Feb 2009

10

1. Focus on Them, Not You

When a prospect reads your ad, letter, brochure, etc., the one thing he will be wondering from the start is: “what’s in it for me?”

And if your copy doesn’t tell him, it’ll land in the trash faster than he can read the headline or lead.

A lot of advertisers make this mistake. They focus on them as a company. How long they’ve been in business, who their biggest customers are, how they’ve spent ten years of research and millions of dollars on developing this product, blah, blah.

Actually, those points are important. But they should be expressed in a way that matters to your potential customer. Remember, once he’s thrown it in the garbage, the sale is lost!

When writing your copy, it helps to think of it as writing a letter to an old friend. In fact, I often picture a friend of mine who most closely fits my prospect’s profile. What would I say to convince this friend to try my product? How would I target my friend’s objections and beliefs to help my cause?

When you’re writing to a friend, you’ll use the pronouns “I” and “you.” When trying to convince your friend, you might say: “Look, I know you think you’ve tried every widget out there. But you should know that…”

And it goes beyond just writing in the second person. That is, addressing your prospect as “you” within the copy. The fact of the matter is there are many successful ads that weren’t written in the second person. Some are written in the first person perspective, where the writer uses “I.” Other times the third person is used, with “she,” “he,” and “them.”

And even if you do write in the second person, it doesn’t necessarily mean your copy is about them.

For example:

“As a real estate agent, you can take comfort in the fact that I’ve sold over 10,000 homes and mastered the tricks of the trade”

Although you’re writing in the second person, you’re really still focusing on yourself.

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