A few weeks ago a friend of mine sent me some marketing material she was putting together. She made the same mistake nearly every expert in the personal development market makes.
Before I get into that, here’s the background:
She’s creating a workshop to help men create awesome relationships with women.
She helps single men get girlfriends, men in uninspiring relationships bring back the passion — that kind of stuff.
There was a glaring issue that had me ripping my hair out as I read it. Here are a few lines of her copy, can you see the problem?
“I will show you a framework for how to find your passion and purpose by standing strong in your deepest integrity.”
“Do you wish your romance could be aligned with your mission too? Are you searching for a better way to be strong AND sensitive, so you can confidently ravish AND respect a woman deeply, the way she wants?”
“I will show help you connect the dots of your spiritual life and your practical daily work so that every action, no matter how mundane or profound, is aligned with your core mission.”
Here’s the #1 problem I see that most people in this industry make:
She sounds like a relationship coach.
Now that’s no problem if her market is other relationship coaches.
But if her ideal client is closer to the guy who just spent 6 hours of his Sunday eating nachos and watching football, he’s going to read the words “standing strong in your deepest integrity”, mumble something about “god damn hippies” and continue on with his day.
We like to buy from people who are like ourselves. So you want to use language your target market uses. Doing so shows you’re like them, that you “get them”.
And as a fun bonus, it immediately separates you from everyone else in your market who sounds exactly the same. Let them use the jargon other players in their industry use. You use the language your customers use and you’ll be the one who actually connects to readers.
Fix this problem with the bar test
Luckily the solution here is easy, just run your copy through the bar test.
Read through every line of your copy and ask yourself, would you say that to someone at a bar? If you were out explaining your product to your ideal customer in a casual environment, are those the words you’d use?
This is a famous piece of advice you’ll hear from any copywriter worth a damn, but the fact is few people actually follow it. Hell, me and all the writers and I Will Teach are constantly reminding each other to run our copy through the bar test. Sometimes you just get so wrapped up in your world of what you have to offer you forget to take that step back to make sure the words you’re using are the ones your customers want to hear.
Bonus lesson: Give the people what they want
One other thing I wanted to touch on before we go. Take a look at these lines: “Do you wish your romance could be aligned with your mission?”
How would the reader respond to this?
Here’s the thing: aligning romance and your mission sounds nice in theory. But there is not a single man on this planet walking around saying “Man, if only my romance was aligned with my mission, my life would be great”.
This line won’t connect. It won’t hit home with anyone reading it because it’s A) not in the language they use and B) it’s not the problem they want solved.
So along with the bar test, make sure your copy actually addresses what your customer wants.
My friend did a much better job of this later in her copy. Here’s a another line she used:
“I will unpack the secrets of feminine, and show you the predictable patterns behind her seemingly random emotions, so you can confidently be the real man she longs for.”
Now we’re talking!
This could use some work, but check out that line: “show you the predictable patterns behind her seemingly random emotions” Yes! What guy wouldn’t want that?
So to sum it up, use the words your customers use, write like you’re talking to a friend at the bar, and stay focused on what your customers actually want. Do all that you’ll be on your way to some damn good copy.