Our guest this week is Alyson Lex. Alyson is the former Marketing Manager for Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle where her first salesletter generated nearly $9,000 in 3 days. She lives and breathes effective marketing without selling your soul. She’s been writing copies for over 13 years now allowing her to help business owners to grow bigger and reach more. She believes that sometimes when you do the writing yourself, you get caught up and fail to represent yourself well.
Know the secrets and step-by-step process in creating an effective copy by listening to this week’s podcast.
Alyson’s website: https://alysonlex.com/
Katie Brinkley 0:02
Hi friends. I’m Katie Brinkley and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs, realtors and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Alyson Lex 0:22
Welcome back to Rocky Mountain marketing. My guest today is Allison lacs. Allison has over 13 years writing direct response copy from her start as the Director of Marketing at the Glaser Kennedy insider circle. So she was working and writing for Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer. Her to her private business helping hundreds of coaches authors and speakers to her podcast helping you market your business and put out good into the world. Alison lives in breathes effective marketing that works without selling your soul. Ellison. It is so great to have you on here. And I’m just gonna tell everybody here I’ve had the opportunity to be a guest on Allison’s podcast. It is fantastic. It’s called the system that thrive. So if you are looking for another great podcast, listen to checkout Allison’s but Alison, thank you so much for joining me on my podcast today. I am so excited to be here. And I know I know you were like, Alison, when are you going to book your episode? So I’m really glad that we’re finally doing this because we have gotten to know each other so well, over the last few months with clubhouse and podcasting and text message and Facebook, Instagram, we message everywhere.
Katie Brinkley 1:38
I know you’re on boxer too, we have another way to message. You know, so you and I have had the opportunity to get to know each other very well. But for all of our listeners, just tell us a little bit about yourself. I gave a very brief rundown of what you do. But tell us a little bit about where you grew up and what life was like growing up. Yeah, so
Alyson Lex 2:00
I grew up right here in Baltimore, Maryland. I am not one of those moving people. I actually live two miles from the house I grew up in, I live 15 minutes from the hospital I was born in. So I have deep roots, but I love to travel. And I for my whole life knew I wanted to be a teacher until I went to college. And I accidentally took a class for continuing ed and not new teachers. And so it was me and like 15 teachers all with over 10 years of experience in this class, and they thought it was just the cutest little thing. But nobody in that room was happy. And I just didn’t want to sign myself up for that and had a bit of an existential crisis. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And that’s when I decided to apply for jobs. I found a job on Craigslist before it was creepy at this marketing company called Glaser, Kennedy. And I was an admin assistant. And then I was the marketing manager. And then I was the director of marketing. So I worked my way up pretty quick. And the rest, as they say is history.
Katie Brinkley 3:01
Yeah, so I mean for those of the listeners today who might say, Well wait a second, who are Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer, tell us a little bit about the Glaser Kennedy insider circle.
Alyson Lex 3:11
So Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer are actually two really well known marketing authorities. Dan Kennedy is one of the foremost copywriters in the world. He’s on par with John Carlton. And I can’t even think of them all right now, right? But they’re like the great guys who are good at Everett Ogilvy, and all of these amazing guys, and not Gary Halbert. And there we go, now they’re coming out. And so if you’ve ever seen a pro active infomercial, Dan Kennedy wrote those and has made millions and millions and millions of dollars for want that one company charges so much money. Bill Glazer was at one point, Dan Kennedy’s partner and he actually had a menswear store here in Baltimore, Maryland, doing a ton. And when he teamed up with Dan Kennedy, they started well, he said first bill started teaching retail store owners how to market their business effectively teamed up with Dan Kennedy to have the Glaser Kennedy insider circle. And what they did was provide this marketing, direct response, marketing information to business owners all over the world. They had, we had newsletters and events and a suite of products. We had a whole library. That partnership was dissolved, I think in 2011. Now Dan Kennedy is working with another person on the no BS, inner circle. And then Bill has the Outrageous Marketing Academy with his daughter and another business partner. So they’re still out there teaching, but I was lucky enough to get to work for both of
Katie Brinkley 4:47
them. That’s awesome. And I’ve had the chance to see some of your copy and action and it is it’s very good. So I think that I would love for you to just tell our audience little bit about the importance of having fantastic copy. Because whether it’s for a website, or if it’s for a virtual event, or a live event or anything like that, what someone is reading can make a world of difference. So tell us what role copywriting has, in your marketing,
