The Power Of Prolific Business Connections: Why Every Single Contact Counts…

It is a well-known fact that a group of electric batteries will provide more energy than a single battery. It is also a well-known fact that an individual battery will provide energy in proportion to the number and capacity of the cells it contains. The brain functions in a similar fashion. This accounts for the fact that some brains are more efficient than others, and leads to this significant statement- a group of brains coordinated (or connected) in a spirit of harmony, will provide more thought-energy than a single brain, just as a group of electric batteries will provide more energy than a single battery.”

Think & Grow Rich’, Napoleon Hill

Did you ever see that movie ‘Sliding Doors’? The basic premise interested me- the notion that one simple scenario like just missing a subway train home could trigger a massive alternate reality where everything from your hairstyle to your relationship status to your career differed. I didn’t actually watch the movie until just a year or so ago- and (while I don’t want to reveal spoilers) I found it interesting that what appeared to be the ‘better’ reality for the main characters didn’t necessarily turn out to be so. But I digress-

Because here’s my own story about how a single coffee meeting in Brisbane’s eastern suburbs back in 2013 was to notably change the course of my business- and my life- for the next few years at least:

See, John and I met at a business networking event, and we arranged to catch up for a coffee later on at a cafe in Norman Park. During that conversation, John mentioned a business consultant he knew, named Anthea, who was running an upcoming workshop on time management called ‘Stop The Clock‘. Getting better results for my time was something I was quite interested in, so I found out more details and then (on the day) I went along to this workshop over in Newstead…

Despite it being a single days’ workshop (and a free one at that) I was immediately impressed with the amount of preparation Anthea put into the workshops’ organisation, and how professionally laid-out the materials were. While I was already familiar with many of the areas covered, there were other concepts where I had something of a lightbulb moment. I left the workshop with new ideas and a folder under my arm full of valuable course material…

Not long afterwards, I was at another event where attendees dropped their business cards into a metal bucket and then (at the end of the event) cards were randomly picked out for prizes. As it happened, my card was drawn second- and the prize was a years’ membership in these monthly educational events Anthea held, aimed at business owners just like myself.

Going to these events is how I got to meet Julie. Julie had actually been there the night my card was drawn and we’d spoken briefly, but I realised the scope of Julie’s expertise when she did a presentation on getting the most out of LinkedIn. She was holding a 2-day workshop and I was definitely interested in brushing up on my LinkedIn knowledge (knowing it’d translate not just for my profile, but in regards to what I could do for my clients). So I put my name down and off I went…

The workshop was both informative and entertaining- and that’s a testament not just to what Julie knows about LinkedIn, but how she teaches it. If I had to sum it up in two words? Infectious Enthusiasm. But it didn’t end there-

See, Julie went on to provide me with two things I hadn’t expected:

a) A carton full of marketing and copywriting related newsletters, DVD’s and other educational material she thought would be right up my alley, probably worth 4 figures in total when bought- and mine to keep

b) An introduction to Rose

Rose was the director of a business networking organisation with groups in my area, and while they had all sorts of business owners and specialists in these groups, they didn’t have anybody who specialised in copywriting- yet.

So I began attending a group in the CBD that met every Thursday afternoon, and I was soon doing presentations on copywriting before the group. I also met other business owners in the process and some of them I’m still connected with to this day. But it didn’t end there…

See, at this point in my life I was at something of a crossroads. I’d been in Brisbane for nearly 5 years and in that time I’d started Scribe, made new friends, seen some old ones move on and (to say the least) I’d changed as well. My life and my whole outlook was largely different from the one I’d arrived with. I’d begun wondering if staying here was meant to be, or if I should make a fresh start somewhere else. Because if I had the freedom to be anywhere, was this really the best option?

Then in February 2015 I was with Rose and a colleague named Stuart who did videography, at a 3 day marketing seminar at the Grand Chancellor on the Gold Coast. The whole time during the seminar we were brainstorming ideas, jotting them down and passing notes back and forth between the three of us. Then on the second day, Rose told me that she’d decided to open a new group here on the Coast, and she wanted me to come on board as assistant to the group ambassador.

I was already doing my MBA part-time down on the Gold Coast, so coupled with this new role? It now made perfect sense for this to be my next move...

So in a single weekend I got the answer I’d been looking for, and without any prompting it’d come about because I knew Rose>

Who’d been introduced to me by Julie>

Who I’d met (indirectly) through Anthea>

Who I’d been recommended to by John.

So, if it wasn’t for that coffee meeting with John back in 2013 in Norman Park, would I have found myself relocating down to the sunny Gold Coast in March of 2015, right when I’d been looking to start afresh? Who knows…

On another note, I would later sign up to do a 10 week course with Anthea when I realised I could do with a bit of mentoring as I shifted all my focus to Scribe. There’s a story that outlines how all that came to be, here. Again, if I didn’t already know Anthea, hadn’t seen the quality of content she put out and her ability to teach business owners, would I have ever got on board? Possibly not. It’s all in the power of connections.

