Marketing

What It Takes To Change

People are fond of the quote stating that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results.

The hardest part is to figure out what you want that as a different result. Anyone can complain about something they don’t like.

After you figure out what you want, it’s simply about planning with the goal in mind. What resources do you lack for your outcome? What habits will make it happen?

Successful people develop certain habits. Unsuccessful people develop habits too. The difference is that successful people are deliberate about planning out the habits the want. Unsuccessful people get into a routine that keeps them busy but never accomplishing worthy goals.

A different routine is required to make real changes. That’s when you can reasonably expect a different outcome.

For example, let’s say you want to learn a foreign language. What do you do? You got it… you need to practice deliberately. You need to plan some time into your daily routine so that it becomes a habit and finally a skill. If you’re in business and you want to persuade others to change their buying habits, you need to present a context where it makes sense to do that.

Buying a product or service for the first time is another change. They weren’t spending that money on you before. For you to encourage that, you need to show them how they’ll be making a change for the better by doing business with you.

When you cultivate a relationship with your customers so that buying with you becomes a habit, you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing your business goals. Changes takes structure. It’s your habits and deliberate planning for the outcome you want. You need to see the end you want to reach before you’ll be able to achieve it.

Your next action step is to create the structure you’ll need to support the life you desire

Maximizing Your Copywriting Skills

I just finished a book called, “Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else.” I picked up a few lessons to apply to copywriting.

What I got out of the book was that it’s not “natural” talent or even experience that give us greatness. And if you think it’s hard work, you’d be in good company, but that’s not it either. There are plenty of people who work hard but aren’t the best.

What is it that makes the difference? The author calls “deliberate practice.” It’s not just practice. A good example of it is how most adult city league soccer teams that I’ve observed practice.

Few adult soccer teams have a coach unless it’s informally the captain/manager. Not many practice as a team either. If they do, they typically divide into 2 groups, set up two small goals and then play until people get tired. Do players get better doing that? Not really. Is it fun? Yep. You get to play where you want, take a break when you want, play with who you want… who doesn’t enjoy that?

I was on a team once where a friend and I were able to convince the other players we needed to do some skill specific drills. We practiced playing keep away where the goal is to maintain possession of the ball. We put goals in the middle that had to be dribbled through. We put a limit on the number of times we could touch the ball before passing. We played offense against defense with each playing in our game formations.

Challenging ourselves with these drills made us better than other teams. We ended up moving up divisions each year that I played with them. I’ve seen other teams do that as well. It’s really not rocket science to be better than most everyone else. Deliberate practice will do the trick.

What can you do as a copywriter? Most people have heard you ought to copy other good letters so you get the language into your system. The author suggested 3 models for practicing: the music model, the chess model and the sports model.

Music Model

When you perform music, you know exactly what it’s supposed to sound like and you rehearse it. If you get hung up at a part, you step back and rehearse that part until it’s perfect. In copywriting, that’s what we’re doing when we copy other good letters. But we have two other ways to improve as well.

Chess Model

Evidently the way you learn to be great at chess is to use the “what you would do in this situation” model. That’s also how Harvard Business School teaches… through case studies. You look at specific scenarios and try to figure out what you would have done. Then you compare that to what actually happened.

For copywriting, you can re-write letters. You can pick a product, write a letter for it and then see how it compares to the real one. You can critique letters.

You can also chunk it down to smaller elements. How would you rewrite just a headline or offer? There are plenty of smaller opportunities if you want to test yourself against PPC ads or catalog copy.

Sports Model

Sports teams condition themselves for specific skills. For copywriting, you can build your swipe file and analyze each letter. You can take courses. You can read books. You can cross train in fields like sales, story telling, NLP and hypnosis, logic and debate. You can getting mentoring.

If you’ve been stuck at reading books and copying good letters take heart. Now you have plenty to keep you busy and take your copywriting skills to the top.

Top Copywriting Habits

Recently, I combed through over 60 interviews with A list level copywriters. No doubt, there are a number of interesting patterns that emerge.

All the copywriters had a pattern of doing research, writing and editing. That’s no shock. The difference came in how much time each copywriter spent in each area.

Funny to find that there was almost no consistency between our copywriters. There was a wide range of anywhere from 40-80% of their time spent on research and then 20-55% on writing. One guy even claimed he didn’t do any editing at all (not recommended). The lesson here is to find your own way. As long as you’re getting good results, it doesn’t’ matter.

A common theme developed on what it’s like for top copywriters when they write. There was always some kind of core emotion involved in the creation process. Sometimes each segment had its own state of being (detective, conversationalist and editor). Others, it was a simple enjoyment and fascination with the entire process.

