EPISODE 056: HOW TO WRITE HIGH-CONVERTING SALES PAGE COPY WITH COURTNEY CHAAL
Courtney Chaal, formerly Courtney Johnston, is the founder of The Rule Breaker's Club where she teaches women how to package and sell their brilliance. Her work has been featured on Inc.com, FastCompany.com, CreativeLive, and the Huffington Post.
On today’s episode, Courtney teaches us her sales page copywriting formula. If your sales page isn’t converting as well as you need it to, then you’ll need to evaluate if your sales page copy is good.
"If your sales page is just giving me a bunch of bullet list or like a bunch of paragraphs about what you're selling me and what's included and a bunch of texts... probably a bad sales page. A good sales page is focused on the transformation that somebody's going to have."
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Topics Discussed In This Episode:
- How Courtney went from living in France to running The Rule Breaker’s Club
- What is a sales page and if your online business needs one
- The difference between a bad sales page, a mediocre sales page, and a great sales page
- The copywriting mistakes that people make with their sales pages
- The key to writing great sales pages
Chrys: Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of hack your online business. Now on today's episode, I invite my guest to teach us her sales page copywriting formula. So if your sales page isn't converting as well as you need it to, then you will need to evaluate if your sales page copy is good.
So I personally think that copywriting is the number one skill that all online entrepreneurs need to master, which is something that my guest is an expert in. So she's the founder of the Rule Breakers Club, where she teaches women how to package and sell their brilliance. Her work has been featured on INC.com, fastcompany.com, creativelive, and the Huffington Post.
So here's my guest, Courtney Chaal. You may know her better by her maiden name, Johnston. So Courtney, thank you so much for jumping on this episode with me today.
Courtney: Thank you for having me. I'm excited to talk about sales copy. I think some people's eyes kind of roll into the back of their head when they hear that. So wake up, it's going to be fun. I promise.
Chrys: I know. If you're driving right now, you don't want to keep your eyes closed basically. That's it. Yeah. So Courtney, you run the Rule Breakers Club where your teach women how to package and sell your brilliance. You have courses on sales page and launch copywriting and creating a signature service. So do you still take on one on one clients at this point in your business?
Courtney: I will take on clients every once in a while but it's not a main part of my business. Like right now I don't have any one on one clients. But sometimes I'll have someone say I need help. Normally not, but sometimes I just can't resist a juicy project.
Chrys: Is there a reason why you decided to stop offering one-on-one services for at least a main part of your business?
Courtney: Yeah. Freedom. Like I don't really like it that much, to be honest. It's really funny. The other part of my business besides copywriting is teaching people how to create services and get clients because I believe that is how you have to start your business.
I don't believe in this balony of going from zero to launching a course. It's great if you have like a trust fund or something, but if you actually need to make money, then you need to make money fast and clients are the easiest way to do that. And by the way, everything I talk about with sales pages is also totally applicable to work with me pages and services, product descriptions. It might need to be a little bit tweaked and rejiggered but it's all the same concept cause it's just human psychology. It's the same thing.
But yeah, so I don't offer services because I built my business to a point where I can make all of our revenue on our courses and products and it give me more creative freedom and freedom. The freedom to have lived the life I wanted to live, which this is the reason I started my business, right? Not to like be a slave to my clients but to really enjoy myself. So that's a good question.
Chrys: Yeah. Cause I was wondering like do you still do that? Cause I know a lot of people when they first start out, as you said, services. And then as they move on they're like, okay there's like only 24 hours a day. There's only a maximum number of clients I can take on. So then you move onto courses.
So I know you started the Rule Breakers Club back in Paris in 2011. That was eight years ago, I believe. You know, bad calculation right here. Well was your business very different back then when you first started out?
Courtney: Yeah. Oh yeah. Like I never had "I'm launching a business day". Like it was just, I was kind of blogging and like you said, I was living in France cause I have a French degree. So I moved to France for a couple of years and I was just figuring it out and trying to survive essentially.
So I had this blog and I was also doing resume writing. I was tutoring English, I was tutoring French, I was doing translation work. I was nannying, I was doing all kinds of AP English for high school students, like college admit, like anything someone would pay me for. So it just slowly kind of got honed in over time.
And I think that's what business is. I see so many people get so worried when they have to quote unquote pivot in their business and they feel like they have to rebrand and start it. And I'm like, no, you just like, nobody cares. Like nobody's paying that much attention to you. Maybe if some big name person just all the sudden changed their entire business, we'd be like, what's happening? But even then we'd be like, okay, sure. Like you're doing that now. That's great. We over-analyze that stuff. So a lot of pivoting, a lot of moving around, a lot of changes. Yeah.
