Over the years of doing this, I learned that whenever I can’t get started on a project, there’s usually only one reason:
I’m not clear on something.
It can happen when I have to sit down and start typing the first words of copy.
The sign that I have to go back to my research, is that I don’t know where to start from. Or, how to put the bow on it.
Lack of clarity is deadly.
Combine it with the resistance popularized by Steven Pressfield, and you get a highly poisonous cocktail.
It’s the same when we’re talking about writing to your prospects.
Do you know where they’ve been before coming to you?
Do you know where they’re going to go after?
And do THEY know?
Writing copy is not only about storytelling, persuasion and conversions…it’s also about charting your territory.
There are 2 main areas you should always keep in mind when mapping yours:
- The journey to this moment
- The timeline of fear (credit to Alen Sultanic for the term)
In the journey to this moment you get to know where your prospect was 5 years, 5 weeks and 5 seconds before they found you.
It helps you match their level of awareness, sophistication, their needs, their decision making model, and much much more. It helps you build your value proposition.
A lot of people know this.
But what about the “after” part?
The timeline of fear is an underrated concept.
It helps you get clear on what’s gonna happen today, tomorrow and after that, in the long-term for your customer.
It’s used way more from direct marketing pros. How?
They use their knowledge of the future situation to sell customers on more than they initially asked for.
They are perfectly aware of the new “problems” their solutions might introduce – and they set out to solve them with more products.
And so they might have an upsell for your today, or immediate moment after buying, one for your tomorrow and one for 5 years from now (or even better, a recurring product).
I don’t see this used in SaaS nor ecommerce much.
Not that it’s a bad thing, I’m all for ethically selling, but I think it’s a great point to keep in mind – if it helps maximize value for your cusotmers.
Are you thinking of ways you can alleviate their future fears?
There’s a bonus in doing this well: often times if you’re able to understand and show them what these fears are, they might see you as even more of an authority, because you’re looking out for them.
Food for thought.
Curious to see a real-life application of understanding where people come from and where they’re going on a website? I just dropped a new teardown on my Youtube channel. It goes in depth on it.
Quote and reflection of the day:
“Successful people make decisions based on their commitments. Amateurs make decisions based on how they feel.”
– Ryan Serhant, Big Money Energy
What brings results is continually sticking to a feedback loop and to a process, rather than taking leaps from one state to the next. Committing is speculating using data. Moving on feelings is gambling.