AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and today we are talking about copywriting.
I’ve made it my mission to really understand you, to hear your needs, your wants, and your challenges. I love to celebrate your wins. I like to encourage you to keep moving forward when things get tough. I really love to know who you are and what you’re all about.
I’ve been paying close attention and one thing I know is that you all, my listeners of this podcast, are so incredibly generous with your feedback. I know what keeps you up at night. I know where you’re struggling and I know what you’re moving toward.
One of the things that tends to trip you up, slow you down, and frustrate you is copywriting. You either think you’re not good enough or that you don’t have anything to say or you just don’t know how to say it so you sit down to write your promotional emails, your webinars, and your sales pages and you just want to scream.
I get it. I know that feeling, for sure. I’m doing this episode because I want you to really understand and really get it. You can learn how to be a stellar copywriter in your business. I’m also here to say that you shouldn’t hire it out. Yep, I said that.
I’m actually not going to be the only one to say that on this episode. My guest today is
Marie Forleo. You all know Marie from B-School. You know that every February she comes on my podcast for years now and we’ve talked about growing a business and marketing strategies and building your brand.
Today Marie is coming on the show to just talk about copywriting and why it’s so incredibly important in your business.
We’re going to go through strategies, techniques, and tips. This is a very action-packed episode. You’re going to walk away with some things you can do right away to improve your copywriting.
I think more than anything I want you to walk away feeling inspired that you can actually be a very, very good copywriter and that you can nail down your message. You can speak to your ideal customer avatar better than anybody else in your industry. That’s what I want you to think and feel when you walk away from this episode.
During my conversation with Marie we’re going to talk about her program, Copy Cure. Many of you know Marie for B-School but she also has an amazing copywriting program called Copy Cure and I have been telling you all about it for a while now.
She’s actually going to be doing a live webinar which is rare for Marie. She doesn’t do tons of webinars but she’s going to do a live webinar where she is going to teach you some copywriting techniques that you can apply right away.
Then she will tell you a little bit about Copy Cure if you’re interested. We’re going to talk about Copy Cure and we’re going to talk about the webinar in this episode. But before we do I’m going to tell you right now you can go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/copy to sign up for her webinar. It’s live, it’s going to be outstanding, I’m going to be there, and I hope you are going to be there as well.
Even if you have no intention of buying her program, Copy Cure, get on the webinar and learn the strategies that Marie teaches. She’s absolutely phenomenal at teaching copywriting strategies to online business owners so I want you to learn on this live webinar.
It will fill up fast. If you sign up too late it won’t be coming back. She’s not going to have recurring webinars so go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/copy. It’s absolutely free. Go check it out.
I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s go ahead and jump into one of my most favorite conversations I’ve had with Marie.
AMY: Marie Forleo, welcome back to the show.
MARIE FORLEO: Amy, thank you for having me on. I love talking with you.
AMY: It’s so much fun. We’re switching things up today. We are talking copy and I know you’ve taken the time to ask your community about their struggles with copy. After pouring over 16,000 surveys (are you kidding me? That’s insane!) what did you discover that most entrepreneurs struggle with when it comes to writing copy?
MARIE: Well Amy, there’s a bunch of them but I have to tell you there were some surprises in the survey. They were surprises to me because, frankly, I thought I was the only one who struggled with these things.
One of the most common struggles that entrepreneurs reported was the feeling that it takes them forever to write anything because they’re constantly second guessing themselves.
Some people say it literally takes 30 minutes to write a simple email response. I have certainly had days when I have sat there looking at my computer screen, looking at a blank white page, and wondering what I am going to talk about. How am I going to open this? How am I going to write this Marie.TV episode?
I have to tell you, Amy, I don’t know if we’ve ever talked about this in private, but one of the things I have as a kind of Achilles’ heel for myself is talking about how, oh my goodness, I’m such a slow writer.
Again, I saw these 16,000 survey responses and saw how many other entrepreneurs struggle with that same thing, feeling like they are so slow, and it holds them back, especially as it relates to their writing. I can relate.
Another struggle was something that goes like this…”My writing never sounds as good as it does in my head. Somewhere between my heart and the page everything gets lost.”
AMY: Yes. This is a big one.
