The Online Entrepreneurship Survival Dossier
Many people think operating an online business is good idea to make some extra money or to provide them with a way to work anywhere they want. An online business can be a very lucrative way to make money. A online business can also provide you with more freedom with your time.
The key to having a successful online business is to find one that you believe in and that suits your style. For instance, if you don’t like selling things or contacting people face to face or by phone, then you probably need to choose a online business that meets these requirements.
Like a long pole, that can shift a great weight with often gentle leverage; such is the case with succeeding in business.
Your chances of succeeding – as an “army of one” can make you feel like Tantalus, the character from Greek mythology who is forced to push a giant boulder up a mountain, only to watch it roll back down and begin pushing it back up the steep incline again.
The reason for this analogy is that statistically, the overwhelming majority of new businesses failing is somewhere between 95% to 99% depending on which study is cited.
Collaborative marketing, or joint venture marketing, is the critical key to enjoying long-term success.
There are approximately 100,000,000+ websites out there…and that number is only growing daily.
Without employing a great deal of informed effort and collaborative networking skills under your belt; you chances of not getting noticed are virtually guaranteed!
Though there are many different types of leverage, two- in particular- will be explored in this segment:
Collaborative Marketing Leverage
Times have changed. All but gone (certainly rare, to say the least) are the days when you could merely just e-mail an e-zine publisher with a copy of your offerings and gain a 50% profit-share.
Conversely, it used to be that you could put an ad in a local newspaper and expect to have your phone ringing off the hook.
The days of paying $500 per month (or more) for an ad in a Yellow Pages phone directory are also long gone, even though the phone directory listing prices have continued rise, while the return-on-investment has dropped drastically.
The internet, Google Adwords, and digital marketing has replaced print advertising.
You’ve got to captivate your potential partners and clients with a more strategic, longer-range choice of killer benefits, as well.
Prove to them that you are extremely sensitive to their overall wants, needs and desires- not yours or mine.
Mutually-beneficial, economically profitable and comfortable alliances, partnerships, and client cultivation practices take time to develop…
It’s all about building trust with your desired customer or client.
When another entrepreneur, someone you want to build a partnership with, recognizes you as a genuine expert within your niche, and that you just don’t recommend anything that you- yourself- are not absolutely delighted with as the end-consumer…
They will be far more enthusiastic about joining with you in the future, because people like to do business with people they know and trust.
Most businesses promote from within. Most small business owners employ family members or personal friends, whether they can do their job or not. So forming relationships is critical to business success, because very few people will work with someone they do not already know and trust.
Networking personally can only go so far and most people consider attendance at networking groups to be a waste of time and effort…as they never hear from the people they met after the group meeting is over.
Are you someone who is trustworthy and whole-heartedly worth getting to know?
Does your collaboration or joint venture proposal showcase them in the ‘limelight?”
Is your focus on assisting them, in every way within your means, to help them grow their business and become even more successful?
If not – You need to seriously reconsider your marketing priorities…before you ‘figure it out’ the hard way!
That said… nothing can propel you to (seemingly) overnight success like a well-thought-out and deftly-crafted plan for forging business alliances – Nothing.
Every single truly successful marketer realized – at some point within their career- that in order to get to where they are truly trying to be; they have to whole-heartedly and cheerfully assist others in doing the same.
This is especially true when making first contact with a good potential partner…remember; it is you going to them, for something you want – Not the other way around.
Until you’ve cultivated your own master list of 20,000, 50,000, even 100,000 loyal readers and subscribers; and you are now the one getting slammed with 10 to 20 viable proposals or requests for services per day, on average…
To create successful, mutually beneficial joint ventures or opportunities for mutually-beneficial collaboration; you must pole-position your wants, needs and desires in such a way as to naturally resonate with, compliment, overlap, theirs.
Often times, this is much easier said than done; as good joint venture proposals require a fair and reasonable amount of selfless and candid receptiveness, attention to detail and deep meditation.
However…the dividends are supremely worth it!
Short of having a “bottomless wallet”…you will quickly realize, early in your online success endeavors; exactly just how difficult it is to drive consistent, pre-screened, quality traffic to your website.