Just like going with the flow in terms of learning how to be a better business owner. You know, my dreams and goals evolved and changed over time. And so I never in a million years thought that I would be doing what I'm doing now when I started. It's like, not even, it wasn't even a concept to me.
Chrys: Wait, let's go back. So what was your concept back then? Why did you start a business?
Courtney: Yeah. My concept was if I could make 30 K a year for the rest of my life, I'd be happy. That was my concept - was I never want to get a real job. I want to be free. I want to travel. I don't care about having a lot of money, I just don't want to get a real job. And so that was it. There was literally just this purely selfish desire to make money and live in Paris like that. That's all I cared about.
Chrys: Are you still in Paris right now?
Courtney: No, I live in Vancouver now, so like I've moved. So I'm from Michigan originally. I met my husband in Paris. He's from North Africa. We moved to Montreal. He was immigrating to Canada. We were in Montreal for a while and now we're in Vancouver. So having my business like this has allowed us to be able to have this like really unconventional lifestyle.
Chrys: And so what made you go down the route of copywriting? I mean, you majored in French. Where's the connection here? Yeah. Well, okay, so the connections, it's
Courtney: Yeah. Well, okay, so the connections, it's language, right? It's language and the connection is why I love French is the same reason why I love what I do now. It's all about psychology and language and culture and why humans say the things they do and how that impacts them. My brain just, I just love that stuff and I just see it in a certain way.
And I actually took a class in college called language and psychology and I was like, if I could just study this for the rest of my life, I'd be so happy. It was just the coolest stuff. There were studies about how certain ways that you use grammar affects the way people react to what you say. And we think all this stuff is just these archaic rules and some of it isn't. I hate grammar policing. It's like my biggest pet peeve in the world and people think I love it cause I'm a copywriter. So they'll send me all their like funny grammar Nazi jokes and I'm like, no, please stop doing that. It's so irritating. People make mistakes. I don't care. I prefer like natural language.
So yeah, I love language and when I took stock of my skills and my strengths when I was starting my business, like what as a 22 year old with zero experience and a French degree, will anybody pay me to do, that's what I came up with.
All these random things. I was like, we can do resumes, we can do translation. So I tried all of it out. I tried everything out that was in my wheelhouse and slowly by process of elimination figured out what I liked and what I didn't like.
So it's a really good question because again, with the pivoting, I'm the kind of person who I kind of changed my mind a lot, but it's not like out of left field changing my mind. It's very much an evolution of learning something and then realizing, Oh, I thought I wanted X, but I'm realizing now that I want X with a twist of Y and we're going to go more that way. And that is a healthy thing to do. I think personally.
Chrys: So when you started, I'm guessing it wasn't the Rule Breakers Club back then.
Courtney: It was the Rule Breakers Club. So when I started the Rule Breakers Club, I said, what is the core essence of what I'm building here, and what it was, was really this rebellion against the status quo and getting a regular nine to five and living the life that you want to live. And I actually had no idea what the business was going to be. I knew what the brand was going to be, which I know is very rebellious. But I just did it very intuitively. I was just like, this is what I'm going to do now. Yeah. So kinda backwards.
Chrys: And how did you go about finding your first few clients?
Courtney: Great question. So I was what I teach in my course too, so I'm like, yes, love this question. So the way you find your... People feel like they're in this catch 22 when they start out, especially me, like no qualifications, 22 years old, like baby face, nobody taking me seriously. You know, like I'm not taking myself seriously. Never made more than minimum wage ever in my life. Right? To, okay, how can I charge money for stuff?
So when I started doing copywriting, what I did was I went out and I found three people to test, like beta clients. Like okay, I'm gonna write your website copy and I'm figuring this out and I don't really know what kind of person I want to work with and I need to get some experience. So I did three clients' website copy for free and that was the most educational and wonderful. And it's the reason why I was able to then get clients faster because I was willing to kind of take one for the team.
And what happens when you do free clients? It has to be strategic, right? Like it's not just like I'll work with anyone for free. It doesn't come from desperation. It comes from a strategic desire to hone your chops, figure out what you're doing, figure out who you like to work with, et cetera, et cetera, look how your services work.
But what I realized was that I really liked working with specific types of clients and that two of the clients I worked with, I was like, I don't want to work with those types of people ever again. Like that's, that is what happens is the client I liked working with ended up referring me to people she knew. And this is what happens when you do a really good job in the beginning is you have a couple of clients and those people refer their friends and network to you.
And that's how service based businesses are built. They are built off of referrals, like 90 to a 100 percent of your clients will be based on word of mouth and everybody thinks that's a bad thing. They think like it's an obstacle. I have a Facebook group called the Get More Clients club and when people join me, ask them what's your number one obstacle to getting clients? And like three times out of 10 they say, all my clients come from referrals. And I'm like, that's your obstacle? And so there's a mindset shift here, right?
