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Marketing problem? The Real Reasons Your Product/Service Might Not Be Selling

Marketing problem? The Real Reasons Your Product/Service Might Not Be Selling

It happens all the time. You have what you think is a “marketing problem.”

You have a disappointing product launch. You have issues consistently selling your services. A program that used to sell well stopped.

There are a lot of reasons why this could be happening, and in most (if not all) of the cases, the issue comes down to what looks like a marketing problem.

But, what if the marketing problem was a symptom, and not the cause?

What if the cause was something deeper … what if it had more to do with WHAT you’re selling?

And it’s really a form of sabotage?

And, the reason why it’s sabotage is because you have misgivings about the product or service or program you’re offering.

Before I dig into all the ways you can sabotage yourself, let’s explore all the ways you may be less than thrilled with your products, programs, or services.

• You don’t particularly like the product, service, or program you’re selling.

There’s a lot of ways this can manifest itself.

Maybe you became a coach only to realize you don’t like coaching, but now you have all these clients, and you’ve got money coming in—money your family is dependent on—so what can you do?

Or, maybe you love some types of coaching but not others. I see this a lot in the industry I’m in. There are many folks who want to be life coaches or spiritual coaches, but they struggle to make money, so they become a business coach instead.

Over time, many of these spiritual or life coaches come to detest business coaching.

I’ve highlighted some of these stories in my Love-Based Money podcastBarb, Anastasia, Sierra—all these women built up very successful coaching businesses only to tear it all down when they woke up one day and finally had to admit to themselves how much they hated what they built.

• You know this particular product, program, or service isn’t your best work.

Maybe you threw it together because you saw an opportunity and wanted to act fast, and the finished product ended up being on the sloppy side. Or maybe you discovered errors in it after the fact. Or maybe when you created it, it was a solid, well-put-together product, but now it’s out-of-date and really needs an upgrade. Or maybe the content is fine, but it has technical issues (bad video, bad audio, typos, etc.)

Regardless of how it happened, you know it’s not as good as you’d like it to be, and every time someone buys, you find yourself cringing inside.

• You don’t particularly like the clients, customers, or buyers you’re attracting.

If you’re selling a product where you have absolutely no contact with your buyers, this is less of an issue, but if the product or service includes any type of interaction, this is clearly an issue.

Think about it—if you dislike talking to your customers and clients, you’re probably going to dread getting on the phone with them or meeting them in person, or maybe even answering their emails.

How can you possibly get excited about marketing something that is going to require you to interact with people you don’t like?  Even if you are making good money, eventually there will come a time when the money no longer matters, and all you want is out.

• You’ve outgrown your product, program, or service.

Businesses are living entities. Over time, they grow, change, evolve, and even die.

As your business changes, so do your offerings.

Maybe a product or program or service that used to be a good fit isn’t anymore. Maybe it’s not in alignment with who you are or the message you want to get out into the world in a bigger way. Or maybe the graphics or branding around the product, program,or service needs an upgrade.

If you no longer feel what you’re offering is a good match for where you are now, it’s going to be difficult for you to promote it.

• You’re lacking the team, support, system, backend, etc. to create excellent customer service.

You may love coaching and your clients, but you have no system in place to onboard new clients. Your “welcome packet” (if you can call it that) is a mess, and it’s a crapshoot if you’re able to get your new clients scheduled in a timely manner.

Or maybe you have an online learning platform that doesn’t work very well, so you know every time you get a new student, you’re going to also get customer service emails full of questions and problems.

Or maybe you have no systems created around taking care of new clients and customers, or maybe you don’t have the right team members in place to take care of your clients and customers. Or, maybe you have a fabulous team, but they’re tapped out. They can’t handle any more clients or customers, so you’re not able to grow.

How can you market yourself when you no every new customer, client or buyer is going to add stress to your life?

• You’re secretly afraid your product, service, or program isn’t any good.

There are a lot of ways this can manifest itself: You don’t value yourself or what your offering, you’re afraid you’ll fail and let down your clients, you feel like you’re a fraud, you feel like you need to read “one more book” or get “one more certification” before you’re an expert.

