(Transcript continued from the Episode 129 show notes and audio podcast)
My wife and I have always wanted to have some sort of business, some sort of entrepreneurial pursuit. It turns out she’s a pretty good sketch artist, she draws cartoons and stuff like that. She always has, since she was a kid.
We had this idea for creating these things called Mommy Pads. If you’re not familiar with this sort of item, this is a thing that you can buy that is kind of a customized notepad where the header of the notepad has some kind of customized graphic that is specifically for the circumstance of the person that bought it.
For example, the Mommy Pad case is where it says From the Desk of Zachary’s Mom, and there would be a little picture, maybe a stick figure, of Zachary the child playing soccer. It’s the notepad that Zachary’s mom would use in order to write a note to the teacher or whatever. If you have multiple children, you might have From the Desk of Zachary’s Mom, Morgan’s Mom, Allie’s Mom, and Pam’s Mom, and there would be a checkbox next to each child and then you could check which child you were the mom of this time for whatever the context was for the note that you were writing.
The idea for this business was that I would build a website and you would be able to go onto this website and pick a design that you like and customize the text, and then my wife would draw this custom header for you, specific for what you had requested, and we would have the pad printed and mail it to you. It was a great idea and we actually did several of them.
I specifically remember going out and trying to understand how I would get this website to come up in search. At the time I didn’t even know the phrase “search engine optimization.” This would have been in like 2006 when I was trying to build this business. I was using Microsoft Frontpage to try to build this website and I was writing some code.
It turned out to be a very big mess and it turns out that we really didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t have the right margins in this business to make the right kind of profit. We weren’t able to scale it, because it was very labor intensive. We weren’t able to market it very well because I didn’t know anything about search engine optimization. So while it was interesting, it never really got off the ground.
We had all but abandoned that when we saw the Today Show thing, but I’ve always wanted to do physical products of some kind. This is back since 2006. That’s one of the reasons that I’ve been so interested in affiliate marketing all this time. While it’s not actually a physical products business, it has that feeling of having a physical product.
Because of that interest, one of the internet businesses online that has always interested me has been this idea of drop-shipping physical products. This is where you would build an ecommerce store, almost like you would an affiliate website. You create this store and when someone ordered a product they would actually pay you for it.
In the drop-shipping model, let’s say you’re going to sell pink widgets. Someone would find you somehow, you’d drive traffic to the site in some way, and someone who needed a pink widget would buy one and they would pay you with their credit card, or with PayPal, or however they decided to pay.
You would take their money, you actually take their money, the taxes, and all that kind of stuff. Then you would order the pink widget from wherever you decided to order it from, your fulfillment center. You would have worked all of this out ahead of time. You would give the fulfillment center your customer’s address and they would drop-ship the pink widget directly to your customer. Of course, it costs you considerably less, probably on the order of half of the money that you took from the customer, in order to pay for the pink widget from the drop-shipper.
You make a profit, the customer gets their pink widget, and everybody is happy. That’s a nice business because you don’t ever have to actually touch the pink widget. This is very attractive and there are many versions of this business. If you want to increase your profits you can warehouse the pink widgets yourself. That’s no longer drop-shipping. Let’s say pink widgets are a really good seller for you. You can buy pink widgets 2,000 at a time and keep them in your bedroom and ship them out. If that’s a really good business, you can get a fulfillment center to do that for you locally in your area, or in China.
There are all kinds of variations of this business, but basically the idea is the customer gives you the money and you fulfill the product, this actual physical product ecommerce business. I’ve always been interested in that.
In addition to that, you have to solve the traffic problem. What has made this interesting lately is that Facebook is this amazing traffic engine, for a couple of reasons. One is more than anything else on the internet everyone is on Facebook, on the order of billions of people on Facebook. The access that you have to Facebook is truly amazing.
The second thing is the targeting data that Facebook has is unprecedented. They know what you like, what you don’t like, what you buy, where you shop, because there are these people tracking you with Facebook pixels. If you visit a site that has the Facebook pixel enabled, they’ll know that you were there.
