Stop it right now.
“Stop what, Pete?”
STOP trying to create desire for your offer
I mean it:
Put down the pen, step away from the keyboard, quit putting up that billboard (or three)…
Whatever method you’re using to get your message in front of your prospects, if you’re trying to CREATE desire for what you have to sell, you’re facing an uphill struggle.
Yes, of course desire is crucial in marketing…
A key part of successful salesmanship is to identify specific desires and figure out the best ways to appeal to them…
…but NOT by trying to create them.
If you’re trying to instil desire in your market, you’re wasting a whole lotta time, energy and potentially cash too.
“Says who, Pete?”
Says the great Eugene Schwartz for one, in his marketing touchstone Breakthrough Advertising:
The power, the force, the overwhelming urge to own that makes advertising work, comes from the market itself, and not from the copy.
Copy cannot create desire for a product…”
Even though the ‘Gene Genie (as I like to call him) wrote this way back in 1966, it’s still true today.
Yes, I even agree with the part where he tells me – a fellow copywriter – that my work cannot create desire for a product.
(Eugene! I thought we were friends? Brothers In Copy? And now this..?)
Harsh truths for any aspiring writer to absorb, since we like to think of ourselves as masters of desire (wait, just me?)…
But he’s 100% right, so I’m passing it on.
So with Plan A: Create Desire scrubbed feverishly off the whiteboard, what’s Plan B for using desire to sell more of your products & services?
Plan B is this:
Channel your audience’s EXISTING desire towards your offer
Back to Eugene for his take:
Copy cannot create desire for a product.
It can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already-existing desires onto a particular product.
This is the copywriter’s task: not to create this mass desire — but to channel and direct it.”
Ah, ok. So Eugene’s not quite so down on his copywriting brethren after all.
He’s making the point that copywriters – ie, anyone who writes sales copy, EVER, including you – are still masters of desire…
…we just have to appeal to the desires our best prospects already have.
It’s a fundamental shift that can make a huge difference to all your messaging…
Seriously, go back through your core marketing…
Your sales pages, homepages, email onboarding, any headline designed to get attention, anywhere…
And check if you’re appealing to a desire you’re sure is already there.
Simple tip for sticking to this:
Think of every product or service you sell as a solution to a problem…
That way it’s easier to picture your audience showing up as someone with a desire to solve a problem – NOT someone who’s looking for something new to desire.
And you won’t get your good self all hot ‘n bothered trying to tempt your prospects with a message they’re not going to hear.
One more thing…
It can sometimes seem like the successful big guns – the ‘disruptors’ in 21st century markets – got where they are by creating new desires.
Facebook didn’t create the desire for attention, or the desire to somehow connect with people we may never meet in person…
It simply channelled those age-old yearnings, and in doing so, changed how we viewed them forever.
Google didn’t create the desire for knowledge at our fingertips, or the desire to solve problems faster and easier…
It just channelled those existing desires and developed a solution.
Airbnb didn’t create the desire to experience new places the way the people who live there do…
It just channelled that desire in people, and matched it with the desire of property owners for a more reliable income stream.
In fact when you look closely, it’s not just the tech giants who are fanning the flames of pre-existing desires either:
Marketers of luxury items – shoes, bags and watches – are just channelling the desire their customers have for (let’s face it) showing off, for demonstrating their wealth and status…
…even if each new product line might seem like it’s a ‘new thing’ creating a new temptation.
So how does all this affect marketers and entrepreneurs who want to stand out by Selling Unique – and attract customers with originality and exclusivity?
Delivering your true, unique value to those who recognise and benefit from it must also piggyback on existing desires.
So it’s essential to figure out WHAT that desire is, WHO’s got it bad, and HOW to most effectively focus it on your offer.
That’s what I help businesses like yours do, using a process that makes it easier to satisfy your prospects’ desires.
So if you believe the wanton cravings for your unique offer are out there somewhere getting your audience all steamed up…
Just head to this page and let’s find the best way to channel those desires in your messaging.