Discover the A-List copywriting “secret weapon” that can give you bigger winners more often
If you don’t know where to find good research for your promo… or you’re wasting time going down endless “rabbit holes” and still coming up short… then you need to know about my proven, six-step process that can help you:
Come up with better “big ideas” that stand out from the sea of competition…
Save hours of time by making your research process more efficient and productive…
Turn projects around more quickly by avoiding “writer’s block” and cutting way back on never-ending drafts and edits, and…
Dramatically improve your copywriting results, making you a hero to your clients (and able to charge more) or allowing you to scale your offers to new heights!
Table of Contents
Dear friend who wants to write better sales copy more easily,
Do you remember the last time you heard about a promotion that was “killing it?”
Once you got a chance to read it over, perhaps you thought to yourself…
“How did they come up with that crazy-good headline or subject line that made it impossible not to read further?”
“How did they hook me in early on and make me feel they knew me and that this was for me?”
“How did they know to speak to my biggest hopes, fears, dreams, worries, and desires?”
“How did they overcome my skepticism, seal off all the exit doors, and make me believe their solution could work for me where others before them failed?”
And last, but not least…
“How did they make me want to part with my hard-earned money and buy their product?”
That last one is the ultimate goal of any sales promotion—whether it’s a sales page, direct mail magalog, email, Facebook ad, website, or any other kind of sales copy.
How do “they” (meaning those clever copywriters—which you likely are yourself if you’re reading this) figure out how to make the sales copy they write do all of this?
It all starts with RESEARCH, baby!
There’s a good reason why legendary copywriter (and one of the nicest guys on the planet you’ll ever meet) Gary Bencivenga says THIS about research…
“Great ads are built on deep research. The best copywriters are tenacious researchers. Like miners, they dig, drill, dynamite, and chip until they have carloads of ore. John Caples advised me once to gather seven times more interesting information than I could possibly use.”
It’s why Gary so strongly believes, “Research is the infallible cure for writer’s block.”
The problem is, many a determined, hard-working copywriter can find themselves wasting time surfing the Internet and social media… or collecting an eyeball-popping number of studies and articles… only to find themselves “lost” and buried for days on end, with little to show for it.
So how DO you do the focused research and “digging” that’s needed to fully understand your target prospect… bring to light what’s unique about your product…
…and organize it in a way that it leads you to a “big idea” that stands out from the sea of competition… while making your copy far easier to write AND much more compelling and persuasive?
How do you get to the point that you have those “carloads of valuable ore” that give you the edge you need to convince the most skeptical, seen-it-all prospects in today’s most competitive markets to fork over their money for YOUR product?
How do you do all of this research WITHOUT getting lost in the “weeds”…and knowing when enough is enough?
Well, that in a nutshell is why I created my proven, six-step Research Beast process.
I’m not talking about a half-assed approach where you spend a few hours skimming through a bunch of surveys/articles/studies your client sent over to you…or lose an entire day or two surfing competitor websites or lurking in forums online.
I’m talking about becoming a Research B-E-A-S-T…meaning you come up with valuable research nuggets and an overall “game plan” you can use to:
- Beat the existing control to a pulp and become a hero to your client…
- Easily come up with the “big idea” and supporting copy, so your copy practically writes itself…
- Act like a mind-reader so your prospect feels you are talking to THEM and that you can be trusted…
- Seal off all the doors so that YOUR solution becomes the obvious choice, closing the sale, and…
- Turn prospects into buyers, because you made them BELIEVE it would work for them!
Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t have time to do a lot of research”.
“My client is breathing down my neck to get the copy finished ‘as soon as possible'”.
Or “I’ve got other projects stacked up behind this one and I really need to ‘get ‘er done’”.
However, I would counter that if you don’t spend enough time doing research, you’ll actually take much longer to write the actual copy!
And it’ll be more likely that your copy won’t pass muster with your client, sending you back to the drawing board again and again with seemingly endless drafts.
Or it could make it more likely your copy will read like the dreaded “me, too” promo…i.e., like everything else your prospect has seen before. And you’ll get nothing better than “meh” results, if you’re lucky.
Worst case scenario, you write a promo that’s a complete bomb…and your client decides not to give you another chance. Even worse, word gets out on the street that you’re not “good”.
