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How to make people visualize themselves into buying

I’m in a pickle. This week I’ve been working on replacing my entire knowledge + project management systems with a single tool. So I self-psychoanalyzed my decision making process…

Up until this point I’ve been using Roam Research for my to do list, Clickup for work related project management and various other ways to collect quick notes and ideas (mostly because Roam sucks on mobile).

Long story short, it’s hard.

So I went looking for information on how to make the switch, but lo and behold, you can’t really find much online. Not even on Notion’s own website.

While they do address the switch, their competitor comparison pages could do better.

Take their Clickup comparison page:

Looking at it, I can see what the differentiators are. All good, lots of social proof, success metrics, G2 reviews etc..

But one thing is missing.

I think this should be included in every single SaaS comparison page, but almost nobody does it.

Everyone just focuses on the benefits and features of their tool, but ignore the psychological and logistical elements involved in switching.

For example, for me, being a solopreneur with a super small team, it’s not that complex. The whole process is just gonna take me a ton of time to figure out.

But think of what a big company is facing:

  • Fear of downtime
  • Financial costs like license fees, and potentially, exit fees
  • Employee retraining
  • Data migration headaches
  • Uncertainty in whether the tool will deliver
  • General resistance to change
  • Perceived risk to current projects
  • Compatibility issues
  • Time and effort needed to vet the new tool
  • Potential legal or compliance issues

And more…

My point is:

You need to create a vision of “the future life with your tool”.

Make people see how easily and smoothly they can move away from the clunky old solution to your shiny new toy. Then, show them how they’ll live and breathe their new and improved solution.

And make it exciting!

There’s a reason why Before and After pictures work great in fitness. People want to see the results they can potentially get. In SaaS, we can’t snap photos of productivity spikes or ROI boosts (at least not credible ones), but we can sure paint a vivid picture of life made better with our solution versus the old way.

So what would I do?

  1. Show before and after screenshots or videos/GIFs of the most frequent use cases. Before with the old tool, and after with yours.
  2. Write copy that quickly touches on what the differences are along with the benefits for each.
  3. Then, back it up with a customer review specifically related to that example.

It’s hard work, you need to dig into the other tool and try it out. But if you are willing to do it, your prospects will thank you.

📚 3 things to get better at copywriting

1. Essay writing frameworks to simplify your copywriting life

David Perell developed 3 writing tools that I think work great with sales copy too.

POP writing: Make your copy Personal, Observational and Playful.

CRIBS: When editing, look for what is Confusing, Repetitive, Interesting, Boring and Surprising.

A simple storytelling formula: tell a story, teach a lesson, then add a call to action.

2. Don’t let your best ideas die to the power of mediocre ones

3. To become a better copywriter, give feedback

I recently read this in a writing cohort course I’m part of:

Writing is soulcraft — which means your work is like your baby. It’s incredibly difficult to step back, evaluate your writing, and “kill your darlings.” But when you read other students’ work, it gives you a renewed perspective. 

You’ll discover patterns in your own writing. You’ll sharpen your editing eyes. And by engaging with different writing voices, you’ll start to understand your own voice better.

It’s so true. But few have the guts to do it. Taking critical feedback takes courage, but the rewards are invaluable.

✅ Don’t miss it

  • Want to learn how to use AI to write better copy? I’m officially partnering up with Copyhackers to help you ! 🎉 This guide on how to analyze survey data and 3 more are dropping today.
  • The idea of “identity” is a powerful one when you can understand how people form theirs. I try digging into how I shaped mine over the years in this post. Reverse engineering the process can be really helpful to figure out how your customers think and why they act (or not).

🤔 Thought of the week

“Stop telling yourself you’re not qualified, good enough or worthy. Growth happens when you start doing the things you’re not qualified to do.”

-Steven Bartlett, The Diary of a CEO

Don’t aim for a place where you feel you’ve arrived. Stay in the process, enjoy the feeling of growing with it. Live at the edge of comfort.

2 thoughts on “How to make people visualize themselves into buying”

  1. This is bang on, Chris. It’s so often overlooked – we, as copywriters, should agitate the pain of the “now” and then present the “new”. The stage of awareness will dictate just how detailed we need to go – but they’re both needed.

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Every week I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

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