and more believable copy.
So here’s what to do now…
How to Write the Best Copy of Your Life — Starting Long Before You’ve Written a Single Word!
Now that you’ve got the details on how to use the blueprint, here’s the entire process for writing killer copy right now:
1. Fill out The Ultimate Copy Blueprint on your first product or service. Read it and get to know it like the back of your hand. Internalize what you’ve written. Then let your subconscious chew on it for a day or so… or more, if you have the luxury of time.
If you don’t have an answer for something, do the research and get it. No shortcuts!
2. Close your eyes and have an imaginary conversation. Imagine you’re trying to sell your product or service to your ideal prospect “in person” and make it all as real as possible, by including all of your five senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, feel.
What would you say?
What gestures would you make?
What tone would you use?
It’s critical to make this a real experience for your subconscious!
3. Start writing. Open the floodgates and let it all out. If you’ve gone through this process properly, you’ll likely find the words will literally fly out through the keyboard as fast as you can type.
Don’t stop the flow. Just do a mind dump, edit later!
4. Edit, edit, and then edit some more. Edit until you have a finely polished draft!
So there you have it…
An easy paint-by-number system for writing powerful sales letters, emails and ads that grab attention… create intense interest and desire… and get your prospects and customers to open up their wallets and buy whatever you have to offer.
Once you’ve gone through this process with a product, you’ll often find the copy will virtually write itself — as your subconscious will serve up the ideas and words to your conscious mind as you write.
No matter if you’re writing a sales letter, email series or ad… the words will flow!
So… we want to hear from YOU now …
Do you write your own sales copy or do you pay someone to write it for you?
What tools do you use now to organize your thoughts and write your sales copy?
Do you think a tool like this Excel worksheet could help you write better sales copy?
Please comment below and let us know!