Stop focusing on manipulating pain points in your copywriting and start painting pictures of possibility.
Pain points have long been industry standard in copywriting…
All the “gurus” talk about finding what your audience is struggling with, their “pain points” and driving them in to make your audience hurt enough to need your solution and, subsequently, buy from you.
And it has worked…for the most part.
But the world, economy, and the human experience post-COVID19 and racial injustice has changed everything. This new normal – and what matters to us as humans – is changing the marketing landscape and the way we need to interact with our audience, specifically through copywriting.
And those pain points have got to go.
In today’s world people need to feel safe and confident…
not just in where they’re putting their money but in the person they’re investing in, the level of accountability and support that will be available to them, and the long term impact of their investments.
No one wants to stand in front of the communal mirror in the middle of a clothing store changing room and be publicly informed that those jeans are so unflattering, accentuate all the parts of your body that you’re insecure about, and – yes – they do make you look fat. But, these magical mommy jeans will make all your problem areas disappear and be the secret to taking back your pre-mom life and all the glory that came with it!
We would never stand for it in that situation. Ever. We would never even attempt it!
So why is it okay to use the same tactics in copywriting to sell courses, products, or services?
In today’s world, your audience needs to feel seen, heard, and respected for where they are right now.
They need their fears and insecurities addressed, but not opened wide to have salt rubbed in the wound. We’re all feeling insecure about our most basic needs being met; to be undressed about things we’re already struggling with is a surefire way to shut people down and push them out.
People need to see hope and possibility in the future.
“Okay, cool. But how?”
Simple: use storytelling to paint a picture of possibility not pain.
The most effective storytelling that sells speaks to the current state, the after state, and the transformative journey you can take someone on to get from before to after.
Start by understanding and speaking to where your audience is right now (the before state), from surface level emotional state to deep emotional state. This is not about uncovering and manipulating pain, it’s about acknowledging struggle – two very different approaches. Some questions to start with:
- What is your audience struggling with right now?
- How is that manifesting externally?
- What unproductive habits or actions are they doing consistently?
- How are they deflecting or avoiding the needle-moving and important stuff?
- Under the surface, what are the emotions that they are experiencing that are ultimately holding them back?
- At their very core, what is the emotion or limiting belief (the one that we can all understand as humans)?
Now use all those storytelling techniques to create story of possibility in that after state:
- What can life look like after your product or service?
- What does it feel like emotionally?
- What deep-seeded need will it fulfill?
- How will you create support and accountability for them to succeed?
- What is your commitment to get them there?
People need possibility – not pain.
They need to know that we’re moving towards a human experience that is consistently improving – in our relationships, through our marketing, and in our lives.
That means there is simply no room for fear or scarcity. There’s been enough of that in our worlds.
So as you create stories that sell, speak to the human experience – our struggles, our emotional states, and what we want to be feeling. If you need more help on how to do this, check out this blog post I did about using emotions in storytelling or this Harvard Business study about the efficacy of emotions in copywriting.
But more than anything, tell your audience all about what is possible with just the extra help, accountability, and support from you.
Tell them because it is possible and you believe in them… and then watch those conversions climb!