Case study: working with Simon Chaplin – Christopher John Payne

Case study: working with Simon Chaplin

Simon Chaplin & Chris Payne close up 200Simon Chaplin is a very successful accountant based in Peterborough who helps small business owners take their companies to the next level through his advanced mentoring group which meets for a full day every month except August.

I have helped him with a number of projects.

One time he asked me to rewrite the online sales letter for a one-day Bravest Business event.

I started by interviewing him over the phone to get his ‘rags to riches’ story. This took nearly an hour. I recorded the call and took plenty of notes and created a structure I was happy with, pulling out the most dramatic and interesting elements which I elicited by asking pertinent questions.

Simon and I working together in my home

Simon and I working together in my home

I asked him for a list of happy clients and rang 5 of them. I interviewed each for up to an hour, and again recorded the calls and took copious notes. It wasn’t easy getting the stories I wanted, but his clients were very patient with me.

I then put the sales letter together using a WordPress theme called OptimizePress which I really like using.

Here’s the headline. You can see that the pre-headline in blue tells the reader who is the target audience so he/she can say “This is about me!”. The headline clearly explains a dilemma the reader is likely facing – so busy that they feel chained to their desks – and teases that there are 7 steps to turning their business around. That’s intriguing! It also promises a guarantee: Simon is willing to put his money where his mouth is.

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After a brief “Hello” I ask two pertinent questions that the target audience is likely to reply ‘yes’ to. I tell them that they are not alone.

I chose a bright happy photo of Simon and added a friendly “This is me, Simon” as a caption: here is someone the reader can trust. I wrote about Simon’s initial cockiness…

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I add some drama…

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Notice below the way I write “88 hours.” and then repeat this for emphasis. I follow with a one-word paragraph and then a three-word paragraph to add further impact – and to break up the copy so it’s easy to read and digest…

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Here’s a little later in the copy where I talk about the complete transformation, and some simple statistics. I also added his firm’s very attractive logo and a caption with simple words which convey a message which will be attractive to the reader…

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Further into the letter I added in a number of testimonials with photos which I think make a big difference to prove that these words are from a real person that a reader can believe and even research online if they wish. I pulled out a dramatic headline. These three paragraphs are the core essence of the almost hour-long call I had with Julie…

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Mark LeeThe sales letter was a great success for Simon and helped him fill three one-day events. I went to one of them as I was interested to see Simon present. I sat down next to a really lovely guy called Mark Lee (pictured right) who turned out to be a consultant who works with accountants.

I asked him why he was attending. He replied, “One reason is that I wanted to come and find out who wrote the sales letter for this event because it’s excellent!” I told him that I had written the letter and his eyes nearly popped out of his head! We had a terrific conversation after that, and that eventually led to him coming in working with me. See here.


Chris Payne helps clients design winning products, designs sales funnels, rewrites all sales copy, provides webinar critiques, designs high-end mastermind programs, and more.