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SPI 773: How to Write GREAT Copy in Today’s World with Ray Edwards

How effective is the marketing copy around your products? Many entrepreneurs struggle with this aspect of online business most. And the truth is, there are no shortcuts to great writing. So, how do we generate compelling stories and sales pages?

There’s no one better to answer this question for us than the godfather of modern copywriting himself, Ray Edwards. My interviews with him in previous episodes have always been game-changing, and this one is no different. Don’t miss out on this chat, and check out episodes 182 and 327 if you haven’t already!

Ray is the author of How to Write Copy That Sells, Permission to Prosper, and Read This or Die. His expertise is priceless, and today, he delivers an absolute masterclass on marketing communication in the age of AI. You’ll hear us explore his PASTOR framework to guide you through every step, from positioning your products to making sales and getting incredible testimonials.

Listen in because Ray and I also share the most powerful ways to leverage tools like ChatGPT to take your marketing game to the next level fast. Enjoy!

Today’s Guest

Ray Edwards

Ray Edwards is a communications strategist, copywriter, and author of
the Amazon Best-Sellers How to Write Copy That Sells, Permission to Prosper, and Read This or Die. He is also the host of the top-ranked podcast The Ray Edwards Show (it’s been downloaded over 1.5 million times).

Ray has worked on copy and marketing with some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business. Ray’s marketing expertise and persuasive writing has helped generate an estimated $500 million in revenue for clients like New York Times bestselling authors Tony Robbins, Michael Hyatt, Dan Miller, Jeff Goins, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jeff Walker, and many more. He has been featured on,, and

You’ll Learn


SPI 773: How to Write GREAT Copy in Today’s World with Ray Edwards

Ray Edwards: Even in the offer, don’t just say you get eighteen lessons, there’s a one-hundred-and-fifty-page workbook because people are not really buying the stuff you’re giving them. They’re buying the transformation. It should be something more along the lines of, you’re going to go from total podcast newbie to actually knowing how to create a podcast your listeners are going to want to listen to, you’re going to have their attention, which is the most important asset in this economy.

You’re describing the benefits of not what they get with your training, or your book, or your course, or your coaching, you’re describing what it does for them.

Pat Flynn: Copywriting and what is working today. That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about, especially because we’re in this world now with AI. And I brought on an expert, the expert Ray Edwards, as we call him sometimes the Godfather of Modern Copywriting, for helping us share our message and help us to serve others more with the words that we choose to put on a sales page or in our emails or in our social posts.

And Ray’s going to give us a framework, a framework that he’s been on the show before to teach, but it’s adjusted a little bit for the time. So we’re going to go through his P.A.S.T.O.R. Framework and we talk about each little component of the P.A.S.T.O.R. Framework to help you with your copy and get into the weeds of it.

And this is going to be one of If not the most helpful workshop that you’ll probably hear in a very long time here on the podcast with Ray. And we also talk and get some interesting insight from him as a professional copywriter, what it’s like in the landscape of AI and how to use AI, not disuse it or just shy away from it, but actually use it to our advantage to create excellent copy, because a lot of us are using AI to generate copy.

But as he calls it, as you’ll hear, we are just increasing the speed to mediocrity in our writing. But we need to take a couple more steps to take it to great. So this is session 773 with Ray Edwards from Enjoy.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, his toxic trait is thinking he can hit a fastball from a major league pitcher, Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Ray, welcome back to the SPI podcast, man. I’m so happy you’re here. Thanks for taking the time today.

Ray Edwards: Thank you. I’m so thrilled to be back.

Pat Flynn: A lot has changed since you’ve come back on the show. I know things have happened personally, but also in the world of business. I mean, any quick updates on life and how things are going and what you’re excited about these days?

Ray Edwards: Well, on life, I had brain surgery. So that was a big deal.

Yeah. Many people probably know I have, or maybe not. I have Parkinson’s disease. And I had brain surgery, which turned the clock back about eight years on that. And I’m able to do things I couldn’t do for the last seven or eight years. So that’s exciting. I’m very excited about that. I’m excited about where technology is taking us.

AI played a part in my brain surgery. The device that helps stimulate my neurons is governed by AI.

Pat Flynn: Wow. That’s actually really amazing because a lot of us hear about AI and in our industry, it’s pretty scary and also exciting, but I think a lot of us forget about the actual life changing things that can happen with this technology.

And I was at social media marketing world in 2023, and I saw you give an incredible presentation on stage and not only did you give an incredible presentation, but you literally jumped off the stage in excitement, which wasn’t even a thing you could even think about doing prior to your surgery.

Ray Edwards: That’s exactly right. I think I, I know I panicked my assistant. She was, she had no idea I was going to do that, but it was, I was so overjoyed to be there to be serving people. Oh, it would have been more clear. on what I’m doing and why I’m doing it and what, why the things we all do in our businesses and our lives are important. And I don’t, I don’t want to take any of it for granted. I don’t want other people to do that either.

Pat Flynn: Ray, you had mentioned on stage during that talk, you know, before we get into the tactics and strategies of, of copy about a letter. Can you tell us about this letter and the significance of it and the lessons we can learn from, from such an exercise?

