One of the biggest myths in all of writing is that there is “writing” and then there is “selling.”
- Writing = good, smart, helpful, etc.
- Selling = bad, sleazy, scammy, etc.
There is a misconception in the world of communication that “sales copy” is this thing you do when you are trying to “trick” customers into buying your products. As if, the moment you start to speak to the benefit or the outcome of what you are providing the person, you have entered unforgivable territory. God forbid you sell!
As a result, since so many people are afraid of coming off as “salesy,” they over-rotate in the opposite direction.
They talk about themselves.
- “I worked very hard on this book.”
- “I spend 100 hours creating this course.”
- “I care so, so much about this topic.”
Or, they are try to appeal to “everyone” by being vague.
- “Synchronicity at its finest.”
- “The change we seek in the world.”
- “Greatness for all.”
(These phrases mean nothing—and the reader/customer has absolutely no idea what you’re saying.)
Both of these are poor strategies.
$10,000,000 Sales Copy Advice
The reality is, it doesn’t matter whether you call it “writing” or you call it “selling.”
Either way, your job as a writer and creator is to “sell” readers on your ideas.
For example: if you go into a bookstore, grab a book off the shelf, and start reading the first page, the very first question you are asking yourself is, “Do I buy this? Do I believe this will make a difference in my life?” If you do, then you buy the book. And if you don’t, then you leave it on the shelf for the next person.
How “good” the writing is, is irrelevant. All that matters is whether or not it speaks directly to you and your wants, needs, hopes, dreams, and ambitions. You are only going to buy the book if you “buy into” the ideas themselves.
With the above in mind, it’s important to realize that great writers who don’t understand how to “sell” are not great writers.
Because no one reads their work. Their egos are too big to consider that maybe, just maybe, they aren’t the main character. Maybe the reader matters more than they do. And in order to get the reader to “buy into” the ideas they (desperately) want to share with the world, then it’s important to speak directly to the wants & needs of that reader.
Selling doesn’t mean “tricking” the reader.
It means understanding who they are—and then proving you can successfully help them along their journey.
Here are 7 “sales copy” phrases to do that:
1. "This small action will lead to a giant outcome."
Every single person on earth wants something big for something small.
- Lots of money for minimal investment
- Life-changing outcomes for minimal effort
- Reaching the finish line in minimal time
If you notice, almost every best-selling non-fiction book uses these phrases.
What’s the subtitle of Atomic Habits?
Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results. An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
That’s because it’s hard for readers to “buy into” your ideas if the first words out of your mouth are: “This is going to be very hard. And exhausting.”
2. “This massive problem can be fixed with this simple solution."
Again, every single person on earth wants to conquer mountains while riding on a ski lift:
- Huge obstacle, overcome instantly.
- Complicated problem, made easy.
- You've been lost, now you're found.
People need to know that the journey you’re going to take them on isn’t The Road To Mordor.
And so the more you can tell them, at the very beginning, that you’re going to take them on a fun, enjoyable, even “easy” road, the more likely they are to START.
Then, once they START, you can help them overcome each individual obstacle along the way.
3. "The outcome you want isn't far away."
Which is more exciting?
- “If you take these vitamins every single day for the next 50 years, you’ll live 2 years longer than the average person.”
- “If you take this painkiller right now, you’ll be pain-free instantly.”
Every single person is going to reach for the painkiller.
This is a Sales Copywriting 101 concept: be a painkiller, not a vitamin. But the bigger idea here is that you always want people to know that the outcome, result, or “relief” they desire can be accessed right now. Because the further into the future you make them wait, the more likely they are to shift their attention somewhere else—in search of someone who can give them what they want right now.
Which means you need to educate people on why:
- The thing(s) they desire are closer than they think
- Tie their small actions today to giant outcomes tomorrow
- And show them how starting TODAY is the key that unlocks the future they desire.
You have to connect the future to the present.
4. "It's not your fault."
This is another Sales Copywriting 101 idea:
Never blame the customer.
The reason is because, when you begin the conversation with, “Hey. You’re the problem,” then more likely than not you’re going to trigger feelings of insecurity, defensiveness, fear, self-loathing, etc. And you don’t want that! You want to help the person, and open the door for transformation and change.
So instead, help the person find someone/something else to blame:
- “Nobody showed you the right way.”
- “Someone else set you up to fail.”
- “You were given the wrong information.”
Giving them someone/something else to blame helps them feel empowered to move forward and try something new.
And THEN, once they’re on the journey, slowly over time they will realize on their own that it was them who got in their own way.
But by then, they’ll have already changed.
And voila—that’s how you help people transform.
5. "You've already done the hardest part."
Another great way to help people take their FIRST step is by reminding them (and validating) any and all progress they HAVE made so far:
- Celebrate the little steps they’ve already taken.
- Show them they “have what it takes” based on some of their previous “wins”
- Be their biggest believer, cheer them on, and remind them of their own potential
Remember: most people don't have support systems.
6. "I couldn't do this either."
If you are a missionary Digital Writer, Creator, or Entrepreneur, then you have most likely created a product, service, platform, or community that solved a problem you were experiencing in your own life.
Which means your story IS the customer’s story.
And the more you share YOUR story, the more likely the reader/customer is to see themselves in your journey & transformation:
- "Here's where I started—just like you."
- "Here were my problems—just like you."
- "Here's what I tried—just like you."
- "Here's where I ended up—and you can too."
7. "I'm going to let you in on a little secret..."
Finally, if you've been in your industry for a long time, then chances are you know some things "most people don't."
So, share what you know.
It’s not about “tricking” the reader/customer. It’s about letting them in on “insider knowledge.” It’s about making them feel like they’ve just discovered a new source of truth. It’s about giving them the feeling that you have suffered and endured all the painful lessons they would have had to learn on their own—and here you are, ready to give away all the valuable takeaways you learned as a result.
Crazy stats work very well here.
The more you can “pull back the curtain,” the more people are going to trust you.
Sales Copy Is “Truth-Telling” In A Persuasive Way
When you are “selling” people on your ideas—whether you are writing a book, creating a course, or launching a business—the outcome you are striving for is to help people realize, “Wow! This person is telling the truth!!!”
You want them to feel like, FINALLY, they have discovered someone they can rely on to tell it like it is.
And the more you can “tell the truth” in a compelling way, the more likely they are to buy into your ideas, buy your products, and buy into your mission and vision for the future.
And who doesn’t want that?
Enjoyed this edition? Click here to share it on Twitter!