How to Write Copy That Sells in a Post-Pandemic World
How to Write Copy That Sells in a Post-Pandemic World
How to Write Copy That Sells in a Post-Pandemic World
- We have these powerful tools
of persuasion at our disposal
as marketers and copywriters.
And we need to be really careful, especially today
about how we're using them.
- Today, I am very excited to be joined
by my good friend, Ray Edwards,
who's also one of the world's leading copywriters
and author of the book, "How to Write Copy That Sells,"
along with another book called "Permission to Prosper."
He's the host of the "Ray Edwards Show,"
and he's been a regular on this show.
I don't know how many times you've been on.
This has gotta be at least the third or fourth,
but welcome back to the show, Ray.
How ya doing today?
- Thank you, I'm so honored to be here
and I'm feeling great and excited about this conversation.
- I am as well.
So what we're gonna tok about is how to write copy,
how to write persuasive words
that sell in a post-pandemic world.
And this is kind of a fascinating discussion
that I'm really looking forward to.
Before we go there,
last time you're on the show was 2019, pre-COVID.
What's changed for you, Ray, in the last few years,
since it is the middle of 2022,
as we're recording this right now?
- Oh, nothing much.
- Of course.
- It's been an interesting time for all of us.
We have had to retool the way we were running our business.
My business was, as you know, was really dependent
on doing lots of live in-person events all over the place.
And then suddenly we weren't doing that anymore.
It's the same story everybody's got.
And we had to pivot and adjust to that, which we did.
It's been very valuable
to learn how much we can get done without leaving home,
and to learn how much we can get done remotely,
how much more effectively, how efficiently.
I'm excited to be getting back
out into the world right now,
but that's been a big change for us as a business.
And then the other big change,
which I think is more germane
to what we're toking about today is the change
in what some people would call the zeitgeist,
the spirit of the day,
because the whole world,
for the first time ever in our history,
the entire world went through the same traumatik event,
which was the pandemic, at the same time.
And we were aware of it,
and we had this instantaneous communication
to be able to experience it
from the eyes of different people.
And I don't think we'll know the full effects of that
for many years to come, but I do know it's a different world
we're operating in today.
- I agree.
There was a shared common struggle
that perhaps only existed
in maybe international wars, perhaps.
Maybe the closest thing would've been like a world war
kind of a situation where everybody was very uncertain.
But it was a fascinating couple of years.
And as we're recording this in June of 2022,
we're still dealing with the pandemic.
We're still dealing with Shanghai, I think,
recently coming out of another lockdown,
and we're still dealing with the effects
of people getting sick.
I recently got over a very light bout of COVID,
my very first one.
If you think back over the last few years,
it's been really hard for a lot of people to adjust
to a world where everything has changed.
You call this zeitgeist change.
If you think about the fact
that we couldn't get the most basic utilities,
the most basic supplies.
Even today, there's shortage of baby food
in the United States, right?
Things that you take for granted.
We think about the way we used to get business, right?
So many of us, especially you and me
were in the physical event business.
And people would come and we'd go to events,
and some of us would speak,
and we would pick up clients at these events.
And that was shut down for nearly two years.
So many of the ways, traditionally,
people go about operating a business changed.
I mean, frankly, everything changed.
I wonder, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
I'm just curious what your thoughts are.
How do you view change?
- I think it's a good thing.
I think something that happened
is the thing that was bound to happen eventually,
and the pandemic served to accelerate it by 10 or 15 years.
It's like we've gone 10 or 15 years into the future
in just a couple of years.
And admittedly, there were many bad things that happened
and I don't wanna diminish anyone's pain or suffering,
'cause I know there was lots of it.
But ultimately, the things that I think
we can walk away from the experience with
are things like the fact that so many more people now
are happier and more satisfied in their work
because they're working from a location
they choose to be in, instead of having to go show up
in an office five days a week.
Some people want to do that.
They're still able to do it, so that's great.
It's facilitated online commerce and communication,
and so many other things that are good.
And it's also made us...
Now some will probably disagree with me here,
but I think it's made us
more empathetik toward other people.
We've seen lots of online conflict,
but I think those are the voices that are the loudest,
maybe not the most numerous,
and the rest of us, I think, have watched that,
partikipated in it maybe to some extent,
but realized, gosh, I just need to be more considerate
of other people, and I think that's a good thing.
- You also have this newer book, I believe.
"Permission to Prosper" is the newest book,
or is there yet another one?