The buck always seems to stop with the copywriter…we’re the ones that get blamed for everything…including unproven products that aren’t right for the market, or aren’t priced right for the market, or aren’t hitting the right lists or prospects…i.e., the other 40/40 of the 40/40/20 rule.
The success of any promotion is typically due to 40% offer, 40% list, and only 20% creative—and part of that measly 20% is the design and format, not just the copy!
6 in-depth modules that give you my exact process for doing research that leads to sizzling sales copy…
Here’s an overview of the proven, A-list-level process for doing copywriting research that I’ve used to produce dozens of multi-year, multi-million-dollar controls… and that I teach my copywriting mentees in my high-dollar mentoring mastermind.
I cover ALL of it in the six in-depth training modules you get in my new Research Beast course. It’s everything you need to become a “Research Beast” so you can write dangerously good copy and get killer results! Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll discover…
MODULE #1—Gather the Nuggets
In this module, I show you how to gather all the initial research “nuggets” available to you like an A-Level Research Beast! (The rest you’ll need to dig out on your own. I cover all that in steps two through four.)
You do NOT want to give this step short shrift. By doing the work here, you’ll set yourself up for success with the rest of the steps.
More importantly, you’ll ultimately save time when you sit down to write your copy and have it flow out of you far more easily, without “writer’s block”. And the copy you write will likely be far stronger and higher-converting, too!
I provide a video overview (and word-for-word transcript) of how I approach this crucial first step, as well as a detailed guide that walks you through my process.
In this guide you’ll also find some of my best tips for digging up more “nuggets” you can’t get from your client… including studies, testimonials and product reviews, credibility boosters for your product or spokesperson… and more!
In addition to the video training and detailed guide to refer to, you’ll get TWO invaluable checklists that can help you be far more efficient and effective as you gather those research “nuggets”:
- Checklist #1: The Ultimate Client “Start Kit” Checklist — This gives you a complete checklist of things you should ask your client for before you begin work. No use duplicating effort if you can simply ask for it and get it! You’ll also look more like a professional and avoid all the “back and forth” of asking for items from your client as you need them.
- Checklist #2: The Ultimate Discovery Call Checklist — This checklist gives you a list of questions to draw from as you prepare for a kick-off call with your client… and/or a discovery call with your product creator or spokesperson. This helps ensure you don’t overlook anything and are able to come fully-prepared to the call. You’ll also find six valuable tips for nailing your kick-off and/or discovery call at the end of this checklist.
Both checklists are easily downloadable PDFs you can print off and put to work.
But that’s not all. I also include…
- Where to Get Ideas and Inspiration for Your Copy video, slide deck, and word-for-word transcript — This eye-opening video and slide deck from a training I did a few years ago shows you where to get ideas and inspiration for your copy. I talk about how to speak to your prospect’s deepest and most urgent desires, and provide proof and credibility so your copy and promise are believable.
- I also share some of my favorite tactics for what I do during the research phase of each copywriting project I take on that you can apply for your copy or business. Once you go through these checklists and videos, you’ll be in good shape to move on to the next step…
MODULE #2—Get Crystal-Clear on Who You’re Writing To
In this module, I show you how to get inside your prospect or avatar’s head and deeply experience what it’s like to deal with the problem or pain point your product or service solves for them. But it goes beyond developing empathy for your prospect.
My Research Beast process gives you a technique I’ve personally used and teach my copywriting mentees called “The Prism Exercise”.
By completing this exercise, you’ll develop a vivid picture of your target prospect or avatar’s greatest hopes, wishes, fears, and frustrations… and be able to tap into both their emotional side as well as their logical mind with your sales copy.
In the Complete Guide you get as part of this module, I do all of the following:
- I explain each step of The Prism Exercise so you understand exactly how to pinpoint these deeply-felt emotions and desires associated with your product or the problem it helps solve.
- I include a list of “steamin’ hot emotions” to help you brainstorm and identify those that are the most relevant to your prospect and your product. This is how you’ll ratchet up the selling power of your copy.
- Plus I share some valuable copywriting tips on how to write your copy so you come across as empathetic and like you “know” them (versus sounding like someone who’s preaching or lecturing to them).
But that’s not all. You also get:
- The Prism Exercise Template: Here’s where you’ll find a “clean” version of The Prism Exercise template that you can use to create that clear picture of exactly who you’re writing to… that person you’re having a one-to-one conversation with in your sales copy… who you can visualize responding to every word as it resonates precisely with the emotions, experiences, hopes, dreams, and frustrations they’re feeling right now.
