I know that if you’re a reader of this blog, a lot of marketing info is progressively rubbing off on you …
Soon you’re going to grow scales, have blue skin, a tail, and your transformation into a complete marketing scumbag will be complete –
The bright side is you’ll probably be making a lot more money and make more progress in a few months than you have in years, so there’s a give and take to everything …
Well, one of the first things we’re shocked by, and in turn, one of the first skills we have to learn when we first learn to market our training services are long copy sales letters.
Those are those long sales letters full of big, bold text everywhere that will never win a style award, but have been shown over and over again to produce results –
Why do you need a sales letter? Before I went into how to write one in THE TOP-LEVEL TRAINER MANUAL (making a comeback very soon), I first explained the reasoning behind them and why they work.
If you’ve been hesitant on creating one on your site out of fear of turning off your visitors, this excerpt from the manual should bring some clarity to the whole thing:
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been convinced that flash is the way to reach customers online. Everyone must be similarly misguided, or else so many trainer wouldn’t be using this approach. They spend all of their reserve money paying web-designers to make them a flashy site with a flashy introduction (using a program called Flash, interestingly enough) and then watch in horror as their site brings them no new customers at all. They just chalk it up as a cost of doing business in the world today, and don’t realize that their website could actuallybe the primary vehicle bringing them more qualified leads than they could possibly handle.
Unlike what you may have been led to believe, creating a flashy site isn’t the key to success. That approach is used by companies looking for immediate promotion and branding, for example the latest blockbuster movie or flavor of Bacardi. But the person online looking for information is hardly interested in any obvious hype. That’s why you’ll notice that the biggest sites today are very simple, sometimes ugly sites but that focus on putting the key information right in the face of their visitors as soon as possible. Google has meteorically risen to the top of the Internet world, and they’re built around the principles of simplicity and relevance. Just look at the other big name sites that are ruling today’s marketplace, sites like Craigslist, Myspace, Facebook, and Youtube, and you’ll notice they’re all built around the same principles – helping the user get what they want as fast possible, with no filler.
Keeping It Simple
If you’re like the traditional person when it comes to how you view the web, it might not make sense for you to put a body of text on the front page of your website. In fact, anyone you show your site to will tell you that it’s ugly, unattractive, and will lose the interest of the visitor. What they don’t realize is that our traditional ideas on product packaging do not apply when it comes to creating a website for the online consumer. This person is looking for only one thing: relevant information to make a buying decision. They’re similar to a person picking up the New York Times; they want the story so they can make up their own mind. That’s why our website has to put these key benefits in the prospects face front and center.
Just like a good newspaper, attractive, high quality pictures and excellent presentation are also important, but what will win is your headline and follow-up text. As the independent consultant, you don’t have a PR department or brand recognition to make the sale for you: your website needs to do the entire job of speaking to your customer and making the sale.
I use video testimonials and video clips of my workouts on my website, but I only provide them as further content for my prospect to explore; I don’t let the technology take over the message. It instead is used to back it up, which is very different.
Site Design: Headline First
Site design is a very complex topic that you’ll be able to find many books about. What I’ll do is just go over a few main ideas that may not be obvious to you right now. Keep these principles in mind as you surf the web, piecing together things you like from other sites, and put it all together when you make your own site. The most important thing to remember is not just to do what makes you happy, but instead to jump into the shoes of your customer and see your site through their eyes.
What most people do is put the name of their business front and center on their site. It’s the first thing they show the customer at the top of the page, followed by a lengthy description of the trainer and the company. The problem is this information is of absolutely no relevance to the customer; they don’t care about your company, they just want to know what’s in it for them.
For that reason, you need to take a completely different approach. The first priority of your site is to draw the prospect’s attention; to immediately make it clear to them that your site has the information they’re looking for. The way to do this is the same way it’s been done for more than a hundred years through all different media: a powerful headline. A headline is a simple statement that in a few words makes the major benefit to the consumer overwhelmingly apparent.
You only have a few seconds to hook your visitors attention and this is the way to do it. You need to make a bold, relevant statement that will catch their attention and make them read more. This headline should relate to your specialty and give your customer a reason to keep reading.
Here are some sample headlines:
Introducing the Break-Through Training Techniques
Making Seniors Feel Ten Years Younger in
Only 4 Weeks!
Forgot All The Fancy New Workouts…
Just Admit It – You Want to Look Better Naked,
If You Want To Feel Like Your Body Is A Maserati,
I’m The Right Trainer For You!
Warning! After Reading This You May Never Step
Foot In A Gym Again!
By putting the headline first, you’ve answered the major question going through anyone’s mind when they come to your website:
“What’s in it for me?”
I know you’ve heard this term (WIIFM for short) before, but it takes on a different meaning on the web: this is the purpose of your entire site. That’s because the psychology of the web consumer is built completely around what’s in it for them.Through experience, their ability to sift through all the filler and get right to the key information that applies to them has become very sharp. For that reason, you need to make it clear to your customer what’s in it for them right away. By putting your headline first, you’ve done that; you’ve put the primary benefit for your customer front and center. Like I mentioned, you only have a few seconds to attract the attention of your customer and keep them on your site. As you probably already know, there’s tons of competition online, and your client is expecting to scan many sites before they decide on one. The clearer and more effectively you can convey the benefits of your training program to your prospect, the better your chance of being the one this client contacts.
IMHO, long copy sales letters are one of the greatest things to ever hit personal training they’re such an unfair advantage it’s scary.
You can state your benefits, add tons of testimonials, include important supporting facts, audio and video, and a compelling offer, into one hypnotic sales letter that almost compels your prospects into making the first move.
And the best part is you can do it right in front of your competitor’s eyes and they won’t know what’s happening –
Hope that makes things clear to you about the place and purpose of long copy on your home page. Let me know what you think – leave me your comments below:
Definitly some killer information. I have missed you while you were gone and I hope everything is going great for you.
I have been struggling with getting a websit up and running for quite some time now and from the help of you, chris, bedros, and steve, I think I finally got it.
I think I am kind of drawn to you a little bit more because we have almost identical backrounds.
But any way bro great post and cant wait for the next one
In all of your previous posts I agree with your content, however in the post you have over generalized.
As you know Somagenesis.com is a high end flash web site that cost over 40K for. We are heavily SEO’d and can be found all over the web. On average we recieve over 500 unique visitors per day, and acquire an average of 300 leads per months and convert 5% of 15 new clients.
So go figure!
Hope your doing well.. Rivak
Hey Billy – glad the post helped you – yeah, your situation is one more reason that I like long-copy sales letters that I didn’t mention – they’re the most time and cost effective out there –
Which gets to Rivak’s point – don’t know if every trainer has the 40K to go the route you did – but you’ve certainly done a good job man – your site does the branding thing correctly, so yes it can work – long copy just allows the little guys to play ball more quickly, and the big guys to play ball more cheaply –