You may have noticed I’ve been writing a number of four-part mini-series in the Science of Copywriting group recently (up till then, every post was a one-off).
This week was slightly different in that although the pieces were one-offs, they were connected by a common theme (that happened as an afterthought once the first draft of “THERAPY” was done – see the links below).
This was inspired by a real incident – a reminder to “know your audience”. I often assume I know what someone wants, and this was a stark reminder I cannot possibly know unless I first research.
Every piece of copy I put together that fails is another stark reminder. In fact it’s so important, I want to remind everyone reading this that even if you employ the greatest copywriter on the planet, unless you do the research, even a Pulitzer Prize winning piece of copy will fail.
This is why, once the copy is written, a great offer ONLY needs two things to prove itself: the price and the place (ie. the cost of whatever is being sold, and where whatever is being sold can be found).
(the OFFER I’m referring to here is the part at the end of your copy – not the headline, lead, or body text)
As I explained on Saturday, if there’s no return on a piece of copy, no amount of fluff will save it – with one exception: anyone can lie, cheat, or steal – but then, if done well, you still wouldn’t need any fluff.
I cannot emphasise these two points enough: a) know your audience, and b) make your offer clear and simple (the latter is easy if you do the former).
If you can achieve that, and your non-fluffy offer works, now you can start experimenting by adding bonuses, outrageous guarantees, or scarcity to try to improve your ROI.
Just bear in mind that the more you add, the more you dilute your original offer, and it could affect the relationship and reputation your non-fluffy copy has earned you with your audience.
The third and hardest step is finding where your audience hangs out. This is why the publishing industry rarely takes on new writers who have no following (the “build it and they will come” scenario never worked – it was always “a field of dreams” to coin a phrase).
So if we have a product we know there is an audience for, then everything comes down to finding (or building) that audience.
For example, the new book I’m writing will suit 75% of my Science of Copywriting audience.
I know this from the responses I get from the questions asked when each person joins the group. It’s also why I decided to go public on the whole project (you can read my weekday updates here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xns1095JQL5oX3a_ljf0TUSiAKOA15-_jtmrSacsnqc/edit).
Going public serves two purposes from the audience’s point of view. a) it’s a chance to find out how I go about writing and publishing a book from conception to finished product, and b) the offer was set from the start – there will be something to buy at the end of the journey. This fits perfectly with my philosophy on business: “No Surprises”.
NOTE: I’ve had my fair share of stress in life, but it took me over 3 decades in business to learn that the chief cause of stress is expectation. Once I knew that, I set my goals with zero expectation of achieving them. I work just as hard, but I no longer care about the outcome. If people find what I do to be useful, then we both win, but either way, I keep doing what I get pleasure from.
Although each piece last week was a one-off, they still work together quite nicely (see above). Here are all the links:
With my love,
Science of Copywriting
PS. As a subscriber to this newsletter, you get a copy of the Science of Copywriting Rule Book – First Steps (a MUST READ for anyone into copy). But if you also subscribe to the International Copywriters Association (the ICA), you’ll get access to the ICA Getting Started mini-series. Here’s the link: https://internationalcopywritersassociation.com/
I've spent my working life starting and running a whole variety of businesses, from my first QPL Express Couriers where I travelled over 100,000 miles every year delivering packages on a motorcycle (along with a whole bunch of colleagues) to Accountz.com which made a major in-road in the UK, to ProofMEDIA my current business that focuses on Copywriting and the International Copywriters Association, which showcases copywriting and copywriters to the world.
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