Ray Edwards: Yeah, I wrote a letter to myself. I, as a copywriter, I’ve written lots of sales letters, designed and written and crafted to get people to do something, to get them to buy something, believe something, take some action. And I reached a point that the progression of my disease had gotten to a place where I was almost completely disabled and I was in lots of pain, physically and psychologically, and I actually considered not being on the planet anymore, taking an exit.

And I realized that was unacceptable that might have alleviated my pain, but it would have caused other people so much pain. I could not contemplate doing such a thing so I wrote myself a letter a sales letter to myself to demonstrate why I needed to change my life and my thinking and why I must do it and the headline of that letter was read this or die. And I borrowed that headline from the work of a dear friend of mine who’s passed on now.

His name was Jim Rutz, one of the greatest copywriters who ever lived. He wrote a piece called Read This or Die. It was about a health newsletter. So my subject matter was different, but the point of the letter was the same. I was writing to me to get me to change my life. And I wrote it in a very blunt and very forceful way.

You might think that the headline itself sounds a little rough, but I know me, I knew what kind of talk I needed to hear for myself to get me to change the elements of my life that needed to change, which was basically everything. My relationships, the way I eat, the way I exercised or didn’t exercise, the way I thought about things.

I had reached a point where I was out of get out of jail free cards and I had to realize there were more days behind me than there are ahead of me. Even in the most optimistic way of looking at things, I had to change or I was going to leave behind a string of broken promises to people I cared about.

I couldn’t do that. So I wrote that letter and I did the things that I told myself I had to do and it changed my life and it ultimately led me to making the decision to get the surgery I had. And that was scary. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, to go in to have brain surgery. Because, think about it, I mean, your brain is who you are.

And I was going to let people inside there, and there was no predicting exactly what the outcome would be. We hoped it would be good, and it was fantastic. And had I not been through the writing of that book, and publishing the book, I don’t think I would have been able to develop the courage to go ahead.

Pat Flynn: Wow. And the book Read This Or Die is available and you can go check it out and we’ll link to it in the show notes. And since you have had that surgery, I remember you had documented some of the results of the surgery on your TikTok and your social media platforms. And some of those posts went absolutely wild.

I mean, can you give us a sense of how far reaching those posts had been and what happened since then are there opportunities that came about as a result of sharing?

Ray Edwards: Yeah, absolutely It was it was crazy and kooky because the book is a weird book the publisher was like this is the oddest book we’ve ever published because it was about how I used my copywriting framework the P.A.S.T.O.R. copywriting framework to write the letter to myself that leveraged me to change and make a decision like having the brain surgery So I, I did that, I went through the surgery and the video that posted on TikTok was shot on my wife’s old iPhone 8 and I just clipped it together.

This goes to show I’ve spent thousands of dollars creating videos with a team and editors and the one I put together for my wife’s iPhone on the spur of the moment after I left the doctor’s office is the one that went viral. We had over a million views. Almost instantaneously. And it was a before and after.

It was me going into the clinic. I was barely able to walk. I could not get myself to go through the door. If you have Parkinson’s, you often have freezing where you, you, in confined spaces or stressful situations, just freeze up. So I froze in the doorway going into the clinic. And I went in, I sat down, in the video I’m sitting, I’m vibrating like, like I’m on a bucking bronco. And the doctor turns on the neurostimulators that have been installed into my brain in surgery a month before that. He switches them on and instantly I stopped tremoring. I stand, he says, can you stand up? I not only stood up, I jumped up out of the chair and walked out of the room. And he’s like, Whoa, hang on.

So the, his staff was amazed. The doctor was amazed. And then because of that video going viral, I was contacted by Boston Scientific. Who made the equipment that’s been implanted inside my body. And they said, Hey, it seems like, you know, a little something about marketing, your video went viral. Can we talk to you about what we might do to get the word around about this surgery?

Cause so many people don’t know about it. It’s not experimental. It’s proven it’s been around for 30 years, but we’d like to get more people to consider having the procedure. And I’m like, I will, I’m already doing it. I’ve, I’ve talked to. Probably two dozen people as a result of that video who just contacted me out of the blue to say, I have my father or my grandfather or my husband or my wife has Parkinson’s.

So I’ve talked to many people on the phone about the things that you consider and why they should go consider having the procedure. And I’ve talked to about 10 of those people so far who went and had the surgery and had similar results to me. And it’s been the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done online.

To be able to see people’s lives transformed by something like that procedure.

Pat Flynn: That is incredible. Ray, I want to talk to you. And we have spoken in our mastermind group for a very long time about your progress with that and where it could potentially even go, but that might be a great transition for us because a lot of the audience wants to change the lives of our members, our students and our customers, yet we don’t know how to get the message from our brain or what we know can help out there into the world so that they can see it and they can understand what we have to offer them that they see the value and what it is we have to give.

Copy is the way to do that, but copy is scary. Copy is an art and it’s something that you have mastered. And I’d love to dig into how we, those of us just starting out with copy can wrap our head around it. And you’d mentioned. Earlier, the P.A.S.T.O.R. model, and that is a model that you’ve come on the show to share before.

