Letter for my copywriting business

37 replies
[Edited tweaks to draft]
Hello all,

I am writing up a letter to advertise for my copywriting services, and have prepared a letter regarding how copywriting services are important for a business to have. I would greatly appreciate it if you guys could give some feedback on the current draft that I have:

Thanks in advance

Headline: ONE Simple mistake that is COSTING YOU SALES… and what to do about it

Body: You know that your business can deliver, but do your customers? What could you be doing to tell them and, more importantly, to keep from losing sales to your competition?

The answer to this question is to make your advertising as effective as you can. Unfortunately for many businesses, maybe even your own, hiring a third party to write advertising for them seems to be too costly an expense. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “There is NO WAY that paying a copywriter to write our ads will increase sales enough to even cover the costs.” However, having somebody on your side who is experienced in writing business copy can make more of a difference than you think.

No matter what your business provides, your advertisements WILL be the first impression that most, if not all, potential customers see. If your ad is not finely tuned to your customers, then you WILL LOSE their business immediately. No matter how well you provide your services, you will lose any chance at drawing in new clients if your advertisements do not connect. You already know that there is only one chance at making a first impression, so why would you want your advertising to live up to anything less than its full potential?

Another matter is the amount of hours that you need to spend if writing a good advertisement yourself. A compelling piece of advertising does not come easily - it takes a great deal of TIME and EFFORT to be able to grab the attention of those who are interested in your services. The writing and re-writing of an ad requires hours of time to be done well, hours which could be more efficiently invested in other aspects of your business. Imagine the amount of your work hours that you are currently spending to do this task, and then imagine if, instead, you could use all of that extra time to do something more meaningful to you:

Imagine being able to focus on the fine details of your business

Imagine being able to have weekends off with your family

Imagine being able to indulge in your hobbies more often

Imagine being able to take time off of your job, while still watching your business grow

Imagine being able to do all of these things, while having the peace of mind that your ads are being crafted and taken care of by someone who knows exactly how to draw customers in. THAT is what you will get by hiring a copywriter to handle your advertising needs.

If you are ready to take the next step towards building your business and having extra time to spend on more meaningful things, it is as simple as sending a single email to [email address] with your phone number and business name. After you do this, I will personally email you back within 24 hours to set up a time for a FREE consultation. During this consultation, we will discuss your business, negotiate pricing, and decide how to improve your advertising and increase the customers that are coming through your door.

Remember, all it takes is ONE EMAIL to [email address] to start building your business to the heights you have always dreamed of.
#business #copywriting #letter
  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by jdchis2 View Post

    Hello all,

    I am writing up a letter to advertise for my copywriting services, and have prepared a letter regarding how copywriting services are important for a business to have. I would greatly appreciate it if you guys could give some feedback on the current draft that I have:

    Thanks in advance

    Headline: ONE Simple mistake that is COSTING YOU SALES… and what to do about it

    Body: You know that you have spent countless hours and dollars to develop your business, but how can you make sure that your customers do? What can you do to make sure that the products and services you offer can reach as many people as possible?
    .
    Hi there, welcome to the Copywriting forum,

    I stopped reading at your opening sentence. It makes no sense. "make sure that your customers do...." what exactly?

    Also, the second sentence is using way too many words to say what you could have said in just a few. Not only that, do they really care about how many people they reach, or do they want more sales?

    I happen to know the answer to that, but you'd be better off finding it out for yourself. Based on what I see in your first two statements, it doesn't' sound like you know your target market very well.
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    • Profile picture of the author jdchis2
      thanks for the feedback Seth, I was trying to move around the point of gaining sales, but I realize now that I should just be going straight to the point. Would something like:

      "You know that your business can deliver, but do your customers? What could you be doing to get this message out and, more importantly, get more sales?"

      work better?
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  • I like the subject line... I don't like the rest of it.

    "You know that you have spent countless hours and dollars to develop your business, but how can you make sure that your customers do?"

    Don't understand what you're saying.

    "The answer to this question is to make your advertising as effective as you can."

    Too obvious.

    "No matter what your business provides, your advertisements WILL be the first impression"

    Again, obvious.

    .......

    This email reminds me of the kind of thing I used to write when I was just starting out as a copywriter and hadn't yet fully digested the idea of benefit-rich copy.

    That's to say, I think it's well written... It's just not enticing enough.

    I think everybody goes through a phase of writing like this, though... Like I said, I see a lot of myself circa 2010 in that email.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      You are trying to educate an audience that don't
      know what copywriting is.

      This means you are targeting those that never will
      pay you money.

      Now if you target those that know what copywriting is,
      prize it, then your job is to drop some secrets which bump up
      their sales.

      See the difference?

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • I hate to break it to you but people don't care about the truth or being educated. At least most of them.
    Signature
    soon people... Relax...
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  • Profile picture of the author NickN
    Originally Posted by jdchis2 View Post

    Unfortunately for many businesses, maybe even your own, hiring a third party to write advertising for them seems to be too costly an expense. Now, you might be saying to yourself, "There is NO WAY that paying a copywriter to write our ads will increase sales enough to even cover the costs." However, having somebody on your side who is experienced in writing business copy can make more of a difference than you think.
    Ewen is right: The people you are targeting with this paragraph are the exact people you want to avoid.

