This is a guest post by Amy Harrison.
To be a true bitchin’ business owner, you know you’re going to have to write copy that sells what you do. It’s like egg and mayonnaise, pickle and cheese or ketchup and noodles. One has to go with the other (don’t ever have me cook for you).
But just as high school students smell fear on a substitute teacher, your audience can also sense how confident you are when asking for the sale. Being embarrassed, uncomfortable or shy when writing sales copy creates a noticeable shift in tone between your blog and your sales page (sometimes without you realising it).
Whilst your blog content might have the relaxed, wholesome air of sharing ideas in a warm and cosy coffee shop, your sales page can seem like an awkward, seedy transaction near the dumpster behind the coffee shop.
And all the copywriting techniques in the world aren’t going to be worth anything if you’re uncomfortable with the direct approach of promoting your business in this way. You will easily sabotage your own sales copy. This can happen by relying too much on templates that don’t sound like you, or including tell-tale signs that you’re not confident promoting your offer even when you know your readers would love what you have.
But how do you know if your writing demonstrates that you’re “sweating” behind your sales copy? What signals can your customers pick up? And more importantly, what can you do about it?
Here are 3 simple examples:
Problem 1: You Forget How What You Do Impacts Your Customer’s Life
Symptoms your customers can spot:
You miss out major benefits, you don’t list specific selling points and your copy is probably quite short, lacking in oomph and possibly relying on vague hyperbole (think “explosive results” “sky-rocket increase in…” and “amazing and awesome benefits”
The solution to this problem means stepping away from your sales page and instead revisiting the transformation that you have on your customer’s life. When you investigate the specific impact and results that you get for your customers, your copy sparkles and has more depth for your target market to get hooked on.
Questions you need to answer to give your copy a confidence boost include:
- What was your customer suffering with before that is no longer a problem because of you?
- What can your customer do that she couldn’t do before?
- What new skills or beliefs does your customer have that he didn’t have before?
- How long would it have taken for your customer to do what you did for her (if in fact she could do what you do).
- Why is your customer better off for having you in his life?
Problem 2: You Feel Guilty And Selfish About Taking Money From People
Symptoms your customers can spot:
You price your product way below what you are offering and as a result people think your product is cheap-quality. Or you apologise for the price or come up with elaborate explanations about why it costs what it does for example:
“I know that this product could easily be worth $197, but because this is the first time I’m teaching this course, and I want to make sure you’re happy with it, I’m not going to charge you that, even though I could. For just the cost of a Starbucks, a McDonalds and some hamster food every 3 days you can get this program, which is really worth it when you think about the value in the 856 page eBook with 409 hours of audio materials and so I’m only going to charge you $14 and if you really don’t like it that’s fine, you can have a refund, in fact, have it for free and then if you like it just make a donation…”
A lot of this will stem from problem number one: not appreciating the value your product or service has on your customer’s life, but there are also some better techniques that you can use when writing about the price of your product:
- Focus on the value of the results you give them rather than what it actually is. For example, your customers aren’t paying for a $47 for a 25 page book on SEO (seems expensive), they’re paying $47 to improve their natural search rankings, boost traffic and increase enquiries by 20% (bargain)
- Compare the price to that of a more expensive service IF it gets similar results. For example, compare an eBook to live training event or one to one coaching on the same subject. Don’t compare an eBook on marketing to someone’s sock budget for the year (currently around $10 for me if you’re wondering)
- Avoid having a lengthy “run up” to the price or trying to bury it too deeply in your copy so that’s it’s impossible to find. For some sales pages, this will work but if you’re selling to your blogging audience, they probably expect you to be clean and clear when you’re communicating with them.
Problem 3: You Hit Sales Page Overload Because You’ve Seen Similar Sales Pages Do The Same
This can happen if you think you should adopt a different voice for your sales page or if you use sales page templates without really modifying them to reflect your own personal voice and style. It can include:
- Excessive exclamation marks
- Phrases you wouldn’t normally use
- Overzealous fear tactics highlighting doom, gloom and possibly Rapture 2.0 if they don’t use your product
To solve this you need to understand that making a sale is no different to the regular conversation you have with your readers on your blog. The sale is simply an extension of that conversation. If you are used to helping your audience, giving them tips, advice and valuable “how-tos” there’s really no different with what you offer in a product, except that it’s premium content available for purchase.
- You still help people
- You still solve their problems
- You still give them great value
If you’re really stuck, the best way to tackle your sales page is to sit down and write about your product or service as though you were writing a balanced review for a friend who your product would be perfect for.
List what’s great about it, even list what might put some people off. Just be honest and don’t worry about selling, worry about giving great information about what’s on offer. As a blogger, it’s probably the best style of sales page you can write for your audience.
And don’t forget, you’re not selling to help yourself, you’re selling to help your readers (because what you’re selling is awesome right?)
About the Author: Amy Harrison is a copywriter for coaches and entrepreneurs. In addition to writing for her clients, she also coaches business owners to smash up their sales copy obstacles and get their offers out there. She recently released an eBook called How To Get Your Sales Page DONE!
Image by Jetportal