MARIE: It’s a huge one and I think we’ve all had that experience where we have this vision or inkling about how we want our words to sound and how we want something to feel and how we want our customers to receive it. Then when we go to type it just comes out nothing like that.
It is stunted, it’s rambling, it doesn’t seem eloquent. It doesn’t seem punchy. Again, that was something a lot of our folks struggle with.
The next one, and this one really broke my heart, I will say writing great copy will fix this struggle but we heard a lot of this…The silence is devastating. People reported that they asked questions and no one answers. They post an update on social and just get crickets. They offer their services and no one buys.
Obviously, this is tough on an emotional level but on a more objective scale that can kill your business. If you have no sales you have no business.
Another thing we heard was people reported they had tried a few copywriting formulas. They found things online, maybe they took a course that gave them all of these fill-in-the-blank templates but they felt embarrassed to publish them because those formulas and templates never sounded like the person themselves.
It sounded really forced, really contrived, and a little bit like a used car salesman.
Two more. These were kind of some of the top survey responses. We had one that I thought really encapsulated it. Someone reported, “I got my domain three years ago and there it sits all alone just a blank page. I want to get on with my business and life already.”
That is an extraordinary case of writer’s block and that feeling of fear because you don’t know how to say what you really want to say and you don’t know how to use the right words to connect with your people and it keeps you paralyzed. It keeps you frozen.
The last one, again I can relate to some of this, someone said, “I spend hours tweaking my last announcement but didn’t get a single sale. It’s frustrating and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”
AMY: That breaks my heart and I’ve heard all of these from my students. These are spot on.
MARIE: Yes, and I couldn’t believe over and over again, reading through pages and pages of these surveys how similar everyone’s responses were and they had no idea they were writing the same thing, just different versions of the same story.
Those are some of the things I think most entrepreneurs struggle with when it comes to writing copy and the good news is you can get on the other side of those struggles. As someone who started my business 18 years ago, didn’t know how to write, and wasn’t that good in English, I can tell you I’ve broken through a lot of these.
Not that all of them are curable forever, but you can go from being stuck, feeling paralyzed, not having sales to being able to write hundreds of percents faster than you can right now to getting sales and making tremendous connections with your audience.
AMY: So you mentioned something about not being good in English in school. I’ve heard you say before that we are likely taught some rules in school about writing that are actually hurting our conversions and sales in our businesses today.
I’m very curious what those might be.
MARIE: Before we get to them I want to share some feedback that we’ve actually gotten from our students. Cindy wrote us, who has a Ph.D. in English.
AMY: This is going to be good.
MARIE: She told us that having a Ph.D. in English didn’t mean that I understood how to write emails that people want to open.
AMY: Yes, amen!
MARIE: She was an amazing writer but didn’t know how to write to convert. She didn’t know how to write in her own voice, in a way that would connect with her audience and get them to actually buy.
This actually just came in two days ago. I saw this tweet from a student named Laura. She said, “Your program taught me that I needed to unlearn how to write like an auditor.”
Anyone who has been in any type of profession, again, whether you did really well in English class and remember all of those rules or you find yourself in a professional executive setting where you’re supposed to write a specific way but now you’re an entrepreneur, a lot of the rules we learned really do hurt ourselves in conversions.
The first one that many of us have heard is, “Don’t use sentence fragments.” Sentence fragments are just little tiny phrases that aren’t necessarily even a full sentence but they mimic how we actually speak.
For example, one of the most famous ones is “Got Milk?” Famous advertisement. We’ve all seen it for years. It’s done really well. If you think about it, that tiny sentence fragment, “Got Milk?” is so much more powerful than “Do you, by any chance, happen to have some milk?” It wouldn’t have had that same punch.
It’s the same thing with “Just Do it.” That is just a very short, tiny sentence fragment and it’s so much more powerful than, “Maybe you should consider just simply doing it.” That would have never worked.
MARIE: Fragments can be really powerful but many times in English class we were taught not to use that. We have to have full, beautiful, perfect sentences. It needs to be just precise, exact, and long. And, actually, that’s one of the things I’ve seen a lot in our students, they have super long run-on sentences.
Many of us talk in short fragments. Fragments can be powerful. They create rhythm and emphasis in your copy and the mimic how we speak so don’t be afraid to use sentence fragments. That’s #1.
AMY: Perfect. Keep going. Give me some more.
