What Is The Most Important Part of Your Copy? – Business Copywriting – Stephen Zhao

(hype music) (applause) – Okay, now I wanna talk about, have my mentee Stephen come up here. He’s gonna share with you what I believe the most important part of copywriting. The most… so I’ve been
training Stephen for now a number of months
now on how to write copy. Now here’s the thing: What I want you to do, I want him to walk you, you can see he’ll walk you through the process of what he does. What you want to… Pay attention to this. What you want to get out of this is when you work with a
copywriter, ask yourself does your copywriter go
through the same process? So I’m giving you an
almost a buying criteria, does that make sense? So pay attention. So Stephen, come on up. (applause)
– Thank you, thank you. Wait that’s not the
one, this one, this one. Okay. Alright so, how many people have
ever fell in love before? Put up your hand. (crowd laugh) Yeah, excellent. Now did you know that people say ‘love is one of the only socially
acceptable forms of insanity.’ (crowd laugh) I know right? So a couple of years ago, back when I was still in university, I made one of the best decisions. I took in a, exchange program to Singapore and stayed there for one semester. Now the second day I got there, I met this girl and I fell
madly, madly in love with her. Her name was Lena, so a cute Korean girl, looked like she was half
European half Asian. (crowd laugh) Yeah, you guys back there like that? (laughs) And she had the cutest Australian accent, ’cause she was from exchange from Sydney. Now I just absolutely adored this girl. Right it off… Right off the bat, we just hit it off. Y’know we just started
hanging out every single day, and one day, just in the next
week, we were on the computer, and right in the hear of the moment, we bought a plane ticket to
Thailand, for seven full days. Now after I made that decision, I was like ‘Holy shit,
what did I just do?’ I just met this person and on top of that, I have never ever spent seven full days with another human being before. So I’m like, okay, two
things are gonna happen. Number one, either we’re
gonna kill each other or number two, we’re
gonna fall madly in love. And of course, you know it’s a love story, so we did fall in love. And after we came back, we
did everything together. We had breakfast together,
we studied together. Y’know we hung out with friends. We took like a million
selfies every single day. (crowd laughs) Now there’s this one trip
that I remember in particular. After we came back from Thailand, we booked a couple of other ones. One trip in particular. And we’re in this tiny little
island in the Philippines. And we just went to
dinner at this restaurant. They had live music, they
got some fresh mangoes, they have fresh fish. And after we exit that restaurant, I remember I looked up into the sky, and it was completely,
completely filled with stars. Just full of these, full of stars, and every ten to fifteen seconds I would see a shooting star go by. Now I remember I was holding Lena’s hand, and we’re talking about life, we’re talking about our biggest dreams. We’re talking about our relationships with our family members. And in that moment, I just felt present. I’ve completely forgot
that I was on exchange. I completely forgot that
I just met this girl. And right then and there,
I made a promise to myself that I was gonna do whatever it takes, just to spend a little bit time with her. So after we went back to
Singapore from the Philippines, the semester just flew by,
four months went by so fast. And it was time for a reality check, I obviously had to go back to Vancouver, and she had to go back to Sydney. And Singapore was about to
kick us out within a week. But I was thinking, you know what? I’m not ready to let go at this point. I want to spend just a
little bit more time, I’d do whatever it takes, just to spend a little
bit more time with Lena. So out of desperation, I’m like, okay… I came up with this plan. I was thinking, ‘okay, I’m gonna contact the
host families in Sydney.’ You know how these families
they have an extra room for students that you can rent? So I was thinking, ‘okay, I’m
gonna write up this email, and I’m going to try to whatever I can, say whatever I can, to persuade them to let me
stay at their place for free.’ Because at this point, I
was completely out of money. (laughs) But I made a promise to myself, I wanted to do whatever it takes. So I pulled up the email,
in the subject line I wrote: ‘be the reason two dumb
lovers can stay together’. (crowd laughs) ‘Be the reason two dumb
lovers can stay together’. And that’s when I started
writing this email. I spent a good six hours
writing this email, just completely pouting my
heart out into this email, because I knew, okay this
is the difference between me going back home, never
seeing this girl again, or just me buying just a
little bit more time with her. Alright, so I edited it, I
poured out a lot of emotion, tried to add some value
to the host families, so I was saying how I
can cook for you too, I can help you clean your house, I can teach your friends and your kids Mandarin if you have kids. All you have to do is let
