Project Ignite Podcast by Derek Gehl 101 - Online Copywriting Strategies That’ll Polarize Your Market & Double Sales – With Mitch Miller
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  • Episode  101
  • Mitch Miller


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

Welcome to the Project Ignite Podcast, a podcast designed to skip all the hype, skip all the BS, and just give you guys real strategies, tips to help you grow your business and income on the internet.

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.

Mitch, thank you so much for being here today.
Great, man. Thank you.
So look, before we get started, you gotta share your journey, because it sounds like you’ve had quite the journey. You’re a fellow Canadian. I love to be able to interview fellow Canadians.
Although you’re not in Canada. It seems like you left us for warmer weather. So I’m okay with that. I understand. But give us your story. Where did you get started? Where did you come from? And how did you end up being the guy you are, the expert you are, the copywriter you are today?
Cool. Thanks, man. So it’s kind of interesting. People say, you hear the whole phrase, “If I can do it, then you can do it too.” That’s absolutely true in my case, because I was the biggest screw-up the world’s ever seen.

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.

Ironic, eh?
Yeah. I was like, “We’re off to the races. We’re gonna be rock stars instead.” And over the course of the next three, four years, we built the band up to a point where we ended up getting offered a record deal with Nickelback, Chad Kroeger 604 Records.
Yes, we did. We were offered that. We turned it down, because back in the day, we were offered a deal where they get basically 90% of everything, so your merch, your tour dates, your album sales, everything.
We were like, “That’s a terrible deal. You guys get like all of everything, and then we just like work at Dairy Queen when we’re not on tour? That makes no sense.”

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.

So we turned that down, and then there were no more offers, and then our singer went crazy. And so basically, we had an album recorded. We were on the radio, and all that stuff. But basically, the band collapsed.

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.

Yeah. I had a full heart attack.
Wow. If that’s not a message, I don’t know what is.
Dude. Yeah. It was pretty crazy. It was a wake up call, although a week out of the hospital, I was smoking joints and drinking beer. I was a very stubborn person to change. It was a wake up call, but it took another couple years for it to really kick in. I was very stubborn. And I had no skills. I had nothing.

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.

So I mean, honestly, it sounds like you had to become an entrepreneur, because you were probably almost unemployable.
I was unemployable. When I was at work, they loved me.
I was personable. I did the work. I was a hard worker. But man, I wanted to live my life the way I wanted to live it, and nobody could stop that, and it was hurting myself. And so then I decided I was gonna start a business. I wanted to start businesses.

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.

I tried to start a bunch of businesses. Started about nine of them. All of them failed epically. I ended up homeless in 2008, and really just grinding and grinding and grinding.

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.

You need to give yourself therapy.
Because you can know all the shit, but if you’re still you, nothing’s gonna happen. Everyone’s got knowledge.
Because they’re reading something online, or they take a course. And to me, that’s like printing out a digital photo. But if you actually take the action, one by one, then that’s like painting the actual portrait. You get to paint the portrait layer by layer.
So you actually get to see, it’s like knowledge through action of whatever. Back to where I was homeless. Just grinding all the way until very recently.

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.

Let’s pause there. I mean, this is about copywriting, but that, I wanna go down this rabbit hole, right? Because it’s interesting what you said there. I see so many, I mean, one of my businesses, that’s all I do is work with entrepreneurs, helping people start businesses.

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?

Mostly beliefs, and the self talk. And so one thing I would do, whether this is healthy or not, is I would listen to Richard Bandler seminars in my ear while I’d go to sleep, every single night for I mean, this is like eight, nine years. I would listen to NLP seminars. I would listen to Tony Robbins. So I literally brainwashed myself into a better mindset, through self-talk.
Wow. Wow. That’s awesome.
I memorized Tony Robbins seminars, or CDs, I guess you could say.
And I’d think, as if I was him.
It was like, I just burned the right words into my brain.
Yeah. Yeah, well I mean, that’s so important because I think so many people go at it with the wrong beliefs in themselves, the wrong negative self talk. “I can’t do it,” or you know. And that’s just so self defeating, and you’re just gonna self sabotage, and just doesn’t work out, right?
And the tone of voice you speak to yourself in and don’t even know it.
Yeah. Yeah.
Like a nagging housewife or something in your head.
Totally. Totally. Absolutely. Oh, that’s fascinating. That’s amazing. Okay, so continue with the story. So you have the landscaping company. You launched Oppose Media.
Yeah. We launched Oppose Media.
And what is Oppose Media, and what did you offer, what did you do, and how did that grow?
It started off, somewhere along this path, probably for about eight years, I was studying copywriting. And writing came naturally to me. Writing creatively came natural to me.

