Mastering writing your own sales copy is a skill I reckon you get the greatest return on as a business owner. No-one knows and understands your clients as well as you do. No-one knows your products and services better than you. So the best investment you can make it to learn the skills to communicate with your potential clients, how you and your solutions will help them.
This skill to communicate, that’s copywriting.
It’s not just sales letters. When you know how to write your own sales letters, you master communication for emails, blog posts, social media posts, videos scripts… communication at every stage you have a touch point with a potential, and existing clients.
But it’s not easy! That’s why there are so many formulas, templates and even fill-in-the-blanks sales letter generator software programs. But even if you use a great template, like I’ve created as part of our Attract Your Tribe program, you still need the skills to truly connect with your readers at an emotional level that makes your copy speak authentically in a voice your perfect avatar.
To help you, today I’ve invited Pauline Longdon as our podcast guest. Pauline is the expert in writing authentic copy that truly connects on an emotional level and resonates with a conscious consumer.
Here’s what you’ll discover today:
- How hiring a bad copywriter started Pauline down the track of “I can do better” and onto world-class reputation as a copywriter for conscious consumers
- Why so many marketing funnels fail and why copy is so much more than a good sales letter.
- Why you as the business owner need to know how to really connect with the emotions of your ideal customer, and in a way that is truly authentic.
- The truth about writers block and how to write great copy every day – even if you just don’t feel in the zone. (I have a bonus cheat sheet for you on this)
- Clever online ways to really get inside the head of your target market
- Why Pauline writes her copy for her mum, and who you should use as your muse.
- Collateral consumers and why they matter
- 3 big tips so you can totally nail writing your own copy
Plus action steps you can take THIS WEEK to start writing your own sales copy that really connects with your readers on an emotional level.
Plus a special podcast bonus for you today. An action guide to download “Kiss Writer’s Block Goodbye Action Guide”.
CONNECT WITH PAULINE
You can check out the brilliant free copywriting resources Pauline has created over here.
You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below. Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.
Pauline Longdon is an author, podcaster, direct response copywriter, and marketer. She specialises in writing to the conscious consumer.
Pauline’s been trained by the “who’s who” of the copywriting world. She started her copywriting journey out of necessity when she couldn’t find anyone who could write copy for her New Age business.
She has never looked back.
A Special Message From Janet
Thank you so much for being here. I know there are a lot of podcasts you could choose to listen to and you chose to join me on Romance Your Tribe Radio.
I’m honoured and grateful for your support.
If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d love for you to take a quick minute to share your thoughts with us and leave an honest review and rating for the show over on iTunes!
Read The Transcript Here
Janet Beckers: Hello everybody! Janet Beckers here and I’m really excited today to introduce you to gorgeous Pauline Longdon from the Copy Alchemist. How are you gorgeous?
Pauline Longdon: I’m great. Thank you, it’s awesome to be here.
Janet Beckers: Today is such a really valuable topic that we’re going to be doing here. So make sure you take notes because we’re going to be talking about doing copy, which is like sales letters, emails, blog posts, absolutely every single thing that you could possibly be communicating. You need the skills of copywriting. So whether you’re going to be getting somebody else to do it for you or whether you’re doing it yourself, you don’t want to sound like everybody else. And that’s the hard part. So that’s what we’re going to be covering today from somebody who’s, this is her absolute expertise. So I’m really, really excited to welcome you here, Pauline. Now before we get diving into our topic and for everybody that’s here, make sure you’re taking notes.
It’s, you know, we’re going to be covering lots of really good actionable tips for you. And just so you know, I also have a special Freebie for you today. Before we get stuck in, just so you know, if you’re listening to this on iTunes, come over to the podcast page because there I’ve got a Freebie for you where I’ve actually got a worksheet where we’re going to be going over… so you can take some action today on the things that we’ve covered. So as well as some gifts from Pauline, I’ve also got that one there for you that goes with this podcast. So I’m actually go over, so I’ve just got that housekeeping out of the way. So heading over to you, Pauline, before we get started, can you just introduce yourself cause it’s lovely to have another fellow Aussie. And we’ve got a lot of background that will cover that.
We’ve realized we have a lot in common, but, um, if you could just let people know, you know, who it is that you help and how do you do it. And then we’ll get stuck into some really good stories.
Pauline Longdon: Okay. So I’m a copywriter. And so that means that I write words for whatever people need, websites, emails, sales letters. I love sales letters. They just really float my boat. I help business people who are struggling to write copy for themselves or perhaps they’ve been burnt by copywriters in the past and there are so many people, which is, and you know what Janet? That is why I became a copywriter. I was a business owner. I got someone to write some copy for me. It cost me a small fortune. Actually, it was a big fortune at the time. The copy sucked I asked for it to be rewritten. They said, if you think he can do better, do better. And I said, well, honestly, I can’t do any worse. So then I jumped down the copy writing rabbit hole and I have never looked back. And the irony was that I did do better and then people decided to hire me to become a copywriter, to write copy for them. So I became a copywriter and yeah, I love it.
