The Great Incredible High Response Revenue Driving Copy Crash Course

A Quick Start Guide To Crafting High Performing Digital Copy

In this fast-start course we’ll cover 8 response boosting lessons: 




Change Makers


Prove or Die


Client Journey




Big Idea


Call To Action


Proven Formulas


Research, Research, Research

The secret to writing great copy is research.

Research is everything!

Once you have your research down, a large part of your work is done – you understand your product, you understand your prospect… and you can figure out how to present them an offer that speaks to their needs.

In fact, doing the research can be up to 80% of the work.

There are three areas of research we need to master:

  • The Product.
  • The Prospect.
  • The Market.

Let’s look at each more closely…

Start with the Product

Use it, subscribe to it, wear it, listen to it, eat it… go through the experience as if you own it.

You want to know it inside out.

Step One: List The Features

Take a pad and pen and list every single feature you can think of.

These will transform into vital parts of your copy.

Let’s do an example:

[table id=2 /]

This is a short list.

If we were doing this for real, we might find another 50+ features (the more the better). Don’t stop until you have racked your brain for every last feature.

Now, a list of features isn’t very persuasive. In fact, it’s pretty much meaningless.

To make these features grab your prospect’s attention, you have to communicate how they will benefit them.

So you need to…

Turn the features into benefits.

There are three types of benefits, and you want to express the features in terms of each:

  • Functional benefitswhat the feature does.
  • Dimensionalised benefitswhat the feature looks like in their life.
  • Emotional benefitshow the feature will make them feel.

Start with the functional benefits.

Describe what the feature does for the user…

Functional benefits:

[table id=3 /]

Turning these into copy:

  • You know Roger Federer settles for nothing but number one… so when he chooses his shoes, you can trust they are the best possible choice.
  • They wrap around your foot like a glove with Nike’s ‘Adaptive Fit Technology’.
  • Mesh upper casing lets your foot breathe for maximum comfort.

But you can take it to the next level, by showing your prospect how it will impact their life.

Describe what the features will look like in their life…

Dimensionalised Benefits:

[table id=4 /]

Now we’re talking a language your prospects understand.

Hopefully your copy is bringing the product to life.

Turning these into copy:

  1. Trouble with quick turns during extra-long rallies? The Zoom Air In The Heel supports aggressive on court movements so you can make the shot!
  2. Keep your feet fresh game-after-game with the ultra-breathable mesh upper casing.
  3. Your opponents won’t know what hit them, as you just… keep… making… it… to… the… ball – thanks to the super-springy Lunarlon cushioning.

Dimensionalised benefits paint vivid mental pictures that you reader will identify with. It shows them how the product will impact their lives.

But there’s one more level that can really pump up the purchase intention. Emotions.

Emotions are the most valuable tool a copywriter has to persuade. All decisions are made emotionally.

Decisions are made with emotions (benefits)… then are rationalized with reason (features).

Now let’s describe how the features will make them feel…

Emotional Benefits:

[table id=5 /]

Now we’re putting into words how the features will make them feel.

Turning these into copy:

  • Feel a surge of dominance run through your veins as you face your opponent armed with the weapons Roger Federer himself uses.
  • You’ll feel that extra advantage on court with springy Lunarlon cushioning, getting you off the mark quicker.
  • You can trust your Vapors will last you longer than ever before, thanks to the extra rubber weaved into high wear zones… designed specifically to defend against wear and tear.

So have you done this for every product feature? You have? Good.

Depending on the complexity of your product, you could have 20 to 200+ features listed out.

Give yourself a pat on the back, because you’ve completed a very important step…

Now you have the building blocks of your copy.

Take this list and put it on the wall – you should see inspiration for all parts of your copy – from your headlines… to your bullets… to your calls to action… and more.

You can now need to weave each benefit into your copy, starting first with the most important one.

But which benefit is the most important?

To know that… 

You will need to know:

The Prospect

Your job now is to develop an intimate understanding of the person you are selling to.

Step Two: Figure out which benefits are most desirable to your prospect, so you know which points to be stressing.

Here are the important categories to focus on:

  • Desireswhat does your prospect want?
  • Beliefswhat does your prospect believe that could influence his decision to buy?
  • Emotionshow does your prospect feel now? How does he want to feel? How does he want to avoid feeling?

There’s 4 steps to help you understand your prospect:

1. Common-sense.

2. Become an Insider.

3. Meeting Prospects.

4. Special Ninja Research.

5. Amazon.

Let’s have a look at each…

1. Common-Sense

In this approach we rely on two skills that everyone has – imagination and intuition.

Step into your prospect’s shoes.

Imagine you were in their situation:

  • What would you experience… how would you feel… what would you do?
  • What would you be thinking… where else would you look… what would be most important to you?
  • How would you make your decision?

Spend 20 minutes in your imaginary world.

Jot down everything you can think of.

This exercise works surprisingly well.

2. Become an Insider

Get inside the mind of your prospect.

Dan Kennedy shares 6 powerful steps used by successful direct marketer Jerry Jones, on how to stay in the frame of mind of the prospect:

  1. Regularly read industry publications.
  2. Spend time on forums and other websites that your prospect goes to discuss issues (this can be a goldmine).
  3. Subscribe to email groups where your prospects discuss relevant issues.
  4. Attend industry functions, seminars, conventions and trade shows.
  5. Play prospect by going through other product and service provider’s sales funnels.
  6. Collaborate in mastermind groups with your prospects and other vendors and service providers.

3. Meeting Prospects

Engage with prospects on many levels to get a deeper understanding of them:

  • Conduct customer surveys: low cost online tools like Survey Monkey can make it easy to get large volumes of feedback.
  • Speak with key sales people: sales people are masters at overcoming objections, and you need to know them all!
  • Interview customers: Spend time with prospects at the point of purchase, or call old customers.

4. Special Ninja Research – Existing Ads

Some of the best info can come from ads running in your industry.

Your prospect will be reading these ads so why aren’t you?

There’s a trick though…

Only pay attention to ads and funnels that have been running for a while – because these are making money!

