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What it Takes to be a SaaS Copywriter – Interview with Josh Garofalo


JoshJosh Garofalo is a SaaS copywriter and conversion optimizer — a specialist in a sea of generalists. Before starting Sway Copy, he led marketing at a VC-funded B2B SaaS startup that went through AngelPad, the #1 accelerator (Forbes, 2015).

Today, he writes copy for SaaS companies and digital agencies with SaaS clients.

http://swaycopy.com/    josh-garofalo-twitter    josh-garofalo-linkedin

Time Stamped Show Notes:
[00:00.57] – Bala introduces Josh
[00:01.35– Bala gives a quick overview of John’s journey
[00:02.20– Josh on Why Saas and why he took up this field, his experiences etc.
[00:04.42– Discusses about websites in saas and where they are lacking.
[00:05.02– Josh talks about startups struggling with copywriting in SaaS.
[00:05.36– Common mistakes seen by Josh in copywriting and a few tips on how to overcome them
[00:07.40] – Role of images in copywriting
[00:08.48] – How do you think creatively? What is the creative process involved while working?
[00:12.10– Experiences on poor copy
[00:16.42– Josh elaborates on challenges faced in this field as a copywriter
[00:18.22– Talks about ways to assess quality of copy
[00:19.32– Qualities people should be looking for in a copywriter
[00:22.10– Using storytelling in B2B SaaS
[00:24.13-What does being ethical mean in copywriting?
[00:28.37-Ideal length for a typical landing page in B2B SaaS
[00:32.55– Things that went wrong and the process behind achieving 100k
[00:37.26– Do you believe in growth hacking?
[00:39.10– Bala concludes the session and Josh shares ways to get in touch with him


[00:00:57] Bala: Hello everybody. Thank you very much for joining in another great episode of Mondovo 1o1 series. 

[00:01:00] My name is Bala and I’m your host. Today we’re gonna talk to Josh who is the founder and a Conversion SaaS Copywriter at Sway Copy.

[00:01:08] He has got immense knowledge in this field, and we’re going to talk everything about it.

[00:01:13] May be because he’s got a Masters in digital experience innovations too from The University Waterloo. Josh, welcome to the show.

[00:01:20] Josh: Thanks for having me. I’m really excited for this. 

[00:01:24] Bala: Fantastic. Very good. The pleasure is ours.

[00:01:25] So Josh, like I said, we’ve been waiting to talk to you for a long long time and finally we have this opportunity to talk.

[00:01:32] And I have thousands of questions to you. Let me put these things for the viewers and the listeners who were talking to us. 

[00:01:41] Josh is our superpower user in Inbound.org. All you wanna know about this knowledge wealth is actually over there.

[00:01:49] And most importantly, we will be, in the conversation, we’ve been doing some kind of research before.

[00:01:56] And where we did find that the last one year, everything what Josh did was not in normal way but despite that everything fell in place almost like around $100,000 in business by doing everything wrong the like the way we marketers keep saying that we gotta do this or that. 

[00:02:14] That’s a pretty interesting story, Josh.

[00:02:17] Tell us everything. Let’s start with why SaaS and why you took up this field?

[00:02:22] Let’s start over there first.

[00:02:23] Josh: Okay, sure, yaa.

[00:02:25] So my reason for picking Saas is quite a few of them actually.

[00:02:28] The first one was before I got started I was a 100% committed to selecting a niche and sticking to it.

[00:02:37] Which if you’ve done any research like looking for a copywriter for your business, most copywriter don’t choose a niche.

[00:02:44] They are like – Alright, whatever you want me to write.

[00:02:44] And I saw that as a huge disadvantage. Of course they appealed to a bunch of people, but with you guys, for example being a SaaS company. 

[00:02:55] If you are looking for a copywriter, all you gonna choose the person is testimonials from pet stores and e-commerce blah blah blah or someone who’s just like Saas, SaaS, SaaS companies. Right?

[00:03:05] Bala: Absolutely.

[00:03:06] Josh: Yea, so I start with a big advantage. 

[00:03:09] The other thing is that kind of what I knew, before I jump into this, I learnt marketing at a SaaS startup.

[00:03:15] So I knew the language, I knew the landscape, I knew who the big influences were.

[00:03:22] Might have been to conferences, I actually went through the angel pad, incubator which is considered to be one of the top ones in the world.

[00:03:30] So I held hustled in NYC for 10 weeks as part of a SaaS company. It’s what I knew.

[00:03:39] Other reasons, so many, in plus, When I look in the future, what I wanna right copy for. 

[00:03:48] SaaS, as you see today is really cool. But when you see things like the internet of things coming along, virtual reality.

[00:03:56] These are all going to find a way into SaaS or SaaS related fields down the road. So just a longpretty important.