Janet Beckers: Isn’t that funny? That’s like, that’s, I mean, that’s pretty arrogant. See if you can do better.
Pauline Longdon: Yeah, yeah. I’m a Taurus and I’m a bit stubborn, so like it’s red flag to a bull. It’s like you watched me. Yeah. And they’ve been watching me ever since.
Janet Beckers: Oh, there you go. Oh, that’s, yeah. So I love that you… wait, so you’re copywriter, so you do copy for people. Is that the main way that you help people or what about for people who don’t want to hire a copywriter? Can you help?
Pauline Longdon: Well, I can, I can help people, learn how to write copy. So I’ve got mentees and students that are teach, um, because I think one of the things is, even if you don’t want to hire it, if you do want to hire a copywriter, you still need to have a little bit of a basic lesson in copywriting because, you know, sometimes we will, we’ll look at the copy and go, you know, just feels off. Well, I don’t know what ‘feel off’ means. So, I hope paper to communicate, you know, what’s right and what’s wrong with copy. But also, here’s the thing about copy, because copy doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It occurs in a space and we call that marketing. So with marketing, um, I can help people, you know, I can analyze their funnel to see, cause a lot of people think that they’ve got a marketing funnel but they have a marketing calendar cause it’s got so many holes in it.
Janet Beckers: Ah, that’s a good way, yeah.
Pauline Longdon: So what I do is I’ll map out their copy and I’ll say, okay, so you’ve got guys from an ad that you guys to, an editorial goes to, this goes to this. So, but where’s this go to? He does a jump. So because I started as a marketer first and then we need to copy, I’ve got that whole suite that I can then just map it out and say this is what you need. Or if they don’t have a big budget, I say this is the minimum viable funnel that you need to get the results. Because you’ve got to be honest Janet. Marketing, copywriting is about results. Yeah. That’s what we do it for. Otherwise, why waste your money?
Janet Beckers: Yeah, absolutely. Because it’s about, and this is where people I think sometimes get so wrapped up in the whole technical part of, you know, should I be putting full bullet points or you know, seven bullet points, you know, and all of the structure and things that go into it. And these are the headlines that always work. They get so wrapped up in all that technical stuff that they forget that this is about communication. It’s really just a way of helping people understand is have they got the problem and is it important enough to them to actually spend money to solve it? And have you got the solution? Like it’s just communication. Yes. What we thought we would do is, um, you know, if everybody that’s listening here is to make, we’re going to, we thought we covered two here for you. So Pauline and I are really gonna dive into what makes a difference between like just copywriting.
Like it could be written by anybody and that real authentic emotion that goes into it. Like how do you make it really connected sound like you. So we’re going to cover that up. You thought, before we do that we thought we might dive a little bit into how on earth do you get yourself in the right mindset to even be able to write and be able to express and to be able to basically get your act together. Because most people and my hand up is there is you know, cause I’ve studied a lot of copywriting but I only use it for myself and you know, but I’ve seriously got to get myself in the right mindset to be able to write copy for myself, you know, little in line somebody else because otherwise I just stare at the screen and fridge or go and check the fridge like, you know, at least every 30 minutes to see if there’s something new in there. So let’s what do we dive into that a little bit first, Pauline? Yeah.
Pauline Longdon: Yes. I think that’s really good because, you know, as, as a professional copywriter, I can’t, and I don’t have the luxury of waiting till I get in the zone or when the muse comes and visits me in sprinkles fairy dust on me and says, you shall ride copy. Now I haven’t got that luxury. So I’d love to share that with people because they, they don’t have the luxury either. They are busy business owners and this is copy is only one little part of what they do.
Janet Beckers: Yeah. Excellent! Well, let’s look at… So for you what’s the things that people really need to take into account in order to first of all, get themselves organized? Yeah. To be able to start writing their copy and then what can we be doing that’s really practical things to get your mindset right yet energy, right?
Pauline Longdon: Yeah. So I think the biggest thing that I noticed that people don’t do is that they don’t know who they’re writing to. And I will give you a tip from a, you know, every copywriter that I’ve learned from and I’ve learned from some of the best in the on the planet, is that research, your copy is one in the research. Now, research is more than just facts and figures though, because people will talk about with your research, you’re researching the demographics. So that’s how old they are, whether they’re male or female, they’re psychographic. So what magazines I read and you know, all that sort of stuff, but there’s something that people miss all the time. And so I’ve added a new word too to the mix and Michael, call it a emotion graphics there, the emotions that people are feeling and how do you find out those easy? We, we live in a time where there is unprecedented candid view of everyone’s lives and it’s called the Internet.