    When you target this particular group, you are essentially selling yourself AND copywriting at the same time.

    Why not make your life much easier and find those who already know the benefits of hiring a good copywriter? Then you don't have to educate clueless prospects who probably won't want your services anyway.

    -Nick
    Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    You can get a good (and cheap) education by looking at the sales letters
    of the successful copywriters in this forum. Most advertise in their
    signatures. You'll get a feel and a pattern for what to say to attract
    clients.

    When I first started copywriting over a decade ago I studied the
    (few) copywriter sales letter that were online at that time. I notice
    a pattern and followed it. Today you have a lot more such letters
    online which makes your research a lot easier.

    -Ray Edwards
    Signature
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeSm
    It's a good start with a lot of good thoughts. However:

    1. It's too wordy - and too repetitive.
    2. To me, it sounds like you're talking down to the potential client. A business owner usually isn't dumb.

    << A compelling piece of advertising does not come easily - it takes a great deal of TIME and EFFORT to be able to grab the attention of those who are interested in your services. The writing and re-writing of an ad requires hours of time to be done well, hours which could be more efficiently invested in other aspects of your business. Imagine the amount of your work hours that you are currently spending to do this task, and then imagine if, instead, you could use all of that extra time to do something more meaningful to you:

    Imagine ...etc. etc. etc. >>

    Aren't you just trying to say:

    It takes experienced copywriters many hours to craft a perfect piece of copy.
    It probably would take you a lot longer than that to write your own.
    Shouldn't you be spending that time running your business or being with your family, instead of hassling over sales copy?

    (Not exactly the way I'd write it, but just off the top of my head.)

    A lot of the copywriter's time you cite - is spent on editing. I think that's where you should concentrate.
    Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesDLayton
    You're better off refining an existing product than creating a new one. Worked for Dyson, worked for Ford. Find bad sales copy and offer to refine it. Heck I'm a newbie and even I can spot sloppy copy and charge to fix it to the best of my ability. Be a fixer not a teacher.

    James
    Signature
    "We are what we think about
    all day long." - Earl Nightingale
    One of the easiest transformations I ever undertook as a copywriter was reading that quote every day.
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Others have said the same thing, but I never pass up an opportunity to share my favorite copywriting quote: sell salad dressing to people who eat salad.

    Don't try to convince people salad is awesome and THEN sell salad dressing. It makes absolutely no sense. Get your ass to a farmer's market and SELL, dude.

    OK...maybe that's my second favorite saying about copywriters. After:

    How many copywriters does it take to screw in a light bulb? Only one. They hold the bulb and the world revolves around them.
    Signature

    Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

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  • The bit about not "educating" the good people and explaining what copywriting is makes sense.

    But it is a touch skewered.

    Now, put down the AK47's and I'll explain why.

    If a client is au fait with all the benefits of copy - chances are they either have a copywriter (and I never want to "steal" a client) or have discovered how to do it themselves.

    You can get blasted with "write it like Halbert, Carlton, Makepeace, Bencevenga or whoever blah blah blah…"

    And if you do the client say "Yes that's exactly what I would have done"

    But the hapless, hopeless and clueless (no disrespect intended) generally have no idea what good copy is.

    However...

    When you show them and the results start tumbling in they are stunned and delighted.

    So my worldly view is I don't mind one bit if a client is utterly oblivious to good copy.

    Providing they have an "attitude" which lets them find out.


    Steve


    P.S. How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Only one.

    But…

    The lightbulb must want to be changed.
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  • Profile picture of the author jdchis2
    I appreciate the responses all, and do agree that I should change the target audience of the ad. However, I am still going to edit and finish this ad as well, even if it is just for practice with copywriting, and will update results to get more feedback as I progress. Any more help would be appreciated.
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  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    CONFUSING.

    Better to hone your skills before you start selling your services. The above shows a less than decent grasp of the fundamentals. So your response will be almost non-existent... and you'll not serve any clients well either, which may harm your long-term success.

    Colm
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim R
    Besides all the other problems with the letter, there's two important issues you fail to address: PROOF and CREDIBILITY.

    If you can't demonstrate your ability to sell yourself, why would someone pay you to sell on their behalf?
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ausin
    As a copywriter, especially when you get to mid-tier and upwards ($$ per sales letter or however you want to measure it) you're paid to come up with unique angles. Often in insanely saturated markets.

    Which is what you're NOT doing with this letter.

    Also, that's why I'd be wary of swiping what other copywriters are doing in their salesletters.

    Sure, have a look to know what they're doing and to see what pain points and benefits they're hitting... but essentially if you want to stand out, you better zig while they zag.

    What you posted... is not bad per se, as others have mentioned.

    But "one simple mistake" angle has been done to death, there's no uniqueness about it, it may work on prospects for whom you're the first copywriter they see... but that's about it.

    Look for something that makes you unique... that is somehow beneficial to your target market. (Or make it seem beneficial, same difference - if you're a copywriter, you should be able to do that.)