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.

Yeah. You’re definitely on that edge. But it’s good. I like it.
I had a post banned from Facebook two days ago, ’cause it, the headline was, “Hitler is my mentor.”
Wow. Yeah, okay, that’ll get that old algorithm to pay attention.
There was a nuance to it, but it did get the old algorithm.

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.

It makes sense. When we don’t know what to do, we go with what the herd does. Problem is the herd’s usually wrong, and you gotta look at the select few, like you and the select outliers who are the 20% who are doing the stuff, instead of the other 80.

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.

We started out just doing copywriting services. And we got some big wins. Like I wrote a sales letter that, brought a company to doing 178K a month online. They ended up doing 1.6 million a month from 178K, and all within four months, from that.
And a couple other big wins that was like, “Okay. That’s cool.” Started doing information products, and did that for years. Then started doing events, and we did 18 events in a year. Our first event was in Koh Samui in Thailand. We rented out a house, and we got 12 people to pay, I mean, this is embarrassing, but two grand for 30 day Mastermind.
Oh wow. That’s value, man.
It turned into like a season of Big Brother. We hated each other by the end of it.
Oh, no doubt.
We had to fire … We brought in interns that we’d never even met before, and we had to fire one of them. Another one was a disaster. One person ended up leaving ’cause he couldn’t stand two of the people that were there. The drama was insane.
We did 30 days, because we were scared to death that we wouldn’t be able to give enough value. So, “If we do 30 days, and we only charge them two grand, then we know we can give them the value.”
Wow. Yep. There’s a lot of lessons to be learned in that, eh?
Someone like yourself, I can only imagine.
Oh, God. 30 days. My God. Yeah, no. Wow. So you know, one of the things that I love about what you’re doing, and I think everybody listening can learn a lot from.

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?

Mm-hmm (affirmative).
And I think there’s such a valuable lesson to be learned from what you do and how you do it, because I’m sure you’ve offended a few people along the way. And that’s cool, ’cause those aren’t the people you wanna work with anyway, 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.

That’s amazing.
That’s a good point that you brought up. It’s important to … you don’t always have to be, polarizing in a negative way. You can be inspirational.
If that’s you. But that’s not me, because I truly am almost like twisted between the dark humor and the controversy. I don’t do controversy just to do controversy. I do it because I truly believe these things that are controversial.
I don’t do positioning. I am, my position is kind of the deal.
And so I think what most people are missing, and I just thought of this recently actually, is the idea of being polarizing. Like you said, people don’t want to offend. And they’re maybe afraid to be polarizing. But I believe that we are all polarizing in our regular lives, as we are.
If we’re sitting with our best friends, with our wife, with our friends, it’s like, we are totally polarizing. In fact, we would be probably hung for some of the things we say in our normal private life.

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.

Yeah, I think in this day and age as well, in your marketing, authenticity is so important. And people can smell it when it’s not authentic. Whether they subconsciously or consciously realize it, it pushes people away.

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?”

What, if you had to sort of define it, what are the elements that have to be in place to make it a good offer, before you can even craft good copy? I mean, I’ve seen lots of people that have good copy, but the offer blows, so it’s never gonna fly, right?
So what are the elements you look for in an offer?
Actually, to keep it pretty simple, I believe just a couple things. So I believe, as much as you can, you make whatever you’re selling some sort of system. People need to believe in a system. They wanna follow a system.

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.

Just offended half the people watching.
There we go. We polarized half the audience.
There we go. It’s tongue in cheek guys. The point is people will believe in a system before they’ll believe in themselves, because they know themselves. They know every time they let themselves down. They know what they don’t like about themselves in the mirror, so they kinda beat themselves up. They’re hard on themselves.

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.

