What IS Copywriting? 6 Myths EXPOSED { for 2020 }

What IS Copywriting? 6 Myths EXPOSED { for 2020 }


We were taught growing up don’t talk to strangers
and don’t talk about money, and that’s pretty much what sales copywriting is. So no wonder a lot of creatives don’t just
shoot their hand up in the air when asked if they like to sell. It doesn’t always come naturally to us. I’m going to go ahead and bust one myth here. No, your art does not speak for itself. You need solid messaging in place to get your
point across and communicate to your clients and your customers. In this video, I’m going to bust seven copywriting
myths that are floating around out there. So by the end of this video, you’re going
to unlock some secrets to get you on your way to more confidently selling your craft. Hit like if that sounds like a plan to you,
and let’s get going. Hey there. If we haven’t met before, my name is Ashlyn
Carter. I’m a conversion copywriter and brand and
launch strategists for creative small business owners like you. I pump out videos like this every single Tuesday. So if you want to join the family, which I
would love for you to do, and it helps me out so much, hit the subscribe button and
the bell next to it below and you’ll be notified when they drop. I want to go ahead and jump straight into
this. Myth number one, the shorter the better. So his like if you have ever heard or thought
some variation of this before. And I got to say that I’m going to hit the
like button too because I’ve definitely thought this. But here’s the thing, that’s a misinterpretation
of the concept that is true that confused customers don’t buy, therefore short is equivalent
to simple. But, the math on that doesn’t add up. Clear and simple isn’t always equivalent to
link. It’s like Einstein said, “If you can’t explain
it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Amen. You need to focus on using as many words are
needed to communicate the concept and then no more. And sometimes that means a 50-word product
description for the calligraphed prints that you sell in your shop. The golden rule here is that the copy needs
to be useful in and of itself. It needs to educate, inform, entertain. It needs to be helpful. I think, personally, it should actually be
enjoyable or fun to read. Sorry about my dog. Good copy shouldn’t be salesy. It should be a delight to read. Last thing here. You know when you’re shopping around at Target
and you have that moment where you didn’t need something but you definitely added it
to your cart? For me, it’s usually nail polish. You have it in your cart. You’re going back and forth thinking, “Do
I really need this or should I just put it on this shelf over here?” Comment below if you know that feeling. It can’t just be me. But, your copy has to pass those multiple,
multiple rounds of scrutiny. Think back to a recent buying decision that
you made or even when you were just trying to decide whether to reach out to some vendor
that you really wanted to work with, that dream brand photographer, that dream creative
director, website designer, whatever. You think about it. You go back and forth. You add to cart. You remove from cart. You hem and you haw a little bit. The copy has to do a lot of the heavy lifting
to convince you to go ahead and buy it. When in doubt here, remember these two things. Number one, I say it all the time, yes, people
still read long copy. People don’t read boring copy. And number two, don’t oversell something,
but make the copy as long as it needs to be and then no longer. Myth number two, I sell art, luxury, or beauty,
therefore I don’t have a problem to agitate. If I had a dime for this one. Because I tend to work with a lot of makers,
and artists, and creatives, and people that are in the wedding industry, this comes up
all the time for my clients and my students. Let me know below if you’ve ever felt like
this. But here’s where at least my hypothesis about
where that myth comes from. So if you can explain your client’s problems
or emotions better than they can, oh my gosh, you’re going to win every single time. And that is why the problem is usually what
we focus on because it’s just so easy to articulate usually. But don’t forget, people buy for all sorts
of emotional needs or problems. We buy to get clout or praise. We buy to be recognized. We buy to feel loved, to increase status,
to save time, to save money, to save energy, and effort. We buy to avoid pain. We buy to be healthier, whether that’s physically,
mentally, spiritually, emotionally. I’ll be like your medicine. You’ll take every dose of me. Definitely from Atlanta. Usher represent. Anyway, Napoleon Bonaparte, he said that there
are two motives to action: self-interest and fear. And even if you sell beauty, luxury, artistry,
craftsmanship, those two things are still driving people to buy from you. So take away tip here. If the phrase agitate a problem triggers you