me stay in your place. So spent tons and tons
of time on this email, and after I proofread, proofread,
read it, read it, read it, I sent it off. I sent it off to as
many people as possible. I’m like ‘this is it, either
I’m going to back to Vancouver, or I’m gonna get a chance in Sydney.’ Sent it off, very next day got
email in my inbox from Troy. Troy said, ‘Wow Stephen,
couldn’t stop reading your story, saved you a room, I’ll see you soon’. In that moment, I learnt one
of the most important lessons of my life. Because of my words, going back to what we
were talking about today. Because of my words, I was
able to influence someone else, to do something for me. And that was really really powerful. In my case, I had influenced Troy to be able to let me stay at his home. But then I realized, ‘You know what? Words are worth so much more than that.’ We can turn, I can turn words into money. And that’s what we’re
here to talk about today. How to turn words into cash, right? So what I’m gonna do right
now is I’m gonna give you, five proven steps what
I do as a copywriter. And walk you step by step, to tell you how to create compelling copy. So, first step, very very important. The first step is to do
tons and tons of research like a copywriter, okay. So I’ll walk you through
step by step how I do it. Right now I’m working with
LaVigne Organic Skin Care, and Linda’s in the back over there. And they sell organic skincare products. Beauty and skincare products, so it’s a female demographic and I’ll tell you the first thing I did. First thing that I did was, I went to all the major beauty magazines and woman magazines in general, and subscribed to their newsletters. So I went onto Oprah,
I went to Cosmopolitan, I went to Allure. I checked out videos by
Michelle Phan, on youtube. All for the purpose of
collecting all of these words, that trigger action,
build curiosity, spark… Yeah trigger action, spark
curiosity, grab attention. And basically just start
collecting ’em on a piece of paper, because that’s very very important. You’re gonna write all your
copy based on this research that you do. Second step that I do is I go to Amazon. I check out all the best selling products and what kind of copy that they use. Try to figure out, ‘okay what kind of phrases
really trigger people to take action after reading this’. Because after all, copywriting, the only purpose of
copywriting is to sell. Third thing that I do for research is I take a look at the customer reviews. This is very very important, because within the customer reviews, what are you gonna find? You’re gonna find the deepest pain points. You’re gonna find the deepest desires. You’re gonna find all their objections. And you’re gonna figure
out what kind of language that your customer, your
target market talks in. You figure out the kind of conversations that they have in their head. So that is very very important. You wanna be able to
engage, with the reader and the target audience in a way that they wanna be spoken with to. Because at the end of the day,
everybody wants to buy it. They just wanna be sold. So you have to be able to
connect with the audience. Alright so after you do the research, step number two is, I
look into my swipe files. So anybody know what a swipe file is? Yeah? – [Audience Member] No, need help. – No, okay. Anyway, a swipe file is a cheat sheet that every copy writer has. So it’s a collection
of the top proven words and catchphrases that you can use that are already proven in the market. So Dan was talking about how you can, he gave us a couple of examples
of headlines that work. So all you have to do, is
you look at these headlines. The, what was that called? The, anyways. That article about the
big taller, meaner dude, all the, pardon me? – [Audience Member] The
thing about martial arts? – Yeah, the thing about
martial arts, right. What you do, is you take
a look at these headlines, and you take a look at the sub-headlines, and see what worked for
them to capture attention. And all you have to do is
swap in and out of the words that apply to your industry. So that’s number two. Step number three. This is when you build the
foundation of your copy. So for copywriting the words are extremely,
extremely important. But at the same time, you have
to present your information in a logical sequence. So this is why I’m thinking
about the structure of my copy, whether I’m writing a
long-form sales letter or I’m writing an email sequence. Whatever it, whatever message I’m writing, I’m thinking about, ‘okay,
where should I put the story? At the beginning, middle or end.’ ‘Where should I put the guarantee?’ ‘Where should I put the testimonials?’ Because you have to
present your information in a way that kind of
flows and really connects. So that is step number three. Step number four, is what I call ‘write drunk, edit sober’ (crowd laughs) So after you’ve done all of your research, after you’ve built your foundation, you know how you wanna
structure your message, what you wanna do, is you
wanna put down everything down on a piece of paper,