That's the newest, right? Or no?
- That's the newest one out.
We've got one that will be released in the near future.
It was about what just happened,
but we actually began working on the book
before the pandemic started,
and I thought it was a book
about how what we experience determines what we believe,
and what we believe determines what we're capable of doing.
And I quickly began to realize
that what the book was really about
was about how communication,
persuasion, changes our beliefs about life,
and how that can be either useful or not useful.
And somebody told me, Jeff Goins, told me
that any book you write that is going to be useful
is going to test you.
You'll be tested on the book before you finish it.
So I was writing this book
about how to persuade yourself to believe things
that would help make you more successful in life
and in business, and how I got faced with a challenge
called Parkinson's disease 11 years ago.
And I actually took the skills I had learned
of persuasion in copywriting and marketing,
and I wrote a sales letter to myself
because I needed to change a lot of, not only my beliefs,
but my behaviors around diet,
exercise, thinking, attitudes.
I was not going to suffer the normal course
of someone with Parkinson's,
and just fold up and shrink back,
and make my life smaller and smaller and just withdraw.
I intended to keep on living.
So I wrote myself a sales letter with the headline,
and the headline was "Read This or Die."
- That's a headline I borrowed from a friend of mine
who died a few years ago, before pandemic.
It had nothing to do with the pandemic,
but he's passed away.
And that was a headline that he made popular.
His name was Jim Rutz.
So I just wanna honor his work
in creating that high bar of a headline
that was very successful at the time it was used
to promote a health-based newsletter.
So I wrote this letter to myself
called "Read This or Die,"
and then I had to be tested on does this really work
when the chips are really down?
Because I got faced with the pandemic,
with the business downturn.
I had a major surgery.
I was in a lot of pain.
I was unable to work.
And I had a real choice of just giving up
and maybe just dying.
That was a real possibility.
Or getting up off the ground,
and gutting it out and getting back to work.
So that headline actually was not the original title
of the book, but it is now the title of the book.
- Oh, so the title of the book is "Read This or Die."
- Yes. - Wow.
- And when is it coming out?
- Looks like spring of 2023.
- Okay. Excellent.
So one of the questions, first of all, thank you for...
I can't wait to hear the book.
I'm sure you're gonna do an audio version of it,
but I can't wait. - Yes.
- I can't wait to hear what the content of that book
is all going to be about,
and how it's going to change lives.
Bringing it back to copy and persuasion and marketing.
Is there something about this post-pandemic world
that marketers need to keep in mind
when they're writing copy?
Because so many of us, once we learn a model
or a script or a methodology,
we just don't ever alter from it.
Do we need to reconsider the way we write copy
in light of the world and what's going on right now?
- I 100% believe we do need to reconsider.
Most of us were taught the old advertising acronym,
A-I-D-A, AIDA, attention, interest, desire, action.
And for most copywriters and marketers,
we have been taught to focus on the fear of loss,
the fear of missing out,
and making people worry, inflaming,
putting more fuel on the fire of worry and fear
in order to sell things, to get people's attention.
I even have a framework that I developed
called the PASTOR framework,
and the intention of developing that
versus AIDA, A-I-D-A, is that PASTOR is a word.
It's not about being a preacher, by the way.
It's not about religion.
It's about being a shepherd,
which is the original meaning of the word pastor.
And the idea was to approach writing copy
as if you're shepherding someone
to a good decision that is to their benefit.
And I believe, if you think about what a shepherd does,
the shepherd cares for the flock, protects them,
keeps the predators away,
makes sure they have food and water.
And we know the story culturally,
the good shepherd lay down his life for the sheep.
If we approach writing copy and the sales
and marketing process from that point of view,
then we're never gonna be pushy or manipulative
or using fear-based tactiks to sell things.
We're gonna be thinking about the flock.
- So I think I wanna make sure
I understand what you're saying,
'cause we're gonna get into this pastor thing
in just a minute.
But what I'm hearing you say
is so many of us have been taught to focus in on,
hey, if you don't do this, you're going to miss out.
And frankly, I find myself doing this
in a lot of the copy that I write, which is like, hey, no,
don't let the competition pass you by.
Or these kinds of things that are very much
like focusing on really some of the primal fears
that people have, but why is it
that we maybe ought not focus on some of these fears?
I mean, I would imagine it still does work,
but what's the-
- Oh, it definitely does still work.
A colleague of mine calls one of his favorite models
for writing copy, he calls it the us versus them model.
