When you’re in a business, you must sell something. So, you need a set of skills to do this important thing. One of these skills is copywriting. After my 5 years of experience of being a seller, I found that in our markets writing copies that sell is extremely important.
So, I decided to learn more about it. I read a lot of content including blog posts and youtube videos about copywriting. I also found Len Smith as one of the masters of copywriting. So, I decided to learn from him. When I found his course on Udemy about copywriting, I immediately bought that and started to learn.
To know more about him, you can visit his website.
In this article, I’m going to share with you what I learned, what was good about it, and what wasn’t.
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting is the ability to use written words to persuade someone to take action. Indeed, we need copies to ask for something such as buying our product, introducing us to other people, or give us feedback.
So, the job of a copywriter is to use decent tools and devices to facilitate the purchase of something. This thing can be a product, a service, an idea, or any action that will culminate in value creation inside a business
Why Copywriting is important?
The importance of copywriting is more or less very clear. Every business must sell what they offer unless they will go bust. Therefore, writing convincing copies is inevitable.
As a freelancer, a digital nomad, a small business owner, an entrepreneur, or a business manager in a big company, you need to understand copywriting deeply and know how to use it. So, copywriting is a marketing and advertisement activity. Hence, effective copies can boost the productivity of the marketing activities significantly.
What did I learn from Len Smith’s Course?
One: “Wants” are More Important Than “Needs”
Professional copywriters focus on the “wants” of their audience while others seek to find the “needs”.
In “wants” there is a desire and passion. This is the reason why people sacrifice their needs for their wants. For example, you may need to live in a bigger apartment because you have a new baby, but you’ll save money for buying a new BMW. In this case, you need a new home but you want a new BMW. This is because riding that BWM will give you a sense of pride, joy, happiness, and even power, but being in a bigger home will just be more comfortable and have no strong emotion.
Another example is that although a lot of people need to invest their money in stocks for their future, they want to have the best technological devices such as the latest iPhone, newest Macbook, and so on.
By having this in our minds, when we are going to write a copy that sells, our first step should be to put ourselves in the shoes of our audience. Walk with their shoes and understand what are their wants. This is the reason why we need to put a lot of time to be familiar with the people who we are going to write for.
For finding the wants, figuring out the persona is crucial. As Len Smith says in his course, we can have an imaginary person as a representative of our persona. Next, while we do research for that persona, we should complete our understanding. For example, we should find what are the things that person likes and make them happy, sad, proud, fearful, hopeful, etc.
Therefore, if you are going to promote your business, try to know more about your customers, design a representative of them as an imaginary person that is known as persona, and finally find what they want.
Two: Emotions are Pillars of Highley Effective Copies
Selling is a matter of humanity, not greed or avarice.
In a process in which humanity exists, there should be emotions. In most cases, people will buy a product or do something because of the good emotions they feel. These emotions can be hope, joy, happiness, sadness, fear, etc. that are worthy for the audience.
For example, imagine you are selling your online python course, and you want to write a copy for that. Is it possible to ditch emotions in that copy?
Imagine these two sentences. Which one do you think would be more effective for selling your course?
“This course shows a holistic approach towards the art of clean coding and will give you insights to exploit most out of python. This is based on more than 10 years of coding for big tech companies.”
“Eat a Python Pizza.
Instead of paying 15 dollars for a fatty Pizza, pay 10 dollars to have more time for eating Pizza.”
As you see, in the second copy you are implicitly showing your audience that by your course, they would learn how to code cleanly and save time.
What kinds of emotions are involved in the second copy?
Firstly, you are talking about eating pizza which most people love. So, a feeling of eagerness to eat is evoked. You are sending this message that your course is helping your audience to eat more pizza and hence enjoy more.
Working less and have time for eating pizza is almost a desire for a lot of people. Again, this is good proof of why the second copy is more effective.
If you are interested in emotions in business, I also recommend you to read my article about storytelling in sales.
Three: Copies Should Speak
Len Smith by mentioning Warren Buffet’s exemplary copywriting skill, says that his key success in writing copies is that he doesn’t write, instead, he speaks.
In spoken English, people use short and simple sentences. They also use contractions like saying “haven’t” instead of “have not”. This is the thing that we should do in writing copies.
