Arming a copywriter to write for my product

10 replies
Helping my copywriter to help me

Hi again,

I took another stab at writing about what makes my product (a productivity timer app) different than the competition and who it's for.

My intent is to give a copywriter the info they need to understand these things so they can write compelling sales copy and content for social media.

Below is what I wrote:

Struggling with getting started? I created a better productivity app that's designed to help you with that

Everyone's always looking for the latest productivity app. But finding the right one isn't easy.

Here's the problem as I see it. Other systems like Getting Things Done, 7-Habits, and Bullet Journal require too much effort to get started. A complex setup is a massive turn off for people that struggle with getting started. These systems definitely didn't work for me.

You may see a small boost in productivity, but what do you really learn from them?

-- Can you actually measure your improvements?
-- Do they show you how long those improvements took?
-- How do you calculate which tasks took the longest?
-- Which ones made the greatest impact?
-- Can you determine when you were actually focused on your project?
-- What about wasted time?

I wanted a solution that could track all of these details. Making progress is great, but I wanted to know how I got there.

That's why I created Project Time Machines.

PTM doesn't care about your to-do list. Sure, you can track your tasks using it, but that's not the main purpose.

PTM is all about getting started. It's about overcoming that initial hurdle, clicking go, and getting to work.

I wanted the setup process to be as frictionless as possible. Here's how easy it is:
-- Open the app and click Start a Project.
-- Enter a Project Goal and a Goal Date.
-- Change the Project Start Date if you started before today.

That's all it takes to get setup.

How do you use it?

-- Fill in a brief description of your Operation Objective. You only need to change this when you work on something new.
-- Set your Op Duration. This is how long you plan to work without breaks or distractions.
-- Fill in your Focus by describing a few tasks you want to work on in your Op.
-- Click Start.

The timer will log all active time you put into a project and will keep track of any breaks and interruptions you experience. For me, visualizing these breaks helps me understand where I'm losing time.

What about when your timer goes off? You can log additional time worked as overtime.

Track your progress and your challenges

-- You can write down Actions Taken to describe what you accomplished, where you're at, and what's still left to do.
-- You can assign yourself an Op Score that grades how you think you performed.
-- You can document any Roadblocks you encountered. This includes challenges related to your project, distractions, and other warnings.

I like writing down a few important details after every project because it helps me understand my successes and failures.

The entire process is built with simplicity in mind. You click start and write a few things and click stop and write a few things. There are no complexities to worry about.

How does this actually help you improve?

-- Visualize your performance. PTM provides you with a look at how you work by showing you things like project start dates, goal dates, total time worked, lost time, and more.
-- Track days since last worked. You can keep tabs on how many days it's been since you've last worked on a project.
-- See all your operations in one spot. Other project management apps are littered with pages of tasks and data. PTM displays everything upfront and is easy to navigate.
-- Create simple and highly-accurate project blueprints. You can easily see how well you've progressed on a project, what's left to do, and where things may have gone wrong.

PTM takes a different approach to task management.

Other systems focus on a "what will you do tomorrow" approach.

PTM is built on the notion of "what are you doing right now."

PTM will keep track of when you do nothing, and I find that seeing just how many days I've skipped since last working motivates me more than anything.

The last big difference between my system and the others is the motivation we provide.

Isn't that what most people who are ready to invest in starting a new productivity system are looking for? A way to somehow become more motivated or more disciplined to work on our most important projects more often? And to slack off or procrastinate less?

This doesn't always happen with other systems.

A big to-do list is scary. You may think its adding organization to your life, but it's actually overwhelming and confusing you. Sometimes you may even pass on working because you feel too tired and want to try again tomorrow after a good night's sleep.

In my experience? That almost never happens.

PTM motivates you by showing you your progress in real-time

-- Days Since Last Worked shows you the exact amount of days since you last worked. You can clearly see where you are slacking off.
-- Total Time Worked showcases the exact amount of time you've put into a project. You can see how much productive time you've actually spent working on it, how many breaks you've taken, and more.
-- Completed Ops serve as a reminder of what you've managed to accomplish so far. Your successes can further motivate you and encourage you to keep going.

