One of the things many people wonder about is what I do that can possibly justify fees of $18,800 to (more commonly) $100,000 to write an ad, sales letter campaign, video script, TV call to action, etc. The answer is simply that “words matter” and I’ve gotten good at picking and combining words that sell.
I have a little, internal alarm bell that goes off when I hear or see “turn off words” (words that will turn off the reader), so I edit myself as I write. Still, I often spend hours upon hours agonizing over the choice of a few words in a given piece.
It is absolutely true that how you say it is at least as important as what you are saying. This accounts for the success of people in every field.
If you have good marketing systems in place and they aren’t making money for you or if you are experiencing shrinking sales, you should check your copy.
Especially if your marketing worked at one time, but has suddenly dropped off and stopped working. It may be that you just need to resuscitate your ad. All great ads eventually peter out, however it is not always necessary to completely re-do them.
By the way, sometimes copy that isn’t working from day one contains great elements worth hanging on to—elements that do their job. But the reason the copy isn’t working is because key elements are missing such as an opening paragraph that grabs your reader by the throat and won’t let go or a great offer. You need to know how to identify what’s missing or you may waste a lot of time and money.
You can sell just about anything with great copy. While there are a few isolated cases where great copy hasn’t made a difference, it is rare, and even then the copy still sells, just not profitably.
Not only can you use copy and use sales letters to sell, but you can use them to sell your products and services the way you want to—to sell things on YOUR terms. To make your prospects comply with the way YOU want to do business.
This is a very important principle. Because it is one thing to make money, but it is an entirely other matter to make money the way you want to make money.
Everybody believes that their business is different. That this doesn’t apply to you. That no one else is doing this in your business. That they aren’t using the written word to sell or that their copy must be acceptable because they are making sales. Maybe it’s “acceptable.” But using better sales copy gives you a competitive edge. Especially when you possess this #1 skill and they don’t.
Darin Garmin was making sales in real estate, but he wasn’t happy with the process and was becoming increasingly frustrated by doing a lot of work only to lose the sale to a competitor.
No one was using sales letters to sell apartment buildings until Darin decided to do it. Not only did he succeed at selling apartment buildings with sales letters, he got the people HE pre-determined were good candidates to respond. Plus, when he did some research, he found that he had moved into a position where 70% of all apartment building transactions go through HIS office. That was NOT the case before he started using sales letters.
It does not matter whether your clients are the CEO or the broom pusher…everybody buys the same way. They all go through the same process. They all go through the same emotions. And if you do not accept that, then you are missing out on the single greatest secret I have to offer.
I made my first money from writing sales copy when I was 17 years old. To this day, it is still the greatest secret to making money I’ve ever discovered.
And I can tell you that there is A LOT of money at stake by not taking your copy more seriously.
From the boiler room to the boardroom, across all demographics, words sell. To believe that your customers are above all this…that they won’t read…or that your words are adequate…or that you can simply hire someone to write them for you without fully understanding whether the words are well-chosen or not… is hopelessly naïve.
For the most part, we MUST use words on paper to do our marketing which means you have to keep this is mind as you choose your words. And if you are hiring someone to choose your words for you, then you better know if it is good, if not great copy you are looking at. Because in today’s market, you simply cannot afford to be adequate.
As a side note, I often hear from business owners that they want to grow their business to millions, but they don’t like to write.
This is like being a pro football player, but never wanting to get hit or a pro basketball player, but never wanting to try the game-winning shot.
Sorry, but the serious money comes from result-getting performances, not just acceptable writing.
Fortunately there is literature about the art and science of selling through writing, so you can learn it, change your attitudes about it, and translate it to ‘selling by media’ and copywriting. I talk about how to do this more here.
Also, GKIC Chief Marketing Officer Dave Dee has put together a sales letter template for you to help you write better copy faster and a special live call with Mike Stodola to get some of your pressing copywriting questions answered. Find out more here.