Copywriter Shares His Secrets - Darren Hanser

Copywriter Shares How To Create Messaging (And Sell More Marketing Services)

Stuart Trier Copywriting, Interview, Sales Techniques Leave a Comment

Speaker 1: Hey guys. Welcome to Market Cheat Guides. Thanks for joining us here. Today I have Darren Hanser who is a marketing strategist and copywriter with us today. He’s going to come on and share some tips, tricks and hopefully his experience on how he scaled up his business and how you can scale up your business. Darren thanks a lot for joining us here on the show today.

Darren Hanser: Yeah thanks for having me sir.

Speaker 1: Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into this business?

Darren Hanser: The way that I got into this business is a little bit confabulated. Right now I’m basically a copywriter and strategist so I work with a lot of information publishers, local businesses, a lot of guys that sale stuff even information publishers that have supplements as part of their offering, writing sales letters, video sales letters, things like that. I kind of came into this business from kind of the side, which I think a lot of people do. I was actually a financial planner for 10 years in Toronto but I was always on the marketing side so I was basically working with local financial advisors on helping them find ways to improve the results they were having with their clients.

I was doing technical support but also marketing support where I really helped them create unique offers for their client base. Whether they have a client that was a doctor and they needed to differentiate what they were offering from another financial planner who was competing for the same business. I would work with them as a strategist and kind of find a way to perfect their offer, make it geek so that there was hardly no competition when it came down to actually making that pitch. I was able to work with some of the top [deposits 00:01:46] in the city and did that for 10 years. That’s what I went to school for. Then we had some issues financially in the family and I needed to make some extra cash. A lot of people do.

It’s funny I was helping people with their money but I was still in a job and I had a good situation happening but it wasn’t the arch burning journey that you see a lot of people having where I wasn’t really in control of my income.

Speaker 1: Right.

Darren Hanser: I was kind of tapped and we had a lot of things coming up family wise and I had to find a way to earn some income on the side. Like a lot of people do I started looking online for kind of ways to do it. I found Ebay, I found Amazon, I found affiliate marketing, network marketing. You find that world of everything and I kind of fell down the path of affiliate marketing and I was selling other peoples products but the skill that I learned how to do early on was build email lists and that’s what I was taught to do. I was taught to build an email list and send emails and sell other peoples products. That’s the platform that I learned and the process that I learned.

Over the years I’ve learned how to do that and I just kept sending emails and writing and learning how to get better at this new skill that I was learning. Then April of 2014 I believe it was, I lost my job. The interesting thing was I had this skill set that I’d been learning for a few years so within like 30 days I had replaced my income from my full-time job doing copywriting, affiliate marketing and ultimately just applying the skill that I’d learned. That’s kind of how I got into this and then I got noticed by a few people who were running these companies, who were selling offers and they asked me if I could write for them, if I could be their copywriter, if I could do the emails for them, if I could write video sales letter scripts, if I could help their affiliates learn marketing as well.

Speaker 1: Sure.

Darren Hanser: Brought on to train a few people and ultimately I became the copywriter for a couple of affiliate offers that were online and now I just through relationships transitioned into meeting a lot of people that sold supplements and larger affiliate publications and became that’s what I do for a living now. It’s a very sideways to come into this business but I think a lot of people do it. People that are doing it well have generally have interesting backgrounds that they can pull from. That’s basically my intro to this business.

Speaker 1: Awesome. Trial by fire. When you came in, how did you cultivate those relationships? How did you find those first clients? Was it just because you were an affiliate and then you started talking to the business owners and that’s how you made that connection to start to land those clients that were paying you to actually practice your trade of copywriting?

Darren Hanser: Yeah it’s funny because at the beginning I was an affiliate so it was eat what you kill and if you don’t make sales with what you’re sending out there’s no commissions coming in so I had to basically learn as much as I could. What I realized is there was a way to differentiate yourself in a sea of other people selling the same stuff. You see Facebook ads, you see emails coming in, in your inbox. Everyone is selling the same sort of thing. There’s a same messages that’s coming through, there’s a same end result but it’s ultimately I learned how to differentiate myself within the same messaging so that if someone had three messages they would respond to mine versus the other two. That’s the skill that differentiates someone that can get results and someone that struggles over time.

It’s the same thing with selling anything. I learned through that period of time no one’s really unique unless you make yourself unique and you find that little tidbit that’s going to help. That’s how I got noticed by the guys that were running the companies were saying, okay well this guy people are using his emails, people are copying what he’s doing. Why don’t we see if we can have him kind of do this stuff for us? We did a test project and it was a lot of [inaudible 00:06:27] happening and they said you know what we’re going to bring you in, you full reign over our email database for this weekend. We want to see how many live stream tickets you can sell to this event. They were doing events and they were selling live stream tickets. I said okay.