Perhaps a quick little overview of that would be great to start out with, and we can kind of dig into that a little bit, if, if indeed that is still the framework that is recommended today for, for how to get that message out there.

Ray Edwards: Yes, it is. And I’ll go over that quickly. And then I’ll have a few things to say about the context that we’re in today, because it’s the times have changed.

There’s some things that are different. The human nervous system is not different. The way we are persuaded is not different, but the environmental changes we need to talk about. Let’s go over the P.A.S.T.O.R. framework first. This is a framework, not just for writing sales copy. It’s for influencing people to take any direction, making a decision.

If you’re writing a blog post or you’re trying to talk your wife into where you want to go have dinner, you can, you can use this framework. So P.A.S.T.O.R. P stands for person, problem, and pain. Those are the first three things you need to know everything about them you can. The person to whom you’re writing, the problem you help them solve with your product or service, and the pain they feel in the way that they feel it.

And that’s very important because we often think they should feel pain because of one thing, when the pain they feel is different. So, we find ourselves needing to understand how they feel it, like, if somebody wants to lose weight, lose fat off their body, we might think, if we’re the expert, you need to do that because it’s good for your cardiovascular health, it’s good for your blood sugar levels, it prevents diabetes, it may help you avoid things like Alzheimer’s or dementia.

But what they’re thinking about is, the pain, the way they experience it is, I want to look good in a bathing suit. And we might think that’s kind of shallow, or not, we might make a judgment about that. But we need to address the pain they’re feeling, the way they’re feeling it, and then we can help them understand why there’s a deeper need for them to make the change we’re seeking to get them to make.

So it’s a case of selling to them based on what they want, but making sure they also get what they need. A is amplifying their pain and speaking to their aspirations.

And here’s a shift I’ve made that I think is because of the shift we’ve seen in society since the unpleasant events of 2020 took place. That is, I’m putting more and more focus on the aspirations and less on amplifying pain. So I don’t mean you shouldn’t amplify the pain of not acting, not solving the problem.

So if the problem is I’m trying to quit vaping and I know it’s not healthy, there is a place for us to amplify the consequences of not stopping vaping. The damage that can be done to your lungs, the bad things that can happen to you if you continue that habit over the long haul. But I don’t spend as much time on that as I used to.

I focus more on the aspiration. The aspiration is, when you quit vaping, you’re going to have more energy, you’re going to have more cardiovascular health, you’re going to be able to breathe deeper, you’re going to stop. You’re not going to be endangering your lungs. You’re going to be living a healthier lifestyle, getting more oxygen to your brain.

There’s all these good things it does for you. You’re going to be able to live a life where you’re healthier, feel younger, and you’re able to do more for longer periods of time.

Pat Flynn: It’s really interesting because for a while it felt like amplifying the fear, in fact, was what was going to work more. But can you speak to maybe why you made that transition to focusing more on aspiration?

I would rather focus on the positive. However, I know that people act because of what they’re afraid of. However, that might be changing because I mean, this is just a hypothesis, but there’s so much negativity in the world at this point. It almost all gets mixed in that we’re looking for the small moments of joy.

Is that, is that true? Or do you, can you speak to that?

Ray Edwards: I think that is true. Now I mentioned earlier, the human nervous system doesn’t change when we know through basic neurophysiology that we’re wired, we’re hardwired to avoid pain and to seek pleasure. However, that doesn’t change. However, we’ve become so oversensitized to negative fear mongering and anger generating ideas and rhetoric that we now, we’re turned off by it in a way we didn’t used to be, we actually have the ability to turn off the pain signals and focus on something else. That’s not new. That’s why we eat chocolate cake in abundance when we shouldn’t. Because it feels so good. However, what we’ve learned is that through all the negative stuff that’s happened, we’ve become more sensitive to that.

And we all are seeking a more positive way of living and perceiving the world. And the little psychological trick, if you will, is this, aspiration contains within itself pain. Because if you aspire to something, why is it you aspire to it? You don’t have it. So, when we speak to aspirations, we’re focusing on the positive, but we want to focus on the positive in such a way that it makes it clear that the person reading our copy or watching our video realizes, well, I’m not experiencing that now.

That’s not what’s going on in my life now. I want that. So they’re, they’re experiencing the discomfort they want to move away from, which is, I want to stop vaping. I want to stop eating too much sugar. I want to be more fit. I want to have more financial resources. And they move toward their aspiration and away from the pain.

So it’s the same maneuver with a different emphasis.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, that’s a, that’s a great nuance. It’s as if like we’re, if we’re trying to help a person understand that a podcast is worth worth doing, it’s not, Hey, if you don’t have a podcast, you’re going to be left behind, you’re going to not get customers and your competitors are going to be much further ahead.

It’s rather, you could be a celebrity in the space that you’re in, and your audience can build a strong relationship with you by listening to your voice all from the comfort of your own home. And that makes a person go, wait, I don’t have that right now. There’s a, there’s a delta between me and that status, the positive status that was shared.

Therefore, I want that, or you have my attention at least at this point, which is, as I know, the first part of this framework is, is we need to grab attention, right? And we can get more nuanced with the headlines and those things in a minute, but let’s continue on with the model. So thank you for that deeper analysis of amplify and aspirations.

