Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why I Steal My Customers Shoes

G'day Friend,

Well, I hope you enjoyed yesterday's post! It's the first of several ad critiques to come. I may even begin critiquing the stuff I get in my mailbox. That could be fun.
(I actually get some pretty great pieces).


Today, I'll be talking with you about a subject near and dear to my copywriting heart: stealing my customers shoes... so I can wear them.

See, the truth is... you can't sell anything, to anybody, without walking a mile in their shoes. Now, do I literally steal their shoes? No. I couldn't handle the bad publicity. But I do work very hard to understand my prospects. I work harder at it than most copywriters could imagine.

(70+ pages of notes, a "Prospect Psychology" analysis, a fully "functional" fictional person from my target market, and a slew of other things).

Why? Why all the friggin' effort to just get someone to buy a $47 DVD? Because people WILL NOT trust you... if you don't understand them.

"Nobody cares how much we know until they know how much we care."

A trite statement, but very true.

The most important - yet least glamorous - part of copywriting is research. All the sales arguments, all the techniques and strategies and offers... None of it means a damn thing if your prospect is a blue-collar worker who hates your white-collar attitude/language. They want you to share experiences with them.

People want kinship.

Man finds joy in man.

Your copy, your advertising and marketing, has to speak with them in the same tone as a friend would speak to them. They have to trust your voice like they would trust their friends recommending something to them.

It's tough. It'll take about 50-75% of the time you spend on a project. Now, if you're pretty familiar with the market... the time may be shorter.

If so, you need to be constantly updating it. Pay attention to what they're paying attention to. See how their beliefs change or are reinforced.

So, what do you need to know?

1. Their beliefs.

How they feel about you, about the product (or products in your category), about their situation (what your product relieves).

2. Their desires.

What do they WANT? What's their endgame? What keeps them up at night, indigestion boiling in their stomach?

3. His MO (Modus Operandi)/Behavior

What does he act like, when faced with the above? When you bring his beliefs and desires together, how does he react?

This is pretty much anticipating his objections.

By the way, the "Customer Psychological Analysis" sheet should look like this:

"Frank is a Right Wing Conservative. He doesn't like the state of the country. He saw what happened to Vietnam and to a lot of his friends. He doesn't believe in depending on anyone or letting anyone control your life.

As a result, Frank feels insulted or disgusted by an "obvious" attempt at handholding. He wants to feel like he has made a decision on his own merits, but with subtle guidance."

Of course, you'd make it more productcentric. How he feels about different things and how they influence his view of your product/service.

But notice... I didn't say "my market feels..." I said FRANK feels. You need to do this. It's vital. You don't want to see your market as a big, amorphous blob of dollar bills. You need to see them as people - individual people - with hopes, dreams, and desires.


Because you're not speaking to an amorphous blob of people. You're speaking to each person, individually, in their home. And while talking to you, that's the only person you should be speaking to.

Keep that in mind.

Over and Out,


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