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Write Copy that Compels and Sells

Lesson 6 of 10

Turning Customers into Fascinating Protagonists

Melissa Cassera

Write Copy that Compels and Sells

Melissa Cassera

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Lesson Info

6. Turning Customers into Fascinating Protagonists

Lesson Info

Turning Customers into Fascinating Protagonists

Now turning customers into fascinating protagonists in your copy. So I want you to think about your favorite characters on TV, movies, novels, and what makes them so interesting, right? What makes those favorite characters of yours, like you can't look away? And then what I want you to do is start to create your customer character sketch. So, instead of thinking of your customers as just a customer, think of them as a character in a story, and start to paint them as an exciting character because they'll appreciate it, and also it'll make your copy so much better. First, what does your customer desire? And the more they want it, the more compelling the drama. So again, this is an easy question you can ask people. But it's also a question that you can start to observe. 'Cause sometimes if you ask your clients what they want, they'll tell you a watered filtered version, and they won't actu, 'cause they're scared to say what they really desire, but you'll get that if you spy on them somewh...

ere, and that sounds super creepy, but I don't mean it to be. (gentle laughter) So what I mean is, go places that they're hanging out and having unfiltered conversations. Lots of times that happens online. Like they're hanging out in Facebook groups, or LinkedIn groups or whatever, and they're just all talking amongst themselves. And then they start to talk about that, in an unfiltered way. So do both. Both have conversations with your customers and also spy on them a bit, in a non-creepy way. Also, what is their secret? So what does your customer not want anyone else to know? We all have secrets. When I create characters for movies and television, this is one thing I always have to do before I actually even write the script. I have to come up with character sketches like this and that's one thing I have to create, is what is their secret? What do they not want anybody else to know? 'Cause that drives them. That secret drives them. Right? Something that they're holding inside, and they just don't want to ever get out, is what informs all of their decisions and behaviors. So understand what your client's secret it. Also, what's a contraction that your customer has? Or, contradiction, I'm sorry. Something they do/feel/say that doesn't quite fit. So, it could be something like they are a super, they say they are an introvert, let's say. This is a contradiction that I have. So, I'm an introvert, right? I really like my time in my bed with my dogs, (laughs) and I don't much like social settings, but, I love standing up and talking in front of people, and I love having one on one interactions, or like one on three interactions is cool too. But if I'm at a party, I'm like all freaked out. That's a contradiction because every time I tell people I'm an introvert, they're like "No you're not." (laughs) "You are not." Right? But it's a contradiction. Right? It's just a way of being. So that's something to know about your clients. And then where/when do they feel most vulnerable in relation to their desire? I would say most of the time for our clients, it's that they don't actually believe they can attain whatever they desire, right? They're just, they don't believe that that's ever gonna be a possibility, so that's a good one to know, but it could be something else. It could be, that they, I have some clients that are in this space, where actually, they know they can attain it, but they're scared that it might change too many things in their life if they do. So, just understand whatever that is, because that's gonna come in to all of your copy. It's something you can easily work in. Here's an example of desire. Olivia dreamed of being a photographer since she was old enough to hold a camera. Now trapped in corporate hell for 50 hours a week, she's desperate to start over and finally chase her dream of becoming a professional photographer. She's a total Type-A, driven, take-no-prisoners gal and knows she can thrive as an entrepreneur. Now, her secret. If Olivia's being honest, she doesn't think her family will support her photography dream. Her partner believes you should earn your paycheck until retirement. The weekends are 'their time,' and working in photography means she will be away weekends shooting weddings and other events, and she's afraid of her relationship will implode if she chases her dream. So her contradiction. Olivia appears bold and confident at work, like she can accomplish anything, but then she's also extremely indecisive, and constantly second guessing her issue, or constantly second guessing her decisions, particularly if she's stressed out. And then vulnerability. She feels most vulnerable when her career, or her professional life is in jeopardy, because she derives all of her worth from her career. So she's terrified that if she starts her own business, it might fail, and because all of her worth is from her professional life, then who would she be if this doesn't work out? So it's just an example, this is a fictional Olivia, but this is just an example of how you could write a character sketch, right? You could simply just write it out in that way, then you have all this beautiful information to inform your copy. Alright, let's talk about deepening the characterization of your customer, because it makes your copy more dimensional and exciting.

Class Description

For some business people, if they write a piece of copy that sounds decent and doesn’t have any grammatical errors, they’re happy. But lazy, serviceable writing isn’t going to help sell your product or service.

Marketing consultant and screenwriter Melissa Cassera will show you how to use storytelling techniques and professional TV writing structures to create copy that captivates your reader and compels them to buy. Before long, your clients and customers will be consuming your copy like it’s the latest episode of “Game of Thrones.”

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Turn your clients or customers’ pain points into compelling crises that they’re dying for you to solve.
  • Determine what stories you should tell.
  • Write copy that captures your personality.
  • Understand your clients or customers’ motivation and what drives their decisions.
  • Turn your readers into fascinating protagonists in your copy.
  • Come up with loglines for your offers that immediately draw people in.
  • Create a world in your copy that people want to be a part of.
  • Develop an exciting story arc that guarantees people will read to the end.



I thought this course was pretty great. Melissa packed a lot of value into a short class. I took notes and brainstormed on a lot of the exercises and strategies she recommends while watching (pausing as needed) and finished the class with a document full of good ideas and first-draft copy. It is a short class, so if you're looking for something that really gets into the nitty gritty of how to write, this probably won't be enough for you. But if you're just a bit stuck on how to tell your story in a compelling way, or need to inject some excitement into your copy, I'd recommend it.


This was a great course for giving starting points and methods to make your copy more engaging. It doesn't tell you what to write or is not overly specific, but then what course could cover that for everyone. It does set you up with ways to write and include storytelling techniques that will help make customers read your copy, and hopefully,​ take the action you want.

Mariya Haberberger

This was super helpful!