About to post free sales letter WSO -- Read my pitch and stop me now!

25 replies
Coming from a 'content mill' background, where product reviews were the only articles with a call-to-action, it's hard to know how I fit in within the copywriting scene.

I would like to set up a WSO offering free sales letters so I can get better input on my abilities. From here, I would gain some private clients for my portfolio and set up a site to start going after more targeted clientele.

However, just like many others, I'm almost getting 'cold feet' ... not chickening out per se, but rather the fear that my words are senseless, weak, etc., it's the fear of shame I guess...no writer wants to hear their writing is not good.

So I'm posting it here first in hopes that I can get some input. I don't want to know so much of how I could do certain things better. I'm fine with coming across as a weak but promising copywriter.

I just want to know if I'm too far off base...if my writing is actually as weak as my confidence and if I would be better suited just sticking to my normal work.

I know you can say 'read up, watch this, learn more then try' but I truly believe it should either come natural or it won't come at all. At most, if it's something I'm naturally capable of doing, I will have some noticeable holes until I perfect it at a more technical level.

Long story short, here's the pitch...it's something I created about as fast as I could write it and some formatting effort would go into it before posting, but judge it for what it is nevertheless.

Thank you!

I won't approach you like the others do!

My copywriting service is like no other. Everyone else takes the role of the writer and they be the best writer they can be, they write the best content they can. It turns out great and the client loves it, but the client doesn't realize it's almost always great JARGON.

Why do I say this? Because...look at the pitches and see the general message -- you will be happy, you will get more sales, you will make hundreds of thousands because of my writing alone -- don't you realize something? They're writing for the client. That's fine, it's their customer; sadly you've been fooled.

A copywriter makes a sales letter for their own service and hooks you. It all sounds great, but none of it applies in practice...unless you want a sales letter for coaching (why not write it yourself?) or a similar service. This is the only place that a seller should sell themselves on their writing, but since it's all about YOUR CLIENT and not theirs, they should be selling themselves on YOU, not to you!

Let's draw a comparison. Do you think rappers justify in a logistic string of words that their eloquently mastered (read: "dope") album is worth buying?

Of course not!

The average rapper speaks to their audience and relates...he's a best friend from high school, a teammate, maybe a weed connect, but even though he writes music, he's most definitely NOT a writer.

Microsoft aren't writers.
Sony aren't writers.
Playboy definitely aren't writers.


Sure, each of those companies have PR departments or contractors, but that's where most businesses fail -- they see great written content as great selling content. That's not always the case. In fact, you can take every quality copywriter and set apart their value based on whether or not they know how to do one thing:

BE THE READER

An incredible copywriter knows how to be the reader.

They know how the reader feels, so they know how the reader reacts. They know what to say, what the reader will think about what they say, and what will turn the reader away.

That's what a great copywriter does. They put themselves in the reader's shoes. They stand outside the box.

People say to think outside the box, go beyond what you know. So you get creative. You think about what the customer may want to hear. You get tricky, use clever wording (read: JARGON!), and you may or may not get some results but...

Why not just write on the damn box!

All they want to know is what's inside. You beat around the bush too long and the initial draw-in dies out, they no longer care. You get their attention, you state the obvious, then you get them to want to open that box...to find out more, to take whatever is inside that box home with them, no matter the cost.

Even if what's inside it is another box!

That's where I get my little saying...

You're supposed to "think outside the box" but the thought on the outside is what's in the inside.

Problem solved: write on the box.
That's real copywriting baby!

You said there's a catch?

Hey, you read this far...so I either did something write or you scrolled and the bold caught your attention.

What's the catch then?

The sales letters are completely FREE...

However, I do require that everyone that receives one provides me with some in-depth feedback on the work.

Why?

Every writer walks around here with an ego. They're the best at something. I'm a realist, hence why I realize the majority are just overly pushy salesmen. Sadly, this is also why I don't have a clue how to value myself in the copywriting business.

This is not price finding. It's advice finding.

I will commit to three sales letters of no more than 600 words on a weekly basis until a month from the WSO start date.

[insert info on claiming/timeline]
#free #letter #pitch #post #read #sales #stop #wso
  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    If you are up for some editing, you may have the start of something.

    Delete everything down to BE THE READER. Then begin your copy.
    Lose everything about the BOX, inside, outside or writing on it.

    Then, you have a somewhat decent starting point. And after others chime in (if they do), then I will give you some reasons for what I say.

