Write with Persuasion | Robert Williger | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Welcome and Introduction

    • 2. Persuasion and Influence Overview

    • 3. Copywriting Formulas & Styles

    • 4. Project: Write Your Own Persuasive Letter

    • 5. Wrap Up

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About This Class

Words are a critical part of what we do everyday but we frequently do not consider the impact they can make. Everyone experiences situations in their life when they need to be persuasive. We are exposed to so many messages each day, now more than ever before, the right words are the tool to get what you deserve.

Meet Your Teacher

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Robert Williger

Copywriter and Marketing Strategist


Chief Marketing Officer at MapFig, Inc. Experienced copywriter and marketing strategist, helping people who don't think of themselves as marketers bring their offers to the world. U.S. Army Veteran.

Author of Copywriting for Non-Marketers How to be more persuasive with your writing.

You can visit me at www.robertwilliger.com

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1. Welcome and Introduction: Hello and welcome to write with persuasion. In this course, I'm gonna show you how anybody can make their writing more effective and get better results . Everyone has experienced it. An email to a co worker that gets ignored. You didn't get any responses on Craigslist posting. Or maybe you're getting business to your website, but they are, and taking the action that you need them to take. Now, this isn't really your fault. I mean, every day we are exposed to so many messages, so many requests that it really is a challenge to even keep up with it. But there are ways and things that you can do to make your writing stand out among everything else out. I know his Robert will occur and is a copywriter. I'm using words to move people to take actions, and I'm going to teach you to use the same concepts that will help you with any writing you need to do whether you're trying to get sign ups for a charity event or selling your craft projects. Now for this project, we're gonna be writing a persuasive letter. You can use a letter that you've written before rewrite something or just make up a scenario, and it's important. It doesn't matter whether you consider yourself a writer and that we're not here to talk about literary styles. Fancy words. We're here to help you get your message across in the most effective way. Also, writing persuasively It doesn't mean giving up on your integrity. This isn't about sleazy sales tactics. Ninja persuasion, mind control, jet I mind tricks, things like that. It is really about how to best for him. Your message. So let's get started with right with persuasion. 2. Persuasion and Influence Overview: welcome to write with persuasion, learning how to make an impact with your writing as I mentioned in the introduction. But here go for in a little more detail. This course is gonna cover some key concepts of influence and persuasion. Talk about how the words you use make a real difference in what you're saying. How to best deliver your message, going to talk about some copyrighting formulas, formatting headlines, subject lines. And the goal is for everyone to become more persuasive in their writing and overall communication. Now the question. I can only get it. Why should I learn this if I'm not in sales or marketing? I mean, it's, You know, some of those other people who do that I'm just thing. But the real answer. We all have scenarios in which we need to sell ourselves in this day and age. I mean, everyone says that the personal branding so it could be something as maybe a favor you're asking from a co worker that you need. Teoh, go ahead and you want to try to do it in a convincing way. Me personally, I actually realized a lot of things. The skills that I used to using copyrighting. I then was in the military, and that's where I realized that for the last three years the e mails that I was sending their when I was emailing to senior military officials, trying to get them to do things that they really weren't wanting to dio. And one of the things It was really the same concept that when I came out and started doing marketing again, I realized these concepts of the same because it's about human nature. It's about getting an idea across. So that is why anyone, no matter what they do, even if they don't see themselves as sales marketing, it can benefit them. Other question. So I'm not a writer, you know, I will say, I don't consider myself a writer. How am I going to be able to write persuasively persuasive writing? It isn't about grammar and literary style. Um, I mean, obviously you want to make sure that your writing is Claire, that any sort of mistakes, but they don't take away from the message of your writing. But don't worry. This isn't as if your high school English teacher is going to be grading it. Tom. I mean it's more important to be clear than use fancy words, and you want to use the words that your audience uses. Use the words that your reader is going to use. Now you're saying, How do I know what words? Listen, that's the answer. Go and listen to your audience. I mean, if you're writing, if you're writing something, if it's for a sales letter, it's an e mail to your list. If it's things like that, you need to be paying attention to the type of words they're using. And that is why a lot of big company copywriters they're reading things that no one wants to admit treating. But they're reading the National Enquirer. They're reading all the magazines that you see at the newsstand because they need to know the people that they're writing for. What is it that they're