Is Your Website Leaving Money on the Table?

Is your website leaving money on the table?You know of course that who we choose to do business with is influenced by how much we know, like and trust someone.

And whilst there are things you can do on your website to build rapport and connection with a first-time visitor, very rarely will it be enough to convince someone to buy from you.

It means that if your website has no capability to capture names and email addresses, you’re only allowing yourself one bite of the cherry. As such, you’re almost definitely missing out on potential profits.

Build relationships and the sales will follow

So instead of trying to make a sale on that first encounter, think about what steps you can take to persuade a visitor to voluntarily enter into a relationship with you.

You see, once you have contact details, you have permission to enter into a person’s private email inbox. And if you can help and assist them by sending value content that addresses the pressing problems on their mind, who do you think they’ll be more likely to buy from when the time is right?

You can’t dictate to someone when it’s time to buy

Never forget that the buying decision and timescale lies firmly with your prospect. What’s more, no one likes to be sold to. Instead we like to feel in control and make decisions at our own pace.

However, you can stay on the radar of a prospect and influence their future buying choices by following-up with useful, relevant, interesting content and enticing special offers. But to do that, you need contact details…

Exchange contact details for a free, valuable giveaway

You’ll have to do a bit of work to get those all-important names and emails. After all, we’ve become more sceptical and resistant to joining “any old list” and it means the promise of yet another monthly eNewsletter is highly unlikely to hit the mark.

However a quality, well-pitched incentive that provides information your prospects would genuinely value, could. Which means it’s well worth investing the time and effort to create a free eBook, special report or a quality video series that is sufficiently intriguing to encourage website visitors to want to get their hands on it.

Then, armed with your incentive, your website will suddenly be transformed into a powerful lead generator and list builder for your small business.

In turn you’ll stop bleeding potential profits and instead get the contact details you need to build relationships with people who could eventually become your next customer.

Try it for yourself and see…

Here’s How to Get SERIOUSLY Good at the MOST Important Job in Your Business

20140117_135136Are you serious about growing your business?

If so, you need to remember one key thing…

“Business is all about the relationships your create and the people you interact with.”

It’s so true that people are more likely to buy from you if they know, like and trust you. And of the three, likeability is probably the most important.

Which means, part of your job as an ambitious business owner, is to raise your profile amongst your customer base and identify ways in which you can build your liveability, credibility and authority.

Believe me, this stuff is just far too important to leave to chance and most people don’t put in the time or effort needed to get this powerful machine working hard for them.

And that’s where it gets interesting – because if you do, it’s a sure-fire way to outsmart the competition…

Now I’ve been doing a lot of work recently with customers who want to create copy that supports a relationship-building strategy IN ADDITION to their traditional sales-based content. And it’s working.

Not only are they enjoying different types of conversations with their customers, they’re also boosting their authority and building customer loyalty.

Could any of these ideas work for you too?

What strategies will you use to build relationships?

To get you thinking, here are my three favourite ways to build a strong relationship foundation that can pave the way for future sales…

1.  Blogging

Blogging works as a relationship builder for a number of reasons:

  1. It transforms your website into a useful resource – as opposed to a pure sales pitch
  2. It provides content for social sharing (key for boosting your organic SEO rankings)
  3. Comments can initiate 2-way conversations with your readers
  4. The right knowledge can help position you as an expert in your chosen niche
  5. It’s an effective way to share a bit of your personality and become more real and approachable

But to be successful with your blog, you first need to know what you want your blog to achieve and do for your business and brand.

BIG HINT: it shouldn’t only be about making a sale.

Next, you need to decide your publishing routine. Once a week is good enough for most businesses – especially if you’re short on time.

Finally, take the time to plan an editorial schedule. You’ll be less effective if you publish on the hoof. It’s far better to work out a list of posts for the next month and then timetable them into your work plan so they actually get written.

2.  Email marketing

The fact is that most businesses don’t communicate with their customers nearly enough.

So tell me – what’s your excuse ;-)

Perhaps you’ve held back because you don’t want to be “annoying”, or maybe you just don’t have the time. But here’s the thing. If you show up in a sufficiently interesting way, and you get the balance right between the sales pitch and “value”/relationship building content, you’ll get far better results.