    As it is written, your WSO fee is money being tossed out the window. But, there is hope.
    gjabiz


    Originally Posted by Lisa Moss View Post

    Coming from a 'content mill' background, where product reviews were the only articles with a call-to-action, it's hard to know how I fit in within the copywriting scene.

    I would like to set up a WSO offering free sales letters so I can get better input on my abilities. From here, I would gain some private clients for my portfolio and set up a site to start going after more targeted clientele.

    However, just like many others, I'm almost getting 'cold feet' ... not chickening out per se, but rather the fear that my words are senseless, weak, etc., it's the fear of shame I guess...no writer wants to hear their writing is not good.

    So I'm posting it here first in hopes that I can get some input. I don't want to know so much of how I could do certain things better. I'm fine with coming across as a weak but promising copywriter.

    I just want to know if I'm too far off base...if my writing is actually as weak as my confidence and if I would be better suited just sticking to my normal work.

    I know you can say 'read up, watch this, learn more then try' but I truly believe it should either come natural or it won't come at all. At most, if it's something I'm naturally capable of doing, I will have some noticeable holes until I perfect it at a more technical level.

    Long story short, here's the pitch...it's something I created about as fast as I could write it and some formatting effort would go into it before posting, but judge it for what it is nevertheless.

    Thank you!
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    I lost interest pretty quick.

    You've got a lot of "powerless language" patterns in your post and in the ad.

    There's an article in the Journal of Language and social psychology about the topic. Dozens of studies where they detected 8 language patterns that hurt the speaker's credibility. It was done in a courtroom, but I've noticed a lot of poor converting copy has the same patterns.

    I have the article. It's a tough read. Very unsexy academic delivery, but solid stuff.

    It's a paid subscription, so I can't share a link here on the forum.

    If you'd like to see it, send me a PM. I think it will help.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    The piece would have more integrity if you structured your compensation based upon the success of the WSO instead of being 100% free. You can let the client decide what your copy is worth.

    The reason? I'm sure you already know the old saying "You get what you pay for." If you're the reader, wouldn't that be how they would interpret your offer?

    Again, let them decide what your copy is worth. No pressure, no strings attached.

    PS: Want instant confidence? Have some money hit your PayPal account for copy you wrote.
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  • One mistake a lot of people make with copywriting is thinking that it's related to creative writing or article writing.

    It's... not.

    Copywriting is part of the 'sales' world, not the 'writing' world.

    You do need writing skills to be able to do it, but there are tons of things that require writing skills... Being a lawyer, a financial analyst, a psychologist, etc.

    But none of these things are about the writing first and foremost; they're about the results.

    Same with copywriting.

    When you write copy, you're really playing the role of a salesperson.

    All the hustle, confidence, ability to relate to people and so on that you'd expect of a salesman, you'd expect of a copywriter.

    So when I see lines like THIS...

    Every writer walks around here with an ego. They're the best at something. I'm a realist, hence why I realize the majority are just overly pushy salesmen. Sadly, this is also why I don't have a clue how to value myself in the copywriting business.
    I dunno...

    ... I don't want to be rude but I can't help feeling you're sort of getting off on the wrong foot here or something.
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    • Profile picture of the author darbok
      Originally Posted by The Copy Warriors View Post

      One mistake a lot of people make with copywriting is thinking that it's related to creative writing or article writing.

      It's... not.

      Copywriting is part of the 'sales' world, not the 'writing' world.

      You do need writing skills to be able to do it, but there are tons of things that require writing skills... Being a lawyer, a financial analyst, a psychologist, etc.

      But none of these things are about the writing first and foremost; they're about the results.

      Same with copywriting.

      When you write copy, you're really playing the role of a salesperson.

      All the hustle, confidence, ability to relate to people and so on that you'd expect of a salesman, you'd expect of a copywriter.

      So when I see lines like THIS...



      I dunno...

      ... I don't want to be rude but I can't help feeling you're sort of getting off on the wrong foot here or something.

      I didn't think of it this way, its a new perspective, thanks.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chriswrighto
        A copywriter makes a sales letter for their own service and hooks you. It all sounds great, but none of it applies in practice...unless you want a sales letter for coaching (why not write it yourself?) or a similar service. This is the only place that a seller should sell themselves on their writing, but since it's all about YOUR CLIENT and not theirs, they should be selling themselves on YOU, not to you!
        Like Gjabiz said, delete pretty much everything at the top.

        I'm confused by what this paragraph means?

        Are you saying a writer should prove themselves through samples or by working for the client and getting paid after?

