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Worried about your sales page? Worry no more.
Today's episode is going to teach you how to write insanely effective sales pitch copy so you can finally get more sales.
Our guest today is Liz Theresa, who is a business mentor and has been helping entrepreneurs find clarity and uniquely market themselves with competence for the past seven years. She's also the creator of Concept to Creation, which is her flagship branding and web design program.
Through strategic website design and clever copywriting services, Liz helps every entrepreneur to rise and be the star of their own business.
Today, Liz and I are chatting all about sales pages. We’re going to cover all aspects of copy for a solid sales page, including how to create it and write it. Today’s episode is all about words, because words will convert your leads into buyers.
Liz says that her story to entrepreneurship was like a rollercoaster ride that she didn’t even know she was getting on.
She had no plans to start her own business, and instead she went to school for English and theater arts. She loved acting and wanted to become an actor, but after getting a job with a casting studio she realized that working in showbiz wasn’t necessarily the right path for her.
She started pursuing a master’s degree in English, which was where she discovered the world of online marketing. Liz says, “This was 2009 to 2011… Twitter was invented was in 2009, February. So online marketing just was just beginning for small businesses, it was like the most exciting time in the world. And I didn't even know what marketing was.”
She met someone at the college who owned a marketing company that helped businesses market themselves in social media. He offered to help Liz with her own personal brand, and she was hooked. That’s when Liz realized that she wanted to get out and start helping small businesses with marketing.
Since those early days, Liz has expanded her business a lot and they work with many different clients to do website design, copywriting and business mentorship. “I get to have so much fun in my business and I’m so grateful,” says Liz.
One of Liz’s areas of genius is what we’re going to be discussing today: how to write copy for effective sales pages.
So what is an effective sales page?
Liz says that her favorite sales pages “are for those who are lactose intolerant. So the non-cheese-filled sales pages.”
She says that your sales page should be written in your natural, comfortable voice. The more authentic your sales page is, the more effective it will be. When a business writes like they talk, it will draw in your audience and lead to more successful sales.
This authenticity goes for any type of business. Whether you’re a solopreneur with a personal brand or representing a smaller business, a team or a firm, it’s really refreshing when you have copy that sounds like something that someone would actually say.
Liz says that a great way to make sure you sound authentic in your writing is to actually say what you want to write. Speaking it, instead of sitting down and typing it out, can help you to sound more natural.
When Liz writes copy for her clients, she interviews them first to hear their answers to what she’ll include in the page. She says, “I ask my clients targeted questions to produce copy because then it will sound like them and then they're not thinking, I'm writing copy. I'm answering your question.”
If you’re struggling to write with your own voice, Liz recommends asking yourself different questions and listening to your answers. These questions can range from personality-type questions, like “what’s a typical day like for you?” to questions about your clients. Some of her favorites are:
Once you’ve answered the questions in your most authentic voice, it’s time to spin them into a structure. It’s that structure that can make (or break) an effective sales page.
If you’re thinking about a sales page, there are a lot of “bones” that need to go into the “skeleton” of what you’re trying to build.
The first part is branding and naming your product. This is like the “skull” of your skeleton – one of the most important parts of your sales pages and one of the most noticeable as well.
Liz says that when you’re naming the title of the sales pitch, it should always be the brand of your product. She emphasizes that the way you need to think through this is with the quote by Marie Forleo: “clarity over cleverness wins every time.”
It’s important to name your product something completely obvious and totally clear so that just by reading the name, your potential client knows exactly what it is and what it does for them.
If the name is confusing or unclear, your clients will be left with a lot of questions that could potentially turn them away.
So Liz says, you should start with the title, and some brief description, to make sure your audience understands exactly what your product is. Then you can move on to the next section of the sales page skeleton, the rib cage.
Think about your rib cage. As Liz says, there’s a lot of stuff involved in there and it’s pretty big on your body.
You want this section to be like that on your sales page. Here, you’re going to be talking about your ideal customer and answering the question: who is this product for? And what is their problem?
Liz recommends going back to the questions she suggested above relating to your favorite customers and ideal clients. Think through who this specific thing you’re selling is for, and what can you pull from that?
She suggests thinking through a few more questions:
And her favorite prompt to give to clients:
Before going anywhere else with your sales page, Liz recommends answering the above fill-in-the-blank prompt. What do you (I) as the product seller, get about your ideal client’s (you) problems? Be specific, and your answer should be a clear problem, issue, behavior or thought pattern that is occurring in their life.
Don’t be afraid to go deep. Answering “I totally get that you want to lose weight” could relate to a whole range of people (and maybe almost every person, in some way!) so why does your ideal client want to lose weight? Get specific, and think about how this issue is showing up in your ideal client’s life, either through a thought pattern or specific behavior.