So, because of the intimacy in spoken English, the effectiveness of copies goes much higher when it has a tonality near spoken English. Indeed, an effective copy isn’t something that includes a lot of scientific and complicated sentences. But they should look like a conversation between two close friends.
Think again about two copies we had for selling a python course. The first one is somehow like an official letter or a part of an article in a book. But, the second one is like when you are going to have fun with your friends.
So, it is really important that in your copies, showing the intimacy that we have in a friendly conversation.
But as soon as we want to write a copy and we start making our copy, our minds are changed for delivering outputs in a writing mode. Our minds want to write officially, not intimately.
It isn’t also so easy to speak. Because most of the time our mind has nothing to say. A solution that is offered by Len Smith in his copywriting course is that we can write a copy and afterward read it loudly and change it to spoken mode.
Therefore, we may start our copywriting by writing some sentences. But after that, we should read them and tell them in a way we are talking to that imaginary person. In this stage, we make some changes and finally write what we had said. It is a modification of our ideas from a writing tonality to a spoken one.
Four: AIDA & FAB are the Keys to Success in Copywriting
If you have attended different workshops about sales and marketing, you’re familiar with the AIDA model. To summarize, this model shows how to court people’s attention (A), make your products and services Interesting (I) for them, build a Desire (D) in a way that they want your product, and finally motivate them to take Action (A).
As Len Smith says in his course, this is his favorite model for writing sales copies as it is easy to implement.
It is recommended to structure your sales copy with the AIDA model. It means that you divide your sales copy into four parts. And in each of them, you try to achieve the goals of the AIDA model.
For example, for your Python Course, you can grab your prospect’s attention by choosing a seductive headline. “Eat your Python Pizza” is a good example of this purpose. Next, you’ll start by writing a short paragraph for making your course interesting. Here, you may talk about the things that make your course unique or tell why this course is useful.
In the next paragraphs of your copy, you’ll build a desire for your course. For example, you’ll say that this course will help you to increase your income by 15%.
When they have a desire for your product, it would be time to ask them to join your course or watch the introduction of your video. This is the thing that we know as a call to action.
For your other products, you can use a similar approach to structure your sales copy.
Moreover, if you’re familiar with sales techniques, one of the most important ones is the FAB tool. In FAB, F is for the Features of your product, A is for the Advantage that your product has over its competitors, and B is for the Benefit that your product has for your customers.
FAB is popular among sales reps. This would help them show the real value of their products to their customers. Len Smith also insists that this model is useful in writing copies.
Now, let’s go back to the Python Course that you are going to write a sales copy for.
For this course: The features are: The length of your course, The Number of Practices, and The resources used in.
Advantages can be: Absorbing the gist of python coding much simpler than other python courses.
And the benefit can be: Boosting the income by 15% in less than two months for anyone take this course.
Now you have a very good understanding of FAB about your course. By using this model, you can easier show the value of your products.
A mixture of AIDA and FAB
Some people see FAB as a structure for writing sales copies. But, based on what I learned from Len Smith in his copywriting course, it is better to have a mixed approach in writing copies.
Actually, a mixture of AIDA and FAB is necessary for compelling copies. In every kind of selling activity and marketing campaign, if you focus a lot on showing the features of your products, you can’t win. Showing features are somehow a factual thing and you need to show a lot of different things. But, when it comes to benefits, you need to show them in a way that makes your products interesting.
So, I found that the best way to write copies is to start with the AIDA and improve it with the FAB.
I mean when we want to write our sales copy, we write all of the four AIDA parts, and then we check if we have shown the features of our product, its advantages, and also benefits.
Based on my experience, most of the time, when you want to make your products interesting in your copy, you’d talk about the advantages of your product, and when you want to build desire, you’ll talk about the benefits of your product.
Five: B2B Copywriting is very Challenging
Many believe that copies and advertisements are limited to only consumer markets or the B2C world. But, when it comes to B2B sales and marketing, everything may change. In a B2C sales process, individuals are targeted. So, finding the persona and figuring them out is much easier.
But in corporate sales, there is a deluge of decision-makers who have different ideas and roles. And writing a copy that can target all of these decision-makers isn’t possible. As experts in content marketing say, in B2B sales it is necessary to choose only one of the key persons in the decision-making team, it is true for copywriting.
