Mitch Miller is a brash entrepreneur and copywriter that gets incredible results for his clients and businesses by pushing the envelope in his ad copy and offers. In this interview you’ll learn the systems and strategies he uses to get inside his prospect’s heads and turn them into rabid buyers using written words.
Transcription Episode 101: Mitch Miller – Copywriting Strategies To Double Sales
This is your host, Derek Gehl, and today we’re gonna be diving deep into the art and the science if you will of persuasion and copywriting. And to put it bluntly guys, if you want to be a successful digital entrepreneur, if you do not have the ability to craft effective, persuasive, and compelling offers, you are not going to succeed.
You can be the best at traffic. You can be the best at website design, social, search, whatever. You can even have the best product. You can have the best price. But if you do not know how to sell it and craft an offer, if you don’t know how to properly structure the offer, combine it with the right words that turn prospects into buyers, you’re not going to succeed.
So here’s the deal. To take us on this journey today, we have a world renowned copywriter, marketing advisor to CEOs, millionaires around the globe. He’s an author of multiple books, the founder of Opposed Media. I’d like to welcome Mitch Miller to the show.
I grew up never going to school. Like high school, I never really went. I played guitar instead. I wanted to be in a rock band. And actually, all that time skipping school we actually started a rock band, learned how to play our instruments through playing shows. We were completely God awful, but we had fun personalities, and we had face paint. And we just, we created a scene. And that’s where I first learned about self promotion.
And we ended up playing the high school talent show, and we won. And then, that just further enforced not going to school.
Turns out, because of Napster, and Lars Ulrich, and just because all the MP3s coming out and the digital wave. We didn’t know that that’s the only way that the deals are going to be structured going forward, because the record companies wanted to make some money.
And when it collapsed, I decided to go further into delusional wannabe rock star mode. And I ended up doing too many drugs one night at a party that may or may not have involved a couple women as well, and as result I ended up having a heart attack when I was 21 years old.
And it finally dawned on me one day that for whatever reason, I was gonna be successful in business, whatever it was. And so I was like, “I need to change my life. I need to be a better person. I need to figure this out.”
Zero skills. Basically I’d quit. Dude, I’d quit jobs just because like, there’s a party coming up on Saturday. I asked the boss, I’m like, “Can I have this Saturday off for the party?” He’d be like, “No.” I’d be like, “Okay, I quit then.” And then I’d just go get a different job on Monday. It was terrible.
Listening to Tony Robbins. He got me turned on to Jay Abraham. And through Jay Abraham, I found out about Dan Kennedy. And those two guys, really, those three guys really became my ultimate mentors, and I sucked up everything that they did. And that’s why I believe I have a decent foundation today is because of those guys.
The thing is, I knew all the marketing stuff. I knew all the marketing and business stuff that a lot of these digital entrepreneurs have all the knowledge. I had that knowledge back in 2007, but I was still me. That’s a big thing. I believe success in business, if it’s not just coming to you, it’s because you need self-help.
2012, I started a landscaping company that actually became successful. And then we started Oppose Media in 2014, which is really only four years ago. I’ve done the work on myself, and I’ve paid my dues, and I’ve really put in the time and the hours, an ungodly amount of hours.
And I truly believe one of the primary reason that so many people don’t succeed doesn’t have anything to do with the strategy or the business. It has to do with themselves, with their mindset, the way they think, the way they approach stuff.
So when you said do work on yourself, change, be specific. Like what kind of specific things did you have to change to?
So even today, if you guys see a lot of my copy, it rides the line of being, like almost going over the edge too far and not working. I really ride that line.
So we started Oppose Media. And the whole way that I grew up, the whole way that I understand the world, see the world. Oppose Media is I’m opposed to media norms.
I’m opposed to the way everybody’s doing things, because if you do things in the same way everybody’s doing them, then you’re never gonna stand out, and it’s just a sea of mediocrity. Because the truth is, if you do what most people do, most people have mediocre results.
And so that’s what Opposed is, and I’m opposed to social conditioning, mainstream narratives, just thinking like a sheep, black and white thinking.
