• Stu Lloyd

Warning: It's All About Me - Copywriting and Self-interest Headlines.


"Hey Stu, hope all is well. Could you help me out by hitting LIKE on my new facebook business page? The link is https://www.facebook.com/ABCXYZRealtor.

I'd really appreciate it!"


I received this message via LinkedIn today.


IT BREAKS JUST ABOUT EVERY RULE OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN THE UNIVERSE. Because it's ME, ME, ME from his side.


So, let's break it down and see where this guy went wrong and how YOU can avoid the same mis-steps ...


  1. "Hope all is well." Yeah, OK, but if you don't know someone personally this is usually trite in a business context because, while it's positive it's not necessarily sincere (and the alternative is implicitly, "Hope all has turned to shit.")

  2. "Could you help me out ..." I don't know you, you've added no value to me before, and now you're hitting me up for a favour? This is like walking into a bank off the street, and asking "Could you help me out with a home loan?" Well, you need some track record and some evidence of assets or pay slips before that works. You can't withdraw before you deposit is essentially how human psychology works. But once you've deposited (ie, created value) then the magic of reciprocity, etc, kicks in very favourably.

  3. "Hitting like on my facebook business page". So now I'm going to get bombarded on my facebook feed by annoying real estate ads for apartments and houses 15,394km away from where I live.

  4. "I'd really appreciate it." Yup, because you 'win' again.

Nowhere in this whole thing do I win. There is nothing in it for me, and that, folks, is the way we are generally wired as humans.


We must load self-interest in at the very top of our communications.


WIIFM? WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?


You have nano-seconds to signal whether there's anything in it for me. How is this relevant? How is my survival enhanced or threatened by this?


MY RE-WRITE WOULD LOOK LIKE THIS:


1. "Greetings from Sunny Florida." Better to kick off with this, which is where he's based and is relevant to his business aims (ie, flogging Florida real estate). If nothing else, it transports me there and sets me dreaming about a warm-weather destination to retire to.


2. "If you're interested in finding prime coastal properties, I can help you there." You're self-selecting the audience: if they're not interested, they have no commercial value to you anyway. Otherwise what you've got is meaningless clicks and interrupted friends surfing facebook. Plus a switcheroo -- hey, you're offering to help me. And when you're offering help, it's perceived as less of a sales hustle.


3. "Simply hit LIKE on my new facebook business page." Calls to Action (CTA) should always be simple, clear, direct.


4. "In return, let me know if there's a facebook page you'd like me to support." Once again, doing something for them, adding value, acting altruistically, creating a bond.


5. "Thanks." This sign off is suitably casual and not over-appreciative because you've offered value -- it's not a desperate one-sided plea as before. (Research shows that "thanks" and "thanks in advance" works better than "thank you," by the way.)


So, that's how I'd make that simple message more effective.


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Thanks!










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