Copy Writing: Persuasion with Words

What’s the ultimate skill you possess when it comes to copy writing? What kind of wicked wordsmithing do you conjure up? Or are you short on copy writing skill?

Here’s when you absolutely need some extra copy writing training and advice…

IF IT TAKES YOU LONGER TO UNDERLINE, BOLD, AND INSERT TRIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS TO YOUR COPY THAN IT DID TO ACTUALLY WRITE THE SCRIPT OR COPY…THEN YOU MAY BE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM SOME EXTRA COPY WRITING INSTRUCTION.

You need to "shock" a little. Image courtesy of "foto76" / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You need to “shock” a little.
Image courtesy of “foto76” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your copy needs to do something. It needs to JOLT in some way. Of course there are a lot of ways to do that:

1) Words and phrases that are completely out of left field and make people go “What the…?” causing them to HAVE to hear what’s next. You need to surprise people with your word choices. Just don’t disappoint them after the “What the…” moment.

2) Storytelling in a manner that sucks a person into the story. (Let’s say it’s a radio ad) A story told in such a way that if someone were to reach over in an attempt to change the radio station in the middle of the story…you’d slap that person’s hand.

3) Sharing information that is unknown to a reader/listener. Information that is intriguing and feeds the curiosity and thirst for knowledge within us.

4) Raw, personal, and “human” content. When you share a vulnerability of some sort about a person or company, people perk up. They like to know that they’re not the only messed up souls on the planet. They like to know that some of the thoughts in your head…match up with a few of theirs. It helps to connect with them. It deepens relationships. It helps them remember you…when they need what you sell.

Those are only a few ways to inject some degree of jolt-factor into your copy.

And do I really need to say this?…

  • Kill the cliché stuff.
  • Take a noose to the “ad speak”.

Speaking of “ad speak”. Was it Roy Williams of the Wizard Academy who coined that term? Either way… he has been instrumental in my copy writing,  marketing, and advertising education. Have you read his “Wizard of Ads” trilogy? It’s a must if you’re in business.

Other recommendations…

Well, besides Roy (who I still refer to and learn from) I also liked Jeffrey Fox’s “How to Become a Marketing Superstar” when I was starting out. It’s great for someone just learning. I’d say get some of the basics of copy writing down first.

THEN…THEN…Then, when your brain is REALLY hungry to get good. When your appetite to learn more is fierce, dig into the teachings of these people…

Eugene Schwartz

Dan Kennedy

David Ogilvy

Claude Hopkins

Jack Trout

Joe Sugarman

Gary Halbert

John Carlton

Roy H. Williams

…and of course there are a ton more. These are just some really strong suggestions. I still get hungry, too. If you have 1 or 2 other suggestions that I may not have read…please feel free to comment and SHARE with me. : )

Just remember that the people you’re trying to persuade with your copy writing need to be jolted a little (or a lot). They need to be awed and seduced. Don’t try to trick them into paying attention…make them want to.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/ (And if you’d like a business website like this, or nothing like this, give me a shout. I’ll point you in the right direction)

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

Or if you’d like to set up a free blog like the one you’re reading, I can help you get started with that too.

Advertisements

Budget For Advertising

If you don’t have an ad budget, you need to set one. Usually, anywhere between 3% and 12% of revenues. It depends on whether you’re a service biz or a retail biz, profit margin, location, and how aggressive you want to be (competitive landscape, speed of desired growth, etc.).

If you’re a retail business, then your “visibility” plays into it. When you’re in a high traffic area, your rent is most likely higher, but so is your exposure. So, you don’t need to advertise as much. If your location is low traffic (cheaper rent), you need to increase your exposure (increase ad budget). Your profit margins also play into your ad budget, obviously. You’re going to be able to spend more on attracting purchasers of your product when you’ve got a 50% markup…versus 15%. Service businesses generally budget between 7% and 15%.

You need to advertise because you always have a competitor gunning for more market share. And you may THINK people know about you…but the reality can be quite different. And people can “know” about you…but often FORGET about you when the time comes for them to need what you have to offer.

