How to know if your Big Idea will sell?

All this week I’ve been talking about how Big Ideas are the single biggest driver of any promotion.

It’s not the headlines, or subheads, it’s not even the product offer itself.

Coming up with a singular, sexy benefit that resonates with a large percentage of your audience (the Big Idea) is almost always more important than the actual words you’ll end up writing – and is actually the one thing that sticks in people’s minds as they decide whether or not to buy from you.

Yesterday I sent over a short survey to ask people what other questions they might have about Big Ideas. A question I saw a few times was:

"How can you tell if you have a Big Idea on your hands?"
The honest answer is that you’ll never fully know until you put something out into the world and "test it". This is one of those annoying truths of copy in general.

But here’s the very simple way you can judge your Big Ideas in the beginning:

First, what’s the goal (number of sales, clicks, opens) you have? Get clear on what exactly your goal is for a particular piece of copy.

I like to think in concrete of terms as possible. Ie, "I’m predicting 250 sales." This goal itself, might be a guess, and that’s fine. I just need something to work with.

Before even testing it, you should have a gut feeling of whether or not that Big Idea you’ve created will be able to generate the results you’re predicting.

If I create a Big Idea and then look at it and say to myself, "There’s no way 250 people on my list are going to want this benefit (aka Big Idea)," then I need to go back to the drawing board.

(How did I develop that gut instinct? First by applying the 9 Big Idea Prompts from Wednesday to classic sales letters to better understand how they come up with theirs. Then by just writing copy, putting stuff out there as fast as possible, and taking note of what did and didn’t work.)

Now, once you have that goal, and you’re somewhat confident your Big Idea could hit that goal, take it to the real world to test it.

  1. If you fall short of your goal (whatever it might be) then you don’t have a Big Idea.
  2. If you meet your goal, then you have an okay Big Idea.
  3. If you exceed your goal by a magnitude of 2x to 10x, then you have a real Big Idea on your hands.

    That’s what a Big Idea does, when actually found, to a promotion. It’s not a little jump. It’s a massive jump over expected response.

    I can’t stress enough how important it is to focus on the Big Idea more than anything else when you write copy. I see so many copywriters struggling to get anyone to respond to their copy (meet their goals), and the problem ISN’T the words they’re writing – in fact their words are great.

    The problem is that the way they’re framing the product just isn’t exciting. The Big Idea they came up with just isn’t big enough or clear enough (in harsher terms: "it sucks!").

    If they just put a little more work into their Big Idea, things would turn around and they’d feel the sense of relief that comes with a massive response to their sales messages – and seeing money roll in day after day. There’s really nothing quite like it.

    If they just put a little more work into their Big Idea (and put a little more work into developing their "Big Idea muscle" before then), they’d get to experience what it’s like to see their letters turn into massive winners.

    There is absolutely nothing like the rush of seeing sales roll in almost uncontrollably from a promo you wrote – whether you’re an entrepreneur or a freelancer.

    There’s also nothing like the freedom it gives you.

    So if this is something you know you need to get better at, read over the emails I sent out this week. In particular focus on the 9 Big Idea Prompts on Wednesday and actually try applying them – both for your own writing, and reverse engineering your favorite copy to figure out how they came up with their Big Ideas.

    I promise if you do, you’ll see your copy improve exponentially… even if the actual words you write don’t change at all.

    That’s all I’ve got for you this week. Have a great weekend!

    – Derek

    P.S. I’m experimenting with week-long email series that go a little more in-depth on a single topic. How did you like this week’s emails on Big Ideas?

Are there any questions you have about Big Ideas that you wish I’d covered? Are there other topics about copywriting and/or six & seven figure solopreneur businesses you’d love for me to talk about?

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