And you can tell, I could go on about this all day, but if you're, if you're doing services and you think your clients have to fall from the sky or come from advertising your social media, you are seriously mistaken. Like eventually, yes, we can build that. That's very long game marketing, marathon marketing, a year from now marketing, yes, build the foundation.
But if you're trying to get clients in the next week, two weeks, 60 days even, you need to be going with, okay, who do I already know? Who can I help? Like how can I get some referrals here? Right?
Chrys: And that's for your service. And I know you then went on to launch an online product, right? That no one actually bought it. So.
Courtney: Thanks for reminding me.
Chrys: I love reminding people of the mistakes they make in life.
Courtney: Me too. It's good. It's fine. I love it. Yeah. I launched an ebook, I spent six months, I can't even believe this, six months perfecting this ebook to teach people how to write their own resumes. But I had never validated the concept and nobody actually wanted a book on how to write [inaudible] resumes and nobody bought it. My grandma offered to buy it cause I was like in distress and crying all over the place and I wouldn't let her because I was like "you're 85 and retired. You don't need my resume book. And it was a pity thing.
And so I actually went to therapy about this. I was so depressed and I decided at that even though I was really upset about it, come hell or high water, I am going to figure out how to sell things online cause I thought it was easy. I thought like people will just see the value in the book. It was $12. I had a list of like 200 people, so I couldn't believe nobody bought my book.
But looking back on it, I know every mistake I made, it's so obvious. And so when I see people making the same mistakes with their sales online, I want to say it's not you, it's just you haven't learned, it's a learning curve and you can overcome this learning curve, but you have to be willing to do it, if to be willing to learn the strategies.
Chrys: Did you apply the things that you learned from the first failed launch for your second launch?
Courtney: Oh yes, of course. Yeah. I tried to learn my mistakes, like just minimal, like maybe twice. I wouldn't say once cause I normally have to learn the same thing twice. I would say at least twice, but I try really hard to learn from.
And mistake is such a difficult word for me because I don't feel like it was a mistake. I feel like it was a lesson. I didn't make a mistake. With a mistake, it's like you knew better but you didn't do what you were supposed to do. I did my best.
It just didn't get the result I wanted and so that was a lesson for me. And I think it's a rite of passage. I think we all have to have at least a couple of experiences like that where we realize, oh that's why not everybody's doing this cause it's actually kind of hard sometimes.
Chrys: So you went on from selling an ebook on how you can create a resume. So what was the second product that you created? Do you remember?
Courtney: Yeah, well I shied away from launching a product for two years after that because I was really scarred and I was like, okay, services, I'm scared of this.
So I ended up working with a coach who really was like, you have to launch this course, this copywriting course. Cause I had been for two years working with clients, writing their website copy and I was freaking out. I had this mindset block. Like I can't sell a course. And if you can imagine, you have me on your podcast to talk to you about how to write sales pages, if anybody understands the struggle, it's me.
I had the biggest mindset block of, I'm a copywriter. I will write all the rest of your copy for you. And it's great. And everybody loved it. And they were like, people love my copy. It's connecting. But if they asked me to write something sales oriented, I would freak out because I was like, Oh my God, they're going to find out that I'm a fraud. So I had this huge mindset block around it.
But I launched this course and what happened was it was amazing. For me, amazing. At the time I made $7,000 in like three days launch. It was a great course launch. Like for my first launch of a course, it was absolutely amazing and just shattered all of those limiting beliefs.
So all that work I had spent for those two years of figuring it out and learning about sales language and learning about the structure of sales pages and copying other people's pages by hand just to ingrain it into my head, how they were doing, what they were doing, it paid off.
And so I don't want other people to have to spend two years doing that. You don't have to do that. You just need to learn the structure of a sales page and the basics of selling and then plug in your personality, your language, your offer that structure. So it really doesn't have to be that hard. I don't want people to get scared.
Chrys: That is awesome because you're not just talking about a shift in mindset. You're talking about putting in the time and effort to actually really learn sales copy, right? I mean, a lot of people are like, you manifest it, you manifest that, change your mindset, you manifest it and they don't do anything about it.
So they're like, Oh, but it didn't come true. I'm like, yeah, I mean, you know, your skills aren't gonna improve if you just manifest it, right? You've gotta do something about it as well. So I'm kind of curious. Can we talk a little bit more about the mindset shift? How did you cross that mindset that that was limiting you from believing in yourself?
Courtney: You have to step outside of your comfort zone and do the thing that you're scared to do. Because as long as you are hiding from doing it, it's just reinforcing the belief, right?
So when we believe something to be true, our minds literally just scan the world for evidence that that thing is true and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. So you need to try to cultivate an awareness of what's something you want to do, but for some reason you're procrastinating, you're holding back or you're not doing it.
