Announcer: Welcome to the Geniuses of Copywriting podcast, a peek into the minds and strategies of the world's greatest copywriters, marketers, and persuasion experts. And now, here's your host, Brian Cassingena.
Brian: All right, welcome to another Geniuses of Copywriting podcast. It's a real privilege today to interview a guy who I'm close from way back. Some of you guys will be on this weekly Agora call once a week, and on that call I've had some amazing insights, absolutely amazing speakers on there and got some good friends who tune in every week. And one guy that I first saw in there is today's guests named Kyle Milligan, who's one of the top copywriters at Agora.
Brian: Kyle, I can't wait to find out how many millions you've written in promotions that all you guys seem to do over there. But what you're talking about on that call, it's really fascinating and I really wanted to have my listeners get into that especially if they're interested in copywriting or persuasion. But not just the same old stuff that everyone else teaches. You've got some good additions. So that's really exciting for me. So thanks for coming on the call, Kyle. How are you man?
Kyle: I'm doing great. It's really cool to be here. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.
Brian: Okay, so let's go back to that call. I don't want to keep harping back to the Agora call, but this is where I found out some really interesting stuff, which I'm starting to use in my own copy now, about the language of copywriting.
Kyle: Yeah. So should I just, I just recommend that. So, I'll talk about a little bit how I kind of got into this and how I figured it out a little bit. So first I wanna say, what's up copy squad? It's your boy Kyle Milligan. It's like my usual sign on. And to answer your earlier question, I grossed 7.1 million in 2018 so that was, how many sales that I brought in. I unfortunately didn't get to bring that home, but a lot of what this all stems from is when I got to Agora financial, I had virtually no experience. And people ask me like, how do I get an edge if I don't have any experience? Your guess is as good as mine because I had no experience when I came in. And I just kind of like, one of the things that I used early on, I will just tell this really quick for the people out there who will always say I don't have enough experience.
Kyle: I basically just use whatever I had in my arsenal. I worked with what I had, I had sales experience. I leaned on sales experience, you know. I said, I really, I had psychology degree. I leaned on my psychology degree. I don't even sure I brought that up because they were so anti school. Like the attitude was like, you don't really need a job. You'll need an education to get a job or what the hell did I say, a degree to get a job. So, but use what you have until you have experience, even if there's a copywriter experience, like the door. And I ask the typical question, which is like, what books should I read? I've read a Boron letters by Gary Halbert. I've read Ad Week copywriting handbook by Joe Sugarman and they're like, no, no, no, none of that is plenty.
Kyle: I don't read any more of those. Stop doing that and I'll read about cut, don't read about copy, read, copy. And that was a big turning point for me. So all of a sudden I'm no longer reading about copy. I'm no longer reading books,I'm just sitting there reading copy and at first you don't really understand what you're looking at or what you're looking for.
Kyle: And I had some help and some guidance on that, but what happened was, is I, I liken this to Bingeing, like a TV show where you kind of get the plot figured out and you kind of find that the writers are a little lazy. You like, for me it was like the Walking Dead. Like I couldn't watch the walking dead after I binged like two seasons. I could never watch it again. I was like, okay, I know exactly what's going to happen and how it's going to go down.
Kyle: And it was the kind of the same thing was bingeing all those copy instead of reading about, kind of just said, you know, read all these promos was that made all this money. And I was like, oh my God, they're just saying the same things over and over and over and every, no matter what they were selling, how much it cost, it always came down to like, I just got to tell you that basically this is a brand new thing and it's super easy to use or to like basically I have a system that you can use or it's just you just placed one trade, right?
Kyle: So to some super easy mechanism to, to utilize and it's, it's safe and that it's credible. Like other people are vouching for this and it's vetted and all. And the last thing is that it's very big. So, those are like the big four points. It was new, easy, safe and big and big has to be like something that's like, this is going to change the game. Like your whole life is going to be different after you take advantage of this solution. So, that was kind of like the development of that system.
Brian: So new, easy, safe and big?
Kyle: Yeah. yeah NES-B. Yeah.
Brian: Yeah NES-B, sounds good.
