The most powerful four-letter word, like, ever
by Joel K

Important: (This post was originally an email I sent to my mailing list. If you like it, please sign up!)

Which four-letter word can help you…

+ Influence purchase decisions like a veteran salesperson…
+ Make leads see your solution as the obvious choice, like switching a lever in their heads…
+ Communicate complex ideas masterfully, like Bill Nye explaining photosynthesis to kids?

With over 6,977 four-letter words in the English language, you’ve got a whole lot to choose from. (I checked!)
But would you believe I’ve already used it three times in this post?

It’s “LIKE.”

Disappointed? Don’t be. I’m about to spell out how learning to use this word effectively is like being handed a cheat code for persuasive copywriting.

1. Use “like” to anchor new or novel ideas in things your audience understands.

For example: if you’d never heard of grindcore before, I might tell you… “Grindcore sounds like you recorded an angry Dad with laryngitis yelling at his son while the kid throws pots and pans down the stairs, then sped it up fifteen times.”

Congratulations, you’ve now got a pretty good idea of what to expect—without even having to listen.

Jokes aside, analogies are sneaky-good teaching tools because they allow your audience to start building off of something they already have a mental schema for—giving you a concrete place to start. “Photosynthesis is like people eating lunch, only for plants…”

2. Use “like” to reframe how a lead thinks about your offer.

Imagine you had to communicate the value of joining a “Private SEO Slack Community.”
This was the challenge I faced when working with Traffic Think Tank (TTT).

Problem: the concept of an online “community” has been poisoned. Most communities are noisy, time-consuming, and full of self-promoting turd gremlins.

But TTT is legitimately different. Industry veterans who charge thousands of dollars for consulting willingly jump in to help answer specific questions from the community.
How could I get leads to see things this way? I used analogies!

Joining Traffic Think Tank is like…
+ Having a boardroom full of smart mentors available 24/7
+ Having a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” for the questions no course can cover.
+ Buying yourself a ticket to the “Inner Circle” of SEO and networking on ‘easy mode.’

Same benefit—different perception!

3. Use “like” as a means of comparison to tip the scales in your favor.

This is one of my favorites. In situations where comparisons to competitors are inevitable, you want a way of quickly differentiating yourself.
Spitting out the 15 different features you offer won’t stick: leads will drift off. But what if all it took was two sentences?

1. “Well, [our solution] is LIKE [competitor], but…”


2. “We’re the more ideal solution for people who…”

To finish the first sentence, either add a BIG differentiating benefit or spell out a pain the lead won’t have to deal with. Instead of 15 ideas to chew on, you’ve now framed their evaluation through just one.

“We’re like them, only better in this one most critical way.”

And that’s, like, it.

Have a great weekend! 🙂

(Here’s that sign-up link again if you’ve decided you dig my stuff enough to subscribe to it.)

1 Comment
  1. Zaid says:

    Loved this. Would love to start of my copywriting career with you

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