Writing copy for web pages, landing pages, or marketing messages requires knowing what your audience can relate to and, most importantly, connecting at the right level. In this episode, Juliet Clark interviews brand and product strategist Tracy Hazzard about the secret to marketing the right way and effectively promote your product or service. Getting your message across by connecting with the right emotion and capturing people’s perception is key to selling for a better and more successful product. Grow a great business by learning more about connecting with the right audience and hitting their pain points on today’s show.
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The Key Ingredients To Effective Marketing With Tracy Hazzard
We’re going to talk about emotional punch marketing.
We’re talking about mostly the copy.
We have our fancy punch recipe. I didn’t make it because I have to work and if I drink this, it will be all over because I have a big marketing meeting. It has orange juice, cranberry juice, Chef Marie’s special cocktail blend. This one I like, it’s super cool. It’s orange and lemon and it’s not really sweet. It does have sugar in it, but not a lot of sugar in it. Sometimes, when you have the edge of the drinks and then combined with the fact that it already has fruit in it, everything is too sweet. This isn’t. This is orange and lemon and it has this nice rind, it’s like zest and it has this nice tangy taste too. It’s not too sugary. I like that. I can’t wait to make this one and also because it has ginger in it, which is my favorite and you could choose your own rum.
She suggests golden or amber rum, coconut rum. Pick your own rum.
You can get that mix over at MChef.com.
You can get that one on Amazon too.
I’ll share a little emotional punch story here about that drink. When I was in high school, the first New Year’s Eve party I went to, I drank punch and rum punch and I threw up and I’ve never been able to drink rum again. I’m sure you can substitute some other liquor in here. How do we even follow that? Thank you for showing up. We’ll see you next episode.
Juliet can’t drink or she’ll throw up.
There’s some emotional punch right there. Emotional baggage was not supposed to be a part of our punch top here. I have lots of emotional baggage and I’m always that girl. The reason I don’t drink who cries. I can’t hold my liquor and I share too much.
We want to start talking about a little tie-in. This is a little continuation of last time because we were talking about all those different things that make it so that something gooey, some things satisfying and people want to consume it. Some of what we mentioned was the fact that there were these copy matters, the words matter. With that, that’s where I got some questions for you because you’re an expert in more of the copywriting area than I am. Although I’m a writer, it’s a different kind when you’re writing articles than it is when you’re writing copy for web pages, copy for landing pages or marketing messages. It’s a different type of copy, but it still has to have that. We talked about that last episode that it has to have 60% emotion, 20% fact and 20% opinion. Thinking about that 60% emotion, what does that mean? How do we put that in? How do we know if it’s right? We don’t want to make people laugh and cry. I don’t know if I could do that. You’re the one who always points that out to everybody, the audience matters first. What does the audience care about? Do they want to cry? Do they want to laugh? What do they need?
First of all, you need to be in front of the right audience. If your copy isn’t landing, there’s either something not hitting the audience where it needs to be or you’re in front of the wrong audience altogether.
I’m going to say that’s likely the case because I see it often that too many people don’t have the right lead generation for the product they’re selling. What their lead generation is drawing in is completely counter to the fit to what they’re selling as a product.
Here are the things. First of all, you need to hit their pain points. I know standard marketing out there. As we sit down and we guess their pain points. Here’s our thing. We say, “I have this great idea for a coaching program or a book or whatever it is.” We sit down and we go through this exercise of pain points and we determined the pain points as the person running it. We don’t get out there and talk to people. What’s important in the copy is talking to those people who have the pain points, getting their buzzwords. What are the words they’re using to describe their own pain? Because that’s what they need back is those reflected back to them so that they recognize them. Another reason that it’s important to talk to your consumers before you write the copy is you also want to talk to them at the level that they’re at. If you think that you are doing a program for elite women and they don’t feel like you’re talking to them, you’re talking at another level that maybe is below them. They’re going to determine right away you’re not the person that can get them to where they need to be. Conversely, if you are talking to a beginner and you’re trying to show off all these big words, all these things you’re going to do, they’re going to be overwhelmed they’re going to run.