Once you SET your ad budget, you might feel the need to distribute your ad dollars among many different ad mediums. Stop! When you do that, you end up “sprinkling” a few people here and there. To make advertising work, you need to “soak” your audience. Why? Because everyone is busy. And when you spread ads thinly across multiple ad mediums (radio, print, TV, Cable, magazines, billboards, etc.), they don’t get heard or seen enough times to make a difference. Start with ONE ad medium. And dominate it. You don’t have to try to reach everyone. If you want multiple ad mediums to work well together, the way Budweiser and Apple do it, you better have a pretty big ad budget.

If all you have the budget for, is a tiny cable TV program, that has about 1500 viewers per week…that’s ok. You have to start somewhere. You have to start getting into the minds of an audience repeatedly. And most importantly, when you create an ad message and campaign that gets attention and hits your prospects’ hot buttons (my specialty-wink wink), you start to bring in new customers. As you grow, then you can increase your ad budget and increase the audience.

If you have that small of an ad budget though, I’d recommend putting your efforts into making something stand out about your business. Get some word of mouth going about how you’re turning your industry upside down. Or take the time to make every precious customer you have…love you. Not like you. Love you. OR BETTER YET – instead of spending $200 a month on a small cable TV audience, you’d have better luck if you gave 20-dollar bills to 10 random people a month and say, “Hi, I’m ____ with _________. You should give us a try when you need a _________!”  And then walk away saying, “Have a nice day!” (Seriously, it would work better than the majority of sad advertising I see today!)

A good place to start with an ad budget…is on the RADIO. Radio allows you to communicate your ad message to an audience many times during a week at a much lower cost than TV or newspaper. Of course, you might think I’m biased because I work for Results Radio. But I decided a long time ago that my passion is helping small to medium-sized businesses GROW – no matter where I’m working. I’ve learned about the benefits and drawbacks to pretty much every advertising medium. Radio will always be my first recommendation to local businesses because of the power of sound (our memories prefer sound over sight only)…and the overall VALUE of it (you can air more ads, and I don’t charge you a nickel to make a new one).

There are lots of Radio commercial scheduling options. A good ad rep won’t bombard you with industry jargon and confuse the heck out of you.

You might get shown a $4500 per month ad schedule and think that it wouldn’t be too hard to pay for that with an extra few sales here and there. But you might also choke on your coffee if you saw a proposal of that amount. I’m not a fan of making up a schedule out of thin air with no budget to work with. The thing you need to know…is your AD BUDGET, remember? And not to “sprinkle” yourself out among multiple advertising mediums when you don’t have a lot of budget.

If you set the proper budget, have a great message to communicate to the public, and find a radio station or two to start out with…good things happen. New customers start finding you. New customers appear when you didn’t expect new customers to appear.

MY GOAL…is for my radio clients to grow and thrive and be as successful as they want to be. When that happens, I grow and thrive as well. See? Win-win.

Have a great week! Thank you for reading…and spreading the word about this cool radio guy you know.

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/ (And if you’d like a business website like this, or nothing like this, give me a shout. I’ll point you in the right direction)

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

What Is Advertising’s Magic Bullet?

What’s the magic bullet when it comes to making your advertising work?

What’s the one thing that will really punch your business up to the next level and blow the doors off of every other marketing tactic you’ve ever attempted?

  • Is it 10,000 Facebook fans???
  • Is it 35 billboards scattered across the city???
  • Is it cheap prices???
  • Is it “reaching” 100,000 or 200,000 people with your message???
  • ?????????

In my experience with helping local businesses attract new customers…it’s all about your STORY.  It’s about putting emotion into the radio ads that people can relate with and really feel. When you let people know that your business is operated by real people with true passion and understanding…good things happen. You’ll get new customers when your integrity and “realness” shines through.

So, the magic bullet isn’t anything tangible. It’s not how many people you’re reaching. It’s all about portraying your passion for helping your customers.  It’s about getting people to say, “Hey, that’s me! That’s exactly how I feel.”

But there’s more to doing that than just saying, “Hi there. I love what I do and I can’t wait to help you today!” There are ways to get your advertising message across that cuts through people’s internal B.S. meter. Yes, we have a B.S. meter in our brains. The more intelligent a person is…the more sensitive their B.S. meter. And everyone’s meter has become more sensitive in general when it comes to advertising messages…because we’ve been lied to in advertising. We’ve seen and heard ads that are intentionally deceptive. Our guard is up. It takes a heck of a lot more today than it did 15 or 20 years ago to make your advertising really kick butt. And by MORE, I don’t mean more advertising budget, I mean a better advertising MESSAGE.

