The Ultimate Guide Template

Presented live on Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018

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If you target businesses of $10M+ a year, you need an ultimate guide. But here’s what’s probably been stopping you from writing one: it seems like it would take forever, and you’re not even sure what you’d have to include to make an ultimate guide, well, ultimate. In this tutorial, Joanna Wiebe teaches you the core of writing ultimate guides – and walks you through a premium Airstory template for ultimate guides.

Joanna is writing in Airstory writing software


Joanna Wiebe:                     Good morning everybody. Afternoon, evening, depending on where you are. Joanna and Sarah here from Copy Hackers and Airstory and this is Tutorial Tuesdays on January 30th. People are filing in, that is awesome. Someone else just joined. We are recording this session as well, so it will be available afterward. This is a big Tutorial Tuesday for us today, and for you as well if you are someone who wants to create big cornerstone, big content in 2018. You’re going to like this.

So hi to everybody who’s saying hi. People are chatting cool things over. Some to panelists, just to us, and some to everybody. But we’re seeing all sorts of people saying hi from all sorts of places. Victoria, too. I just moved from Victoria. That’s awesome. Oh yeah, back [inaudible 00:00:57], very nice. A place in the UK I can’t say. All sorts of awesome places … Wow. It’s cool. How could I ever have talked to someone from, I’m waiting for some … Worthix? Okay, that’s a company. Like Memphis or Bris- What? This is amazing.

So hello everybody. I’m excited. Sarah’s on mute, but she is excited.

Sarah Dlin:                              I’m excited to see from Baltimore.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Excited. Because Lisbon, right? Okay, cool. So I know that we only have 50 minutes, five, zero for this one. That is 30 minutes more than we normally schedule for a tutorial. That said, we normally take a lot of time with our questions at the end. So Tutorials can end up going 40/45 minutes. I am going to do my best to help you through this template we want to show you today and how to use it, while also leaving time for questions. But we will be stopping right at the 50 minute mark.

So, for some quick housekeeping, for everybody who is here, yay, awesome. Thanks for everybody who was able to make it. We are recording the session, once again. If you want to chat something to us as we go, something happens, you’re like I don’t understand that, it’s good to just chat it over as soon as possible and then I can address it ideally, hopefully. Or Sarah will address it and she’ll probably just write something back to you. If you have a question that you want answered at the end where you can’t afford to have us not answer it, like it can’t be missed, in case a bunch of questions are coming in all at once, it can be really good and you should use the Q and A area, so do use that, if possible. So you’ve got chat for quick things, Q and A for things that are bigger questions that need to be answered, maybe more theoretical or something specific to your unique experience. [inaudible 00:02:56], that’s where [inaudible 00:02:56] from. Alright, cool. Just looking at the chats. Sarah just raised the roof because she’s from 2002, so it’s good.

Sarah Dlin:                              1992.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Yeah. Alright. No, really, 1992. Okay, cool.

Okay, Ultimate Guides. People have already been chatting to us, “Hey, I’m writing an Ultimate Guide right now, this couldn’t come at a better time.” Awesome. So what we’re going to do is, because you are attending here live, Sarah’s going to chat over the link to our premium Ultimate Guide Template. She will chat that over to you. It is only available to those of you who showed up here. I will be showing the link later, but I’m going to blur it out on the recording, so again, well done you for showing up for today’s training.

So that is the template Sarah has just chatted out to you. It is an Airstory Template. You will see why it is made in Airstory when I show you how to use it, because it really is an Ultimate Guide is not a piece to be taken lightly. This is going to be big for most business. You’ll put a lot of promotion work behind it, it does really solid work moving people from top of funnel leads all the way down to bottom funnel. So yay for Ultimate Guides. The challenge of course with Ultimate Guides is actually writing one. As you’ll see when you do add that template to your Airstory Library, your template library, we’re just going to start using [inaudible 00:04:29], it’s 5,000 [inaudible 00:04:34]. And that’s [inaudible 00:04:35].

Sarah Dlin:                              -like weird, you sound like a robot.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Yeah. I’m seeing that. Okay, we’re going to pause because sometimes it’s jut internet.

Sarah Dlin:                              There you go.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Right? It’s just internet. It’s 2018 but that doesn’t mean anything for the internet. So yay, cyber net rises. Jose says totally. Ah, the aliens. Okay, yeah. Emily, nice one. Okay, cool. I won’t just read chats for the rest of the session. If that happens again, yeah I’ll try to pay attention to that. But it usually does just take a moment. If anything freezes, it also might just be a matter of waiting and it’ll refresh and things like that.