Email tends to be more intimate than a blog. And if you commit to sending value-added emails on a regular basis, you’ll stand out from all the other businesses who only get in touch when they have something to sell. In addition, these value emails are a powerful way to showcase your expertise and give your brand a bit of personality.

Autoresponder sequences are a really powerful tool that can reduce your workload and ensure you have an effective way to stay in touch with your audience – without having to do a thing (once you’ve written the series of course). If you want to see an example of this in practice, check out my 30 Days of Copywriting Love series. It’s FREE!

3.  Printed Newsletters

Kapow personalisation

Done well, printed newsletters are potentially THE most powerful tool you have at your disposal to build relationships with customers.

I’m doing a lot more work with customers these days who are reaping the rewards of creating kick-ass newsletters. Here’s an example of one I wrote for Print Guy.

And the key reason newsletters work is they’re NOT perceived as advertising. As a result your content is far more likely to be read.

Now you may be reluctant to even explore the newsletter concept. After all, they do take time to complete. However you can reduce your workload by working with a writer who can create the words for you. And you only need to start out small – perhaps four-sides of A4.

To succeed with a newsletter, it can’t be all “selly selly”. For example, if you do have a special offer to promote, add an insert instead of writing about it in the main publication. In addition, get the content right. If you publish rushed, poorly written articles, you could end up damaging your reputation instead of enhancing it.

If you want to learn more about how to create a newsletter, check out this Quick Start Newsletter Guide for Businesses from Newsletter Guy. It’s seriously awesome, and it’s FREE!

My challenge to you…

What else could you implement this month to nurture the relationships you have with your customers? Please let me know your successes by emailing or by leaving a comment below.

Good luck :-)

Here’s Why You Need To Take A Few Risks With Your Marketing

Slide1Last week, I was in Birmingham for an all-day event with around 500 other small business owners.

The afternoon session was led by a very interesting speaker called Casper Berry. As an ex-professional poker player, he did a fantastic and very thought-provoking presentation about risk taking, poker and the links to success in business.

His message was simple, but very powerful…

For lots of reasons, you need to take risks if you want to be successful.

That’s because, risks stretch your comfort zone and open up a realm of new possibilities.

What’s more, within the area of “acceptable risk” lies additional profits and benefits that you’ll never gain access to if you stay where you feel safe.

In fact, you could say that the greatest risk of all is being so risk averse, you don’t even attempt anything new that lies outside of your comfort zone. And if you do that, what could you be missing out on?

Now don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not suggesting that you be reckless. No no, that approach is dangerous.

Instead, I’m suggesting that you weigh up all the information available to you, and take a calculated risk based on what you know and what you predict the outcome could be. Or to say it another way,  ensure you understand the parameters and ensure you’ve weighed everything up before deciding if it’s the right thing for your business.

Understand the risk – and then benefit from being brave

It’s kind of like doing a skydive. Seriously scary if you’ve never done one before, and all your senses are telling you that it’s totally crazy to jump out of the plane into the unknown. But because you’ve weighed up the risks, the magic of the experience makes the free fall well worth it. And once you’ve done it once, you’ll probably want to do it again – PLUS your perspective of what you thought was possible, shifts forever.

For sure, not all the risks you take with your marketing will pay off. There is a chance you’ll misread the market or overlook something that’s important to your customers. In addition, you may get your message, angle or media totally wrong and therefore won’t generate the return that you hoped for. But let’s face it. Is a mistake really a mistake if you learn from it?

And on the other hand, if you break the mould and do something different from the standard expected in your industry, you’ll stand out.

And once you stand out, you have a chance of getting noticed, getting talked about and getting more customers.

And what impact could that have on your bottom line?

What’s holding you back?

I reckon if you continue to play it safe with your marketing and stick with what you know, you’re likely to get the same results you’ve experienced to date.

And whilst at this moment in time, those results might seem OK, you need to be aware that there will be competitors who will continually innovate.

It means if you don’t do something different,  you could lose your edge. Hey, it could even drive you insane :-)

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

What will you take on?

