Direct response copywriter and video sales letter expert, Valentina Volcinschi, is in the house for episode 51 of The Copywriter Club Podcast. Kira and Rob ask her about how she became a direct response copywriter and how she developed her skills—she’s written a ton of successful promotions including one that pulled in $7 million in 5 months and saved a company that was headed toward bankruptcy. She also talks about…
• how musician Jack White landed her a job in direct response
• the “secret” 1000-page book that helped launch her career
• how she injects emotion into her copy
• her “puzzle structure” for sales pages
• how to get started working in the survival niche
• the biggest differences between sales pages and VSLs
• the EPW writing process that you probably use but don’t know it
• how she researches for her assignments
Plus Valentina goes deep on how feeling your customer’s pain can make all the difference in a sales message and how she entertains with her copy (she looks for wacky characters). We also asked her what she charges for sales pages, emails and VSLS and her advice for new direct response copywriters. As usual, lots of good ideas and advice. Click the play button below to listen, or scroll down for a full transcript.
The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:
The Ultimate Desktop Copy Coach (no longer available)
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
Intro: Content (for now)
The Copywriter Club Podcast is sponsored by Airstory, the writing platform for professional writers who want to get more done in half the time. Learn more at Airstory.co/club.
Rob: What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Kira and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.
Kira: You’re invited to join the club for episode 51 as we chat with copywriter Valentina Volcinschi about entertaining your customers with your copy, writing with emotion, video sales letters, and what it takes to break through in hypercompetitive markets like survival, health, and sass.
Rob: Hey, Kira. Hey, Valentina.
Valentina: Hi, guys. How you doing?
Kira: Welcome. Thanks for joining us.
Valentina: Thank you for inviting me.
Kira: A good place to start, Valentina, is just with your story, how you ended up as a direct response copywriter working on VSLs and even in the survival market. How did you get there?
Valentina: Well, it’s quite a funny story because I actually owe my debut in direct response copywriting to Jack White from The White Stripes and The Dead Weather.
Rob: Okay. This sounds like a good story.
Valentina: Yeah, kind of. I started as an agency copywriter. I worked at a local agency for a couple of years, but then I had to switch cities. I moved to another city, so I had to look for a job. I found an internship as a direct response copywriter and I was like, “What is that? I had never heard about that before.” I read about it. I found it very interesting and I thought that is a very good opportunity to learn something new. What I did was apply to that copywriting internship. What I didn’t know was that the person in charge of the applications was the secretary of the company. What she did was check every single person who applied on Facebook to see if they have the same taste in music as her because she had no girls on the team.
There are only guys and no one there to, I don’t know, share a common interest with her. She looked at my Facebook page and she saw that I had liked Jack White’s page. She was like, “This girl, I want this girl on my team.” Yes. She went to her boss and she oversold me on the whole thing. When I went to the interview, the guy was so excited to talk to me. I felt like I was Madonna. He was like, “Oh my god. I heard so many wonderful things about you.” I was a rookie copywriter who had no idea what direct response copywriting was, but I got the internship. I didn’t know that they worked with a certain niche, which was survival. I was used to work in an agency where you just worked on whatever account the agency got.
I was very surprised that my first copy project was for an info product, an eBook called Survive Apocalypse. I thought it was a joke. I was absolutely convinced it was a test, the kind of test that you get in copywriting interviews here they say, “Imagine we’re in the desert and you’re selling sand to me.” I was absolutely convinced it was one of those tests, like Survive Apocalypse was ridiculous, but then I got an email from my boss with the eBook Survive Apocalypse and another book that was called The Ultimate Desktop Copy Coach by Clayton Makepeace. If you’re not familiar with that book, it’s a great book for direct response copywriters, but it is 1,068 pages long.
I was supposed to finish the sales letter not knowing not even how to begin a sales letter or what a sales letter was while reading that book to understand how the process works. I don’t think I’ve slept eight hours in a month, but I managed to do it and it got a great conversion rate. It got like 12% on a first test on a small email list. It was right. I got hired and that was my debut in direct response copywriting in survival.
