For business owners/marketers

The 15-Minute “Focus Card” That Will End Your Stress and Fatten Your Wallet

How’s your business been treating you so far this year? Is it the friend you can’t wait to wake up to? Or the beast looming in the next room? People with “real jobs” don’t quite understand how it can be. This relationship we have with our business. It’s complicated. Sometimes you can feel like you …

The 15-Minute “Focus Card” That Will End Your Stress and Fatten Your Wallet Read More »

[Story Sells] Sell On Emotion, Justify With This …

My nephew recently asked me how The Flash got his super-speed powers. My answer: “Barry Allen was struck by lightning while standing in front of a shelf of chemicals. The combination of the chemicals and the lightning gave him super speed. Lightning is very fast, after all.”* This story made sense my nephew. Lightning is fast, …

[Story Sells] Sell On Emotion, Justify With This … Read More »

[Story Sells] The copywriting secret that helped this summer blockbuster rake in $1.6 Billion dollars

When I was a teenager, I stood in a long line to watch the first Jurassic Park. I had just read the novel in one big gulp and I was dying to see real dinosaurs on the screen. I wasn’t alone. The movie brought in over 1.02 billion dollars. Steven Spielberg, the director, knew how to tease …

[Story Sells] The copywriting secret that helped this summer blockbuster rake in $1.6 Billion dollars Read More »

[Story Sells] TESTIFY, brother: How To Tell A “Conversion Story” that turns your customers into your best promoters

A few years back I followed my buddy to a multilevel marketing event for a health supplements company. It was a big event, designed to bring curious seekers into the fold. Presenters talked up the company and the products … but what I remember most were the testimonials. And when I say testimonials, I mean ‘testimonial’ in …

[Story Sells] TESTIFY, brother: How To Tell A “Conversion Story” that turns your customers into your best promoters Read More »

[Story Sells] How to harness the power of “Authenticity” for your sales story

You can ramp up the intensity of the stories you tell when you insert one basic theme. My friend Michael Hauge revealed this to me recently. According to him, nearly all stories in the world revolve around this central dilemma. And, so too, do our lives. When you put this theme into your stories – …

[Story Sells] How to harness the power of “Authenticity” for your sales story Read More »

5 Steps to Transform Your Personal Stories Into Sales Machines

“Story sells…” “Your customers connect with stories, not features and benefits…” “Thou shalt not bore thy customers…” If you study sales copy, you’ve no doubt heard variations of the above…that you should be telling stories. Stories are what people remember, and the way to your audience’s heart. And you can probably name at least two …

5 Steps to Transform Your Personal Stories Into Sales Machines Read More »

Conterintuitive Copy – Why this company reveals how to make their product on your own

There I am innocently perusing Facebook and then…  woah! Good copy alert. Yes, I’m a nerd, buuuuuut… Check it: So I did what completely normal people do (right?)… and broke this down quick by asking 4 questions: What are they saying? Who are they speaking to? What is the voice? Does it work? 1. Why are …

Conterintuitive Copy – Why this company reveals how to make their product on your own Read More »

[Story Sells] Exposing the 60 Second Sales Hook: When Your Story Sucks

The 60 Second Sales Hook can ignite a timid prospect into action. Or it can freeze ‘em faster than the Ice Bucket Challenge – if you’re telling the wrong story. In a sec, I’ll give you a simple rule on how to chose which story to tell. First, a brief refresher of the Hook by way of …

[Story Sells] Exposing the 60 Second Sales Hook: When Your Story Sucks Read More »

How To Use “Truthful” Copy To Win Over Your Reader (Or How A Politically Incorrect Film About Mental Health Teaches You How To Overcome Objections)

When I was a kid, I was an unashamed ad junkie. (I’d love to tell you I always wanted to be in advertising, but that wouldn’t be true. I wanted to be an airforce pilot.) In my ears, I can still hear every note of the catchiest theme songs and the excited delivery of ad slogans. But …

How To Use “Truthful” Copy To Win Over Your Reader (Or How A Politically Incorrect Film About Mental Health Teaches You How To Overcome Objections) Read More »

[Story Sells] The Bradbury Trick for Spinning Easy Story Copy

Ray Bradbury fumbled his early stories. They took him a long time and were boring to read. Until in his twenties he stumbled upon a “trick” that gave him an endless supply of story ideas … giving us Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and creepy tales like Something Wicked This Way Comes. With this trick, he …

[Story Sells] The Bradbury Trick for Spinning Easy Story Copy Read More »