There's some kind of belief system there, some kind of story you're telling yourself that needs to be chipped away and the only way to do that is by kind of facing it head on. It doesn't have to be dramatic. You don't have to go do some wild thing.
But if you're afraid of selling, you don't have to organize a huge launch. Just write one sales email. Take one step outside of that comfort zone so that you can start to build that ability and just recognize the fact that you maybe aren't good at sales does not... Like nobody was born knowing how to sell. That's a Seth Godin quote. Nobody was born knowing how to sell.
And so I have this whole thing I talk to people about - there's no sales babies, like salesman. There's no babies who are like, "You know for $9.99 you can get..." Like it's not a thing. Anyone who's good at that learned how to do it and some of us might be predisposed to be good at it, but you can learn how to do and you have to.
Quite frankly, if you're running a business, running a business is sales, your job is sales. It will never end. That is the definition of the job. So either you figure this out or you stop running a business. Like frankly, like point blank, that's the matter of fact.
So you need to make a decision: Am I willing to face this fear, these limiting beliefs, this feeling like sales is icky, sales has to be sleazy, sales is a zero sum game, somebody winning, somebody's losing, I'm taking people's money, I feel guilty, I'm a fraud. All of this stuff is what comes up.
So you gotta deal with that and then you got to write the copy anyway. You could go through it at the same time. You don't have to solve it first. Like you don't have to solve all your issues first and then do it. You don't have to do it at the same time.
Chrys: Fricking love it. One of the biggest problems I had in the beginning was I was afraid of sales, especially on a phone. I was super afraid of those calls. Like I would not even do it. I was like, buy now button. It's right there, you do not have to call me.
Courtney: Yeah. And sales calls. Here's what I love about sales calls. I close 90% of my sales calls when I was in full service based business mode. And the reason is because I only took calls with people who already applied for the service knowing the price and already said, yes, I want to do this.
So the sales call was literally I just want to get to know you, see if it's a good fit, answer any questions you have. So we're moving that pressure of, I have to do something. You don't have to do anything in a sales call. You just have to listen and you just have to answer questions. And then present the opportunity to take action.
So what I mean by that, cause that can kind of freak people out, "What's the opportunity to take action?" You just say, okay, so would you like to move forward? And they'll say yes. Or they'll say, I need to think about it. And you can say, okay, is there any questions I can answer for you right now? You don't have to push at all. You just let them make a decision.
And that was the biggest mindset shift for that as well for me was I used to get on sales calls and be like, okay, I got to close this client and I'd freak out cause I didn't want to close a client. I want to help a person if they want help. Like you know what I mean?
Chrys: Absolutely. Oh my God. Now before we go on and cause I absolutely feel your energy level right here and I don't want to interrupt this, but before we go on guys, go check out rulebreakersclub.com after today's show. Now, Courtney, let me just do this very quick read.
Now before we go on with the show, today's show is sponsored by my messenger marketing agency, Chrys Media. Now we work mainly with coaches and online course creators to help them fill up their diaries and webinars and online courses with Facebook messenger marketing.
Now if you are a coach or an online course creator and you want to sell out your coaching packages or your courses fill up your webinars, diaries, then go check out my free online training on how you can use Facebook messenger marketing for your business. So go to hackyouronlinebusiness.com forward/messenger after today's show.
Courtney, have you heard of Facebook messenger marketing?
Courtney: Yes. I'm like, this sounds so juicy. I just went to social media marketing world in March and this was the thing. I was like, okay, I've got to figure out like what's this messenger stuff? And now I'm like, Oh, we have to do this. Like this is good. Yeah, it's on our plan right now to dive in.
Chrys: What made you decide to do it?
Courtney: I'm just seeing like, I don't think I understood what it was, like how does it work with, how does it fit into my business, like what I already have going on and yada yada. So for me it was just seeing like, Oh, it's this ability to get in touch with people just like email. Except it's like way better than email.
Chrys: You guys can't see me, but I'm doing this wink right now at Courtney. Absolutely right. Now Courtney, before we talk about these sales page copywriting strategies, first let's define what is a sales page for my listeners.
Courtney: Thank you. Because I find that's the biggest hurdle for a lot of people. So a sales page is typically if you are going to enroll in an online course or program, as I'm sure many of your listeners have at least considered doing even if they haven't enrolled in one yet, you probably saw a long sales page.
So it's that page you went to, where it had all the information, you'd probably scrolled around a lot and there was a button to buy now, like essentially that sort of sales pages. So it's containing all of the content that the prospective buyer needs to see to decide whether or not this thing is something that they want to invest in.
And I like that perspective. This is really important to me. It's not there to convince people. It's there to attract the people who need the thing to identify that they need it and then make their own decision about whether or not they want to do that.
