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The Future of Copywriting: 5 Copywriting Trends to Watch For

The Future of Copywriting: 5 Copywriting Trends to Watch For

I’m back with my crystal ball (aka angel snow globe) with a few predictions on copywriting trends to watch for in the wacky world of copywriting over the coming year.

But, before I dig into those copywriting trends, let’s define what copywriting is.

Copywriting is writing promotional materials for businesses, nothing to do with protecting intellectual property or putting a copyright on something (notice the difference in spelling).

My specialty is a subset called “direct response copywriting,” which entails crafting copy that your ideal prospects directly respond to. For example, when you write an email asking your community to click on a link, you’re writing direct response copy. Those long sales letters you’re scrolling down forever, all-the-while asking yourself, “How much does this actually cost?” and wondering if anyone actually ever reads those things anyway … yep. That’s direct response.

(And by the way, the short answer is yes—people read them.)

The Internet is littered with direct response copy, mainly because it’s a fabulous way to leverage yourself and your marketing efforts, especially when you’re using the Internet to market yourself. Direct response copy does the selling for you, so you can market and sell yourself one to many.

But, as much good as it does, people still hate it. That’s partially because traditional direct response copy uses a lot of fear-based triggers (which doesn’t feel very good). It’s also because a lot of people just hate writing, and would rather not do it at all. (It’s okay if this is you, we’re all friends here.)

Needless to say, there’s a lot of misinformation around the future of copy, so I thought I’d take a moment to sort out the facts from the fiction—and what better way to do that than by talking about five copywriting trends I see happening now?

Without further ado, let’s dig into those copywriting trends.

Trend 1. Copywriting isn’t going away (and yes, that includes writing email copy). Yep, I hear those proclamations too: “Email is dead. Facebook is the place to be. No, maybe it’s videos. Or podcasts. Or …”

So, first off, nothing beats building your own sandbox versus playing in other people’s sandboxes. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using Facebook and Youtube—you absolutely should have a presence on any platform your ideal prospects are on.

You just shouldn’t build your entire business on them.

An excellent way to market and build your business is to spend time in the places your ideal clients are hanging out, with the intent to inspire them to join you in your sandbox.

Ideally you’d love for them to join your email list, so you have permission to reach out when the timing is right for you. But, even if they regularly visit your blog or have subscribed to your podcast, that’s a step in the right direction, too.

And, for any of that to happen, it’s important to have harnessed the power of copy in your marketing. No, that doesn’t mean YOU need to do all the writing yourself—hiring it out is perfectly acceptable. But, you need to come to terms with the fact that as long as you own a business, you’re going to be generating copy (and likely a lot of it).

And that leads us to the second of the five copywriting trends.

Trend 2. Connecting with your ideal clients is key to future success. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when you could generate an awful lot of money simply by harnessing the power of “new” in your marketing.

That time has come and gone (and frankly, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, as I would argue very few entrepreneurs who had mastered the power of “new” actually had a solid, sustainable business.)

So, if you can’t use “new” to attract customers, clients and buyers, what can you do?

Easy. Focus on connecting and building relationships with your prospects. (And, if you are looking to attract more ideal clients to your business, connecting and building relationships is hands down the best strategy to use).

Copy is one of the best ways to connect and build relationships, especially when you use it in an email. (Emails are one-to-one medium: people are getting emails in their inbox, so by it’s very nature, it’s a personal connection. It’s just a matter of you remembering that, when you craft emails to your subscribers.)

But, this is just the first step to building more rapport with your ideal prospects.

Trend 3. Focus on giving your prospects exactly what they want. And I guarantee what they want is plenty of content, and maybe even to be entertained.

What they DON’T want? To be sold to constantly.

That’s why so many entrepreneurs have email lists that are, for all practical purposes, dead. They’ve sold to them so much that their prospects have stopped interacting with them.

(Note: Constantly sending your subscribers to other people’s “free” launch content, such as free books or videos or webinars, constitutes selling. Yes, yes, I know the content is usually pretty solid. But, it’s still designed to sell a program, likely a high-ticket item, and anyone who says “yes” to that free content WILL get inundated with emails for a few weeks. Your subscribers know this, and are tuning it out. I’m not saying not to promote other people’s launches or to stop doing your own; I absolutely still believe product launches are an important tool in your marketing toolbox. However, what I AM saying is to count those emails toward your “total sales emails” quota. You only have so many sales emails you can send to your list before they stop paying attention, so choose wisely.)

