On episode #182 of The Author Factor Podcast I am having a conversation with direct marketing copywriter and author, Roy Furr.
Roy is a consultant and copywriter for direct marketing entrepreneurs, primarily in the financial and business success industries.
He has created several seven-figure-plus campaigns, has made millions of dollars for his clients, and his client list reads like a “Who’s Who” of these niches.
Roy has published two books, including the book we focus on in this interview, The Ultimate Selling Story.
Learn more about Roy by visiting BreakThroughMarketingSecrets.com.
For more details about our short, helpful book publishing program, visit BiteSizedBooks.com.
Mike Capuzzi [00:00:00]:
Welcome to another profitable episode of The Author Factor Podcast. I'm Mike Capuzzi, and I want to thank you for joining us. My guest today is Roy Furr. Roy is a consultant and copywriter for direct marketing entrepreneurs, primarily in the financial and business success industries. He has created several seven figure plus campaigns, has made millions of dollars for his clients, and his client list reads like a who's who of these niches. Roy has published two books, including The Ultimate Selling Story. Roy, welcome.
Roy Furr [00:00:35]:
Thanks, Mike. I'm so happy to be here. We go back a while, and really, I appreciate being here.
Mike Capuzzi [00:00:41]:
Do you know if you google Mike Capuzzi and Roy Furr you will see the interview you did with me. I'm thinking it was like 2010, 2011.
Roy Furr [00:00:49]:
That's about right.
Mike Capuzzi [00:00:50]:
Well over a decade ago for CopyDoodles. Yeah, it still pops up there. I still see it. Yeah, it's been a while. So, Roy, in case our listeners don't know who you are, why don't you give a brief background of what you do? I gave a high level overview what you do, who you serve, and how you serve them.
Roy Furr [00:01:08]:
Okay. So these days, most of my work is at a strategic level with businesses as a fractional CMO. I have a background going back to 2005, doing on the ground marketing work and going back to 2010 with many of the top direct response marketers in the world. A lot of what I have done has been creating digital marketing campaigns and funnels just that that are that live and die based on profits generated. Right. And in 2014, I finally said, okay, I have some good experience. I can start teaching. And so now through my Breakthrough Marketing Secrets podcast and additional training and books, I am teaching people both how to do what I do from the copywriting business side as well as from the direct response marketing side.
Mike Capuzzi [00:02:01]:
Yeah, again, I forgot to mention, I was a guest on your podcast, and it's a great podcast. I've gone through some of your past episodes in addition to my own, and you've got some great interviews and conversations there. So I highly recommend just real quick.
Roy Furr [00:02:18]:
What’s the URL for the podcast breakthroughmarketingscrets.com? Very good.
Mike Capuzzi [00:02:25]:
We'll put that in the show notes too. So, Roy, as I mentioned, you've published two books, and I know I wanted to focus more on the storytelling one. But if you don't mind, first of all, describe the two books that you've published so far.
Roy Furr [00:02:40]:
All right, we'll start with the first book, and then we'll spend the rest of the interview talking about the ultimate selling story. So this book is called The Copywriters Guide to Getting Paid. And I published this in 2014. And at the time, there's so much great information out there about the craft of copywriting, but there wasn't a lot of great books or content focused explicitly on the business of copywriting. And so I wrote this for copywriters it's a shook. It's fairly short. It's very focused. Right. But it's focused on helping copywriters launch and run successful businesses and earn great money as a copywriter. And then the ultimate selling story. Well, stories are like the most universal communication tool that we have. They go back to before we had written language. People were telling stories. All of our religions are based on stories. Right? And they're also really effective in marketing and advertising. And so in addition to having a story selling master class, which is a much more expensive way to learn from me about stories, I decided to put together this book called The Ultimate Selling Story. And the subtitle is kind of long cut through the marketing clutter, forge a powerful bond with your market and set up the sale using the hero's journey of story selling. And I wrote it just to share some of the core lessons that will make you more effective as a story seller.
Mike Capuzzi [00:04:14]:
And I know the answer to this question, but I'm going to ask it anyway. Is what you share in your book and your bigger course and all the stuff that you do beyond the book? Is it applicable, Roy, to any type of business owner? Is there a certain type of business owner, entrepreneur, corporate leader that could not benefit from it?