You’re trying to give them the whole elephant. I cannot eat this all at once. I cannot consume this much information. That overwhelm is not a good place, the confused mind doesn’t buy. It’s that simple. If you’re confused, you’re not going to buy it. Overwhelm is not the same thing as making sure that they feel that they need you because there are many steps and there’s a lot of hidden landmines. That’s a totally different thing than overwhelming your audience.
There are two different things too that I need you is a recognition that you have something I need and I’m ready. That overwhelm is most of the time caused by fear. You don’t want to do fear-based marketing. You don’t want to scare somebody into buying your product. You’re going to end up with a couple of things there like buyer’s remorse and you have to remember this is about your products and services. If people are out there saying bad things about them, it could be that person never showed up. They didn’t do what they were going to do but most people won’t admit that. It’s the person they hired. It’s their fault. They didn’t serve me, they sold me something and then they didn’t serve me well. It is important that you keep all that connected and do what you say you’re going to do and not overwhelm people.
I think that starting from that place of true connection. We always talk about that here. When you’re truly connecting with what they need, where their desires are, where their problems lie, where that pain is, they want a solution. When they say, “You’ve given me the value and I understand that you’re a value provider who gives more, who does all of those things then I want to be a part of that, then I want to utilize you.” It makes an easier sale and in the process of it. I want to mention that briefly like features and benefits are not the same things. I know this from writing a ton of copy over the years on boxes of products. The engineers think the benefits to a product are true features. You most likely are highlighting your features and not your benefits. You’re disguising them maybe with a little twist of language, but it’s not the same thing. It is not what people are looking for. They don’t know your terminology, they don’t get it. You have to understand benefit is truly in your audience’s language. What do they want? What resonates with them? What is value to them? Think about those and make sure that your bullet points. There are bullet points and landing pages on packaging on about anything that you do. There are some bullet point features, that’s where you instead use benefits.
Here’s another place where people get caught up, results versus process. Articulate your results. Nobody gives a damn about your process, how you get them there. That’s an onboarding conversation. It’s not how are you going to get me there? Nobody cares that you have this, except in my case I have a proprietary process, and everybody else’s case nobody cares about process.Brand is about perception. It’s how people perceive your brand, not how you put it out there, that’s important. Click To Tweet
This is a thing a lot of people on our team are like, “Why don’t you say we have a patent-pending process, a patent-pending system?” Nobody cares. It doesn’t matter. It does what it says it’s going to do. Does it matter to me? I learned this from products. You do mark your product, you mark your page patent-pending, but nobody else cares that. It’s in the small print down at the bottom so that when somebody else tries to knock you off, you have a cease and desist that you can do but it has nothing to do with selling it to someone. They honestly don’t care.
Do you get a lot of cease and desist orders?
Over the years I’ve had to do both, send them and receive them. A lot of times they’re scammy, they’re not real but the ones I’ve had to send were real on behalf of clients. I didn’t personally send them, an attorney sent them, but I usually had to help prep them. It happens all the time in the consumer market.
Here’s something that people never think of in copy. We go to a marketing company and they write drip campaigns. We talked about this a little last episode, content. Here’s your content. It’s important that we speak to people where they’re at, not where they want them to be. That’s the first thing. Speak to them in a way that’s where they are now. Paint that vision of where they want to be and the results you provide.
Aspiration is you want to lead them there. You want to say that’s the vision of the future. I’m going to get you there for the thing you value the most, but you don’t want to put them all there. They’re not ready yet.
Here’s the other thing people don’t take into consideration. Campaigns cannot be one size fits all. A lot of them are.
Let’s tell you how many times I have read marketing campaigns put on by expensing marketing companies that looked like they were ripped off a template off the internet.
Either that or you steal somebody else’s and insert your words. I’ve seen that a lot.
I have seen that way too much.
That doesn’t fit. Here’s the deal. Depending on where you are or where you’re delivering your content, you’re going to have a different feel to it. Here’s a perfect example. Facebook ads, the drip campaign or even the copy on the ad. Facebook ads, the initial ad, not the retarget. The retarget can be a little bit different but Facebook ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, wherever you’re running them, you’re driving cold traffic. That awareness campaign cannot be intimate because people don’t know you, like you, or trust you. That’s where you are starting to introduce your brand so that people start recognizing peripherally. That campaign has to look different than when you’re stepping on a stage and giving a presentation.