This is something, I always get up on my soapbox and I kinda bitch about, and you kind of said it. People follow the herd. But they never create any controversy.
They never polarize their audience. I see too many people in the world of marketing that are, they don’t want to offend. They want to please everybody. And what I’ve seen from your stuff, and you said it, you walk a line, right?
So, if everybody’s listening to this, I would recommend checking out Oppose Media, checking out how Mitch positions himself, and the company, and things like that, because they take a stand. And everything you just said there was very much, “Here’s what I’m against.”
And that’s what I love in your marketing or what I’ve seen of it is you’re very clear in what you’re against and what you’re for. And that’s such an important rule in the world of marketing and business. And polarizing, right? You may, piss off some people. But the people you don’t piss off, that like you, are gonna be rabid fans.
I think that by not being polarizing, as a thought experiment, you’re actually not being authentic. And that could be what’s blocking a lot of people, because they feel like they’re putting on a show and a shtick.
They don’t wanna offend. They don’t wanna polarize. But they don’t understand that by not polarizing, they’re actually not being real.
Now, before we, before we dig into some specific copywriting strategies, I wanna get inside your head. I wanna talk a little bit about offers as a whole thought, right?
I love talking to guys like yourself, because you don’t just have a business that you write your own offers for. You work with clients. You work with all sorts of businesses. You’ve seen offers. You probably have people pitching you or bringing offers to you saying, “Can you write me a good sales letter for this?”
It’s the reason why most people are happy to join MLMs. That paired with the community aspect. But as much as you can push it into a system, because people don’t believe in themselves. Which is another reason why they might believe in a system maybe called religion or something.
So as much as you can make the offer something that will work independently of their screw ups, and knowing they will screw it up. So a system that works, even if you barely work it properly.
But obviously, you’re going to sell something people want. You’re selling them an outcome or a solution to some problem they’re having that they want. That goes without saying. It has to be something, a problem that they want solved.
I would say as well, what makes a good offer is obviously a whole ton of social proof. Because as humans, we make decisions based on either firsthand experience that is like, “I’m not gonna touch the hot stove again, because I did it once, and that sucked.”
And we make decisions off of secondhand experiences, like, “I saw my cousin stick a fork in the power outlet, and I’m not gonna do that”.
I’d say those two things, social proof, a system or a person that will hold your hand. I’m a huge believer in scarcity and urgency. There’s a huge wave of whatever it is, heart centered chakra gurus going around saying that scarcity is evil and bad. I believe no such sort of a thing.
If you care about your customer, then you care about getting them off the edge and making them act. Therefore scarcity and urgency is absolutely huge. The trick is to make it real in whatever way that you’re gonna make it real. Scarcity is absolutely important. And by scarcity, I mean like a deadline.
Risk reversal is a huge part of an offer. Gotta reverse the risk. Any transaction, especially one you’re selling them to. That means you’re asking them to engage in a transaction. That means you’re asking them to put risk into a transaction
So it only makes sense that you shoulder that damn risk by having some sort of guarantee or some way, that they know if they buy this product, it’s not a finality. Therefore, their life isn’t going to be ruined, their wife’s going to hate them, they could never undo it, their status is going to completely drop to the floor, and they’re going to hate themselves. There has to be an out.
They have to know that there’s wiggle room around the offer.
Price is important. A lot of people say you can charge your own price. That’s true to a point, as you know. You can, there’s a range. But it’s a smaller range than a lot of people might like to think.
But at a certain point, it has to … I think you can sell up to a certain price point online without human intervention. Right?
We weren’t even sure if people spent $10,000 online. But they did. Now, that was very unique in the market. It was a very unique list. There was all these nuances that exist.
If I took a cold buyer to a webinar, on a webinar, versus a sales letter, I can probably sell them a little bit more, especially if they sit through an hour long webinar. So I guess for everybody that’s listening, when we talk nuances, this is what we’re talking about, right? Lead quality, the mechanism that you’re using to sell, whether it’s a sales page, a webinar, a video, or phone, or whatever, right?
And you know, it’s interesting. I was having a conversation with, do you know Perry Belcher?
Pricing’s one of those conversations that always comes up with my students and my clients, like, “How do I price? What should I price?” And I think you’re right. In any market, you can work in a range.