Again, we're not pushing people, we're pushing people to make a decision. I don't care if it's yes or no, but a lot of people, most people are just kind of like, I don't know what I need. And there's no moment of truth, like are you ready to do this? And so a sales page is a decision making machine essentially. So that's what that is.
But really like a work with me page where you're going over your services, a product description should all have very similar elements. Product descriptions are a little different, but with work with me pages, it's almost identical. I see way too many service providers who don't actually have a sales page for their services.
And like I said, I had exactly the same concept for my services. And then I would get on calls for my services for sales calls and I would close 90% of them cause they were already sold by the sales page, which makes my life a lot easier. Right? Like I don't want to do more work. So that's what a sales pages.
Chrys: So it sounds like all of us need a sales page.
Courtney: Yeah. I think if you have a business, if you offer services or courses or information products or anything like that, you need some kind of sales page. If you offer products, you need a product description, which essentially you'll do the same thing. So yes, if you're selling anything, you need some sales copy. Yeah.
Chrys: Okay. So in your opinion, what are the differences between a bad sales page, a mediocre sales page, and a good or great sales page?
Courtney: Oh, I like these. I like these Goldilocks... Well we don't really want to be... we want to be great. Right? And I like to think of it as a sales page that works and a sales page that doesn't.
So essentially a bad sales page, it's not about my opinion of your page. It's not about what I think you should do, or if I like long pages or I like short pages or I like your brand or I don't like your brand. Ultimately it's about: is the page selling people?
Because that's its job. So people tend to fall into these arguments about I don't like long pages and I don't like video and I don't like buttons. It's like, great, I'm not going to make my sales copy based on what your personal preferences are. I'm gonna make my decisions based on my personal preferences, but also what works.
So a good sales page is one that works, people actually buy, a bad sales page is one that doesn't work. And a great sales page, I would say is one that works better. So the conversion rate is higher or you're getting more people or it's more convincing or it stands out or it's memorable in some way.
So a bad sales page, some qualities that I see on a bad sales page is it is focusing on information instead of transformation. I've just made that up off the top of my head, but it sounded really good. Right?
Okay. So if your sales page is just giving you a bullet list or like a bunch of paragraphs about what you're selling me and what's included, and it's a bunch of text, probably a bad sales page.
A good sales page is focused on the transformation that somebody is going to have. So I teach this concept called the rainbow of sales and anyone can draw out their own rainbow sales. It's just this image. A lot of us drew as kids, but it's essentially like a rainbow. And on one end of the rainbow is a cloud. And on the other end of the rainbow is a pot of gold. And so this rainbow, the rainbow of sales represents your sales process and your client's journey through the sales process.
So when your client, your prospective client is coming into contact with your sales copy, they're on the cloud. So the cloud is like those commercials for like antidepressants, where it's like that little egg bobbing around and there's like a cloud following it around. Depressing. But it's a good example, right? Because that's the cloud, is whatever that thing is that is frustrating, it's where they are right now.
So what is it about your potential clients' current situation that is the problem or the frustration for them? And you've got to have the language for that. You've got to get inside of their head. You've got to figure out how they're communicating it, not how you communicate it. Cause you're gonna use your expert language and put all your coaching jargon on it. They don't know what that is. They are up sweaty at night freaking out at 3:00 AM because of what is the thought that goes through their mind?
And that's the problem that you're solving with your offer. So then the pot of gold on the flip side is the result. What is their pot of gold? What is their desired result? What is the outcome of what you offer? And people get really afraid to commit to a result because they're so afraid of promising a result.
And I think we need to address that because you have to in a sense tell people what they're going to achieve by working with you. They will never pay you if they don't know what they're going to achieve. This does not mean you are guaranteeing that they're going to get a result. Obviously they're going to have to do some work, they're going to have to show up.
But if this was a roadblock for sales, nobody would ever be able to sell. So what I encourage you to do if this is a roadblock of yours, is to go look at my sales copy, Chrys' sales, anyone's sales copy and look at, okay, how are they doing this? Because none of us want to promise things, right? Like that's illegal.
But also I can't promise you that if you use the sales page kit that you're going to get a sale. What I can promise you is that if you use the sales page kit correctly, the likelihood of you getting the sales is really, really, really high, and that you're going to have a lot of realizations that are going to help you lead to sales. Ultimately that's what it's going to do, but I can't sit here and guarantee that. That depends on a lot of factors, like you have to do the work, we have to see the copy, we have to refine it. I don't have control over that.