[00:04:01] And I guess the other one was, if you look at the maturity of SaaS, it’s not very mature.

[00:04:08] I mean we’re seeing lots of SaaS companies, but they are all relatively small but that’s going to be the future of how business services are delivered.

[00:04:15] It’s already obvious, just, it’s gonna take time for it to grow but I figured that the market that I can grow along with. That’s why I choose it.

[00:04:22] Bala: Perfect. That’s very niche one that you chosen the vey right area.

[00:04:28] Because I personally have not seen any copywriter who’s very specific to SaaS and you are the first one who really portray that particularly.

[00:04:35] Do you believe that this industry is lacking this expertise because I’m sure you’re seeing a lot of SaaS pages and their landing pages and all that, you must have understood that flaws. Does this industry is missing that expertise?

[00:04:48] Josh: Yaa. There are some really really good marketers in SaaS. So I’d say the websites in SaaS are definitely better than something like traditional like manufacturing industries because they’re pretty engaged with what copywriters are writing about the stuff like that. 

[00:05:06] But, yes, it’s still lacking, it’s early and specially startups are struggling with copy. They do what every other niche does which is right from, they are writing in the vacuum. 

[00:05:18] They don’t really understand how to do copywriting and it’s not a creative writing. It’s going out there talking to customers and understanding in a really deep level.

[00:05:26] So, it’s still kind of lacking in SaaS.

[00:05:28] Bala: That’s true. It’s good that you brought up startups over there. What are the kind of common mistakes you see in them. There’s a lot of guys, may be a lot of mistakes there. So what is that common thing you see?

[00:05:42] Josh: Yea, there’s a lot of mistakes. First one is sort of what I said about people writing in a vacuum. They think copywriting is a creative writing, you just have to kind of Wordsmith and come up with really neat ways in saying things which is completely wrong. 

[00:05:54] Another one would be taking the lead from companies that are way ahead of them. Which is natural because it’s more visible.

[00:06:02] Of course you’re gonna look Apple, Amazon, and Salesforce and see like – Oh this is working for them. 

[00:06:10] But it’s not necessarily going to work for you. Lot of these companies who use very vague headlines for example, and very vague sentences that don’t say much at all. 

[00:06:19] And that works for them because people are coming to their website with a familiarity of what they do already. Just kind of looking and check a few boxes before they buy.

[00:06:27] But the figure start up and nobody knows about you and they land on your page. 

[00:06:31] You need to take them from the very beginning and tell them very specifically with in the first 10 seconds of possible. What it is you do, how you do it better, or definitely and why it’s important that they consider your solution?

[00:06:42] So vague headlines like I could probably got off right now and pick out a million of bum birds. They are not gonna work for you as startup. (laughs) uhh hha ha ha. It’s not good.

[00:06:51] Bala: I guess. That’s right. When you’re talking about choosing something for this particular landing pages or anything that what they write. 

[00:07:01] Yes of course, they’re making a big mistake with the writing, what they’re doing itself. Question which we always had is, of course, pictures are very important when you’re actually gonna be writing the thing right. I always had this question, if you say pictures are important, and we are talking about B2B SaaS industry

[00:07:21] Most of the pictures is gonna be office, people sitting in their office. Amazing their hands like 2 guys sitting and talking with a pen or something like that. 

[00:07:29] Because it’s not a healthcare where you can have a nurse, everyone is smiling or say fitness where somebody’s running or something like that. This is all gonna be inside the office.

[00:07:40] So, what is that or how do you figure it out with the picture behind what you write?

[00:07:44] Josh: With images, sort of like you said, I try to stay away from stock photography whenever possible.

[00:07:52] I should also start by saying like if I’m working with a good designer, all that for the designer’s expertise on these. But this things are, you know, show the products in action, like key screenshots, I mean graphs, pretty common.

[00:08:06] The real thing I really like to include is faces. So testimonials. Sprinkling testimonials throughout the website first is just like hacking like a single customer page that you hope people click to, right?

[00:08:16] Whenever you make like a key statement in your, about to asking him to do something. I’d love to to throw a testimonial in there whenever appropriate that has like, the smiling face saying yes it’s a real person saying this. 

[00:08:27] So those types of visuals are good for B2B SaaS.

[00:08:29] Bala; Perfect. Okay now I really want to understand what is your creative process? How do you think, okay, this is B2B SaaS and many people are there inside it. So everyone is different in a small particular way. Is that a kind of a challenge for you to be very specific and the whole creative process is gonna be different? How do you think in that area?

[00:08:50] Josh: Yaa. So, this is an interesting one, because when I speak to the copywriters or people who are looking for copywriters, I always make it clear that I don’t actually see myself as a very creative person. 

[00:09:03] I would put myself closely to a salesperson and like a fictional writer or novels for example. So when I think for my creative process, it’s not so much a creative process in the way you traditionally think about it.