I would say that as much as possible. If you’re selling some sort of information or some sort of tools, like group coaching. The idea is instead of the system, it’s like the person is going to help you and guide you through your screw ups.
Mm-hmm (affirmative).
It’s like either a system or a person that’s going to guide you, because you believe you are a bumbling fool who will screw it all up. That would be one thing.

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”.

Yeah. Yeah.
If we were to only go off firsthand experience, we’d never make it out of our house. And so the fact that we have to make decisions based on second hand experience means that the more we can load people up with proof that other people have tried the system and have good results, or have good feelings to say about it, then the more likely we are to automatically go with that decision, because we have to make a decision somehow.

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.

It’s true. Yeah.
And the small few will. And if that’s your business, where you only help those small few, then that’s fine, but don’t think you’re better than everybody just by going after those people. People need help, and people need help off the ledge, and scarcity and urgency helps them with that.

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.

How so?
Well I feel like, I feel like it’s too quick of a conversation, because it’s like, you could probably spend three days with somebody, and for the same offer, get say $10,000 from them, whereas if you had only an hour, you could probably get that, you could probably do the same thing for probably getting $500 out of them.
So there’s so many different variables and nuances to the price game. But if we’re talking digital entrepreneurs and if you do things a standard way, if you do a webinar, it’s like, ah, see, I keep tricking myself, because there’s so many nuances to it.
Totally. I totally see what you’re saying. There is. There’s so many nuances that exist. I mean, the general rule is, I think, the more, the higher the price, the more thorough the selling process needs to be.

But at a certain point, it has to … I think you can sell up to a certain price point online without human intervention. Right?

But at a certain price point, there has to be a level of human intervention to close the sale, right?
And I love it, because when I say something like that, people actually go, “Well what is the level that I have … ” And the answer is, “Well there’s no perfect rule. It totally depends on all the other nuances that exist around it,” right?”
Are these customers? Do you have past relationships with them? Have they already made big purchases? I mean, one of the biggest emails we did once was for a $10,000 product. And we were like, “I don’t know if this is going to work.” And we sent it out, and came in the next day, and we banked almost a million dollars overnight.

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?

Okay. So I was talking with Perry. He is a pretty brilliant marketer. The guys over there at Digital Marketer, they’ve done some really good stuff. And you know, he was, he’s predicting that there’s gonna be more of a swing back to needing even more human touch in the sales process, as things evolve on the internet. Not less.

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.

But it also depends if the leads, or the people buying, how much they’re into the community and understand all the other offers that they could be putting their money into too.
‘Cause you know, even though you know that sales kinda happens in a vacuum in your webinar, they still know that they could buy this or that or that. It’s like, “I could go to this seminar, or Perry Belcher’s holding one, or I go to Perry Marshal’s.” So it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
I used to think the human element was like $2,000 on a webinar. That was like what I thought. I can’t go below $2,000.
And then we were selling $4,000 all day long when the crypto market was hot.
Sure. Yeah.
Rationality goes out the window, and then the price can change.
Yep. Absolutely. Now I think the one rule that does exist, that’s pretty true is the higher the price point, the better you have to be at crafting a proper offer, offer structure, hitting all the buttons, right? Stuff that you’ve been talking about. I think that to sell a $20 ebook, you don’t have to be great at selling.
You know, it can be pretty simple. But when you’re getting up to a $4,000 product, yeah, you’ve gotta be on your game. And that’s where, oh my big beef is people coming to the world of digital marketing, and they study the search engine, they study Facebook and all these ads and things like that, but they never really take the time to study this. And none of that other stuff matters if you don’t get this right.

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.

I love the different processes some of these people follow, and, you know, what’s your process?

So you have an offer. You need to craft a sales letter, a pitch for … What’s the process you follow?

As long as the offer is hot, as long as I love the offer and it’s solid, then I can even just get in the headspace of writing savage copy for it. Because if you don’t truly believe the offer is awesome yourself, you’re really not going to sell it with all your might so to speak, even though you think you are using some good words like you’re using some flowery words.

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.

Exactly. Right.
So my process is tons and tons of research when I get going. I load up the ammo. And I create two customer avatars usually. I say usually, because if I’m in a market that I know, like making money niche or selling business opportunity, I know that like the back of my hand, because I am and was that myself, the market, then I don’t usually create the second avatar.

