Miracles, by Definition (Copywriting Tip #9)

Quick Copywriting Tip #9: Better Products Make for Better Copy.

These days, when people ask for advice about how to “fix” their sales copy, the first question I usually ask is…

Does anyone actually want to buy this?

Sounds like a jerk question. Some people are offended when I ask it. I’m not trying to be a jerk. But this is THE question.

If people don’t already want the product or the result it produces, there isn’t much point in talking about the copy. There has to be at least a modicum of desire.

Example from my city (Bourbonnais, IL): How does a funeral home sell complimentary bus trips? What copy changes could make this appealing?

copywriting tip offers

Last year, there was a client I really wanted to work with. At some point during our conversation, I told the president of the company “I can’t work miracles on demand. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve got the wrong guy.”

Miracles, by definition, cannot be produced on demand. There are a few copywriters who come close.

Good products — products targeted at specific needs — need fewer miracles. They make copy better almost by default.

If your product doesn’t meet the market where it’s at...if no one signs up for the complimentary funeral parlor bus trip… don’t automatically blame the copy.

Find out what people want and make that. Give your copywriter something to work with.

According to Gary Bencivenga, this is the 9-word secret so powerful that it has built more fortunes than any other principle in marketing: A gifted product is mightier than a gifted pen.

Have a productive day!

P.S. Any creative ideas about how to sell those bus trips??? 🙂

Check out all 13 Quick Copywriting Tips.


Why I Only Teach One Kind of Telepathy

Did you see the marketing prank Sony did to promote the movie ‘Carrie’ last fall? It’s very clever and quite amusing when you know what’s going on. If you’ve never seen it, you should watch it. The video is less than 2.5 minutes. Even if you have seen it, you’ll probably enjoy watching it again.

[ The prank is about telekinesis, not telepathy, but I’ll come back to that because I teach one form of that, too. ]

Telepathy is transmitting a message from your brain directly to another person’s brain. And far from being confined to the fantasy world of sci-fi and horror movies, it is real. It is the force that moves nations as well as individual citizens like you and me.

“It’s amusing when you stop to think about it – for years people have argued about whether or not such a thing exists…and all the time it’s been right there, lying out in the open… All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing offers the purest distillation.”
~ Stephen King

Plato’s Republic. The Communist Manifesto. The Bible. The course of history has been shaped by the words written in these books.

Advertising words have also influenced culture, changed perceptions and built empires:

“This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” (Who can forget that one?)
“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.”  (At the time of his death Forrest Mars and two of his sons were the 29th, 30th and 31st riches Americans)
“A diamond is forever.”  (In 1939 only 10% of engagement rings had diamonds. By 1990, 80% did, largely because of the marketing efforts of the De Beers diamond cartel)

You Are Telepathic, Too…

…but you have to be intentional about it. Rule number one of selling is that nothing sells itself, no matter how good it is.

The people who should be your customers

  • don’t know you exist
  • don’t know there’s a solution for their problems at all
  • are already buying from the competition or
  • aren’t ready to buy yet.

The survival and success of your business depends on you proactively fixing each of those issues.

You need to get your sales message your should-be customers’ minds. That’s telepathy.

Then, you need to get those people to take action based on the message you delivered. That’s telekinesis.

The telepathy part
Create an appealing message. Consider what will appeal to those should-be customers; that’s more important than what you think is cool about your product. The approach most likely to get the right kind of attention is to address, in an interesting way, a topic that has a big impact on them.

Very few things get our attention like problems we’re facing right now.

(Check out the P.S. below for a partial list of ways to deliver your messages)

In that first instant, you must identify who you’re talking to (your should-be customers) and why they should continue paying attention. You can plainly state what kind of benefit they’ll get or you can tease them along with mystery. Both work well in certain situations.

Keep them interested by continually letting the reader/viewer/listener what’s in it for him. In the case above, the reader will have a happier wife, more productive communication, less time sleeping on the couch, etc.

The telekinesis part:

Let should-be customer know how to take advantage of your offer. Make the decision as easy as possible for him; remove as many obstacles (real or imagined) as possible. Help him see what he’ll be missing if he doesn’t take action.

Of course, not everyone will receive the message you’re sending out, and not everyone will move the way you hope. That’s just how these things work. But you have to realize that people everyone has needs and desires, and there’s a segment of the population for whom your product or service is the perfect solution. You would do them (and yourself) a disservice by not trying to get your thoughts into their minds and help them make choices that are in their best interest.

I’ll be sharing the best insights I’ve got on this topic during tonight’s Irresistible Offers teleseminar. If you’d like to improve your telepathic and telekinetic abilities, head over to http://donnie-bryant.com/irresistible-offers/ to get registered. (I refuse to under-deliver, and my money-back guarantee confirms the fact).

P.S. Here’s a partial list of telekinesis delivery methods, in no particular order:

Writing blog posts or articles, on your site or other sites your target customers is likely to follow
Write for magazines, newsletters or trade journals
(Self) Publish and promote a book
Build and communciate with an email list. Or “borrow” someone else’s list
Real mail
Interview or be interviewed in traditional media (radio, TV, newspaper), Google Hangout, podcast, etc.
Youtube or Vimeo. Not (necessarily) being cool or funny, but educating, offering value and being helpful
Banner ads online
Space ads in newspapers or magazines
Pay-per click
Radio or TV commercials
Make phone calls
SMS mobile marketing
Social media

If you need help figuring out which of these channels will work for you, or if you’re not sure how to best use them to communicate your message, feel free to get in touch.



Why Selling Is So Hard?

