How You Can Learn Conversational Copywriting

by Kristen Burgess
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Sometimes folks will come to me and they’ll say hey, I’m not really a good copy writer, and there’s a part of me that’s tempted to go out there and say, “Okay, what I would love for you to do is to go take somebody’s intense copy writing course.”  An I used to do that.

I found that people would come back with all this great information.  Then I would say, “Great, go write your sales letter.”  And they would write a sales letter with all of the 17 points, but it would be so stiff it would be like reading cardboard!  They were using the master’s lines (we all know the copywriting masters or you can look them up if you don’t).  If you were to read those lines in the master’s sales letter, it’s really smooth.  So it’s not that student is using bad lines.  You can’t say they’re using a bad story.  But when you read it, it doesn’t feel right.  It’s like it’s wooden. Stiff and lifeless.

Then I always go in and prod my client with some questions.  Here’s an example:

Let’s say that you’ve recently learned to reduce heart rate just a little bit, by doing the special 20 minute aerobic thing 3 times a week.  Let’s just say you’ve created a little video training to show other people how they can aerobics 3 times a week and it will help their health.

So this is what I say to the client: “Let me ask you this, if your best friend called you up, and your best friend said to you, hey, I see that you seem to be more calm, and you’re a little bit more in shape lately, what have you done?”  You would probably say, “Oh, I’m doing this 20 minute cardio, 3 times a week.”  And your friend says, “Hey, can you tell me about it?  And why I should maybe do this 20 minute aerobics just like you’re doing.”

You’re going to say, “You know, friend I’d be more than happy to, why don’t we meed at the local coffee shop, can you meet this afternoon?”  And so you sit down at the coffee shop that afternoon.  Now, you don’t bring a script with you, you don’t bring a sales letter with you, you don’t even bring any ideas with you.

But, you sit down and you ask your friend “Hey friend, why are you even asking about this?  Are you struggling with something?” Your friend says, “Well, you know, I feel like, I feel like I just don’t have as much energy as I used to have, and you look like you have a lot more energy.”  And so then maybe you say, “Well what else do you think this aerobics might do for you? The friend might say, you know, well, I’ve gained an extra 10 lbs lately, and I’d love to be able to get it off.”

Then you might say, “Well, let me ask you this, have you been frustrated lately?  Maybe a little bit of road rage, maybe irritated with your husband, or your wife?”  You friend says, “Yeah, I’m struggling  with that too. You say, well, the thing is, this 20 minute aerobics, 3 times a week that I’ve been doing, it’s really been amazing.  I’ve lost 10 or 15 lbs, and I no longer get that road rage, and I’m no longer yelling at my husband (or wife), and I have more energy, I’m able to play with the kids (or grandkids) more.  If there’s a 4 floor stair or elevator, I just take the stairs, instead of taking the elevator up 4 floors.  What do you think about that?”

And your friend says, “Wow, can you tell me more about it?”

So, you just tell him all about your aerobics.  And then your friend says to you, “Well, how can I learn how to do this?”  And you say, “Why don’t you just come join me, I meet over there at the gym, 3 times a week, Mon, Wed, & Fri.  I meet for 20 minutes, I meet at noon, and just join me over there, and I’ll show you what I’m doing.”  Your friend agrees.

This sounds really simple and easy for someone to do if they were just talking to their friend.  It probably sounds like something you can do!

That’s the basis of copywriting – is having a conversation to help someone.  To help your client.  To help another human being.  Any entrepreneur can and should be able to have this kind of conversation – use this method when you write copy.  Pretend you’re having a conversation with your prospect, and you’re off to a great start!

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