Headline Critique Needed Please

33 replies
How A "No-talent" 19 Year Old Kid From Ohio Astonished "Hollywood" College Instructors With His Pro-level Guitar Chops And Advanced Theory Knowledge...Which He "Accidentally" Learned Online!

Think it's good enough to start the slippery slide?
#critique #headline #needed
  • Profile picture of the author russ888
    I think it is perfect
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    You have to discover what your potential customers really want, and write a headline clearly explaining the benefits they will have with your product, based on what they want.

    Perhaps they don't want to impress Hollywood college instructors.

    Perhaps they will think that you are exaggerating because you are trying to convince them that they will become excellent musicians by chance.

    I wouldn’t care about this ad at all if I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. It looks like many other ads I’ve seen before.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chriswrighto
      Seems clunky to me.

      You're selling an online guitar course, right?

      To aspiring guitarists.

      What makes you different from every other course online?
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      Wealthcopywriter.com :)

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    • Profile picture of the author musicmuseman
      Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

      You have to discover what your potential customers really want, and write a headline clearly explaining the benefits they will have with your product, based on what they want.

      Perhaps they don't want to impress Hollywood college instructors.

      Perhaps they will think that you are exaggerating because you are trying to convince them that they will become excellent musicians by chance.

      I wouldn't care about this ad at all if I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. It looks like many other ads I've seen before.
      Thanks for that! After 5-6 surveys with 100s of responses, and about 15 phone interviews...the only thing that stands out that the customers want is "to get good enough to play with others"

      Since I am marketing a site to literally all guitar players, I'm finding it difficult to zero in on a clear main benefit. Some guys want to play fast shredding solos and some want to learn country. Shruggs. It would logically make sense to write many separate sales letters appealing to the various avatars but right now I don't have that option.
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      All The Best,

      Aaron

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      • Profile picture of the author musicmuseman
        Sorry I should have clarified that! It is a guitar membership site with 1000's of lessons that appeal to all kinds of players. Obviously ones that want to learn online.

        I have what I think is a very good USP but I didn't work it into the headline...should I?
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        All The Best,

        Aaron

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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
        Originally Posted by musicmuseman View Post

        Thanks for that! After 5-6 surveys with 100s of responses, and about 15 phone interviews...the only thing that stands out that the customers want is "to get good enough to play with others"

        Since I am marketing a site to literally all guitar players, I'm finding it difficult to zero in on a clear main benefit. Some guys want to play fast shredding solos and some want to learn country. Shruggs. It would logically make sense to write many separate sales letters appealing to the various avatars but right now I don't have that option.
        Chris is right, the headline you have now is clunky. It's trying to say too much.

        Make it simple.

        And for goodness sake, use your research results!

        USP + research results.

        Alex
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        • Profile picture of the author musicmuseman
          Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

          Chris is right, the headline you have now is clunky. It's trying to say too much.

          Make it simple.

          And for goodness sake, use your research results!

          USP + research results.

          Alex
          Ok...is this a step in the right direction?:

          How to Rapidly Improve Your Guitar Playing With Live Video Lessons So You Can Start A Band And Get Noticed.
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          All The Best,

          Aaron

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          • Profile picture of the author musicmuseman
            What do you think of this headline from one of John Carltons' ads:

            The Music Industry's Secret Weapon Guitar Wizard Finally Reveals His Embarrassingly-Easy Short-Cuts That Can Take Anyone From Raw Rookie To Stage-Ready Get All The Girls Guitarist As Fast As Humanly Possible"

            That's a long freakin' headline isn't it?
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            All The Best,

            Aaron

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            • Profile picture of the author musicmuseman
              Here's some more:

              How to Go From Raw Rookie To Stage-Ready As Fast As Humanly Possible With LIVE Video Guitar Lessons.

              How to Shortcut Your Learning Curve And Go From Raw Rookie To Stage-Ready As Fast As Humanly Possible With LIVE Video Guitar Lessons.
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              All The Best,

              Aaron

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              • Profile picture of the author Lance K
                What's the allure of LIVE video lessons online? Why not just go to a local guitar instructor if you want live lessons?
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                "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
                ~ Zig Ziglar
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                • Profile picture of the author Chriswrighto
                  So what are we working with?

                  - Your target market want to be good enough to play with their friends. They want the social element.

                  - Your product appeals to anyone wanting to learn ANY types part of playing the guitar.