Roy Furr [00:04:33]:
So I mike to focus on principles. I like to get Mike way down deep underneath Mike, what's the foundation? Because any good building is built on a strong foundation, right? So I focus on the deep down principles across everything I do, including story selling, behind what's actually going to work. And the cool thing about principles is you can take them and really it's principles and strategy. You can take from market to market, industry to industry, business to business, and use the same principles and strategy with slightly modified techniques and tactics, right? Techniques and tactics are all the superficial stuff that look very unique based on the industry. So like some schlocky sales letter or something from Mike classic direct mail, that technique and tactic is going to look very different than something that may show up online, maybe well designed, well branded, et cetera. But for example, the principle and strategy of having a call to action applies in both places if you want to actually generate response. And with story selling, it's the exact same way. When you focus on the principles and strategy first, then you say, what techniques and tactics can I use to apply this in the context of what I do?
Mike Capuzzi [00:05:54]:
So the answer is it can apply to everything.
Roy Furr [00:05:57]:
Mike Capuzzi [00:05:59]:
So I'd love for you to share a couple of tips from the book because we want to encourage our listeners to go grab a copy. And I love the fact I think it's under 100 pages, right, if I recall.
Roy Furr [00:06:09]:
Yeah, I think it's 84, actually. 74.
Mike Capuzzi [00:06:13]:
It's a short book. Short, helpful book. And I love the fact, because again, you don't have to get weighed bogged down in all this stuff. If you want more, you can go to your course, et cetera. But if you would, Roy, share a couple of quick useful tips that will entice some of our listeners or all of our listeners to get your book.
Roy Furr [00:06:32]:
Yes, absolutely. So the first thing is storytelling versus story selling. Okay? So there are a ton of great resources about how to tell great stories, right, from like a Hollywood perspective, learning the hero's journey, Joseph Campbell Power of Myth, like all of this cool stuff about learning to tell good stories and it's all really interesting and good and it will make you a better writer and storyteller. But storytelling, the job is to entertain, right? You are successful with storytelling if you entertain. You are successful with story selling if you actually inspire someone to take whatever action you've designated, right? And so it is a slightly different focus. And that's why I say the hero's journey of story selling, not the hero's journey, right? The hero's journey of storytelling is a little bit different. In fact, that's lesson number two, my Pisa formula. And we'll go through really quickly here. And this is a story, a structure that you can use, a framework you can use for telling stories both from your perspective or talking about a customer's experience. And it is what I consider to be the hero's journey, the most broadly applicable structure of story selling. So Pisa P-A-I-S-A-P stands for problem. You tell the story in a way where it makes it clear that you understand the problem or the symptoms of the problem. So, like, I was trying to figure out how to make money in the real estate industry or whatever it is, right? A is agitation. So there is an emotional agitation associated with having a problem that you can't solve it. And in fact, if a problem is not agitating enough, you're not going to try and solve it, right? So from the storytelling perspective, the protagonist who represents the customer, but it's not A, you like, you're not telling the customer, you're giving them an avatar for their own experience, right? You are expressing the agitation that makes you seek out a solution to the problem, right? The emotional agitate, the experience of having this problem unsolved. I stands for invalidation. This is where you go through that shopping experience and you realize this solution doesn't work, this solution doesn't work, this solution doesn't work, this solution doesn't work. And when you do this well, you're creating buying criteria that supports them actually purchasing your product or service. You're also doing the competitive differentiation. You're establishing what makes your offer unique because you're saying, oh, this didn't work, this didn't work, this didn't work. Right? So we have problem, agitation, invalidation. And then solution. Here's where we define the ideal criteria. You turn it around. If all those other solutions didn't work. Here's what does, right? And so you lay out the criteria for what makes a good solution and then A stands for action or ask for action, the action that you take. And if you're telling the story, it's, I created this product and it got this result, or from the customer's perspective, they purchased this product and got this result, right? And then that's going to naturally transition to and if you want that result, you need to purchase the product too. So lesson one was story selling versus storytelling. Lesson two is Pisa. And lesson three is the three pillars of highly effective story selling. And the first pillar is the story. Like, story selling, of course, involves a story that you tell, right, in order to sell. But that's not enough. Pillar number two is your character, your attractive character. Your story should convey something about you that makes the prospect align with you, that makes the prospect know I can trust you. Right. Your story and the way that you tell it reinforces who you are, your character. And the story three is selling. Remember, this is story selling, not storytelling. So we are going to use stories in the appropriate context to support our sales argument and to get people to take that desired action at the end.
Mike Capuzzi [00:10:37]:
Roy Furr [00:10:37]:
And I'll take a deep breath now.
Mike Capuzzi [00:10:39]:
You can breathe now. I love it. So can I ask you you don't know I'm going to ask you this question, but it came to me as you're describing your system there and your way of doing things because I just had this conversation with one of my clients in the last week. He has lots of good stories, his own stories, client stories. But there are some points that we want to highlight with what he does that there's no client testimonial, there's no client story that he can specifically point to. And it's not really relate to his own past, but we want to use it as an example. So like our mutual mentor Dan Kennedy, the Burning House story, remember that story where he was working and yes, the annoying past welcome guest thing, right? Is it a good idea or is it okay for people to craft I don't use the word embellish, but to create fables or stories that aren't truthful. Not truthful even. Maybe they're not I don't even know what the right word is. It's not a specific example, but you're using it. You know what I'm saying?
