Dates: February 18th to 21st
Time: Real time
Topics: Segmentation, UX copywriting, Social Media, Video Marketing, and more
Presenters: Ryan Deiss, Nick Usborne, Pam Foster, Ryan Levesque, Heather Lloyd-Martin, and more!
The Web Copy Intensive is a career-transforming, in-depth exploration of web-writing… from writing better web pages to stronger social media posts and campaigns to video scripts to email… and more.
Each year, just a few dozen writers get to attend. There’s lots of one-on-one interaction between attendees and with the experts.
But even if you can’t be there with us in person, you can still feel like you’re there. Each session (for most of the sessions), and be sitting in and sharing my favorite and most valuable takeaways… insights you can use to sharpen your skills and grow your business.
And I post my updates in real-time, so you get to feel like you’re there in the room with use.
Each update will be time-stamped, so you’ll know what the speakers are saying when they say it.
I’ll also be talking to attendees in between sessions and sharing the most helpful insights that they’ve come away with.
Plus, you can join in the fun. All you have to do is comment. I’ll be responding to those in real-time, too, so you can make observations, ask questions, or poke fun at my typos (because those do happen when you’re working in real time!)
Monday, February 19th, 2018
We are kicking off the Web Copy Intensive with our first intensive training. Ryan Levesque is the creator of the Ask Method, which has been amazingly successful in helping companies generate leads, convert customers, and keep them coming back.
“Depth of response is more important than frequency of response.” -Ryan Levesque
When surveying your audience, focus on the 20 percent who give you in-depth and impassioned answers and ignore everyone else.
Segmenting your leads at the moment of sign up actually increases opt-in rate.
Once you sort your leads into buckets, you customize the sales funnel, but this takes less than you might think. You need to customize your sales lead, your testimonials, and your bonuses… about 10 percent of your copy.
The key thing is to early on demonstrate your empathy and understand of the individual’s specific concerns. If you do that well, they will assume that everything is customized to their needs.
Everything in the ASK method begins with a deep dive survey.
When you do a deep-dive survey, the next step is to take the most in-depth, impassioned responses and turn them into bullets.
Ryan sees freelancers making 5 common mistakes. The top three are:
#1 Being too much of a generalist and not enough of a specialist.
#2 Always accepting new clients.
#3 Doing work before you get paid.
Ryan Levesque gave us a lot to think about. And now Pam Foster has taken the stage. She’s talking to us about how to write a results-oriented website… and to take an existing website and make it better.
When looking at a client’s website, start by identifying strengths. Only after you’ve told them what they’re doing well do you tell them what they can do better. Not what they’re doing wrong, but what they can make stronger. Also look for opportunities and threats: external factors that may either contribute to their success or introduce problems they should be prepared for.
When you’re working for a local client, an easy win is to be sure that they include their name, address, and phone number where it is prominent and easy to find. You’d be surprised how many businesses forget this!
Nick Usborne has taken the stage to tell us about social media marketing. He starts off explaining that it’s silly as a marketer not to be on social media… because your audience is most definitely there.
If you don’t think that social media drives sales… think again. 86 percent of people say that social media video has been influential in making a purchasing and 78% cite social media images as being influential in that same way.
Dinner with the Speakers and Attendees
The sessions at Web Intensive are fantastic… but we have after-hours fun too!
Tuesday, February 20th, 2018
Day two of the Web Copy Intensive… and Day Two of the Live Blog!
We kicked the day off with a presentation on UX Copywriting. And I was the presenter, which is why you didn’t get any real time updates for that 🙂
Right now, Tim Washer is on the stage talking to us about how easy and fun it is to use video in our marketing.
So stay tune for some fun, useful updates!
Taking an edutainment approach to video can be very successful. Your audience has fun watching, but you also make them feel smart, so they are more likely to share it with others.
Interviews are a great way to help your clients produce videos that will connect with audiences. Interview employees. Interview customers. And then ask lots of interesting questions. Find out what inspires them… what makes them excited… what makes them proud, and you’ll have something that works.
One of the struggles with video is that humor works very well, but your clients may be worried about taking that risk. Tim recommends that show them a few company videos that use humor from competitors or people in the general industry… let them see how many views those videos get so that they can imagine what that would be like for themselves.
Another thing to do is to do a straight video and then to tack a video that takes bigger risks on as part of the project.
A third thing to do is to find a champion at the company you’re working for. Someone who knows the value of what you’re trying to do and will back you.
After a really interesting Q&A with Tim and a short break, we’re about to dig into search engine optimization with Heather Lloyd-Martin.
Heather is talking about how Google sees content… Google has an algorithm of a couple hundred factors that they track and measure and weigh to determine how to return search results for any give key phrase. The algorithm is secret, but SEO experts have an idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Google’s current algorithm allows you to write natural, strong copy without overusing key phrases. Google can figure it out. That being said, you still need to conduct key phrase research to make sure you’re writing about the right things.
Longer content tends to position better, but it depends on the industry, search term, and readership. It’s important to look at what is already ranking for your competition and for the keyword you’re aiming to rank for. You’ll learn a lot about what you need to deliver. But don’t copycat. You need to also provide a new perspective or approach to catch Google’s eye.
Keywordtool.io is one that Heather recommends for doing free keyword research when your goal is to generate content ideas.
Another good one is AnswerThePublic.com.
Look for keyphrases with low to medium competition and a high number of searches.
When writing headlines that get clicks, include an emotional element, a content type, a topical element, a format type, and a promise. Aim to include at least three out of the five.
BuzzFeed has mastered this, so study their headlines and see how you can adapt what they do for your own needs.
Wednesday, February 21st, 2018
It’s our final day of Web Intensive. This has been an amazing event. The experts have done so much hands on work with us… which can be difficult to convey here.
Our final speaker is Ryan Deiss… who is always so good.
Ryan says before you ask “How do I build a subscriber list?” you should ask yourself “How will I monetize my subscriber list once I have it?” If you have the answer to that, then you can invest in building your list. It won’t cost you money, it will make you money.
Building a relationship requires follow up. If you don’t have a way of following up with a potential client or customer, then the relationship will never take off… and they will never convert.
There are three types of emails: transactional, promotional, and relational.
If you’re helping a client with email, it’s a good idea to ask how they are handling each of these.
Four types of subject lines that work well: Curiosity driven, benefit-oriented, urgency or scarcity, proof or results.
the From field is important. Ideally, you want your messages to come from an actual person. But you can send from brands. Or you can do a hybrid “So-and-so from Such-and-such brand.”
When some one signs up to your list for the very first time, send them a series of emails (called an indoctrination series) that help them get to know you and what you’re all about. The idea is to turn strangers into friends.
Some of the things to include in your indoctrination series are a thank you for joining, a restatement of the benefits, an introduction of the brand and the team, some links to your best stuff, and a promise of more to come.
When writing an email series, Ryan recommends keeping it all in a single document. That way you can be sure that one message builds on the last in a natural way.
Ryan took us through some specific examples of indoctrination series and welcome emails. Now he’s talking about Conversion Series. These are emails that are sent out after a user takes as specific action where there is an obvious and logical next action.
In a good conversion series, the first thing to do is to reference the previous positive action. Next acknowledge and overcome any known objections. And then encourage them to take the next logical step.