September 27, 2018

Core Story 18: Neonatal Copywriting Breakthrough

I started this series with a story about my son Hugo. That’s where we’ll end the series too.

Hugo was born on 6th February 2018, six weeks ahead of schedule. Linzi had been ‘incarcerated’ (her words) in hospital for 21 days with pre-eclampsia. So when I got the phone call at 3PM the day before, it wasn’t a shock. But at the same time, you’re never ready.

I stopped at a shop on the way home to buy size zero nappies and maternity pads. I didn’t even know what a ‘maternity pad’ was. I later found out it’s something you never want to ask about…

Hugo spent the first two weeks of his life in an incubator. Even though he was small, Hugo wasn’t the smallest or most critical baby in the neonatal unit, by a long stretch. Alarms constantly beeped on other incubators, while nurses bustling around us holding clipboards.

Then twice a day, at 7AM and 7PM, something interesting happened. Handover.

New nurses arrived for the next shift. Each baby was discussed, and notes shared. Then a new set of heroics were performed for the next 12 hours, by a completely different set of people.

I sat there watching, thinking ‘DING DING DINGThis is how copywriting should work too…’

  • Nobody was ‘winging’ it, or making stuff up as they went along
  • Training and education was a prerequisite
  • Clear rules and procedures were followed
  • An escalation hierarchy was in place, should a problem occur

When you hire a copywriter, you don’t actually care who is doing the writing. But you want them to be trained, knowledgeable and following procedure. You want them to truly understand your needs. You want to feel reassured by them. You want an escalation procedure, in case of emergency, sickness or absence.

And most importantly of all, you want results quickly.

Because let’s face it – generating more leads is no longer the solution to every marketing problem. Click prices are going up, across all platforms. You can’t just throw more money at lead generation. You need the leads you’re generating to stick around for a while…

Sure, you can still get people to opt in from Facebook or wherever by pushing emotional hot buttons. But when you do this, most people opt in out of curiosity. They often won’t confirm their email. They leave as fast as they arrived, perhaps via clicking the ‘this is spam’ button.

I’ve seen this with my own cold Facebook ads, and had to scale them back. High opt-in rates do not necessarily equate to more business. A person who completes an opt-in form isn’t yet a lead.

If you sell knowledge or expertise, the real problem is getting people to actually engage with you – across all the platforms that are available.

Most people under-estimate how much content they need to do this. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you have to be prolific. Most people are not prolific enough with email; let alone social media, direct mail and other formats.

You have to ask: where do your customers spend most of their time? They spend some of it on email, for sure. But they spend a lot more time on social media. And if you really want their attention, you still can’t go wrong with snail mail.

My vision is for True Story Selling to be a place where you can get the copywriting support you need to both grow your audience and build real connection. Usually that starts with knowing yourself, and knowing your core story.

We’re at the end of my own core story – or at least my current version of it. Let me tell you, I’ve had a blast writing it – but it’s been hard. It’s always hard to work on your own story.

I’m holding a webinar this afternoon for my paid group Story Selling Insider, where I’ll talk about the process I followed to create this series. I’ll talk about the challenges I’ve run into, and how I plan to use these emails in other parts of my marketing. Creating the emails is only the beginning.

If you need to communicate your expertise to more people, I’d love to have you in the group. You’ll get a recording of this afternoon’s session if you can’t join us live.

This is a limited-time invite. Story Selling Insider Membership closes on Sunday, and won’t be open again until 7th January. I’ll only be taking on a limited number of new members after that.

Read more here

There’s no long term commitment – and no risk. I only expect you to stay as long as you’re getting value from the group.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.