I literally just had to tell a copywriter that they needed to feature their Guinness-Record-Holder client front and center in a promotion, instead of vague promises around their product…
Some of the most interesting topics for my essays come directly from client interactions…
I was recently reviewing copy as part of a paid copy review.
I don’t do these a lot, but lately I have wanted to do more. They’re an opportunity to make a big impact in a very short period of time… To flex my mental muscles… And to get inspired by all sorts of projects and offers that I wouldn’t actually have time to write copy on.
I’ve done these reviews for all sorts of writers. Rank amateurs. Copy coaching clients, when I offered that service. Pro writers on the staff of a financial publisher I served as interim Copy Chief at. All the way up to world-renowned sales and marketing gurus, such as Perry Marshall.
Even if I have a lot of “opportunities for improvement” by the end of the review, I still get inspired. Because usually all the right ideas to make the sale are there, ready to be featured…
And that’s often what I love to find most…
A BIG IDEA that has been buried, that can be brought to the front for a total transformation.
(Frankly, we can ALL be guilty of this error — it was David Deutsch that told me “The Titans of Direct Response” was a big enough idea to be the headline for my sales letter for that event. To feature the WHO rather than the content or the promise or the benefits. That was most definitely the right decision — thanks David!)
Above all, that was my biggest suggestion for this recent copy review…
Don’t bury the lead!
The writing was good. There were no major problems with style, or presentation. It was a logical presentation of the offer. It worked alright. But it was uninspired.
My guess is the writer started brainstorming, mostly around the features of the offer.
They came up with an idea, then ran with it.
Then, they started building and building on that idea, using all the features and benefits of the product for justification.
And again, the result was “good.”
I don’t want to give away the writer or the offer being made, so I’ll try to couch this in generic terms. Hopefully I still get the point across.
The writer had recognized a big benefit of the product, and was speaking to his audience about the product’s benefit…
I had a few thoughts about that, and how it might be improved.
When suddenly I stumbled on something that made me sit up straight.
The GURU behind this was a larger-than-life Guinness World Record Holder in the field!!
You can’t make this stuff up. And this is most definitely a case of reality being better than fiction.
The guy had literally been featured by GQ. And all sorts of other more topic-focused publications.
He’d broken multiple world records.
He’s HUGE in the field.
And so I looked at the control.
Did they use it? Yes, but buried.
Just like my copywriter friend who I was doing the review for.
You had to already buy in to far less interesting sales copy before you’d ever discover the most interesting, compelling aspect of this offer!
Here was this incredible story that was totally hidden under a bunch of far less interesting copy!
I think it’s John Carlton who said the most important part of copywriting is being a “Sales Detective.”
You dive into the topic. Into the client. Into the product. Into the market. You’re looking and looking and looking.
“What can I feature, up front, that will make my prospect STOP, TAKE NOTICE, and NOT TURN AWAY until they consume the rest of my sales message?”
It usually takes a long time to find that. (The better you get, the faster you can wrench it out of the mounds of research you have to do.)
As a result, many copywriters (freelance or selling their own products) don’t find it until they’ve already established the core narrative of their promotion.
They tell all the vague, generic things because they think it’s what their prospect wants to hear… And only after they’ve sounded exactly like everybody else to their prospect do they highlight their most important point.
If you hook ‘em on what’s most interesting, you have all the time in the world to tell them on how you can also fulfill on everything that everybody else promises.
But if you lose ‘em before you share your most interesting, unique, and compelling story, they’ll never think of you as anything other than an also-ran.
You don’t even have to give away the entire story up front — you can make it even more powerful by making it an “open loop.”
Notice how at the top of this issue, I revealed the “Guinness World Record” detail, without telling much else?
No doubt that’s part of why you read the first little bit. Because you wanted to find out more about that interesting character.
But it took 2 subheads before I really started to share that detail.
By that time, you were deep into my story.
In NLP, this is called an “open loop.” In good storytelling, which existed long before NLP, it’s called beginning in media res — “in the middle of things.”
You start with the most interesting detail. You put the biggest hook up front. Then, you don’t even have to address it immediately (though if it’s interesting enough to keep attention, you absolutely can). You use the attention this “hook” gets to start to tell the rest of your story.
