Good copywriting attracts. It draws people in. It compels. And when done especially well, it can significantly multiply your sales.
One of Will Wang's superpowers is high-converting direct response copywriting. And in this guesting, he shares a framework he's used and has seen to triple sales.This powerful guide to writing copy is free. All it costs is the time to take in this episode.
In the podcast:
02:00 – The story behind our headline. Our episode makes a bold promise, and here’s how it came about.
04:27 – A framework that came out of a novel. The foundation of Will’s template goes back some years.
05:52 – This is what we’re all about. The first step is to hook them in.
06:30 – Emotion will make them stay. Establish common feelings, and people will stick around.
07:07 – Climbing the tall, steep mountain. You’ve tried. It failed.
09:42 – They’re the real enemy. Give people a bad guy to fight.
11:07 – But not all is lost… There IS hope!
12:03 – What if you thought differently? This is the biggest challenge of writing copy.
13:25 – Imagine what you stand to gain. What does the Promised Land look like?
18:51 – Will you let me be your Gandalf? It’s all about being the guide.
22:32 – It might be tough, though. One of the key takeaways – get ready to grab your axe.
25:26 – Wait, there’s an easy way… You mean it was there all this time?
26:29 – Here’s a quick demonstration. See the template in action.
35:14 – Who does this framework fit? Can just anybody use it?
James’s copywriting, marketing, lead-getting machine of a friend, Will Wang, is back. And this time he lets us in on a copywriting framework that he’s used to 3X clients’ sales.
Truth be told, says Will, they’ve had clients whose sales went up 10X using the same framework. But there’s something to be said for understatement.
A framework that came out of a novel
Will’s 10-step framework has its roots in his love for stories. As a boy in a rough neighborhood, he frequented the local library and got hooked on science fiction novels, to the exclusion of TV and games.
What if, he thought, you could use the structure from master storytellers to craft a story so compelling, prospects would keep reading right up till they had to take action?
To that end, he built the following steps off the popular fantasy novel and movie, The Lord of the Rings.
1. Get their attention
If you’ve ever watched LOTR, it starts off with scenes of dwarves and elves and other such creatures. And what they’re doing, says Will, is they’re calling out their audience.
They’re saying, this is what the movie is about. If you’re not into that stuff, you’re free to leave. It goes back to Perry Marshall‘s 80/20 principle. You’re not trying to sell to 100 percent of the market. You’re only trying to get the 20 percent that will get you 80 percent of sales.
2. Use emotion to make them stay
Step two is getting people to stick around, and for that, we use emotion. Traditionally, in sales, people have talked about the emotion behind the customer’s pain. This is a similar concept, but in the context of longer-form copywriting.
So we don’t have to hammer the pain point at the very beginning, says Will. It’ll be more gentle, more subtle, but it’s all about getting them to understand that we know where they’re coming from. So emphasize that you’ve seen other people or you’ve been in their situation, and relate to them on a personal and emotional level.
3. Climbing the mountain
Traditional copywriting relies on qualification and emotion, which you’ve got in steps one and two. But from three onwards, Will says, we start mixing things up a bit. So three is about climbing the mountain.
“Traditional copywriting relies on qualification and emotion.”
In Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship tried to climb a mountain on their journey. The way was treacherous with ice and snow and falling rock. Eventually they gave up and had to find another way to reach their destination.
This is where you talk about the things your prospect has tried that haven’t worked. James recalls a lady whose course on storytelling said that everything that can go wrong, must go wrong. That explains well the challenges you’ll have to talk about in your copy.
4. Call out the real enemy
The things your prospect has tried haven’t worked for them. And step four is where you tell them why. You call out the enemy and put yourself on your reader’s side.
This takes the pressure off the prospect, saying, it wasn’t your fault that it didn’t work. It doesn’t work for most people, and here’s why. Here’s someone who’s telling you the wrong thing, who’s giving you the wrong information that’s led you to fail.
An example in the online space would be pointing out the gurus who make things look too easy.
Your reader may feel a great sense of relief here – someone knows it’s not their fault. They were working off the wrong info.
Or they may get angry, says James. The odds are stacked against them. They’re like, Ah, this sucks. How dare they?