        Copy is an insight in to the service/product it's selling. If the copy is balls, you can most likely expect the service/product to also be balls. So you need to sell yourself (unless the customer is already sold by past work/referral/etc.)

        I'm fine with coming across as a weak but promising copywriter
        People hire a copywriter to make money, coming across as weak is not going to help you out.

        But...

        People also understand that you are not a Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy etc... some even understand that they're paying for your education.

        I know you can say 'read up, watch this, learn more then try' but I truly believe it should either come natural or it won't come at all.
        Lisa, writing comes naturally to you... you can either stick with that or learn how to sell!

        You might awaken the sales-woman inside you. Honestly, "it should come naturally" is just a cop-out because of your own self-doubt... you can do it!

        One last note...

        You attract a certain type of audience by offering your services out for free.

        People place as much value on what you write because it is free, and you might find it becomes heavily edited or they disappear once they've received the copy.
        Signature

        Wealthcopywriter.com :)

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  • Profile picture of the author darbok
    From a reading stand point, I felt it was too long, I read the first part of it, but then went to skimming to see if anymore of it caught my attention and it really did not. I see where you were going with it, but I think your beating around the bush too much.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Lisa,
    You have no idea how to write sales copy. For starters... never use the word "FREE" - it sounds spammy and it instantly cheapens the offer. You would be better off saying "pay me what you think it's worth"... or "pay me a percentage when the copy converts".

    This kind of stuff is basic salesmanship. You need to learn that first before writing. As my colleague above says - copywriting has nothing to do with creative writing or so-called article marketing - "content" writing.

    What you've written is rubbish and that hackneyed "think outside the box" leaves me cold. That's right up there with its halfwit brother "just take action".

    If you really want to pursue this... give me an email and I'll send you something to help you. Although you did say
    I truly believe it should either come natural or it won't come at all.
    which is complete and utter nonsense.
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    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      Given the feedback so far, Lisa, I'd be second guessing my strategy if I were you.

      But here's the thing: you only need to land few gigs to get the ball rolling. Then you can reassess at that point.

      I'm sure of the 2000+ people that visit the WSO section daily, a few Warriors will see possibility in what you wrote and consider it an opportunity to get some free copy written.

      So go ahead and try it! What's the worst that can happen?

      Unless you're down to your last $40 and the world's gonna end, I say go for it. Learn something.

      - Rick Duris

      PS: "Audaces fortuna iuvat". Google it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    What's the first thing you need to have down - before you write copy?

    The hook, right?

    It's how you enter the conversation you want to lead.

    Right now...

    There's zero hook. Zero emotion. And zero salesmanship.

    And if you give away your writing, no matter how good OR bad you are at generating sales, the experiences you'll have will not get you on the right track. If anything, they'll derail you even further. Not a good way to start. PEOPLE DON'T VALUE FREE. Never have. Never will.

    Don't use anything you've written. None of it.

    The "be the reader" stuff isn't anything new. You're barking up the wrong tree.

    The way you show prospective clients you know how to put yourself in the reader's shoes is (and the answer ain't anything new...)

    You trigger genuine emotion; raw desire in YOUR reader (by expressing the right circumstances to press those almighty buttons.)

    Will prospects question you on stuff like, "Okay, you pressed my buttons. But can you press the buttons of the people in THIS niche?" And your answer is "YES!" Sure, you may not be there, yet, but that's why they invented researching. Right?

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim R
    One of the biggest problems with your angle here is that it almost entirely consists of putting down other copywriters. Rather than focusing on your strengths, you're concentrating on others' perceived weaknesses.

    You make statements like 'my copywriting is like no other' but then you say later that you don't know how to value yourself in the market. There's a total disconnect going on here.

    Ironically, you're guilty of doing some of the very things in your copy that you say constitutes bad copy!

    The whole box analogy is a mess, I'd just get rid of it altogether.

    If you do go ahead with the WSO, you're likely to get questions in the thread about your previous experience and results. You might as well come clean in your sales letter and be upfront that you haven't been paid to write copy yet.

    Rather than mentioning you're trying to work out your value in the market, I'd frame it as you're looking to build up a portfolio before you approach paying clients. That you've studied a lot of courses/products, and you want to quickly get some samples and testimonials so you can go after some bigger fish.

    You will get some people take you up on the offer. Just be aware that the people who are looking for a freebie often won't be experienced enough to know how to send targeted traffic to your copy.

    So if they give you negative feedback, it could be because your copy sucked, or it could be because they sent junk traffic to it.

