No-Hype Copywriting Telesummit 2013 and 2014

Marcia Yudkin
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Write Copy That Clicks Without the "Ick"

Learn How from the 2013 and 2014 No-Hype Copywriting Telesummits

Ever feel kind of dirty when reading or writing persuasive copy?

Do your spirits sink when you hear mainstream marketing advice decreeing that you "must" use tactics that go against your inner voice?

Would you become a more enthusiastic marketer if you had a vision of how to write to sell joyfully and without tricks, exaggeration or manipulation?

Whether you write for your own organization or for clients (or both), discover how you can inspire people to buy and be able to look yourself in the mirror in the morning.

Nine noted marketing experts shared their insights and tips on this perspective, and the recordings are now available.
What is No-Hype Copywriting?

My name is Marcia Yudkin, and I am a copywriter, author and copywriting coach spreading the word about a mode of persuasive writing that relies on lively, soul-stirring style and substance, not hysterical verbal cheerleading.

No-hype copywriting might be very direct, concise and matter-of-fact, or it might take the long way around with imaginative scenarios and dramatic teasers. Either way, it connects with ideal customers in a truthful, evocative fashion, enabling them to make an informed buying decision.

No-hype copywriting appeals to the uplifting side of human nature, rather than to unvarnished greed, lust, envy, rage or sloth. It doesn't try to threaten, goad or shame the reader into action.

Instead of a hard-sell approach using as many exclamation points, emotional battering of the reader and hypnotic reasons to buy as possible, no-hype promotional copy builds rapport, lays out a case and lets the reader decide what to do.

For two years running, this telesummit focused on the craft of no-hype copywriting. We did not talk about how to launch, run or market a copywriting business. Indeed, we didn't assume you're an aspiring or working copywriter. You might be aiming to write more effective copy for yourself or the organization you work for. All sessions included practical do's and don'ts, techniques and examples.

The 2014 Presenters and Topics in Depth

Develop an Authentic Selling Voice

Two-decade commercial writer Peter Bowerman is the author of three award-winning Well-Fed Writer titles on lucrative commercial freelancing. He chronicled his self-publishing success (100,000+ copies of his books now in print and a full-time living since 2001) in The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living.

Peter has published 300+ articles, speaks regularly on writing and publishing, and is a professional coach for commercial freelancers and self-publishers. He’s the editor of a monthly ezine on commercial freelancing, The Well-Fed E-PUB, published continuously since May 2002, and he helps authors come up with book titles through

Peter shared secrets - and surprising examples - of a no-hype writing voice, including:

  • Why the right kind of voice in your writing helps people buy
  • Which "proper English" habits to toss because they get in the way of rapport with your audience
  • The crucial line between explaining and assuming, and why it matters
  • How stepping into the world of the customers gets them nodding and smiling, receptive to your message
  • Why it's always best to answer objections in your text before the reader asks them
  • How to use storytelling and humor for a more engaging pitch
  • A simple test revealing whether your writing has the ring of reality

Positioning for Credibility and Power

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for experts. Specializing in branding for high-fee markets, she has launched thousands of thought leaders since 1987. She is a popular speaker throughout the U.S. and Canada on why buyers buy in lucrative markets and strategies that position experts for those opportunities.

Vickie serves on the Women’s Leadership Board for Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and is a contributing editor for, a large online community of service professionals. Her market intelligence updates are distributed to experts in 18 countries.

Among the points discussed in Vickie's talk:

  • Why it's essential to inject a distinctive mental picture into the heads of ideal clients
  • Two disruptive trends that make it harder and all the more necessary to be heard
  • The two components that earn you attention in the marketplace - skimp on one of them, and you're ignored
  • Three things a bio or About page must show (and one of them is not describing the chronology of the person's career)
  • Why hype repels smart people and who it attracts, instead
  • The two most important things you must be clear about before you write a single word
  • An unexpected lesson Vickie learned about her own positioning, and changes she has recently made as a result

Storytelling Made Simple

Sean D'Souza is a master mentor for small-business owners on communicating one's uniqueness in an appealing and persuasive way. Author of The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (and Why They Don't) and many wait-list-only marketing and writing courses, he specializes in constructing - and deconstructing -stories.

On his website at, Sean weaves stories into his articles, sales letters, presentations, audio and videos. He also draws cartoons, cooks up yummy Indian food and sips coffee at the beach, starting at 4 am every day, except when on vacation.

