Writing Persuasive Brand Copy With Copywriter, Lovelyn Bettison

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Writing Persuasive Brand Copy With Copywriter, Lovelyn Bettison

Lovelyn Bettison and I discuss how to use the power of copywriting for good, how to write persuasive brand copy, lead with benefits and nurture your email list.

One of the most important steps to creating an authentic brand voice is thorough brand research that results in a well-crafted brand copy.

From your brand taglines to your brand story, a good copywriter will research your audience and take inspiration from authoritative brand voice examples to understand what brand tonality, writing style and tone in writing your customers will relate and respond to.

Lovelyn is a copywriter and storyteller who helps coaches use story to strengthen their relationships with prospective clients and turn leads into paying customers.

She specializes in email funnels, offer creation, and business origin stories. In her free time, she writes novels about ghosts, witches, and things that go bump in the night.

Resources mentioned in the interview:

Writing Persuasive Brand Copy With Copywriter, Lovelyn Bettison

Priya Florence Shah:

So today I’m interviewing Lovelyn Bettison. She’s a copywriter and storyteller who helps coaches use story to strengthen their relationships with prospective clients and turn leads into paying customers.

She specializes in email funnels, offer creation, and business origin stories. In her free time, she writes novels about ghosts, witches, and things that go bump in the night.

Oh, what a bio you have! Of course, you’re a writer so I think that comes with the territory. So you also write novels right?

Lovelyn Bettison:

Yes, I do I write ghost stories.

Priya Florence Shah:

Oh, what fun! I wrote a paranormal story that I got in a lucid dream. So that’s where I get my stories from.

Lovelyn Bettison:

I do too. I get my stories from dreams, too. I have a dream that’s like a strange scene or something, and then that’s just a jump-off point for me into a story.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, me too. I get almost the entire story in my dream. So it’s like a movie playing in my dream.

Lovelyn Bettison:

Oh, wow. Good. Yeah. I usually just get the first scene. And then afterwards I’ll think about it a lot. And I’ll figure out how I want the story to end. And then my writing process is just getting from that first scene to that ending that I envisioned.

Priya Florence Shah:

I know. A lot of us writers get inspiration from dreams, so that’s really interesting to know. Okay, so, tell me a little bit about your journey as a copywriter. How did you start your copywriting career and get to where you are now?

Lovelyn Bettison:

I’ve always been a writer and I’ve always wanted to earn a living writing. And in the earlier stages of that, yeah, I was writing basically just writing web content. I was basically working for content mills for a while. Right?

Priya Florence Shah:

I know, right? We’ve all been there. If you’ve been a writer, you have written for a content mill.

Lovelyn Bettison:

Yeah, right. And then, so before I started, actually writing as a career though, I was a massage therapist. So my husband and I, we moved overseas, and I wasn’t going to be able to work as a massage therapist anymore.

We moved overseas, and I thought, “Oh, this is the perfect opportunity for me to start writing professionally.” So I started writing for content mills and mostly writing health stuff because I had worked in the health field before, and I was doing things like writing a lot of articles.

But then I discovered copywriting which I’d never heard of before. I didn’t even know it was a thing really. And I started taking copywriting courses. And I found out that copywriting is a way to write and get paid well and to explore the idea of story which I’m so interested in.

I’m interested in other people’s stories and brand voice and how storytelling works in selling and how people can use stories in their businesses to help customers, prospective customers, overcome objections and feel comfortable with the buying process and also to build a concrete relationship with your customers and keep your business top of mind.

So if they buy from you, again, you know, you’re the first person they think about, so that’s really why I got into copywriting. But it’s so amazing to me how, as someone who was a writer, my whole life, I had never even heard of copywriting as an option for a writer.

Didn’t even know it existed, which seems such a shame, because I could have gotten started so much earlier. And also, it’s just a really good opportunity that so many writers are missing out on because it’s not something that’s widely talked about in the community.

Priya Florence Shah:

Right. I mean, direct response copy started, I think a long ago during the print era. Right? And we had direct response copy for a very long time. I mean, all the great advertising gurus are the ones who started that, the whole direct response copy revolution.

And then I’ve also learned copywriting from people like Gary Halbert. I’m sure you’ve heard of him, right? But I kind of got out of direct response copy, even though it’s a very lucrative field because I had some experiences that were less than optimal.

So I decided to stick to SEO copywriting, which I really love. I love SEO copywriting, and I love blogging. So those are the kinds of copywriting I like.

Lovelyn Bettison:

What experience? Do you mind talking about it?

