Four Ways to Get Stellar Results When You’re Working With a Copywriter

Today’s guest post is from Debra Jason, a copywriter, speaker, author and multi-faceted marketing mentor who I have had the pleasure of connecting with online. Her specialty is in helping people develop the content needed for websites and direct marketing materials that successfully positions the brand for maximum results.

I know many of you are great communicators, but struggle when it comes time to “sell yourself.” You may become tongue-tied and have no idea what to say. Working with a copywriter takes the pressure off and allows you to focus on what you do best. Debra’s post shares with us how to get stellar results when you do.

If you’re an author, speaker or entrepreneur getting ready to launch a website or marketing campaign, but unsure about writing promotional content, you may turn to an independent writer to assist you.

Working on any promotional literature, be it a website, brochure or an extensive direct mail package, is a team effort between you, your copywriter and graphic designer. It’s a partnership created to develop the best tools for promoting your product/service. Each person in the partnership has certain responsibilities.

Debra Jason, author of Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

The purpose of this post is to help you be aware of your role – obtaining and organizing the valuable information a copywriter needs from you.

Being organized and prepared before you meet with the writer for an input meeting will save you time and money in the long run. And, it increases your chances of getting the results you’re looking for – record-breaking ones – as soon as the first draft.

4 Tips for Working with a Copywriter

The following four steps will help you gather the appropriate information you need to pass along to your writer:

1. Define your goals — convey them clearly.

What is it that you want to achieve with the project you’re going to assign to your copywriter? Do you want to sell more product, gain name recognition/brand awareness, create an image or generate new leads?

Remember, if your objectives are too complex then you risk confusing your copywriter. Simply state your goals. It sets your copywriter off in the right direction — to create an effective, results-oriented promotion for you.

As an independent copywriter, I take the time to listen to you. Tell me what it is you need to say. I’ll tell you how to say it. I make sure that I clearly understand your goals, translating them into fresh ideas that sell your product/service.

2. Don’t be shy — tell her everything.

You know your product/service best. A copywriter knows how to write to promote that product. So, don’t be shy. Tell her everything about it. If your copywriter asks you a lot of questions, be grateful. The more you can tell her, the better your chances are of getting what you want — as soon as the first draft.

What is the single strongest benefit of your product/service (i.e., the benefit that harnesses the greatest selling power)? List all of the additional benefits. Why should someone buy your product over the competition? What makes yours special?

Your writer’s goal is to create a piece that converts prospects into loyal, raving fans. If you have printed materials in the past (i.e., marketing plan, brochures, testimonials, etc.), provide those to your writer as well.

3. Know your audience — introduce her to them.

It is important for you to know who you’re speaking to. Tell your copywriter about your audience. Better yet, imagine you’re introducing her to one person from that target market. Then, tell her what you know about that individual.

First, what keeps your ideal clients up at night? What are the challenges/issues they’re facing on a daily basis? How does your product/service solve their problems and make their lives easier?

What are the demographics of your audience? And, what do you know about their lifestyles (i.e., psychographics) such as what kind of cars do they drive, do they dine out or eat at home? Do they use credit cards or pay with cash? Is your product/service familiar to your audience (how aware are they that you/your product exists)?

Do your best to answer questions such as those mentioned above and tell your copywriter what you discover. Keep in mind that the tone of a brochure or website will differ if you want to reach single professional women, 25-35 years old vs. married women in their 50s.

Don’t hesitate to introduce your audience to your writer. The more you can tell her, the easier it is for her to “get acquainted” with them before she starts to write. The resulting piece us one that attracts prospects’ attention, makes an impact and motivates them to buy your product or service.

4. Hire a copywriter who is not only talented — she’s reliable & trustworthy.

The project you’re about to assign — be it a brochure, website, direct mail package — sends a message out to the world about your product/service. You want to make a good first impression.

