Through studies and in-the-trenches experience, I’ve learned over the years that all good copywriting starts with a solid understanding of sales and psychology, because to get people to take action we have to know the right triggers. We have to understand the basic psychology of how our minds work, what goes into that buying process, so we can create effective advertising. And this isn’t the same as manipulation in advertising, which gets a lot of people really upset, and for good reason. No, what we’re doing is reaching out to the people who honestly NEED our help, and helping them get past the insecurities and the fears of investing in themselves so that they can step into the solutions that will genuinely help them solve their pains, reach their goals, etc. And so to do that, we need to get out of our own minds and into our prospects’ minds.
There’s a great quote in a book called Tuned In that says, “Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant.” And I LOVE that because it’s so true. We can’t approach our marketing based on what WE want, or what WE know our clients need, which is what most entrepreneurs do because it’s what we’re all hardwired to do. But as marketers of our business, we have to take a step back and approach our message based on what THEY (our clients) want, what THEY think they need, and, more importantly, what they’re willing to pay money to fix.
And if you can genuinely “read” the thoughts that your prospects are already thinking, instead of trying to use all sorts of flashy
bells and whistles to try and make people pay attention to you, as most marketers mistakenly do, you’ll automatically have an authentic message. Because you’re not trying to be sales-y; you’re just talking about the things they’re already talking about and inviting them to take a look at the solution.
Read Their Minds Tip #1: Interview Past/Current Clients
My favorite way to really get into the psyche of my target market is to interview those who have already worked with me (especially my fave clients – those I LOVE to work with). I ask them a set of specific questions with the goal of getting to the root of why they chose to work with me – and therefore begin to understand what I should focus on in my marketing copy to attract more of my ideal clients. This is my favorite way to read prospective clients’ minds because it’s simple and fast, and nearly anyone can do it. There are a few caveats to think about though, such as ways to make it worth your clients’ time (and not make it seem like you’re taking advantage of their generosity – yikes!).
Read Their Minds Tip #2: Survey Prospective Clients
If you are brand new and have no clients to interview, or are looking to expand your client base, surveying prospective clients is
a great way to find out what they need. Rather than guessing (and ending up wasting weeks or months of your life creating a new product/service that nobody buys – been there, done that!), you can use this method to find out exactly what your people want – and are willing to pay for. The trick is to not only use your survey to determine what they want help with, but also to find out where they hang out – and where you may be able to connect with more potential prospects (such as by advertising in magazines they read, visiting networking forums they frequent, etc.).
Read Their Minds Tip #3: Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Chances are, you’ve either worked with your ideal clients already, have been in their shoes (e.g. you lost 100 pounds and want to show other people how to do it now), or otherwise have a good idea of their challenges, dreams, and goals. But, as I mentioned in my introduction, the problem is that we as marketers are usually looking at things from our perspective – as an educated expert or person who has learned all the tricks of the trade from the school of hard knocks – when the real answer is to put ourselves in our target market’s shoes. Remember that the person reading your web copy is likely not as knowledgeable or experienced in the subject as you are – or they likely wouldn’t need your help. 🙂 So to begin using your marketing to connect with more of your prospects, take a step back and allow yourself to see things from their perspective.
For the full scoop on how to interview past clients, survey prospects, and put yourself in your prospects’ shoes,
click here to check out the new & improved Instant Web Copy Generator – and get info on how to set up your interviews and surveys correctly; a swipe file of the exact questions you can ask to read your clients’ minds; tips on where to use surveys, when to give them, how to get responses, and must-have resources; a list of thought-provoking questions to ask when putting yourself in your prospects’ shoes; plus an exercise to help put you in the right frame of mind before writing your web copy. Get the whole kit and caboodle here.