Alyson Lex 5:22
I would love to be able to say that copy is the only thing in your marketing that matters, ego would really be happy if I could say that out loud. But I can’t copy is one piece, it’s your messaging, there’s actually four pieces to marketing, that will be essential to seeing success. Messaging is one, they all start with em super fun, the market, so who your audiences, the media, or how they get that from you, and the moment hitting them at the right time. So you want to get the right message to the right people in the right place at the right time, in order for them to want to take action. That being said, if your messaging is off, it’s going to tank everything. So like you mentioned a website, an event, I don’t care if it’s a flyer, right, you’ve got to say the right things, to connect with those right people to get them to see the benefits of what it is that you want them to do. doesn’t always have to be Give me your money can be RSVP for an event. Right. So when I invite people to my kids birthday parties, the one thing I always make sure I say is, I have a huge yard for your kids to run around in. So they go home tired, right? Because the worst thing to any parent out there is going to a birthday party, your kid gets all sugared up on cake and ice cream, and then they come home bouncing off the walls, I say my parties are going to be different than that, because I’m going to give them that stuff early. And then I’m going to wear them the heck out and people come to my parties. So that is a really silly, personal example of copy. If your spouse wants to know where to go to dinner, your over text message, and you say, hey, let’s try that a tie in place down the street. They have amazing eggplant parm, and I know that’s your favorite. And they agree with you. You’ve just now converted them with your copy. Okay, so don’t think your copy has to be this big production to do. Yes, in some cases it is. And when you get into creating campaigns and marketing efforts, and funnels, and all of these buzzwords that are going to get thrown out there. Yes, it can be a really big to do. And of course, there are some best practices, but you use copy and you use sales every single day in your life. That’s why it’s important.
Katie Brinkley 7:56
Yeah, I wish that you lived closer because I was like, oh, maybe I’ll maybe I keep my kid could come to birthday party. That sounds like my ideal situation. And I’m might steal that for my daughter’s birthday party this summer. Because, yeah, it’s, it’s true in I mean, you persuaded me to try and uproot my family to go to move to Baltimore so that we could go to your kid’s birthday party. And I think that that is something that a lot of people might overlook, they might say, like, oh, well, I really need to have a copywriter, you know, just push out this simple flyer or this simple event that I’m doing? And you know, I could probably do I know all the details of the event, I can just put it together. Why would hiring someone like you or a copywriter? Someone that’s, you know, an expert in their field? Why would that really make that much of a difference?
Alyson Lex 8:47
In some cases, it won’t. But in many cases, I’m able to look at your audience. And by I am in New York, someone like me, I’m not the right fit for everyone. But a copywriter is able to look at your audience distill the reason that they want to do business with you to figure out what drives them, and then put that into the right words to connect with them in the right way. See, what happens when we write for ourselves is we get so caught up in us that we may not present ourselves in the best way. And many of my clients do not do the amount of research they should into who their person is. If you’ve seen madmen, alright, that show Don Draper, the majority of time, Don Draper sits around drinking booze, and thinking, we’ll call it thinking he was doing a lot of other stuff too, but sitting and thinking and drinking. And frankly, that’s, I mean, it’s kind of far off of what a copywriter does, but not entirely. The majority of our job is not writing Katie’s dying over here. The majority of our job is not writing It’s thinking it’s researching, it’s figuring it out, I’ll be working on creating something for a client, I’ll get completely stuck, I’ll go to my pond in my backyard. And I’ll sit for half an hour, and I come in and a sales page is done. Because I’ve thought about it, my brain has landed on the part that I need to wait to get to my brain to that point, I’ve got to do the research. And, frankly, so many business owners are so busy running their business, that they don’t have the time, the energy or the attention to spend, doing the level of research that you really should be doing to write that kind of copy yourself. That being said, I want you to be able to toss together a quick email, I want you to know what good copy looks like, I feel like you should know what a good copy looks like before you hire anyone. Otherwise, how are you gonna know what they’re delivering is good. Okay, so And frankly, do you really want to, if you’re think of a promotion on Sunday night, and you want it out by Tuesday morning, you can maybe be hard pressed to find a copywriter that can handle that unless you have one on staff.