MARIE: Another one is to not end a sentence in a preposition. This was something we all learned if we took English class. For example, “With whom are you going to the movies?” Right? No one talks like that!
Instead, we actually say, “Who are you going to the movies with,” or “Who are you taking to the movie?” That’s how we actually talk. But, again, we have all of these ingrained rules from English like “don’t end a sentence in a preposition.”
Your writing is going to become stunted and stilted and not sound like a human. I think the third one that most of us have heard is English teachers often say, “Don’t use slang.”
Nobody wants to see your slang in English class, yet common words like “frenemy” or we talk about “throwing shade” or two dudes having a “bromance”. Those are words we actually use in order to make conversation.
While you certainly don’t want to overdo that with your copy because it can feel forced, you do want to allow yourself to use some slang in your copy that’s genuine to you and your audience. Why?
Slang, especially again, when it’s genuine to you, can help your reader relate to you and it creates the know, like, and trust factor. Nobody wants to hear from some stiff corporate robot.
I think especially where we are right now in time, Amy, there is such mistrust in terms of big organizations and institutions and big businesses. For good reason. We’re not really sure if we can trust these people.
But we do trust people that sound (and are) friendly, that are genuine, that are like us. So when you sprinkle in just a little bit of slang, again slang that is appropriate and genuine to you and that makes sense for your audience, it can help really open people’s hearts and can help them want to hear from you.
Rather than feeling like they are being sold to they are hearing from someone who is a friend, who is friendly, who is entertaining, who you could maybe be having a cup of coffee or glass of wine with.
AMY: That’s so good. I think that’s the thing I see in your copy so much and what you’ve taught me throughout the years. You’ve got to be using the language your audience is using.
The minute you don’t they just see it. They disconnect. They don’t feel it and so they don’t keep reading.
MARIE: Absolutely. I say this and I teach it and I want everyone to write this one down. The best copy starts in your reader’s head, not yours.
Understanding who your ideal audience is, knowing them just like you know your friends, knowing the types of conversations they would have with their best friends in those whispers and those little phone calls late at night, or even what they say to themselves in the privacy of their own mind.
If you think about it, Amy, in our own minds none of us ever speaks in complete sentences that don’t end in propositions or that use perfect language. Never! Especially when we’re describing our dreams, when we’re describing our fears, when we’re talking about issues that are really important to us, especially issues that we would like someone (Ding! Ding! Ding), a business owner or service provider to help us with.
We talk about, “Gah, I wish I could just blah, blah, blah,” or “Oh my goodness, if this wasn’t just a pain in the ass problem I could really reach my dreams.” That’s at least how I talk to myself in my head so I am more likely to respond to those business owners who have at least some of that cadence and some of those words.
I feel like I can trust them. I feel like they’re real, they are authentic, and they are genuine. Again, the best copy is going to start in your reader’s head and not in your own.
AMY: That’s such a good lesson. I love that. Kind of to continue on giving our listeners some tips and strategies that they can apply, I am dying to hear from you about some of your secrets to writing good copy.
You have been a student of copy from Day 1. That is something you are definitely known for. I know there are some tips and strategies that you have been using along the way to really resonate and connect with your audience. Will you share some of those personal strategies you use?
MARIE: Absolutely. These are three that I use all of the time. Anyone listening should take what I’m about to say and apply it instantly and I promise you that you will get better and better and better.
The first one is this. It has to do with headlines. When I say “headlines” I mean headlines for blog posts, email subject lines especially, if you’re going to title a podcast, a video, any place there really needs to be some type of headline, on a sales page, anywhere.
Most people don’t write nearly enough. They will maybe do a draft of five headlines or maybe seven headlines or maybe ten. If they do that, by the way. I would be surprised if most people write even ten as a draft before they pick one.
AMY: I agree, yeah!
MARIE: Here’s what you need to do. Write at least 30 before choosing one.
AMY: That’s so many!
MARIE: I know. I know it sounds like so many but it actually isn’t. Here’s the secret. In fact, I was doing some research and I believe it’s either Buzz Feed or UpWorthy, one of those big, major companies who makes a lot of money off of good headlines (whether you agree with their editorial practices or not you have to admit they can hook you with their headlines) they make all of their writers write at least 25 headlines before submitting.
AMY: Interesting. Okay.