Your copywriter should also make a good first impression — with you. Of course, you want her to be talented. But that’s not enough to get your project done. Have you established a positive personal rapport? You should both feel comfortable sharing opinions and making compromises to achieve your goals.

Working with my clients is a team effort — a partnership created to develop the best marketing tools for your product. Talented copywriters take pride in the fact that these relationships include mutual trust and respect. Remember these four steps the next time you’re looking for great results from your copywriter.

Have any other tips you’d like to suggest? Please share them in the comment section below because I’d love to hear from you. Thanks a million and here’s to your sweet success.

 

About Debra Jason: Marketing and writing with heart, not hype, Debra encourages you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans – even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past. Visit her at WriteDirection.com.

Speaker and author of the award-winning book Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget™, she not only inspires and educates, she empowers creative solopreneurs with relationship-building strategies that help them create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. Seeking a dynamic speaker for your next event, contact Debra at DebraJason.com.

What’s the Big Deal about Website Design?

One of the reasons that I love working with WordPress is the infinite possibility and flexibility it offers.

It allows novices and experts alike to create stunning websites worthy of the brand that they represent.

So, why would you bother hiring a website designer if you can do all of this yourself?

It’s the same response that I give to people when they ask why they should use an independent publisher, like our sister organization, Emerald Lake Books, when they can self-publish.

We know what you don’t.

We know the design standards. We know the hidden pitfalls. We know how to develop sites (and books) to avoid potential issues down the road. We know how to select themes, plugins, products and services that will grow with you.

It’s why we go through an intensive interview process before we even begin working on a new site.

We need to understand what you want your site to do now, and what you want it capable of doing three years from now.

We dig deep to learn about your ideal audience, what their needs are, and what we can do to make your site the place they want to visit most out of the millions of websites they could spend their time on.

We learn about your likes and dislikes in terms of branding, colors, layouts, functionality, etc.

And we take all of these factors and more into consideration when we design the site that’s right for you.

More than that, though. We can save you from false starts.

A hard lesson

I recently inherited a client’s website. She’d had a friend create it for her, and was hosting it on a web server owned by the friend of another friend.

When she hired me, she thought she was ready to have the site optimized for SEO. However, upon performing an SEO evaluation for her, it became clear that she did not have what she thought she had purchased.

The “WordPress website” she’d purchased was actually made in Adobe Muse and published to the web host. This meant that only her developer had access to the source files, and my client could not easily update the site herself (a requirement she’d stipulated when she contracted with her friend to do the site in the first place).

The web host she was using was a small outfit that only owned one server. As a result, they were very protective of that single server, knowing that if anything ever happened to it, they were out of business.

When my client’s email address was randomly hacked, the web host went ballistic. Their rants and unprofessional manner of addressing our client’s distress did nothing to resolve the problem. In fact, the web host locked down every single cPanel function and blocked our client’s ability to send and receive email for more than a week, effectively shutting down my client’s business.

Before I could ever do anything about the SEO activities I was hired to do, we had to convert the website from Muse to WordPress, migrate it to a new web host and transfer the domain registry as well, simply to avoid the false starts and poor choices that were unwittingly made at the start.

When you work with a professional web designer, they have the experience necessary to know which services and products they trust and would recommend. If you’re only doing one or two websites for yourself, the chances are, you simply don’t have the same breadth of knowledge necessary to avoid painful lessons.

The periodic table of web design

To gain a fuller understanding of what you get when you work with a website designer, consider this behind-the-scenes look at the web design process. Because that’s what you get when you hire a professional.

Periodic
Periodic Table of Web Design Process – created by
New Design Group

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content When You Don’t Have a Clue [Infographic]

The folks at CopyBlogger have done it again! They’re the experts when it comes to creating great content, and this infographic is no exception.

As they acknowledge, even professional writers sometimes get stuck for content ideas. And the same is true for authors and speakers. There are times when the well simply runs dry.

So, what do you write about then?

I’m hoping the ideas that are shared here will help get those creative juices flowing.