I had 96 hours to do a promotion. I basically did this promotion, I think we sold it was $96,000 in live stream tickets that weekend.

Speaker 1: Awesome.

Darren Hanser: After that weekend they said okay you did a great job and we want to offer you a retainer to come on and basically do all of our email marketing. I think it was three years, I was doing all the email marketing for a platform that was probably did a couple hundred million in sales. It was an interesting commitment and it was fun. Through that the relationship built in a couple of different areas that actually spun every part of my business now. Everything I can trail back to one or two relationships that’s been created.

Speaker 1: Awesome. What were some of the early challenges? There a lot of people who are earlier in their journey than you are in terms of either they’re about to lose their job, they want to leave their job, they’re kind of half in half out of the entrepreneurial lifestyle. What were some of the challenges and adversities you faced when you first became full time?

Darren Hanser: Well it’s when you first become full time you realize that there’s nothing to back you up. There’s no parachute, there’s no net that you can fall back on and that feeling is both a very exciting feeling. There’s a huge adrenaline rush when it comes to that but then also when you have a wife and two children you realize there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with that as well. I think the main issue was self belief, number one, in the ability to actually do this and have people pay me for it that you can get results for. I think a huge issue in any service based business where you’re actually taking someone’s money and promising a specific result is that there must be a belief that you can actually provide that result and if there’s not your work is going to suffer and eventually you’re not going to want to chase new business because you don’t believe that you can actually provide what you are promising.

I think that was the biggest hurdle, was overcoming the limiting belief of okay I’m actually … Someone’s paying me their money and something needs to happen on the other end. Of course there’s a lot of different elements, especially when as you know you deal with people that are running traffic, they’re doing SEO, they’re running Facebook ads and things like that. There’s so many elements into making getting results for someone versus just the one element that you’re doing but it’s still that feeling I don’t think ever goes away that is like okay I got to perform here. Thank God I had a few great clients that were already kind of set up in a way of where it wasn’t all relying on me. It wasn’t like if Darren fails the whole business fails. I was able to create some great results for where we were and then in the interim make sure that I really honed in my skills and I really got the education and I really put in the work so that that feeling is never gone, it’s still there today but it’s a little bit lighter in the background.

Now I have a process and a skill set that I can fall back on and say okay when I want to get this result I need to follow these 10 steps and in every promotion that I do has to include all this and if it doesn’t I know that the results are probably going to wane, if they do there’s a high chance that they’re going to get a result. I think learning is the process, learning a system or creating response from potential clients, from an audience that doesn’t know you already. That is what kind of eliminates a lot of the self doubt. Systems will over compensate for any self doubt you have.

Speaker 1: Absolutely. I mean, that’s an interesting point. A lot of people watching this today are selling marketing services, be it SEO, PPC, Facebook ads, content, social media marketing. Whatever they’re selling they’re all basically facing this exact same issue right? They’re trying to direct some kind of communication to potential business owners and trying to get them to know I can trust them and ultimately pull the trigger and try their services. Let’s dive into that. You see a lot of marketing out there, like you said, you have to differentiate yourself using similar product but differentiate the message. What are some things that you see out there either mistakes that you see very often that marketers are making and or opportunities that maybe you can drop some knowledge that will help them craft their message in a way that’s more compelling for their audience?

Darren Hanser: Okay that’s a great question. I’ll give you a couple of examples, okay?

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Darren Hanser: There’s really three ways that you can differentiate yourself. When I say differentiate yourself it doesn’t really have to be differentiating you as a person but it’s ultimately creating a reason for a new prospect to believe what you’re saying. In the world that we live in, any business owner if you’re selling them marketing services, SEO, Facebook ads, Google ads, anything that you’re selling them and in my case copywriting for example. Copywriting is a little bit different because I can sell someone on what we’re doing, I can show them examples of what we’ve done and response and sales of other related products. I can say look, we’ve run a promotion in this vertical and got this kind of response and this is what I will do for you and I’ll basically let’s see what kind of response we get with yours.

Copywriting is an interesting model because my process is my process. I can tell them what I do but ultimately it’s the result that counts, which is for everybody. Before you can actually produce a result there’s kind of a couple ways that you can help someone believe what you’re saying so that they’ll even give you a shot to get them a result.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Darren Hanser: In the world we live in right now, anyone can go online and read a thousand articles about SEO, they get pitched probably five to ten times a day on different local marketing services in their inbox, they get direct mail being sent to them, they have display ads being sent, they have seminars happening in their offices, they have some guy whose cousin just took a course online and he’s now a certified PPC guy and he wants to run their operation. Then you have these Google certified people. You have all these different people that are challenging, not challenging but they’re basically going after the same clients.