So let’s take a second now and dig into your copywriting process. And I always love doing this with copywriters. It was funny. When you were listing sort of some of your mentors and stuff, we share the same mentors.
So you have an offer. You need to craft a sales letter, a pitch for … What’s the process you follow?
You’re putting in a little bit of hype. You took half of a swipe file of something. But it’s not gonna have that true passion put into it if you don’t believe in the damn offer. Which means a lot of time you’ve gotta work with the client. Or if it’s yourself, you really gotta craft that offer out. And like I think you probably know, the offer is more important than the damn copy.
But I create a customer avatar, obviously, with the person I’m speaking to. So I have a direct focus. But I also create an avatar, which is who does that person need to hear from most? Like there’s your customer, and who they are, and then there’s who do you have to be and sound like in order to influence that person the most?
There’s a distinction there because you don’t wanna just be yourself trying to convince somebody, ’cause if you know who your avatar is, there’s a certain avatar of person who is going to immediately be influenced by them and is going to resonate. And it could be someone just like them, but it could also not be. It could be more of a father figure to them in a different way.
So you kind of build out that little bit of an avatar of who does that, who do you need to be. It’s almost like method acting. It’s like you project yourself through another character-
And particularly in your case, when you’re writing copy for markets where, if you used Mitch Miller’s voice, it just wouldn’t work, right?
And that’s why I love, I love forums. If I’m in a niche, I like go in a forum, and what are they talking about? What’s the language they’re using? What are their complaints. And what is the actual wording of those complaints, right?
When people wanna buy one of our more expensive products, there’s a phrase that they repeat that I picked up. And it was, “something something something, and then I finally decided to take the plunge.” And it was the take the plunge, and I was like, “Damn that’s interesting. Why are so many people saying that, and what does that mean?”
But just know, it’s not into the dark abyss. It’s finally into the warm future that you’ve been dreaming of.”
You know, they’ll give me all the components of it and stuff like that, and they understand it. But it’s this extra level of understanding your audience, understanding the communication in their head, that I think separates guys like you from the guys that are struggling as copywriters, because you go that extra mile.
You really connect with the audience. And I’ve read your stuff, and you have a really good, talent for that.
One of the things that I want to point out here to everybody that’s listening, because here is the biggest thing I hear. It’s a lot of people saying, “Oh, I can’t be a copywriter. I’m not a good writer.” And so, you’ve said it before. How much time did you spend in high school?
But he was talking, because there’s somebody, was my friend, he wrote all the letters out by hand for years. And he felt like it didn’t do anything for him. And then someone was like, “Why don’t you try writing your sales copy by hand. Think about this. He wrote his sales letters out by hand for years, like thousands of times. And then when he goes to write copy, he’s typing it on a laptop.
So I forget who it was, but someone was like, “Hey. Why don’t you just try writing your sales letter on paper?”
So, do you believe that anybody can learn how to write passable ad copy, assuming basic literacy?
I have an unfair advantage in my creative writing allows me to make more out of it. But it also bites me in the ass. Like if I go too far with it, conversions are down. So it’s my achilles heel at the same time. So no. You don’t have to be like me. You don’t even have to be like Gary Halbert, because he had a lot of that weird creativity too.
That’s where a lot of, and I think every good copywriter has it, is swipe copy, going and finding stuff that’s working, and not starting from a blank page. As you said, you go out there, and you see what’s working in markets and stuff. And every good copywriter has a swipe file. And as long as you understand the structure and you can put it together, and you know, you’re right.
People can get their copy, to that next level. But here’s the thing. Here’s what I always tell people when you’re starting out. You know what? Learn to structure yourself. If you’re on a budget, do it yourself. Once you start, you know, and if you love copy, and you wanna be that master, great. Pursue it.
So I believe everyone can become, everyone can write sales copy to make money, but no, not everyone’s gonna be that rock star writer, that creative writer. There’s something about my brain man. I can create the most weirdest wackiest analogies and metaphors.
He’s like, “Yes. Exactly.” So that was the moment I knew that my brain worked differently with that shit.