Rob: That’s nice. Valentina, you mentioned that there was a bit of a mind shift for you when you went from your first copywriting job to direct response. Would you tell us about some of the differences that you saw between the copy you were writing before and the copy that you were writing with the direct response opportunity?
Valentina: Yes. The agency that I used to work at was the typical super Bohemian place where you just brainstorm the whole day long and drink a beer and worked on very small accounts. The income wasn’t great for me or for the agency. It was a very small agency. When I got to this company, I saw budgets of like a million dollars per month and I was shocked. Everything was super structured. The company was very well organized and even the copywriting process was much better organized and structured than I was used to. I used to just brainstorm ideas and here I had two copy trainers, which was amazing. Each of them had a different style and I was very lucky to get those trainers because I learned how to write copy and edit my own work at the same time, which is very hard for a rookie.
It was a mind shift as in I suddenly had to become a lot more organized, a lot more structured in my writing. I went from writing slogans and naming products and writing, I don’t know, 400 word website pages to writing 6,000 words video sales letters. The style was definitely different because at an agency normally you don’t write sales copy. You write stuff for brand awareness. You write advertising campaigns. The mind shift was radical for me, but it was very useful in the end because I got the business end of copy, which helped me a lot in my freelancing career.
Kira: Let’s talk about that first month when you’re working on Survive Apocalypse sales letter and you have this Clayton Makepeace book and you’re just figuring it out. How did you download the book? How did you make it happen? Did you have anything that worked, didn’t worked during that time because I think we can all relate to that where we take on a project that’s out of our wheelhouse or a little bit more challenging than what we’re used to and we just have to figure it out within a matter of weeks or days?
Valentina: Honestly it was a nightmare. Really it was a nightmare. I never thought that I would actually get the job because when I was working on the project, I was an intern. A future job depended on this sales letter and on the results that I would get. Pretty much all internships are the same like, “Okay. Let’s see how you work. If we like your work and if you’re doing a good job, you’re going to get the job and you’re going to get paid in everything.” I was so stressed because the book was absolutely massive and I swear to god I was reading it during the night so I can apply what I read during the day. I was sitting with like a small flashlight in my bed and I was reading and crying at the same because I had no idea.
It is a super detailed book. For a total rookie to jump from not knowing what direct response really is to this is how you write a price justification, I had no idea how I managed to pull that through. I was lucky that I had these trainers that helped me through. I’ve done the job mostly myself, but it was a nightmare. It was horrible. I didn’t understand a word of it. Last year I read that book again and I was like, “Oh, so that’s what it meant. Oh okay. Now I get it,” because back then I had no idea. It’s not a book that I recommend to total rookies when it comes to direct response copywriting. Maybe after a few months, maybe, I don’t know, half a year of experience that would help you get your copy to the next level. Otherwise, it can be overwhelming.
Rob: A lot of our listeners are probably googling right now for a link to Clayton’s book so that they can learn lessons that you picked up as you went through the book at night.
Valentina: Yeah. I think you can find it in PDF form online. It’s not very heard to find.
Rob: Valentina, as you started writing direct response sales letters for this company, how did you learn to use your copy to entertain? How did you inject emotion into the page? Obviously it’s different from what you were doing with your branding copy.
Valentina: Yes. Yes. Totally different. The emotional thing kind of comes naturally for me. That’s what my first trainer told me that he loves the fact that I dig very deep into emotions when I write. It was very hard for me to structure those emotions to come in the form of a story because you don’t want to overwhelm people with a lot of very powerful emotions from the very beginning. You just want to give them a hint and sort of ease them into the story and entertain them. I have learned that with a lot of training and reading other people’s work. What I’ve noticed that especially for the markets that I write for, which is alternative health and survival and prepping, these are main issues, emotional stories work the best. They attract attention.
