This one goes out to all the copywriters and creatives out there whose quality of work rises and falls depending on how well things are going in the world around them. For creatives, their emotions are very much tied up in what they do and how they do it.
I’m looking at myself because that’s me. Right now. Today.
I’m having a day today. I don’t want to say it’s a bad day, because it’s too early for that. I guess I’d just describe it as strange.
From the moment I woke up, certain things just have felt heavy. The economy. The health crisis. Politics. The fact that I’ve been on a healthy eating plan for almost four weeks and have lost a whole total of three pounds. My people, I love food. The sacrifice is real.
But guess what? My day can’t just stop because things feel heavy. In fact, Tuesdays are some of my busiest days. Several groups of students are depending on me to show up and deliver, I have to do some heavy edits on a sales funnel for a client, and then of course there’s this blog article I need to put out there.
Make no mistake about it, I’m going to show up and deliver, but it might look a little bit different today. So how do I pull it out when my emotions aren’t matching up with the intensity of the day? How do I stay creative when things are feeling heavy?
I’m going to give you a list of 12 - no wait, 13 - things I do that help me stay creative, even when things feel heavy. Some of them are drop-dead serious, and others are funny and light-hearted. I’m convinced we need both.
Ignoring the funk you’re in doesn’t necessarily make it go away. Actually, for me it probably just prolongs it because I’m refusing to just admit it and be real. It takes some of the pressure off to just admit to myself, “You know, I’m just feeling kind of bogged down today. Must just be one of those days.” The truth is, everybody has days like this sometimes, so you’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with having an off day. Go ahead and give yourself some grace!
One of the best ways for me to get my mind off myself and my stinky mood is to send up an SOS and ask for help. God is a great perspective changer, and He’s not even a breath away. It’s easy to forget that on heavy days, but that’s when we need Him the most. I feel super comforted just being reminded that He’s in control even when I feel like nothing else is.
Phone a Friend
Good friends have a way of simultaneously supporting us while refusing to leave us down and out. I know I can count on my friends or my husband to lend a sympathetic ear - but not allow me to wallow. Call someone who is willing to listen, then kick your butt if you need it. Is that annoying sometimes? Yes. Do I need it though? Also yes.
An atmosphere change can prompt an attitude change. At the very least, getting outside puts you in a new environment and exposes you to some Vitamin D. I live in Iowa, so I don’t have bubbling streams or mountain paths. If you have those, WHY ARE YOU STILL INSIDE? But even if you don’t, getting outside reminds you that the world is still spinning, plants are still growing, and goats still love eating marshmallows. (That last one might just be what happens on my farm. If you don’t have a marshmallow-eating goat, I’m sorry about it.)
Let’s just be real. Social media can sometimes feel like things are just one match short of a 5-alarm dumpster fire. It’s easy to get sucked into debates, conspiracy theories, or just plain gripe fests, and nobody needs that in their lives, ESPECIALLY when you’re in the dumps and just need to get stuff done. Log out, turn off the notifications, unplug for the day.
Is it possible to stay bucky when you’re jamming to your favorite song? I think not. So get up out of your desk chair, turn up the volume, and have an impromptu dance party to your favorite song. Not only does physical activity get the endorphins flowing, music is a great mood booster! (Anybody else ready the word endorphins and automatically imagine them as tiny little jumping dolphins? Just me? Okay then … now you do.) Sometimes all it takes is a state change to bring about an attitude change.
Watch a Funny Video
Slapstick humor, epic fails, animal cuteness, stand up comedy - whatever makes you laugh, go find a YouTube video and watch it. I’m a big fan of the ones where adults act out the kid voice overs. Priceless. Also, and this is terrible but what do you do, I can’t stop giggling at the videos where people slip, trip, and fall down. I think it’s the shock factor and also a little bit of “Well it could always be worse … like that guy.”
Eat Something Healthy
Or get a workout in. Or organize your Tupperware drawer. Do something with a measurable result that you can feel good about. That way at the end of the day you can look back and say, “Well, it may have been rough, but at least I ate my Brussels sprouts. I’m a rockstar.” Oh, and there’s also that thing where healthy food is better for you and provides the nutrients your body and mind need to thrive. Either way, win-win.
Wear Your Favorite Clothes
I don’t know about you, but I just plain feel better if I look good and feel comfortable. For me, that looks like grabbing a top in a bright color or print, pulling on some cute but comfy pants, and going for the big earrings and bold lip color. Sometimes how we look can rub off on our mood, bringing us up a notch just because we can hold our heads high knowing we look like a snack, as my teenage daughter would say.
