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Our clients are wicked smart. There know all there is to know about their products. And that’s the problem.
In order to look at the product in a new light, we need to squint our eyes a little.
How clients see their invention:
This is how we like to look at the product (at least initially):
You’ll notice our view is slightly blurred. This is intentional. When the focus is on the sharp edges of what the product can and cannot do it’s hard to think in creative new ways.
We know shoppers use a 9 point checklist (details about this mentioned at bottom of the article) to decide if a product is right for them. And this checklist is used no matter what product is being considered. So instead of zooming too much into the specific details of the product we just start writing a story loosely based on the product.
We don’t care about factual details at this time. Our only goal is to write to connect with the buyer at a subconscious level.
We know most of the details would need to be reworked. Many would need to be eliminated completely. But we still write. It’s our first draft.
We keep questions to the client to a minimum. We don’t want reality to affect our writing flow.
Feel like saying “we tested 47 prototypes before we nailed this design”? Good. Say it. There is no right or wrong.
Feel like saying, “I looked at all competitor products before working on my design”? Good. You can say that too.
Why do it this way?
You should watch YouTube videos of movie press junkets. When a new movie is released the cast talks to a series of journalists about the movie. By and large, the journalists are asking the same set of questions, with just a minute twist. You’ll notice in the first interview the cast is sitting straight and genuinely excited to talk about their new release. By the 57th interview of the day they are slouched, disengaged, and a little irritated.
Because clients have told their story so many times, at so many venues, it’s become highly polished. All the fat has been removed. It’s very factual.
This is why product pages have features and benefits. But our hero, who is seeing our site for the very first time today, is still in a state of wonder. 5 minutes earlier this buyer wasn’t even sure such a product existed. To connect with this buyer we need to recreate the excitement of the initial launch of your invention.
Why do it in this sequence?
You may be wondering, “Why write all this out when we know we’ll need to rewrite it?”
The reason is simple. We are trying to reset the curse of knowledge:
You see, if we know too much about how the product actually works and what goes into the development it can inhibit creative writing.
At this point, our focus isn’t on getting the details right, we want to get the story structure right.
The benefit for the client is that once they see the story arc it’s much easier for them to fill in details that need to be filled -versus- having to work with a blank canvas.
Copy the music industry
Turns out, this approach isn’t that unique because this is exactly how the music industry makes music. They first define the melody and then work in the lyrics to fit that melody:
Once the fantasy story has been created we send it to the client with this note:
“We have intentionally filled this first draft with a whole bunch of details that will need to be reworked and eliminated. This is very much intentional. Please update the numbers as needed.”
We then undergo a back and forth process with the client till we’re perfectly happy with the story. The final version must satisfy 2 goals:
— It must be interesting for the visitor. Our goal is for the reader to read the whole pitch.
— It must be 100% factually true.
Now that you’ve loosened up and written the first draft here are other ideas to maximize content conversion rates:
ABOUT FRICTIONLESS COMMERCE
Product pages matter because that’s where our prospects make the crucial buy / no-buy decision.
We specialize in Shopify product pages. Watch your bestseller convert 20% better in 90 days. Our process.
If you like doing the hard work yourself, our founder Rishi shares conversion ideas on LinkedIn every day. Connect with him here.
If you want to make your life easier and still increase conversions, jump on a call.