I wrote this a month ago on Facebook. At the time it was a quick post of positivity to counter the deafening volume of negativity I was seeing in my newsfeed.
And now? Here we are a month later and it feels even more important to say this—especially as people are coming to grips with questions of how long this will go on and the impacts it will have… and as the emotional burden of social distancing (and the economic burden of unprecedented business shutdowns) continue to take their toll.
Good morning! It’s the start of another week. Don’t get caught up in the bad news; instead… * Find something to be grateful for. * Learn something. * Work on a long-ignored goal. * Try something new. * Talk to a loved one. * Help someone.
In copywriting, your job is to help your prospective buyer see that your solution has value. But if you don’t take care of this one fundamental first, you’ll still not close the deal.
I’m talking about confidence.
Help Your Readers Feel Confidence
You may have an amazing offer that delivers value… so why aren’t more people buying it?
One of the reasons is: the solution may be solid but the prospects themselves lack confidence.
Actually, they lack confidence in three ways. Address these three ways and you’ll help close more customers…
#1. They’re Not Confident That The Solution Works
Many prospects are already skeptical by nature. They are constantly inundated with marketing from a variety of sources—both ethical and unethical. In that kind of reality, it’s easy to doubt which claim is true and which is false.
So, the first confidence you need to give them is the confidence that your claims are completely true. To do this, you can use tools like testimonials, case studies, and third-party data to show that the solution does actually work.
#2. They’re Not Confident That The Solution Will Work For Them
Once you’ve assured them that the solution works, you’ll now encounter the next step of unconfidence in your prospects—they aren’t convinced that the solution will work for them specifically. This is because people feel that their situation is unique (even though it never really is).
To solve this lack of confidence, help them see that the solution works in their industry for people just like them, and offer a trial period or guarantee to eliminate the risk. (Or do what Dan Kennedy does and just hammer home the idea that “your business is NOT unique.”)
#3. They’re Not Confident That They Can Implement The Solution
Once you’ve eased their mind that the solution can indeed work for them, then you move on to address the third step of confidence. Here, people simply lack the confidence that they can implement the solution. They may think, “oh, it’s going to be too complicated for me to do.”
To solve this lack of confidence, you can highlight case studies that speak to your solutions ease-of-use, you can show explainer or instructional videos that demonstrate how simple your solution is, and you can explain your step-by-step onboarding process.
Buyers want to buy solutions that will actually solve their problems… and some of your prospective buyers AREN’T buying because they aren’t confident that your solution works, that it will work for them, or that they can implement it.
So, re-examine your sales process and dial in the pieces above to give your buyers more confidence.
So, here are the highlights of what I’ll be working on this week:
Publishing. Actually, more accurately, re-publishing. Oh man, this is a bear of a project. My white whale. You see, I’d written and published a whole bunch of a books for a client over the last several years but they’ve gone through several changes — including a rebrand, some adjustments to their messaging, etc. So we’re taking the opportunity to revise the books, put new covers on them, etc. But we’re also publishing them in a different place now and this project involves new book sizes, new ISBNs, etc. It’s actually harder than writing a brand new book, plus it’s done across 17 books. Whew!
Emails: I have emails to write for a client’s full list, as well as to a couple of email sequence within a segment of their list. Easy and fun.
Webinar scripts: With the switch from in-person training to COVID19-inspired online training, I have a client who needs their trainings built into webinar scripts. So, in some cases, it’s completely brand new work, and in other cases, it’s a massive revision of existing work to get it ready for online consumption.
New levels: A client is building a couple of new levels for their membership program so I’m helping to determine what services and IP assets should go into these levels and I’m working with a team to build out the level (i.e. create the infrastructure inside their knowledgebase, build a new brand and get it designed, set up the pricing plan and sales funnel, etc.).
Hope you have a productive week!
PS, it’s my favorite day of the year this week! It’s World Book Day! Watch for that coming up; I’ll be writing more about it!
Several years ago, I tried writing a book. It was hard. There were a few false starts.
I finally did it (result: The Sales Funnel Bible) but only by creating a challenge for myself to write daily for a period of time. Since then, I’ve written a lot of books but just had to get that first one out.