MARIE: Here’s why. None of us, no matter how experienced of a writer you are, again at this stage in the game 20 years in I still do this and I’m still pushing myself to do at least 30 if not more, you only get to the goal and you only get to the magic once you get past 15 or 17.
Amy, I cannot tell you how many times in my life, in my experience with myself, writing with my team, anywhere that I am writing, writing, writing, there is an entire page full of potential headlines and then, bing, at 31 or 27 or 40 the gold happens.
You don’t think you’re going to get there. The first lop of stuff you write is probably total crap. Nothing feels good. But the mistake people make is to stop themselves short.
All of the gold and creativity comes from the grind. If you can push yourself to volume you are going to get amazing stuff.
Here’s why this is so important. Headlines, and especially subject lines in your email marketing, are the only thing that determines if someone’s going to click. Obviously if they like you it increases the chance. If they just trust you and want to hear from you, great.
But, as email volume increases, as distractions increase, as people have less and less time they are going to be less and less inclined, even if they love you, unless you are able to capture their attention with a fantastic subject line or a fantastic headline.
AMY: I totally love this one. I’m going to do it. I do not write nearly enough.
MARIE: That’s one for everyone. Write at least 30 and push yourself for more because that’s where you are going to get the gold.
Second tip, don’t write and edit at the same time. This one is a really hard habit to break, especially if anyone listening (again raising my hand) tends to be a perfectionist. You want to bang stuff out so you want to write it once. You want to write it really perfectly and then just get it out the door.
However, there are two distinct and very different parts of our brain that do the writing and the editing. I promise you, you will get your best, most genuine, most original, most inspired workout if you can allow yourself to write really crappy first drafts and stay out of editing mode.
Again, I don’t know if anyone can relate to this. Maybe you could, Amy. A lot of times when we’re trying to push we start to write a sentence and we are like, “I didn’t really say that right,” and then you delete, delete, delete, you go back and you are trying to write and craft these perfect sentences one by one.
It takes fucking forever. It takes forever. You don’t get anywhere. There is no flow. Again. Not writing or editing at the same time is a great way to get yourself to write tons of ideas out fast even if it’s messy, even if the grammar isn’t there, even if you’re making a ton of spelling mistakes.
Then go back, switch to the part of your brain that’s an editor. For 90% of us it’s actually the more pleasurable action. It’s a lot easier to kind of rearrange things and neaten stuff up and tuck words, to trend them down, to use the thesaurus, to find different things. But you have to do those two functions separately.
That’s part of the reason why people are saying it takes hours to write a simple email. It’s because 90% of the time they are approaching it from a perfectionistic standpoint. They are writing and editing at the same time.
If you can separate those two you will save yourself time and come out with a better, more powerful, persuasive product at the end.
AMY: I love how we’re making this so actionable. Awesome.
MARIE: Third tip for you guys. This is one that’s so easy. All of you should be doing it. It’s going to make you feel a little weird, perhaps especially if you have family or friends or kids around, but you must read your copy out loud.
This is the fastest and easiest way, not only to catch errors, but it’s the best way to see where you’re slipping into either professional mode or robot speak or if you’re slipping into mimicking someone else.
When you read things out loud you start to catch areas where you either sound like a carnival salesman or you say, “Gah, that just doesn’t feel right.” But the feeling comes from reading it out loud.
If you’re someone who struggles with not knowing if it is in your voice or if it sounds friendly or if it feels right or if it’s too salesy, reading it out loud is a really simple and effective way to quickly edit your copy and also to make sure it sounds like you.
AMY: I’ve got a question for you that I know comes up with my students a lot. They are sometimes thinking that they don’t know what their voice is. What do you say to that?
MARIE: Everybody has a voice. Everybody. You may not understand exactly what it is yet. I’ll tell you this, Amy. I couldn’t necessarily describe my voice. It’s almost like having to articulate who a human being is. How do you encapsulate a human being with just a few words? You have to express it.
It’s not necessarily about “finding” it as though it’s something outside of yourself. It’s about doing enough volume of work where it just expresses itself automatically. Most people who don’t know if they have a voice or how to find their voice, you just aren’t practiced at writing.
I can guarantee anyone who says that doesn’t sit down enough to write copy. They’re just out of the habit. When you start writing as you normally talk…This is one of the things we often talk about in Copy Cure and I say this as many times as I can because I want business owners to get it. Nobody gets talker’s block. Nobody, right?
