Words that win | How to get the internet to saddle up, pony up, and want to ride off with you into the sunset... before they even meet you Part 2
Last week, we started the insightful conversation with Edward bell as to how we find the power to draw out the words within us and the revelation that totally blew our minds is that the energy you put into writing your copy is the energy that comes out for the person reading it on the other end. If you've missed that, we encourage you to listen to part one, and then dive into this episode after. The conversation was too good to cut short and thank God we kept recording because this week, Edward will share even more golden nuggets with us.
And I haven't_ okay, I have a couple things I want to share about it, directly related to what you went as just solely about your experiences and I'll preface it by saying a lot of this energy around copywriting puts mums, especially like mums who are dealing with a lot, in a way better position to be able to write copy than most other people. It puts you so far ahead because the number one skill that you need in copywriting before you even write a single word is empathy. And people who understand energy and can read energy of others and understand what they need and how they want to feel and create that sense of safety for them through relating to them, that's everything. That's where you start.
That is the start of every piece of copy and the most powerful pieces of copy you'll ever write. And so that was the empathy piece that I wanted to share with you and the advantage that I think a lot of moms have especially because I want to give you confidence. I think there's a lot of beginner apprehension around like, ‘Oh, am I gonna_ I don't have the authority to be able to say this. How do I put this out there in a way that people are going to trust me and respect me?’ Empathy. Empathy is the key, if you can, there's an old saying in copywriting: “If you can describe somebody's problem to them better than they can describe it to themselves. They automatically think you have the solution” which needs to be treated with care because it's an incredibly powerful tool. But it can also be misused. So I've ethically and then I was gonna say as well if there's different ways of conveying energy, and I know that sometimes it's easy to talk about this, but some people really need like concrete steps for how do I how do I turn this into words? It's not just enough for me to feel but how do I put that onto paper so that someone else can feel it for me and when you shared your story about the word celebrate specifically that you shared? This it made me think of this tool that I've never seen another copywriter talk about, but that I use in every single piece that I have, and it's how I modulate my voice depending on what kind of energy I want to give. And I call it_ because I'm a giant nerd_ Lexical hierarchies, which means how energetic is the word that you're going to use, and I start building letters and ranking words based on their impact in my head.
So taking your word of celebrate, I would have three tiers where we'd start at the bottom, the least impactful kind of most heavy, kind of very academic word, which would be acknowledge. Then the next step up would be praise, the next step up from that it'd be celebrate because it's an all-encompassing contribution level stuff. That’s a word that is now kind of feeling that you get and it feels the most important now, is there a dictionary somewhere that is like the authority on what words rank were not because all of its subjective, all of its based on our lived experience. So the beautiful thing is you get to write the words whichever way you want. I was at the gym the other day, and I saw on the on the wall, they have this unique selling proposition which is No Judgments. So anybody can come to the gym. There's no judgments there. And no matter your body type, no matter your experience, how much you’ve lifted, no matter how long your workout or how short it is, you’re welcome here, essentially, and they have these quotes at the front desk by famous people. And I Gosh, I wish I could remember the quote exactly. Or who said it, but it was something about like, I didn't come here to like faff about I came here to hunt, basically and I was like 100 powerful word if you use it in the right context. So I thought that words had an impact in me and I was like, ‘okay, where would I put that in a ranking system because like I said, giant nerd, I just I think about all the steps down the gym when the lactic acid is building up in my, my thighs and my glutes. And I thought okay, well I've got I think you have like one done, first of all, because it's a sense of like movement so wonder and then you add a sense of direction which is seek so I'm seeking to understand I'm seeking something and then pursue so there's a sense of like, determination and there and that hunt. And so I'm like so wonder, seeker pursue, hunt. And then it gives me a framework to be able to say when I'm writing a headline or if I'm talking about something and am I hunting for an answer, am I wondering around for an answer? Am I seeking, pursuing, what am I? What am I looking for? Exactly? And it gives you a really like for people who say they don't have a big vocabulary or they're not great with words. It's almost like instant mastery. You just you pick a word that seems like it's really impactful and you think oh, how can I turn that down?
And then, yeah, and then in your piece of writing as well, you can find that sort of like climax of your piece right to the build out these words to finally get to your highest level.