If you feel like you’re selling snake oil, and the last thing you want is to be a snake oil salesperson, it’s going to be very difficult to consistently and effectively market or promote or sell your offerings.

So, those are some of the top ways you may be less than thrilled with your product, program, or service. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it gives you some ideas on the questions to ask yourself around the product or program or service that just isn’t selling as well as you’d like.

Because if any of these are true (even if it’s just a little true), there’s likely a part of you that really doesn’t want any customers or clients to buy it. (Hence, why, on the surface, this would look like a “marketing problem” even though underneath what’s really happening is a form of sabotage.)

Think about it: If you don’t like what you’re selling, you’re not going to want to sell it.

If you don’t like your customers, you’re not going to want to spend time with them.

If you think your product or program or service is outdated or not very good, you may be embarrassed to have people buy it.

If you’re lacking the backend or customer support, you may know new clients and customers are just going to turn into massive headaches for you, and who needs that?

And, if you have any sort of feelings of fraud or not being good enough, how on earth could you in good faith take other people’s money for something you’re secretly afraid is crap?

Now, it’s entirely possible (and certainly does happen) that you can feel this and still push through to make a lot of money at whatever it is your selling. (My Love-Based Money podcast guests are a great example of forcing themselves to grow a business they weren’t in alignment with.)

But, for many entrepreneurs, even if they are able to make money in the short term with the product or service, they can’t sustain it. So, they end up in a financial rollercoaster.

You see, if you’re going to “force” yourself to market or sell something that you either don’t like or are ashamed of at some level, that means you’re going to need to use a lot of willpower to keep you going.

And, willpower will only take you so far.

So, then, what happens?

That’s when the sabotage kicks in.

Well, maybe you cut back on the number of emails you send in a launch, despite knowing (or being told) not to do that.

Maybe you deflate at the end of a sales call (and end up never making the sale).

Maybe you bomb any opportunity you get to be in front of your ideal clients (talks go wrong, weird tech issues show up on webinars, etc.).

Or maybe you and your marketing just slowly disappear. Maybe you stop hanging out on Facebook, even though you know it’s a great source of prospects for you. Maybe you stop posting regularly to your blog, or you don’t record your podcast consistently. Maybe you “take a break” from emailing your subscribers.

What do all of these have in common? On the surface they look like a marketing problem. (And, don’t get me wrong, they ARE a marketing problem.) But, what’s really going on is sabotage–you’re taking unconscious actions or making unconscious decisions to hurt your marketing.

You may not be aware of what you’re doing, or maybe you have some really good excuses for not doing the things you know you should. (And, truly, it’s not your fault if this is happening to you as this typically shows up as a big blindspot.)

But, regardless, the outcome is the same. Your sales aren’t great, and a part of you (which may be buried really deep inside) is glad.

And, this cycle of continuing to sabotage yourself while having it look like a marketing problem, will continue.

If any of this resonates with you, and you feel like you may need to go deeper, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

[Your Sales Process] Are You Assuming the Yes or Assuming the No?

[Your Sales Process] Are You Assuming the Yes or Assuming the No?

Let me start by asking you a question. As part of your sales process, when you’re in a sales or enrollment conversation, do you assume you’re going to hear a “yes” or a “no”?

Now, I’m not asking how attached you are to hearing a “yes.” Say, for instance, you’re feeling stressed about money. You might feel like you absolutely need a prospect to say “yes,” or you won’t be able to pay your bills. That’s more of a desperate, pursuing energy, and it’s usually connected to being attached to the yes.

My question today is during the sales process, are you assuming your prospects will say “yes?”

And more importantly … are you prepared for them to say “yes”?

I was recently at an event hosted by my friend and client Melinda Cohan, and one of the things she taught was to always assume the yes.

Melinda does. She also uses The Coaches Console, a software platform she created, to prepare the contract so that when she gets the yes, she can pull it up right then and there and walk the prospect through it.

One of the reasons why this is so powerful is because if you’re not actually prepared to welcome new clients into your business, you may unconsciously repel them.