    Look for proof and credibility, too. Who are you and why should I believe that you know what you're talking about?

    Plus you're rambling. Shorten it up, make it easier to read. And more interesting.
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  • Profile picture of the author skyreader7
    The writing and re-writing of an ad requires hours of time to be done well, hours which could be more efficiently invested in other aspects of your business. Imagine the amount of your work hours that you are currently spending to do this task, and then imagine if, instead, you could use all of that extra time to do something more meaningful to you:

    I can tell you are putting in the effort. So keep it up!

    The copy lacks "fire."

    Why? Too many words and too much repetition. The copy bogs down under the weight of needless words. It's a matter of re-writing and editing. Some sentences are way too long. Say the same thing in less words. Something like:

    Ad writing requires hours and hours of painstaking work. Free yourself from the pain! Invest those hours where it really counts --in your business.

    Imagine...

    Bottom line: tighten your copy. Hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author jdchis2
      Thanks again for everyone's insights, I've been working at trimming the fat and adding value, and have another draft here. As before, any feedback is appreciated

      I'm not sure about the Rosenwald quote, because I'm concerned about the dated feel it may give the letter, and don't know whether or not the credibility benefit outweighs the "old" feel it may contribute.

      (This is a long-hand form of what I'm planning to actually release, I know I need to trim down the wordiness but wanted to get some opinions to see if I'm on the right track so far)

      Headline:Is your competition leaving your business in the dust?

      Body:You know that your business can deliver, so why are you losing sales to your competition? What is their “secret weapon” that has THEM making double or triple what you are?

      The answer is that they employ copywriters, professional ad men, to handle their advertising. They are employed for their knowledge of what works and does not work when advertising to the consumer public.

      Now, you may be thinking, “There is NO WAY that paying a copywriter to write my ads will increase sales enough to even cover the costs,” but the benefit of having someone who KNOWS what works in an advertisement is greater than you may realize.

      You know that your advertisement is the main factor that will drive in new sales. If it is not finely tuned to your customers, then you WILL LOSE their business immediately, no matter how well you provide your services. You already know that there is only one chance at making a first impression, so why would you want to risk underperforming? A copywriter KNOWS what will work already, so you can focus on the things that matter to your business, and have the peace of mind that your advertising is in safe hands.

      If you write your own ads yourself, you may be interested to know that being personally involved with the product or service you offer can be detrimental to the success of your ads. The late Julius Rosenwald, who was part-owner of Sears, Roebuck, and Company, stated that if his company had a retail counter, he would stand on both sides of it. This means that a successful ad needs to merge the technical knowledge of the product with the consumer mindset.

      As the developer of your company, you may experience difficulty viewing your product from the consumer’s point of view, but a copywriter will not. He will know all of the important technical details of your product, but will also know exactly how to market it to the public, by using the consumers’ point of view to analyze its unique benefits.

      Another matter is the amount of hours that you need to spend if writing a good advertisement yourself. You can write a draft for an ad in a few hours, but that is all it will be- a draft. When you factor in the process of editing an ad, a conservative estimate of the time you will need to spend is 30 hours. If you add these 30 hours to your current time schedule, you are going to be looking at many late nights and weekends spent going over the details. Late nights also leave you at risk of making big mistakes that could cost you your business, so it would make sense to delegate this task to one of your employees.

      Naturally, you will choose to employ a high-ranking employee to do this work, as you can trust them with such an important project. If you add 30 hours of work to an assistant manager who is making $15 an hour, the additional cost to you will be $450 for him to write the ad. The cost could be up to $675 if this pushes their hours into overtime territory at a time-and-a-half rate of $22.50 per hour. Even hiring a minimum-wage worker at $7.25 to do this would cost you an additional $217.50 before any overtime wages. Can you afford to add these expenses to your business for an ad that will likely underperform?

      If you run a small business that is just starting out, you know that this kind of a cost takes a huge chunk out of your earnings. The profit that you make from your sales should be going into investments that will grow your business, and NOT spent on overtime wages with underwhelming results. If you had the option, wouldn’t you choose to spend LESS and earn MORE?

      I am currently offering a special, flat rate of $200 per ad as a promotion to increase awareness for my business. This means that, for less than the price of paying any employee to write an ad for you, you will be getting the trained skills of a professional copywriter who is dedicated to making your ad perfect. You also will get full briefings and reports throughout the entire process, from first draft to final revision. If you ever have a question or want an update on how things are going, I will be only a phone call or email away.

      If you want your business to start making the same money as your competitors are, it is as easy as sending a 30-second email. All you need to do is email me at [email address] with your phone number and business name, and I will personally email you back within 24 hours to set up a time for a FREE consultation.

      During this consultation, we will discuss your business in more detail, go over any questions that you may have, and begin the process towards growing your business to the potential that you KNOW it has.

      Remember, all it takes is ONE EMAIL to [email address] to grow your sales numbers to heights that you never thought possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim R
    Did you read all of the comments? Because you're making a lot of the same mistakes again.

    Where is your proof and credibility? You don't even say who you are in the letter.

