Copywriters: Never try to change your prospects’ minds.

can't change someone's mindWhen you’re writing copy, the easiest way to close the sale is to write in a way that keeps your readers nodding in agreement.

The toughest approach you can ever take is to try to change the reader’s mind.

In fact, within the context of writing sales copy, it is pretty much impossible to change someone’s mind.

Let’s look at an example – trying to sell cheese that is made from raw milk.

Out of all the people who are in a position to buy this cheese, there are two groups.

The first group believes that raw foods are good for you, and that the various bacteria found in raw milk are also good for you.

The second group believes that raw milk is dangerous, and that the bacteria could make you sick, or even kill you.

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Monday Spark: Be ambitious, and plan to create a memorable body of work.

cattelan art

Last week we went to the Guggenheim Museum in New York to see the exhibition of work by Maurizio Cattelan.

As art, it may not be to everyone’s taste, but we were fascinated by his work. I was also amazed by the volume of his work, and the time and hard work that had gone into it. This retrospective gives some idea of the depth of his commitment to his art.

Creating art is what he does with his life, and he works hard at it.

That made me a little envious. As a writer and copywriter, much of my work is transitory. It is here today, does what it was designed to do, and then it’s gone. It is very rare that commercial writing or advertising survives for very long.

But…

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The most powerful sales approach of all can be found in our craving for certainty.

brain's need for certaintyTo put it at its simplest, our brains have a smart side and an incredibly dumb side.

What’s scary is that the dumb side has way too much influence over the decisions we make. This is particularly true when it comes to our hopes for the future.

To illustrate what I mean, let’s look at an example.

Imagine two experts, both of whom are going to give us some advice on how to lose weight. Specifically, they are going to tell us how to lose 10 lbs over the course of the next 30 days.

The first expert is a doctor and researcher who has been studying weight loss for 30 years.

He talks about the multiple influences involved – genetics, food choices, exercise, family dynamics, mental health, work stresses, time of year and so on. He explains the complexity of weight loss and how one plan might work for one person, but not for another.

He makes some general recommendations, but again qualifies his advice by pointing out the multiple variables involved.

Now for our second expert. He may be a doctor, or not. It doesn’t really matter.

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Opportunities for online copywriters in 2012 [VIDEO]

online copywriting opportunityI put this video together for anyone who is thinking about specializing in online copywriting.

I was inspired to make the video by a few people who had approached me and asked whether or not there was still a viable opportunity for online copywriters, or whether the market was already saturated.

That’s a reasonable question – and I think and hope this short video answers it.

As you will see, I actually think the opportunity is bigger than ever, and for 4 specific reasons.

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Your new site visitors and subscribers don’t know who you are, yet. [TIMELINE]

Yesterday I was reading an excellent post by Chris Brogan, Start Fresh.

In his post he talks about how while you move forward with your career, many of your readers have stepped in half way through the narrative. They may not know where you “came from” or how and why you do what you are doing today.

Very good point.

For myself, I have been earning my living as a writer for 30 years now, and I have been publishing my online newsletter for over 10 years.

I guess a small proportion of my current newsletter readers have been with me from the beginning. But I’m sure most haven’t.

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The key to writing anything well is to look your reader in the eye.

always maintain eye contact with your audience

always maintain eye contact with your audienceLet’s start with an analogy.

You are giving a presentation to a group of people in a meeting room. You have a PowerPoint presentation on the screen.

During the course of that presentation, part of the time you will be facing your audience, looking them in the eye, and talking directly to them.

At other points, you will turn your back on the audience and speak to a slide on the screen. You might be pointing to some figures, a chart, or some bullet points.

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