Posts Tagged ‘confidence’

Business owners: Choose the copywriter you want to write a FREE direct mail campaign for your business

April 3rd, 2010 No comments

Warning: You best ideas are being stolen from you as soon as you implement them online. Anytime you come up with something new and clever, and it works, thousands of Internet-surfing competitors are going to swipe and deploy it. Online, innovation has an expiration date.

One of the best things you can do is figure out ways to market invisibly, doing things that your competitors can’t see.

That’s yet another reason to use direct mail. When you deliver your best marketing content straight to the people you’re trying to reach, none of your competitors will see it. They may notice that you’re beating them, getting more business, stealing market share, but they have no idea how or why.

If you’ve heard people say, “direct mail doesn’t work,” I’m about to prove to you that it does. Not only that, but I’m going to get you a bargain on a powerful campaign.

Here’s how it works. I’m having a contest. A group of ambitious, talented writers will take a look at your business and propose a direct mail campaign. You simply pick the best campaign and implement it. I’ll pre-screen the contestants  so you only have to deal with the best.

I only ask a few things from you. First, you should sincerely intend to use the campaign in the near future, and you should have a way to measure the response (I’ll help you with this). This way, the writer will at least have a solid sample for his/her portfolio with quantifiable results.

Second, your business should be on a growth trajectory that will create a need for future copywriting. I want you to build a relationship with your copywriter. If she makes you rich and famous, you should have the resources and the ambition to engage her again in the future. In fact, you’d be a fool and a loser if you didn’t.

This is meant to be a 3-way, win-win-win scenario.

  • You get an invaluable professional service for free
  • The writer gets a stronger portfolio and excellent prospects for future work
  • I get to add a talented, proven writer to my stable, someone to whom I can outsource work in the future

Drop me an email or leave a comment below if you’re interested.

The rest of this is for copywriters (I know a lot of you read my blogs and newsletters).

If you’re interested in doing this, it tells me two things. First, you’re ambitious and energetic (good). Second, since you’re willing to work for free you’re probably not getting all the work you want (not necessarily bad).

Send me an email about your writing career. Maybe you just finished the AWAI course (or the pricier DMA version), you read Peter Bowerman or something happened that convinced you to take the plunge and go into business for yourself .

Anyway, send me an email about you, your writing, your life. (HINT #1: The subject line is basically a headline. Write a good one or I might delete you unread) Experience and training are important, but not critical. I assume most of the contestants are going to be relative newbies. Your email will show off your copywriting skills, and this is far more important than just sending me a digital resume.

Finally, the disclaimer. I’m doing this because I’m planning to strictly limit the amount of copywriting I take on in the future. I’d rather strategize, plan, and delegate. This means I’m very eager to build good relationships with good writers who will hopefully work for me and my clients.

But there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get any paid work out of this. I know from personal experience that writing for free is usually just that and never anything more, even when people have the very best of intentions. I wouldn’t enter this contest, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

So what will it be? Are we on? Go for it, if you dare.


Never forget that you’re an expert

June 4th, 2009 1 comment

I was about to give up on this.

For the last few weeks I’ve been toying with the idea of writing an e-book on bike rides around Los Angeles and selling it on my bike blog.

But when I went out on my favorite local ride, thinking about this more and more, I decided that most of the people I could reach probably already knew the routes better than me.

Then a spandex-covered, gloved and helmeted, racing-fit biker in a yellow jersey pulled up next to me on a pricey carbon frame decked out with halogen lights and a GPS odometer and clock.

We talked shop for a while. He was from the neighborhood, and was out on an after-work ride. From his outfit and his talk I knew this was the ideal customer, and I assumed by his garb that he already had a lot more knowledge and expertise than me.

But when I told him I was doing the “Mission Triangle” that roughly goes from my home in Silverlake to the San Gabriel Mission, across to San Fernando and back home, he asked a lot of questions about the route. He wanted to know the distances involved, the difficulty of the ride, and so on.

Clearly I had something to teach him.

You’re smarter than you think you are. If you spend time and effort studying (or better yet, doing) just about anything at all, you’re going to acquire knowledge that others don’t have.

In the information age, your most valuable resource is–well, information. You can set yourself up as an expert by posting a good blog, publishing a newsletter, giving out (or selling) ebooks, or best of all, writing a book.

In our information-heavy age, people are used to finding what they need, and almost nobody falls for the cheesy commercials that drew money from our grandparents’ wallets. You have to build trust and authority, and the best way to do this is by sharing your knowledge.

All you have to do is get over your terminal modesty and remember that you do have knowledge worth sharing.

I can say that for the past two years at least, all the really good clients I’ve acquired came to me because of the copywriting tips and marketing ideas I’ve shared in my newsletter and on my blog.

In those rare times when business has gotten a little slow, I’ve always just responded by giving away ideas for free, telling people what I was doing to get more work and urging them to do the same, sharing stories, posting more tips… and always the work has come back.

There was a time when I told myself, “My clients are successful business people. I don’t need to share this with them. Surely they already know.”

I though about that as I huffed and puffed alongside my fellow roadie, whose far superior rig (and probably better conditioning) made me struggle to keep up.

“Where are you headed now?” he asked.

I told him the street name, and he shook his head. “Never heard of it.”

The next left turn, there it was. I turned away down the street a local biker had never heard of. As I said goodbye, he asked me, “You ever thought of writing a guidebook?”

You know more than you think you do.


I said I wouldn’t do this, but…

December 8th, 2008 No comments

I’ve been sick the last few days, and it could have been worse but Johana nursed me back to health with love and attention and her grandmother’s soup recipe.

I told myself I would only publish hard, practical marketing advice, and stay away from the kind of stuff you saw in “The Secret.” You’ve probably heard all you want to about gratitude, especially this time of year.

But here it is. Expressing gratitude, or even just feeling it, has a hard practical value. Maybe it will also magnetize the universe and attract all the good things you want. I don’t know. But here’s something practical you’ll certainly gain by just taking the time to feel grateful.

Your mood and your confidence will soar. Think about all you’ve got, all you’ve done, and especially all that’s been done for you and you know you can’t fail.

This confidence is critical when you’re selling anything. Gratitude makes you more approachable, attractive, and sincere when you meet a potential client. You’ll naturally be coming from a place of helping your client make a purchase decision, rather than trying to push a sale through.

I could go on about this, but let me leave you with a practical tip. Take a few minutes every day to just think aobut what you’re grateful for. It will start to change the way you think and feel about your life. And ultimately this will enhance your marketing and selling power.

I’m grateful that you read this.

Categories: marketing, selling Tags: ,