That strong emotion could be described as a flow state. Athletes know about being in the zone. It’s the same thing. It’s where your ability comes up against a commensurate challenge and everything else seems to fade away while you fully immerse yourself in the experience.

What if you’re new to copywriting and don’t know how to find that flow experience? Look for it in another area of your life. Maybe you’ve lost yourself in a dance, a painting or while cooking. What’s it like during that activity? Consider what brings on that flow state for you. If it’s music, a feeling, etc apply that to your writing.

Our copywriters have other qualities in common too. Take time of day for writing. Isn’t it true that the early bird gets the worm? Or how about the old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise…”

The pattern was that there was very little consistency there either. Many copywriters like to knock out an hour or two of writing first thing in the morning. Some say though that they do their best writing in the afternoon or evening once everyone else is gone to bed and all is quiet. So it’s really up to you to find your most productive time.

What’s the consensus on how long should you keep editing things? Some writers pride themselves on getting a job out in a day or two. Others revise and revise… until the company finally calls and asks for it to be submitted.

The bottom line is to get out there and do it. Yes, brush up on your skills but don’t worry that you’re not doing things in the optimal amounts or times. Find what works for you and gets going.

Don’t Try Hypnotic Writing Like This

One of the fundamental mistakes people make when trying out hypnotic writing is to assume that something you SAY works the same as something you WRITE.

For instance, one of the most widely known patterns are embedded commands. They work in spoken language because some words and phrases can have two or more meanings and your subconscious can recognize both.

The most obvious use of this is when writers use the phrase, “By now…” With that, they’re hoping your subconscious will take the suggestion, “Buy now.” That might work in person depending on a bunch of factors (voice inflection being the most important), it won’t achieve the same result in writing.

For a more involved example from the seminar “Persuasion Engineering,” John La Valle tells a story. It’s about how his young son came up to him and said, “When is now a good time to get me some ice cream, isn’t it?”

Clearly, the command is that now is a good time to get him ice cream. In speech, when you embed a command in a question like that it’s more likely to go unnoticed. And if it IS noticed, you can pretend you said something else.

As you were reading that ice cream command, did you have to go back and read it again? If so, it’s because it’s not grammatically correct. Also, in writing, you CAN go back and read it again so people will catch you if you’re not much more subtle.

This applies to all hypnosis and NLP. You can say and do things in person that simply won’t work in writing. You could speak in continuous run-on sentences. If you did, the transcript would be a mess.

“Notice how sad you start to feel inside, as you realise that no other course or training on the market has ever (or will ever) teach you the True Inside Secrets of NLP, CMT and Clinical Hypnotherapy in the way this course would have done ? How Sad does that make you feel?”

If someone did this to you in person, you probably couldn’t help but go along with it especially if the person had been talking for a while already and established some good rapport.

But here you see it and immediately catch on what he’s trying to do. “How Sad does that make you feel?” Really? How do you feel seeing IN PRINT that someone is callously trying to make you feel bad so you’ll purchase his course? You’d probably feel something like irritation, not sadness.

If you want to achieve stellar results with hypnotic writing, you have to help people feel good in a way that doesn’t feel obviously manipulative. That’s where the real power is.

Realize that hypnotic writing is substantially different than spoken hypnosis or NLP. Take the time to learn elegance and you’ll be well on your way to greatness.

You can learn elegance by reading this blog over time. If you’d like to get everything I know altogether, check out my course, “Be A Hypnotic Writer.” The first lesson is free:

http://hypnoticwriter.org

6 Crucial Steps to choosing the right marketing partner for growth.

In this ‘do more with less’ economy, is there a way that a smaller or medium-sized company can tap into the marketing power that the big guys are paying for? You bet there is. This is the perfect time to discover a Lean and Mean Marketing provider willing to add fuel to your entrepreneurial spirit. Here’s how to choose the most effective marketing partner in this lean and mean economy:

Look into the track records of the agency principals. Were they performing at a Director’s level at a big ad agency? If so, for how long? It makes a difference – too long, and they may be disconnected with the trends of customized marketing solutions. On the other hand, if they left their agency before the ink had dried on their new business cards, they may not have enough marketing insight.

Look beyond headlines that are too clever by half. Creative people need clever headlines to get a job, but many don’t have any results to back them up. Check their portfolio, if it’s is empty of measurable SEO copywriting services, customized marketing solutions, or a proven track record in measured results, keep looking.