AMY: That’s good. True.
MARIE: Again, some of the most prolific, talented, experienced writers, and I know many of them, we all get writer’s block. That happens. But what’s cool about writing copy is that you can just write like you talk, and literally, you can say a sentence out loud. I know that sounds kind of weird.
If you are thinking about talking to your audience and say, “Sally, I’ve got this new program coming up. I really think you should know about it,” I would literally sit down and write, “Oh Sally, I’ve got this new program coming up. I really think you should know about it.”
Then speak out loud the next sentence and write it down. You will start to see your voice on a page and over time it’s just going to become habitual. I promise, for anyone listening, not only do you have a voice, you don’t have to find it.
You don’t have to “develop it” you just have to get it on the page. The quickest way to do that is to talk then write.
AMY: I love it. It’s just like you’ve got to do the work.
AMY: You’ve got to do it. Copy has always been an area that you have felt very passionate about. Even back in our Rich, Happy, and Hot mastermind days over ten years ago almost, you were always encouraging us to be a student of copy.
I’ve heard you say that we should all take ownership over our copy. Will you talk a little bit about this?
MARIE: Yeah, this is a really big deal for me. Copy is not something that I believe anyone should outsource, especially not from the beginning. I cannot stress this enough, Amy. At this point, through B-School, I have now seen 40,000 small business owners go through the program.
I’ve had such a neat perspective on what people do that works and what people do that doesn’t. Nine times out of ten the businesses who are otherwise kind of craned to be successful with a great product, a great niche, a great audience, all of those things are aligned but where they fall flat on their face is copy.
Here is the deal about copy. No one is born knowing how to do this. It’s not your fault if as a business owner you don’t know this stuff. No one really talks about it. This is part of the reason I’m so excited that we’re doing this podcast today because I think it’s one of the hidden secrets that makes some brands and some businesses take off and other ones who are equally as talented, equally as committed, just fall flat on their faces.
A couple of things about this. If you don’t train yourself in copy you are going to wind up wasting a ton of money if you try to hire someone and try to outsource this. I will tell you why.
If you don’t understand the mechanics of really good copy you won’t know what to look for when you’re hiring someone. You won’t know how to evaluate if what they are producing for you is good or not.
I will tell you this. I have seen so many people waste so much money hiring what may be good copywriters but they aren’t the right copywriter for that business owner. Their style, their tone, there is as total mismatch.
The copywriter is not as understanding of who your ideal customer is as you are because they don’t know them. They haven’t spent years or months studying them. They’re not in the customer service day in and day out like you are.
They don’t know their dreams, they don’t know their aspirations. There’s no way they can tap into that emotion like you can.
For me, I think writing effective copy, and I will tell you this without hesitation, understanding how to do this and continuing to train myself has been the single most important skill I’ve developed over these 18 years of my business.
Not only has it helped us succeed beyond anything I could have ever imagined but it has allowed me to do something I am really passionate about which is to make a positive difference in this world.
Whether it is through having people actually use the ideas I share to get results for themselves, having them consume a product and make it until the end, again, for anyone who sells how-to information or wants to change people’s lives through books or courses or any of that, you know how important it is to actually get people to finish your shit, right?
MARIE: Then even on another level, it was just this year. Writing the right words helped me raise over $2 million for a cause that I really believe in. The ability to write effective copy in my estimation is something that every single business owner needs to take control of.
Don’t outsource this. Don’t underestimate yourself. You can do it and it’s easier than you think.
AMY: I love what you said before about the fact that you don’t need to feel bad that it doesn’t come natural to you.
MARIE: No. Oh heck no. Again, nobody pops out of the womb knowing this stuff. I happen to be really fortunate in the fact that when I was first getting my coach training (by the way, if you hear a dog I’m so sorry).
AMY: We’re totally dog friendly on this podcast.
MARIE: Are you?
MARIE: And, deliveries.
AMY: Story of my life.
MARIE: Yes, yes. We can pause for a second.
AMY: It’s all good.
MARIE: Are you sure?
AMY: Keep on moving girl.
MARIE: Okay, good. Well no! Let’s pause. Hold on one second, Amy.