Virtually all of the “marketing gurus” trying to sell you how you, too, can quickly and easily make boatloads of cash online, with no out of pocket expenses; are feeding you an amoral, unethical lie that they know is not true.
And hide your wallet.
Furthermore, they straight-up buy their traffic, one way or another; until such point as they have established a monster army of resellers, partners, customers, clients, subscribers, or leads.
The “secret to my success” is almost always something they either don’t know themselves, deep pockets, bank loans, rich family members, or a considerably large circle of friends.
Then you too can- indeed- make boatloads of cash on the Internet and perhaps even become the next “guru…”.
Safe Rule of Thumb for Any Business Endeavor
The more money (up front) you invest in yourself, the less time that you’ll be shackled to your venture. The less money you are willing to you invest in yourself, the more time you will spend (exponentially) to overcome lack of funds.
In a nutshell, you can actually become quite successful on the internet- generating a modest but decent income through digital marketing- with virtually no out-of-pocket expenses. However…
Do plan on exercising due diligence and spending thousands of hours in the long run working online.
This is why it is critically important to choose something that you are 100% absolutely passionate about- as the end-consumer “evangelist!”
On a daily basis, we at Sudden Impact Web Design, LLC, get phone calls, e-mails, text messages, and people coming up to us at presentations, asking how to fix their broken websites. Or they ask why their websites aren’t getting any traction, or why their brilliant business idea isn’t taking off.
And then they get angry when I ask how their idea will generate sustained revenue, who their preferred target customer is, how they intend to compete with other local businesses in the industry, or what they’ll do if an unforeseen problem arises…..
The bottom line is that most businesses fail because those involved haven’t completed proper due diligence research, don’t have proper support in place, probably don’t know what they’re doing, feel overwhelmed,
I apologize if the blunt truth of the matter “takes the wind out of your sails”…but, again- I wish someone was this brutally honest with me years ago!
“This will increase your profitability substantially, while cutting down your work load!”
The closer you want to get to achieving more free time and the boatloads of money you’ve indubitably been promised time and time again…
The more closely you must examine exactly what it takes to become as digitally automated as possible! Which also takes into consideration creative opportunities such as outsourcing, using a virtual assistant, content marketing, viral internet marketing and joint venture business to business bartering.
One very excellent example is the awe-inspiring power of automated responders. Depending on your particular approach; a deftly-crafted automated responder series can cultivate long-term customers, clients, subscribers, etc…Only if the information you are divulging is of a high-quality and addresses a profound need.
Another prime example is a genuinely high-quality, low cost or complimentary e-book. Most especially if these can be re-branded, featuring an indirect promotion of your primary business venture.
In many instances a mutually-beneficial strategic partnership in which there is no competition but cooperation…. In which you provide readers access to a membership site (of varying levels of membership) with a step-by-step plan of action and everything they need to achieve their own success, on- line (tenacity notwithstanding, of course).
In each of these examples, the Principle of Labor Replication (another demonstration of leverage) is invoked- your one and only way to consistent success in internet marketing….
Regardless of your offerings…but if you are not willing to actually put forth the effort and initially act upon your knowledge, and then this will merely be exertion, or “busy work” to you.
This is one subject that the vast majority of internet marketing “gurus,” “wantrepreneurs,” and people who claim to have an idea for “the next Facebook” or “the next Google,” avoid like the plague.
Because if they were 100% straight-up with you from the get-go and told you in no uncertain detail exactly just how hard, time-consuming and resource-consuming owning and operating your own truly successful business really is…
They somehow got it figured that you’ll end up opting out and they’ll end up losing the almighty buck they stood to make on your complete and utter ignorance. The faster and easier they promise you tons of money and leads, and the more rosy the painting they depict; the far more cynical I’d be, if I were you.
And this applies to the so-called joint venture “systems” out there, as well, that rather than becoming partnerships or legitimate long-standing collaborations end up being more time-wasting Ponzi schemes.
Good, solid long-lasting business partnerships or collaborations actually do require a great deal of time, effort and giving of yourself in many ways. Sometimes they are one-sided, don’t work out at all, end up being negative experiences and may require a joint agreement contract of some manner.
However- these are the very the types of efforts that really can make you more successful, hence more profitable, in the long-run, for the long term.
