The Secret of “The Golden Thread,” Part 2
Most copywriters – even those who have been writing for a long time – don’t understand the power of Michael Masterson’s control-making secret, The Golden Thread. And because of that, they aren’t able to use this secret to produce the most compelling, most profit-pulling copy possible.
Using The Golden Thread doesn’t simply mean running your promise throughout the entire copy. Many capable, “journeyman” copywriters are able to do that.
As Michael explains, using this Master’s technique means pinpointing your prospect’s core complex – his emotional needs – clearly, and appealing to it consistently and subtly … from the envelope teaser to the signature on the lift letter.
When writing your first draft, The Golden Thread will almost always either break or go slack in spots. And if you want to write Master’s level copy, you have to find and repair those sections.
When The Golden Thread Fails
Here are three techniques for finding “problem areas” … and advice from Michael on how to fix them.
First: Pay attention to how you feel while you’re writing. If you’re feeling energized, chances are your prospect will too. If you’re bored and have to push through the copy, your prospect will be bored.
Michael’s advice: Stop writing when this happens. Think about what you’re trying to say and how that relates to your promise and core complex. Take notes. Brainstorm. When you figure out how to bring the copy back to the core complex, you’ll find renewed energy … in yourself and your copy.
Second: After you’re finished with your first draft, let the copy sit for 48hours or more. Come back and look at it again. Since you’re no longer in the middle of it, places where The Golden Thread breaks or grows slack will be obvious.
Michael’s advice: Mark the places where you lose interest. You’ll know this is happening when you find yourself simply reading words instead of feeling their impact.
Go back to each one of these spots. Ask yourself how it relates to the core complex. Then fix it by tying it back in. (Enlist friends if you find you’re unable to make that connection by yourself.)
For instance, let’s say you’re selling an herbal diet pill for women. You find that you’ve dropped The Golden Thread in the proof section, where you discuss the role cortisol plays in making people gain weight. The section is too technical, too unemotional.
To pick up The Golden Thread here, you decide to talk about cortisol in terms of relieving the prospect of guilt she feels about her weight. You focus on that … on relieving guilt … and not on the myriad clinical studies about cortisol.
Finally: Once you’ve fixed your copy, have someone else read it. To find out if there are any more spots that need fixing, ask her to tell you where her interest lags.
When The Golden Thread Can’t Be Repaired
You won’t always be able to repair a broken or slack Golden Thread. When this happens, you must cut off the slack and tie it back to where it was tight and powerful.
When you do this, you instantly make your copy stronger. But what about all those wonderful ideas in the parts you cut out?
Look at each one of these sections carefully. If it doesn’t work where you had it in the main copy – yet you feel that removing it entirely weakens your overall sales appeal – put it in a text box or sidebar. Or use it in the lift letter or buck slip.
The key to this entire process, according to Michael, is being honest with yourself when editing your copy.
Just because you spent several hours researching some aspect of your product doesn’t mean you have to use it.
Just because you struggled over a block of copy doesn’t mean it has to stay in. If it weakens the overall package … if it slackens or breaks The Golden Thread – the appeal to the core complex – fix it or eliminate it.
The result: Stronger copy. More sales. More assignments and better paydays.
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