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The 7 Steps of Drool-Worthy Copywriting

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 10/03/2016 Ali Ashraf

2016-02-17-1455748899-9708538-hunger413685_640.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-02-17-1455748899-9708538-hunger413685_640.jpg 1.Product Knowledge
You're the protagonist Knight. Your product or service is your castle. Its gates are your expression of the castle's splendor and worth. The process of walking into the gate is the 'experience'; an experience you want to communicate effectively to all beholders. A car might promise the enchantment of a 'luxurious' travel experience, whereas say an online French language course might embed the imagery of linguistic prominence amongst your social circle. Thus, writing inadvertently becomes just as much about the 'experience' as about the actual product or service itself. Draw a concise distinction of what you are selling, why you are selling and what sort of experience you are seeking to impart to the prospective buyer.
2. Audience Centric
You're the gladiator of your dreams; showcased for a duel in front of thousands of chanting spectators. They only want one thing and one thing only. Action! How do you acquire this knowledge? Whether it's people who know you or people who don't, existing customers and prospective leads both imperatively require that you know whom you're selling to. Writing a compelling sales-copy without learning who you're pitching it to, is like spending time, money and effort on a plane ticket without knowing the destination. There are tons of online resources and readily available tools that allow you to capture market data analytics, research trends, and polls, which you can easily leverage to understand whether your product knowledge, service offering and target audience are on the same keel or not.
3. Tone of Narrative
Your vision and entrepreneurial foresight should reflect in your tone of voice. For example, humor - depending on the type of audience - can work miracles in expressing a product and its importance. However, the same tone of humor can easily backfire with a different kind of audience, thus coming off as crass, unkempt and unprofessional.
Sales is all about story-telling. People - by nature - are better able to visualize the relevance and benefits of a product proposal if it is communicated in a manner which strikes a chord with their imaginative side. Nonetheless, the balance between imagination and practicality is key. Thus, how you say something is equally as crucial as to 'what' you say.
4. Showcase a Problem (Story Telling - Step 1)
Sure, you may not be Charles Dickens or the village elder who is a blacksmith by day and sterling story-teller by night, but hey, you do have a creative bone in you and you know it! And thus begins the first step of story-telling. Sales is about providing value. Value more than often is translated as something which solves a problem. Everyone has problems. Your target audience has a problem but zero know-how. You have the skills to solve the problem and all the knowledge on how to implement the right actions. Perfect marriage! Now, the manner in which you describe that problem, whilst indicating the understanding you possess of the dynamics of the problem, will convince the audience that you have a solid background on the subject and thus are the answer to their woes! (Empathy is a powerful emotion and very persuasive)
Thus, the connection of a shared problem is often the turning point for a reader, lead, prospective customer etc. - instantaneously building trust and making them curious as to how you will solve it.
2016-02-17-1455749117-44159-newyorktimesnewspaper1159719_640.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-02-17-1455749117-44159-newyorktimesnewspaper1159719_640.jpg 5. Leveraging Human Emotion (Story Telling - Step 2 )
We have already established that emotions are powerful buying motivators. Now, leveraging successfully those emotions via story-telling is literally half the battle done! We also established that everyone has problems and no sane person would want to live with those problems. Sane people want solutions. Thus, playing on the emotion of 'independence', make your audience imagine a life without 'The Problem'!
By the same token, fear is a threat to an individual's sense of independence. Fear carries a naturally negative connotation and is therefore not mentally decoded as a positive emotion. Thus, fear can be employed as a motivating factor. How could you use fear in an effective sales-copy? You communicate to your audience that without your product or service, their problem will stick to them like a leech and never go away. Make them realize that what you have to offer, is a unique opportunity to make their lives easier. Forever!
6. Problem Solving (Story Telling - Step 3)
You've set up your audience nicely by now; leaving them hungry for more and ready for the final push! Think of this as the cash-shot. The Eureka moment! The penalty-kick goal! This is where you reveal how your product / service is the solution to The Problem.
In order to achieve that, here is what you must do for accurate perception and immaculate first impression:
•Provide proof ( how your product /service achieves what you claim it does )
•Add details ( include supporting info, data, analysis, statistics, market research to reinforce the perception )
•Give examples ( present real-world, practical, tangible examples how your product or service is The Answer )
•Cite your sources ( all that you've said so far is merely 'your opinion' to the reader, unless backed by solid references and published sources )
2016-02-17-1455748987-9443297-moneycase163495_640.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-02-17-1455748987-9443297-moneycase163495_640.jpg 7. Destroy Barriers and Obstructions
In copywriting, this is known as 'call to action'. An emphatic, strong, effective and stimulating call-to-action is everything. Everything! It is the point where you've brought your audience through a labyrinth of ups and downs, and now you must live up to their expectations with a final, daunting act of fortitude!
This is where you use riveting action words, compelling phrases and value-centric imagery to urge your audience to take-action; click, download or buy your product or subscribe to your service. This is where the 'hand-shake' takes place, a transaction is made and you become a little bit more of an entrepreneur at that very moment, than you were yesterday. Congrats!

However, when all is said and done, it is imperative that the transaction process is the easiest part of the sales-copywriting. It has to be made utmost easy for the audience to implement the call-to-action and thus give you that sale.
Now, if you've addressed the previous six steps without loose ends, then assume that your audience is already primed up and convinced of your product or service's unique value proposition. Thus, your most triumphant act at this point is to make their transition from 'audience / lead' to that of a 'customer' as smooth and bump-free as possible.
• Embed forms directly on the sales page.
• Link store-front products directly with a call-to-action that roars BUY NOW!
• Place the order form directly after your sales-pitch for eBooks and learning material PDFs.

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