Now you can immediately see, I think,
most of us have had enough
of the us versus them discussion
because it's led to all kinds of violence
and hurt and pain and heartache
and division and just general mayhem.
And I think we've had enough of that.
So I think that's, if for no other reason
then the health, wealth and welfare of the planet,
we should try to move away from us versus them thinking.
- Yeah, and it's fascinating
because I've heard, over the years,
like if you create an adversary,
and then all of a sudden you can get people riled up
to want to go against that adversary.
And obviously, Hitler did this with great success,
and we know that story didn't end very well.
And you think about propaganda
from some of the old wars and stuff like that,
where people would try to vilify others
by calling them names or referring to them
as less than human kind of stuff.
And that's exactly the kind of stuff
that actually can get people really riled up,
and that's not what we wanna do today.
Now, I think what I'm hearing you say
is we live in a world where everyone is more aware
of all aspects of this world
because we've all gone through a common struggle.
And as a result of going through a common struggle,
maybe we need to take a different approach,
maybe a higher level approach in our copy.
Is that what I'm hearing you say?
- Yes, I absolutely believe that's correct.
There's a very famous teaching
that was written by an author
named Blair Warner, who wrote what's called
the "One-Sentence Persuasion Course."
And the one sentence is,
"People will do anything for those
who encourage their dreams."
That sounds good so far.
"Justify their failures." Hmm.
"Allay their fears, confirm their suspicions,
and help them throw rocks at their enemies."
- And I think that's true.
I think that sentence is true,
but you just named some of the atrocities
that have been committed by using that sentence.
And so I think we need to be...
We have these powerful tools of persuasion
at our disposal as marketers and copywriters.
And we need to be really careful, especially today,
about how we're using them.
- I love it, so why don't we tok about what you believe
is the best method in a post-pandemic world to write copy.
You might have hinted at it.
I don't know if PASTOR is it, or if it's something else,
but let's tok through it.
What's a method that you feel like we could use
that isn't going to just prey, P-R-E-Y,
on the fears of others?
What is that methodology?
Well, it is, I believe, the PASTOR framework,
so we're coming from the heart of a shepherd
caring for the flock.
And you'll notike we're gonna use many
of the same principles,
but we're using them in a very different way.
So the letters of the word, PASTOR,
I'm gonna give you a quick framework
that at about five minutes, you can take this away
and use it to write any piece of persuasive copy
you need to write, whether it's an email or a blog post,
or a tweet or a podcast outline,
or the outline for an interview
like the one we're doing right now.
So here's how it goes.
PASTOR, P-A-S-T-O-R, stands for,
the P stands for person, problem, and pain.
So you take a moment to step back and reflect
on who is the person that I'm writing to?
And I believe we have one person in mind
who is representative of perhaps the many people
you will be speaking to in the post or email.
You think of the problem you help them solve,
either in the email or in the product or service,
or whatever you're selling to them
or trying to persuade them of.
And then you think, this is the most important part,
about the pain of the problem as they are experiencing it.
So in your case, Michael, I mean,
when you put on a conference
like Social Media Marketing World,
I bet you think about all three of those things,
person, problem, and pain.
- So Ray, your audio was breaking up a little bit
at the end, but let me tell you what I heard,
and I want you to fill in the blanks.
First of all, you said,
the person is who am I writing to,
or speaking to or communicating with?
What is the problem that we, the company,
the individuals that are selling whatever we're selling,
can help them solve?
I got that part, the person and the problem.
I mean, I'm sorry, the person,
yeah, and the problem, but the pain part,
I missed a little bit.
So can you go at that again?
- Sure, so the pain is,
you need to think about the pain
the person is feeling about the problem
and how you can help them remove that pain.
So this is important,
because we need to think about the pain
as they're experiencing it,
not as we think they should, or we think they might.
So just a quick for instance to illustrate that.
If you were selling a fitness program,
if you're a fitness trainer, for instance,
and you're helping people get healthier,
you might want to think they focus on the pain is
they need to fix their cardiovascular system.
They need to fix their heart health,
their lung capacity, make sure they don't have diabetes
or some metabolic disorder,
but the pain the customer is feeling
is they don't like the way they look
when they take their shirt off,
or when they go to the pool and wear a bathing suit.
They wanna look better.
That's the pain as they're experiencing it.
So we wanna write to them about the problem
and the pain as they feel it.
It doesn't mean we don't ignore what the true problem is.