Along the way, I’ve met a lot of people who say, “I’m going to write a book!” but never do. I just nod and be encouraging but know that the likelihood is slim. I think it’s also the reason that people hire me to ghostwrite for them.
I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone but rather to set the stage for something I heard once that rung true: “People don’t want to write a book… they want to have written a book.” (Sorry, not sure where I heard that; I’m happy to link to a source if you know the answer.)
And it’s true not just about writing a book but about anything. People want the result, not the effort to get the result.
I think that’s why some people struggle with… well… just about anything from writing a book to losing weight to eliminating debt to learning or mastering any skill. Because we want to be the butterfly without going through the cocoon.
It’s true for YOU (and me; not pointing fingers here!) and it’s true for your customers. As human beings, we want the result without the pain/time/cost to get there.
It’s why there’s ghostwriting for people who want to have written a book without actually going through the effort of writing one.
It’s why there’s surgery for people who want to have lost weight without actually going through the effort of dieting.
It’s why there are performance-enhancing drugs for people who want to have put on muscle and improved athleticism without actually going through the effort of working out regularly.
Heck, it’s why there are cars for people who want to have reached a destination without actually going through the effort of walking.
It’s why we have the saying, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” Because people want the result but aren’t willing to put the time in.
Fortunately, change is possible and I think the problem for most of us is: we just need to address the hardest part…
Waiting Is The Hardest Part
As the late, great Tom Petty has pointed out, waiting is the hardest part. We want change now.
And we want it to be simple (but it rarely is).
So how do we get it?
Well, if 20 years ago was the best time to plant a tree then you get into your DeLorean and you go back 20 years and plant that damn tree!
If you don’t have a time-traveling car, then there are really only 2 ways to create change: you can collapse time or you can reduce the pain of the time.
You can collapse time with Done-For-You solutions, with doubling up on effort or education, and with coaches.
Done-For-You Solutions: As the name suggests, this is where you get the result done on your behalf. An ethical business example might be hiring a marketing company to do your marketing for you instead of doing it yourself. This can take some money and not everyone agrees with the ethics of all Done-For-You solutions (DFY marketing is good… performancing-enhancing drugs may not be.)
Doubling Up On Effort Or Education: In this strategy, you are simply doing more than most people to get it done. Maybe you write that book by recording audios while driving and then getting those audios transcribed; or maybe you learn a new language by spending 12 hours a day immersed in learning. This is a great method but does require that you carve out time and potentially make sacrifices elsewhere; or at least get creative in finding time.
Hire A Coach: A coach helps to collapse time by sharing what works and what doesn’t so you don’t have to learn it yourself, while also providing accountability and a second set of eyes. Again, this takes money to do but it can be worth it. There’s a reason why Olympic athletes and professional athletes have coaches while amateurs do not.
Each or all of these will get you to your result faster. However, these are not always available in every situation, so let me share the next part of it…
Reduce The Pain Of Time
Since time can only be collapsed so much, there is of course the necessity to get the result the old fashioned way — by planting the tree and waiting 20 years. I think there are two ways to reduce the pain of time: with habits and challenges.
Habits: A habit is a system in your life; it’s a thing you do automatically and unconsciously. My workouts are at 5:00 PM every day. That’s a habit that I scheduled a long time ago when I found that to be the best time for me to work out, and it’s become so ingrained in my effort that I just automatically start getting ready just before 5:00 PM. It’s also how I lost 50 pounds, just by adjusting a habit. There are some great resources about habit-building, including Charles Duhigg’s The Power Of Habit and Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect (which is one of the top 10 books that changed my life).
But habits themselves are hard to adopt. I get it. If it were easy, we’d all have that book on our bookshelf and be 20 pounds thinner, right? So that leads me to my next strategy, which is one I love:
Everyone wants change… no one wants to go through change. But going through change doesn’t have to be hard or boring. Going through change creates the result you want… and it can be fast and fun to do.
Action step: find a change you want to make in your life and run through this article as a checklist to create the framework that will most likely help you plant that tree, make it grow faster, and make the waiting time a bit more fun.