Brian: So, um, that's kind of the thing that looks like the, the uh, uh, template that you apply to. We'll copy you, touch with those four or four of those points. Um, and do you have a high chance in the winter? So yeah. It's kind of one of those things too where I have to, one of the things I'd like to talk about too, yeah. Is that people take it very literally. Uh, and it's, it's not literally what it is, is it's the emotional appeal that you have to make. So the templates are always, it's like, you know, headline, lead, body copy, and then the offer section. Yep. And within each of those, you know, like the headline, the headline, I think it's changing these days. I used to, he used to be that all the headlines of the four years urgent and unique, ultra-specific and useful.
Kyle: Yeah. And now I'm seeing things don't have any urgency at all that are doing very well. And, uh, so those are kind of evolving the lead. You got to make your big promise and he got to hype it up, right? That's the whole function will leave. And the body copy, you know, until you start telling them what you're selling them as all objection, claim proof, benefit, objection, claim proof, benefit every section. And then you use the offer and you offer them something. You tell them what's inside, uh, you off from some testimonials. You give them some, uh, some bonuses and you sign off.
Kyle: He said, choice is yours. Do you gotta you gotta make this choice and then you sign off. So what you want to do it within that framework is you want to like write the copy and you can write it very boring or factual, which is sometimes I have to just get the words on the page, but then you want to figure out, okay, I've said all these things, now how do I take that fact, that boring dry like otherwise just piece of information and make it sound like it's the newest thing that's ever happened, right?
Kyle: So then you might take that line and say, well, in the last three months we've seen this exciting trend or explosive trend, right? And, and CNBC says, this is the most incredible thing we've ever seen. So right there you have, this is a brand new thing that just happened in the last three months. It's explosive as huge and that's, and that's even CNBC says it. So if they say it's credible, it's safe.
Kyle: Like they've even, even the big media outlets have acknowledged it. And, and that's um, W we've talked about this a little bit before we started the call was I don't believe copywriting is so much a how to, I already gave you the, how to like just a second ago was headline, lead, body copy offer. It's more of a language. It's a, it's a language that you speak. And just like, if I want to communicate to you, um, with any sort of English, German, Russian, you know, whatever the language may be, the words will not always come out the exact same order, right?
Kyle: It won't be like the noun verb or something. Like, it won't be the Red Apple. And might be Monsano Rojat right. Yeah. So it's, each language is kind of unique, but you're just communicating this apple is red or I want to go get a cheeseburger or like something like that. Yeah. So, so it's not a how to, right. You don't just place this here in a place that there and then place this here and then all of a sudden you're persuaded. You have to know how to communicate. And that means speaking that specific copywriting language. And I thought that was, that's the whole message I really want to spread is that, um, you know, there is no right or wrong way. As long as the words convey those emotions as something is new, easy, safe and big. You can get a lot of people behind your idea. Like you say, I don't, it doesn't guarantee you a winter, but it does heighten your chances for sure. Yeah. That's really interesting. So, um,
Brian: uh, so where did, where do we go from there with that, with the language of copy already? How can we implement that in our copy?
Kyle: Um, I think what I would do first is, uh, I would start picking up how other people do it. Joe Trey for is our publisher at a Gore and he always uses this line. Uh, gimme is he, he says do five hours. It's like Abe Lincoln lines. Just give me five hours to chop down a tree and I'll spend four of them sharpening the ax. Yeah. And it's the same thing with, into this new technique works for you or are you want it to make it work for you? Just read a couple of other promos. Basically what that line means. Sharpening the ax is doing the research and like sharpening your skills or your wits or like a building up like your arsenal of materials. Right. So, um, my research process for any promo always goes the same way where I'll find five promos that are selling something similar.
Kyle: I'll read them and I'll take notes and I'll throw away two of those and then I'll go super heavy in depth with the last of the remaining three and like really go line by line. Like, what did they say and why did they say it? And not throw away two of those. And then I've got left with my favorite one, maybe two, and a my favorite one, I'll model, I'll say, this is the guy that I want to be like when I grow up, I want to, I want to have a sales letter that is as cool as this sales letter and I'll borrow all the things I learned from the other four. So if you want to make new, easy, safe and big work for you, I think one easy, fast way to do it is a simply start recognizing it in other copy.
Kyle: Because another thing I preach is like, I'm not creative or clever. I am not a, uh, quote quote with like master Jedi copywriter. Like I am, I'm just a dude and I in this, this works. That's why I like it so much, you know? So, um, so I think what I would do is I'd find other examples of how other people are doing it in my niche for my similar products similar to mine, you know? And I'd be like, oh, well that's just like my pride on my product. I can, I can explain that my product is new using a similar angle. And then used to say that make sure your product unique and you kind of spin it, you know?