reading? And of course, I mean, writing is like any other skill. The more you do it, the better you're gonna become. And again the gold with persuasive writing is we're looking to see results. Then the other question I get is this ethical Now I felt icky trying to persuade someone Well, according Teoh, author Dave Lakhani. Persuasion versus manipulation differ based on the attend to the person doing it. And here's the key thing. I mean, if what you're offering is a value than you're doing people a service, Um, as I've heard, uh, if it was copywriter John Carlton, like, say, I mean and others have said it. The uh, marketing graveyard is filled with great products that would make people's lives better, but no one marketed them. No one sold them. And people don't like to sell people, especially when it's talking about themselves, especially if it's a situation like a cover letter for a job application where you are the product. It can be very difficult to speak about ourselves in certain positive ways. So this is something that you really just need to, though, that you're bringing value and you're offering a service and you're helping people make their lives better. Okay, influence. There are several components of influence, Dr Robert, Tell Dini, um, wrote the book influence science and practice, which, if you are more interested in learning further on this topic, I would highly recommend you read that book. But in there he identifies six components that go into influence, and we're going to talk about those a little bit. Hair first is reciprocity that gets people fill a knee that they I owe you something, things like that. So when people, that's why you know, online we see it. The free report, the free video. Sary's, um, the samples. That's why in the store of the samples, because they're hoping to get this reciprocity, that when you do something that somebody for somebody there want you, you're gonna feel the need to do something back for that. Next is commitment and consistency. I mean, people want to be consistent, and once they've made a commitment to something, they want to stick in that track. For example, if they have once they started like they've signed up for your email list, that's the first commitment. It's easier from that point to get them going with the commitment. Also, if you could have them identified consistently, if you somebody has identified as a helpful person, they're identified by something like that. They're gonna want to keep that next. We have social proof. This is using testimonials. I mean, we see this all the time online. There's testimonials. There's reviews, which please. You know, if you like the course, please be sure to leave one. This thing you don't like about the course, please let me know, cause I will be happy to fix it. But, uh, social proof, that's the by their showing. We have, you know, 1000 Facebook likes or things like that. Now you need careful, though, with social proof that it is gonna bring added value. If you have, you know, six Facebook fans. It's probably better not to show that number, you know, But you could also bring if you don't have testimonials. There's things you can dio have a quote from a famous person on your website. Use a Benjamin Franklin quote. A lot of times, you'll see those our founding fathers, the quotes because people, you know, that gives it away. Their credibility gets transferred on. So that social proof, everything is authority. In some ways, people like to be told what to do. Um, people want somebody to listen, Teoh. I mean, and that's where and that's where I mean, ethics come into play because there's people who will use this unethically because there are people who are just looking for somebody to be the authority Scarcity pretty straightforward. And scarcity is making something a limited resource. You know, time is running out. You see this all time. You know, this sale will never have prices like this again because people don't want to miss out. I mean, a lot of times people will purchase something that they may not even be looking for, but because they're afraid of missing out I'm at. They're gonna go ahead and buy it. Now again, this is one Be realistic. Especially, I've seen, you know, in the past, in digital products, I've seen people say, like, you know, only 20 copies of this e book left. Obviously, it's an e book. You can spite. So there could be more, but be realistic in it. I mean, so you can say I'm limiting sales toe only 25 people. That's fine. But, you know, just be realistic. And also, it's important that if you say the sale is ending at a certain time, you need to end that sale at that time. Otherwise, you're going to be training your audience not to believe you way have liking, which is simply, you know, people want to do Ah have relationships with people they like. That's why you know, let's use, you know, images. You know your face. That's why it's important to bring your personality because people want to do business with those that they like. Validation. Human nature. We want to be right. I mean, and this'll can be a problem if the solution you're proposing to the reader is something that's going to challenge their long held beliefs. If people feel well, this is how it's done. Er, this is how it's always been done. It can be very hard to get them to overcome bat. Now. The best way to overcome this challenge is validate their concerns and then present the solution. An example would be, say, Bill and accounting was supposed to send you so sales figures for report, and I mean the better results. You could be like Bill, you told me you would get this done. When will I see the numbers? Obviously, that's going to get him angry is gonna make put him on the defensive. But