Have a Good Cry
I’m not a huge fan of crying. I’m not opposed to it, necessarily, but when I cry, I end up looking like I got hit in the face. Sometimes though, you just have to let it out. If you feel like you need a good cry, have one! Our emotions are just that - emotions. They’re not right or wrong, and expressing them can release some of the pressure and give us room to breathe. As Momma always said, “You’ll feel better after a good cry.”
Plan a Fun Activity
When you have to work, you have to work. Sometimes you can’t put everything on hold just because you don’t feel like it. But you know what you can do? Give yourself something to look forward to later! I love this fun mind hack because it totally works on me. I LOVE having something fun to look forward to and can slog my way through all kinds of mundane or stressful activities just knowing there’s something good coming on the other side. I like looking forward to family movie night, a massage, or supper at a good restaurant.
Make a Switch
Work in the kitchen instead of the office. Switching over to a different project. Have iced coffee instead of hot. Okay, so we’re not exactly going nuts here, but change can be good. Sometimes our brains just need to step out of our usual flow and do something else. So go ahead, schedule a Zoom work session with your team or have cake for dinner. Give your brain something else to think about.
Spend Time With a Kid or a Dog
This might be the best one. Dogs and kids are so accepting. They have a completely different perspective - one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Honestly, they just want to hang out and be with you, which is a great ego boost. If you think I’m talking about children, yes. But also, I’m talking about baby goats because they’re hilarious and I have three. They care about nothing but back scratchings and food, and not in that order.
So there you go, 12 things you can do when the world seems heavy and you fall into a funk. OH NO WAIT I HAVE ONE MORE!!! It’s a really good one too. I can’t believe I almost forgot it!
Do Something For Someone Else
One of the best ways to get your mind off yourself is to serve someone else. Serving others is a great way to change your perspective and be reminded that you can have an impact that means something to someone else. It also reminds me that I’m not the center of the universe. I need to step outside of myself and give of myself, my time, my finances, my energy.
So there you go, 13 things you can do when the world seems heavy and you fall into a funk. I promise I’m done now. In fact, I really have to go. There’s a dance party waiting for me and I have a date to brush my dog later.
More About Christa Nichols
Christa Nichols is a sales conversion copywriter who enjoys connecting offers with audiences in a way that makes her clients’ campaigns profitable. You can often find her hanging out on Facebook, coaching in her online school for sales copywriters, Written Results Academy, or consulting with entrepreneurs and business owners on their sales campaigns. For more information, visit her website at https://go.christanicholsmessaging.com/home.
Last week I bought an accent chair for my office. This was a big deal for me. I’d been wanting a place on the main floor of our house where I could just kick back and do some reading, and I had a vision in my head for what it would look like.
It had to be comfortable, and it had to be red.
Why red? I have a canvas a client gave me hanging in my office. It’s entitled “Entrepreneur”, and it depicts one lone red drop swimming against the sea of black drops all going the opposite direction. I love that canvas, and I was convinced a red chair would be the perfect complement to tie everything in the office together.
It took me three days to choose the chair. Yes, I am one of those people - the ones who peruse every option and read all the reviews. It’s so annoying, especially for my poor husband who is standing in the background saying, “Just pick the chair already!”
I picked, I purchased, and I anxiously awaited its delivery. It arrived yesterday while I was on a call with my business coach. I wasn’t expecting it for another two weeks, so I was really excited. I couldn’t wait for my husband to get home and haul it inside so we could get it out of the box and set it up. Little did I know, I was in for a big surprise.
The Great Unboxing
To make a long story short, when we peeled back the flaps of the box and pulled the chair out, there was one glaring problem.
My red chair wasn’t red. It was blue.
Although the box, the mailing label, and the packaging slip said red, the chair itself had not gotten the memo. It’s truly a lovely chair, but it’s not what I ordered. I’m one of the most non-confrontational people in the world, my initial reaction was to try to rationalize just keeping the blue chair.
Blue is a nice color.
The chair itself is the perfect size for the space.
This chair is HERE right now. I can just make it work.
I hate to bother someone about it.
It would just be easier to keep the blue chair, even if it wasn’t what I really wanted. This is when my husband stepped in.
“Call the company. Get the red chair.” He’s a wise man.
I called the company. I ordered the red chair. Everything was resolved quickly, and we all had a good laugh about my “red” chair. Later that evening, the whole experience reminded me of a question someone asked me last week.
Is Knowing the Audience’s Pain Points Enough to Get Them to Convert?
The question made me consider my red chair situation from another angle. Instead of being on the copywriting end of things, in this instance I was the one with the problem that needed a solution. My pain points were:
When I called the company, the woman I spoke to was so nice.
“Oh, I’m so sorry that happened! That must have been so disappointing for you to open the box and not get what you wanted,” she said.
