Pete Arnott is a direct response copywriter who has generated more than 8-figures in sales. He has engineered successful campaigns for NYT bestsellers, billion-dollar marketing companies, and dozens of business leaders.
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.
Umar Hameed 0:34
Hello, everyone. I'm really privileged today to have Pete Arnott here with me and Pete is a copywriter, and he does this amazingly powerful trick in any salesperson in a sales situation can read their customer and say the right things and land the sale but Pete does it through the written word. And so he has to be an extraordinary salesperson to get people to go oh my god. I Want to do this open up their wallet and make it happen? Pete, welcome to the program. I'm so excited to have you here. Thank you for having me. And thank you for that introduction. My pleasure. One of the things that's really interesting is, you know, we all struggled in English class, at least I did. And it was like, you know, what's the point of it? And it turns out that writing is so critical when we realize that we have the power to emotionally move people it's not just the Shakespeare's of the world but if we think it through we can we can change things in significant ways.
Pete Arnott 1:34
Yeah, I mean, when you understand that it's, I think all copywriters have this weird feeling at some point when they have some success, whether they legalize just by putting some one stone on a page or making a script for somebody to someone to speak, you can actually convince people to spend thousands 10s of thousands of dollars in Canada. Get us a little we are feeling a little fluency you do have to be careful with it but it's fun at the same time. I mean, I completely flopped English just going back to that I was a disaster that I love books I've always loved reading but what they teach you in school did not help me in the slightest with this.
Umar Hameed 2:16
What's interesting is in my high school career, the only book I ever read through the entire high school experience was Catcher in the Rye reason I liked it was because it was written in the first book I ever came across that was written in a conversational style. And everything else I just dropped in class just to get enough to get a see. As soon as I left high school, when people stopped telling me I had to read. I became like a ravenous reader, and I've been that way ever since.
Pete Arnott 2:43
Yeah, I mean, that's a funny point that you mentioned, though, that it was the conversational style that brought you in because, like one of the fundamentals of persuasion is just that conversational steel, particularly when it comes to copywriting. It's just your normal tempted to sound highfalutin. You're not using big $2 words with a five cent what would work? It's just that conversational style that actually gets people to move.
Umar Hameed 3:09
Absolutely. It's makes it relatable. And the idea I think, sometimes that people get in their head in writing is that I need to look good. And I need to portray this image. And ultimately, at the end of the day, it's about the reader. How can I connect with them in a way that they feel moved, whether you're selling something, or just communicating an idea or whatever, and it's so easy to be egocentric is all about me looking good, as opposed to the person that we're sending it to?
Pete Arnott 3:41
I mean, that's exactly what it isn't. That's honestly something I still struggle with is I spend all this time meeting something that I think is excellent, but you go back and you look at it and you realize it's all just you attempting to sound good. Are you attempting to show your own skills when it doesn't actually come down? To the one thing that matters, which is just telling your prospect what they need to hear, to turn them into a customer or the lead, or whatever it is, whatever that action is you have to take. And it's such a common mistake. It's
Umar Hameed 4:15
tough to overcome. One point in your career, you were helping authors and keynote speakers build their businesses more rapidly and probably more strategically through the written word.
Pete Arnott 4:27
Yes. So what we did was, I worked at an agency when I was handling all the marketing for that. And what we did was we targeted nine nonfiction authors, so self development, business owners, coaches, whatever that was, we targeted these people. And the whole positioning was, Well it started out and then the company changed. So it started out with we would just help them take their book. They've been waiting because it turned out this was Kenny Jordan, the self publishing boom. Where everybody was making books and we just said we will help you launch. We'll help you publish and launch these books and we'll get in front of thousands of people will sell thousands of copies and it's going to be that's awesome credibility but star this awesome way for you to connect to your customers build a relationship, etc. But we quickly found out that when you use this f we use the book at the beginning of the funnel at the front of the funnel, we realized that we could actually use this book many years use that as a way to blame the person letting the prospect and to the authors universe and then use it to sell high ticket services. So we were able to take people who were maybe selling a book for $10 and turn those into thousand dollar sales $5,000 sales $10,000 sales just all started with that book, and happy to go into this as much as you want.