                  Right?

                  Incorporate them and see what happens

                  Chris

                  P.S. Your headline doesn't have to be a John Carlton swipe
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                  Wealthcopywriter.com :)

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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by musicmuseman View Post

    How A "No-talent" 19 Year Old Kid From Ohio Astonished "Hollywood" College Instructors With His Pro-level Guitar Chops And Advanced Theory Knowledge...Which He "Accidentally" Learned Online!

    Think it's good enough to start the slippery slide?
    If I almost pass out trying to say it in one breath, it's too damn long.

    Other than that, I can tell that you don't know your market.

    I'm a guitar player, and frankly, we don't give a rip about college instructors being stunned. And what is a "Hollywood" college instructor? I guarantee you any self-respecting guitarist will read this and know in an instant that you're not "one of them..."

    In their eyes, that makes you a wannabe, and nothing is more of a turn off to this target market. Grab yourself some guitar magazines and start reading. You've got some thing to learn.
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  • Profile picture of the author GlenH
    Originally Posted by musicmuseman View Post

    How A "No-talent" 19 Year Old Kid From Ohio Astonished "Hollywood" College Instructors With His Pro-level Guitar Chops And Advanced Theory Knowledge...Which He "Accidentally" Learned Online!

    Think it's good enough to start the slippery slide?
    Does it pass the 'So what' test?

    I don't think so.

    Two Words To Turn Ho-Hum into Powerful Copywriting | The Daily Egg
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    You know where people go to learn guitar online now? For free? YouTube. That's what you're up against.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    I got my daughter a ukulele. I paid for some lessons with a guy EVERYONE recommended. $100 an hour.

    Okay, no problem. But he went too fast and didn't teach her anything. Problem.

    Enter YouTube.

    She got a bunch of chords and keys under her belt, knows how to read music and writes her own little songs - just by watching FREE videos.

    You really are up against huge competition. And the headlines you're playing around with ain't gonna change that.

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author musicmuseman
      Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

      I got my daughter a ukulele. I paid for some lessons with a guy EVERYONE recommended. $100 an hour.

      Okay, no problem. But he went too fast and didn't teach her anything. Problem.

      Enter YouTube.

      She got a bunch of chords and keys under her belt, knows how to read music and writes her own little songs - just by watching FREE videos.

      You really are up against huge competition. And the headlines you're playing around with ain't gonna change that.

      Mark
      Hmmm..so I need something more like this then?:

      Pre-headline:
      Forget Expensive Guitar Teachers, Other Online Guitar Lesson Sites, And Especially YouTube...

      Headline:
      Our Army Of Live Video Guitar Instructors Fit Your Schedule And Provide Personal Feedback something something benefit.

      Subhead:
      Have you always dreamed of getting good enough to start your own band but don't have time for a "pricey" in-person guitar teacher?
      Do you lose motivation from the lack of feedback with DVD's and aimlessness of online guitar lessons?
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      All The Best,

      Aaron

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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
        Originally Posted by musicmuseman View Post

        Hmmm..so I need something more like this then?:

        Pre-headline:
        Forget Expensive Guitar Teachers, Other Online Guitar Lesson Sites, And Especially YouTube...

        Headline:
        Our Army Of Live Video Guitar Instructors Fit Your Schedule And Provide Personal Feedback something something benefit.

        Subhead:
        Have you always dreamed of getting good enough to start your own band but don’t have time for a “pricey” in-person guitar teacher?
        Do you lose motivation from the lack of feedback with DVD’s and aimlessness of online guitar lessons?
        You've kind of been all over the place in your positioning - with the various headlines in this thread.

        You need to get crystal clear on your avatar, positioning and USP. You're not. At least, it's not coming through. Not by a long shot.

        Who EXACTLY is your ideal customer? Tell me about his or her current circumstances.

        Mark
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        • Profile picture of the author musicmuseman
          Originally Posted by Mark Pescetti View Post

          You've kind of been all over the place in your positioning - with the various headlines in this thread.

          You need to get crystal clear on your avatar, positioning and USP. You're not. At least, it's not coming through. Not by a long shot.

          Who EXACTLY is your ideal customer? Tell me about his or her current circumstances.

          Mark
          Ideal customer is someone looking online for guitar lessons because they don't have time for in-person lessons. They are older and like classic rock but also love playing on acoustic. They played when younger but gave it all up for family and career. Now they have time and want to get good enough to jam with a band.