Spend a lot of time on your sales page with phrases like “does this resonate with you?” Or “does this sound familiar?” You want your ideal reader to see that and think that you’re reading their mind. She describes this as sales page romance – when your reader sees your copy and thinks “wow, how did you know?”
The easiest way to do this is to establish a connection with language, and two simple words, “like you,” can make that connection a lot clearer. If you’re writing your sales page in the third person, switch over to writing in the second person by including your reader.
Instead of saying “This product is for people who…”, Liz recommends saying “This product is for you.” That’s an instant connection, and will immediately draw your reader in.
Don’t be afraid to present your customer’s pain point, or problem, straight away. Liz says, “sometimes people hesitate to lead with the problem… but people pursue the avoidance of pain over the pursuit of pleasure every single time. That's why you have to lead with the problem.”
A big thing Liz recommends avoiding when writing the “ideal client” rib cage section of your copy is cheesy business pickup lines. This goes back to authenticity – you want to use your own words here, and not other people’s.
Even though looking at other people’s sales pages can give you inspiration for your own, you want to make sure you’re not taking their language or copying their, well, copy.
Why? Because they’ve written their page for their ideal client and their product, which is not yours.
There are also business-y buzz words out there that you might see all over the place. Don’t use these either, because they can get seriously cheesy if you take them too far. Phrases like “join my tribe” can be found everywhere and ultimately sound inauthentic, because they’re not you.
Moving down from the rib cage of our skeleton, which was where we talked about our ideal customer and their problem, we’re heading to the pelvis. This is the sexiest part of our skeleton – it’s where you get to talk about your solution to whatever that problem is.
This is the section where you get to shine and talk about how your product or service fixes your reader’s problem.
Liz recommends providing different kinds of strong proof throughout this section about this “how.” One of the best things you can do to sell your product is provide specific evidence about the power of your product to your reader.
It’s a great opportunity to incorporate social proof, things like case studies, before and afters, and testimonials. This is also a great place to get creative. One example is including video testimonials instead of just written ones, because they can really make your message a lot more powerful.
The “pelvis” section is one of the hardest parts of the sales page to write. Bragging about yourself and your product can be difficult for a lot of digital product sellers.
Liz recommends if you’re struggling with bragging or imposter syndrome, try writing about yourself in a different way by drafting a letter to a friend about your business.
There’s a good chance that your friend isn’t your ideal client, and they may not understand what you do in your business. But you do know they have a vested interest in providing honest feedback to you, as opposed to a random stranger online.
“It's actually really good exercise, though, to kind of make sure you're also sounding and writing like you talk… You have to be careful of saying things that you understand that the person that's reading it doesn't necessarily know about.”
This should take you back to Liz’s Marie Forleo mantra: clarity over cleverness. Your sales page should be simple, easy to read and understandable for all. Words are powerful, and they are what will ultimately help you sell your product.
After the parts of your sales page where you talk about your ideal client, their problem and your solution, you want to focus more on the facts of your product. This should be the bottom half of your sales page.
Including FAQs and product information is important here. This is where you address all the last-minute questions your potential customer might have before they actually hit that “buy now” button.
This section should hopefully be easier to write – like the legs of your skeleton, these are your product basics, and they’re what’s holding up everything else with the product you’re trying to sell.
When you’re formatting and setting up your sales page, you want to make sure that it’s short, clear, and as easy to read as possible. People tend to skim when they read online, so you want to make it as reader-friendly as possible.
Liz suggests breaking up big paragraphs, so even if you have a lot of content, you want to make sure its in easy-to-read, bite-sized chunks. Bullet points are also highly effective. Brief sentences will also make it easier for the reader.
She also recommends having calls-to-action throughout the page or floating, to make it as easy as possible for your audience to commit and buy your product.
Liz says she gets asked a lot how long an ideal sales page should be. Her answer is that sales pages are supposed to be long, so if you feel like you’re writing too much, that’s okay.
“Oftentimes when you're selling something that's not as simple as like white bread, yes you have to educate people and raise the stakes for yourself.”
If you’re on Amazon buying a t-shirt, you don’t need to read a lot into it to decide to make the purchase. But with digital products, it’s different.
Your customers may need to think about whether or not to commit their time and money in investing in your product. So that’s why you want to give yourself plenty of chances to convince them. Your copy should make them feel understood while also showing them that your product is the right investment for them.
//LINKS IN THE SHOW//
Visit Liz’s website
Listen to her podcast, Liz on Biz
Take Liz’s Free Copywriting Class