Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes
Selling something is the only way to make moolah in the marketing game. Duh, right?
I’d like to take a couple minutes (well, maybe 3) of your time to give you a few tips – stuff that took me years to figure out, distilled to a drinkable, yet buzz-inducing brew.
Here’s how you can:
Adapt the mindset of the best salespeople to your own personal quirks and interests.
Discover how to stop wasting energy marketing what you want to sell and start selling what people want to buy. There’s a subtle, but meaningful difference.
Become a marketing sleuth to locate areas where you can make money with your present skills
The simple daily way I grow my writing skills, market my services, and blunder into good ideas – all simultaneously – and easily expand them into articles and sellable information products.
Let’s start then.
Writing Is The Core Skill
Marketing is a writer’s game. Even if you market by cold-calling, you still work from a script. All writing is just expression of clear thinking, and effective writing wins the dollars in marketing.
I prefer to write mostly about the nuts-and-bolts marketing stuff
Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes
The new economy is a competitive place and you’ll have to be a marketer in order not to be marginalized by the marketplace.
In brief: If you cannot market and sell your ideas to your employers and colleagues, you’ll be exploited and under-paid.
Fifty years ago, giant corporations offered a lifetime of job security and upward mobility. Today you’ll have to be more flexible in your working skills because chances are the jobs you are doing today will not be the ones you are doing in 5 or ten years.
In our current 2010 economic meltdown in the United States, we have a chorus of workers demanding the government create jobs. I’m not too astute about politics or economics, but it seems to me that the workers should be busting their buns to get new skills with more value in the new economy instead grousing about the loss of the obsolete jobs they lost.
In the news, a factory worker who for 25 years has put in his hours and spent his off-time watching television rather than bettering himself cries angrily at the government to replace his lost job. I ask this: how many
Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes
There are a bunch of lists out there of the best books on writing copy. I’ve read a whole bunch of books on copywriting, many several times. My opinion is that different books may help you at different stages of skill development.
For example – “Breakthrough Advertising” will probably be over your head if you are just starting out but if you’ve got the basics under your belt and you are really serious about understanding how persuasion in advertising works, you must read it. It is a watershed work.
I recommend starting with the easy stuff. Then you won’t be stuck slogging through advanced books you aren’t ready for yet.
THE CORE TRIO
The trio are the basic books just about anybody can read and comprehend at the beginning of your copywriting journey – and they are worth re-reading if you are more experienced since they deal with the fundamentals of writing copy.
1. “Scientific Advertising” and “My Life in Advertising” by Claude C. Hopkins. The first you should read several times. It’s short but very potent. Everybody who writes advertising should internalize Claude Hopkins’s stuff.
2. “How To Write A Good Advertisement” by Victor Schwab. Subtitled “A Short Course in
Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes
Writers have to write A LOT to get good. Talent and intelligence may play a roll in writing skill, but I believe effective writing is a learned skill like any other. You have to practice a lot to be at the pro level.
Today’s consumers are over-communicated to, pressed for time, and perhaps a little lazy. They want to know what it’s about fast and they don’t want to read your languid prose.
It’s frustrating, but we have to accept that the longer and more detailed our writing gets, the less likely we are to seduce readers into accepting our ideas.
Does Your Writing Suffer From Gassy Bloat?
At worst, readers take one look at your long salesletter, bloated video run-times, sprawling blog posts and articles… roll their eyes (or yawn) and move on (I’ll tell you why in a bit).
At best your readers are fans who have decided they like your writing. Don’t count on getting too many of these rare birds on your lists though.
Writing To The Common Denominator
People want clarity and brevity. They aren’t stupid - they just prefer easy.
It’s not just about selling products, it’s about selling people the idea they should
Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes
I have what you might call a flair for writing copy – I don’t think I’m the world’s greatest by any measure but some of it comes more easily to me than it might come to you.
The ability to write and communicate well is a fine thing, however it is trumped by the king of all marketing skills: Conversion.
Copywriting of course plays a big roll in conversion but it is far from the whole enchilada – there’s the skill of getting traffic in a cost-effective way, there’s knowing how to structure a back-end offer, or two, or three.
Then there is coming up with the angle that gets people to act immediately. Sometimes it’s making the price so low compared to the value on offer that the decision is a “no-brainer”, but often it’s a matter of creating scarcity of some kind: threatening to run-out of the item or close the doors on the offer when all seats are filled.
I once bought a ticket to 1000-seat seminar… and then when I got there I saw were 2500 seats in the house. I felt mildly gyped but still got a lot of value – and