[00:09:16] Sort of how do I go about find the message and that varies depending what’s available to me and sort of the state of the company. But some common things that I’ll do to sort a figure out how they are different and exactly how to say things; my headlines, my body text, whatever is, I’ll send out of surveys.

[00:09:33] So, I’ll dig into, sort of their features and modifications in what were they doing before they came to the product, what they are doing after and all they are using it. I will get them to sort of prioritize their feature.

[00:09:45] I’ll look for reviews. So, G2Crowd for example is a good place. And as per, I’ll dig through there and separate things out based on whether or no it’s like sticky.

[00:09:54] So sometimes, someone will just say something. They are not a copywriter, they’ll be talking about the product. And it’s just brilliant.

[00:10:01] It is the headline, word for word and that’s all that happens.

[00:10:03] Or I’ll go through in and dig out a little pin points up their expressed thing and see which ones are repeated over and over again.

[00:10:12] That’s something that I’m going to have to address.

[00:10:14] And same with benefits. There are certain things that a lot of people really love about your product. Don’t just bury that in the feature’s page.

[00:10:24] Find a way to put that front and center because that’s clearly like a driving force for people using a product.

[00:10:29] And then just objections to still people are talking about why they didn’t go through product or sort of referrals they have to get over before they decided to go with you. Address that as well. 

[00:10:44] Some other ways having to look. Interviews obviously. Whatever time and budget permits, I interview customers and get them to talk about their experience with the product first hand.

[00:10:55] Amazon reviews, that would be another one that can sometimes work. If you’re familiar with Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers or something that she really is a proponent of. So I completely stole that from her. 

[00:11:09] Bala: Hah ha ha

[00:11:09] Josh: That’s just where specially in SaaS and all those fields, I’ll find sort of books that are related to the SaaS product that I’m writing copy for and then combing through those reviews for a lot same thing. Sticky messages, pains and benefits.

[00:11:23] Bala: Pretty interesting what you said right now because all these questions what you’ve been asked saying now it’s all your focusing on the customer and none of these questions you’re gonna be asking, the founder or anybody there.

[00:11:34] Because, it’s in this field that you always get this vague answers from the founder. Specially from the startup. 

[00:11:44] You ask them “Why you started the company? “Oh to make money”. “Ohhh okay so, what love you have for that company?”. “Ohh to make more money at that particular love”. “Okay, what is the future of this company?” “To make even more money”.

[00:11:54] That’s the only kind of concept. And you have to create a landing page and in that section a word “Copywrite” out of that particular message which is absolutely nonsense, right? It’s good that you absolutely focusing on the customer who’s absolutely using the product getting the message from them. 

[00:12:07] That’s pretty cool. Do you have any kind of poor kind of copy that you made the changes and things work out over there?

[00:12:18] Josh: Yes. I won’t name clients in this particular case. I don’t like to speak badly. They did the right thing by trying to find some good help. I’m proud of them for that. 

[00:12:31] But things some things that I can talk about out identifying them. 

[00:12:37] That was a very niche company. And what they have is no free trial whatsoever. It’s a $200 a year subscription. 

[00:12:46] And what you get is some very niche information, they produce the best information in the market plus some software distributer’s tools. 

[00:12:55] Before they came to me they’re actually quite successful just becuase they basically have no competitors or whatsoever. 

[00:13:00] They had about 10000 people paying $200 a year for this small team of like 6 people. That’s about 2 million dollars in revenue, right, for these six people. 

[00:13:09] Pretty good.

[00:13:10] Bala: Pretty Good.

[00:13:11] Josh: Yea. But when I look at their conversion rates, they are getting around 1% of people that signed up for one of their lead magnets to become a paid customer. 

[00:13:22] That’s super terrible considering there’s no free trial. But what they were doing was, once you signed up for a lead magnet, you got a lead magnet and it’s got dropped into a general thing and they sent to you like a newsletter. Right?

[00:13:35] Bala: Right!

[00:13:36] Josh: There was no sort of on-boarding teasing you like this is all the stuffs you’re going to be experiencing when you logged in or when you become a member.

[00:13:44] So what I did is I came up with like a very detail like 20 email series that came right over 31 days, have like very good open rates and click-through rates where we tease them, we give them a few articles for free and we demo the product saying this is what you can do on the product for free but if you just pay 20 bucks  a month which is nothing, like you can go to the movies for that, or you can become like a leader in the field.

[00:14:08] Then you’re gonna get all these things and what we did there is we want from above 1% to monthly conversions going between 4 and 7%. 

[00:14:18] Bala” WoWWWW.

[00:14:19] Josh: That sells. Right. That’s not lead magnet that’s.

[00:14:24] Bala: The final sell. That’s good Yaa.

