Learning when to turn down a client has been one of the hardest skills to master. It’s hard to say ‘no’ to the money, it’s difficult to disappoint an enthusiastic prospect, and it’s painfully awkward telling them why.
I cannot save the flagging, flagging, forlorn, entrepreneur. I’ve tried, and it benefits no-one.
Once upon a time, when I was subcontracting for an online marketing agency, I got a brief that said ‘state the unique selling points of the service’. When I asked the client what the USPs were, their response was ‘you tell us, you’re the copywriter’. They had no idea why someone would choose them over their competitor, and they were pretty annoyed I’d asked the question. I felt that they’d overestimated the role of a copywriter - they needed business mouth-to-mouth, not a sales page.
Since then I’ve got better at spotting the businesses who need something more drastic than new web copy.
Red Flag Signals That Make Me Walk (Run) Away
There are certain signs I look out for, that indicate this person would do better if they spent their money on getting help with the direction of their business, rather than handing it over to me.
A sketchy brief that doesn’t clearly state what’s included for the price. We all have to wing it to some extent, but if by the time the sales page is coming together you still can’t list what’s included for the price, you’re in trouble.
Defensive responses to my questions. I have to ask a lot of questions, because those are the questions your prospect is asking when they land on the sales page. If my questions scare you, you’re not yet secure enough in what you’re offering.
Procrastination. Late replies, delays in paying deposits or returning questionnaires are an early warning signal that this client is not all in. Twice I’ve got to the stage of presenting a damn fine sales page, which is met with lukewarm appreciation. After feeling deflated for a day or two, I get an email from the biz owner ‘fessing up that they didn’t really want to offer the product, but they’d felt pressured/obligated to launch it.
I Can’t Help You If….
♦ You’re not clear on what your target customer wants to buy from you.
♦ You don’t know why customers would buy from you rather than from someone else.
♦ You have no enthusiasm for the product or service you are offering.
If this sounds like you, you need a business coach, not a copywriter. Head over to Nadia at nadiafiner.com - she’s a real, friendly human who helps all shapes and sizes of businesses all over the world, including mine.
I’d Love To Work With You If…
♥ You need to get your product/service in front of more people. It’ll take more than a sales page, but with a carefully constructed sales funnel we can scale up your flow of customers.
♥ You need help bringing your vision to life. Through writing About pages and Sales pages I help put your ideas into words. My clients often find great clarity through the questions I ask as part of the copywriting process.
♥ You want to help your audience get to know you better. This is especially true if you have a corporate background, which has encouraged you to hide behind a professional image. Build your business by building relationships with your target customers - they need to get to know, like and trust you as a friendly, approachable, credible expert. I can help with that.
You Need More Than A Sales Page
A sales page is just the final stage of your customer nurture sequence. No matter how fabulous your sales copy is, you will still need:
- Some way of getting that copy in front of your prospects eyeballs - How are they going to find you?
- Some way of building trust, so they want to hand over their money - How can you prove you are credible, friendly expert.
- Some way of keeping in touch with people who like the sales page, but aren’t ready to buy yet - How can you stop them just bouncing away?
The Worditude Club is a monthly membership program designed to help you turn strangers into superfans, so that by the time they arrive at your sales page, your audience is eager to work with you.