Think about it: If you don’t have a contract ready, or a decent way to accept payment … if your welcome packet is a mess (or nonexistent), not to mention the rest of the back end of your business is pretty much a train wreck, onboarding a new client turns into an absolute headache.

And, if you’re not a full-body, 100% yes to accepting new clients, how comfortable do you think your prospects are going to feel during your sales process?

Melinda is a little different from many of the other entrepreneurs and coaches out there (including yours truly). Many entrepreneurs and coaches jump first and ask questions later. In their eagerness to build their business and start making money, they rush out to start signing up clients, without once considering what will happen when they actually land one.

When Melinda was building her business, she spent the first few months creating systems and getting her back end together, so when she was ready to launch, she was totally prepared. As a result, it didn’t take her long at all to completely fill her business with coaching clients.

And, because there was nothing else out there to help coaches build their back end, she created The Coaches Console.

So, back to assuming the yes:

When I first heard Melinda teach it on stage, it had a profound affect on me.

You see, I’m an Enneagram 6 (you may have heard me talk about this before). If you’re not familiar with the Enneagram, it’s a really powerful way to see your patterns around your wounds. If you want to break negative cycles you find yourself trapped in, the Enneagram can really help.

So, I’m a 6, which means I’m a massive worrier. (Fear is my thing, which I suppose makes total sense that I’m now teaching how to shift from a fear-based foundation and to a love-based.)

Now, I actually don’t really worry anymore (which doesn’t mean I don’t feel fear or worry or anxiety; it just means when those emotions come up for me, I’m able to quickly break the pattern and get out of it). But, some of my old thought processes still exist, and one of those is the idea of the “other shoe dropping.”

To me, assuming the yes means I’m not waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This is a problem (at least for me).

One of the things I realized about my worry habit was that I had created a false “story” about my worry—that it was actually a magical talisman designed to keep bad things from happening to me.

You see, if I worried about the bad things, they wouldn’t happen. (Because, truthfully, the vast majority of things you worry about don’t happen. For me, at least, my worry attracted more things to worry about, but it didn’t necessarily attract the specific bad things I was thinking about.)

So, if I started assuming the yes, all those other shoes would start dropping … raining shoes, even!

Okay, all kidding aside, I want to ask you again what I consider a profound question:

If you’re assuming the no, are you afraid you might jinx it if you assume the yes?

Or are you maybe afraid you’ll raise your own hopes only to be dashed if the prospect says “no”?

Or maybe there’s some other reason.

But, what would happen if you assumed the yes?

How would your life change if you walked into an enrollment conversation confident and prepared for that to happen?

Think about it.

I have two book recommendations for you if you liked this post: My “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book and my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book.

[Video] Flip It! I Can’t Sell Because I Hate Selling!

[Video] Flip It! I Can’t Sell Because I Hate Selling!

There’s just no getting around it. If you want to be an entrepreneur and own your own business, you gotta sell something.

Because if you’re not selling something — your time, your expertise, a product, a book, an opportunity, SOMETHING — you’re not making any money.

And that kind of defeats the whole purpose of having a business. (Not only that, if you’re not selling something, you actually don’t have a business — you have a hobby.)

But, what if you hate to sell? Then what? How can you sell if you hate selling?

Well, I hate to break it to you but there’s simply no getting around it. If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur or business owner, you’re going to have to pull up your big girl or your big boy panties and learn how to sell.

Yes, you can hire a sales team to help you, but especially when you’re first starting out, you’re going to be your best salesperson. And if you’re selling time with you — coaching or a VIP day or a high-ticket mentorship program — people are going to want to talk to you before they make a final decision. So, learning to sell is kind of important.

Am I telling you to do something you hate? Kind of. But, what I’d really like to invite you to do is to dig into why you hate it.

What is it about selling in your business that you hate? Is it asking someone for money? Is it owning your own value? Do you feel it’s inauthentic to ask for money to do something you love?