Katie Brinkley 11:10
So I was gonna say, you know, let’s say you do have a promotion on Tuesday, and it is Sunday night, and somebody listening does not have the time to go and try and find a copywriter? What would you tell them? What it What would you suggest their first step be as they’re getting ready to write some copy?
Alyson Lex 11:26
Okay, so whatever your promotion is, I want you to think, what is the number one problem that this solves for my person? Basically, the whole bit of your copy, the whole marketing message should answer the what’s in it for me question that your person is asking. If you want them to come to your store? What’s in it for them? If you want them to visit your Facebook page, what’s in it for them? If you wanted them to refer a friend? What’s in it for them? I have a friend who she runs an insurance agency. And we were talking about how to increase referrals, you can just send out an email that says hey, can you refer someone, it’s not likely to get a lot of traction. But if you send an email out that says, hey, I’ve got this stack of coupons, whatever kind of coupons, and I’d love to give you one. In fact, I’ll give you one for every person who calls me and says You sent them my way. Tickets, gift cards, I don’t care what you’re using right coupon for a free pizza from the pizza joint down the street. That’s what’s in it for them. Hey, I use you. I’m your customer. Maybe I’ll just do a Facebook post anybody looking for insurance? I got a guy, let me know. And now you are generating referrals just by answering the what’s in it for me question. There are five currencies that people trade in. Okay, so I’m trying not to overwhelm. But I want to talk about this. The first is obviously money. Makes sense. Currency is money. The second is time, I want you to spend time with me. The third is attention. I want you to give me your attention, which is is similar and related to time, but different. Right? I want your information. What’s your email address, I want your mailing address, I want to know more about you. I want to know whatever. And the fifth is relationship. I want to referral. Okay. So whatever you’re asking for is going to fall into one of those five categories. And the thing that they get from it needs to be come measure it with what you’re asking them to do. If you’re asking them to spend $1,000, they need to get $1,000 of value. If you’re asking them to spend 45 minutes with you on a webinar, or in an in person luncheon, learn or what have you, right? Because we can look online or offline, what value will they get what’s in that for them. And what they’re going to get from 45 minutes with you is going to be way different than what they’re going to get from four hours from you. Because you’re asking them to spend more time right just as I would expect a $10 thing to be a little bit less than $1,000 thing. I’m gonna need more for that 1000 bucks. So I really want you to think Am is what I’m offering in line with what I’m asking. That’s going to be a big thing. What are they getting? What problem is the solving? And then you can flip that around to What benefit do they get? Okay, so I like to use landscaper as my example it’s like my go to I
Katie Brinkley 14:43
don’t care. I don’t know why my dad right? I don’t I just I
Alyson Lex 14:47
they get stuck in your head and you have this is just what you don’t eat we mow or lawn. We don’t have a landscaper. So what is the big benefit of having someone come and mow my lawn once a week? What do I get out of that? And you can think about the surface level stuff, right? The I don’t have to do it part. The it’s gonna look really nice part. But then there’s the, if I work full time, right Monday to Friday, and I only get Saturday and Sunday off, do I really want to spend half of my Saturday every week mowing a lawn, and my husband luckily loves mow the lawn, but some people really hate it. And so the big benefit that they get is time they get their weekend back. Right? So think about that. And, and I like to do the multiple steps of why. So why would somebody get their lawn mowed? They don’t want to do it. Why? Well, because it’s a chore. And they don’t want to do that chore. Well, why? Because it takes time. Well, why is that a problem? Because they don’t have much. Why? Because they work full time. Why? So they can support their family. Why? Because they love their family. So now we’ve touched into, they don’t like to spend time on the lawn. And they work to support the family they love. So wouldn’t it be a really amazing benefit, if they got their weekend back to spend with their family to see how we made that connection.
