Wish you could have a do-over in something? I’ve been an entrepreneur for a while, and there’s this one skill I wish I’d focused on at the start of my journey. It would have helped me so much in my early days! So what’s that skill? It’s copywriting.
Have you ever come across a piece of writing that just hooked you? By the end of the page, you had to have what they were selling. But it didn’t even feel like it was selling anything? You got hit by a smooth copywriter.
Think about how much your business (and your life) would change if you could upskill your ability to convince more people to take a specific action.
Maybe you want more subscribers or clients. That’s the power of copywriting. It’s the thing that turns casual browsers into fans, followers, and customers. Anyone who’s an entrepreneur, no matter what your niche, needs copywriting skills.
But Denise! The kids have 1.5 million Zoom meetings, my house is a mess, and I feel like I don’t even have time to take a shower anymore! How in the heck do you expect me to learn another skill!?
Okay. I hear ya. Sure, copywriting is a skill. And skills do take time to perfect. But there are several tried–and-true copywriting formulas anyone can use to get the results they want. These formulas don’t require a masters-level, years-long class to learn. They’re quick, easy, and you can refer back to them again and again.
Let me show you what I mean and how to do it.
Before we can truly begin to understand something, we have to define it. When many people hear the word copywriting, they think it has something to do with publishing. Or the legal field. But that’s not at all what copywriting is about.
Copywriting is basically sales writing. It’s advertising. It’s the art of convincing someone through words to take a specific action. That action could be to place a call, sign up for a webinar, give their email address, buy a product, or any number of things.
Bottom line? If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you must understand the importance of copywriting and know how to create compelling copy. Learning this skill should be a key part of your business plans.
You don’t have to become a professional copywriter to use copywriting formulas. Even newbies like us can take certain copywriting principles and use them to improve our businesses.
Many different factors influence a reader to take action. Fortunately, there is also a range of easy-to-use copywriting formulas that can cover these bases. The formula you use depends on:
Ugh. Writer’s block. It happens to the best of us, but copywriting formulas can banish it for good. Copywriting formulas give you a reliable catalyst for sparking your creativity. They give you a framework for your writing, so you don’t have to stare at a blank page and can start writing your copy quickly.
Have you ever second-guessed your writing, unsure if it was good or bad? Copywriting formulas eliminate this guesswork. With a copywriting formula, you’ll know your copy is good and covers the bases you need to convince your reader.
If you’ve written a sales page, a marketing email, or similar, and it’s not doing its job, these formulas will help you figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. And if you’re entirely new to content creation, these formulas will help you grow your business faster than if you had to go through the whole copywriting trial-and-error process.
So, what kinds of content can use different copywriting formulas? Practically any.
Different types of content require different formulas for maximum impact. The formula you pick for the content you want to publish will give you a starting point for writing that’s most persuasive for that particular content form.
For example, something like a blog will require a different formula than a marketing email, since they’re fundamentally different. A blog is typically used to educate and inform, while a marketing email gives a hard sell. But some of the copywriting formulas I’ll get into here in a minute will overlap.
Really, I could write a book on all I’ve learned about copywriting. That’s some foreshadowing for you 🙂 But for the sake of scope, I’m going to get you started with my top copywriting formulas for the most common types of content:
Once you’ve chosen a copywriting formula and the message you want to send, you can work through the content’s different elements. Your copywriting formula will help you:
When you get all this stuff figured out, you’re 90% of the way finished with your content piece. Wahoo! No more blank page!
All right, here we go.
Online business? Then you will write a web page. Most likely, many web pages. These pages should work for you, drawing in readers, grabbing people’s attention, and turning them into fans. Here are the easiest and most reliable copywriting formulas for web pages.
AIDA can be used for many different content types, and we’ll mention it in some of the sections coming up. Here’s what AIDA stands for:
Attention — You grab the reader’s attention and jar them out of their web-browsing stupor.
Interest — Engage them with a cool fact, interesting information, or counterintuitive proposal.
Desire — You’ve engaged them so well, they want it, they need it, and they must have what you’re selling.
