ASH AMBIRGE

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Sell More Stuff: Your Words Need to Repre-Fucking-Sent.

In: Creative Writing for the Internet

I'm going to tell you a little secret.

It's not a dirty little secret, but it might as well be.

The secret is this: The key to selling your stuff? Isn't about the size of your list. (That's what she said.) In fact, it isn't about a lot of the things you're worried that it might be.

The key to selling your stuff is actually a lot more simple:

You have to learn to talk about your stuff the right way.

And holy shit, I think that's called communication.

I don't care what you're selling. I don't care that you've perfected your target audience profile to a T. I don't care that you have the prettiest Buy Now button seen this side of Greece. And I don't care that you've poured all your hard work and sweat into these things and it's, like, really, really awesome. (My best Valley Girl impression.)

Because it doesn't matter if you can't convince someone else that it's worth their time.

That's where your words come in. Words are holy hell important. They'll make or break you–and that's a promise. Just like in high school when people used to judge you by your jeans, now they're judging you by your words. And the stakes are much higher–now you aren't vying for their approval. You're vying for their dollars. So the words you slap up on that website? Better repre-fucking-sent.

What do I mean by repre-fucking-sent?

I mean your words have to hit your customer in the jaw with a crowbar. (That's my catch phrase I teach to my copywriting students, and I'm sticking to it.)

They have to grab their eyeballs, and demand to tango.

They have to seduce 'em right then and there–no time for krumpets and chit-chat.

Because ultimately, you're trying to get your customer to go to bed with you. Figuratively, of course. Unless you're in another type of industry. Maybe “go to bed with you” means signing up for your mailing list. Maybe it means buying something on the spot. Maybe it means taking another action. But either way, your words have to do their job. Think of them as your pimp. You want a pimp who can actually get you work, right? And not one who's going to stutter and lose you customers. Especially the good-looking ones.

The first step in doing this is easy.

To get started, what I want you to do is think about the most common reasons people come to you, or pay you money. What are THEY saying they need? Verbatim. How are they phrasing it? What do they tell you they're looking for?

Then, furthermore, what do you imagine them waking up sweaty worried about?

I call this the wake-up-sweaty test. And I make all my students run their copy through it.

So for example, I guarantee that if I'm a life coach, none of my ideal clients are waking up sweaty, nervous, thinking, “Shit, I really need more empowerment.”

Rather, they're probably thinking things that sound more like: “Shit, why can't I seem to get this project off the ground? Where's my motivation? Why am I such a lazy cow? Am I destined to be a failure? I hate myself.”

So therefore, it follows that your copy NEEDS TO ADDRESS WHAT YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS ARE ACTUALLY THINKING. Because when you do that, they'll arrive at your website and immediately think, “Oh my gosh, this person GETS ME. This is me. I NEED THEM. NO ONE ELSE WILL DO. SIGN ME UP UP UP.”

On the other hand, if you throw up some “get empowereds,” and “get inspireds,” your ideal customers aren't going to connect with you. They're going to glaze over. These are words they've heard over and over, so they don't hit them in the face with a crowbar. And they don't feel a tangible need for those things. No one wakes up sweaty thinking, “I am just not inspired enough, dammit.”

It's all about making them feel something.

And this applies to all industries.

Case in point:

I consulted with someone just the other day who's sign up looked like this:

And while that's all good and lovely, it's not a compelling call to action.

So I asked her to go through the exercise above, and it turns out that her people don't come to her for inspiration, wisdom and musings–they come to her because they want to learn how to manifest their wish list in life, create jaw-dropping opportunities for themselves, wake up every day in joy, and feel fucking GOOD.

And so we're editing her copy to reflect that, and really CONNECT with her prospects, and show them that she really gets 'em. And again, it was never the case that she didn't actually get them–it was simply a case of not being able to communicate that effectively.

Your Words Must Repre-fucking-sent

They'll either help you slaughter the competition, or they'll make you blend right in.

You pick.

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