Copy is King and Other Common Lies

Copy is kingMaybe if you just hired a top notch copywriter, all your problems would be solved.

Or maybe not…

Talk to some copywriters and you’ll find them ranting about how they can turn any business around.  Listen to them too long and you may believe they can sell anything no matter just how bad of a fit it is for the target audience.

So you pay over $5,000 – $50,000 and up for that copywriter…and still the project bombs.  Their incredible way with words didn’t sell. 

It gets even more entertaining when you hang out with arrogant web designers. 

They’ll tell you, “The problem is your design…if you dazzle them with the greatest designs all your problems would be over.”

There goes another $5,000 and more…only to be disppointed again. 

What’s the real problem if it’s not the copy or the design? 

It’s that you have the entire process backwards.

Winning copy is definitely part of the online conversion mix (even audios and videos have a script written first), but it can’t sell the wrong product to the wrong audience. 

And web design which builds your credibility as someone who can be trusted will improve your conversion in today’s online environment.

But those steps come later in the process.

The most important element to your marketing is the target audience…then the offer.

Step One: Audience

Who is your audience?  What are they ALREADY buying?  What are their hopes, their dreams, and their problems?  What do they lay in bed worrying about at night?  What do they dream about accomplishing?  How can you help them?

The worst way to run a business is to target everyone.  You don’t have a billion dollar budget and you can’t afford to target everyone…unless you’re a billion dollar corporation. 

What do you know about your audience? 
How old are they? 
Are they male or female? 
What may be their political views?  
What types of keywords are they searching? 
What websites do they visit?
What do they believe about businesses like yours already?
What do they believe about their problem and possible solutions?

Let’s say you hire a copywriter to write a piece of “killer” advertising and they’re super aggressive full of testorone – and your audience is 90% women.  What happens? 

I’ve been involved in several markets where we needed totally different copy for men and women.   Trying to run one sales process wasn’t profitable.  It took both funnels to make the projects work. 

If you haven’t noticed, men and women are different.  🙂

And that’s just the easiest one to illustrate.  You’ll find other differences that separate markets…and you have to be creating for your specific market, their ideals, and their desires.

Step Two: Offer

The next piece in the puzzle is the offer.  How does your product or service fit the audience’s desires?  How does it fulfill what they want? 

And just as important…how does it stand out as a better or unique solution to what’s already out there. 

I often talk about finding something that’s already working in a marketplace…and improving on it.  Being a pioneer is expensive, but you’ve got to catch that last part.  You need to improve on what’s already available.

Make it a BETTER deal in some way.  The solution everyone first thinks of is being cheaper, and that works for a while.  It’s a successful business model that works, but it’s life is limited. 

Eventually someone else comes out cheaper than you, and the price wars begin.  Everyone loses…many times even the customer as the quality drops.

A much better direction long-term is coming out with improvements.  What are the complaints about the current model?  What are the weaknesses of what’s already out there? 

For basic beginning research you could even move over to Amazon.com and other review sites to find out what people are saying about the current solutions and offers.  What weaknesses are they complaining about which you can capitalize on? 

How does your offer fulfill your customer’s desires quicker, easier, or more conveniently than other options?

Step 3: Sales Copy

Now we’re into the sales copy…AFTER the audience and the offer.

The greatest sales copy in the world won’t sell a stinker…at least it won’t “stay sold” once the customers get it in their hands. 

There is a major misconception with many online copywriters and business owners.

They THINK great copy is simply adding a bunch of exclamation points, power words, and energy. 

What they haven’t realized is the great copywriters spend as much time in research as they do in writing.  They KNOW their audience.  They’re not guessing.  And they’re not just “swiping” from successful sales pieces.

They instead understand the psychology taking place behind every word of what’s written.  They know their customer.  They’re speaking to their hearts instead of their heads.

In some markets, copy which produces extremely well wouldn’t even be recognized as great copy by an outside eye.  It’s subtle.  It’s hidden.  But it’s directly to what the market wants. 

Ever notice how most of the copywriting you hear about is in the “outrageous” markets such as financial investing, weight loss, bodybuilders, martial arts, etc.?  These on average are very aggressive markets…and the copy stands out.  That’s not true in every marketplace. 

The reality is the winner is the one who knows their customer and speaks to them with terms they understand.

Step #4: Design

Some designers might be mad at this position with copy and everything else placed higher, but this is where the design belongs.

It’s valuable today…much more valuable than it was a few years back.  People look at your site and decide if you’re credible.  They look at everything on your site in their quest to decide whether to buy from you or not.

GREAT design highlights and works alongside the sales copy.  It brings attention to the key points.  The colors, photos, and graphics pull your emotions along the same slippery slide the copy has started. 

In some of my advertising tests, the first photo on the site is as important of a test element as my headline.   None of these 4 keys can be ignored, but do keep them in their proper order.

The purpose of the offer is to appeal to the target audience.  The purpose of the copy is to sell the offer.  The purpose of the design is to strengthen the copy. 

Everything in it’s place…and every piece building your successful business.

The starting point for most businesses I work with is the lowly squeeze page…turning visitors into subscribers.  In my tests years ago the design was almost irrelevant. 

Today the design is vital. 

If you’re looking for good opt-in page designs you can use over and over again to increase your conversion, check out this special offer from Welly Mulia on how you can get professional looking squeeze pages up and running in 2 minutes or less…even if you suck at web design like I do:

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About The Author

Terry Dean

Terry Dean has been in full-time internet business since 1996 and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs get started online through his articles and products. He lives in Dunnellon, Florida with his wife and 2 dogs. Find out more about how the Monthly Mentor Club can help you today.