If you're finding you spend more time creating and organizing your to-do lists instead of actually doing the work, then give Project Time Machines a try. Go after tangible goals like just getting started, work focused and without distraction, and keep your days worked streaks going, and you'll find your discipline and motivation building while you make more progress than ever before.


My questions to you, Copywriters:

Does this do a good job of arming a copywriter with the info they'll need to write a good landing page or produce articles for my blog and for social media?

I have been targeting prospects who want to be more productive with their time, and who seek systems or tools to help them. My best success so far was posting articles in reddit in the /r/productivity sub. Other reddit subs I've had less success in, or haven't tried yet are:

Is there a different target I could or should be focusing on?

Are there other benefits I'm not recognizing or highlighting? Do you see a hook I can try?

What else could I provide a copywriter to better help him or her write for this product?

Thanks as always,
#arming #copywriter #product #write
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  • Profile picture of the author katfood
    This stuff would be useless to me.

    Here's what I would need from you if you were to hire me for this. (I'm not available, so this is not a solicitation)

    First of all, WHO you want to target?

    If it's "administrative assistants," for example, then I would need this kind of info:

    • age range
    • gender
    • ethnicity
    • income
    • marital status
    • location
    • education level
    • political affiliations

    • prior purchases
    • experts followed
    • movies/tv shows
    • favorite magazines
    • favorite books

    • what do they want to gain?
    • be?
    • do?
    • save?
    • avoid?

    Common desires
    • health
    • comfort
    • money
    • pride
    • appearance
    • business advancement
    • praise
    • etc...

    • how do they feel now
    • how do they want to feel

    • are salesmen good or bad?
    • what to they believe about the problem?
    • somebody elses fault
    • need special skills
    • need money
    • belief about your kind of product?
    • hype
    • too advanced
    • not ready for it
    • belief about other app sellers like you?
    • is there a better one
    • are there crooks?
    • do they provide value or suck money?
    • etc.

    Your competition

    list at least 5 who are using direct response marketing
    • include other alternatives, pills, courses, watches...
    • Break down each of their offers
      how it's delivered
      physical products included
      proof points
      benefit statements
      risk reversal

    Your Product

    List all features

    Include a functional benefit for each

    Include a dimensionalized benefit for each

    Include an emotional benefit for each

    Performance metrics

    delivery mechanism

    USP (if there is one)

    Credibility factors

    Proof points



    If you really want to help a copywriter, this is the stuff he/she needs.

    Once your funnel is optimized and you're meeting your goals, move on to a different target.

    Hope this helps. Good Luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author nshep
      Exactly. Selling stuff is about knowing who you are selling to and how it benefits them more than what you are selling.
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      • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
        Originally Posted by nshep View Post

        Exactly. Selling stuff is about knowing who you are selling to and how it benefits them more than what you are selling.
        Who is paramount to the what, no doubt. But the Where and When, the INTERSECTION of need/want at that moment in time is the elusive magic.

        Maybe, most of us want to be more productive, could be true, maybe not. He is in the right location, at the app store, where a specific user (a certain phone) would go for help IF they were looking for a productivity tool.

        My opinion, which he knows; is there is a gap between being productive and what the user really wants, results of his time management. I see that as missing from his offer, and the copy doesn't get anywhere near this idea, in my opinion.

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        • Profile picture of the author nshep
          Hey GordonJ, I was more talking in terms of copywriting. When creating sales copy, it's often more important to have a deep understanding of the person(s) you are writing for than having a list of features of the thing you are selling. In the end, effective copy is all about making the person reading it feel understood and appealing to them on an emotional level.

          Aside from that, I agree with you. Selling happens at the intersection of many different factors and there is more that goes into it than writing copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author 1Bryan

    One thing you might wanna accept -- your primary market doesn't hang out on forums and sub-reddits.

