After spending more than ten years as a “Dead Broke Standup Comic” Kevin Rogers discovered a simple (but effective) joke formula that worked for him and others with repeated success.
This simple rapport building joke formula, to Kevin’s discovery, also works in marketing to build an instant bond with prospects.
The 60-Second Sales Hook as Kevin calls it, is fast and easy to create, and every business should have one. Listen in to Traffic Jam 43 and you’ll know all you need to create one too.
- What Kevin Learned From Being a Comic.
- Telling Your Story Successfully
- The KLT Formula.
- Kevin Shares His KLT Formula.
- How the 60-Second Sales Hook Works.
- Applications of The 60 Second Sales Hook.
- The Copy Chief.
Show / Hide Transcript
Hey there listener! Welcome back to Traffic Jam. Thanks for joining me today on episode 43 where we’ll be welcoming who’s going to share his simple 60 seconds sales hook formula that will help you create an instant bond with your prospects. So we’re continuing the discussion not just around traffic but how to convert more of that traffic into leads and sales for your business.
Now, one quick announcement at the top of the show and that’s that on the 20th of August, 2014, I am going to be holding a webinar called the most important elements of a high ranking website and how to optimize them to double your traffic in the next six months. It’s going to be an SEO seminar and I’d love to see you there. To go and claim your spot, head on over to veravo.com/webinar where you can claim your seat as well as download my Fast Ranking Mind Map. If you are listening to this past the 20th of August, 2014, you will of course have missed this webinar but by following that link you will get details of the next upcoming online event.
So let’s introduce our guest today. He’s a former dead-broke night club comic that is now one of the most in demand copy writers working with the network’s biggest info-marketers. Now, I got to meet Kevin because we’re both part of a mastermind group and behind closed doors I have seen what Kevin’s been up to and I thought it would be great and fun to have him on the show to share some of that stuff along with his very interesting back story, so without any further ado, let’s introduce Kevin Rogers for episode 43.
James: Welcome back listeners! This is episode 43 of Traffic Jam and joining me today is Kevin Rogers. Kevin how are you?
Kevin: Doing excellent! Thanks James.
James: Awesome! Well, I rarely, if ever, ask my guest to share their back story on Traffic Jam but I think in the context of today’s discussion, it will set things up pretty nicely. So Kevin, the mic is yours. How did you become a direct response copywriter?
Kevin: Well, it is a long and winding road – I’d give you the highlights. I’d give you the interesting piece on my resume is that I did standup comedy. I was a standup comic for about a decade, and I started doing that out of high school. I was 18 years old the first time I walked in to a stage at a comedy club for an open mic night – sort of a dare and push from my friends. I was the skinny awkward kid who could not get girls to talk to him so I decided to make them laugh instead.
James: You probably offered them a beer while you’re on that opening night?
Kevin: Ah, I was 18 and so the legal drinking age is 21. It’s is actually funny you bring that up. I remember I called the club and I asked them, do you have to be 21 to do the open mic. And the guy goes, nah, just don’t drink. And I said alright, how long do I get? Like 20 minutes? He goes, 20 minutes? Have you ever been on stage before? I go no. You’ll be lucky to get five! I go five minutes? What am I going to do with five minutes? So I am negotiating you know, my time slot already, and of course, I go on stage, and I am off in three and a half, just plowing through material, blinded by the light and praying that I’d remember my jokes. It went fairly well and it was very fortuitous to get up ending the house emcee gig there so I was doing about 8 shows a week for a year and a half. That was it man. Went on the road from there, traveled all over and what I did not realize then, because I had zero business sense or thoughts of becoming even 30, let alone he ripe old 44 that I am now that I was doing really deep in the trenches market research on how to compel and how to sell and get and keep attention. So I have been able to draw on all those things now as a direct response copy writer.
James: Awesome! And is that how you would describe yourself? A direct response copy writer? Is that what you sort of term yourself as doing today?
Kevin: Yeah, I’d say that’s about the cleanest description of it.
James: Okay, cool. I think when we talk about copywriters, especially when we talk about sales people, there is a huge amount of distrust associated with them and I had a good conversation incidentally with Jay Baer a few weeks ago when he came on the show and we talked about this concept – this currency of forming trust. How do we as sales people as storytellers move past distrust with what we do as marketers with these people because it is always a challenge, right?