As a matter of fact, if it is anything short of a methodically built-up partnership and collaborative series of ongoing efforts and practices- over a reasonable period of time (6 months to a year)…then I can all but guarantee you that you are setting yourself up for some serious grief.
Sure…the rare exception to the rule- such as that deftly-crafted and patiently-researched joint venture proposal you hit BIG with in just a few short weeks or even days…because you done paid your due diligence!
An entirely different approach: Tell your people the whole truth- and nothing but.
Don’t sell them pipe dreams, fluff and just plain crap; in the hope of making a quick one-time sale. In fact, don’t sell them anything. Give until it hurts.
And when you actually do attempt to “sell” your reader or potential client/customer/partner something:
Do it in a way that they are both absolutely eager and confident in your recommending them such an incredible deal, offer, etcetera. Treat your reader (most literally) as if they were your best friend, and develop a relationship accordingly. And this is just one of many ways due diligence comes into play.
One very sad mistake made over and over again -particular to digital marketing proselytes and neophytes- is promotion of a cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all business opportunity approach that they are absolutely not the delighted end user of. Self-evident.
If you’re just starting out (or strongly considering doing so) – Do not fall into this dark trap….
In other words, before you go wishing failure, stress and duress upon yourself…
Compliments of the infamous University of Hard Knocks:
Be the end consumer of whatever it is you’d seriously consider promoting, and put it to the hardest-core satisfaction tests that you can possibly devise. This is simply something most people will avoid as if being pursued by a rabid wolf. It’s hard work, takes time, and requires introspection. Again, another reason why most new businesses fail rather quickly.
One Chance on the Merry-Go-Round of Life
Find a means of online revenue that is something you are already approaching as a joyful leisure hobby; and then research out business opportunities, business models, partnerships, collaborative efforts that naturally compliment your favorite hobby but in no way could be construed as potentially being a business threat to another similar business endeavor or effort (usually locally for obvious reasons).
After carefully researching and refining your business plans you’d like to focus on; aggressively put it to the test- as the end user- and see if it truly stands the rigors of testing from multiple perspectives, multiple economic scenarios, different ways to cross-pollinate with others locally while not competing with them, and can still, through it all, give the feeling of being enjoyable.
And, though this may- at first- sound a bit oxymoronic; do NOT focus on making the sale. Instead, focus on the wants, needs and desires of your ideal clients/customers/readers, those who understand, need, value and can most benefit from that service or product or series of services, and sales will follow in a completely relaxed, zero-pressure manner.
Your readers, group members, clients, customers, they all will appreciate your lack of hype and high-pressure sales tactics; and will be quicker to recommend you (provided you freely share quality content with them).
You Are Your Target Audience
What’s In It For Me?
It’s ALL about value adding. If I were to actually take a few moments out of my busy day, and somehow experience the totality of your business venture, your business idea, your marketing efforts….
“The challenge you face is that people don’t care about you. They care about themselves, which is pretty natural.”
– Seth Godin
Flipping the Funnel [Companies Edition]
What is my very first impression, visually, of your site?
Are you using obnoxious/psychotic color schemes, hard-to-read fonts and/or multi-media over-load…?
Many people new to web design and new to digital marketing, simply love rotating logos, site animations, site cartoons, loud pictures, music when a site appears for the first time….
Or, is your page clean, crisp, mobile-responsive, and completely devoid of truly unnecessary noise and clutter?
Is your color/font scheme aesthetically pleasing to the eye?
Does your layout represent single-focus, which a clear and definitive call to action?
Or is it confusing to readers as to what they should think, feel, or do?
Can they find what they would be looking for quickly and easily?
What real value are you actually adding to me?
Does the amount of value (you seek to add to me) inspire me to naturally share your website with others, based on simple excellence?
Can you actively pinpoint each of the viral techniques both present, and missing, in each of your online (and offline) business endeavors?
This one principle, alone- if mastered with passion and zeal- will conservatively increase your base-rate chances of outstanding success by at least double.
Do not, for love of all that is precious in your life, promote something that you are not whole-heartedly sold on- as the end-user: failure is a statistical certainty waiting to happen.