Katie Brinkley 16:22
If that’s the exact connection I made for us getting a house cleaner to come to our house, twice a month. That’s exactly what I did for my husband to convince him that it was a good investment for us. Because it’s like, yes, we can clean the bathrooms, we can do it. It’s not a matter of us not being able to but just imagine the things that we can do together on the weekend as a family because we’re not going to be you know, cleaning, cleaning the bathrooms.
Alyson Lex 16:48
Exactly. But that’s the kind of stuff that we want to call out in our copy. So if you’re putting a campaign out on Tuesday, and it happens to be Sunday night, I want you to start with a big headline that gives them that benefit. And I have a little formula. So if you’re not driving, grab a pen and write down audience plus benefit, plus time minus objection. That is your headline. Okay, so who you’re talking to what they get, how quickly they can get it, and maybe removing something that would help stand in their way. Okay. So, again, with a landscaper, and this is this has been my example for a while. So if you’ve heard me before, you’ve heard this before. But audience we might say parents of teenagers, right? Because I know when my kid was born, I was like, I cannot wait about 14 years for him to mow this lawn. Okay, so parents of teenagers, and they want their lawn mowed on a regular basis. So it would be Hey, hey, parents, finally get your lawns looking great every weekend without begging, pleading, cajoling or bribing your kids. Okay, so audience benefit time, and then objection, it doesn’t always have to be this way. You can remove one of these things. I like to compare it to a table or a stole that works with four legs, it works with three legs, but not two, or one. And as long as one of them is the benefit. You could have audience benefit time, benefit time, Objection, anything as long as benefits in there and play with it and get started that way. And I actually have a resource to help with that. If your listeners want to grab it. It’s at Allison Lex comm slash headlines. And it’ll give you some more formulas that you can just drop in like Mad Libs. But start with the headline, grab their attention, and then detail a little bit how what you have will solve this problem for them. Then give them your call to action. What do you want them to do? Tell them step by step. If you want to book an appointment, you’re gonna call Jimmy at this phone number and schedule a quote appointment. If he’s not there, leave a message, he’ll call you back. Like, tell them what to do and what to expect. It reduces a little bit of that anxiety of what’s going to happen when I do this. But it also allows them to not have to think too much.
Katie Brinkley 19:23
So I guess my next question would be, let’s say, just going off the landscaper and you send out this message to hate parents. Do you want your lawn looking fantastic again, without begging and pleading the kids when it kind of almost feel like Oh, I’m missing out on maybe some people that you know, might not have kids, they might I may instantly turn them off. They still might want to have my services. Is it okay for me to be sending out a mass email like this? I mean, how do you really know if your marketing is working?
Alyson Lex 19:56
So remember earlier I talked about the four things that are Central, one of those is audience. So what you want to do is, if you can don’t send the same message to your whole audience, okay? If you can segment them by whatever. And now I picked parents because it’s a thing. And you know, you could buy or rent lists if you wanted to do direct mail of parents in your geographic area, who are homeowners, so they, you know, and you can choose single family homes, and you can do all that, right? Look for the Google list broker, and you’ll find them. But if it’s your own list, you already know them. And so you know, who is most likely to respond? And you probably already know, or at least have an idea of how they’ve acted. And if you don’t, you should be segmenting your list. Right tag. It’s called tagging in the tech world, but just kind of marking down what they’ve done with you what their relationship has been like with you. What have they attended this webinar? Did they buy this product? What have they done, tag it so you can segment out that way, you don’t necessarily have the same send the same message to everyone. You could say, okay, you know what, I’ve got this, this email or this mail piece going out to parents, I’m gonna tweak it a little bit, send the same offer to people over 65. But now it’s maintain your lawn the way you always have, it’s a source of pride for them pride in homeownership maintain your lawn the way you always have without the back breaking work. Same offer, same deal, slightly different message. And so that’s where that thing, the four M’s that I talked about earlier, really come into play. That audience and that message are going to match each other. When you bring in the moment. Well, is it the best idea to send this in the middle of snowy season? Probably not. Unless you’re offering a book early deal, which is a you know, a good idea. Hey, it’s our offseason. We’re trying to fill our books for the spring book now and we’ll cut a discount for you. But they don’t need their yard done now. It’s covered in snow. Right? So that’s that moment matched. And then media, if we’re going to adults, age 70 and up, chances are this offers not going to go over well on Tik Tok, right, that’s just not their demographic, we would want to use direct mail, because they’re much more likely to open their mailbox than they are to watch a tick tock. So figuring all of that out is really important too.