And thanks again, CopyBlogger, for always being willing to share!

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

How Speakers and Authors Can Use Mobile Marketing

Today’s guest post is from Sophorn Chhay, an inbound marketer specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generating sales  and qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s SMS and marketing automation solution, he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers or members.

Trumpia is offering a free Mobile Marketing Success Kit, so don’t forget to grab your free copy.

Mobile marketing offers many channels for reaching your audience, including reminding them of events and sending them special offers for your next book. It is a great way to add some oomph to your existing marketing strategies and connect personally with your followers.

Mobile marketing for authors and speakersMobile is now the primary way that people connect with the Internet, and you can take advantage of this communication stream to deepen existing relationships with your readers and find new ones.

Here are some easy ways to increase your following with mobile marketing.

1. Create an SMS marketing subscriber list.

SMS or “texting” is one of the top activities that people use a cell phone for. Texting is the most used application on smartphones, with 97 percent of U.S. users texting at least once a day.

Use this knowledge to your advantage by offering an opt-in service for your followers.

Not sure which mobile marketing platform to use? Here’s a comprehensive list of the Top 50 Mobile Marketing Tools and Platforms for Business.

You can use this an SMS service in a variety of ways. For example:

  • Send reminders of new books or upcoming presentations.
  • Let people know when you will be in town.
  • Send out alerts for your newsletter or contests on social media.
  • Inform followers of giveaways and freebies.
  • Offer free tickets to your next speaking engagement if they share your text.

Creative ideas for SMS message marketing are being thought of daily.

You can divide your list in several ways, including by location to let readers know when you will be in their local area for a meet and greet, book signing or convention.

You can also divide the list by genre, if you write or speak in more than one topic area. Send reminders only to followers for that particular genre when events come up.

Additionally, run surveys of your readers to see which of your characters they like best or which book is their favorite.

2. Optimize your website for mobile users.

Now that more people access the Internet from mobile devices than desktop computers, you should optimize your website for mobile.

Optimizing your site for mobile will not turn away desktop followers. In fact, they may not know the difference. Many people go online using both their mobile and desktop device, and can follow you on both.

The best practice for making your site mobile accessible is by changing it to a mobile responsive theme. Talk to your webmaster to see how much work that will be.

Don’t know if your site is mobile responsive or not? Visit the Google Webmasters site to check. And if you don’t have a developer who can help you, feel free to contact us. We’d be glad to do what we can.

Mobile responsive themes respond to a signal from devices, displaying your site in best fashion for each device’s screen size. They also reorder elements of the site in a predetermined configuration. This process is automatic, making the site friendlier to mobile users.

3. Use social media sites that are popular on mobile.

Some social media sites have great apps designed to make them easy to use, making it easier to access information and share content with friends.

Instagram is a mobile-only social media site that is primarily a picture/video sharing site. You can use this to promote your upcoming events and let people get to know the real you. [You do have to upload your images from your mobile device to use this app.]

Pinterest has a very sophisticated mobile app that you can use for letting people know about events, sending out quotes from your books or your inspirational messages, and sending out advance notices of your book covers. It is a very active site on desktop and mobile, and book covers are the perfect size for Pinterest images.

Depending on your topic area of expertise, you can create boards sharing recipes, offering business advice or cosplaying your main characters (dressing up and acting like them).

Facebook is used on mobile for sharing images, videos and text, and can be adapted to mobile easily. Many authors create pages to announce new books, get feedback from readers, and let people know where they are traveling for conventions. You can even send videos of yourself meeting followers or speaking, or ask people to tag you when they post their photos to Facebook of your meeting.

Just a Start

These ideas are just a beginning to the many ways to publicize your work on mobile. You will be amazed at how easy it is to add mobile marketing to your marketing strategy.

 

Wondering What Theme or Plugin that Site Uses?

Have you ever looked at a website and thought to yourself, Gee, I wonder what plugin they’re using for that? or Wow! I really like that theme. I wonder which one it is?

