When you’re ready to get out there in a BIG way…

Are you still running your marketing on training wheels when your business has evolved with the speed of a Harley?

Has your marketing become as comfortable as your favorite old pair of jeans –  but you’re ready for something that shows off the style you have today?

Do the words “website makeover” seem about as appealing as a middle airplane seat on a flight to Australia (and the last time this happened you vowed never to do it again)?

Do your brand and value proposition seem awesome …and you’re having trouble translating them into actionble marketing campaigns that deliver results?

Does your big marketing project – a sales letter, program launch or 7-step signature system – feel like an albatross you’re carrying around on your “To Do” list (and you’d love to make it fly away tomorrow)? 

You’re not alone …  and you’re in the right place. 

[Read more...]

Professional services marketing: Getting Up Close And Not Too Personal

As a long-time admirer of Robert Cialdini, I was delighted to come across more reports of his research.

In particular, the study compared response rates to letters with and without hand-written sticky notes. Sticky notes increased response rates but wasn’t clear on why it worked. A blank sticky might actually hurt response because it looks like a mistake.

On line marketers have been trying to get up close and personal, too. We’re seeking the online equivalent with “doodles,” graphics designed to look like handwriting. The idea is to personalize a potentially cold medium.

When you’re marketing yourself as a professional service, you need to promote your personal side. Your clients want to know there’s a person. And when someone’s done something special, you might feel impelled to respond with a personal note to communicate your appreciation of specialness. 

But getting personal can become meaningless on the one hand or intrusive on the other. 

Meaningless: If everybody does the same thing,  recipients will recognize it’s a ploy to grab attention. When I get personal note from someone I met at a networking event, I know exactly what they’re doing. For all I know, they’ve hired assistants to imitate their handwriting.

But sticky notes are 100 times better than those printed cards designed to mimic handwriting.  Every year, I get a few holiday cards that obviously came from that company. I can’t see how that’s more personal than an email.

Intrusive: Sometimes you’re advised to pick up the phone and call people. If you don’t know them, you might not be perceived as personal and friendly. You might be seen as intrusive. It’s usually better to set up a call via email: “I’ll call you at 2 PM Tuesday, if that’s okay,” and send a reminder.

It’s hard to believe, but some of us remember when a long distance call cost more than a local call. At one time the cost was so great, people held off making those calls! Holiday phone calls were a very big deal.

Today it’s easy to pick up the phone to call New Mexico … or New Guinea, if you’ve got Skype. As a result, some people don’t realize they’re talking to another time zone. Calling at 3:30 seems reasonable … unless you happen to be in Los Angeles and you’re calling me in Philadelphia. At 6:30 I’m thinking about dinner or my 7:30 zumba class. 

Phone calls are always an interruption. Recently I was trying to record a video and forgot to shut off my phone. Suddenly I heard a familiar musical tone and the rest was history.

On the other hand, I’ve had some wonderful experiences with people who called me out of the blue to set up a joint venture or a client relationship. Those people were courteous, friendly and purposeful. They had done their homework and knew exactly what they wanted. They introduced themselves immediately instead of beginning with, “Hi, is this Cathy? How are you today?”

Of course I’m known as something of a Scrooge and a Grinch. So your take might be different. Please add a note to the comment section.

And let’s hope somebody doesn’t get the bright idea to preprint the sticky notes! We need something personal. 

 

5 Surprising Ways To Make Copywriting (And Any Form of Content Creation) Faster, Easier and More Fun

copyisfunReaders and clients often ask me, “I have to do SO much writing for my business.  How come the professionals – the copywriters and the other professional writers – make it seem easy?”

Not surprisingly, many of my clients dread sitting down with a blank sheet of paper.

I used to do the same. Here are some ways you can turn your next content marketing challenge into a fun project.

(1) Write a lot. Most service business owners spend their days working with clients. [Read more...]

You know your niche is great – but do they know you are too?

When creating websites, sales letters and products, we tend to focus on what prospects want. You might be advised to discover your niche – the slice of the market you want to claim as your own.missingpiecewhitebkgd

There’s another piece to the strategy puzzle. Will your niche recognize you as the best possible person to provide the service?

Recently a client “Tom” said, “I’ve got a great niche. I know what they want. I can help them. But my website isn’t doing anything to reach them.”

Tom is a financial planner. His website promotes him as a wealth management expert – a cookie cutter, me-too promise. [Read more...]

Infographics rule!

Take a look at this awesome graphic from Jeanette Cates …

[Read more...]

Website Marketing For The Twenty-Teens

teenWe’re in the teen years of the 21st century. Just like teens in the human world, they’re chaotic and changeable! They can be noisy, overwhelming, filled with surprises and even annoying. Hey, they move to a different beat! 

Here’s a video to see if your website is ready. 

5 Ways To Make Your About Page More Awesome

awesomeaboutpageWhy are most “About Pages” totally lacking in awesomeness?

Probably because we hate to write about ourselves. Even copywriters cringe at the idea.

The truth is, when you sound confident – even overconfident – people like you more. That’s what the research says, even though it goes against what most of us were brought up to believe.

So here are 5 ways to stand out and make your About Page more awesome. 

(1) Don’t force yourself go to deep and personal. 

Some people share very personal stories on their websites. But if hat’s not who you are, don’t force it. Many successful business owners write something about their years of experience and successes, with maybe just one phrase about family and dogs. [Read more...]

JV Invitations That Get To “YES”

YesIf you’ve got a service business, you probably want more than clients. Most of us want JV partners, referral partners and just good colleagues available to brainstorm or suggest resources. These connections expand your network, help you generate leads and contribute to a bigger online presence, So we want to initiate relationships. 

The problem is, where to begin?   [Read more...]

5 Reasons Why You Need A Signature Product

laptopgrowthYour prospect says: “OK, I’m intrigued by your message! You’ve got a lot of products and programs. Which one should I buy?”

So … what do you answer?

But the question is: Do you have one?

Your signature product usually will be a digital download in the range of $97 to $697 but might be as high as $997. You offer your signature product to prospective clients, who often will follow up with requests to work with you in person. Regardless, they get a clearer sense of who you are and they have taken steps to address their challenges. [Read more...]

The Case of The Color Blind Marketer

stoplightvsmRecently I was talking to a marketing pro – someone I really admire. We were talking about how different people stand out, based on their websites.

I emailed over some links to four websites that seemed to be making statements. “They’re doing something right,” I said.

To my surprise, this consultant shrugged me off. “I looked at those websites,” he replied. “They’re not doing anything new. They’ve got very broad giveaways and they’re saying the same old stuff. They’re probably just marketing hard.” [Read more...]

You’ve got a brilliant message: now get them to believe it!

ThanksYou probably know this: To get more clients, it’s critical to come across as an expert who solves problems easily and who’s totally familiar with problems of your target market.

Traditionally you’re advised to demonstrate your expertise by sharing knowledge, through videos, blog posts, articles and other forms of content.

So you spend many hours creating content and you’ve still got a credibility gap. 

What’s going on?

The truth is, research has shown that you become credible through your communication style as well as your content.   Two people can present the same message. One gets high marks for credibility. The other … well, let’s say some eyebrows get raised.  [Read more...]