If you sell products as a speaker, then developing your copywriting skills will dramatically increase your profits. Copywriting is the difference between selling 2 programs versus 200.
Not only that, but if you sell from the stage, then you’ll be able to transfer the same copywriting skills to the stage.
Master the art of selling, and you will grow your speaking business beyond what you thought was possible.
But how do you write great copy for your programs? How do you sell more products?
From this moment forward, you need to create what’s called a swipe file.
A swipe file is a collection of great ‘pieces’ you can use for your own writing. (I put everything into Evernote)
So from this moment on, whenever you read a piece of copy from someone else’s product that you like (or even better…something you actually buy) then you want to keep a record of it. And when the time comes for you to write your copy, you’ll be able to create it really fast.
Once you have your swipe file, you want to make sure you follow a formula for writing copy.
There are a gazillion copywriting formulas out there, and every copywriter has their favorite, but here’s the one I use most:
- Identify the problem (make the symptoms clear & urgent)
- Talk about why what they’re currently doing isn’t working
- Tell them how you discovered the solution
- Show proof that the solution works
- Tell them how to get it
That’s one of the formulas I use when creating copy.
Before you ever write a single word to sell your speaker product, it’s CRUCIAL that you truly understand the mind of the person you’re selling to. Without this, you’re screwed.
Remember the quote from Abe Lincoln,
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
That’s how copywriting works.
Before you write anything to sell your programs, you have to spend 90% of that time getting inside the head of the person buying. If you do this part right, you’re going to naturally write great copy…even if you don’t know a single thing about copywriting.
Enter the conversation already occurring inside their mind.
I can’t stress this enough…
If you truly understand the mind of the person you’re selling to, then selling to them will be second-nature. You’ll understand their problems. You’ll understand what type of solution their looking for. You’ll understand everything about them.
But how do you get inside someone’s head?
An easy way is to read the questions people online. Look at websites like Quora and Reddit to see what people are talking about.
If it’s a market like Fortune 500 CEOs and they don’t usually hang out on Quora, then listen very closely to interviews they give. What do they say in the interview? What problems are they talking about?
Read book reviews from Amazon. What are people constantly talking about?
The best way to get inside the mind of someone is to pay close attention to their conversations.
Once you truly understand their minds, now you want to put the formula to work.
Step 1: Identify the problem (make the symptoms clear & urgent)
Lets say that I’m a leadership speaker and I’m selling a program to Fortune 500 CEOs. What’s one of their biggest problems?
Well…it just so happens that CEOs have a hard time finding talent.
Mark Zuckerberg talked about this a lot in an interview, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, The Google Guys, they all talk about the hard time they have finding talent. And once they do find someone, they want to do everything they possibly can to keep that person.
Now that I know the CEOs problem, it’s time for me to describe what’s going on inside the head…and make the problem very clear and urgent.
(note: I would do a lot more research on this if I were selling to them)
A simple headline would be something like,
“A simple way a Fortune 500 CEO finds talent and gets them to beg to work for his company”
CEOs are very direct and don’t have a lot of time on their hands. So by starting with ‘A simple way…’ it tells them that this won’t take long.
Then when I talk about finding talent and getting them to ‘beg’ to work for the company, it creates an image that every CEO would love to have…attracting the best of the best rather than going after them.
At this point, I would write about their problem…
“It’s hard to find talent nowadays. The U.S. just makes it harder and harder for people to get work-visas so we can’t even bring talented people from overseas to work for our company without a hassle.” (Mark Zuckerberg talked about this in an interview…so I know it’s something the Fortune 500 CEOs think about)
… “And now that things are changing faster than ever, nobody wants their company to end up like Blockbuster or Kodak. If we don’t find great people, and find them fast, then we know the fate of our company is sealed. You’re about to learn the single most effective technique to finding and keeping talent….”
Do you see how it makes the problem clear and urgent?
Not only do they need better people, but it’s clear that if they don’t, they’ll end up going out of business.
At this moment, I want to point something else out…
This copy would be great for Fortune 500 CEOs but not for smaller CEOs. A person with a team of 20 people wouldn’t be thinking about ‘work-visas’ to find great people. Instead, they would be thinking about creating ‘buy-in’ for their employees.
This is why it’s crucial to truly understand the mind of the person you’re selling your speaker products to.
If you’re a leadership speaker and you said, “CEOs are going to buy this product.” Then you’re not distinguishing between the types of CEOs (Fortune 500 ones and smaller CEOs).
The more clear you are on the person you’re selling to, the easier it is to get inside their head.
So ask yourself…
What problems do they desperately have? What keeps them awake at night? What’s the thing they think about most? What conversations are they currently having? What will happen if they don’t solve this problem now? How bad will things be?
Answer those questions when you’re writing copy for your speaker products.
Step 2: Talk about why what they’re currently doing isn’t working
Sometimes people have a problem, they know they have a problem, and they’re trying to fix it, but this ‘trying’ isn’t working. And because they’re doing ‘something,’ they feel like they’re already working towards fixing their problem. But in reality, the ‘something’ isn’t the ‘right thing.’
And when you’re writing copy, it’s a hurdle you have to overcome.
If you know you want to lose weight, and I tell you, “Go to the gym more often,” but you say, “I already am. I go 5 times a week.” Then guess what? I’m not going to persuade you to do diddly-squat.