Your subscribers don’t mind some sales emails, but it’s important to balance those sales emails with what they’re really looking for, which is most likely content and entertainment.

But, there’s an even bigger prediction on the horizon (a.k.a. the fourth of five copywriting trends)…

Trend 4. Segmenting is the future. While this is a more advanced tactic, having a way to segment your subscribers and allow THEM to decide what sort of content and communication they want from you is going to become more and more important.

I’ve seen stats showing far better results when emails are tailored to your subscribers based on their answers to a few questions you ask them.

So, how do you do this? Some email programs, such as Infusion Soft (although there are cheaper email software programs that are coming out now that are offering these options) allow you to “tag” your subscribers depending on if they click a link, or how they answer a question. You can then send an email to just the people who were tagged.

For instance, maybe you send out an email asking, “If you’re brand new to business, click here,” you can then “tag” everyone who clicks on that link. Now you have a segmented list of new entrepreneurs, and you can send them content and offers that are tailored specifically to them.

See how powerful that can be?

It’s always been the case that the more you can speak directly to your ideal prospects concerns and what’s keeping them up at night, the more they’ll buy from you. Until the Internet, it was far more complicated to give them tailored offers.

Of course, this is a bit of a catch-22. Now that it is easier, it’s likely your ideal prospects will be expecting it more. Which means if you’re NOT segmenting, you could be losing potential clients, customers and buyers.

But, there’s still one last of the 5 copywriting trends that will also be important when it comes to writing copy.

Trend 5. Use passion, vulnerability, and stories in your copy. Remember, people want to do business with people. And, you connecting and building relationships with your ideal prospects is going to be even more important now, as it truly is one of the top trends in marketing and business.

One key way to connect with them using copy is to do things like tap into your passion, and show your personality. Reveal your vulnerabilities and share stories in your copy.

As humans, we’re wired to respond to stories. So, the more we can use stories in our marketing, the more our ideal prospects will pay attention to us. And, if they’re paying attention, they’re far more likely to become buyers, customers, and clients.

I know it can feel strange to use stories and share your vulnerabilities (business IS supposed to be professional after all, and if you came from corporate, it can feel even more alien), but sharing something you’re vulnerable about can go a long way in making you far more relatable.

And, now, for a last, bonus prediction (because 6 copywriting trends didn’t sound nearly as sexy as five).

Bonus Trend 6. Fear-based copy that focuses on shaming and scarcity is on its way out, and love-based copy is the new black. So, as the founder of the love-based copy philosophy and the love-based business movement, I get that this might seem more than a little self-serving.

It’s also not completely true.

Yet.

While fear-based copy and marketing DOES still work, it’s definitely not working as well as it used to. I do believe it’s on its way out, and selling and marketing yourself with love is on its way in, but we’re not quite there yet.

As a species, we still psychologically respond to fear-based triggers. The more we do the inner work and shift to building our businesses and living our lives on a foundation of love, the less fear-based triggers will work.

And, if you want to dig into love-based copy at an even deeper level, you may want to check out my books: Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites and Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites.

 

3 Reasons Your Mindset Is Crucial to Writing Love-Based Copy

3 Reasons Your Mindset Is Crucial to Writing Love-Based Copy

If you’ve been following my blog, you probably understand the difference between fear-based marketing and love-based marketing. But did you know that if you’re not in a love-based mindset, you’re going to have a difficult time writing great love-based copy?

Here’s why: any fear-based emotions you experience around your business and/or your marketing will shine through in your marketing and messaging, both in terms of how you feel about it, and how your customers perceive it.

For example, if you feel like marketing is slimy or arm-twisty, that will not only hold you back from writing promotional copy but also getting it out there. And if you’re experiencing marketing resistance, you may unknowingly sabotage your own efforts.

Here’s a quick recap of the difference between traditional, fear-based marketing, and love-based marketing:

Fear-based marketing often uses fear-based emotions like guilt, shame, or scarcity to get people to buy.

