What if Your business was such that, instead of you trying to get people to buy, they were the ones trying to get you to sell to them? How much different will your life be?
You know it’s possible. Apple does it all the time. So how can bloggers and copywriters do it too? It starts with something I’m going to be teaching you in this post.
But first, let me ask you a question:
Why are you blogging?
Why are you an online marketer?
What are you a copywriter?
No matter all the grand virtues you may have, the ultimate reason why you’re playing in this field of internet marketing is becuase you want people to take certain actions. It really doesn’t matter whether the most direct action you want your reader to take is to buy a product, subscribe to a list and visit another link. What matters is that you want them to take action.
Now, want you want reader who fully desire and “want” to take the action you want them to take, or would want people who must be bribed before they can take the action?
If you’re anything like me, you want readers who desire what you have to offer, and “want” to take the action you want them to take.
Getting readers to “want” it like that can prove a bit challenging. Unless you have certain skills and tools within your arsenal.
Today, I’m doing to be giving you those skills and tools. It’s the exact same skills and tools that’s helped me raise over 6 Million dollars in funding in a small and poor country like Liberia where I currently reside.
I guarantee that if you take what I’m about to teach you seriously, every post you write, every sales letter you compile will have readers literally begging for your offer.
This is one of the longer posts that I’ve written in while so grab a cup of coffee, or soda, or whatever it is that you drink, and get ready to control the actions of your readers by making them “want” whatever you’re offering.
It starts with crafting benefits based copy.
One of the things that we do as marketers most of the time is watch TV commercials. I watch TV commercials for two reasons: To spot great copywriting that I can learn from, or to spot poor copywriting and help the client behind that product.
Not too long ago, I watched a TV commercial that had me dumbfounded.
Have you seen a commercial that starts off with something like this?
“Our state of the art new coaxed suspension system is made from magnesium infused hypertensile vertical lateration enclosed in molecular viscusive serum containing penzylboxyl seriod with liposamic peptoids.”?
What the heck?!?!
Obviously you know that the quote above is not real. Just some mumbo jumbo I put together. But the main pointer here is many marketers forget who they’re writing for and start using long, technical words and phrases that do nothing but confuse the prospect that the very best.
And often times, they think they are impressing their audiences.
If you are a marketer who has been doing that, here is a question I have for you:
Do you think those IV league, GRE, scientific words regular folks can’t’ even pronounce straight will make your prospect buy your product?
These folks don’t know what all those technical words are or what they mean. If they’re products, you prospects don’t even know what they do.
And that’s why we are here right now at this very moment.
No matter what is you’re selling or to whom, I want you to have this at the back of your mind:
Your audience doesn’t really care about what your product contains, or the bells and whistles it’s associated with. Your audience only cares about what your product or service will do for them.
Many up and coming bloggers use the product review route as one of the early monetization methods. That’s fine. Except that these new bloggers and affiliate marketers start using the reviews provided by the creators of the products, usually riddled with all sorts of bad written sales pitches focusing on what the products contain.
The ingredients of the product or professional associations you may be affiliated with are simply a feature. People don’t buy features.
They buy benefits.
Benefits are what the customer gets from using your products or service. It’s the answer to their selfish desire. The advantages they’ll get from your product compare to not using it.
What benefits will your readers get from following the advice you gave them in your blog post, eBook and Udemy course? Do you stop to think about it before starting to write?
When you’re marketing a product, you need to be asking some key questions:
– What are the potential benefits?
– And what will the product actually do for the buyer?
The more clearly you can answer those two questions, the easier it will be for you to craft a benefits based copy.
Let’s look at an anti-aging cream for example:
Do you think just by mentioning those ingredients, you’ve convinced the client to buy?
The prospect is not concerned about the list of ingredients. She wants to know how the product will help her. So to give her that information, we need to answer our two questions:
- What are the potential benefits?
“The new forever young anti-aging cream reduces wrinkles!
- What would the product do for her?
It will give you a younger looking skin, eliminate fine lines and bring back that youthful shine that made you the center of attraction.
