It’s really easy to create high-converting sales scripts, emails, videos and web copy from scratch with this simple trick I learned about a decade ago — even without knowing anything about sales, human psychology or persuasion.
But first, a story to help illustrate.
I think I do an okay job dressing myself. But it usually takes two or three tries before my wife approves my ensemble. And that’s with her coaching me through the entire selection process. Here’s how it usually goes: I strut across the room feeling good, but apparently looking bad. Without words, her expression says it all. I know what she’s thinking. “Seriously?”
I do an about face and try again.
This makes gift-buying stressful. I want her to love the outfits I buy. But there’s no chance of that happening with my horrendous eye for fashion. I needed a solution and I found one.
I walk into the store, find the best dressed mannequin and buy everything it’s wearing, including shoes and jewelry. This trick makes gift-buying easy. As long as I know my wife’s sizes and favorite shops, the whole process take minutes.
Now, every time I buy her an outfit, she absolutely loves it. But she’s always puzzled. I can see her wheels spinning, wondering how in the world I pulled off that incredible feat.
Maybe you’re wondering what all this has to do with you and sales.
I’m getting to the point. I promise.
You know who puts together those mannequins? Professional stylists. They know how to coordinate colors, patterns and styles. They know trends. They know how to accessorize with jewelry and shoes and belts.
Those mannequins look amazing!
I don’t need to know anything. I just leverage their expertise. And as a consequence of doing this for years, I ended up learning a thing or two about fashion. I’m no longer horrendous, just slightly unpleasant.
Okay, now to the point of the story.
When I write sales copy, I use my “mannequin” technique.
Even with my below average copywriting skills, I’m able to produce emails, sales letters, advertisements and other marketing materials that yield excellent results — conversion rates on par with the professionals.
Here’s how I do it.
I’m always on the lookout for great copy — junk mail, email, websites and advertisements. If they work on me, I save them to my swipe file.
Swipe file — (noun) : a collection of sales, advertising and marketing materials used as inspiration for new projects.
If I see an email subject line that makes me click, I save it.
If I see an ad that makes me click, I save it.
If I read a sales letter that convinces me to buy, I save it.
Over the years, I’ve amassed a giant collection of copy that I reference all of the time for ideas. Whenever I need a little inspiration, I crack it open.
In the words of Mark Twain, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. They are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
This is the same reason you don’t see many new scripts from Hollywood. Most movies are remakes of the classics or twists of a story already told.
It’s also how you can compete with major brands and big guru budgets able to pay 5 and 6 figures to a copywriter.Use the “mannequin” technique to make a ton of money while you learn.
And I definitely recommend you learn. Devote time to cultivating your copywriting prowess. You’ll be glad you did. Many have said (and I agree), it’s the single most important skill you can possess as an entrepreneur.
It’s how you create money with words.
Make it a priority. Go learn the art and science of copywriting.
It’s a science, because there are proven psychological triggers that move people to action — words, ideas and even colors. Countless formulas have been developed by copywriting legends that break down the steps into a repeatable process.
It’s an art, because the more you do it, the better you get. I can attest to that. I still use my swipe file, but not as often. Practice has made it come a little bit easier. When I first started writing, I would copy — word for word — sales letters written by Dan Kennedy, Gary Halbert, John Carlton and others. The process helped me internalize their style and flow so that when I’d write my own copy, it had the same feel.
There you go.
Now you know how to become an amazing copywriter, make a bunch of money and buy the perfect gift.