          USP is:

          We help guitar players rapidly improve their playing on their own schedule with live & on-demand guitar lessons.
          Signature

          All The Best,

          Aaron

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          • Profile picture of the author nmchant
            Now you can learn to play guitar like a pro with online video lessons!
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  • Profile picture of the author James Fame
    You need to find a frustration hook... or something that zones in on a specific target group within the guitar playing market.

    Maybe people are having problems moving their fingers to the right chords... or maybe even sight-reading the pieces... or maybe they want to compose a song... And then you need to show why they should choose you over anyone else. Why pay for your service rather than get it free?

    I think you need credentials and some trust factors. Pro-level guitarist? Impress them enough too.

    James
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    Fire me a pm if you have a question. I build businesses and provide consulting. I do not do finance/money/internet marketing niches. Fitness, self-improvement and various others are welcome.

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    • Profile picture of the author musicmuseman
      Originally Posted by James Fame View Post

      You need to find a frustration hook... or something that zones in on a specific target group within the guitar playing market.

      Maybe people are having problems moving their fingers to the right chords... or maybe even sight-reading the pieces... or maybe they want to compose a song... And then you need to show why they should choose you over anyone else. Why pay for your service rather than get it free?

      I think you need credentials and some trust factors. Pro-level guitarist? Impress them enough too.

      James
      I have all that in spades which I explain in the copy...I don't see how I can prove that in the headline.
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      All The Best,

      Aaron

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  • Profile picture of the author CaliCopy
    This one might be a little over played now-a-days but what about something along the lines of..

    When I picked up the guitar-my friends laughed... But when I started to jam!
    They were as shocked as my Hollywood professors when I accidentally learned how to play.


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  • Profile picture of the author pewpewpewmonkeys
    Seriously, wtf is a Hollywood professor.

    Get Access To The Ultimate Resource That Will Take Your Guitar Skills From Ew, NO! to F*cking-PRO!
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by pewpewpewmonkeys View Post

      Seriously, wtf is a Hollywood professor.

      Get Access To The Ultimate Resource That Will Take Your Guitar Skills From Ew, NO! to F*cking-PRO!
      Exactly.

      So...OP... your original head was "How a 19 year old Bozo from the Boonies..." or whatever it was

      Here it is -
      How A "No-talent" 19 Year Old Kid From Ohio Astonished "Hollywood" College Instructors With His Pro-level Guitar Chops And Advanced Theory Knowledge...Which He "Accidentally" Learned Online!
      to targeting -
      Ideal customer is someone looking online for guitar lessons because they don't have time for in-person lessons. They are older and like classic rock but also love playing on acoustic. They played when younger but gave it all up for family and career. Now they have time and want to get good enough to jam with a band.
      So in other words slanted to 30-45 demographic. Used to love playing. Want to pick it up again. "Dreamers" I call them.

      So your original head was like trying to pitch a knitting book to a bunch of truckdrivers.
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  • Here's one that's sure to get attention...

    "How A Retarded Kid From Ohio With No Arms Finally Learned How To Play Guitar Like A Pro"

    ahahahahahahahahahah
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Here's one way to look at the situation which may help.

    When someone wants to "learn to play guitar", that's actually code for:

    1. I want to learn how to play such and such song.

    2. I want to learn how to play like Eric Clapton or Jack White or Metallica or AC/DC or whoever.

    3. I want to learn to play rock, country, jazz or whatever music.

    4. I don't want to really play guitar, I just want to pick up chicks.

    (Don't think I'm kidding about #4. http://www.mensfitness.com/life/ente...ho-play-guitar)

    Wanting to learn to play NEVER means "I want to learn guitar music theory".

    Gag. Stick-your-finger-down-your-throat boring.

    Compared to promising someone to be be able to play like Joe Satriani, learning guitar music theory is a distant LAST.

    But don't give up. There's a solution.

    Guitar music theory is actually a little known secret of the best guitarists. The guitar gods who take their music seriously.

    Now admittedly, there are guitar prodigies out there who never learned a lick of theory. For instance, Hendrix. But if you want to learn how to play like Hendrix, it definitely helps having a firm grasp of guitar music theory. Try decoding or even remembering how to play Hendrix's "Little Wing" or Eric Johnson's "Cliffs of Dover" without a solid foundation of guitar music theory and confusion, discouragement and resignation quickly set in.