Umar Hameed 6:05
We're going to go deeper into that in a minute. But the interesting part is this is that I would suspect many of the authors that had written a book, were also public speakers that were doing presentations about their, you know, area of expertise. And so these people know how to communicate. Oh, yeah. And they know how to connect with an audience. And yet their ability to write and turn that intellectual property into a business was was challenging because it's a different style of writing. When you're trying to write copy that sells
Pete Arnott 6:42
Yeah, I mean, and the inverse of that is copywriters tend to be pretty bad speakers, and quite often awful sales people and pay us and I count myself as one of them. It's not just completely NVR skills, and as you see, the speakers are sometimes out Absolutely electric on stage or one on one with somebody. But when it comes to an email or a sales letter or a book or anything, it's just a completely different skill. And we can't communicate the same way that they can there that they can do the spoken word.
Umar Hameed 7:17
So I'm not sure if you have this challenge, Pete, but but I do sometimes I get this notion in my head. I can do it myself. It's true. I can do it myself badly. But it takes a while to figure out that No, no, I need somebody that's an expert in this area. Because it's not just as simple as doing the task at hand. It's doing it well to get the outcome you want. And so our ego often at least my ego often gets in the way of me actually accomplishing a powerful things because of that illusion that I'm really smart.
Pete Arnott 7:51
Yeah, it's, I mean, I think a lot of that comes down to just feel of letting go and feed of letting someone else do it. But if you can realize That letting someone else do it is just going to give you exponential results as opposed to you attempting to figure that out yourself and then do it poorly, or what most likely is going to happen is you just put off and never do it at all.
Umar Hameed 8:14
Yep, that is the enemy someday I'll get to it. So why don't we go deeper into this, you know, helping authors. So the first thing you guys did was say, okay, we're going to offer their book up, probably advertise it, and then how did you advertise it? And how did you find the target to advertise it to?
Pete Arnott 8:32
So a couple of different ways. First of all, usually, when the business owner was coming to us, they had a particular they'd upset your goal and main, so they said, I'm going to read this book about, let's see public speaking. And the goal with this is just to position me as more of an expert in public speaking. So what we would do is we'd work with them to get the book done. And then whatever the client's audience or prospect was that they went to school off, they wanted to go after, we tended to do a couple of things, mostly focused on affiliates and paid advertising. So we'd go out and we'd find affiliates who would be willing to promote this to their audience that matched up with the target audience. And of course, paid advertising was and is still the same. You just have to be willing to put money into it and target the connect people, sort of the targeting and finding of the people wasn't a particularly difficult part because the universe is huge for almost any niche.
Umar Hameed 9:40
Medium did you use to advertise it? Was it Google-Facebook combination?
Pete Arnott 9:46
Almost always Facebook ads.
Umar Hameed 9:48
So what did a typical ad look like? You know, I buy this book and become more attracted to the opposite sex like what was the general kind of, I guess, depending on the topic?
Pete Arnott 9:58
Yeah. So it depends on the topic. topic. But usually what we would do is we just target it towards. Again, this was easier because it was nonfiction books. But what we would do is, let's say the book was something about how to make money or grow your business. All, all we really did was have to take some of the core concepts out of that book. Sometimes it was simple, as simple as taking the title of the book. And then we just push ads, push ads that will go into a landing page with these sorts of promises on them. And we do go to a landing page with a direct sale, or what we would do. And this is when we transition to selling the high ticket services, what would do is we'd actually just offer together with a book for nothing. So the funnel became an ad that would say, get your free copy of this book. They would opt into that funnel. And then from that funnel, we would send them a PDF copy of the book. We Give them the option to buy the physical copy if they wanted to. But we would give them the PDF version of the book. And enough, we didn't. And we did invite them to a live webinar or just push them to online sales letter that would then take them to the next step. So it's like, okay, you know, you've read the book, like, here's a bonus, here's a bonus masterclass on a how to take your business to seven figures. And they've been invited to that. And they've obviously, by the time we invaded them they had, they usually had the book for maybe a week or two, they had constant communication from the author via email campaigns. And by that point, they were they were much more than glaciated with the author and his concepts so that when they came on to that webinar, they were hot prospects aren't just made, selling them, whatever it was much easier. So that's kind of what the It was it was a front loading all that value and just given that educational value building series before we got them on the webinar, so instead of having the typical 45 to 60 minutes to make a sale, we had maybe one to two week period that would be finalized and capped off by that one webinar.
Umar Hameed 12:22
Okay, so how many touches from them saying I want this book to get the PDF to when you did the webinar? How many touches did you do and what kind of time frame?
