In today’s episode, I’m going to teach you how to write better offers!
I guarantee you that this week’s episode will be shorter than last week’s episode, but it will be just as practical, powerful, and valuable… we will just get through it in a shorter amount of time!
I’m sure that you agree, though, that last week’s podcast episode was spectacular. I’ve had a lot of great feedback about it already.
I KNOW that it’s going to help you make more sales. And this episode is going to do exactly the same thing.
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
Episode 370: The number 1 sales call mistake and how to fix it! tashcorbin.com/370
Core Messaging free training and template: tashcorbin.com/coremessage
Let’s dive on in!
First and foremost, what is an offer?
I want us to be really clear on what we’re talking about here because sometimes people misconstrue the word offer to mean something that it doesn’t.
If, for example, you have a 10-week VIP coaching package that includes 10 sessions for $2,500. That is your product. That is the thing that you have to sell.
If you were to put that on sale for $1,500 for the first three people, that would be a sale.
Neither of those things is actually an offer.
Your offer is the way you speak about your product and service in a way that helps people understand whether it’s the right fit for them and encourages the right people to take action and buy it.
You can present your offers in video form, you can present them in oral form, you can present them in podcast episodes, etc. But what I really want to focus on today is the written offer.
There are lots of places where we present our offers in written form. It could be in your email marketing, in your posts on social media, on your sales pages, etc.
Most people really struggle with creating written offers.
We’re going to start with written offers today. But I do want to acknowledge that there are lots of different ways that you can pitch an offer. It doesn’t always need to be in writing.
In this episode, we’re focusing on how you can write those offers in a way that’s really resonant for your ideal clients, and how you can write those offers so that you get more sales.
Ultimately, an offer’s job is to get people to either book a call to talk about it, reach out to connect with you, or buy your offer off the bat.
A few things that I want to cross off your list that do NOT help you write better offers…
Myth 1: Hypnotic words
These were big in the late 90s/early 2000s. Early online businesses still use them a little bit. But we know now that using hypnotic words doesn’t necessarily do a better job of connecting people with your offer or encouraging people to buy in an informed way.
I won’t go into all the details of hypnotic words because I think most people can pick up on them these days. But it’s generally the type of thing that makes it sound like their offer is the LAST thing you’ll ever need, or it’s the ULTIMATE thing (ultimate is probably the ultimate hypnotic word).
A lot of hypnotic words stuff will always say “your” when talking to a potential client (eg. “This is your VIP package”). They’re implying ownership. When they post about the offer on social media, they say “When we work together in your VIP package, we will…”
Using these hypnotic words just doesn’t do what it used to do.
We’re a little more savvy about those things these days. All it does is make your work look like all the other copy-paste stuff that’s out there.
It doesn’t help you to write better offers.
What it does is it ties you in knots trying to incorporate a certain set of words, thinking that those certain set of words will magically make people want to buy from you, when what’s fundamentally missing from most offers is talking about the value proposition of what it is that you actually do, and the transformation that you facilitate.
Rather than getting tied up in knots trying to incorporate hypnotic words, let’s just say “That’s so 90s” and not do it anymore. That’s fine.
This next one that will NOT help you write better offers may be a little controversial…
Myth 2: AI
Whatever AI you’re using – whether it’s ChatGPT, copy.ai, or something else – it will not help you to write better offers.
The reason is that you are outsourcing the writing of the offer to an artificial intelligence… to the crowdsourcing force of the internet.
The number one thing that you will do to your offers if you use AI to write them, is make them look like everyone else’s offers. You will make them sound like everyone else’s offers. You will not learn how to speak about the tangible value proposition that you facilitate.
If you don’t know how to write great offers, you will really struggle to know whether what ChatGPT has churned out for you is actually good or not. You will really struggle to know whether that AI-written offer is going to attract the right people or not.
Ultimately, what I see for many people who have fallen in love with AI, is that they have fallen so in love with AI that they have decided they don’t need to write anything anymore.
They believe that they are so terrible at writing and AI is so magical and brilliant at writing, that they hardly do any writing in their business anymore. They just let AI do it for them, or they let AI do 90% of the work and then they just put it in their voice.
But they don’t even know what their voice is!
They’re just starting to sound and look like every other bro marketer on the internet.
Let’s face it… AI is inherently sexist.
It is inherently biased towards middle-aged straight white male viewpoints because that’s what the internet is inherently biased towards.
AI and ChatGPT have been shown to be more effective at promoting and selling products to men. AI and ChatGPT have been shown as less effective at writing promotions and getting sales for women. That doesn’t surprise me!