They keep you interested in the subject and they make you relate to your customers on a level that other techniques they just can’t help you as much as emotional stories. I think I owe most of the technique I use now in writing emotional stories to one of my trainers who taught me how to turn raw emotions into a sales funnel that you take the customers through. I use a structure for that that I call puzzle structure. I usually open with the climax of the story or with a very powerful dialogue between two characters that attracts attention. Then I dive into the benefits of the product, a very small presentation. Then I continue with a story and I leave the customer with a cliffhanger.
Then I insert some fact, some information about either the pain points or the benefits of the product depending on the customer awareness stage. I keep continuing with the sort of Tetris structure where I blend story and information, facts, benefits, so I don’t just deliver everything in one fell swoop.
Kira: You’re talking about the VSL structure now or does that work well on your sales letters as well?
Valentina: Yes. On sales letters, VSLs, even in emails where you have to sell the product and not the click.
Valentina: Yeah. If you have an email where you have to talk about the product, I write a mini sales letter and I follow the same structure.
Kira: I want to back up a bit to the survival and prepping market because I know we had chatted because about this over email a while ago and I’m fascinated by it as I’m sure most people are. If someone is listening and they’re interested in that market, what are some things they should know or prepare for before they jump into that market based on your experience? The good and the bad of that marketplace.
Valentina: Okay. If you’re not familiar with this market at all, the first thing that I would advise is not to judge because I tended to do that at first. I had nothing in common with that market. They seem a bit extreme to me. The people in the market who are preparing for, I don’t know, these unlikely disasters like massive solar flames that destroy your communication lines or tsunamis and volcanoes and earthquakes, which are natural disasters, but they prepare for everything. They have like entire rooms filled with stack piles with food and water and all sorts of stuff in case they have to live without clean water or fresh food for months or even years. I was very surprised why would someone invest all their time and money to do that, but it’s a hobby.
It’s a passion. It’s a lifestyle. Once I started to understand that and stop judging, I managed to write in a way that I could completely relate to that market even though I still don’t do the same things that they do and I probably wouldn’t in this lifetime. That’s my first advice, do not judge. Try to understand the reasons why they do this. Try to understand that they are very, very opinionated people. They have very strong political views, very strong opinions. It’s very hard to change their opinion. It’s very hard to change their mind once they’re set on something. Basically what you want to do is tap into their emotions, compliment or relate to their political views, and that’s the surefire way to a winner.
Rob: You also are writing in the health niche and a little bit of sass if I’m not mistaken. Is that right?
Valentina: Yeah. For sass, I don’t write VSLs. I write explainer videos. I’m also a creative director at a very small company where I write creative briefs for content writers and copywriters there. For the alternative health niche, I write VSLs and email sequences and landing pages, sales pages.
Rob: I’m curious, do you see differences between what you do with sales pages and what you do with VSLs? How do you change the copy from one to the other?
Valentina: Well, it has to sound like you’re talking to a friend. I know that everyone says that, but with VSLs this is super important. You just have to have this natural flow to your copy. I always read my copy out loud. If I happen to stumble on a sentence or even a single word, I just have to change sometimes entire paragraphs to fit with the flow. That’s why I use the structure that I was talking about earlier, the puzzle structure, where I begin a story, but I don’t just tell the whole story at once. I stop with a cliffhanger and I introduce a little bit of data about the product. I talk about the pain points. Then I continue with the story, then stop with another cliffhanger and so on. People stay interested because some of my VSLs are 48 minutes long.
Valentina: Yes. It’s highly unlikely that someone will actually watch a 48 minute long video. On the other hand, we binge TV shows on Netflix. If you’re really interested in something and the copy is super catchy, then you will definitely watch it to the very end.
Kira: I love to hear more about your process. I know you shared some of the structures that you used and VSL. What does it look like when you start a project from start to finish as far as the research involved too and even tapping into the emotions within the survival niche and the other niches as well?