Yeah, exactly. And I think part of that is like this climax is where it's, we're exposed, almost subjected to a lot of really shouty advertising these days. And so we feel like because we see it a lot that must work and so we have to be going at 100% all the time. And the truth is that you need to have ups and downs cadences in your energy and your tone and even the things that you talk about like some if not every piece can be heavy and respectful. Some has to be like right like you know, think about thinking about your website, almost like a storyline of a movie. You don't start out or sometimes you do start out with the action scene but then you have the immediate drop, like where the next story gets caught. You see like the character and you come to the characterization. So it's important to have that ability, the flexibility to, like ramp things up when you really want somebody to pay attention or like kind of dial back when you're lulling them into this like, into the things that you want to convey to them into the conversation.
And sometimes it plays to your advantage to also not try to compete on an energetic profile. If we're talking about introverts, extroverts, right, of saying like ‘oh my God, the loudest are going to be getting all the attention’ because sometimes, actually, when you're more mellow or when you're a little bit more, you have that silent power inside of you, people just take notice. They're like ‘oh, wait a second, this is different. For some reason, it feels more powerful because you don't have to show it. It's like it's so compelling so you can also use that to your advantage as well by not falling into the trap like you just said, that everything has to match what is already out there because again, you are not everyone out there. You are being yourself and you are building your own voice. You're creating your own online authenticity or your online authentic blueprint. And so it has to come from a place where you can match it consistently, right? Like we all have good days and bad days. And as you say we are all entitled to have opinions and to write something that is strongly like a strongly-worded type of post because this triggered me and I just want to share but for the most part we all seem to be within a certain energetic level and that is fine. That is who you are.
Yeah, you're not like one tone in your real life. You're not one tone all the time. Who wants to know that person? Like, behaves like Kanye West or something in the background. It's just, it's not_ your copy is not designed to be representative on the one part of you. I believe there's room for every facet of you and that's why some of my like when I write on my website, some of it is fun and it's surely for the LOLs you know, some of it is loud because I want it to be different and I want to show you how far you can push the boundaries of things to create more space to expand your own comfort zone. But then there's also parts of me where like I'm not on lace up like you know funny and frivolous and you know, flamboyant and, and all that kind of stuff. I have pretty deep thought sometimes and opinions about the way things should be done and business and ethics and how I show up in business and I
I love that it's exactly then that you've already got the attention of your followers, listeners, clients who have whoever your audience, right, you already have their attention because they love the way you write. They love listening to you, reading from you. So when you then come with a piece that you want to be heard they will listen that, they will read it right and they'll take action as well, which is essentially the goal of all of this is we don't want people to just read, we want them to take action. We want them to click certain things, we want them to you know, buy certain things. It's the purpose of our business as well. So that's amazing how you have the capability of drawing that audience and then really taking them on that journey right with you.
Yeah, I think there's also a lot about copywriting as you go on researching and people will hype it up and say you know, it's like having a salesperson and all this other kind of stuff. You know that you never have to pay or whatever because it’s always doing the selling for you. If you're writing copy well but I think there was when just after I started copywriting, also to illustrate the point we did a very very, very big launch for this particular company selling just like as many tickets as we could to a flagship personal development event. And it was in celebration about like the company's birthday and we're celebrating 10 years which is a pretty big milestone for small company because most are making past three and everything. So I wrote this launch copy and this was before I had any idea of how to write a launch or anything like that. I was just writing what came to me in the moment you know, channeling from the great marketing Gods wherever they be. And the copy that I wrote ended up selling a quarter of a million dollars worth of product in 10 hours. And it was like even the thing that I want to draw your attention to is not necessarily the money because yes, it's great. But everything that went into that, especially the phrases with the copy I wrote, brought in 20 million or $20,000. It's kind of a red herring, because everything that came before the copy also contributed to that. The speaker's brand, the size of the audience, how much our audience trusted us as a company to be able to sell this whether or not we had done enough content and relationship building beforehand. There's so many parts of all of the words and all of the touch points that you have as a business with your audience that contribute that moment of sale that I think glossed over and copy and it adds to that pressure we talked about before. But people like I've got to say are busy and once you make that sale and it's this huge sense of relief when you realize, actually you can build that momentum, you can build a relationship and trust and respect over time that contributes to that moment of sale where you join. You can be where you are using copy as a tool in your belt rather than the be all and end all of your sales success. Like yes, you want to get people to take action, but it's not just your word choices, because if all you focus on is your word choices, you're a hair's breadth away from manipulation and falling on the right side of the ethical ladder, which is a huge concern for a lot of people at the moment. And I think having a great track record and genuinely being of service in your copy, when you_ because I believe in your copy, you don't just have to sell like you can also provide value even when you're selling, which is why a lot of my website is entertaining, right? That's why often you'll find like if you really read through the words, you'll see ‘oh, that's how I could say x, y and z.’ It's designed to help you to loosen up your voice like lead by example and tell like all of these things that we hear in the marketing world. Use them in a way that is useful for your audience. No matter what you do.