Priya Florence Shah:

I remember I wrote direct-response copy a long time ago for a product that a friend of mine had created. And it was software and I wrote the copy. And apparently, it was so good that a lot of people bought that software. And then it turned out it was a black-hat software and Google banned a bunch of sites.

So it was like kind of using your power, not for good, you know? So, I got that association. I realized how powerful direct response copy can be when it comes to getting people to buy and I wanted to use it for good and not for selling products that are sub-optimal and that are not good for my readers and my audience. Right?

So I didn’t want to take on jobs where I didn’t believe in the product. You know what I mean? Which is why I prefer writing copy for my own products. I’d rather not write for other people. That’s the reason I got out of direct response copywriting for other people.

via GIPHY

Lovelyn Bettison:

Yeah, that is the thing with copywriting. It’s super-powerful. And so you have to be careful with what you use it for. Yeah, you work with and I see that a lot in the copywriting industry, people who are just willing to write for any old thing and that thing can be a scam.

And I’m uncomfortable with that. That’s why the tagline originally when I put up my website, I’ve changed the tagline since, but originally when I put it up, it was “Copywriting With Integrity.”

And I don’t work with businesses that I don’t believe in. I want to know what you’re selling. I want to make sure that you’re not making up testimonials and all this kind of stuff that happens in the industry because I’m not here to rip people off.

I want to help connect business owners to buyers, but I want those business owners to be business owners who are working with integrity, who have a product that they really believe in, that’s going to help people.

Priya Florence Shah:

Absolutely. Because you really don’t want people to lose money or businesses to suffer because of some product you’ve written copy for. So I kind of had a bad association with that.

Not with direct response copy, in general, because it can be used for a lot of good.  And I’ve read Gary Halbert’s stuff and it’s amazing and he used to be a brilliant copywriter when he was around.

Lovelyn Bettison:

But he also went to jail for mail fraud.

Priya Florence Shah:

Gary? Really, Gary? I don’t remember that. So I must have missed that. So, the thing is it, you have to be very careful about how you’re using that power. It’s like a superpower you know, being able to convince people, the power of persuasion. So you have to be careful what you’re using it for.

Lovelyn Bettison:

Definitely. And words are so powerful. I think people don’t even realize how powerful words are. And you see it in beyond copywriting, advertising. You see it in just everyday normal life.

And in the way that people talk about themselves and each other and the stories that we tell ourselves about what’s possible in the world. And all of these things, they shape your reality and they help to determine your outcomes.

So it’s important to think about what you’re saying, and keep track of that and keep track of what you’re thinking and what you’re telling yourself as possible because you’re shaping your world.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yes, words are very powerful. If you want something to come true, you should repeat it to yourself again and again. So when you write for clients or when you write for yourself, how do you go about creating a story, the brand, you know? I mean, stories are a very important part of branding, right? So how do you go about getting there?

Lovelyn Bettison:

A very important part of branding, yeah. And sometimes I work with coaches and they’re not even aware of what their brand is when they get started.

Like the first thing you need to do is, you need to sit down and you need to think about your personality type and who you are trying to attract into your business, and how you want to present yourself.  That’s the first step.

You need to get the branding part together. And you need to think about very clearly, who your ideal client is. I see too many businesses who are trying to appeal to too many people. They’re like, this will work for everybody.

Well, if you’re trying to talk to everybody, you end up talking to nobody. You need to pick someone and say I’m talking to this person directly. And so you talk to that person directly. So that person is like, “Wow, this thing was made specifically for me.”

And yes, you’ll pick up other types of people along the way, but you really want to focus on your ideal market, like the person that you have decided that you want to target things at. So that’s the first step, the number one step.

And then once you have that together, then you need to think about your voice. How does that ideal person want to be spoken to? What words resonate with them? What stories will they relate to? How do they communicate?

And a good way to figure this out is to go to places where your ideal client is, read the blog post, watch the videos, go to the forums that they would frequent and see how people talk to each other. See how people talk about their problems.

Because as a business owner, you might talk about a problem a certain way and have certain jargon that you use. But that’s not necessarily the words that your customers use. So you need to figure out how they’re talking about things.

And then once you get all of that together, you can start with writing the copy, and addressing their problems in the way that they would talk about their problems, talking about the solutions in the way they would talk about the solutions.

And I run into a lot of coaches, they’re very much into talking about their training and their technique. Yeah, here’s a secret – Your client doesn’t really care about you. They don’t care about you, they care about them. And they want to know that you understand them.

So instead of just talking about where you’ve been trained and what techniques you use that are different than everyone else’s techniques, you need to talk about how you solve the problem, what the solution looks like for the client.