Valentina: I have a process that I call EPW. The E stands for enthusiasm because I research a lot and I get super, super enthusiastic about the subject that I’m about to write about. After I’m done with the research and I have to start organizing the information and do the writing, I go into the P that comes from panic and I have this massive panic attack every single time. I mean I’ve been doing this for seven years, but I get a horrible panic attack every time I have to start structuring and writing on a new VSL because it’s a massive load of information. I am not a very well organized person naturally. For me, it’s an extra effort to do the structuring. Then after a couple of days of total panic, I just realize that I have a deadline in like two weeks.
I get into the W, which is work. I just work mindlessly. I’m so panicked about the deadline that I work day and night until I get it finished. Honestly this is my process. Yes. This is a perfect description of my process.
Kira: I appreciate that. I think I’m in the panic stage currently on a project, so I love it.
Valentina: Yeah, me too. Right now I’m in the panic stage of a project too. I don’t know. I’m looking forward to the stage where I’m actually going to start working and get some flow because I have this problem with editing while writing. Kira, I know you said that before about yourself too, that you have a problem with editing while writing. Everyone says, “No. Just write the first draft. Whatever comes to mind and it’s fine and then you know that you’ll edit it.” I can’t do that. I can’t help myself from rereading the, I don’t know, the last page and I just get that panic attack all over again. This can’t be any good.
Kira: I want to dig deeper into the research portion. We skimmed over it in the enthusiasm. I love the E for enthusiasm because I agree. You need that in order to get the traction, but when you’re in that research mode, I just want to picture what you’re doing and understand what that looks like for you.
Valentina: Depends on the niche that I’m working for. I have different research processes for survival and completely different research process for alternative health for example. When it comes to alternative health, I’m going to need to back everything up with a lot of proof. I’m going to go through hundreds of scientific studies and see which ones are okay and peer reviewed and double-blind control and everything so I can use them. Then I search for what people talk about on forums. I do review research on Amazon. I search for eBooks or supplements or something that’s similar and I see what people are happy about and what people complain about so I can use their same words, their same phrasing in my copy.
For survival on the other hand, I just go through like a hundred blogs and websites and forums. This is my start point because I want to see exactly what people’s opinion is about a certain subject because as I said, people in the survival and prepping market are very, very opinionated. I want to know exactly what they feel about a certain subject before I start writing about it. Yeah. That’s kind of my research process. I relate a lot more to the health market because I have my own health problems. When it comes to relating and writing with emotion about my pain, I can do that very well. The research part is not as thorough as it is in the survival niche.
Rob: I have to agree with you. I love writing in the health niche partly because sometimes the ingredients have such great stories to tell. Not just customer stories, but origin stories, where they’re from, how a particular ingredient might be harvested or the impacts that it has that comes out of the science. I love that part of writing for health. The research is fun.
Valentina: Yes. Yes. It’s very fun. I realize that when it comes to the health market, interviewing people is not as great as I thought it would be. I know that a lot of copywriters interview their prospect or their customers to find out their pain points and stuff. I tried the same thing, but as a person who has been through a lot of chronic pain for years, I realized that people will not talk exactly about those things that matter the most. Those little details that can ruin your mood, ruin your day, those very … I don’t know, your darkest moments when it comes to your health. People don’t really talk about it. I guess I don’t know. You have to dig into your own experience with health problems, with pain.
Remember exactly how you felt at a certain point or whatever little detail annoyed you to the point where it could ruin your day and just drop that in the copy and see how it works because it may work a lot better than what people are talking about during interviews or surveys.
Rob: That’s a really interesting point. When I’m doing health research, I find that some of the best stuff comes from forums and Facebook groups because people who are suffering from something seem to be more honest talking to each other than they would be in an interview with me as a writer trying to find out these intimate details of their lives, but they’re more than willing to share them with other people who are going through the same thing.
Valentina: Yeah. Yeah. Clearly that would help actually. Some sort of a focus group may help better in this case. I don’t know. If I may give an example that I used in a VSL that worked better than any copy that I got from review mining or interviews, I have a problem with joints. They give me chronic pain. At some point when I woke up in the morning, my joints were so swollen that I couldn’t open my toothpaste tube. It was so annoying because this is the first thing you do in the morning. You go and you brush your teeth. When you start your morning, realizing that your health problem even though it’s a minor thing, makes you feel, I don’t know, useless. I mean I can’t open a toothpaste tube. How am I going to go about my day? How am I going to be useful for society or for my family or for anything?