    People turn to social media when they procrastinate and they mostly do it on their phones. If you get your targeting right, basic copy should get them to download. And it's also mostly short ads that sell apps. 15 sec and 30 sec.

    Don't get stuck in 2009 marketing.

    The phone game actually changed a lot. There aren't a lot of apps that sold on old-school long form copywriting. You're not selling an ebook in 2009. Restructure your approach before you shell out money to a copywriter who probably isn't going to actually know how to sell apps.
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    Are you 100% certain that YOUR TARGET MARKET would agree
    with your opening statement?

    "Everyone's always looking for the latest productivity app"

    Cos if they don't....then you just lost them.

    Making Calls To Sell Something? What are you actually saying?
    Is there any room for improvement? Want to find out?

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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by perryny View Post

    PTM is all about getting started. It's about overcoming that initial hurdle, clicking go, and getting to work.

    I wanted the setup process to be as frictionless as possible. Here's how easy it is:

    The entire process is built with simplicity in mind.

    There are no complexities to worry about.
    This followed by a WALL OF TEXT trying to explain how simple it is. See the incongruity?

    I have been targeting prospects who want to be more productive with their time, and who seek systems or tools to help them.
    ]Why do they want to be more productive?

    See Rob, you're in the engineer, mathematician, logical realm, and so is your copy thinking. You've read enough and know enough that emotion is the key to great copy.

    Your only reference is minor, struggle. Motivated to do WHAT? For what reason do they want to get productive?

    Other than the word struggle, there isn't a single emotional element in all that help you are giving a copywriter. Survey those who are using the app, and get a clearer picture of the reasons why they want or need to be more productive.

    What is being more productive really meaning? More money, more time, more sex, romance, pleasure, better health, or winning?

    Unless your target is of the logical, engineering type, the copy isn't going to work, and IMO, you don/t need to provide all the superfluous info to copywriters, best thing, let them use the product. If you go that route.

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  • Deal I got is how any kinda time-savin' app don't gotta suck my mortality outta my ass.

    Saves You Time. Nails Your Schedules. Sets You Free.

    Prove that gonna happen, prolly even uberditzes like Moi gonna show up real interested bcs now mebbe we sorted.

    Uh huh -- at last I got a gin drinkin' plan means I don't gotta rot my livah ... plus Mom won't evah diss my ass if'n I mess up datin' villains.

    So mebbe that is your headline.

    (The Saves You Time deal, not my potentially life-threatnin' addiction to alcohol or my Mom's superlative diligence in the face of clear & present hellspawn.)

    Headline foreshadows 3x detail blitz ... 3 reasons why anywan lookin' in on your offah might discover their initial interest proves to be troo ...

    Saves You Time.
    1 - how great it is to have way smart tech on your side so's you don't get consoomed by distraction

    Nails Your Schedules.
    2 - how great it is to sub-dom out on your week's demands like you got a heel kicked in sweet jus' above its haplessly ossified jugular notch as it lies prone, beggin' for mercy.

    Sets You Free.
    3 - how great it is you can now go do zackly what you wanna

    Establish proof of your headline, now you can get specific on features kinda MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

    Prolly you sellin' CONTROL to THE HAPLESS -- so get 'em in the drivin' seat straight out.

    Whack the hardcore straight up top, detail follows.

    You tryin' to explain evrythin' at once, bamboozlin' on detail.

    Like Shakespeare said,

    "smack 'em hard and true beween the tittes,
    and surely ye will prompt reciprocal hits."


    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff together.

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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Was reading your post and honestly this app sounds so complicated and confusing, I'm not even sure where to wrap my head around it.

    This thing sounds like it takes a college degree to comprehend.

    I'm not even convinced there's a market for this using your idea.

    Unless you can come up with a novel idea that separates your app from all the others, I don't see a future here.

    Best I can figure is to just uncomplicate things.

    "Get More s--t Done When You Suck At Getting s--t Done"

    Make it simple. I think you're losing people with the white paper it takes to try and figure out what it is.

    I'd make it sound fun and easy...

    other than that, i'd morph it into something else.
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