The client has a specific thing that they want and you need to address that specific thing that they want. So for example, if you’re in weight loss, instead of talking about, “Oh, well, you’ll be healthier.” Well, that’s great, you will be healthier, but people want something more tangible and that they’ll be able to see in their everyday life.

So if you’re talking to dads who are overweight say you’ll be able to play with your kids, play basketball or something that they would really want, that they could see in their life. Instead of the abstract, you’ll be healthier.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah. Real solutions and real results. Right? You have to talk about the results. And people don’t care about what degrees you’ve done and what certifications you have and how qualified you are, they really don’t care about that.

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend and I was telling her, you know, all these coaches nowadays, especially in India, we see a lot of coaches who are boasting about the fact that “I’ve done NLP and I’m an NLP trainer,” and I teach all this stuff.

But people don’t care about NLP, they care about the results that you’re going to get them, right? They want to go from point A to point B. So maybe you have to tell them, “I can help you become a happier person.”

Not I’ve done NLP and I’ve done all this and I’m going to teach you NLP. What use is NLP? I want to be a happier person. I want to be a more sorted person. So that’s the result you’re going to give them and that’s what you have to sell, right? Not the certifications and all the stuff that you’re going to teach them. No, they don’t care.

Lovelyn Bettison:

And does the average person even know what NLP is? When you talk about it? They don’t care. They don’t even know what it is.

Priya Florence Shah:

Absolutely. So, you have to talk about the results that you’re going to get them you know? How is their life going to improve after they go to you? And you’ve got to put it in a sentence what you’re going to achieve for them, right?

via GIPHY

Lovelyn Bettison:

Yeah, what you’re going to achieve and what would that look like in their life. Another good thing to do is to have testimonials that mirror what people’s objections would be. So, I have testimonials of clients who, let’s say that someone’s objection to work with us is they just wouldn’t have enough time.

So then, if you had a client who was super-busy but still got resolved, then you have a testimonial from that client who was like, you know, I was so busy doing blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get this result. But in just this much time a day, I was able to, over time, get the result that I want.

So then you’re using the story of the client. I mean of the testimonial to convert them, imagine what it would be like working with you. And imagine that objection that they have to buy not really being an objection or a hindrance. Right?

Priya Florence Shah:

Right. Absolutely. So, a lot of coaches lose sight of that. They don’t really address the client’s problems. They’re just talking about themselves. And it’s all about me. And they think personal branding is all about them.

Actually, personal branding is about how you’re going to help people, what value are you going to add to their lives? Right? It’s all about that. How are you gonna change their lives?

How you’re going to change your client’s life? That is your brand, you know? What solution do you have to offer them? That’s how you think of your brand, right?

Lovelyn Bettison:

Yeah, it is. And in the beginning, it’s hard for coaches to understand that or to see that. It takes some convincing sometimes, but it’s really important and that’s why I like to do a consultation with coaches and talk to them about their story and their training.

I talked to them about that. But I also go through their brand voice, ideal customer and how to do your brand voice and we talk about objections that people would have to working with you.

What are some stories you have that you could tell to counter those objections? Because all of those things need to be worked out if you want to find success.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah. And if you want to write copy that really appeals to your audience, right? You have to be able to not just write the copy.

You also create whatever other creatives you’re doing, like webinars and videos and stuff like that. All those have to address the same objections and the same pain points of your audience.

Lovelyn Bettison:

That’s why they need to get together that whole brand voice stuff first. And then you build. Everything’s built after you have that together because they’re doing everything else. And you don’t have that straight.

They have all these properties online that are different, right? And nothing’s cohesive. And then you have to go back when you finally get your brand together and change everything. So, to start, lay the foundation of what your brand voice is going to be. And then you can build on top of that.

But so many coaches are just really, really gung-ho about this – I have to build my website. Right? And they have to build a website, but they have no idea.

They haven’t even thought about it yet. Exactly who they’re helping and how or who they’re speaking to, but they wanted to slap a website up. You need the foundation first.

Priya Florence Shah:

Absolutely. So when you’re dealing with clients, how do you go about advising them on the brand voice?

Lovelyn Bettison:

I do a consultation call with them where I interview them. And I interview them about their reasons why, for their business and also about who they are targeting who they want to help, who they feel most comfortable working with.

And objections and all of those things like our interview, just talking about everything and helping them lay out a plan cause first you need a plan, right? So before I’ll even do the copywriting with them, I help them lay out a plan.

So then after they have their plan, then they can hire me to do the copywriting for them. Or if they feel more comfortable hiring someone else. They can do that too. But I just want to make sure they have a plan.

Priya Florence Shah:

That’s true. Absolutely. And so that you know what you can do for them, right?