Why waste time and money testing when you can take a short cut and model something successful?

Pay special attention to these element of the ad:

  • What benefits are they stressing?
  • How are they presenting their offer?
  • Is the price point competitive or premium?
  • Do they offer a guarantee? 

5. Amazon

Another incredible tool of prospect insight is Amazon. 

Let’s imagine that you’re selling a sleep aid. 

You would search Amazon for ‘sleep aid’ and review the products on the market.

Look for the products with the most reviews. 

Now, you want to pay close attention to the reviews – both positive and negative. 

Positive reviews will give you a ton of ammunition for sales copy.

Here’s an example:

Let’s count the ways we can pull copy from just 1 review:

  • “Still awake in the wee hours of the morning?”
  • “You may have tried other solutions, such as ‘anti-anxiety meds’… which may have worked once, but quickly became ineffective. What started with 1 pill… quickly spirals into 3-4.”
  • Your new routine: take 1 tablet before bed, and prepare to sleep restfully (no more tossing and turning), and wake up feeling amazing.”
  • Etc.

And we can use the negative reviews too:

Negative reviews serve up your market’s top objections on a silver platter. 

In this case, you’ll need to overcome the objection that the product will provoke ‘horrible nightmares’.

Now with these four steps you should have gotten to know your prospect.

Finally, to help you pull it all together you’ll need to look at…

The Market

Buying decisions don’t happen in a vacuum… and things that affect your market, also affect your prospect.

So pay attention to what’s going on in your market.

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Are there any major news or events that you could play off?
  • Are there legislative changes you need to be aware of?
  • Do any of these impact your prospects lives in a way that strengthens your offer to them?
  • How are your prospects buying – how are they most comfortable buying (ie in store vs online)?
  • What are your competitors doing?
  • What are your competitors doing who are selling across different mediums (ie if they sell in store, while you sell online).

These will give you a good grounding to what’s going on in the industry.

Again, this is all about stepping into the mind of the prospect. If you were your prospect – consider everything they are considering, look at the offers they are looking at.

Try to figure out, as your prospect would… which product / service / company / offer you would go with that would bring you the greatest satisfaction / value / benefit.

If you do this step regularly you’ll keep your finger on the pulse of your industry.

You’ll be 10 steps ahead in identifying trends in the market… so you can be well positioned to deal with them, or take advantage of them.

I want to close out this lesson with a quote from the great Gary Bencivenga. 

Here’s something you should keep in mind with every piece of marketing material you write: 

“The vast majority of products/services are sold because of the need for love, the fear of shame, the pride of achievement, the drive for recognition, the yearning to feel important, the urge to look attractive, the lust for power, the longing for romance, the need to feel secure, the terror of facing the unknown, the lifelong hunger for self-esteem and so on.”

Gary Bencivenga, one of the greatest living copywriters.

Practical exercise:

To close out this lesson, grab a coffee and run through these questions when thinking about one of your Ideal Clients:

  • What keeps them AWAKE at night staring at the ceiling?
  • What causes them PAIN? (socially, monetarily, health, etc.)
  • What are they AFRAID of?
  • What HUMILIATES them?
  • Who are they FURIOUS with, who makes their blood boil?
  • What do they VALUE most in life?
  • What is their most URGENT need right now?
  • What things FRUSTRATE them the most each day?
  • What do they WANT more than anything?
  • What Sex, Age, Life Stage, Career, Education Level, Religion, Geographic Area are they?
  • What do they secretly FANTASIZE about having more of in life?
  • What kind of SLANG do they use?
  • What Books, TV Shows, Movies, Music do they consume?
  • Who ELSE is successfully selling to them?
  • What do they COMPLAIN about to their friends?

Complete these questions and you’ll have come a very long way in putting together the building blocks for great copy.


Change Makers

As you consider how to market your business, you may be asking yourself: 

  • How do I attract more attention and interest? 
  • Where should I promote my business?
  • What forms of marketing and/or advertising should I use?

These are all valuable strategic questions to ask, however to answer them there are two fundamental questions that need to be answered first:

  1. Who is my ideal client?
  2. What does my Ideal Client really want?

Answer these two questions, and everything else becomes clear.

In this lesson you’ll learn: 

  • Why what you’re really selling really isn’t your product or service at all!
  • How to discover the deeper benefits of what you offer to your clients (& get clear on the REAL value you deliver).

Let’s dive in…

Our job as change makers.

You might look at your services list and think, for example: 

“Yeah, I sell financial advice strategies, financing, and retirement planning services”.

And while there’s truth to that… 

There’s a deeper layer to consider. 

Because people don’t often wake up and exclaim, “I need a retirement plan!”.

Rather, they feel it. 

  • They feel the dread of running out of money in retirement.
  • They feel the fear of not providing for their family.
  • They feel the longing for approval from their children.
  • They feel need to be better than their peers.
  • Etc. 

A better way of digging into the value that you provide, is to think of yourself as a change maker:

People are looking to transform: 

  • From where they are now… to where they want to be.
  • From how they feel now (negative state)… to how they imagine their ideal life to be (positive state).
  • From who they are now… to who they want to be.
  • And so on.

Focus on illuminating their path. 

Be the one to clearly articulate:

  • You know where they are now (their current state).
  • You understand where they want to go (their ideal state).
  • You have a proven way for them to get there.

A sidebar on belief: For someone to make a buying decision, they need several levels of believe. They need to believe in your brand / team. They need to believe in the product / service. And they need to believe in themselves.

Back to the customer’s journey:

The gap between where they are now and where they want to be…

(The amount of pain they’re in now, vs how they will feel to overcome that pain)

…Dictates how emotionally compelling it is…

Which has a direct effect on how much they’re willing to pay to solve that problem or achieve that goal!

How to map your customer’s ‘before and after’ journey.

In the first lesson we talked about the different types of benefits a product / service offers. 

This helps you connect with them on an emotional level.

In other words, speak right to their heart. 

Here are the different types of benefits again: 

  • The general benefit: derived from a feature of the product/service.
  • The emotional benefit: how that makes them feel.
  • The dimensionalised benefit: how that impacts their day-today life.
  • And now, the ultimate benefit: how that changes their identity.

