How I Paid for a Night Out Without Working
It was late Saturday night and me and my buddy had just finished climbing. “Want to get a drink?” he asked. Before I could answer my phone beeped. I checked the screen and found I made $497. “Sure,” I said smiling, “Drinks are one me.”
How I Occasionally Make $497
About once every other month I make $497. I’ll be working on a project, at the gym, driving to see some friends and my phone will ping with a notification. Why does this happen? Simple. A couple years ago when I toured full time as a stage hypnotist I released a ‘Stop Smoking’ sales package. The package included two one hour Skype sessions that, if the client did what I said, they would stop smoking.
I sold a lot of these sessions (Interested in selling enough to take week long out of country trips? Join my Freelancer’s Insider List to learn how. Click Here To Join) I would pitch them at the end of my show. The audience was primed to buy. They had watched how powerful hypnosis was and that combined with the comedy left them feeling great. I averaged a sell per show.
I stopped touring full time. Sales fell off. I knew if I was to keep selling the course I would have to make some changes. And I wanted to keep selling. The course was great and I knew it could help. I also didn’t like losing that extra income. So I decided to write a sales letter.
How I Came To Write The Worst Sales Letter of All Time
When I started freelancing I didn’t copywrite. I started freelancing ghostwriting and doing layout design. I charged $25 an hour (big money for me at the time) and picked up gigs to cover bills when needed.
I had no experience with copywriting and I wanted an online sales letter to promote my course. I went to Elance (yeah this was a while ago). I made a post and was floored at how expensive the bids were. People were wanting HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS (insert maniacal laugh now).
Writing My Own Sales Letter
I felt these people were out of their minds. I closed my account and decided to write the letter myself. I had zero experience in copywriting. The experience I did have was listening to some old Dan Kennedy Marketing Mastermind Tapes.
I sat down and didn’t get up till three hours later. I had cranked out my first, and worst, sales letter. It was awful. I had misspelled words, confused tenses, run-on sentences and a host of randomly bolded or underlined terms. My thinking was this, I would copy what I had seen in other sales letters.
How I Wrote My First Letter
I copied what I saw in other sales letters without understanding why copywriters make the decisions they do. I didn’t understand reader formatting, highlighting for short term readers, pacing, affirmation, lead generation or call to actions.
I wrote one of the worst sales letters ever written. It was a mess, it read poorly and it was confusing to look at. Even with all those problems the letter still made money. In fact the letter still makes money for me today!
How A Terrible Sales Letter Can Succeed
If you are reading this it is because you want to know how a terrible sales letter loaded with problems, written by a guy who wasn’t a copywriter could succeed. The reason is simple. My sales letter has two key features.
I broke down my letter and created a two punch system to increase conversions, generate massive sells and remove the barrier between you and great copy.
What is awesome is you can learn from my awful sales letter. You can apply this two punch system immediately. All you have to do is the following.
The Two Punch System To Epic Sales Letter Income
Punch 1: Be Honest.
This sounds crazy. The last thing most people think when they think of marketing is honesty. AND THAT IS WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT! Readers are smart. It doesn’t take much to set off someone’s bullshit radar.
As a hypnotist I knew how important it was to be honest with an audience. Most hypnotists suck because they lie to their audiences about how powerful hypnosis is, who they are, etc. I knew that if my shows were to go well the audience had to trust me.
Trust creates social proof. The more an audience trusted me the better a hypnotist they saw me as. This created a cycle that made me a better performer. This same principle works in copywriting.
Being honest with your readers will create social proof. The more social proof you create the more your reader’s barriers come down. The less barriers your readers have the more likely they are to purchase.
Here is an example from my sales letter and from a competitor’s sales letter. The competitor’s letter makes unverifiable claims, all vague. My claims are more direct and more honest. Read both and decide which one you trust more.
“If you are ready to stop smoking then you need hypnosis. Almost everyone who tries to quit smoking fails. Maintaining willpower is difficult. That’s why I offer the willpower self hypnosis cure. Using our self hypnosis tapes you will discover the willpower you need and banish your desire to smoke.”
“Look I am gonna be honest. 80% of you reading this don’t need what i’m selling. Heck, most people don’t want to quit smoking. Those that want to quit can usually manage it cold turkey. Then why am I selling this? Well there is a group of people that want to quit, like really quit, tried and failed. I’m talking to those people. If you want to quit but haven’t been able to I have something that might help.”
The Tiny Differences Matter
See the difference? The first letter makes a simple claim. You can stop with will power. Smokers know this isn’t true! Will power isn’t what keeps a smoker from quitting.
Look at my letter. It truly is awful (I removed all the random underlined words and bolding). But it is so much more believable. I am honest with the reader. I don’t sell to every smoker. I am trying to sell to a select group. I have something that can help people who want to quit but have failed.
Why Targeted Honesty Works
I’m not selling a perma-cure, i’m not selling to everyone, I am selling to one specific group. My wording makes it clear that I understand what the 20% wants and I mention what I can do ‘might help’. I don’t make impossible claims or offer magic cures I offer my ‘help’.
Honesty is powerful but honesty alone won’t work. You also need targeted language which brings me to punch 2 of my one, two combo.
Punch 2:Use Targeted Language. Sell to someone, not everyone.
Look we are greedy. It’s built into us. We all suffer from scarcity mindset. We are programmed to want to get as much as we can whenever we can.
You see this all the time in mediocre copywriting. Most copywriters promise what they offer can fix everything for everyone. That isn’t how real life works! One pill can’t fix everything, one diet doesn’t work the same for everyone, one size doesn’t fit all.
In my sales letter I mention I am not selling to everyone. I am selling to people that want to quit smoking, have tried to quit, they failed at quitting and feel helpless they can’t. That’s targeted.
I’m not selling to smokers who want to quit. I am selling to a specific group using language that they use with themselves.
Why Targeted Language Works
Using targeted language is like being honest. Clients invest social proof in your writing when they feel it understands them. When was the last time you came across something that interested you but you didn’t buy the product, join the mailing list, follow the link?
It happens all the time. We only look at content that speaks to us. My letter spoke to a core group of people who felt specifically about this one thing. When they read what I wrote they had one thought, ‘He understands.’ People will pay you a lot if they feel you understand them.
The Key Takeaway: Why You Should Pay Attention Even if you aren’t a Copywriter
That is transformational content. On its surface you got an easy to use, immediately applicable system to make every piece of sales copy you write instantly better. Underneath that is the real gold.
Underneath the sales tactics I pull the curtain back on the real game being played. Running an online business, freelancing, selling, it is all about social proof, positioning through understanding and being honest.
If you want to learn more about the real game of online business join my Freelancer’s Insider List. Inside you will learn secrets behind winning at the real game. You will learn:
*How to maximize your income
*Why You aren’t getting clients you want, and how to change that
*How to Become a Top Performer In your Field in under a Month
*Specific, Targeted income growth tactics to transform your take home income