The Practice: Rapid-Fire Headlines

Presented live on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

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Why would a sane person want to participate in The Practice… and why can’t we just have a normal ol’ Tutorial Tuesday today?

Well it just so happens that the feedback we get MOST often is to offer more hands-on practice.

So that’s exactly what this is.

Take the theory you already know… and use it to do the work.

To build strength as a hands-on copywriter.

To build muscle memory so you can write anything faster.

And this session is going to be a fast one indeed…

Rapid-Fire Headlines is the name of the game today.


Joanna Wiebe: Tons of people here to make The Practice work today because it is The Practice in today’s Tutorial Tuesdays. I don’t know how many of these are going to do live. We’re going to be pre-recording a bunch of them. But I don’t know the live because it’s an undertaking.

What to Expect in This Tutorial [00:25]

So we are going to walk you through how it works right away. Rashi’s going to share her screen. Cool, cool. And let’s go to the agenda, you will be seeing this setup throughout the entire practice session.

And we’re going to get going in two minutes and she has two minutes on the clock to explain how it works. So I’m going to set up this practice session.

The Game-Plan – 2 minutes [00:48]

  • 2 mins: How it works
  • 2 mins: The product 
  • 3 mins: Flash card writing
  • 1 min: Reflect
  • 5 mins: Flash card writing
  • 1  min: Shortlist
  • 2 mins: Final round

How it Works – 2 minutes [00:50]

This is the agenda for what we’re going through today. we’ll have two minutes to look at the products, and I’ll explain what that all means to you. Then we’re going to get into flash card headline writing. So today, the practice is 100% focused on writing headlines. 

So there will be flashcards showing you headline formulas. I’ll be doing the writing as well, so that’s what you’re going to see over here on the right. My screen; where I am. Don’t worry, I’m just as lost as you are in seeing these headline formulas

We’re going to learn about the product. So, there will be three different products or you can write for a product you’re already writing for. So let’s say that you have a client or it’s for your own business and you want to rewrite the headline on a page. This is where we practice doing the actual work. If you don’t have a client or a business that you want to write for, we’ll show you three, and that’s coming up right away. How long until we switch to the product and how long do we have before we switch to the product, Ange?

Angela Stojanov: You still have 55 seconds.

Joanna Wiebe: Okay. Last time we had timers right up on the screen, but it was getting nutty up here. There was too much going on. So we pulled those out. Ange will be timekeeping. Rashi will be moving through the slides. Sarah will be keeping everything under control over in chat if you do have any questions there.

I think that’s about it. We’re about to dive into first getting familiar with the product. So three against three different products we’re proposing that you take a look at and then write for, to be clear. So, though, there’s a software company – SaaS. There is an ecommerce and then there’s, I think a service. I can recall, you’ll see that right away or whichever one feels most comfortable to you to actually practice on. That’s what we’re going to do. And we’re just going to dive in.

The Product – 2 minutes [02:40]

All right, let’s do this. I’m going to switch over to my screen where I can write and go.

Rashi Mehra: Guys, two minutes to immerse yourself in the product. You’ve got three different businesses to write for, to choose from. Just pick one. So you’ve got Airtable which is SaaS, Yankee Candle company, Foundr, which is training. So, ecommerce, training or SaaS. And if you want to take a look. 

This is two minutes for you guys to just poke around. Get to know the product. Who are they? What do they offer?

Joanna Wiebe: Yep. So I’ve chosen one. I’m going to use Airtable, although it’s a product I don’t quite understand. I kind of know it, I, I kind of know it. So I’m going to spend my time quietly going through and learning about it. So I can see what benefits, features, outcomes etc. I might need to use to write some headlines for it. 

I’m also going to choose the product page, I think, to write the headline for that page. So that’s where I’ll focus. If you want to focus on a single page, do it. Just go right now to get familiar with it. I’m going to do the same for the product I’ve chosen, again which is Airtable.

Rashi Mehra: Another big hint for the work coming up ahead with the drills is you also want to think about the desired outcome each business brings to your audience. So think about that because that’s really going to help you with the headline exercises coming up.

Angela Stojanov: 20 seconds.

Joanna Wiebe: Whoo. So I’m on the Airtable site and I’m trying to look for the “so that what” so I understand the benefits and that’s not really leading with me “so that what.”