For example, a dentist might use fear-based marketing like this: “If you don’t come into the dentist this week, you’ll probably lose all your teeth.”

On the other hand, love-based marketing triggers love-based emotions like hope and abundance.

For example, a dentist might use love-based marketing like this: “My staff members and I have specialized in providing the best possible dental care in a stress-free environment – we keep your gums and teeth healthy for as long as you need them!”

You’ll feel good about it, your prospects will feel good about it, and your business will thrive.

That being said, here are 3 reasons mindset is crucial to writing love-based copy:

  1. It helps you feel good about what you write.

If you’re like so many of my clients, you just don’t like writing marketing copy. You feel like you’re twisting people’s arms, or being slimy somehow. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

When you write copy from a love-based mindset, you realize that you’re simply providing your potential clients or customers with a choice about whether to work with you, to experience the solution you provide.

You let them know you understand the pain they’re in, you present your product or services as the solution, and you step back and let them make that choice.

No arm twisting required.

  1. It helps you get past marketing resistance.

Marketing can be a huge trigger, because it brings up so many fear-based emotions.

Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not earning money, not having time to spend with your family and friends, fear of “putting yourself out there,” of “owning your value,” of “selling yourself.”

Whew!

When you’re coming from a love-based mindset, though, you’re not thinking about all that “scary” stuff.

You’re thinking about how to best let your prospects know that you’re available as the solution to overcome their pain points or problems.

You’re feeling confident that your love-based copy will inspire just the right people to work with you, at precisely the right time. With this confidence comes the ability to recognize and move past marketing resistance that often results from fear-based emotions.

  1. It gives your prospects the space to make a choice, which feels so much better than pursuing them.

Love-based marketing copy is so effective when you’re writing it from a love-based mindset. Why?

Because your prospects see you as a loving individual who cares about the transformation they’re preparing to make!

Even if they don’t ultimately decide to buy from you, they’ll have seen that there’s the potential for transformation, and that they can choose a better way. They can choose to move beyond their pain. Even if they don’t do it by working with you, it’s possible that you’ve offered them a new vision for the future!

And how great is that?

If this resonates with you, you may enjoy reading the first book in my Love-Based Copywriting series, Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites. It’s available in both print and most eBook formats, and you can get it here.

[Video] The Story Behind the Story — “Love-Based Copywriting Method”

[Video] The Story Behind the Story — “Love-Based Copywriting Method”

“Love-Based Copywriting Method” is the book that started the Love-Based Business movement.

Before I wrote this book, entrepreneurs didn’t have much of a choice on how they wanted to market themselves with their promotional copy (copywriting is writing marketing materials, nothing to do with putting a copyright on something or protecting intellectual property).

They could either choose to use traditional direct response copy and marketing (an example of direct response copy is those long sales letters that you scroll down forever wondering how much it is and does anyone actually read these or those emails asking you to click on a link) which meant in many cases they were using marketing tactics that felt hype-y, sales-y or inauthentic.

Or, they could choose not use direct response copy and marketing.

Of course, the problem with NOT using it is then you haven’t leveraged your marketing. When you use direct response copy, you are marketing one-to-many. Without it, you’re stuck marketing one-to-one. As you can imagine, it’s tough to grow your business that way.

But, then, in 2014, my friend Susan Liddy came out with a book called “Love-Based Marketing.” I looked at that title and thought “Love-Based Copy.” What’s the opposite of love-based copy? Well, it would be fear-based copy.

And that’s when the whole philosophy downloaded into me.

But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself — check out the whole story behind the story of “Love-Based Copywriting Method” below:

If you’re looking for a way to sell more with love, this book is the place to start. It explains the philosophy behind love-based copy so you can build your marketing and business on a solid foundation of love.

“Love-Based Copywriting Method” is available at all the major online retailers — check it out here.

A New Perspective on Direct Response Copywriting: How to Sell More with Love

A New Perspective on Direct Response Copywriting: How to Sell More with Love

You’ve undoubtedly heard that direct response copywriting is, hands-down, the best way to make more sales online.

