Why Writing Sales Copy is Like Giving Birth
Never woulda thought giving birth to my 4 children would be my secret weapon for writing successful sales copy for over 20 years. First of all — let me say this:
I love giving birth! And honestly — I would’ve had even MORE babies — if I didn’t have to raise them! So 4 births later — my husband was very happy that I found an alternative to giving birth. It’s called writing sales copy!
Sounds crazy? Maybe — but it’s oh so true! You see…
…just like there are 3 trimesters to giving birth — I believe there are also 3 trimesters to writing a sales promo! Take a look…
1st Trimester: Conception!
Maybe you tried for months to land that client. Or — maybe you nailed him the first try! In either case, conception has occurred! You are officially a copywriter and now you’re expected to deliver a bundle of joy — aka the sales promo!
But how do you feel about it?
I was very fortunate. I never got morning sickness or diarrhea when I was pregnant. But man oh man — when I get a new client — I sure feel queasy! Then my knees buckle and I feel like I’m going to pass out. Then the negative thoughts kick in…
- Oh my goodness — what did I myself get into?
- I can’t do this!
- What was I thinking?
- They’re going to finally find out I’ve been faking it all these years!
Yep — I still feel like that 20 years — and hundreds of sales promos later! So instead of denying this stage — I learned to embrace it. And so can you!
Fear is a positive motivator — if you know how to use it well!
I fear gravity so I don’t jump out of 5-story buildings! I fear homelessness — so I go to work every day! And I fear hunger — so I keep snacks in my car in case I’m stuck for hours in an 18-mile pile up on the interstate! You get what I’m saying?
Face the fear.
When I was pregnant with my first child — I asked myself questions like: What if I’m not a good mom? What if something goes wrong? What if the kid is really ugly?
And I had those same questions as a first-time copywriter: What if I’m not a good copywriter? What if something goes wrong with the client relationship? What if my sales copy is really ugly?
And you know what? It’s OK.
Every copywriter feels fear at some point — but only successful copywriters know how to work through it. Use that fear to help you to work hard and get better! And the best way to work through those fears is with…
I didn’t know exactly what to expect when I was expecting. I knew I needed to prepare for a different kind of life. I knew my body was gonna change. So I…
- Read every book I could get my hands on about pregnancy
- Connected with other moms-to-be
- Asked my doctor a gazillion questions
- Went to birthing classes
It’s the same with writing copy. You’ve gotta learn about the product:
- What does it do?
- How does it work?
- How will it make the prospect FEEL?
- What kind of guarantee can I make?
Remember: What you put into this 1st trimester will determine what kind of promo you’re going to deliver! Ideas are germinating… themes are popping into your mind… no one can tell what you’re creating because you’re not “showing” yet…but you better believe there’s an amazing package in there!
Now on to the…
2nd Trimester: You’re in your groove!
This is my favorite trimester. I get into my groove. I’m understanding what’s happening to my body. I sleep better. I’ve got more energy. I feel relaxed. And I even look cute! Everybody knows I’m pregnant!
…Same with copywriting — You’re getting into your groove! Your nerves are settling — You’re getting into the “meat” of your product. You’re revved up to write every morning. You’re pregnant with ideas — and it’s showing!
So at this point…
You’ve got your headlines — Not just 1 but 3 or more eye-grabbing ideas for headlines!
- You’ve found what makes your product unique — and a MUST HAVE!
- You understand your prospect’s wants…desires…and what keeps him up at night!
- You’ve grabbed his attention with your headline…piqued his curiosity with your lead…and now he wants MORE!
You’ve got your bullets — Now you’re creating momentum in your copy!
- Using bullets to drive home points you want your prospect to remember!
- Intensifying your prospect’s desire!
- Keeping him glued to your copy!
You’ve got your sidebars — To grab wandering eyes!
- Fun…short…and easy to read!
- Showcasing benefits of your product all throughout your copy!
- Delivering eye-popping info to keep prospect interested!
Now remember this: Most prospects will read only 10% to 20% of what you write! (Heck, if I knew WHICH 10% — I’d write the best-selling and shortest copy in the world!) So you need to make sure your prospect is gettin’ benefits throughout the promo!
I’ve got tons of examples and ideas to help you with your headlines… sidebars…and bullets in my ebook Anatomy of a Kick-Butt Control: How to Create a Winning Promo from Start to Finish — so make sure you check it out!
3rd Trimester: The homes-t-r-e-t-c-h!
At this trimester — I remembered lots of tests! Blood pressure…stress tests…monitoring the baby…more questions…and more communication with my doctor as we came down to the home stretch!
Whew! It’s a lot — but it’s also very important! Why? Because the doctor wants to try his best to ensure I’m going to have a problem-free delivery! Well guess what?
It’s the same with your copy. You need to eliminate as many surprises as possible when you deliver your “baby”. So you better:
Dot your I’s & cross your T’s:
- Make sure your copy makes sense!
- Are you overpromising or making misleading claims?
- Fine tune your copy — fix boring spots!
- Read copy out loud — if you stumble on words — fix it!
- Make sure it’s good! Keep writing until you believe you’ve written a control.
- Be as specific as possible. For example don’t just say “You get the lowest price” — say “You get the lowest price when you act today — offer expires December 15th!”
Look at your copy as if you’re performing routine tests and copy “checkups” — so you avoid surprises as you near your copy delivery due date!
I always chuckle when my doc gave me my due date. I called it wishful thinking — because you just never know!
My babies came at all different times — early…late…really early…almost on time! Same thing happens when delivering copy. So, here’s how I view “due date” in the copy world:
I always give myself more time. I hate feeling like I’m stuck to a tight deadline — I’d pull my eyebrows out! Why would I create unnecessary stress for myself? That’s just dumb!
I know me — I know there’s gonna be creative droughts. I’m a mom — and hey — life happens! I need my goof off time or maybe I need a massage! Heck — I need to let my creative juices flow and do what works for me.
So, I promise to deliver a promo in 4-6 weeks — which is wayyy more time than I REALLY need! I can usually write the copy in about 2-4 weeks.
Remember: You’re a freelancer. So it’s OK to factor down time into your schedule! And when you deliver the package “early” — the client will think you’re brilliant!
Trust me no client’s gonna get upset if you turn in copy early. But if you’re struggling and getting closer to your due date — make sure you let your client know you’re running behind schedule so he can make any adjustments necessary.
Ok CopyStar — I gave you the 3 trimesters of copywriting! Now — go out there and make lots and lots of babies — the kind that pay you big, fat royalty checks!
Yours for stellar results,
Million-Dollar Copywriter & Consultant