I think that you’re actually holding yourself back and putting yourself in a situation where you will continue to believe that you are a terrible writer, that AI is better than you, that you don’t have the skills, that you can’t learn them, and that you’ll always need to use ChatGPT.
I do not recommend AI or ChatGPT if you want to write better offers.
Myth 3: Outsourcing
I don’t recommend this… even to me!
I do a lot of copy reviews and suggestions for students in my programs and for my VIP clients. But I do it all through the lens of helping them to understand how to write better offers… not just writing it for them.
Sure, I might rewrite something or present a potential version to them. But I do it through the lens of explaining why I’ve done it that way, what I’ve grabbed the information from, and where I think they could improve moving forward. Therefore, I have now equipped that person with the ability to write better offers themselves.
If you are looking to write better offers and have better offers on socials and in your emails, then I do not recommend that you outsource writing your social media and emails to someone else.
If you do, you will hold yourself back from learning that skill.
It’s one of the most important skills that you need to learn as an online business owner, and the longer you can keep convincing yourself that everyone is better than you (even a robot’s better than you), the longer you will hold yourself back from learning how to do this.
The faster you learn how to do this, the more consistent sales you’re going to make.
No matter how your offer changes, no matter how your business grows, you will be far more confident and competent at writing offers for those new things that you put together.
You’re not always going to offer the same package. You’re not always going to offer the same course.
You might re-structure something, you might re-niche, you might rebrand. Are you then going to have to hire someone again to write everything for you?
If you haven’t written offers yourself, if you don’t understand your ideal clients or your value proposition, then you won’t be able to answer many of the questions that good copywriters ask you to answer when they’re doing your copywriting for you.
The copy that they write for you will be less than ideal. And they will tell you it’s less than ideal. They will tell you that they’ve had to make up parts because you didn’t provide them with some of the information they needed in order to write good copy for your ideal client.
Please, please, please practice writing your own offers.
Here are my tips on how to write better offers…
Tip 1: Write more often… and write a lot
One of the biggest drivers of the quality and effectiveness of your offers is the quantity of offers that you write.
Particularly for social media where you can’t use the same copy for an offer twice within 30 days of each other, and in most cases, you need to write offers several times a week, this means that you’re going to need at least 10 (if not 20!) different versions of each offer for each product.
You’re going to need to write 10 to 20 different offers for each product that you have, in order to not be penalised for duplicate content on social media.
Therefore, even if you do outsource or use AI, you’re going to have to make sure that they give you lots and lots of different versions.
The more different versions you ask for, the less powerful those different versions are.
But the difference is when you write these offers yourself – and you are writing a high quantity of offers – you start to get better at the quality of the offer that you write.
You may have heard the story where there was an art class that was divided into two by the lecturer. He gave different information to each half of the class about how they were going to be assessed that semester.
One half of the class was told that the thing they would be assessed on at the end of the semester was the quality of one piece of artwork.
It didn’t matter how many pieces of artwork they created throughout the semester, all the assessor would be looking at was one high-quality piece of artwork.
The other half of the class was told that the only thing they would be assessed on was the number of artworks they created throughout the semester.
One half of the class was going to be measured on quality, and one half of the class was going to be measured on quantity.
Which half of the class do you think actually ended up producing the highest quality of work? It was not the side that was focused on quality!
It was the side that was focused on quantity.
Through the sheer volume of work created, those students improved their skills, discernment, techniques, and eye for details. They improved the quality of the creations that they were producing because they were producing so much.
On the other hand, the side of the class that was just trying to work on this one perfect piece got caught up in perfectionism and overthinking. They didn’t do as much of the work, they didn’t practice as much, they didn’t refine their technique, and they didn’t develop their eye.
All of the things that are needed for quality, required quantity to develop.
The same goes for when you’re writing offers.
The more you write, the better they get. The more often you write them, the more volume that you write, the more you practice the skill set of writing them, the better they get.
That is tip number one – quantity is what drives quality.
Tip 2: Make it fit for purpose
This is because there are different contexts, audiences, and challenges that people face depending on where they’re at in their business journey.
I need to be able to speak directly to the experience that the reader is having at that point in time.
On top of that, when I’m writing and sharing an offer, I consider what platform I am sharing it on.
If I write an offer for people who’ve just done my webinar on niching and understand the power of niching in creating resonant messaging for their offers, then the way I focus their attention on the outcomes of the Take Off program will be very different compared to a cold audience member who has never been through a training process with me.
