How to present your copy to a client (so you get their buy-in)

Presented live on Tuesday, Sept 5, 2017

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Still emailing copy to your client and letting them go through it sans voice-over? That’s the typical “copy review” process copywriters use with clients. And it fails almost every time. In this Tutorial Tuesday, Joanna Wiebe shows you exactly how she presents copy to clients. So they give good feedback. And understand the hard skills behind the soft ones.


Joanna is writing in Airstory, the writing software for research-based projects. 


Joanna:                   Alright, hello everybody. Welcome to the first tutorial Tuesday of September. [Foreign Language 00:00:06] It’s already September. I cannot believe it.

Joanna here from Copy Hackers and Airstory. We have Sarah here, as well. Always off camera. Sarah is sick today, but she has a wicked new haircut, and I wish she were on camera, but she’s not. Anyway, she’s got the flu, that’s sad. That’s very sad.

Okay, so everybody is saying hello.

Hello. Hi. Hi, everybody chatting. Quick housekeeping. We are recording this. If you have anything you want to share with us, quickly feel free to chat it over. And If you have a question that you want answered, do pop that into Q&A, and we’ll do our best then to get to that at the end of today’s 20 minute Tutorial Tuesday.

And that’s really going to be, probably, twenty minutes. Today, I’m going to try to keep it there. We’re talking largely to the copywriters in the house today. Also, if you aren’t a copywriter, but you review people’s copy this will help you as well. It’s kind of set expectations for that whole review process.

Okay, so when we’re writing copy, when you’re reviewing copy, when you’re writing copy, whatever it is, there’s this strong sense. Everybody has this, sadly, and a lot of the world’s less awesome copywriters, probably good people, might not be right for the copywriting profession. Copywriting is the super soft skill and all you do is you sit there, and you dream things up. And, of course, at Copy Hackers, we do not take that approach, and we hope that if you’re watching this, you’re not waiting for the point where I say, “This is where the muse strikes.” That’s never gonna happen with any of our training.

So, how can we help our clients understand that? That it’s not a soft skill, that it’s not about them saying, “Oh, I really like this,” or “Oh, I don’t like this,” or “Oh, my wife doesn’t like this,” or whatever it might be. Those things that you hear when your clients are reviewing your copy. If you don’t present it to them the right way, you’re likely to hear those things.

A big part of our job as copy writers, is to help control and manage what people who are reviewing our copy are thinking, saying, and even doing. I know that might even sound like, what, control is an ugly word. Then try not controlling it, and see what happens. You know how mad things get when you just let your clients kind of just review your copy and tell you what they thought about it. Disaster, right? Disaster.

If you haven’t experienced that, you will. Fifteen years of experience for me. I have seen it all, and I have found that if you email your copy off to a client and say, “Hey, let me know what you think,” and you even give a little bit of structure around their feedback. It will never work as well as what we’re going to show you today.

Today we are talking about presenting your copy to clients. If you don’t present your copy to clients in real meeting form, you’re doing yourself a disservice, you’re doing your client a disservice. You’re definitely doing your audience a disservice because when you email copy over, people start writing their feedback, right in the copy. Which is why Airstory has this very cool new workflow coming out in a couple months. It’s going to be amazing. It’s going to completely help eliminate that, but you still need to actually get on a call and present your copy to clients.

If you’re not doing this already, now is the time to start. Get over any fear you might have. It’s going to be hard if you haven’t done it before. There will be a sense of rejection, that’s like looming always behind the scenes when you’re presenting. You just have to power through that. The reason you do that is, as I mentioned in this morning’s email, because you’re … There’s a lot of hope built into what your client thinks about what your copy’s going to do. They hope it’s going to read well. They hope it’s going to convert well. They hope they’re gonna love it. They have all of that kind of emotion there.

The other side of that is doubt. It doesn’t take long for a client to move from being hopeful that you’re the solution to their problem, to doubting that you’re the solution to their problems. As soon as they see your copy show up in their inbox, they open it all filled with hope, and if they don’t like the headline right out of the gate, done. You are now … they’re just like, “Okay, well the headline didn’t work. Let’s see what the next line says.” Then from that point on, they’re continuing to lose trust in you, doubt you, even if your copy is great. Even if it’s spectacular.