So as this year closes and you start planning your marketing plans for next year, I encourage you to make the decision to do something that stretches you a little.

  • Perhaps you could write a long-form sales letter and send it out by snail mail, instead of email
  • Maybe you could start a kick-ass printed newsletter and build relationships with your customers
  • Could you write a 30 day auto responder such as my 30 Days of Copywriting Love to ensure you stay on the radar of potential customers?

Whatever it is for you, push past your comfort zone and try something different.

It may be scary, it may go wrong, it may not work…

BUT, the alternative is that it could be the best thing you do for your business :-) How cool is that.

And if you get stuck, or if fear holds you back, read this powerful quote by Elbert Hubbard (this one is so good it’s pinned up on my office wall).

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid that you will make one.”

So tell me. What new marketing tactic could you try in your business? And if you have any questions, pop them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you :-)

Who Else Wants an Easy-Peasy Content Marketing Strategy?

BasingstokeYesterday, I was at Basingstoke with around 700 other small business owners getting inspired by the Entrepreneur’s Circle.

I love these events.

After all, when you work for yourself, it can get pretty isolating. And whilst the internet is a fantastic resource for hunting out new ideas, there’s nothing better than being in a room, sharing an experience with other like-minded people. As a little aside, big thanks to my mum who came with me to look after my little three-month-old boy! Otherwise the day away would have been impossible and I would have missed out :-)

Anyway, what always strikes me with events such as these, is the amount of ideas you come away with.

But mixed up with all the excitement, is a teeny-tiny bit of overwhelm as you wonder, “what the heck should I do first!

As a small business owner, organising your marketing plans to get them implemented is a key challenge – especially when you have budget and time constrains to think about.

Sales letters, blogs, newsletters, autoresponders, advert etc. Writing stuff so you can stay on your customers’ radar is super-important. But if you’ve got limited time and a limited budget, where on earth do you start?

If you’re struggling with just this question, unless you make a firm decision, you’ll either end up trying to implement too much at the same time and make a big hash of it OR get so tongue-tied and tangled, that you end up doing nothing. And that’s no good for anyone – especially your bottom line.

So what’s the solution?

Well, here’s an easy-peasy six-step strategy to help give you the clarity you need to get going – FAST…

1. Big picture thinking

The first step is to get clear on what you’re trying to achieve.

Try to visualise you and your business having already achieved your goal and you’ll know what’s most important to you. If it’s more sales, you need to focus on sales material. But if it’s more authority, you’ll want to invest more effort creating positioning and reputation-building content.

2.  Identify your options

Once you’ve got a big picture view of what you want to achieve, the next step is to concentrate on the detail. Let’s look at our two examples in turn:

If you want to boost sales, you could: 

  1. Create a compelling lead magnet to grow your list
  2. Create an autoresponder to stay on the radar
  3. Write some sales letters with a no-brainer offer to evoke desire and a deadline to create urgency
  4. Create some lumpy direct mail that encourages people to buy
  5. Create a landing page and direct traffic to it via social media and PPC

If you want to enhance your reputation, you could:

  1. Create a blog strategy and write about useful content on a regular, consistent basis
  2. Produce a monthly printed newsletter packed with useful content
  3. Guest blog on relevant sites to tap into a new audience
  4. Run a webinar or a Google hangout and tackle a key problem faced by your target customers
  5. Collect and use testimonials that prove you’re the “go-to” person in your niche

3. Organise your priorities

If you work by yourself, you’ll struggle to do all the above well.

So the next step is to look at your budget and your time constraints and decide which one thing is the domino.

What I mean by this is, which ONE thing do you think will have the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.

It could be:

  1. The one that is the fastest route to the money (which you can then invest into other things)
  2. The one that has the biggest leverage
  3. The one thing you can do right now
  4. The one thing you can get help with to make it happen faster

When you as this question, what you’ll often find is there in ONE thing on your list that can act as your accelerator to kick-start your progress. And once you’re going, you’ll create the momentum you need to take you towards your goals that much quicker.

