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The Right Words at the Right Time for the Right People
You have to say the right thing to make a sale. You also have to say the right thing at the right time. If you say the right thing at the wrong time, it’s just the wrong thing!
Finally, you have to say it to the right people. If you say the right thing at the right time to the wrong person, it’s just the wrong thing! If you don’t hit all three, you won’t make sales. It’s as simple as that.
What Is the Right Thing?
The right thing is contextual. It’s subjective. It’s different for every person. Understand that every piece you write will not be the right thing for everyone. If it’s the right thing for more than one person, you have a problem. That means you could have gone more specific.
The right thing for someone who doesn’t know you is a story they can relate to. It’s the sharing of a journey they can understand and see themselves in. It’s the telling of a story that lets them know more about who you are as a person. This is the first step on the buyer’s journey.
If you’re writing a story for someone who doesn’t know about you, don’t speak to the people who already do! Too many people mess this up. They say things like, “Many of you probably already know this story…” Don’t do that! Write this story for one specific person. Is it for someone who doesn’t know you? Good. Then keep your language specific to the person who doesn’t know you.
Don’t write to more than one person.
Read that sentence again.
If it helps, hit “Compose” or “New Message” in your email client and write your post to one specific person who fits the persona. Notice how your language changes. Notice how, when you’re writing to one person, you don’t say, “Hey everyone,” or “all of you.” You speak directly and clearly. They feel like you’re talking to them.
Just like with email, when someone reads your page, it is one person reading one page from one other person. It should not be written to a group. You’re only distancing yourself from your readers.
You could use the above story example as your About page. Don’t stop there though! Even if you’ve told your story on an About page, you can tell a different angle of your story in a blog post. Maybe tell a new version of your story for a very specific person that you want to attract and ultimately sell a certain product to.
Maybe I do already know who you are. If I’m considering buying a product from you, I might want to see your track record or some kind of proof that this product has worked for someone else. The right thing in this case might be a case study. The right thing might also be a testimonial from a previous customer. The right thing might be showing some form of social proof or a product overview.
The right thing is contextual, but the best version of the right thing is always specific to one person.
When Is the Right Time?
The right time is the perfect moment. It’s your drink filled by a waiter moments before you would have asked. It’s the answer to a prospect’s question a second before it left their lips. The right time is the perfect time and it’s just before someone asks or wonders why something isn’t there.
When you are spraying general content, you can only hope that some of it resonates with some people. There is a very small chance that some part of the general content you wrote will resonate with some part of the general audience you promoted it to. I call this “hoping for sales.”
You don’t ever want to hope for sales. You want to write for them.
Making sales means delivering the right content or speaking the right words in a moment where someone feels like you’re reading their mind because they were just about to ask. Nothing feels smoother, nothing is more effortless, and that’s exactly what you want. You want people to glide along every step of the buyer’s journey all the way to making a purchase.
This is why you need to design a purposeful content strategy, which is what we’ll be talking about in an upcoming module. When you guide people along a purposefully-crafted narrative, you will always be delivering the right message at the right time. This is something you can improve based on feedback and patch as you discover holes.
You’re always iterating and you’ll never reach perfection, but even getting the basic structure in place will produce incredible results. It doesn’t have to be polished, it just needs to have the gaps bridged. Most people aren’t even aware of these gaps and they have people falling through the cracks all the time. Their “system” is a bucket full of holes. All they’re focused on is bringing more people in when they should be patching all of the holes and building a foundational structure that bridges the gaps!
Who Are the Right People?
The right people are fewer than you think. They’re more specific than you think. Most people try to reach more and end up reaching less. If you aim to reach fewer, you will not only reach more but be able to sell products to them at a higher amount.
It makes perfect sense. Do you know what bespoke means? Bespoke describes something that is made-to-order. Custom-tailored. Think of a suit. Which is more valuable: a suit off the rack, or a suit custom-tailored to fit the unique lengths and shape of your body? Obviously the bespoke one! That’s why custom suits can go for many thousands of dollars and people are happy to pay it.
The more specific something is, the more the people who fit the criteria feel like it’s for them and the more you can charge.
Read that again.
One of the greatest challenges you will face is convincing people on the fence that your product is for them. When your product is generic, it makes your job even harder!
Think about it: let’s say you’re an aspiring pianist. You want to get better at playing the piano. Specifically, you want to be able to play pop songs on cue because you want to be a hit at parties. If one website is selling a training course for $499 with messaging that says, “We’ll help you become a better musician!” are you going to buy it? Maybe. Probably not. You’re probably in the 98% who sees it, is not quite convinced, and ends up not buying.
Why didn’t you buy it? Because you’re not really sure if it will help you. For one, you’re not even sure if they have piano teachers! They just said “musician.” For all you know, they focus on violinists and cellists. It’s like the combination Chinese Food/Italian Food/Mexican Food/Barbecue restaurant. You’re not touching that place with a ten-foot pole.
Maybe they focus on classical music and generally help students who want to pursue a proper, theory-intensive musical education for the purpose of teaching. Who knows? All you know is you can’t be sure it’s for you.
But now let’s say you come across a course from a guy who has a bunch of piano videos where he’s playing the kinds of songs you want to play. He has a training course too and it’s $699. But his messaging says, “Learn to play any pop song on the piano in under 30 minutes so you can be a hit at the next party!” If you were considering a course, the money doesn’t even matter anymore. You’re absolutely certain this is the course for you! Now it’s just a matter of saving up.
People are willing to pay for specificity. They want something tailored that feels like it’s for them. Too many people are trying to reach everyone and as a result, end up reaching no one. The first website could very well have had excellent piano teachers who could have even taught on pop music, but it doesn’t matter. Their messaging was too broad and they missed out.
Two lessons ago, I told you about how I made $15,000 from a list of 283 people. You don’t need a lot of people. You need to focus on the right people.
I hadn’t actually added it up until I was preparing this lesson, but I just found out I’ve made over half a million dollars on my hand lettering course, Learn Lettering. That’s in less than two years. A hand lettering course! It’s hard to imagine getting much more specific than that (although you certainly could). By niching down, I was able to help hand lettering artists not only learn to draw letters but also understand the business principles they needed to make a living as a hand lettering artist.
You might be thinking, “That’s awesome, Sean, but it sounds really specific. Couldn’t you have made even more money had you just made a general business class for artists?” This is the kind of thinking that’s holding you back. You’re trying to go so big before you’ve even won small! And I say “small,” and I’m talking about half a million dollars!
If I’d tried to make a business class for artists, we’d be back at square one. It would be like the generic “musician” class that no one buys because they’re unsure if it’s for them.
The right people are the people who feel like you’re reading their mind. For that to be possible, you have to narrow your focus and narrow your messaging.
Over the next few modules, we’ll be talking about positioning your product or service as the obvious solution, getting lifelong customers who buy again and again, and understanding each stage of the Buyer’s Journey.
- Write your posts to one specific person.
- Keep your language specific to the person you’re trying to reach.
- Write for sales, don’t hope for them.
- Narrow your focus and narrow your messaging.