One thing I’m quickly becoming aware of, is the books, guides, and gizmos that supposedly do EVERYTHING are becoming false promises in the eyes of not just me, but customers too. You’ve seen them – reeling off their benefits like they’re the holy grail. And y’know what? It puts me off. I think “wait, it does this, this and this? Something’s gotta give.” More often than not, I’m right. I’m not the only one that thinks this either; I’ve seen other copywriters say the same thing. Worse, I’ve heard plenty of customers complain too.
The fact is, if something does ONE thing, it usually does that one thing VERY well. But when I see a book or guide that claims to do one cool thing, oh, and also these other five things, here’s what I think: “Hmm, so the ‘main’ feature is either not very good or doesn’t actually work, so you needed to throw these other things in here as well. Riiight…” Consider this: You wouldn’t hire a brain surgeon to fix your car, right? And you certainly wouldn’t hire you mechanic to fix your brain. So why are your products or services trying to fix everyone’s problems?
Now, you can apply this to both you as a copywriter (if you are one), or your product/business. If you’re a copywriter, stop saying you do EVERYTHING. Get known for specialising; sure, you CAN write white papers, web content, sales copy, etc, etc. Get known for being incredible at one or two things.Your clients will more often than not ask you following initial work whether you do other forms of writing – which is the point where you hit them with your list of services.
As for those of you selling products, find that one USP (unique selling point) and flaunt that; don’t make it look like it does everything. Because let’s be honest; it doesn’t. Or at least not very well. And even if it does, you reeling off benefit after benefit tires your customer out. If you must list more than one MAIN benefit, choose the strongest. Spend some time with a pen and some paper; figure out what the biggest problems are for your customer, and which are solved by your product.
One more thing: it’s starting to dawn on me that bonuses can have a similar devaluing effect.
“If your product was that good, why would it need extras?”
That’s the thought going through your customer’s head. Either make your product so damn good and juicy, that your customers can’t help but think “Damn, I want this! I need this!” and they buy it – or position your bonuses properly, and make them seem as if they’re worth the asking price just by themselves. Most sellers seem to just lump any crap into their packages as bonuses; it’s better not to offer any bonuses if they’re not something of value.
Specialise and narrow down your product/service, and watch people flock to you for that one special thing. Jack of all trades, master of none. You can always expand once you’re known for doing that one awesome thing!