Archive for August, 2015

6 Copywriting Steps for Non-Copywriters

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It’s “back to basics” time, so let’s talk about copywriting your marketing materials! Here are the steps to any marketing copywriting, whether you are selling services or products.

In a previous blog post, I gave you some formulas you can use to write good headlines for your sales pages and newsletters. (If you didn’t see the post, you can still read it on my blog: 3 Headline Formulas for Non-Copywriters.)

Here are the basic six steps you’ll need:

First, know thy audience.

This sounds so familiar, right? But do you really know what it means and how to DO it? Before you begin writing, close your eyes and put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who are they? Specifically, who is your ideal customer? It’s important for you to spend some time thinking about them as real people, not a mass of humanity known as “my prospective customers.” They’re not a mass of faceless humans. They’re real people with real dreams and challenges.
  2. What do they want? This is no time to lack bravery. Do not take the simple way out and say something banal here, like, “They want to be happy,” or “They want to grow their business.” Instead, ask yourself what they specifically want. What are they trying to achieve in their personal and professional life? What problems get in their way? Where are they stuck?

Now, write a headline that promises to help them create the life they want, or helps them solve a problem.

You can read more about writing headlines here in this blog post. Remember, the whole purpose of writing a headline is to grab their attention.

Next, help them to get to know you and trust you by honestly talking about their dream or their challenges.

Give them some practical tips. Give them examples. Tell them a story about how you have been where they are, and/or how you helped others to create the life of their dreams. Above all, educate them so that they receive real value from you. This isn’t the place to fluff it up.

This next one is the hard part, the part where nearly everyone falls down: You have to make the offer.

You have to tell them what you are offering, and ask them to buy. Be clear and straight-forward here. Tell them the benefits of your product or service, exactly what they’ll get, the price, and how to buy. Answer any questions you think they might have about your product or service.

This is no place to be shy. If you don’t believe completely in what you are selling, why should your customer? You don’t need to be aggressive or manipulative; just tell them how you can help them and make an offer. Trust their own intelligence that they’ll know if it’s a good fit or not.

To help build your credibility, share testimonials from your satisfied customers.

Testimonials that tell how the customer benefitted from your product and service are best. It’s far better to have a testimonial that said, “I was able to create my lesson plan and teach my first class within one month of taking Karyn’s program,” than to have a testimonial that says, “Golly, Karyn is a great teacher.”

What were your customers able to DO after using your service or product? What outcomes and results did they get?

The final step is the Call To Action.

What action do you want them to take? Should they visit your website for more information? Should they click a button to buy the product or service? Should they call your office to schedule a time to talk? You have to tell them exactly what to do next so there is no confusion.

 

Copywriting is no mystery. There are some straight-forward formulas that work every time. But you have to be willing to ask for the sale.

Are you ready to try these copywriting steps in your own business? Where can you tweak your existing copywriting to make it more compelling?

I’d love to hear your copywriting stories, comments and questions! Share your stories in the comments below. 🙂

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Category: Internet & Social Media Marketing, Marketing
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Which Teaching Method Is Right For You and Your Students?

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When designing and delivering training classes for adults, there’s only one question to ask: What is best for the students?

In a student-centric model of training design and delivery, a good instructor knows that it’s not about what you want to teach, but about what (and how) the student wants to learn.

There are many ways to deliver training material to your students, but the two most important ones are the Lecture Method and the Workshop Method.

You’ve seen and participated in the Lecture Method thousands of times: the teacher gets up in front of the group and delivers the material, while the students listen and take notes. Occasionally the students ask questions. This works great when there is a lot of new, introductory material to be delivered and the students have no experience with the topic.

In the Workshop Method, a collaborative learning environment is established. The teacher uses hands-on exercises, Q&A, and discussions to help the student cement what they’re learning in a real-world environment and begin to apply it immediately. This method is ideal for adult students who bring a wealth of background experiences to a class, who need to apply what they’re learning to the real-world environment quickly, and need to stay motivated.

Is one method better than the other?

No. But the Lecture Method has the risk of being much more boring! An all-lecture class can easily put your students to sleep, especially if you’re teaching via teleclasses where they can’t see you.

Some teachers choose the Lecture Method because it allows them to be the “sage on the stage” instead of the “guide on the side.”

Smart teachers choose the Lecture Method, wisely, when there is a great amount of foundational information the students are required to learn.

Really smart teachers use both methods: the Lecture Method for the basics, then switching to the Workshop Method to allow students to process the material in a real-world atmosphere and apply what they’ve learned. This is especially helpful when you factor in that adults begin to lose attention and focus after 10 minutes of doing anything. Switching back and forth between the two methods helps keep student engaged in the learning process.

Here’s an example of how I use these two methods in a class I teach:

In my Marketing Planning class there is a lot of foundational information to learn about the psychology of marketing and creating a strategic marketing plan for your business. These lessons are generally taught using the Lecture Method, but I throw in some discussion questions and allow a fairly large chunk of time for Q&A. When we move into the lessons about writing your own marketing plan, we switch to the Workshop Method.

Here’s how I apply the Workshop Method in class:

  • I ask students about their specific situation and how they’ll apply what they’ve learned in class to their own marketing plans and campaigns.
  • Sometimes I have a student in the “hot seat” to talk about their challenges, and the rest of the students act as a mastermind group, brainstorming with each other to come up with best practices and creative solutions to problems.
  • I give them homework assignments that they can submit to me for review and comments, which keeps the learning going strong between class sessions.
  • Students write their marketing plan in a step-by-step format using a workbook I’ve designed for the class.
  • I ask questions related to the material where students fill in the blanks from their own life experiences. (You’d be surprised how much you know about marketing just by having been a consumer all these years!)
  • I ask students to debate the pros and cons of choosing specific marketing techniques.

Getting your students active in their learning process keeps the energy high, keeps them motivated, and most importantly, keeps them learning at a peak rate.

And while you’re at it, consider this: When giving speeches, what if you combined the Lecture Method with the Workshop Method? Professional speakers, too, can spice up their speeches by moving away from the I Talk and You Listen model.  🙂

 

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Category: Creating, Marketing & Teaching Classes