I dropped this line in the copy right in the intro and it worked like magic. It was the kind of detail that I wouldn’t have thought of myself if I hadn’t gone through it, if I hadn’t had that experience.
Rob: Yeah. That’s amazing.
Valentina: Yeah. Sometimes it’s those tiny little details that one doesn’t even remember to talk about when interviewed or even when talking to someone else with the same health problems. If you’ve gone there and you’ve noticed something really ruins your whole day even though it’s a detail, you have to write it down. That’s what I do. Whenever I feel something annoys me about my health, about, I don’t know, about my mood, my anxiety, my something, my experience, I just write it down so I can use it later.
Kira: It’s a good excuse to start journaling more, right? To just capture all of those negative emotions. I think it was Ry Schwartz who said on the show, “The data mining, all of that is great and important, but you have to dig deeper and figure out what’s underneath the surface of what people are saying in forums, what they’re saying in interviews. Figure out what they’re not saying,” and that’s where I think like you said we have to dig into our own experiences. It’s easy to overlook that at times.
Valentina: Exactly. Exactly. Don’t be afraid to use your own experiences if that helps for your market.
Rob: You’ve worked on some very successful sales pages and VSLs. Can you tell us a little bit about some of your success stories, the things you’ve been able to accomplish with those?
Valentina: Yeah. There’s one in particular. A story that I love because it saved a company from bankruptcy. That company is owned by two friends of mine. It was kind of tragic. I’ve worked with them for a very long time. They had just switched from the survival market to the alternative health niche and they were struggling to pierce this market because it’s hypercompetitive and they were already bleeding money and they were like taking money out of their own pockets to just keep the company alive. At some point we gathered in a room and we were talking about closing down everything and, I don’t know, getting jobs and trying maybe to… Retrying later. We talked about it and we thought, “Look, let’s try to launch one more product.
We’re going to write the eBook with some doctors that we had on the team.” We had specialists writing for us. I’m going to do the VSL. It was for a hearing loss product and I’m going to try to do my best to make enough money for this company to stay alive. For the next two weeks, I just poured copy in the best that I could. We launched it and in the first month it made a million dollars and then in the next four months, it did another $6 million for them.
Valentina: In less than half a year, we were in a new headquarters for the company. We had 15 new people on the team and the company went great for about another two years or something before they decided to split. I mean the idea is that one VSL actually saved the whole company, which I never thought that would be possible really. That was the best success story.
Kira: That’s incredible. Because we’re talking about VSLs in this conversation, if someone wants to learn more and really run through a well-known training or at least a training that works, what would you recommend?
Valentina: Well, I didn’t take any direct response copy course. I had two trainers. One of them is not in the training business anymore. One of them is still a direct response copy trainer and I highly recommend him. He’s name is Daniel Sanchez. He lives in Toronto I think and he worked wonders on my copy chops really. He has a very simple style of training where he teaches you how to write copy and edit your own work. You don’t need an editor for what you do, which is great because you can tell exactly what could work and what might not work. He was really great for me. I went through copy school with Copy Hackers, but generally I just got one-on-one training.
Rob: We’ve talked a little bit about your research and writing process. Tell us a little bit about other things that surround a project. How much do you charge per project and how do you go through estimating how much time it’s going to take you to do a particular project?
Valentina: Not very good with pricing I have to say that from the very beginning mainly because I’m not a native speaker and normally clients kind of tend pay non-native speakers less than native speakers. The most I charge for a sales letter was $7,500. It was an 8,000 word video sales letter for a supplement. I know that other copywriters charge more, but I don’t know. I’m not comfortable yet with charging more honestly. This is my limit for now. For landing pages and sales pages, I charge anywhere between $500 to $1,500 depending on the length, the complexity, and the research that goes in it. For shorter emails, I charge between $75 and $100 and for longer emails, like the ones I have to sell the product, which is a mini sales letter, I charge between $100 and $250.