I’m still kicking and screaming in this crazy business because…

My mission is to help small business owners cut the fat from their advertising…and create something real that their future customers can hold on to.  I don’t want your advertising to only work on the people who need you now.  I want your advertising to affect people deeply enough to remember you 6 months from now.

If you’ve never experienced advertising that brings you new faces consistently…let’s get together and I’ll share with you how it’s done.

And if YOU have found the magic bullet in business, advertising/marketing, etc…please SHARE!  : )

Thanks for listening! 

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/ (And if you’d like a business website like this, or nothing like this, give me a shout. I’ll point you in the right direction)

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, marketing in general, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

Traditional Media for Small Business (brick and mortar)

Radio, TV, Print, and Billboard. These are the main local advertising options you have. (we’re not talking digital or anything internet – I’ll tackle that beast later. Ok, quickly, digital ads are just print ads on steroids)

If I’m in charge of an advertising budget for a small business, I have to be sensitive to the size of the budget. I’m not going to be able to advertise everywhere. So, where do I put the money?

First, you have to understand the difference between “intrusive” advertising and “passive”.

Intrusive is radio and TV. It means that if we’re listening to a radio station or watching a TV program, the ads just “happen”. We don’t have to DO anything to be exposed to them. It’s not work…we just listen. Unlike passive media (print), where you have to choose to read an entire ad. Example: Just because there’s an ad on the magazine page you’re glancing at, doesn’t mean you’ll read it.

So, my first choice for advertising a small business is intrusive media if the budget allows for it. I also choose Radio over TV for 2 main reasons.

1) It’s more affordable to run the frequency of ads needed to start the branding process.

2) I can change the ads at no charge EVERY MONTH…easily. Whereas, TV production is spendy and labor intensive. And any time a TV ad airs for more than 6, 8, to 12 weeks…the effectiveness of that ad drops sharply down close to ZERO.

It’s because once we’re exposed to one particular ad more than a dozen times, we tend to “tune out” after only a couple of seconds. We say to ourselves, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell me something I haven’t heard before.” Tell us something new. An overplayed ad bores us to tears. Or worse, it annoys us. And that’s not good for business, eh?

What’s the short version of HOW a small, brick and mortar should advertise locally? Radio. 48 to 52 weeks a year. Of course there are always some exceptions, i.e. a seasonal business. Or I may suggest direct mail when your target prospects are few…and easily located.

I write radio for many small businesses. When we take our time and find the right things to say in the ads…growth is not far behind. Return on investment from radio done right, far exceeds what can be accomplished with print and outdoor (passive) advertising.

Something that I’ll always remember that Roy H. Williams said, “We can close our eyes, but we can’t close our ears.”

Have an awesome day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/ (And if you’d like a business website like this, or nothing like this, give me a shout. I’ll point you in the right direction)

And if you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the market.

“Making it Work” (Watch them Squirm – the sequel)

To answer the question, “How do you plan on making my advertising work for me?”

I plan on squeezing every drip of juicy detail out of you that I can.  That starts with asking questions you’ve never been asked by a typical advertising rep.  These are NOT questions like, “How long have you been in business?” and “Do you have a website?”

Deep, deep “digging” is crucial.

Then, I plan on using words, phrases, and stories in your advertisements that will snap a listener out of their trance.  If you say the same boring yada-yadas and blah blah blahs…you’ll get the same un-excitable results.

I also plan on building your ads around a strategy that always gives people a reason to do business with YOU instead of your competition.

All of this should be done in ANY advertising medium, website copy, sales letter, online ad, etc.  But I rarely see this kind of effort put into ad campaigns.  That’s why so much ad money is thrown to the wind and results are scarce.  Nobody wants to learn about what makes advertising really work…and nobody wants to take the time to dig deeper.

Give me a call. Let’s make it work for you!

Have a great day!

Duane Christensen

Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls

605-940-7984

My work website: http://duanechristensen.townsquareinteractive.com/

If you have questions about the cost of radio advertising, which radio stations would be a good fit, any marketing in general, or how to get started attracting more customers, don’t be afraid to ask. I like to help good businesses take a bigger slice of the Sioux Falls market.