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What is a copywriting framework?

This is a question I get asked from time to time – usually by people who have heard or read about copywriting frameworks and think, 'I want one!'

If I was being unkind, I'd say they're most often mentioned by people who like to know that they're using a freelance copywriter who is applying a process to their work – rather than plucking words from the air at random (because, duh! That's all we do).

One method when writing copy that copywriters use quite often is known as PAS – it stands for Problem, Agitate, Solution. So, in simple terms, it might be something like this (I'm going to stick with the hypnotherapy business as detailed in a previous post):

Problem: 'Hi – you have something wrong in your life and it's holding you back.'

Agitate: 'I get it, it must be really difficult and is probably making you really stressed.'

Solution: 'This is a proven way to help with this problem.'

You would, of course, flesh it out somewhat.


Pencil scribbling complicated mathematical formula
A problem, yesterday

Fascinating AIDA

Another copywriting framework is called AIDA – this one stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. So:

Attention: 'Is your life being held back by stress? It's horrible, isn't it – but it can often be fixed in just an hour.'

Interest: 'It's true – thousands of people just like you who were crippled by stress have been able to return to normal, happy lives.'

Desire: 'Imagine what that would feel like! Wouldn't life be great again?'

Action: 'Well, this can become your reality if you get in touch today.'

There are loads of these frameworks, such as BAB – Before, After, Bridge. Here's how it works:

Before: 'I know what you're going through right now – horrible, isn't it?'

After: 'What if there was an answer – a way to feel normal again and start enjoying life?'

Bridge: 'I can help you get there.'

There's an inherent problem with frameworks – they're pretty salesy. It's best to humanise thing a little, especially on a homepage, perhaps even generating the idea that, 'Hey – we can fix this together'.

Perhaps more important than using a framework is taking the time to think about how to sell what you do in an appealing way. Paint a picture of the benefits of using your service.

You want to show people what life will be like after working with/buying from you.

Of course, this is all very achievable if you are a therapist – less so if you sell pencils. Although an artfully-written, persuasive bit of copy can probably turn a run of the mill 2B into something Shakespeare would covet...

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