Thousands of books have been written on the subject and more are being manufactured daily… A subject that most people have a difficult time- at best- to actually sit down and learn just the fundamentals of.
And with good reason…it’s Real Work.
However, you will be simply astounded -if not outright floored- when you pay your due diligence and see just how much per hour top sales copy writers are thoroughly enjoying-
And they can easily command these prices because the amount of people that actually can write juicy, hypnotic copy are very far and exceptionally few in between…
People like Henry Gold, Brett McFall and Alex Mandossian. Is yours up to snuff?
Remember the Great Internet Marketing Caveat: Your Web, sales, and autoresponder copy.
There’s a whole lot of it out there that comes across as just plain cheesy. Pay your due diligence and start your own private swap file of both on and off line ads/sales copy that:
Totally grabs you, or…
Leaves you with the impression that a chimpanzee would most likely have created a better ad or superior sales copy!
The former is to inspire you to write your own compelling sales copy (not to plagiarize, of course)…while the latter is to inspire you to see all advertising in a whole new light…
Whether it be radio, TV, Web, etc.
Specifically- how you would make a bad ad or sales copy compelling; and really compelling sales copy or ads irresistible. Take some time each and every day to gain further mastery in copy writing. In as few as a few short months- even weeks-
You’ll find yourself able to quickly and easily adapt to (and emulate) quite a number of different writing styles and perspectives (called “voice” in writing classes). Furthermore, you will start to naturally pick ads and copy apart and “rebuild’ them”…almost subconsciously.
When that happens, compelling copy will begin to flow out of you like a refreshing babbling brook!
Just imagine the untold money you’ll save, alone, writing your own copy…and money saved is money earned…not to mention the fact that you’ll be cultivating a high-paying skill in huge demand.
The best part, however, is the fact that you do not have to rely on someone else’s concept of ‘good’ copy. In fact, you’ll be quickly designing your own in practically no time!
If the extent of your effort is merely to present your offerings in a bland, uninteresting way-
Then whether or not you actually make the sale depends solely on your price, and the visual information I can glean from the quality of your photos. And you compete as a “one and done” commodity.
If I actually, really want your offering bad enough, I might convince myself to send you an e-mail or make a phone call with a question or two.
However, that detracts from both my precious time and overall eBay experience- unless I want your item THAT bad; which I most seriously doubt- all things being what they are.
Let’s face it- we live very harried lives with a bazillion “taxing” calls of our extremely limited time and money resources.
If you do not inspire me to keep reading- for my own personal enjoyment- you have a better than a 99% chance of losing my- and countless other’s- interest and business.
With just eBay, alone, I have millions of consumer choices at my immediate fingertips. And that doesn’t even factor in the other 70+ million web sites, my bills, children’s needs, and etcetera.
However, when you inject your personality into your descriptions and storefront, and it’s one I find somewhat intriguing; at very least- you’ll inspire me to read on a little farther.
Maybe put your site in my favorites, to get back to. Perhaps your character even persuaded me to make a modest bid! One thing’s for absolute certain, though- you will sell far more, far quicker, by putting some real personality into your copy! Remember…
The globalize attention span is about as long as the average cell phone antenna.
With a little bit of extra time invested- you may very easily find your sales doubling, tripling even quadrupling; far greater than what they would have been…if you would’ve just “let happen as it may”…test, Test, TEST!
The primary way the world will know you is by your copy; convince us you’re worth knowing- because you get one shot- and friends do business with friends, over strangers every day.
Delivery Is Everything
“It doesn’t matter whether your product is information or a flyswatter. If you understand marketing, you can make serious income.”
Robert G. Allan, Author
Multiple Streams of Internet Income
How will your offerings make me look better, feel better?
What will my family and friends say?
Will this help me enjoy my leisure?
Money is forever the great desire.
Saving money and buying at a lower price are sound copy points. But they must be followed through with benefits, reasons, sound facts and lots more benefits.
When designing your copy, stick to the emotionally-gratifying benefits.
A potential customer may be sold, but will that person buy?
Getting Your Reader’s Attention
Endorsements and testimonials are effective ways to dramatize facts and back up the benefits of your product and demonstrate trust, but don’t use ones that look or feel transparent. It’s bad karma and ineffective.