Each different platform has different levels of hot and cold audience. It has different requirements of what people are looking for. This means I need to touch on different key points, and I want to make sure that it’s fit for purpose.
I want to make sure it’s doing its job for the audience that I’m writing it for.
The three big things that I consider when I think about fit for purpose are:
What platform am I sharing this on?
What audience am I focused on speaking to with this offer?
And what context do I have as to why people are seeing this offer now?
For example, people don’t just stumble upon the sales page of the Take Off program randomly. They go to the sales page for the Take Off program because I have directed them there from social media or via email in most cases.
This means the copy for the Take Off sales page is actually written for quite a hot audience.
I didn’t write it for strangers on the internet who don’t know me. I didn’t write it for people who have never heard of consent-based marketing before. It wasn’t written for people who are price shopping around startup programs on the internet, because I won’t win based on price.
Most people who end up doing the Take Off program do it because they deeply value the opportunity to connect with me, work with me and access that mentorship.
Most people who are price shopping around the internet are just looking for a self-study course that they can do really quickly and that somehow guarantees they’re going to make six figures in six weeks. And I don’t do that.
If I was trying to write my sales page for strangers on the internet, I would have written it very differently.
Yet when so many people write sales pages for their products and services, they write it for a cold audience. That’s who they’re thinking of when they write their sales page. They’re thinking about a stranger who stumbles across their sales page on the internet.
95% of the people who read that sales page did not randomly stumble across it on the internet!
They went there because they already know you, they already trust you, they’ve got an email from you, they’re on your mailing list, they’re following you on socials, they’ve been to your webinar, and they’re hotly considering working with you.
If you speak to them like they’re a stranger on the internet, and if you start right back at the start, you’re going to give them the impression that this is for beginners and this is not for them. You’re going to give them the impression that you don’t understand what is going on for them. You’re going to give them the impression that you don’t understand how you are best equipped to be able to help move their business forward or move them forward towards their goals.
Simply because you write it for strangers on the internet!
Sure, strangers on the internet might stumble across it. But what is the likelihood that some random stranger will stumble across your sales page and then immediately decide to purchase?
That’s the exception. It’s not the rule.
Are you writing things for the exception? Or are you writing them for the rule?
If you want to write better offers, make sure to think about the platform, think about the audience and think about the context. That’s how you ensure that your offer is fit for purpose.
Write it fit for the purpose that you’re going to use it for.
Tip 3: Ensure that you have your core messaging nailed
By core messaging, I mean:
- Clarity on your niche – who this is for?
- Your value proposition – what is the value of the transformation?
- Bridge messaging – what is the gap that you need to cross between where your ideal client thinks the problem and the solution is, versus where you know the problem and solution is?
It is the bridge that we get to make between what they’re running around thinking is going on versus what you can see what is really going on, what happens underneath the surface, and what’s really needed in order to achieve the goal or resolve the problem.
Core message is something that I am very passionate about.
When you have your core message all mapped out and in front of you, and then you write offers from that core message over and over and over again in different ways and through different angles, you will actually find that all of those offers feel like they are on brand. All of those offers feel like they are written for the niche.
It all does its job, but it’s looking at it from different angles because you’ve broken those angles down in crafting that core message.
It’s got consistency, and it allows you to look at it through different lenses.
That is the freebie that comes with today’s podcast episode.
I’ve been talking about this a lot over the last few months because I still think that core messaging is where most people end up falling down.
It is the basis on which you write your offers, content, emails, sales pages, website, and social media content.
That is the third way to help ensure that you’re writing better offers.
Tip 4: Write your offer so that it doesn’t read like an ad
A lot of us come from a background in formal writing, or we have experiences where we are more respected or more regarded when we’ve written more formally.
That takes a lot of undoing when it comes to trying to write conversationally as a business owner and as a marketer.
But we don’t log into Facebook because we want to check out the latest ads. We don’t scroll mindlessly through Instagram trying to find more ads.
The ads in our feed are the things we scroll past the fastest in most cases.
The ads in our feed are a necessary inconvenience which is the price we pay to have free access to social media. That’s what ads are.
So why does everyone write their offers like they’re trying to write an ad? I don’t get it!
You log into social media to see what your friends are up to, to be entertained, or to learn something. Write your offers through that lens.
Ask yourself these questions when you look at your offers:
Does that look like an ad?
How can I make it look more conversational?
How can I make it look more like an organic piece of content?
Is there a way I can make it look like something that a friend would have shared?