4. Implement

Once you’ve decided where you’ll start, make it happen. If it’s sales letters to your existing list to promote a particular product, create the time in your schedule now when you will write them. In addition, decide a timescale. Without this, you’ll find the task will have a sneaky way of absorbing all the time that you give it!

In addition, don’t feel you have to do everything yourself. You may find it’s more cost-effective to get someone to help you, especially if writing is not your thing.

5. Reflect and review

Once you’ve implemented, you need to step back and review and reflect on what happened.

  • What results did you generate?
  • Did it work?
  • What would make it better for next time?
  • Is there something else you could try etc.

6. What next

By implementing one thing, you have taken a step closer.

  • You may have earned some money which will allow you to invest in something else on your list.
  • You may have made new connections which will open new doors
  • You may have raised your credibility and started new conversations

Whatever that may be, it’s now time to build on those successes and keep pressing forward. Yes, I know that it can feel relentless at times. It can also feel that you’re not getting anywhere because there is always more to do. BUT, remember this. Implementation is the secret that closes the gap. Getting stuff done is what’s going to take your business from where you are now to where you need to be.

What are you going to do?

As a business owner you have the freedom and flexibility to create anything you want. Simply tap into your creativity, ensure it benefits your customers and communicate your offer in a compelling way and anything is possible.

I’d love to know what you’re up to, so why not leave a comment below or drop me an email to

You rock!

Are You Using This Super-Simple Method To Increase Your relevance?

Alice at PennywellGood news! In this post I’m going to reveal an easy way to get your emails read and your direct mail opened. Sounds good right?

But before we get to that, here’s a short story to make my point – it involves children and animals!

As you know, it’s hard to switch off when you’re a business owner.

I’m always looking for the next idea which I can implement and I’ve noticed they crop up in the most unlikely of places!

Take our recent day out to Pennywell Farm in Devon (if you’re ever in the area and have young kids, it’s well worth a visit). Upon arrival, children are given a sticker with their name and age on (you can see my daughter’s in the picture). It’s such a simple touch but it makes a huge difference to the children’s experience whilst they’re at the farm. At Pennywell, there’s a new activity every half an hour. It’s a great interactive day out and children are actively encouraged to get stuck in. And that’s where the stickers come into play. The staff leading the activities can talk to the children by name. And the result? Instant rapport.

Of course, there’s a powerful marketing message in this…

Customers are more likely to take notice and respond if you tailor your communication and refer to them by name. 

Here are three reasons why:

  1. It’s much harder to ignore someone when they say your name
  2. Use of your name makes the message feel more personal and less like a mass broadcast that’s been sent to lots of people
  3. When your name is used, a conversations shifts from general to personal

And of course, using names is a proven way to build relationships and make people feel more valued. And that’s sound business sense.

How can you apply this in your business?

If you want to get your emails read and your direct mail opened, personalise it. Simple!

Avoid turning people off with general broadcasts and instead, carefully craft your marketing messages so they appeal to a specific target audience. Getting close to your customer avatar will help. That’s because when you know who you want to attract, you’ll automatically hone your message to appeal directly to those people – and the result – you’ll instantly be perceived as more relevant.

Next, use your customer’s names wherever you can (and to help you do that, consider the contact details you ask for when recording a lead).

This will make your email marketing feel more intimate. After all, an email that simply says “hello” is obviously a piece of mass communication.

Try personalising your envelopes when sending direct mail. Just check out the awesome envelope that my printed newsletter from Print Guy arrived in. Can you imagine that being left unopened?

Kapow personalisation

In addition, you can also weave personalisation into your social media campaigns and other marketing strategies. There’s stacks of good practice out there that you can swipe and deploy. For example, Coke embraced the power of personalisation over the summer with their much talked about names on coke bottle campaign.

Georgina Coke personalisation

And Ikea is also exploring the benefits. One of my colleagues told me how her local Ikea had a green screen at their local store and was taking family photos to put on catalogues. Now that’s one way of ensuring it doesn’t end in the bin.

How could you use personalisation in your business?

There’s stacks of scope to use personalisation creatively in your business. I’d love to hear your success stories so please let me know in the comments below how you’ve used personalisation to attract more leads, get more sales and grow your reputation.