    Answer these questions... Who are you? Why should I trust you? What experience do you have and what results have you gotten? Where are your testimonials?

    The whole thing is bland and lacks any kind of emotion. It comes across like you are trying to 'logic' the reader into seeing the value of copy, rather than using actual sales principles.

    I would scrap what you have and start again. But I would spend some time figuring out what the biggest fears and desires are of the people you intend to target. Then write to them in a more conversational tone, show you understand their situation, then offer proof that you can help them.
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    • Profile picture of the author jdchis2
      Originally Posted by Tim R View Post

      Answer these questions... Who are you? Why should I trust you? What experience do you have and what results have you gotten? Where are your testimonials?
      The trouble with this is that I'm just starting out, and don't have testimonials or results to share as proof; I'm looking for my first client(s), so I can build a portfolio. It has been proving difficult to come up with good proof material without having the experience to back it up.
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      • Profile picture of the author HDell94
        Originally Posted by jdchis2 View Post

        The trouble with this is that I'm just starting out, and don't have testimonials or results to share as proof; I'm looking for my first client(s), so I can build a portfolio. It has been proving difficult to come up with good proof material without having the experience to back it up.
        Very interested in the response to this as I am struggling with this same problem.
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      • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
        Originally Posted by jdchis2 View Post

        The trouble with this is that I'm just starting out, and don't have testimonials or results to share as proof; I'm looking for my first client(s), so I can build a portfolio. It has been proving difficult to come up with good proof material without having the experience to back it up.
        You're probably not going to like this, but a lack of testimonials isn't your problem. Your writing is the problem. It's got no punch...no presence and it looks like you're still finding your voice.

        Your readers know that, instinctively if not consciously.

        Angie and SplitTest are right about testimonials.

        If your writing sells, you don't need them. When I first became a freelancer, NDAs prevented me from using any social proof I'd earned in the corporate world...hell, I had shit from Zig Ziglar and Stephen Covey I couldn't use.

        But then I landed my first freelancing job without testimonials, $2,500 for a series of direct mail letters. Even now that the NDAs have expired, it seems people could care less about my endorsements. Most contacts I get are from people who either liked my writing style or liked the fact that I was open about my faith.

        It's crazy, but that's how it's worked for me. Good writing sells itself.

        That said, you need to start as a content writer until you can is develop a style and a voice, and become a personality instead of just a writer.

        I commend you for working on it though. I do see a difference in the samples here --- but you're still a long way from even starting your climb up the mountain.
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        • Profile picture of the author jdchis2
          I appreciate all the advice and feedback you all have given me on this, and took some time to reread the books I have on copywriting and restart my draft. This is what I have as of now:

          (I'm still toying with the headline and subheads, and think there's something missing when it comes to the order or transition sections of the copy. I'm also a bit fuzzy on how much of the cockiness is the right amount for this, so any advice on those specifically would help a ton. Thank you all in advance.)

          [Title:] The ONE Thing That Kills Small Businesses, AND How to Avoid it


          [Body:] I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Most business owners don't know A THING about advertising.

          That's why the ads from the business down the street look just like the ads from the one across town. They don't stand out, and they don't get your attention.

          It's not your fault if you're guilty of this - You just don't know any better. You're trying to do something that you aren't qualified to do.

          "What SHOULD I Do?"

          Now, successful business owners DO know better. They hire a copywriter to write their ads for them. It decreases their workload, while increasing their profits. And that's why they're so successful.

          A good business owner DELEGATES. Do you sweep your floors? Of course not, because someone else can. And you don't do your taxes either, because you don't have the training.

          You don't have the training to write an ad, and you also don't have the time. Think of all the duties you have as owner of your business. You need to focus on them, not your ads.

          About Writing Ads

          Any ad takes time to write. A GOOD ad takes 30 hours or more to craft. And the difference shows in sales. A good ad can generate 10 times, 20 times, or even more, the sales that a subpar one will.

          What could you do with those 30 hours? You could take time to spend with your family, or work on managing your business.

          Either way, that's NOT time that you should spend writing an ad. You don't have the training, or the time for it. Why waste your time on an ad that won't perform?

          Instead, you can pay a copywriter a fee to give your ads a professional, effective look. Think of having 10 times as many sales. What could you do with that extra money?

          You could take a vacation, or even expand your business. Think of what a professional ad can do for you in the long term.

          How much would you pay for such an increase in sales? $1,000, $2,000, even more? Surely you would make much more than that...

          Unless you're selling cheap $5 trinkets. If that's the case, I can't help you. If you're selling the big-ticket items, though, we should talk.

          "How Do I Hire A Copywriter?"

          This may seem like a tough job, but I'm here to make it easy. I'm _____, and I am a professional copywriter.

          I have some open slots in my schedule, and am offering a promotional rate to fill them. If you want to make your business HUGE, then NOW is the time.

          Imagine multiplying your sales by 10 times, for just $300. You could boost your sales by $10,000, or even more. Why WOULDN'T you take that deal?

          $300 is just my promotional rate, and I WILL raise this when my schedule fills up. If you want to maximize your profits, you need to act NOW.