What comes next? The S, right?

Ray Edwards: The S, yes, is the story of your struggle, the solution and the systemization of the solution. So for many of us, there is a story about how we personally struggled with creating our podcast or building our online business or beginning to invest. And we went through a struggle and we maybe even had some failures and then we developed a solution.

And not only did the solution work for us, We found out we can help other people solve that same problem. And we developed a system because people not only want to know that you know how to solve the problem and that you solved it for other people, they want to know you can solve it for them and that they can achieve the same kinds of things you did.

If they do what you did in your own solution, that’s the value of the system. So the story about how you struggle I think is important because it lets people know you’re not some ivory tower guru saying, look, I’m perfect. You can be perfectly like me. You’re saying I’m a human being. I understand how hard it is.

I’ve been through the struggle. I lost my job. I, I had business problems. I had relationship problems. I solved those problems, and here’s the story of how to do it. And the story doesn’t have to be long, it can be a couple of sentences, but it needs to be real and raw and true. And people sense, can sense the truth of these stories, but I think they’re important to allowing them to relate to your, to your story, situation, your solution that you have in your product.

Pat Flynn: How do you tell the story well, right. We could easily say, Oh yeah, we went through this too, but is, is there a way to finesse that story or choose the right words to really make a connection? How, how does one go about choosing the right words? I guess, let’s get a little into the, to the details now.

Ray Edwards: And a bit, I want to talk about AI, but for right now, I’m just going to pretend AI doesn’t exist. Okay. I think the, the best way to tell a story, it’s with meaningful specifics. So it’s tempting to want to do what one of my colleagues, John Carlton, likes to call throat clearing copy, where you’re just talking to get started.

You’re like warming up. It’s like clearing your throat before you do a speech. But you want to jump in with the details. Like on March 12th, 2013, I decided I was never going to be in want of money again. I was never going to be unable to pay my bills again. And so I made myself a promise. I was going to read every book on finances I could find.

I was going to find the answer to how to not only pay my bills, but amass a savings account and investments. So I had money earning money for me. And that’s what I did. Here’s the story of how it happened. So it’s a meaningful specific in time and place and an event that happened. There’s a, there’s a maxim in writing that says, show, don’t tell.

Because when you tell, you just talk about it in a passive, like, removed from the action sort of way. When you show it, people can picture you on March 12th, on that date, you sat down with books and a notepad and pen and started writing out your plan. So, keeping it brief, but keeping it narrative. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end.

Donald Miller, a mutual friend of both of ours, has a book called Building a Story Brand. And he gives a great definition of a story. And the story is, there’s a hero who has a problem, faces a challenge, a guru or guide appears, offers him a path, he follows the path or she follows the path to either success or failure.

And we’re, we’re showing them the path to success, of course, but that’s the shortest definition of the story I know. It’s one of the best definitions I know, but details and careful crafting of the words are important. There’s no fast track to great writing, but there is a quick path to writing a pretty good story.

And that’s it.

Pat Flynn: Putting the words on paper or typing them out can feel very heavy. You know, as somebody who’s written books and is in the middle of my fourth is, there’s like always doubt that comes into, well, I don’t know if that’s the right word or, you know, maybe there’s a better way to do this, or this doesn’t sound good.

And, you know, the traditional, you know, we don’t do this anymore, but you roll up the paper and you throw it into the bin and then the pile just gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. Might you have any, strategies and tips for, I guess that’s called writer’s block, but you know, just that slog that we have to go through when we begin putting words to sales page, if you will.

Ray Edwards: I think the, the key is to get your inner editor to sit down and shut up while you’re writing and just get that first draft out on paper or on the screen for your keyboard. There’s a book by Anne Lamott called Bird by Bird, which is a great book. If you’re aspiring to write better stories I recommend that book.

She refers to, you gotta be okay with writing, we’ll call it, poopy first drafts. That’s not what she said exactly, but something like that. We call it, in my company, we refer to it as, this is equally as gross. We call it the vomit draft. Just vomit it out onto the page. You know it’s bad. It’s okay. Get the bad draft out on the page.

Because you can always clean it up. But it’s very hard to clean up a blank page. So, getting it out the first time, and then refining it, and being okay with rewriting it over and over again, especially the story part of your sales copy, is important because every word is important. And you want to craft it carefully, but Stephen King says, writing is rewriting.

And as Stephen King has to rewrite, so do you.

Pat Flynn: I love that. And a person I got to know quite well recently, Rory Vaden, said it in a different way, but it really stuck with me. And it was like, you gotta show you’re ugly. Like, you just gotta show you’re ugly first. And I love that. It just stuck with me. And it’s also a little gross when you think about it, but it’s true.

Okay, that’s really helpful. And so I appreciate that. And the story, with a little bit of struggle, relatable, and then the systemization of a story. Solution. Is this at the point at which we’re like, and this is how it’s done. And this is my program. And this is where this solution exists,

Ray Edwards: Right. If you think about it, you’ve done this. I’m sure you’re conscious of this with your podcasting course, your other courses, where you show people how to do things you’ve done, and you’ve been very personable in sharing your struggles in the beginning, as you learned. How to do it the right way. And that’s what’s powerful and gets people engaged in the idea of learning from us or working with us.

