- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 01/12/2009
- Writing for the Web
Are you squeamish? You wince when you get too close to a caterpillar?. And you cover your eyes when your favorite football player gets tackled by most of the opposing team? That’s fine in your personal life. But many people who write ebooks lose money because they can’t face their audience’s pain. The truth is: readers wil buy your when they’re in pain — physically, psychologically, and/or economically. Begin by asking yourself, “What motivates clients to buy your information products and your services?” Many professionals answer, “Some of my clients wouldn’t mind having…” or, “They’ve been thinking about making some changes,…” or, “I want to raise their awareness…” But readers rarely buy information products that are “nice to have.” They buy when they want to relieve their pain. For example: Mindy decides to set up an Internet-based coaching service. She’s optimistic and energetic. She picks up a website marketing guide and creates her website. Any copywriter will realize Mindy needs help. But Mindy won’t look for a copywriter until she realizes she’s in pain. She won’t invest in a course till she registers zero sales for several months.
Let’s face it: people buy when they feel pain. They want money, love, self-esteem, health, or weight lo
ss. They may seek an answer to a very specific question, like, “How can I stop my divorce?” “How can I lose twenty pounds and still eat in restaurants?” Now you have to reach your client’s pain and show that your book will help. Let’s say you’re a professional dog trainer. Clients call with questions like, “How do I stop my dog from chewing up the chair — starting right now!?” You can use contrast to emphasize the difference between “have” and “want.” Ask readers to imagine what life would be like if your dog never showed the slightest interest in sitting on your chair, let alone chewing the arms off. You can deepen the pain. Remind your readers, “Your dog just chewed up one arm of one chair. Are you ready to live in an empty house after she’s chewed up all the furniture?” You can remind readers that this problem has costs that go well beyond simple annoyance. They have to pay to replace the chairs. They will be embarrassed when guests come to dinner and all the chairs have tooth marks. Yon need to create urgency — a warning of future pain. “Each time your dog chews up a chair, he learns, ‘This is fun!’ So if you wait even one more day, you’ll spend even more on training (and on new chairs).”
Finally, you can warn your readers, “The solution to your problem may not be available anywhere else.” You might have a unique system. Or all the specialists might be booked up for months.