[00:14:25] Josh: Ya. 3-500% more people paying.

[00:14:28] Bala: Absolutely.

[00:14:29] Josh: Such a huge one. Another one was an interesting consultant in Germany. And we found through doing some research that in his particular niche that’s very word-of-mouth driven. Everyone that he’d be consulting they all know each other. So it’s a pretty small market that he executes in.

[00:14:51] So, we experiment it and we just found out way over the top of this, we land on landing page, or on this homepage., basically like a title, a headline that picks a weight the pain point that he solves.

[00:15:03] And literally just faces and testimonials, that takes up above the fold. And these are all faces that anyone that he’d be consulting with completely recognized. They are all saying good things about him.

[00:15:13] And that also have a pretty tremendous effect on that.

[00:15:16] Bala: Very good.

[00:15:17] Josh: And I guess one more example that I’m working on right now, so I don’t have results but it’s  a startup and again a very niche SaaS Page. Medical devices actually. Medical device creation and their product is not cheap. It’s like $25000-$65000 a year.

[00:15:35] So it’s a big price to pay for a company specially if you don’t know who they are, whether or not they can actually execute on what they say they can do. 

[00:15:46] So we are doing is you’re gonna basically, you’re not familiar to go through the site, without seeing feature benefit mentioned, and  a short testimonial nearby that re-affirms that what I said is true in the copy.

[00:15:57] So it’s not gonna be super image heavy, it’s gonna be more like this is what we do, here’s proof how we do, this is how we do, here’s proof that we do it, over and over and over again.

[00:16:04] I don’t know how it’s gonna work yet. But I think it’ll be interesting and if it does work it could be an approach that works for a lot of startup setter, dealing with that main objection of product but I don’t know if you can actually do what we say we do.

[00:16:16] Bala: Perfect. That’s pretty interesting for specially for product which is kind of this expensive. Really everything it has to be taken care of in that particular area.

[00:16:28] Good, let’s talk about some of the challenges that you see over here. What are the other challenges in this field. Like you start at everything is perfect. And you wanna go and execute it but certain things stops that. Could you elaborate on that.

[00:16:41] Josh: Do you mean problems in that I face as a copywriter?

[00:16:46] Bala: Ya as a copywriter.

[00:16:46] Josh: Okay. There’s quite a few challenges but one of the main ones that I run into and a lot of fellow copywriters talk about that as well is, because it’s just words that I’m writing. 

[00:16:58] It can be very difficult for the people that I’m writing copy for they take my copy and just implement it.

[00:17:05] It’s completely trust that I did my homework and implement it. Because a lot of times, it’s gonna be different than what they envisioned, because as you’d mentioned, when you write a copy for your own company, it becomes more about like, I wanna communicate my vision to this people.

[00:17:17] You know. And I think my product knowledge features are so awesome. I’m just gonna tell them about it.

[00:17:23] And it used to like a brain dump. Whereas wen you take the customer-centric approach, it’s  gonna be very different than what you’ve write it for yourself.

[00:17:30] So I’ll handover copy sometimes and they’ll be like what about this feature and what about that feature?

[00:17:34] I went through like 300 reviews and not a single person mentioned that feature. So we can put that not on your homepage. So getting people to not tweak your copy is a challenge.

[00:17:48] Bala: That is true. 

[00:17:49] Josh: Always right.

[00:17:49] Bala: You know, we have a joke over here because people who hire copywriters and what they write and give it, they will never understand really what the copy is all about because the first they’ve hired a copywriter to do that. There’s no way they can do it.

[00:18:06] So we always say that the biggest challenge is a quick way and the efficient way to say that this kind of copy is going to work. Because sometimes, we have to put that copy, wait for the results. What has to happen over there.

[00:18:18] Do you have any kind of way to quickly assess the copy and prove it to the people there?

[00:18:26] Josh: It’s not quite testing takes time specially if you don’t have to turn traffic so there aint really any short cuts around it. I would just, founders out through they are working at, hiring a copywriter and sort of seeing that they would probably have this urge to edit it.

[00:18:39] I would just say like why are you paying someone so much money to do what you’re going to do yourself. Some clients will literally take your word and just almost scrap it and it’s just heartening he wondered why they just pay thousands of dollars to do that.

[00:18:52] But there’s no really short cut. You’ve gotta test it and I would just say pick a copywriter that you trust. That’s another reason that I choose a niche. 

[00:19:03] I feel like it’s less of a gamble for a founder when they see that. I know all the SaaS guys. I read group, HQ blog, because I have time too. If I ought to be a general copywriter. I couldn’t get that deep into any one market. right?

[00:19:19] So, that’s one way of combatting it. That’s the one reason that I choose a niche.