Let’s look at another example in a corporate training firm offering customer service training services:
In presenting the benefits of their training, they will say something like this:
“Our Customer Service training is unique to every company we train for. This insures a major improvement in your company’s customer satisfaction index. You will have more customers coming in your doors because as customers are satisfied, the word spreads.”
What’s In It for ME?
As a marketer, you have only two major tasks:
– Identify who your ideal customer is, and
– What your product or service will do for the prospect.
If you want to write copy that converts, become an expert identifying these two things. And do it fast.
So how do you fully understand the benefits of your products or service on the prospect? By Becoming that prospect. In your own head.
I tell my student and clients that we’re all inherently selfish. And that we all listen to one radio station: WII-FM
The potential customer is always asking: What’s In It – For Me?
In many situations, I’ve seen marketing managers and product launch directors become so familiar with a product that it becomes difficult for them to find the benefits of their said product.
This usually happens because many companies and product managers who don’t understand the psychology we’re talking about here have gotten used to describing products and services in terms of what features the product offers.
The best way to overcome this challenge is by asking yourself by putting yourself in the prospective customer’s shoes and ask yourself this question: What’s In It For Me?
If you were to ask a money manager who trades Forex about his investment program and he may tell you, “Our program is unique because our Meta 4 trader uses the latest algorithms and proprietary technical analysis system to continually monitor pip variations and reduce slippage.”
Or talk to a software developer and you’re going to hear that
These guys are only talking about features. At this point its only about what the product is. But you prospective customer doesn’t want to know what your product is.
She wants to know what your product or service will do for her.
Investors don’t care if the money manager is using a MT4 trader with a proprietary technical analysis system. All the guy wants to know is that you can invest his money safely and profitably so that he does not have to beg for bread during his retirement days.
I’m sure you’d much rather have a software that cuts your prospect and customer time management by 20%. Or Improves conversions by sending out emails to clients at the time of the day when they’re most likely to open it.
Monkeys Fly. Through this post, I’ve demonstrated my understanding of the prospect, and you will do well to hire me crank out work class copies and articles for your are fair market prices.
Your prospect has needs, wants, desires and dreams that need to be fulfilled. Show them exactly how your product or service will give them what they want and then some.
Remember that as the person responsible for marketing in your business, your chief responsibilities are identifying your ideal customer and showing her how your product can give her what she wants. – Satisfy her selfish desire. The same selfish desire in all of us.
So how do you how to identify features and turn them into benefits that the reader can relate to?
I’m glad you asked; cuz that’s what I cover next in …
How to Uncover a Product’s Benefits
To uncover the real benefits of any product or service, you better know that product inside and out.
Here are two persons:
One of them visited The Bahamas, and the other visited Cancun, Mexico.
They are each trying to convince you to visit the Bahamas or Cancun respectively.
Mr. Cancun tells you that Cancun is beautiful. The atmosphere is lively and the people are welcoming… And that’s about all he know because he slept most of the time.
Mr. Bahamas begins by telling you how he was received at the guest house, with a glass of ‘Blu Magarita’. He proceeds to tell you of the Bonfire that night and all hot Bahamian girls who were dancing Cha-cha. He goes on to tell you of his trip to the marina where he swam with live sharks and the jamming night club the pump over 3000 hertz of pure Caribbean . Oh, and the package he bought also comes with business class seating on the flight.
Which of these two places do you think you will plan to visit on your next vacation?
If you’re anything like me, I can already hear you screaming BAHAMAS.
And why do you think that is?
Because Mr. Bahamas knew the product he was presenting.
As a marketer, it is very important that you know the “inside-out” of a product before you can begin to right a single word of copy for that product.
And if you’re hiring the service of a freelancer, you’d want to make sure that he or she gets ‘under the skin’ of your product. The better your copywriter or ghostwriter knows the product, the easier it will be for s/he to write the kind of copy the makes people buy.
If the product is an audio or video course, the copywriter needs listen to it until you know it just as much as the author or creator knows it.
This is the only way the copywriter will be able to identify or the key features that will be converted into benefits that push the emotional buttons of your prospects and gets them to buy.
For Video and Audio courses or programs, I actually take the time to transcribe the entire thing after listening to it three times. I actually study it.