She completely knew and understood my pain points. She mirrored them back to me in her response. If she had stopped there though, I’d have still walked away in pain and probably never shopped with that company again.
The answer to the question above is no. Knowing the audience’s pain points is not enough to get them to convert. In fact, knowing them and doing nothing about it is WORSE than not knowing them at all. Why? Because to the audience, it feels like you don’t care and are choosing to purposefully leave them in pain.
When you address pain points in sales copy but don’t lead the reader to the solution, you’re leaving them worse off than when they started.
In addition to knowing and understanding an audience’s pain points, there are three things you must do in your sales conversion copy in order to get them to buy. Let’s break all three down right now.
Connect, Connect, Connect
Pain-centric sales copy can feel practically abusive if there’s no personal connection there. If the audience only feels beat to death with their problems and shortcomings, they’ll walk away defeated and definitely won’t buy. Instead, make sure you’re connecting with them in a way that shows you’re on their side. Here are a couple examples of pain points without, and then with, connection.
Without: “Stop wasting all your time on supplements that don’t work. You’re only putting fillers and chemicals into your body. That’s such a bad choice. How could you keep doing that to yourself? You really need to buy Super Health 5000.”
With: “There’s a secret nobody talks about when it comes to the supplements we put in our bodies. I couldn’t believe it when I learned it, and I don’t want you to be in the dark about it either. Here’s the truth - most supplements contain mostly fillers and even synthetic chemicals that don’t provide any healthy benefits. The good news is, there is a supplement out there that not only contains all the good stuff, but it DOESN’T use any fillers or synthetic chemicals. Want to know what it is?”
Let Them Off The Hook
If your audience is struggling with a problem that you can solve, just go ahead and let them off the hook. They’ve likely been carrying around some self-doubt and blame as they watch other people get the results they want. They’re thinking things like “Maybe it’s just me. I’m the only one who can’t figure this out.”
One of the most powerful things your copy can do for the reader is come alongside and show them that it’s not all their fault and give them hope that a real solution exists to the pain points they feel. This might sound something like this:
“Listen, you’re not the only one who’s been fed a lie about the supplements you put in your body, and it’s NOT your fault. Most drug companies sweep this information under the rug and hide it there. You’re not the only one who’s been filling their bodies with fillers and synthetic chemicals for years without even realizing it. Here at Super Health 5000, we believe in 100% all-natural supplements that contain only the most pure nutrients available.”
Lead Them To The Offer
The last strategy I want to mention that’s vital to use with pain points seems very obvious, but you’d be surprised how many copywriters gloss this over and don’t give it the attention it deserves.
Once you’ve shown them that you know and understand their pain points, connected with them as an ally, and let them off the hook for what they didn’t have or know, it’s time to take them by the hand and lead them to the real solution they’ve been looking for - the offer.
Pain points are a very effective way of capturing attention, but it’s the RESULT that makes the sale. You can point out pain points all day long, poke holes in what they’ve tried already until the cows come home, and let them off the hook until you’re blue in the face … but if you don’t clearly direct them to the logical next step, they will not buy.
“That’s ridiculous Christa! Of course they will. It’s so obvious!”
Maybe to you it is, but remember, you are much further along in your journey in terms of your offer than they are. Always work to connect the pain points with the offer by clearly showing the result they can expect and how they can take action and get their hands on it.
When you take the audience’s pain points and partner them up with these three steps, you’re guiding the audience logically towards the offer. It becomes the next logical step for them, and that’s exactly where you - and your clients - want them.
More from Christa Nichols
Want to learn more about zeroing in on exactly what the audience thinks, needs, and wants so you can write sales copy that really dials in on exactly what they need to hear to convert? Grab my FREE Target Market Mastery guide by clicking here.
Every entrepreneur and business owner needs to have an email list. As a sales conversion copywriter, one of my main jobs is to write copy for landing pages that entice a specific target audience to willingly hand over their email addresses.
So … give me your email address and nobody gets hurt?
No no no. I said entice, not coerce.
Oh, okay. Yeah, that’s so much better.
I know, right?
Building an email list - also referred to as lead generation - should be a main goal of every entrepreneur and business owner. After all, once you have the email, you own the traffic - and owned traffic is better than borrowed any day of the week for several reasons:
The thing is, my clients don’t want to spend an arm or a leg on paid traffic. They also don’t want to spend all their free time trying to get the right kind of people to opt in. My goal as a sales conversion copywriter is to create copy that will get as many qualified leads for my clients as I can as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
No matter what type of traffic they use though, there’s one common denominator that can be the make or break of the whole lead generation system - the landing page.