And then the T in P.A.S.T.O.R. Is for transformation and testimony. So here’s where you’re showing the transformation in your life and in the lives of your customers, your clients, how they change their lives by doing the thing you teach them how to do, or by taking your advice or following your system and the testimony is. It’s them telling those stories in their own words. about how they found your instruction, how they found your course to be helpful to them, how they were able to change their own circumstances. Because there’s a, there’s an ancient book of wisdom that says, don’t praise yourself, but let the list of others praise you and you’ll be elevated.

This is what having other people give their testimony about how your stuff has worked for them does for you. We all tend to believe what comes from the lips of others about a person more than we believe what the person says about themselves.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, amen to that for sure. I mean, how often do we look at Amazon reviews before we purchase something?

It’s the same kind of thing. We want validation that, okay, other people have done this too. I don’t want to be the first, but that begs the question, what if you don’t have any customers or students yet? It’s the first time you’re selling something, does that mean testimonials don’t exist yet? What do you do in that situation?

Ray Edwards: I don’t think you’re, you’re stuck at all in that situation because the presumption I have is if you’re going to be teaching something, you’ve, you’ve helped other people with it before, even before you made a course or wrote a book, or had a coaching program you’ve helped people in your life. And so I just was talking with someone in our mastermind group about this yesterday. And she said I don’t have any customers yet.

And I said, do you have people you’ve helped? She said well just with advice over the years. How many people are and she said probably a dozen and I said, well, there you go Just call those people and say do you remember when we worked together? Do you remember what that was like when I helped solve that problem?

Yes. Yes. What happened after that? Get them to tell you the story, get them reinvested in what happened, and then ask them is it okay if I summarize that and maybe use that to help people understand how I can help them with this problem. Almost always the answer will be yes. You get them to either write it out or you transcribe it and edit it and write it out for them, get their approval.

Now you’ve got a testimonial that’s real, that’s true. You don’t say they bought something from you. You don’t ever tell a lie. You simply say, these are some comments from people I’ve helped with this problem in the past, and this is what they have to say. It’s as simple as that. And if you haven’t helped people, go help them.

Go help some people.

Pat Flynn: That’s so perfect. I mean, and I’ve shared this on the podcast before. It’s like, go get one result, like the changes, everything. And you don’t even need a website or a product yet to just help somebody that can then be used and utilized and showcased later.

I’m curious, Ray, your thoughts on, well, what makes a great testimonial? Because the generic Ray was amazing. I highly recommend this to everybody is what we’re going to get. Typically when we just say, Hey, can you leave me a testimonial? How do we. A, what is a great testimonial look like, and how do we honestly have another person on the other end, a student or a person who we’ve once helped before, how do we get them to say those things?

We don’t put words in their mouth, but there are, I assume, questions we can ask to set that up.

Ray Edwards: I would ask questions like, describe to me what your life was like in relation to this experience. Problem you’re trying to solve. Like before you knew how to make a podcast, what was it like before that? Then how did you find out about my podcasting course?

And then what were any fears or hesitations you had before you signed up? And let them answer those questions. Then ask them, well, after you signed up, what was the experience of going through the course? Like, what’d you discover along the way? And then afterwards, what’s it like now? And what you’ll get is something like this.

It’ll be some kind of edited together response to them saying, well, before I found Pat’s podcasting course, I wanted to have a podcast, but I thought it’s impossible. I don’t know technology. I don’t know anything about audio. I don’t think I could sit and talk for an hour. I know how to do any of that stuff.

I found Pat’s program. I was a little hesitant. I thought this is quite a bit of money for me to invest. I don’t know if it’ll work, but I trust Pat. He’s got a guarantee. I’m going to, I’m going to give it a shot. I’m so glad I did. The course was fun. It was informative. It was in bite size, easy to understand bites.

And I didn’t have to be a techno wizard. He had answers to all my questions. I put my podcast together. I published my first three episodes. I actually got people listening to the podcast now. I’m so glad I did this. This is where I’m getting all the new leads for my new business. So that’s a podcast. It’s not the typical.

It was amazing. Pat’s the greatest. I mean you are the greatest but for your testimonials, you want more detail than that.

Pat Flynn: And don’t worry, audience, I’m not, even though that was a perfect testimony, I’m not going to clip that and use that because it was just an example.

Ray Edwards: It’s all true.

Pat Flynn: Ray said it, not out of nowhere.

I’m, I’m going to, I appreciate you, man. That’s, that’s really, first of all, kind, but also really, really helpful. And I really love those questions. I definitely want to encourage the audience to head over to the show notes page. We’ll have the resources and we’ll share some of these things so that you can kind of easily digest them.

Ray, let’s continue on because there’s still some letters left that we need to uncover. AI as well, which I’m also curious from my perspective, speaking to a copywriter and with the noise out there about AI replacing copywriting. And I’m curious your thoughts on that, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

But for right now, let’s talk about the next letters. So T O R.

