The One Thing Amazing Web Copy Takes From Good Movies
Think of yourself watching a movie. Any movie. The last one you watched, the one you want to watch, your favorite one, or that one you just can’t understand why your parter loves so much because it’s so stupid.
It doesn’t really matter what movie. Just put yourself in that place for a moment.
Because when we watch movies, this happens:
We align ourselves with the main character—the protagonist.
Even if that protagonist is nothing like us in real life, we see ourselves in them. When they’re happy, we’re happy. When they’re in trouble, our minds race along with theirs to figure out how to get out of trouble. If we see violence, even if we know that violence isn’t real, we can’t help but flinch.
Because the thing is, as human beings, we’re invested in what’s going on in front of us. Real or not, our primitive brain reactions don’t know the difference, so we invest our whole selves and our emotions into those situations.
It’s a little phenomenon of behavioral psychology I like to call situational projection… and in business, it’s the thing that’ll help you stick out head and shoulders above the competition.
Because here’s what happens when most of us sit down to market ourselves:
We don’t really know where to start, so we look around at everyone else in our niche to see what they’re doing.
It’s not a bad approach to figuring out what to do… it gets our brain juices pumping in the right direction.
But for most of us, because we’re business owners and we’re busy and we’ve got a million other things on our to-do lists, that’s where we stop.
If you’re a business coach, you might say things like “love your business again” or “make more money in less time.”
Or if your a business writer-for-hire like me, you might say things like “copy that converts” and “tell compelling stories.”
I don’t mean to step on toes here, because we’ve all been there.
But how many business coaches and B2B writers do you see throwing those phrases around?
(Answer: almost all of them.)
Which is precisely why you don’t want to write those things in your advertising or on your website. Because if you do, you won’t stand out.
But *HOW* do you break out of this style of writing? And…. especially if you’re not born with writing talent?!?
I know it seems intimidating, but I promise, it’s not that hard.
I’ve taught even the most non-writer of entrepreneurs to write good copy for their business, and getting into the DETAILS is the perfect way to start.
Here’s how you do it:
Let’s start with one of the phrases I used above for business coaches…. say “make more money in less time.” An amazing promise, right? But since everyone’s already saying it, we need to turn it into something WOW to get remembered.
If you want to follow along, pick out a similar phrase on your home page. If you don’t know which one to choose, choose the first sentence that’s written. It’s almost always a good bet.
When you have your phrase, type it out in the top of a blank word document, and ask yourself, “Okay, so…. how does this play out in real life?”
And then brain-dump some VERY specific instances.
- “make more money in less time”
- Earn the same income as last month, but work six hours per day instead of 10.
- Stop having to choose between your kid’s soccer game and delivering a client project so you can meet your savings goals. Have them both.
- If you could work 4 hours less per day and not have to worry about a happy, healthy income, what would you do differently? Go to a long yoga class every morning? Spend every afternoon in your yet-to-be-planted garden? Going on more hot dates?
- Sell more products and spend less time on mind-numbing marketing tasks.
Then, working with the space you’ve got available, replace what you originally wrote with one of those instances.
So, if I were a productivity business coach and had “Make More Money in Less Time” written on the top of my site, I wouldn’t be all that memorable, would I?
BUT, if I were the exact same business coach and had “Earn the same income as last month…. while putting in 40% less desk time each day.” written out in that slot instead?
Oh buddy. You can just feel the excitement inside of you to know more, can’t you?
THAT is what you want to create in your readers.
And yes, I get it. Not every single detailed situation will exactly represent every single reader that comes to your website.
But you know what?
Because even if you didn’t care about working fewer hours & just wanted to work the same hours and make more money, you’d still feel the excitement about it, wouldn’t you?
So try it with your website and your marketing. See what kind of results you get. (If I were with you in person, I’d pinky-promise you’d see an improvement.)
This article The One Thing Amazing Web Copy Takes From Good Movies by Chelsea Baldwin was first published in Issue 54 of the Business Rocks Magazine.
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