Avoid anyone with a victim mentality. If people at a start-up agency still have a bitter pill only half swallowed from a bad break, they may be unable to move on and contribute to your business. Who has time to wallow? You need clear and focused marketing insight, surrounded by positive energy.

Choose a leader. It’s not unusual to discover an executive level marketing director or creative director working hard to establish their own marketing company. Grab this opportunity. If your start-up can benefit from experienced customized marketing solutions from the former director of a large advertising agency, it’s your lucky day.

Beware the SEO Guru. Seek out solid and proven SEO copywriting services by asking for an optimization tour of the websites associated with this provider. True SEO Guru’s have yet to be fully identified, as tracking qualified SEO copywriting services is a relatively new measurement. And since their results on your behalf may not register for a few months, be smart.

Work with people who are excited about your product or service. Good ad guys and marketing professionals are incurable people/product matchmakers, and usually quite likeable and responsive. If you find someone who’s fitting you in between the ‘real clients’, move on. An engaged marketing professional will bring incredible value and marketing insight, beyond your greatest expectations.

This is the dawning of the new entrepreneur. Incredibly talented marketing professionals have their eye out for intriguing products and services that transcend corporate structure. And companies that discover a lean and mean marketing partner are in a great position for phenomenal growth.

About the Author:

The Dirty Secret Most SEO Services Wont Tell You

You put hours into keyword research, filled your copy with the most effective keywords and strengthened your metatags. Now youve got the effective organic SEO results you want, and more people than ever are coming to your website. But theyre not buying your product or service.

Why? Because you forgot who your web site was written for. At the same time the copy on your site was optimized for your first audience – the search engines, you made it less effective (and probably a lot less interesting) to your most important audience – the human beings who buy your product or service.

Heres the secret: Even the best keywords dont sell anything. They get people to your site, but if the web copy theyre in is irrelevant, badly written or just plain confusing your customers will take one glance and move on. Studies show you have between 5 to 8 seconds to prevent that. Good web copy will help you make the most of that.

Putting good keywords in bad web copy is just another way of making the worst mistake in marketing: over promising and under delivering. Remember, behind every click is a real live human looking for something they need. Truly powerful web copywriting, writing that generates clicks and sales, has to speak to your clients needs in a way they understand. Time and time again people forget this simple fact.

If you want to write powerful web copy that generates a high level of organic SEO, the first step is to look at your web copywriting through the eyes of your clients. Theyll be reading it for the first time, so try and look at it that way. Is it clear and simple, or filled with jargon? Does it read like a real person talks? Do you make too many assumptions about what your reader knows? Does your copy have a voice that sets your business above your competition? And most importantly, does the writing on your site clearly address the needs of your customers AND show them how you can meet them better than anyone else out there? If it doesnt, its time to do some rewriting to make sure your keyword traffic doesnt go to waste.

Another thing to keep in mind: Writing natural compelling web copy using keywords can be tough for anyone. So if you dont feel youre up to the task, hire a professional SEO copywriting service. Unlike article mills, a professional SEO copywriter will take the time to learn the strengths (and weaknesses) of your business. The best SEO copywriting services will put a human face on your company by writing effective web copy that showcases your strengths.

Great SEO writing often has unexpected benefits far beyond your site. You could optimize your site with powerful web copy, and end up redefining your whole company. Thats what effective SEO copy writing does. There is cost involved in this approach, but the money youll spend is far less than the profits youll make when you multiply the impact of your keyword traffic with natural SEO.

Dont waste another day of keyword traffic with badly written, or even worse, boring web writing. Write something you would like to read. Or look into a professional SEO copywriting services who will. When your site is filled with effective keywords and SEO copy writing that is interesting to your clients — thats when your website is truly optimized.

About the Author:

How “Copywriting” Got Its Name

Some may be rather confused by the word “copywriting”. After all, what does copying have to do with writing?

Here’s the simplest way to answer that question. All writers borrow from other writers; we never start completely from scratch. We always borrow certain phrases or stylistic elements from other writers. Advertising writers are merely more self-conscious and upfront about the process.

This should make perfect sense if you consider the purpose of advertising: to trigger certain emotional responses in the prospect and move them to take a specific action. If the advertising moves the prospect to take the desired action, the writing has fulfilled its purpose.

Copywriters recognize that human beings are complex. Exactly what motivates us to take action is often unclear.

So, copywriters will often start with an advertising piece that they know is effective, and will then borrow elements from it. Every aspect of a sales letter is modeled after other, earlier, successful pieces, starting with the headline.

A great headline from the last century went like this: “They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano, But When I Began To Play…” This headline is the basis of hundreds of later headlines. It is effective because there are at least two emotionally charged ideas, and probably more. The good writer knows what tool is required to cause a specific effect, and knows how to use it.