Notice that each layer gets deeper and deeper into the psyche of a person. 

Here’s another financial example: 

  • Feature / product / service: Mortgage refinancing.
  • General benefit: Shave 5+ years off your mortgage by refinancing to the best rate. 
  • Emotional benefit: Feel freer faster by getting ‘in control’ of your mortgage.
  • Dimensionalised benefit: Imagine the day you deposit your very last mortgage payment, and the freedom of those extra 5 years of no payments. What will you do? Overseas holidays, new cars, treat your spouse?
  • Ultimate benefit: Be one of the few savvy homeowners who have paid their home off sooner & owe nothing to the bank!

Now if you compare the following ad headlines, which do you think will get more attention? 

  • Mortgage Refinancing: We’ll Get You the Best Rate, Guaranteed!
  • Consumer Report: 1 Simple Strategy (the Banks Deliberately Hide) That Savvy Homeowners Are Using to Slash 12+ Years Off Their Mortgage & Be Freer Faster!

My bet would be on the second one.

Practical exercise:

To complete this lesson, clear on the change you offer to your clients’ lives, with a copy of my Change Grid. 

Download a free copy of ‘The Change Grid’ today and get clarity on what you’re really selling:

Click here to get your hands on the Change Grid (free instant access).


Prove or Die

Here’s a secret that will transform your copy:

People don’t trust you.

Let me clarify.

People who don’t know you, don’t trust you.

It’s basic human nature.

And it’s easy to see why when you look at your prospect’s lives.

We’re all continually bombarded with ads and sales messages. 

The New York Times reported back in 2007 that we encounter around 5,000 sales messages daily.

Who knows what that number is up to today.

With the sheer amount of messages fighting for our attention… on the radio… in the paper… in your inbox… on the other end of the phone… we’ve had to learn an important new skill:

Selective attention.

Think about it as a consumer – how are you going to decide which of those 5,000+ daily messages to give your attention to?

Obviously you can’t pay attention to all (or even a fraction) of the messages which come your way.

Doing so would take up ALL of your time.

So which of those messages should you pay attention to (and believe enough), to act on?

While there are many factors involved in making a purchase decision, and the complete set of buying criteria will differ from person to person…

One psychological phenomenon that we all go through is the evaluation of risk.

When it comes to making a purchase decision, one of the strongest barriers is:

Perceived risk.

  • The risk of finding out the product or service doesn’t live up to its promise.
  • The risk of seeing the same thing around the corner on sale for a cheaper price.
  • The risk of the product sitting on the shelf gathering dust.
  • The risk of trying it… and failing. 
  • And so on.

Perceived risk is one of the most prevalent, dominant fears.

It’s often an unconscious fear, something we attribute to common sense or instinct.

So as consumers, to combat this psychological risk we feel, we’ve learnt to be savvier about our decision making.

We’ve learnt to seek out…


From the moment your prospects come into contact with you, they intuitively look for signs of proof.

They want to be sure that your product or service will live up to its promise.

(After all anyone can make a bold promise).

Just look at all the crazy promises you see splashed across the internet.

Of course, not everyone can deliver on those promises.

So as consumers, we’ve learnt to look for proof signals.

These help us weed out the good guys from the bad.

Which is great news for marketers.

Because there’s a reliable set of proof elements that we can use in our marketing (revealed in the Exercise below).

So just remember this mantra:

“Every promise needs to be proven.”

In the first 2 lessons, you mapped out the benefits of your product or service, and how it transforms your clients’ lives.

These are your promises.

Now these promises need to be backed up with proof.

Aside from proof elements, there’s another important way you can reduce your customers’ perceived risk…

The risk free guarantee.

Move the risk from them, onto you.

Take away their risk by guaranteeing your performance.

In essence, put your money where you mouth is.

By being willing to risk real, tangible money to prove your promise is believable…

You build credibility.

And you boost trust.

How powerful is it?

Domino’s built an empire – from a single shop catering to college students… to the $1.98+ billion company it is today – on the back of a simple guarantee:

“Pizza delivered hot to your door, in 30 minutes or less, or you don’t pay!”  

Guarantees have been proven split-test, after split-test, to lift the response of advertising.

Here’s the thing:

If your product is subpar or the service is lacking… how long will you really be in business?

(Think about the devastating power of Google reviews for local businesses).

There’s no good argument to not guaranteeing your work.

So use it as a key element in your sales messages.

Practical exercise:

Let’s look at 25 of the strongest forms of proof you can display in your marketing.

Because we live in a cynical world, we must back up every promise we make with proof

…So that it’s believable for our prospects.

Think where, and how, you might be able to use these forms of proof in your copy:

