1. How and why did you decide to get into internet marketing?
Well, my father was in the IT field, so I was always interested in technology, but after picking up “How To Master The Art of Selling” by Tom Hopkins at around 17-18 years old, I really wanted some type of selling career. I realized that selling was a good path for me, but always wanted to incorporate technology somehow. I also hated how there was no leverage in sales, such as we have with marketing… so, I pivoted to Internet Marketing, got into Copywriting, and the rest is history.
2. Have you always focused on copywriting and conversion rate optimization?
It’s been my primary focus for a while, but no… I think it’s good to understand all aspects of marketing… especially traffic. Success in online marketing can be achieved when you understand Copywriting/CRO, and some form of traffic generation (ideally a paid form). Then all you need is a good offer to market. I’m familiar with Real Time Bidding, Media Buying, PPC, and SEO. I also think it’s important to at least learn a CMS like WordPress, as well as HTML and CSS (for online marketers).
3. Come on then, 3 of your best copy writing tips?
The first one is know who you’re talking to. A lot of people make the mistake of trying to reach a wide/general audience, when they should be doing what’s known as “market segmentation”, which essentially means pick a target market, talk to them, and ignore everyone else. Once you know who you’re target market is, the next thing I recommend is to find their “hot buttons”. I always got to the top of any sales team I joined, because I was good at talking to people, and identifying what their hot buttons are. A hot buttons is something you can say that will make your prospective buyer perk up, and want to buy your product… it increases what’s called their buying temperature (meaning they’re more likely to buy from you). In sales, you can do this for every individual, whereas in marketing, you have to do it for your general audience, which is why segmentation is so crucial. Third, I would say to always supercharge your Copy with emotion. What I recommend is that after your finished writing, “let the Copy cool” for a day, and just ignore it, so that the next time you read it, you’re doing so with a fresh set of eyes. When you read it this time, mentally put yourself into the shoes of your buyer, and see whether you’re moved by your own work or not. If not… you need to crank up the emotion, because people buy based on their feelings, not their intellect. That’s one of the first thing which you lean in both sales and Copywriting. If you truly feel moved by the piece, it’s likely ready for the printing press.
4. And what about 3 of the biggest mistakes newbies make when it comes to copywriting?
The first one is easy… perfectionism. When the idea that “it could always be better” keeps getting into your head, it becomes impossible to finish anything up, and you can get serious writer’s block. Just know that it’ll never be perfect, and do the best you can within a reasonable timeframe. Just figure out your marketing angle, and get the words down on paper. In sales, if you screw up, it’s over, in Copywriting, you can always make changes, so don’t worry about perfecting the first draft. The next biggest mistake is not having a clear idea of what your hook is, and how you’re going to sell them on your offer. I find it helpful to write out the key points of my sales Copy in bullet points beforehand, because this helps me focus on what I need to write for the first draft. If you don’t go in with a plan, you’re Copy will likely lack results. The third biggest mistake is not reading up on, and following the advice of all the “Coywriting greats”, such as Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy, David Oglivy, Claude Hopkins, etc. You really have to understand on a deep level what makes people buy, and how to sell them. You really need instructions from these guys to learn how to do it.
5. “I’m looking to improve my landing page’s conversion rate instantly?” What 3 things would you recommend?
The first thing I would recommend, is to make sure you have plenty of “elements of credibility”. I see too many landing pages that lack any credibility whatsoever, and these are doomed to failure, or mediocrity at the very best (if everything else lines up). Things like trust badges (really any trust badge helps), testimonials, certifications in certain cases (like if it’s an IT company). Anything you can show that would lend to your page more credibility. The next thing I would say is make sure to have whitespace. If your page has everything cramped together in the middle, it gives people a subtle sense of anxiety, and immediately causes them to leave your page without taking the necessary action… so do leave plenty of whitespace (or background-colored space) in between the various elements of your page. One thing people can do to increase their conversions right away with lead generation type landing pages, is to remove fields if they have too many, and, when a field is optional, make sure to clearly state that that form field is optional, simply by putting an “(Optional)” next to the name of the field. So for example: “Message: (Optional)”. The fewer fields you have on your form, the more leads you’re going to generate. This goes back to anxiety… people feel more anxiety when there’s more work involved in giving you their information. You want to make it as easy on them as humanly possible (while still taking into consideration the quality of lead which you need).
6. What’s in store for you for the rest of 2014 then?