In continuing to talk about marketing this week we’re going to be moving down one step. We have already talked about how to pick your core reader. Now that you’ve picked your core reader though, we want to talk about how you write copy for that reader.
Copy is really just a fancy word for writing that you do with the intent to sell something.
So, marketing copy is all of the words that surround a picture or are on a picture in order to sell an object to you.
And as an author, you might not like it, but you’re going to have to write marketing copy…
For example, you’re going to be writing a blurb if you’re self-publishing. And even if you’re not self-publishing, you’ll probably be involved in writing the blurb anyways. And a blurb is really just a piece of marketing copy that goes on the back of a book or goes up on your Amazon page to tell people why they might enjoy your book.
Rather than talking specifically about blurbs here (I do have another video that you can go watch if you’re interested in that specifically), I wanna talk about marketing copy in general. Because if you start running ads, you’re going to be writing marketing copy. When you create a social post, you are writing marketing copy.
PRETTY MUCH ALL THE WRITING THAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE DOING OUTSIDE OF ACTUALLY WRITING YOUR BOOK WILL BE MARKETING COPY!
And so this is an incredibly helpful skill to have as an author!
There are people who spend their entire lives focusing specifically on this thing and get paid ridiculous amounts of money in order to get it perfect.
In fact, and this might sound kind of controversial, but a good ad is sometimes worth more than the actual product it sells! So understanding how to write copy well will help your author career more than almost anything!
We’ve already talked about how when you’re marketing you want to pick an Avatar, somebody who you are marketing to.
In the same way that when you write a book you wanna focus on a singular reader, you want to focus on this Avatar with your marketing!
There are two main approaches that I see when writing copy. One of them is very effective and the other is not so effective.
Let’s say I came to your house, and you didn’t know me, and I rang your doorbell, you opened up your door and I said: “Hi! My name is Seth, I’m in the area and I’m selling knives. I happen to know that you could use a new pair of knives and I’ve got these great knives here. I’d love to show them to you. You wanna try them out?”
The first thing you’re going to say is, “Well how did you know that I needed knives? That’s kind of weird…and second of all, no, I’m not really interested.”
And that will almost always be the response!
“How did you know that? And no thanks, I’m not really interested…”
You might need knives! You might go to the store later and buy knives. Maybe I reminded you that you need knives and so you’re like, “Oh yeah, of course,” and so you go and buy some.
But you’re not gonna buy them from me. Or at least you’re going to be very hesitant to buy them for me. I’m going to have a long, uphill battle to convince you that you need my knives.
Now imagine a second scenario. I knock on your door, you open it up. We’ve been friends for years! I know you, and more importantly YOU KNOW ME!
And I say, “Listen, remember how we were talking about how you need knives? Check these knives out!”
And I come in and I demonstrate how cool the knives are for you and you say, “Wow! Those knives are fantastic! Where did you get them?”
And I say, “They’re down the street at my store. You can buy them whenever you want, but look how cool these knives are!”
Your reaction in that situation will be completely different, and it’s again because of a couple of key things. You know who I am. There’s no weirdness to the fact that I know something about you: you need knives.
On top of that, because we know each other, we have implicit trust. When I demonstrate the knives you’re going to think to yourself, “Oh, those are effective knives!” not, “Is this person trying to sell me something?”
Well when we’re writing marketing copy, we want to do that exact thing. First of all, we want to develop relationships with people. We’re not trying to sell them stuff right out of the gate.
In fact, one of the worst things you can do with a reader is just try to sell them your books and not communicate about anything else.
This is harder said than done, but as you develop relationships with people, as you engage with them, you should try to make as little of your engagement about buying books as possible. You wanna be building the relationship and you wanna be building trust.
There’s a huge difference in writing copy that sounds like it’s trying to sell something and writing copy as if you’re talking to a friend. And as an author, you absolutely want to go with the latter over the former. You want to write all of your copy, you want to market in general, as if you’re talking to your friend. So not only do you need an Avatar, a specific person you’re selling to, but you need to be friends with them!
And then here’s a super practical tip for you. Write out your copy and thenEDIT it.
Don’t just write your copy and say, “Yeah, this sounds good.”
Trim it try to get as much packed into as few sentences as possible. Now obviously it needs to be readable and it needs to sound like something you would say to your friend, but you want it as short and bite sized as possible.
The difference between good copy and bad copy can be hard to spot, especially when you’re the one writing it.
But as you practice you’re going to get better and better at this. It’s a skill, like writing anything else.
So the most important thing is that you don’t give up. Keep trying to build those relationships. Keep trying to build that trust.
YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/vBgS-yrzQ7M
Thanks for reading and watching.
Want in on all the secrets of writing compelling books? Have burning questions for Seth about the business side of being an author? Join the email list for up to date info on the latest videos!