No Trespassing. No Selling Allowed

Most people won’t say this in public, but behind closed doors and in their innermost thoughts, you hear it with staggering frequency:

“Why won’t these dummies buy my product?? They know they need it! I’ve clearly shown them how much better their lives will be when they start using it.

Selling is HARD! Argg!!

Yes, selling is hard. The reason is simple: it is impossible to change someone’s mind. Literally impossible.

But you still have to get people to say yes or click a button for your business or career to survive. How do you do it? Why is there a small percentage of people who make selling look so easy? How do I become one of the ones who make it look easy?

Your prospects have “No Trespassing” signs posted at every one of the entrances to the mind. The guards are very selective about who they allow inside the gates.

If you try to punch a hole through their mental defenses, you’ll soon find out how ineffective (and exhausting) that can be. Using hype and high-pressure tactics is a foolish approach — no matter how cool the Wolf of Wall Street makes it look.

Here’s what it boils down to:

There are things that your would-be customers really want to do, but for numerous reasons they can’t bring themselves to take action.

They want to start investing so they can retire comfortably. They want six-pack abs. They want to meet their soulmate.

Your job is to give your customers the psychological, emotional and volitional strength to get out of their own way.

To empower them to grab hold of their better future.

That’s what we’re going to talk about during Monday’s Irresistible Offers teleseminar.

We’re going to tackle the topic of persuasive selling based on how the brain works…how human emotion works…how language works.

There is one psychological reality that puts all the pieces of the persuasion puzzle into a single, cohesive concept.

Instead of long lists of complicated techniques and formulas (which all talk about different things), you’ll discover a simple but incredibly enlightening illustration of the how the mind works and what makes persuasion work.

You’ll learn why people say ‘yes’ and you’ll learn what it takes to get more yeses from your sales and marketing.

Everyone who makes selling look easy leverages this reality, consciously or unconsciously.

This session is going to be a real eye-opener, with research gathered from

  • the U.S. Army
  • the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • the latest psychological and neuroscientific studies
  • social movements
  • millions of dollars of direct marketing testing
  • and Hollywood, possibly the greatest influencer of culture on the planet.

If you’re an entrepreneur, salesperson, marketer, copywriter or anyone who needs to be more persuasive, you don’t want to miss this call. The insights you’ll gain could change everything for you.

Understanding what makes people tick and learning to make offers they can’t resist — now that’s a good investment.

My promise to you:

The teleseminar starts from 8:00pm Eastern on Monday, August 11th. The cost is $58.

I’ve condensed the best insights I have on selling in person, print or pixel into an hour-long. I’m not holding anything back. I’ve only spoken publicly about some of this information once in the past 2 year (at my paid workshop in June). Parts of it I’ve never shared before, which is why the teleseminar is more expensive than the workshop.

At $58, it’s a freakin’ steal. I guarantee you’ll get 99 times more value than what you spend or I’ll happily give you a full refund — before I go to bed Monday night.

I can’t stand sitting in on presentations and listening to the “same old, same old.” Don’t you hate that? I’m not going to put you through that torture. If you don’t learn something brand new, I’ll give happily your money back.

Let me help you get past your customers’ “No Trespassing” signs. Sign up for the Irresistible Offers teleseminar here.


Are You Playing the Flashlight Game with Your Clients

Blackout Attention

My 4 year-old son gets a major kick out of playing with flashlights. He loves to turn out all the lights in the house and pretend it’s a blackout. Then he runs around the house, exploring and frolicking in the dark.

His fascination must have started during a real power outage about 2 years ago (seen in the photo above).

The other night, my 11 year-old twin daughters (also seen in the photo) were putting away their laundry when the flashlight game began. The weren’t supposed to play along, but the game’s allure proved to be too strong. Before long, the girls stopped working to join the fun.

The flashlight game is far too enticing to ignore.

Are Your Clients Playing Your Game?

When you reach out to your prospects and customers, are you presenting them with ideas, words, images and offers too enticing too ignore?

Frankly, none of us have much of an option these days. The people you’re trying to connect with have a limited mental bandwidth. They can only really pay attention to one thing at a time — and there are no shortage of messages and people fighting to be that one thing.

The brain always pays attention to the most interesting thought it can find. Not necessarily the most meaningful or most important, but the most interesting. (That doesn’t mean that you throw away the meaningful, important stuff. You just have to lead with a thought so intriguing that it can’t be ignored. Earn attention, then deliver the meat of the message.)

Turning the Lights On

A flashlight in a dark room gets everyone’s attention. In marketing, it’s not quite that simple. You have to know what kinds of things your ideal clients are interested in. Hint: every answer to this question is about the client — not you.

Everyone is interested in problems that are bugging them…pain that is plaguing them…goals they haven’t reached yet. What are your audience’s problems, pains and goals?

Speak to your clients and potential clients in an unexpected way. Predicable marketing is easily dismissed. Make big, yet believable claims. Or make promises that are so unbelievable that the listener/reader/viewer can’t help but wonder what you’re up to.

One of my favorite novelists, Ted Dekker, put it like this: A good writer is one who can take those rather blunt instruments called words and string them together in a way that turns lights on.

Connection Concept

Whatever you do, don’t be boring!

In many ways, your audience are walking around in the dark. It’s your job to get their attention so you can turn on the lights for them.

There’s only a few more hours to get the 50% discount on next week’s Irresistible Offers teleseminar.  Until 11:59 Central tonight (August 4th), you’ll pay $29 for the hour-long training. Find out more at http://donnie-bryant.com/irresistible-offers/.

**Update May 19, 2017**

I recently recorded a livestream video about writing copy that wins and keeps your should-be clients’ attention. In about 10 minutes, I shared 4 critical ideas that you can put into practice today. Thought you might get some value from it.