Angela Stojanov: Next.

Joanna Wiebe: Yay. Oh, we’re in

Flash card writing – 3 minutes [04:49]

Rashi Mehra: Okay, so we’re in. So we’re already at the first headline until you have 30 seconds. To write with this formula: the future of ______ is _____.

Joanna Wiebe: Don’t show the other formulas Rashi. 

Rashi Mehra: Oh, thank you.

Joanna Wiebe: Okay. All right, I’m in.

Rashi Mehra: You can see Jo writing on the right, but just focus on your own screen, the future of ______ is _____. Pick that one business and go for it.

Angela Stojanov: So, five seconds.

Joanna Wiebe: What? Already? Um, okay. I don’t know!

Rashi Mehra: Okay, next one: Heavy on _____. Light on _____.

Remember, this is just practice. Just have fun. Put words on the page.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds. 

Joanna Wiebe: Damn it!

Angela Stojanov: And next!

Joanna Wiebe: No!

Rashi Mehra: Delightfully _______. Surprisingly ______.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… Next!

Rashi Mehra: Right. The easiest way to ______.

Guys, we’re almost done with the first round. So, keep it up.

Angela Stojanov: And five seconds… Next.

Rashi Mehra: Right. Your _____. Powered by _____.

Joanna Wiebe: I’m reading through the website in case it looks like it’s…

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds

Joanna Wiebe: That one’s hard. Oh no, 

Angela Stojanov: Next!

Rashi Mehra: Right, next one. Now you can ______ without _____.

The last one, actually. So, last one for this round. So just take it home.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… Good job, and next

Reflect – 1 minute [08:25]

Rashi Mehra: How was that?

Joanna Wiebe: Awful. It was awful. No, so I went into it like, okay I don’t know what Airtable really does. I’ve been invited to Airtables. I don’t ever make them. So I don’t know what it’s like. And then going through the website, which, of course, when you look at it, things make sense. 

Until you try to really understand the value of this solution, which isn’t being well expressed there. So it’s hard, and I had to make stuff up. I don’t know. Is it powering your businesses growth? I don’t know. I have no idea. So far it is hard.

How’s everybody feeling? I know I thought it was like Asana as well. Sounds like it’s gonna be easy. People are saying it was fun, super fun. The time flew. Yeah, I was getting mad at Angela. I’m like, stop lying, it can’t possibly thirty seconds already.

Angela Stojanov: Ten seconds left of reflection here.

Flash Card Writing – 5 minutes [09:24]

Rashi Mehra: We have five minutes. The next sprint is five minutes. Every thirty seconds we’re going to put a new headline in front of you. These are a little bit harder, but they’re more formulaic so just keep that in mind. Keep that desired outcome in mind that you guys hopefully found in the last…

Angela Stojanov: And next

Rashi Mehra: Okay. The secret of making {unexpected emotional outcome}. 30 seconds. List your unexpected emotional outcomes.

Joanna Wiebe: The secret of making Joanna’s life hell. Okay. The secret of making… what’s the unexpected emotional outcome for Airtable? Gosh, I hope everybody else chose Yankee Candle.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… and next.

Rashi Mehra: Alright. Does your ______ ever embarrass you?

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… and next! 

Rashi Mehra: Alright. It sounds incredible that you can {unexpected outcome}.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… and next.

Rashi Mehra: Alright. How much is ____ costing your ____ ?

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… and next.

Rashi Mehra: Alright. How to improve your {thing struggled with} in one evening.

Joanna Wiebe: How to improve your {thing struggled with} in one evening. Huh? Oh, yeah.

Rashi Mehra: You guys are almost halfway through, by the way.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… and next.

Rashi Mehra: Alright. It’s a shame for you not to _____ when {number of people} do it so easily.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds…and next.

Rashi Mehra: Alright. I {most desired outcome} and saved money too. We’ve got three more after this, that’s it.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… next.

Rashi Mehra: Are they {perceived strength in others} right under your nose?

Joanna Wiebe: Are they writing better headlines than you right under your nose?

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… and next.

Rashi Mehra: Next one is just drop a testimonial in there. “{Testimonial}”

Joanna Wiebe: So find a testimonial…

Rashi Mehra: Or write one. Yeah. This is the second to last one.