Speaker 1: Pitching it up.

Darren Hanser: They’re pitching everyone.

Speaker 1: Yep.

Darren Hanser: The one main concern that someone has is why should I believe you, right?

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Darren Hanser: What makes you different than the 10 other guys lined up in the hallway waiting to show me their pitch for what they’re going to offer. Instead of commotitiziing what you offer, it’s important to create a system around it. If you were sitting in front of someone and we did this in selling really any product in the market that is saturated that has a lot of claims being made. Someone is coming in and saying look I can get you on the top of Google, I can get you 50 clicks a day to your website, I can get you X amount of things. Everyone is saying that, there’s nothing new. Everyone’s like okay whatever. I can get myself 50 clicks a day or 5,000 clicks a day.

Speaker 1: Sure.

Darren Hanser: What you need to do is offer a unique reason for them to believe you. The way that you do that is create a system. Create a patented trademark system for what you’re offering. This is nothing new, we’ve been doing this for 100 years people have been creating a unique reason for someone to buy what they’re buying. Every single tied package that you have has a unique reason to buy them. We have this pod, it has time release, it has detergent that takes away the spot on your china. Oh this one works its time release so it’s actually going to work better. Everything’s got a unique thing. You have to find what yours is and explain it. Tell someone, say look, when we come into your business we’re going to use the five T protocol and that means that we have a testing phase, we have this phase, we have this phase, we have this phase and at the end of that phase we know exactly what we’re going to do and we come up with a score that we need to apply to your business. With you our six that means we have to run Google AdWords, that means you have to run Facebook PPC and we need to bring in a copywriter in order to optimize what you’re doing.

We can’t do that with everyone. We need to do that with your specific business because this is like the five T protocol for local laundromats.

Speaker 1: Yep.

Darren Hanser: It’s a specific audience, it’s a specific formula that you’re having. If you come into someone and say well we have this formula and it works specifically for laundromats in your area then they have a reason to believe what you’re saying. Instead of saying you know what? I’m going to do Google AdWords and I’m going to have you rank for local laundromat. Everyone’s doing that but no one has this formula and no one can compete with that. By having a unique way to explain what you’re offering gives you credibility and it gives you allows you to cut through the nose of all the other people.

That’s one way. The other way is by ultimately providing results. Social proof goes a long way. What I did at the beginning was I got people results. I was getting results for myself, I ran ads myself, built my own list with my own money on the line and got results. Then I was able to say to them look, I’m basically doing x, y, z, why don’t we try to do this with your list? Okay?

Speaker 1: Right.

Darren Hanser: See what happens there.

Speaker 1: Sure.

Darren Hanser: That’s the other way to do is by ultimately putting your money where your mouth is, right?

Speaker 1: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Darren Hanser: Spending some time up front creating case studies, creating success stories, creating things that you can actually then go and sell. What you can do then is then you package both and you say look, here’s what we’re doing for people in your industry using this protocol.

Speaker 1: Right.

Darren Hanser: We’re going to get you x amount of leads per month because of this protocol. Without this protocol you’re flying blind and everyone else that’s talking to you is basically there’s no rhyme or reason to what they’re doing. Anyone can promise you anything. We have a system to do it and we’re going to be able to show you each step of the way how that’s going to work. It elevates the trust, reduces the objections and answers a lot of questions all at once. Like why should I believe you? Have you done this before? What’s your process? How do I know that we’re getting results? What does a result look like? What does it actually look like when we’re getting results? How do I know?

When you have all that in place is a lot easier to explain exactly what you do and you can articulate what your offer is so that anyone can understand it.  Right?

Speaker 1: Absolutely.  I mean echoing what you’re saying. It seems to me that a lot of marketers make assumptions. They assume that their clients know what they know and they don’t. I’ve actually heard this with some of my coaching clients where it’s like they’re delivering results and they’re like they’re stoked about the fact that hey we hit this, they should be like dancing in the streets. I’m like, the fact that you think they should be dancing in the streets and they’re not it should be an indication to you that really what’s happening is you haven’t defined what the win is and they’re not in agreement. Pulling together that signature solution that has the predictable steps to take them from point A to point C, using that unique mechanism or protocol is really what we as marketers need to craft. I mean this is obviously more your area of expertise but certainly it falls in line with what I’ve seen in terms of scaling up my businesses.

