SHOULD YOU WRITE OUT SALES LETTERS BY HAND?

Want to get good at writing copy fast?

The easiest way to do this is by writing out sales letters by hand.

This is something I used to do religiously every day of the week.

In fact, I did it for years.

What you’ll notice after writing out a letter by someone like say, Gary Halbert, is that anything you write afterwards will sort of sound like him. Another thing is that writing out ads  gives you a far deeper look into them. You get to see under the hood so to speak. Plus it gives you a kind of, “Neurological imprint” for writing A-Grade copy.

But there’s one mistake which a lot of people make when doing this.

They write out the wrong type of ads.

You see, what you need to do is stick to offline ads by world class copywriters.

The reason for this simple:

Online ads are not nearly as good. On the internet you can get away with a lot that you just can’t in the real world. What’s more, running ads online is, in most cases, almost completely free. This makes writing out online ads a total waste of time, and actually counterproductive.

Now compare this to old school direct mail and space ads.

These cost huge amounts of money to run.

(They even cost money just to test)

Meaning they had to be vastly better than the stuff you see on the internet.

Bottom line:

Writing out ads is the fastest way to get good at writing copy.

But stick to the classic stuff and avoid online ads.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

WHY ACTORS SUPPORT CHARITIES

As I’m sure you know everything in Hollywood is fake:

If you read the Wikipedia page of any actor you might notice something…

They all seem support some or other charity. 

Why do they do this is?

Is it because actors want to, “Give back…”

No, the reason why they do this is mostly for publicity. It’s basically to boost their public image as a good person. It’s one of the secrets to becoming a powerful A-list celebrity and part of the business of being a movie star. The point I’m trying to make is that you shouldn’t trust people who seem too nice.

People who seem perfect usually aren’t.

Even worse they are often hiding something.

For example, I was going to work for a guy who wanted me to write blog posts. To do this I had to read through his blog. What I immediately noticed was that he went on and on about what a good person he was. How he supported this or that charity and how much he loved his wife and kids and all that. But in the end he turned out to be a complete scum bag. He basically took my posts and used them and never paid me a cent.

(Oh well lesson learnt get the money upfront.)

What does this have to do with copywriting?

There’s a technique known as, “Admitting to a damaging flaw.”

You basically want to reveal that your product or service isn’t perfect.

Doing this makes you seem more human and relatable and strengthens belief.

It’s something you should do in every piece of copy you write.

Remember, perfect is boring and totally unbelievable.

Cheers,

Alastair

WHY DO GANGSTERS WEAR BLING?

Why do gangsters wear bling:

Is it because they enjoy the feeling of golden chains around their neck…

….or because they like the way it looks?

The reason why is a lot simpler.

Bling is, “Evidence of wealth.”

It’s basically advertising and proof they have money and can run a successful enterprise.

(After all, you wouldn’t want to join a gang that isn’t RICH, would you?)

Proof is also what I want to talk about today.

You see, in marketing proof is paramount.

The first step is always to prove that your product does what you claim.

Without proof no one will ever buy.

There are dozens of ways to do this.

The easiest is to get into the media. Appearing in newspapers, magazines, or on TV and the radio provides instantly credibility and proof. Just mention that you’ve been interviewed by this or that outlet and people will believe whatever you say. I mean if it was in the newspaper it must be true, right? Then you have scientific studies, testimonials, and also before and after examples. Celebrity endorsements are great if you can get them and so is a world class guarantee.

But probably the best form of proof is demonstrating the product.

Old school salesmen relied exclusively on demonstration.

(Think about those classic Billy Mays adverts.)

All of these will help to prove your claims.

Remember, proof is paramount.

At the end of the day it’s not about your traffic, affiliates or connections.

You first need to make people believe 100% in what you’re saying.

If you can do that they will fight to give you money.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

SHOULD YOU TELL PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR QUALIFICATIONS?

The other day I was on a message board for freelance writers.