And you know, I mean, like I said, I said to you earlier, yeah. Your Facebook posts are fantastic, right? And you know, anybody listening oughta connect with Mitch. I mean, he’s one of these guys, a prolific poster on Facebook.
And lots of metaphor, lots of interesting topics. I can’t promise you won’t be offended by a few of them, depending on who you are. But they’re all so well written in utilizing a lot of what he’s talking about here today. So I like following guys like you.
You said people have that emotional state. You’ve gotta be willing to put them in that emotional state. And most people are scared to death to do that, because in order to get them in a state of desire and wanting to buy a solution or whatever, you have to first get them to feel all the negative shit of the problem that they want solved.
The truth is, if you want them to lose weight, or you want them to whatever it is, you want them to change something, and they’re masking that with food, drugs, social media, porn, rationalizations, excuses. And so they’re really just hiding and blunting the feeling of the problem that they have.
Copy’s about bringing up a problem, stirring up that problem, and those feelings, and then being like, “Hey, you feel these shitty feelings. You wanna change them? Okay. We can change them to these amazing ones.” Make them feel that, and then, “you can have that with the products,” and then at the scarcity at the end, it’s like, “But we’re gonna take that away from you and you’re gonna feel the bad feelings again.”
But the bad feelings, you gotta make them feel that before you can feel the good feelings most times. It’s not like a hard and fast rule. But most people are unwilling-
And I say, “Well, do you believe in your product?”
“Will your product make their life better in some way?”
“Then don’t you owe it to them to do whatever it takes to help them make their life better?”
“Well then the only obvious solution here is to sell the damn product, right?”
So when you’re selling something, I’m surprised at the amount of people that use vague language. They’re like, “I’m selling this training that nobody else in the market is selling anything like this.”
You gotta say New York. You gotta say probably what day it was. You gotta be specific enough.
Passive voice here. Passive voice there. And immediately, fixing that up makes it more impactful. That’s just one of the things it does, right? Obviously, lowering your reading. The best letters are like grade four level I think, somewhere in there.
So another thing is controlling the comparison. When you get to the bottom of a sales letter, or when you get to the time, it doesn’t matter when the copy is, if the copy is your voice. Doesn’t matter if the copy is a webinar. Doesn’t matter if it’s a sales letter, whatever it is, if you’re on stage.
When you get to the close, it’s like, you want to give people a controlled choice. So most people, when they sell something, they’re like, the choice is either you’re buying this at this price-
When I do an offer, I always like to have an offer I want people to take. But then many cases what I’ll do is I will have a comparable offer that is 100 times the price, so that I’m giving them a choice, but I’m also making the offer I want them to look just so affordable as well, right?
Now, this probably isn’t for everybody, and here’s the next one down.” And then when you reveal that second price, now you’ve given them a choice, but you’ve also made the $2500 feel like a steal, because they were thinking $25,000, right?
So I think, adding on to your comparable, you can utilize that in your pricing strategies and drawing people into the only logical choice as well.
Also, when you said that, immediately what popped into my head was, you go to the convenience store when you’re a kid, and they have the three different levels of cups. And it was like 50 cents, 60 cents. And then it was like 61 cents.
Totally. And that’s another pricing strategy, right?
Educating a problem exists … And it goes down to even creating markets, right? You know, you look at, let’s take the iPhone for example. People didn’t know we needed it. We didn’t know it was a thing. We didn’t know it existed. Now, we can’t live without our smart phones for the most part these days. They’re such an integral part of our lives.
But I don’t want to be the one that has to create the market, because we’re small businesses. We’re direct response marketers. We’re not big branding. We don’t have millions of dollars to educate markets. And so that’s where, as long as you’re following the principle of giving products to people that know they’re seeking something like that, it’s gonna be a hell of a lot easier all the way across the board.
So, now, final thing, Mitch, is where can people connect with you? Where can they learn more about what you’re doing? What do you got going on where they can find you?
So now it’s time to take all the tips, tools, strategies you’ve learned here today and apply that final ingredient that actually makes this stuff work for you. Which this is a step I think too many people miss, and that step is taking action.
And so go forth, take action, apply what you’ve learned here today.