Having a high-converting landing page that captures attention, nurtures connection and clearly communicates the value of the offer is the key to cost- and time-effective lead generation. So let’s dive into my four steps for writing landing pages that convert like crazy!
Step #1: Know the Target Audience
I know I’m always preaching on knowing the target audience, but it really is one of the most important things a sales conversion copywriter must do in order to get results for their clients. In order to run successful lead generation that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and attracts the RIGHT kind of audience, a client must:
Step #2: Offer Something Valuable
Lead generation is all about exchanging value.
Think about it like this. Your client is asking the reader to give them their email address. This is information the reader considers to be rather personal, and they’re not going to do it unless they feel they’re getting something they value more than keeping their email address private in return.
I’m not saying my clients should give away the farm or anything, but they do need to consider what they can offer their target audience that they want. I also encourage them to offer something that doesn’t require any personal time or energy on their part besides the initial creation of the lead magnet. Some examples of lead magnets that tend to convert well are:
Step #3: Write a Compelling, Results-Driven Headline
The first thing a visitor sees when they click on a landing page is the headline. If the page doesn’t capture the visitor’s attention in the first three seconds, they’re gone, so honestly, the headline has a pretty big job. In fact, some landing pages ONLY have a headline and an opt-in. So the headline has to capture attention, and it has to do it well.
My favorite way to write headlines for lead generation landing pages is to just get straight to the point with the result the reader is going to get if they give their email.
Notice I said RESULT. Not the actual download or whatever the lead magnet is. The result is where it’s at - where the true value lies. Without the result, the lead magnet is just another file cluttering up their hard drive.
The image above is an example of a high-converting landing page. This lead magnet was run from March through May. It generated 1500 leads at around $1.20 each and converted between 60-80%. Dang, that’s good. The lead magnet wasn’t anything special really. It was just a list of my 10 favorite free tools that I use every day in my online business. Note how simple the headline is.
“Working From Anywhere Just Got Easier With These 10 Online Tools”
This is a very results-driven headline, and it worked because I knew who my audience was and took into account current events. I launched this lead magnet right as everything shut down because of the global pandemic. So let’s run through this so you can see the thought process behind the headline.
What does the audience want? Business (aka money). They are afraid their business is going to suffer because of social distancing. They want to keep their business alive, and they know online is the only way that can happen right now.
What result am I giving them? “Work from anywhere”. I’m giving them a list of tools that they don’t have to go hunting for that will help them set up their business remotely, making their lives easier and their business feel more secure.
I almost always use the result-driven headline for lead magnets, and there’s a reason for that. Sure there are other types of headlines. I could use a pain-points driven headline or a super crazy attention-grabbing headline. Ninety-five percent of the time though, I go with results-driven headlines for lead generation. Why?
Because the promise of a result they want is enough to hold their attention and get them to trade their email address for it. You don’t need to bring in the pain points - not yet. Not until you want to convince them to whip out their wallets. A crazy headline is great for ad copy, but can be confusing on a landing page. Results-driven headlines are where it’s at for landing pages.
Step #4: Use Sub-Headlines Sparingly
I rarely use sub-headlines for lead gen landing pages. Most of the time it’s just not necessary, but because I was running completely cold traffic, I knew that the sub-headline I used here would add to the value of the offer by giving it street cred. Check it out.
“These Tools Are The Tested & Proven MVPs In My Remote Business ... And They're FREE!”
It helps the reader to know that these tools are being used successfully inside a remote business already, and the reminder that they’re free really dials in on the fact that the reader only stands to gain by opting in.
Step #5: Keep Copy Brief
Landing pages for a free opt-in do not have to be long. In fact, short and to-the-point landing pages almost always outperform longer ones. Here’s why I think that is. If you have something that’s valuable and free, you shouldn’t have to talk the reader into it. It should be a no-brainer for them.
Most of the landing pages I write for have a headline, a short piece of text or three bullets that clearly outline the result they’ll get, an image of the lead magnet, and the opt-in. That’s it. I don’t even encourage clients to include a bio or About Me section. Short, sweet, and to the point is all it takes to get readers to convert to a free offer if steps 1-4 are already in place.
More From Christa Nichols
Ready to try out these tips on the next landing page you write? Awesome! Before you do, click here to grab my FREE targeting guide. It will help you zero right in on exactly who your client’s target audience is so you can craft the exact message they need to read.
Hi, I'm Christa, an Iowa-based messaging expert specializing in targeted messaging, copywriting, and ghostwriting services. I have one handsome hubby who's my partner in crime (not literally) and two great kids who keep us busy (Track and field! Volleyball! Basketball! All the sports!) Using words to help people promote what they love is my favorite!