If you use an endorsement from a famous or popular person, that person should use the product or service.
Any testimonials you use must be true and somehow credited to clearly actual and verifiable sources.
Always aim for satisfaction. Self-respect, accomplishment and security are human aspects everyone strives for.
Never talk down to the readers as though you know something they don’t or you’re better than they are. To you, the potential customer is a potential client, customer, business partner…that is the potential customer is potential gold.
You’ve caught the reader’s attention with a catchy headline.
You’ve followed through with good copy that demonstrates benefits and appeals to the reader.
Now- before you lose that interest -command an action in their baser interests (greed, sloth, etc.)..
You can to close the gap between reading your sales copy and acting upon impulse. The purpose of your eBay ad or website copy is to make people buy. You have to tighten the desire to buy and build belief in need…that the service or item is one-of-a-kind, incredibly valuable, and solves very real problems and even pains.
An iron-clad money-back guarantee is the most useful tool in pressing action – The more generous, the better! It goes for the bottom line:
What do I have to lose?
And it affirms the quality of the product. If you are willing to back the claims you make with a full refund, you can possibly get a hook into those borderline buyers.
Absolutely stand behind your word. Be cheerful and expedient in returning a refund. Let them know that you sincerely appreciate their business and not to hesitate in contacting you, if there is any way you can be of further assistance.
That disposition and act in and of itself will separate you from the endless army of “wantrepreneurs” and “business owners, “ and “CEO”s trolling Facebook promising the moon and stars to the unsuspecting.
If you give a time limit the product will be offered for sale, or mention a limited supply, or have a reduced price for a certain time, you’ll increase the impulse to act.
Again, stand behind your word; do not make a “time sensitive” or limited quantity offer that- in fact- is not; illegal and unethical- better to be a flaming spammer or creepy internet troll stalking people online.
What you’re after…
Appeal to the reader’s urgency;
Make the product totally irresistible to have- now;
Extend a generous guarantee;
Whole-heartedly stand behind the above!
What is your competition doing?
When testing new ads; start with the tried and true. Don’t try to be different. It is the sound and worthwhile that brings in the customers- time and time again.
The best way to write your ad is to disregard size at first, writing everything on paper that might attract readers.
Tell it all. Stress the need for what you have to offer, what it will do for readers, how they will benefit, benefit and benefit, what they can expect by using your product, how easy or more pleasant life will be for them…
When you have finished writing, you might have a long paragraph or a dozen pages. Now is the time to think of clarity, not cost. Unlike a magazine classified ad, you do not pay by the word.
So you won’t have to be nearly as selective in your choice of words in the final ad.
To build sales, this advertising must be seen or heard by potential buyers, and cause them to react to the advertising in some way. The credit for the success, or the blame for the failure of almost all ads, reverts back to the ad itself.
The bottom line in any ad is quite simple: To make the reader buy the product or service.
Any ad that causes the reader to only pause in this thinking, to just admire the product, or to simply believe what’s written about the product -is not doing its job completely.
The “ad writer” must know exactly what he wants his reader to do, and any that does not elicit the desired action is an absolute waste of time and money.
Never forget the basic rule of advertising copy writing:
If the ad is not read, it won’t stimulate any sale; if it is not seen, it cannot be read; and if it does not command or grab the attention of the reader, it will not be seen.
Most successful advertising copywriters know these fundamentals backwards and forwards.
Whether you know them already or you’re just now being exposed to them…
Your knowledge and practice of these fundamentals will determine the extent of your success as an advertising copywriter.
All website copy, sales copy and ads are written according to all the same rules. What is said in a magazine classified ad must have the same (if not greater) impact that’s delivered in a larger, more elaborate type of website, in ultra-condensed form.
Honing Your Copy Writing Skills
To start learning how to write good ads, carefully study:
High-octane master copywriters. You can find these by simply looking at top websites and their most popular articles. This will lead you to the best authors.
Issues of The National Enquirer. These are some of the all-time highest paid copy writers, and with good reason- sales of products advertised.
No, I am not suggesting studying articles such as “Jennifer Williams Gets Impregnated By Alien!”. Only the ads.