Action — Well, that’s a wrap. You’ve successfully convinced them to take the action you want — share it, click it, buy it, whatever.
Notice the Desire — keep you ahead of your competitors. Many people make the mistake of forgetting the D part of AIDA. The desire is the goal, the thing your reader wants. Maybe they don’t even know what they desire yet. So you’re going to reveal it to them. What will improve their lives? What do they need to get from Point A to Point B?
Never forget the Desire part of AIDA. It’s super important for getting the action you want. Here’s another example of AIDA in action from Apple:
The AID part of the formula builds upon the reader’s anticipation, so they’re primed and ready for that A part, the action. AIDA is the oldest copywriting formula because it’s stood up to the test of time.
It’s simple, yet sophisticated, and can be used for so many different content types. When in doubt, pick the AIDA copywriting formula for your content.
AIDA is a variation of AIDA. Here, the C stands for conviction. The point of conviction is to help a skeptic overcome their skepticism. With the conviction, you’re helping readers overcome their doubts because they can trust what you’re saying.
If your audience is not pre-qualified, AIDCA can be a fantastic copywriting formula. It takes the time-tested AIDA and gives it just a bit more oomph. You can use these pieces on your web page as the conviction part of the AIDCA formula:
Sales pages are an integral part of running a business. As such, you have to ensure that your sales pages are going to do their job. One good copywriting formula for a short-form sales page is:
Basically, you just drop the attention part of AIDA and AIDCA. But why would you do this?
All right, when you have a short-form sales page, you’re using another type of content to get people onto that sales page. That could be something like an ad or a marketing email. And as such, you’ve already got the reader’s attention. So you don’t need to grab their attention again. Instead, you just have to go straight into their interest and hold it.
PAS is considered one of the most reliable long-form sale page formulas ever invented in the history of like, ever. I personally love PAS because it’s simple, yet super effective for something that can seriously give newbie copywriters the shivers — the long-form landing page. Dun Dun Duuun.
Market disruptors can significantly benefit from using PAS in their long-form sales pages. But there’s a variation on PAS that discredits competitors. It’s called PADS.
The D stands for discredit. It’s a great copywriting formula solution for entrepreneurs trying to sell in a highly competitive niche. Talk about how you’re a better solution to the reader’s problem than competitors and why.
Emails are an excellent tool for generating interest in your brand and turning prospects into clients. With emails, you have a direct line of communication to your target audience. But how to turn that interest into $$$? Use this copywriting formula:
Problem — Similar to the previous formulas, speak to your reader’s problem. Tell a story, or paint a picture of the issue that your reader identifies with. This could be an actual pain point, or it could be the reader has an aspiration or goal they want to reach. Talk about it first.
Promise — How can you help them solve their problem, or reach their goal?
Proof — Give reasons that support your promise, like a testimonial or a guarantee. Here, you’ll want to overcome doubts and objections.
Proposal — Nudge the reader to take the action you want.
Copywriting Formulas for Social Media Posts
So, here are a few copywriting solutions for your social posts that will speak to these different audiences.
This copywriting formula is courtesy of Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing. It’s not an acronym like the other copywriting formulas. With this numbered formula, you’re considering the context of the message. It’s a great solution if you’re not sure how qualified the audience is.
So, what’s the +1 part of the formula? The +1 is being credible throughout and always in your copy. The context and credibility parts of this formula make it especially useful for cold or otherwise skeptical audiences.
Can’t afford a professional copywriter, or don’t know how to find one? These formulas will help you with your next launch. When you’re ready to hire a professional copywriter, these formulas will also help you evaluate their skills during the interview phase.
The next time you set pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, refer back to these formulas. They’re time-tested and marketer-approved for getting your audience to take the action you want.
Get my new Write Your A$$ Off eBook.
Sick of putting out blogs that never get read, social posts that don’t get engagement, and landing pages that fall flat as lead balloons? Let’s put a stop to that.
In my new eBook, I talk about more copywriting formulas and give oodles of examples for effective, attention-grabbing headlines and subject lines.
If you’re stumped for ideas, this book will get rid of your writer’s block completely. You can put these formulas and examples to work right away and supercharge your business.