How can I make it look more like native social content?
The same thing goes for your emails.
If you scroll through your inbox and you can see you’ve got a few promo emails, are they the first ones that you open? Or is it the ones that get you some behind-the-scenes information, or that feel like they’re going to help you with something or teach you something?
Stop trying to make things look like ads! You may think that if it looks like an ad, you’ll look legit. But actually, if it looks like an ad, it looks like something people want to scroll past.
It is such an unlearning that we need to go through. But it is one of the most powerful ways for you to get better at writing better offers, which is what this podcast promised.
Stop making it look like an ad. Use more conversational language. Learn how to write in a way that seems like native social and email content. It’s educational, it’s informative, it’s fun, it’s behind the scenes.
That allows us to get engaged in what it is that you’re sharing.
I’m not saying to write long-winded vulnerable posts and turn them into ads at the end, because we also want to ensure that we’re generating trust.
Have you ever been in this situation before where you started watching a video thinking it was going to be this informative, insightful thing, and then you realise at the end that it’s an ad and you feel a bit gross?
There’s actually an ad that pops up a lot on reels on Instagram for both me and David, and it starts with “Give me 30 days” and every time we hear “Give me 30 days”, we both go “NO!” and then scroll past.
I’ve never heard the rest of that reel before.
It’s just some bro-marketing dude walking down the beach, so of course I’m not interested, but it’s just so funny.
We had my niece here, and the same thing happened to her. She was scrolling through Instagram reels to show me something, and then we heard “Give me 30 days” and she went “Nope!” and scrolled straight past.
That’s the whole point. You know it’s an ad. And it gets a big no.
Then on the flip side, there are videos that I’ve seen where someone really hooks you in with some vulnerable story that seems really genuine, and then at the very end, they talk about the journal that they created to help them.
It gets me every time. And it makes me just as cranky as the “Give me 30 days” person.
I got sucked into it a few times. Now when I see that person’s name, I don’t like her content. I don’t watch her videos as much because I feel like a sucker. I got all emotionally invested in this person’s life or this person’s story, and it turns out, she’s promoting a journal.
That’s not to say you can’t use a story and you can’t create a connection and be conversational. But just be mindful of the extent to which people will feel like they’ve been lured in or it’s a bait and switch where you always do that to them.
On the other hand, be careful to not just treat ads as ads and write in a way that sounds completely different to who you are and your normal conversational tone of voice.
Especially with visuals, I find it’s quite easy to ensure that it doesn’t look like an ad.
And then with your copy, you can be compelling and have great intro lines without people getting invested and reading 15 minutes worth of content before they realise that it’s actually a sales pitch.
We want to make sure it doesn’t look like an ad and we try and make it look as native social as we can… but let’s not create a relationship where people feel like they can’t trust your content, or they don’t want to start reading something of yours because everything turns into an ad.
Tip 5: Use a variety of structures
There are so many different ways that you can include things like calls to action, headlines, emojis, etc.
Don’t get fixated on always using the same devices in your offers.
Sometimes I will see offers from people I’m familiar with within the community, and I don’t know what they’re offering because everything looks the same. Everything has the same structure.
I also find I scroll past that a lot quicker because I can immediately tell that it’s an offer.
It could be a new thing. They could be doing a new webinar. But I don’t know that and I assume that it’s not, simply because it all starts to look the same.
We do want to ensure that we’re bringing a lot of variety into the way that we write, the way that we start the offer and the way that we highlight our bullet points or break them down.
Remember that we want to have a mix. We want some long-form offers, we want some short-form offers, we want some sales page-type offers, and we want some more dynamic conversational offers.
We’ve got to mix those things up.
Don’t get all caught in using the exact same devices.
Even with promoting webinars, you don’t have to use the device of “[DATE], [TIME]” every single time. You can say “It’s on [DATE] at [TIME]” or “All the details and the time is on the signup page”. You can even mention a few different time zones sometimes.
There are so many different ways to present something even as simple as the date and time.
Try not to fall into the same pattern of doing the same stuff over and over again. Mix it up, see what works, and see what gets people’s interest.
Remember that even if you do find something that works really well, it won’t keep working really well if that’s the only thing that you use.
Use lots and lots of variety, as much as you can.
Tip 6: Challenge yourself to write several offers at once
Seeing as quantity drives quality, I want you to challenge yourself when you next go to write your offer.
Challenge yourself to write ten at once. Then the next time, challenge yourself to write twenty at once. And then try thirty.