    More savvy marketers are unlikely to take up your offer, as even though you aren't charging them a cent, you could be costing them a fortune through lost business.

    Good luck with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lisa Moss
    Thank you for the input everyone!

    I do see what most of you have said. The mixed feedback parts likely indicate that I'm turning too many people away with my approach as well.

    I now have the chance to take on a long copy project. Paid. It's an eBook on yoga for pregnant women. It is rewritten with the same structure and angle as this: Get 1000 Paleo Recipes Today At Nearly 50% Off! | 1000paleorecipes.com

    What I'd like to know is if there's anything I should keep in mind while doing this? I'll be reading up more, but there's endless info out there and the project does have a deadline.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Lisa Moss View Post

      What I'd like to know is if there's anything I should keep in mind while doing this?
      Yes. You don't have a bloody clue about copywriting. Seems you're not listening and not willing to learn. So good luck with that.

      That paleo page is very ordinary. Written by a content writer no doubt.

      Why don't you get a clue? You came here for help... and like so many others - you don't take onboard the advice you're getting. Basically we're just wasting our time even talking to you.

      Yeah. I call a spade a spade. But I know how to sell. And I know how to write "copies" (wink wink nudge nudge say no more).

      Brian - you there? This place...
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      • Profile picture of the author Lisa Moss
        Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

        Yes. You don't have a bloody clue about copywriting. Seems you're not listening and not willing to learn. So good luck with that.

        That paleo page is very ordinary. Written by a content writer no doubt.

        Why don't you get a clue? You came here for help... and like so many others - you don't take onboard the advice you're getting. Basically we're just wasting our time even talking to you.

        Yeah. I call a spade a spade. But I know how to sell. And I know how to write "copies" (wink wink nudge nudge say no more).

        Brian - you there? This place...
        I'm all ears if you want to PM anything that you think will help. I do plan to read up before I take this more seriously.

        I will admit that I haven't educated myself enough...I learn doing, not by joining courses, reading eBooks, etc. This is why I'd rather jump in the dee end with some expectations right away, because I can push myself to learn as I do it.

        My attempt at a WSO pitch is not an example of that, it's proof that I think creativity, unique concepts, and cleverness (I even did what I said not to do all in the same pitch), it's not that valuable for true sales copy.

        I learn by my mistakes.

        I've made it clear that it's my first copywriting attempt, although I don't completely count it. I wanted to see how much my natural writing output would be butchered. Then, I can see what my natural faults are...if anything is pointed out as very good or bad, I can keep that in mind as I start to learn what you're really supposed to do.

        The client is fine with the fact that it may turn out to be crap and I'm fine with not accepting payment if either of us aren't happy with the end result.

        I don't plan to just do any assignment without reading and understanding more first. There's a central thread in this section that covers 'everything' one should know before getting started. I plan to read up and I have a relatively successful copywriter that will be reviewing it when I'm done.

        The problem with most content writers wanting to cross into copywriting is they spend too much time stuck on the information and it causes them to not try or to give up early.

        I'm going to write.

        If I do it right, I'll learn more and write again.

        If I do it wrong, I'll learn more and write again.

        See, I'm not trying to sell myself in this thread. I don't want anyone to think I'm confident, because I'm not. That doesn't mean that I'm not making the right efforts.

        Why?

        I'm a service provider. My job is to provide a service. If I accept a job, no matter what it is, it's because I intend to provide that service.

        I had to research and learn the basics of SEO before writing SEO content, many leap years ago. I wasn't perfect at first, I just implemented the basics and at the same time I made many errors, but I learned from my weaknesses and improved.

        I had to learn how to use a keyboard when I was a little kid too. Now I type quicker than 99.99% of people.

        Why?

        Because I kept doing it.

        I have a clue.

        It may not be educating copywriting advice, but I do have a clue...

        If you apply yourself to something (reference: reach your hand up as high as you can) and you continue to try, no matter how much you fail, you will see success.

        I may not become a top copywriting doing JV's for five or six figures a month. I can still learn a lot from the experience. Even if it doesn't pay enough to justify a full switch, I can still succeed in some way -- knowledge is power.

        Blah, blah, blah.

        Instead of arguing and showing vulnerabilities and weaknesses anymore, I'll leave this site for now -- and yes, I understand I'm coming across as someone that hasn't tried to understand copywriting at all and shoots for info even though they'll never amount to something...