and makes you feel all icky, then switch that word in your head. Instead of agitate, I want you to think amplify
and see if you can amplify what they really want, that emotion that they’re going for. And if you still feel manipulative when you’re
trying to work through and write your own sales copy, then I want you to really think
about that person walking away from the beauty, the artistry, the craftsmanship that you offer. They never get that. If they don’t get that, what will they be
missing out on? What will they lack? What will they not achieve emotionally? And write from that place. Myth number three, you have to hire a professional
copywriter to get a good product. Okay, so here’s the thing. There is the lie out there, I think, with
creative business owners that you just outsource things you’re not good at. That is not always true. Quick story time. When I started my business, I just told myself
that I wasn’t good at numbers. I never had been. I was always in math coach class in elementary
school. I just hated math unless it had to do with
marketing data. So I stuck my head under the sand and ignored
my numbers. We had profit. Revenue was coming in. I thought it was all going to go away, so
I just didn’t pay myself the first year in business. I didn’t know my numbers. But no. Just because I don’t like numbers didn’t mean
that I get a free pass to ignore things like knowing revenue, or cost for my overhead,
or anything like that. I have to know that. Your messaging, your copywriting is so similar. Think about Shark Tank if you watch that show. Every single time the entrepreneur goes on
there, what are they talking to the sharks about? Well, they’re communicating their numbers,
their profit margins, all that kind of stuff, and they’re pitching them. They’re giving them exactly why they should
invest in this and explaining clearly what their product does and who it’s for. And that’s on the CEO. This may be weird to say because I am a copywriter,
I have an entire copywriting agency side to my business, but nobody can write your copy
quite like you can because nobody’s in the position that you are in. You knew your story better than anybody. You know exactly why you do what you do better
than anybody. I tell my students if you can’t tell me why
you do what you do, the way you do it differently or better than somebody else who does the
same thing or does the same thing and charges less, we need to keep out here. Because I do think about the first threeish
years in business you should be writing your own copy. You need to be testing where the offer lands,
tweaking different things. A lot of that more higher end packages that
my agency side of my business offers, those people have been writing their own copy for
a long time. It’s okay to hire a copywriter, but you need
to bring them in for specialty things. Obviously, I definitely think it’s okay to
hire copywriters, but you need to at least know enough to be able to tell if it’s working
or not and bring me in that copywriter to be a specialist. Famed copywriter Gary Halbert said, “The few
of us who really can do it, write copy that sells, are so much in demand that you can’t
even think about hiring us unless you’re willing to spend an arm and a leg. And even then you’ll still have to wait in
line.” Your job as the marketer behind your business
is to present your reader, your ideal client or customer with a pile of proof. And I promise you can do a good job of that. I’m going to be over here ready to give you
the tools and the resources and everything that you need to get started with that. If one thing that would help you out right
now is a little refresh of your website copy, then look down below. I have my Google Docs website copywriting
template to get you started. Myth number four, people think that a marketer
is out to separate a fool from his money. Okay, sort of kind of, but here is that not
so secret. People like to buy things. Hello. We have a budgeting problem, a credit card
debt problem. We like to stand at our window and wait for
the Amazon delivery guy to show up with whatever it is that we ordered. And even in this crazy new kind of uncertain
climate, especially for small business owners with coronavirus going around, the fact that
we like to buy things is a bit of human psychology that I don’t think is going to change. I mean, think about how excited you get when
you save up and you finally get the thing that you’ve wanted so badly. People just don’t like to be sold to our pitched. And if you can frame your messaging in a way
that lets people understand that you’re helping them get what they want, then that’s going
to be so powerful. Side note here, note that people usually buy
what they want, not what they need. So keep that in mind. And keep in mind that it is about them, not