We just need to tok to people
in the language that they understand.
- So help me delineate problem and pain,
because they kind of sound similar.
I would imagine if I was selling some sort
of a helping people get ready
for summertime, vacation or whatever.
One of the pains is I don't like
how I look without a shirt on.
But couldn't that also be the problem?
So help delineate the difference between these two,
just so people can wrap their head around that.
- That's a great question.
So think of the problem as the feature
that you're gonna use to help them solve a difficulty.
So for instance, for many people making arrangements
for a trip involving the whole family
might be a lot of hassle,
and they might not wanna handle all the details.
So they might just want to go rent an Airbnb, for instance,
instead of arrange for different hotels,
and bring everybody under one roof.
The problem is how do I get everybody in one place
so we can celebrate and have fun together on our vacation?
The pain that you're helping them relieve
is all the phone calls and reservations
they have to follow up on,
and making sure everybody gets the right information
and coordinating all of that,
and making sure there's an availability at the hotel
and that all the facilities are available.
So that's the pain that they're feeling,
and you're helping them solve that
by taking all that away and giving them one stop
to go get the problem solved.
- Okay, I love this,
and I wanna keep diving a little deeper
on this problem pain stuff.
So how do we know...
How do I identify the right problems and/or pains?
'Cause we can guess what they are,
and you and I are copywriters.
You are more focused on it these days than I am.
And we could probably come up
with some really educated guesses
on what we believe the problem and the pains are.
But do you have a surefire way
of kind of getting to the core of it?
That's the first part.
- Well, yes, and most people won't be a huge fan of this,
but you gotta tok to your customers and get to know them.
The best, the very best way to do this
is to actually have conversations with customers.
So that could involve, if you have customers already,
people who've bought from who in the past,
just call them or get them on a Zoom call
and let them know you wanna ask them some questions
about their experience.
- I like that.
So I know we're still on the P, which is the person,
and the problem, and the pain.
In light of what we toked about earlier
about being careful about not triggering
too much of the quote, unquote, problem, if you will,
how do we draw that line between what we said earlier,
which is we don't want to necessarily overly focus
on the problem.
There seems to have been some distinction
in the way that you worded this
that might be worth repeating.
Do you understand what I'm asking?
- I believe so. - I'll say it another way.
I'll try to say it another way.
We've been toking about
how we're in this post-pandemic world,
and we have to be careful
about not triggering emotions too much.
So in light of that, how do we focus on the right pains
and problems, if you will,
without maybe going too far over the edge?
- Well, of course, we're never totally
in control of someone else's experience,
but I think we can all be sensitive to certain words
or topics or ideas that we might have brought up
without even giving it a second thought before 2020.
But now that we're past the pandemic,
there are things we might not tok about at all,
or might not tok about in the same way
as we did in the past.
So I would just avoid making references to anything
that once you hear the words coming out of your mouth,
you might think, oh,
in light of the current situation in the world,
I wish I had not brought that partikular topic up.
- Yeah, I guess you wanna be careful of things
that might trigger other people, right?
- Yeah, I mean, that's the word, triggers.
It's interesting, one of the best books about copywriting
is about emotional triggers.
And I don't think it's selling very well right now.
People don't understand what it's about,
'cause triggers has taken on a whole new meaning now,
and we just wanna be careful and respectful,
and do our best...
We can't be perfect at this
because we never know what's gonna trigger somebody else,
but there are certain keywords and topics
that we know to stay away from.
And when we're toking about the problem and the pain,
there does come a point where we're going to want
to turn up the volume on the pain a little
to give people a taste of the cost
of not taking action to solve the problem.
And that's the A of PASTOR, which is amplify.
And there's a way to do this
without fanning the flames so much
that we cause a raging fire we can't put out.
That's not what we want to do.
- Okay, tell me what do we do?
- Well, we first want to show them
the answer to the question,
why not just keep doing what you're doing?
Well, the reason to not keep doing things
the way you're doing them
is it may lead to this really bad outcome
that you don't want to experience.
And you also have a bigger vision in mind
for yourself or for your company,
for your business, for your family.
We begin painting the picture of their aspirations
just after turning up the volume a little
on the consequences of not solving the problem.
So we move from the things
that make them afraid, that worry them.
I think we need to acknowledge those things
because that is still part of the human experience.
Then we quickly move and transition
to what their aspiration is,
where they want to go,
what they want their world to look and feel like
when they have solved the problem and removed the pain.