Okay. I’m going to share my screen, but I’m going to start by showing you the template you’re going to look at and then I’m going to switch out and walk you through some better practice for writing an Ultimate Guide and then we’ll go right back in and look at the template. So let me share my screen. Okay, you should be able to see Unbounce’s Ultimate Guide to Landing Page Optimization. You shouldn’t be seeing notifications because I have Muzzle App on and yet you are. But nonetheless, so Ultimate Guides that we’re looking to write are things like this that have been created by Unbounce. Canvas factory did something called “The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Dream Wedding.” Marketo has done incredible work and got incredible results with their Ultimate Guide or Definitive Guides.

We’re calling it an Ultimate Guide. It doesn’t mean that you actually have to give it that title in the end, but that is what we’re calling it just for the sake of simplicity throughout this. It will be creating an Ultimate Guide, ultimately. So, yeah, this is really what we’re looking at; is trying to get to a place where we have just outstanding content on a single topic that will help us sell our actual product that we’re trying to sell; that product, service, software, solution, whatever it is that you’re actually trying to move for yourself or for your clients.

Okay, so what this means … Here is the template itself. When you open up this template, you will see basically what we’re looking at right here on the screen. You will always have this available in your template library inside Airstory, which of course everybody here should be using a free account. You do not have to pay in almost every single case. So this is free, this is what you should be using when you are doing writing that really matters; I mean writing that has business goals against it like an Ultimate Guide does that is based heavily on research and things like that.

You’ll always find your template in your template library so you can go in there anytime and create a new project of it in a single click. Just turn it into a new project and it’ll open up like this. You’ll be able to change the title to whatever you want it to be. You can change the description, all of that stuff. You can set your own word count goals. As you can see, if I had a 10,000 count goal, right now this project is at 5,700 words and it’ll just keep counting up and let you know when you get to that place. 57, yes. That’s weird.

Okay, cool. So Ultimate Guide Template has many, many parts to it. Go to the menu, the hamburger menu, and you can see all of the parts down here. I’m not going to do a tutorial of using Airstory, but just so you know you can move these parts around if you wanted to, different sections around just by doing that and dropping them wherever you want them to be. We don’t have time to do a full Airstory tutorial, so I won’t get into that, but these are all the parts you’re going to want to move through, starting with the Read Me. We’re not going to start with this right now, don’t worry, but I’m going to walk you through the parts. This will be deleted, this will never make it into your Ultimate Guide itself. Then you’re going to get into the actual content of it; the introduction, part one, part two, and all of those things. Of course Airstory is freaking out at me right now. Probably because the whole world is trying to use this template. So let’s switch over to … I’m just going to make sure, Sarah, are we having any audio issues?

Sarah Dlin:                              No, we’re good now.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay, perfect. Because there was a slowness there, so I was concerned. We will get in to that template, thanks for those who are saying the template is already awesome, that’s cool. Sarah is of course available. Yeah, Airstory’s being hammered a bit right now. A lot of people using a very large document, which is very cool for us to see how that looks to have so many people using a single template. You will be able to access the document, it will be added to your template library. Sarah will be able to chat over to anybody who needs help with creating an Airstory account, etc.

Okay. Now let me pop into this because I want to walk you through, first, like the whole point of an Ultimate Guide, how to put one together in the first place. As I mentioned in the email about today’s session, we have been contracted for very large amounts to write something that a lot of people think should be something you just kind of whip up and then they try to put an Ultimate Guide together and learn that it’s not that easy after all and so that is why people who have tried writing one will often find that they need to hire someone to come in and do that. This template is here to help you so you don’t have to hire anybody. You can go ahead and do this yourself and this training will help you as well. If you do want to hire someone, that’s another story. But the point is that you should be able to do yourself.

Okay, so let me get into the actual training itself while everybody sorts out all of the adding their template to Airstory and creating an account if you’re new to it.

Okay. So The Ultimate Guide Template Training, brought to you by Airstory. Of course, you have already seen this URL. If you are new, if you are just showing up now, which I don’t know if there’s even any room for anybody else to et in right now, but this is where you’ll want to go. You can go back through the chat as well and you should see it there, too.

Okay, what I want to point out here is that when we’re talking about content, we rarely put real business goals against it and you want to put real business goals against it, especially something like an Ultimate Guide. This is a huge lead magnet. So lead magnets of course are fantastic for companies that are trying to target bigger clients or really just paying customers in general. But it’s not content, so don’t think of it as just content or you might not put that much against it.

You might think of it as something similar to a blog post or something like that. And blog posts are also good and they should also have business goals, but what I want to do is kind of erase any thoughts that you might have about an Ultimate Guide being just a piece of content. It’s actually a sales tool. It is there to move your prospect through stages of awareness just like a long form sales page does. So if you are a copywriter or you’re a marketer who’s familiar with long form sales pages, you are going to see a lot of a long form sales page inside the whole process of creating an Ultimate Guide. So for best results, think of it more as an education focused long form sales page than a piece of content, or even big content.