Or is it something a little more esoteric, such as do you think all sales people are slimy ands sales-y and you don’t want to be sales-y and slimy either? Or do you think all rich, successful entrepreneurs are greedy and you don’t want to be greedy either?

There may be something coming up for you during a sales conversation you don’t want to feel, so it’s easier to simply hate sales conversations.

But, that’s not necessarily serving you or your business.

Look, you don’t have to love selling to build a thriving, profitable business, but you at least need to not hate it. And, chances are, once you dig more deeply into the reasons why you hate it, you’ll probably realize you actually don’t.

And that’s the first step to making your business a success.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Video] Flip It! That Long Copy Sales Letter Doesn’t Actually Work, Does It?

[Video] Flip It! That Long Copy Sales Letter Doesn’t Actually Work, Does It?

First off, what exactly is a long copy sales letter? Those are those web site pages where you scroll down and down for like forever trying to find the price and asking yourself “who reads these things anyway?”

Yeah. Those are the ones.

The short answer is yes, those long copy sales letter do in fact, make sales, even if you personally find them annoying.

And there are a few reasons why they work.

First, people need information to make a decision on whether or not they’re going to purchase something. A sales letter gives them that information. They need to get clear on what it is they’re buying and if it will, in fact, solve the issue that’s keeping them up at night.

The only way they’re going to know that is through words, and sometimes a lot of them.

Imagine yourself on a sales call. Let’s say it takes you 30 minutes to have a conversation and make a sale. If you were to transcribe that conversation, it would probably be around 10-12 pages or so, depending on how fast you both talked.

So, now let’s imagine yourself on a different sales call. Maybe you cover some of the same things you covered in the first call but you’re also answering different questions. If you create a transcript from the new information, maybe that’s adding another 6 pages. So, now you’re up to 16-18 pages.

Now you’re on a third call and you are answering still other questions.

I think you see where I’m going with this.

A sales letter is actually an effective way to answer all the different questions all your different prospects have about your products and services. It’s actually quite efficient when you consider most sales pages are less than one transcribed sales call.

This is also why the more expensive your product or program is, the longer your sales page typically becomes — because the more expensive something is, the more questions you have.

And, make no mistake, people need to have their questions answered before they’ll make the purchase. A confused mind doesn’t buy, nor does a mind that has a lot of questions.

In addition, the more time your prospects spend reading your content, listening to your podcasts, watching your videos or reviewing your marketing materials, the more likely they’ll end up investing with you. That has to do with the know, like and trust factor — the more they get to know you, the more they’ll start to like and trust you. And people want to do business with people they know like or trust.

If you’re still uncomfortable with the idea of the long copy sales letter, watch below for some tips on flipping your perspective:

(Wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my Love-Based Copy books: Love-Based Copywriting Method and Love-Based Copywriting System, both available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other online retailers.

The Mighty Bullet Point: How to Write Love-Based Bullet Points That Inspire Your Ideal Clients to Take Action

The Mighty Bullet Point: How to Write Love-Based Bullet Points That Inspire Your Ideal Clients to Take Action

I’m going to start by making a bold statement about the mighty bullet point:

In addition to being benefit-rich, as I mentioned in The Bullet Point: The Holy Grail of Copywriting, if you want to inspire your ideal client to buy, your bullet point should come from a place of love, rather than fear.

As you know, it’s my mission to give heart-centered and conscious entrepreneurs the information they need to build their businesses in a love-based way. In fact, I wrote a whole series of books on doing just that (check out the Love-Based Copywriting books here).

It only stands to reason, then, that I believe every piece of your marketing copy should be love-based … including your bullet points.

There are two places in your copy where this is especially applicable:

  • Introductory bullet points, where you let your readers know whether they’re in the right place by touching on their pain and emotions.
  • “What-you-learn” bullet points, where you highlight specific teaching points in a benefit-rich way.

Let’s talk about each one in depth.

The Introductory Bullet Point.

Its job description: to acknowledge that you understand your ideal client’s pain, what’s keeping her up at night.

What to include: descriptions of the “outer” and “inner” problems; for example, an outer problem may be that your ideal client has spent thousands of dollars putting up a website only to find it doesn’t generate sales (outer problem), and therefore, she’s frustrated (inner problem).