It takes a lot of the pressure off. If you look at it as you said, it from your creating connection. It's not about whether the CTA has the right word that says like ‘click’ like, oh, it's not ‘click me’ anymore, right? The trend is that you should say now x, and it goes beyond that because maybe yeah, you can have the magic word now, the one that's being used like the CTA buttons that you're going to put on your website, but if you haven't started with the other touchpoints contributing and adding to that, then it on its own, it's very unlikely that it will be sustainable or that it will actually do the trick that you're wanting to achieve.
Smart people know if you're overusing the word free or now or like certain like click or catchphrases and things like that, that you know the words that make the money in inverted commas. It's not like they're gonna smell that and they're gonna go, ‘oh, this is this’, like, find a way to express what you want them to do, clearly succinctly and if you can deliberately and that's actually going to be more relatable and trustworthy than if you just use the word like ‘buy today’ or ‘buy now’ or ‘apply here’ or you know those things.
“Just for the next three minutes, if you buy now you get…”
Yeah. That's right. I like the way you work with people as well because and correct me here if I'm wrong, but the way you work with them is also often under three months basis, like a one on one with you, where you work with them on projects that people are already working on. So it's not like extra time that they now have to take out of their schedule, but also to work on this build-up moment. So it's not just like just the sales page, just the email funnel, but it's all the things around it too. So for three months I believe maybe you can tell us a little bit more about that, that you get to like kind of experience their part of the business to be able to tell them where the right build up moments are and where copy will play a big role.
Yeah, absolutely. I think when you're starting a business, a lot of it is writing like we talked about before, and a lot of people think, ‘oh my gosh, I haven't’ so it can get quite overwhelming and they're left with two options. Either, one, they learn how to write it themselves or, two, they end up hiring a copywriter which can be quite expensive. Up until the point where they're making the money to be able to hire somebody and they can delegate that. Either way, it's useful to know what you're doing. Because if you're having to manage a copywriter and give them feedback, you kind of want to have the knowledge to be able to recognize whether something sits well with you or not, why they've written a particular sentence. That kind of thing. And it's like most things, it's um, it's not a skill you can learn overnight. So I've taken all the courses, I bought them myself where it's like no, learn to write better subject lines or better emails. Or like rewrite your homepage in a flash and all these kinds of things and everything is now now an instant, you know, level up and all this other kind of stuff like in such short timeframes that for me personally, and I'm guessing 97% of other people who buy these courses, it doesn't happen that quickly. Unless they've already got a really broad skill set around that particular topic, especially around copywriting with great foundational understanding of sales language to be able to use those courses and apply the learnings back quickly. And so that's why I like to work with people for a minimum of three months. Because that way, not only can I understand what your company is about and what you want to say and help you find your voice. It's also a chance for you to be able to pick my brain and be like, ‘This is great. Why did you say it that way? I want to know so I can read in the future’ and really like my highest most important thing to my heart. the dearest thing is clear communication. Because being able to say what you mean and inspire action and other people it's a gift. It's a real talent as a skill, most importantly, that anybody can develop and that is something that anybody who owns a business has the ability to be able to talk and nobody can can say the things that you say the way you want to say them. Like for example I have this like little downloadable thing on my website that people I want in my inbox and I have a section there where it's kind of like people have fallen out of love with who I once loved but don't anymore and it's usually people who were the primary copywriter for their company up until they grow so big that they're like more like actually $1,000 an hour jobs now for me are you know more in management direction of the company than writing the copy that goes to our people. So usually, it happens around about the $20 million a year mark is what I've noticed with some of those companies, and they start hiring people and those people write based off of principles and it feels kind of formulaic. And then it loses that sense of like a personality and humaneness that we talked about but if you're a company who's doing less than $20 million your personality that your brand will bring is a huge advantage that you have at your disposal to be able to tap and learning to use your voice to sell your products is so important.