          Now, you may not be a good fit for my business. If you don't want to pay for success, or if you can't, then this is not for you. No hard feelings, that's just how it is.

          If that's the case, and you're content with more work and less sales, then keep writing your own ads. But, if you want to make your business more successful, keep reading.

          How To Do This

          To get in on this opportunity, all you need to do is send an email to ___. We'll set up an appointment to discuss your ad over the phone. There's no charge; it's just to make sure you're a good fit.

          After we talk, just go about your business for two weeks. Then, get ready for your sales to skyrocket.

          You may be skeptical, but I'm positive that my ad will help you. I'm so sure of this, in fact, that I will personally GUARANTEE it:

          Run my ad for 30 days. If your sales haven't gone up, I'll refund your fee in full. No risk required on your part. But remember, you have to act NOW.

          I only have a few spots open, and once they're filled, I won't be available until I finish my projects. And once I am, my rates will have gone up, so lock in your promotional rate today.

          Do it before you forget, and before my schedule is full. All you have to do is email me at _____.
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            You haven't learnt the lesson,
            which is to sell the live talk.

            What's working for high priced services and software
            is email...just 3 paragraphs in the body.

            You are asking way too much of the reader to consider.

            Can't help you anymore until you ditch the idea of selling
            your ad writing service in one long letter.

            Best,
            Ewen
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  • Lets put a finite end to the "testimonial problem" because it isn't one.

    I've been in the wonderful world of copywriting for 28 and a bit years.

    And have bucket loads of glowing testimonials (I love reading them).

    But I never use them.

    Because every clients work is © to them - seems only fair because they paid for it.

    They rarely ask for the © but are delighted when its offered because they (obviously) have the full rights.

    Remember, its not the superlative results you created for the last client that matters to the new client (and there is no absolute certainty that you will repeat the fabulous response for every client - so much depends on what they do with the Ad).

    Anyway they want their own results (and you don't want the pressure of saying you got XXX for the last client only for the new client to demand XXX XXX).

    And they have the reassurance that you can't leg it around town bragging about their stuff only for someone else to swipe it (also clients seem to "value" the work a lot more because it is truly theirs).

    I guess its not unthinkable that some clients may even be tempted to say they wrote or at least helped write the epic masterpieces (they might enjoy the kudos and it may be good for the ego).

    "Mr or Mrs Client, the Ad is yours - it's as if YOU wrote it"

    The key thing is - they do own the copy (and the "new" client wants to own theirs and doesn't harp on about seeing raving "letters" or a portfolio - they now understand the privacy element).

    So, not using testimonials can be a rather good USP.

    Just get on and grab the clients without worrying about them.


    Steve


    P.S. Still think you can't survive without a portfolio to use?

    No problem.

    Choose the type of client you want to work for.

    Explain all the reasons why you don't give out real Ads or testimonials.

    But have a "sample" ad for that business/product/ service.

    Describe all the copy elements you have used.

    Point out why they are so essential.

    And explain how you'll use all the tactics in the clients promotion.
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    • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Lets put a finite end to the "testimonial problem" because it isn't one.

      I've been in the wonderful world of copywriting for 28 and a bit years.

      And have a bucket load of glowing testimonials (I love reading them).

      But I never use them.

      Because every clients work is © to them - seems only fair because they paid for it.

      They rarely ask for the © but are delighted when its offered because they (obviously) have the full rights.

      Remember, its not the superlative results you created for the last client that matters to the new client (and there is no absolute certainty that you will repeat the fabulous response for every client - so much depends on what they do with the Ad).

      Anyway they want their own results (and you don't want the pressure of saying you got XXX for the last client only for the new client to demand XXX XXX).

      And they have the reassurance that you can't leg it around town bragging about their stuff only for someone else to swipe it (also clients seem to "value" the work a lot more because it is truly theirs).

      I guess its not unthinkable that some clients may even be tempted to say they wrote or at least helped write the epic masterpieces (they might enjoy the kudos and it may be good for the ego).

      "Mr or Mrs Client, the Ad is yours - it's as if YOU wrote it"

      The key thing is it is they do own the copy (and the "new" client want to own theirs and doesn't harp on about seeing raving "letters" or a portfolio - they now understand the privacy element).

      So, not using testimonials can be a rather good USP.

      Just get on and grab the clients without worrying about them.


      Steve


      P.S. Still think you can't survive without a portfolio to use?

      No problem.

      Choose the type of client you want to work for.

      Explain all the reasons why you don't give out real Ads or testimonials.

      But have a "sample" ad for that business/product/ service.

      Describe all the copy elements you have used.

      Point out why they are so essential.

      And explain how you'll use all the tactics in the clients promotion.
      Steve's right. Testimonials are great, but they're not the be-all end-all form of proof.

      Here's a handy hint: your expertise is proof if you show it in action. Just like Steve told you about explaining the choices you made. Briefly, of course. But show that there's purpose and intent behind what you do, relevant to the market, and that you don't just word vomit on the page and charge an assload.
      Signature

      Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

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      • Profile picture of the author jdchis2
        Hello all,

        I've had a very busy weekend with my other jobs, so I just got a chance to finish up my next draft. I tried to create a more conversational tone, and included a guarantee as proof material. Any and all advice is appreciated, as always.