When I wrote promotional review copy of the personal development course Manifestation Miracle, I made sure to request a review copy from the publisher, and devoured it.
If you market a financial and other newsletter, you’d want to make sure your copywriter actually reads at least 10 separate issues of the newsletter, and tries out some of the advice in the newsletter.
Again, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and think about what the product does, how it feels to use it, and what results you get from it.
The prospect is always asking: “What’s in it for me?”
As a marketer with copywriting responsibilities, make sure to talk to current or past customers. They are the people who really know the product.
Once you start finding all the features, the benefits will start showing themselves to you as well.
And when you start looking for the benefits, keep looking deeper. You find stronger and stronger benefits.
You find a benefit that makes your product unique and better than competing products. Sandy Franks, Editor of the Copywriting Genius advises that you ask yourself the following 3 questions when it comes to finding the benefits of your product:
- How is the product made, and what benefits will the construction bring to the user?
Copywriter extraordinaire Michael Masterson says:’
“If we were selling a toothbrush, for example, we wouldn’t tell our reader that it has 28 bristled teeth or a 3-inch head. We’d tell him how its unique design helps him clean all the hard-to-reach places, how it allows him to brush his entire mouth in just two minutes, and so on. In other words, we’d turn the product’s features into reader-oriented benefits.”
- What problem/need/desire will it solve?
Ask yourself exactly what the product will do for the end user. Will the product make your prospect happier? Richer? Will it allow the buyer to save time or money… or add convenience to their life? Will it make him/her look better, sexier, or healthier?
- What is truly special about the product?
Don’t fall into the trap of stating the same benefits that competing products are using. All that will do is turn the product into something generic. Dig deep to come up with unique benefits that the target audience will find useful.
As a blogger, I can’t stress enough how important is it to be able to create content that really does offer deep, epic value to your readers. Checkout tip #1 in on Brian Dean’s 16 Actionable SEO Copywriting Secrets That Will Drive More Traffic To Your Site.
The Power of Psycho-linking
By now, you know how important it is to find the real benefit behind your product. You also know how to identify one or more benefits for each feature of your product.
You’ve know completed the first half of the course.
The second half now is about learning how you can create what I call ‘psycholinks’ between the deep desires your reader has, and the product you’re offering.
You are going to do this by bringing out those benefits in a ways the prospect can relate to.
When you create a psycholink, you are tapping into the reader’s emotions. And what can be stronger than deep setting emotions?
Remember what I said about clearly identifying who your target audience is? Well, it goes way beyond just their age, sex, house hold income, or even geographical situation.
You need to go way, way, way deeper than that. You need to know what emotions drive your prospect. What keeps her up late at night? What are her fears? What are her dreams, what are her fantasies?
When you think of who will benefit most from the product, you want to know what their hot buttons are and push them.
Does your prospect want:
More time with the kids?
An easier lifestyle?
How does she make buying decisions? What direct that decision making process?
When I moved to the U.S in 2003, one of the first TV commercials that caught my interest was “Total Gym’. I’m sure you’ve seen their infomercials at 1:30am.
Think about the millions of ‘Total gyms’ that have been sold. Do you think the average American want a ‘Total Gym’?
What the millions of people who have bought the Total Gym want is to be like Chuck Norris or Christie Brinkley.
Whether it’s Total Gym or Bowflex or Soloflex, get this: Many people don’t like even like to exercise. So the idea of having a huge piece of equipment in their homes reminding them that they should exercise is not very mach appreciated
So how is that that so many of those machines get sold?
The truth is , it is not the machine that the people are buying. Rather, the Total Gym or Bowflex owners were trying to buy lean, muscular, and well-toned bodies much like the ones the people using them in those infomercials have.
They want youth, vitality, sex, a new girlfriend, a healthy image and any other such emotion.
Give it to them.
- Instant Gratification
Read that article and see if your product or services meets any of the above triggers.
The concept of psycholinking is very important. It is that one concept that could literally make or break your copy effectiveness or overall marketing campaign.
Can you imagine the failure Total Gym or Bowflex would have encountered if they had focused on technical mumbo jumbos, rather than focusing on results and featuring attractive, well-toned individuals in their infomercials?
