Can I admit that sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing?
I’ll get to what I promised in the subject line — the ONLY three big ideas for any selling message — in a minute. But first, confession time…
A few weeks ago, I promised my next training, High-Velocity Copywriting, would be added to the BTMSinsiders training library before the end of this month (aka, this Saturday).
Admittedly, the topic of the training I’ve thought about a lot. So I was comfortable making that promise.
Some of the core content has been tumbling around in my brain since at least 2009, if not a lot before.
I’d included some of it in my 2014 Advanced Direct Response Copywriting Workshop, so I had notes and specific points outlined in the materials for that.
It’s something I live and breathe every day. I write a LOT, for clients as well as my own personal projects.
And, when I follow my own advice that I am giving in this training, I write fast, too.
And yet… I didn’t want to just re-hash the same-old, same-old copywriting and productivity advice!
As with all my training, I want to bring my unique insights and perspective to bear. One thing I recognize as a unique ability of mine is to look at everything out there, find the overlaps, and rework it all into an integrated message that contains, integrates, and makes more useful and actionable other more fragmented or incomplete messages.
Without a deadline, I could spend years developing this content!
I could hole myself up in my office, and spend the next five years or longer trying to identify the underlying principles, strategies, and techniques that any direct response copywriter, in any industry, could use to write better copy, faster.
But, from the time my last training — The Value-First Funnel Strategy — and this one are being released, I gave myself a month. One freaking month.
Oh, and during that month, I’m wrapping up one client project and developing the sales narrative for another… Doing final edits on my next book… Testing a slew of new Facebook ads… Building out funnels for another new project… Writing 1,000 to 2,000 words every work day for these essays…
And being present for my family! (Dang I do a lot!)
So in the last week or so, I was really crunching on how to present my new High-Velocity Copywriting training in a way that took all the best of what I know about how to write compelling sales copy, quickly…
In a way that integrates all the best ideas I’ve picked up since starting as a copywriter in 2005…
That gives my BTMSinsiders members the underlying principles and strategy that support writing great copy, fast…
That provides techniques and tactics that make it immediately actionable and valuable…
And that somehow gives even the most seasoned students of direct response new insight and perspective into how to think about their copywriting in a way that translates to their next campaign being their biggest winner yet.
I’m a glutton for punishment!
Last week, I have to admit, I was struggling with this.
In fact, by Friday afternoon, I was beginning to doubt myself big time. A wave of Impostor Syndrome emotions was crashing down on me.
“Should I even be doing this?”
I didn’t have a good answer.
Then, in the darkest hour, some light.
I took most of the weekend off from work, as I try to do.
But, as I also frequently do, when I’m doing other tasks around the house I was listening to some marketing-related audios on my phone. In this case, a podcast.
A sidebar conversation made something click.
It was yet another marketer claiming they had THE ONE WAY to present a sales message that was the most effective.
And, I couldn’t argue with the fact that this person’s presentations were effective. I wouldn’t dare.
But I also knew that their “one way” was NOT the only way.
And a whole pile of ideas from years of research and experience started to come together.
Then, I let it marinate. Partly because it was late at night and I was tired. But also because I know that sometimes my brain needs a bit to really process all the connections from a new idea in the background.
Then, on Sunday morning, I took my kids to the playground, while my wife was doing yoga in the park.
I brought a pad and a pen.
I asked my brain to reveal its epiphanies!
At the top of the page, I wrote…
— Grabbing attention and opening the sale…
About 1/3 down, I wrote…
— Building interest and desire through your promise, proof, and overcoming objections…
And about 2/3 down, I wrote…
— Stimulating action with an irresistible offer…
And then, I started to fill in notes on each step of the process.
Now, if you’re a serious student of direct response, you might recognize the AIDA formula showing up there: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. (And yes, I lumped interest and desire into a single step for reasons that will be clear in the training.)
And while I’ve never thought of that as being a particularly useful outline for writing copy, it is a great framework for what you must accomplish in any response-accountable message.
I ended up scribbling down the three sales you have to make at each of the three steps. Works out to the nine total sales you must make in any message to actually get the desired response.
But what was most exciting to me, in the whole process, was that I actually landed on a brand new way to think about starting your sales messages.
I’m prepared to be proven wrong on this, but as of right now, I believe these are…
The ONLY three big ideas for any selling message…
Yes, I’ve recommended the book Great Leads by Michael Masterson (Mark Ford) and John Forde. I still do. I think it’s one of the only true classics of advertising that’s been written in the last decade.
And it goes into six lead types, listed here in the order of most-direct to least-direct. (Read the book.)
- Secrets and Systems
That’s a brilliant breakdown grounded in the experience of building one of the world’s most successful copy-driven businesses of all time.
But that’s still about lead types. Which is related to big ideas, but is not the same as big ideas. A lead type is how you EXPRESS your big idea, not WHAT IT IS.
And, in fact, a whole host of other copywriters and marketers whose work I’ve been reviewing (including the one that spurred this epiphany Friday) present big ideas in a way that doesn’t exactly line up with this.
When I stepped back to consider this, here’s what I landed on…
The three big ideas behind those six lead types — and in fact behind every majorly-successful marketing campaign I can think of — are…
- An urgent PROBLEM we can solve in a preeminent way
- A new and 10X better OPPORTUNITY
- A PREDICTION of an imminent life-changing event we can help them navigate
(I probably should have just teased these and revealed them for paying members of BTMSinsiders, but alas that’s not what I’ve done!)
The biggest of big ideas are all a variation on these three…
And there are specific circumstances where each works best. Especially when you factor in the demand of the consumer.
If you’re selling a product in a market where consumers are seeking out solutions, for example, you’re going to favor one kind of big idea over another.
If, on the other hand, you’re trying to generate demand from a cold audience who would benefit from your product but doesn’t know to seek you out, you’re going to use another kind of big idea entirely.
Plus, once you’ve started a promotional message based on these ideas, you’re going to approach the task of building interest and desire quite a bit differently.
If you’re introducing people to a new opportunity, what you say next is going to look and feel very different than if you’re offering a solution to a pressing problem.
Of course, now I’m flirting with 1,400 words and the end of my blocked time to write this message, so I’ll leave the rest for the course content…
Which, incidentally, I’ve gotten back on track to release to members by Friday of this week, per my original plan.
And, in fact, there’s a whole pile of “High-Velocity Copywriting” lessons in this entire story, too. Which will also be revealed to members in the training.
If you want first access as soon as this training is available, be sure you sign up for a BTMSinsiders All-Access Pass now.
You’ll get instant streaming access to all the other training in the catalog PLUS this new training the moment it’s released (and before it’s announced inside Breakthrough Marketing Secrets).
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,