It’s called Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And all of those social media people are so candid on those things. And what I do in my research is I tap into what they’re feeling about certain things. And this is what emotional graphics are, is like what are the feelings I feel about things like, so say for instance, someone like Donald Trump, I’m like my goodness. Like people are so triggered about that on both ends of the spectrum. So if you’re writing to a very liberal, you know, liberal as in American liberals, then he’s the enemy. If you’re writing to the conservatives, he’s, he’s a hero. So knowing your audience is paramount because they will actually sometimes give you the words that you use in your copy. So, and one of my mentors, Dan Kennedy said, if you can tell someone their problem as well as they can all, if not better, they will instantly think that you have the solution.
Janet Beckers: That’s such a great line!
Pauline Longdon: So if you’re using [inaudible] yeah, if you’re using their words, then they instantly think that, that you have a rapport. And also here’s the thing, you do it. This is not fake or it’s not trickery or manipulation. What you’re doing is you actually getting to know the person you think about in real life. You can’t have a conversation with people if you don’t know what interests them. You just stand there and go, yes, the weather’s lovely today. You know, we know people. You can have a really good conversation and that’s all copy is, its a conversation.
Janet Beckers: I liked how you talked about, it’s not manipulation because a lot of times people have a huge mindset barrier to the idea of copywriting and especially about talking about emotions. And I love your term of the, what was it? Emotion, your emotion, your graphic and emotion graphics. I love that one that they hold, they’ll really go against it going, but that’s manipulative. But any conversation that you’re having with people is you could call it manipulation. You could call it genuinely caring and getting to know what people think. Yeah. It’s, you know, it’s, you know, if you’re using it for good or evil is the difference in, Hey, if you’re listening to this podcast, I know you’re using it for good. So, yeah. Yeah, that’s a really important one. So I love that you talked about that research because when I started wonderful web women, which was the precursor to romance your tribe, and I ran that for 10 years my previous business. And Art Gallery had failed, like lost absolutely. Every cent I had was seriously scarred. And I realized that I hadn’t done the research. I didn’t understand people’s emotions. And so when I did that research for wonderful web women, I was gonna make sure I knew everything, but there was no Facebook or anything with that. So I actually went along too.
I went to marketing events in the women’s toilets at lunch time. Yes. When along the queue is everybody’s lining up to go to the loose with an MP3 recorder asking them what they felt about everything, what were their frustrations. Now you don’t have to stalk in the women’s loos. You can just go to Facebook and see what people are. Yes. So I love that. So that’s, that’s the number one thing, like really in getting yourself ready before you even start writing, getting organized. Excellent. Over to you baby!
Pauline Longdon: So yeah, getting to know who you’re writing to. We’ll then help you to get into that zone. One of the things that I do also is I’m going from the research then, you know, people will talk about you form an Avatar of who, who you’re writing to. The problem with an Avatar is that there are two dimensional person. Even if you write those great big stories that you know, like Susan Smith is a 65 year old woman, she’s got 10 65 grandchildren, blah, blah blah.
She goes to yoga on a Monday morning and all that sort of stuff. It doesn’t matter because she’s still created. She actually isn’t a real person. But what I encourage my students and people that I talk to about the Avatar. Start with the Avatar, but that is not the destination. So I start with Avatar and then find someone in your, in your social sphere who is the embodiment of that person. So what makes the difference between flat copy and copy that doesn’t connect is people writing to an Avatar or a concocted person that the copy that does connect with someone is the copy that is written to a real person. And so the difference in my copy when people read my copy to go, Holy Shit, you know, you just caught me in the heart. You know, it’s almost like just knowing me so well I’m writing to one person, I’m not going, hey everyone, yeah, I’ve got this solution and I’ll tell you, most of the time I write to my mother cause I… the person has to be someone that you have an affection for because here’s the thing, if you’re writing to someone that you don’t like, then your copy is going to come across as hostile and taking advantage and being manipulative. But if you write to someone that you love, then you actually setting up a zone of it’s almost like a sanctuary where you’re having this conversation, but it’s meaningful conversation with someone that you love. And here’s the thing Janet, I would never rip my mom off, I would never write what copy to try to manipulate her or convince her to buy something that wouldn’t be in the best and highest for her. And as a copywriter, I don’t like for those kind of clients or products anyway.
But when I write my copy to my mother who I love and adore, but she’s as skeptical as anyone. Like that’s why cause she’s so quick to say bullshit. And so that’s why I write to her. So find someone in your social sphere, someone that you a great affection for, even someone that you love and then just write to that one person.
Janet Beckers: So this is the interesting, so I’m just thinking about… like my mother is definitely not, you know, anything like my customer. So mind you having said that, you know, she is maybe because of, you know, the type of customer I have or the top of market, you know, to me they’re all potential best friends and you know, my mum is really close like that. You know what if your Avatar is really quite different, like would you, would you choose somebody like your mother or would you choose somebody who’s been a great customer or that you’d love to be your customer? Could you still get that same emotion?