- Sample Prism Exercises: I’ve also included real-life examples of Prism Exercise templates that copywriters I’ve worked with or mentored have put together. They’re for a wide range of audiences, products, and services.
Getting this crystal-clear picture of your prospect or avatar is possible when you go through this exercise (and do all the advance preparation and research so you can do so). And it will make things SO much easier for you as you move forward with your writing!
Now, let’s move on to the next crucial step in my Research Beast process…
MODULE #3—Dig Out What’s Special About Your Product
Here’s where the rubber meets the road! In this module, I show you how to roll up your sleeves and REALLY dig deep into what’s special or unique about your product.
We’ll go beyond the usual “two-step” features and benefits exercise to using a 5-step features and benefits exercise. Why those 3 extra steps?
Because it gives you far more insights, proof points, and copy fodder you can use later on to convince your prospect to buy–both intellectually and emotionally.
Just wait until you go through this crucial step of the Research Beast process… you’ll be amazed at what comes out of it!
In the Complete Guide you get as part of this third module, I do all of the following:
- I start with revealing the 5-step exercise that brings your product’s benefits to life…and helps you masterfully connect them with your prospect’s most powerful, response-boosting emotions.
- I go DEEP into each of these five steps and include plenty of examples along the way. I’m even going to show you some actual promo examples of how the insights and copy produced from doing this exercise were used in high-converting, sizzling-hot sales copy.
- I also share with you a rare excerpt of an interview I did with the late Clayton Makepeace–one of the greatest direct response copywriters who ever lived–several years ago where we talked about tapping into a prospect’s emotional triggers.
But that’s not all. You also get:
- The 5-Step Features & Benefits Exercise Template: Here’s where you’ll find an overview of each of the five steps of the 5-step Features & Benefits Exercise. I also give you a “clean” template you can use for your own copywriting projects.
- Sample 5-Step Features & Benefits Exercises: Here I provide feature examples and show you how to flush them out into benefits, dimensionalize them, and tie them to a specific dominant resident emotion. You’ll also find some fully-flushed out examples of completed 5-step exercises put together by some of my copywriting mentees for real-life products or services.
- Titans Xcelerator Breakthrough Advertising Video–The Analysis of Your Product: In this exclusive, hour-long training I did for a Breakthrough Advertising study group within Brian Kurtz’s popular mastermind, I do a deep-dive into Gene Schwartz’s introductory section about how to analyze your product before you sit down to write. As part of this presentation, I provide a step-by-step training of the 5-step Features & Benefits Exercise. You’ll glean tons of insights from this video (plus the word-for-word transcript that’s included) and see exactly how to approach this valuable exercise on your own!
Once you go through this 5-step exercise, you’ll get much greater clarity on what makes your product superior or unique compared to the competition. It will help you dig out that “hidden gold” that’s buried in your product (no matter how ordinary it may seem). This is essential to being able to complete the next step in my Research Beast process.
Even better, you’ll be able to tie your most important feature’s and benefit’s back to your target prospect or avatar’s biggest hopes, dreams, fears, and desires. You may even end up with actual COPY you can use in your promo, giving you a jump start on beating any “blank page blues”.
So let’s move on to the fourth crucial step in my Research Beast process…
MODULE #4—Find the Unique Mechanism
In today’s competitive advertising world, having a powerful unique mechanism is more important than ever.
Chances are at least 90% of the time you write copy, it’s for products or services that are in more mature, competitive markets.
That means the prospect you’re targeting has seen many other others come before you…making similar promises.
It’s likely those same prospects have tried many others before yours…and in many cases, haven’t been fully satisfied with the results… or worse, found they failed to live up to their promises.
That’s where your unique mechanism comes into play.
The unique mechanism is that differentiator that lets the most jaded prospects believe YOUR product or service will work for them when others before them failed.
While in some cases your “shiny object”-obsessed prospect may just be looking for whatever the newest thing is, most of the time they simply have a deeply felt, yet unmet need that they keep looking to satisfy.
How will you convince them to believe YOUR product or service will work for them… and be the one they decide to buy?