        Headline:Do you want to work LESS and sell MORE?

        CopyThe economy is in bad shape right now, and you’re suffering for it. Are you putting in more and more hours just to keep sales steady? It might have been easy at first, but these hours are starting to take a toll. You’re tired, you don’t have enough time off, and you aren’t making enough money. At this point, you might even be considering a return to the 9-5 grind. You might feel forced to choose between financial security and following your dreams. But, what if I said that you could do both? That you could lighten your workload while INCREASING your profits?

        It sounds like a business owner’s fantasy, but it’s your dream come true. All you need to do is avoid ONE mistake that many small business owners make. What is this mistake? What is it that sets successful businesses apart from the rest? It’s simple:

        Highly successful business owners DON’T WRITE THEIR OWN ADS

        Imagine having an extra 30 hours of time to invest in your business. That’s about how long it takes to write a successful advertisement. Imagine if you could take this time off, and come back to higher profits. THAT is the power of hiring a copywriter to write your ads.

        You might be saying that you can’t afford this investment. To that, I ask: do you really have an extra 30 hours to spare? Aren’t there other parts of your business that need your time?

        You also can’t just cut corners and put out an AVERAGE ad to save time. If you do, it won’t stand out from the rest. And if your ad doesn’t stand out, well, it just won’t SELL.

        So, you need a killer ad, but you don’t have the time to write it yourself. You’ve hit a wall, and don’t know what to do. Let’s look at a real world example for guidance. If the lights go out in your home, you call an electrician. An EXPERT. Why shouldn’t you do the same for your ads?

        This is where I come in. My name is _____, and I am offering my services as a professional copywriter. I can supercharge your advertising to make your business stand out above the rest. All it takes is a brief phone call for us to get started. Within two weeks, you’ll have an ad that is custom-fit for your business.

        As a business owner, you can’t put a price on your own time. With that said however, let’s try to monetize the value of a copywriter. For 30 hours, a manager making $15/hour would “charge” you $450 to write your ad. Even an employee who is making minimum wage would “charge” $217.50. How much would you expect to pay for a professional?

        If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, today is your lucky day. For a VERY limited time, I am offering a reduced price on my services. During this promotional period, I will write your ad for the flat rate of $200. That’s LESS than it would cost to hire a minimum wage worker! All you need to do is tell me about your business, and what kind of ad you want. I’ll handle the rest.

        Now, these are still tough economic times, and nobody wants to waste money. But, I am so sure that my skills will benefit you that I’ll GUARANTEE IT. Run my ad for 30 days. If your sales haven’t gone up in this time, I’ll refund your fee in full.

        To get this process going and jumpstart your profits, all you need to do is send an email. Send your name, phone number, business name, and a copy of your current ad to [email address], and I’ll email you back to schedule a FREE consultation. After that, I’ll do the work while you relax. Take some time to focus on your business, or give yourself a much-deserved break. In two weeks, you’ll have your ad.

        When you’re ready to join the ranks of highly successful small business owners, just email me at [email address]. I’ll write your ad while you focus on what really matters.

        P.S. This promotional offer will not last for long, and I reserve the right to raise the price on my services at any time. Be sure to take advantage of this offer while you can.
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        • Profile picture of the author splitTest
          Originally Posted by jdchis2 View Post

          What is this mistake? What is it that sets successful businesses apart from the rest? It’s simple:

          Highly successful business owners DON’T WRITE THEIR OWN ADS
          This part threw me...

          At first skim, it reads like the mistake highly successful business owners make is they don't write their own ads.

          Gotta make it all flow right. No trip-ups.

          ...And of course, there's all the other stuff everyone else has said, about chopping up those big forbidding blocks of text, making things skimmable, etc. etc.

          I think your draft is a pretty good effort. Good in the execution, that is. You seem like a pretty persuasive writer, but the "copy platform" -- the strategy -- is lacking a bit. Other posts above get into that, so I'll leave it at that.
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    I just skimmed, but again - same mistakes.

    Your headline? It's an attention getter, but it screams BS in most people's minds these days. You've got to make it believable, make it painful, and provide them a solution. Brian's got some great headline formulas in his Fast Effective Copy stuff - maybe he's inclined to share? You might want to reach out. Colin Theriot also has some great headline formulas. Or check out some of Rick Duris' posts.

    In a nutshell, if that headline doesn't grab them, they aren't going to read the rest.

    Second, again, scanning. Just like your audience will do because they're busy people: OMG BLOCK COPY. It makes me want to set things on fire.

    Make it READABLE.

    Throw in some accents.

    Add some bullets.

    Whatever you do, BREAK SHIT UP AND MAKE IT EASY TO READ.

    Third - stop making assumptions. You're telling people flat out "you're experiencing X". Well, if they're experiencing Y, you're shit out of luck. But if they've experienced X in the past, they might still find things relevant.