How to write it in a love-based way: mention the pain, but don’t twist the knife!

What to watch out for: using the pain to make your ideal client feel worse.

Here are some examples of effective love-based introductory bullet points:

  • You spent countless resources—time, money, and energy—to write, format, launch, and market your new book, but it’s just not selling, and you’re starting to feel discouraged.
  • This whole “content marketing” strategy seems so mysterious, and with all the information out there, you’re not sure what works and what doesn’t. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it?

Do you see how each of these bullet points contains an outer problem and the resulting inner problem?

Here are some examples of those same introductory bullet points written in a fear-based or ineffective way (caution: I do not recommend using these as models!):

  • You spent countless resources—time, money, and energy—to write, format, launch, and market your new book, but it’s just not selling. Now you’re starting to think your writing is terrible, you’ll never make it as an author, and you’ll be forced to choose between working odd jobs or starving your children.
  • This whole “content marketing” strategy seems so mysterious, which is why so many people fail at it—and therefore, fail at business, too.

Do you see how each of these examples paints a pretty scary picture of the future for whoever is reading it?

The What-You-Learn Bullet Point.

Its job description: to give your ideal client a taste of what she will learn, and how that will benefit her: how her life will change as a result of taking action on the offer you’re presenting.

What to include: a specific-yet-mysterious description of a concrete teaching point, and how that teaching point will contribute to a transformation; for example, you may mention, “The most important marketing strategy you’ll ever use (this is a teaching point, and it’s mysterious because you don’t reveal what the strategy is), and how it will have ideal clients knocking on your door” (clients knocking on the door is the potential transformation).

How to write it in a love-based way: present the benefit in terms of a solution, so you’re providing hope.

What to watch out for: lack of specificity and giving away the “whole enchilada.”

Here are some examples of effective love-based what-you-learn bullet points:

  • The Number One reason many entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed when they first launch their businesses, and what to do about it, so you can enjoy running your company while still reaching your goals quickly.
  • Three mistakes you may be making as a startup coach, and how to avoid them, so you can finally attract your ideal clients and make the money and the impact about which you’re so passionate.

Do you see how these bullet points mention a specific teaching point, but don’t give away exactly what the reader will learn? Also, notice that they offer a positive solution, giving the reader hope.

Here are some examples of those same what-you-learn bullet points written in a fear-based or ineffective way (caution: I do not recommend using these as models!):

  • Why your inability to prioritize leaves you overwhelmed and burned out, and why, if you don’t change it, you’ll never enjoy running your company.
  • Three mistakes you’re making as a startup coach, and why, if you don’t nip them in the bud, you’ll never get clients, or make an impact or a good living.

Do you see how the first of these bullet points tells readers that that “Number One” reason is, and how both bullet points paint a scary picture of the reader’s future if he doesn’t learn the teaching points?

When you nail the writing of the bullet point, you’ll dramatically improve the results you get with your copywriting and marketing efforts!

If this topic resonated with you, you may want to grab your own copy of Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites (Volume 2 in the Love-Based Business Series).”

A New, Love-Based Approach to the Product Launch: 5 Reasons Why Launching a Product Can Be a BIG Win, Even If You Don’t Make Many Sales

A New, Love-Based Approach to the Product Launch: 5 Reasons Why Launching a Product Can Be a BIG Win, Even If You Don’t Make Many Sales

The product launch: it’s a great way for a conscious, mission-driven spiritual entrepreneur to build both the buzz and her biz, when done right. But did you know that a product launch can also pay off in other ways too?

In other words, a “successful” product launch can mean many positive things for your business, AND for you, that have nothing to do with the number of sales you make during the launch.

Most entrepreneurs focus on money when they’re planning a product launch. They’re thinking about how many sales they’ll make. They’re seeing dollar signs, sales funnels, and expansion.

And yes, those are wonderful reasons to do a product launch.