So when we look at the stages of awareness, which are showing now on the slide. Someone just chatted over something about an awareness chart, which, that’s awesome. So we want to move people from whatever their starting page of awareness is to the point that they have very high awareness of your solution as well as high intent to move on something, on actually implementing it in their business. So in most cases, we’re going to see people who download an Ultimate Guide, they’re going to be Pain Aware, very likely, possibly Solution Aware. So they’re somewhere in between. This is a spectrum. We show it as individual blocks and we show it stacked this way so that you can kind of compare it to the way a long form sales page actually reads from top to bottom, because a long term sales page will move you through that from top to bottom, whichever one that starting stage of awareness is all the way down.

So we want to think about that with the Ultimate Guide; okay, if they’re starting in Pain/Solution Aware, if that’s where they’re starting, then we want to move them through all the way to Most Aware and High Intent. Okay, the reason we believe that they are starting in Pain to Solution aware is because they’re downloading an Ultimate Guide to the thing that is the solution they’re looking for. In most cases, they’re downloading an Ultimate Guide to account based marketing. So they’ve heard about account based marketing, that’s the solution. They’re not downloading a guide to the product for it, like the Ultimate Guide to Marketo. They’re not downloading an Ultimate Guide to trying to get more accounts in your business or to look at marketing differently, which would be more of a Pain Aware thing. They know what the solution is, now they want to explore how to bring that into their lives and how to make their lives better.

So we want to move them from end of Pain, beginning of Solution Awareness through Product Awareness, that’s when they’re starting to become aware of the products that do exist and the features they should have and things like that, all the way to Most Aware where they’re like, “Okay, I know what this solution is, I know what the features are that I need. I know what the actual product is now that I should be considering, and I’m ready to move forward to a call to action, which might be contact us for a free demonstration or for whatever that thing is that you’ll actually use.” And we’ll get into the calls to action as we get into the template. But that is that.

What we want to point out with an Ultimate Guide is it is a big undertaking, so I always recommend that you target your highest paying prospect. So what is your highest paying prospect? In a lot of cases, that’s going to be an enterprise. So even for Airstory, we would target enterprises with our Ultimate Guide to, and I’m going to get into, as an example, what an Airstory Ultimate Guide might be if I was putting one together for Airstory, which I am. So target your highest paying prospect, not the person who doesn’t need an Ultimate Guide, not the single person team who can figure things out and can still download the guide, but doesn’t need the same level of information that the highest paying prospect would need.

And I recommend that you target your highest paying prospect because I’m a conversion copywriter and I always recommend that we target the people you’re going to get the biggest bang from. Like if you can get the most results and best results for your organization, then you should target that group that will give you that. Down the road you can get into different guides that target different groups, but for a real cornerstone piece of content, target your highest paying prospect. So as you’re thinking your Ultimate Guide, think of who that is. And as I do this training, I’m thinking of enterprises in particular. And of course the decision makers who are bringing a solution into an organization and then trying to convince their organization to use it.

Now I have a question here from Lauren, which is, “Would this template work for service based business in wellness, for example, not just for sass?” Absolutely. So when you read through the Read Me at the beginning of the Airstory template, that read me tab, you’ll see that Airstory has tabs just like Excel but ours are up top, when you read through that, you’ll see that when we put a template together, we take the best of what we’ve done and what we’ve done for other clients and what we’ve seen other people do. We template that and then we go through and test the template. So it’s like testing a recipe. You put together the best of what you know, and then you test it and test it and test it to get it right. So when we’re testing ours, we’re saying, “Okay, would this, which we know works for this software solution, this template, this page, this panel, this tab, would that work if I was trying to sell people on buying a food truck franchise?”

Oh, I’m a robot again. I’ll pause for a moment. Okay, hopefully that’s enough. Sarah, let me know.

Sarah Dlin:                              Yeah, it was intermittent and it still is, but right now you’re good.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay, perfect. Okay, good. For some it sounds fine, for others it’s robotic. It will pass and I will, of course I have chat open so I can see when that happens. But yeah, we do test it against different consumer products you might be using this for, services absolutely. If you sell, again, we’re looking at more high end stuff. That doesn’t mean only high end, but that’s what we’re testing it for. Like could you sell a $50,000 consultancy, like a consulting package, with this? That’s the kind of stuff we’re looking for because if you’re going to invest in an Ultimate Guide, you should get real pay out. So know that, when you’re going through the template, that we have reverse engineered what’s done right and that we’ve tried to put it to work again and again and again.

Okay. That’s some basic stuff. Now you are probably thinking as you’re getting into this, “What should my Ultimate Guide even be about.” So what is your topic? Great question. What is your topic, what are you going to do with this? And here is how I recommend that you come up with it because this is how we have come up with our topics in the past. I just heard myself and so I’m worried I’m a robot.

Sarah Dlin:                              You’re good. Again, it was sketchy but you’re good now. If it persists, I’ll let you know.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay, thanks Sarah.

