One of the biggest challenges I often see entrepreneurs face is copywriting.

(As an engineer I’ve struggled with this notion most of my life!)

So how do we articulate our story/message in a way that drives connection and sales? In our noisy day and age, it’s imperative that we find a way to connect with our audience as quickly and as powerfully as possible.

I recently came across this great concept written by Ray Edwards in Early to Rise, that I believe anyone can apply to their business.

First things first, you must define what you are selling. How does it benefit the customer? Then, work this “big idea” down to a single, clear, sentence.

Clarifying and articulating your “big idea,” (called a Power Statement) is a crucial step, that may be hard work and take time, but in the end it should look something like this:

Any (your audience) can (solve their problem) by using (your product), because (how it solves the problem).  

For example:

I help entrepreneurial Fathers find crystal clear purpose, create a loving family connection, build a strong body and generate explosive business power… through a 90 day, 3 stage program, allowing them to truly understand what it is they want and how they can have it all –

You want to work on your Power Statement until you have a rock-solid ‘big idea’ expressed in a short, crystal-clear sentence.

Then the following framework to structure your sales message:

P.A.S.T.O.R your customers.

P.A.S.T.O.R. is an acronym that helps you plan the major sections of your copy.

“P” is for Person, Problem & Pain:

Begin by identifying the person you are trying to reach with your message, understanding the problem that you are solving for them, and the pain that problem causes.

Remember, you’re not judging their behavior, but rather describing their experience as it currently is. This means you have to understand their current experience. You have to know your audience and what they are thinking.

You must speak to the person, expose the problem you will help them solve, and make a clear connection to the pain the problem causes. Person, problem, pain.

“A” is for Amplify & Aspirations:
The next step is to amplify the consequences of not solving the problem, and the aspirations they hold for the future. This is really the key to making sales, and it is probably the most neglected step in the process.

What will motivate people to buy your product, invest in your service, or accept your idea is usually not the beautiful outcome framed in a positive light on its own. You must get them to fully experience the consequence of not solving the problem. You must make them aware of the price of indecision.

“S” is for Story, Solution & System:
Once you have described the problem, amplified the consequences of not solving it, and painted the picture of paradise, it’s time to share the story of how the problem can be solved.

It might be the story of how you yourself finally solved this persistent problem. It might be the story of how you helped a client or customer discover the solution on his or her own. It does need to be more than simply a description of the solution. And if you’re thinking, “But what if there is no story?” I would suggest you just haven’t looked closely enough.

There is always a story to tell.

“T” is for Transformation & Testimony:

If it’s a product that you sell, how did it make them feel after they purchased it or how much did they enjoy using/wearing it? Remember that whatever you’re selling, people are buying it for the ‘transformation’.

It’s also important that you offer testimony, real-life stories of people who have successfully made the transformation that you are providing. Study the most successful infomercials, and you’ll discover that they consist of about 70% testimonials.

Provide them with proof.

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“O” is for Offer:
Now describe exactly what you’re offering.

Make certain that you focus 80% of your copy on the transformation itself. You do have to talk about the deliverables (the class schedule, the DVDs, etc.), but that should only occupy about 20% of your copy in this section.

Just remember that as you describe the deliverables in the offer section, you must keep tying them back to the transformation and benefits your buyers will receive.

So instead of simply writing that the buyer will receive “8 DVDs, each containing a 45-minute workout session,” you might instead write that they will receive “8 DVDs that each contains a body-sculpting, fat-burning transformational workout that will help you craft the lean, muscular body you really want.”

“R” is for Response:
This is one of the areas where copy tends to be the weakest: the response request.Ask the customer to buy. Don’t be timid. Tell the customer exactly what to do in order to get your product. I often write copy similar to this:

Click the button below, fill out the order form, and we will immediately ship your entire package to you. It will contain everything you need to get started.

If you truly believe that you have a solution that will solve a problem for people, why on earth would you not be as direct as possible?

In fact, aren’t you doing them a disservice by not making the strongest case?

If you apply the principles of being a shepherd (pastor) to your readers, and you follow the sequence of the P.A.S.T.O.R formula, my prediction is you’ll experience more sales, more profits, and happier customers more often.

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