Here's a funny story:
Before I dove deep into Grendel’s cave of copywriting goodness, I thought "persuasion" was less-than-reputable.
In my mind, it was something big business, government beer-o-crats, and (most notably) Satan himself used while molding the masses to do their bidding.
Boy, what a kettle of fish I was in.
Because the truth is, persuasion is not only natural, but completely necessary for us humans. It's how we, as hunter-gatherers, got our friends to avoid poisonous mushrooms.
Or how you get your kid to eat their veggies.
Or how you get litterbugs to clean up their trash.
And whether you're a copywriter, a marketer, or a business owner... you're not in the business of copy, marketing, or - err - business. You're in the business of persuasion.
So let's crack open Batman's Utility Belt of Persuasion and see what makes it tick. But before we do, a quick note:
The list below might seem old hat to you. And some of you likely use these tools every day (there are, after all, A-List copywriters on my list who routinely write multi-million dollar controls for the biggest and baddest mailing houses in the country).
But others of you that "know" this stuff, may not use it. So instead of reading this email and saying “ok great, what’s next...”, I want you to put these in effect.
Which means every day this week, take one of the points below and craft a piece of content around it. If you do, you'll have 5 extra persuasion bombs ready to launch and deploy. And, you'll be practicing this vital skill (likely the most important skill to have during down economies).
If you do, you'll be The Boy or Girl Wonder of your industry in no time. Alright Bucko, buckle your pantaloons and away we go:
1) Start from their perspective --
You always want to incorporate your market’s perspective (it’s by far the most important piece of the persuasion puzzle). But you can also ramp it up and make it the “rub” of your piece.
Daily email subscriber and launch copywriter for the wellness industry, Zafira Rajan did this beautifully in a recent email to her list. Here’s what she said: "Ever set yourself up for the *perfect* night of sleep… Lavender and chamomile tea (CBD optional), no screen time two hours before bed, yoga, the works..."
Which are all things her ideal client can relate to. Heck — I'm not even her ideal client and yet I feel more bonded to her after reading that (love me some chamomile tea and no screen time). So (today) create a piece of content that gets straight into your market's world. If you do, your business will be cozy as a hopped-on-lavender hippy in no time.
2) Tell stories --
I constantly find myself teaching about stories (in fact, I'm considering making stories even more central to my brand with a product in the works. If that interests you, stay tuned...).
That’s because stories are powerful. You can tell stories that happened to you... that you heard about on the news… that your friends tell you... and especially tell stories about your clients and customers.
The beautiful thing about stories is you get "buy-in" from your reader. Which means they’re more likely to believe your claims. So tell ye some stories and profit.
3) Let them eat proof --
Most newbie copywriters think it's all about letting their big claims swang. It's not. Because if your claims aren't believed, it don't matter how low they hang.
A keener tactic is building credibility and trust by using boatloads of proof. This could be social proof, appeals to authority, data-driven proof, story proof, and on and on… Start with the proof, then talk about claims, and you'll be golden Sunshine.
4) Be controversial --
Controversy gets attention (just ask our Demander-In-Chief... who, regardless of what you think of his antics, has persuaded his way to the most powerful job in the world). But you don't have to “go all Trump" on your prospects to be controversial.
The best way, in my opinion, is to simply challenge what your prospects take as gospel. So if you sell in the fitness market, maybe it's: "Why hours in the gym is making you weak" or: "Why pushups and crunches suck".
But don't do it just to do it. Do it because you genuinely think hours in the gym makes you weak or pushups and crunches suck. Honestly, there's so much misinformation out there, that it's not hard to find places where your market is flat out wrong.
5 Use takeaways --
This is something I'm still learning about and practicing, so I won't go too deeply into it. But the basic premise comes from the law of the jungle: We chase that which retreats from us. In other words, if you make it harder to buy from you, you may drive people nuts to get your product.
The simplest way to do this is to qualify your customers. Take the fitness niche again. You could say: "You should only buy this product if you're willing to exercise at least 30 minutes per day. If you can't commit to that, don't bother."
This 1) preselects customers you actually want (people who will use your product and benefit, and therefore be likely to buy again and give you referrals), and 2) makes your claims more believable (because you're being totally honest about who your product can help and who it can’t help).
Ok, that's enough for this rather lengthy and insanely valuable Monday email. I hope you take heed and strap on this Utility Belt Of Persuasion for your own needs.
Choose one of these a day and create a new piece of content using the principle. Think about it like this:
Come Friday, you can be where you are now, doing the same old same, biting your nails at the news and complaining on Facebook about the bad economy.
Or, you could have five fresh pieces of content ready to sell your products, build your list, and grow your brand.
The choice is yours Punkin.
Of course, if you'd like me to write emails to grow your jolly business, head over to the link below and put your info in the box:
P.S. If you do make some content using the tips above (and I really hope you do), let me know how it goes. I love hearing from you.