So that's the pot of gold. Those were the two most important things. That cloud and that pot of gold. The rainbow is your offer. It's the bridge between the two and what I find is that people really want to sell that rainbow. They want to sell I've got six modules and I'm going to give you 8,000 worksheets and 60 million hours of video and people are not buying your thing because of the deliverable item in the course. They're buying it because they want to get to that pot of gold [inaudible] that cloud.
So you need to open your sales page with a headline that's going to help them see themselves in that copy. So oftentimes the question being like, are you frustrated with X? X being the thing that they're frustrated with, and then showing them that you understand their current psychology.
And then in the second section of your sales page, you want to say, imagine if you could achieve Y, so Y being the pot of gold, the thing that they want and really showing them, I hear you, I see you. This is what you're thinking. This is what you want. Because once you've done that, they're halfway sold and you haven't even told them what the offer is yet. Is that making sense?
Chrys: That's making so much sense. As you were explaining all this, I kind of feel like, my God, I can actually use this formula for any sales copy for my email, for not even just sales copy
Courtney: Blog posts, this podcast right now, I'm thinking, what is the listeners' problem? It's not about me making money. It's about selling you on this idea. It's about helping you with this transformation.
And in order to help you guys listening with this transformation, I have to show like here's the problem you're having right now. Here's what you want. This is how you do it. Otherwise, you're never going to listen to a word I have to say.
Chrys: So at the bottom, so once you are done with the second section and then you move onto the third section, is that where you start to say, hey, I've got this thing, go check it out, but in a nicer way.
Courtney: Yeah. You say, and this is what I've created to help you to get from there to there. Essentially it's just here's what I created to help you to do that. It doesn't have to be anything sleazy. Like people put these sales caps on and they're like, I have to use some kind of trigger language and NLP and I'm like, just no, stop. Just tell them what it is.
And then you just tell them, here is what the offer is. And then you will need to outline the offer and tell them, okay, and not just what's included, but how that's going to help them along that rainbow bridge to get to the pot of gold.
So for example, all of my modules in my core [inaudible] for clients, each module, the name of the module is a result. So module one, clean your niche. So you know at the end of module one, you're going to have your niche. So I'm selling you on the modules themselves, not just the course.
And that's when you're really hitting those multiple levels and really showing them that you've created this thing that really is set up to help them to get what they want.
Chrys: As you were saying this, do you think that it's possible for anyone to write great sales copy or do you think it's difficult for... Anyone? So I don't have to be great at writing, for example.
Courtney: No and I don't actually, I don't normally sit down and write. I think most of us talk... at some point. So if you have a conversation in any sense, you can write a sales page because if you ever had to convince somebody... And convince is the wrong word, cause I don't like using that word in terms of sales.
But if you've ever had to like kinda convince somebody, like your spouse or someone to go to a restaurant that you want to try, or like I tried to convince my husband to turn on the fan cause he hates fans and it's so hot at night. So I'm selling him on that concept. So to be a human is to kind of already innately know how to do this.
And so all you need is the structure and some practice and you don't have to sit and write or type. In fact, I what I normally do is a voice recording. So I'll just kind of talk it out because even though I'm a copywriter, most of my best stuff comes when I'm talking cause that's just my default like way of thinking. So I normally will do a voice recording and then get that transcribed.
Chrys: What are some mistakes that you see people make with their sales page copy?
Courtney: Yeah, I think big mistakes people make is they don't make the copy scannable. So I taught this lesson to people and they are people who are great sales page copy, great like better than me. And I've taught them this one thing and they're like that, like that thing, yes.
So this is what I want you guys to know when you read a sales page. I teach sales pages have 14 different sections. So I know I've kind of intro the first. The first three are the most important. So the ones we already talked about, the rest are still important. But they're not quite as like life or death.
When you're creating copy for those sections, every single section needs to have a headline, and if I only read the headlines of your sales page, I should not just know what your offer is but want to buy it. So what happens is people create headlines that don't say anything like, here's what's included. I don't know what's included.
So instead of saying, here's what's included in your headline, you can say this six week course includes everything you need to get X result and then you go into this section. But if I just read the headlines, it should be like a mini sales page within your sales page because a lot of people, myself included, scan. I'm not a detail person, I'm a scanner.
So if you're making me hunt for those details, some of you detailed oriented people, you guys are the worst at this because you're like, well, everybody reads every single word eight times. I do not. I've enrolled in $20,000 coaching programs without reading half of a sales page because I don't care. Once I know that I want it, I'm done.
So yes, have all the details in there, but also make it scannable because things are gonna hit people subconsciously in different ways. People are going to scroll up and down your page. So you just want to make sure it's really clear and easy to follow and scannable.
Chrys: So that is one formula for attention grabbing headlines. Do you have other formulas that you can share with us as well?