Either way, by pointing out who the real enemy is, we’ve positioned ourselves as a friend, a companion, and a trusted advisor.
5. Give them hope
The fifth puzzle piece is to let people know not all is lost, there is hope. Will refers to this by a copywriting term, a “unique mechanism”.
So they got wrong information. They now know who the enemy is. What makes you different?
Going back to The Lord of The Rings, this is where the pipes play uplifting music, and you explain why your solution will work. Armies have failed, but a little band of nine will go in by stealth and succeed where great warriors have not.
That’s the hope you’re giving your prospect.
6. What’s the uncommon truth?
Five and six are sometimes interchangeable or combinable, says Will. The uncommon truth is about getting the reader to change their thinking.
In LOTR, this goes back to their strategy for destroying the Ring. Armies couldn’t do it, so what else can they do? The new mechanism and the hope is, go in by stealth.
The uncommon truth, Will says, is a puzzle piece he can pull in and out of the story as needed. It’s also a place where he likes to shift the paradigms, or introduce a groundbreaking idea that changes the reader’s thinking entirely. This is one of the hardest things to do with copy, persuasion, and negotiation, is to get someone to change the way they’re thinking about a certain topic.
But if you can get a prospect to consider there may be another way of doing things, you’ve done most of your job as a copywriter.
7. Paint the Promised Land
This piece, for Will, is very important. The reader knows what’s going on and what they’ve done wrong. They’re sitting in their pain, which is why they’re reading your sales letter.
You now need them to see what the future can look like. This is where Will typically spends a lot of time, and really appeals to the senses: Imagine this; can you hear this in the background? Can you feel this?
When Sam and Frodo are almost at journey’s end, Frodo is on the verge of quitting. Sam sits beside him and describes the Shire when their quest is over. Orchids in blossom, birds singing, fresh strawberries off the vine, hobbit children playing.
Painting that picture, evoking hope, is powerful, says Will. He likes to think about, what will the reader’s life look like? What will they do in the morning when their massive issue has been solved? What will they look like? What will they have?
In the online coaching space, some gurus paint an unrealistic picture, says James. Pina coladas, hammocks at the beach, luxury cars and bling. Is painting the Promised Land overused?
Will thinks it depends on the market. In places where the market’s been hammered, he actually plays the opposite. Lamborghinis and Ferraris are nice to look at, but they’re a massive pain in the butt to drive. Potholes and speedbumps are nightmares.
8. Be the guide
How can you be your reader’s guide? How can you lead them and give them foresight? What have you done? This is where social proof comes in. What have you achieved in the past? What experiences have you got? What expertise do you have?
They were led wrong before; now you’re going to prove you’re the guide they need. Testimonials and case studies and examples are great for this.
Beware of wanting to be the hero, says James. He has a previous episode, Be The Guide, Not The Hero. A lot of people have built their brand around being a hero. That can intimidates prospects, who don’t want to be another trophy on the wall. They would rather have a guide quietly in the background – think Gandalf or Obi Wan Kenobi.
Sir Edmund Hilary was celebrated as the first to climb Mount Everest. But there were sherpas who’d been there forever before him. It’s interesting, says James, how there’s often someone in the background or in the scenes who’s really doing the cool stuff and not getting the credit for it.
9. And my axe
When the Fellowship was formed, they knew anyone coming on the journey could likely die. Still people joined, and with them was the dwarf Gimli – “And my axe!”
At step nine, you lay it out for people: You won’t get instant results. There’s work involved. You’re going to push your comfort zone. But if you choose to do this, it might actually be worthwhile.
You let them make up their own minds if they’re in or not; pick the people who self-qualify to come along on the journey.
People who leave out step nine are likely in for refunds, complaints, and chargebacks, says James. Membership owners could see a lot of churn.
James’s offerings are crafted around step nine. His membership is performance-based, and he doesn’t want to spend upfront time and energy on people who expected something else, or who don’t have what it takes to succeed.
10. WTF giant eagles
Lord of the Rings ends with giant eagles carrying Frodo and Sam off Mount Doom. Which begs the question, why didn’t they just fly in in the first place, drop the Ring and go home?