If someone thinks they’re already taking the actions to improve their situation then why would they change? They won’t.
And that’s why you want to describe, in detail, why what they’re currently doing isn’t working.
So lets say that someone wants to lose weight and then I say, “What are you doing to lose weight?” And they respond. “I go to the gym 5 times a day and I do a lot of juicing.”
Knowing this, the copy would go something like…
“…and I decided to not only work out, but to also juice because I heard it was good for you. Or so I thought. Doesn’t it make sense? You throw in some vegetables, a banana, berries, and it’s the perfect mix. Little did I know, juicing has a ton of sugar and carbs. There goes my 6-pack abs….”
By describing a person’s current situation, and then describing how what they’re currently doing is wrong, it opens their mind to seeing what’s right.
Lets take a fitness trainer who trains women as another example. One of the biggest problems they face, when training women, is that women can’t ‘see’ their weight loss. So even if they lose X amount of pounds, they don’t see a difference.
This can pose some problems to a trainer because if someone doesn’t feel like they’re getting results from the trainer, then they’ll fire them.
So what does the trainer do? The trainer tells them to put on an old pair of pants. And BAM…they instantly know they’ve lost weight (btw…this really is the solution).
But what’s the point?
The point is this…
If you want to sell more of your speaker products, you have to describe what they’re doing wrong so they know they need to change.
Ask yourself, what do they (the people you’re selling your speaker products to) do throughout the day? How do they think they’re solving their problem? What are they currently doing and not doing?
Think about the common realities they face and this will help you get a clear idea on what they’re doing…so you can talk about why it’s wrong.
Step 3: Tell them how you discovered the solution
At this point in your copy, you need to tell them how you found the solution to their problem.
If you’ve done a good job up to this point, they’re going to be asking themselves, “Ok, how did you do it?” Or, “Ok, how do I fix it?”
You’ve built up the hunger inside them. They desperately want their problem solved, they know that what they’ve been doing hasn’t been working, so how did you figure out the solution? What is it? Tell me tell me tell me!!!
Remember the CEO example?
After I go on about how it’s hard to find great talent and how I was able to figure out a way to not only find talent, but them to desperately seek out a job…at this moment, the CEO is thinking, “How?”
And now you reveal your product.
You tell them that you found the secret. You figured it out (because you actually did find the secret).
Talking to a Fortune 500 CEO, it would go something like,
And after years of struggling to find talent, I finally figured out exactly how to do it.
That’s it. You don’t reveal the exact secret (that’s what your product is for), you just make them aware that you found the solution.
And the next part of your copy that makes or breaks your entire sale…
Step 4: Show proof that the solution works
Your speaker product might be great; It might the greatest thing since sliced bread…but if you don’t show proof, then all is lost.
You have to prove that your solution actually works.
With all this talk nowadays, people don’t believe a word you say.
I’m the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and you say that you have THE solution to finding the greatest talent, so where’s the proof? How do I know you’re not BSing me?
But imagine if you showed me videos of some of the top influencers who work for your company, and they’re telling their story about how they begged to work for you. And then you show me numbers from your company that took it from $2 to $2 billion because of these guys you hired.
On top of that, imagine if you showed me…not one…not two…not three…but 100 of these examples. As a CEO, I would instantly pull out my credit card to figure out your secret.
If you want to sell more speaker programs, you have to prove that what you’re teaching works.
Take a look at infomercials.
They’re the best at showing proof. They not only say “This Silver Bullet will make all your whites whiter….” They show it. They put a dirty shirt in this ‘thing’ and bam…it instantly becomes white.
But they don’t do it just once. They don’t do it twice. They keep doing it and doing it and doing it. They do it so much that you no longer question whether or not it works, it just becomes a matter of whether or not you want to buy it.
The hardest part about selling your speaker product is to get people to truly believe that what you’re selling is the solution to their problem. You have to overcome that doubt in your product.
And the way you do that is with massive social proof.
For every claim you make, you have to back it up with tangible proof.
Step 5: Tell them how to get it
And finally, you tell them how to get it…but that’s not all.
Most speakers skimp out on this step. They do everything else, but when it comes time to asking for the sale, they just say, “Do you want it?”
Instead, you have to sell the call-to-action itself.
Tell them exactly what to do.
Click the red button below that says add-to-cart.
And you can take it a step further by telling them what will happen after they click the button.
Why would you do this?
Because ‘fear of the unknown’ stops us from taking action.
Imagine… I don’t know you, but when I get an email from you that says “Click here to register,” sometimes I wonder if I’m going to go to a website to read information or if it’s going to somehow find my credit card from my computer and instantly charge me.
And because of that ‘unknown’ factor, I don’t click.
(Have you ever not clicked on a link because you weren’t sure what was going to happen after you clicked?)
The same goes for people when they don’t know what’s going to happen after they click the add-to-cart button.
If it’s a big-ticket item, describing what will happen after they click can increase your sales.
By saying, “After you click the red button, you’re going to be taken to a secure checkout page. Just enter your information and once that’s done, you’re going to be taken to a download page that looks like this…then….”
When you remove the ‘unknown,’ you remove the fear.
This isn’t something you have to do all the time, but it’s definitely something you want to test to see if it increases sales to your speaker products.
And that’s it.
That’s a simple copywriting formula you can use to sell your speaker programs.