It doesn’t matter whether you have one website you maintain or scores of them, we all look for inspiration from other websites we like.

The Old Way of Doing Things

Does this story sound familiar to you?

I found a website that did something I liked, but I had no idea what theme or plugin they were using to do it.

So, I right-clicked and selected “View Source,” then scrolled through the source code, hoping I might recognize the part that provides some quasi-identifying information.

Once I found it, I’d Google it, and then try to figure out which of the search results was the one I wanted.

If I was really lucky, after a few minutes, I’d find the right one and I’d be happy.

But if there was more than one thing on the site I liked, I had to go back and repeat this process for each element I wanted to identify. [Read more…]

Taking the Mystery Out of Image File Types

We all know the benefits of using images and video in our social content. And then there’s the question of what to use in eBooks, presentations, on our websites, in blog posts and more.

I’ve recently begun teaching myself how to use Pixlr to do some of my own image editing and save my graphic designer’s time for things that absolutely require his talent.

So the question kept coming up for me. Which image file type should I be saving things as?

I tried asking my designer, but I have to admit… This is something that gets those guys jacked up, and I was lost after just a few sentences…

However, when you need it, the answer comes, right? [Read more…]

Is Your Website Ready for Mobilegeddon?

Typically, when Google makes a change to its algorithm, website developers are left in the dark. We don’t know when they’re coming or what the change is. If we did, then it might allow us to “game the system” to ensure that our websites have just the right bells and whistles to rank the best in search results…

Google webmasters logoSo, website developers around the world snapped to attention when Google announced last month that “As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns.”

This prefaced their announcement that:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

As Chuck Price from Search Engine Watch put it “In the world of SEO, hummingbirds, pandas, and penguins are akin to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

It’s this prevailing opinion that has led developers to refer to this impending algorithm change as “Mobilegeddon.”

So what does that mean for you? [Read more…]

5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Getting Hacked

Not too long ago, I was writing a blog post and including a link to a friend’s website. When I tested the link and went to my friend’s site, I noticed something unusual.

Directly below the header and above the menu bar was an innocuous line of text.hacked site

“Viagra professional scam.”

Hmm…

That seemed a bit out of place…

I immediately notified my friend, who happened to be traveling at the time, and we discovered that his site was infected.

Bummer!

It’s not the first time I’ve seen something like this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last!

However, there are things that every website administrator can do to ensure their site is better protected. [Read more…]

What is Google Authorship and Why Should You Care?

As content creators, we want to have our work viewed by as many eyes as possible. Getting the word out there about what we’ve written, what we’re doing, and where we’re going is important, right?

We like to think that if we create great content, Google will love us and will give us all of the credit that we’re due for being such wonderful innovators of ideas.

The sad truth is, unless you give Google a reason to know who you are, it’s not going to notice…

To put it bluntly, you are nobody to Google until you’re somebody.

Google is great at being able to judge the authority of a domain (a website) based on a number of key factors like traffic, engagement, authority, etc. However, it has no idea who you are or what you’re writing until you stand up and say “Here I am!”

That’s why they introduced the Google Authorship program. [Read more…]

5 Good Reasons Why You Need the Expertise of Professional Website Designers

Today’s guest post is from Tiffany Olson, who works at Optimize Worldwide in California, a small web development company that specializes in search engine friendly web design. Some of her hobbies include doing yoga, cooking, and reading.

Computer with Website Designed by Aleweb Social MarketingIn this day and age, marketing your next book or your next big talk requires a functioning website to serve as the face of your project on the Internet. However, a site that isn’t effective at making a positive first impression on its visitors doesn’t add any value and can actually end up undermining it.

Many people believe that creating a website is simple and they can save a few dollars by making it a DIY project, but more often than not, this doesn’t produce the lucrative results they desire. A well-built site can help to make projects and business ventures very profitable, and to achieve this, it usually takes the experience and know-how of professional website designers. [Read more…]