In the Complete Guide you get as part of this fourth module, you’ll discover all of the following:
- How to identify the unique mechanism that brings your product’s benefits to life…and helps you masterfully connect them with your prospect’s most powerful, response-boosting emotions.
- The crucial difference between a unique mechanism and the USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Hint: it ties in directly with the 5-step exercise you’ll get in Module #3.
- Why having a unique mechanism is so important (and when it’s not!) Here’s how to determine in advance whether your headline or claims will attract your target prospect… or fall on deaf ears.
- The 3 questions you MUST answer with your research before going any further. This filtering-out process lets you take your Prism Exercise and 5-Step Exercise and use them to shape the most powerful and effective messaging strategy and “big idea”.
- How to use the “strategy of pre-eminence” in your copy to differentiate your product… even if it’s so similar to your competition, it’s practically a commodity.
- The insatiably curious research approach I used to write one of my first promos… and how it resulted in a big winner! (Plus a promo excerpt and breakdown of how I unearthed and dimensionalized each differentiating feature.)
- How to do effective competitive research without going down endless “rabbit holes”. My best tips for gaining a true picture of your most fierce competitors… and knowing how much is enough.
- Four questions that help you determine your prospect’s stage of market awareness. The answers will help you zero in on and call out to your most likely-to-buy prospects.
- The five stages of market sophistication and (most importantly) how to choose which one to write for. This is crucial for deciding the approach you’ll take with your headline and “big idea”. I explain each one plus provide examples (including some from my own promos… you’ll discover why so many of my most successful promos were written for a certain stage!)
But that’s not all. You also get:
- Titans Xcelerator Breakthrough Advertising Video and Slide Deck–Training on Market Sophistication: In this nearly 90-minute training I did for a Breakthrough Advertising study group within Brian Kurtz’s popular mastermind, I go deep into Gene Schwartz’s five stages of market sophistication. I also provide “modern-day” promo examples focusing on 3rd and 4th stage headlines and “big ideas” and demonstrate how they utilize a unique mechanism within them. The group also submitted several promos where we discuss which stage of market sophistication they represent. This video training, slide deck, and word-for-word transcript will be invaluable for you to refer back to again and again… and especially before you sit down to write your next promo!
Here’s what else you get to help you NAIL your next
promo and make it a huge winner…
Now, as you may have guessed, there are two more steps to my six-step Research Beast process that I get into in my course. I’m not going to get into all the details here… but I will give you a glimpse of what else you’ll discover once you get your hands on this A-list-level training.
For starters, you’ll find out the crucial step that most copywriters give short shrift to–or skip completely–that can lead to coming up with that killer “big idea” that allows your promo to stand out (and makes it much easier to write!)
I’ll share with you tips for getting the MOST out of this step… and show you how to use it allow your brain to connections that you never would have come up with otherwise!
But that’s not all… I saved the most important part for last. You see, the whole point of going through my six-step Research Beast process is to lay the groundwork for writing a promo that completely NAILS who you’re writing to… allows you to call them out and make them feel like you KNOW them…
…provides unassailable proof that convinces them that YOUR product can uniquely solve their problem… and crystallizes and distills this knowledge into a compelling and engaging “big idea”…
And I show you exactly how to do ALL of it!
Plus you get to hear some of top A-Lister Dan Ferrari’s best tactics, too…
In this crucial sixth step, you’ll pull together all of your best insights, proof points, unique mechanisms, and analysis of the market and come up with your “big idea” (or, as is often the case, multiple big ideas).
That’s why as part of this last module, I include a nearly hour-long video (and word-for-word transcript) from my exclusive mentoring group training where I had top A-List copywriter and offer owner Dan Ferrari… often referred to as the “bearded genius”… as a special guest.
During this call, I picked Dan’s brain clean about his own process for doing research and coming up with a killer “big idea”. He revealed several of his personal tactics (many of them aren’t the “usual” techniques you hear about… and they’re all waiting for you in this no-holds-barred video.
Here’s just a glimpse of what you’ll discover…
- Dan’s own “cheat code” to successful copywriting. While a big part of it is research, it’s also crucial to add this extra step many lazy copywriters and marketers ignore. It’s part of the reason why he’s able to profitably scale his offers using the same promo copy for years!
- The overlooked avatar trait that Dan likes to zero in on… and how he finds the right angle that speaks to it (and THEN finds the proof he needs to support it!)
