You’ve undoubtedly heard that direct response copywriting is, hands-down, the best way to make more sales online.
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.
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.
Yes, it’s true! You can sell—successfully—in a way that feels good to you and to your prospective clients.
You’re probably wondering how.
To create effective marketing copy based in love rather than fear, you must understand the truth about pain.
You read that right; pain IS part of the love-based copy writing approach.
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.
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.”