We All Make Mistakes

Outside Agora bar & cafe in Puerto De La Cruz, Tenerife

After getting the smackdown from the FTC, seems like one of the copywriting scene’s biggest publishers is moving into safer ventures.

But I’m not writing this to wag fingers.

Who knows what happened at Agora HQ.

Maybe an email got missed, or nobody got the memo from legal. 

Mistakes happen. 

I’ve made a bunch of them myself in the last year. 

Here are 3 copywriting landmines I trod on recently you’ll want to avoid:

1. Test the Market Rather than Guessing

I love to ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ as much as anyone. 

And while launching a minimum viable product is a great way of getting them out fast… 

testing the market to find out what people actually want can save you tons more time in the long-run.

Case in point…

I’ve been working on promoting my latest info product: A gut health course.

To get people into my funnel, I dangled a recipe for a probiotic smoothie after a chatbot quiz.

But despite it being like 3 supplements in 1, my recipe just wasn’t tickling people’s taste buds.

So I had to go back to the drawing board. And multiple variations later, I found out that rebranding it as a ‘Gut Revitalisation SECRET’ report was the best way to get optins (50%, if you’re asking). 

Bottom line – You can save yourself a lot of time and frustration if you spend $100 on Facebook ads finding out what lead magnet people want before you make it.

2. Not Triggering Emotion in the Lead

Making sure the lead stirs people’s emotions was something Stefan Georgi discussed on a recent Zoom call (if you’re not in Stefan and Justin Gove’s Facebook page ‘Justin and Stefan Talk Copy’ already, I HIGHLY recommend it)… 

and had me headbutting the table when he did.

Why’s that?

Because recently I wrote a presell for a F+S indigestion supplement. And I was so scared of Facebook’s banhammer, I skipped talking about the negative symptoms altogether… 

sucking my lead dry of any emotion in the process. 

Moral of the story – always find a way of triggering the reader’s emotions in the first few lines, even if you have to jump through compliance hoops to do it.

3. Teaching Too Much on the Discovery Call

When we spend all day reading up on the best marketing techniques and tricks, it can be tempting to unload our knowledge on anyone who’ll listen. 

But unloading too much for free can mean shrinking your advice’s perceived value. And crippling your negotiating frame when you want to charge for it.

Teaching too much on discovery calls is something I’m routinely guilty of.

Recently I was on a discovery call with a prospective client who needed to improve their supplement sales page.

Can you guess what I did next?

Rather than swiftly close on the call and send him an invoice, I proceeded to outline EXACTLY what he needed to do to improve it, right down to what to say in the headline, the lead and the close.

In my defense, we’d already established he didn’t have the funds to hire me anyway. So my thinking was that I was positioning myself to be his ‘go to’ copywriter once he was ready to switch on the money hose.

But here’s the thing… people always want what they can’t have AND they only value things they’ve paid for.

Moral of the story – On the discovery call focus ONLY on the problem, what they can gain if they solve it and why you’re the best person to solve it for them. That’s it. 

So there you go.

Three of my recent mistakes I’ll be doing my best to avoid in the future. And mistakes you typically only learn how to avoid through experience and picking up a few war wounds.

If you’re a relative newbie and interested in learning how I resolved many other mistakes when I got started in copywriting with NO experience, NO clients, and NO samples, I reveal all in my eBook.

An eBook you’ll to complete a checkout form to access. 

Because like I said, people only value things they’ve paid for, and when they’ve paid for it they’re more likely to put it into action.

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