Kevin: It is, yeah. Well, I guess there are two ways to approach it but the result is the same. When I say to ways, one is if it’s your product and you want to present yourself to gain trust for your own brand, or if you don’t want to be in front out of your brand, then you would tell the story of your customers. But ultimately, what makes both effective is sharing a struggle. When you come on, particularly on videos, they are extra powerful. But even in text, if you do the opposite of your typical corporate mission statement does and you actually speak a human language and admit that you are a human being who’s had some struggles, and learn to overcome those struggles, that is the great first step in gaining trust with people.
James: Yeah. So why is it that that’s so effective? I mean why does it work so well? We’re telling sort of stories all the time but why are they so useful for the human behavior and forming connection not just on sales but on any level?
Kevin: Yeah, I think for the reason you just said, because we’ve been – that’s our natural instinct, human instinct. If you crack open a newly discovered cave dwelling from any period in time, what you’ll typically find is some story telling inside carved in to the walls. I don’t know, it’s just a basic human need and when you learn to do it well and don’t bore and don’t elaborate the wrong things and are willing to reveal the right things, then people will lean in just like in a good live conversation and begin to nod their head and feel like they can relate to you and if you think about the people you buy from you’ll realize, that when given the chance, you will buy from the person that you know, like and trust whether it be the salesman you just met in the furniture store or someone that you follow online.
James: Yeah. So how do we do this well? I think you’ve got a formula for doing this, right? Leading you to the point of this questioning – you’ve worked out a formula that kind of effectively gets the story across and build some trust with your prospects.
Kevin: Yeah, I call it the KLT – The Know, Like and Trust sales talk and I sort of stole the formula from my days as a stand up and I began to recognize some patterns in some joke formulas and the deeper I look in to some of these particular formula, I realized that this is the one that advertisers use when the stakes are high and it is also the one that comedians use when the stakes are highest for them, which for a comic, there is no higher stake than when you do your first national television set and so when they do that, the formula that they rely on goes like this – it is a four-part formula and it is Identity, Struggle, Discovery, Surprise! Of course every great joke ends with a surprise at the end, a little twist that makes us laugh. So would you like to hear an example of that joke formula?
James: We would love to hear an example of that joke formula. Yeah, go for it.
Kevin: Okay, a great one is a woman named Karen Rontowski and when she came on to Late Night with David Letterman, her first time, her opening joke was – My kids were so bad in Walmart today that I pulled a fly swatter off the shelf that I smacked them with it. And the second the fly swatter hit their ass, I realized, I don’t have kids. It’s a funny joke, it’s got a nice surprise in the end, and if you think about the formula – identity, struggle, discover, result – she’s just shown there an amazing amount of details about herself with us and we feel like we know this person and can relate to this person, whether we are the parents of kids like that or just someone without kids that get very annoyed with crazy kids. So in marketing, what I did was I started to take that formula and use it to present myself and other clients to a new audience and it worked out wonderfully. This formula that I am talking about now, this KLT Hook, works particularly well on landing pages, like a lead page, and it is not meant to close a deal, you’re not going to sell a $2000 course with this but it is meant to be a very simple, clean 60-second or less of who you are and why you are particularly qualified on the problem that your prospect needs solved. So for marketers, rather than have surprise in the end, because obviously we don’t want to be creating funny twists for every given opt in all the time, and anyway that is not what people are looking for from you. You don’t have to be funny of course to do this, you just have to be honest. So we replaced that surprise with result because that is obviously what people are looking for because identity, struggle, discovery, result is the difference and when you follow that formula, say, hi, here’s who I am, here’s what I struggled with, here’s what I discovered for me to solve it, and here’s how it’s worked out for me since I implemented that discovery and then of course your call to action – if you’d like to see this for yourself or use it yourself, I’d give it to you right now for free, just opt in. And it is the most effective formula that I have seen to get opt-ins.
James: Awesome! Well give us an example in business and marketing terms, how does the struggle-discovery-result as supposed to surprise sound, perhaps Kevin, maybe even sharing your own if you’ve got one for yourself.
Kevin: Sure. I’ll do it from memory but for mine, and what is interesting is I have a few different ones in different markets as an example but mine as a consultant is this – Hi! I am Kevin Rogers and I spent years traveling the country as a dead-broke standup comedian until I discovered how a simple joke formula can be used as an irresistible sales hook and began teaching marketers how to use it in increasing their conversions and grow their businesses. Today I am one of the most in demand sales consultants online and earning up to $50,000 per session and enjoying the privilege with working with some of the greatest marketers in the world. If you’d like to discover how the same formula can increase your sales and grow your business, simply opt in, enter your email below and click the button marked show me the hook and I’ll see you on the next page!