When you don’t frame it right, they think it’s all about what their feeling is and their reaction to it, and it’s not that at all. You have to help them understand that. Somebody already said in chat, you’re leading them not controlling it. Cool, whatever you want to say, I agree. Leading is maybe a good way to put it. I’m just going to keep it real. You’re controlling the conversation. It’s a good thing to do.

One, you need to start very likely having more meetings with your clients than you’re already having today. One of those key meetings is the copy presentation meeting. When you have a copy presentation meeting, you book it in advance. You make sure everybody is going to be there who’s going to be reviewing the copy. They have to be there. If they’re not, there’s a consequence, you can figure that out. It doesn’t have to be a terrible one. Just know that if they’re not there, then they’re just going to give you whatever feedback they feel like giving you, and that’s a problem.

Book it to have all the right people in the room. If you don’t know who those people are, confirm with your client who those people are. Trust me, when you ask those kinds of questions, that looks like you’re in control. When you say, “Hey, who should I have at this meeting, who needs to be at this meeting, so I can send out the right out invitation?” you’re not annoying them by asking another question. You’re getting it right, so ask them who should be at the meeting, you send out the meeting invite, you do the zoom link, you make sure you’re hitting record on the session, so you can send out the replay after for those who did not attend, because they need to see everything that’s inside that meeting.

The meeting happens, but about 10 minutes before the meeting happens, 10 to 20 minutes before, that’s when you can send out your copy for review. That’s when it happens, not the week before, not when the invitation goes out. 10 to 20 minutes before the actual meeting starts you send it out, so they have a chance to look at it. That’s it. We can talk another day about the guidance around that email of what actually goes in that email.

Today, we’re going to skip right into the meeting itself. I’m going to show you the deck that we put together to present some … We were doing this experiment with Laura over at Meet Edgar for their homepage, so we went through the usual copywriting process, and this is the deck that I presented to Laura and a couple members of her team, I think. Let me go, and make sure I have the right one open. I do.

I’m going to show you the actual deck. Let me share my screen. This one. Cool? Again, if you have any questions, throw them into Q&A. If you’re not doing this, please start doing  this style of presentation. I’m not going into presentation mode, because that’s not the point. Here, hopefully you can see everything you need to see. I’m going to close that up, so you can see more. Okay, cool. Okay. This is exactly it.

Oh good, we’re all posting something in the copy writer cloud. That’s awesome.

Okay, so you want to just put it together like this, but it doesn’t have to be hard. This doesn’t have to be a complicated, beautiful presentation. Very clean, wide screen ideally, because that little square box, just like when you put a deck together that’s not wide screen, it always looks like it’s from 10 years ago or something. Go widescreen. Just a basic thing. Yeah, probably. home page copy recommendations. Just call it what it is, and if you want to put a subhead in there, you can. Ideally, you want to make sure they know it’s from you, in case you do decide to share this deck around afterward. You want to make sure your name is on it. I didn’t share this deck afterwards, so I didn’t put my name on it. But we still said Copy Hackers on it. You can put your logo in there. Do you whatever you feel like. Don’t do anything that’s going to keep you from putting the deck together though. Get a rough draft out, and then you can make it look better. Keep it really simple. If you have a template you already use for your company, even better.

Okay, we want to get into it now. You’ll see that there are 19 slides in here. 19. This is gonna be an hour long meeting you’re going to book. This doesn’t even have the copy in it. On the final slide is where we talk about the copy options, but all the way leading up to it, what do you think we’re talking about? The process. What we did to arrive at this.

Again, they think your skill is a soft skill. Everybody wants to believe that you’re writing this great copy, but they really think it’s coming from inside your head. Even when you educate them that it’s not. They still have that sense that, “Oh, I get to comment on it,” so we’re going to walk them through all the thinking we did to get here. Not with just inside our head kind of thinking, all the research we did, largely. The basic conversion copywriting process is research and discovery, writing and editing, where editing is really most of what you’re doing, and then optimization.

Research and discovery is usually the biggest part, especially when you’re working with the client for the first time. We can’t just pass over that and just forget about that and dive right into showing them the copy. You want to go through all the research you did, and that’s exactly what you’re here to do.