7 Secrets For Defeating Writer’s Block (and a FREE poster)

Creation of composition and crumpled sheets on wooden tableI have a confession to make…

This weekend I’ve finally started work on a new personal writing project.

It’s something I’ve been mulling over for a while now, but somehow I’ve just been too busy to get started. After all, I do have an eight-week old baby, client work and other bits and pieces vying for my attention.

Good excuse huh! I thought so too ;-) 

But these “good” excuses were just a cover up to make me feel better about what’s really stopping me. You see the truth is, I’ve been bitten by a bout of writer’s block (yes, it happens to professional writer’s too).

A clever procrastinator that undermines your profit potential

And it’s no laughing matter. I know that writer’s block sounds innocent enough. But the reality is very different.

It’s made me procrastinate and delay getting a new idea out there – after all, it’s not easy to push through the blockage. And as a result, my profit potential has been harmed. For me writer’s block arrives because of fear – fear that what I write won’t cut it. And that fear is tangible. After all, the words that end up on the page are part of me – and that can leave you feeling vulnerable and exposed to criticism.

Can you see how clever writer’s block is? It plays on your fears and can stop you dead in your tracks. In addition, it can add costly delays into your business plans and it can wreak havoc with your confidence.

What’s more, it manifests in a number of ways. Perhaps you’ll recognise some of these…

  1. You think your idea is rubbish so you never start
  2. You can’t get the ideas from your head coherently onto paper
  3. You procrastinate on a writing job and put it off until tomorrow (or until never)
  4. You stare at the blank paper and freeze
  5. When you do sit down, you can’t think of anything to write and so flick over to Facebook or Twitter

It’s no wonder so much business writing never makes it into print… What you need is a strategy.

Seven secrets for defeating writer’s block

Here are seven ways to help ensure you get that first draft of your blog post, sales letter, printed newsletter etc. out of your head and into black and white.

  1. Recognise it – writer’s block takes many forms. So when your fingers freeze, your brain fogs and your pen won’t move, don’t procrastinate. Instead, push through the pain and get something onto paper.
  2. Get in the mood – clear away distractions, chain yourself to your chair and just write (or type).
  3. Set yourself a time limit – if that writing task is freaking you out, set the timer for just 15 minutes, and then write yourself silly (and once you’ve started, I bet you won’t want to stop).
  4. Write without criticism – don’t let your judgemental mind hold you back. Instead allow your imagination to explore, keep writing and get the bare bones onto paper – it can be cleared up later.
  5. It’s natural to doubt yourself – so just push on through the doubt and let your ideas flow.
  6. Don’t aim for perfection – there’s a time for perfectly polished sentences and it’s NOT now.
  7. And remember – anything goes – bullet points, lists and scribbles are perfect for getting into a flow (and then watch what starts to take shape).

So what’s stopping you? Come on. Let’s get writing :-)

Do let me know how you get on. Just pop a comment in the space below and tell me how you’re defeating writer’s block and what written nuggets you’re creating. And if you’re wondering what I’ve been procrastinating over – it’s a new product designed to help non-writer’s create copy that works. So watch this space. I’ll be launching it on Monday 4th November (to mark my daughter’s 3rd birthday).

Your bonus: FREE writer’s block poster

Good news! I’ve created a downloadable poster of these seven strategies for you to print out and pin-up. Simply click here to download your FREE copy now.

Could This Time Saving Tool Work For You Too?

AdamGood news!

Early last month I welcomed my beautiful baby boy to the world. He’s now six weeks old, and although I’m biased, I reckon he’s the most gorgeous boy ever! I’m a very proud mumpreneur :-)

Because I’m self-employed (and because I love my job), maternity leave was never on the cards. So after a couple weeks “holiday”, I was back at the keyboard. And thanks to my baby sling, smart working practices and female ability to multitask, I’ve become a dab hand at juggling copywriting alongside nappies and milk.

There’s never a dull moment in my house!