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-

… in order to get to the avatar.
That’s actually really interesting. So the customer avatar, that’s something I teach. That’s really, obviously we need to do that. But what you just said there, I’ve never heard anybody say that before, of creating an avatar for the person that they need to hear from.

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?

So totally understanding that. And so, for everybody listening, if you’re writing offers for a specific market, if they resonate with you and you’re that person, fantastic. But if it’s not, you need to sit down and really define the voice and the person. I think that’s brilliant.
It saved my ass having to write for markets that I have no … and having to write, for example, I had to do arthritis cream, which I had no business doing arthritis cream. I believe if you’re a copywriter, stick to a couple niches, and you’re lucky if you can master them in your whole lifetime. I truly believe that.
But it was this arthritis cream, and the lady in the sales letter that was speaking to the market, she was a 67 year old woman with arthritis. And I am the furthest from a 67 year old woman.
My knees hurt, but I don’t have fucking arthritis. So I am the furthest thing away from an old lady. But I had to speak in an old lady’s voice. Well how do you do that? See the thing is the market isn’t just a 67 year old lady. I mean, that’s the bullseye. But the market is wider than that.
But in order to get into her voice, I had to literally create an avatar of this lady, and I had to step into that.
And it makes it easy. I don’t know. It’s not that hard. Once you make the avatar, it sounds weird to do. But once you make that thing, and people ask how do you do it, how do you know what voice they need to hear it from?
Yeah. That’s what I was wondering. You can create the avatar. “Okay, I need to sound like a 67 year old lady with arthritis. But how do you figure out what that voice even is?
Right. I wish I had a better answer.
And I might 15 years from now. But the thing is, once I get in and do it, it becomes obvious. It’s like a lot of things. It’s like you don’t know until you start doing it, and then it becomes obvious. “oh, okay, that makes sense.”
It’s like that person needs to hear this kind of tone of voice, and they need to hear this kind of thing. And this person probably needs more reverse psychology or something. When you start, you gotta really let yourself go almost, and get into this type of stuff.
I mean, the research process is standard. I do a lot of cheating. I’ll be honest. For example, if I’m doing something for weight loss, which I haven’t done in years, I will literally type in Google the specific thing I want. I would say, “What is it like to be 360 pounds? What does it feel like?” Or “What does it feel like to live with arthritis day to day?” And you’ll get endless blogs of people who are in arthritis pain, writing about it with their crooked hands as they’re talking about it. And you can’t even, you can’t dream up copy that juicy.
And so I ask Google all the time exactly what I want. I was like, what is it like to live with X day to day, whatever problem that you’re solving for them.
And then you get endless blogs of people telling you.
That’s amazing. One of the keywords that you just used there, for everybody listening, was feel. Right? And that’s what you want to get inside people’s head. It’s so smart, because the internet, the information is all out there, 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?

So I love Quora. I don’t know if you’ve used Quora much. But I mean, it’s just a giant ass Q&A site.
And people go there because they, they have problems, and they’re complaining, and they want help, right?
I think that’s a really good way to get in there. But the trick is feeling. And being able to communicate it back to them, so they’re hearing the words that were going through their head.
Yeah. And the words are, so important.
For example, we found a pattern in our market. My market’s all over the place from people who wanna start a business to people who are doing multi-millions. It’s weird.

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?”

And I was thinking about it more, and I was like, “take the plunge” means jump into a body of water. And what do you do when you jump into a body of water? You hold your breath. And so I incorporated that into my copy one time. I was like, and now, you know, and “I want you to take a deep breath in, and I want you to know that this is the moment you’re going to finally take the plunge.

But just know, it’s not into the dark abyss. It’s finally into the warm future that you’ve been dreaming of.”

Yeah. And they don’t know why, but that message made them feel good. And that’s the trick.
Like hold my hand as we take the plunge together.
Take the plunge together. Everybody who’s listening to this, this is a kind of stuff that separates the mediocre and crappy copywriters from the kick ass copywriters. And I’ve worked with copywriters for years. And I’ve worked, I’ve hired Dan Kennedy to write a letter for us.
I’ve worked with a whole range of these ones. And the ones that are really good, this is what differentiates them. Every copywriter, I’m like, “Give me an offer structure.” They’ll be like, “Oh, headline. Blah, blah, blah, story, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

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?