That’s why when you go shop for orange widgets, let’s say, all of a sudden when you’re using Facebook you’ll see ads for orange widgets and you’ll be thinking, “How did they know that I was just on a widget site looking at orange widgets?” The answer is they have this pixel that can be attached to the pages on the orange widget site. Once the orange widget site owner knows that you’ve been there they can retarget ads to you. They can buy ads on the Facebook platform and they say “whenever you see someone that has been to my site, show them my ad to remind them about my product.” That’s called retargeting and that’s incredibly powerful.
Not only that, I can target people who have liked the Orange Widget Society of Texas Facebook page, or who have certain characteristics, people who are following the Orange Widget Guru, that kind of thing. That kind of marketing targeting is incredibly powerful.
All of this to say now is a really good time to be in this drop-shipping physical products business because there is a great source of traffic out there, which is Facebook, and there is no shortage of products. There are all of these places like AliExpress where you can go find products, buy them one at a time and have them drop-shipped to customers.
There are things like Shopify where you can build these ecommerce stores really easily. If you’re into WordPress, WooCommerce is another really good way to build websites. So it’s sort of straightforward to do, if you know what you’re doing.
It turns out that there is a product out there around this topic that I’ve always been interested in called 100K Factory and they are launching for the last time. I have decided that I’m going to go through that eight week program so that I can learn two things. I want to learn about drop-shipping and I want to learn about Facebook advertising.
Facebook advertising is really interesting, not just because of this targeting idea, but because Facebook has a lot of very sophisticated automated target optimization that they use inside of Facebook that can help you to really refine the targeting for your ads and so forth. I want to learn all about that.
This course is being offered for the last time, so I’m going through it. I’m telling you about this because it’s not an inexpensive course but if there are those of you out there like me who are interested in doing this at the same time that I’m doing it, this last opportunity to go through 100K Factory, you might want to check it out. Just be warned, 100K Factory is a relatively expensive course.
I’m not recommending this as something that I’ve seen it and I know it works and you should go do this. A lot of times I make recommendations on this show because it is something that I absolutely believe in and I know it works. I actually do think this works and I do know about these guys. I wouldn’t be wasting my time if I didn’t think it worked, but I’m not recommending for this reason.
I am going to give you my affiliate link, because for any of you that want to go through this with me I’m going to set up a private Facebook group for people who happen to purchase this program through my affiliate link and I’ll go through it with you. That link is https://www.latenightim.com/100k.
If you look at that program and it’s something that appeals to you and it’s something that you want to do and you think makes sense, and you buy it through my link, let me know. I’ll set up a private Facebook group and we can go through that together and converse as we go through it.
Like I said, it’s an eight week program. It’s kind of amazing sounding. I’d be interested to hear what you think. If you take a look at the sales page and you have some comments or questions, let me know in the comments on this episode.
I like the idea of drop-shipping because it’s a really nice complement to the kind of affiliate marketing that we do. There is not any reason that you can’t take an affiliate website, add some physical products to that website, and drive Facebook traffic to those physical products, knowing that some of that traffic is going to spill over to the affiliate products, some of that traffic is going to spill over to the email list on the site. There’s a lot of potential symbiosis, this idea that this stuff can work well together from that sort of approach.
That’s one of the things that I’m interested in doing and will be doing. If you’re interested in doing that along with me that link is https://www.latenightim.com/100k.
Use Storytelling in Your Copywriting
Today’s topic is about copywriting. We want to cover two things today.
One thing we want to cover is storytelling in your copywriting. This is an incredibly important idea. Almost no matter what sort of persuasive communication you’re doing in your life storytelling is one of the most powerful techniques that you can use to convince people to take whatever action it is you want them to take.
You’re saying, “What do you mean?” Let me give you two examples from recent memory. Last week on the podcast I told you a story about my wife and this camera lens rental place that she has been using, ATS Rentals, and the fantastic customer service experience that she has been having with them online.
Incidentally, ATS Rentals heard the podcast, they reached out to me, and the customer service magician at ATS is named Shelby. Shout out to Shelby. Shelby, you’re doing an amazing job at ATS Rentals.