James: Love it! Love it! Well, that’s kind of framed things pretty well. It’s told your own story, position what we’ve talked about and it’s wrapped it up in one nice big wrapper. I love it and it is a simple, easy to follow formula right? We could almost go through this as business owners, as marketers and literally just fill in the blanks.
Kevin: Yeah, there is two ends of this spectrum here. One is I see this formula used all the time by marketers who have no idea they are using it. It is a good indication that somebody is sort of a natural sales person or that really believes in their product because they naturally default to some version of this formula. On the other end, I see people submit them to me and hire me to polish them all the time, and the most common mistake is that people just go off the rails and they feel like they need to tell everything. I’d say that is the hardest instinct to fight when following this formula, its feeling like oh, I’ve got to mention this thing and I have got to mention that and the discovery also should cover this. What you want to do is just take the bare essence of what people are after and say, let me just solve this one problem for you and it is a hard instinct because we work so hard on our businesses and we try to be the best and we try to solve many things for our clients but the best tip I can give people who just want to get an opt in and begin a conversation is to focus on prospects that solve a specific problem for them and let it be actionable for them right to the point if you can frame it on a formula or a short exercise or something that they can actually physically do to see a difference like this formula does for them, then it is amazing feedback that you’ll get because people actually – there is no greater calling card for you than having somebody actually try out your widget or your device or your formula, and have it work for them and have light bulbs go off in their head. And so it is hard to do that if you are trying to show somebody everything you do. Somebody walks in to the furniture store and say really, I need a desk chair and you say, great, let us start over here by the sofas and you show them the sofas and they’re like I don’t care and the next thing you are feeling confused and pressured and just want to leave, so simplicity really is the key.
James: Yeah, and I guess in your own scenario if you can deliver that result and show someone how they can just implement one small strategy from your repertoire to get an amazing result, then they’ll go, wait a second, what else can Kevin do for me? If this is just one tiny thing out of all that he does, I am sure the paid stuff or his bigger programs or whatever is you’re selling to them is going to be pretty valuable, it’s that trust element again, right?
Kevin: That’s exactly the results in advance and yeah it is more powerful when they come to that discovery on their own. When they come to you and say, what else can you do for me or here’s something else I struggle with, is this in your area? And that is something more powerful than you trying to beat people over the head with it.
James: Yeah, totally. So does this formula work for everyone Kevin? Is there a scenario when telling a story, showing people how to identify with you, showing the struggle, discovery in what you can actually do for them – is there any time it doesn’t work?
Kevin: I have not found one yet. I had people say I am not sure this would work for me or hey, I am a brick and mortar business or I am an accountant and it is pretty obvious why people need to come to me. I think the mistake people make thinking who would want to hear my story. Again, we respond viscerally to story and if not you then the story of your customers. The people that you solve problems for. The struggle is inherently interesting. I don’t know if everybody knows about WWE wrestling all over the world.
James: Yeah, well I am familiar with it and I am sure people in this neck of the woods would know what it is so yeah, it is a good example if you can use it.
Kevin: Yeah, so my son just got into wrestling and he’s dragged me in to it with him and I am fascinated with how I cannot look away from these things as they are happening. It really is like the worst of the soap opera storyline you can imagine plus a bar fight that you would not want to be involved in. It’s like the basic, obviously manipulative tricks to get you to look up and take interest but they’re amazingly effective. And again you’ll see this identity struggle discovery results over and over and over and wrestlers come in and they quickly relate to the audience and have this different fights and inter-conflicts and it is a fascinating example of what people react to. Its story is just the most basic story line in the world. The other key and the thing I take from the wrestling is it’s so easy to talk about at the water cooler. I think it is the reason why people are so drawn to sports, right? Again if you watch US Football, or international football or any great sports, why do we tune in for an hour before the match? It is because we want to her the big story. What is the latest, who’s injured, who said who about what? Twitter- why does the news constantly put up tweets of people you think? My god, is there nothing else to talk about? They do it because it’s some inflammatory remark, something that somebody made. These are all things that we want to keep up and as much as we want to look away sometimes, it is our instinct to find out who said what and where it’s going to lead to. So you can never discount the effectiveness on story in any situation and the great thing about what we do now in our ability to market ourselves online is that we get to control that story if we decide to.
