I’ve been stalking him for a while now…
Stefan Georgi is probably one of the best copywriters you may never have heard of. He quietly rose to the top of the online copywriting world by… Crazy idea… Writing copy.
A TON of it.
In fact, at one point he was cranking out more than one long-form promo per week for clients.
And it wasn’t just a total hack job.
In fact, for a while he also had 9 of the top 10 best-selling products on Clickbank, all using his copy.
Imagine that: writing blockbuster control after blockbuster control, at a rate of more than one per week.
And all-told, I understand his copy has now blown through the $500-million in total sales generated mark.
I’ve been curious for a while. And following his work. But yesterday I discovered an old podcast episode where he walks through his entire process.
And frankly, it’s not that unique. Except for one big revelation.
He considers this one thing to be perhaps the most important thing he does to ensure his success — that many copywriters (including me!) sometimes miss just because they don’t do it intentionally.
And because he shared it in that episode, I feel okay repeating it here, with full credit to Stefan, of course…
Here’s his secret to making $500 million in sales with his copy…
He defines the unique mechanism of the problem, that is the reason why it is still unsolved for the prospect.
Let’s break that down.
First off, we have the problem our product solves. It’s either directly a problem, or it’s an unfulfilled desire. Either way, it’s a problem.
And in most markets, for most buyers, they’ve been trying to solve it for a while now.
People didn’t wake up today, thinking they suddenly want to make money, or be healthy, or something like that.
There’s the occasional diagnosis that causes a sudden spike in demand for a solution, but in most situations the problem is chronic.
They want more money. They want to lose weight. They want to be more fit. They want more respect and admiration.
These are problems that didn’t start yesterday. And they’ve probably tried a ton of different potential solutions.
And here’s the really important thing…
All their other attempts to solve the problem have FAILED…
They had the highest hopes.
They believed the hype.
They trusted the promises.
Someone else before you (and someone else before them) offered this prospect a solution to this problem, on a silver platter.
The first time around, the marketer got away with a simple pitch of, “You’ve got a problem, I’ve got the solution.”
That works the first time.
Maybe the second, if the prospect is a little slow to catch on. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…”
Pretty quickly though, the prospect doesn’t believe every chump salesman walking down the street (literally or metaphorically), offering a solution to their problem.
The normal path to a sales breakthrough is to offer a mechanism that makes your solution unique…
This comes straight out of Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz.
When it no longer works to promise results, or more and better results, you have to help your prospect understand the reason why your offer will get them more and better results.
What did you (or your client) do to the product or service that ensures results? That helps results come faster, easier, and at better ROI?
What component was added to ensure the success of the solution to the prospect’s problem?
This is smart and effective selling, especially in a crowded market where you’re trying to distinguish your offer from a growing crowd of competitive solutions.
Maybe your product has a unique ingredient. Or a different component meant to make it more effective. Or you’ve made it simpler to use and implement.
Take the fitness sensation Peloton. It’s an exercise bike for your house. But they added a tablet computer with live and streaming access to trainers. So it’s like going to a spin class, but you can do it from home.
They combined the in-the-gym experience as a unique mechanism on top of the standard at-home fitness equipment. As they say, “Game-changing live fitness comes home.”
And the net result is a ton of sales.
Now here’s what Stefan does to make this even more powerful…
At some point, every successful market reaches saturation on even the mechanisms of solutions. And if you want to generate sales breakthroughs, you need to go even deeper.
If you’ve got dozens of products lined up as unique solutions to the same problem…
And your prospect has tried solution after solution but none of them are actually getting them the desired end goal or outcome…
The next breakthrough comes from redefining the problem.
And specifically defining the previously-unknown mechanism behind why the problem is so persistent, and why all the other solutions haven’t worked.
For example, when we sold a ton of backup solar generators at $5,000 each, I did this unintentionally (or at least unconsciously)…
You see, I could’ve just sold backup solar generators for power outage situations, but then I would’ve been competing with every other backup generator option out there.
But my offer had an advantage. It was EMP-resistant.
And — without going down this rabbit hole — weaponized EMPs are among the scariest power outage scenarios possible.
So I didn’t just have a compelling story when I laid out the credible case for an EMP attack in my copy. I was creating a new mechanism to the problem of needing a backup power solution.
So even if you believed you had backup power in place, this new mechanism behind the problem forced you to consider a new solution.
And because there was a logical connection behind the mechanism of the unsolved problem — an EMP-related outage — and the mechanism that made my solution unique — an EMP-resistant backup generator — it worked like gangbusters.
Another example is in the pitch for my book, The Copywriter’s Guide to Getting Paid…
The headline for my pitch is, “If you’re not making it as a copywriter — yet — it might NOT be your writing skills…”
That’s redefining the problem. By the time you’re a few books and programs and email newsletters deep into copywriting, you’ve probably gotten some basic skills. And you’ve probably been sold on the next technique or tactic you need to pick up to finally reach your career breakthrough.
And in fact, if you come from the broader world of writing, you probably believe that the best writers are the ones who have the most success (this is a common myth about success in any skillset — the best at the skill is seldom the richest).
And yet, you’ve bought books, and programs, and so on — and you still haven’t gotten that breakthrough by getting better at writing.
Then I come along and provide a mechanism that redefines the problem. The problem with your writing business isn’t your writing — it’s the business. And my book provides the important principles of running a successful copywriting business that lead to success.
By redefining the mechanism of the problem, I easily distinguish my offering and set up my solution as necessary.
I’ve known this at an unconscious level for years, Stefan makes it conscious and more effective…
Even if you look at my frequently-taught PAISA formula, this is there.
The I stands for Invalidate — after you’ve presented the Problem and Agitated the emotional experience of still facing it, you tell them why everything else they’ve tried is invalid.
And often, as Stefan does, you do that through a story. Either your own story of facing the problem, that led to the invention of the product. Or a prospect’s story, and how you helped them reframe the problem and identify your solution as the only one that would work.
But as is often the case, Stefan’s giving me specific words — identifying the mechanism of the problem — makes this step even more clear and useful.
And I can’t wait to really dive in and apply this on my next big piece of copy.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,