Man. So I’ve always been writing. I’ve always been creatively writing. And I wrote stories, even when I was in like the second grade. I have these little books…
Books. Yeah.
My mom has them and stuff. So I’ve always been doing it. But when I first started wanting to figure out copywriting, it was literally like every John Carlton sales letter I could get my hands on, every Gary Halbert sales letter. Every copywriting training and sales letter known to man, I enveloped and got obsessed with for endless years.
I didn’t copy the letters out by hand.
That was actually, I was just about to ask you. ‘Cause I know a lot of copywriters are like, “I’ve written every letter by hand.” And if it works for you, great, right? I was wondering if you’d done that.
Well no. I didn’t do that. But what’s funny is like a lot of my friends have. And I think I was talking to Bond Halbert I think the other day. Because we’re going to do a Mastermind at the end of the year here in Thailand together, like a copywriting one.

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?”

And when he did that, the muscle memory connection was there, and it flowed through.
Ah, that …
So that’s a tip for anybody who like, anybody who ever like handwritten copy like crazy, it’s like maybe try to write your sales letters on paper, and then maybe-
On paper.
… the connection will be there.
Yeah. That’s fascinating. I’ve heard a lot of … Well, I was down in Vegas last week, and Perry Belcher was doing a two day intensive down there.
Oh I wish I could’ve gone.
And he was doing some of his stuff. And he said he wrote out when he first started, by hand, all Gary Halbert’s letters. Right?
You know. And that’s such a great way to embed that language, the languaging patterns, stuff like that, into. Which is similar to what you did initially, just listening to the Tony Robbins tapes, and then, you know. I mean, you’re embedding it.
You’re literally brainwashing yourself.
Voluntary brainwashing for sure.

So, do you believe that anybody can learn how to write passable ad copy, assuming basic literacy?

Depending on the week, I oscillate between yes and no. Okay, here’s the thing. I believe that yes, anybody can write sales copy that converts.
I believe that. Do I believe anyone can write creative sales copy that converts and also makes you look like a creative rockstar? No. I don’t believe that. I believe it takes people their whole life to try to figure out.

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.

Yeah. He was a machine.
You don’t need that. If your goal is to write converting sales copy, you don’t need to get seduced into having to be creative so to speak.
Yeah. And that’s fair.

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.

But once you get to a certain level in income, and if things are going well, that’s when you bring in a Mitch to now put that extra polish on it when you can afford that, right?
Yeah. And you don’t … Like most people who are enamored by copywriting don’t even, I don’t even know if they really wanna do it. Like I don’t even wanna do it, man. I don’t like doing it anymore. I don’t do it for other people.
I write the and post daily for people. But I don’t do sales letters for anybody, including myself anymore. I’m getting too lazy. I mean, I just do it through my content now, and we’ll sell events or things that we’re doing through post. But I don’t know. It’s just a means to an end. I don’t even wanna be known as the copywriter, because it’s so much more than that.
It was like, it’s the tool that I had an unfair advantage in, in order to sell some shit.
Whereas some people are good at media buying, and they can just crush it like that. Or some people have systems. I just have the writings. That was in my back pocket.

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.

Metaphors that would take somebody a year to come up with, I’d come up with it in a second. And it’s just natural. It’s always been. Ever since the seventh grade, the local chiropractor came in to teach us about the spine, and he was having a hard time getting the kids to understand what he actually did with the spine. And I was like, is it like when you have a kink in the garden hose, and then when you let go like this, it’s like all the pressure gets released and pain goes through?

He’s like, “Yes. Exactly.” So that was the moment I knew that my brain worked differently with that shit.