We called it an immersive process. Call it something. “To immerse ourselves, here are the things we did.” You don’t have to do a lot of research all of the time. The more research you do, the better. You can land on interesting insights and great language, maybe a new big idea to test, but you just really want to put down exactly what you did. This is not rocket science. We’re not doing anything that’s crazy, like impossible to understand on a slide. Here’s the research we did. That’s Slide One.

So they know there’s research. You’re going to walk them through that very quickly. If you want to, you can take some sessions. You can download snippets from those sessions that you’re hopefully going to be doing. Put those toward your deck. You can really take any of this research you did, and take snapshots or screenshots, things like that, and put it in your deck. Try to keep it simple. We don’t want to distract the client by thinking too much about the raw data. That was your job.

Your job is now to say, “Hey, we did all this research, trust us. We knew what we were doing with it. Here’s how we synthesized it, and here’s what you need to know about it.” That’s it. You’re not going to walk through everything. This isn’t a three hour meeting where you’re going to watch sessions together.

By the way, if they want to watch them, that is a tricky thing, too. I recommend nudging your clients away from trying to see the raw data. Just do your best to not distract them with that, because, it gets really exciting. It gets very interesting to go through and watch users on If you get to watch them, it can be a very cool thing. It’s like seven minutes, and you’re like, “I learned so much in that time,” and your clients will have the same reaction.

That might feel like it’s a good thing, but it’s kind of leading them further into your job. I recommend against sharing raw data with a client unless you absolutely know that it’s going to go well to do that. Don’t do it to impress them, don’t do it to show them what cool stuff you do. They only need to see that you did stuff. They don’t see the raw data. Okay?

Then we start talking through what we’re seeing. We first tell them what research we did, then we tell them really who we were talking to, especially when it comes to … because people have … A lot of marketers and C-levels have reactions too, where the number one reaction to that I’ve experienced with clients is “Oh yeah, that’s fine, but they’re not our target market.”

You can also do Ask Your Target Market, which is an actual service, AYTM, where they have to pay to survey their target market, but it’s not like User testing has a very large database of people that are now doing testing, so you can actually get pretty specific on a good paid plan with User Testing. Just know that if you do User Testing, your client’s number one thing is going to be, “Okay, we’ll take it with a grain of salt because it’s not really our target market,” so you just have to overcome that. So we’re going to just share with them who these people were, what they were really doing, and that we were focusing, of course, on the homepage. Cool?

Now I’m going to go into this view, so you can see the way this deck is really broken up, so we don’t have to get into the weeds with it in today’s tutorial, but you can see how yours should be broken up. Let me just get a little bigger on this. Will it let me? Nope. It won’t. That’s too bad. Why doesn’t it let me? Maybe if somebody knows how to make this bigger because it’s not … Oh, wait. What’s this? There. I knew there was a way, but the Command+ wasn’t working.

These title slides are the ones to look at. What was driving people to the page? What brings people to experience your content? What happens when they have worked with your solution? Who else are they considering? And then any other insights for messaging.

We’re really trying to build a story around the problems and drivers that are bringing people to you, the competition that’s also maybe being considered, and what they’re finding when they’re actually using the solution. All with the goal of helping the client understand that this is where our messages come from. So have that broken up.

Now it doesn’t mean yours will always follow this exact layout of forces driving prospect to X, what happens when people use X, the competition, or any other insights for messaging. That’s a really good starting point, so start there. Screenshot this if you want to, so you have that starting point, then you can figure it out from there.

And what we’re going to put in after these title slides … Sorry if you can hear my phone ringing. It’s too far away for me to turn it off. So after those title slides, we’re really just putting in not our own thoughts. We want to speak to our own reactions and what we have synthesized when we’re going through these title decks. And then we want to show the client actual verbatims from prospects and from existing customers, and if you’ve interviewed past customers as well, from them, too. If there are any insights from team interviews you did, this is where you synthesize that, but do it in a clean way that’s actually going to support, hopefully, your argument for the content of the copy that you’ve actually written.