Sarah Dlin:                              [crosstalk 00:18:42].

Joanna Wiebe:                     Okay, perfect. So topic finding, number one … This is if you don’t know what your topic should be. If you know what it is, cool, go with it. Or use what you think that topic is and measure it, just kind of bounce it against what I’m going to show you here and see if you can refine it or make it work better. So what we do is we recommend that because this is your ultimately trying to sell your product, don’t forget that. It doesn’t mean you’re going to sell it with a call to action to buy now inside your Ultimate Guide, but you’re trying to get them to do the next thing that will make them say yes. So brainstorm your key differentiators, or a set of features that are connected to a desirable win for your best prospect.

So you already thought of your best prospect and we’re really talking here again about let’s say that high ping prospect and enterprise. Let’s go with that. So what features does an enterprise most need that my product or solution has. And when I say features, if you’re in a service based business, just to the translation in your head. So, I don’t have features, but what I do have are team members. I have the things that they produce. Actually, that’s like a feature, right? So what do your team members produce? What’s different about you? So go through and just kind of, and you don’t need a sore card, you don’t need to over complicate it. We’re looking for a topic, things can happen. So what might be those features that are your differentiators when it really comes down to it? It doesn’t mean that you always have to differentiate on features, not at all, but let’s not get into those things. Just think about differentiators, features that you have that you know people rave about and that are going to get best results for your prospects. So think about that. Just really let them fly.

Then go up a level form there. So what do those things all have in common? What are the business outcomes that you might get that a person who uses those features would be better likely to get? So that’s where we start with our topic finding. It’s just two very simple steps. Again, if you try to overthink it or push too hard on it, it’s going to break. So just let it happen, just think through this, and then list off some ideas. And there are no bad ideas when you’re in brainstorming mode, right? So just let yourself list off all sorts of different ideas and then you’re kind of Venn diagramming it; like what do they all have in common? What is the bigger outcome or what is the word we would use to describe them? And think about that with inbound marketing, right? Hubspot and Moz together basically created the whole idea of inbound marketing and then, of course, Hubspot wrote the Ultimate Guide on it. That’s the kind of thing that we want to think about.

Now, don’t get overwhelmed because Hubspot and Moz did those things, but, as an example, if I’m writing an Ultimate Guide for Airstory, I know I want to write an Ultimate Guide that’s going to get enterprises to go, “Hey, we need to bring Airstory in. That’s your goal, that’s what you’re writing.” So what are some of those best differentiators that we have? So for us, we would say, okay, well coming out right away is our new workflow feature with controlled track changes. That’s going to be huge for large organizations that struggle to collaborate on a document. Research only settings for teams, as well. So okay, that’s a good feature for people. It’s a team thing that helps them all work well together. Shared team note libraries, so you can have like a shared brain.

So let’s say that those are some of the features that people respond really well to. There are still other features that we know people respond really well to, like the Airstory researcher is one of the … people get most excited about the researcher and how it sends notes, the research, right to your document, or to your note library. People are commenting on it right now, which is awesome. But that’s not going to be the thing that I’m going to focus on here. It’s cool, but is it actually solving a problem for enterprises? Solving a problem for writing in general, but is it solving a problem for my target audience? These ones are, so I’m going to focus on those ones in particular. What do they do? What do they roll up to offer? All three will make teams better at collaborating instead of tripping over each other.

Okay, so we’re starting to get an idea of what our Ultimate Guide is going to be about, what the Pain is that might be driving someone to download this guide and why we are the right people to write this guide. What the topic is? We’re still trying to really land on, but we’re getting there, right? We’re pushing the right ideas around, we’re not worrying about ideas that aren’t going to make it.

So what do I actually call it? The Ultimate Guide to what? Like what fills in that blank? So, a couple ways you could go with this. Find a term: so it’s a term that may already exist, which is good for SEO, like the Ultimate Guide to collaborative writing or to writing as a team. Or you can do like inbound and Moz did and coin it, right? Which is good for owning that term. If you’re the first one to come up with that, great. Of course, if it’s account based marketing, you’re going to write some Ultimate Guide on account based marketing. It’s heavily searched, great for the audience, like a more enterprise audience, etc., etc.

If you’re going to write the Ultimate Guide to personalization, let’s say that you’re Brennan over at Right Message and you want to write the Ultimate Guide to personalization, that term already exists. If you wanted to own something because personalization has all of these nuances and all this baggage and people think it’s hard, then you might want to come up with a different term. And if you just can’t find an existing term, you might want to make it up yourself. Or it might be something that you find yourself saying internally as a team a lot, and that’s where you can come up with that term. But again, don’t overthink this. We’re jus looking a topic. We’re not looking for the absolute final title.

