Writing Better Sales Copy, Are You Selling or Helping?

Wandering Aimfully Through Selling

Writing Better Sales Copy, Are You Selling or Helping?

Writing great sales copy isn't rocket science. It's a deliberate practice that you can improve with just a few simple steps.
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

Written by

Jason Zook

Whether you’re writing email pitches, sales copy, newsletters, or any other form of writing that sells your product or service, sometimes it can feel like a painful slog.

One small mindset shift that’s really helped me is to change my thought process from:

I’m writing this sales email or sales copy to convince someone to buy.


I’m writing this sales email or sales copy to help someone get better at XYZ.

I used to labor over the words I was typing and wonder why it felt so icky and uncomfortable. I realized I was trying to convince people to buy something, instead of simply sharing how my product or service could help them.

I know it’s not just me, either. I’ve heard from so many people over the years that a mental block appears when it comes to writing anything sales-related. These questions tend to pop up too:


3 Ways To Challenge Mental Blocks When Writing Sales Copy

#1 – Invest in building up your writing confidence

It’s hard to sell as it is, but it’s even harder when you have a mental writing hurdle to overcome before you even get to the selling part. Creating a daily practice for writing is a great way to build writing confidence (just sit down for 30 minutes every day for two weeks and write at least 500 words). This will help you find your writing voice and have your writing come off as genuine and natural. (Yes, even for sales copy!)

#2 – Focus on how the thing you’re selling makes someone better

What is the outcome your customer can achieve with the thing you’re selling? If you’re creating an online course, your instinct will be to write about the lessons and bonus content included. Instead, you should be focused on the subject of the course and how your potential customer can improve in that area of their life or business.

Example (wrong): Buy my course on starting a podcast. You’ll learn what microphone to buy and what podcasting host to use.

Example (right): If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of starting a podcast, this course will break podcasting tasks into bite-sized pieces that you can knock out without any previous technical knowledge.

#3 – Write better sales emails by using a writing formula

If you’re anything like me you might not even know that writing formulas exist? Apparently, I was using a writing formula a few years ago and I had no clue. My editor Chantel surprised me one day and asked me if I knew I was using a formula (you can imagine her surprise when I said “nope!”). I stumbled into using a formula through tons of trial and error, you can avoid all the stumbling and learn about three writing formulas in this video:

(That video is a lesson within a course called The Imperfect Writer. If you like that lesson, and feel overwhelmed when it comes to writing sales copy, our course might help you!)

Use these “Headline Mad Libs” the next time you need to highlight important parts of your sales copy

These can be used if you need a boost of inspiration on what to write and how to position your sales copy for your potential customers.

<Insert your product or service> will help you feel more confident in your ability to <insert customer focus>
Example: The Photo MBA course will help you feel more confident in your ability to land photography clients.

<Insert your product or service> will help your <insert category or focus> stand out from the crowd
Example: Creative Class will help your web design company stand out from the crowd.

<Insert your product or service> will help you <insert desired outcome> with your <insert skill>
Example: The Imperfect Writer will help you make more money with your words.


When It Comes To Selling, We Are Our Own Worst Enemies

When we stay in the world of convincing, we will always feel a tinge of inauthenticity. It’s almost as if our words are trying to pry someone’s wallet out of their pocket or purse with a crowbar.

When we shift to the world of helping, it feels genuine (both to us and our potential customers). The crowbar is gone and the wallet emerges on its own terms.

Since 2008 I’ve sold thousands of things: Sponsorships, consulting calls, public speaking, books, courses, software, etc. I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning and often times my sales emails and sales copy fell flat. But after doing the exact (simple) things I’ve shared here, I’ve stopped being my own worst enemy and stopped letting my writing hinder my success.

Nowadays I’m very proud to hear comments from customers like: “I can tell you care about the people you are selling to and that’s why I bought” or “I appreciated that you weren’t selling the dream, you were telling me how your course could actually help me learn a skill.”

You can become better at writing sales copy and attracting people who resonate with the way you sell. Like anything else, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort.

Your words aren’t going to go out and write themselves. It’s time for you to take action.

Writing Better Sales Copy, Are You Selling or Helping?

(Big Fat Takeaway)

Improve your sales copy by exercising your writing muscles, using a writing formula, and focus on how what you're selling helps someone in their life.


This article written by

Jason Zook

Co-head-hancho of this Wandering Aimfully thing. I used to wear t-shirts for a living, now I just wear them because I'm not a nudist. You can usually find me baking vegan biscuits, watching Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, or reading Calvin & Hobbes comics. Also, I miss my GeoCities website that was dedicated to Dragon Ball Z.

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