The reason for telling you the ATS Rentals story last week is to persuade you that these kinds of customer service things are important, that they make a difference. The call to action was for you to figure out what you could do to make your readers or customers, or whoever it is that you’re dealing with on a regular basis, feel extra special just like ATS Rentals. That was a story that I told you to persuade you to take some action. In this case, the action I wanted you to take was to do something to make your business better.
Just a few minutes ago, I just told you a story about making these custom notepads and how that custom notepad had led me down this path of physical products. I suggested that you might want to purchase a really expensive online course so that you could go through it with me and have access to me in a private Facebook group.
That power of storytelling was a technique that I used to kind of motivate that entire discussion. I don’t know about you, but in my opinion that’s a considerably more effective approach than just coming on and saying I’m doing this thing and I’d love it if you would buy this thing through my affiliate link because that way I get some of your money. That’s not a very effective thing. That’s actually not really my intention anyway.
It’s a much more effective thing to say, “Here’s something that happened to me in the past. Here’s some value. I’ll teach you something about drop-shipping and I’ll peel back the curtain to give you some inside baseball information about how I’m thinking about my business. And here’s a call to action.”
That storytelling value call to action formula that Terry Dean told us about all the way back in Episode 127 is exactly the storytelling formula that I just used to call you to action to buy 100K Factory. Pay attention, I’m going to do it again.
That’s the power of storytelling.
It turns out that this is not a new thing in marketing. Storytelling has been used in the most amazing and effective ways for longer than you can possibly imagine. Here’s what I want you to do. I have an ebook for you that I want you to go get at LateNightIM.com/story.
I want you to go get this ebook. It’s written by my friend Ray Edwards and it’s about a two billion dollar sales letter. No, it’s not the two billion dollar sales letter that you’re thinking about, but it is a very famous sales letter that is responsible two billion dollars worth of sales. This was a long time ago, so no telling what the current value estimate of this sales letter would be.
This is a fascinating ebook, it’s a quick read that will really help you understand the value of storytelling and copy. It will help you almost no matter what it is that you’re trying to accomplish in your business, or your life, at your day job. If you are in a position where you ever need to convince somebody of anything, storytelling is something that can help you. I want you to go get this ebook over at https://www.latenightim.com/story so that you can understand the back story behind storytelling whenever you’re writing copy.
One of the things that I hear all of the time is, “Mark, I’m not like you. I’m not full of cow mess. I can’t just tell stories, that’s not what I do.” I’m an introvert, or I’m shy, or English is not my first language, or I can’t tell stories like you do or like a lot of people that are a lot better at telling stories than me. People say, “I just can’t do that.”
First of all, you have to stop saying that. I always tell my 10-year-old that if you say you can or you say you can’t, you’re right. Go ahead and decide that you can tell stories, because you can. Everyone does. Everyone can sit around with their friends and tell the story of what happened to them last week.
I guarantee you that if you are walking around downtown somewhere and something miraculous happens to you, like let’s say Donald Trump walks up to you and says hello and asks you what you think the United States should do about trade with China, you’re going to be able to tell that story. I know if that happens to you, the first thing you’re going to do is go find anyone that you can find and tell the story about how Donald Trump asked your opinion about trade with China.
I know you can do that. You can tell stories. I think I have two tips for you regarding telling stories. Two very simple tips.
One is tell stories from your own personal experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean they actually have to be your stories. Some of the best stories can be you relating stories that somebody actually told you. “You’re not going to believe this thing Pat Flynn told me,” that sort of story. You can relate someone else’s story, but make the story something that you personally experienced, either something that happened to you or something that somebody else told you.
That’s tip number one. I guarantee you do that every day. Just close your eyes and pretend that you’re in a coffee shop with your very best friend, someone you’re the most comfortable with, and telling them a story. Write that story if you’re writing copy, or speak that story if you’re on a podcast, or whatever it is that you’re doing. Go ahead and tell that story, because you’re doing that every day. If you tell it from your personal experience then it’s no different than being in the coffee shop. That’s my first tip.
The second tip is to relate that story to whatever it is that you want to talk about. When you’re following this kind of formula where you tell a story and then you add value, make that segue and relate it to whatever you’re talking about. If you’re telling a story about a notepad business that failed that you were trying to build, relate that story to physical products. If you’re telling a story about a camera lens that you rented, relate that story to the customer service call to action that you have.