- What you really should spend your free time reading. Fiction? Non-fiction? Here’s Dan’s own litmus test for choosing what to read for pleasure… plus how it led to a “big idea” he used to create a multi-year, multi-million-dollar control!
- How to use “proof stacking” to build trust and belief. Make sure you insert your proof or credibility elements each time you do THIS in your copy.
- Best way to introduce a new mechanism. Here’s how to know how much to reveal and at what point… and when you’ve gone too far by giving away too much!
- Dan’s high-value positioning secret. Primes your prospect to pay a higher price than they normally would. Simply do this one thing early in your copy.
- How to make whatever “big idea” or story you lead with feel more REAL. This easy-to-use stealth tactic keeps your prospect engaged and reading from start to finish!
- The “boxer” secret that keeps your prospect right where you want them. Just make sure you always do THIS at key points in your copy.
- Why you may need to overcome objections and skepticism even with a Harvard study. This dimensionalizing tactic does the trick!
- And much more!
Not only will you discover these “insider” tactics for researching and writing copy at a much higher level, you’ll also get to hear Dan and I break down his highly-successful Genesis anti-aging supplement promo and put it under the microscope.
You’ll get to watch as two top A-Listers pick apart the headline, lead copy, claims, word choices, graphics, close copy, and yes… even photo captions (they’re much more important than you may think) used throughout Dan’s promo.
Plus Dan also breaks down a second, not-as-well-known but successful test version of his Genesis promo and talks about where he got the “big idea” for it.
The insights you’ll gain from these two breakdowns are like a “master class” in copywriting as well as research. You’ll find yourself going back to them… and this video… again and again!
But you’re not done yet. That’s because once you come up with this “big idea” (or multiple “big idea” candidates), you’ll want to summarize them in a Copy Platform that you may want to use to present to your client before writing… PLUS an outline or “blueprint” for your promo that will allow you to organize all of these valuable “copy points” you’ve dug up in your research.
Once you get “buy-in” from your client on your Copy Platform and outline–or feel that you’ve polished it to perfection on your own, it’s “Go Time” from here. You’ll be able to jump in and start writing your promo–whether it’s a sales page, VSL, email campaign, microsite, Facebook ad, press release, or whatever type of copy you’re writing.
You’ll even have a lot of copy you’ve already come up with as a result of my six-step Research Beast process. So you won’t be staring at the computer screen, unable to get started… or gripped with anxiety about “getting behind schedule” because you keep putting things off.
Instead, you’ll start filling in all the blanks in your copy outline “blueprint”… starting with those tons of copy points and research “nuggets” you’ve already come up with. And you’ll have a roadmap for everything else you need to write from there.
Sure, you may want to dig a bit deeper into something else you discover as you write your promo–it’s an organic process. But you won’t be stuck spinning your wheels like a Mini Cooper in a snowdrift, helplessly surfing the web and panicking all at once.
Once you become a Research Beast, you’ll approach each copywriting project being able to…
- Start off each project diving confidently into your research process and save hours (or even days) of precious time haplessly searching the Internet only to come up short…
- Know exactly where to find great ideas and proof for your copy or promo. Instead of sounding like everyone else’s copy, you’ll be able to come up with unassailable proof and unique hooks and angles that stand out from the sea of competition…
- Masterfully push all the right buttons that make prospects want to buy by ensuring every word of copy packs as much emotional power as possible to tap into a specific frustration, fear, belief, or worry that you’ve identified your target prospect has…
- Uncover the crucial differentiator–that “unique mechanism”–in your product. You’ll be able to convince even the most jaded and skeptical prospects that your solution will work for them where others before them have failed, and gain an unstoppable edge in your market!
- Prove to your clients how smart they were to hire you because you approach your projects like a pro, make their lives far easier (with far less “back and forth”), and turn in copy that doesn’t just “sing”, but hits all the high notes (and makes them want to sign you up right away for another project)…
- Get better results from your copy because you’re speaking to your prospect’s deepest wants and emotions and showcasing your solution in a superior way, making you a hero to your clients (and able to charge more) or allowing you to scale your offers to new heights, and…
- Turn projects around more quickly because you now have a proven process for knowing who you’re writing to, digging out what’s special about your product, and coming up with a killer “big idea”… so you can fit in more projects (and earn more), or enjoy more free time to do what you want!
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