It would have been a disaster. Thankfully, they didn’t follow that route. Instead, they discovered tapped into the hottest of America’s hot buttons… youth, health, and a sexy self-image.
They established the psycholink between their products and the end user of the product in a huge way.
Television advertisers have been pushing buyer’s emotional buttons for a very long time, and there’s no end in sight. Print and only marketers need to learn from that.
If you’re an online marketer, one book that you or your copywriter (or both) must be familiar with is ‘How to Write a Good Advertisement’ by Victor Schwab.
In Chapter 2, Schwab presents a list of general human desires. The bottom line of psycholinking is if you will tie up the benefits of your product or service with what people want to gain, be, do, and have and save, you will make them want to buy.
Below is Schwab’s list:
What People Want to Gain
- Improved appearance
- Security in old age
- Praise from others
- Pride of accomplishment
- Advancement: business, social
- Increased enjoyment
- Personal prestige
What People want to BE
- Good parents
- Sociable, hospitable
- Proud of their possessions
- Influential over others
- “First” in things
- Recognized as authorities
What People want to SAVE
- Personal embarrassment
Think of the most successful promotion you’ve seen lately. Chances are at its core, it’s appealing to one of the emotions on Schwab’s list.
But that’s not all.
Another copywriting great Clayton Makepeace also published a series of different emotion based on his extensive and rich copywriting experience.
Here’s Clayton’s list of “29 Powerful Emotions Your Prospects Already Have”:
10 fears every human being experiences
- Fear of the Unknown
- Fear of Embarrassment
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Poverty and Want
- Fear of Loneliness
- Fear of Dependence
- Fear of Betrayal
- Fear of Illness
- Fear of Death
- Fear of all of the above for people who are close to us.
11 frustrations that drive us nuts…
- Frustrated by feelings of Inadequacy
- Frustrated by the feeling that we’re Inconsequential or Unimportant
- Frustrated when we feel Unappreciated
- Frustrated when we feel Powerless or Trapped
- Frustrated when we feel Used or taken advantage of
- Frustrated when we feel Oppressed
- Frustrated when we feel Deprived of things that others enjoy or even take for granted
- Frustrated when we feel Demeaned in key relationships and when others seem to take us for granted
- Frustrated by constant feelings of Guilt imposed upon us by parents, religious institutions and even by our own expectations of ourselves
- Frustrated with the feeling that life is going by too fast and that we’re not getting all we could be out of it.
- Frustrated with thin things that shouldn’t be difficult or time-consuming, but often seem to be true.
8 common desires we all share…
- To feel OK about our past and to find Justification or Forgiveness for past mistakes
- To feel free and in Control of our own lives
- To feel Happy
- To feel Alive, Excited and Exhilarated
- To feel physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually fulfilled
- To feel accepted, respected, admired, needed, desired and loved
- To feel Successful
- To feel Optimistic, even excited about our futures.
I’m sure you can relate to the list above. By acknowledging and validating the emotions your prospect feels, you can make your sales message resonate at a deeper level.
When you sit to plan your blog post or sales letter( I hope do you plan these out), you need to identify which emotional trigger your product speaks to.
The different lists overlap as a different overlap at different points. And that’s good. It suggests that those overlapping emotions that suggest that you’re onto something.
4 Steps to Constructing Benefits Based Copy that Calls up your prospect emotions, and make her want to buy.
Now that you know how to bring out the benefits of your products, identify the core emotions of your prospect and connect your product’s benefit with desire of your emotion using psycholinking, let’s form the structure of a benefits based copy.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Research your product, research your prospect. The objective of the research is to identify all the benefits of your product on one hand, and the core emotions of your prospects that those benefits can address on the other hand.
Step 2. Write an Emotional Profile of Your Prospect
Make a list of your prospect’s beliefs, feelings and desires. Based on the research you’ve conducted; make an exhaustive list of the emotions you need to address
The easy part is identifying their primary (obvious) beliefs, feelings and desires. But you want to identify unspoken or underrepresented aspects that are not common but stand the greater chance of helping you create a killer copy.
Step 3: Visualize Your Prospect
Now put yourself in your prospect’s shoes, based on the profile you’ve written. What does it feel like to be your prospect, to think like your prospect?