AMY: I’m keeping this in. We’re not even editing it out. We’re just going to wait for a minute here. Okay, now that we’re moving past the Kuma barking I really want to keep talking about this. Why do you think it’s so important for business owners to keep diving into learning how to write copy?
MARIE: I think it’s especially important again whether you’re brand new in business or you’re more seasoned. Here’s the truth. The world of business is becoming more and more complex.
There are so many social platforms, so many bits of correspondence that we have to have with our customers. We do it through our websites. Some of us do it through apps. They happen through emails, through receipts, through comments, through social posts, through chats, videos, podcasts, podcast descriptions, product descriptions, every single one of these areas. Anyplace you use words is a chance to inspire someone into action with your message.
It’s a chance to surprise and delight them. Amy, I cannot tell you how much time we spend as a team, and I love it, we will never stop fine tuning all the little areas where we interact with our customers using words.
You must be able to write your own copy. Again, this is my humble opinion. You have to be able to write it on the fly. You have to be able to write it quickly and it has to be from your spirit, your heart, and your voice.
Anywhere you start outsourcing these things or let it just become too basic you are going to get lost in the sea of vanilla and with so much competition out there copy is the place that not nearly enough people are paying attention and you can have an advantage.
I want to talk about why it’s particularly important for beginners to get in on this. It was one of the fortunate things that happened for me at the beginning of my journey. When I first started to learn about coaching and the world of coaching I got so turned on by it. I remember that part of my coach training was around business.
I happened to stumble upon all of these different books and different people that were talking about the importance of copy. I dove straight in. I want to read you something that one of our students wrote to us wishing that she had learned about copy sooner.
Let me read to you what she said to us:
“The moment I went through the first lesson I wished I had done it sooner. I don’t feel like I’m talking on a stage to an empty theater anymore. It would have saved me lots of time if I had gotten The Copy Cure in the first place.”
By the way, y’all, if you don’t want to do Copy Cure, cool, just substitute copy training for that. She says:
“My launches, Facebook ads, social media posts, blog posts, engagement went so much after the program it would have been great to have done this earlier. So, don’t wait. Do it. It’s a great investment for your business.”
That was a woman named Melinda. We love that because all of us think, especially at the beginning of our business, “I’ll handle that later,” and, “I don’t need that right now because that’s more advanced.”
Bull shit. It is not. It is the foundation of your business. The only way you’re going to get to an advanced level is if you have this skill set under your belt. I think another reason it is important, especially for beginners to get this under their belt, when your list is small it will actually help you convert more people.
A woman named Shauna wrote to us and said, “I’ve sold $1,000 worth of products in two weeks to a small list of only 305 subscribers.”
I remember this from my early days. When you have a small list and you don’t have much revenue coming in the ability to capitalize on even those small amount of readers can help you grow to that next level. Having that revenue come in can mean the difference between hiring your first part-time assistant, your first virtual assistant, being able to invest more in the business through advertising, or whatever you need to do.
Another woman named Gerta wrote us, “I have a super small list of 66 people, to be precise, and I converted 15 of them into paying clients.”
MARIE: Yeah. So, again this is like the impact of being able to use the right words to inspire people to act. As business owners it’s our responsibility to learn how to do that.
AMY: So many of my listeners struggle with growing their email list. I think their ears just perked up. It’s like, “Wait a second,” this can be easier. I always say it’s not about growing a huge email list it’s just making an impact with the list that you already have.
MARIE: Well Amy, sorry to cut you off, I’m so sorry. I want to dive into this. If you only have, like Gerta, 66 people, if 15 of them became paying clients and you wowed the virtual pants off of them they are so happy. You over delivered. Then let’s say all of the sudden you have 15 amazing testimonials.
Don’t you think it’s going to be a lot easier to grow your list when you have that social proof and that confidence of how well you are servicing the people you already have? Rather than looking for more volume it’s about maximizing what we already have.
For everyone listening, again, obviously I’m biased. I know you are biased because you know me and we’ll talk about The Copy Cure in a minute, but I want everyone listening to commit to learning copy no matter who they learn it from.
Learn this, because I want people to succeed.
AMY: I think it’s essential. I love that you said it’s nonnegotiable. This is something you have to learn no matter where you learn it. You’ve just got to make it a priority.
