Who Hires Copywriters?

You might think the only people who really need to hire copywriters would be advertising agencies. At least, that’s where you see them show up on the TV shows (think Mad Men…)

But surprisingly enough many businesses can benefit from hiring a freelance copywriter.

For instance, think about the amount of marketing materials banks, insurance companies, manufacturers and other non-traditonal businesses need to produce to get their message out in the world. Do you think the CEO has time to sit down and write all that material – or does the marketing department have a competent copywriter either on staff or on their speed dial?

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg…

Own a business? Have you ever sweated over what to put on your rack card, trifold brochure or even just a sell sheet? Yeah, suddenly having someone you can count on to put the right words in the right place is really important, right?

Want to get some traction for your new software product? You know, the one that would change the course of mankind – if only people could grasp the complexity of it. Well, copywriters are the best at taking complex ideas and making them easy to understand.

And the best ones go a step further and turn those easy to understand ideas into sales.

All through the power of the written word.

What about video? You’ve heard a great video posted on the web can drive both visitors to your website and sales of your product/service.  But for a video to be great, it has to be persuasive. Nobody is going to sit through 27 minutes of a talking head droning on about the features of your product.

Viewers need to be ENGAGED. Their EMOTIONS need to be activated. They need a REASON to continue sitting through your presentation. (And let me tell you, 27 minutes of features just doesn’t do it.) That’s where copywriting shines. Engaging people, activating their emotions and persuading them to watch the entire presentation so they have the information they need to make a buying decision.

So, really… the question shouldn’t be who hires copywriters? The real question is WHEN are you going to hire one?

The Thing About VSL Scripts

One of my clients has given me the privilege and responsibility of creating a VSL script for their online marketing. (VSL means video sales letter.)

It’s a fascinating process.VSL script

The client has a disdain for marketing language and knows his product appeals to “brainiacs” such as he is. That makes it a bit difficult to create a VSL script that makes the client happy with the “voice” and “tone” of the message AND satisfy his need for results.

Case in point…

We’re in the midst of running a new campaign to get subscribers. We’re using Facebook ads to send people to a squeeze page. The client wants a video on the squeeze page. (Good idea, btw. Video is currently testing at significantly higher conversion rates than plain old written pages.)

I crafted a short, punchy VSL script with the goal of getting the sign up.

Sent it to the client so he could do the audio and send it back to me so I could create the video.

The video is a simple PowerPoint style with white background, text and a couple images interspersed. The voice over just reads the words.

Instead of that short, punchy voice over I was expecting I got a NINE MINUTE audio going into detail about the product and quite possibly turning off the viewer before he even has a chance to find out more about who we are and how we can help them.

His VSL script COULD be used on the sales page. It actually has some good content, makes some valid arguments for purchasing his product, BUT it’s completely in the wrong place in the sales cycle.

Because it’s traffic from Facebook ads, chances are the visitor doesn’t KNOW him enough to TRUST him yet.

Why Use a VSL Script on Your Squeeze Page?

The purpose of the squeeze page is to build that trust. Let the reader get to know him. Get them to take a quiz which will prove he knows what he’s talking about.

THEN start the process of selling.

We’ve been back and forth several times now. I think the client is beginning to see the light. If we can’t get people to sign up and see how awesome his stuff is, they’ll never buy it.

But you can use a VSL script earlier in the process. If you do it correctly.


The Anatomy of a Successful Sales Funnel – Part 1

The Anatomy of an Effective Sales Funnel

Part 1: Traffic

If you’re doing business on the Internet, you’ve most likely run across the term, “Sales Funnel.” It sounds big and scary, but there are only a few critical components to a sales funnel that you need to focus on.

Having said that, a sales funnel CAN be as complicated as you want to make it. But, let’s start with the basics…

A sales funnel is simply a way to take prospective customers through a process of getting to know you and your business and offering them the opportunity to buy what you sell.

If you look at a picture of a funnel, it’s wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. That’s so you can pour a large volume into the opening and have it “funnel” down to a small opening at the bottom.

What Happens in Your Sales Funnel

On the Internet, a sales funnel usually starts with a way to get traffic to a special type of page called a “squeeze” page. Some people call it an “optin” page, while others will use the term “lead capture” page.

No matter what the term, the objective is to get a person to leave their email address so you can connect with them in the future.

Before we talk about the actual optin process, let’s start with traffic.


There are basically two ways to get traffic to your website optin page:

  1. Organic traffic: where people search for a keyword that is related to your business and find your page.
  2. Paid traffic: using any number of online advertising platforms – such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads – to direct people to your page.

Both of these methods are effective – and both have their pros and cons. Organic search takes time. Getting to page one on a search engine is difficult as there are only 10 results on the first page. You are competing with everyone in your niche over those 10 places.

Paid traffic can cost you money if you’re not constantly monitoring your ads for effectiveness. But once you’ve dialled in an advertising campaign, you have a predictable process to drive prospects to your optin page. Tracking and testing are critical to success with paid traffic.

Next time, we’ll talk about the lead capture process – the most important part of your sales funnel. After all, if you don’t have an audience, it doesn’t matter how good you are at selling!



The Difference Between Direct Response Copywriting and Content Writing

I get this question quite often… “What is the difference between direct response copywriting and content writing?”

And my answer is this: “Several thousand dollars.”retro copywriting

Depending on your website, it could be several hundred thousand dollars. I don’t mean the cost of paying for direct response copywriting. I mean the returns you could reap with a carefully crafted sales page.

Think of your website like one of those nice, well-lit car dealerships. You attract people to your lot with signage, your branding, some nice newspaper ads and even television.

THAT’S your content marketing.

But once they’re on the lot, do you expect the signs to sell?

NO! You have a team of well-trained, professional sales people who are paid to close deals.

They meet your prospects where they are. They greet them… introduce themselves… find out a little about the people who came to your lot and HELP them make a decision to buy a new vehicle.

They explain all the features of a car your prospect is interested in. They turn those features into benefits. They put the person (or family) into the car and let them get the feel for ownership.

They patiently answer any and all objections.

They ask for the sale when the buyer is convinced this is the right vehicle at the right time and the right price.

If you left that to your signage, how many cars do you think you’d sell?

The same is true for direct response copywriting. Salesmanship in print. Persuasive writing. Using the power of the written word to help people buy.

So, paying a content writer a few bucks for an article is a good investment. It will help you get people to your website. But if your goal is to sell your product or service, then direct response copywriting isn’t a luxury… it’s a necessity.

Direct Response Copywriting is an Investment – Not an Expense

While many web design companies look at the cost of content creation as an expense, the goal of direct response copywriting is to create a positive return on investment. That’s why tracking results is critical to your success in hiring a copywriter.

Direct response copywriting may be the one thing that creates success for your business.


The Value of Coaching

One of the best things I ever did was hire a coach to help me with my career goals and directions.

A coach will bring out your dreams and desires.

And help you create your plan to make them come true.

A coach will hold you accountable. So that when you don’t want to do the hard work it takes to build your future you still take action.

A coach will teach you the shortcuts to success in your field. Or at least help you find your way out of the mistakes you’re bound to make.

A good coach not only gives you the information but empowers you to take that information and DO SOMETHING with it!

Athletes use coaches.

Business leaders use coaches.

Copywriters can use coaches too. I have.