Close your eyes, turn on your imagination, and experience the beliefs, feelings and desires you’ve described in the profile. Understand exactly what it’s like to be your prospect when they open their mail and see your promotion
If you’re writing to an audience you’re unfamiliar with, or which holds beliefs vastly different from your own, this may be a difficult task. Difficult but still doable.
Step 4: Write to Your Prospect
You are now in a much better position to write your lead, because you are talking to a specific person you understand intimately. You have an image in your mind you can refer to again and again as you work on your copy. At this point, the product is secondary.
Let’s put the steps in Action
Let’s say you have to write a promotion for a company that sells natural fertility treatment for women. The company wants to expand to Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. They are priced at $50 for a 30 day supply.
Your research tells you that your target buyer is a 30-year-old woman who lives
in an urban area with strong ties to the rural village where both her parents and in-laws reside. Although she’s earned a master’s degree, she still holds in high esteem the rural tradition that looks down on married women without children.
She has a decent job that pays her $36,000 a year, and has made at least one visit to a fertility clinic in the past.
From reading through some of the magazines and books she buys,
you can see that she’s a woman of faith, and who is beginning to believe that she may have done something wrong to God for which she’s being punished.
You know a lot about her. But you’re not quite sure yet which core emotion will drive her into a making the decision to buy the supplements you are selling.
What do you do? How do you discover his core buying emotion?
Well, if I were you, what I would do is first ask myself what this lady worries about. What upsets her? What’s making her blood boil? The next thing I’d try to do is to understand the background of her relationship with God- what theology did she grow up with? Did she grow up knowing a God of love or a God of Vengeance? What role is her husband playing? Is he supportive or judgmental of her
By asking these kinds of questions, you might be able to come up with an emotional profile of your prospect that contains the following dimensions: might
Your Prospect is:
Angry that God hasn’t granted her a child yet.
She’s afraid that every day that passes, her husband’s parent whom she holds in very high esteem as traditions requires, see her as less of a woman because she cannot bear a child.
Deeply respectful of the traditions of Christianity, particularly submission to your husband
Believes strongly that children are a blessing from God, and as such a marriage without a child is not quite as blessed.
I’m sure you realize that this is just a hypothetical case and thus the mix may not represent any reality. But for the sake of this post, let us all accept that is it real.
With your target prospect having such an emotional profile, how do you proceed?
First, you try to experience each of these emotions, beliefs and ideas one at a time. Then you try experiencing them sequentially, moving faster and faster until they are fused together.
Now comes the time when you visualize your prospect with all these things running through her and try to imagine what runs through every day when she goes to work or see’s other women with their children.
If you do this right, you will be crafting your copy based on an image of a
very specific person — a 30 year old woman who feels empty and is afraid of losing her husband to another woman. She lives every day with a mix of emotions ranging from anger to frustration to guilt and pity. Somewhere though, once in the while she regains her strength and becomes excited that there is hope and she’s not going to ever give up until she becomes pregnant.
In this case, the core emotions that I would work with will be 15-20% fear – of embarrassment, and neglect, and 80-85% hope & Courage and the realization of her desire.
This kind of detailed analysis gives you a richer, fuller, more detailed image of your prospect. You can keep making references to as you continue to work on your promotion.
I would open my promotion with a lead that would provoke the feeling of courage, hope and the possibility of having a healthy child; but it would also stir, the potential embarrassment and shame that could arise if action is not taken.
Wondering if this is possible?
But only if you’re willing to spend the time thinking about your promotion.
Remember, what you are trying to do here is get a really deep understanding of
How your prospect feels and thinks when she first glances at your web copy or direct mail package.
To be an excellent copywriter- the kind that gets prospects almost begging for your offer, you need to:
- Know Your Product Inside –Out
- Identify the key features and benefits of your product
- Connect the benefits of the products you offer to the desires of your prospect using psycholinks
- Activate the core emotion of your prospect.
- Create benefits driven copy that speaks to your prospect
My goal in compiling this post is not to teach you the basics of copywriting. This post is geared toward helping you become a better marketer. I hope I’ve been able to do that.