The A.U.T.H.O.R Formula For Marketing That Works

There are Five different formulas for copywriting that we teach. This particular one is more geared towards video scripts and short written content such as emails and landing pages. This formula we call the ”A.U.T.H.O.R Formula.”

1. A = Attention

You need to get their attention. In Facebook talk, for ads and news feed, they call this thumb stopping. You need to stop people's thumbs as they're scrolling. You need to have something that will grab people's attention. That could be a question, it could be a fact, it could be an image that's unique, it could be a celebrity.

There are so many ways you could grab attention but just know your outcome is to get people's attention within the first three seconds.

If you're unsure about any of these ways, ask them a question to deal with their problem. As an example, I had for this event, "is marketing confusing you?" Ask them a question to deal with their problem. Are your kids not listening to you? Is your relationship in a breakdown? Do you feel lethargic at work all day? Whatever it is, if you're unsure, just go with that one as the fallback.

2. U = Understand

You need to understand where they're coming from. Once again, more reason to have an avatar because now you understand where they're coming from. People don't actually care about how much you know until they know how much you care, and part of caring comes down to understanding.

Do you actually get me?

Do you know where I'm coming from?

Do you know what I'm trying to achieve? Do you know my problems?

Do you know my hopes, my dreams, my fears?

This is a stereotypical statement, but on average, ladies are better than men at doing this exercise, because they're better at understanding. They're better at empathising. They're better with their emotions, the things needed to write a good piece of copy. Men can still do it obviously too, we're all human beings, but women have a slight advantage in this part.

3. T = Tension

Next, we need to build tension.

That means they need to feel a little bit uncomfortable with where they currently are, either because they're trying to move away from pain or they're trying to move towards pleasure. Like if I'm trying to move towards pleasure but I'm not there right now, it's tension.

It's like I've got a fear of missing out: I want it now! Pain and pleasure, they're the only two motivators for humans. When you boil down any emotion, any reason to do anything, it's either the need to avoid pain or need to gain pleasure

Now I didn't make up the rules, I didn't design humans or whatever your belief is, but I do know with all the marketing I've done, with all the human psychology I've studied, pain is just the greater motivator.

Who's ever seen an ad for feeding the hungry kids in Africa where the ad goes like this, "We're all happy right now, we're so well educated, we've got clothes on our backs. Thanks to all the people who donated years ago. Do you want to make more people happy like me? Give us some money." Who's ever seen an ad like that? It doesn't exist because it doesn't work.

It doesn't work as well as having a baby have 50 flies on their face and their mother has to walk a hundred kilometers every day to get half clean water. That has an element of pain there, an element of tension, and that's the thing that works.

I know you would love to have just people feel good forever, but you're not doing them a service by not building any amount of tension. If you're a dentist and all you talk about is how great it is to have clean teeth but you never talk about tooth decay, how painful a root canal is — financially as well as emotionally — if you never talk about that, you're doing your customers a disservice.

4. H = Help Them

The next after understand and tension is Help. This is where we help them. This is where we bring in our solution. This is where you talk about your product, your service, your message, your system.

We're on step four right now, we haven't talked about product or service until step four. This is where a lot of marketers go wrong. They would just come in guns blazing — product, product, product, so awesome, you got to hear about.

A solution is only as important as the problem that precedes it. People don't care about solutions. People don't care about the solution until they see that they have the problem. That's why we build the problem up here.

We've got help them.

5. O = Offer Evidence

After help them, we want to do a thing called offer evidence. You want to show proof that this thing is true. I'll let you know, as human beings, you can say something, but if you show them something, it's so much more powerful. Even if you say the exact same thing as you're showing ... I could say to you I own a Lamborghini — I don't, by the way, but I could say, "I own a Lamborghini," but if I show you a picture of me in the Lamborghini, that's so much more compelling.

It's so much more real. You could say, "I've got this big house," but if you could show the big house or whatever it is ... you could say, "Before I was 20 kilos overweight and now I'm not," but until you show the picture, it's a totally different thing. So offer evidence. A small tip - try and show instead of just say. Turn the abstract into something physical — a graph, a photo of the person who's saying the thing, a video, anything.

6. R = Response

Last but not least is response.

Response, sometimes known as a "call to action", but whatever you would like them to respond with, you need to outline in the actual video. If you want them to put in a name and email address into the form below, you need to say that.

Otherwise you'll get to the end of the video and with offer evidence, and I've got statistics that prove that this is true.

If you don't say, "If you would like to know more, put your name and email address in this box below me now," or "If you would like to purchase, get out your card and start filling the details. If you'd like to book into that session, click this link and then pick the available one hour that you've got next week." You need to be very clear on the response that you would like people to take.

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Cham is the CEO and Head of Marketing at Authentic Education since co-founding it in 2009. He is passionate about productivity, empowering people, marketing and is creator of Digital Marketing Made Easy.

He has worked for Anthony Robbins, Chris Howard and Dr John Demartini from "The Secret" and has featured in BRW magazine, News.com.au and newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.