The other day I mentioned I was considering doing private copy coaching, and invited anyone interested to email me.
I got a bunch of replies right away.
So I asked them a few questions, including:
“What’s the biggest thing you want to improve on in your copy?”
One person replied with this:
“I want to get people to take action through my words without them realising I’m here to sell them something.”
A copywriter who doesn’t want to look like they’re selling anything.
I find this … strange.
I mean, I LOVE selling.
I’ve never hidden that fact.
Heck, I get excited about a good sales letter like some guys watch their team winning the Grand Final:
“C’mon … yes … AH GREAT SALES HOOK! … okay, okay, not bad … nice transition to the story … and there’s the offer, and yes … YES … YES!!!! WHAT A CALL TO ACTION!!! SALE! SALE! SALE! YOU BLOODY BEWDY!!!”
(Then Hayley pokes her head around the corner inquisitively to make sure I’m still okay.)
But I guess there are people who aren’t like me.
Who don’t want to be — what’s that awful word?
Oh yes …
Well, have no fear.
Because it just so happens your friend Daniel Throssell is here with his top 5 genius tips for avoiding being ‘salesy’ …
1. Don’t have anything to sell.
This is hands down the best way to not be salesy.
You can’t be salesy if you’re not selling anything!
Of course, you can’t make money either.
Which means your business (or career, if you’re a copywriter) will quickly tank as you just give stuff away for free.
But it’s okay. Doesn’t matter if you’re eating rice and beans for dinner … as long as people like your “valuable” emails, right?
Then again, maybe a life below the poverty line as you feed free content to the masses isn’t for you.
In which case …
2. Be really, REALLY sorry for selling
I mean, it doesn’t make up for the fact that you’re still a dirty capitalist.
But you can at least grovel and apologise for it, like a white liberal ally at a BLM march.
Tell your list you’re really sorry. You don’t normally sell to them. You’re usually about giving away “great value”. This sale is an exception.
(Bonus: They’ll respect you for it, too. People LOVE it when you do something you don’t believe in!)
3. Master the dark arts of “NLP”
As EVERYONE in the marketing world knows, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the “black magic” of selling.
It involves deep, advanced tricks like “not asking any questions where the answer is ‘no’” on your sales page, to sneakily ninja-persuade people into saying “yes” out of inertia.
I mean, I do this ALL THE TIME when I’m closing clients:
Daniel: “You’re here to talk to me about copywriting — RIGHT?”
Daniel: “Cool. Hey nice weather today right?”
Client: “Yes …”
Daniel: “Great. One more: just checking, 2 + 2 make 4, right?”
Client: “… uh … yes? But I don’t get—”
Daniel: “SAY NO MORE! DO YOU WANT TO WORK WITH ME FOR $5,000 PER DAY WITH NO EXIT OPTION FOR 3 YEARS?”
Client: “YES!!! … oh gosh, what have I done, why did I just say that?!?”
NLP is GREAT stuff.
(For some reason I’ve never been persuaded to buy a course from anyone who teaches it, but I guess they must have just had mercy and decided not to use their NLP skills on me on their sales page?)
So that’s another option.
4. Just straight up tell people you’re NOT selling (even when you are)
This is some advanced Sales Jedi stuff right here.
Now I’m not telling you to “lie” per se.
Just … tell them you’re NOT selling, when you are.
(It’s totes different, okay?)
So you write your sales page like normal, pitch and all.
But you send it out in an email that says: “This email does NOT contain a sales pitch.”
If anyone replies challenging you (they won’t), just say this:
“No, that actually wasn’t a sales pitch.”
(Don’t explain further, it ruins the script.)
Seriously. Try it. You’ll be AMAZED. Nobody EVER figures this out.
5. Let people opt out of your sales pitches
If you have no guts for any of the above, you could just do this:
Before you do any sales campaign (yes, you must sell only in ‘campaigns’ — heaven forbid you sell in a NORMAL EMAIL) you send an email like this:
“Hey, so just a heads up, I’m going to be pitching my XYZ course soon. If you don’t want any emails about it, no sweat! Just click here and I’ll keep sending you my best tips for free.”
Again, you’re still a dirty salesman, but at least you’re TRYING to make it right by letting people dodge your filthy tricks.
I have seen many upstanding marketers do this.
And … good on them! Who sells things these days anyway?
Oh, and one more bonus one:
If you don’t want people to know you’re selling stuff … whatever you do … do NOT click this link.
It would put you on my client waitlist.
Which means there is a chance I might some day write copy for you.
And trust me … that’s the furthest thing away from “not selling” you could get.
Yes, you’ll have to deal with the inconvenient fact of “making money”, and the pesky problems of what to do with actual dollars in your bank account.
But those are problems you’ll have to deal with yourself.
You have to admit though:
I have a point, don’t I?
And … wasn’t this such a fun email now?
And … don’t you just love chocolate?
Yes! Right you are!
(Seriously though … I’m almost tempted to make that second link NOT work, because ugh, if you want THAT kind of copy … I am not your guy.)