And I think that is really the crux of, of why do and it's really hard to figure out on your own unless you're willing to like keep throwing words against the page and editing and refining and trimming and shaping and all the like and polishing until you find really what the essence of what you want to say is and that's what there's the headline on the I call. I call it the Word Wizard Apprenticeship because I wish everybody there's too many boring, formulaic copy based on templates out there in the world when I know that it could be, you know, a shining beacon of people's personality. So the headline on that, like, on my sales page is say hello to your second writing brain because it can get lonely sometimes and you're like you just can't see the way forward in your own head. It's why we hire coaches. That's why we have like financial advisors. It's you know, people who can just be like, ‘Oh, you're sure your toe is like right next to the next lily pad or the next rock across the stream like just a little bit further here.’ This is this is where that kind of thing.
Yeah, I like that you teach people how to become a Word Wizard and I love the name of your program as well but because often us as mompreneurs we get these ideas like look at me now I'm trying to like manage my baby. We're doing a podcast interview. I have like other things in my mind. Like we have limited time, we need to do things on the fly, on the go sometimes. I don't always have time to wait for a copywriter. If I need to do this email really quick because I only have like a couple of minutes. I want to be able to do it myself. So I think it's so valuable that you actually learn and yes, you can hire out a few things but really you should know how to do a lot of this yourself especially in the spur of the moment things right and
It also helps you to have that constant: ‘Is this right?’ Yes, you already have the confidence of saying that. Okay, I know. I know. It's a quick one. I have to put something together but it's going to be honest and trust myself. I know what you know what I'm about and so I'm not I'm not having this doubts about Yeah. What is what does this mean? What what is it going to look like? Well, people like
Exactly, exactly. So it's perfect that there's someone like you Edward out there to guide people through that, you know, to teach that skill because I think it's just such a powerful tool to have for your confidence and for you to build your brand.
Yeah, and I think there's lots of different ways that people do this as well. Like you've got macro skills like which is the ability to build a logical argument in what you're delivering to people so there's, there's a rational reason for them to make a purchasing decision with you and to feel like they have the information to feel comfortable and correct about buying from you because nobody wants to feel pressured into buying. Nobody likes this money salesperson. But then there's also like the really simple easy things like use contractions, read your copy out loud, does it sound like it could have come from a real human being? If so great. If not, like figure out where it feels stiff or bloated or and then like trim or like add a punctuation mark here or, you know, like how long is each sentence does it feel like they're all too long or have you got maybe one shorter sentence and then a medium sentence and then there's just there's something like little easy things that are like that take 30 seconds just read through and be like, ‘Oh, that sounds a bit too short. I can remove a contraction here put a full stop.’ And immediately like things become clearer. It's just sometimes you don't you don't know what you don't know until
Yeah, I always read my copy out loud to proofread it in a way I always do that. Yeah, but I love it. But to your point.
There's also then that is that second step, meaning there's the energy, right and then there's the energy how you write it, how you get that inspiration, how you put it down on paper. But then there's the other aspect of okay when I need to actually do the iterations or like the corrections or to just you know, polish it a little bit more. That it is done. Also with that in mind, so if you're trying to like be inspired and going to be in the flow, trying to also correct yourself as you're going along might not be the best option, right? Like it's more of like, lay it out, see what comes out of it. And then we you say then with a different perspective, like adding a little bit of a gap somehow then go to it as ‘Okay, let me just make sure that it writing goes into into the direction that I wanted it to go to begin with.’
Yeah, finger vomit is where all gold starts like let your let your fingers off the page. Whatever is coming through to you, out of you and then after that, like there's a saying that says_ it's actually a curse word I'm gonna change it_so I want to be I want to be if you want cuss words go to my website the business say that. That guides a lot of my writing when I first sit down facing a blank page and I'm ready to go to war against all the white. It's there are no bad writers. Sorry. There are no great writers. There are only exceptional editors. And because nobody writes anything the first time and it's like this, this is it. I'm done. Like I'm walking away from the computer and
It's true. It's true. I it takes me a couple of runs to go through it. And exactly
When I write you know, like magazine articles or even blog post I have to do that I have to take at least one or two days in between Yeah, go back and say okay, let me take a look at it. Because if I do the revision right on that same timeline, or that same span of sitting down where I wrote it in, I'm not going to see, I'm not going to see much change. I'm not going to be able to edit a lot. Not that I'm aiming to edit a lot but I'm just saying I'm not going to be able to really bring out what
Yeah, the finger vomit. I like to just get it all. Like you said when you are in that moment, right that heat of the moment when the inspiration hits, just get it all out, get it all out, and then go back to find it.
