MSP Copywriting – Part 2

MSP Copywriting - 18

Recap – last time we looked at why learning copywriting is so important – especially for owners of businesses that sell quite technical or complicated products and services.

In this section, we’ll look at making a start on planning you sales letter.

There are infinite ways to write a sales letter so in this section, I wanted to ensure that you have a basic structure to work to, which will serve as a framework and a process. This should hopefully cut down on your time spent thinking about how to present your information and will give you a template you can use for the rest of your life, which of course you can modify as you see fit.

Before You Start

Before you jot down the main points that you want to get across in your copy and then flesh it out, here’s a few general suggestions you might want to bear in mind to help shape your thinking.  If we remember our ‘thinking questions’, we have, in order : Who, What, Why, How, Where, When ?

WHO            … is our target client?
WHAT           … are the problems we are solving?
WHY             … do they need to buy from us (and nobody else) ?
HOW            … do we solve their problems?
WHERE         … can they buy from us?
WHEN?         … could/should they buy from us?

A – WHO?

It’s essential to know as accurately as possible who your ideal customer is. You can call this person your ‘avatar’ or your ‘Ideal Client Profile’ (ICP). There’s an old adage which is useful to remember :
“Sell to everyone and you sell to no-one”

If practical, think of an ideal client either from past clients or even ones that your competitors may have. If necessary, make one up. Imagine them in as much detail as possible. Add as much information to your vision of an ideal client as possible.

How old they are they?
What are the pain-points they face in business, surrounding their IT?
How many staff do they employ?
How tech-savvy are they?
How patient are they?
How tolerant to risk are they?
Ask yourself as many questions as are relevant here.

Here are a few suggestions that you can use to help you break-down characteristics of those ideal clients :

  • Demographics : Age, gender, education, role.
  • Firmographics : Industry, location, size, structure (e.g. business, charity, school etc)
  • Technographics : Solutions, maturity (Early-adopters, laggards etc)
  • Psychographics : Mindset, values, attitudes, aspirations, risk-profile
  • Behaviours : Buying cycle, consumption, engagement-channels
  • Budget & Purchasing Power
  • Commonalities : Commonly held challenges, pain points & opportunities

Unless you’re a startup, you can list out the top 20% of your existing clients and start to identify and write-out these commonalities.

Once you have built up your a profile (which you can improve over time) you will eventually have your ideal client. Then, whenever you are writing, imagine that you are writing specifically for that person because it makes it easier to relate to them. Give them a name!

This will help you become clear what are their needs, wants, emotions, reactions, buying-power and their concerns about buying and consequently you’ll be more effective at welling to them. Do you have multiple client types? You almost certainly will. In which case, you can identify an imaginary ‘cast’ of different prospects and write to them individually, each with a different offer or the same offer stated in a different way.


What Are The Problems You’re Offering To Solve/Start With These 10 Questions

I “borrowed” some of this list from Dan Kennedy.  It’s a great set of questions to ask yourself because answering these questions will give you a firm place to start from :

B1-What keeps them awake at night, unable to sleep, staring upwards?

B2-Do you know their fears and what they are scared of?

B3-What are they passionately angry, upset, or worried about. And with whom?

B4-List 3 things that bother them the most, daily (or regularly).

B5-When :Identify 3 trends affecting them, their business, their lives, their family.

B6-What do they really want most? What’s their guilty pleasure? What do they secretly desire?

B7-How do they bias their decisions? For example, Accountants may be drawn more to facts and figures. Similarly engineers and scientists. Review your target vertical.

B8-Do they use their own Jargon? Communicating with lawyers may be different to communicating with marketing executives or medical professionals.

B9-Who and how are other people selling to them? Identify the winners & losers?

B10-Identify what else they are investing in and why they are doing it?

The WHOLE POINT of your copy is to communicate a main message, i.e. an offer of some kind. Never forget this, otherwise you’ll drift aimlessly. Have the main message written in BOLD at the top whilst you write and this will help keep you focused on what you want to say. This message will serve as your compass to keep looking back at. Keep it short and simple and just one line for now. People won’t necessarily read this line but you’ll simply use it as an aide-memoire whilst writing your sales copy. Don’t worry if one sentence doesn’t capture all the benefits because that’s covered in the next step.

Now that you have identified your “Who” and your “What”, you can start to work towards crafting your offer to solve it, which we’ll cover next time …


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Mike Knight