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What Would You Need to Know About Copy Writing? Aren’t We In the Picture Business?

Members Call Recap with Tom N. Tumbusch.

Have you gotten your head around the fact that you are primarily in the business of marketing your services to existing and potential clients? As for me, sure I am the photography success coach and have individual photography clients and consult companies on how to run their operations better, faster, more efficient and most importantly how to get clients but most of my time is spent marketing. Marketing my services to potential customers. I market through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Direct Mail, Autoresponder Sequences, Squeeze Pages and of course my Blog.

While I am German and spent the first 23 years of my life living there I think I am a pretty decent writer. That’s not easy for someone with English as a second language. Sure, I make mistakes because I didn’t grow up here, but for the most part, I do OK. I am good enough. I have found my voice and I want to be able to properly express myself. This might sound to a large extend like you or you might be a native English speaker, so problem solved, right?

Not so fast. The deeper I got into what works in marketing over the internet and what doesn’t, the more I realized I needed a professional copywriter who could take my voice to a new level. That’s how I found Tom N. Tumbusch from Wordstreamcopy. We’ve been working together for a few months and we are in the continuous process of updating all my websites and my landing page sequences with better copy. My job is to teach what I know. So I decided that I was going to have him on my last Silver and Charter Member call as my guest. The membership program consists out of a monthly call that is shipped with US mail with a printed Tip Sheet. The call covers a particular topic and is only about content and value. There is no ‘pitch’ in the membership calls, to the contrary most of my guests offer things for free. Amy Love from Picscout offered a special coupon for 3 months of free service for example and Tom was pretty generous himself. The Tip Sheet has an article specific to a topic along with tips and tricks about the photo biz. This month it’s about figuring out what the customer wants.

Tom and I discussed for one hour the in’s and out of good versus great copy. My favorite example would be one of my Google adword ads. I used to run two versions of the same ad. The only difference between the two of them was one word. And one outperformed the other by 80%. I was laughing when Tom nailed it and without even thinking about it told me he knew which word that was, and he was right!

Tom specializes in marketing ( he considers himself a marketer and not just a writer!) for green businesses and creative agencies. He writes e-mail promotions, autoresponder sequences, web copy, direct marketing packages, advertising, brochures, newsletters and just about anything else. Even ADBASE hires him as writer and some of what he’s done for his clients has resulted in six figure sales results and promptly won him an award.

In our call we discussed what types of writers there are and how to find the right one. Tom addressed the question why you would even want to work with a professional writer. We went on to review why a photographer needs copy and what kind of difference that can and most likely will make. Difference in what? In your open and response rate. Did you know that my open rate on a direct mail piece can vary from 1% to 20%? The highest one (which is excellent in direct mail terms) was a headline called “Oops, I made a mistake.” The title of your email is very often the only thing that will make the difference between being trashed and being opened. Tom explains in the call that the shorter the copy the better it has to be. In addition he shares quite a few of his secrets and what he does to hit the right tone for each of his clients.

What else did we discuss? Tom went over the term ‘sequences,’ how to find your voice, on whether or not you need to change that depending on what your touch point to customers is. He detailed the various things that photography professionals need copy for and why that is so important to get it right. Tom and I went through how to find a good copywriter and what one costs. My favorite part of the conversation was when we went into creating pain for customers and offering solutions. I just posted a video of features versus benefits in which I touch on this subject.

And the end of the call Tom made an incredible offer to look at what you are doing and to give you pointers. For Free! Which in itself is worth more than the investment in the membership.

If all you do is send out a couple of photos with a headline that reads: Monthly Newsletter by X photographer, than I can tell you right now your open rate will be dismal. There is no urgency, nothing that entices me to open this, it’s not fun, interesting and doesn’t give me a benefit. If you have done this and have not thought about how a great headline and a few lines of copy can increase your response rate than you should seriously look into trying out the membership. It’s only a $1 to try it for the first month. Click here if that interests you. It’s not for everyone but there are some that want to maximize everything they do.

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