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They don’t know why clients aren’t banging down the door to hire them! It’s because they don’t have a model. They don’t understand the deeper psychology of their own writing. And they don’t know how to use stories to sell.
- Study personalities and human nature rather than just studying writing technique. Understanding how people work helps you to become much more persuasive in your writing.
- Study classic books and powerful stories. Find out why the stories are so compelling and why they have been so powerful for so long.
- Study marketing to understand how to write persuasively to business audiences. In addition, understanding marketing makes getting hired exponentially easier.
- Watch the video to get the whole training.
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How do you increase your writing skills so that you’re more persuasive, more effective, and more desirable and have more consistent results?
I want to share with you three specific things that you can do right now to dramatically increase your ability to be persuasive, effective, and consistent.
We’re going to go on a walk through my backyard, through my forest for just a few minutes. I start to talk with you about these three things because I think it’ll make a huge difference in your ability in writing.
Often, when we hear about increasing writing skills and improving our ability to be persuasive, we hear things like, “We should study the art of copywriting,” “You should study the structure of persuasive writing,” “You should go read a bunch of books.”
Those things are very important and powerful, but the writers who really create consistent results, and who are in demand all the time do three things.
These writers get hired on a regular basis for top fees. These writers talk about some of those things (meaning reading books and studying copywriting), but three other themes come up over and over again.
I want to share those themes with you today. You deserve to be a top writer just like they are, so you can have that kind of success in your life.
This can be illustrated through a lesson that I learned years ago while studying Louis Pasteur. Leon Hook discovered bacteria – these tiny little bugs running around our bodies, wreaking all kinds of havoc and creating disease, illness, and sicknesses. But nobody knew quite what to do with it.
Then, Louis Pasteur came along, and he discovered antibodies. He realized that there were “antibiotics” already inside the body, and they would kill bacteria before they created mass havoc inside your body. Now, illnesses like pneumonia – which used to wipe out total populations – suddenly became a thing of the past. Now, you’d feel a little sick, you’d take an antibiotic, boom, you’re good.
Before Louis Pasteur, society wasn’t quite sure what was creating all the problems and how to resolve them.
Then they created a model. You see, a model allowed them to say, “Oh, this is why it’s happening, and this is what we can do to solve it.”
In a similar way, a lot of times when I talk to writers, they’re confused about why their writing isn’t being as effective as it could be. They don’t know why they’re not creating consistent results. They don’t know why clients aren’t banging down the door to hire them. The reason is they don’t have a model to understand the deeper psychology about what’s going on inside of their writing.
What I find is, studying technique is okay, but study of human nature is way more powerful. Understanding of what makes people tick, why they do the things that they do, what inspires them and motivates them to change their life and to do different actions that they normally would do. I find that having a simple model in my head changes the equation on all this.
So, for example, a number of years ago, I read the book Personality Plus. In Personality Plus, I learned that there are four basic models, or four basic personality types/worldviews with how people see things.
When I came to understand that I was like, “Oh, well, if people have four basic personality types, then in effect, all of my writing, all of my product sells, all of my stuff is also going to have kind of lean toward one of four basic personality types because products, services, offerings, they’re all made by people and they’re made to serve people.”
Once I understood that, I had a model for how human beings worked that I could apply to my writing.
My first suggestion to you is come to know, and to understand human nature really really well. You can start off by reading that book Personality Plus. There’s another book out there called Influences Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. Florence Littauer wrote Personality Plus, so you can check that book out.
These two books just give you a simple structure for why people make the decisions they make, and how you can influence those decisions through your writing. That’s number one is to learn to study.
Study people, understand what makes them tick and why they do what they do.
The second point can be illustrated with an experience that I had as a teenager.
See, when I was a teenager I was — there was a wild and crazy world that I grew up in and we had different — not that different, not challenges, there were more excessive or different than a lot of other people have but certainly I had my fair share of challenges.
I was a troubled teen and wondering what to do with my life. My sister recommended to me that I read the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, so I decided to read it. If I was going to do it, I decided to read the unabridged version and so I read the whole thing.
I remember there was a point in time if you know the story, there’s this point where Jean Valjean is basically sacrificed at the very end. He sacrificed himself. He sacrificed his whole life for Cosette and then he sacrificed to allow Cosette and Marius to be married. He selflessly gives up things that he loves to bring joy and happiness to other people. As a teenager, I remember sitting on my bed, I had a big waterbed, king-size waterbed downstairs in my room and I remember sitting on my bed, just sobbing, just tears crying, crying, crying because I was learning about people. I was also learning about great storytelling.
You see even as long and as crazy as that was as a teenager, I couldn’t put the book down. I started thinking like,”Why is it that I couldn’t put that book down? What is it about this story? What is it about human nature? What is it about the people? What is about the way the story is structured? How did he structure the paragraphs in the sentences and the chapters so that this book Les Misérables has become a classic and has endured for centuries and it’s just an amazing literature piece?”
So, what I learned from that is, if I really wanted to understand people and I really wanted to understand good writing then I had to read and study really great writing specifically, this is my suggestion.