  • 1. Admit a fault of your product
    • One way to very effectively position yourself as believable is by leading with a limitation.
    • Research by Robert Cialdini (The Laws Of Influence) have proven that when salesmen lead the selling process with a fault first, people are more willing to believe the promise (because they already assume his honesty). The trick it not to admit a fault that would be a deal breaker to your customers.
  • 2. Associations
    • Associations, industry bodies, accreditatory bodies – they have a certain an air of authority and trustworthiness. Luckily you can piggyback on that trust, and have it subconsciously transferred onto your brand – all by simply showcasing their logos on your website.
  • 3. Awards
    • Industry awards are a great form of social proof, as consumers will more readily trust an ‘award winner’. If you do happen to receive an award, you can henceforth to refer to yourself as an “award winning firm”. Pretty cool 😉
  • 4. Before and after
    • Before and after stories are great forms of social proof because they highlight the journey that your Ideal Client will embark upon.
    • Remember, our role as business owners is to be change makers in the lives of your clients. This type of content allows the reader to visualise themselves in the story, and start to imagine taking their own journey with you.
  • 5. Case studies
    • Like Before and After stories, Case Studies are one of the most powerful tools to build trust. Nothing quite works like a detailed Case Study which your Ideal Clients can really relate to. This is a go-to strategy!
  • 6. Client list
    • Have you worked with other clients, or high profile brands? Great, feature them on your website. People are social creatures, tending to more easily trust those who demonstrate that other people already trust them.
  • 7. Client reviews
    • What do you think is more believable, saying “I’m the greatest” (sorry Muhammad Ali 😉), or someone else saying “this guy is the greatest”?
    • Social proof online is becoming very important for rankings in Google and Google Maps. A long term business strategy should be consistently capture and publish positive client testimonials.
  • 8. Comparisons
    • Comparisons are an easy way to condense your knowledge about a given platform, tool or service. You can also offer comparisons of your service vs the service of your competitors – especially if it helps your clients make a more informed decision about working with you.
  • 9. Demonstration
    • No argument in the world can ever compare with one dramatic demonstration” – Claude Hopkins.
    • How can you demonstrate visually, or otherwise, that your product or service provides the benefits that you promise?
  • 10. Empathy
    • The best marketing demonstrates empathy for the client, after all your clients are generally focused on “What’s in it for me?”. So a powerful way to build trust is to focus on what your ideal clients are thinking, and answering their questions.
    • Pro tip: use your Frequently Asked Questions to comprehensively answer questions and overcome common objections.
  • 11. Explain the specifics
    • Get into the details of your offer. You can go a long way to prove your expertise if you delve into the specifics.
    • Details and specific information is a lot more believable then vague statements. This applies as well to testimonials.
    • It is much more persuasive for a testimonial to read ‘Following Jenny’s health plan I lost 9.5kg in 6 weeks, while exercising 3 times per week for just 30 minutes‘, than ‘Jenny helped me lose weight‘.
  • 12. PR & media exposure
    • Like our other social proof methods (client reviews, testimonials, industry awards, etc.), you can “borrow” the trust from well known publications.
    • If you’ve been featured in any media publications, make sure you share it in your marketing!
  • 13. Reasons Why
    • Get into the habit of explaining the reason why you’re doing something.
    • Rather than saying ‘you can now get 20% off‘, it’s much more powerful to say ‘to celebrate the anniversary of your two years with us, we’d like to offer you 20% off when you buy this month‘.
  • 14. Research
    • Providing well researched content is an excellent way to build trust as it proves your expertise, educate and delivers value to your readers. You can publish well researched content in the form of articles and blogs, emails, special reports, case studies, market forecasts, videos and more.
  • 15. Social media proof
    • Being the social creatures that we are, people look to see what other people like. If you have a strong social following, make sure to leverage it in your content and marketing campaigns.
  • 16. Team experience
    • Do you have a team with incredible professional experience? Make sure you leverage it on your website by featuring the team.
    • You can take it further by providing a short summary and pepper in some personal bits and pieces – make your team relatable!
  • 17. Testimonials
    • Testimonials are an important part of proving your promise.
    • Tied into the psychological principle The Law Of Social Proof, we often look to others to get our queues on how to act.
    • “If the product works for others then it may work for me too”.
  • 18. Tools
    • Tools, templates, forms and done-for-you documents are a great way to deliver value to your Ideal Clients and help move them towards their goals. Like in this example, tools can not only build trust, but they can be used as a lead generation strategy.
  • 19. Track record
    • If your firm has an outstanding track record in the industry, make sure that you feature it in your content. Like industry associations and social proof, people tend to trust people who already have a lot of people that trust them.
  • 20. Trust seals
    • Authoritative industry bodies, accreditations, seals of approval, media mentions – these are all valuable forms of social proof that quickly influence a visitors perception of your trustworthiness.
  • 21. Useful resources
    • You can share your expertise, deliver value and build trust by helping your prospects and clients. Sharing valuable resources you’ve accumulated over your professional life is a great way to do it.
  • 22. Valuable content
    • Content in the form of written words, articles, tools, templates, reports, audio and video can all be used to showcase your expertise and build trust with readers. It’s what you’re reading right now 😉
  • 23. Video
    • There’s nothing quite like getting on video and sharing who you are and what you can do for your Ideal Clients. Viewers can get a sense of who you are and what it will be like to work with you.
  • 24. Visualisations
    • Online content gives you the fantastic flexibility to visualise the strategy and ideas you want to convey. Use visualisations to bring and idea to life and simplify a complex topic.
  • 25. Webinars
    • Lastly, webinars are fantastic long-form formats (either video, or screen-share), in which you can dive deep on a topic and your prospects can spend time with you to get to know you. They’re great for lead generation, building trust, and qualifying prospects before you even take a phone call.


Client Journey

What do the world’s top performing companies all have in common?

They have well-honed customer journeys.

If your customer journey strategy is on point, you’re able to:

  • Attract and engage with qualified prospects that are likely to be your Ideal Clients.
  • Generate subscribers and build your list.
  • Nurture these prospects to build trust (so when the time comes, they choose you).
  • Seamlessly move opportunities through a structured sales pathway.
  • Once they’re clients, proceed to onboard, delight and retain them long-term.

Best of all:

With today’s low-cost marketing automation tech, all of these stages can be highly automated.

In this lesson, you’ll learn exactly what an optimized customer journey looks like, and how to implement it.

We’ll cover:

  • The main stages of your customer journey.
  • Attracting ideal clients on the front end.
  • Converting more leads into sales opportunities.
  • Driving client acquisition at the bottom of the funnel.-

The Client Journey Framework.

This framework “greases the slide”

…Making it easy for a new prospect to go from “not even knowing who you are (Unaware)”… 

…To becoming a “delighted client (Retain)”.

The goal:

A pathway that removes friction using content, technology and processes…

To convert visitors into customers as fast as possible!

As a plus:

This framework helps reduce missed opportunities or ‘leaks in the bucket’ at any stage of the journey…

Because each stage is measurable.

Let’s review each stage: 


  • Your Ideal Clients don’t know you or what you do.
  • They may find you through a piece of content (blog post, social post, social ad, video, etc.).


  • They’re beginning to engage with your content (usually focussed on their problem or goal).
  • They may search Google for a solution, read a blog post, a social post, social ad, or click a remarketing ad.