if you say built, I understand you're very busy with these type of requests, but I need these numbers because I have a report to present at 4 p.m. I mean, it's obvious validating the situation. Giving him the respect is going to show better results. And this isn't about weakness. Are telling the other person that they're right. What it is is about human decency and showing the person respect for the situation that they are facing. I mean, I know that the Dale Carnegie and how to win Friends and influence people. Another book I highly recommend. If you haven't read that before, there's nothing to be gained by trying to convince the other person that they're wrong. You're just wasting energy that could be used productively by trying to tell people that and validating the readers feelings will make a stronger argument some other ways. Teoh use persuasion is, uh, no tell a story. We hear that a lot these days. A lot of things talk about storytelling, but taking the customer, the reader on the journey, telling them the story of how the product was built. Tell them the story behind why you're doing this. Take that. Another important thing you can do with your writing is go back, read it over and answer the question. So what What is it? That's what going to be going through the reader's mind. You know, we have this many features and you're going to go. So what? Make sure that what you're writing answers that question for the reader. The so what? And then at the famous foam oh, kind of touched on it earlier with scarcity. But the fear of missing out is a very powerful tool that could be used. People are afraid of missing out, even if was something they may have not known. If they know it's going to be there whenever they want it, they're gonna have less motivation to purchase it. And, you know, this is just something you can incorporate by, You know, that lines limited time, But again, just make sure that you're doing it the right way and actually holding to it so that your audience knows that you're actually gonna, you know, be doing this. So how do you write so that the audience will listen. You need to make it about them, not you. That is, I cannot emphasize enough. If you just take this point away from the class that you need to make what you're writing about the other person with persuasive writing. You achieve your goals by helping others to realize there's. And as I mentioned before, it's important to use the language of your readers. Depending on the situation, you know may be able to see where your target audiences online. What forums there in on social media? Look at the words they use, and that is how you want to speak to that and all of us. You need Teoh also that identify the action you need them to take. You need to make it, Claire, that this is what I'm looking for. You todo and you need to be clear about that before you start writing. You will talk about that later on, but you need to talk about OK, this is what we need. But you need to identify the action and in specific Visa. And don't be afraid to ask for the sale. It's hard. I know it's hard. Um, I used to not say that part of why I got into persuasive writing at first because I wasn't comfortable asking people to do it. You know, later sales, a skill. That stuff is like anything else. It's uncomfortable to ask people, especially if we're talking about money for people to give you money for something you've done. It's not easy. But if you're offering value again, just remember that everything be specific. Don't use vague terminology. You know, if you could give specific dates times, you know, So you know, if you say last year this happened, Well, how about, you know, last year around the holidays or, you know, if you have a date, things like that percentages. You know, if you could give a specific a lot of people you know, say it's much more convincing when you can give specific information to your audience, and that helps make your argument a lot more powerful. So that wraps up this Ah, video. And in the next one, we're gonna be talking more about some of the copyrighting formulas and formatting. So see you there 3. Copywriting Formulas & Styles: hello and welcome to the second video of right with persuasion who were going to be talking about formulas and formatting some things that will make it easier for you to write persuasively. Now we're talking about some of the copy writing formulas. Um, the formulas make it much easier to make sure that you cover the key points in your copy. And there are dozens and dozens of formulas out there, and I'm going to link to a a post on copy hackers that has amazing post where they really some of they call it the ultimate post to copyrighting formulas. And I think that may really be the case that it is the ultimate. So these formulas, you know, just make it easier to see that you cover some of the points. So we're gonna go over a handful of the common ones that will help you. Ah, in some of your writing. 