Brian: Yeah. Yeah. And would you, would you say because you guys sort of, that you read so much puppy, it's your copy ended up looking and feeling different from other people's, or there's no flow or does that not even matter?
Kyle: Does those other people's copy same, different, what was the question? I remember.
Brian: Does it, does your copy end up looking different? Like, uh, if, if you, if someone was telling me, look at your promo before its launch, um, and you know, like you mentioned Jay Frisch, Joe Schriefer, uh, uh, who's the, uh, copy chief there, you know, uh, he would look, he would look at everything before it's launched and it's, you sort of get it gaps. You have chances of success. Um,
Speaker 5: okay.
Brian: Here, did you notice differences between, uh, Yorkton different else's or, or does it not matter? Just, uh, get it out there and see what happens.
Speaker 5: Hmm.
Kyle: Like a different book for a different you.
Kyle: Yeah. I can't speak to that. I mean cause uh, cause that'd be like Joe Joe's experience as would be. Uh, I like to think I do have a bit of a unique look and feel about my stuff. Um, I think everyone does too. And I know that when working with copy chiefs, I've worked with all the copy chiefs that are gone now and uh, it can be difficult to, like I've learned that one person can not like transmit exactly what they want to see in a sales letter into another person's brain drain. So when one copy chief tells me to go do Xyz and I come back having completed x, Y, Z and he looks at it, he's like, well that's not what I thought it was going to look at it at all. And I was like, but this is what she said. And he like, Nah.
Kyle: So that that just goes to show that we all have our own unique way of sitting down in the keys and typing something out and saying, well, one person was to say one way, we can say another way. Well, I think what really matters is not what you say, the words and the page, please do not matter. I think what matters is the emotion that you communicate. Just like we were talking about, you can say this apple is red. Or you can say, give me that Red Apple. Or at the end of the day you kind of get the message across. And if you take it out of this, how to write copy like, and the technical aspects and you make it about those big emotions and transmitting those, your reader, uh, I think that should be the main goal for everybody.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah. And that's, that's a, a really amazing distinction that you, you may just say, you know, we're talking about, you know, how, how, uh, copy should look and with the unexperienced experts to things that has a chance to Irma. But the reality is, you know, it's, it's about the emotions and, uh, and quite often the person reading the copy is not in that type of market. So you know, if I've seen that at seminars where they, uh, they show two ads for papa cleaning and then they asked the crowd, you know, which one, which headline performed better. And the only person who got a chance of getting it right is somebody who needs carpet cleaning at that particular moment. So it's impossible to go by look or feel, but it's a, it's that, it's that emotion that you're talking about there and that's where it's a, and that's the important parts where the stuff you've been talking about today really come through.
Speaker 5: Okay.
Kyle: Yeah, I think it's so huge. I think it's so huge that, uh, it's, it's kind of like my, a soapbox that I stand on. It's quit asking me like how to do anything. Yeah. Start asking how do I communicate this notion or how do I rile up? And that's the thing too, cause everyone's, uh, I think another huge knowledge gap is people will read like child Dinis influence. Right? And they'll have all these bright ideas for like mind control. And then, you know, they'll read about the example of the monks handing out flowers at the, to spark reciprocity. And they're like, how the hell do I do that in a sales? Right. You might've noticed on attached to flour to the top of the shelves with good. Very good. Do you ever read or take a look at this flower? Yeah, that's true.
Brian: This is a problem with the, you know, um, uh, people, a lot of people teaching copy now and the ABAG just rely solely on templates. I have, I have my, the templates is a product, but, uh, um, you know, people like it, my copy mentors the voice. It's always been about the emotion, about the, uh, about, uh, um, what the results of what we say in the copy or not, what not specifically. Um, uh, it was probably actually says, so it's all about the emotion.
Kyle: Yeah. And we should end and, and that and not to, you know, accurate poo pooing all over templates or anything like that. Because at the end of the day, hey, you know, I laid out a template that already started this call, you know, headline, lead, body temple, that the skeleton, but the emotions are the meat on the bone. Yeah.