  • Now prospects want to know more about you, or solutions to their problems / goal.
  • They may download a lead magnet, join your email newsletter, follow you on socials, read your email nurture series, consume more content.


  • Here they’re actively considering you and how you can help solve their problems / achieve their goals.
  • They may book an initial consultation, request pricing, read reviews or case studies, complete your need analysis, or book a goals setting session.


  • Now they’re actively considering your solution or strategy.
  • They may be reviewing your proposal or strategy, reviewing your catalogues or product pages, and making a decision to buy.


  • Here they have decided to become your client.
  • They make a financial commitment to engage your business, and begin using your products or services.


  • At this point they decide to stay your client.
  • They make a financial commitment to continue engaging you, they may recommend and advocate you, and refer their family and friends.

Now you can probably tell from reading through these stages, that the context of your relationship changes at each stage.

That means that the content, the messaging, topics, the types and formats of content all need to align with where the prospect is in stage of the journey.

The Ideal Client Journey maps perfectly onto the 3 Pillars of your Sales Funnel:

Which is helpful because:

It gives us 3 clear KPIs to measure at each stage of the funnel: 

  • Top of the Funnel: number of visitors we generate.
  • Middle of the Funnel: number of visitors we convert into leads.
  • Bottom of the Funnel: number of leads we convert into customers.

Attracting ideal clients at the top of the funnel.

Goal: attract more visits to your content.

The Unaware and the Engage stages are about getting prospects (who are likely to be your Ideal Clients) to discover you and start engaging with your brand. 

Since we started talking about retirement plans and financial advice in an earlier lesson, let’s continue with this theme.  

If you’re a financial advisor, remember:

People aren’t necessarily waking up in the morning and thinking, “Damn, I need a better risk index on my portfolio”, or “I wonder who’s the best financial adviser in my city?”.

They can definitely have these thoughts, but they probably happen more often in a different stage (for example, when they’re actively evaluating your company in the Evaluate stage). 

So to capture attention in these earlier stages, its best to focus on topics, problems and goals that are already in the minds of your Ideal Clients. 

Having a deep understanding of your Ideal Clients is critical to do this (which is why we spent lesson 1 exploring it). 

But for the sake of this example, you could use content based on any common financial goal that your Ideal Client has: 

  • Streamlining finances
  • Managing money better
  • Becoming debt free
  • Buying a home
  • Planning for the future
  • Building wealth
  • Upgrading their home
  • Upgrading car(s)
  • Etc.

Or you could focus on a pain point:

  • Too much debt
  • Lack of knowledge
  • New relationship
  • Limited income
  • New children
  • Unclear on goals
  • Facing bankruptcy
  • Etc. 

Writing copy with this type of focus effectively ‘meets the prospect where they are in their mind’ – a technique proven to attract more attention.

Think about it: 

When most financial advisers are going to market with: 

“Here’s my awards”, or “This is why my team is so great”…

And your prospects are thinking – “So… what?”…

You’ll be focusing on topics that are near and dear to their heart and actually important to them. 


“7 signs you won’t retire with as much money as you want – and what you can do about it NOW”.

In the top of the funnel activity, the following content types work well: 

  • Blogs and articles
  • Videos 
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Social posts

And if don’t have a huge following already?

Don’t worry, I’ve ran many successful ad campaigns promoting great content to a cold audience (using Facebook or LinkedIn advertising).

It’s a fantastic way to increase your reach and attract new prospects.

Converting more leads in the middle of the funnel.

Goal: convert more leads.

At this point, prospects are visiting your website or social platforms.

Now it’s about converting them into subscribers.

This is crucial because research shows it takes 7-15 exposures to a brand for most people to build enough trust to buy.

And still, the most cost-effective marketing channel is email.

(Email is more valuable than ever with an ROI of $42 for every dollar spent. Up from $38 in 2018 – Litmus).

So it’s all about getting them onto the list. 

This is why you’ll hear the words ‘conversion design’‘lead magnets’’conversion rate optimisation’ said often by savvy marketers – 

Because if you can’t convert a visitor into a subscriber, you can’t move them down your funnel.

In the Engage and Subscribe stages… 

Prospect may not have an interest in doing business with you – yet. 

They may just be exploring their problem, and starting to think about potential solutions and strategies…

…Not about how well YOU can deliver the solution.

That’s why it’s not great to go to market to a cold audience with copy that’s very ‘YOU-focused’ (about your business).

Instead focus on the Ideal Client’s life, and how you can help them get what they want.

For the Subscribe stage, the following content types are most important:

  • Lead magnets

And once a prospect has subscribed:

  • Email newsletters
  • Marketing automation email series

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a premium piece of content that you offer in exchange for your reader’s name and email address.

Think of it as an “ethical bribe” to win the permission to begin marketing to them in a more personal way (email or social).

For example, this is a lead magnet that’s highly targeted to their Ideal Clients:

Btw, did you notice a lead magnet at the end of lesson #2? 😉

Once you have someone subscribed onto your email list, the goal is to move them into the ‘Evaluate’ stage.

You do that by providing value over time to build a trusted relationship.

The lead nurturing strategy is executed via a marketing automation platform or CRM. For example, Active Campaign, Mail Chimp, Salesforce, etc.

Since email is (by far) the most cost-effective marketing channel, and the ROI is so high ($42 to every $1 spent)… 

It makes sense to allocate significant marketing budget to this stage. 

The majority of the clients I’ve worked who are doing over 6-figures in revenue each month all send daily emails to their list. 

2 strategies to consider:

  1. Send engaging (story driven) emails daily.
  2. Develop a pre-programmed Introductory Series of 8-10 emails.

An Introductory Series is a series of carefully planned sales emails designed to:

  • Connect with prospects on their level (express you understand their current situation).
  • Tell your story and relate to their situation (building trust).
  • Exacerbate their pain (making their situation more dire). 
  • Paint a picture of their dream outcome (what their life will be like after).
  • Explain how you’re going to take them from their current situation to their dream outcome (your process). 
  • Prove your expertise and build belief (by sharing success stories and testimonials).
  • Overcome key sales objections.
  • Make an offer to buy from you (inducing urgency to act). 