Pauline Longdon: You could, but you won’t if you are writing just to a customer but surely…like, let’s take the mother out of it. Cause see I wrote write to the boomers like I’ll right baby boomers and supplement copy and other kinds of copy. But then if I’m writing to a younger, I might write to my sister or if I’m writing to a different audience, I’ll find someone that I’m friends with. You know cause I’ve got friends everywhere. There was a sales letter that I wrote recently that has just like gone crazy. And here’s the thing though, Janet, I wrote it for a male copywriter to mostly attract male copywriters to an event that we’re doing in Poland next month. And I’m the only female speaker, right? So he asked me, Trevor Cooke, asked me to write the sales letter for him. Now I’m not male, I don’t know what it’s like to be male.
So what I did was I just targeted two of the copywriting friends that I think really need to go to this conference. And I wrote the letter to them as a, as a cross character. And I’ve got to tell you, both of those people are going to the event, the copies spoke to them. But not only that, and I’ll call these like collateral consumers. It actually rippled out to other people that may not have been totally them, but we’re close enough that they, they were influenced by the copy collateral consumers. Oh, you’ve got some good phrases. I like that. Like copywriter, I know that he’s brilliant. Okay, that’s really good. But does that make sense? Like I have to be a model for me, it’s my mother for some things, for other markets that are right too. I pick someone in my social sphere that I know that would benefit from what I’m writing about and then I just have a beautiful conversation with them.
Janet Beckers: Yeah, I love it. Oh, that’s really, really good tip. Okay. So, now with getting the prep, so we’ve got, you know, for getting organized with, I love those really different tips on, you know, really getting to understand how they think and what their feelings are. So now when it comes to us getting ready to actually start doing the copy, getting out head space right for there, what’s some tips that people can use to even, you know, so they can write so it’s actually going to come from the heart and come out authentically?
Pauline Longdon: So what I like to do, if I sit at my desk and I can’t write, I will read some really good writing. I will read a sales letter of someone that I like, I will read from an author that I like. I mean, as a copywriter one of my favorite things to do is there’s a, there was a copywriter called Gary Halbert and he, um, came out with the newsletter. So if you Google Gary Halbert Letter or the Halbert Letter, just read one of those because there has… unfortunately he’s passed, but there’s never been a copywriter who has written will conversationally than that man. And so what I did was I would read one or two of his, um, newsletters each day before I started to write. I’d write my copy and then, cause I, I sent it out each week, I send out my knowledge nuggets to my audience and they’d say, Pauline is funny at the moment because your copy is really conversational. I go, Oh, I’m reading Gary Halbert. And I said, oh, of course you are because you can tell it, it infuses into copies. So the way to be a good a writer is to read great writing. So I would suggest him, if you want to know, I had write conversationally and that’s what copies should just be a conversation that you’re having with someone else.
Janet Beckers: Yeah, yeah. That is a really good tip. You know, doesn’t that go for practically anything creative? I know, you know, cause we were both talking beforehand is that we’re both assets in different ways. Me with paint. And you were jewelry and um, you know, and I know for me to get inspiration is one of the best things I can do is go to an art gallery or even just go on Pinterest or go on Instagram and, and look for different artworks and techniques because it gives me ideas. It’s not copying, you’re not copying Gary Halbert, but it’s helping you to get your mind in that creative zone. So that’s a really, really good tip. Thank you.
Pauline Longdon: Another thing that my mentors have been very, very big on and there are two schools of thought as with everything in life and that is to write out good copy by hand. So if you see, if you see a Facebook post or if you see an ad or a sales letter, and by the way, some sales letters are like 70 pages long, so it’s a long whole thing. I write them out by hand just to get in the zone. For me, it’s kind of like a meditation and as I’m, because when you read something out, you think that you read every word but you don’t, you scale. That’s how we read. But when you actually write it out by hand, you become more competent of the actual words that are written in the copy. And, as you said, it’s not copying per se, although we call it copywriting. We do copywriting. But you are being influenced by, you know, because copy has got like a tempo and a flow. And that’s something that you don’t actually realize until you write it out by hand and you kind of unpack what the writer was doing.
Janet Beckers: Yeah, yeah. That’s brilliant. Okay. That’s good. So yeah, you’re collecting, so I guess it’s collecting great writers to get, get yourself. So you’re, you’ve got that inspiration to start with. And, and before we actually start sitting down to write now and, and you know, and making sure that we’re using techniques that are going to be for authentic writing, is there anything else that people should do to make sure that when they sit down that they’re not going to be just staring at that screen?