But …

If you’re among the conscious/mission-driven entrepreneurs of the world, then the thought of using direct response copy in your business may make you feel “icky.”

(Not sure what direct response copywriting is? Direct response copy is any copy designed to get readers to take action — such as a click on a link or purchase a product. You may have seen it in those long sales letters where you scroll down forever looking for the price, or emails you receive when you’re on someone’s email list.)

All the “gurus” say you need direct response copywriting if you want to build your online business.

But when you sit down to write it, you feel inauthentic. Arm-twisty. Sales-y. Like you need to take a shower.

Sound familiar?

Have you ever stopped to think about why you feel that way when it comes to sales?

It’s because a lot of traditional direct response copy is based on tapping into fear-based emotions, like fear, guilt, scarcity, and shame.

You see, the only way you can compel someone to take action is to tap into his or her emotions. It doesn’t matter if you’re making an offer to a potential client or trying to get your kids to go to bed at a reasonable hour. It all comes down to emotions.

And, all emotions fall under either fear or love — so you have a choice if you want to use fear to persuade or love. (You can learn more about the love-based copy and marketing philosophy here.)

If you’re here, I have a feeling you don’t want to use fear, guilt, scarcity, and shame to sell your products and services.

And the good news is that you don’t have to!

You’re probably wondering how.

To create effective marketing copy based in love rather than fear, you must understand the truth about pain.

Wait, what?

You read that right; pain IS part of the love-based copy writing approach.

I’ll explain.

Conscious entrepreneurs are often sensitive to talking about prospective clients’ pain. You’re in business to alleviate pain, right? So the last thing you want to do is remind your clients about the very thing you want to heal.

While I agree—you don’t want to twist that knife—I want you to understand that talking about pain is actually an important part of the healing (and buying) process.

Here are some considerations to make:

Pain Versus Suffering

Pain is real — there is a problem in people’s lives and they have pain around it.

Not only that, but pain is a necessary part of life. It’s an indicator that something is going wrong.

Suffering is a whole different animal.

Suffering typically happens when we magnify existing pain using fear, shame, guilt or something else.

Pain is a part of life. Suffering doesn’t have to be.

So when it comes to copywriting, it’s actually critical to remind people of their pain and then offer them a solution—and give them the opportunity to make a choice about whether to use that solution.

If they’re done experiencing the pain, they may be ready for your product or services. If not, they’re probably not an ideal client yet.

On the other hand, it’s unnecessary (and can feel slimy!) to twist the knife and use your copywriting to cause suffering. Yes, a lot of traditional direct response copywriting has roots in twisting the knife (which is also known as agitating the pain). And that’s one of the reasons why using pain in marketing and copy has gotten such a bad rap .

It’s a fine line, but a crucial one.

The Importance of Pain

Like I mentioned above, pain is an indicator that something is wrong, or that something could be better.

As a business owner, pain you experience may indicate an opportunity for growth.

So take this as an opportunity to get comfortable with pain. Consider the following:

* Pain adds urgency. You would never call your dentist in the middle of the night and say “Oh my God, I missed my cleaning, can you get me in now?” But if you broke a tooth? Or a jaw? Yeah you may be waking your dentist (or doctor) up.

So, let’s bring that back to marketing:

If you don’t remind your ideal clients about their pain, they may say things like, “Oh, what you do sounds great! I’ll definitely have to work with you one day.” But as you know, in so many cases “one day” never comes.

And that pain doesn’t go away. In fact, it may even devolve into suffering because they don’t take you up on working together, which may alleviate the pain.

* People remain in the status quo … unless something compels them to change. Unless you actually remind someone that she’s in pain, she’ll be likely to resist making a change. Only by reminding her are you giving her the opportunity to CHOOSE change. Does they really want to stay there? Or is she ready to move forward?

* I believe the sales process should mirror the transformation your products or services create. If you are a transformative teacher, healer, or coach, you already know transformation includes pain. If you don’t give prospects the gift of going through their pain in your marketing or selling process, they may decide in the middle of working with you—when they do experience pain—that they’re not ready to move forward … and that’s when people disappear, drop out, or even ask for refunds (and none of us want those things to happen).