To kind of go a little bit further with that, besides saving a whole lot of money by being able to do this yourself, because if you do hire it out and you find someone really good they are incredibly expensive (just for the record). I know this first hand.
Just alone saving money is a huge benefit of learning it yourself. But what are some of the other big advantages of learning to write your own copy?
MARIE: One for me, and I just experienced this yesterday because I wrote a blog post rather than doing a Marie.TV video like we normally do because I am in the midst of writing my book so I’m in a big writing mode right now, I think it’s the emotional feedback.
The impact you can make with your audience is huge. We’ve had students say that writing has become so enjoyable for them that they finally finished the first draft of their books. I heard that so many times. I know that writing a book, and Amy congratulations because I know you have one, I have one and am working on my second, for many of us writing a book is one of those big bucket list items.
Learning how to be able to have your words flow and the emotional impact that comes from being able to change people’s lives through a book is huge. I’ll say this about the blog post yesterday, I kind of opened that loop and didn’t close it, I had people, friends who I haven’t heard from in a while and people just randomly texting me and hitting me up in my DMs and Instagram talking to me about the impact my words made on them yesterday.
We heard this from our Copy Cure students too. I’ve had our students say, “People I’ve never met are emailing me just to say, ‘thank you,’ for writing my latest blog post.”
If you’re someone who’s in business and genuinely has a desire to positively impact other people’s lives and you want to feel that connection, the benefit of writing your own copy means that you have the ability to inspire others to change their lives and to feel that connection come back to you, I think, is priceless.
I’ll say another benefit is that you have more time to focus on other things. We’ve had many students say they can rip out a blog post in virtually no time where it took them hours upon hours upon hours before because we taught them how to remove the emotional blocks and gave them strategies and we have amazing sentence stems and all of these little tricks that we use to get people into the flow and onto the page and doing things ten to 20 to 100 times faster than they did before.
You have more time to focus on other things and less time feeling like you’re going to pull your hair out and wanting to cry while staring at a blank white page.
Another thing, this was actually big for me, is control. In our world in business, you know this Amy, how quickly do things change? Things happen in the media, things happen in your business, you get a great idea for a new offering, you want to run some type of special.
There’s something that comes to you that you are inspired about and you are like, “I need to make this live now.” When you rely on freelancers, when you rely on other people to do your writing, not only is it expensive in terms of time but in terms of the ability to control your own business destiny.
Many of our students say that any time their business changes they just edit the copy themselves. They don’t have to put their work on hold. They don’t have to wait in line for someone to write them what they can say themselves.
You know me, Amy, I like having control. So that level of control, I think, is really, really crucial, especially in these times when business and media and everything changes so fast. To be able to handle it yourself is huge.
We obviously talked about saving money because you’re not hiring out. But making more money. We have an e-commerce set of students with a floral arrangement business. Their e-commerce sales, in three months, after all they did was change their descriptions, they are changing their descriptions of how they talked about things, went from $54,000 to $119,000.
They said they have never seen their sales grow that much and the only thing they changed was the copy on their website.
AMY: Come on. That is good.
MARIE: They aren’t selling coaching. They’re not selling how to make money. They’re selling flowers. Flowers! Then we have a dental sales student who went from making between $2,000 and $7,000 a month to $30,000 a month via email sales. Again, this wasn’t coaching. She is selling dental equipment.
AMY: Oh my gosh, this is so good. I love when you use examples of people that do things other than selling coaching and how to make money online, basically stuff we do. I love these other examples to show this is so incredibly doable.
MARIE: Yes. And the reason I want to say that, I do want to address this for a minute because rightfully so, our industry can get a couple of people that are snarky or negative or say it just works for “you guys” because…
I’m like, listen, you need to sit down and be humble because I have literally pages upon pages of businesses that do nothing like what you and I do, Amy. This happens to be our passion, by the way.
If I didn’t do this and didn’t like and enjoy this stuff I wouldn’t be doing it. If I was passionate about flowers I’d be selling flowers. If I was passionate about something else that’s what I’d be selling. But my point is, “yes,” words move us.
Think about it. We don’t have to get into this in terms of which side, but think about politics. Think about John F. Kennedy. Think about Martin Luther King, Jr. Think about how their words moved social movements into action and changed history.
Whether you’re in business, whether you are in a non-profit, whatever you do, words are powerful and when you learn how to use them you empower yourself to change the world.