The first one, forces driving prospects to Meet Edgar, this is more of what was going on in your life that brought you here today. That’s my favorite question to ask people when you’re doing interviews or surveys. What was going on in your life that brought you to choose X, what was going on in your life that brought you to visit Y, those kinds of things. It’s a good way to figure out what was really going in and you have a long asked question.

We put in the summary of it, as well as a direct quote. You can say, “People are largely saying that the reason that they started going to Edgar is because they were tired of losing great content. We saw that again and again and again, and that was the number one thing that we heard. Words like forget, words like fall through the cracks, buried, things like that.”

You’re sharing these kinds of really raw insights, but it’ll help your client understand that when you write a headline that says “Tired of Losing Great Content?” They’re not like, “But why would we say that? I think we should just lead with our value prop.” This way, you can say, “This isn’t about me thinking that you should have this headline. This is what people are saying is driving them here. The conversation happening in their head is very likely, for those who convert, at least, very likely to be around not wanting to lose great content anymore.” This allows you to shape that conversation that comes time to review the copy.

Another one that comes out is that they’re too busy to post. So that was an insight that we also found as well. We didn’t summarize it because too busy to post is right there, so we didn’t have those key phrases. You don’t always have to. And we just put in a couple of quotes that support that, so we can have that discussion with the client around this, and they don’t have the sense that we are again just coming up with this out of our heads.

What happens when they’re actually using Edgar? We go through that. We talk through these one by one, so you can put it into presentation mode, and animate it so that you only see one line at a time. And you can discuss it. Just make sure you practice this before you actually go in to the client review session, which most of us will. If you’re going to put a deck together, if you’re going to put the work together of actually having a deck, you want to just practice it a couple times before you go in. I know Tarzan did a really good job of this with a big-name client. Tarzan Kay is an awesome copywriter, and she told me about this and how well it went when she is able to present copy this way. Really walk your client through it.

Like this, any bigger takeaways, any interesting language where if you use that language on the page, you want to make sure your client understands where that language came from. So if we use the word recycling on the page, and we hadn’t heard it from the client. If Laura Roeder never said recycle content or recycling, she might not identify with that word. She might not even like that word, but if we can say, “Hey, this is what your prospects and actual users are saying they use Edgar for, for recycling content,” then it might be a good word for us to use, too. It might be bringing us closer to that actual stuff that’s going on in their heads.

Okay, so it’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re just going through, chunking out these sections in our deck, and then supporting them with exactly what you’re finding in voiced customer data. All with the understanding that you’re a copywriter, you are here to organize persuasive messages on the page to create a compelling argument to say yes.

Other insights for messaging. You can go through those as well, talk through them. Anything really interesting that you come across, that’s where this goes. And then, and only then, do you get into your home page options lists, or your copy options, and if it’s only one, cool. If you put two together, great. This is where you now do the introduction, and that copy doesn’t go in the deck. You’re going to link to your Airstory document or your Google Doc, or whatever else it was that you shared with them.

This is kind of the fun final point here for this, knowing that presenting copy is the core message of today’s tutorial, but one of the cool things I recommend you do, is when you have more than one option for your clients to consider, you give them a name, that you give each option its own name. So we had three options for the client to consider. In this case, one I wrote we called it Ghost Town. Lisa wrote one, we called it Disappearing Genius. And Adam wrote one that we called Hungry Beast.

And that way, when you can introduce that copy to the client, there’s this kind of sense of theatrics about it. There’s something cool, and we’re moving away from being so researchy into the creative interpretation of that research. Which can again get your client kind of excited. It feels like [inaudible 00:19:55] not if you name something. People love when you name things, so just go ahead and give the copy that you write a name. And you get to make it kind of cool and fun. What’s Ghost Town? What’s Disappearing Genius? What’s Hungry Beast?

So that is it for today’s Tutorial Tuesday. The tutorial itself. I see that we have a couple of questions here. I’m going to stop showing … Okay, cool. “Will I make the presentation downloadable?” I don’t see why not. So, sure. We’ll do that. We’ll put it on the page, and you can then just download it. Cool. That’s what Tristan asked, so yes, Tristan. Why not?