Pauline Longdon: I think if you’ve done all the research, cause like… there’s a lot of ’em conjecture about the whole idea of writer’s block. And when I think of when I was a nurse, I never ever had like nurse’s block. I never like went to the pan room, picked up a pan and go, oh, wait a minute, what was I gonna do with this again? You know, you don’t and doctors don’t have doctor’s block. They don’t open up a patient. Go, what was I operating on again? That it all looks so confusing. You know, no one else does that. So, um, as a, as a rule, I just don’t allow myself to have writer’s block. If I can’t write, I need to research more. So read more articles or, you know, get into that so that, that all happens before I sit down to write, sit down, you should be writing and ready to go.
Janet Beckers: You know, it’s interesting you say that because I hear a lot of people and I’m exactly the same. I just got to get in the zone, you know, so I will have I’ll get the essential oils out. I put on my earphones and I put on brain FM because that was one of the things when I was writing some sales copy. Every sir, I just ask on Facebook, all the copywriters who I knew, you know, what do you use? Like music that doesn’t have lyrics to distract you… Brain FM and you know, and then I’ll have, you know, all these nice smells and everything will be attractive around me. And then I think is this you Janet procrastinating? But part of it is because it’s like, to me that’s the rituals for anti-writer’s block. And I just love that you’ve gone, you know what, there’s no such thing. Like I’m not even going to give myself permission to even accept.
Pauline Longdon: Can I explain why I do that? Because I’m, here’s the thing, like I’m in my office right now. I call it my bunker of brilliance, right? So I’ve got the essential oils, I’ve got things around me that, you know, make me feel happy. I’ve got my double screens, I’ve got everything here but here’s the thing, if I, anchor myself too writing only happens when I’ve got essential oils, the right music, this, that and all the rest. What happens when I’m outside of my office, because although I call this the bunker of brilliance, I’ve got the bunker of brilliance travels with me. So if I’m writer in a hotel room, I’ve even written copy in, in the laundry, in a hotel laundry while I waited for my laundry to be done in America. Cause I didn’t want someone to steal my knickers and sell them on Ebay cause they might get 50 cents, you know, kind of thing, but just joking.
Janet Beckers: Because it Pauline’s!
Pauline Longdon: Yeah, that’s right. Let’s see. And I’ve always been a believer in this even cause I used to be, a woo-woo teacher like new age healing stuff and I always told my students to never empower anything outside of yourself to affect the performance that you have within you. So don’t put your power into crystals. Don’t put your power into, um, you know, anything external like essential oils or even the kind of computer that you use or the time of the day that you write. I mean if you need to write, you need to write, you don’t want to go through this dis-empowering thing of going, oh I can only write, you know, and even at the moment, like Mercury’s in retrograde, people will say that. And by the way, I do believe that it does stuff things up, but I still have to write through it.
I can’t just go no, no cruising retrograde, no writing for like a couple of months or however long [inaudible] to perform. So that’s why I say empower yourself, not the things around you.
Janet Beckers: That is brilliant. That is such a good tip. Now leading… so we’ve got ourselves ready now. So let’s have a look. If there is some big chunk things that when you’re writing your copy, so it is going to be authentic. So if you over to you baby, cause again, you know, I’m just here as your… as your guide to go you through.
Pauline Longdon: So I think… going back to like the one person, what you’re thinking about is like how would you communicate with that person? So if you wouldn’t say it to the person in a conversation like face to face then don’t write it. Like you know, you see these headlines and people go “cancer” question mark. If you’ve got cancer blah blah blah. And it’s like, would you say that to someone with cancer? Would you say that to a friend that’s got cancer. It’s like let’s think about how you would actually start a conversation with people. And I mean we’ve all got like, you know, these great beings, you can get copywriting templates and that on the, on the Internet and the kind of good luck to help you kick start some stuff. But I don’t believe in templates. Again, it gets back to that whole thing. If someone, you know what my drive and I depended on templates, then can I write copy, well, if you’re reliant on them, you can’t write copy. So I don’t use templates and plus my, my clients deserve fresh copy, not regurgitated, reconstituted crap from other people, you know? Right. So just with the authentic copy, just have an authentic conversation.
So what I would do and what a lot of my mentors have done is that I sit there and you know how you, you pick the one person you say, dear Jenny, I came across a thing that I really want and just write it out like a dirty first draft. Just write out a letter saying to them what this is? Why they need it? Any objections? And I know you’re probably sitting there thinking that, yeah, you’ve tried all these things before. Why would this work when everything else hasn’t worked? Well because this is backed up by science or this is blah, blah, blah. You know, that kind of stuff. The other things aren’t what they say that they are the ingredients. They say they’ve got this ingredient but they don’t have enough of that ingredient in it to make a difference kind of thing.