[00:19:27] Bala: Perfect. Let’s come to the point what you said right now. When you’re gonna hire a copywriter for any agency or client. What quality is there that they should be looking for in a copywriter? Sot that there’s a good match. 

[00:19:38] Josh: Ya, so, about 99% of copywriters you’re gonna shoot me that when I say that you should pick someone who’s specializes in your area.

[00:19:48] A commoner what you meant is that, you know copywriting is copywriting if you know how to write copy. You can do it for any niche.

[00:19:54] It’s true you can probably do for any niche, but I would argue that you can’t do this as well as somebody who just focusses on that niche.

[00:20:01] There are way more than trenched in it. For example, I’m going to SaaS Conference in SF in 2017 next year. You know that conference.

[00:20:15] Bala: Yea. Yea

[00:20:17] Josh: It’s like the biggest SaaS one right?

[00:20:18] Bala: Absolutely.

[00:20:19] Josh: One of the only consultants, co-founders there, there are founders there that focusses on copy because other copywriters aren’t going to pay to go to that  conference because they are just one of them like fourteen niches that they write copy for, right?

[00:20:33] Whereas for me it’s everything. So I’ll be there and I’ll be taking all that knowledge.

[00:20:37] So, choose a specialist whenever possible. And there are specialists in some of the strangest niche like solar panels. There are copywriters that just write copy for solar panels. Choose that.

[00:20:49] Bala: Wow.

[00:20:51] Josh: Whenever possible, ask to see a portfolio. But also someone who was a new copywriter, not too long ago, I know how annoying it can be when people asking for your portfolio. 

[00:21:02] So, I won’t based a decision just on a portfolio.

[00:21:12] And also be curious to see how they actually engage with the community.

[00:21:18] So, almost all my business comes directory or indirectly from inbound.org. 

[00:21:22] And that’s because I’m always providing lot of insight there.

[00:21:26] So a copywriter that you go with should be pretty engage. He shouldn’t just be like sitting at home, waiting for jobs to come in. 

[00:21:31] Just see how they’re engage. The kind of advice I gave in your market that isn’t even necessary this copywriting related that shows up they are actually engage with your particular niche before we go to that                            

[00:21:41] And then obviously got to be at the right, ther’s no way around that.

[00:21:46] Precurious to may be ask them what kind of books they read or what they’ve read. I think’s you can tell a lot by people by what they’ve decided to read.

[00:21:54] I think that would be a pretty good start right there.

[00:21:59] Bala: Very good. That’s a brilliant idea. Now, of course that is story telling also, part of a copywriting. Bringing story telling insights B2B SaaS, is that another challenge?

[00:22:13] Josh: Ya. I think you can look a little bit differently than if you’re writing copy for like Get Rich Quick and Loose Weight type of stories but case studies are still super super powerful actually just read an awesome blogger this morning from Group HQ about how they’re doing case studies to grow their business.

[00:22:36] And it’s just, it’s super key. I mean it shows that everything that you’re saying you can do, you can actually do it. There’s someone who’s willing to put their face and their name to their testimonial.

[00:22:44] That says before I ran into this company, I was doing it this way, and that was costing me this much. I subscribe to their SaaS product or whatever, and you know now these cost savings, I’m making this much more money, these problems were gone. Just tell that story over and over and over again and you’re golden. That’s how I’d use story telling for B2B SaaS.

[00:23:11] Relentlessly collect your customer stories, turn them into videos if you want or a nice case studies. 

[00:23:17] Break it into testimonials, straight to your website, whenever possible. That’s how I go about story telling in B2B SaaS.

[00:23:25] Bala; Very good. Very good. Now, storytelling, we’re talking about testimonials or case studies also. That is not much truth prevailing in this industry. I think you’d agree on that? 

[00:23:38] Like you know, you have this paid testimonials, paid case studies coming in specially like you know on a discussion that you were doing in Inbound, regarding what Neil Patel puts in his websites and most of did agree that it’s a very unethical thing and that was a very good debate which was happening.

[00:23:54] Now, when you’re writing case studies, you gotta be really creative in doing that particular thing and also this ethical is double-edged sword. Right?

[00:24:04] Because you know you just overdo sometime. You’re not actually telling the the truth. Actually overseeing something over there. Just being little bit creative. How do you address that?

[00:24:13] What is ethical in copywriting according to you, you put in that way.

[00:24:17] Josh: Yes, this is definitely something that I’m still experimenting with because. I know that discussion that you’re talking about.

[00:24:26] It is really interesting to see there is marketers and there are all over the spectrum. There are some that are posted to a journalist, and some that are just like a sneak oil salesman, not doing anything to get the sell. 

[00:24:38] They don’t really care about the human being on the other side. So I definitely don’t have a definitive answer on what the ethics of copywriting is, but I would say that I’m somewhere in the middle.