- So is amplify and aspiration part of the A?
- Yes. - Okay.
So this is interesting.
So what I'm hearing you say is,
and maybe you could give an example,
any kind of example, but like,
and if you want, we'll just throw out there
my newest conference coming up,
which is the "Crypto Business Conference."
And let's just say that the people
that are attending are entrepreneurs,
marketers, and creators.
And let's say the problem is that NFTs
and Web 3 is confusing.
They don't understand it.
And the pain is that they wanna be part of it,
but they don't wanna make a mistake
and make a fool out of themselves.
That's kind of just me free flowing with you a little bit.
So how can we amplify that and aspire that,
given the fact that NFTs are potentially the future,
and Web 3 and all that kind of fun stuff.
Let's just roll with it. - Yes.
I love this example because it speaks to something
I was listening to earlier today.
I was listening to some very well-known authorities
in the area of tik and business,
and they were on a show together,
making fun of and deriding the world
of cryptokurrency and Bitcoin and NFTs.
And it just struck me how out of touch they sounded,
and how off target they were.
And in the past,
I would've wanted to pick a fight with them.
But now I think what I want to communicate to people is
if all this, and this is an example
of how I would approach the challenge you just laid forth.
I might say something like
of all the things in the world right now,
maybe the thing you may be most confused about
is cryptokurrency, NFTs, Web 3.
What does it all mean?
Is it, as some people say, is it a big scam,
or is this really the future of currency,
of money, of business?
Well, the answer is more the latter.
It's the future and the challenge is to understand it.
So we've got a way to make it really simple to understand,
and we don't recommend that you be reckless
or that you invest in anything you don't understand.
We recommend you become educated
in what's happening in this new world of finance,
which is going to change
the way we do business going forward.
You don't wanna be left behind.
You wanna be part of that bright new future,
and this is one of the best ways to do it.
- Yeah, and if we wanted to go a little more aspirational,
we could also say, what if there was a place you could go
where there's people that would guide you
and explain it to you in any human terms,
not in tiknical financial gobbledygook,
you know what I mean? - Yes.
And people you can trust.
- Yeah, people you can trust
to kind of help you understand
what the rest of the world is ignoring,
which will eventually become mainstream.
And if there was a place you could go,
what would that look like?
How would that help you dot, dot, dot?
Is that kind of how you...
- That's exactly it.
I mean, it's like that old saying,
every new and revolutionary idea is first mocked,
and then later accepted as the truth
that's obvious to everyone.
- That's right.
It's fascinating. 'cause you could always throw out
some quotes from people
before the invention of the Internet
saying it would amount to absolutely nothing, right?
(laughs) - Yes.
- There's so many of these quotes,
like I mentioned some of them
in the very first episode of my "Crypto Business" podcast
about people that were naysayers of the Internet
and said it was absolutely not a threat
and it was gonna go out of business in a couple years.
- Whoops. - Yep.
So okay, so we've got P, which is person, problem and pain.
We've got A, which is amplifying, specifically the challenge
if you don't act.
If you choose to ignore this outcome,
this is one of the possible negative ramifications,
but then also to provide some aspiration
as to, however, if you do pay attention,
this is where this could take you,
and it could be something very valuable.
Have I got the P and A down so far?
- You do. - What's next?
- Next is the S, which is, mainly the S stands for story.
Underneath story, we have struggle, solution and system.
And that simply means
that the best kind of copy you can write
is to tell the story of your own struggle
in this area, if possible.
If not, then tell someone else's story
who did struggle with it.
Then show the solution that you or this other person found
and then demonstrate that you have a system
that allows other people,
in other words, me, the reader,
to solve the same problem and relieve the same pain
using that same system
that works every time it's applied.
It's like a recipe.
- Okay, so this is interesting
because when you start to step back
and you think about the different kinds of businesses
that might be listening, you've got some individuals
who are consultants and coaches and agency owners
and copywriters and dot, dot, dot,
specialty creators, creatives like yourself,
who can tell stories, for sure, about your struggle,
your personal struggle, how you overcame it,
and how you came up with your own methodology slash system.
But when you start to expand
into some of the other kinds of businesses
that might be listening,
and you know the world of business is quite broad.
You could be dealing with the local car repair person.
You could be dealing with a entity
that doesn't have an individual
who is quote, unquote, the thought leader
of that partikular entity.
I mean, there's so many different kinds of businesses.