    To an aspiring guitar player, guitar music theory is like possessing that magic decoder ring that makes "getting good fast" possible.

    So what you have to do Aaron, is reposition what learning guitar music theory is and does for the aspiring guitarist.

    It's not boring. It's not irrelevant to today's favorite songs and artists.

    It actually is THE KEY to unlocking a song's innermost secrets. What makes it work as a piece of music and not just a bunch of notes, licks, riffs and chords strung together.

    It's one of the things that gives the music its meaning. It sits silently in the background, supporting every piece of music you could imagine.

    And with even the most rudimentary understanding of guitar music theory, the easier it becomes to....

    Pick up new songs--often after just one listen.

    Put "your spin" on existing songs, standards and favorites, allowing you to improvise til your heart's content.

    Jam with your friends and family, even those who all they can play is "Smoke on the Water" or a really bad "Stairway to Heaven."

    Learn to play like your favorite guitar gods and legends without it taking years and endless practice.

    And yes, pick up chicks.

    I hope this helps, Aaron.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Here's one way to look at the situation which may help.

      When someone wants to "learn to play guitar", that's actually code for:

      1. I want to learn how to play such and such song.

      2. I want to learn how to play like Eric Clapton or Jack White or Metallica or AC/DC or whoever.

      3. I want to learn to play rock, country, jazz or whatever music.

      4. I don't want to really play guitar, I just want to pick up chicks.
      You know, this is true.

      I lot of my prospective students used to call in asking:

      "Can you show me how to play_____?"

      As for theory....they hated it. Many times, it took me working with them for a few months, occasionally tossing in a comment like "That's a major Seven Chord he's playing over," or "If you master the A and E minor Harmonic scale, you can learn any one of this guy's solos in a weekend (kudos to anyone who knows what guitarist I'm talking about).

      These cats want the scene to be them with a circle of their friends, (and a lot of chicks) sitting around listening to them playing their favorite songs, note for note, by request. A lot of people buy guitar magazines, just for the transcriptions of popular songs which come out every month.

      If you can deliver that, there's your first lead in.
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      • Profile picture of the author musicmuseman
        Thanks everyone. Rick, I was wondering if you'd chime in :-)...good to hear from ya
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        All The Best,

        Aaron

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  • Profile picture of the author jjosephs
    Hopefully you see the danger now in swiping headlines. You're getting a little of the "Copy Frankenstein" effect I like to talk about.

    The fancy Carlton-style long headline doesn't work cause of it's length or it's structure. It works because it plugs into actual drama or or curiosity and jacks it up a few notches

    You invented two conflicts: First between common folk and Hollywood. Second between students and professors. Doesn't fly in this situation. Hollywood professors aren't a real villain any guitarist thinks of.

    So you impressed/showed up a group of people the reader doesn't care about. At that point, the only ace up your sleeve is impressing the reader with a tremendous feat.

    As Rick said, advanced theory is important but it's not sexy. It's like the stage hands and lighting guy. We love em', we need em', but we don't stick em behind the mic. You want to sell the brain-melting, lightning fast, panty-dropping licks that got their minds spinning in the first place.

    30-45 is entering midlife crisis territory, and like the red sports car, the guitar is a 6 stringed band-aid. Some played in the old days, but wanna take it further. Some didn't and are deeply afraid it's because they have no talent

    Till you get to a more advanced stage, think "less is more". Start with simple headlines that lay it out and add the glitter and flashing lights when the pieces are in place.
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    They Laughed When I Picked Up the Guitar But When I Started To Play....now that's an original...lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    I suggest dumping a little cashola into Rick's PayPal account. Just the amount of money he saved you in throwing away your advertising dollars alone would be okay with him, I'm sure.

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author richgerald
    I think the headline is trying too hard to gain attention.
    Simplify it. Try a little modesty, it might help you attract the right kind of people.
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  • Profile picture of the author sdliverpool
    How A “No-talent” 19 Year Old Kid From Ohio Astonished “Hollywood” College Instructors With His Pro-level Guitar Chops And Advanced Theory Knowledge...Which He “Accidentally” Learned Online!

    Get rid of superfluous words....

    Ohio Amateur Kid Astonished College Instructors......by "Accidentally" learning online....Advanced Theory Knowledge and Pro-level guitar chops!!!
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