Kira: Thanks. No, I appreciate you sharing the numbers. To follow that up, what does your schedule typically look like as you’re building your business now as a freelancer and you’re no longer at that last agency? What does it look like? You mentioned just working through the night.
Kira: Pretty wild.
Valentina: Well as I told you, I’m not a very well organized person, and I don’t think I’m ever going to be that kind of person, so I kind of accepted it. For example, for the past few weeks, I have been working from 11:00 at night until 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning and I’ve been sleeping through the day. Yeah. I just move my schedule around the year. Sometimes I work during the day. Sometimes I can only work during the night. Yeah. I can’t say that I have a very well structured schedule like I wake up at this time and I’m going to start writing and then I’m going to take a break for lunch or something. No. I don’t have an alarm set in the morning. I just wake up whenever I wake up and I feel rested and refreshed. Then if I feel like doing some research, I will.
If not, I’m going to go do my shopping or something and then work all through the night. Yeah. I don’t have a very well structured schedule, but it works for me. Because when I started freelancing, I was so set on being super well organized and being disciplined and it didn’t work for me. I was always tired. I always exhausted. I was frustrated. Now that I’ve accepted the fact that I’m just going to do whatever feels natural to me is much better and I’m much more productive.
Rob: Valentina, on your website you write quite a bit about how important it is to entertain your customers as they’re reading your sales page or your VSL. Tell us more about your thinking behind that and what we can do to be more entertaining in the copy that we write.
Valentina: Actually one of your podcasts helped a lot in my rebranding. It was the Ben Settle Podcast. I was listening to it and you guys asked Ben, “What do you think the future of copywriting will be?” He said, “Oh, clearly entertainment.” I was like, “Yes. I know, right? Yes, exactly. I’ve been thinking about that for months.” That was like my confirmation and the second day after listening to the podcast, I just started working on my website. I had this idea with the entertainment because all of my clients would tell me stuff like, “Oh wow. You should write for Hollywood. This story is so entertaining. I went through a 40 minute video without even blinking.” I thought there’s something there. Okay. This is my thing.
I can write entertaining copies, so this is what I’m going to do. This is the kind of clients that I want and this is the kind of projects that I want. Yeah. It came naturally as a rebranding idea.
Rob: Are there anythings that we can do to make our copy more entertaining? Do you have frameworks or ideas that you use as you’re writing as like, “Okay. This isn’t entertaining enough. I need to punch it up,” ideas that we can steal from what you’re doing?
Valentina: I use a lot of stories in my copy and I have a thing for weird wacky characters. I don’t think there’s something more entertaining than being fascinated by a character that I create or a real character that I write about. Someone that does something in a very particular way. Someone that talks in a very particular way. Someone with a completely wacky story. I try to turn even the most common events into a fun story, something entertaining, because I really believe that every story can be boring or super entertaining depending on how you see it and how you talk about it. I don’t know. Yeah. I would say that building an interesting character and writing the story like you would write a trailer for a blockbuster movie.
Kira: Can you provide an example of one of these quirky characters?
Valentina: Yes. The video sales letter that kind of saved that company. It was about a hearing loss natural solution. The character that we used was a guy who had left the Amish community and he had this very particular background where he lived in, I don’t know, in Arizona in an urban area, but he’s stuck to his community’s traditions. That was very interesting because he had a normal family life, but on the other hand, he had like an old book that was like taken from a Harry Potter movie, like it was taken from Hogwarts or something, with very old recipes and old medicine that kind of resembles wizardry. We sort of turned an old wizard story to a very modern environment and that worked super well. The character was very interesting.