1st 1 how about its past pass stands for? And yes, most of them do have an acronym passes problem agitation solution that you talk about the problem that the customers having. Then you agitate that from you make that problem. You know what can happen, and then you propose how you have the solution for it. Now. Another formula. This is probably one of the most famous of all copyrighting formulas. If you've seen Ah, Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin references this one. This is the A I D. A. Or ADA, and ADA is attention, interest, desire and action. First, you need to get the prospects attention. This is where the headline or the subject line that's to get their attention. Once he had their attention, you need to get them interested. Once they're interested, you build their desire for your product or service, and finally, you get them to take action. By the way, just a point I want to clarify. When I say product, I mean the general, that could be product service. That could be yourself. So what I'm saying? Product. It's not specifically any sort of product. And also, when I'm saying letter, it doesn't necessarily mean a sales letter. It can be email. It could be a product description, and they said it could be a flyer for charity event that you organize anything that you're writing. So the terms, letter and product are just kind of general terms that I'm using. Okay, The next formula we have is the S s s, which would be the star story solution. And you have the star. That's the main corrector. It could be someone similar to the customer. Could be a celebrity. You then share the story of how that star experienced the same problem that your prospect is experiencing. And then you end with the solution how the star was able to use your product or service to solve their solution. The next one we're going to talk about is fab features, advantages and benefits. What does your product do? Why is this helpful? What does it mean to your reader what you're saying? And this formula is actually something that could be very well integrated with any of the other formulas. And it also really relates to what I spoke about earlier. The So what test of making sure that you're actually explaining how what you're doing, how it benefits the user. I mean, we see it all the time in advertising that you know, 17 point lumber positioning. You know, a bunch of terms that most people don't know what it means. And now big brands have budgets that they can just put advertising. That doesn't really ask people to do anything. And sometimes they do that intentionally, because that way they can't actually measure results. But for what we're talking about for our needs, we need Teoh know that we're going to get some results. And that's why we need to make sure that what we're saying is something that the reader is gonna understand, you know? So what? You can also be a lot Seifert's it, Which means, you know, we have this, you know, it has lumbar support, which means it is gonna be the most comfortable thing you ever sit in speak in terms people are gonna understand. Okay, Bad B A B is before, after and bridge you explain the problem, then you show them what the world is gonna be like, where the problem doesn't exist. And then you use your solution to connect them together. So you have before the after and then you brute those things together. Then we have off guard aka Is awareness, comprehension, conviction and action very similar to Ada. But here you really striving for a comprehension instead of just interest and conviction instead of desire. But I mean similar very similar format then before sees this is very straightforward. We got Claire concise, compelling and credible. Um, I mean, you really should be using this in any writing that you dio because those air four things you want to make sure that you're clear, concise, compelling and credible in anything that you dio now copy. There's a lot of things that were Choice is very important here. I've got a list of David Ogilvy, famous ad man, Ogilvy and Mather. Uh, you know his 20 most influential words and included in the extra documents. And I included a power words list and also in emotion words, because it's really important sometimes that you think about the word choices and make sure you're using the correct terminology or the best terminology. And again, this isn't about being fancy or using, you know, super fancy. You know, s a T level words. No, this is just about using words that are going to make people think and take action. One word which is very important, is because And then there was a study with a Ellen Langer did a famous study where p she went up to people and said the university need to use the chi is the copier because I have because I have. I'm in a rush. Well, that got a very high level of compliance. I think about 94%. Then she did another one. She said, You know, can I use the copier? I have five copies to make and I think that was like but don't remember the exact Mary didn't do as well then decided OK, you know, so that when the rush makes sense But then she goes, May I use the copier? Because I have to make copies and around the same number of people. But 93% let her go ahead of them in the line just by using the word because people want to reason. There needs to be a reason why to do something. So make sure that something that you're including in your writing formatting now not gonna get a lot into formatting because obviously, the different types of things, but they want to keep in mind bullet points, obviously. Ah, very important. You want to make it scannable, you know, make sure it's something that people will see the key points. If you're using longer form writing, you want to use subheadings and again just you know, I always want to go through and read through something yourself and see how it flows and read it out loud. See how it flows for you. Well, that wraps up this video and look forward to seeing you in the next one. We're gonna get started with the project. 