There are certain elements often present in successful headlines.

Sometimes numbers are used as an effective means to draw the reader in, like in headlines like, “The Five Steps You Must Take…” and “Seven Tricks…”. The human mind sometimes loves specific numbers.

Another widely used technique is the word “secrets” or some variation. This idea is used in at least two senses. First, people in general love the idea of gaining secret knowledge that will give them an advantage over others. Second, on the flip side of the coin, people don’t like the idea of others having this same secret knowledge and keeping an advantage over themselves. Kevin Trudeau has largely built his publishing career on just this notion (big companies and the government are deliberately keeping information from you).

The final widely-copied element I’ll mention today is the use of a story in a headline. Yes, you can tell a “story”, or hint at one, with just a few words. One of the most famous (and effective) is the “One Legged Golfer” headline. It’s an absolutely true story, and I’ll point out that the best stories are often stories from real life.

With these elements together, we could come up with a headline like this:

“Blind Welfare Mother of Three Discovers the 5 Hidden Secrets To Opening a Checking Account, Even If You’re On ChexSystems ‘Black List’ “.

I hope this article has been helpful, and that you see that when copywriters “copy”, they are borrowing ideas, not actual words of other writers.

About the Author:

What Is Hypnotic Writing Good For?

Hypnotic writing… you’ve heard of it, right? You’ve heard how it can magically steal money right out of peoples’ wallets? I intend to demolish some myths surrounding hypnotic writing and share with you what it CAN do.

For any given marketing campaign there are 3 components seasoned marketers know determine the outcome: the list, the offer and the copy.

Of course, the list is the group of people to which you’re marketing. Your best list is the one you created yourself through opt-in offers. Ideally, you have an ongoing relationship with these folks. You may even have more than one list for more than one market. That’s smart market segmenting. That’s also where the next part comes in…

The offer is what you’re selling. It make a difference if you offer golf supplies to home school parents (wrong list). If you offer a golf product to a golf list that no one wants at a price no one would dream of paying, then that’s going to ruin your promotion as well. So you need the right offer made to the right list AND…

Great copywriting. Even hypnotic copywriting. If you have a great offer for the right people but they can’t understand why they should buy it… they probably won’t. That’s where hypnotic writing comes in.

Some people mistakenly believe hypnosis is about tricking people while they’re tranced out… or something like that. Hypnosis is only a state of heightened awareness. The awareness is focused inward which is why people “trance out.” Fortunately though, you can’t make anyone do anything they’re normally against. Stage hypnosis works because most people don’t have anything against clucking like a chicken or becoming as stiff as a board.

Hypnosis and hypnotic writing work because they gently make suggestions that allow the inner mind to do what the person thought they wanted to do but couldn’t. Will hypnotic writing make buying decisions easier for people? Most definitely… as long as the person was open to buying in the first place but maybe just on the fence. If you do manage to trick people into buying, you’ll have plenty of returns to show for it. Obviously that’s not a good long term business strategy.

Using hypnotic writing ethically will ensure you boost your bottom line. It’s the icing on the cake of a good offer made to the right list.

Creating Time Travel With Hypnotic Writing

Were you aware that you can bend the illusion of time by altering how you reference time?

If you weren’t, you are now and you’ll be aware of opportunities to take advantage of this strategy from now on.

As with anything sold, there are pros and cons. If you want to highlight the pros, describe them in the present tense. If you want to deemphasize the cons, talk about them in the past tense.

Living in the present and talking about anything now gives it the most life and immediacy. This is where you want to talk about all the great things your buyer gets.

Conversely, you ought to address the drawbacks unless you want extra returns. You don’t have to make mountain of a molehill or unnecessarily scare anyone. Place it gently in the past when they’ve already successfully dealt with the issue.

Deep down, people buy things because they’re looking to feel better. Maybe it’s a dinner at a nicer restaurant or a new car. Help them feel good now by buying now. Talk about the good feelings they will have in the future right now. Help them imagine the pride of ownership or the better experience buying will eventually give them.

Perhaps you noticed how I used the technique in the second paragraph.

Here it is again now that you understand it:

You may have been listing benefits and drawbacks randomly before reading this article. Even so, you now know the best way to maximize those things. From now on, you’ll begin to see higher conversion rates and stretch your copywriting buck.

Let’s recap… put the drawbacks as far away in the past as you can. Highlight the immediacy of your benefits in the present. And talk about the future great results now too. Time is your friend as long as you recognize how it can help you.

About the Author:
Page 1 of 212