However, that intense focus on product launch sales can also cause a tremendous amount of stress. I’ve helped guide hundreds of launches, and in the vast majority of cases, I’ve also taken on the role as “launch therapist.” (Yes, even the big “gurus” are not immune to launch pressure — in fact, I would argue in some cases they feel even more pressure: because they are so big and visible, word definitely gets out if they flop.)

Along with all the usual nasty health issues that we’ve come to expect when we’re under stress (lack of sleep, getting sick, headaches, etc.), what’s not talked about is how we also can slip into fear-based marketing if we’re not careful.

Even the most well-intentioned entrepreneur can find herself or himself using fear-based marketing tactics when an important launch suddenly goes sideways. It’s completely understandable and normal.

The problem is, if you are an entrepreneur who typically uses love to market yourself, slipping into fear can cause confusion in the marketplace. This can lead to your launch (and other marketing efforts) being less effective.

That’s why today I’d like to invite you to consider another perspective — how to view the product launch through a love-based lens.

Not only is this a great way to shift your mindset, but it can also help you take some of the pressure off. And yes, it’s very possible to have a super-successful product launch without a bunch of sales.

Check out these five non-sales, love-based reasons to do a product launch:

  1. You get out in front of your ideal clients: the people who really need you. It’s all about visibility. Even a small product launch can build buzz, and get people talking about you. This can build name and brand recognition, which is key – not only to growing a business, but also to letting your ideal clients know you’re out there, ready to help them solve their problems.
  2. Your ideal clients see you as an expert (because you are!). When you release free content during a product launch, you’re able to allow people to experience how knowledgeable you are. You’re giving them a taste of the transformation you can provide, and they’ll begin viewing you as an expert.
  3. You attract more of your ideal clients, which means you can share your message with a greater number of people. Offering free content is an awesome way to build your list. A growing, responsive list is key to building your business, and it’s also critical to building the relationships that allow you to share your gifts!
  4. You build momentum. Product launches take an enormous amount of energy to get off the ground. The laws of physics say that energy is neither created nor destroyed – it’s just transformed. So when you build momentum in creating and launching your product, that energy transforms into momentum for your business. So even post-launch, your prospects are still “talking” about you and are more open to receiving your message.
  5. You’re able to create a bigger impact than ever. The increased visibility and credibility from your launch also increases their interest in YOU. So even if they weren’t interested in the specific product you were launching, they may be interested in other products and services you offer. This means you’re able to help a greater number of people in a greater number of ways – making a bigger impact than ever before.

Here’s where this gets even better …

You’ll be reaching tons of people, spreading your message, and sharing your gift.  With this love-based mindset, you’ll be able to relax, enjoy your product launch, and view “success” in a whole new light – one that doesn’t focus on just the money.

If this resonates with you, you may like to take the teachings deeper with my book, “Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s available here.

[Video] Flip It! Is Email Marketing Dead?

[Video] Flip It! Is Email Marketing Dead?

If you have an online business or you’re looking to start an online business, you’ve likely been taught to build an email list — which is a list of emails belonging to your ideal clients — and market to them by sending out emails.

And, that’s a very solid business strategy. Email marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective way of marketing your business.

The problem is, it certainly seems like it’s a lot less effective than it once was. The number of people opening and clicking on emails seems to be going down all the time. And, while it used to be you could send an email out to your list and make some sales, now you may only hear crickets.

If that’s happened to you, it can feel really discouraging.

So, what gives? Is email marketing dead?

Take a moment to watch and decide for yourself.

 

(Wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my Love-Based Copy books: Love-Based Copywriting Method and Love-Based Copywriting System, both available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other online retailers.

The Bullet Point: The Holy Grail of Copywriting

The Bullet Point: The Holy Grail of Copywriting

If there is one element of direct response copywriting that has the potential to get people to click that “Buy Now” button, it’s the mighty bullet point.

A well-written bullet point, or set of bullet points, has the potential to close the deal faster than almost any other element in your marketing copy.

Why?

Well, because a bullet point is a tool that is quick to read, mentions the pain your ideal client is in, and your solution, all in one neat and tidy package.

