I grew up in a rural Iowa farming community in the middle of nowhere. There was one school from kindergarten through 12th grade, and my high school graduating class had 31 students. When people asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, we said things like teachers, farmers and nurses.
I’d never have guessed I’d be a high-ticket sales copywriter today. In fact, I wouldn’t have even known what that meant. You can believe me when I say I didn’t go looking to become a sales copywriter. Sales copywriting kind of found me.
Do You Have To Be A Unicorn?
Many aspiring copywriters look at those who are several steps (or more) ahead of them in their copywriting businesses and think that only a lucky select few ever reach that elusive and coveted high-ticket sales copywriter status. They think there’s some kind of secret club that only special copywriting unicorns get let into. To be honest, I used to think that too. That, and all kinds of other lies, like …
I can’t charge THAT. No one would pay that much to have me write for them.
I’m a nobody. I’ll never be able to attract high-level clients.
Why would anybody ever take me seriously? I don’t even have a marketing degree.
Thankfully, as it turns out, I was wrong. Yes, I’m just a small-town Iowa farm wife with no marketing degree, no fancy advertising budget, and no network or reputation … but I still managed to build a sales copywriting business that has brought in multi-six figures a year from year one while raising two teenagers.
In other words, if I can do it, you can too.
The First Rule of Copywriter’s Club
In the movie Fight Club, Brad Pitt’s character stands in front of a group of repressed businessmen and says, “The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.” Does the copywriting industry ever feel like that to you - like there’s some kind of secret club with insider knowledge that nobody talks about?
Yes, there are exclusive memberships and mentorships out there, but that’s not really the key to becoming the kind of sales copywriter who attracts high-quality clients and high-ticket rates. Do I believe in the power of a good network? For sure! But being part of a network is just one step on a copywriter’s journey to success - and it’s not even the most important one.
The truth is, there is no “club”. Every single industry out there is in need of sales copywriters, and as long as you can write words that sell, you’ll never go hungry - and that’s the key. The “secret” to achieving high-ticket sales copywriter status isn’t really a secret at all. It’s just the ability to get results for clients.
Behind-the-Scenes of Results
There’s so much more to getting results with sales copy than just words on a page. And maybe that’s where some of the secrecy and mystery surrounding the greats in direct response marketing comes from. Because everybody talks about the hooks and angles and calls to action … but nobody really talks about what goes on behind the scenes BEFORE you ever write a word.
There are four foundational skills that need to go into every step of the sales copywriting process:
Miss one of these skills, and you’ll have incomplete messaging, leaving places for your clients’ customers and clients to fall right out of the funnel, email or ad.
When you have good systems and processes for research, strategy, data analysis and sales psychology, you’ll be able to quickly dial in on exactly who the client serves, identify areas that are working and areas that aren’t, and create a front-to-back plan to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. Let’s break down each skill set a bit.
I don’t know if anyone has ever told you this before, but the sales copy you write can only be as good as the research you’ve done beforehand. Russell Brunson says it so well in his book Traffic Secrets, “The first step in this process is to become obsessed with your dream customer. Companies that become obsessed with their products will eventually fail” (pg. 15).
This concept is a tough one for our clients to remember sometimes. They spend countless hours (and dollars) developing products and offers that are amazing. It can be easy for them to forget the people they’re trying to serve.
It’s our job to bring those dream clients and customers to the forefront of our clients’ sales copy by:
Strategy? I’m not a strategist. That’s somebody else’s job.
If that’s what you’re thinking right now, technically you’re right. Often strategy falls under the umbrella of a campaign or marketing manager or paid traffic specialist, not the sales copywriter. You want to become an expert sales conversion copywriter though, right?
If you want to be good at sales conversion copy, you have to be able to think strategically about not only the words you write but how, where, and when they appear. What pieces of information does the target audience need to see first? Would certain information go over better in an email or a paid ad? How soon is too soon to pitch the sale?
When you understand strategy and can incorporate it into how you approach writing projects, you immediately become immensely valuable to your clients. It’s a game-changer not only in terms of building trust with the client but your ability to get results for them.
Data analysis is a very underdeveloped skill among copywriters. I’ve even been known to joke, “I’m a writer. I don’t math.” But it’s not true. I math, and I math hard when it comes to reading campaign data.
Being able to read campaign data and paid traffic analytics helps you identify what’s working and what’s not so you can test and optimize campaigns for best results. This definitely gives you an edge over less experienced copywriters who don’t understand analytics.
In order to reach audiences where they are and invite them along on a journey to purchase, you have to understand how people think and how that affects the decisions they make. If you can’t put yourself in the target audience’s shoes, you’ll have a hard time writing sales copy that converts.
There are certain strategies and tactics you can use as a sales copywriter to ethically break through objections and lead them to the solution they’ve been looking for. I’ll be sharing more about these strategies and tactics here soon, so stay tuned.
This Could Be You!
The great thing about sales copywriting is the more you do it, the better you’ll get. And when you understand the foundations behind sales copy that convert, you can put those foundations to work to get great results for your clients. Sales copywriters who get consistent results for clients attract a higher caliber of clients and can charge higher rates.
So stick with it. Don’t think that just because you haven’t “made it” yet, you never will. The truth is, in this instance YOU are your own worst enemy, because if you think you can’t, then you’re right. But if you think you CAN … well you’re right on that one too. Invest in learning the four foundations, keep writing and keep close track of the results you get for clients so you can confidently promote yourself to prospects.
More From Christa Nichols
You could go searching tips on researching target audiences, sales copy strategy, reading data and analytics, and sales psychology. There’s plenty of information out there if you have the time and know where to look.
OR you could cut to the chase and come straight to the only online training program for sales copywriters that dives deep below the surface to cover everything sales copywriters need to uplevel their skills, land high-level clients, and charge premium rates - Written Results Academy. Want a sneak peek? You can CLICK HERE to get on the waiting list and be notified now when it goes live.
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!