you just start writing. Start writing, start writing
and you keep on writing your sales copy. And you just let it
all out, onto the page. And after that, that’s
when you start editing. I’m sure everyone in the room
has written something before, you understand how important the editing process actually is. This is where you trim the fat, you take out the unnecessary words. And what I’d call this is, this is actually called ‘wordsmithing’. So you know how a blacksmith
hits the iron repeatedly? And until you hit it, you hit it until that
iron becomes some very very strong weapon, right? Same thing with copywriting. After you write it, you
keep on hitting the words, you keep on hitting the words. You keep on refining it,
make the message tighter, make it more compelling, until you have something that is perfect. So that’s what I do,
‘write drunk, edit sober’. Step five, this is the last step. At this point, the copy is
very very well put together, and usually what I do
for a bigger project, a bigger client is I send it to Dan, because Dan is a master copywriter. Gives me feedback on what to change, maybe change a headline
word here or there. And then I send it to the client. After we send it to the
client, what happens is that, the copy will do well, but the marketplace never lies. So what that means is that,
once you’ve put it out there, you’ll see that it’ll perform but if I feel like it can do even better, that’s when I go back and I start changing
things here and there, just to test it out even more, until you get to a point where you feel like your
copy is doing outstanding. And like we talked about before, the great thing about copywriting is that, once you go through all of
these steps that I went through, all the research, going
through the swipe files, building a structure, writing
and editing it like crazy, what happens is that, you
have salesmanship in print. You have print that sells
for you online 24/7, around the clock. Whenever anybody visits your
website, your advertising, or sees your written words online, they will be compelled to buy. So basically that’s the
research process that I do, and the step by step of everything I do, with every client that I work with. So that’s about it. – [Dan] Round of applause! (crowd applauds) Was… Was that helpful? – [All Crowd] Yes.
– Yes. So five steps. Now again when you work with a copywriter, you should think okay, are
they doing the research? Are they putting, do
they have a swipe file? I have actually in my home, true story. In my home I have these the three ringed binders, about two inch thick. And over the years I’ve
collected all these proven ads, and letters and all these things. And I have about a hundred of them. A hundred of them. I’ve actually had a marketer
offer me a thousand dollars, just to sit in my library for one day to go through these swipe files. And I took the money. Yes, and that’s how valuable… Like I could pull out one binder, and I could see these ads within a binder have produced over a
billion dollars in revenue. (crowd murmurs) Good copywriters, write this down. Good copywriters copy, great copywriters steal. (crowd murmurs) I do not look at a blank piece of paper and try to come up with
a concept, nah nah nah. I go through what is proven to work, and I massage, I piece them
together and I make it work. I don’t look at a blank sheet
of paper, I don’t do that. I do not do that. Okay, so stay with me here. So now, here’s a good question. How long should my copy be, Dan? How long should my copy be? The general, general rule of thumb depends on stage one, two, three, four five, yes? If it’s later stage,
usually the rule of thumb, general rule of thumb is, the more you tell, the more you sell. The more you tell, the more you sell. Usually. Copy should be long enough
to emotionally engage, and prosper and give them
enough rational reasons, to back the emotional
decisions to purchase. If it’s good enough copy, the message is going to the right person, the market in the right format, the media, then you are onto a winner. It means that, ‘how
long should my copy be?’ As long as it takes to get the job done, to make that sale. Don’t be afraid of, ‘oh you know people don’t
read that long copy anymore and this…’ Well if your stuff is boring, it doesn’t matter if it’s
one page or ten page. But if it’s something that interesting, and if it’s engaging and it’s compelling, they will read if they can see that this could potentially
solve their problems. How many follow what I’m saying? If it’s boring, two words is too long. If it’s interesting and
exciting, do enough, write long enough so you can
get the results you want. Does that make sense? That’s the key, that’s the key. So take two minutes, how long? – [All Crowd] Two minutes. – Discuss, what Stephen
just said, the five steps. Okay, two minutes, go! (assorted crowd discussion) Okay, thirty seconds. Thirty seconds. Okay… Stop. Give your partner a high ten and say ‘thank you for sharing’. (crowd whoop and high five) – [Narrator] Ten times your finances, ten times your business, ten times your marketing, ten times your life. Hit the subscribe button now. (hype music)