So for Airstory, we might be like, okay, enterprise team writing, we’re just going to throw a bunch of ideas down. Collaboration at scale, enterprise collaboration, enterprise content. The list would kind of go on. Let all those ideas flow. They’re all basically saying the same thing. So whatever one is going to help me kind of stay focused on my goal, that’s the one I’m going to say the Ultimate Guide to Enterprise Team Writing, let’s say. Or Enterprise Writing or Enterprise Collaboration, whichever one those are. They’re all basically the same, right? That’s fine. It’s not your title, don’t make it perfect. Working is enough for now. So you just need a working title, you can refine it as you go.

Now, here’s how we’re actually going to move through the Ultimate Guide to actually writing it. So you always, always, always, always, always start with research. You have a great starting point, you’re not starting from scratch because you’re using the template as it is. So start with that research. And this is like the mise en place idea of before a chef begins cooking, they’re going to have all the things they’re going to need to create that masterpiece they’re looking to create. Everything’s there. And that’s the idea with doing your research first. Have everything you might need there. It doesn’t mean that you won’t keep going out and finding things to fill in the gaps, but don’t start by saying, “I’m just going to start writing and see what happens.” And I’m going to walk you through … It doesn’t mean you have to do intense research, but it does mean you have to do that initial thought work first and foremost.

So what that really means is of course be prepared to the do the research at the beginning, like I said, and fill in gaps as you go. Research includes testimonials for your solution, data points about your solution, so you’re ultimately going to be writing about your solution, getting people on board with choosing yours, awesome, but also quotes about the importance of the topic itself so you can talk more about solution awareness stuff. In the early parts of the guide you’re going to want to talk about the importance of that topic. Data points tied to the topic. You’ll also want to do research and just capture information about the best features and differentiators of your solution. And, of course, best practices for your topic and/or solution.

So you could spend three/four hours working on this stuff alone, getting all the pieces that you need. You might spend one hour because you already have testimonial available, you already know some data points, all you have to do is go out and find some quotes about the importance of the topic, or you’ll use Airstory researcher to go find those and send them back, same on data points; send all that stuff back, and then go through and put your best features and differentiators which you as a team might already have. You might already have repeatable messaging that you already use to describe certain features. And of course those best practices. If you don’t know, though, then talk to the team that was part of creating the solution, including the service or the product or whatever a solution means to you and jot down those best practices. Because, and this is all going to help you throughout the guide because there are actual sections called ‘Best Practices.’

And there are places where you’re going to need columns that are testimonials and data points. So this isn’t useless research. This isn’t like, “You might need it.” You will need all of this stuff, so get this handy beforehand because as soon as you start writing, when it’s time to actually go and put the guide together, you can just drag and drop this stuff right in, hit merge, Bob’s our uncle, you’re happy.

But the research continues because this is an Ultimate Guide and we want it to be awesome. So any personas you might have, stuff for your prospects and market segments. Any pains that are pushing them. [inaudible 00:28:26], sorry about that Brian. If you have a cousin, Bob’s their uncle. Okay, prospect pains pushing them to solution awareness, like why they downloaded the guide in the first place. So if you can get inside why a person would do that, and that’s sometimes just like review mining and things like that. People, businesses, types of people or groups that will get the most success with whatever your topic is that have seen most success. Influencers and what they’ve said about it. Friction points for your prospect to choose you or to switch from the incumbent. So there is an entire section of the Ultimate Guide where it’s all about trying to get your team on board. I just looked at a chat, sorry.

Forces of resistance in decision-making for your prospect. So what are some of the objections you know they have? And not just their objections, but what are some of the things that are going to get in the way? Like they have a big contract that goes on for a year, they can’t implement a new solution yet. Write those things down, know those things so that you’ve got them and when it comes time for you to write sections that are about trying to get inside your prospects head, you’ll have all of that stuff handy. So let’s say three weeks from now after you’ve done the research, you finally have time in your calendar again to actually write this, you’re going to need all of these pieces handy. So make sure that you have those documented.

Work with your team as well to get them to add notes to you Airstory template. If you are in the template right now and you click the notes library for that project, you’ll see that there are already a lot of notes in there that you will just fill out based on the tags that are shown there. I’ll show you that in just a second as soon as we move through this.

So again, objections the prospect has, objections their team has, or their environment, people who influence them like their family if this is a personal decision, like buying a franchise or something like that. Must have features. Even if you don’t have those features, you still need to know what your prospect expects. Just because you don’t have them doesn’t mean you can’t still convince the prospect to choose you. But acting like that’s not important will not help you write this guide well. So all the must have features, and I mean must have. I don’t mean wish to have. I mean, if your prospect is going to switch to you, what are those must have features that they have to have? What do they currently have that they can’t live without? Write those down. This is a bigger point, but how to convince your prospect and their team? Your whole goal is how to convince a prospect and their team, but nonetheless, we do want to document if you have, if you know you’ve got some language that’s really good for convincing them, awesome.