This seems to work really well
for people that are selling info services.
But what about people that are selling widgets
or gadgets or devices, does this story thing still work?
Do the components of it still work?
I'm just curious what your thoughts are on this.
- Well, absolutely.
Yes, I believe, and I know,
I have experience to point to clients
in almost every industry you can think of.
We have one client who sells custom aftermarket bumpers
and license plate frames and mirrors for automobiles,
and does quite well using these same kinds of approaches,
as well as people who are professionals,
attorneys, physicians, chiropractik clinics.
And here's an example you won't be surprised
to hear me bring up, coffee shops.
That's about as far removed as info products
as you could get, yet being able to tell the story of...
So you might say, well, what's the story
of a struggle about a coffee shop?
Well, for someone who loves coffee,
and wants to experience good coffee,
let's say you have a craft coffee shop
which is a rung above.
It's like a custom boutique coffee shop
for people who appreciate the art of coffee.
- For the record, we should explain
that you actually own such shop, right?
You may as well just say the name of the place.
- Yes, yes I do.
It's Revel 77 in Spokane, Washington.
So in our communication through social media
and through our email newsletter,
we tok about the struggle to find coffee that tastes good,
that isn't over-extracted, that isn't burned,
that doesn't have all the flavors destroyed
by the cooking process,
and how to brew that coffee and present it in a way
that we can systematikally produce really great,
a really great aficionado coffee experience
for the person who really loves good coffee.
- I love this, and the more I think about this,
the more I think about even the events
that I put on at Social Media Examiner.
One of the struggles going to events
is that the content sucks.
You know what I mean?
And it's like it's all panels.
You may as well have just listened to a podcast.
And you paid a lot of money to travel to an event,
and you're sitting down
to a podcast interview on a live stage.
That is a legit struggle
that happens at events all the time.
So the solution is to try not to have...
Our events generally do not have panels.
They have solo presenters who have practiked their craft
and are there with an intent and with a purpose.
Anybody can be on a panel and speak for 10 minutes.
Not anybody can get up and hold the stage for 45 minutes.
That's an example, yes?
- Oh yes, 100%.
And anybody who's been to one of those terrible events,
that is nothing but panel after panel after panel,
they immediately feel the pain.
And they're like this is a different kind of event
with really helpful content,
organized by people who know what they're doing.
I wanna be there.
So that's a perfect example of how this works.
- I love this.
So the struggle doesn't need to be a personal struggle
that Michael Stelzner or Ray Edwards has faced.
It could just be a common struggle
that happens in the industry in which you operate,
and how you have,
your company has tackled this partikular thing.
But you don't have to say that your company tackled it.
You can just say
wouldn't it be great if you could go to a place
where you could have that pristine, high quality coffee.
And I don't know, I'm just throwing it out there.
I mean, you don't have to call out the name of your company.
You just have to kind of present an alternative.
Is that right?
- Yes. Yes.
And once you get them to...
By the way, one of the most powerful words
in the English language is the word imagine,
'cause I can say imagine,
and whatever I say after that word you're going to imagine,
whether you want to or not.
Imagine a blue furry elephant.
- (laughs) It's right there. I see it.
- When you think about the power of words
to evoke responses in human beings,
it's really utterly amazing.
So the T in PASTOR
stands for transformation and testimony.
So transformation is what happens to you as a result.
So in the case of your conference, for instance,
this would be what is the difference
between going to the conference
that's full of panel discussions, versus a conference
that's got carefully crafted, hand-selected experts
sharing their best ideas with you in an organized fashion.
What difference does that make in your life?
Then you can show the transformation that that makes.
- Do you ask them the question and not say it?
Or do you throw out examples
of how it might transform your life
by giving you what you were hoping to receive
and not wasting your time and travel?
- I like to do both.
I like to ask, and then go ahead and answer
because most people are looking for,
when you ask a question like that,
they will stop and think about it for a moment.
And then they're wondering, well, do you have an example?
I mean, you did it just a couple of minutes ago,
you said, gimme an example.
So give them examples
that suit the case you're trying to make
for your product, service, event, or whatever it is.
- So when we're toking about transformation,
what should we be thinking about?
Like give me a little bit more
'cause the word transformation is a fascinating word.
I think a lot of people conceptually understand
what the word means, which is to change your state.
But when we're thinking about transformation,
what kind of tips do you have for coming up
with transformative language, if you will?
The thing that people want the most
is they wanna see the before and after.