[00:24:46] I shouldn’t be lying, if someone clicks a link or buys a product, they should not be surprised by what’s on the other side.

[00:24:56] That I guess I’ll be like the simplest way of putting it. So, that particular thing that you’re talking about there, it was an ad, but it look just like a blog post and it have a like a fake comments and fake social shares listed. 

[00:25:15] So it looks just like a blog post, you click it and it goes to a webinar landing page. To me that would be just completely misleading because I click that looking for a blog post and I didn’t get it.

[00:25:22] And if you want to multiply that behavior which I think is another way to look at ethics, the internet would become a very dark and unusable place.

[00:25:29] If I do a Google search, and I can’t tell which one is the Google ad, and which is the link, it’s a problem right?

[00:25:38] So, that would be my quick way to take into ethics for a short call like this should just don’t mislead people.

[00:25:48] Bala: In fact, you know, misleading and also mis-interpretation also is another one. Because see, talking about lead itself, great marketer, if I have learnt 10 things today about marketing. 8 things does come from his blog.

[00:26:09] No questions about it. But talking about the other side, there is one article what he writes about 100,000 views in year, in one case studies been actually writing complete the series on that. How he’s actually building up some nutrition company and how he’s doing all the marketing trip to do it.

[00:26:26] I don’t know if you saw that particular post or not. 

[00:26:28] Josh: Yea I left the comment on that one. (both laugh) 

[00:26:33] Bala: Okay. like you know most of viewers basically coming from his own blog itself. And it’s actually manipulated that whole thing and if you actually look in deep inside. You pull the data from Mondovo, itself, we knew it, no, that data is basically coming from his own site.

[00:26:45] And it’s showing that so much of waves is actually coming in. That’s kind of very misleading people telling that this is going to work. And That’s not absolutely ethical. Right?

[00:26:58] Josh: I agree that. I left a comment on that blog saying the same thing that this experiment is completely useless. The only way it work is if he started a nutrition blog. Didn’t say anything about it. His name was never attached to in any way.

[00:27:13] And then in retrospect, posted on I think it was Quicksprout that he might have been writing this along or Neilpatel.com. And then say like hey I started this blogs 6 months ago, my name was not attached to it. 

[00:27:24] You guys didn’t even know about it. All my views are coming from places that aren’t Neil Patel related. And tada this is how I did it.

[00:27:31] That would work but they didn’t do that. (both laugh again)

[00:27:34] Bala: And interestingly, this is the, he writes in, this is the website I’m working on. He puts it in the blog for obvious everyone wanna go from there to that particular thing.

[00:27:46] It’s clearly as link also going back for that. 

[00:27:49] Josh: Terrible thing.

[00:27:49] Bala: Right. But ethics is something very important and specially it starts with it. because copywriting is even more interesting. Right. 

[00:27:57] It goes to the psychology behind it. You know you put all the 5-6 persuasion techniques inside it and then really think about every particular point and tell them, we have to balance it out and put it right?

[00:28:13] Okay, so moving from that, this is one question I just wanted to ask is when you go to those training courses specially the landing pages and all, the testimonials goes on and on and on. It’s a length of pages oh ya I’m convinced now. But in B2B SaaS, specially over here, what is the ideal length of the whole landing page should be?

[00:28:37] Is it like we should be going on and on?

[00:28:42] Josh: Ya, I would say there’s one answer to follow that. It depends on a number of things. So I guess it that makes more sense to discuss sort of what you need to consider and that would go into deciding the length of your page.

[00:28:56] So, first to ask, you don’t need a landing page that is 10000 words get a free 30 day trial. Because it’s a small ask you’re just giving up something. 

[00:29:06] Or same if like a white paper that you just giving to them and exchange for an email address that doesn’t require super long landing page.

[00:29:14] But if you are trying to sell $200 subscription without ever trying anything like I did, then a longer landing page is required.

[00:29:24] And I wrote some of those and they were pretty long. I wrote like 5000, 10000 words long some of this landing pages, right?

[00:29:30] So they ask the how big a recommend their part to take it, they take it call their action.

[00:29:37] The other thing would be the objections and you get this by talking to your prospects or people have actually gone through the hoops and become a customer.

[00:29:45] What do they come to a website, with in terms of objections. You got to address all of them. Specially the big ones before you get to your task.

[00:29:54] Otherwise they’re gonna get your task like I’ve got a bunch of unresolved questions. And it’s like – eh I’m not gonna do this.

[00:30:00] There’ll be some other things that we go into the length of pages. They guess the level of awareness when they get to your pages. 

[00:30:09] So, if they get to your page just like a slide idea that – Umm, I might have a problem. It’s a little bit annoying, I don’t even know if it’s worth solving.