The timeline to bring about this desired change in their life. So how long does it generally take for a prospect to go from the point of having their first call with you to maybe doing a pilot project or starting to bring your solution in house to fully change it. Knowing that will help you when you actually have to fill up the part of the Ultimate Guide, which has a timeline in it. Now if you’re like timeline isn’t a problem, ours is really something where they’re not switching from an existing solution, which is rare because there’s always something they’re using instead, but there will be sections of the guide where you’re like, “I really don’t see how this would apply for mine,” then you might not need it. But for a lot of us when we’re trying to get a higher paying prospect onboard, they will have needs to understand timeline implementation because they’re going to have to talk to decision makers about this.

And decision makers will be like, “Okay, well talk me through what this is going to look like when we try to switch to this new product.” And if they don’t have answers to that, now they don’t look good and they don’t like that you didn’t make them look good. So if you set them up to look good, that’s awesome. If they can forward this of course to other decision makers, they can forward your Ultimate Guide, and say, “Hey, checkout page 20 where it shows the actual timeline, which I mentioned to you in the meeting earlier today,” that’s fantastic. And also, keywords and glossary ready phrases. That’s actually the fun, easy part of it. Although once you start doing it, it can feel like, “ugh, glossaries.” But that’s another great point of research that you have to do because there’s a whole glossary section, which can be really, really useful.

Go through the Read Me. Again, here are the main sections. Now I just talked to you about research, so I want to talk to you, I want to finish that off before I really get into it. Again, if you have the Airstory Researcher installed, that’s this little Chrome extension way up here, then that will help you to research on things that are outside of your team, like things that you have to go look up about your topic; again, looking at data points about your solution and quotes from influencers, things like that. The Researcher’s great for that stuff, looking up objections people have to the solution you’re talking about, to the topic that you’re writing on, etc. Concerns, worries, all that stuff, that’s all good research to do in the Airstory Researcher. So we want to go into our note library, which opens up here. And I’m going to pull this all the way over, like the Ultimate Guide’s going to go behind it, so don’t worry. It’s going to change. But you can go in and see that. There are already a lot of pre-written notes for you to complete.

So, go through and have a look at these tags. Now if you were to go through and say, “Okay, I’m going to sit down and spend three hours just filling in these alone, or two hours, or I’m going to power through in an hour and see what I can get.” Just go through and look at the tags. So the things that you need, like around influencer quotes, etc. I’m going to start down at the bottom because I know how this card library, not library, we just changed the name, sorry, has been put together. So I recommend that you start down here. So open up these cards. This is pain driving prospect interest. Everybody’s doing this at once, so Airstory’s flipping out. And you just want to fill these in. Just go ahead and write down whatever that pain is that you know is driving prospect interest. So this is you going through and doing this work by yourself or with your team.

So have your team go in and create these. Just fill in new notes if there are new things that they want to add, but like this. Ideal reader, so you want to do a card on your ideal reader or market segment. This might also be called a persona, if you decide that that’s like the language you guys use internally. So you can fill that in. Objections that a team might have. So one objection, one note per card. That makes it most useful. So don’t put a bunch of objections into a single note, put one single objection into each note, not a bunch. I hope that was clear because I think I just said it wrong. One point per note. Okay, I’m going to close that down.

Differentiators, your primary high value differentiator goes here. That way, when you’re filling in the section on high value differentiators, or your number one differentiator, all you have to do is search for this tag and drag that note right in. Or, if you don’t want to drag it in, just have it handy. Okay. So these notes are there. Hansa just said where is the note. So you should be seeing the note one, showing on my screen, two these come from, when you go into Airstory, and do note library, the notes will open there. I’m going to close this, just put it off to the side.

Okay, so the notes all happen over here. Again, there are a pre-filled spaces for you to put the notes you will need to complete in order to do this Ultimate Guide. Almost everything you’ll need, if you fill in those notes, once you have that research done, then all you’ll have to do is drag those notes in. So doing that initial work, I know everybody wants to jump in to just filling stuff in the guide. I don’t recommend that you jump right in ever. Bit of a rookie mistake being like, “I’m just going to throw a whole bunch of ideas down.” Don’t do it. Do the mise en place thing where you have all of your research in a single place and you can just access it when you need to. Use only the parts that you need to.

And of course as you’re writing in Airstory, you can keep notes alongside you as you go. So if you have one note in particular that you don’t want to drag into a page, but you want to use it when you’re writing a certain section, etc., you don’t have to drag it in, you can just pull the note out or just click the note and it will just, and this can happen for multiple notes, you can have all sorts of notes stacked up as you write.