Ray Edwards: So T is transformation and testimony. O is the offer. This is where you tell people, this is what I have for sale. This is what you get, how it helps you, and what it costs. And even in the offer, one thing you want to be careful of is don’t just say you get 18 lessons and they’re 20 minutes long each and there’s a 150 page instruction manual or workbook because people are not really buying the stuff you’re giving them.

They’re buying the transformation you bring about. So, it should be something more along the lines of in this five module course, you’re going to go from total podcast newbie to actually knowing how to create a podcast, you’re going to want to listen to, they’re going to eagerly anticipate each episode.

They’re going to listen. They’re going to comment. They’re going to respond. They’re going to engage. You’re going to have their attention, which is the most important asset in this economy you could possibly get is the attention of other people. So even as you’re giving them the details of the offer you’re describing the benefits of not what’s what they get with your training or your book or your course or your coaching you’re describing what it does for them. That’s what’s so important.

Pat Flynn: Before we move on, Ray, there was a good analogy I, I once saw, and, and we teach this in our heroic online courses course, because we, we talk a little bit about sales pages and, and writing copy.

And you’re so right. The transformation is what you’re selling. People don’t want to buy the course. They want to buy what ultimately the course can give them. And sharing that in the sales page has been so important. And there’s a good analogy of your student is like, okay, Mario, like the original Mario game, 1985, right?

And let’s say that you have a company that sells Mario’s, these little power ups, right? That can make them grow bigger and, you know, shoot fire and stuff, right? What you’re selling is not the flower, right? Oh, this is a flower. It makes you shoot fire and all this kind of stuff like that’s that’s the feature.

The benefit is this will allow you to go through the level much faster and kill any enemies without any worry. And then the ultimate dream is you’ll get to rescue the princess at the end, right? And reminding them about that sort of bigger reason why this is important. And you just said it in the framework perfectly.

So, I mean, that doesn’t mean we don’t talk about, how many videos there are or what the lessons and modules are, right? We still, we still bring that up, but do you follow that up with, you know, module one, how to get your equipment for your podcast so that you’ll sound better than everybody else in your space?

Like, is that so that like a good framework for bringing the benefit in?

Ray Edwards: So that is one of the things we actually teach in our copywriting course, because and not only gives the reason why you want to do the thing you’re talking about, it gives the benefit. So you, you definitely want to talk about the modules, the workbooks, all the assets you have, they’re going to help them. And you want to talk about the benefits and why they’re important. That’s all true. Very well said.

Pat Flynn: What I found is interesting when, when going through that exercise with some students, Ray is like, when we go, okay, well here you’ve shared the features of your course.

That’s great. But can you write the benefit of each particular module and lesson and why it should, why it exists? And it’s funny because almost every time there’s a couple lessons in there that they just don’t have a read, like there’s no benefit. And then I go, well, then why is this in the course? And they go, well, I don’t know.

Should we take it out? Yeah. Why is it like, yes.

Ray Edwards: If you have to ask the question when I was in the course, take it out for sure.

Pat Flynn: So that’s a, that’s a great exercise. I appreciate that. So that’s the offer. And then R is for what?

Ray Edwards: Request a response, ask them to buy in the real world of selling. The number one reason salespeople don’t get the sales because they don’t ask for it.

It’s the same thing online. If you’re selling a product or a coaching program or whatever. If you believe it’s really going to help people, you owe it to them to tell them with conviction why that’s true, what they’re going to get, and how they get it. You don’t have to be salesy or pushy, you just have to be direct and clear.

So click on the button, fill in the info, And you’ll be in the members area five minutes from now, ready to start your course or your training or whatever.

Pat Flynn: So when a person is maybe selling something for the first time, I know there are often a lot of icky feelings, right? The worry that you might upset your audience because you’re now monetizing them as we say, or it’s just, it feels slimy because you have to, you know, now there’s money involved and there are tactics that are great to use.

It’s like creating urgency and, you know, webinars and, you know, but it all sounds so, so slimy for people. How do we, in our mind, approach selling in a way that allows us to understand that this is actually a good thing? Like, it can be done in a, in a way with grace, but Still, with that ask, if you go through the entire P.A.S.T.O.R. framework, but you don’t request that sale or the call to action at the end is missing, then it’s all for nothing.

And this is the most important part of this to finish it off. Yeah, this is where we go. Okay, well, let’s just hope that they’ll click the button because I said everything else before this. How do you ask?

Ray Edwards: It has to come from a place of real belief on your part that you have an answer that will help the person who’s considering making the purchase.

And you know that it’ll help them. You more than likely have a money back guarantee, so you know they’re not risking anything. And being able to look into their eyes and say, look, I want to help you. I can help you. If it doesn’t work, I’ll give you your money back. So you have nothing to lose. Let’s go ahead and get started.

Let’s do this and make it work for you. And if you can say that and mean it, it may feel a bit uncomfortable, but when you begin seeing people’s lives transformed, I’m sure you can attest to this, Pat, when you start getting the feedback from people saying this changed my life, changed my business, helped my family have more time together, whatever the case may be for the transformation of that particular person, It really makes you understand what you’re doing is important and meaningful.