All I can say is thank goodness I’ve got a good boss ;-) It’s brilliant being able to set my own schedule and have the freedom and flexibility to work around my family – it’s one of the main reasons I started Gem Writing in the first place.

“Working crazy hours to provide for a family that doesn’t remember you makes no sense at all”.  Brad Sugars

How to get more done in less time

As you can imagine, the arrival of my little lad has made my time even more precious. I’m more conscious of the need to work productively and efficiently and eliminate those procrastination pixies!

And one way I ensure that happens is with my favourite piece of software – SpinLessPlates.

So read on and I’ll explain how this cost effective, multi-functional, business management tool is helping me do business and motherhood.

My question to you is could it work for you too?

With SpinLessPlates, my business management is sorted

When you run your own business, time is your most valuable resource.

That’s because more time equals more money, more progress or more time with your family and friends.

But with so many demands on you, it’s very easy to end up fire fighting and struggling to achieve the important tasks that will take you closer to your big business goals.

One way to get more time is to streamline the back end administration and business management tasks. And that’s exactly what SpinLessPlates does for me…

SpinLessPlates has transformed my small business

SpinLessPlates has allowed me to bin the inefficient management tools I previously relied on. Here are five reasons why I wouldn’t be without it…

  1. The Project Timer helps me track my time. Now I can see, in black and white, how long I’ve spent on a job and therefore how much I’ve really earned per hour.
  2. The quote, sales & invoicing tool help me to manage my back end admin. I use it to record sales and then convert those into an invoice. It’s quick, easy and far more professional than my old Word and Excel solution.
  3. With the ability to generate over 60 reports, Spin instantly gives me the analytical data I need to make the right decisions for my business.
  4. The Live dashboard lets me see at a glance what jobs are live, which quotes need chasing up and how much I’ve invoiced.
  5. The customer contact tool acts as a mini CRM, and because it integrates with MailChimp, I can automate some of my emails.

And best of all, it’s really easy to use – even for a non-techy like me!

Try SpinLessPlates in your business for just £1

AS3A1424A_medA good friend of mine, Paul Cox, developed SpinLessPlates (that’s him in the picture to the right). He’s a small business owner too, and with two small girls, he totally gets the need to work less and earn more.

I’m really impressed with what Paul’s created and his business story is pretty inspirational. SpinLessPlates really works for my business and there’s a chance it will work for yours too…

Paul has very kindly agreed to give my Gem Writing community an exclusive discount. SpinLessPlates normally costs £20 pm but as a Gem Writing subscriber you can get unrestricted access for 60 days for just £1.

Paul will even throw in free 1:1 training to get you up and running and saving time fast.

If you’re a small business owner who’s open to the idea that business management software could improve and streamline the way you do things, I strongly recommend you take SpinLessPlates for a trial. I honestly didn’t think I needed it, but now, I wouldn’t be without it.

To sign-up for your exclusive £1 trial, CLICK HERE – and please let me know how you get on.


Five Writing Tips That Can Multiply Your Profits

One Two Three Four Five Counting Finger HandsI’m constantly intrigued.

Why are business owners willing to invest in design and print costs only to skimp on their words?

For sure it’s important your marketing looks good and arrives in your prospects hands looking like the real deal. BUT if the message is all wrong, you’ve potentially thrown good money down the drain AND missed out on sales.

Your message will make the difference and that’s why being able to write for your business is such an important skill to either learn or outsource.

In fact, it can multiply your profit potential – here’s how…

1.  Know your audience

OK this sounds really obvious but I find a lot of business owners don’t know their target customer that well. And the results are detrimental. You see, if you can’t picture in your mind who you are talking to, you’ll only ever create a generic message. And by appealing to everyone, you end up appealing to no one. In turn your sales message falls flat and you get disappointed.

In comparison, if you understand your customer’s pain, what will motivate them to take action, how they make their buying decisions, what they’re struggling with etc. you can address these concerns through your copy.

And the result? You’ll instantly appear more relevant and interesting. And whilst you may not appeal to so many people – often this is a good thing. You see, If potential customers self select, it means you can reduce the amount of time, effort and money spent on attracting people who in reality are not a good match for you and your business.