Number two is to study really great stories, and not just read them to be entertained, but study why it is that people can’t put down books like The Chronicles of Narnia and other endearing classics.
In the turn of the century, there was an author named Gene Stratton Porter. Gene Stratton Porter, like literacy, took the world by storm. She sold millions and millions of copies of her books.
The question is well, “Why?” What was it about her writing that caused such a stir in the society of the day? I want you to read stuff and think about that.
Today, the phenomenon is Harry Potter. Why is it that people say they don’t read long books? They don’t read a lot of books. People don’t read anymore, and yet Harry Potter books still sell like crazy. It’s an astonishing volume of reading and they’re thick books. They’re not short. Why? Well, go read one, find out.
C.S. Lewis’s book, I mean you can go and pick any of your favorite books, but just know that if you study great stock stories; great novels and not just read them for entertainment value, but really come to find out like what makes that book so compelling, you’ll have a key insight into really really great persuasive writing.
My first suggestion is to study people. My second suggestion: study great stories. My third insight for or invitation for you is illustrated by this story.
When I was first starting out in my copywriting business, and trying to figure out how to get clients and how to build my business and how to write more persuasive, I went and spent two days at Perry Marshall’s office.
Four companies came and spent time in his office and everybody got — all the participants got a half a day to completely dissect their business, write copy, review sales funnels, all of that different stuff.
I went first, and I was kind of clueless and so I didn’t really know exactly what to say or how to say it. So we did my half-day and I got some value out of it and then I listened to three other business owners who are amazing at what they did. I mean literally just incredibly astonishing at what they did and Perry was on his own. He was masterful.
I watched as he took these businesses and tore him apart. Dissected them and then restructured them, and just created amazing copy and amazing content, amazing results.
Towards the end of the last day, I remember sitting there and they were going through this sales funnel and I remember sitting there and it was like this light bulb went off in my head, and all these pieces started coming together about, “Oh… you bring someone in here with this kind of a message, and then you present this offer, and then you talk with them about this stuff, and then you do these things, and you just roll through, and then you do this upsell in this cross-sell…” and literally the entire business models and all this structure of all this stuff started just coming into my brain.
It was like this huge piece of puzzle pieces and I stood up, right in the middle of this meeting. In the middle of Perry talking and having this conversation I was like, “Whoa, I can’t believe it! Oh, you do this and then you do that and then you go here and then you say this and then you do all these things!”
I was practically crazy; excited with what was going on, and I was like, “I figured it out!”
I remember saying, “Oh my goodness, this is what they’re doing to me.” This is what all those marketers and those salespeople do. This is like this, and this is how they get me to buy, and this is how they get me to buy again. This is how they do this stuff.”
I couldn’t believe it, and Perry and the other three guys are sitting there like, “Okay, Joshua like you can settle down now, that’s all right buddy.” It’s just that all the pieces fell into place for me. I suddenly realized why marketers did what they did, how sales funnels worked; how persuasion worked. All these pieces came into play.
A culmination of a couple of years of thinking through and studying business and marketing, and this had a massive impact on my writing. Suddenly, instead of just writing an email or writing a sales letter, or writing a brochure, or putting content together, or any of those kinds of things — suddenly instead of doing that kind of stuff, I realized that I was an essential, vital piece of a much bigger puzzle.
I realized that my message had to be integrated with and connected to all these other pieces parts of the marketing funnel.
What I decided to do is spend an enormous amount of time studying marketing. This dramatically increased, not only my writing skills because I understood people and businesses and marketing and persuasions so much better, but it also dramatically increased my viability and my hireability.
Why would somebody want to hire me? Well, they would want to hire me because I was a writer that didn’t just sit down and take orders, but I came up with solutions. I had innovation, and I had thoughts about how they could increase their business, what they could do, and how they could gain more money on all these kinds of different things.
I brought that to the table because I had studied marketing. My third suggestion; to dramatically increase your marketing, your writing skills, and your persuasion ability, is to study marketing.
Take the time to understand what a sales funnel is, what a landing page is, what an upsell is, what a cross-sell is, what a bump offer is — all these different kinds of things that we talked about; especially digital marketing.
How does it work? Why does it work? How can you apply it? What can you do to make yourself more viable, more profitable, more useful, and more valuable to your end buyer?
If you’ll do that you’ll be absolutely amazed at how much easier it is to get hired. You’ll be amazed at how much more confidence you have. You’ll be amazed at the systems that you can put together and what you can do to make a ton more money as a writer.
Those are my three suggestions for you. Number one: study people, number two: study great stories and novels, and number three: study marketing. Come to know and understand what makes people tick, why they buy, why they take action, and be aware of how that integrates into and is impacted by your writing. Sound good?
Okay guys, I’d love to hear your insights on people. I’d love to hear your insights on great novels. Man, wouldn’t be great for us to compile a list of superb amazing literature and novels?
I’d love to hear your insights on marketing and how that’s impacting your sales funnels, your ability to write, your ability to get clients, and all those other kinds of great things. Cool.
All right guys, great chatting with you. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye now…