Lindsey said how do … Let me put this over here, so I’m not staring off into the distance? “How do you suggest this process when you have a client that has all of this upfront research prior to the project beginning, so they don’t need or want you to do this part. Sorry for typos, my text is microscopic.” Nope, that was all good.

Okay, so we actually started with some research. I feel as long as the research has been done in the last 12 months, it’s probably still okay to work with it. If it’s more than 12 months old, I’d recommend that they go do another round of research. So we had past Meet Edgar research review, which was one of the inputs for this, one of the things that we were going to consider when we were putting this copy together. Of course you’re going to.

If they already have existing research, cool, unless you have reason to believe that it was poorly done, then ta-da, your work is dramatically lessened. Now you just have to go look at it, but unless they were doing research for copy purposes, you can’t rely on that alone. If they had a conversion copy writer that they brought in to do a lot of research to find the right messages, you might not need to do any other research.

That said, I would never ever sit down to write anything without going out and looking for the message. Whether the client thinks they need it from you or not, the client doesn’t know how you do your job. Your job is to coach the client to understand how you do your job. You’re a different caliber of copywriter. You’re not a wordsmith, you’re not a word monkey. You’re somebody who has a process, whether the client loves the process or not, this is how you get to the results that you get.

You will, if you can’t do customer interviews, they better have done customer interviews, and you’re going to need the transcripts, raw, for those interviews. They should invest in sessions. If they won’t, I’d question working with the client at all. It’s like 500 bucks to get some really good insights there. If you’re getting paid enough for it, you could just pay for the sessions yourself.

You’re not doing this just to impress the client, you’re doing this to find your message. How else are you going to know what to write? Just sitting and staring ahead? How will that work? It doesn’t work, trust me, because I did that for the first three years of my career, and it was a complete waste of time. Try your best to get your client onboard with this research you’re doing.

We didn’t really talk too much about any review mining that we did here. We went through and looked at lots of different reviews about their competitors, we did an actual content audit of their site, and things like that, their home page in particular. But you don’t have to … the client doesn’t … why does the client need to … outside of understanding where the ideas came from, they don’t need to approve you doing research. We’re gonna do research. Just do it. You just might not be allowed to talk to their customers because they’re not giving you access to that.

And that is again, a case where I would give the client a dirty look, do that thing where you’re like, “How else am I supposed to write my copy? What did you have in mind?” Don’t do it that way, but that’s how I now feel about it today. Go ahead and do what you need to do to get the message that you need in order to write high converting copy. Otherwise, the client’s nuts. Hopefully that helps. I just said really mean things about clients there. Hopefully, that helps a bit. I love clients, of course.

Don says, “When you include customer reviews, is it important to edit the quote for proper spelling and grammar because some quotes can be hard to read?” Yeah. If you’re going through Amazon reviews in particular, and somebody jotted it off on their phone, there are often typos. There’s also challenges with people where English is a second language, let’s say. Or something else. It’s not a top priority for the person leaving the review to make sure they’re getting their grammar right. Or their spelling. Grammar is one thing. I wouldn’t correct for grammar necessarily, unless it’s really convoluted, but for typos, potentially.

You don’t want the client to be distracted by anything, and if they’re like, “Oh, great, so now should we be taking their typos, too?” If you get some jerky CEO on there who’s like, “Okay, so we’re just going to swipe all of their messages, and they use typos, so we’re going to.” I don’t imagine anybody would actually say that, but you don’t want to let your client get distracted by anything. Focus that client. So if the typo might distract them, correct it. Cool?

All right. Let’s see. Carl says, “Would you forward the slides in advance to prepare the client for the call?” No. “Would you use heat mapping at this stage to find out how the user tracked the existing site?” Yeah. I think they had Crazy Egg, or no, they had Hotjar on Edgar’s site. We had that as well. It just didn’t make it in because it wasn’t an important factor here for actually writing the copy and laying out the page. We didn’t mention it here because it was not going to be useful in the deck. Okay? But no, I wouldn’t. I have never sent the slides in advance. I haven’t even sent the slides afterward that often. Usually because everybody who needs to see, I do my best to make sure they show up for the meeting, but then you do have to circulate to those who, of course, haven’t. But I wouldn’t send it in advance, no.