Driving client acquisition at the bottom of the funnel.

Goal: convert more clients.

So how do you know when someone on your list is ready for a sales conversation? 

By sharing the right content and making the right Call to Actions (CTAs) to ask prospects to move ahead. 

Here are some effective content offers to move clients through the ‘Evaluate’ stage and into ‘Purchase’:

  • Case studies.
  • Before and after client stories.
  • Video testimonials.
  • Detailed content on your product / services.
  • What makes your brand different.
  • Product brochures and catalogues. 
  • Etc.

Notice how these are more ‘YOU-focused’ at this stage?

In these pieces of content, you want to be making the right Calls to Action to move prospects to purchase.

For service based businesses: 

  • A free discovery call.
  • A 15 minute Q&A call.
  • A free phone consultation.
  • An online introductory meeting.
  • Etc.

For product based businesses:

  • Buy now.
  • Trial offers.
  • Coupons and deals. 
  • Etc.

Finally, once you have a paying client, you’ll want to leverage the relationship with automated campaigns:

  • Onboarding campaigns to make sure they have everything they need.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) campaigns to measure client happiness.
  • Review request campaigns to drive positive word of mouth.
  • Referral campaigns to reward introducing their family and friends.

Ok I hope this lesson has given you clarity into your Ideal Client’s Journey. 

Let’s map it out step-by-step in this lesson’s exercise:

Practical exercise:

Complete an audit of your own Ideal Client Journey. Take a look at each stage of the journey, noting:

  • Existing content assets for each stage. 
  • Content gaps that need to be fixed.
  • Existing KPI performance through the journey.
  • Automation tools / platform requirements. 
  • Automations required to move prospects through the journey.

The result of building out the Ideal Client Journey is an automated and scalable ‘sales engine’ that does the hard selling for you. 

If you need help planning the messaging or writing your copy, be sure to reach out. 



So far we’ve covered a lot strategic ground.

That’s because: 

It doesn’t matter how good your copy is, if the strategy sucks… 

You’re doomed. 

So now we’re ready to turn our attention to the act of writing copy. 

Step one, is what I think of as the basis for effective writing:


You’ve probably heard of the K.I.S.S. principle.

Keep It Super Simple.

Nothing benefits from K.I.S.S. more than copy.

The goal of written communication.

Let’s bring it back to square one.

What is the goal of written communication?

Scratch that.

What is the goal of communication, in general?

I’ll let you in on a definition that I love, from the legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz.

(Note: many people talk about Schwartz’s famous book, “Breakthrough Advertising”. And rightly so, it’s exceptional. But there’s another of Eugene’s books which I think is even better. It’s called “The Brilliance Breakthrough: How to Talk and Write So That People Will Never Forget You”. Currently selling on Amazon for $497.)

Here’s the definition of communication from his book:

‘To convey a thought from one person’s mind to another’.

That’s it.

It’s all about clarity.

The clearer your message is, the easier readers understand.

That means:

Short sentences.

Easy words.

Higher comprehension.

You can think about it in the opposite:

Have you ever read a PhD dissertation?

In an attempt to sound intelligent, they’ll string together a sentence that’s a paragraph long.

You have to read it 3 times to understand the point.

This is the exact opposite of what we need to do in advertising copy.

In marketing, if you confuse people, or you make it hard to read, you lose people.

When you lose people, you lose money.

Simple as that.

So continuing with the K.I.S.S. principle, it’s going to be a short and sweet lesson!

Move on to the exercise below to see how to put this into practice.

Practical exercise:

Aim to write at a 6th grade level or below. 

Break up any sentence with more than one thought, into two separate sentences. 

It will be easier to comprehend. 

Use simple words. 

Don’t use complicated words that some of your audience won’t understand.

Break up long paragraphs that look intimidating to read. 

Use plenty of bullets, lists, images and sub-headlines throughout.

Make your copy scannable.

Aim to make it as easy as humanly possible to understand your message. 

Use Hemmingway App to grade your writing difficulty. 

Here’s how the app graded this lesson ;)


Big Idea

Now we’re diving into the crux of conversion. 

The ‘Big Idea’ or ‘Value Proposition’ or ‘Unique Mechanism’ or ‘USP’ (unique selling proposition)…

Can be applied to all of the following: 

  • Your brand.
  • Your products. 
  • Specific promotions (think sales pages).
  • Ads. 

In fact, you can use the ‘Big Idea’ to hone the performance of any promotional copy you write.

In this lesson we’ll dive into developing your Big Idea in a way that logically (and emotionally) sets you apart from the competition. 

What is a Big Idea?

Your Big Idea is the ‘single thought’ or ‘hook’ that gives the reader a Unique Reason Why they’ll believe in your offer.

Think of it as a ‘thought virus’. 

Like a meme that once heard or read, can’t get out of your mind.  

It’s the sort of thing that people might pepper into conversation at cocktail parties…

“You know, I’m doing this new workout regime called ‘German Body Composition’. By doing these lower body exercises combined with a specific upper body exercise right after… increases lactate, which spikes growth hormone. Together these ramp up fat burning like nothing else I’ve tried!”

(Someone who reads a sales letter explaining this type of training could be a chance to be telling people about it years later).

The kind of ideas that trends are built on. 


  • Keto diet: put your body into ‘ketosis’ to force it to use body fat as the primary fuel source.
  • Crypto: fiat currency is no longer based on any ‘real value’ (no longer gold backed), now blockchain technology can be used to remove central banks from the monetary supply. 
  • Dollar Shave Club: why pay up to $20 for a few blades, when you can have them delivered to your door for just $1?

Now, the more unique you make your Big Idea, the better it’ll do. Let’s say that you’re selling a dieting book, you can’t just say: 

‘You’ve got to burn more calories than you consume’ – Yawwwn. 

People have heard that one before (it’s not unique).

Ok, so how do you craft your Big Idea?

Introducing my 3C’s formula…

3C’s to a high converting Big Idea.

Now you want your Big Idea to be something ‘eyebrow raising’. So it should be presented in a way that’s never been heard before. Unique!  

