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Copy Done Properly

The 3 Things Your Course is REALLY Competing With

by | January 24th, 2022

“What happens if someone doesn’t buy your product?”

Do you know the answer to that question?

And, more importantly, does your copy answer that question?

If your copy lacks ‘punch’, it’s likely because you’re not clear on what you’re really competing with. Or handling that competition clearly enough in your message.

Don’t Think You Need to Address Your Competition? Think Again

It’s time to rethink your understanding of ‘competition’ in marketing terms. Because your biggest competitor probably isn’t another product.

In fact, there are 3 things that are infinitely more likely to take the sale from you. These are your true competition and you must handle them directly in your copy.

Competitor #1: Inaction

This is by far your biggest competitor. Because the MOST likely action your reader will take… is sticking to the status quo and doing nothing at all.

Let’s say your sales page has a 10% conversion rate. What are the other 90% doing?

Are they going straight to your biggest competitor’s website and buying their product instead? Unlikely. They’re probably just closing the tab and going back to their life.

It’s your job to make sure your sales copy competes with this inaction.

  • Why should they take action instead of walking away?
  • If they don’t take action… what will happen?
  • How bad could things get?

You must be explicit. Too many people shy away from spelling out the true cost of inaction. But you need to attack their complacency and make it clear exactly what path they’re choosing if they continue living with this problem without fixing it. Don’t pull any punches.

Competitor #2: Delayed Action

This is often just inaction in disguise. With a pinch of self-delusion sprinkled on top. But you still need to address it separately, because the mindset of the procrastinator is slightly different to the mindset of the avoidant.

These are the folks who are telling themselves it’s not the highest priority right now… but they’ll come back in a couple of weeks. (Spoiler alert: they won’t.)

So spell out what a delay like that will cost them.

  • What progress could they have made in 2 weeks?
  • How much further ahead could they be if they act now?
  • Will they ever actually feel ready for this? Or are they just kicking the can down the road?

Call them out on WHY they want to delay. What’s wrong with now? When will the time ever feel right? What are they actually waiting for?

Competitor #3: Alternative Action

This is a little different to the first two. These are the folks who do take action… but not the action that’s in their best interest. Often it’s a pseudo-solution that results in worse outcomes, but it’s more within their comfort zone.

Here are some examples:

  • Rather than buy this course on vegan cooking?
    I’ll just buy some vegan ready meals instead.
  • Rather than buy this course on passive investment?
    I’ll just ask my brother what he does and copy that.
  • Rather than hire this copywriter to improve my landing page? 😉
    I’ll just try a new lead magnet instead.

See how the competition here is action… but the wrong kind.

It’s your copy’s job to spell out why these are the wrong paths for them. And explain why buying your product is the best path.

Man at crossroads unclear which path to choose

You Must Address Your Competition Properly

Check through your sales page. Is it super clear why someone would want to choose buying your product over ALL of the other options above?

If not, it’s time to stop soft-balling. Explain in no uncertain terms why choosing inaction, delayed action or alternative action… would be the WRONG choice.

Sure, once you’ve done that? Lay into your traditional competitors—the ones who have an equivalent product that competes directly with yours.

But first, hit the three competitors above.

And hit them hard.

Only then will your course description hit home as the only viable option.

Time to Work With an Expert?

I write research-driven copy that says exactly what your reader needs to hear to take action. No more guesswork, endless tweaking, or leaving money on the table as ‘almost-buyers’ bounce away from your page unconvinced. Let's talk about your next project.