James: Yeah, absolutely. You are going to suggest, I am sure, that everyone create their own 60-second sales hook story. Everyone should have that in their armory, should they?
Kevin: I really think so, yeah. I can’t imagine a situation where it wouldn’t be a benefit, or at least a supplement to what you have now. A great place to look for an example if this can help you is your about page. This is another great place to use this. Go to your About page and think how many I’s compared to You’s are you using because even your About page should be about your customers. Of course you want to tell your own story but what is great with the 60-second sales hook is that you are only telling about so that people can relate and see themselves in you and know that suddenly they have a new source that is going to help them solve their problems.
James: Yeah, absolutely. Well we talked about a couple of great applications for this. Once the lead generation page, the squeeze page where we’re driving a particular action. We talked about our own About Pages. Where else can we or should we insert this in to our marketing mix?
Kevin: Another great place is testimonials or your customer case studies. For instance, even when you go out requesting testimonials from people, a lot of times people are happy to give you a positive testimonial but they will hesitate because they’re not sure what to say, or they’re write back to you to say sure, what do you want me to write about in particular? So what I find effective is if you just give them this formula and sort of outline it for them. You can say, just tell me what your problem was, sort of what life was dealing with that problem, how you found out about me, which would be the discovery part, and now what life is since I’ve helped you solve that problem. And so you give people that context and suddenly you’ve got that amazing story- based testimonial from them and it’s great!
James: Yeah, I guess at that point if your particular prospect has not resonated with your own story, there is a good chance they are going to resonate around your product. I love that! It’s a super simple way to build around it. What about traffic sources? I’m sure we’re going to have a bunch of people listening in who are driving traffic for their own business or perhaps someone else’s. Maybe they’re driving someone now to a squeeze page that delivers this story. Can we precede the landing page with some form of smaller version of the story as some way of drawing people in before they visit that page?
Kevin: Yeah, one great way could be a Facebook ad, you can just focus on the struggle as sort of a attention getter because obviously in any traffic channel you want the conversation to evolve naturally and pay off so let’s say you have my situation, my struggle, and you notice in my example I gave, my identity and struggle happen in the first sentence. I don’t need to belabor the struggle; dead broke standup comic. You have a pretty clear vision of my dilemma and I have some photos to back that up pretty well but let’s just say that I wanted to promote that story as the landing page might say what a dead broke standup comic discovered how to sell millions of dollars of product online or something like that and it has that curiosity factor so I’d say the best way to do this, whatever your struggle is, and make your struggle as dramatic as you can without belaboring the point or embellishing obviously but even if you don’t feel like you have a great struggle or a great story, ask the people who were there when you were building your business and what kind of sacrifices you made. It may just have felt like another day for you but, get help if you need it from outside sources. A spouse is a great one, they are very aware of our struggles because they go through them with us. Take that struggle as the attention-getter and try using that and pan your ads using news feed ads.
James: Nice! Good. I know you are working on some interesting things right now. I’ve seen you developing project inside James Schramko’s Silver Circle, which is the mastermind both you and I are involved with. Tell us a little bit about that project you’ve got going on.
Kevin: Yeah, thanks! I am really excited about this. It is called Copy Chief and that is a term we use in direct response to mean I am the person who works with the writers to sort of get the best side of everybody. I discovered in my career as a copy writer that me sitting and typing on to a word document was the bottleneck in my business; sort of the self-tortured writer and so what I do is I work with writers who are better and faster than me and I really enjoy working with clients to find their story, to really find new ways to celebrate the benefit of their product and then I bring them together as a team to get the best work out of everyone. I am good at incubating the writer so he’s not pressured by the client, I am good at making sure that the client knows that the work is being done at the highest level. So that is the copy chief, this is what I do, and this copy forum creating this membership for is going to be a safe place for people to come and post up copy that they are working on, or copy that they are stuck on and they want to get professional and experienced eyeballs giving them feedback about new ways to position the hook, to find the hook, to see the hook, to tell their story, all the things that’s very hard to do when we’re sort of on our own little bubble as many entrepreneurs are; we all work in vacuums and it is hard to trust. That’s why I like the idea of it being a paid form rather than everybody’s got some sort of disclosed Facebook groups and everything now and those are good for some pieces of feedback but I find they’re very difficult to get high quality feedback about your copy and your positioning because you have to be a little vulnerable to go out there and lay it all on the line, and so I am creating a safe place for business owners to come and get help to professionalize their copy and I am also using it as a place to nurture and develop copy writing talent which is something I do on a one to one scale now so one of the best that I do one on one in one of many format.