Analyze each of these ads for the following:
How has the writer attracted your attention?
What about the ads keeps your interest?
Are you stimulated to want to know more about the product being advertised?
What action must you take?
How strongly are you motivated to take immediate action by each of these ads?
Rate these ads on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the best.
Now, just for practice- without clipping the ads- do the same thing with ten different ads from a Wards or JC Penney’s or other famous catalog.
In fact, every ad you see form now on, quickly analyze it, and rate it somewhere on your scale.
If you’ll practice this exercise on a regular basis, you’ll soon be able to quickly recognize the “Power Points” of any ad you see, and know within your own mind whether an ad is good, bad or otherwise, and what makes it so.
This will give you the “feel” of the fundamentals and style necessary in writing successful ads.
It takes dedicated and regular practice, but you can do it!
Simply recognize and understand the Master Formula (A.I.D.A.):
Practice reading and writing the good ads -and rewriting the bad ones to make them better- and keep at it…until the formula above, the Idea, and the feel of this kind of ad writing becomes second nature to you.
This is the really the only sure fire way to gain expertise in writing good copy, including classified ads.
Remember the old saying “you are what you eat?” Writing effective sales copy is “writing what you read.” Most people don’t enjoy reading.
They see it as a chore. And of those few who do enjoy reading, how many will then read for the select purpose of learning to write better, more effective sales copy? Very few indeed.
Virtually all successful copywriters rate the headline and/or the lead sentence of an ad as the most important part of the ad, and in reality, you should do the same.
After all, when you ad is surrounded by hundreds of other auction ads; what makes you think anyone is going to see your particular ad?
This brings you to…
The Naked Truth
The truth is, they’re not going to see your ad unless you can immediately reach out and grab their attention; entice them to read all of what you have to say.
Your headline has to make it more difficult for your prospect to ignore or pass over, than to stop and read your ad. If you don’t capture the attention of your reader with your headline, anything beyond is useless effort and wasted money.
Successful advertising headlines are written as promises, either implied or direct.
The former promises to show you how to save money, make money, or attain a desired goal. The latter is a warning against something undesirable.
Example of a Promise: Are You Ready To Become A Millionaire -In Just 18 Months?
Example of a Warning: Do You Make These Mistakes In English?
In both of these examples, I’ve posed a question as the headline.
Headlines that ask a question seem to attract the reader’s attention almost as surely as a moth is drawn to a flame.
Once she or he’s seen the question, that same person just can’t seem to keep himself from reading into the rest of the ad to find out the answer.
Remember, however, that your first 250 words are going to make or break whether they read on- and usually a lot less than that!
The best headline questions are those that challenge the reader; that involve her or his self-esteem, and do not allow for the dismissal of your question with a simple yes or no.
You’ll be the envy of your friends is another kind of “reader appeal” to incorporate into your headline whenever appropriate.
The appeal has to do with basic psychology: everyone wants to be well thought of, and consequently, will read into the body of your ad to find out how she can gain the respect and accolades of her friends.
Wherever and whenever possible, use colloquialisms or words that are not usually found in advertisements. The idea is to shock or shake the reader out of his reverie and cause him to take notice of your ad.
Most of the headlines you see day in and day out have certain sameness with just the words rearranged.
The reader may see these headlines with his eyes, but his brain fails to focus on any of them because there’s nothing different or out of the ordinary to arrest his attention.
Example of Colloquialism: Do You Experience Severe Brain Farts?
Another attention-grabber kind of headline is the comparative priced magazine headline: Three For Only $3, Regularly $3 Each!
Still another of the tried and proven kind of headlines is the specific question: Do You Suffer from These Symptoms?
And of course, if you offer a strong guarantee, you should say so in your headline: Your Money Refunded, If You Don’t Make $100, 00 Your First Year.
How To headlines have a very strong basic appeal, but in some instances, they’re better used as book titles than advertising headlines.
Who Else Wants In On The Finer Things – which your product or service presumably offers- is another approach with a very strong reader appeal. The psychology here is the need of everyone to belong to a group (read herd mentality)- complete with status and prestige motivations.
Whenever, and as often as you can naturally work it in, you should use the word “you” (and its derivatives) in your headline, and throughout your copy.