Whatever it is, make the story relatable to whatever it is that you’re trying to do. It doesn’t have to be exactly on point, it can just be something that sort of calls to mind the thing it is that you want to talk about. It doesn’t have to be this perfectly crafted 175% on point thing. Just tell me a good story and then switch topics naturally into the thing that you really want to talk about. That’s the second thing.
The number one thing is talk from your personal experience. The number two thing is relate the story to whatever it is that you want to talk about.
Number three is very simply practice. There are lots of resources online that you can go read about how to be a good storyteller. That’s a thing, storytelling is a whole genre. The education of storytellers on how to tell good stories is an industry online, so you can go and find all kinds of free and paid information.
The bottom line is you have to practice telling stories, so the third thing is tell lots of stories. Tell stories to anyone that will listen. Tell people that you want to practice your storytelling so can you have five minutes to tell them what happened to you today. Get feedback. The more storytelling you do the better you’ll get at it and that will overcome this mental hurdle that you may have about not being able to tell stories.
I want you to tell stories in your copy and I want you to tell them from your personal experience, and I want you to relate them to the thing that you really want to talk about. They don’t have to be directly on point, you can kind of segue into that and that’s perfectly fine. And I want you to practice, because that’s the real key to storytelling is getting some practice doing it.
You’ll be amazed at how the quality of your blog posts, the quality of your copy, even in sales copy that you’re using for affiliate marketing, how if you start off a review with a story about how you’ve used the product that you’re about to review how that will increase your conversions and improve the copy that you’re writing.
Start telling stories today and you’re going to like the results.
Copywriting Using the PASTOR Method
While we’re on the topic of writing copy, I wanted to relay to you the best formula for any kind of persuasive communication that you might be creating that I’ve seen.
I’ve told you about the importance of telling stories. Once you’ve told your story there’s this other piece that you can use, this kind of Lego building blocks approach to writing effective copy that you can use, that was developed by my very close friend Ray Edwards called the PASTOR method. I want to tell you about the PASTOR method. It’s not about preaching; that’s the first question I always get.
PASTOR is an acronym for how to construct copy and the six different components that you want to create in your copy so that you have a completely constructed piece of copy that will actually be effective. This is a proven technique.
Ray Edwards has written copy for so many famous people and generated so many millions of dollars worth of sales with his copy that I don’t even know if he knows how many millions of dollars he’s generated. He’s written for people that you know about, like Tony Robbins and others that you’ve heard of. He has written some fantastic copy. In those years of experience writing copy he has developed this method.
I want to go through it with you because it’s instructive. Even if you don’t write a lot of sales page copy, understanding this PASTOR method is really a lesson in marketing all by itself. It teaches you what the components are of motivational speech. Let’s face it, whenever we’re communicating with someone we are very often, especially if we’re marketers, trying to get them to take some action. If you’re using the kinds of things that are taught in the PASTOR method to make that communication, you’re going to be much more effective. That’s one of the deceptive things about copywriting training; it is useful all over the place, not just when you’re writing sales letters.
Of course each letter in PASTOR stands for something important that you need to do in your copy.
The P stands for problem and it’s a reminder that you need to make sure that in your copy you are calling out the problem that the prospect has.
What is the problem that you are trying to solve? You want to be really specific and articulate about this problem. Call it out.
You see this online all the time, and you see it in these TV ads. Is the problem that the prospect is overweight? Is the problem that the prospect really needs a swimming pool? The problem is they don’t have the proper kind of recreation and you’re selling swimming pools, and so the problem is they’re bored on a summer day. Is the problem that they need money? You see a lot of that, especially in the online marketing space. You see people who are looking for a way to make money online and the problem is they don’t have enough money to pay their bills.
You want to specify whatever the problem is that the prospect is having, because that allows you to identify with the prospect on an emotional level. You are empathetic to their problem because you can call it out.
This is one of the first steps in making the prospect feel like you really understand whatever it is that they’re going through. You understand that their golf score is really not what it should be. That’s their problem, they can’t break 100. You get that. You’re calling it out in your copy, you’re identifying the problem.