Someone asked a really great question:

Basically this person had a PhD. In Biochemistry.

They wanted to know if they should tell this to prospective clients.

Would it make a difference in them being hired?

The answer is yes and no.

You see, your credentials and qualifications don’t actually mean anything to most people.

Clients don’t care about your education or the rewards you’ve received.

What they care about is the RESULTS those qualifications are going to get them.

That being said, you don’t have to stay quiet about what you’ve achieved.

Instead, you have to present your credentials in the right way.

Realize they’re features and features are benefits.

What you need to do is frame them in a way that provides benefits to your client.

You do this by:

1. Writing them down.

2. Putting them in context and telling clients how the credentials benefit them.

3. Figuring out what type of clients you want.

4. Displaying credentials that appeal to the type of client you’d most like to attract.

For example:

Let’s say you’re a real estate agent and you’ve won an award for sales.

Don’t tell clients this directly.

Frame it in a way that lets them know the award was given for selling the most houses.

Therefore you should be able to quickly sell their house.

Bottom line?

Clients don’t want to know about your degrees and achievements.

They want to know what you’ve done for other clients.

And more importantly what you can do for THEM.

That’s it for now.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

WHY DO COPYWRITERS CHARGE SO MUCH?

If you’ve ever tried to hire a world class copywriter you’ll know they charge through the nose.

But have you ever wondered why they charge so much?

It’s simple.

You see, copywriting is the art (And science) of writing adverts.

More specifically, it’s the art of writing direct response advertising.

With this type of advertising you can measure your response.

By response I mean the number of people who read your ad and buy the product.

What this also means is that you can measure your ROI.

Here’s an example that illustrates this:

Say you have a product with a price tag of $47.

You spend $500 on advertising.

Your ad costs $1000.

1000 people see this ad and 5% respond.

This works out to 50 people which means you make $2350.

Ultimately this means you spent $1500 to generate $850.

At this point you can scale things up, run the ad again and make a fortune.

The fact is that winning sales letters can turn a profit year after year after year.

This is why you need to STOP seeing copywriting as an expense.

Instead you need to start looking at it as an investment which can pay dividends for decades.

Good copywriters know this, which is why they charge so much.

Here’s an even better way to illustrate this idea:

If I gave you $10 for every $8 you gave me, how fast would you give me those bills?

Something to think about.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

SHOULD COPYWRITERS HAVE A BLOG?

Should copywriters have a blog?

The answer is YES.

In fact, blogging is one of your most powerful marketing tools.

You see, here’s something you need realize:

Most copywriters get hung up on having samples. But I’m not really a big believer in this. Most of the time clients don’t even read them. Also, if you’ve been working a while you probably have dozens or even hundreds samples. Eventually updating and maintaining your sample file becomes a massive chore.

The solution to these problems is your blog.

Why?

Because everything you write is a sample.

So instead of giving clients examples of your work simply send them to your blog.

For copywriters this is almost too perfect. Blogging gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of marketing and persuasion. Every post you write allows you to show off your skills and prove that you know what you’re doing.

The caveat is that you have to make an effort.

You have to write each post as if you were being paid a thousand dollars.

As if someone had a gun to your head and you had to convince them to hire you.

Blogging also has other benefits. It’s a great way hone your skills and also gives you something to do when you don’t have client work. If you’re not busy just write a couple of blog posts – it’s better than sitting around all day and doing nothing.

The last step is to set up an email list.

This will also help you market to prospective clients.

It doesn’t have to take any extra work.

Just send them the blog posts you’ve already written.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

BIG TIP FOR ASPIRING COPYWRITERS

If you’re an aspiring copywriter here’s a BIG tip:

When I first started out I spent 90% of my time chasing clients.

As you can imagine this was extremely stressful and even when I found work I made very little money.

But then I got smart and started doing things differently.

And before I knew it I had more high quality clients than I could handle.

What did I do?

It might sound counterintuitive but I realized most copywriters DON’T actually write copy.

What most of them actually do is sell copywriting courses.