Okay. I know we’ve got twelve minutes left in the session, so I’m going to walk you through not necessarily each part here, but how you should go about filling this in. You will think, most people will think, okay I’ve done my research, I’ve got a whole bunch of information, I’ve followed Joanna’s training on this and did the research, I’m good to go with that. I’m ready to start so I’m going to go to introduction and start writing. Do not start at introduction. What I strongly recommend is the same thing I recommend when you’re writing a long form sales page and that is start at the part where you’re introducing your solution. So that’s actually starting to talk about your product. That’s the easiest part to fill in for most of us. Knowing what we do know about products, when you’re going through the whole research side, and again I say product, but that also means service or whatever other solution you’re selling with an Ultimate Guide.

Start with the thing that you know, that you know best. If the glossary is the thing you know best, go straight down to the glossary just to get through something. I think the glossary is here in 10B. Just haul ass down to that part, fill that part in so you can start chipping away at that. But what I really want you to do is start around the part where you are beginning to talk about your product.

So I’ll show you that when we get there, but let’s start first with introduction just so I can walk you through it in the next five minutes. This is where you are just doing that introductory, kind of executive summary of what’s about to follow while hitting on the pains that drove them here, right? So we want to make sure that they remember when they download this guide and decide to read it later on the plane, and absolutely people read these. You will be surprised. Just because you don’t read them doesn’t mean decision makers don’t read them. If it’s actually a really good Ultimate Guide, someone told them to read it someone shared it with them, or they found it and they bought into what you were saying on the landing page, they will read it.

So we want to remind them, if they downloaded it last week and they’re on a plane now and they’re reading it on the plane, do they remember, do they feel the same things they felt when they first went looking for it. So don’t give up the chance to be a copywriter at every point in your content creation process. Again, this isn’t just a piece of content, this is a sales tool. So think of everything you’re doing in here as persuading them, as getting them to say yes. And that starts with reminding them of the things they were feeling by making them feel them again when they first even went looking for a solution like this. So this is kind of that executive summary.

As you go through, use the comments along the side. You’ll see comments from me along the side where you can go and say, like, “Oh, okay, describe the persona to which this Ultimate Guide is targeted or the job to be done for the ideal reader.” That’s here, that’s where your ideal reader … You want to know who your ideal reader is and always be sure to revert back to it, not just for yourself but for reviewers. So make sure that you write the ideal reader statement in here, like who this is really for, what that enterprise, decision maker, or the person who brings it toward the decision maker, what they’re all about. Okay, so do that, make sure you don’t delete this before you have everybody on your team collaborate and review, okay? Cool. So you don’t start here, but that is what introduction is.

Part One is, op ed solution, oh, let me just, my comments are stacking on each other again. There’s a lot going on with Airstory and all the people in it right now, which is awesome. Okay. So let me go over to Part One. Okay, cool. So again, use the comments, they’ll help you out as you go through. Use read me, that opening tab so you know exactly why some things are highlighted and other things are not. But this is the beginning where you talk about … If you were writing a long form sales page, this is the part where you’re talking about the solution. So not your solution, not your product, nothing branded yet, you’re still just talking about really the topic. So if you’re writing about account marketing, what is account based marketing? Why is it [inaudible 00:41:13].

Sarah Dlin:                              Jo.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Yes?

Sarah Dlin:                              You’re a robot again.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Ugh. I’ll pause.

Sarah Dlin:                              And?

Joanna Wiebe:                     And?

Sarah Dlin:                              Nope. Still there.

Joanna Wiebe:                     It’s, yeah.

Sarah Dlin:                              Oh. Try now.

Joanna Wiebe:                     Now?

Sarah Dlin:                              Yay.

Joanna Wiebe:                     I’m not human, it’s true. I love the little robot, little emoji guy I got chatted, that was awesome. It’s the internet telling me it’s time to wrap up.

I’m very excited about this. I do want you to go through every section and have a look at all the parts of it, knowing that some of … Like, it’s all built to be flexible for you. Do your best to complete it as it is and sections that just don’t feel like they work, just let them go. Just delete them. If it’s not working for you, delete or replace with something that you know is a better fit for you. Again, there’s so many things you can write an Ultimate Guide for that … Sorry, I just saw Phil’s comment on the growl of frustration. But there are so many things that you could write an Ultimate Guide for that there might be cases where you’re like, “Hmm, that’s not going to work for me, but you know what I need here,” and then just put that part in. But be sure to put together a convincing argument in favor of somebody choosing your solution.

Part Three is, again, more about getting buy ins. So this is about knowing when you filled in that section around implementation challenges, like the research I was talking about earlier, team objections to switching, the decision maker’s objections, the people who are reading this, their objections, the whole team. The more you know about that, the easier this section is going to be to write. Do that research up front and when you get here, you won’t suffer from writer’s block because you won’t be blocked, you’ll actually know what to put in there.

Part Four is preparation and this is where we’re starting to think, like to work through … Once your team is like, “Yeah, cool, let’s do this,” now what happens? Now how do we start getting everybody on board with this, with bringing this solution into our organization? What are the things we do? It’s followed by an optional thing where it’s like, okay, what if you have to bring in an expert to consult on this going forward?