Bethany says,”Would you describe the approach you took to writing the copy of the structure used and why?” Yeah, it was Problem-Agitation-Solution for me because Laura and I, although we chatted for years online, we met up in person for the first time last year at the Coffee Blogger event where she was speaking, and I was speaking. She saw me present on SweatBlock there, and she was like, “Cool, can we do something like that for Edgar?” And I was like, “Cool, yeah.”

So I did PAS, that was what, I think actually all three of us did, used Problem-Agitation-Solution. That might be because I talk about it a lot, so I’m sure Lisa and Adam were like, “Ugh. Better use PAS, or she’s not gonna like the copy.” “Like.” So, yeah, I used PAS. It’s just a strong starting point for a homepage in most cases, for a lot of pages, but home, absolutely. Outside of that, the approach I took is like the stuff of our whole conversion copywriting school, all of that stuff. It is the basic process of research and discovery, writing and editing, and then optimization when you’re in test mode. Hope that helps, Bethany.

Frederico asks “What if you’re working as a remote freelancer?” Yeah, I’m always remote. I think outside, like, MetaLab is the only company I was in the same town to present to. Every other client I’ve had, I’ve presented on Zoom. Or when Zoom didn’t exist, it was Skype or something like that. If you have the paid Slack, you can do multiple people on a video. I wouldn’t do Slack if you can’t see everybody. Make sure your face is there. That helps a lot, especially for those who haven’t met you, if they can see you, likeability goes a long way. If you’re generally really grumpy looking or something, then maybe don’t. I’m just kidding. Just be present there. Make it feel like you’re in the same room, so they can actually ask you questions and talk with you and feel like they’re talking to somebody human, and not just a voice.

Anna says, “When asking for access to customers to interview, how do you usually set that up? They give you a few customers or the email list or maybe copywriter here trying to do better at [inaudible 00:28:29]…” Okay, cool. When I first agree to work with a client, I let them know that I’m going to need these things. Like, here is the research I’m going to need to be able to do. Interviews are always part of that.

For the customer, to get those names, I want a warm introduction to them, so I ask them to, one, come up with a list of about 20 people, 20 past customers, current customers, and brand new customers, ideally. I’ll go over the list of those, and then I want somebody on their team to intro me to that person. They’re going to send an email that says, “Hey, So-and-So, I just wanted to introduce you to somebody who’s helping us out with some things here in our growth department. Her name’s Joanna. She’d really love to talk to you. She’s CC’d here. I’ll let her take it from here.” That exact thing sent to 20 different people.

You might get 10 of them going, “Cool, yeah, here’s when we can meet,” and maybe five of them will actually show up for the meeting. So that’s what I recommend you do. You can’t reach out cold to them. It won’t feel right. I’ve done that, and they often feel … One of the big things to overcome with these customer interviews is they think it’s a sales pitch. A good number of people are like, “Okay, what are you selling me?” And I’m going, “No, I’m not. I just want to hear from you.”

Just know that the more warm the conversation is, the better, so if they believe that things are going to work out for the best for them, and for you, and for the whole world if they get on this call with you, that’s good. That’s where that warm introduction goes a long way.

Adele says, “If you’d freelanced your client as the agency, and you have a contract, a contact at the agency, is that who you present to?” Yeah. If you’re going to kind of ghost-working it almost for them, if you’re going to do that, where you’re never going to be face-to-face with the actual client, then yeah, you have to present … Whoever the person is who’s going to approve the copy and approve that you move forward to the next stage, that’s the person that you want to present to. If there are other stakeholders, if there are other people on their team who are going … like the account executive, let’s say, you’ve got the creative director, anybody else who will be involved in saying yes or no, or who might be there in those late night conversations where they’re like, “Should we just scrap this whole thing and start again?” You need to have all the right people in the room, so that those crazy conversations don’t happen when the creative director is flipping out or saw something cool and wants to change everything. As many people that are going to be approving as possible.

Bethany said, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to talk about with your client.” Let me go back and see the answered questions because I don’t remember what it was. Sorry, Bethany. Structure. Oh, did I talk about PAS with the … Well, in this case, she knew. She knew. And of course, if you have any frameworks … so this isn’t even getting into showing the copy.

