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...]

Online Marketing Systems: Is it really this easy?

online marketing easyI subscribe to all sorts of marketing lists and try to pass along the best “stuff” to my own list and blog followers. Some people promise you can achieve success by following a specific system or using a particular marketing tool. They make it seem easy.

So you might be asking (wisely), “Does this really work? Or is it more hype?”

The correct answer is, “It depends.” If you have certain key ingredients, then you will be able to use almost any system. You will benefit from almost any coach.

But you have to read the fine print. I once heard a joke where someone promised to tell you how to get two million dollars. Step 1 was, “First get a million dollars.” These systems work the same way. [Read more...]

How to stand out from the crowd with professionalism and integrity

As an independent professional, solo-preneur or service business owner, you face a big challenge: how to stand out from the crowd of professionals who are your competitors? When you want to attract your clients online, you need a website that resonates with prospects as they surf around for a solution to their pains and problems. So how can you do this?

First, create a clear, simple message about who you are and what you do. You may not be able to figure out your message when you are new. In fact, many experienced “veteran” service professionals have hidden treasure in their website. It’s only when they work with a copywriter or marketing coach that they recognize their strongest selling point. 

For instance, when I worked with a client “Jane,” we discover that Jane sold her first business at a large profit. We also discover Jane has extensive experience in negotiating with suppliers and joint venture partners. We came up with a strong, convincing message based on Jane’s background. She will stand out because of the results she can demonstrate.

Second, illustrate your uniqueness by sharing stories and using metaphors. 

An accountant might share a story of helping a client who showed up, embarrassed, with a shoebox of receipts and a handful of warning notices from the tax collectors. With some non-judgmental coaching, the accountant helps this client develop a customized record-keeping system that’s painless and accurate. Wouldn’t you like to know where the client is now?

Of course you would keep reading. You would probably remember the stories much longer than you would remember vague adjectives like, “Amazing!” or “Sensational!”

I’ve created a product to help you create and share your 3 core stories.  Learn more here.

 

Detox Your Copywriting: Lighten Up

wordsI hate college professor jokes.

I hate being reminded that I was sometimes known as the “nutty professor” because I practiced my stand-up comedy routines on my unsuspecting MBA students.

I hate references to “absent-minded professor.” I was absent-minded long before becoming a professor and I still forget things long afterward.

And I REALLY hate jokes about people who write and talk like professors. My audiences usually tell me, “Hey Cathy, you don’t sound like a professor.” It’s supposed to be a compliment.

The truth is, a lot of ordinary people who wouldn’t dream of becoming professors (hey, they hated their own profs all through college) but they still write textbook style, as if readers were going to peruse each words and highlight the main points. [Read more...]

Storytelling For Business Without the Hero’s Journey

storylaptopStorytelling for business has become mainstream. You’ll even find hardcover books on Amazon and in business sections of Barnes & Noble.

If you’ve been on the planet in the last few years, you probably know all the reasons to use stories in business. Humans are hard-wired to create narratives. Stories engage your readers and keep them listening.

You also know that the most powerful form of story is the hero’s journey. In this journey you show how you faced a problem you desperately needed to solve.

Maybe you …

… had been on a dozen diets that failed till you discovered this one.

… had lost jobs and dating opportunities till you learned how to dress for success.

… had hit bottom in your business till you discovered one strategy that brought you wealth (as well as more time to enjoy it).

[Read more...]

How Writing A Sales Letter Will Save Your Marketing

saleslettervalueWhen I first started working on the Internet, I had no idea what a sales letter was. When I first saw sales letters online, I figured they were something “other people” wrote. 

A sales letter is a piece of copy, on a single page, promoting a program, product or service. There’s no mystery about the mission. You know you’re being asked to buy.

Of course a good sales letter might also contain information and instruction. But it’s designed to appeal to readers who are genuinely interested in what’s being offered. It’s not an article.

Most copywriters agree that sales letters follow a structure. It’s not that hard to learn the structure, although you’ll find variations among copywriters and their recommendations. Today we’re seeing more video sales letters (sometimes with a video replacing the text completely). Often sales letters are shorter. 

But regardless of size or form, sales letters are beastly hard to write. Structure is just the beginning. You have to craft each component, often painfully, often with multiple revisions.

So why should you want to write one? If you’re a successful business owner, you can hire a copywriter. You can take a chance with a cheap-o copywriter from Craigslist or invest thoughtfully in an experienced professional who will dig into your strategy. [Read more...]

3 Common StoryTelling Mistakes

storylaptopYou’ve probably heard about the value of storytelling. With the right kind of story, you can engage your listeners and readers, create memorable content and communicate a message that resonates emotionally. 

So how can you go wrong?

(1) Telling a story with a fuzzy message.

Your story needs to support your marketing objective in some way: building your brand, giving you more credibility, demonstrating why you’re the best resource or simply illustrating a concept that’s hard to explain.  Yet many people hear, “You need a story,” so they take what they’ve got.

For instance, Jessica presented a long story about how she achieved success – a climb to a substantial income, in a crowded market, in a short amount of time. Jessica’s story worked – up to a point –  because she’s got a charismatic style and presence. She could hold our attention by reading the phone book. 

But ultimately Jessica’s message wasn’t clear. She had grown her business using a strategy that simply wasn’t available to much of her audience. She wanted to say, “I’m going to teach you how to do what I did, step by step.”  [Read more...]

Melancholy Copywriting: That lonesome road …

guitarMost people don’t know that I am a big fan of country music – classical country, the real thing, with Hank Williams, George Jones (my fave!), Johnny Cash … the whole line-up.

It happened when I was driving around the US a long time ago in a classic VW bug with just a radio. Country music filled the airwaves and frankly those truck driver songs were a lot of fun on long, lonely highways. I still listen when I’m writing copy sometimes.

If you’ve ever listened to real country music, you probably know the lyrics tend to lean on the side of melodrama, sadness and heartache. As one satire of the genre goes, a typical line might be, “I saw momma when I got out of prison, in the rain …” [Read more...]

Does your home page send these messages:

homepageorangeThese days the traditional home page often appears as a page that’s heavy on visuals that makes a statement. Even if your page is beautiful, you still need to send these three messages: 

Message #1: “You’ve come to the right place.”

If you’re looking for stress relief, you want to be sure this professional really addresses stress – not headaches or anxiety. You also want to know if you’re being offered a service compatible with your value system. [Read more...]

Where to get graphics to draw attention to your social media marketing

picturesonaline copyAfter analyzing more than 1.3 million posts from the 10,000 most Liked Facebook pages, Social Media Expert Dan Zarrella, discovered that posting images will give you the highest engagement across the board.

If you’re using social media marketing, you probably know your results will be based primarily on your content and copy. Your blog works the same way. But readers will be drawn to read what you’ve written through graphics you post along with your content.

The problem is, if you don’t know how to create graphics, this knowledge won’t help you when you seek to maximize results from social media marketing. Because you either have to:

Go through the hassle through creating them yourself (even if you have time and you’re talented enough to create images that won’t embarrass you). 

OR

Pay someone else to make them for you (and it can be extremely expensive unless you know where to go or take the time to explain just what you want).

So I am happy to recommend a new graphics program, “Sticky Social Media,” by the dynamic duo of Melissa Ingold and Nicole Dean. This program takes all of the confusion and hard work out of creating graphics that will generate more buzz for your business. It’s promoted at a straightforward, no-brainer price and you won’t have to go through the challenge of learning Photoshop or another complex software program.

 I don’t know how long this product will be available, but suspect that just access to the graphics pack will be worth your investment.  

Learn more here:

http://budurl.com/graphicpack

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!