[00:30:14] They’re coming to you and paid with that. Then you need to go all the way from, their little problem is actually pretty big. This is what it’s costing you. This is what you’ll get when you decide to fix your problem, these were gonna be your benefits. 

[00:30:30] These were all the people that are saying that everything that I’m telling you is true and then you might get to the task . So I’ll say those three things are going to be the big determinants in term of how long your page needs to be.

[00:30:41] Isn’t really about the length, it’s just, it’s saying all the things you need to say in order to get them from where they are when they land on your page to the place you need to be to click through.

[00:30:50] Bala: Perfect. then use all the persuasion techniques inside it like have a testimonial, this, that and what to work and also have the timer running so that ohh the software is gonna end right now.

[00:31:00] It’s gotta grab that.

[00:31:01] Josh: Ya you can do that sometimes I think it’s not always appropriate but like to find prior writing copy for sells for some might not have a timer. Because I think people sometimes associate that technique with some shadier parts of the web.

[00:31:17] Bala: That’s exactly what I’m saying, you know the ethical part, we could balance without. You know that. That’s not exactly the kind of offer that’s gonna end obviously.

[00:31:27] Just an eBook that it’s gonna come out and you can put the timer just behind and and say hey it’s gonna increase by another 69% if you don’t sign up right now.

[00:31:36] Josh: Yea, exactly. And sometimes it is okay and it doesn’t necessitate with timer like – do you know Paul Dravis by any chance?

[00:31:42] Bala: Yes.

[00:31:42] Josh: Yes, so he has a course and and it’s generally a good practice when you’re using courses to not have it always open each. Close it for a period of time, running through the course, open it again. Because it does create some urgency.

[00:31:57] So, who’ll do that I’ll say like you know this course ends on Jyly 21, and that’s true like he will close it that day so you really do need to make a decision before and he doesn’t just reset the timer right after that.

[00:32:07] So, it has a place for sure. This needs to be honest.

[00:32:11] Bala: True. Like you know, you’ve been on a course quite often you know there’s a human gonna be behind that particular thing and taking it’s time. So it’s absolutely fine but like let’s say, selling a book or a product which is not going to expire at all. 

[00:32:22] It’s gonna be there. There’s a point on exactly put that timer behind that. So, any way, now coming to the question, what we start with. So, you did everything wrong from the beginning right? The whole year, there was no, your website is just coming up right now and I think by the time you’ll be posting that, that will be there.

[00:32:42] And no lead magnets, you do not have any email courses which predominantly everyone does that, no advertisements, nothing. Bu how did you achieved like 100K there? What was the process behind it?

[00:32:58] Josh: Yea, so I should start by just like letting people know just how wrong I’ve done a lot of things. So, the last time I published a blog post on my site was a year ago. (Laughs)

[00:33:10] I haven’t published a blogpost in a year. And I’m not saying that blogs are useless. I know that I should blog more and I’m going to blog more. I have 2 blogpost in total and last month written a year ago.

[00:33:25] My email list which is something I also intend to grow because I think it’s part of the next step but I don’t think it was required to get started. So I didn’t pull out time into it. I literally have like 65 people for my list. (laughs). 

[00:33:39] It’s pretty bad right?

[00:33:44] What else I’ve done extremely wrong is my website is literally at this time like while we were speaking not one which goes live, it is a genesis WordPress theme, that I did like some slide modifications to myself. 

[00:33:57] And I put it up in like a day or two. So, it is not a good to say. It’s hardly even representative of what I’m doing right now.

[00:34:03] All things I’m not so proud of but yet things have worked and they’ve worked pretty well. I’m not quite at a year fulltime on my own right now. And if I don’t hit the $100000 marked, I’ll get very close, which is I think really like it’s there’s copywriters doing way better than I am.

[00:34:22] But that is probably like 80% that are not doing well at al right now right? 

[00:34:30] And so I would attribute that success to few things. One – we spoke about earlier, I chose niche, right? 

[00:34:38] So people are willing to take a gamble on somebody who is in transition and whatever it is they do for a living.

[00:34:43] So that was huge thing for me. I don’t think I could be successful doing everything wrong if I didn’t choose a niche.

[00:34:50] The other one is that I haven’t been silent as you said before, I’m very active on inbound.org. It’s been around for a while. I’ve only been on there for about a year. 

[00:35:00] I think I’m in top 30 now in terms of karma which means I’ve contributed a lot and people like my contributions.

[00:35:07] So I’ve gone through these ranks pretty quick. And through inound.org, is where most of my business comes from either directly or indirectly.

[00:35:17] And that also started with sort of hypothesis. so that I have my goal caught into this business.

[00:35:22] And as a consultant you know, I don’t need a thousand leads a month in order to run a successful business.

[00:35:28] I need like 2/3 really good clients a month. That number strengths is more than I have pople like that are doing ongoing work with me.