This is why in things like cosmetik surgery
or dental implants or physical training and weight loss,
people wanna see the before and after pictures
'cause they wanna see
can you show me a guy who looks like me now,
and then show me what I can look like in 90 days?
So in the case of something like a conference,
for instance, just to continue with that example,
the transformation could be
before you attend Social Media Marketing World,
you may have a confused,
perhaps even mistaken idea
about what makes for effective marketing on social media.
After, you'll have an organized set of ideas and principles
that are proven by research in the field
to work in every industry
that you can start using immediately
to increase business for your company,
to help your boss decide
it would be a good idea to retain you and give you a raise,
and achieve all those other outcomes
that are important to the people
who attend your conferences.
So that's showing them a transformation, a before and after.
- Love it, you also mentioned testimony.
Do you wanna mention a little bit about what that means?
So my question,
when you show me before and after photo is,
is that real?
Can you show me real people, or are these just models?
Are these even the same person?
So it's really useful to have people
who are so excited about the results
they've gotten from your product or service
that they're willing to go on video and tell the story.
Before I used this product, I suffered from this problem
and this terrible pain in my life.
I worked with this company, used their product,
and the problem was solved,
and now I'm totally happy in that area
and everything's going great.
So obviously that's a little vague, but you get the idea.
It's a real person.
And if you're gonna do this, by the way, don't hire actors.
Don't try to make the testimonial videos perfect.
Because the more slick they look,
the more fake people suspect they are.
It's good to get just real people
giving their real thoughts about your product,
your service, your conference,
whatever you happen to be offering for sale.
- And I would imagine whether you get them in audio,
video, or the written form
they can be used in any kind of capacity?
You can transcribe those things
and use those in your email and everywhere else, right?
- Absolutely, I think video's the best form for you
because you can then make all the uses of it.
You can strip out the audio, have it transcribed,
as you said, but in whatever form you get them,
you can use them in other formats as well.
- Okay, so we've got P, which is person, problem and pain.
We've got A, amplify and aspiration.
We've got S, which is story,
which includes struggle, solution, and system.
We've got T, which is transformation and testimony.
How about the O?
- The O is the offer.
This is where you're gonna tell them what you have for sale,
where you say, well, you know what the problem is
and the solution, now you can see it.
You can see that it works for other people.
So here's how you get it.
Here's what we have for you.
We have tikets to this conference.
We have this coffee we'd like to serve you.
We have this service we'd like to perform for you
to help you build a stronger financial position
for your future, for your retirement.
And this is how much it costs.
This is what you get,
and this is how it's gonna be delivered to you.
So it's really just what you have for sale,
how it helps them, and how they can go about getting it.
And the one important thing about the offer
is many times people are tempted
to just make a list of the deliverables.
Like you get 10 sessions with a therapist or a trainer,
you get a manual, you get a nutrition chart,
you get some nutritional supplements to take.
Those are all the stuff that you can send in the box.
Don't forget to tok about, in the offer itself,
the transformation process,
because that's what they're really buying.
- Is this code word for benefits?
Is that what we're really toking about?
'Cause the word benefits versus features came to mind
when you started toking about the features.
And in my mind, I'm like, what's the benefits?
- Yes, yes.
So you're really, I like the acronym FAB.
You're toking about the features,
which is the stuff you're gonna send them in the box,
or in the mail, they're gonna experience
when they come to your facility.
The A is the advantages.
So because we send it to you in a pre...
We send you the notes to the conference
in a pre-printed manual, for instance,
and you just fill in the blanks.
This makes it very easy for you
to take what you learn and put it to work.
And the benefit is, you'll be able to walk out the door
and start using it immediately
instead of having to figure out how to use it
after the conference is over.
- Love it. - So Feature,
- Okay, R, the last letter.
What does the R stand for?
- This is the place where most people blow the sale,
in real life and online.
They get really shy about asking for a decision,
and R stands for request a response.
This is where you just need to,
with as much confidence as you've had
from the beginning of your presentation,
or from the beginning of your email
or whatever document you've written,
with just that same level of confidence,
just simply say, so if you have this problem,
you feel this pain, you wanna relieve it.
The thing to do now is to purchase by clicking below,
filling in your information, double-checking it,
and then click the green button,
and here's what'll happen next.
I'm a big believer in showing them
what the next step of the experience will look like,
because that's what people wonder.
They wonder am I gonna get caught
in the chain of torturous upsells?