After all, your ad should be directed to “one” person, and the person reading your ad wants to feel that you’re talking to her personally, not everyone who lives on her street.
Personalize and Be Specific
Whenever you sit down to write advertising copy intended to pull the orders -sell the product -you should picture yourself in a one-on-one situation and “talk” to your reader just as if you were sitting across from him at your dining room table.
Be specific and ask him if these are the things that bother him -are these the things he wants – and he’s the one you want to buy the product…the layout you devise for your ad, or the frame you build around it, should also command attention.
Either make it so spectacular that it stands out like lobster at a chili dinner, or so uncommonly simple that it catches the reader’s eye because of its very simplicity (known as a “plain vanilla” website).
It’s also important that you don’t get cute with a lot of unrelated graphics and other “eye candy.” Your ad should convey the feeling of excitement and movement, but should not tire the eyes or disrupt the flow of the message you are trying to present.
Any graphics or artwork you use should be relevant to your product, its use and/or the copy you have written about it. Graphics (other than your product photo) should be used modestly- as artistic touches; to create an atmosphere.
Any photos within your ad should compliment the selling of your product, and prove or substantiate specific points in your copy. Once you have your reader’s attention, the only way you are going to keep it, is by quickly and emphatically telling him what your product will do for him.
Your potential buyer doesn’t care in the least how long it’s taken you to produce the product, how long you have been in business, nor how many years you’ve spend learning your craft- save that for your About Me page for those who are interested!
All she really wants to know is specifically how she is going to benefit from the purchase of your product. Period. Generally, her wants (and perceived needs) will fall into one of the following categories:
More leisure time;
Greater success and/or
Even though you have your reader’s attention, you must follow through with an enthusiastic enumeration of the benefits you can gain. In essence, you must reiterate the advantages, comfort and happiness she’ll enjoy -as you have implied in your headline.
Mentally picture your prospect -determine his wants and emotional needs -put yourself in his shoes, and ask yourself: If I were reading this ad, what are the things that would appeal to me?
Write your copy to appeal to your reader’s wants, emotional needs and ego cravings!
Remember, it’s not the “safety features” that have sold fine cars for the past 50 years -nor has it been the need of transportation. It has been, and almost certainly always will be the advertising writer’s recognition of people’s wants and emotional/ego needs/cravings.
Visualize your prospect, recognize his wants and satisfy them. Then Stand and Deliver on your promise, with a sweet, unadvertised bonus bundle!
Writing good advertising copy is nothing more or less than knowing “who” your buyers are; recognizing what he wants; and then telling him how your product will fulfill each of those wants.
“I can define copy writing in two words: applied psychology.”
– Alex Mandossian
The “desire” portions of your ad is where you present the facts of your product; create and justify your prospect’s conviction, and cause her to demand “a piece of the action” for herself.
It’s vitally necessary that you present “proven facts” about your product because survey results show that at least 80% of the people reading your ad -especially those reading it for the first time -will tend to question its authenticity.
So, the more facts you can present in the ad, the more credible your offer. People want “logical facts” to justify emotional surges of instant gratification- as reasons/excuses for buying a product.
It’s like the girl who wants to marry the guy her father calls a “no good bum.”
Her heart -her emotions- tell her yes, but she needs to nullify the seed of doubt lingering in her mind- to rationalize her decision to go on with the wedding.
In other words, the “desire” portion of your ad has to build belief and credibility in the mind of your prospect.
It has to assure him of his good judgment in the final decision to buy- furnish evidence of the benefits you have promised- and afford him a “safety net” in case anyone should question his decision to buy.
People tend to believe the things that appeal to their ego, individual desires, fears and other emotions. Once you have established a belief in this manner, logic and reasoning are used to support it. Your reader “wants” to believe your ad if she has read it through this far-
It is up to you to support her initial desire.
Study your product and everything about it- visualize the wants of your prospective buyers- dig up the facts, and you’ll almost always find plenty of facts to support the buyer’s reasons for buying.
Here is where you use results of tests conducted, growing sales figures to prove increasing popularity, and “user” testimonials or endorsements.
“Just exactly what is it for me?”
