In this very first section of The Copywriting Course, we’ll go over the basics first. This will set you up with useful ways to view your copy BEFORE you even start.
In our first video we’ll explain what copywriting is, and why it’s so dang important to learn (especially if you write emails, content, or run a business):
Simply scroll down the page and watch each video in order.
Let’s get started!
What is Copywriting!?
This is a basic primer on WHAT this crazy “copywriting” thing is:
Copywriting permeates everything you do. Your emails, your webpages, your videos….all your communication.
By using some psychology and formulas, you can increase the response rate you get for everything. Hence why copy is one of the bedrocks of marketing.
VIDEO 1: The envelope exercise
This will really show you the impact simple WORDS can have on a page:
VIDEO 2: No one cares about YOU. They care about THEMSELVES.
Let’s change your mindset right now. This will save you countless hours when writing. Ready?
NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU.
They care about THEMSELVES.
I really need you to repeat this….it’ll save you a lot of time when writing!
NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOU.
They care about THEMSELVES.
I’m not being a downer…I’m just telling you what captures people’s attention. THEM!
People LOVE talking about themselves! Ask people about how their family life is, or how they did during high school…and watch them yap away.
Even if I’m watching a video documentary about a fascinating character like Warren Buffett, I’m not watching it to learn about HIM…..I’m watching to learn how I can be rich like him.
VIDEO 3: Write fun. Write casual. Sometimes write wacky.
Throw out that boring academic-sounding crap and start fresh. Watch this and learn:
Talking casual almost always outperforms professional speak. Unless you’re purposely trying to confuse your customer (like bank fine print or lawyers documents), then speak in a super-easy-to-under-stand manner.
VIDEO 4: Not TOO wacky.
Some people take their copy overboard, and end up sounding insane.
Sometimes people learn what’s being taught here, then take it to the MAX. They make their copy way too distracting and silly…..to the point it’s useless.
Here’s an example of a real email made “too wacky”:
As everyone knows, Hollywood is famous for class, high fashion, and brilliantly beautiful art. This is truer today than ever before. Also, I just bought a time machine and am writing this on my new Remington Portable typewriter. I’m sitting in the basement of a Los Angeles library (I’d tell you where, but I don’t want to attract the fuzz) and drinking a Gloria Swanson, which seems to be some combination of dark liquor and cold, stale coffee, and is named for the starlet who frequents the joint. Prohibition has really…..[link to website]
Have any idea what the hell they’re talking about or selling yet??
Neither do I.
Avoid confusing the hell out of the reader by being “TOO WACKY”
(not to mention the giant hard-to-read block of text).
What you need to do is interweave your story with the product.
Here’s good copy interweaving entertainment (selling the exact same thing as the above “Bad” example):
The broad I used to date first introduced herself when me & the boys were celebrating a bachelor party.
We had bottles.
We had babes.
We looked like total high rollers. It was great.
The only thing I regret was the girl I met there. We met when in high roller mode, and it’s not (completely) me.
Now, I don’t only like “hole-in-the-wall” bars, but I DO like a more bar-ish feel than club-ish feel.
It’s just my thaang.
This is when a “friend of a friend of Pete Wentz” dragged me down to Angels & Kings.
I was still bitter I ever went out with “Liked-Me-Because-of-Bottle-Service” Girl….and I presumed the name Angels & Kings actually sounded a bit douchy and didn’t wanna go.
But we went in, and it was weird……
The vibe was definitely more “bar” than “club”…the people were…actually pretty damn cool. Same with the music.
I was vibing with this place AND the people.
I bought a round of “Glad-I’m-Not-Dating-That-Chick-Anymore” drinks and damn near dropped my wallet when the bartender (with cute dimples) handed me the bill…..
“$24 dollars?? Honey, I ordered 6 drinks, you got this wrong.”
“Yea babe….3 beers and 3 wells right? …that’s right.”
I couldn’t believe this.
Great location, great crowd….and $3 beers and $5 wells? WTF??
Now this is one of my go-to weekend hang outs. Not too divey, not too pretentious.
[The letter went on to talk about the deal people were getting….]
That version converted 65% better.
This means they got 65% more people to take action than other emails JUST BY CHANGING THE WORDS IN THE EMAIL!
Being a bit odd (or wacky) can hold their attention….but ALWAYS BE SELLING!
Don’t forget the point of writing better is not to be a silly jackass…it’s to SELL SELL SELL.
Stop trying to be clever. Instead be CLEAR.
If you ever think something you just wrote is TOO WACKY…here’s a question to ask:
“IS THIS ADDING TO THE USERS KNOWLEDGE??”
“AM I HELPING THEM GET THROUGH THIS BY ADDING THIS IN?”
If it DOES help make your writing more interesting yet still sells. Leave it in.
If it’s DISTRACTING the people. Take. It. OUT.
Be ruthless about axing copy that confuses people.
VIDEO 5: The all-important AIDA formula.
Make sure to tattoo this formula on your brain:
If you don’t memorize these four letters I will personally hunt you down and kill you:
A – Attention. Grab their attention.
I – Interest. Interest them with interesting facts.
D – Desire. Make them desire the thing.
A – Action. Make them take action.
Follow this formula anytime you want to sell something.
This is REALLY REALLY important and useful to learn!
Let’s try to sell a helicopter, using AIDA:
This sounds hard….until you use AIDA!
Difference Between “Interest” and “Desire”:
Sometimes there’s a but of confusion between Interest and Desire, so we clear it up here with an example:
The A.I.D.A. Formula (Again):
A quick re-cap of the all-important AIDA formula….we’re repeating it because it’s THAT important!
Attention = Get their attention.
Interest = Get them interested with cool facts or stats or uses.
Desire = Make them WANT to buy/use your product or service. Show them what it can do for them.
Action = Tell them EXACTLY what to do. Always best to give just one option. Show them where to click, or give them a number to call, or tell them how to buy.
VIDEO 6: Make your customer “Bob”
Before you start writing….at least do this basic exercise to understand who you’re writing to:
Making a quick customer avatar (or “Bob”) will show you what will interest your customer. Writing to them will be much easier.
Some questions to ask about your “Bob”:
How old are they?
Male or female?
What’s their day like?
Do they have kids?
What are some of his biggest fears?
Why are they coming to YOU for help?
What exactly can you help them with the most?
Try to put yourself in their shoes, and see how YOU would like to be helped. This will give you a better idea of how to sell to your audience!