Sean's unique perspective on storytelling in his session included:

  • Stories versus analogies: what's the difference?
  • An analysis of what makes one of his stories both memorable and effective
  • Sean's insights on what another story of his was missing and why it didn't work so well
  • Why simplicity is essential for stories that help make a sale
  • Rollercoaster rides: An element that poorly implemented stories overlook
  • A simple way to test (before you deploy it) whether or not a story is memorable
  • Why relatability must figure into your choice of stories, and how

Metaphors for Fun and Profit

Both with her clients and with the copywriters she coaches, Marcia Yudkin applies the lessons she learned writing for the world's best editors at magazines like Ms., Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, New Age Journal, Yoga Journal and the New York Times Magazine, along with National Public Radio.

Author of 17 books, including 6 Steps to Free Publicity, Web Site Marketing Makeover and Meatier Marketing Copy, Marcia has also published numerous Kindle originals, including Marketing for Introverts, Bullets with Bite and No-Hype Copywriting. Her clients range from publishers and healthcare educators to Internet entrepreneurs, attorneys and bankers.

A metaphor is an implicit comparison that doesn't involve "like" or "as." In her session, Marcia provided fresh ideas on writing more vividly:

  • Eight communication purposes that metaphors help with
  • Examples of exciting, appealing metaphors used in sales copy, along with unintentionally creepy or offensive ones
  • Five key types of metaphorical language, only two of which you should use
  • Why metaphors can help sell ideas and concepts as well as products - and two books to read to learn more about that
  • Two tests to apply when you're in doubt about a particular phrase - and a little brainstorming aid so you won't be stumped for a metaphor
  • How to recognize clichés so you can avoid them like the ____
  • Why metaphors galvanize graphic designers who are creating a website or a promotional piece
  • Five readily available, everyday methods for increasing your mastery of metaphors

Peter Bowerman moderated Marcia's session.

Attracting Both Humans and Search Engines

With over 25 years of copywriting experience, Karon Thackston has contributed to the search engine and sales success of Gorton's Seafood, American Boating Association, and other companies. She and her team at Marketing Words provide conversion-oriented copy for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies.

Karon is the author of several training products including one of the first web/SEO copywriting courses, "The Step-by-Step Copywriting Course" and well as "Writing With Keywords" and "Ecommerce Copywriting." Her clients include inventors, manufacturers, service-based businesses and ecommerce websites.

Listening to Karon's information-packed session on SEO copywriting, you'll learn:

  • "Search engines only drop off customers at your site - they don't make sales": implications of this fundamental principle
  • Why writing copy first and inserting keywords later is a disastrously wrong approach
  • The three most important on-page elements of search-engine-optimized copy
  • Google's three-letter acronym for content that they now rank high, and what therefore ranks low
  • The little-known secret of effective SEO (hint: it has something to do with consistency...)
  • The five best places to use keywords on a web page
  • SEO principles that have remained unchanged for a decade or more

For $149.95, you receive the downloadable recordings of all the sessions described above and below, including a brief introduction and the post-presentation Q&A session - more than 11 hours of educational listening in all.

The 2013 Presenters and Topics in Depth

Rapport With Readers: The Connection That Convinces

Award-winning copywriter, author and copywriting coach Nick Usborne has written for dozens of well-known companies, from Apple, Citibank and Chrysler to Reuters, the New York Times and WebEx. Since 1997 he has been writing online copy exclusively, and his 2002 book, Net Words: Creating High-Impact Online Copy was one of the first books on writing for the web.

He has published hundreds of articles for,, Business 2.0 and many other online publications. Nick also coaches writers who want help and direction in launching a new freelance business or growing the business they already have.

From Nick, you learn these and other points about rapport:

  • The key principle or attitude underlying rapport with the reader
  • An easy-to-remember image for achieving rapport
  • What to do if you just can’t relate to a certain audience
  • His guideline for easing the reader into a sales page
  • The best method of making sure there's no break in the flow of the copy
  • Must you share personal details about yourself to reach rapport with your audience?
  • The relationship between the structure of copy and its tone
  • How and why to come full circle at the end of a sales letter
  • What to use instead of "Buy Now" buttons as a call to action

Problem/Solution: A Powerful, Handy Framework

When it comes to writing copy, or teaching about it, Steve Slaunwhite is known as "the B-to-B guy." He works with business owners who provide a valuable business-to-business service of some kind, such as consulting, advising, training or coaching, and he helps them get more clients and increase sales. In addition, he coaches both business owners and copywriters on strategy and wordsmithing.