Lovelyn Bettison:

Yeah. Because if you come to a copywriter and you don’t know, then you’re either going to end up… here’s another thing that people don’t understand about copywriting is, first of all, copywriting isn’t magic.

No, it’s not magic. You need to have a good offer. You need to have an offer that people want. And that’s another thing I help with, in the consulting call, is what their offer is exactly. And so you need to do that.

And also there’s a difference in the copywriters you hire. Like if you go to Upwork and hire someone for $35, that’s different than hiring someone who’s going to be able to interview clients and get the testimonials that you need. Like, have testimonies that are just like little testimonials that don’t really tell the story like it needs to be told.

A good copywriter will say, “Okay, give me that clients information and I’ll interview that person so that we can get the testimonial story.” You know, there’s more research in copywriting. Like a lot of the copywriting is research before the writing is actually done.

And then if you’re just hiring someone cheaply from one of those bidding sites, you’re not getting someone who’s going to be able to do that research, not because they’re necessarily a bad writer or something, but because they’re charging so little, they don’t have time to do that kind of research because they have to get so many jobs in order to survive.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, and they don’t have the time or they can’t put in the effort to do a good job for you. So it’s like this – If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Right?

So if you want good work, you have to be willing to pay for it. I like the way you explain that because people need to understand why copywriting is important.

Good copywriting, really good copywriting, really good content, creative content that you can put up on your website or your blog or anywhere, and why you should be willing to pay for a good writer who is going to put in the time and effort to do that.

And like you’ve explained, it takes time, you interview clients for two hours. That’s two hours of your time, right? You’re spending two hours of your time, just interviewing them and getting to know them and getting to know their problems and what they require from you.

So yeah, that’s time-consuming, what do you say? You’re putting in the effort so, of course, you expect to be paid for that. And I’m happy that you’ve explained that.

So like you said, first understand who you’re talking to, understand your brand voice, understand all these things. What is the first thing you would recommend to someone just starting out? What should they go about doing? How should they clarify their story?

Lovelyn Bettison:

Well, the first thing they should do to clarify their story is seriously to think about their communication style, and how they like to communicate, and also their ideal client and how those two things can connect together?

We all have different communication styles and different ways we like to hear messages. And certain groups of people respond better to certain things, right?

If you just look in the area of where your ideal client is, and see what does well with that type of person, that will put you on the road toward figuring out what your voice is going to be when talking to that person.

I’m not saying, copy people. I’m just saying to look at what’s going on already in the market, to see what people are responding to. And then, it’s important, like if you want to get a lot of attention, to do something to stand out.

So maybe your brand voice is something like being an anti-guru or position yourself against the norm somehow. And that’s what you decide you want to do, then you can get an idea about how to do that just by looking at the market and how people are responding to what’s popular and coming up.

Because something like going against the market and saying something controversial that other people aren’t saying about whatever your niche is is a way to get a lot of attention too.

But it’s something that you have to be careful about because if you position yourself in opposition to people, you have to be comfortable with conflict and the kind of attention that you’ll get, which sometimes might be negative to negative attention.

Priya Florence Shah:

That’s very interesting because I was just watching a video a couple of days ago about a guy who takes down the Gurus, you know, the fake guru thing. So that is also a position to take, but you have to be comfortable with the brickbats from people, as well as the bouquets.

Because if you’re going against the big guys then you’re going to get, of course, Cease and Desist and all those kind of letters. And you probably might have to get a lawyer today to deal with fallout.

Lovelyn Bettison:

That’s why it’s important that you need to understand your personality. And how you best communicate with people and what you can deal with. Because when you decide what your brand voice is going to be, then you’re committing to a voice. And you have to be willing to commit to that.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, and of course, there are people who also take the contrarian stand just in order to get attention and everyone knows they’re doing that. So, of course, that works as well.

But then you have to be consistent with it, right? You can’t use it some of the time and then say, okay, the rest of the time, I’m going to go along with what the market says. So be consistent, whatever stand you’re taking, or whatever voice you’re using and be consistent with that.

I think that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s important. Because inconsistency creates conflict and confusion in your audience, right? So if you have anything, any other tips to share, please feel free.

Lovelyn Bettison:

Um, no, I don’t have any other tips to share, except start a mailing list.

via GIPHY

Priya Florence Shah:

That’s important, to have a mailing list. You do write email follow-up sequences for your clients as well. So, do you have any tips for the email follow up sequences? What works and what doesn’t?

Lovelyn Bettison:

My biggest tip is what you were saying before, about consistency. I see a lot of people who have a list, and they just don’t write their lists.