2.  Have a clear end goal

This second tip will help you structure and focus the direction of your message.

It’s all about having a clear idea of what you want a piece of writing to achieve. You see that’s one of the BIG differences between writing good English and copywriting. Copywriting is about persuasion.

So what do you want your reader to do? Your objective will vary depending on the type of writing you are doing but could include downloading a special report, buying something, joining your list to discover more about your coaching, singing up for a discounted trial etc.

If you know where you want to take your reader, you can carefully craft your message and plan your structure to ensure they arrive at YOUR chosen destination.

And of course, when they get there, ensure you have a clear, specific call to action which makes it crystal clear EXACTLY what you want your reader to do next.

3. Use stories

Stories, anecdotes and case studies instantly make your words more compelling. After all, people are interested in people. But the reason goes deeper than that. Humans are hard-wired to remember and respond to stories. Stories help information to stick which means as a marketing tool, they are invaluable.

Case studies are also really useful as a form of social proof to back-up what you’re saying. When you talk about real people that you and your business have helped, potential clients (who fall into your target avatar) are able to see the possibilities for themselves – and that’s a very powerful way to market your business.

4.  Answer objections

This tip is really cool.

People will always have objections to your offer. And these reservations will vary. For example:

  • That’s too expensive
  • I don’t really need that
  • No way – that’s too good to be true
  • I don’t believe that could do that
  • I don’t need that now
  • Etc.

Now most business owners try to brush objections under the carpet. They cross their fingers and hope the reader won’t think like that and simply plough on with the sales pitch. Big mistake.

Never underestimate the intelligence of your readers. Here’s a great quote from advertising guru David Ogilvy which makes this point far better than I can:

“The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her”.

Instead, anticipate all the possible objections to your offer and write them down. (If you know your target customer, this is often easier than you might think). Next, figure out how you will address them. Finally, weave this information into your message – even better if you can answer the objection when the question arrises.

5. Write more!

I know, it’s easy for me to say this BUT there are two very good reasons why writing more will help you multiply your profits.

  1. The more you write the easier it becomes: And whilst good copywriting does require a degree of technical knowledge, it’s also about having the creativity and insights to write interesting stuff that appeals to your target customer. And the more you put pen to paper, the more natural writing becomes.
  2. It ensures you keep in touch with your customers: I guarantee your customers do not hear from you enough. Often businesses only send out some words when they have something to sell. Not a good idea! Never forget. It’s not your customers’ job to remember to do business with you. It’s your job to stay on their radar – and the written word is a really powerful way to do this. So email more often, write an extra blog a month, send out a press release, add additional content to your website etc. Use words to build and enrich the relationship you have with your customers and your profits will multiply.

non-writer's guideAre you a non-writer?

I’m at my most comfortable with a pen and notebook in my hand or sat tapping away on my iMac. I just love to write and I always have.  And whilst writing to sell is very different from the fairytales and fiction I used to enjoy creating as a kid, a lot of the principles are the same. 

But I know many people don’t feel the same as me! They are consumed with writer’s block, get turned off by the blank page and struggle to know what you write. If that sounds like you relax, because help is at hand. You see if you write copy for your business, you’ll want to get your hands on my FREE report – The Non-Writer’s Guide To Creating Irresistible Content That Works. In addition to some insider secrets copywriting tips, it also contains a number of practical examples to show you great copywriting in practice.

Interested? Simply CLICK HERE to download your free copy :-)

3 Simple Ways To Sharpen Your Sales Copy

Sharpen your sales copyGreat sales copy reads effortlessly.

And it’s persuasive…

Somehow it catches your eye, draws you in and before you know it you find yourself nodding at the content and getting excited about owning the product or service that’s being “sold” to you.

And a response like this translates into a healthy bottom line…

But from a copywriting perspective, the problem with writing great copy is it’s time consuming and often challenging.

The end reader doesn’t get to see the countless drafts, screwed up pieces of paper and brainstorm of ideas and notes. Instead, all they see is the final polished version that’s been tweaked, honed and vigorously checked over to ensure the words are just right.

BUT if you want to stand out and get results, you need to invest this kind of effort to ensure your words are sharp, specific and persuasive.