* Neglecting to talk about pain is neglecting the opportunity to allow your clients to put two and two together: that your offering may actually be a solution to their pain. In today’s busy world, people may not go so far as to draw the connection between their pain and your offering, if you don’t make it perfectly clear. (Plus, it’s also disrespectful. Your ideal clients are truly in pain — not addressing it can feel disrespectful.)

* As soon as you master love-based copywriting – and the love-based way of using pain in your marketing materials – it feels so good! You can stand in your power as a confident successful entrepreneur because your copy will attract the people who most need the work you do. You’ll be attracting and landing clients whose lives you can transform. Not only will you grow your business but you’ll also make a bigger impact.

* Learning how to use pain in a love-based way gives YOU the opportunity to grow and heal. This could be exactly what you need to do to take your business to the next level. Getting uncomfortable is part of being an entrepreneur. That’s why I’m challenging you today to try using pain in a love-based marketing way to stretch yourself, personally and professionally.

You can use this article as an example of how to use pain in a love-based way. Did you notice how I wove in pain without twisting the knife? I educated you on pain without causing suffering.

Now it’s time for you to decide: Do you want to keep doing what you’ve always done, writing marketing copy that feels icky? Or are you ready to change how your market to your ideal clients?

Bottom line: it’s really a disservice to your ideal prospects NOT mention their pain.  Because if you don’t, they’re not going to buy. And if they don’t buy, you won’t make the difference you long to make, your ideal clients will remain stuck in their pain, and you may never become the person and entrepreneur you’re meant to become.

What I’ve covered here is truly just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re interested in learning more, definitely check out my best-selling book “Love-Based Copywriting – The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires and Invites Your Ideal Prospects to Become Ideal Clients.”

What’s the Difference Between Being Love-Based and Fear-Based?

What’s the Difference Between Being Love-Based and Fear-Based?

It’s fear vs love. Believe it or not, the opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s fear. All emotions basically fall under one of two categories — love-based emotions of fear-based. love-based-copy-4a

Love-based emotions includes love, hope, joy, gratitude, peace, faith, trust, confidence, happiness, connection, forgiveness, openness, passion, freedom, harmony, honesty, beauty, compassion, self-love, self-appreciation, respect, acceptance, understanding, etc.

Fear-based emotions include fear, anger, grief, shame, guilt, bitterness, judgment, jealously, frustration, doubt, insecurity, etc.

A lot of what we consider traditional business is built on a foundation of fear vs love (actually a lot of traditional things are built on fear). The reason this happens is because in a lot of ways, fear is easier. Many, many folks live their lives being controlled in some way by fear-based emotions.

Either consciously — they’re angry, depressed, grieving, judgmental, fearful, worrying, unhappy, etc., or unconsciously — they feel an uncomfortable emotion, they run away from it, bury it, hide from it, etc. (Think about all the things that happen when someone gets upset — they start a fight, take a drink, overeat, go shopping, gossip, etc.) So, if fear-based emotions are controlling your behavior, it’s going to be very difficult to build anything love-based.

Now, just to be clear, love-based doesn’t mean you don’t feel fear-based emotions — on the contrary, people who have embraced love-based businesses and lives in fact DO fully feel all emotions, whether love-based or fear-based.

And there is definitely a place for fear-based emotions in our human existence, so rather than fight them, the key is to really feel them, and let them move through you. (Feelings just want to be felt after all.)

And, because folks who have embraced the love-based way do feel fear-based emotions, it also means they aren’t controlled by them. It’s when you try not to feel the fear-based emotions are when they control you.

Now, when you are selling, or attempting to persuade someone to do something, this really comes into play, because in order to persuade anyone to do anything — it doesn’t matter what it is (get your kids to go to bed at their bedtime, convince someone to go on a date with you, sell someone your product or service) — you absolutely need to tap into their emotions. Hence, you end up tapping into fear vs love.

Traditional direct response copy taps into fear-based emotions (which include fear/worry, shame, guilt, anger), which is why it feels so icky. But you don’t have to tap into fear-based emotions to sell — you CAN sell with love, by tapping into love-based emotions.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can sell with love rather than fear, I’d like to invite you to check out my love-based business books, especially my two “Love-Based Copywriting” books. You can learn more right here.