And you don’t have to be salesy to do that. You just have to believe. Zig Ziglar said that selling is really merely a transfer of enthusiasm. That doesn’t sound pushy to me.

Pat Flynn: That’s great. And you’re not the first person to come on to say that is this. I mean, Michael Hyatt has come on here. Chalene Johnson has come on and have each said similar things that when you know that what you have to offer is helpful the selling just becomes so much easier. That’s where I think a lot of the slimy feeling comes from is, is the lack of confidence in what you have to offer. And guess what? If you work a little bit upfront to get some results for people, that sliminess, that sense of, well, I don’t know if this is actually going to help people goes away almost instantly.

And I remember a time when I started selling the podcasting course, Power Up Podcasting, And I saw the results come in from people. That it was a weight lifted off my shoulder in terms of putting myself out there. I mean, I scheduled like six months worth of webinars right after that because I was like, let’s go.

This is working. So get to that point of clarification in your mind. And if you have to go out and get some results first, like, do that. It’s similar to, I think it was Ben Franklin who said, like, if you don’t have a good story to tell, like, go make the story happen. That’s probably not the exact quote, but I love this.

Ray, you’re simplifying a lot of things. of marketing and sales for us today. And the P.A.S.T.O.R. Framework is indeed the way that you would kind of craft a message on a sales page, is it not? Like it starts with the person and the problem and the, in the pain, and it goes through the rest of the, like, this is a sales page that we’ve built out essentially, right?

Ray Edwards: Yes, absolutely correct. And it can also be an email or a blog post, but in the simplest expression of why I created it. It was to help people write sales pages and take away. You can get very deep into the details. This there’s lots of nuance. There’s lots of expertise and things to learn, but for most of us, we’re trying to sell a product that solves one particular distinct problem.

This is an easy and simple way to write a persuasive, it’ll sell your product or service, and you can do it without feeling like you’re being a pushy salesperson.

Pat Flynn: Let’s progress into a conversation about AI. When ChatGPT came out a couple years ago, what were your initial thoughts as a copywriter on what this was going to do for the industry?

Ray Edwards: I’ve been through some cycles. I started with skepticism. Then I was, I had my oh crap moment. Where it was like, Oh, this is actually pretty good. And it’s gotten better. What, what I held to from the beginning and hold to even more closely today is first of all, it’s amazing. AI is amazing. It’s already enabled us to do amazing things that are beneficial to people, to organizations and to the planet.

I’ve personally benefited from it. As I said, said earlier about my surgery. That’s only going to get better. They’re, they’re doing research now with AI technologies that are going to help people use similar neural implants to the ones that I have that are helping people already to walk who were paralyzed with spinal cord injuries, help people to move their hands and fingers.

And they couldn’t do so before we can all see that and say, yeah, it’s a good thing when it comes to creators like videographers, photographers, copywriters, It’s, it can be a little unsettling. What I’ve discovered is, this is how I put it. It’s raised the floor on mediocrity. You can now be a mediocre copywriter faster and easier than ever before.

Because as the best AIs I’ve used, write pretty darn good copy, but if a human being who understands the nuances and the craft of copywriting, takes that copy and rewrites it, It’s almost always better than once the AI generated. And I believe that will continue to be the case. Now, maybe I’m wrong. If I am, we’ll have to adjust and move along, but I also write fiction as a hobby and I’ve used a bunch of different fiction writing AI tools and it’s the same thing.

I see there’s, there’s a certain level of mediocre writing you can attain. And I think we’re going to see is a lot of low effort, low quality or medium quality content generated over the next few years. And people can smell it. I mean, has your experience been that there’s there’s certain things you see people publish and you just think, Oh, that’s AI.

I recognize the way that’s phrased. It just feels like ChatGPT.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. I mean, absolutely. People are pretty perceptive of, of those kinds of things. And I remember it was the first episode of 2022, I believe Roberto Blake, great YouTuber came on the podcast and we were talking about this idea of saturation and he, he fired back with, well, is the market that seems saturated, saturated with amazing things with greatness. No, not at all.

Ray Edwards: I love that.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. I loved it too. I mean, that’s stuck with me for sure. And it pertains to the conversation now, because like you said, and I love the way you phrase it, there’s just like a plethora of pretty good stuff coming out now as a result of AI, but what makes something great are those little details and the human connections, and maybe AI one day could catch on and understand, but in current day, no. And this is why you can’t just use a tool like ChatGPT to have it write something for you, and then you can just copy and paste it. But, in your words, is it still a tool we should be using?

And then how do we go from a mediocre draft from a tool like this to greatness?

Ray Edwards: Yes, I believe we should be using it. I saw an interview with Seth Godin yesterday and he was saying everybody should use AI at least 15 minutes a day, every day. To understand what it’s really doing, what’s possible. And I use it every day.

We created our own copywriting AI trained on a body of my copy and templates and things like that. And I use it every day, but I don’t let it write the copy for me. I use it as a first draft tool. You can do this with any AI, you can use Chat GPT, you use Claude, Gemini, whatever you prefer to use. Use it as a first draft tool.