And the trick to a lot of great copy, in my mind, and persuasion I guess you could say, is metaphor-
… and analogy. If you’re trying to take somebody somewhere that they haven’t been, you’ve gotta connect it to something that they already know, and that’s really what that stuff is.
Yeah. That brings up a really interesting point. If I had to differentiate as well what separates the guys that just crush ad copy, guys like yourself, and people that are writing passable ad copy, is it’s the ability to interweave metaphor and tell story in an engaging way that draws people in and makes them go, “Oh, wow. I get it.” Right?
And that I think is the difference between rock star and okay.
Like we’re retelling the same shit. We’re all retelling the same shit. We’re all saying the same things.
But like, it’s how you tell it in a way someone finally gets it.
Yes. It just resonates with them. They understand the aha moment. And they, you know, you’re taking them on a journey. They’re reading it, and it’s resonating. It’s a story. It’s bringing them into that emotional state, which is so critical to that sales process.

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.

I appreciate it man. They’re a lot, they’re intricate. I put a lot of word play. There’s triple entendres. There’s hidden meanings. They really are, I like to think of them as puzzles. And if you read them, it’s like, there’s just little things everywhere almost like Easter eggs and stuff like that.
Easter eggs from past posts. But there is one thing I wanna say about copywriting I think that a lot of people miss, or that one cool thing that can help people out is like, you gotta be willing. Like what Derek just said, like what you said man.

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-

… to make people feel the bad emotions. And that is, that is one thing that I think separates great copywriters from ones that are just kind of meh.
Yeah, 100%. And you know, a lot of people get it in their head, they’re like, “Oh, that sounds icky. I don’t wanna do that.” And you said, like people are scared to do that. But if you really look around at some of the biggest even major companies. They do it all the time, right? They’re agitating. I mean, a perfect example, you know, I look at Apple, the “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac,” commercials, right? Like, “If you’re a PC, you’re a loser.”
“You’re a dork,” right? Like literally, they literally were like, “Yeah. You know, you don’t wanna be that guy do you? But here’s the solution.” Right? They did that. And so they did it for a reason, because it works amazingly well.
It’s a mindset shift. It’s like how much do you care about your customers. Because if you care about them enough, you’ll do what it takes to sell them.
That’s it. Yes.
The example is dude, you know the show Intervention?
Yes. Yes.
It’s just like that. Think of your market like Intervention. They’re going around, doing the drugs. If you don’t sit them down and make them cry, and have that conversation, they are never getting off those drugs or buying your product. So the intervention, you gotta do it.
Totally. Absolutely. I always say to people, “Look.” You know, Some people say, “I don’t like hard selling, or being aggressive in sales.”
And I say, “Well, do you believe in your product?”
“Will your product make their life better in some way?”
“Well yeah.”
“Then don’t you owe it to them to do whatever it takes to help them make their life better?”
“Well yeah.”
“Well then the only obvious solution here is to sell the damn product, right?”
Yeah. You know, and it’s funny though. I mean, sales for a long time has been a bit of a dirty word. But I mean, the beauty of, I think, where we exist today too is with the internet, with the ability to educate markets, built rapport, build credit, we can give value at the same time as we’re selling to people, which I think is great, right?
So look. We’re just about to wrap up here. Last kinda question for you in this. What are some of the biggest mistakes that you see people make with their offers online, with their copywriting offers. What are the big mistakes people screw up with?
Okay. One of the big ones is Claude Hopkins talked about this is Scientific Advertising, which is the more specific you are, the more believable your claims are. And that goes for making money claims. That goes for specific words. That goes for telling stories.

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.”

And then they’re just like, “It gonna be great.” You can’t just fucking say that man. You can’t just say that, and just gloss over it and go onto the next thing. And this is part, that’s part of the offer, ’cause you’re making an offer to people, and saying things vague like that, without any kind of backup or whatever, it just, you’ve just killed trust.
And so anything anything else you’re saying after that, they’re just like, “Bull shit.” Even if it’s subconscious. And so the specific language is extremely important, even as far as telling the story that leads into an offer, like, “You know, I was on a flight the other day, you know. I was on a flight the other day to New York,” or whatever it is.

You gotta say New York. You gotta say probably what day it was. You gotta be specific enough.

So anyways, the vagueness kills trust, and kills offers big time. And you’ll be surprised at how much you do that.