The 3C’s will help you do it: 


It’s got to be easy to understand and share. The idea should have clarity.. Ideally it can be explained in 1-2 sentences. Remember last lesson, K.I.S.S.?


It needs to have that ‘Wow – I didn’t know that!’ factor. You want people to think they’ve just learnt something really interesting. The kinda of thing they’re dying to tell their best friend. 


Remember lesson #3? Every promise needs to be proven. You can’t just make up a Big Idea out of thin air, you need to be able to backup the claim. You want the idea to make sense to the reader’s heart AND mind. 

Now here’s an (almost evil) way to supercharge your Big Idea…

Combine your Big Idea with a Big Problem.

Here’s where things get criminally persuasive.

You can improve the pulling power of a Big Idea by combining it with a Big Problem.

Big Problem: the single thing they’ve been missing that’s been holding them back all this time.

That your prospects are 97% of the way there, and they just need this little nudge.

This does two powerful things psychologically:

  1. Implies that the solution is EASY (just 3% more, right?).
  2. Conveys that their lack of results is NOT their fault (they were only missing this 1 piece of critical information).

An example:

Let’s say you’re selling a sleep supplement.

Your Big Problem could be new research that proves how a certain ‘sleep hormone’ controls your wakefulness (when this is out of balance, it literally forces you to be wide awake). 

So your Big Idea is how your product naturally balances this ‘bad sleep hormone’ allowing the user to enter deep sleep faster, and stay there longer throughout the night.

See how they work hand in hand?

Practical exercise:

I’ve found that the #1 way to develop my skills in coming up with Big Ideas is by reviewing winning promotions.

Attempt to review these promotions that’ve made millions and reverse engineer their Big Idea.

Now, I’m not going to make it easy for you and tell you what the Big Ideas are… they’re for you to figure out! ;)

Here’s a few promos that have slayed the competition:


Call To Action

In lesson #4 we discussed the Client Journey (how to systematically move prospects closer to becoming customers). 

In order to do that, every piece of copy in each stage of the Client Journey must include a Call To Action (CTA). 

Strong CTAs are what separate brand advertisers from direct response. 

(Or in other words, millions of dollars of ad spend with no trackable results, versus seeing the exact ROI from a media spend). 

In every piece of copy (be it a Facebook Ad, article, email or webpage) you need to be directing the reader to take the next step. 

Let’s look at an example to explain why. 

These are two real websites selling accounting software. 

First up, LedgerSMB:

Next, FreshBooks:

Now let me ask you:

Which of these do you think produces more leads?

The answer should be obvious.

A site with a clear Call To Action will always generate more leads than a site that makes it difficult for a visitor to know the next step to take.

Starting out by deciding on the action you want the user to take will help you…

Design high-converting webpages.

Take the time to define the user-behaviour goal of each page on your website.

Some possible goals include:

  • Clicking through to another page (i.e. from the homepage to a product page).
  • Requesting an information / pricing pack / quote.
  • Joining your email newsletter. 
  • Purchasing a product.
  • And so on. 

Once you’ve set the goal for each page…

Everything on the page (copy and design) needs to be geared towards persuading the user to take that action.

You have to look at each element on the page, and ask yourself:

‘Is this making visitors more likely to take my goal action?’

If not, it needs to go.

If your goal is to generate leads for your business, then it’s best practice to dedicate a single page to the job. 

That’s where a Conversion Landing Page comes in.

The reason Conversion Landing Pages are so effective at generating leads is that they strip away all the unessential elements.

There are no links that click off the page, there’s no cluttered information to confuse the user, there’s no-where else for the user to go. 

The user faces only two choices: 

Complete your desired action, or leave.

Here’s an example of a simple but effective Conversion Landing Page offering a free report in exchange for visitor’s contact details:

Notice how there’s nothing on this page to distract the user from filling out the form. 

All navigation and links are removed – leaving just compelling copy featuring an offer that resonates with the prospect.

Once the form is filled out, the backend systems take care of the notification and delivery.

  • The system registers the new lead and notifies the website owner instantly. 
  • The prospect gets a confirmation email, and is automatically emailed a copy of their free report.

Can you see how this system, coupled with a compelling premium content offer, could help you generate more leads?

Bottom line: 

If you don’t have clear and prominent CTAs on every page of your site, you’re missing out on moving more prospects down your Client Journey.

What CTA to use, when.

Since CTAs are heavily context driven, they will depend on your type of business, and where your prospect is in the Client Journey.

Here’s how your CTAs might change depending on the industry:

What CTA to use, when.

Since CTAs are heavily context driven, they will depend on your type of business, and where your prospect is in the Client Journey.

Here’s how your CTAs might change depending on the industry:

  • General: Learn More, See More, See How, Start, Find Out, Check it Out, Click Here, Discover Now.
  • Lead Magnet: Download Now, Get The Guide, Grab It Here, Claim Your Copy.
  • E-commerce: Shop Now, Buy, Order, Reserve, Save, Add to Cart.
  • SaaS: Try, Get Started, Subscribe, Sign Up.
  • Service business: Strategy Session, Discovery Call, Free Consultation, Free Quote. 
  • Newsletter: Subscribe, Join, Sign Up.
  • Non-profit: Donate, Commit, Volunteer, Adopt, Give, Support.

Then when you consider the contextual stages of the Client Journey:

  • Unaware: Read More, Learn More, See Now, Discover Here.
  • Engage: Check Out This Related Article, Share With Your Friends, Follow Us On Facebook.
  • Subscribe: Join Our Newsletter, Subscribe Now, Download Lead Magnet, Attend Webinar.
  • Evaluate: See Case Study, Read Testimonials, Book Discovery Call, Read Frequently Asked Questions, Download Pricing Guide, Request Catalogue.
  • Purchase: Strategy Session, Discovery Call, Free Consultation, Free Quote, Shop Now, Buy, Order, Reserve, Save, Add to Cart, Review Proposal.
  • Onboard: Book Kick-Off Meeting, Review Onboarding Guide.
  • Retain: Review Our Service, Leave a Testimonial, Refer a Friend, Become an Affiliate, Checkout This Related Product.

