Years ago, my friend Gideon and I were creating marketing campaigns for . During that period we both wrote lots of emails to our various subscribers, with email being the primary communication method and also the distribution channel for delivering free resources.
Most of you haven’t met Gideon or myself in person, but if you did, you would see we are both down to earth and soft spoken – not your typical extroverted, in-your-face marketers. Of course what you perceive as over-the-top might be different to another person so you may not agree, but I’m pretty comfortable saying that Gideon and I are way below average when it comes to the hype-o-meter.
One interesting observation I made during our launch that you probably weren’t aware of, was Gideon’s email marketing style (his writing style when promoting), compared to how he is in his videos.
Gideon has difficulty doing any kind of “sales pitch” in his videos, he much prefers to focus on content, and if you watch the few parts at the end of his videos where he was promoting our paid course, you could tell he wasn’t pushing very hard at all.
However, when Gideon wrote emails, he wasn’t afraid to use his marketing skills. He knows the triggers, is quite comfortable pushing all the right buttons and isn’t afraid of saying whatever it takes to convince you that you need to do what he suggests.
This is important because if Gideon couldn’t sell the premium course when it came time to sell it, then our results would have been negatively impacted. At some point in business you have to be prepared to sell.
The same goes for anything else we promote through email, whether it’s to convince people to watch a free video, or download a report or read a blog post. It’s not always about eliciting a purchase, it’s any time you want people to click a link or even just open an email in the first place – any action at all is impacted by your ability to “sell” the benefits of taking that action through the words that you use.
I asked Gideon if he had studied copywriting – and he has – which explains his ability to talk in marketing speak when communicating via email when necessary, yet it doesn’t show up in other forms of communication with him. Gideon has learned skills that are vital to his success as an Internet marketer, and you can too.
Be Your Self
One of the core skills I have, and honestly I believe this is the number one reason why I have had any success online at all, is my ability to communicate, especially with the written word. This blog’s success is based on that skill, as is my email newsletter.
If you asked me how you should write your blog or how you should write your email newsletters I’d tell you to “be yourself”. After all, this is the exact advice I followed when I first got started in internet marketing and the same advice all the experts will tell you as well.
However that advice is not quite right. To just “be yourself” only works if you come from a place where you know certain things AND are prepared to say certain things. If you lack the awareness and the insight into a range of elements – your target customer, marketing triggers, the general marketplace – then just being yourself won’t be effective.
I am just “being myself” whenever I publish content online, but as a result of years of absorbing the words of other marketers, experiencing how they sell things, observing human behavior in general and immersing myself in my market, I inherently know what to say, when to say it and what kind of reaction it will stimulate.
I’m very comfortable writing in a manner similar to how I interact in real life, however I am prepared to say certain things and use words that are designed to sell, when I’m writing to sell something. I’m still being myself, but I’m mixing in some marketing technique too.
All marketers write to sell at some point, or they won’t be in business for very long. Some are prepared to push harder, or know more techniques, or have different goals or standards, so their language style is different. All good marketers are “being themselves” too, throwing in something from their personal lives, telling stories and coming across as human as possible, yet still are marketing.
If you’re the kind of person who hates selling, or you don’t have certain words in your vocabulary, or you don’t know the triggers, or you’re afraid of being perceived in a certain way or you’re not knowledgeable about your marketplace, then you’re in trouble.
You Can Learn How To Sell Through Words
Being yourself is good advice, but it’s only part of the answer. There’s technique, skill and awareness required in order to successfully achieve your goals with the written word and even then you have to be prepared for negative reactions.
As Gideon’s case illustrates, you can study practical training designed to teach you how to write for marketing purposes, generally termed “copywriting”, and skill up with some techniques you can apply the next time you go out there and attempt to make money.
You should become an observer of behavior, especially when it comes to purchasing decisions. I particularly enjoy hearing the justifications people deliver to their friends and family after making a purchase or during a buying process. These verbal cues give you insight into the emotions the person wants to feel or change as a result of buying something, and the logical explanation they give to others and themselves to “justify” the expense.
My favorite way to skill-up as a writer who wants to sell through words, is to copy what works for others. Find a successful marketer who’s promoting a product similar to what you want to release, and that you know has enjoyed success, and see how he or she uses words to sell. Adapt their technique, try their style, duplicate their format – take whatever parts you like, modify so it fits your persona, and then send it out to your audience.
Combine these three methods…
- Practical study of copywriting
- Observation of human behavior
- Replication of what already works
… and you can dramatically improve your writing and as a result, make a ton of money too.
One Word Of Warning
As soon as you become a “marketer” and ask for money, some people will hate you for it. It doesn’t matter how “soft” your pitch is, the fact that you attempt to profit by charging money, especially for information, a minor revolt will break out – assuming anyone is listening to you at all of course.
Thankfully the people who complain are usually in the minority and in general have a chip on their shoulder for other reasons, and you’ve just happened to cross their path at the wrong time. If you ignore them, or react in a friendly manner, explain that you need to make a living and you’ve invested a lot of hard work in creating your product, you will be fine.
The trick is to not let naysayers get you down and keep delivering value to those who appreciate your work and and are prepared to pay for it.
Good luck with your writing, enjoy the creative process and keep practicing. Being a prolific content producer, whether you are writing to directly sell something or to educate, entertain and build relationships, will help you improve your skills and spread your message further.