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...]

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!

What makes you different? It’s your fab factor!

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 here An immigration attorney gets a call from a Latino woman in Arizona. She’s frantic because her son disappeared. She knows the immigration authorities picked him up but she has no idea where he is being held. She has no idea who to call.

Many immigration attorneys would sit in their offices and make some calls. Some would warn this woman that it doesn’t look good. A few “bad apples” would promise her the moon, ask her for a five-figure retainer, and then deliver nothing but disappointment.

This immigration attorney has passion for his work. His parents were immigrants and he firmly believes that immigrants make America great. It’s not just a slogan for him: it’s the way he works. 

So he asks for a reasonable retainer, warns the mother that he makes no guarantees and gets to work. He makes some calls and realizes the situation isn’t hopeless but he needs to move fast. He finds where the young man is being held. He gets on a plane and goes there. When he arrives, he discovers the young man has been transferred to a state prison in another state. It’s within driving distance, but it’s Friday afternoon, the young man’s hearing is scheduled for Monday and the prison is not set up for attorney visits on weekends. If the young man loses the hearing, it will be difficult (if not impossible) for him to remain in this country. 

This attorney negotiates with the warden to get a visit. He calls the young man’s friends and arranges to have people on the phone during the hearing so the judge can talk to them. He discovers the young man has the qualifications for citizenship; he just never bothered applying. 

The story has a happy ending. The young man remains here and becomes a productive citizen. 

This lawyer isn’t just passionate. He chooses clients he believes in and becomes a tireless advocate for them, within the limits of the law.  

online marketing tip hereA manufacturing company hires an inventory specialist because they’ve just run out of room. They dread working with him because a consultant’s visits will be profoundly disruptive. If staff members are called away from their jobs, the operation slows down.   If they stop production they lose thousands of dollars every hour. 

Most consultants require three to six site visits to develop a warehouse development plan. This specialist has created a system to accomplish the same goals with a single visit. He saves every client thousands of dollars – a combination of project design and experience. 

online marketing tip here Thousands of life coaches work with clients in transition. Most of them just hold consultation. A few have worksheets or systems.

One life coach found a way to stand out by incorporating her artistic skills and graphic design training. She developed a step-by-step program, with each step supported by a cleverly designed template. Clients don’t just fill in blanks; they write in circles, squares, and quote bubbles. They have lots of room to write and share their thoughts. 

It’s not just about graphics. The coach has developed a unique process with penetrating questions at each stage, going back to earlier stages in the client’s life,  visioning the future and getting in touch with the client’s intuition. When clients call, they’ve already done a lot of the work and she’s got a framework for coaching them. Her clients accomplish a great deal in just two or three sessions. As a result, she charges more than many coaches and has a waiting list.

What’s your fab factor? Or have you worked with someone whose fab factor was easy to recognize in their work or their marketing?  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.