So that’s, that’s what you having the conversation, working at the objections that people come up with. One of the things that I came across when I was learning copy people… copywriters are so cheesy sometimes, they’ll say “but it’s not your fault”. I don’t use that because here’s the thing. It actually implies that somewhere someone has thought that it is their fault and up until then, and here’s the thing, when you’re writing authentic copy, think about the conversation that they’re having in their head. If they are like reading your letter or your copy and they haven’t thought that it’s their fault that you’ve just said, hey, it’s okay. It’s not your fault. They go, shit, I didn’t even seek it was my fault. Is it my fault? So you’ve actually planted the seed of doubt in their mind. So now they’re thinking about, is it, am I at fault here? And then not reading the rest of your copy. And that’s something that you want to do with your copies. You never want to let them go get off the page and go into a, into a thought or a thought stream of, um, you know, I’d like to, yeah, give them the picture that I want them to picture, not then go off in and create a difference.
Janet Beckers: The mind’s gone elsewhere. There’s one thing I just want to just backtrack, just to clarify for you, because we’ve talked about… well you’ve talked about templates and when it comes to templates, I always think of it, there’s like extremes I suppose. So there’s templates, which that’s how I started out. Like there was some software. Yeah, same. Yeah. It was like, okay, you know, you plug in, you know, it’ll ask you what’s the niche, you know, what’s the topic or what’s the… yeah. There were just really quite minor things that you had it in and then *beep sound*. He’s a salesman, so that’s the extreme. Yeah. Then you’ve got the other ones where it’s, okay, here’s the structure to follow and here are the bulk of the words already written. You’ve just got to personalize it somehow. Then you’ll have the next ones where it’s got well, okay, like it’s really pairing it down to you. Okay, well here’s a structure you need to follow because it needs to, you know, there’s no use telling what the solution is if you haven’t even addressed what the problem is or you know, you’ve got to say objections, but why would you have objections if you haven’t said this? So you’ve got the order that things happen or you’ve got the next level, which is stream of consciousness I suppose. So when you’re talking about not using templates at all, would you, is that talking about those first few ones where it’s got a lot of the words and it’s filling it in? Or do you also say, well, you don’t necessarily need to have a structure to just to…
Pauline Longdon: You still need a structure and, so I’m saying that I don’t use templates, but I do use formulas.
Janet Beckers: That’s a good distinction.
Pauline Longdon: Because formulas are applicable everywhere. And I mean, in life there are so many formulas, everything has got a formula to success. So the formula actually gives you the structure. So you know, like for writing copy, people would talk about problem, agitate, solve, you know, that’s a structure. And then you, you’ve got the, the formula around that. So you start out with the problem, then you agitate the problem and then you solve the problem. So one of my mentors, Tedd Nicholas, he put it in this kind of way. You give people a headache, you tell them that they’ve got a headache then you sell them the aspirin. It’s kind of like… but it’s not even that you give them the headache, you actually more or less know that they’ve got the headache, but they’re kind of putting it to the back of their mind. So you’re bringing that headache forward and saying “you’ve got a headache and this is what the headaches is doing. You haven’t got clarity..” and now here’s the solution.
The other one that you’ve got is, like, AIDA. So that’s Attention, Interest, Desire and then… whatever Action at the end. I mean, you can look on the internet, Google, I’m copywriting formulas and there’s like twenty hundred eleventy billion on there.
Janet Beckers: Yeah, and that’s where… because they all work. Like for me I got one that I use for absolutely everything. Yeah. My clients, like we’ve got to fit every single thing, cause there are so many formulas and they all work. This 7 step formula for absolutely everything from doing a 3 minute video to running a 3 day workshop to doing all the sales letter. It’s not that other ones don’t work, but I can’t remember that many.
Pauline Longdon: But you know what you’re doing there though, and that’s fantastic that you do it. You’ve got A.) something that works for you, but B.) that gives you consistency and your voice, right?
It’s when people chop and change and try this one and this one and this one. And it’s like, you know, it’s, it’s like a dog’s breakfast, I call that franken-copy. And that’s why what I do with clients is I like to write the whole sales funnel from soup to nuts as the Americans would say, you know, from the Ad all the way through to the order form and that, because then it has the same marketing flow in the same voice and same everything. Whereas some people, you know, like we now hire a copywriter or get someone to write, they’ll go “I just need you to write these three pieces” or “Ah, you are too expensive so I’m going to get a cheaper copywriter on Fiverr” and so they splotch all these bits of copy together and then they go “Aw the copywriter sucked because nothing worked”.
It’s like, no. All the copy couldn’t work together because there was no flow. And you don’t have a consistent voice. Whereas Janet Beckers I know has a very consistent marketing voice and that’s important when you’re talking about your brand.
Janet Beckers: Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s great. So I love that idea of, you know, just start a comfort conversation, start writing and I love that if we get that, that that big tip is don’t write things that you wouldn’t say to people in person. Yeah. I mean that’s just really, that’s if you just keep, you keep that in your mind all the time. That is such a good tip in. So now let’s move on. So we’ve got some extra steps that you know for people to do authentically. So number one, just don’t go writing all that other stuff because it’s been proven to work in the past. What would you actually say? I love it.
