5 Copywriting Deal Breakers Killing Your Launches
I have read and commented on 23 pieces of copy (mostly sales) in the last 2 weeks. Most of the copy has been of the launch-like nature and I’ve noticed some of the same mistakes over and over again that are making the sales copy unsuccessful overall.
1. Not telling a story
Here is something most people don’t know: sales copy is really just a story. It has a beginning, middle and an end with characters, obstacles and a conclusion. It’s the story of your target market --- the struggles, the trials and then finally TA-DA! The solution!
For example, for Sell Your Woo, my story is of a business owner who is feeling ignored and underserved in the business building community. She is tired of seeing business owners brag about their 5 figure launches and being on the other end with nothing to show for it. My sales copy tells the story of this person and provides her with a happy ending. A LOT of copy focuses on the happy ending but does nothing with the story. It’s kind of like seeing the end of the movie but not watching the rest.
“COOL. THAT’S AWESOME but why should I care?”
Most people (especially business-to-consumer brands) struggle with this because they are looking at their target market the wrong way and have no clue what they are really looking for when they read copy.
In my workshop next Saturday, we spend a long time getting clarity on the story of the customer because without it, copy never works. Have you read a piece of copy and been like OMG I NEED IT? It’s the story, yo!
2. Writing copy like your mentors
A lot of aspiring business owners make the mistake of writing copy like their business mentors. Sales copy is an intimate conversation you have with your target market. It’s like talking to a friend. Everyone has their unique style of talking to people and every business owner settles into their own unique style through practice, testing and deep understanding of what they are selling and who they are selling to.
When you pretend to write like someone else, you are simply borrowing the style and not the effectiveness. This is ESPECIALLY true for people who are selling to consumers vs. other business owners. Style choices can really confuse a prospective client, not everything should be sold like a list-building product.
3. Selling the method vs. the solution
This one was HUGE and I nicked pretty much everyone on it. Confused people never buy. Nobody cares HOW something happens, they just want it to happen, especially in the consumer space. While business owners often look for differences in approach when they buy (because they’ve overbought in the past), most people don’t care because they are not as used to buying what you are selling. This is another thing borrowed from your mentors. Think about weight loss. People are willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to lose weight, they aren’t really overly concerned with how which is why people do fasts, cookie diets and eat cabbage soup. People want results and answers to their problems. That is why understanding the problems you solve is so essential when writing your copy.
Don’t get caught up in the how -- just focus on the solution, why they need it and WHY YOU.
4. Over-reliance on templates and copywriting trends:
Let me know if this sounds familiar…..
How many pieces of copy have you read that start off this way? I am not saying that starting your copy this way is WRONG. In fact, it can be really effective if done correctly, but most people don’t know how to make these lines really make a big impact. This goes to my point about telling a story. How can I imagine what I can’t identify with? Yeah, it sounds familiar, so what? What makes this different?
Every sales copy has a natural entry point and flow --- sometimes you go right into it, sometimes you tell a story sometimes you write it like a blog post. No 2 sales copy pieces should be written exactly alike and so when we rely too much on templates for important sales copy, you lose out on helping the right person.
5. Not understanding what you are REALLY selling
This is actually the reason why I created Sell Your Woo. Most people don’t really know and fully understand the power of the work they do. Just the other day I was working on sales copy for one of my clients from the 50-100-150-200 Project. One day I wasn’t feeling that great and I wrote on facebook what was going on. She emailed me a helpful video with everything I needed and what environmental factors are most likely contributing to how I was feeling along with I emailed her about how shocked and amazed I was at everything she sent me and she totally shrugged it off like it was no big deal. THIS IS WHAT YOU SELL, I told her in all caps.
The work she truly did had NOTHING to do with the work she was trying to sell on the sales page. I went in and totally reworked the copy structure, refocusing the energy and the story so it reflected what she did for me instead. She emailed me soon after telling me she sold 3 spots in 24 hours.
Knowing what you are really selling is really tricky because a lot of times, it’s not the features you think close the deal. Sometimes you think you are selling cooking classes but what you are really selling is community and local friends. You might be selling health coaching but what you are REALLY selling is food minimalism as a way of life.
This goes back to identifying the story in your copy and knowing your customer beyond just what type of shoes they have. What is the person really looking for? What are they really seeking?
Mostly I discovered that sales copy problems reflect overall business and branding clarity problems. They go hand-in-hand. If you are having a hard time with the sales copy, it’s most likely because of 3 major reasons.
- You are selling something that you don’t resonate with 100%
- You are selling something to a target market that you don’t fully understand
- You have a gift that you know helps but are not sure how to communicate the value