Show Notes

You're writing copy to target your ideal clients. But they may not be ready to hear you. They may not know they have a problem; they may not be ready to look for solutions.

You may have heard of the 5 levels of awareness identified by iconic copywriter Eugene Schwartz. You write copy differently - and share different stories - depending on the client's level of awareness.

In this episode, we do two things.

First, you'll discover the 5 levels of customer awareness and recognize them in the client's backstory.

A prospective client who's not aware she has a problem will bring one type of backstory. Her story changes when she's identified the problem and chooses from two or three possible solutions.

As you listen to clients' backstories you discover their level of awareness. You can fine-tune your targeting.

Additionally, our clients have different levels of marketing awareness - something that's not covered in the original 5 levels. Some clients are hearing pitches from half a dozen different competitors. Some are completely new to your industry and to marketing pitches from you and your competitors.

Their experience with marketing changes the way they respond to your message...and may lead to downright skepticism. I've experienced this myself when I hear a tired old pitch from someone I've thought about hiring.


The notion of "levels" originally appeared in Eugene Schwartz's book, Breakthrough Advertising. It's now out of print, hard to find, and expensive.

I've discussed client backstories on various podcasts, most recently in an interview with Shawn Fink (Episode 100).

You can learn more from my free report on client motivation.

Go in-depth with the self-paced video course, The Client Advantage. Use coupon code CLIENT30 to take an additional 30% off the published price.

Take a deep dive into your marketing, find your story, and start revising your copy with the Strategic Intensive. A fast and friendly way to transform marketing for small service-based businesses.

And if you like what you hear, go ahead and leave a rating and a review on Apple (preferably) or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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