Am I gonna get to go right to my product?
What's gonna happen next?
Show them that, show them they're gonna be happy
with their decision and then let them respond.
- Okay, so this is kind of interesting.
Request a response is also known as call to action
in the world of marketing, right?
- Yes. - And basically
you're just summarizing, hey, if this is your struggle
and you want to overcome it, then click the button below,
complete the application process, or whatever it is.
And then what will happen is you will begin to get
a series of emails in your inbox, presumably,
and when you begin following the methodology,
you will begin to move closer towards your aspiration,
dot, dot, dot, something along those lines, right?
- Yes, I do like to keep the description
of what's gonna happen next pretty simple.
And I wanna emphasize when you're requesting the response,
you want to be very directive
because people are not always clear
on what they need to do next.
So that's why we use simple language,
like fill in your name and credit card information
and double-check all that to make sure it's correct.
And then click the Buy Now button.
And then after you do that, you'll see this screen.
I'll often put a video on the sales page
that shows the next screen they're going to see.
And if it's a login screen,
I'll show the person on the video
log into the members' area,
if there's an online member's area,
and you can see your purchase.
So you're helping them visualize
the outcome they're about to get.
And you don't have to get much more detailed than that.
If there's a process,
like there's a workshop they're waiting for,
then yes, I would tell them
we have a series of emails that have exercises
you can be doing leading up to the workshop,
and then we'll get right into it on this date in the future.
And you show them what that'll look like very quickly.
And then you allow them to go ahead
and act on this and make that decision.
- We started out this interview
toking about this post-pandemic world
that we're in right now.
How do we know that we have hit
the right buttons, quote, unquote,
and not the wrong buttons?
Is there some sort of...
Especially for those of us that are writing our own copy,
is there some sort of process or methodology or people
that you suggest we get employed or involved?
tok to me about that.
- Yes, you definitely want feedback on your copy.
And of course, we all know we want like a proofreader
and a line editor, people who can go through
and find mistakes,
mistakes in grammar and spelling
and errors of fact and so forth.
But beyond that, I think you want to be sure
and get something that we call a CUB critique,
This is an idea that was invented by,
or identified by Mike Palmer and Michael Masterson.
They wrote a book called "Copy Logic."
I would recommend it, it's a very short book.
I'd recommend getting it.
It's a way of critiquing your copy
and looking for these weaknesses
without being critikal of the writer.
That's one of the things writers have a problem with.
They don't like being critikized.
I don't know if you've experienced that or not.
- I personally know some writers
who are far more sensitive than others.
So what does CUB stand for?
Do you know what it is?
- Absolutely, yes, 'cause we use it.
You go recruit three or four other individuals
who are not involved in writing the copy.
They don't have to be copywriters.
It's probably better if they're not, but they can be.
And you tell them, I want you to read this copy
and mark it up, but not for grammar or spelling
or for I think I'd write this differently,
or I don't like that story.
We don't want any of that.
We want you to identify anything you find first confusing.
So if you find it confusing, just circle it,
and put a C by it.
If you find it unbelievable.
So you read a sentence or a paragraph
and your response is, "Oh, come on, that can't be true."
Circle it and write unbelievable.
Or if you find it boring,
circle it and put a B by it for boring.
- I love that.
- That is a CUB critique,
and it will strengthen your copy immeasurably
because those are three of the biggest problems with copy.
It's confusing, it's unbelievable,
makes unsubstantiated claims,
and it's boring.
- Well, this has not been confusing.
It has been believable,
and it's been anything but boring, Mr. Ray Edwards.
So what I would love to know
is where can people discover more about you?
If you've got a website
you wanna send 'em to, mention that.
And if you have a favorite social platform
that you would like them to reach out to you on,
if they're interested,
just where would you wanna send everybody?
- Sure, just go to rayedwards.com.
That's the best place to go.
We have lots of free resources there available to you
that'll help you, if you found any of this helpful.
I think you'll love what you find at that site.
And then on social, my favorite platform these days
is it's a tie between TikTok and Instagram.
So I'm just Ray Edwards at either one of those platforms.
- Got it.
You're one of the lucky ones that got your name.
You don't have any special underscores
or anything along those lines?
- Ray, thank you so much for coming on
and answering all my questions.
And I know so many people listening right now
are going to go and put this to good use,
and I encourage everyone to please reach out to Ray
and let him know if you found this valuable.
Thank you again, my friend, for coming on today.
- My pleasure.