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42 thoughts on “What Is The Most Important Part of Your Copy? – Business Copywriting – Stephen Zhao

  1. ohhh, a light bulb just went off in my head! so as a high ticket closer, I can read customer reviews to find out about common pain and objections as well!

  2. Very interesting story of how Stephen got into Copywriting! Also great information about how and where to research needs, pain, etc.

  3. This is where my journey starts, Copywriting, this is what i want to get into, and i'm learning everything i can about copywriting, Thank you so much Dan.

  4. Dan and Steve
    I loved watching this. I have been analyzing your promo ever since I found you. Steve is so impassioned and smart. Sifu, you have truly made a difference in Steve's life. So, looking forward to applying what I have learned.
    Thank you Sifu Dan

  5. Making decisions. .. kicking ass.. love this content. . Getting to be the hero in my own story… this kid rocks !!!.. tremendous value.. thanks Steven and Dan "The Man".. btw.. I am A future World Poker Champ.. see you soon

  6. Awesome video! Great content and breakdown of the steps. However, I would like to know is Stephen still together with Lena?

  7. So awesome to hear your process, Stephen! you're an amazing storyteller.

    So many years and countless hours of work to get there I can only image those sleepless nights.

    Thank you so much for sharing, most are too afraid to share their tricks.

    few seem to realize almost no one ever does anything with those tricks and those who do are forever grateful.

  8. Stephen Zhao did a really good job with his presentation… very engaging. I want to learn how to do that for my business.

  9. Dan what's the difference between sales man and copywriters?

    ….They seem to do the same job. I am confuse.

    …Although I can google it, I would like to hear from you.


  10. Dan, it's easy to document written copy, but how do you document video copy? We're still using sales letters, but now video squeeze pages are taking over, should we be educating people about video sales letters ?

  11. Nice vedio Dan , I look for answer of my one question, if your product or service is not good enough, does interesting content build on it provides lasting results? How?

  12. Dan, I hear you always mention your collection of sales ads and that you received them from direct mailings when those went out. For ads today, do you still collect them just online, magazines, or even newspapers? Also, are they just ads that catch your eye or is it something that interests you?

  13. Stephen talked at great length about copywriting. However, I think it sounds like writing a good copy is time consuming process. What if I work with a client as a copywriter who wants me to write a copy in just half an hour? Also what if I don't have USPs of the product I'm supposed to write a copy of? I'm asking this because here in India, many clients are simply theoretical about their target audiences. Even their representatives lack USPs of their products.

  14. Was in the process of clicking to go back to the last video I watched when Steven's Love story sucked me into staying for the whole thing.

  15. I'm so interested to learn more about copywriting because I want to turn words into a lucrative business just like you did Sifu!

  16. I wonder how much time did Dan Lok spend his time learning from his mentor, Dan Pena, in order to be a master and gained a high level skill in negotiation?
    The man is truly a master. Wish he would open a class and teach copywriting.

  17. Thank You for sharing your beautiful love story. Thank You for sharing this great information. Bright Blessings!!!

  18. Passion is the driving force behind success. This is why it is so important that one enjoys what they do, it is then so much easier to be passionate .

  19. There is magic in words… that is why it is called spelling…Now here is what I know… acceptable words seem to change with time. For example when I was a young boy in school I got to write 100 lines which read " aint is not in the dictionary" . Today it is in the dictionary. So words that are acceptable by the masses as a whole shift and change with time, Therefore also must our copy.

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