Draw a mental picture for your potential buyer.
Now let her imagine owning the product. Induce her to visualize all of the benefits you have promised.
Give her the keys to seeing herself richer, enjoying luxury, having time to do whatever she would like to do, and with all of her dreams fulfilled.
This can be handled in one or two sentences, or spelled out in a paragraph or more, but it is the absolute ingredient you must include prior to closing the sale.
Study all the enticing sales presentations you have ever heard; look at every winning ad; these are the elements that actually make the sales for you.
Remember them, use them, and don’t try to sell anything without them.
Lots of ads are beautiful, almost perfectly written, and quite convincing- yet they fail to command action form the reader. If you want the reader to have your product, then tell her so and command that she send her money now.
Unless you enjoy spending money on eBay listings, mildly entertaining your prospects with your beautiful writing skills; always command that she complete the sale now, by taking action now- by ordering, visiting your eBay store or Web site, etc.
Once you have got her on the hook- land her! Don’t let her get away!
Probably, one of the most common and best methods of moving the reader to act now is written in some form of the following:
All of this can be yours!
You can start enjoying this new way of life immediately, simply by sending a check for $XX!
Don’t put it off, then later wish you had gotten in on the ground floor!
Make out that check now, and “be IN on the ground floor!”
Act now, and as an “early-bird” buyer, we’ll include a big bonus package -absolutely free, simply for acting immediately!
You win all the way!
We take all the risk!
If you are not satisfied, simply return the product and we will quickly refund your money!
Do it now!
Get that check on its way to us today, and receive the big bonus package!
After next week, we won’t be able to include the bonus as a part of this fantastic deal, so act now!
The sooner you act, you more you win!
Mastering the fundamentals of Social Networking and the Web2.0 philosophy is merely the permission-based art of selling- knowing how to present whatever it is that you’re selling to your visitor in such a manner that she feels you will personally solve her problems or fulfill her dreams.
Anybody can sell anything to anybody and selling on the Web- absolutely no different than selling by mail, in person, or face to face with your prospect…just a more efficient and economical way of making contact:
You’ve got to captivate her attention;
You’ve got to appeal to her interests;
You’ve got to reveal to her how her purchase of your product will benefit her;
You’ve got to close the sale by causing her to reach into her purse for her credit card or to write out a check for whatever it is you’re selling.
The first few seconds of the opening encounter with your prospect ultimately affects the success of the presentation and inevitably-whether or not a sale is made. Therefore, it’s absolutely critical that your sales presentation radiates enthusiasm and success!
Once she’s on your site and is looking at your presentation, you’ve got to make her feel comfortable; be friendly and believable. Stimulate her interest in whatever you’re selling by appealing to one of her primordial wants, needs or problems with a solution.
Don’t waste her time with a long and/or complicated dissertation…
Make your sales presentation flow;
Anticipate her objections;
Logically answer them within your presentation.
Explain all of the irresistible benefits gained from ownership of your product or service;
Whenever possible, let her see or read of proof or testimonials from people who have already bought from you.
The most important thing you want to do is to create- within your presentation- the fulfillment she’ll have as a result of buying from you….
Stimulate her imagination;
Explain to her how she can use whatever you’re selling to solve her problems or achieve her dreams;
Invite her to attend the theater of her own mind;
Cast a word movie that allows her to see herself ultimately gratified and satisfied with your product.
Give her a payment button to click on or a simple benefits-packed squeeze page.
Make it as simple and as easy as possible for your prospect to buy from you, extend a generous guarantee and – most importantly – STAND BEHIND IT.
The payment button, order agreement or simple coupon should close the sale for you – that is, if your presentation is well-written and highly compelling; she sees what you’re selling as an immediate solution to one of her immediate wants, needs or problems!
Too many sites begin with some sort of blah-blah story about the seller…
“Hello there, I’m writing to you from the beautiful beaches of Waikiki” Or…
“After a hundred years of research I’ve found the fountain of youth”.
Even some such tripe as “dear friend, you may not know me but I’m now a millionaire…” blah biddy blah.
Just ask them if they’d like to _____ …if so, let me explain; if not, then I don’t want to waste your time.
Treat your prospects as though their time is more precious than your own!