I think I’ve accidentally stumbled into it but it is exactly that where it’s you come up with that non commodity pitch where nobody else is using the vernacular or the words that you’re using so they can’t go to Google and say hey, Google ad runs I can buy them anywhere but this signature system of forced apps is proprietary to me.

Darren Hanser: Exactly.

Speaker 1: Cool.

Darren Hanser: The other thing I’d add to that is if you can say something is unique and yeah by saying something is unique and by wrapping a process around it, it does make it unique. It gives people the belief that okay you know what, this is what’s going to happen. I know what the future looks like. People don’t like to be uncertain about what tomorrow looks like.

Speaker 1: Sure.

Darren Hanser: If you say to them I’m going to start running ads for you and then a week later they’re like hello what’s going on? I don’t know what’s happening. You’re like oh well we’re just gathering data. They’re like what do you need? What data do you need? What does that mean? You say well right now we’re in the testing phase and the testing phase is one to three weeks and this is what’s going to happen and you might get a couple of results, you might not but if you don’t it’s not a problem because this is just part of our process.

Putting that into a process eliminates a lot of resistance and anxiety and uncertainty in someone that’s spending their money. The other thing that I remember when I was in the financial space we had a couple of different markets that we worked in. One of them was people that were borrowing money to invest in properties and we would wrap things around insurance policies. There was this huge convalesced tax structure. It was a big complicated thing.

Speaker 1: Sure.

Darren Hanser: It was even hard for people that understood taxation to wrap their heads around.

Speaker 1: Right.

Darren Hanser: What we did was created a method that was easy to explain. We created a name for it, we said this is the XYZ strategy and it includes this, it includes this and at the end this is what the need of your first year will look like. This is the end of the second year and all they didn’t know the details and everything like that. I think a lot of marketers love to explain how smart they are and you want to people to know how smart you are because you spent all this time learning and optimizing and testing and thinking that when someone asks you how am I going to get to number one on Google you’re like okay great it’s an open window to explain how algorithms work. When in reality, no one really cares about the algorithm. They care that you know how to use it and you know how to manipulate or work with it so that it gets the most visited result. That’s what they care about. They don’t care how Google works.

They might be interested, they might be a little curious because it’s kind of like this veil of [crosstalk 00:23:31] but the reality is they don’t really care. The best thing to do is find a way to explain it that is intriguing enough that also keeps your power to yourself. You can say look, we’ve actually perfected this platform and we wrapped a mechanism around it that allows us to use it for you. All you need to do is plug in a few numbers and it’s like boom. The results come out the other end. That’s really what people want. They’re like oh okay great, I really don’t want to know but I’m glad you do. That’s the best feeling in the world.

Speaker 1: Awesome. In terms of gaining this knowledge, obviously this has been a journey for you over a number of years but I’m curious to hear what you recommend in terms of reading. Are there certain people that you follow? Are there groups? Are there courses that you would recommend for the marketing audience looking to sell marketing services if they’re beginning their journey and maybe can’t afford to pay a professional copywriter today but they want to at least become more effective at packaging their messages. What would you recommend they look at?

Darren Hanser: There’s a couple of books that are great. “How to Write a Good Advertisement” by Victor Schwab. It’s super old and it’s written, it’s a very interesting language because it’s so old but the fundamentals and principles behind what needs to go into an advertisement is great. “Breakthrough for Advertising”, I hate to recommend it but it’s probably the most best book on understanding how people are looking at your offer. That’s really probably my go to when I’m wondering how to approach a new promotion. If I’m wondering how was somebody right now living in their life and how are they viewing what other offers are coming at them. If I’m selling a weight loss supplement what else are they seeing right now? How much do they know about weight loss supplements? How much do they know about the ingredients that are in mine? How much do they know about the other solutions and offers and ways that they can actually lose weight? What do they actually know about their world and what do they believe in? How smart are they? Not how smart are they but how involved are they in knowing what they want?

Speaker 1: Informed. How informed they are?

Darren Hanser: How informed are they?

Speaker 1: Right.

Darren Hanser At every level of awareness and sophistication somebody has you have to approach them in a different way. If someone came to my door right now and told me that you know they have this new amazing feature that heats up my house, I’d be like well I already know about that. I’ve had a furnace for 50 years. Thanks for the offer but I’m good. If someone came to me and said you know we have this new element that you can add to your furnace that reduces your home heating costs and also eliminates your gas bill, that’s a little bit different because it’s something that they talk to me where I am. This guy has this, he’s bought this maybe this can help him.