AMY: Amen to that. I absolutely love it, which is a perfect segue to the fact that I wanted to ask you about your upcoming webinar. It’s called Five Writing Mistakes That are Killing Your Sales and How to Fix Them.
I absolutely love your webinars, just for the record. You know I’m a webinar snob. I know a good webinar. Yours are so fun, especially because the last one I was on there was a dance party. That was a lot of fun.
But they are also full of strategies and actionable tips you can take away. Tell us about this upcoming webinar.
MARIE: Five Writing Mistakes That are Killing Your Sales and How to Fix Them is born out of me when I get really frustrated and see people making mistakes. It’s like, “No, you don’t have to do that.”
It’s a very hands-on tactical webinar. I’m going to walk people through those mistakes and we’re going to show lots of examples of how to fix them. There will be a lot of before and afters with real websites, real copy, and just giving people a great cheat sheet they can walk away with and go, “Okay, awesome. Here’s my checklist.”
As you move forward and as you are writing words for your business you can make sure not to make these mistakes and do the right thing to help yourself get more sales and more impact.
Here’s what really crushes me, Amy. I really cannot stand seeing any business owner working their tails off, because I know how hard it is, I’m with you guys. We’re putting in 14-hour or 16-hour days. We’re there on the weekends. We’re doing everything in our power to make our businesses successful for our families, for the purpose they serve in the world, to create that freedom that we want.
It crushes me when copy is the thing that’s holding people back. Sometimes they just don’t even know it. But here’s the thing I want everyone to take away from this. It is not rocket science to learn this. I promise you.
What’s even better is it gets to be so much fun once you get the basics down. Amy, I will tell you inside of Team Forleo we have so much fun with our copy now. Everything is hard work. To put anything together is a ton of hard work. But, once you, and even if you have a team, start to understand the basics it becomes fun.
When writing those 30 headlines you start having laughter sessions. The combinations you put together and then when you see the results, you see your open rates go up. You see the conversions go up. It’s just joyful all the way around.
I do want to say this, whether you learn copy from us, whether you learn it on this webinar or you learn it from another source, I really want people to promise themselves they will develop the skill so they can succeed with their business.
Before we wrap up I want to share a favorite quote I have by Nietzsche, “All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with. Then I can turn the world upside down.”
AMY: That’s so good, so good.
MARIE: So, I will say for everyone listening, man, get your copywriting skills under control. You can totally do it. You don’t have to be a perfect writer. You certainly don’t need a Ph.D. in writing. You just need a few tips and tricks and then your copy is going to sell.
AMY: Marie, this has been so fantastic. I know so many of my listeners are going to want to check out the webinar at https://www.amyporterfield.com/copy. It’s as simple as that. Marie, thank you so much for spending the time telling us the stories and examples and the actionable tips. I really cannot wait for my students to embrace copywriting.
MARIE: Awesome, me too. Thanks for having me again, Amy.
AMY: Thanks again. Okay, so there you have it. I hope you loved this interview with Marie as much as I have. I want to share one final thought. That is that all of the marketing strategies in the world, the webinar techniques, the course creation techniques, the list-building techniques, all the stuff I love to teach you, none of that will matter if you cannot craft a message that will resonate with your audience to want to buy your courses, join your email list, and become a part of your coaching programs and your service packages or whatever it is that you are selling.
The message matters and there’s nobody better in your business than you to craft it and to deliver it and that is where copywriting fits into the mix.
I want you to remember that. You are incredibly capable of being a phenomenal copywriter. I believe that with all of my being and I’ll believe in your more than you can believe in yourself until you start to think, “Wait a second, I’ve got this. I can do this.”
You’ll get there.
The second thing I want to tell you is that Marie’s webinars are live. They are not evergreen. If you’re listening to this weeks or months after it airs you have missed it and that’s super unfortunate but hopefully she’ll do them again down the road.
If you’re listening to this when the episode has gone live don’t wait to sign up because you’ll miss your opportunity if you do. Go to https://www.amyporterfield.com/copy to get all of the details of her live webinar. Its’ going to be worth it. I’m going to be there and I hope you’ll be there as well.
Okay guys, thank you so very much for tuning in. I cannot wait to talk to you again same time, same place next week. Bye for now.