The idea is that your prospect or audience is always looking for a reason to tune you out, to shut you down. And their filter is turned up highest at the beginning of your presentation.
Once you have their attention, it’s easier to keep it. Once you’ve established believability, it’s easier to maintain it. So you put your biggest and best up front, and then support it with everything you can throw at it while keeping it interesting.
As much as any other idea or recommendation I gave this copywriter, this one recommendation to pull this incredible character into the lead will result in the biggest breakthrough…
There’s a reason Gary Halbert’s favorite copy formula was Star-Story-Solution. Because if you have an incredible story around an attractive character tied to a relevant and irresistible offer, you can fail at so many other things and still knock it out of the park.
It’s all about recognizing it, then making it a big priority.
Which is exactly what I told this copywriter he needed to do.
Can I show you the BIG IDEA hiding in YOUR COPY?
I’m looking for a little inspiration, and looking for the opportunity to make a big difference in the writing of a few business owners and copywriters.
I want to review your copy, and help you find the small changes (or, sometimes, big edits) you can make to totally transform it. To make it “sing” — as Gary Bencivenga told me my Titans of Direct Response promo did.
The way it works is you send your copy to me at least a couple days before the review.
I spend up to an hour reviewing the copy, and looking for opportunities to make the biggest difference. I’m looking for breakthrough changes that will really transform the copy, and boost conversions and sales.
I’m making notes the whole time, including, in some cases, writing really rough copy to get the idea across that I’m trying to convey.
Then, after I’ve had an hour to look at the copy, we get on the phone for another hour. I talk you through my thoughts. We look at the specific comments, and I share my big-picture ideas about what it will take to really make your copy sing.
And I take care of recording, so you don’t have to be furiously scribbling notes. You can refer back to the content of the call later, and pull out all the best ideas. (I even offer transcription basically at “cost” if you want to glean all the best copy idea from the call without having to type them all yourself.)
You get the full benefit of my thinking on your project, without the $20,000 plus royalties you’d normally have to pay.
The list price for this service is $750 and a total bargain…
Like I said, this is inspiring for me. I always finish a copy review with more energy when I started it. And, I get the opportunity to make a huge difference for YOU.
One copy review I did led to a top Clickbank product for months on end. Others have gotten new controls, as well as earned copywriters multi-project, 5-figure deals with clients.
What will happen when I work this magic on your copy? Who knows. But there’s only one way to find out!
I’ve even added a double-guarantee to the copy review service.
- If we get to the end of the hour-long phone call and you’re not totally and thoroughly convinced that my recommendations will boost the conversion rate of your copy, let me know. You’ll get a prompt and courteous full refund of what you paid for the review.
- If you implement all my suggestions, exactly as I gave them, and run a head-to-head split test and my version doesn’t win… Let me know within 90 days and you’ll also get a full refund! (Naturally you have to follow my specific recommendations — I can’t guarantee performance if you’re not testing my recommendations!)
It’s totally risk-free to ask me to review your copy and show you how to boost its selling power.
Here’s what happens when you order…
When you order through this link, it includes a calendar to schedule your copy review. This is automatically configured to schedule the review directly into my calendar, in time I have set aside for calls. (Don’t mess with my writing time!)
All spots are first-come, first-served. And rarely will I allow scheduling outside of this pre-blocked time.
You’ll also get a form to fill out to help me understand where the copy is being used, as well as instructions for how to submit copy to me — I ask that all copy is submitted at least 2 business days in advance, to give me time to review it before our call.
It’s a lot of rules, but it ensures that everything runs smoothly and I can be totally there and present and prepared for your call. It’s how I’m able to provide maximum value to you!
About that “limited time…”
Well, I don’t know how long I’ll leave this offer open. Maybe just a couple days (or less!), if my availability is filling up fast. Maybe longer.
I know that sounds rather arbitrary, and it is.
But if you really want to take me up on this offer, all that means I that you need to act immediately.
When it comes to my time, you know I value it highly. So I’m going to impose arbitrary limits to protect it!
Either way, I look forward to looking at your copy and seeing what kind of breakthroughs we can create!
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,