Then if you go even further and say okay well here’s how you can completely eliminate your furnace and you don’t have any windows or have this one little thing that you plug into your wall and it ultimately has this some ion heating mechanism. That can be something else entirely. You have to know who you’re talking to and that book and there’s a couple others that piggy back on that and most marketing out there that are copywriting or creating funnel, things like that, have a basis in the elements of that book because it was the first time that how somebody thinks and how they see impacted it was kind of put together in one book. I was like, here’s how someone is looking at the world and here’s how you should approach them based on that.

The other one is “Great Leads” by Michael Masterson and John Ford. That’s basically the application of “Great Through Advertising”. It really how you start a marketing message? How do you create that first couple hundred words when you want to approach someone? It can be applied in anything. Whether it’s the written word, whether it’s email, whether it’s knocking on someone’s door pitching them local services. It really gives you a new way to start a conversation based on where someone’s at … Applicable book to anyone who is … You lose me for a second?

Speaker 1: Yeah I just lost you for a second. You’re back.

Darren Hanser: Okay. Yeah so it’s a very applicable book for anyone who wants to start conversations in any medium that they’re using.

Speaker 1: Awesome. One of the things that definitely marketers are using today. A lot of people are using it poorly and there’s a lot of spam out there but I know that you have pulled together a lot of email marketing. I know that you have something that you’re going to be able to give our audience. Why don’t you just tell us a little bit about what you have and I’ll make sure we make it available if they comment below the video and or in the Facebook group. We’ll send it out to them.

Darren Hanser: Alright so it’s interesting. This is a few years old that I created this but I was looking through and all the principles still work every day of the year when marketing through email or really anything that you’re doing. I created a report called 15 minute emails and what it does is it goes through three principles that you need to follow in order for really anyone to buy anything from you. There needs to be these three principles in place wherever you are. Then I outline what I call the automatic authority formula and in that formula there’s really seven messages in sequence that will take someone from really not knowing much about you to wanting to purchase what you have. This is a great thing that you can do and implement for even for a client where you’re saying we’re going to generate you leads. It’s something you can even add on as an add on service and say, we’re also going to implement this where we’re going to send out these seven emails to the people that opt in for more information and that will drive them more towards wanting to book an appointment with you, purchase your product, come into your store, whatever that is.

It’s a great bonding and relationship boosting formula that works really in any niche. We’ve used it in probably our 22 industries and it works every time.

Speaker 1: Awesome, awesome. I really appreciate that. I’ll make sure that we make it available. Just again, comment below if you want it. Drop a comment in the Facebook group if you have it and I will make sure our VA’s get that out to you. Let’s wrap up with one question I like to ask. What’s something you spend $100 on in the last month or two that you’re really enjoying? Doesn’t have to be marketing related.

Darren Hanser: I’m going to give you two things.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Darren Hanser: The first one is a service called It’s an app that’s on my phone as well as they have a desktop version but basically a brainwave I guess manager, where there’s five different elements. There’s focus, meditation, relaxation, sleep and I think there’s just four. I use it in when I’m working. I plug it in and what it does its artificial intelligence based music that’s designed to alter your brainwaves to get you into a certain state.

Speaker 1: Awesome.

Darren Hanser: It’s very cool. I have extreme procrastination and OCD and it’s very hard to focus when I’m working. For some reason I just find it really hard to focus when I’m working. I plug it in, put in my earphones, put it on for like a two hour thing and I work. I focus, my brain change, I don’t know what it does. There’s a white paper on it but it’s been the most impactful app that I’ve used that I bought it was like 20 bucks for like three months or something like that and I was like yes I’ll buy it.

Speaker 1: Okay.

Darren Hanser: The other thing was buying a car with Apple play.

Speaker 1: That probably cost you more than couple hundred bucks.

Darren Hanser: I didn’t even know it had it but basically when I plug my iPhone in on the screen it turns into my iPhone and I can listen to podcasts and literally podcasts have been my saving grace driving. It’s not under $100 but I don’t think I paid for it in the car so it came with the car and it’s one of the best things because now I can listen to podcasts everywhere and it just became my phone. I can text through voice on my screen and it works.

Speaker 1: I echo that. I actually just bought a new car maybe a month, month and a half ago and got Apple play. The guy was telling me that and I was like ah I don’t really care about those kind of things. Sure enough I plugged it in and I use it all the time so it is great. I’m going to check out Really appreciate you taking the time. Guys, if you’re still watching definitely smash that thumbs up button if you haven’t subscribed yet definitely subscribe. We’re going to be interviewing entrepreneurs like Darren in the future. Hopefully sharing some tips, tricks and experience that you can take with you. Darren, I really appreciate you taking the time with us today. We’ll see you guys in the next episode.

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