Roy Furr [00:11:43]:
This absolutely falls under advertising license. And so there is a long history, like if you look at most Madison Avenue advertising, the people that you see in the commercials are not that's, right? Yeah. What I like to think of is I want the story number one to be representative. Right. So even if it is a fictionalized telling of the experience, I want it to be representative of and based in facts. Like they may be pulled together facts from three different places. Right. Now, by the way, consult your compliance lawyer for what's relevant in your industry, because some industries are very specific about that. We're not going to get into that beyond that disclaimer. But I want it to be relevant. I want it to be representative, and I want it to be truthful. I want it to not mislead. Right. So I don't want it to create some kind of false impression by making up this story. I want it to create an impression of what the product or service the offer is actually able to do. And I think when you do that, you can approach it from a parable perspective. I've written promos where it was parables. I've written promos where it was these kind of fictionalized stories, but it's always meant to convey the actual experience of the customer.
Mike Capuzzi [00:13:11]:
Right. And again, I'm almost 100% positive with Kennedy's famous Houses on Fire story that was a parable. But he told it because he wanted to represent it in a story way, but a very important idea concept that's best shared via a story.
Roy Furr [00:13:28]:
Yeah, I've heard him explicitly say that most of the stories in that magnetic marketing speech were made up or they were embellished. Yeah, I mean, that one like the bush was smoking and it took two minutes.
Mike Capuzzi [00:13:45]:
You're right about that, by the way.
Roy Furr [00:13:47]:
Mike Capuzzi [00:13:47]:
All right, well, that's good. Now I can sleep better knowing that we made the same assumption, but sometimes it's one of those depending on how you approach marketing, it just makes you pause, and like you said, you want to be authentic, integrity and all that. All right, so let's go back to the ultimate selling story book. And I know it's a couple of years old. Are you still using it, Roy, in your business?
Roy Furr [00:14:11]:
I am actively using it in my business, and it does drive interest. One of the things that I talked about with you previously was you want an intention for the book. Right. And so I use this to get interest in my storytelling teaching as well as interest in the storytelling master class, which is part of a paid subscription that I offer. And so every sale of this does drive interest towards those additional items. And I built it so you can opt in and get more information without buying from me. And I built it so that you can go ahead and sign up for the subscription and check out the training. I am still using it in my business. I'm still promoting it actively. Yeah.
Mike Capuzzi [00:15:04]:
You've written two books now, guy like you, with a lot, you're a smart guy. I've always respected that about you. You've well connected. Are there more books just out of curiosity, are there more books in your future?
Roy Furr [00:15:17]:
Yeah. Usually the most difficult thing is deciding which one is going to be.
Mike Capuzzi [00:15:24]:
Roy Furr [00:15:24]:
Most strategic going forward. And actually, I had one kind of in the works, but I didn't have an intentional plan for it. Now I've had a little shift in perspective on it and I think it may be coming sooner rather than later.
Mike Capuzzi [00:15:38]:
Really? Well, that's good.
Roy Furr [00:15:40]:
Mike Capuzzi [00:15:41]:
I have a document on my computer where it has like, the next five books. I have ideas. Matter of fact, I just opened it yesterday because over the weekend I had some more ideas like, oh, no, it's going to call this.
Roy Furr [00:15:51]:
Well, I'm jealous that you only have five.
Mike Capuzzi [00:15:54]:
Yeah, well, trust me, I dial it in here because as quick as I can crank them out, it still takes a lot of effort. And with that engineer brain of mine, I learned a word recently- pettifog. I pettifog over details, but I do have some just like yourself. I've got some ideas coming. So, Roy, tell me, if you do that 3rd, 4th, 5th book in the future, what is something you've learned from the first two? Whether it's the writing process, the publishing process, the marketing process, something you'd want to warn our listeners about, that you're not going to make that mistake or you're not going to encounter that speed bump again with your future books.