This is opposed to saying, “Hey, I have this amazing thing.” That’s not what you’re saying. You’re saying, “I understand that you have this problem. Let’s talk about your problem.” That’s the P.
The A in PASTOR is for the word amplify. What you want to do, and this is part of the empathy part of your copy, is you want to amplify the pain that the prospect is feeling by making sure that we’re all clear on what the consequences are of the prospect’s problem.
“I understand that you can’t break 100 and that you’re embarrassed to play golf with your boss. It’s terrible. You’re friends are kind of laughing at you. In the clubhouse after 18 holes of golf, when you’re sitting around, what people want to talk about is how ridiculous your golf swing is. I get that. I feel your pain.”
That’s the A. You want to amplify whatever the problem is that the prospect is having. You want to make sure that we’re all on the same page about why that is a big issue. Who cares about this problem? The prospect cares and the reason they care is because they have some pain. You want to bring that out in the sales letter.
“I know what it’s like at the end of the month to not have enough money, what that feels like and how frustrating it is to balance the checkbook on the 20th of the month only to find out that you have $100 left for the rest of the month.” Amplify that pain. “I understand what it’s like to not be able to buy your kids that toy that they want or not be able to go on that vacation.”
You’re amplifying that pain. “I understand what it’s like to be overweight at the beach and not be able to take your shirt off on a summer day.” That sort of thing. We want to amplify the pain that the prospect is feeling so that we can connect with them on an emotional level.
A lot of people at this point start thinking, “You’re exploiting the prospect now. You’re doing something that is unethical by connecting with the thing that really matters to them.” No you’re not. We’re operating from a point where we’re going to try to help the prospect. The best way for us to help people is to motivate them to make whatever purchase it is or whatever it is that we’re trying to do.
If you have reservations about connecting deeply with your prospects, 1) I’d say that’s ridiculous, because that’s what you’re doing, you’re helping the prospect understand that you understand what it is that they’re going through. 2) Your intent is to help them, because you’re delivering value with your product and you want to help your customer take advantage of that value. If you have those kinds of limiting beliefs, I want you to leave those at the door.
Obviously, you want to offer a solution to the prospect. “I understand that you have this problem with your golf swing. I know why that’s important to you, because your friends are laughing at you in the clubhouse. I have this magical three step process that solves your golf swing problem.” “I have this program for making money online using drop-shipping that solves your problem. I will offer you a solution.”
This is a great place that you can tell a story, which is another thing that S can stand for here. A solution and the story that goes with it about how this solution is effective.
An example from the past that illustrates the fact that this is an effective solution. “Let me tell you the story about how Phil Mickelson used this exact technique to solve his golf swing problem when he was a high school golf player.” You want to tell that solution story and that’s the S in the PASTOR algorithm.
For T we want to help the prospect understand the transformation. Here again we’re connecting with the prospect on an emotional level. “Once you implement this three step program, if you do the things that we prescribe for your golf swing, you can expect to shave 10 strokes off of your golf swing. Not only that, but these sessions where the guys are laughing at you in the clubhouse are going to completely go away.”
Again, the letter T is overloaded with testimony about this transformation. “Let me tell you about Susie. She was a golf player and she had the most ridiculous golf swing. Here’s what she has to say about the golf program.” Or, “Let me tell you about Billy-Bob. He was down on his luck, he couldn’t pay his medical bills. He used this program to make money online and now he is living comfortably in a two-story home in Idaho.” That sort of testimony.
Maybe there are multiple testimonies that you offer here. You want to talk about this transformation and the people that have actually made the transformation, the people are just like your prospect. That’s the power of this transformation and the testimony that goes along with it.
The O in PASTOR is for making the offer. As we were talking about above, the best offers, and really the only offers that you should be making, are the offers that represent a win-win for you and the prospect.
You want to make this offer in the context of the transformation. “We have this system and you might think that something like this is worth a billion dollars, but we’re going to offer it to you for $47.95 and in six weeks you’ll have a golf swing just like Phil Mickelson,” whatever your offer is.
It’s important that you understand what I just said. I am not offering you a three step swing system. That’s what you’re buying. I’m offering you a swing like Phil Mickelson that keeps your friends from laughing at you in the clubhouse. That’s my offer.