For example, a copy may target users in a company. Here, these users will put pressure on their managers to put the products for them. Or, another copy may focus on the economic buyers in their targeted customers. Here, these buyers will persuade users that the offered products are a good solution for them.
To be familiar with B2B sales and different roles, I highly recommend you to read this article.
So, the first challenge in B2B sales is to choose the persona which is limited to only one of the roles in the decision-making board.
The next is to how to identify their inner wants and the company’s wants. We shouldn’t just focus on the company itself. We also need to give them an identity value through our copies. Something that will give them a positive sense like being important, or having fewer hassles.
Also for B2B copywriting we have some tools which aren’t very useful for B2C. White papers are the most amazing tool for B2B copywriting. Writing these valuable papers is taught by Len Smith in his copywriting course.
Besides, Case Studies are really effective for B2B sales. Len not only shows the importance of case studies, but he shows how we can benefit from them the most.
Six: Every Businessperson Should be a Copywriter
All people who want to sell, need to master copywriting. You may think that you are the business owner or the manager and you are not directly involved in sales and marketing. But you are wrong. Actually, you are leading the sales and marketing activities and if you fail to understand the concepts in this field, how can you lead?
Some of the top managers had this ability when they were born. Great entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs knew how to convince others without attending any particular selling class. But, it doesn’t mean that you should skip learning about copywriting knowledge and hone your skills.
Based on my experience, and all the things that I learned from Len Smith, it is even more important for top managers to write copies. They don’t want only to sell the products to customers, but they need to sell their ideas and leadership method to the people inside their companies.
So, as a person who wants to run a business, whether small or big, you should learn copywriting, and Len Smith’s Copywriting course is really helpful.
Seven: Copywriting needs Creativity and Passion
You can’t write effective copies for the products you’re not passionate about. This isn’t something that Len Smith has told directly in his course.
You may write some copies about a product that you don’t like, but your copy would be inauthentic.
Authenticity matters in business. So, any inauthentic copy not only can’t sell but will spoil your reputation and efforts of selling.
Moreover, there are differences between the ability to write the ability to Copywrite. Copywriting needs creativity.
There are a lot of people gifted in writing that can’t Copywrite. I see some people who are very good at writing books and scientific articles but need a lot of practice to be professional copywriters. Writing copies is an art to deliver messages differently and also indirectly. In copies, we shouldn’t say the message, we should show them.
David Ogilvy believes that everyone can succeed in this field by allocating time to hone their skills. Despite this, I found from Len Smith’s words that being creative is necessary.
Copywriting is like cooking, but instead of ingredients, you have words. Opting for a word, or opting out for another word, can revolute the effectiveness of a copy. So, being creative and open to choosing words is a must.
However, creativity isn’t apart from passion. When people are passionate about something, most probably they would be more creative. I mean for creativity, there should be an ulterior motive. It isn’t possible to force people to generate new ideas unless they have a purpose for such a thing.
In short, if you want to write copies that sell, ensure that you are going to do it for a product or service, you truly believe.
What I didn’t learn in this course?
Although this course was spectacular and I learned a lot, there are a lot of other things I still need to learn.
The first thing that wasn’t covered in the course was the length of the copies. How should I decide about a sales copy length? I may write a copy with only 120 words or up to 3o00 words. But which one is more effective?
Next, is how pricing looks like for writing copies? If I want to do a freelancing copywriting project, how should I quote my customers? How should I ensure that I’m negotiating about my job fairly?
Moreover, how to make contracts for copywriting? What are the things that we should do to prevent any loss in our copywriting contracts?
Besides, how can I measure the effectiveness of my copies?
In short, it seems to me this course was about the fundamentals of copywriting. This course targets anyone who wants to be familiar with copywriting. But, for making money as a copywriter, we need more.
So, I found that Len Smith has another course which shed light on the mentioned things. Indeed, it would be a decent compliment for his first course.
All in all, if you are a business owner or manage a part of a business, you should know about copywriting. And as Len Smith is one of the masters in the field of copywriting, his course can help you significantly.
Focusing on the “Wants” of the customers, benefiting from the power of emotions, writing in spoken English, using the AIDA and FAB model, cope with the challenge of B2B copywriting, and knowing that passion and creativity are the prerequisites for copywriting are the things that I learned from this course.
As a businessperson, this course would be thorough for you, but if you want to learn more you can join other courses from Len Smith.