I think that's the key to really producing work you're proud of and that gets respect in the marketplace is did you refine it? Did you refine it to the point where it says exactly what you want and only what you want to say? And also I think there is a third layer in that which is what the reader needs to hear what the reader wants to hear as well. And because that's really right, so that so it worked.
So yeah, it's like what you say like putting all the layers together at the end of the day is definitely finding your voice understanding that the energy that comes into it is going to have a great massive impact on whoever is going to read it _ the recipient, the end customer, the ideal customer that is looking at it. And then you have the aspect of understanding that on the first try you're not going to get that gem- you're not going to get the diamond that you want that is going to be the copy that everybody's going to see. So you go into that, you know iterating making sure that you break it down you go with a little bit science and intuition between the two in order to get where you are but finally as you so wisely put it, also is that what you ultimately want your customer or the person reading it to get out of it right? Like what is that message that you want them to take at the end of the day because that is when the whole cycle and the whole loop actually ends. I mean, I mean, it's ironclad, so to speak.
Yeah absolutely. I think the biggest thing with copy, it’s remembering it is not_ when you’re writing something that you believe in, people feel that. And nobody gets it perfect. Even the best paid copywriters in the world are only as good as until, like they're only that good until somebody else comes along and writes a better sales page. And so, think of it in terms of only ever being improving 1% upon what the last version of your copy was making it clearer and making it slightly more compelling using something, a new technique or a new word or a new angle that you found from speaking to one of your clients in your offer. And that way, you're always including something that helps people see themselves and relate to the reasons that they want to buy your product or your service.
Yeah, yeah, no, that is that is fantastic. And we have gleaned so so much out of this conversation. It's it's amazing, and I just want to cap it off by having you share with us a freebie that you have that we will be so keen to hear about it so that our listeners can go and check it out.
Absolutely. So I have one freebie which is called How To Get Clicks With Consent And Creativity because it's all about that personality. And it outlines the four major forces that drive every single call to action, opt in, and headline, action-taking oriented word on your website. And I include examples and it's extremely sexy. I visited live on my mom's house. So thankfully I should probably sell it on Etsy, which is something that you will soon be able to write like the lines like that and you can have get that on my website.
That’s fantastic- Ed, we are so grateful for having you come here today and share with us everything you know, everything like the behind the scenes of the magic, but also what it is intended for at the end of the day. Because sometimes we might get lost in just trying to achieve some sort of perfection as you say or that pressure of it has to be right, it has to look this way. But ultimately who is the recipient? You know who we want to be communicating and connecting with ultimately, that also is part of the whole magical you know, process behind it. So we really want to thank you for being here with us today. And for chatting with us and if you want to connect with Edward, you can find him on Instagram @inspiredward and we will also be sharing all of his links like his website, and his LinkedIn in our show notes. So once again, Ed, thank you so much for being here with us today and for sharing all this powerful, you know, word wizardry with us.
Thank you so much. It's been an absolute pleasure and I'm honored to be amongst such noble and inspiring companies such you and Des, and of course all of your listeners I you know, it's kind of cliche, but none of us would be here without moms and you know, I know sometimes it's a job that doesn't get much recognition but I have been graced with the presence of an excellent mother and her mother as well. And you guys are icons in what you do. as well. So thank you so much for having me and I feel very privileged to be included in this podcast.
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Edward Bell is the copywriter for people whose least favorite F-word is "formula". Because formulas are what? Boring. And no one buys from Same-y Sounding Susan. He's the writer you hire when you want your words to be heard, respected, and acted upon... without sounding like a hype man chuggging Red Bull at a frat party. He's known for believing your work's special before he's even met you. What you hire him for, is words that make the world feel that too.
Working With Edward In His On Words: My absolute favorite thing in the world (and when I do my best work) is collaborating on copy like we're in a Netflix writer's room. I call it the Word Wizard Apprenticeship. If a medieval blacksmith and Ernest Hemingway got hot and steamy, this would be their baby. It's 3 months, 1-on-1 with me, where I help you write the best copy of your life on projects you already need to get done. No extra time out of your calendar, and you walk out with copy you not only want to shout into a megaphone, but know will attract the right clients to you. You can poke around the outrageously entertaining sales page over at
How To Earn Clicks With Consent And Creativity