Marketing Wisdom in a 1970s Hit Song

“Just like me… they long to be… close to you…”

Okay, okay. You probably think ol’ Rich has fallen off his rocker this time, but hear me out…

Because there’s a whole lot of wisdom in that one line from the Carpenters’ 1970 smash hit. And it has absolutely nothing to do with birds suddenly appearing every time you are near.

Let me explain…

Ask anyone who works with me at Strategic Profits and they’ll tell you I’m a pretty private person. I like to come in, focus on my work, and keep my personal business… well, personal.

But over the last year or so, I’ve been slowly cracking the door open and letting everyone have a peek at my life outside the office. And there’s a reason for that.

Back when I was first dipping my toes into the Internet marketing waters, I attended a copywriting seminar hosted by none other than the great John Carlton.

John’s legendary in this business, generating multiple millions of dollars with his masterfully crafted sales pieces. In fact, many consider him one of the greatest copywriters living today.

And I was enraptured by John’s teachings. His breakthrough ideas on writing sales copy were instrumental in my initial success online, and from time to time I still I refer to the notes I took during that seminar whenever I need a copywriting boost.

For instance, about a year ago…

I was in the office working on some copy, and I quickly glanced at those seminar notes to get a kick-start.

What I got was a kick all right – a kick in the HEAD!

These are the exact words that popped out at me in all caps and yellow highlighting:


Ever had an epiphany?

I did. I suddenly realized how closed and impersonal I had become in my sales copy, and how I had alienated many of my readers because of it.

I realized that, no matter how I may feel or think, in order to become a trusted advisor to my prospects and customers I needed to open up about myself, about my family, and about my life outside of Strategic Profits. And if I opened the curtain a little, they would most likely respond very positively.

In other words, John Carlton reached out from that sheet of paper, slapped me upside the head, and said: “Yo, Schefren… take a lesson from Karen Carpenter. They long to be ‘close to you.’ So LET ‘EM!”

I made a vow right then and there that I was going to create a stronger bond with my audience.

So I started focusing more on empathizing with them, understanding their situations, feelings, and motives. I dug deep to find out what kept them up at night… what gnawed at their very core… and how my products could help solve that problem.

Then I immersed myself into their conversations. I studied the forums and social networking sites they frequented. I made note of the buzzwords they tossed out. I wanted to learn the language they spoke so I could talk to them more effectively on their level.

Finally, I just tried to be myself. I know that sounds overly simplistic, but it’s so crucial. Because we all know people who tried to be someone else. And they failed miserably because there was no truth or integrity in anything they said. So I let my personality shine through a lot more, making a point of telling my readers about the little things – not just the big things – that affect how I live, work, and play.

And guess what? The response was AMAZING! Our subscriber rates went through the roof, we saw significant increases in sales, and my “likeability” factor was suddenly off the charts. All because of this shift in my copy.

What about you? Is your copy stiff, stale, and lacking in personality? Are you pulling your prospects and customers “close to you” with your e-mails, sales letters, and blog posts? Or are you pushing them further away?

Because in the words of John Carlton himself, “Good copywriting is like sitting down, cracking a beer, and shooting the sh**.” I don’t know how to put it any better.

If you can integrate this mindset into your copy, you’ll create a stronger bond with your prospects, customers, and subscribers. As a result, you’ll make LOTS more money (and get a lot more enjoyment out of being a copywriter).

[Ed. Note: Rich Schefren – one of the world’s best small-business strategists – knows a thing or two about what it takes to be successful. The businesses he coaches have done over $500 million every year – piling up more than $1 billion in sales every two years. Visit his blog to learn how to streamline your business while skyrocketing profits.]

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