I’ve mercifully forgotten where I came across the advice, “Empathy-based marketing is showing your customer, ‘I’ve been in your shoes.’”
Or worse, “Don’t just think like the customer. Become the customer.”
Frankly, that scares me. If I needed a cardiologist, my first question wouldn’t be, “Have you had a heart attack?”
What clients really want is confidence, expertise, understanding and a judgment-free zone.
Suppose you’ve done something you wish you hadn’t, such as sign a lease without doing your homework. Now you’re sitting in a lawyer’s office, looking for ways to get out of it. Would you care if the lawyer’s done the same thing? Or would you be relieved if she were matter-of-fact, professional and respectful?
Instead of sharing your client’s problem, demonstrate your understanding with copywriting to convey a story in one single pull question. A “pull question” is one that “pulls” the reader into your world.
Pull questions will be especially effective when you’re seeking clients online. I’ve had the experience of clients sending me messages to say, “I want to work with you,” before we’ve had a conversation
Pull questions need to be compelling, but also conversational, specific and engaging. All too often I talk to people who have been advised to create these questions, but not given advice or instructions. That’s when we get questions like, “Are you struggling to find a better life?”
Your questions need to be based on the specific reasons new clients come to you. People will come to you when their problems are immediate and challenging. One of the best ways to begin is to begin taking notes of the questions clients raise when they come to you. If you write questions that are extreme and too scary, you can actually scare prospects away.
To find empathetic pull questions you can interview your clients, keep an eye on discussion forums, and notice what people talk about when writing book reviews. The key is to create word pictures with each question, being specific rather than general. Each of these examples brings you a little closer to the reader’s world:
A professional organizer:
Did you know that many people pay late fees simply because they can’t find their bills?
Have you bought three pairs of gloves because you thought you lost them (and they turn up in your own closet, under a pile of old sweaters)?
A dating coach:
Have you gone home after your last six dates and thought, “I hope I never have to do that again.”
Do you force yourself to go out on dates and then find yourself sneaking peeks at your cell phone, hoping it’ll be over soon?
A fitness trainer:
Do you tell yourself it’s time to hit the gym, but somehow you’re too tired to leave the couch?
Do you feel dog-tired after a short walk with the dog? (OK, that might be overdoing it.)
One place we use pull questions is landing pages. We will talk about them more on Thursday’s live training. Click here to join. A replay will be available.
And as a reminder, today’s the last day claim your bonuses courses when you sign up for a year of video coaching. Then when you’re getting ready to write some pull questions, I’ll be there to make them even stronger. Click here to learn more and sign up.
I'm Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. My clients come to me when they want to combine professionalism with promotion. But they (and I) refuse to believe that "professional" means being as conventional and boring as a pinstripe suit.
When you add me to your team, you get a copywriter who's also a storyteller. And you need both.
Without copywriting, your offer is just another bright shiny object worth zero dollars ... even if it does everything the client wants and more. Copywriting creates a connection between your offer and your audience...and motivates your best prospects to feel comfortable saying "yes" to you.
But without your story, your copy becomes a bunch of hard-working words that just do their job. There's no fire. No energy. No "you."
Your story helps you nail "that branding thing" effortlessly, so your copy sends a clear, consistent message. You become credible and likable...and your audience begins to see themselves transformed by your offer.
Discover 17 ways to use storytelling to grow your business:
Originally published at http://cathygoodwin.com on July 8, 2019.