Let’s take you at Aaron Young’s event. Aaron has sold tickets. He sold out a room. He’s promised good talent there. Good people are coming in to teach. He has vouched for you before you get there as one of those people who’s going to deliver great content. You can be much more direct and intimate with that audience because you’ve already been vouched for. They already know you’re going to bring them something good and they see you in person. You’re accessible, you sat at the tables with everybody else and you were approachable. That’s going to be a different feel to it because they know you.
It’s different when it’s cold. You have to look at it and say, “How am I bringing who I am into the conversation? How am I bringing what we’re about?” That requires some emotion instead. When you hear Juliet and me here, we’re passionate, we’re excited about what we talk about. When I’m in person, I’m the same way. That gets across. I talk with my hands like I do on video. I talk like that in person. All of that happens, but how do you get that through when you’re writing a post? When you’re writing an ad? When you’re writing a landing page copy? It’s hard. The default is for you to strip out all the emotional punch out of it. That’s where we go wrong. We think, “It has to be more businesslike.” No, it doesn’t. That’s the secret to it.
It needs to be not whiny or emotional, we don’t need that drama. That’s not it. We don’t want to hear any stories. We don’t care about that because it’s not about you. It’s about the audience.
I say these hundreds of times a day to about every client who tries to pitch me what they should call their podcast or something. It has to be about the audience and where they are emotionally. Not where you are, where you came from on your story. That does not belong in this type of copy.
There’s a little bit of your story sometime, but here’s the deal, the drama thing. Here’s what people think when you bring drama to social media. How does she have time to serve me? There’s somebody, and I won’t mention, hopefully she’s not watching. It’s on my page that constantly brings drama to the table. What’s worse is it’s not even just on Facebook. The identical post is on LinkedIn. First of all, TMI. Secondly, I honestly think from the post sometimes like, “If I hired her, would she ever have time for me?” That drama is a full-time job so don’t do things like that.
I was at an event. I’m always looking for a new CPA. I’m an accountant, I have fired so many, it’s like a funny story. I have hired and fired five in the last few years. It’s bad. I absolutely cannot keep doing it myself. It has to happen. I’ve got to hire someone new. This woman’s introduced up there, she sounds kick butt, she talks about how obsessive she is about the tax code and about accounting and all this stuff. I was like, “She sounds innovative in how she thinks about this.” I’m thinking to myself, “I may have found someone who’s perfect,” because that’s what I was complaining about. They’re all using a TurboTax formula and they don’t know anything about it or they’re following old school stuff. That’s what I found. They don’t have a holistic approach to business. This is my complaint about it. This why I keep firing them. I think she’s innovative. I walk up to her and she’s telling this whiny story about divorce and how bad it is and how scheming her ex-husband is. I’m thinking to myself, “This woman, I don’t want to listen to this. Why would I do business with that? What does it have to do with anything?” I think about that all the time when I read posts.
This is not the place for it. It’s not the place when you’re out at events. It’s not the place when you’re on your social, especially when we have so much of our business and personal social mix. I’m not saying don’t be emotional about it. I’m not saying you don’t bring your passion and excitement to it. I’m saying you don’t bring the drama. I posted one time, I was prepping for a podcast interview that got rescheduled but I was prepping for it and I was listening to this woman’s podcast. I came across this great episode that had some interesting data and information on it. When I shared it on both LinkedIn and Facebook, it was my best post in the last couple of months. It had all kinds of comments, shares, lots of likes and all of that. It was my reaction to the data about this. All I did say at the end of the day is that, “What a cool job I have because I get to listen and learn something to do my job.” That was the end message that I put there. I also shared what I learned and linked to it because it was cool information. In and of itself, no one could have written that but me. That’s where we also have to think when we have our teams writing things, a marketing company, our VAs, they’re cautious, they’re conservative.
If you don’t look them over and rewrite them or take them as a guideline and add some punch into them, add some excitement into them, add some of you back into them. I allow my team to post on. I’ll admit Twitter is an auto-post thing because we’ve already discussed how much I hate Twitter. It’s an auto-post. It’s a scanner post. Facebook, I have a team that does a lot of the posts there. I go in about a couple of times a week because I’m not on Facebook a lot. A couple of times a week, I post some things on my own. LinkedIn, I care about how I am perceived on LinkedIn because I’ve spent a long time crafting that and carving it out. I have a certain tone that I use that I have not been able to have anyone get.