Once you open up the page and start walking them through the copy, now you’re going to speak to layout suggestions, you’re going to speak to any of those kinds of things, including frameworks, formulas, like, “Oh, you remember that the word recycling came up, so we took that, and we had this other segment we were going to say anyway. We used this formula to write it.”

So you’re going to then walk them through the copy itself. This is like the lead-up to the copy review, what I showed you today. Actually walking them through the copy, yeah, you want to help them understand frameworks, formulas, anything like that that will help them understand why you made the decisions that you did so they don’t question it.

Katie says, “What if you write primarily content rather than website copy. Not sure about doing a presentation with those types of projects, ongoing work with the same client.” It’s true. When I’m talking about copywriting, I’m not talking about content writing, so writing a blog post is gonna be very different from writing a homepage. It might be similar to a sales page, ’cause there are similar techniques used in writing that narrative sort of style, but yeah, it’s different.

I am a conversion copywriter rather than somebody who … I don’t write content for clients. I’m sure somebody has some training out there on that. You can modify this, right? Don’t minimize the importance of getting your client to buy in to what you’ve done. If you find yourself getting feedback that is not useful, this is a great way to start avoiding that feedback entirely without having to be prescriptive with how they’re allowed to use your copy, where you’re like … or how they’re allowed to react to your copy or content, instead of saying, “Oh, please don’t send back I like statements.” Or people are gonna be like, “I’m gonna send back whatever I want.”

When you talk them through things, they’re less … you’re showing them rather than telling them. So you can show them everything that you did to get to a place with your blog post, if you’re getting crappy feedback or useless feedback. If you’re not getting that, client trusts you. It’s fine. You don’t have to worry about it.

Okay. Victoria says, “And for physical products, I feel like this is a great framework for SaaS and other online solutions.” Try it. I work primarily with SaaS, but it’s not really that useful in … I hear a lot, and this isn’t, Victoria, why I’m saying this to you, there’s lots of reasons not to do something. Don’t do it then. If it’s not gonna work for you, but you have to try it first, so try it. I mean, try it. I guess the question is, are you selling it online still? Because this is for SaaS, but it was the exact same for SweatBlock which is a consumer product, so I don’t understand the distinction, if you want to clarify, that would help, Victoria.

Oh, like, doing interviews, you mean, or the presentation? Okay, ’cause she followed up here and says, “Especially for customer interviews.” Some other ways that you’re going to find your message for really any product is you just want to go listen to the customer. How hard is it to get access to the customer? Sometimes it’s going to be extremely difficult. Consumer products are like that, certain services are like that. I worked with eDiscovery solutions where talking to people … There’s a lot of secrecy around some things. But if your job is to go find the message and voice of customer data, you have to access voice of customer data.

Where do you do that? If you can’t talk to a customer, can you get some surveys done of customers? Can you do polls at some point? Can you do something to help you better understand where they’re at, what they’re thinking, what their objections are, what their hopes are, all of that kind of stuff. Review mining solves this problem again and again and again. It is why I talk about it so much. You can find your message quickly. You can find messages that mothers living in India who have three children and care about bicycles … You can go find that really quickly. That’s a dramatic example, but you can do that.

Go do review mining. If it’s hard, if you’ve got challenges with all the other stuff, do review mining, do content audits, anything that’s already published online, that’s what you can work with. Ideally, it’s published by somebody who doesn’t have anything to gain by sharing it, which is like a review mining session. People left the review because they had a reaction to something, good or bad. It’s good to go through that. I hope that helps. Thanks for clarifying because I was like, “I don’t know what you mean.”

Alessandra says, “Is the current Edgar homepage using your copy?” No. That is a discussion we tested, and the one that went out wasn’t the winner, so nope, they’re not using it right now. That happens all the time, by the way. Not every test is gonna be a winner.

May said, “Is it necessary to have a tone to every brand?” May, that is an enormous question, and we will cover it in another tutorial. Sorry, we can’t cover it right now, but we can talk about voice and tone in another one absolutely. Tone and voice. Anyway, we’ll talk about that in another one. I want to because I love talking about it, but we’ll save that for another tutorial, thanks.