Brian: That's the difference between, you know, um, uh, average copy, which, um, might, uh, um, succeeds, you know, uh, based on a brand, like I've, I've, uh, I've written for a few, a big brand in market recently and you know, you could pretty much the Dominio any old puppy in and their customers buy, uh, versus, um, copy, like what will you get out of the bar financial where the, uh, um, it's not, uh, it's not so much the brand recognition of the power of, of the, uh, of the emotions in your copy that said, it's, it's why you've written all this money, millions of dollars in sales. I'm using this method,
Kyle: Right? I think for people who don't like know exactly what a Agora, it's just this word like out there on the Internet. But basically we sell these financial newsletters. So that in itself is a challenge and that nobody wakes up and thinks man, I really want to buy us a newsletter subscription, right? So that's, that's one challenge. The other challenge is, like you said, we don't have a big brand recognition. We're most famous with copywriters, right? Like not even like people looking for financial publishing. And our gurus are generally guys who like worked on, and when I say, Gurus, our editors, right? The guys who we have the, we have a newsletter for this guy and that guy and that guy and that guy and they're generally guys off of Wall Street who know their stuff, but again, they're not, we only have a couple, I'd say household names, where you can lean on that name and that reputation. And again, we have to create that credibility and we have to create that excitement around basically a regular guy trying to sell you a monthly email. Right? And that's why Agora has gotten this reputation for being very powerful at copy, because that's hard, man. You don't want a stranger want that.
Brian: And within the financial industries regulations as well. So you kind of make all the claims that you'd want to and then that sort of stuff.
Kyle: That's another cool thing. Another point where beginner copywriters like, there's a couple of things I see on repeat. One is like, I don't have any experience, which is bull malarkey. Like if you've ever sold baseball cards at your school or something that you've ever carried the era hustled, if you ever did like an SEO blog posts, you have experience, Okay. The other thing I see, it's like how much of this can I make up? Like where am I crossing the line when I start making stuff up? And I'm like, you're always crossing the line If you make anything up, it has to be backed and we still have to work within those parameters of SEC regulations and legal compliance. And there are a lot of boxes that we have to work inside of.
Brian: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm excited to keep going down this path as well. I mean after I heard you on the Agora call, I went over and checked out your website. I grabbed your book while I was there as well. So that's amazing. I've got that book next to me when I'm writing promos now. So on the screen anyway, cause there's an ebook version honestly.
Kyle: When in video, you can see my face turning red right now. That's awesome. That's really cool to h \ear that. That's, that's so humbling or honored, I don't know. That's just cool man. Thanks for saying that.
Brian: I really enjoyed hearing about a lot of the same stuff that you've talked about in this call when I was on that Agora call. I sometimes miss those if I have to, but I'm glad I caught that one. So what's your website where people can check all that stuff out?
Kyle: Yeah, it's kylethewriter.com.
Brian: kylethewriter.com. So I will check out the link to that on the side. If you're listening on Itunes, go to kylethewriter.com. Audien fancier, the book, there's a link to the book, there's some something. But yes, it's one worth checking out because, I think you have a fresh approach to writing copy. I think without much specific copy experience you sort of come in with fresh eyes and without a lot of the BS and baggage that a lot of copywriters come in with. So I guess that's a good thing about that you can sort of just see black and white and what works and obviously it does for you. So that's awesome.
Kyle: Yeah. And that might be a good way to look at it. And I had never done it like that, but yeah, basically maybe coming in with no experience was my advantage, that was my edge.
Brian: Yeah. Cause yeah, cause a lot of drop with the standard how to stuff, which works to an extent, but you know, we get a way down to a lot of baggage should shut. We'll never use and probably holds us back anyway, so that's why I'm interested to start to really test what you've been talking about in today's call, so thanks for that. Yeah. Everyone on the call, If you're listening on Itunes, go to kylethewriter.com. There's got a lot of info and stuff there. You can get his books as well if you want to. And I thank you for coming on the call, Kyle It's been very valuable and I think, I'm sure there's some big dollar signs and I end this call for a lot of people.
Kyle: Nice. I really appreciate you having me on. This is really great and just love spreading the Gospel, right?
Brian: Keep spreading them in, and I'll talk to you later.
Kyle: Alright,Peace out. God is good.
Announcer: Thank you for listening to Geniuses of Copywriting with Brian Cassingena. To get the full transcript in all the resources mentioned on today's show, go to www.geniusesofcopywriting.com, now.