4. Project: Write Your Own Persuasive Letter: Welcome back. Welcome to the project Video. I know this is the part that you've all been waiting for. Where you're gonna get Teoh, right? A persuasive letter and share that with everyone here. So as far as the project, well, we want to do is craft a persuasive letter. Um, using the formulas, the word choices that we spoke about in the previous videos is how we're going to do this. Now, you may want to start with a letter that you've written before that didn't get results or, you know, just take something and start from scratch. I mean, think of some situations recently where you needed to persuade somebody, maybe a product description for your website. A cover letter for a job application, an email to a co worker with a request, You know, anything like that. Just try to think of some scenario recently where it would have helped you. Yeah, to be a little more persuasive in what you are writing, Um, this convene a real situation or a made up situation. Um, obviously, if you're you know, shit, you know, for what you're sharing, please. Sure to change names. If you're using something real but, uh, other than that, I mean, it's whatever you're comfortable. Whatever works best for you. Now I want to share a a bad example of letter. This one subject. Hey, Steve, how are you doing? I'm working on this really hard project, and it's taking so much of my time. I know you had some spreadsheets with some sales figures that could really help me out. I think you had a couple of, ah things in them, but I don't worry. But if you could send Flee, send those to me sometime. That would really help me out. Now this one, It's all about the writer. The person's not taking the other person's needs and concerns into consideration. The request is also very vague. There's no specific says to when it's needed by. This is something that's very common, especially in emails. If you'll say Oh, he never got back to me. But people aren't telling them how to get back now. In this letter. Yeah, subject like copy of annual sales numbers spreadsheet. Steve, I hope all is well with you. I know you were very busy, but I remember you had a great spreadsheet with the annual sales numbers. There was a report that I need to deliver tomorrow, and it would be great to include those numbers. If you could please send that by 5 p.m. Today. I would really appreciate it. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you out. So in this one, I mean, obviously, you know, extremes. But it's when the key thing is we're acknowledging. Okay, we're validating. We know you're busy. We know you have a lot, but here's the thing. And this is why I'm asking you for that information. So, you know, this is a case where it's not really gonna help the person, but you're released, showing them the respect. Now, one of the downloads there's a pdf with a template, and what I want to do is go over. Just this template you may want to have is in front of you creating a flow chart hair. And you see, this is definitely something that you'll want to keep with you in general. Uh, for any of your writing, it will help you. But, you know, go through will keep this in front of you. And you may print out a copy and check it off as you're going through. But, you know, identify what is the goal? What action do you need the reader to take? Then how are you need get their attention. Make sure that the focus is on the reader and how their goals and dreams will be achieved through your solution. Speak about the benefits, not just the features. Three things you want to dio. You want to encourage people's dreams. You want to validate their feelings, and you want to transfer blame and fault. Pretend that you're describing it to a friend or record yourself if needed. I know some people use drag and dictate, but I know Google Documents now has a voice typing feature that I've been using, and this is a great way to especially like a product or service. If you're having trouble coming up with copy, talk it out, pretend that you're explaining it to somebody you know, because I'm sure you've had that situation that it's you know, your 2010 BST what you do, you can tell them, but when you have to sit down to write a letter to sell it, it's a lot harder, if appropriate, is there social proof testimonials? Tell the story. Take the reader on the journey again. It could be the story of where they're going to go, how they're going to be better. It could be the story of how the product came to be. I mean, we see that a lot these days that there's a lot of companies that it's all about their story and then ask for the sale and again by sale. It's whatever action and make sure they know how to do that. Okay, Um, and there you have a couple of the formulas to remind you of ada half Fab and pee pee pee. Hey, picture promise prove push. And then, remember, does it pass the So what test is the reader gonna ask? So what when they read it? Now go and write your letter. Um, remember, have fun. There's no great on best's. Um, maybe you wanna try a few different formulas out? See how you know you're different weights. You can write it. You read it out loud, hear how it sounds. You may wanna dictate it. Ah, Then type it up or uses that Google drive Google documents you could do voice typing, and I will be here in the comments if you have any questions and I really look forward to seeing your letters, Thank you and see in the next video. 5. Wrap Up: Well, thank you so much for taking this course with me and skill share. I hope you enjoyed it. And I hope you got a lot out of it and that these are things that will help you. And again, remember, this is a skill like anything else. The more you practice, the better will be come. So something you can always try to dio and you know, again, I'm here in the comments. If you want to try toe, you know, post another project. Another letter that be a great you know, love to see some more stuff and, uh, feel free to reach out to me on skill share or through my website. And, uh, Robert will iger dot com and be happy to connect with anyone. And if there's anything I could do, If there's any questions more than happy, answer them. So thank you very much. Have a good day