And it’s NOT enough to simply describe what you’re selling.

You also need to consider the sales psychology which means figuring out the right angle, tweaking the order and identifying the hooks and stickiness that will keep your audience reading.

And that’s where these three simple techniques can really sharpen your sales copy.

1. Be curious about everything

Good copywriting isn’t just about being able to say things well.

It’s also about deciding what should and shouldn’t be included in your copy – and to be honest, this second bit poses your biggest challenge along with your biggest win.

You see you don’t need to have masses of experience in a particular industry to be able to write about it.

In fact, there are times when excessive prior knowledge can be a disadvantage because you can start making dangerous assumptions and taking things for granted.

In comparison, a newbie brings curiosity, surprising questions and fresh insights. What’s more, these fresh eyes will help you make unusual but interesting connections and ideas which can turn a piece of writing from dull to delicious.

So I urge you to look around with childlike curiosity. Be interested in everything you see. Be aware of how different people see the world and learn from these experiences. Take notes. Jot down ideas and allow your discoveries to weave their way into your own copywriting. I promise it will make your words more compelling.

2.  Be brave and explore fresh ideas

Most business owners who write their own copy never take risks.

Instead they fall into the trap of churning out the same old, boring, indistinguishable sales copy as everyone else – and then wonder why customers get turned off.

If you really want to make a difference in your business you need to be willing to take a few calculated risks and try something a bit different. For sure it may not work BUT the upshot is it could…

Think about:

  • What would happen if you added a splash of your personality into your marketing?
  • How about using your creative flair to help you stand out?
  • What about incorporating characters, storytelling and themes?

The cool thing about business is there’s so much you could try – and in reality inspiration is everywhere. Just look around you, notice what catches your attention and then ask this cracking question.

How could I apply that idea in my business?  

3.  Sleep on it

There may be times when you simply have to get something out NOW.

However, if you can wait do because it’s always worth sleeping on a finished draft before you hit the send or publish button.

That’s because I guarantee that even the best piece of sales will always be improved when you look at it afresh the next day.

You’ll probably spot some typos or grammatical errors that you overlooked the previous day (beware, your mind will read what you want it to say rather than what it actually says!)

But more importantly, you’ll probably uncover a better way of making a point or identify a more suitable analogy or case study that sharpens and enriches your words.

Copywriting is an essential business skill – FACT

The ability to write sharp copy is undoubtedly one of the most important skills you can learn and develop if you want to run a successful business.

Being able to consistently persuade customers through irresistable words and interesting marketing concepts can help you find more customers, build your reputation and grow your business. And to achieve that, not only do you need to write well – you also need to stay open to ideas.

So allow your curiosity and imagination a free reign, and see what you uncover :-)

P.S: If you write your own copy and want to sharpen your skills, I suggest you sign-up and download your free copy of  the Non-Writer’s Guide To Creating Irresistible Copy That Works. As well as being packed with useful tips and ideas, you’ll also discover 12 practical examples to show you good copy in practice. To download your copy simply CLICK HERE.

Welcome Sage Readers…

100513_Georginas web photos_2623 cropHi again! I’m Georgina – one of Sage’s Business experts.

I’m also a freelance copywriter and mum of two small girls and I’m on a mission to help small business owners just like you succeed with words.

To help, I’ve got some great resources lined up for you. They’re designed to help you communicate bettergrow your authority and attract more leads.

1.  Discover my Copywriting Gems blog

First there’s my blog. It’s packed with articles, tips and ideas to get copywriting working in your business.

2. Sign-up for my FREE eCourse

In addition I also have a FREE 30 days eCourse that may interest you. Simply join 30 Days of Copywriting Love and you’ll receive a different tool, tip or technique each day for a month.

Each email is less than 500 words and contains a Copywriting Gem – it’s an easy way to get your hands on proven ideas to grow relationships and build your business. It’s super easy to grab your FREE copywriting tips, simply complete your details below and I’ll see you in your inbox ;-)

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3. Ask me a question

And if you have any copywriting related questions, simply pop them in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

Speak soon!