My offer is the benefit that I’m going to get you when you make the purchase, it’s not the feature. I’ll tell you about the features, “I have great features and here’s a whole list of them,” but the result of those features is some shockingly awesome benefit that you’re going to derive from actually taking this action and making the purchase.
I want to encourage you to make sure that all of these claims are absolutely true. We’re really trying to help people here. We’re not trying to do anything sneaky. When you make your offer you want to have claims in that offer that are absolutely correct.
Don’t oversell your product here. Resist the temptation to make claims that aren’t true to improve conversions. That’s dishonest and will get you in trouble with all kinds of people, your customer and the government as well.
Finally, for R you want to ask the customer for the response to the offer. R is for response. There’s an old adage in selling that you have to ask for the sale, always be closing. You’ve heard that before. If you don’t ask them for the sale and ask for a response to your offer, you’re not going to make any sales. You have to ask for the sale.
This is the part in selling where a lot of people are really uncomfortable. One of the mental hacks that you can use to get over that sort of discomfort is to assume that the customer is going to buy and just go ahead and give them the instructions about how to buy. “As soon as you’re ready, go ahead and hit the button.” Not, “Would you like to buy this? If you want to, if you’re thinking about it, there’s this button over here that you can hit.”
I think you need to operate from the assumption that your offer is so great that obviously is going to want to buy and tell them how to buy. “I want you to go ahead and make your golf swing better today. The way to get started right now is to hit this button and let me help you make your golf swing better. Go ahead and do that right now. I’ll wait.” That’s the kind of thing.
When I did some direct sales once upon a time (that’s a whole other story) almost in a humorous way a lot of times when I was closing I would say, “How many dozen would you like?” Just go ahead and make that assumption. It can take the pressure off of it.
One of the key things about the PASTOR method, the R is to remind you that you have to ask for the sale and be confident. After all, you’re selling something that you really believe in, this is a product that you’ve decided will help your customer, there’s no reason to be ashamed of that. That’s a great thing, you’re trying to help people with whatever it is that you’re trying to do.
That’s the PASTOR method:
- Describe the problem and talk about the pain when it’s appropriate.
- Then amplify that pain.
- Once everybody is on the same page about what the problem and why it’s important, offer a solution.
- Talk about how that solution will transform the prospect and how it has transformed other people through testimony.
- Then make an offer, make it possible for the customer to actually undergo the transformation themselves.
- Get a commitment, ask for a response from the customer. Get them to commit to the transformation by accepting your offer.
That’s the PASTOR method. I hope you’re as enthusiastic about the PASTOR method as I am. This is a really fantastic construction that Ray has come up with to help people in a very condensed space in a short period of time understand fundamentals of copywriting.
As you know, Ray is a master copywriting teacher. Right now as part of his promotion for Copywriting Academy he has some amazing videos online that I want you to go check out over at LateNightIM.com/cwavideo1.
He has a couple of videos out there here in the first part of March 2017 that are totally worth your time. If you want some additional free information about copywriting from the master copywriter, go on over LateNightIM.com/cwavideo1. That will take you to the first video in what is going to be a couple video series that Ray has about copywriting that will be really helpful to you.
I want to really encourage you to do that. Ray is a super great guy and a genius copywriter, and I think you’ll benefit greatly from checking that video out.
Wrapping Things Up…
There you have it. For the last several episodes we’ve been talking about copywriting. We’ve talked about storytelling and I want you to check out that ebook at LateNightIM.com/story. We’ve talked about the PASTOR method, Ray Edwards and his greatness, and some additional training that you can get at LateNightIM.com/cwavideo1.
I want you to go check all of that out because making an investment in being a better copywriter is one of those things that will make you a better marketer and will just generally help you in your life.
Even in my day job with the large electronics company that I work for in Dallas, these techniques that I’ve learned in internet marketing regarding copy and persuasion are important just in my regular life. Even in dealing with children and my wife.
Getting people to come around to your point of view on things is a very powerful thing, so I want to encourage you to do that. I hope this has been helpful to you. I cannot wait to talk to you next week.
Until then, I hope you get some amazing things done in your internet business.