Anatomy of an action-inducing CTA.

Generally speaking, the best CTAs are benefit driven. 

It expresses what the reader will gain from taking that action. 

Remember the acronym, WIIFM. 

‘What’s In It For Me?’. 

That’s the sub-conscious check we’re all performing, all the time. 

We want to make sure that what we’re paying attention to (or reading, or subscribing to, or purchasing) is going to enrich our life. 

So knowing this, which of these links to a new blog post do you think would perform better?

‘Read my article’.


‘Discover a (surprising legal) way to slash your tax to 10%’.

The ‘So What?’ test.

I’ll wrap up this lesson with this useful practice.

It can be applied to all copy, and works well with CTAs too. 

Read your CTA and if it makes you roll your eyes a little, and think ‘So what?’… then it needs work! 

Practical exercise:

If you aren’t using Call To Actions in your marketing materials, it’s likely that you’re letting opportunities fall through the cracks. 

Your exercise in this lesson is to review your Ideal Client Journey and ensure that each marketing asset has clear and compelling CTAs that move prospects logically to the next stage of the journey:

  • Social posts.
  • Digital Ads (PPC & banner ads).
  • Blog posts / articles.
  • Webpages.
  • Lead magnets.
  • Automated emails.
  • Email newsletters.
  • And so on.


Proven Formulas

No one like those blank page blues. 

So to close out this fast-start copy course, I wanted to share my fav ‘go-to’ copy formulas. 

Use these proven frameworks to speed up your writing process.

Let’s dive in…


This is the all-time classic. 





First, you’ve got to grab their Attention

A question that speaks to the conversation going on in their mind can work really well:

Then hold their Interest

Here’s where your lead comes in. 

Stories can work well here, since we’re all hardwired to listen to a good yarn. 
In this part of the formula you want to connect with their current situation.

Vividly describing their current challenges helps prospects believe that you understand their pain. 

(If you understand their pain, it’s more believable that you’ve got a solution that works).

It’s also an opportunity to press on that pain a little harder, make them feel the urgency to getting this problem solved.
The best copy is going to feel like a knife going into their stomach, then being twisted ruthlessly.
Next, drive up Desire
Here’s where you explain how your product (service / business / solution) will help them get what they want. 
Paint the picture of their ideal life (remember lesson #2 – Change Makers).  

Describe, in dripping detail, what their life will be like after.

That’s how you’ll get them roused up and ready to go!

Maybe this is why case studies, reviews and testimonials work so well. 

(Because they combine Proof with visualising the change they want, thus stoking Desire). 

Finally, it’s time to close the deal with Action.

I don’t have a lot to say on this, except to checkout the previous lesson ;)

The Hero’s Journey.

I love this story telling structure.

It’s an archetypal story framework that’s been true since the stone age… and will still be true 2,000 years time from now. 

Here’s the structure (I’ve slightly shortened to be relevant for marketing purposes): 

  • Hero has a call to live his dream.
  • Hero refuses the call (self-doubt).
  • Hero meets a mentor that gives him tools.
  • Hero embarks on quest. 
  • Road of trials and tribulations. 
  • Hero achieves his dream. 

Now let’s think about it in the context of Star Wars:

  1. Luke lives with his aunt and uncle on a farm, dreaming of “teleporting off this rock”.
  2. R2-D2 plays Luke a message of distress from Princess Leia.
  3. Luke isn’t thrilled about leaving his home planet.
  4. Obi-Wan Kenobi convinces Luke to follow his heart by showing him his father’s lightsaber.
  5. Luke and Obi-Wan leave Mos Eisley for Alderaan.
  6. Leia’s rescue from the Death Star, and later, Luke using the Force to destroy the Death Star.
  7. Luke joins the rebels and decides to become a Jedi.
How about another movie?

The Matrix:
  1. Thomas Anderson is a bored computer programmer by day and the hacker “Neo” by night.
  2. Neo receives a message promising him that everything is not as it seems. He is told to “follow the white rabbit”.
  3. Neo isn’t sure if Trinity is telling him the truth. He allows himself to be captured.
  4. Morpheus gives Neo a choice: the blue pill if he wants to return to his old life, or the red pill, if he wants to know the truth.
  5. Neo chooses the red pill and is shown what the Matrix is.
  6. Neo struggles to accept his new role but ultimately learns to become who he was meant to be, defeating Agent Smith inside the Matrix and saving Morpheus.
  7. Neo tells the machines he will defeat them and save humanity.
(Now that you’ve seen this formula, you’ll discover just how many films are based on this structure. That’s because it’s universal. We all have dreams, doubts, challenges, and journeys of discovery to embark on).

Ok, so how can you use The Hero’s Journey in your copy? 

Here’s how: 

  • Position your prospect as the Hero. 
  • He’s being called to live his dream life (the ultimate benefit that your product or service offers). 
  • You understand his doubt / pain / challenges that are stopping him living that dream. 
  • He meets a mentor (you or your product / service), that gives him the tools he needs to set out on the journey. 
  • You help him slay his enemies (his big challenges / enemies / doubts). 
  • He lives happily ever after!

Problem, Pain, Big Idea, Product.

Finally, another classic ‘go-to’ formula. 

By now I hope that you’re getting the flow. 

To illustrate this formula I’ll breakdown a sales page which uses these elements to great effect. 

Start out by presenting the Problem:

Which leads into the Pain:

The Big Idea, as you know, provides the reason why this solution solves the problem. 

In this case, it’s that you can learn all the common questions that employers ask, and have proven pre-prepared answers ready to go. 

And the Product naturally flows on from here: 

Practical exercise:

Ready to close out the course with your final exam? 

Test what you’ve learned by re-writing one piece of sales copy for your business.

It could be a sales page, e-commerce product page, email, Facebook Ad or even a blog post. 

(If you don’t actually own a business or have a client to work on, just pick a product online). 

Pick one of the above formulas to structure the sales piece. 

And don’t forget to use everything you’ve learned in all 8 lessons. 

Good luck and let me know how you go! :)