    Don't slam the door on an opportunity by presuming you know what the market is thinking/feeling/doing RIGHT NOW, as they read this thing. You're a copywriter, not a psychic.

    Would you walk up to a friend and say, "I know you hate your job because the market sucks and right now you feel stuck," to start a convo, or would you wait for that friend to fill you in before you offered some helpful advice?

    That's called joining the conversation they're already having in their head. You don't tell them what they're thinking right now. You can talk to them about a situation they might be experiencing though. There's a difference.

    Were it me, this is what I'd salvage and start fresh with:

    The economy is in bad shape right now, and you’re suffering for it. Are you putting in more and more hours just to keep sales steady? It might have been easy at first, but these hours are starting to take a toll. You’re tired, you don’t have enough time off, and you aren’t making enough money. At this point, you might even be considering a return to the 9-5 grind. You might feel forced to choose between financial security and following your dreams. But, what if I said that you could do both? That you could lighten your workload while INCREASING your profits?

    It sounds like a business owner’s fantasy, but it’s your dream come true. All you need to do is avoid ONE mistake that many small business owners make. What is this mistake? What is it that sets successful businesses apart from the rest? It’s simple:

    Highly successful business owners DON’T WRITE THEIR OWN ADS

    Imagine having an extra 30 hours of time to invest in your business. That’s about how long it takes to write a successful advertisement. Imagine if you could take this time off, and come back to higher profits. THAT is the power of hiring a copywriter to write your ads.

    You might be saying that you can’t afford this investment. To that, I ask: do you really have an extra 30 hours to spare? Aren’t there other parts of your business that need your time?

    You also can’t just cut corners and put out an AVERAGE ad to save time. If you do, it won’t stand out from the rest. And if your ad doesn’t stand out, well, it just won’t SELL.

    So, you need a killer ad, but you don’t have the time to write it yourself. You’ve hit a wall, and don’t know what to do. Let’s look at a real world example for guidance. If the lights go out in your home, you call an electrician. An EXPERT. Why shouldn’t you do the same for your ads?

    This is where I come in. My name is _____, and I am offering my services as a professional copywriter. I can supercharge your advertising to make your business stand out above the rest. All it takes is a brief phone call for us to get started. Within two weeks, you’ll have an ad that is custom-fit for your business.

    As a business owner, you can’t put a price on your own time. With that said however, let’s try to monetize the value of a copywriter. For 30 hours, a manager making $15/hour would “charge” you $450 to write your ad. Even an employee who is making minimum wage would “charge” $217.50. How much would you expect to pay for a professional?

    If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, today is your lucky day. For a VERY limited time, I am offering a reduced price on my services. During this promotional period, I will write your ad for the flat rate of $200. That’s LESS than it would cost to hire a minimum wage worker! All you need to do is tell me about your business, and what kind of ad you want. I’ll handle the rest.

    Now, these are still tough economic times, and nobody wants to waste money. But, I am so sure that my skills will benefit you that I’ll GUARANTEE IT. Run my ad for 30 days. If your sales haven’t gone up in this time, I’ll refund your fee in full.

    To get this process going and jumpstart your profits, all you need to do is send an email. Send your name, phone number, business name, and a copy of your current ad to [email address], and I’ll email you back to schedule a FREE consultation. After that, I’ll do the work while you relax. Take some time to focus on your business, or give yourself a much-deserved break. In two weeks, you’ll have your ad.

    When you’re ready to join the ranks of highly successful small business owners, just email me at [email address]. I’ll write your ad while you focus on what really matters. [with editing/reframing]

    P.S. This promotional offer will not last for long, and I reserve the right to raise the price on my services at any time. Be sure to take advantage of this offer while you can.
    Signature

    Aspiring copywriters: if you need 1:1 advice from an experienced copy chief, head over to my Phone a Friend page.

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  • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
    Your copy is way too boring man.

    Nobody will read that stuff.

    Is that how you'd talk to somebody in person?

    Write like you'd talk.

    Here's how I might talk in this situation...

    Dear Bob Vance,

    You know, only really incompetent business owners write their own ads. They're incompetent because they spend time on stuff that they aren't qualified to do. Like write ads.

    It's because they don't know any better.

    And it's why every damned furniture store ad looks like the next one. Because the owner doesn't know any better. They don't know how to make an ad that's different. One that works.

    Or they're broke or cheap.

    If you're broke or cheap - I can't help you.

    But - if you "don't know any better" - if you don't realize that some ads can make 10, 20, 50 times - or more - what other ads do with no extra work - then you're in for a treat.

    That's 10, 20, 50 times the profit that you'd make from over an ad that you copied from the guy across town.

    Your advertising can be different. It can stand out. It can be better - and infinitely more profitable.

    If you didn't know any better - it's not your fault. You're busy doing what you do. Running a furniture store. You can't do everything.

    But now you know.

    If you're broke or cheap then we probably don't need to talk. Just the way it is.

    But if you see how a good ad could literally transform your business, then we should talk.