James: Nice! Is that live now Kevin? Could we go check that out?
Kevin: You could go to copy-chief.com and it should have a big orange cone; I don’t know when this will air but I am only a couple of weeks from developing it but I will be very soon inviting my founders in to the group so that is going to be a massively discounted, more than 50% off offer that will be grandfathered in at $47, it is ultimately going to go up at $97 a month and I am all about over-delivering and the hugest way which is why I am taking so long to create the site James is a bit mean of flagging me from within the group but I appreciate that, I am a bit of a perfectionist and I want to make sure everything’s in place before I invite people in to make sure that they have the greatest experience so I am really excited about it.
James: Well I can tell by the way that you’re talking about it that the weight will be well worth it. You’re obviously talking about it with a lot of excitement so I am sure there’s great things coming when it does go live. If this episode happens to perhaps fall before you may officially be live and accepting the general public, and if it is, I will make sure that we announce it in a future episode trying to get people back there to Copy Chief.
Kevin: Oh, great! Thank you!
James: So, Kevin, let’s wrap things up. You’ve been generous of your time and expertise. I think I’ve personally got a great amount of insight out of today’s conversation. I’m sure our listeners will too. Outside of copy-chief.com, where should our listeners go to to connect with you further on the interwebs?
Kevin: Well, I would love for everyone to go download the book for free, 60 second saleshook.com and you’ll see a free digital download, it is available on Amazon, it actually reached best seller status. If you really love a hard cover it is available it is available for only $5 there, or paperback rather. But yeah, go grab the free digital download of Sixty Seconds sales hook, it is only about 50 pages long, the formula is right in there and you’ll receive an email from me with an invitation to register for bonuses and you can see the live presentation that book is based on if you like video.
James: Awesome! I’ll make sure that the links to those resources are included in the show notes page for episode 43 of Traffic Jam so head on over to TrafficJamCast.com for that. Just leaves me to thank you again Kevin for coming on the show, it’s been an absolute pleasure.
Kevin: My pleasure. Thanks for having me James!
So there you go, that was Kevin Rogers with his know-like- trust formula and I’ve got to say one of my favorite episodes to date and that is simply because we went so deep just on one single topic and a huge amount of actionable content came out of that discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed that episode, I hope you did too!
Next step for you is to now go off and action your own sixty-second sales hook and we’ve got some templates and of course the transcript from today’s episode along with an MP3 for you to download over at TrafficJamCast.com/43 so make sure you head on over there where you can also join the discussion on today’s episode and if you have any particular questions about the content that we’ve covered, post it over there and I’m sure Kevin will be back to answer those for you.
I also just want to mention his own podcast that did not come up during the episode but he has a great show that he does with John Colton called Site Insights For Modern Marketers and if you are not subscribe to that podcast, look it out in iTunes, it is a really great listen. And if you are in to this sort of stuff, you’re really going to get a lot of value out of that as well so I’ll include that along with links to Kevin’s social media profile plus of course the download page for the 60 Second Hook up e-book copy chief and all of the other resources mentioned in today’s show on the episode page for episode 43 which as I just mentioned you can navigate to by going to TrafficJamCast.com/43. Remember of course I’ll be back again next week with another episode and in the meantime make sure you subscribe via iTunes and Stitcher radio by going to TrafficJamCast.com/iTunes and TrafficJamCast.com/Stitcher. Also, head on over to the main website, Veravo.com where you can get more traffic tips and training and to learn how I can help you get more traffic to your own website so head on over there. I’ll be back again in about seven days from now but not before we’ve played out with a tune chosen by Kevin. He gave me in fact a few options for today’s show and the one that I’ve picked is a Rolling Stones track and that’s just because we’ve gone nearly 50 episodes and Rolling Stones hasn’t made it in to the playlist just yet so today is the day. The track is called Give Me Shelter and as I mentioned the band is the Rolling Stones. Enjoy the song and I’ll see you back here next week.
THE TRAFFIC JAM
- Rolling Stones – Give Me Shelter
What’s your own 60 second sales hook? Post in the comments below.