What to do when you’re “too close” to your product

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Long-time subscriber, Orleatha, asked a great question about what to do when…

Q: “I’m too close to my product to see all the reasons why people should buy it.”

A: This is a great question, and one that comes up a lot.

Look, just about every entrepreneur is his or her own worst client. And this confuses us because we sound brilliant giving other people advice (and often get paid very well to give such advice), but we quickly shrivel and feel lost when staring down the barrel of our own cannon.

It’s the same reason it’s easy to give a friend relationship advice while we stay perpetually single or mired in a bad situation…

It’s different when it’s YOU.

Let’s face it, painting your name on the tin of your product adds a lot of pressure. Suddenly every decision is very personal. So, your subconscious mind starts firing all kinds of protective neurons to shield you against harm and humiliation. Which makes it extremely difficult to move ahead confidently with tough decisions.

Plus, if you’re a freelancer or consultant, it’s easy to push back your own deadlines to meet other people’s deadlines. You could chalk this up to “caring too much” if you want. But, let’s call it what it is… the perfect excuse to avoid potential failure.

I finally became so sick of hearing myself say that I “need to create my own thing” that this year I invested thousands in coaches to help me. The result is a book and a community that weren’t even on the radar a year ago.

Believe me, there were times when I had to be drug, kicking and screaming towards completing these projects.

Now I realize not everyone is in position to hire a mentor, or even a copywriter to help get past their bad selves and get their products launched.

So, here’s what I recommend:

Sometimes, in order to convince yourself why your product is so great, you need to convince a cynic first.

One tactic I use and recommend for this is to interview yourself about your product or service offer paying 2 roles… you and your most skeptical prospect.

Imagine the person who really needs what you have. You KNOW it will solve their problem if they would only trust you and listen. And then imagine that they tried something similar once and HATED it. Felt like they paid too much, had zero results, and swore to never waste time of money on something like you’re offering ever again.

Then get out a notebook and write out a back and forth conversation between you and them where you explain your product and they challenge you on what makes it different and better than other stuff out there.

Keep in mind, this is just for you. Don’t write this as copy or you’ll over think it. This is just a sketch you’ll use to answer objections and flesh out the benefits for yourself.

Even if it isn’t flowing in the beginning, just keep writing, soon you’ll hit a zone and the conversation will take on a life of it’s own.

After you’ve done that, go back to your product and do what I call “bulleting the product”. Go through each component and write short lines of feature/benefit copy that summarizes the value behind your offer.

Doing just these two things will provide you much greater clarity about your offer so that you can begin writing your copy – or bring in a copywriter to help based on your objection handling notes and your offer bullets.

Good luck, Ms. O. Let me know how you do.

Kevin

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Kevin Rogers
Kevin Rogers
Kevin Rogers is a stand up comic turned copywriter and now a copy chief. Kevin is also a best-selling author of The 60-Second Sales Hook. He created Copy Chief to bridge the gap between biz owners eager to improve their sales conversions and copywriters eager to show off their hard-won copy chops.
Showing 9 comments
  • Mia Sherwood Landau
    Reply

    This is a terrific post, Kevin. That write-out-a-conversation idea is a great solution for all kinds of situations where we might feel stuck, personal as well as business. Thanks!

    • Kevin Rogers
      Reply

      Hey Mia… so true.

      I’ve used it for personal scenarios, too. When you’re done writing you can crumble it up and let it go.

      Thanks for your note.

      Kevin

  • Jackie McMillan
    Reply

    Thanks Kevin, this is something I can do! And really appreciate your asking that question, Orleatha!

    • Kevin Rogers
      Reply

      Happy to help, Jackie. Enjoy the “conversation” and don’t let that mean ol’ skeptic intimidate you 🙂

  • Bruce Wesley Chenoweth
    Reply

    Brilliant question with a brilliant reply. Thanks to the two of you!

    This should be easy for me. I will use my super-skeptical friend “Jim” as the alter-ego/Devil’s advocate. Years of encountering his “non-participating skepticism” has armed me with just about every logic-free antagonistic response imaginable. Although his preconceived notions of reality may be impenetrable, posing various ideas to him has always forced me to carefully evaluate my own point of view. If my ideas survive even an imaginary exchange with him, I know that I am clear about and committed to their value.

    • Kevin Rogers
      Reply

      Even better when you have a real-life avatar, Bruce.

  • William Thomas
    Reply

    Great answer – it’s always so difficult to write when we are close to the product. I really appreciate the specific exercise too, not just fluffy feel good puffery – real practical advice. Glad I picked this email from the stack waiting to be read. 🙂

  • Orleatha Smith
    Reply

    Thanks so much!!! The exercise made it a LOT easier to get clear about what i am offering and kill any objections before they can pop up! You ROCK!

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