Then Part Six is where we really start to get into selling. We’re starting to get into now talking about the product that you’re trying to sell. This step three is where you’re absolutely digging into what your product does best. So this is where I recommend you start, with Part Seven, that’s step three. Start here when you’re filling this in. Move through from Part Seven and then all the way through to the end. I don’t know why Part Nine is there. Oh, because I moved it, that’s why. So hold on, Part Eight has to go, Joanna, right there. So good, now Part Eight is next to it. But start at Part Seven, then move through all the way to the end. Once you’ve got that solved, go back to the beginning and you can start to then work from the top, figure out your look, figure out what’s so important to your prospect, and write that out.

Okay. There are four minutes left. I hope that you have what you need to start working through this Ultimate Guide template and writing your own. I know there are a bunch of questions, so I’m going to stop sharing. We have four minutes left. Thanks Sarah for fielding all the things that were coming in a long the way. Thanks everyone for technical patience.

Alexis says, “Hi there. How do we get access to the five e-books you sell?” That’s a separate topic, we don’t sell them on our site right now. When we want to do something to help, like we did a UNICEF drive last year where we raised $17,000 I think for UNICEF just by selling e-books at that time. So that’s why we bring the e-books out, it’s just for things like that. Thanks Alexis.

Let me jump to one. So Sharmain says, “How do Ultimate Guides compare to White Papers?” Ultimate Guides are more robust than a White Paper. They’re also most sought out today than a White Paper, in our experience creating content. So White Papers are generally shorter, generally. This doesn’t mean these have to be the rules, but they are a shorter piece and they’re not meant to move you through the full stage awareness spectrum. An Ultimate Guide should take you from a very to top of funnel spot all the way own to the place where you’re like, okay, bottom of funnel, I am ready to move on this. Who do I call? What do I do? How do I make this happen? A White Paper doesn’t necessarily do that. That doesn’t mean that it can’t, but I don’t find White Papers as useful. I don’t think they have the same reputation, also, as an Ultimate Guide does. But hopefully that’s helpful. It comes down to you could call this a White Paper, it would just be a really intense White Paper.

So anonymous asks, “What’s an example of an Ultimate Guide and how is it different from a White Paper?” Another White Paper question. Some of the Ultimate Guides, if you joined late, Marketo’s got a lot of Ultimate Guides, they’ve been huge for their business. This is an example of one of the ones that we used as well when creating this Ultimate Guide, just a reference point for us. And of course Unbounce does Ultimate Guides, Neal Patel does Ultimate Guides. There are a lot of Ultimate Guides out there. So really search Ultimate Guide and Google will just fill in other things.

Two minutes left, okay. Donna asks, “Does this make sense for products all price ranges? Any dynamic there?” I recommend that you think of an Ultimate Guide … If you’re going to invest in an Ultimate Guide, you want to make money off it, you want it to be a useful sales tool. If you don’t need it as a sales tool, don’t write it. If you do need it as a sales tool, then why do you need it as a sales tool? If you need it as a sales tool, why is it challenge to convince people to buy write on your site on a single sales page? If it’s not, if you’re like, “Oh, no, I can just optimize my sales page and it would be fine,” okay, good. Just optimize your sales page, don’t worry about an Ultimate Guide.

If you’re in a place where you are like, “We get all these leads, they’re top of funnel, they’re good leads, but we don’t have the resources to close them because we don’t have a sales team to come in and demo all this stuff and talk them through everything,” an Ultimate Guide can do so much of that work so that when a person actually gets to the end of it, they’re in a really good place and your sales team can be smaller and do a lot less work. They’re like 70% of the way sold versus 25% of the way sold. So it doesn’t make sense for products in all price ranges. If you wouldn’t consider yourself as having a business with a sales force, it still makes sense, but the way that we talk about writing it is really made for, again, those big companies that have engaged us to create theirs where on the line it’s like, we want to close enterprises, we need to get them in here, it has to be a really desirable topic for that enterprise, and then we have to make sure that it kills it throughout. So you can do it for any price, but I recommend that you do it just for the most expensive product that you can because you stand to make a really good business out of it.

That is absolutely the end. Thank you, Sarah. I said, “Sarah, you have to tell me when to end” because I’m going over on to a webinar right now, a different webinar on e-commerce stuff. So if you have signed up for that, I will see you in ten minutes over there. And thanks everybody for this. Thanks Sarah for answering questions. Thanks everyone for asking questions and your patience with loading things and my robot voice. The aliens are coming. This recording will be available. The actual template will only be available to those who are on this today. Every body else, it will be $20 for everybody else afterwards, but we’re hearing so many good things about it. Thanks for all your chats that you think it’s money well spent. Yeah, so watch the recording again and good luck with it. Let us know how it goes as well, okay? Have a great day. Thanks everyone. Bye.

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