They’ll prop up things that they think I should share so that I’m sure of what’s going out because I don’t know what’s going to be live at any given time. It’d be too much planning for me to try to figure that out and do it. They set my cue and buffer because that’s what we use and I go through it and I change almost all of the post tags to being a little in my words. It’s super simple and I usually do it on a Sunday. I can go through on a Sunday and I can go through the whole week’s post and for LinkedIn and make sure that they sound like me. If that’s the minimum you do for the one social media platform that you care about, that you show up, that your audience is in. That’s what matters the most, your audience is there and mine is, that’s going to make a huge difference in the traction.
It definitely is. Here’s the other reason you should do that. Have you ever gone to an event and you love somebody’s posts and then you meet that person and they’re not anything like their posts?
I look way younger and hipper on Instagram than I am in person. I somehow come across much younger and it’s probably to do with my team who makes the graphics.
I’ll tell you about a few years ago, I interviewed a young lady who was a former high-end call girl. If you looked at her post, if you looked at her books, you would not have gotten that when I met her in person, totally classy lady, unbelievable classy. I was surprised because everything about her everywhere else didn’t give off that vibe at all.Truly growing a great business comes through in your copy, and that comes from sitting at your heart at a place of service. Click To Tweet
That sometimes be diving into who you are and having that resonate in the right place with that right audience with that juxtaposition to what she did for a living to who she is being classy like that. That’s a reason for people to read your book, go check you out.
It not only is but the book was also about how to keep your man interested.
Why not do that? I write a lot of things every single week. I write about twelve articles a month, pieces of copy and other things or things that I rewrite for people. Here are my go-to Bibles for this, it’s Phrases That Sell, Edward Werz and Sally Germain. I loved this one because sometimes we get a little redundant in our phrases and we get a sneak peek at. How about getting an advanced look? There are other words in there and you’re like, “I could totally use that.”
The way that they’re organized in here is nice. They talk about them as descriptive phrases or ones that are popular slogans. When you’re looking for what type you want, it’s guiding you to the emotional message you want to give. I love that one. The other one that I have is Words That Sell, which is the same company but it’s a different author, it’s Rick Bayan. I don’t know what I would do with that. There’s like 6,000 words in here and they’re amazingly awesome. Sometimes, you look in a thesaurus. That happens to me all the time. I look in the thesaurus and I’m completely dissatisfied with any of the choices. The choices here are much better. They start out with like, “Thank you for writing us.” They’re giving you a phrase and then some impactful words that you might use. It helps with how you would use them too. These are my two favorite books and I have to thank Dustin Mathews. He’s an amazing digital marketer and he’s the one who turned me on to these books a few years ago. I have absolutely kept them at my desk ever since then.
My favorite one is Frank Luntz’s Words That Work. My words aren’t working but go buy that book. It’s not so much the phrases. It’s advertising political, it’s not that political like on the news nowadays, it’s about messaging, crafting the message. It’s powerful. It’s about perception versus reality. What you say may not be what people hear.
We do need to think through our words sometimes carefully and our images for how they’re being perceived by our target audience and by the audience that we want. I don’t want to focus group things. I come from a bad focus group experience in the product world. Focus groups meant that they killed great products. That’s not what I want for you. Being able to make sure that there’s some more ears or eyes on what you’re putting out there is important to make sure you’re not getting, especially nowadays when we’re politically sensitive that there’s not a misconstrued meaning. Sexism can happen in the process. Juliet and I were talking about her cover to our book that it could appear sexist based on how it comes out. We have to be careful about that. We’re sitting back and thinking about how it’s being perceived is important. The brand is about perception. We’ve talked about that before. It’s how people perceive your brand, not how you put it out there.
The last thing I wanted to talk about, Juliet, was that I’ve been rewriting our mission statement because I’m doing this program with Aaron Young. I realized how emotionally impactful it is. When I finally got it right, I drafted it and then I brought it in front of my partners, Tom and Alexandra, and we sat out and we looked at the whole thing. We finessed a few words and as soon as we did it, we read it back and we were like, “Mic drop.” It was right. That’s a great feeling if you get your copy to that place where you go, “Mic drop.” You know you’ve got the emotional punch. The question is go ask someone in your absolute target audience to see if they get it the same way that you put it out there. If it works, go for it. Go try it.