Anonymous says, “What’s a good way to send copy drafts to client where you maintain complete control until they approve the final version and pay the invoice?” Your clients aren’t paying your invoices. That sucks. It’s really hard to say unless you PNG it and throw it in InVision. If you can turn it into a PNG or a PDF, put it in InVision where the client then is only able to leave sticky notes on the copy, then they can’t copy and paste that into another document.

But I really hope that you can trust the clients that you have better than that, and if the clients that you’re working with can’t be trusted with the raw version of your copy, yeah, you need better clients. I know that might sound easier said than done, but that could be a really good use for your time is actually figuring out how to get better clients now because you need to be able to trust them to pay invoices. You just do.

In the meantime, with the clients you have, yeah, turn it into a PDF or PNG and upload to InVision. Yeah, view only for Google Docs can be a thing except that they can usually go in and hit make a copy and just make it their own copy. So they can take yours and resave it into an editable version. So, yeah, PNG might be the easiest way to go, and InVision, I think you can have three free uploads in InVision, so if cashflow is a challenge, because your clients aren’t paying your invoices, then you can still use the free version of InVision.

Al says, “What was the case study you were presenting when the Meet Edgar client said?” It was a SweatBlock case study that we talked about on the Copy Hacker’s blog, and I’ve talked about it at a couple of conferences because it was awesome.

Okay. No worries, Victoria, thanks. I do have a review mining post. “Wow,” says XT1635-01, “Do you have a review mining post?” Yeah, I do. If you Google Amazon. If you go onto and then search the … Oh, Brian, thank you. Brian just chatted it out. I don’t know if he did that one, I can’t see the full link. Maybe. Anyway, just go to, and in the search field enter Amazon or enter review mining, and it’ll come up, and you can see there’s a video on there of how to do … actually, I did a tutorial on it as well, so if you go to Free Tutorials as well, you can find that there. Cool.

And Natalie, I think this is the last question. Natalie said, “Ever have a time where all the copy ideas just bombed? Got to be the worst nightmare in any presentation.” I don’t think I’ve had it bomb because you’re setting up the review. One time just occurred to me. But you’re setting up the review in such a way where they can see that the decisions you made came from voice of customer data. You automatically frame the conversation around, “How you react to this isn’t gonna be the point. It’s not the point at all. The point is, here’s what your users are saying, here are some key messages that we can pull out of that and the way we believe we should organize those. I’m not getting into messaging hierarchy here because this isn’t the full report which we can get into another time,” or whatever else.

Most of the time, you’d frame it in such a way where they don’t have a reaction like, “That’s the worst thing we’ve ever seen.” The one time that did come to mind, the one time, it was awful. I presented to a client. He’s a super nice guy. He was actually one of the few other clients I’ve known, like, had an in-person meeting with because he lived in Victoria when I lived there. I presented all of the findings leading up to it. I hadn’t written the copy.

I was kind of dabbling in agency business model at the time, so I had copywriters working for me, and it had been this disaster getting this page together. The copywriter didn’t do a good job, got their draft to me really late on Friday, and the meeting was early on Monday. Always a good idea not to book a meeting first thing Monday in case things went really wrong. Couldn’t do anything on the weekend. I was swamped, I couldn’t do that either, so we had to present copy that I was not confident in, and the client wasn’t happy. That was so ooh. We got through that. Sadly, that copywriter didn’t stay with us after that, meaning it didn’t work out. But yeah, that’s happened that one time, and I still blush to remember it ’cause it was like, “Aw, damn it.” I should have moved the meeting.

And Meg, hey Meg, says, “Is that Envision?” It’s It used to be, so I don’t know if they’ve since purchased InVision, but do, and at least it should redirect there.

Okay, everybody, thank you for staying on, sure no prob, thanks for staying on, all those who could for 45 minutes total. That was awesome. Yes, I will send out a recording after this, and we will let you know in that email, hopefully, what we’re going to share with you next week. Okay? Good luck presenting to your clients. If you think you shouldn’t do it, you should. It will make them feel very confident in you. So good luck, and we’ll see you next Tuesday everybody. Thanks, bye.

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