        I also realize it takes years to really get the hang of it. It's more than just writing, or writing well, it's psychology, market analysis, and much more. I'm not claiming I'll be great quickly, or that I'll be great at all, I'm claiming that I'm going to try...to be good...to be average...I can work on becoming great when I reach that first.

        WHEN I RETURN

        1. I will return to Warrior Forum one month from today.
        2. I will create a WSO where my work can be viewed by all and cross-link it here.
        3. You will be impressed.

        Laugh now, accept me later.

        Take care everyone!

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        • Originally Posted by Lisa Moss View Post


          WHEN I RETURN

          1. I will return to Warrior Forum one month from today.
          2. I will create a WSO where my work can be viewed by all and cross-link it here.
          3. You will be impressed.

          Laugh now, accept me later.

          Take care everyone!


          Lisa,

          You don't have to prove anything to us.

          Prove it to yourself and to your clients.

          Can I make just one suggestion, buy a copy of Vic Schwabs book -

          "How to Write A Good Advertisement"

          It cost about $14.00 on amazon, takes 90 minutes to read and you can't help but become a better writer.

          The writer that can and does get results.


          Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
    Lisa,

    Here is a good format for a sales letter:

    David Frey's 12-Step Foolproof Sales Letter Template
    Marketing Article: 12-Step Foolproof Sales Letter Template

    If you get jobs from your WSO, this template will give you a sound structure to follow.
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Lisa your natural writing abilities may be suited
      to writing to inform, rather than get people to take an action...
      optin, pick up the phone, click the buy button.

      There is a sub-section of the copywriting world which a friend use to work in.
      She wrote for Government agencies. She wrote their brochures, pamphlets.

      There are other companies which need user manuals written
      in plain English.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    Once again, I see the truly moronic statement that copywriting has nothing to do with good writing. That's like saying selling has nothing to do with being articulate. Selling, in all its forms, is about communication.

    The only reason I can see for this statement is to lure the ignorant into copywriting courses. I can see no other practical use for it.

    Oh, and you can learn the guitar in seven days, too.
    Define "good writing".
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Lisa, as I said - give me an email and I'll send you something. If you don't want to do that... then this is one of the best pieces of "Paint by numbers" copy advice out there.
    Last month I promised this month I would teach you the real art of writing copy. I am now about to keep that promise.
    - The Gary Halbert Letter

    If that doesn't inspire you... nothing will.

    Cheerio,

    The Copy Nazi
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewRHallEsq
    Lisa,

    As someone who got his start writing content, I can say learning copywriting is a completely different ball game. For example, in content mill writing, you want to have lots of wordy, needlessly explained sections to fill space or make a wordcount quota.

    (Good content writing – the kind I do now – actually hates unnecessary length, but that's for a different post.)

    Copywriting is about sharp, precise statements calculated to make something in the reader stir (and hopefully make a purchase). It's an entirely different set of skills, and it's almost directly opposed to sales copywriting.

    That's not to say you can't do it, but it's very difficult to unlearn content mill habits.

    I'm eager to see what happens in a month, though. Keep us updated.
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewRHallEsq
    If it's alright, I'd like to point out some of the "content mill" tendencies I noticed.

    Let's draw a comparison. Do you think rappers justify in a logistic string of words that their eloquently mastered (read: "dope") album is worth buying?

    Of course not!

    The average rapper speaks to their audience and relates...he's a best friend from high school, a teammate, maybe a weed connect, but even though he writes music, he's most definitely NOT a writer.
    All of this needs to be completely condensed. Maybe something like this:

    Do you think rappers need to logically convince you their album is worth buying?

    Of course not!

    Rappers sell albums by speaking to their audiences and relating through their words.
    At this point, I'm honestly too confused by the content mill clutter to know what you're really saying. Are you arguing Microsoft, Sony, and Playboy don't produce great writing? I don't get the point of this (especially since Playboy has a reputation - or at least used to - for having high-quality magazine articles).

    (No, really. Some people really do read it for the articles.)

    I think what you're trying to say is that great copywriters are able to put themselves in their readers' shoes - is this right? In this case, as a reader, I'm not clear where this is going until the very, very end where you break down the three 600 word sales letters you'll write for me.

    Before then, it's just white noise - filler content.

    Like I said in my other post, copywriting is very different from content mill writing.

    Anyway, I hope I wasn't too discouraging. I taught university-level English classes for two years and worked as a writing tutor for 3 years before that, and I can say copywriting is perhaps the most unique (and exciting) type of writing. But it's unlike almost anything you'll learn in your English class. Good luck!
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