about you. I know you’ve heard that before, but let me
ask you this. If right now we went over to your website
and I opened up your services page, would I think that that page is about me, your ideal
client or customer, or would I feel like I have a ticket to the me-me-me show all on
your services page? Myth number five, you can Mad Lib things out
there in your swipe copy file and make it work, AKA the if-it-worked-for-her-then-it’ll-probably-work-for-me
lie. I could probably get it tattooed on my forehead
at this point. I say it a lot. You’ve probably heard me say it, but best
practices are nothing but pooled ignorance if you’re not testing them. You have to test things. Because what works for your people, and your
niche, and your story, and your offer is going to probably be different than whatever else
is out there. Best practices are good rule of thumb to start
with, but you have got to try things with your own people. One of the best things you can do as a creative
is to start up some kind of swipe file. I call it a copy bank, and my Copywriting
for Creatives students know I talk extensively about this. Pocket any sales message out there that has
gotten you to click, gotten you to buy, gotten you to download or whatever it is. Swipes like these and formulas, I have a entire
blog post on formulas below. Those are a great place to start, but they
just tell you the order of the message. They don’t exactly tell you what to write. You still have to figure that out. And if you’re just screenshotting someone
else’s ad and then using it and mad libbing it to say what you want to say, you’re really
just stabbing in the dark. Although, Dale Carnegie said, “When you’re
dealing with people, remember you’re not dealing with creatures of logic but creatures of emotions.” We tend to sell like we like to be sold to. I’m at super logical buyer to the point that
I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything unless it was like 11:59 on the day that the cart
was closing on it. I will hem and haw, and pro and con until
the cows come home. Maybe you’re like me, but maybe you’re a more
emotional buyer and you tend to decide very quickly and definitively about what it is
that you want. You buy with your heart and back it up with
your head. Maybe you’re more of an emotional buyer and
it’s the story and the future pacing of it all that really sells you on that and you
decide pretty definitively right out of the gate emotionally if you want this or not. So your takeaway tip here is go ahead and
get that copy bank or swipe file system going, but I also want you to at least start to,
hopefully, like I’ve said this whole video, know enough to be dangerous when it comes
to copywriting where you can DIY a good chunk of it. Myth number six, your about page isn’t about
you. So I busted this in a video the other week. I will link it below. But, it is and it isn’t. To make anything about your ideal client or
customer, you are going to have to talk about yourself, but you want to do it in a way that
is a universal story that they can relate to. Again, I’m not going to say too much here
because I’ve done an entire video on this, but I’ll give you a quick tip. You can do a test on this by going to a website
page and doing a control find and looking for any word like I or me, we, us, our. Then, I want you to do a search for the word
you. See what the comparison looks like. And myth number seven, you have to be a poetic,
beautiful writer to be a good copywriter. I refer to this as Hemingway or Fitzgerald
syndrome. You do not have to be the next Fitzgerald
to have good copy. I have worked with thousands of students at
this point, and I can truly say that lots of them didn’t feel like good writers at first. “Copywriting is approached the same way that
an engineer approaches building a bridge,” Caples said, AKA it’s a symbol, not written. Yes, you want charged, powerful, sometimes
poetic language. You want to use proper grammar. You want to flex a solid vocabulary. And another rookie mistake out there is using
passive voice instead of active voice. The best way I have to explain that is the
and-good-times-were-had-by-all-type sentence. The subject of that sentence is being acted
on by the verb. Hopefully you can hear that, but I want you
to instead try to use active voice. But, these are skills you can brush up on
and totally do. I’ve seen it time, after time, after time,
after time. If you want to go ahead and get started refreshing
some of the copy on your website, don’t forget to look down below and grab that Google Docs
website copywriting template I have for you below. And if this video made you realize you need
to do a little bit of a deep dive into your about page, then be sure to watch the next
video I have teed up for you where I’m going to take you through my A-R-T-I-S-T copywriting
formula.

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