The more that you write, the more different versions you have to create, the more you have to look at your core messaging in full and really dive into some of the examples, the better those offers will get.
They really do get better and better.
I recently had someone in one of my programs mention that it feels like she’s just writing the same promotion for her webinar every time. She’ll write a new version seeing as the prior one didn’t work very well, but when she’s writing it, she’s looking at the old version so it makes it feel like she’s just moving words around and not actually writing it differently.
I told her we would co-write some offers. If she wrote ten different versions of her webinar promo, I would also write another ten. This meant she would end up with twenty different promos to choose from.
In the process of writing her ten different webinar promos, she actually ended up getting to ten. She could tell that the last five were perfect. They were way better than the previous ones.
It’s the art of writing them and writing them all at once instead of trying to write one a day.
If you come back to it again the next day, you’re going to need to remind yourself of what you previously wrote, so naturally, it’ll end up sounding like the exact same version.
Whereas if you’re writing them all in one go, you’re looking for a differentiator. You’re looking to take a different angle. You’re looking to write it in a different tone.
You can even think about all those different versions that you want to create. So you’ve got a long version, medium version, short version, super short version, super long version, story about X, story about Y, story about Z, etc..
Then you could write a chatty one, a fun one, a playful one, a serious one, a kind one, a loving nudge one, a tough love one, an argument for something, a “let’s debate about this” one.
You can come up with all of these different versions.
If you really challenge yourself to look at the difference between a fun version of your offer and a really cheeky version of your offer, you’ll find it.
If you try and write all of those at the same time, you’re writing all of them one after the other, and they will actually be far more likely to be in that tone, because you can see the difference.
The more that you write, the better they will be, and the more effective your offers will be over the long term… if YOU write them.
Don’t write the offer once and then put it into AI and ask it to make it conversational, feminine, playful, etc. Because when we think about the bias of AI towards middle-aged straight white men, what is playful for middle-aged straight white men? It’s going to be different to what’s playful for me.
Something that I do every time anyone recommends me a new AI tool, is I ask AI to write a promotion for a webinar. And then when it writes it, I say who my ideal client is and that I would love it to be focused on a more feminine audience. The first version always has emojis (it’s a bit of a dead giveaway these days for AI the way the emojis are written), and then when I ask it to be targeted at women and non-binary folk, it doesn’t change a single word.
All it does is change the emojis from rockets to flowers.
It’ll turn the emojis from flames into stars, or from the data going up to butterflies. It is so bad.
If I was to give AI a name and talk about it through the lens of it being a dude doing the writing for me, I would name it Philip who has a 13-year-old daughter, and he’s trying really hard to write stuff that she likes.
When you think about the bias of the internet and the bias of AI, that’s pretty much what you’re doing. You’re asking a middle-aged straight white man to write offers for your audience.
I was giving feedback to the creators of an AI tool that I used for show note captions for my podcasts (we’ve stopped using it now because it just was getting worse and worse), and I said to the guy that it was like being on a really bad date and I’m telling him over and over again what I need and he’s just not listening to me.
That was when I had this realisation that AI is like a random middle-aged white guy who is almost being a bit condescending towards me.
Anyway, so don’t get AI to write it for you. At least in the first instance.
AI peeps, please don’t come at me. I understand you love it. It’s great. You only use it for the ideas, you make your own voice, etc. Keep telling yourself that. I see your offers, I see your posts, I see which ones are AI-infused, and I can tell the difference.
You keep telling yourself that everything is okay. And you keep using AI tools. This is clearly not the podcast episode for you.
But for those of you who actually do want to build your skills in writing better offers and have those offers do their job on socials, in emails, on sales pages, and on your website, if you really are clear that this is a non-negotiable skill set for an entrepreneur that will hold you in good stead for the rest of your business journey, then they were my top tips.
To recap, here are my six tips on how to write better offers:
1. Remember that quantity drives quality
2. Make sure that it’s fit for purpose.
3. Have your core message in front of you, have it nailed, and really work on that core message stuff because the more you refine that, the better quality your offers are going to be.
4. Don’t write it like an ad.
5. Don’t try and write the same thing over and over again. Really create some variety.
6. Write thirty versions all in one go, so that you can really see how much quantity drives quality.
As a quick reminder, make sure you grab my FREE Core Message training and template: tashcorbin.com/coremessage
That will help you to get the core messaging part of this process sorted.
I look forward to seeing your amazing offers online, in my inbox, and all over the shop now that you know what it really takes to write better offers!
Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the podcast.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.