Pete Arnott 12:34
It was usually, it was usually about 7 to 14 days and within that you would have emails going out every day or every second day and towards the, towards the date of the webinar. It tended to get a little bit more intense. So we may have we made some move into two emails a day in the last few days just to constantly remind them that this is coming up. It's something that can't afford to mess and they've got to be there because we're going to share all this value and all these secrets. So it changed. But it was, I mean, the ideal situation if you're doing this is daily communication, just something we couldn't do that because of a limited time that we had available. So they're not to limit the bandwidth that we had available. But then after that they didn't always buy on the webinar, which is just normal. So what we would then have is a post webinar sequence where you know, change the conversation to all be focused on the product and why they need to buy it. So you've done them maybe one to two weeks of value building, you've made the patch and then after that, it became the maybe five days or Hey, this is awesome. You need to buy it because we're taken off the table and just sort of leafleting, all the benefits and what's in it for them and just pushing that sale.
Umar Hameed 13:55
And so was this like products they created all in a can ready to go so basically nothing the author had to do afterwards, just make the sale and it kind of automatically delivered the course or whatever.
Pete Arnott 14:05
Yet 90% of the time, that was the case, because again, these, these authors tended to be business owners before or entrepreneurs or business owners or service providers before they came up with the idea to have a book. So they tended to have various products and services already. And what they wanted the book for was positioning and credibility piece that the they thought would just be a good sort of marketing asset. But then what we were able to do is say, Actually, no will take this book and we will make it the lead gen piece to your funnel. And it was just the sort of the that would have most likely happened to me because all the time people would have picked up the book and then naturally, they would find out more about the author and they'd go to the website and we just kind of compressed that timeframe down and built it into our system. That they could use to you take a book and turn it into multiple six figures within sort of a one to two week period.
Umar Hameed 15:09
Brilliant. Thank you for kind of guiding us through that process. Pete I'm going to change kind of direction in the conversation as a speaker because I've spoken in 14 countries. What's this is an old saying you're always a bum in your hometown. So oftentimes, when I go across country or across the world to speak I'm seeing like a hero. But when I speak in Baltimore, Maryland, it's like oh, yeah, this is a local guy. How good Could he be so the reason I can frame it up is most of your business as a copywriter you're in Scotland right now which city?
Pete Arnott 15:43
Umar Hameed 15:43
Glasgow? And by the way, is that the capital or just the main city?
Pete Arnott 15:47
It is not the capital unfortunately. Edinburgh is the capital or as you yolks tend to see Edinburgh other so they've got the castle...
Umar Hameed 15:56
Pete Arnott 15:57
...that's what order to this school but Glasgow is the It's the more popular city. Yeah, it's the [garbled]
Umar Hameed 16:04
One of the things you're told me is that most of your clients are stateside, what do you think that is? Because certainly they sell digital products in the UK. But what do you think you found more of a home workwise in the US then in Scotland in England?
Pete Arnott 16:20
Couple, there's a couple of things. So the US is a bigger market, obviously, it's I mean, us is what 300 plus million and the UK is a tiny fraction of that. So there's a bigger pot.
Umar Hameed 16:25
Pete Arnott 16:31
There's more. There's a lot more business going on. Americans also tend to have a much more I should say. It's more of a positive, get up and go go get an attitude towards business. I would say there's a lot more people who are looking to better themselves, whether that's lose weight, get more checks, get all our business. There's just kind of that mentality in the US which I love, which is Is this of betterment of yourself and your business Wales in the UK, it can something as be. It's not that we don't want these things because all humans want the same things. It's, you don't really talk about it as much you it's, you're less likely to go and buy an expensive program or service for this because there's a sort of stigma around in the UK. So I would see that some of the main things and then it's also just because because all the clients now the businesses tend to be there, and I just go where the money is, and the money is over there.
Umar Hameed 17:38
There's a famous guy in the US from US history called Dillinger, he was a bank robber. And then when they asked him, you know, why do you rob banks is because that's where the money is. Take the Beatles, for example. No one can understand what the frick they're saying. But when they sing, they lose their their accent. So when you write, you write in a way that connects with your audience in the US, do you have to be mindful of that to write in American English, like is there a difference between, how you would write for the British market versus the US market? Or does it, does American writing cross over into the UK and the UK may not cross over into the US?