[00:35:38] So when I’m on that level, I can do really well. Just find impressing you know just find some a few key people that feel comfortable starting about my way.

[00:35:48] So that’s been the case. You probably know if you want inbound.org ___ ____, right?

[00:35:51] So here’s how I got started an he has consistently seen work my way.

[00:35:56] And there’s a few other people as well that I’ve never done actual work with but they’ve just like seen my contributions in inbound.org.

[00:36:04] Someone comes up to them and they are asking for SaaS copy and they are not really copywriter, they are more into SEO though they send them my way.

[00:36:11] And that’s been way more than enough to keep me busy. So ya, done a lot of things wrong but someone things were great. 

[00:36:22] There are also another place that customers come from is Google searches. People not a ton but some were searching our SaaS copywriting. In spite hardly ever producing any content.

[00:36:33] You know I rank well for SaaS copywriting. 

[00:36:36] Bala: That’s good.

[00:36:37] Josh: So ya, I appear pretty close to the top from pretty sure for SaaS copywriting.

[00:36:42] Bala: That’s pretty interesting because the way I came to know the work what you’ve been doing is all about the work you’d been doing it on inbound.org.

[00:36:51] So we thought of WOW, there’s somebody who’s taken a specification over here and then and we’ve been talking about it.

[00:36:55] That’s good. So that’s pretty interesting. It’s a very good study. It’s not that who are there when stop everything, you can try something different and you are a good example for that. Very good.

[00:37:04] Josh: Ya. And that figure also depends on if you guys do not produce content like this, I think you won’t have the same level of success that I have. Because as a SaaS company, you don’t need free customers, you need a lot.

[00:37:15] But for people like me, who are individual consultants, I say don’t just blindly blog. (Laughs)

[00:37:25] Bala: Absolutely. That brings the question like – Do you believe in growth hack?

[00:37:31] Josh: Hmm, I don’t know I mean I obviously believe that there’s people doing interesting things that result in growth. So in that way it’s sort of a hack, but I try to steer away from the tips and tricks that are out there and being like I did this, and this is how you can also get 200% more sells.

[00:37:50] Because it’s not that easy, it’s, you gotta look at your unique problems and come up with your own unique solution that’s what I did.

[00:37:56] I look at this, it’s not like all the tips and tricks are saying I need to blog once a week. Every blogpost needs to be 2000 words long and then how I’m gonna do any client work. I don’t even know how this is gonna happen.

[00:38:06] And I got a promoter on top of that. Those are tips and tricks but I look at the actual business in a real problem. All I saw is that, you know this is still a people business, I’m just connecting with people online.

[00:38:18] I don’t need a thousand leads. I need like 3 in that panel. So I just solve my own problem and it’s not a real fact. You know you can’t just do what I did for your business necessarily you need to think about your unique problems.

[00:38:29] Bala: Absolutely. Specially in the SaaS industry in the, whenever we do a growth hack, we understand that the growth is fast but we have to keep on consistent in what we were doing.

[00:38:42] And when we stop, we see that whoever is come in already gone. Sounds very tough to do that. Okay for a moment, that growth is good, but if you could literally hack the growth, I think that is the best kind of be consistent and you keep growing.

[00:39:01] Anyways, very good Josh. There is a lot of learning I’ve really taken today. Okay from the way you actually set things out and the way we have to be putting those stories correctly in every kind of pages, so many so many good things I’m sure our readers are going to have a good time here. 

[00:39:20] And if they have to connect with you Josh, so quickly say where they can find you. 

[00:39:25] Josh: Yea, my website is SwayCopy.com. You can connect with me on Twitter @swaycopy, social medias and other things that I also do terribly wrong so (laughs) I’m not that active on twitter but I am there. 

[00:39:38] Otherwise you can email me [email protected].

[00:39:41] Bala: Perfect.

[00:39:42] Josh: That’s way you reach me.

[00:39:43] Bala: In case people who haven’t seen Josh, just get into inbound.org, in every posts you will definitely see him. You definitely right in there. 

[00:39:52] Josh: That’s my little face yea.

[00:39:52] Bala: Hahaha. (both laughs). Very good.  Thank you very much Josh. Really appreciate your time here. Okay, and I’m looking forward take another deep subject and talk about it someday again. 

[00:40:03] Josh: For sure.

[00:40:03] Bala: And good luck with the new joinees that you’re starting right now. And hopefully cross 100 and another 100 quicker and sooner that might come in the next year. 

[00:40:16] Bala: You’re awesome. That’d be great.

[00:40:17] Both laughs.

[00:40:17] Bala: Alright. Thank you very much.

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Bala Ayya

Growth Hacker at Mondovo
Accomplished sales expert and a creative digital marketing strategist with a proven record of success in design and product development/lifecycle, from conception to end-user.

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