There was also a character that I wrote for an erectile dysfunction sales letter, which was very wacky for me to write about. It was very hard for me to relate to a male character with erectile dysfunction obviously. Clearly. I was supposed to be, I don’t know, a 38 year old man whose wife thought he was cheating on her because he didn’t want to get intimate with her anymore. It was a real story that I saw on a forum. I just turned the character and the story into sort of an Agatha Christie murder story, so I can grab interest like, “When my wife found out my secret, she thought I was a murderer. When she discovered what I was really hiding, it was worse. She ran out of the house screaming in her pajamas.”
I just had to really drive it home because it’s a very sensitive subject if you don’t write something a bit humorous and entertaining to ease that tension in the subject. Most people are going to be afraid to actually watch a whole video about a very sensitive issue like that. I just use humor for it.
Kira: How do you prevent the reader or the viewer from getting lost in these characters that are so phenomenal and almost miss the opportunity for the sale? It seems like it could be a fuzzy area.
Valentina: The character presentation and everything takes place at the, I don’t know, let’s say first half of the video sales letter just to grab your attention and your interest and make you relate to the character. Then in the second half of the video sales letter it always turns to the prospect. Everything is about you, lots of yous, lots of “let me tell you how my story will help you.” The character doesn’t really overwhelm the story. It’s just for attention and interest in the AIDA process.
Rob: That seems like there might be a fine line here too using humor. With some health subjects, you don’t want people to be feeling like they’re being made fun of or that they’re being laughed at especially something like ED, which I could imagine could be offensive to somebody who struggles with that kind of a thing.
Valentina: Yes. Yes. Exactly. If you use humor, the character takes it all upon himself or on herself. That’s just one of the emotion range that I use. As I was saying, it’s mostly for grabbing attention and interest. Because as I was telling you earlier, I just use a lot of very small details when it comes to health problems that I know people will relate to and that will make prospects say, “Okay. This guy or this girl really, really gets me,” because it’s a hypercompetitive market. It’s filled with very emotional copy and with a lot of talk about pain, which can be super sensitive. You have to stand out in all the emotional copy that you find in your competitor’s VSLs.
These very small details makes your prospects say, “Okay. This one is different. This one actually gets me to a super deep level, down to the tiniest detail.” I don’t know. I think that’s what drives the sale at the end of the day.
Kira: That’s fascinating. I know we’re almost out of time. I want to ask you, for copywriters who want to follow your path and they potentially want to pursue VSLs or use the sales page copy, what advice would you give to them when they’re just starting out?
Valentina: Don’t listen to people who claim direct response copy is something that a used car salesman would do because I have heard that from a lot of copywriters, a lot of trainers, and a lot of clients. “Oh, it’s too salesly. It’s hypey. I don’t know. It makes you feel like you’re not with the good guys. Like you’re one of those pushy salesman,” and that doesn’t have to be it. If you know how to write a good story, if you can look into relating to your customer, not judging, writing with a lot of emotion and trying to entertain your customer, this is the farthest you can be from a pushy salesman. If anyone tells you that this is like the bad side of copy, don’t listen to that because it’s not true.
You can own your copy anyway you want to and be with the good guys. Be on the good guy’s team.
Rob: I love it. Valentina, this has been great. I really like the framework and the formulas that you shared early one. It’s something that I’m going to have to think about as I’m writing my own sales pages and going through that formula to make them better. So much good stuff you’ve shared and we really appreciate it. If somebody wants to find out more about you or connect with you online, where would they go?
Valentina: My website is www.valentinavolcinschi.com. I’m not very active on my social media. I don’t post on Facebook and stuff and most of my Facebook posts are in Romanian, but I am very active in The Copywriter Club Facebook group and in other copywriters groups. If anyone wants to connect with me, write me on Facebook. Drop me a line of my website or we can have a chat inside The Copywriter Club Facebook group, which is an amazing group by the way.
Kira: Thank you, Valentina. We are lucky to have you in there and this has just been really interesting and helpful for both of us as I’m interested in VSLs and I do not have a lot of experience in it, but I definitely want to explore it more. Thank you so much.
Rob: Yes. Lots of good stuff.
Valentina: Thank you very, very much for inviting me. It was really fun and really entertaining since we are talking about it.