Courtney: Yeah, so I actually have a cheat sheet on this. I'll try to remember a couple, but I have a cheat sheet on this at rulebreakersclub.com/headline. And it's a madlibs style thing to come up with those. For those first three sections we talked about, it's literally like plug in your information and then it'll generate these headlines. So it has a bunch of formulas in there, but essentially each section is going to have different headlines.
So a great ones for the opening headlines are like asking a question. So are you struggling with X? Or just state the main frustration. So I think on the sales page kit sales page, I say something like you want to have a great sales page, but the thought of writing one yourself makes you want to stab your eye out with a rusty fork or something like that.
Like that's my language as you can tell, I'm a little bit out of the box so I want to make people laugh cause I want them to resonate with my brand. If they're like really serious, they're probably not going to like my style. So off the bat I just want them to be like, I like this chick, I agree with what she's saying. What's next? So that's a good one.
So just stating the problem with the gold section, it's good to say things like imagine or how would it feel if, or like what would it mean to you to have this result? So get them really picturing the result in their head. People are really good at focusing on what they don't like about their current situations and they struggle much more with expressing what they want instead.
So if you can help them to see that picture, you're going to sell them on themselves. Cause they're like, Oh my God. Yes. Like how did they know that? Because like I couldn't even articulate that. How did you get inside my head? And that's what you want to happen.
So some of the other sections... So the pricing is a big one for people. People freak out about pricing, pricing quote unquote section is literally just one line. The investment for this offer is X.
Chrys: Right, so that's how you qualify those people before they jump on the call with you.
Courtney: Yes, or if it's a course they just buy it there, right? But, but yeah, we would just say, and this is the line, everyone should steal: The investment for blank is blank. That's it. Zip your lip. Stop talking.
The biggest mistake people make, and you mentioned sales calls, this happens in sales conversations a lot is we state the price and then we're like, but you know like this and that and like it's like if you bought 16 lattes at Starbucks this month and like we do all this weird justifying of the price, but like the whole sales page is selling on the price.
So when you get to the price, just say the price. I'm lazy. I don't want this to be harder than it needs to be. All of this copy we already did is already selling them. So once you're like, okay, what's the investment? You just tell them the investment.
So like I said, the three first sections are the most important and they're the hardest. The rest are really just like plenty and information.
Chrys: That's so interesting because I was literally just looking at a website that was trying to justify the Starbucks.
Courtney: Or the gym, like a lot of like diet or weight loss or whatever programs they always try to tell you like this is how much you're spending at the gym everyone. Okay, that can, it can work. But in most cases with most entrepreneurs, it just kind of reeks of desperation. And I prefer that you just said this is the price.
Chrys: Right, it's again, back to the mindset, right? It's the mindset. This is the price, this is how much I'm worth.
Courtney: Yup. And then people are like, Oh snap, that's the price. Okay. Like that's it. That's all you need to do.
Chrys: Now do we want to also do AB testing for all copy or sales copy because in marketing we're always doing things like AB testing to see which works best, which image works best. So what about sales page copy do we have to AB test as well?
Courtney: Can I be really honest? I have never AB tested my sales pages. That is a great idea. And this is excellent idea and very smart. I have no negative thing to say about that. What I will say for myself is my sales pages work so I don't really worry about it. And there's other parts of my funnel and things that are that what need tweaking or are easier to fix.
So if something's working, I try not to obsess over it. Let's move on to the next thing. Cause if there's an opportunity cost of constantly tweaking one sales page when you could have spent that energy recording a better webinar or working on Facebook ads or whatever the thing is that would actually have an exponentially bigger ROI than getting like 0.05% higher conversion rate on your sales page.
So I say once a sales page is working, it's working. And the thing is by the time someone sees your sales page, they already know you. You never send cold traffic to a sales page. I feel like if it's making sales, and the rule of thumb for sales pages has always been like a 1% or 2% conversion on the number of visitors. So I would say that's a good rule of thumb.
I'll be honest again, like I don't really track that stuff cause ours works and I don't worry about it. But yeah, if you're like into that stuff and you want to measure that then yeah, by all means AB test if you can. And you have the tech, do it.
Chrys: You just said do not send cold traffic to your sales page. Clarify that.
Courtney: Yeah. Yes. Oh yeah. Just slip that in there didn't I? So when you are selling someone, you have to go through what I call the attract, amaze, ask relationship building process to build that know, like, and trust factor.
And somebody who doesn't know, like, and trust you is not going to buy from you no matter how amazing your copy is. So sales pages by themselves are not going to move mountains. They're going to be the thing that is, yes, going to sell people who are already like, Oh yeah, I like this person. I trust them. I've seen some of their stuff. I like it. This looks like a good offer, I'm in.