Pauline Longdon: Yeah. So the next one I would encourage people is not to worry about trying to impress your English teacher. So grammar does matter. But as a copywriter, we favor conversation over grammar. And the reason is that we know conversational copy works. So you know, your teacher would say to never start a sentence with “because” and “but”, and all these words. And in fact there are other copywriters out there that say, shall not use the word “that” well, I agree. Don’t use the word “that” all the time. But if you can write the word “that” in your copy and not remove it, then it’s meant to be there. So we talk about writing as you speak, but you know there is a limit to how many times you use the word “that” and you know it needs to come across as educated but not stifled. And that’s something like, cause you can get apps, and this is another good tip. You can get apps to check your writing. And I use Grammarly.
Janet Beckers: Oh yes, I’ve used that one as well.
Pauline Longdon: And Hemingway and Hemingway has only got one “m” by the way. So people sometimes spell it wrong. So those apps are really good, but they can actually what I call new to your copy. So you’ve got this really powerful punchy copy. And then all of a sudden it’s like unnecessary ellipses, you know, the dot, dot, dot. And by the way, that’s a tip for young players. The ellipses are only ever three dots, not four, not two, not a hundred.
Janet Beckers: Yep, yep, I’m terrible at doing that one.
Pauline Longdon: That’s a giveaway when people… you know that someone’s not really good at copy when they do more than three dots. The other thing is be conservative with your exclamation marks because that can actually make your copy come across very hype-y. And so with things like ellipses, with things like your exclamation marks and other things like even bolding certain things or italicizing bits of your copy, they often accentuate and to make things stand out. But if you use them everywhere, then nothing stands out. Use them sparingly.
Janet Beckers: I love it. They are really good tips cause I’ll see that all the time. People will try to make them sound themselves, sounds smarter, you know, going to take me seriously and by money if I don’t, you know, if I don’t sound educated and worthy of investing in where in fact it just makes you sound awkward.
Pauline Longdon: You just reminded me of another tip. I wasn’t going to share this one, but you’ve just reminded, this is really worth it Janet. Write to a fifth grade level. So how do you find out what level you’re writing at? Well, I think Hemingway tells you, but also in Microsoft word, and I use Microsoft word all the time. I’m not a fan of Google docs because I don’t trust the cloud and other things. Anyway, I like to have my stuff where I can find it. So I use Microsoft word. And in Microsoft word, when you do your spellcheck, it will also ask if you want to do a grammar check and at the end it’ll come up with a table and it’s got like readability statistics and it’ll have like a Flesch Kincaid readability school, which is out of 100. So the closer to 100 you can get, the better. And it also has the grade level school and if you can get that, you know, around the fifth or sixth grade level, that’s great.
And also passive sentences, try to get them, you know, as close to zero as you can because passive sentences come across as weak. So you want to know what your readability is and that’s like, you know, all good copywriters need to know their readability stats.
Janet Beckers: Yeah, that is such a good tip! I’ve, I’ve never thought of using Microsoft word of doing that grammar check. That is, that is a great tip.
Pauline Longdon: Because people talk about dumbing down your copy and I pushed back and resist it, that advice. Our readers are not dumb and a great copywriter said the consumer is not a moron, they’re your wife. And that was David Ogilvy who said that. So if you remember that, and that’s why I say write to someone that you love. You’re not going to treat your reader like a moron or an idiot. And so instead of dumbing your copy down, just simplify it. So if you can just say the same thing with a simpler word. Think like a 12 year old. Would a 12 year old understand the word “concept” or would using the word “idea” sound better? Just little differences and they make a big difference cause you know what? You know why it makes a difference is because people don’t have to think about words and then they don’t feel stupid if they don’t know what that word means.
Janet Beckers: Yeah, yeah. That’s, yeah, that’s brilliant. And it’s such a common mistake you’ve just given a whole wealth of like really simple, simple tips they have. Write all those down everybody, because they’re the things that is going to make it really easy for you. So when you’re actually… to have that extra check and to find the things that you can improve. So I think we’ve got enough time for one last quick one.
Pauline Longdon: I was going to say, cause I really want to give this one. This one’s the one I wanted to give the whole show for. So we’ve spoken about writing in that… and writing is not without struggle. I’m not going to lie to anyone. You will struggle. So here’s my tip and this is what I give my students and people that I teach copy to. So just say you’ve got 60 minutes and you’re sitting, at the beginning of your 60 minutes you’re sitting there, you’re looking at the cursor blink or whatever and you’re thinking, man, what am I going to write about? So you’ve got a couple… It’s like sliding door moment. There are a number of different options open to you right then. You can sit there for 60 minutes and struggle and at the end of the 60 minutes you still got nothing on that page. Right? So that’s scenario number one.