Pete Arnott 18:16
So I would think less I tend to think less about the actual data and still of course I do have to be an American English as opposed to old school English let's call it, but for me that's just because I've been doing this for so long that's just natural to me and a lot of my vocabulary and the day to day life 10 is actually be more American so once like awesome which I've said multiple times already, apartment just instead of flat like simple things like this, the listing agent as opposed to,
Umar Hameed 18:49
Pete Arnott 18:49
like attend to just speak that weekend only because I have to, and I just taught myself to but the dating sale doesn't really matter. As much it's more the emotions you hit, and the psychology that you're deploying, when you're dating. That's what makes somebody that's what makes somebody get up and take action. Because, like a perfect example, if I have, if I had a product that is going to solve your biggest pain point ever, and it guarantees it's going to do it instantly. And there's absolutely no way that I can feel and I'm willing to give it to you. I could deliver that message in any way to you. And you're going to accept it because it solves that pain for you. It gives you exactly what you need in the deepest level. So it doesn't actually matter.
Umar Hameed 19:42
Pete Arnott 19:44
The ones don't matter that much. And sometimes I let those grammatical mistakes and they copy and things like that. It doesn't really matter as long as you're hitting those key emotional elements and you're giving them what they want, or at least a way to get what they want.
Umar Hameed 20:00
Pete, before we part company today, probably the toughest question, or the most challenging thing for folks is stepping into their customers world.
Pete Arnott 20:13
Umar Hameed 20:14
So, you know, we, we have those basic human needs, but we still need to kind of get into the headspace of our customers. So how do you manage to do that? Do you do it through trial and error? Or do you do interviews? Like how do you step in? Because oftentimes you work with clients that are selling different things, how do you step into the world of their end user?
Pete Arnott 20:36
Yeah, it's a good question. And it's kind of the fundamental question when it comes to success as a copywriter. So to give you a perspective, my audience tends to be people buying financial services. That's what it is these days in the US and they tend to be republican slash conservatives who are 50 years old and I'm a 30 year old guy from Scotland. So it's about as far away as you get from that. I've also written for women, female markets, all these bizarre things that you would never think even exist, but all it comes down to is just taking the time to understand who they are, and what makes them tick. And luckily, it's narratively easy to do now, if you're just willing to put in the work. So I mean, and give you a couple of examples.
Umar Hameed 21:28
Please give me some examples. That'd be brilliant.
Pete Arnott 21:30
Yeah, so I mean, let's say you wanted to, like for a female weight loss product, let's just make that up. What I would do is I'd go to Amazon, I'd start looking at supplements, and similar products within that niche and I'd go to the viewers and go in and start reading to see what these people are seeing about all different products and get a feel for the language they use, the pains they have, the desires they have. I would just spend I was going through all these The views and just get a feel for how they speak, I would then go and look at various forums and blogs all over the internet. And again, I just spent time leading us in digesting the language, the US understanding all opinions and desires, seeing where the frustrations are. And I just keep doing that keep doing that, of course, I can get someone on the phone, that's great, and you can interview them, but all that stuff's out there if you're just willing to spend some time into it. And then after that, after that, I just tend to plan out in quite excruciating detail as much as I think a normal customer so I go into, I go into all the pins they have to go into all the desires they have I go into confirming their suspicions I go into, alleviate the failures that I know they've had, and then I go into, like finding out who they believe the enemy is to their problem or doesn't I just break us all down into huge documents that just lets me understand them.
Umar Hameed 23:07
So are you building those documents as you're doing your research, like capturing phrases and copying verbatim as you go? Or do you absorb everything and then create this master document?
Pete Arnott 23:16
It's a ongoing, so I don't I do it bit by bit. So as I'm researching, I'm pulling out what's in phases and just dumping them in a document so that I've got them stored term. I just keep doing that for a few days.
Umar Hameed 23:29
Pete certainly, we saved the best part of the interview for the last. So I'm going to put this in the show notes. You know, make sure you stay till the end, because I think that ability to go into Amazon, read the reviews, go into blogs, and just spend some quality time in the psyche of your target is something most people would overlook. And if they did research, it would be like a half hour on the internet and then Okay, we're ready to go. And I think that with all things, it's amazing Like when you work hard at something, you can get good at it. If you go beyond that, then you get so good that you make it look easy, if that makes any sense. Like you go...
Pete Arnott 24:15
Umar Hameed 24:15
...low state. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today. I learned a lot. I really appreciate your craft. And certainly I took notes as we were talking to figure out how to put into action what we chatted about.
Pete Arnott 24:29
Excellent. It's been great being here and appreciate it.
Umar Hameed 24:32
Thanks Pete. Enjoy the rest of your evening in Scotland. And we're starting our day here in Baltimore. Thanks so much.
Umar Hameed 24:39
Awesome chatting, talk so soon.
Umar Hameed 24:46
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.