[Story Sells] Happiness Sauce in this 2016 Superbowl Commercial

Wanna be happy in your work? Apparently, here’s the secret: Just do one thing well. That’s the message of Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism. When you pursue too many things at once, you burn out. (Or maybe even worse, never make an impact anywhere.) If you own a fancy garden hose nozzle, you know what I mean: …

[Story Sells] Happiness Sauce in this 2016 Superbowl Commercial Read More »

Beating Copy Blindness: Weaving story into every part of the sales letter

In today’s hyper-connected cyber world, we’ve become “copy blind.”   People are reading so much copy… they tune out, go numb, and become blinded by the sheer number of ads they encounter day after day. The New York Times reported that, 30 years ago, people saw up to 2,000 ad messages a day. Today, people …

Beating Copy Blindness: Weaving story into every part of the sales letter Read More »

[Story Sells] Why Morgan Freeman destroys this storytelling ‘rule’

I’m six years old and everyone is staring at me. The whole class is restless. Mrs. Brown, at the back, nods her head in encouragement. I see Eric in the third row fidgeting in his seat. He’s crumpling up paper for a spitwad. No more stalling – time to pull out the big surprise. It’s Show and …

[Story Sells] Why Morgan Freeman destroys this storytelling ‘rule’ Read More »

[Story Sells] Why Steve Jobs shelled out $100,000 to a freelancer for 14 days of work

The STORY After Steve Jobs got canned from Apple in the late 1980s, he was licking his wounds, deciding what to sink his fortune in. After buying a small computer division from Lucasfilm (called Pixar), Jobs focuses on his real business: He would build a new computer company called NeXT. Eventually, he produced a groundbreaking …

[Story Sells] Why Steve Jobs shelled out $100,000 to a freelancer for 14 days of work Read More »

[Story Sells] Netflix shows you how to have a happy family

Last column I reprinted the Wall Street Journal’s classic “Two Young Men” story and talked about the power of parables. Brief, punchy stories. Short on plot but long on meaning. Another lesson to yank from the Two Young Men story is the power of the Comparison Story. One life-path reaches Heaven and the other descends to …

[Story Sells] Netflix shows you how to have a happy family Read More »

How Cards Against Humanity Writes Emails Their Customers Can’t Wait to Open

Many business owners I know cower at the prospect of emailing their customers. If they don’t have something to sell, they’re not sure what to say. When they do have something to sell, they don’t want to annoy them. And if they have any type of subscription model, they’re afraid an email will only serve …

How Cards Against Humanity Writes Emails Their Customers Can’t Wait to Open Read More »

Trump: The Art of Division and Persuasion

Love him or loathe him, there’s one accusation that can never be levelled at Donald Trump: he’s dull. You can roll out any number of metaphors for the billionaire and reality TV star’s impact on this presidential race. A tour de force, a whirlwind, whatever… But beneath the grandstanding and deeply controversial statements, there are …

Trump: The Art of Division and Persuasion Read More »

How to use the Hollywood Sequel technique to keep prospects coming back

“We’re doing a sequel That’s what we do in Hollywood And everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good!” So sings Kermit and friends in the latest instalment of the Muppets movie. Why is it that movie sequels have such a bad rap and infuriate movie critics so? There’s a sneering attitude of looking …

How to use the Hollywood Sequel technique to keep prospects coming back Read More »

The ‘joke’ that made a millionaire

Remember Black Friday last year? If you don’t, you may not recall one of the greatest marketing pranks of all time. Cards Against Humanity – famed for its grossly offensive and utterly hilarious card games – sold 30,000 boxes of a new product called Bullshit on Black Friday. It was with some consternation that purchasers …

The ‘joke’ that made a millionaire Read More »

House of Cards Persuasion Lessons

Enjoy a sneak peak into the Copy Chief private forums via this excellent post by Founding Member Ross O’Lochlainn…   Are you a fan of House of Cards? If not, you should be. I have only recently started watching it. It is powerful stuff. The writers and producers of this show deeply understand the themes of power, …

House of Cards Persuasion Lessons Read More »

The Million Dollar Potato Peeler Sales Pitch

  1. Stop traffic. Once a small crowd has gathered Joe waves his audience in closer as a “courtesy” because it “saves me shouting.” He promises, “I won’t ask you for money” to differentiate himself from the panhandlers in the streets of New York City. (And technically he does not ask for money, he asks …

The Million Dollar Potato Peeler Sales Pitch Read More »