Steve's books and home-study courses include The Everything Guide to Writing Copy, Writing High-Performance B2B Copy, and Writing Success Stories: How to Produce Case Studies That Wow Clients. The Wealthy Freelancer, which he co-authored, won a "Best Small Business Book" award from

Valuable ideas presented in Steve's talk included:

  • The two types of "homework" marketers need to do before writing copy
  • Two key dangers to stay away from in describing the prospect's problem and why
  • A way to find out prospects' most important worry or concern, in only a few minutes
  • Two easy-to-make lists to make that provide the core points to present in your copy
  • "Isn't it negative to focus on problems?" - Steve's sensible answer
  • When to be really quick in describing the problem and when you should dwell on it longer
  • Five techniques for laying out the solution effectively
  • Why you need to be careful in stirring up readers' emotions

Spin a Story to Captivate and Influence

Ray Edwards’ first introduction to selling came as a door-to-door salesman in the early 1990s. He became a fulltime copywriter and online marketing consultant for small to midsize businesses in 2002. He offers coaching services for new online copywriters and has authored Web Copywriting Secrets From the Trenches, Secrets of Writing Winning Autoresponder Series and other books.

Ray has helped chiropractors, real estate agents, coaches, financial planners, web hosting companies, publishers and many home business start-ups boost their bottom line. He has taught science and math at both high school and college levels, as well as to his own children, who are all home-schooled.

Ray's session covered, among other points:

  • A lesson from American Idol about the power of storytelling
  • The three (or perhaps four) key elements every story must have
  • From meta-narratives to one-word stories: Where to use long or short, big or small stories
  • The key role of receptivity in selling, how it differs from manipulation, and a story that clarifies the difference
  • Why stories help you avoid the hard-sell approach
  • When it's OK to use a fairy-tale kind of story
  • How stories help convey statistics
  • Why everyday, non-heroic stories are more effective than unusual ones

Incorporating Values in Copy: When, Why and How

Marketing consultant, copywriter and international speaker Shel Horowitz specializes in profitability strategies and marketing materials for green, socially conscious, ethical businesses. Co-author of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green and author of several other award-winning books, he also writes an internationally syndicated column, "Green and Profitable."

As a copywriter, Shel most often writes press releases, websites and book cover copy for green businesses, those trying to reach the green market, authors, publishers, small-scale entrepreneurs, non-profits and community groups. "I make a client look as good as possible while staying honest," he says.

You'll want to hear these insights from Shel:

  • What ice cream, toilet paper, and the Empire State Building can teach us about reaching a certain committed group of customers
  • How easy (and self-defeating) it is to overlook compelling "talking points" about your product
  • How exploring features and benefits can turn up a captivating story
  • The dynamics of "greenwashing" (pretending a product is environmentally friendly when it isn’t): how marketers do it, why customers sometimes fall for it and why companies rarely get away with it long-term
  • Examples of how to pitch the same product differently to Deep Greens, Lazy Greens and Nongreens (or any other groups whose values and commitments differ)
  • The power of copywriting with integrity in building a customer base who act as ambassadors for you
  • How turning away unsuitable clients made Shel's business stronger - and might do the same for you

Four Types of Truth-telling in Copy and Why They Matter

Both with her clients and with the copywriters she coaches, Marcia Yudkin applies the lessons she learned writing for the world's best editors at magazines like Ms., Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, New Age Journal, Yoga Journal and the New York Times Magazine, along with National Public Radio.

Author of 17 books, including 6 Steps to Free Publicity, Web Site Marketing Makeover and Meatier Marketing Copy, Marcia has also published numerous Kindle originals, including Marketing for Introverts, Bullets with Bite and No-Hype Copywriting. Her clients range from Internet entrepreneurs, attorneys and bankers to publishers, healthcare educators and inventors.

In her session, Marcia explained these points in depth:

  • The hidden damage done by an all-too-common tendency among marketers
  • How hype often preys on hope or fear
  • The easy yet little-used test to use to determine whether or not your headline constitutes hype
  • When putting on a facade of success takes a terrible toll
  • Do you have to reveal personal information to have a successful personal brand?
  • Do you have a duty to disclose? Five examples discussed
  • The tricky issue of manipulation: Is it simply what business is, or something to avoid?
  • Why conscience matters - for yourself and others

Marketing coach Andrea Conway served as moderator for Marcia's session.

Plus a one-hour informal, candid discussion among the telesummit presenters.

Forget about the aggressive, exaggerated, heavy-handed style of marketing and learn about more gentle, authentic forms of persuasion from this two-year set of recordings.

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No-Hype Copywriting Telesummit 2013 and 2014

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I want this!