Why you should NEVER write your own copy

The Judgement of Solomon - Nicolas Poussin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Before I tell you why you should NEVER write your own copy, I want to share something with you.

Even the very best copywriters have a hard time writing copy for themselves

That’s right.

And while I’m sure a bunch of copywriters out there will get their panties in a bunch over that statement, I’ll stand by it.

I’ll also tell you WHY that is true.

The very best copywriters will write YOU amazing copy. They’ll get YOU a ton of sales.

However, they will NOT write sales copy to promote themselves. Instead, they’ll get another copywriter to write it for them, or at the very least critique what they’ve written.

If that doesn’t make sense, I’ll explain it using a simple analogy:

YOU CANNOT CUT YOUR OWN HAIR.

Why? Because your perspective of yourself is limited. And that is an inescapable truth.

Solomon’s Paradox — Why our self-judgement sucks (scientifically-backed statement)

Don’t take my word for it. There are studies that prove it. In fact, there’s even a name for the phenomenon.

It’s called “Solomon’s Paradox”.

The name comes from the legendary King Solomon who, as the story goes, was infinitely wise when it came to the matters of his subjects. He was also notoriously bad at dealing with his own personal issues. In fact, due to his antics, you could say he was single-handedly responsible for the ruin of his kingdom.

So, what’s Solomon’s Paradox all about?

If like me you’re fond or research papers, there’s a cool study (Grossmann, Kross, 2014) where researchers ran a series of experiments to prove that we are wiser about situations when we’re detached from them.

he full study is right here. But in essence, here’s what it’s all about.

Remember that friend of yours with the cheating partner? Yeah, that same one who wouldn’t listen to reason, and kept dating the lying creep instead of breaking it off?

That’s Solomon’s Paradox at work.

You were wiser about your friend’s situation because you were detached from it. And your friend was on the opposite end, drowning in crap and coming up with all sorts of “valid” reasons for wanting to stay in it.

So what does all this have to do with copywriters and not writing your own copy?

Well, nobody is immune from Solomon’s Paradox. Copywriters are no exception.

Sure, we are the undisputed masters of selling. Our career is completely focused on studying and understanding the key principles that make people click the BUY button.

A huge chunk of what I earn goes right back into market research, scientific studies in consumer psychology, courses, 1:1 mentoring, and mastermind groups. And I’ve successfully used that knowledge to help companies make quite a bit of money.

But I’ll be honest with you; when it comes to writing copy to promote myself, I get a trusted, competent colleague to give me an outside perspective. Invariably, we find I’ve missed a number of key elements that end up making my copy 10X more effective.

Is it because I’m stupid? Ok ok… let’s not go there.

The truth is, writing copy for yourself is many many times harder than writing it for others. When you’re “selling yourself”, your perspective is limited and your judgement is badly skewed.

There ARE a few exceptions to this rule, but trust me, you and I fit nicely and squarely into it.

So let’s not be presumptuous. You’ve got a business and you’ve invested a ton of time, money and energy in it; do the right thing, get help with your copy — do it NOW.

Yes, you can write a first draft of your copy if you’ve taken the time to really study the principles in depth. But trust me, you’ll be missing crucial points that could be making your copy many times more effective.

I’m not asking you to hire me specifically (actually yes, I am, so get in touch and let’s talk).

Just stop trying to do it all yourself. Remember:

YOU CAN’T CUT YOUR OWN HAIR!

CLICK HERE to get in touch with me so I can help you out with your copy.


Bibliography

Grossmann, I., & Kross, E. (2014). Exploring Solomon’s Paradox: Self-Distancing Eliminates the Self-Other Asymmetry in Wise Reasoning About Close Relationships in Younger and Older Adults. Psychological Science, 25(8), 1571–1580. http://doi.org/10.1177/0956797614535400

Good copywriters charge premium fees (and they’re worth every penny)

Good copy is an investment

I know it’s a cliché, and that it can be misleading, but very often, price is a good indicator of skill and value offered.

Yes, you can get a project done on the cheap. Put your project up for grabs on a content mill, slap a few of $100 bills on it, and you’ll have a bunch of “copywriters” falling over each other, yelling and screaming, “Me! Me! Pick Me!”

Tempting, I know. But when you think about it, what does this attitude tell you about these “copywriters”?

Cheap “copywriters” who are willing to write sales pages at $2000 a pop, aren’t making enough money to make a decent living, which means they need to churn out as many projects as possible per year. And guess what — they won’t have any trouble skimping on quality.

So where does that leave you?

You guessed it. Your business is not only down a couple of thousands, but you’re now stuck with a poorly-written sales page that might even perform WORSE than what you had. And we both know that is going to cost you even more money in lost sales.

On the flipside, you can expect a GOOD copywriter to charge you upwards of $10,000 for a sales page. If that sounds a tad steep, bear with me while I put it into perspective.

We’ve already agreed that the cheap, sloppy copywriter is going to cost you anywhere between 2 – 5 thousand dollars in fees and lost sales. That’s money down the drain that you’re never going to recoup.

On the other hand, the $10k you pay for GOOD copy is an investment destined to pay for itself over and over again. You see, copywriting is meant to do one thing and one thing alone — bring in more sales i.e. more sales than what you’re currently making.

For instance, by charging premium prices, I drive away A LOT of potential business. But that’s intentional.

A competent copywriter will typically work on very few projects per year. That guarantees he/she can invest all the time and energy needed to make the project a stellar success.

There’s no way you can do that when working on a dozen different projects per month.

REMEMBER: Good copy is an investment, bad copy is an expense, and doing nothing is just as bad.

The key take-aways here are:

  • Investing in good copy is like buying seeds and water with the intent of growing food. At the end of the day, you can’t eat soil and rocks.
  • Bad copy scares people away, and I guarantee you will NEVER see them again.

On a final note, you might think doing nothing saves you money. In reality, if your copy is not converting, you’re bleeding money. Doing nothing is like having a gashing wound and not covering it up with a bandage.

If you do not invest in GOOD copy, your business will bleed to death.