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...]

Pulling Your Clients With Pull Questions

qmarkcomputersm Can you imagine your website attracting prospects who have just the kinds of problems you are qualified to solve? There are many ways to make your website do this work.

One of the most common ways is to skip the sales-y, hype-y pitches and write engaging questions tht pull your prospects into your practice. This idea isn’t original: you’ll get this advice from many marketing coaches and if you poke around the internet, you’ll see these questions everywhere.

Pull questions will be especially effective when you’re seeking clients online. I’ve had the experience of clients sending me messages to say, “I want to work with you,” before we’ve had a conversation.

Pull questions need to be compelling, but also conversational, specific and engaging. All too often I talk to people who have been advised to create these questions, but not given advice or instructions. That’s when we get questions like, “Are you struggling to find a better life?”

Your questions need to be based on the specific reasons new clients come to you. People will come to you when their problems are immediate and challenging. One of the best ways to begin is to begin taking notes of the questions clients raise when they come to you. If you write questions that are extreme and too scary, you can actually scare prospects away.

We’ll be talking about pull questions that really pull here in this webinar.Join us and bring your own examples for discussion!

What is A Fab Factor and What’s Yours?

fabcoversmPart of creating your Fabulous Online Presence involves finding what I call your “fab factor.” You may be more familiar with terms like Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or positioning.

A fab factor is somewhere in between. It’s an answer to the question, “What makes you fabulous?” Why do clients see you as authentic, expert and (most important) one of a kind?

Here are a few examples:

online marketing tip hereAn attorney specializes in challenging cases in his field. His “fab factor” is that he also handles appeals, so every case gets prepared with an appeal in mind. He also fights ferociously for his clients and isn’t afraid to confront any judge.

online marketing tip hereAn inventory consultant developed a program that lets him accomplish major projects with fewer on-site visits. Clients save money and experience less disruption.

online marketing tip hereA life coach created a technique for supporting clients in transition, using a series of templates that manage to be enjoyable while digging deep into the client’s past experiences and future dreams. Clients move faster and get access to a tool they can re-use on their own for future challenges.

What’s yours? Respond in the “Comment” section below. Learn more when you subscribe to my free Report: 3 Essential Steps To Create Your Fabulous Online Presence.
Click here for an immediate download.

Do those copywriting recipes really work?

Dundee Cake on a PlateHere’s a question I get frequently:

Q. Cathy, you’re telling me it’s important to stand out when I create my compelling online presence. You want me to use my personality to develop a brand.

But then I read about all the standard copywriting techniques. Certain words and phrases have been proven to be powerful.

So … am I between a rock and a hard place?

A. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re one of those people who resisted coloring inside the lines. You aren’t crazy about rules. Your least favorite word is “cubicle.”

[Read more...]

She’s got a one-of-a-kind program …

Christina Merkley is not one of those cookie-cutter business owners. She combines a number of different skill sets, including graphic representation, to create a unique type of coaching.

Christina used her graphic skills to create a life coach practice. I met her at a copywriting workshop and was immediately intrigued. Christina developed a system of transition process and created a set of graphic maps to support it. She uses her illustrations as her own brand and vision statement. (I still have my maps and use them regularly!) [Read more...]

Business Growth Mentors: Are They Worth Their Salt?

Many coaches and other service businesses find themselves frustrated with business growth. growmoneyAt  that point, it’s not uncommon to turn to a mentor a/k/a business coach a/k/a marketing coach.

But will you get real value from your investment?

When it comes to hiring a mentor, it’s always tempting to throw money at your business problem. The truth is, the worst time to hire a mentor is when you feel helpless and desperate. It’s best to wait till you get some traction.

And while some people do go into debt to hire a coach, others charge $10,000 on AmEx and come away with nothing but a mountain of debt and a feeling of frustration and discouragement.

3 Tips to Choosing A Mentor

Tip #1: Hiring a “big name” marquee coach can be lucrative when you’re ready to go all out on your business. You’ll spend money, work 12-hour days and invest in a top level web development team [Read more...]

How to Create Marketing Messages That Connect

bluesportscarOnce the Wall Street Journal once featured a story about corporate parking lots. It’s hard to imagine a duller subject.

But the writer opened with the story of Dave, who earned the right to park his midnight-blue Porsche 911 right next to the entrance. He is Number One in sales.

What made it come alive? Dave, Porsche, blue, sales. We even learn the model number of Dave’s Porsche. We’ve all known people like Dave and now we can relate to the story, whether we cheer for Dave’s sales success or wince at the corporate ego structure.

Yet all too often I see websites that deliver the view from 30,000 feet instead of getting into the trenches. They look at the parking lots instead of the blue Porsches and their drivers. As a result, they’re telling – not showing – and readers just don’t get involved. [Read more...]

Service Business Owners: Beware the Cookie-Cutter

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Well, I’m totally flattered by some folks who have picked up some of my favorite lines and are presenting my ideas with their own style and their own name.

To be fair, it’s not always their fault. These days we take in so much info, it’s easy to process an idea so thoroughly we think it’s our own.

But my message today is that you communicate your uniqueness in your content and copy – not just your name, logo and URL. When you sound like half a dozen other people, you lose an opportunity to come across as authentic. When you repeat someone else’s great line, it just won’t sound the same.

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Add beef to your benefits

When I first heard about the benefits vs. features distinction, I was frustrated. At the time I just had my career consulting website. What, I asked, are the benefits I can offer? I couldn’t promise anyone would get a job, let alone a dream job.

I asked an experienced marketer for help. She shrugged off the question: “More, better, faster, cheaper… that’s all you need.”

I escaped, vowing I’d never utter the words “sales letter” ever again.

Of course, I eventually realized this marketer got it all wrong. She probably scared away a lot of people.  The truth is,  benefits should be credible, realistic and beefy. [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.  [Read more...]

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...]