Why Copying Your Mentor Is a Bad (And Business-Killing) Move

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I recently got a comment on one of my ads about the words I tell people NOT to use in my 112 Words To Avoid In Your Copy freebie. She was basically asking WHY she couldn’t use these words, especially since she was talking about self-care and meditation. This is a GREAT question. What is the point of not using a word that accurately describes exactly what you are talking about?

The first thing you need to know is that people only buy when they feel clear and they never buy when they are confused.

This isn’t just about words but also about the energy of a buy.

If someone is unsure of what they are buying and if it will help them, they’ll often skip it.

If someone is unsure of the person SELLING the offer, they will typically skip it too.

What ultimately makes people confused when they are buying something? Well, there are a lot of factors that contribute to a confused buyer. Today I want to talk about the words used to sell the offer.

Let’s put ourselves in the buyer’s position for a moment. I’ll go first:

I’m a potential customer and I’m in the midst of FEELING THINGS. I’m hoping someone somewhere can help me feel different than what I am feeling right now so I go look for someone to help me.

I land on a site. YAY! Maybe this person can help me. My next step is to read and figure out if this solution will be a good fit for me.

That’s where the problem comes in because when I see words like “happiness” or “self-fulfillment” or “fully expressed” I feel absolutely NOTHING. The words don’t feel like anything. They are just words.

Why? Because these are what I call “democratic” words.  These are words that EVERYONE uses to describe things. They are so wildly used that the words no longer mean much to anyone...so much so that when that word comes up in copy, you just ignore it. You don’t even perceive and it has no meaning for you. You understand what it is but it means absolutely NOTHING to you. This is HUGE because if you have a LOT of words that people don’t even see, they won’t buy it because they don’t understand what you are offering.

The worst offender is “happiness.” Happiness is used SO often that it doesn’t actually mean much. It’s an abstract concept that people understand and have full awareness of but have no actual feelings about. That’s where things get confusing for your potential customer. They think “okay, so this product is about self-care but what kind of self-care? Do I need self-care? I’m too busy! I don’t have time to sit around and take bubble baths all day.”

This will also screw up the quality of your list. You’ll have people who understand enough of what you do to enjoy your content but not enough to actually make the jump and buy. Your content exists in the middle.

You also might resist what I’m talking about because your mentor uses these words all the time. It’s a good chance your mentor has been around for a long time and has the benefit of social proof and legacy. Business often works like this:

There are always “industry leaders” at the top who have been around for a while and are really connected. These folks can do whatever they want.

Then there is EVERYONE else in a fishbowl trying to stand and be seen in a crowded market. When you use those democratic words, you make it impossible for someone to choose YOU over someone else. It’s all the same.

This is why the 112 Words To Avoid In Your Copy freebie exists. It’s a list full of words that mean nothing to your potential customers and as a result, do NOTHING for helping you sell or promote your offers.

How frustrating would it be to spend so much time and effort creating copy and writing social media posts only to find out that your audience “gets” it but doesn’t feel it?

What do you do instead? Are there alternative words and phrases you can use? Nope. You have to tell stories. In Money Words Monthly, I’m always pushing stories and scenarios instead of just words for selling and promoting your offers. When you tell a story, your potential client can read it and then FEEL IT AND IDENTIFY WITH IT vs trying to guess at what you could mean or what the results will actually be in their day-to-day life.

Here’s an example:

Learn how to use self-care in your day-to-day life and feel better


You feel like you are either super active and getting shit done or you feel like you can’t even get out of bed because you are so exhausted and can’t deal with facing another day. Why? Your body is screaming at you girl! It’s saying “yo, I need a break. I can’t keep going like this.” I’m sure you’ve ignored your body. You don’t have TIME for a break. Who else is going to do it all? I’ll teach you how you can keep being a BOSS and getting shit done AND give your body what it needs so you don’t find yourself with a crazy sinus infection or hardcore exhaustion and not be able to work AT ALL.

See how you can see and FEEL the copy in the second version but the first version you understand but it doesn’t really inspire much action? That’s why you can’t use democratic words. It just makes it WAY harder to make the sale.

If you haven’t yet, download the 112 Words To Avoid In Your Copy see which words you should avoid and get some tips about what to do instead.

Yes! This is the extended version of the guide! A few years ago I had a 56 Words To Avoid list and now I have 112 Words! Wee! You can grab it here.

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Shenee Howard