Here are 10 things I learned from a high-end copywriting conference I attended in March:
Lesson #1: Don’t be afraid to sell.
The conference wasn’t a “pitchfest.” But, the people holding the conference weren’t afraid to sell their conference. Crazily enough, they invited 2 of their “competitors” to come speak. I knew about both of these competitors but had never bought their products. Why not?
Because they never did a great job at selling them to me! Crazy, right? And, I’m in another one of their competitor’s worlds. But, I’ve spent more with the marketers who hosted the conference because they weren’t afraid to sell.
Lesson #2: Whenever possible, try to avoid looking like a salesperson.
I’ve learned this from running FB Ads for years. I always try to make my ad not look like an ad.
But, this applies to every part of your sales process as much as possible:
- Advertorials are simply a print ad that is trying to not look like an ad.
- The VSL worked great in the beginning because people thought it was content.
Here are a few other things that back up this theory:
- I know people who have become top 1% in their field by hiding the sales process. One started a coaching business training other people on his strategy.
- This is how one top copywriter said she beat a control for a top marketing company.
- One top marketer is using a Google Doc Sales Letter. I noticed when I clicked to view it, that there was amazing social proof. You could see other people on the sales letter and it was perfect “organic” social proof.
- I was reviewing a great Youtube Video Ad today and I noticed the presenter said “Um” a few times. That makes the ad less likely to flag the “this is an ad” reflex in the viewer’s brain. It was a “Skeptic” ad and I’m testing out a variation of it for a client. Cool concept.
Lesson #3: Your salespeople probably aren’t working their leads hard enough.
I know Dan Kennedy has talked about this a lot. And, it’s easy for us marketers to blame the salespeople. But, hearing a story about this from a $20 Million Company just backs it up. Here’s what happened.
A top marketer with a $20-50 Million Company turned off all their ads last year. But, sales didn’t go down because their salespeople worked their old leads harder. Turns out there were tons of great leads in the database. The salespeople had cherry-picked the best leads.
Lesson #4: Make everything shorter – and usually that’ll increase conversion.
I’m a huge believer in long copy. In my experience, long copy almost always outconverts short copy. But, once you got some long copy that works, try shortening it up.
- Take a 60-Minute webinar and turn it into a 40-Minute Webinar.
- Take a 15-Minute VSL and turn it into a 10-Minute VSL.
- Take a 600-word email and turn it into a 400-word email.
Lesson #5: I got 4 great FB Ad Tips from 1 person I met at the Conference.
And, he was a super friendly guy who runs an agency. Damn, the people at the conference were so nice and friendly! Even though I’m kind of a competitor, we talked for 20 minutes and he gave me a lot of great information.
Lesson #6: I learned about a better way to “go deeper” and get better Customer Avatar Research.
It was something that I knew a little bit but hadn’t put into words or structured into a framework.
It was helpful to have someone pinpoint this way to do better Customer Avatar Research. Even better, they gave me a precise framework for doing it. I used this strategy for a new FB Ads Client last week and I think it helped out a lot.
Lesson #7: I learned about a better way to come up with powerful Big Ideas to sell something.
These big ideas can power a webinar, sales letter, VSL, etc. Or, in my case, they can power an ad. This wasn’t as helpful for me because I don’t create many webinars, VSLs, or long-form sales letters. But, I’m glad I learned it.
Lesson #8: I got 4 great tips on how to beat a “control.”
Beating a “Control” is tough. I know this from personal experience. Sometimes an ad or email will just get some magic “mojo” and convert like crazy. And you don’t even know why it’s converting so well.
I’ve googled “How to beat a control” a few times in the last few months and never found any good info. So, it was great to finally get some solid tips on how to do this.
Lesson #9: High Emotional State Buyers versus Low Emotional State Buyers.
I’m somewhat conflicted about this because it has a lot of nuance to it. I’d never learned this before. According to this theory, if you sell to people in a Low Emotional State (in pain), then they’ll buy once, and leave.
But, when you sell to people in a High Emotional State (doing great), then they’ll stick around longer, and buy more.
Here’s the nuance. One of my clients told me about how his business was starting to decline. He had a good product, a proven offer, and a sales process that worked. However, he’d run out of ideas and nothing was working.
Then, he created a Painful Story Ad and his business recovered. He ended up making bank over the next 6 months and was able to stay in business. I met him a few years later (his business was still going) and helped him quadruple his business in a year.
I think the moral of the story is to use ads that appeal to buyers in a Low Emotional State sparingly. And, don’t get addicted to them.
Lesson #10: The best people have an insatiable drive to become better.
One of the speakers was a top marketer who runs a $20-50 Million Company. (I don’t know their exact size.) One of the few questions he got was from another multi-million dollar marketer. He asked: “What’s the best Youtube Video Format that’s working today.”
Just proves that the best are always pushing to become better. Anyways, I hope you got some nuggets from this.
It’s 9PM and I’ve got to wrap up. If you want more info on any of the things I mentioned here, then feel free to reach out.
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Thanks for reading.