    No obligation of course. Let's just see if we are a good fit. I've got a story you'll love about a furniture store I helped over in XXX. Steve. He didn't know any better either but he does now. Now he concentrates on what he does best. And he takes a lot more vacation.

    Give me a call at XXX.XXX.XXXX.

    Also - I sent this to a couple of other furniture guys too.

    I don't know any of you personally so I am agnostic on who I work with. The first person who's not broke or cheap - and who 'gets it' is who I'll want to work with to grow their business.

    No hype. Just the facts. I'll only work with 1 furniture store in XXX. Just makes sense.

    I'm a little brash as you can see. But it's because I know what I can do. I'm a killer ad writer and I can help you make a lot more money.

    I'll give you Steve's phone number (the other furniture guy I helped) so you can call him to verify I know what I am doing.

    Call right now if you have any interest - before you get busy and forget. XXX-XXX-XXXX

    Talk soon,

    JR.
    That's how I talk - it might not be how you talk. But hopefully you can see the difference.

    Keep practicing. But in the meantime, you should follow Colm's advice above. It is spot on.

    PS - I used the word 'killer' there which is apparently a no-no here. So be it.
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    • Profile picture of the author gemm24
      JD, John's sales letter is where you want to go. A headline on a sales letter can scream "advertisement" -- which, of course, is what you're doing. But you want to make it more personable, not applicable to just ANY business. Target it to THEIR business. You might have to rework it for each potential client, but you'll be rewarded with more work.
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  • There's a client looking for a copywriter.

    They read spiel after spiel.

    Story after story.

    Promise after promise.

    Ego after ego (and that tends to be relentless).

    And the poor client might think "f*** me they all sound the same"

    So, use angies outline and advice (on thread 25) and look at Johns example and advice (on thread 26).

    Both will help you craft an excellent "pitch" and be refreshingly different from the hoards of other writers.

    Hit the pain points (my advice? - don't overdo it because if someone has a "pain" they are very aware of it).

    Acknowledge it, show you fully understand the problems. Then paint the grimmest picture -" it can get a lot worse…" (in a few succinct words).

    And quickly move on proving how and why you have the solution.

    And what is that solution?

    When you narrow it down to the basics - clients want 3 things.

    Great ads (websites or promo's not forgetting the phenomenal power of postcards) bringing in a high response resulting in shedfuls of sales.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      The reader doesn't know it's for him.

      There's no clue you understand his situation.
      ( He always thinks his situation is special)

      Therefore he fails to see what you've got
      can benefit him.

      To do this, it requires very specific points
      you make.

      It could be a big national chain has come to town
      and he's scared what's going to happen.

      It could be all the other stores in his category
      are driving prices down through discounting.

      It could be a manufacturer who wants to sell to consumers direct
      but doesn't know how to and is nervous about hurting his wholesalers.

      See, very specific situations that need very specific strategies to help
      your client.

      Now you have his ear.

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Third point as to what's wrong, you are selling the
        service instead of selling the appointment.

        Give the reader a easier decision to make,
        which is to find out more.

        The more difficult the decision
        you are asking him to make,
        the more likely it will be delayed or
        not made.

        This actually makes it easier for you because
        all effort goes to one thing you can exert more
        control over, and that is to build desire to talk with you
        to see if it's right for him.

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          Third point as to what's wrong, you are selling the
          service instead of selling the appointment.

          Give the reader a easier decision to make,
          which is to find out more.

          The more difficult the decision
          you are asking him to make,
          the more likely it will be delayed or
          not made.

          This actually makes it easier for you because
          all effort goes to one thing you can exert more
          control over, and that is to build desire to talk with you
          to see if it's right for him.

          Best,
          Ewen
          This reminds me of the Brian Tracy video posted here

          He talks about setting the appointment, not selling the product/service. Get yourself in the door so you have time, without distractions, to make your pitch.

          It also reminds me of the whole purpose of the first sentence, second sentence, etc.

          Each step sells the reader/customer on taking the next step.
          Signature
          I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

          **CAUTION**
          Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
          You've been warned.
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          • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
            Originally Posted by TracyBelshee View Post

            This reminds me of the Brian Tracy video posted here

            He talks about setting the appointment, not selling the product/service. Get yourself in the door so you have time, without distractions, to make your pitch.

            It also reminds me of the whole purpose of the first sentence, second sentence, etc.

            Each step sells the reader/customer on taking the next step.
            I've had to tell this to partners a lot. They had a tendency to want to put every piece of information on every piece of marketing collateral. Well, the audience may be different for each piece. The goal of each piece is different. Why would you want all of these to be the same and be total info overload when they have different goals?

            Same thing here. As Ewen said, this letter is about getting your phone to ring. You don't have to really sell them, just get them interested. Tease them how you can help. Tantalize them with the dream of success. And then get them on the phone and in the bag.
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Are you really going to pitch business owners by telling them they don't know anything about a critical aspect of their business right off the bat? Seems like shooting yourself on the foot to me.
    Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author JonMills
    With all the indecision on this thread, let's hope business owners don't find this lol

    Make a decision. Run with it. Test. Track. Tweak.

    The rest is just everyone throwing in their 2 cents of what they assume will work.
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