Now, let’s talk about the “how” – how do you write a rockin’, take-no-prisoners bullet point?


So you probably know the difference between features and benefits, but just in case: a feature is an attribute of your product or service. A benefit is the “what’s in it for me” of that attribute.

Here’s the key: people buy benefits.

If you buy a book on copywriting, it’s not because you simply want to add to your book collection. So even though you’re buying a book, you’re not actually buying the book. Right? What you’re actually purchasing is the knowledge you will gain from reading the book, which will strengthen your copywriting skills … which will lead to more sales.

Therefore, when it comes to copywriting, it’s important to spend more time describing benefits than features.

The bullet point is the perfect place to make those benefits shine.

Now, before we take a deep dive into bullet points, let’s get really clear on the difference between features and benefits.

Features are the “what you get.” They’re the deliverables.

So let’s take the example above: a book about copywriting. The book itself is a feature. It’s what you get.

If you’re selling a car, the features may include a leather interior, a big engine, and a stereo.

If you’re selling an online program, the features may include weekly video trainings, a downloadable workbook, recordings of every session, and access to a private online forum.

A benefit, on the other hand, is the answer to the “What’s in it for me?” question. (Or, in your case, “what’s in it for the reader or potential buyer.”)

So going back to the car example, the benefit of leather interior is that it resists stains. A big engine means you get where you’re going, fast. And a nice stereo system means you can listen to awesome tunes as a soundtrack to your life.

As I mentioned above, the benefit of buying a book about copywriting is new knowledge that leads to more sales.

If you’re selling that coaching program, think about the benefits of each feature I listed:

  • Weekly video trainings provide information and accountability, so the client stays on track and receives support in implementing what he’s learning.
  • A downloadable workbook allows the client to personalize the new information so he can actually use it to create positive change.
  • Recordings of every session mean the client can access this new information any time, whether it’s relevant now or in the future.
  • The private online forum gives the client a sense of community, as well as access to support, advice and feedback, so he can get his questions answered and continue moving forward.

For every feature you list, you must also list a benefit. I like to find the benefit by asking, “So what?”

Let’s revisit that copywriting book example. The feature is a book. Sixty pages of information. So what? So that you can improve your writing skills and make more sales.

So, let’s get back to the bullet point.

Each bullet point should include a single benefit, and should either move your prospect toward pleasure or away from pain (I recommend a 70/30 ratio of toward pleasure to away from pain bullets).

If right now you’re cringing, because you’re thinking “But Michele! I’m conscious/mission driven/heart-centered! I don’t want to mention my prospects’ pain!” keep reading.

It is actually a disservice to your potential clients to ignore their pain. When you lightly touch on it, you can remind them that they have a choice about whether to remain in pain, or move away from it. (If you want to learn more about how to do this the love-based way, you can check out last week’s article, here. And if you want to learn more about the love-based copy philosophy, go here.)

Below are some examples of benefit-driven bullet points, from my “Why Isn’t My Website Making Me Any Money” sales letter. The benefits are in bold.

* An easy and effective way to transform yourself into an expert (so people will be more likely to buy from you)

[Increasing the likelihood that people will buy is moving the prospect toward pleasure.]

* 7 simple, 5-minute tweaks that add credibility to your site, so people will be more comfortable handing over their credit card and other personal information

[Making people more comfortable handing over information moves the prospect toward pleasure.]

* The one sentence you MUST add to your site if you want anyone to purchase anything from you

[People purchasing moves the prospect toward pleasure.]

* A common, VERY costly mistake you’ve probably made (or are considering making), which leads to your website not making sales (and how to avoid it)

[Making mistakes is painful! So this bullet point shows a feature that moves prospects away from pain.]

Once you’ve mastered the art of the bullet point, you’ll find that your copywriting is more effective, and you’re better able to make your biggest impact.

If this topic resonates with you, you may be interested in the second book in my Love-Based Copywriting series, “Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy That Attracts, Inspires, and Invites,” where I take this information on writing powerful bullet points even deeper. Get the book here to discover a new approach to direct response copywriting that feels good to you and to your prospects!

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.”