A couple more things. First of all, I want people to remember when you try to copywrite, always send it off to professional copywriters and have them look at it. We have this big blind spot when it comes to our own marketing. Even though I can copyright, I copyright and send it out. A lot of times I send it off to Tracy and she comes back and says, “Sweetie, put a little more emotion there?” Always try to do that. I know copywriters can be expensive and sometimes if you can find a good copywriter that will do that for you, you can take the first step and they can go in and clean it up.
I like that better, Juliet, to be honest with you, because I see it so far when sometimes when you give them and it’s too broad, it’s too general. When I worked with the marketing groups, they come up with something that’s completely misunderstanding because they’re in a rush. They want to get this job done. They go for and they watch the first video or this is what happens. They listen to the first five minutes of your show and then they go, “I got it.” They write what they think from that point forward and they haven’t gotten the whole impactful message. They don’t understand how deep it goes and what it is because they’re going to take snapshots of things and go from there. They’re also going to sometimes use something to programmatic. This way, if you start it, it starts from a different place. Their job is to clean it up, make it, have the emotional punch, make it flow, make it read well because frankly, some of us can’t construct our sentences all the time. I have those issues all the time. We don’t notice that. It’s not reading well as we go through because we do it in pieces. That’s what happens. We construct it in pieces.
I love on my website, I started mine. It’s in my voice and my copywriter, which I did not write most of the copy on there. I started it and then Gina finished it. Is it sassy? She picked up. She changed my words to sassier. The last thing in all of this as well as whenever you’re doing this, write it to serve, not to sell.
This is the thing, we’re here to grow a great business truly, we have to be peeping up increase. We have to be people who are bringing more to the table, who care more about them and about how they’re growing and what they truly need. That’s going to come through and it needs to come through in your copy. That comes from if you’re sitting at your heart at a place of service.
I heard that the best thing now about many people are signing up for business programs that are personal development programs. The reason that’s important is, it’s important to get your blockages out of the way but if you’re not a woo-woo coach, don’t write woo-woo. Write to serve but tell people what you’re going to do without the woo-woo. I don’t have that connection to that, but it was a thought I had from the interview I did.
Thinking through that has to be the consistency of what you’re delivering and what you are. That’s why you can have such an inauthentic, especially a landing page style message because that’s where I see it fall apart the most. They seem so salesy and they don’t at the end of the day seem like you. They don’t seem like service. They don’t seem woo-woo enough if that’s who you are or passionate enough if that’s who you are. That’s where that emotional punch matters. Keeping in mind it has to fit you and your audience well.
One more tip. Read it out loud after you write it and see if it’s coming off the way that you intended. You can go get the Delicioso Bruschetta at MChef.com. The next episode is delicious marketing that attracts.
This is where I think we’re going to talk a little more imagery for a change. We talk much copy all the time, next episode, let’s talk some more about imagery because how it looks matters. That’s why Bruschetta is delicious to me. It’s got cheese and tomatoes and the whole thing on it and her’s has a few little surprises on there. Who doesn’t love that? We want to create imagery and other things that people want to consume.
We’re going to talk a little bit about proportion because that matters. The size matters.
Remember, we’re not in the whole elephant here. That’s what we’re going to talk about in the next episode. A little bit different that even though we’ve been talking about this warm, fuzzy marketing for a couple of episodes now, we’ve got to address the imagery side of things.
We’re going to get down to cold, hard imagery. Thanks for stopping by.
About Tracy Hazzard
Tracy Hazzard is an Inc. Columnist and the co-host of three top-ranked podcasts: Feed Your Brand – just listed as one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts to listen to in 2018; the newly launched expert platform Product Launch Hazzards; and WTFFF?! – the 3D Print innovation start point featured as one of the exclusive live podcasts at SXSW 2018.
With a constant stream of content and products from her authority platform, reaching over 100,000 listeners and viewers each month, Tracy influences and casts branded content and $2 Billion worth of consumer products and innovation around the world.
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