Myspace Or Yours? Marketing 101

myspace.jpgThe Story: One of copywriting's oldest maxims points out one of marketer's biggest failures.

The Point: It's not your website. It's theirs (if you want to succeed).

The Resource: YouTube

How To Make It About The User:

1. Know your users.
2. Know your users.
3. Know your users.

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Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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  • Cheryl Antier

    Can I post yet?

    • Ray Edwards

      Yes. For some reason Bad Behavior plugin was causing some weird errors. I think it started happening after I upgraded WP… nobody was able to comment until I disabled BB. Sorry about that!

  • Cheryl Antier

    Hey Ray,

    Not only do I NOT want to argue the point – I think I’m going to add a link to this podcast
    to my new client packet – and make it required listening before they send me my deposit.
    (I’m only partly kidding.)

    But I do have a real issue about this very topic – and while I hope I’m not going to start a big controversy by bringing it up, but I’d really like to hear how other people feel about it:

    Was I Just Spoiled By Getting Good Clients in the Beginning – or are (Some) Copywriters to
    Blame for this (STUPID) Mindset?

    As you just eloquently explained on the podcast, knowing your target market is absolutely necessary. And doing it right does take time, and effort and work.

    Now personally, I tend to do a lot of research every time I start a new project – (again for
    the exact reasons you get into on the podcast).

    Sometimes though, I don’t have to do the research. I’ve got some clients – (real “gurus” in the best
    sense of that word), who “get” what you were talking about.

    And they just automatically send me all the information I need when I’m starting a new project for them – whether it’s emails, a special report or a sales copy. (And I mean all of it – about their Website, their sales process, the target market, the competition, and any additional background stuff so I can get into the head
    of the prospect.)

    Sometimes it’s put together in a nice neat package and sometimes it’s not.

    The point is, these are the clients I love working with, because they understand why I need the
    info, and they know that in the end, their sales will skyrocket because of it.

    But then there are other clients who just want me to “write the words that are going to make people
    buy my product.” And they think I’m wasting their time or they say they’re “too busy” to have to stop and give me the background information so I can “enter the conversation the client is having already having.”

    I even had one client who told me “stop trying to learn everything about the membership” and just
    focus on writing about the vision.”

    To me – being able to follow those three simple rules you talked about – which ultimately results in writing sales copy that hits it out of the ballpark – means having to do the real “work” of copywriting – which is, as you said, getting inside the mind of the prospect.

    The problem is – and I see this especially in the Internet Marketing field – we’re constantly telling prospects that they can build a successful business overnight – with no effort. That they can get traffic, build Websites and sell hundreds, thousands – even millions of dollars of products – quickly,and easily.

    There are even products that supposedly do our work – writing sales letters, website copy and emails – “quickly, easily – and – cheaply”.

    So my question is, is that why marketers are failing and MySpace and Flickr and other 2.0 Websites are “winning”?

    Are we doing our job “too well”? Have we gotten to the point where we’ve conditioned people to believe that “instant everything” is how things are supposed to work?

    Including us?

  • Ray Edwards

    The principles of marketing still work; it’s just some of the tactics that are diminishing in effectiveness. This shouldn’t surprise us, really. What trips up some (many?) marketers is they only knew the tactics and never understood the principle. So when the tactics stop working, they think game is over.

    This works the other way, too: many so-called “Web 2.0” companies have failed because they emulated the successful TACTICS of FaceBook, etc. — but failed to grok the marketing principles that lay behind the design standards and “look & feel” of Web 2.0.

  • Yes, give them what THEY want.
    Give it to them WHERE they want it (myspace).
    Give it to them HOW they want it (audio, video, text).

  • Ed Erickson

    It’s all about conversation. Listen to them. Then respond by helping them in the conversations that they want to have. Provide the better mousetrap.

    Keep listening and improving the mousetrap. People want to be understood and have their needs served. Gotta know them to do that. Gotta do research and have conversations to do that!

  • Ed Erickson

    Actually it’s a www. url.

    Thanks for that Ray. I’m a sponge for resources like that right now. As the marketing/communication officer for our corporate university model I’m trying to develop a community manager role for heightened employee interaction. Mike’s blog looks intriguing.