So it’s good to have a nurture sequence or welcome sequence or indoctrination sequence or whatever terminology you’re using when they first sign on. But then, after they get out of that sequence, you should be writing regularly, at least once a week.

So that people remember who you are, and know about your brand. I see so many people they just don’t write their list and they just they’re just building this list. It’s a giant list and they never sent an email.

Priya Florence Shah:

And that’s a big waste of time and money.

Lovelyn Bettison:

Because you’re paying for this list, so why aren’t you using it? And the other mistake I see people make is they want to hold on to every subscriber, whether or not they open the email. Yeah, that’s your list. Get rid of the people that don’t open because you’re paying for those people.

Priya Florence Shah:

Exactly. And it’s not cheap. So I clean up my list every so often because I’m very particular. I don’t want subscribers who are not opening my mail, because what is the point then? They’re not interested in what I have to say. So why keep them on the list? Right?

I clean out my list pretty often, but I know a lot of people who don’t do that. They like the numbers associated with those big lists. But big is not important nowadays. I think you have to have an engaged list that is opening your emails and reading your emails and taking action, clicking, buying, whatever.

So I think the number one KPI or conversion or factor we should look at is whether are people reading your emails and buying and doing what you asked them to do or not do. So it’s better to have a small list of engaged subscribers list rather than a massive list, which you’re just paying for and you’re not using.

And, you know, if you can’t send out a nurture sequence, at least send them a blog post every week or so. Right? And put them into some automation.

I have an automated blog post RSS feed, which goes out to my list every week or every time I post a blog or whatever, it goes out to them. So at least they’re hearing from me often, and I’m sending them useful content that they’ve asked for.

Lovelyn Bettison:

Some people, they only write their list when they have like a sale coming up or they’re launching something. That’s no good because you’re not building the trust with a list.

Like if you’re not building the trust, why are they going to buy from you? They’re not. It’s like having a friend who only talks to you when they want to borrow some money

Priya Florence Shah:

That’s a good one. Yeah, cuz I mean, you can’t build trust by not keeping in touch with people. That’s something I’ve also done. Yeah, I’m an introvert and you have to keep in touch with people and not just for monetary reasons, you know? And not just to get something out of them.

You have to also give, you have to keep giving and putting out useful information, give them stuff that is good, that they can use in their daily lives or they can use in their business or whatever. And that is what builds trust, knowing that you have their back.

Lovelyn Bettison:

Yeah, definitely agree. So that only happens when you’re nurturing your list and when you’re sending out regular mailers to them and newsletters and stuff.

Priya Florence Shah:

And people don’t realize that. That they don’t keep in touch with their list and then they suddenly go out and send them a launch message and they don’t know why no one’s interested in a launch message. Why no one’s buying.

Lovelyn Bettison:

Yeah, people buy from people they know, like, and trust, and when you’re writing regularly, you’re building that Know Like and Trust factor.

Priya Florence Shah:

Absolutely. So I think this was really good. We had a really nice discussion. I think we could probably go and go on chatting for hours, you know, and just talk about all sorts of stuff because there’s so much stuff to talk about, especially in the world of direct response copy.

It’s very fascinating. There’s so much happening in that world. One thing I wanted to ask you is, with all this stuff about video and video sales letters and all that, how has your role been changing as a direct response copy copywriter?

Lovelyn Bettison:

A lot of what I do is email and I also write sales letters. Right? People still need that stuff. Yeah, even though they’re using the videos, doing video scripts, they still need email, they still need to go to a sales page. And so, all that stuff is still happening.

Priya Florence Shah:

Yeah, because I see a lot of video sales letters which will have a transcript, to tell you to read the text version. And do you write video scripts?

Lovelyn Bettison:

I’m actually in training right now to start doing that. So it’s going to become essential to be able to do that.

Priya Florence Shah:

Definitely, because more and more people are using it. As a copywriter, you really need to know how to do that. So where do you learn how to write a video script? Are there courses like that?

Lovelyn Bettison:

Yeah, there are courses.

Priya Florence Shah:

So people can come to you when they need their email newsletters. The emails in our sequences, the sales letter and the video, right? Okay, so I’m going to put your link in the description. Is that the link that they should come to? Your website link?

Lovelyn Bettison:

And then they can just contact me on there. There’s a contact form box or the contact link that takes you to form to fill out about your business and then that will take you to a discovery call and calendar.

Priya Florence Shah:

Sounds good. So we’ll wrap it up. It’s been really fun talking and getting to know you. Maybe we can catch up again sometime.

Lovelyn Bettison:

Yeah, I’ve really enjoyed talking to you.

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