Have you ever used this great little app, I use it all the time now, Hemingway App?
I’ve been told that I should many times, but I haven’t.
It’s an amazing app. I mean, it does a whole bunch of stuff. Like I mean, when you write something, it gives you sort of the reading level, right? You know, grade six, grade five, grade four. But one of the things I love is it immediately goes through and it highlights passive voice.
So right away, it tells you, “Okay, you’re using passive voice here. You’re using passive voice there.” And passive voice is a symptom in many cases of what you were just talking about, right? And so it coaches you on getting rid of passive voice, and making your copy more impactful. I’ll write something, I think I’ve been impactful, and I put it into Hemingway, and I’m like, “Oh, dammit.”

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 anyway, I thought if you haven’t used it, you oughta try it. I think it’s a great app.
It’s hard for me to teach an old dog new tricks, but I’m only 34, so God damn it-
You can do it.
I can do it. I think another thing, I mean, what I wanna try and do is give your listeners like different things that might kill an offer that not everybody would talk about, I guess let’s put it that way.

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-

… or you’re not buying it.
It’s either yes or no. I don’t want a yes or no. I want X or X. I want to control those choices. So it’s either full pay or payment plan. It’s either red or blue. It’s, I mean it’s a very standard sales tactic that I don’t see ported over to the digital space enough.
Yeah. That’s a super important one. And even to go deeper into that one, one of the things I like to do, ’cause I agree. You never just say, “Here is is. This or this,” right?

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?

So we can go into all the nuances of these types of strategies, right?
If I’m ever doing a close for say a one year program, say it’s like two grand. I’ll say, “Okay, so I have a Mastermind. My Mastermind is $25,000 a year, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You can get this and this. If you wanna be part of it, you need to come talk to me, et cetera, et cetera.

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.

Right. That’s, I love that. That’s brilliant. Because that contrast-
… makes it seem more. It’s brilliant.

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.

Yeah. Exactly.

Totally. And that’s another pricing strategy, right?

Like the opposite of cups.
To move people up. It is totally the opposite. And you can go that way as well, right?
So yeah. You can buy this one that, for, 60 cents, 61 cents, though, you’re gonna get all this other stuff.
Yeah. And you almost have to.
Well you do. You’re like, “I can’t not. It would be stupid.”
And you’re like, “It’s 60 cents.” But it’s like nevermind the damn thing’s only worth eight in the first place. They started here, so that’s what you’re working from.
Yeah. So I mean, now you’ve accomplished moving them up. You’ve built value. You’ve given them choice. I love that, because truly that yes or no, you don’t want that to be the decision.
No. Absolutely not.
I would say one last one though would be definitely I see this a lot. Okay, so there’s people who are not aware of the problem that they have, and there’s people who are aware of the problem and are looking for a solution. So if you have a product that solves a problem, be careful in the copy to not be trying to convince people who don’t know the problem exists to know the problem exists in order to sell it to them.
Speak as if someone already knows what the hell the damn problem is, and if they want it solved, because trying to go for the former is very difficult.
Well, and it’s painful, right? It’s going to be a lot easier to sell and focus your efforts on people that already know the problem and they’re seeking a solution.

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 we have a lot of things that are coming out very quickly. But the best way to connect with me is on my personal Facebook profile, which is Mitch Miller. You’ll see an absurd looking picture of me in a hot tub smoking a cigar with rubber duckies and batman floaties on my arms. That’s how you know it’s me.
And I’d say our YouTube channel. I think we have about 200 videos of free training, all sorts of training on copywriting and human psychology, and marketing strategy and stuff like that. That’s Opposed Media YouTube channel. And yeah, like I said, we have a whole bunch of other stuff coming out. But those two are the best for now.
Awesome. Fantastic. Well Mitch, thanks so much for just sharing unconditionally your knowledge, strategies. Really enjoyed this, and hopefully we’ll have you back here for a future episode.
Yeah, thanks man. I’d love to tap into a specific topic sometime. We can go really deep.
Deep, deep. I totally agree. I wanted to on so many topics today. So yeah. We’re gonna have to pick some topics and definitely go really deep on that. So awesome, man. Thank you so much.
Thank you.
Alright everyone, that was copywriter and digital entrepreneur Mitch Miller.

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.

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  1. Dang you dropped some value bombs for copywriting!
    Mitch – your points about controlling the close are spot on.
    You dont’ want people reaching the end and saying “do we buy or not” > you want them saying “do I pay in full or in payments”.
    Love it.

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