After discussing the journey and qualifying in your prospects, you now offer to make things easy for them. You want to shortcut the journey – less time, less stress, less effort, less money, whatever it is. And this is where you offer it, after people have qualified into your offer. Very likely they’ll be happy to take you up.
Here’s a quick demonstration
Will offers a run through. The product is a freelancing program he’s got running at the moment.
Step 1: Get their attention
Have you thought about freelancing, but there’s so much misinformation out there?
Are you tired of fighting traffic every morning to get to your nine-to-five job, where you’re not making a difference?
Step 2: Use emotion
I completely get it. When I was in corporate, I’d just had my son, I was being sent to another state Monday to Friday, I was missing time with my family, feeling miserable and lonely and depressed that I wasn’t making enough of an effort in the world. I thought that my life was supposed to have more and be more.
Step 3: Climbing the mountain
I tried everything to leave my corporate job. I tried affiliate marketing. I tried this and that and sales, and it just couldn’t cut it. I couldn’t get through my issues, that I was introverted, that I didn’t have the experience.
Step 4: Call out the enemy
People out there kept saying to me, just do this one thing, and you’ll have Lamborghinis and mansions and be on the beach every single day. I kept seeing this stuff on Instagram. They kept sending me emails about how they were flying private jets and all this kind of stuff.
Now I realize there’s companies set up to let these people take photos in a decommissioned private jet and use them for Instagram. And there’s a lot of BS with their rented cars and their rented mansions.
Step 5: Give them hope
I know what you’re going through, because I’ve been there. And I was an extreme introvert. So, for me, it was even harder.
If I’ve done it, I know that you can do it too.
I almost lost our mortgage, but now we’re financially comfortable, and I can go into a restaurant and order what I want without looking at the price tag.
You might not realize, but there’s never been a better time to become a freelancer, if you do it properly. And you might not even know it, but when you are a freelancer, things open up for you. Not in terms of flashy cars and the like, unless you really want that.
This is where Will shifts the paradigm to thinking, what does my freedom actually mean?
Step 7: Painting the Promised Land
For me, it’s not about the flashy cars. It’s not about having a Ferrari sitting in the garage gathering dust. For me, it’s about being able to take my kids out of school in the middle of the week and go to the beach, enjoy four hours and not have to worry about phone calls.
“Do what others won’t today to do what others can’t tomorrow.”
That’s everyone in Australia, right now, James points out. So obviously you’d switch things up depending on context. The idea is, do what others won’t today to live how others can’t tomorrow.
Step 8: Be the guide
I know what it takes to make the journey a success for you, because I’ve walked it before. And I want to give you the templates, the steps, the frameworks and the help that you need to get to your own Promised Land. I’m not the hero, but I’ve got everything that you need to go through and be the hero.
This is where you pull case studies and testimonials to strengthen and enhance the story, because you’re not the one telling it now. Now it’s about someone else that your prospect can relate to, as well.
Step 9: And my axe
I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s going to be an easy journey, because it’s not. You’re going to have to push your comfort zone, you’re going to have to work hard, you’re probably going to have to work hard on top of your job. And it may be the most difficult three to six to 12 months of your life.
But if you’re willing to do it, remember that Promised Land we spoke about? That’s where the journey might finish for you.
Step 10: WTF giant eagles
The fact that I’ve taken other people through exact steps and systems means what we do works, if you work it. But for a limited time, if you come on board, I’m going to guarantee that you make twice the amount that you pay me as an investment. If that doesn’t happen, here’s the bonuses you’re going to be getting…
“Make it easy for people to say yes, if they’re the right fit for you.”
Make it easy for them to say yes, if they’re the right fit for you.
Who does this framework fit?
What type of products or services are a good fit for Will to apply this framework for them or with them?
They do a lot of work in the online space, with tech and with services or products that need some explaining what they do. They typically do well with high-value, high-ticket offers.
This episode has been a snapshot of things talked about regularly inside SuperFastBusiness membership. If this episode gets you a result, that’s what we’re all about.
The freelancing program Will spoke of is real, though closed at the moment. If you’re interested, look up Will and he’ll add you to the waitlist – [email protected]
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