So attract. The attract phase is the first phase. That's where you're really just bringing someone into your universe. So they followed you on Instagram for the first time or they opt into something of yours for the first time and it's kind of like if you met someone at a bar and you're just kind of chatting. It's just like, Oh you're a person. Like you exist. So that's the first phase is just awareness that you exist... Attracting them.
The amaze phase is when you're building that relationship. So that's like dating or like sending out your free content, sharing your podcast episodes. Podcasts are so great because podcasts creates such an intimate relationship with the listener for some reason. Like they're so great cause they're long form and they just....
Chrys: our voice, our emotions behind it.
Courtney: Yeah. It could be because you feel like you're like hanging out with the person a little bit. So video is great for that too. But whatever you do, like you're building this relationship with your email, your social media, whatever.
And so by the time you're selling them, they already know you. You're not a stranger to them. If you try to sell to people who don't know you, some might say yes, I am just not interested, that's just too hard. Again, I'm lazy. I don't want to do the hard way.
Chrys: Now before we end off this episode, I'd like you to give my listeners two tips. One on how to become a better entrepreneur like yourself because you've been through a lot. And the second tip on sales page copywriting that you have not mentioned in today's episode.
Courtney:I really do believe, I think that you need two things. You always need mindset and you need strategy. So strategy is what's going to create the results, but you will never implement the strategy correctly and you'll go very slowly if you do not have the right mindset.
So working on your mindset is like the gasoline on the fire. Well, of the strategy. So I would say the biggest tip I have for anyone who's trying to grow their business is dive into understanding the concept of limiting beliefs, belief systems. NLP is great for this, trying to understand your mental map, how you see the world.
Because here's the thing about beliefs. You can't see your beliefs because you think they're facts. So you don't even think of them as beliefs. You think of them as reality. And so I literally had a call with my accountability buddy this morning and she called me out on something. I was like, no, no, no, that's not a thing. I was like, please, I don't want to talk about this. And 20 minutes later I was like, Ooh, there's a story coming up.
So it takes practice. I've been doing this for a long time and I'm just getting better and better and better at it. And I've had coaches to help me to do this as well.
But right now I feel like I'm in Jedi mindset training. I want to get rid of all of the roadblock beliefs as fast as possible because there's no... My friend Haley from profit planner, she says there's no speed limit to how fast you can grow your business. And that was really confronting to me because I was always like slow and steady, slow and steady. So I'm like, Oh, well that was a story. I believe I had that slower is better.
So I would say just examine all the beliefs you have. If somebody is triggering you, if something I said today is triggering you, good. Follow the people who trigger you because the people who trigger you hitting those beliefs, so whether you end up loving them or not, at least it can help you to see where that belief is. Right? So that's my number one tip.
And then the tip I haven't shared yet today. Okay. I'm going to talk about a process tip, because we talked a lot about what to put on your sales page, but how about how to create the copy.
So a lot of people what they do is they open up a blank document and then the cursor of doom just blinks at them and just mocking them with fury of how little ideas they have.
So instead of doing that, what I want you to do is, hey, go get that cheat sheet I shared with you because it'll help you to get started. And then the other thing I would say is stop, get off the computer because when you write by hand or you talk, it activates a different areas of your brain. Then when you type, so if you think about it, writing is very like creative because you can create letters any way you want.
When you type, it's like push this button and do this. And so it's very logic brain and you want to access more open minded, creative brain. And so you want to create what I like to call the shitty first draft (SFD).
So the shitty first draft can be SFD, This is not something I made up. People give me credit for this all the time. This is a term in the publishing industry because this is how writers write. So you need to stop trying to write a perfect email sales page, whatever, on the first try. You need to just get it out there and then revise it and add to it and change it and update it and get feedback and things like that.
But I want you to remove that block of perfectionism. That's the perfectionism is coming from limiting beliefs. So that goes back to my last step. So we need to observe what's going on there. What beliefs do you have about why you have to make it perfect on the first try, and and let it be shitty. That's my favorite motto. Just let it be shitty.
Chrys: Let things be shitty. Guys this is a perfect way to close off this episode. Guys go check out rulebreakersclub.com. Courtney also has a free masterclass on how you can get more clients and you can go to rrulebreakersclub.com/5k-blueprint. The links will be on the episode page if it's too difficult for you to remember.
So thanks guys for spending time with me and Courtney. Head on over to hackyouronlinebusiness.com. You can find the show notes, the links and everything that we just talked about today. I want to thank you so much, Courtney. You are hilarious.
Courtney: Oh, I had so much fun with you. No, this is great and I hope everyone enjoyed it and got some really good takeaways too. So thank you so much for having me.
Chrys: Right guys. Go create shitty copy now.
Courtney: Yes, I love it. Yes, that's the motto. Hashtag shitty copy.
Resources Discussed In This Episode:
- RuleBreakersClub.com - Rule Breakers Club
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