Joanna Wiebe: It’s too hard. I have to go into case studies. Everyone on Airtable, I feel you. Yep. Okay. Oh, oh, I got one.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… next.

Rashi Mehra: Alright, last one. You know what’s better than {outcome}? Nothing.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… and done!

Joanna Wiebe: Is that it?

Angela Stojanov: Now it’s one minute.

Shortlist – 1 Minute [16:12]

Rashi Mehra: One minute, but we’re making the shortlist, so go through and pick your favorites. You’re going to polish them for two minutes in the next round. And that’s it for the day. But just take the next minute to kind of pick your faves. The ones that you’re going to work on in the next segment.

Joanna Wiebe: Right. People are chatting just to the panelists. Some Holy moly action going on in there. Yeah Yankee Candle company, does your house smell ever embarrass you? Oooohh… 

Interesting. Yeah, I’d be curious to see what people did that’s similar to what other people did. Airtable is a tough nut to crack. I’m not loving writing for Airtable with no idea what they do. So I should probably get on top of learning that.

How long till we have to go?

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds. You asked…

Rashi Mehra: If you guys want to write more, there’s also some formulas that are going to be on the screen as well. Or you can just polish the ones you have.

Final Round – 2 minutes [17:23]

Angela Stojanov: Okay, next two minutes, where every 30 seconds, these will be popping up.

Rashi Mehra: Get your _____ back.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds.

Joanna Wiebe: The one blank, I don’t love. It’s too easy.

Angela Stojanov: Next.

Joanna Wiebe: Too obvious. Okay, what’s next?

Rashi Mehra: This one is a repeat. How much is _____ costing your _____?

Joanna Wiebe: Know what’s better than the smell of your roommates socks? Everything, says Justin. That’s awesome.

Okay, I’m just looking through my now to see… I like this one, this formula. Even though we’re not supposed to comment, but I just did.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds… and next.

Rashi Mehra: The perfect ______. If you want to.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds. Next.

Rashi Mehra: The right _____ can change your life. It’s changed millions already.

Joanna Wiebe: I really hope Airtable is a database.

Angela Stojanov: Five seconds.

Joanna Wiebe: Oh, the right automation can change your life.

Angela Stojanov: And done.

Joanna Wiebe: That’s that?

Rashi Mehra: Yep.

Final Thoughts [19:50]

Joanna Wiebe: Oh. Alright. A round of applause for everybody involved in that. How many headlines did you come up with? Once you get over the panic. The first ones. Many of them, I didn’t even finish. Okay, so I have about forty-five headlines here.

How many do you guys have? Go through Chat out how many you’ve got. Forty-four for Angela, twenty-three for Betsy, that’s so good. And yes, spreadsheety is a word. Just say it slowly because it sounds really bad actually!

Oh, look at all these, twenty-five, thirty-one, fifty-two, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-nine and nineteen. Esai is being very particular. Oh, thirteen for Christian. Come on, Christian.

You gotta redo the practice when the replay’s up. But I’m sure they’re outstanding headlines. Yeah, no, no one’s proud of these. Everybody’s like, those ones are bad. Oh no, I have 45 headlines and none. Because I don’t know what Airtable does.

Like all of these, get your______ back. Terrible. However, you typically see those… that’s kind of what you see on a SaaS website, right? Those really boring ones. But then there are some interesting ones in there. How much is _____costing your _____. I liked it. I liked the, you know what’s better than ______? Nothing. The right ______ can change your life. It’s, yeah, there’s some fun ones.

Okay. Betsy, the secret of making your nose hair stand on end. I can’t stand the smell of Yankee Candles. That’s hilarious! 

Cool. Sarah, thanks for handling chat today. Rashi and Ange, thanks for making the practice go today. And everybody for participating. We’ll see you next Tuesday’s Tutorial Tuesdays is focused on freelancers, or anybody who wants to start speaking on stages. 

We’re bringing in Stefanie, who runs the Shine initiative. What’s it called? It’s just called Shine now, right? I think. Yeah, so stay tuned in for that. But we’ll send you an email about it later. Alright, have a good rest of your week everybody. Bye.

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