Katie Brinkley 22:36
So you’ve given us a lot of fantastic tips about copywriting today, you know, and it’s been almost a master class here hours and I’m not gonna lie. I mean, what does it look like if someone wants to go out and hire a copywriter to to help them with their website to help them with their offers to help them with their, with their email campaigns? What does it look like to hire somebody like you? Well,
Alyson Lex 22:59
so I can tell you how I work. And I know that a lot of copywriters work the way I work a lot work differently. And like I said earlier, I’m not the right fit the right person for everyone. So I do always encourage people to look around and see what they can find or who they can find. If it’s me, I’m more than honored and more than happy to have a conversation with you and further consider for fit. I personally am not a hard pitch kind of person, like I would much rather you be super excited to work with me than feel pressured in any way. And I love helping business owners and entrepreneurs succeed. That’s part of my own personal mission and my own personal values. But so the way that I work is I do schedule call. And you can do that on my website. We talk we talk about your goals where you are, we do have a frank conversation about budget and ability because I’m not the cheapest in the world. I’m not the most expensive, but I’m definitely not cheap. And we just talk and no pretenses, no hidden agendas or anything like that. I do my best to give you a ton of value with that. If you want to move forward with the proposal outline everything that we’ve talked about give you a proposal let you know what it would look like money wise put it in writing use if you if you’re good for it, you sign it and we we move forward and I write it for you some writers work differently. I do prefer that like a video or a voice call just because it gets it allows us to get to know one another but plenty of people and I’ve done it before console right through you know sign you up for a project right through Facebook or Instagram messenger
Katie Brinkley 24:38
Well, Allison, this has been such an awesome conversation. I know I learned a ton about writing copy and I I write you know just captions on a on a regular basis for social media but it is so true, like the messaging that you’re putting out there. It makes a world of difference and a lot of the tips that you shared today, I know people are going to really Hopefully they’ve been taking notes. And they’ll hopefully, next time that they are getting ready to send out an email blast or something, they can have those tips that you gave in their back pocket, because I’ve seen some of the stuff that you’ve written. And it really, it’s true. Everything you talked about today, you implement on a regular basis. And it’s, it makes a world of difference. And so I can’t thank you enough for coming on the show today, it has been a pleasure. What is the best way for someone to get in touch with you? How can how can we connect with you further.
Alyson Lex 25:29
So the easiest way is just to head to my website. That’s Alison Lux, Al ysonlex.com. You can also just search me on any social platform, and my name is spelled so weird, I show up on Google, all that good stuff, you can just search for me and connect with me there. Email me contact form on my website, however, is the best way. But if you want that headline generator that I mentioned briefly earlier, it’s six headline templates, dry, you know, drop in your words, I’ll walk you all through it. That’s it, Alison lux.com/headlines. And that’ll also put you on my marketing list. And you can keep in touch with me that way.
Katie Brinkley 26:07
That’s awesome. And before we end the show, I just want to touch on that headliner thing a little bit more. So you think this would be good for somebody for like email subject lines? Or is it mostly just for events or for marketing materials? What if someone’s like, oh, well, maybe I’ll check it out. Is this right for me? What is this headline generator really good for?
Alyson Lex 26:24
I you can use it for email subject lines, I’m actually in the process of developing an email subject line swipe file, so you can hop on the list and then you’ll get access to that when I launch it. But it’s mostly for landing pages, sales pages, try it out on your emails, flyers, direct mail, all of that stuff. You can even try it on social posts as a an attention grabber headline or anything. Basically, a headlines job is to cut through the attention and get them to read the next sentence. So anywhere you want to do that. You can try these out and see if they work for you.
Katie Brinkley 26:58
Thank you again so much for coming on the show today. It’s been awesome having you.
Alyson Lex 27:02
Thank you so much for having me. I have enjoyed it and always anything with you.
Katie Brinkley 27:08
Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at www.nextstepsocialcommunications.com Connect with me on LinkedIn or check me out on Instagram. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.