Scenario number two is that you can sit there and force yourself to write some copy and just get it done. And option number three would be to get up, break your state, go for a walk. Or my favorite one is have a recalibration nap because my brain is a bit fried. So I’ll go and have a nap for 20 minutes but before I have a nap, I will put in my mind, okay, I need a headline and I need a lead or I need a big idea or I need something. But I put my subconscious mind on task and then I’ll go and have a nap and I set it to be like 20 minutes. I can guarantee you often I don’t last 20 minutes cause my mind after 10 minutes goes “got it!” So then what I do is I wake up and then I go up and I sit at my computer and I’m writing like a demon. I’m just like, I can barely type fast enough to keep up with my mind. So think about the three scenarios. Number one, you’ve got nothing to show at the end of it. Number two, you’ve got something to show at the end of it, but it’s forced and when you force writing, it turns out like crap and it reads like crap and it doesn’t connect. Option number three, you are refreshed and here’s the thing, in all three scenarios the same 60 minutes has passed.
Janet Beckers: Yeah, that’s brilliant. Normally the whole idea of this luxury of an afternoon nap, which by the way, like I am such a fan of like if I’ve got to have my afternoon now, um, is it’s just like a recalibration. Most people won’t do it. And I just think, oh look, that’s ridiculous. The indulgent, I’m not being productive. But that tiredness is such false productivity. So they go, Pauline has given you permission. Everybody you can have your afternoon nap. Yeah, that is brilliant. Like we were talking beforehand, the thing that I do is if I don’t have my nap, I have a painting, always a painting going and I paint circles. That’s my equivalent of the, you know, the 20 minute nap. It’s just that’s one thing that’s going to let your brain completely go blank. They are such brilliant tips. We’ve covered so much. We’ve gone from really, really great ways on how to get super clear on who you’re talking to and how to talk to them.
We’ve talked about how to get your mindset straight so that you can be writing. We’ve talked about how to, you know, really, um, you know, just write as if it was just you. Like, you know, how would you talk, don’t start trying to make things that sound clever, but they’re not you. Like you wouldn’t use, you know, stop trying to impress your English teacher and really valuable, really practical things that you can be doing right now that’s going to help you, you know, be like a pro and then that, you know, you’ve got that limited amount of time, you know, sharpen the sword. So get your, get your mind blank and then just get power in writing. I mean that’s, you know, just those big topics is go in there. So now for everybody that you know, for people who’d like to get to know you more Pauline, what’s the best way that they can do that.
Pauline Longdon: They can go to my website. It’s thecopyalchemist.com and if they go to the thecopyalchemist.com/romance I have a portfolio. Also I send out what I call a weekly knowledge nugget and some… it’s like a newsletter it’s not actually an email. It’s a long newsletter and a lot of people have said it’s like a marketing seminar in an email. So I’d be happy if people want to check it out, they can subscribe. Stay as long as you want and then if you don’t get any benefit from it just unsubscribe. But it’s a good example of showing… Cause what I do is I start out with a story, and tie in a knowledge nugget, which is an actionable thing. And then I tell them, you know, how to implement it into their own life
Janet Beckers: That’s brilliant. I love it. And so, and if people, um, are wanting to work with you so they can come to you, you can be their copywriter. And so Pauline and I were talking about, she’s quite well known over in the United States, but not as much in Australia. And there is some intricacies in the language that are really important to make sure that you get right. So, you know, especially for my audience, I have somebody that is such an expert at doing copywriting and then also knowing that your, you know, you already write for the worldwide so people can come to you for copywriting and then also they can come to you if they wanting to be mentored to learn to write their own copy or write copy for others. Yeah, that’s brilliant. So I would love to hear from you.
When you’re listening to this, you know, what were your ah-ha’s? So one of the best feedbacks, you know, the best thing for Pauline and for I is we love hearing from you. So either wherever you’re listening to this podcast, you can either leave some of your feedback. If you’re on iTunes, I’d love it if you’d leave some feedback on the you know, as a review and just say like, what did you learn? Um, if it’s on the, on the podcast page, leave a comment or just come and find us over on social media. You’ll find us both there on all the different social media platforms. Drop us an email either way, but the best thing is just tell us what did you learn? And for me, what action did you take? So one of the things that I’ve got for you to help you to take action is we have a worksheet that goes exactly with this podcast to help you to take action on the things that Pauline has talked about today. So use that as the guide to go with this cause it’ll actually help you to take action this week and let us know what action you talk. And that would be totally awesome. Thank you so much for your time today, Pauline. I’m just so stoked we have finally got to you know, to really connect and to, um, for me to introduce you to everybody and thank you so much. Stick value. Yeah. Thank you. Happy to share. Okay. Bye everybody!