And the keys to me about for using it in the best way possible, it’s good for speeding up the process. If you get into great, what I call breakthrough copy. Mediocre copy is pretty easy to generate. With or without AI. Breakthrough copy, copy that makes people’s brains spin and makes them say, I’ve got to have this thing you’re selling me.

I must have it and just order it like crazy. Breakthrough copy takes creativity and the human inspiration that makes those things happen. So here’s how I use AI every day. Maybe that’s a more useful way of saying this. I’ll generate my first draft, and it starts with making the prompt better. If you write terrible, lazy prompts, you’re going to get terrible, lazy copy out of whatever AI you’re using.

If you write thoughtful, carefully constructed prompts, you’ll get results from AI that are thoughtful and carefully assembled. And then you take it and you begin to customize it, and what I do is after I get a good draft in AI, I put the AI draft on the left. I put a blank document on the right hand screen.

I began rewriting every word of it from scratch myself. It all passes through my keyboard or through my lips if I’m dictating. And then I’ve got something that I wrote myself. I let AI write my first draft, my vomit draft, if you will. And now I can work from that. And I’m looking for those breakthrough ideas.

Plus, there’s one other thing. That is, there are just moments of inspiration where you have these ideas and you realize AI could never come up with that idea like the book that I just published called Read This Or Die was originally entitled Your Beliefs Are Not Working. Your beliefs are not working. That doesn’t sound like a very exciting book title. It’s only through a lot of discussions with my collaborative writer that we came up with the Read This Or Die title and it was just one day in the conversation I was telling Jeff my co writer about My friend, Jim Rutz, who had written this thing, the headline was Read This Or Die.

And Jeff said, wait, that’s the title of your book. Now, AI is not going to do that. Those, the serendipitous convergence of thought moments that only human beings can have, but AI is a useful tool. I recommend using it with caution and ethically and not using it as a shortcut, just copy and paste. Not the least reason of which I’ve seen several well known people, lately using AI to post their social content. How do I know? Because they posted along with the post something like this. Why yes, Ray, that’s a great idea for a post. I’ll be happy to write that for you. And I recognize the language from Chad GPT or Claude. And they posted that right along with their content and social media because they weren’t paying attention.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, it’s not worth the risk to kind of pretend or, you know, it just takes a moment to kind of lose trust with people. And so I love how you have this exercise of still using ChatGPT but you still have the screen on the right hand side and you’re still writing, you’re still allowing for those moments of serendipity to come through and the collaborative efforts on top of that just multiply that opportunity.

And I think that’s really smart. As we finish up this conversation, Ray, you know, a lot of people in the audience don’t have either the chops and therefore are going to use some of these tools and the advice that you’ve offered if it had been has been really great, or they don’t have the time to do the copywriting themselves.

I know you have a solution on your end that you’d love to share in terms of if anybody in the audience is looking for some copywriting help. You have a number of different resources for people at different levels, but you just spend a moment to share where they can learn more and kind of discover what you have.

Ray Edwards: Sure. Thank you for that. I have a book. How to Write Copy that Sells. It’s probably the lowest barrier to entry way of getting more information about writing copy. We have a copywriting AI called ClarityScribe. So if you go to, you can check that out. There’s no credit card required. Just try it out.

We’ve built wizards in there for writing different pieces of copy you need, like sales pages, landing pages, social posts. First drafts, not copy and paste. Pay attention. Do what I was just telling you about. And then we have a membership where you can get to copy, writing AI, and training and other things.

It’s available at Those are just a few of the resources that we can help you. I mean, this is my thing. Somebody asked me yesterday, what do you do? I said, I teach people how to write the words that sell their products, services, and ideas. That’s what I do. And I love doing this.

So if nothing else, go to, I have plenty of free resources that I’d love to share. If you wrote back to me and said, I didn’t ever spend the time with you, but I made $100,000. That makes me happy too. So please do that.

Pat Flynn: This was an incredible workshop, honestly. Thank you so much for this.

And we’ll be sure to share it out with as many people because there’s so many amazing people in the audience who have these incredible things to share. And after today, they’ll have had now a better opportunity to do that. So thank you so much for that. I appreciate you and your time and congrats on everything and looking forward to the next mastermind call with you.

Ray Edwards: Thank you, my friend. Appreciate it.

Pat Flynn: All right. I hope you enjoyed that interview and workshop with Ray Edwards. The P.A.S.T.O.R. framework is amazing. We’ll have all the things on the show notes page, And be sure to check out Ray and

And you might stumble upon him on TikTok or Instagram. Find that video. It’s so inspirational. The one we talked about in the beginning, where he’s like, He stopped his shaking and walked through the doors and just surprised all the doctors. Just an incredible story and I’m so glad that the brain surgery went well so that we could have him on the show today and he can continue to help others and in his zone of genius of copy and the P.A.S.T.O.R. Framework.

I have it written right in front of me when I am working on sales pages and working on emails and such because it is so powerful. So great. Thank you so much for today. I appreciate you and thank you for listening in and we have more episodes coming your way and be sure not to miss them. In order to do that, just hit that subscribe button.

That’s it. Look forward to serving you in the next episode. Cheers. Have a good one.

Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!

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