I love working with great marketers and copywriters…
I was talking to my coach this morning, who works with some really high-level entrepreneurs. And he revealed he’s been benefiting from one of the same principles that’s driven a lot of my quick copywriting success.
Namely: getting paid to learn.
I asked Joseph if he had a coach, to work through some of the same things he helps me work through. He said he didn’t. But he’s able to get a lot of indirect coaching from who he works with. That is, when Joseph gets on the phone with “Client XYZ,” who is one of the world’s best-known and most-respected business gurus, he gets a perspective nobody else gets. The same goes for many other clients who each have their own experience and success. Even if it seems, on the surface, like Joseph is the one doing the coaching, he’s also getting an education by observing, thinking, and asking himself what he can learn from it all.
And I instantly recognized and stated that Joseph was referring to something I’ve done for a long time in copywriting. That is, I’ve sought out and worked with many of the top A-list copywriters, to help them grow their or their clients’ businesses. And in the course of working with them, I’ve gotten feedback and coaching that would have cost me a fortune if I’d tried to buy it.
Because I was working for them, or for their clients, I was getting paid to learn from them…
Along the way, I’ve gotten insight on my thinking, copy, and strategy from a large number of A-list copywriters and marketers, as well as many who aren’t on a list but who’d be able to go head-to-head with the A-list, no problem. I’ve you’ve been around a while, you know the list includes Brian Kurtz, Clayton Makepeace, Dan Kennedy, Gary Bencivenga, David Deutsch, Mark Ford/Michael Masterson, Perry Marshall, and many, many others. Did I work closely with every one? No. Some spent mere minutes looking at my copy, and gave me quick feedback. Others went much, much deeper.
Every single one though provided a huge and meaningful impact in terms of giving me a new perspective or view on copy or strategy — directly relevant to improve what I’d brought to them as my best in that moment.
While I strongly suggest other ways to learn copy (such as training programs, books, courses, actual in-the-market experimentation, etc.) there’s very little that compares with getting direct feedback based on proven experience.
That’s not even what I meant to write about, but it is a good lesson in itself, and it sets the stage for today’s topic…
I just got a lesson in how to make my copy a ton better!
I don’t like to give a lot of details about my current clients. There are potential competitive advantage issues, and other things that make that a complicated proposition.
(It’s also why most good copywriters — including yours truly — talk way more about old copy than current successes.)
But here’s what I’ll tell you.
At my current primary client, I work with one of the top financial copywriters on the planet. If you know much about the industry, you’d probably list him in the top 5, certainly he’d be in the top 10. (I find it really hard to rank them when you get that high.)
And he and his team frequently look at my copy, and give me feedback.
If I wanted to pay him for the feedback, he’d probably charge a good $2,500 or more to go through a promo. If he even would accept the money.
But it would be worth every penny — in multiples.
Because he has a capability to look at the copy, find its strongest elements, and show you how to shift those elements by just a few degrees to make them much, much more powerful.
Let me try to generalize the lesson I just got…
Turning big trends into something very small and specific, for big impact…
In financial copywriting, we often write about BIG things. Big market trends, big impact, and so on.
And you need those big things to get people really excited. Especially when it comes to coming up with really exciting numbers and details to put into your copy.
But big trends by themselves are not exciting. Because big trends are not easy to relate to.
For example, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a big technology trend that everybody was talking about a couple years back. And it was somewhat exciting, just because it was a huge market. Some people wrote promos about IoT, and they did okay.
But then one copywriter I know, Henry Bingaman, came along and found one tiny application of IoT that he could focus on: implantable chips to track your health, that will be able to diagnose disease and even predict heart attacks before they happen.
He used this tiny little application of IoT technology to make the big trend ultra-relevant and interesting to a market that might not get excited about the bigger trend in the same way.
He did a lot of other things right, too, that I don’t have room to go into here (and would be talking out of turn to give away too much)…
But I can tell you that was a very successful promo.
He made the big trend small and relatable, and it made it ultra-relevant to readers…
This principle has very broad applications…
The promo I’m writing right now is nothing like Henry’s. But the same principle of making a big trend relevant by presenting it in a small and specific way still applied.
I’ll give away this much. I found a really compelling long-term trend, that pointed to something that really supported the core narrative and USP of the product I’m selling. I’d written all about the long-term trend. But my client turned around and asked what that trend meant on a tiny time frame. As in, today.
We did the math, and it was jaw-dropping. So instead of focusing on the giant, we’re focusing on the tiny. At least as an entry point, to show our prospect that it’s worth paying attention. Then, when we back that up with long-term data, it makes it all the more powerful.
One more example: the EMP-resistant backup solar generator I’ve written about before. Part of what made the promo for that so compelling was that I identified one ultra-specific and somewhat scary time at which having the generator would be a godsend. I started by telling that story.
Only after that tiny scenario was firmly planted in the prospect’s mind did I zoom out and look at all the other situations where it would be useful, including situations that had nothing to do with an EMP. Talking about all those other applications only became really interesting once the specific scenario I laid out first made the whole narrative hyper-relevant.
How to use this on your next marketing campaign…
Many times, we think big.
For example, let’s say you’re selling “How to get clients for consultants” training.
You could look at that, and think, “Make six-figures a year without putting on pants!” And that’s an attractive proposition.
But what if you got ultra-specific? As-in, you took a picture of you from the chest up, holding a check for $14,386, and your headline was, “I made this money last month — without putting on pants — and you can too.”
$14,386 is a lot less than six-figures. But the specificity of the one check for that amount, making it a very small thing, is part of what makes it so exciting.
It also makes the bigger promise you make later feel much more real.
Next time you uncover something big and exciting, ask yourself if there’s a much smaller way to present it that will feel much more tangible, more realistic, more graspable, more relatable, and more relevant to your prospect.
Start there — and only once you’ve told that tiny story, zoom out to the big story, and its even broader implications.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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