Roy Furr [00:16:42]:
I think this is also my biggest hesitation to start, because it is not easy, and I put easy in big ol air quotes, right? It's not easy, but it's worth it. It is a process to get the words on the page, and I even tried to go mike the easiest possible route and recorded myself speaking, and that helps. Today you can use chat GPT to get words on the page, but you need to expect, if you really want to accurately represent what you want to say, expect that there's going to be some iteration, some editing process, right? And embrace that process. You can do it. You could spend 30 minutes a day, an hour a day, and you can get it done pretty quickly. But expect that the writing process and having it be representative of what you want to say is not necessarily easy. Again, I'll put that in air quotes. It's not emotionally easy. I think it's the big thing. But it's absolutely worth it. Number one, because it can be such an effective tool for promoting yourself, promoting your business. Number two, because it's a great audience builder, because it's so easy for people to pick up a book that they are. It's just great for getting the attention of your target audience if you have a well titled book, right? And then let's say number three, because people who buy books tend to buy more. And so it's a great distinguishing offer to get people attracted into your business that are likely to be purchasers in the future.
Mike Capuzzi [00:18:33]:
So, Roy, both of your books, I know the story selling one is shorter. Is the copywriting book a short book also?
Roy Furr [00:18:40]:
It is absolutely.
Mike Capuzzi [00:18:41]:
Okay. So was that intentional on your part to craft a shorter book versus the traditional 2300 page business book.
Roy Furr [00:18:49]:
It was I chose to write the short books. There's certainly value to the long books. There's value to the short books as well. I chose it, number one, because I knew with my ADHD it would get it out quicker, but number two, because I wanted to just focus very condensed, valuable information, answer some of the core questions. I started the copywriter's guide to getting paid for sure. Wanted to answer some of the core questions about being successful as a copywriter. And I didn't need to fluff it or pad it or whatever. I just wanted to create that core content. And in part, I guess, because I used it for my intention was to use it for lead generation and customer generation. I would rather have somebody consume it and want more than just have a book that's unfinished sitting on the shelf. I made the conscious decision to do these books as short books. I might write longer books in the future, but these I chose for them to be short.
Mike Capuzzi [00:19:53]:
Your storytelling book is something that I think everybody listening to. This should get it not only because it's short and quick and it's useful, it's very relevant, but the promises of it being, hey, I can read this in an hour and really start applying it to my business. I just think that's a huge promise. So nice job with that. Absolutely.
Roy Furr [00:20:15]:
Yeah. I will say with the short books, one of the challenges that you're guaranteed to run into is there is a very small percentage of readers who are going to judge you based on the size of the book, not based on the quality of the content. And I've had, for example, my copywriting book, one person's review is, oh, this is super short. So it's terrible in, like, one star review. And somebody else said, I just use one lesson out of this to get two projects worth $15,000 in revenue. I can't believe he doesn't charge way more for this book. Yeah. So there's the downside and upside to the short books, but I like the upside.
Mike Capuzzi [00:20:56]:
Well, and you know who you're serving and you know the quality of the content. So it doesn't really matter because there's always going to be idiots out there, regardless if it's a long book, short book, black book, red book, it doesn't matter. So I get it. Trust me.
Roy Furr [00:21:09]:
Mike Capuzzi [00:21:10]:
So, Roy, as we get ready to wrap up here, I'd love to hear from your own words what it has meant to Roy Fur to be a published book author. Describe the impact either to yourself, your own being, the people you serve. I'd love to hear that.
Roy Furr [00:21:30]:
Mike Capuzzi [00:21:31]:
Roy Furr [00:21:36]:
The way that I think of this is basically I'm creating devoted fans. The value that I'm giving to people in these tiny little books, the value that I'm giving to them is something that sticks with them. And we can all remember all the authors that if we're probed a little bit, oh, what authors were influential to you about this subject? We remember who those authors are. We remember the impact that the had, and we're often very open to getting more from them in the future. And so, on one level, there's just the emotional gratification of somebody read my book and got that $15,000 worth of projects, or somebody read my book, and suddenly their story selling copy is so much better and is generating more conversions, bringing more clients and customers in through the door. Right. And on another level, I'm creating customers who want to continue doing business with me well into the future. And between those two things, it works out pretty well, and I really appreciate it.
Mike Capuzzi [00:22:44]:
Awesome. And I couldn't agree with you more. So, Roy, how can our listeners learn more about you? How can they learn more about your books? Where's the best places to find all that information out?
Roy Furr [00:22:55]:
Yeah, so, we already mentioned the Breakthrough Marketing Secrets podcast, which is at breakthroughmarketingsecrets.com and if you want to check out The Ultimate Selling Story, the URL to go straight to actually, the Amazon page is UltimateSellingStory.com. That'll redirect you to Amazon, which is currently exclusively the place to get the book.
Mike Capuzzi [00:23:19]:
Great. Good. Well, Roy, it was great. I again appreciate being on your podcast. I appreciate that first conversation we had over a decade ago. So thank you very much.
Roy Furr [00:23:29]:
Thank you so much, Mike. I'm happy to be here, happy to speak with your people.