There’s a good reason for this:

(Besides making money.)

You see, when most business owners realize they need copy they can do one of two things.

They can hire a copywriter or learn how to write it themselves.

That’s where you come in to sell them an instructional product or two. The trick is that if your product is good they might just decide to hire you instead. At which point you’ve created a HIGHLY qualified prospect…

…with more than enough money to spend on your services.

THIS is how you find dream clients.

Bottom line:

Don’t waste your time chasing bums.

Get clients to come to you instead.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

HOW TO GO FROM EARNING 6 FIGURES TO 7

Pretend you’re in a seminar:

The next speaker comes on…

The audience is half full and no one is really paying attention.

The guy does his bit and goes off stage with very little fanfare.

Then the audience starts to fill up.

They’re here to listen to the next person.

He comes on, the crowd loves him and he goes off to the sound of rapturous applause.

But here’s the funny thing:

The first guy had far better material AND spoke better.

Plus they gave great advice and mentioned dozens of actionable tips.

Worst of all, the first speaker only got paid $10,000 while the second one got $100,000.

Why did this happen?

Was it their material, presentation skills or the seminar they spoke at?

No, what happened was that the second speaker had a bigger profile. You see, a lot of the time it comes down to WHO you are. For example, Richard Branson or Dan Kennedy get paid ten times as much as your average seminar speaker. That’s because speakers are a dime a dozen but there’s only ONE Richard Branson. The ugly truth is that WHO you are is far more important than WHAT you do.

What’s the solution?

Become famous or well known in your niche.

Work like a dog to boost your profile…

Get your name out there…

Publicize yourself…

And Build your brand…

Keep working on it and eventually you’ll be paid for WHO you are instead of WHAT you do.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

HOW TO CREATE AN AURA OF AUTHORITY

One of the ways to create authority is to make everything you do seem effortless.

By cultivating the appearance of effortlessness you can create an aura of great authority.

(After all, it wouldn’t be so easy unless you were an absolute master.)

What you have to realize is that there’s an art to doing this.

The art is making a massive amount of boring, repetitive effort seem easy.

Whether it’s baking cakes or writing copy…

…it needs to seem as if you can create perfection in no time at all.

This is all an illusion of course:

Behind the scenes you may be sweating bullets. That’s why this seeming effortlessness takes years of deliberate practice. You need to practice until your performance seems completely natural and unpracticed. The more you do this the easier your task will actually become.

This will create immense value in your personal branding.

While your audience may know as much as you do, with you it all seems simple and easy.

They will start to look up to you as a leader.

You’ll also stand out amongst your competition.

This is something you can do no matter what type of business you’re in.

Whether you’re a lawyer or graphic designer.

Practice whatever it is you do until it all seems effortless.

Then display this effortlessness to your audience.

This is how you create the aura of great authority.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

STEAL THIS JOURNALISTS TRICK FOR COMING UP WITH GREAT CONTENT FASTER

Back when I was a struggling newbie copywriter I used to work on content mills.

This was an unbelievably depressing and difficult time in my life.

To make any money at all I had to do an enormous amount of work every day.

Sometimes this would mean writing as many as 5000 or more words.

To survive this period I developed a few tricks for writing content at lightning speed.

The first of these was using writing formulas and templates.

One of my go to formulas was something commonly used by journalists. It’s one of the most basic formulas for developing powerful and persuasive content. Not only that, it will stop your copy from sounding boring and you can use it whenever you’re staring at a blank page.

This formula is known as the  5 Ws.

To use it you basically ask the questions WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY and HOW.

Think about these in the context of the topic or person you’re writing about.

For example:

WHO are you?

WHAT do you do for people?

WHEN did you get started?

WHERE do you work?

WHY do you do this?

These questions can be used as a checklist when writing anything. They make your writing richer, more real and make people feel a deeper sense of rapport and connection. With them you can rapidly come up with any type of content…

…and do it almost effortlessly.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton