Clayton Makepeace will always be remembered as one of the most legendary copywriters of our time. He built up over four decades of experience writing professionally and generated well over $1.5 billion in revenue throughout his career. His direct-response copy is hands-down powerful stuff — he once brought in roughly two million new customers for a single product in just 36 months.
But, surprising as it sounds, when Clayton first heard about this particular writing opportunity I want to share with you today, he was filled with doubt. He didn’t think it was right for our industry, or that his clients would ever want to try it.
Then he watched the numbers pour in from other companies who adopted this technique… including one company that used it to land over 300,000 new customers (not leads, mind you — we’re talking paying customers).
That’s when Clayton became a believer and tried it for himself. Incredibly, the revenue he brought in quadrupled. Not only that, but it was a huge win for his client, thanks to an increase in immediate sales, and all at a lower overall cost.
This special technique is one of the biggest innovations of the direct-response industry in the past 60 years. And for the last seven years, it’s been a profitable project for writers like you, with forecasts that demand will only grow (but especially so right now thanks to the recent effects of the COVID pandemic!)
So, what is this opportunity that turned Clayton from doubter to believer? It’s Video Sales Letters, or VSLs. And the demand for VSLs is growing every day, making it an excellent opportunity for Barefoot Writers to make very good money writing video sales letters.
Every Shape and Style Works Like Gangbusters!
Video Sales Letters are a big deal for one remarkably simple reason: They work. To be frank, they work like gangbusters when it comes to online marketing.
And yet they’re very simple… VSLs start with traditional written copy for sales letters. That copy is then used as the narration for a video presentation. The video presentation can be as simple as a PowerPoint with the words of the sales letter popping up in sync with the narration.
Or they can be more complex with pictures, charts, animated graphics, or actual movies.
Most Video Sales Letters are found on a website landing page. Prospects typically get to that landing page after clicking a link in an email. Sometimes, they reach the landing page via a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign or a promotional online article. Some VSLs are even placed on the home or main pages of websites.
Regardless of how you get to them, they’re essentially very simple, very direct “talking promotions” that can boost response by double, triple, and quadruple — thereby making your clients very happy, and also rich. But while they bring in a lot of money for clients and companies, they can also bring a full pipeline of projects, plus the opportunity to score ongoing royalties for you.
So, if you’re interested in learning how to write VSLs, now is the time to move forward and grab your share of the market.
All Businesses Have Untold Stories
These days, businesses of all sizes have caught on to the power of online video — and they’re spending billions on it.
That’s because internet users everywhere enjoy video content. According to a report from Statista, 85 percent of internet users in the U.S. alone watch online video content every month, and that number continues to grow. HubSpot has reported that at least 54 percent of consumers want to see more content from brands and businesses they trust.
And according to a report last year by Optinmonster, video marketers get 66 percent more qualified leads per year. Plus, as Forbes reported, customers spend 88 percent more time on a website with video.
Now consider that these numbers will only continue to grow! Especially with the ever-expanding list of places to post your videos, from websites to social media platforms, texts, and even email. In fact, Facebook’s EMEA Vice President Nicola Mendelsohn predicts that their content will likely be “all video” as early as 2021. Add to that a report from technology conglomerate Cisco that 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic will be video by 2021…
What does all of this mean? Simply that businesses need to make video marketing an integral part of their business strategy, or they’ll risk getting left behind. That’s truer than ever right now, as people are forced to social-distance from each other and find themselves craving connection.
But, here’s the thing. What makes videos powerful isn’t just their convenience. The key influencing factor in Video Sales Letters is the script itself. That’s where you, the writer, come in — and it’s why you can make significant money writing video sales letters.
The good news is, you can learn to write a Video Sales Letter relatively quickly. As Clayton once said, “Writing Video Sales Letters is the surest way I know to get from zero up to one million dollars in no time flat.”
Clearly, it makes sense to get on top of the Video Sales Letter phenomenon, especially because most businesses are well-aware of the value of a good sales letter. That means they’re also likely aware of the value of using video in their internet marketing.
Still, many businesses have yet to put the two together. Which is why there’s ample opportunity for new Barefoot Writers. Fortunately, it’s easy to make a winning argument for the power of Video Sales Letters for any company that wants proof. There are enough companies who’ve seen incredible success using VSLs to easily demonstrate their power.
For you, this means there’s a wide-open sea of potential clients, both those who use VSLs currently and those who could be easily persuaded to start. Better still, there’s very little competition from other writers.
Which brings us to the next important step in joining the world of Video Sales Letters: How to get started.
You Can Be Under-Educated and Still Over-Achieve
Before we jump in, I want to address the intimidation factor …
You should know that most new writers are intimidated by VSLs. They worry it takes special technical knowledge to do them, or that a whole new skill set has to be learned.
But that’s simply not the case. You really only need a foundation in persuasive writing. Any skills you have in technology are all bonus and not required knowledge for Video Sales Letter writers.
Your job instead is to understand the basic structure of a Video Sales Letter. And once you’ve got this down, your role as a writer gets easier rather than harder…
So here’s an overview of structure:
For starters, there isn’t a rule for how long a VSL should or shouldn’t be. Of course, you don’t want to include unnecessary information. But if your Video Sales Letter turns out longer than anticipated, it could still work well provided all the information presented is crucial to the sale.
That includes making sure you address certain elements and follow a suggested process. For example:
- Start by briefly stating the theme of your project
- Establish credibility for the narrator
- Tell them what you’re going to tell them (i.e., the mission of the product or service you’re promoting)
- Tell them that mission
- Restate your major theme
- Share solutions and benefits brought about by the product or service you’re promoting
- Prove that your product delivers those benefits (testimonials are great here; so are case histories)
- Present your offer with a call-to-action
Note, the section on credibility is particularly important. To get prospects to listen, you’ve got to infuse the script with credibility. Make sure you address these questions:
- Who is the speaker?
- What is his or her background?
- What are their credentials?
- How does he or she relate to the product?
It’s also a good idea to keep your script very focused and sequential, so the viewer isn’t able to simply tune you out and let their mind wander to other things …
7 Steps to Writing Video Sales Letters Could Make You Ten Times Richer
Once you decide to offer Video Sales Letters as part of your writing services, here’s how you’ll find clients …
- Begin in the industry where you already have experience and make a list of the clients you’d most like to work with.
- Gather contact information — email addresses, phone numbers, etc. — from the hiring department of each company. (This varies within each company, so be open to titles as diverse as CEO, Marketing VP, Marketing Director, Owner, Managing Editor, and Acquisition Director.)
- Then, write your own introduction letter, including a summary of your writing experience and links to your online portfolio. (Note: If you haven’t yet started writing for clients, talk about any projects you’ve written “on spec” — in other words, sample projects you took the initiative to write.)
- Let the prospective client know you have some ideas related to Video Sales Letters. Ask to brainstorm with them and set up a good time to talk.
- Be prepared with a list of key questions. You’ll want to get details about their ideal customer, such as age, sex, income, and education. Ask whether the client has ever tested a video sales page as a new customer acquisition device.
- That conversation will typically lead to questions from the client end. And once you’ve initiated a dialogue like that, your chances of landing a project with the client increase exponentially.
- Finally, come up with a unique angle for selling one of their products or services and pitch them on writing a VSL.
And, just like it’s smart to write copy for your own professional website as an example of your writing skills, you can easily show off your skills at writing a Video Sales Letter, too!
You can make your own five-minute video sales letter to sell your services writing VSLs.
You don’t even need fancy equipment. You really only need a computer and a $19 lapel microphone to ensure quality sound. (An important factor in VSL success!)
Once it’s recorded, you can put your video on the homepage of your professional website or send it out through social media. You could even put hard copies on a thumb drive and send them via snail mail to companies you’d like to write for.
Write Your Own Ticket to VSL Triumphs
Not long after jumping into the video game, Clayton was regularly earning $100,000 in royalties for every VSL he wrote… and if he was earning that much, you can imagine how happy that made his clients!
And while only a few other writers work at the level of expertise and high fees Clayton did, you can still make a lot of money writing video sales letters.
As far as length goes, VSLs range anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour long. Each minute translates to about one page of written copy. The absolute minimum you should charge is $100 per page for this type of writing, so the lowest fee would start at $1,000. A medium range fee for a 15-minute script is $4,000. From there, the cost increases with length. Right now, writers in the big leagues start at $12,500 per script as their minimum.
One other reason Video Sales Letters work so well is because the audio and video reinforce each other. So, if people look away from the screen, they can still hear the message. If they mute the message to answer a phone call, they’ve still got the video up. That’s a powerful way to communicate in our distracted world.
Video is also a very emotional medium. People don’t buy because they need what you’re selling. They buy because they desire it on some level. That usually happens when they can relate to the person in the video.
Thanks to the internet and growing demands for online information, there’s no shortage of copy needs for businesses and service providers. Every company with a website that sells products or services needs someone to write their copy.
So as online video grows in recognition as a powerful sales tool, demand for this writing skill is only going to get bigger and more important.
That’s why if you can write scripts for online sales videos, you can virtually write your own ticket as a Barefoot Writer. Whether you’re a seasoned pro and you’ve been doing this for a while, or you’re just getting started in the writing industry, it’s a worthy field to be part of.
Editor’s Note: If you’d like to learn more about making money writing Video Sales Letters, check out The Makepeace Method for Making a Fortune Writing Video Sales Letters, written by VSL pioneer Clayton Makepeace.