No doubt you’ve got plenty of your own stories- maybe you landed a great new job because of somebody you chatted to at the races or in a corporate box at the game or even at your favourite bar on a Friday evening. Or maybe you met your spouse/ significant other because of your friend or your sibling or somebody they knew? That’s before even talking about the people you meet through business networking…

If you stop and think about it for a moment, how many circumstances and relationships do you enjoy in this present day all because of that one person you met?

Just this weekend gone, I went to birthday drinks for an old friend I’ve known 15 years. I met him through another friend, who I’ve known 16 years- and we met out the front of North Sydney station because he wanted to know which bus took us to the footy? Through him I have another mutual friend who lives a couple of suburbs away, and we’re throwing a surprise party for him this weekend (don’t mention the surprise party. I did once- but I think I got away with it). We’re all going kart racing a couple of weeks from now- and the catalyst was one random encounter on a winters’ afternoon back in 2004…

A single connection can have a huge trajectory on your business success, a single meeting can inspire a transformation you didn’t expect to see in the entirety of your life.

My current role as Group Leader for bX Gosford is no different. I went to a day seminar event hosted by bX Director Matt Alderton back in August 2018 in Sydney’s west and (afterwards) we were all in the downstairs bar of the venue when Matt mentioned his interest in opening a group up on the Central Coast. Fast forward a year later and Jason (a colleague and previous client of mine) called up to tell me bX was starting a group in Gosford, and would I be interested in coming on board as the Group Leader? I didn’t need to say I’d think about it!

It should be clear by now that I’m big on connections, and through our fortnightly Gosford events (or our weekly online meetings) I’m always looking out for who I can connect people with. Who is (maybe) just one introduction away from achieving that big outcome they’re looking for? Who might be one connection short of seeing real transformation, and could I make it happen for them?

Yet, I also realise that despite my knowledge and ability when it comes to turning out copy for clients, I’m not always that person who can help a lead in getting the results they’re after. But- if I’m not that person- I have no problem admitting it to them! Because instead, I just refer them onto somebody else who I know is a better fit-

This means that just by talking to me, people are putting themselves in a win-win situation. Because if I can’t help you to achieve your desired business outcomes, I’ll connect you with somebody who can. So (obviously) I’m happy to include that as another one of my Big 5 Guarantees.

So, if you’re looking for assistance or advice and you want a guaranteed win-win, then contact me.

And of course a big shout-out to everybody I mentioned in this article- even if your actions seemed small, they’ve all played their part in a bigger picture.

The 9 essentials you need for writing your own website copy:

It’s estimated that by 2021, any business who doesn’t have a website is going to be as good as dead- regardless of whether they can operate as normal or not, per government-mandated regulations.

So now that’s out of the way- while you obviously need a website, you also need copy that actually works. It can’t just be a placeholder- it has to lead your website visitors on to the next step, whatever you intend for that to be:

Do you want them to buy online?

Call you or a member of your sales team?

Place an order?

Join your mailing list?

Subscribe?

Because it’s nice to refer people to a professional-looking, modern website, but without the right message you’re missing out on a tonne of potential sales- and who wants to be losing out on that?

So if you’d really (rather than getting someone like me to take care of it for you) prefer to go ahead and write your own copy, fine. But for your sake, make sure you follow these guidelines:

#1- Who’s your audience?

Primarily, your answer should be based upon either:

a) Who comprises 80% of your customers, or

b) Who are the most valuable 20% of your customers

Once you have a clear idea of who they are, then your website copy AND your entire content strategy should be directed at these people and created with them in mind. This is what you need to establish before worrying about any of the other points I’m about to address here…

#2- How are you going to get their attention?

Because the secret is making sure you have an attention-grabbing headline, as I discussed here There’s really no point taking the time to write amazing website copy if you haven’t created a knockout headline where necessary, making it easy for your website visitors to find the information they’re looking for or even read the info they weren’t looking for, simply because the headline caught their attention and on some level made them think “Hey- that’s interesting!”

With the right headline, even your cold-emails get read:

#3- Be careful with the negatives

The emotion of fear is a great seller and if you don’t believe me, just watch the news any given night. Drama, scandal, threats to our daily way of life all presented conveniently in fresh waves each night. The boogeymen and forces of evil might change depending on what news sources you go to, but it’s always that same core emotion they’re tapping into.

But here’s where you’ve got to be different: You’re selling people on your solution, not the problem (see the negative I put in there- ironic, huh?) Primarily, you want people to associate your brand with solutions, good times, relief, pride- think all the positive emotions that come from delivering whatever outcome you deliver to your customers. If you want a textbook example of how to do this, just take a look at any insurance company’s advertising campaign and how they sell to you based upon a solution to your problems:

#4- Remember- it’s all about them

More times than I care to recall, one of the early things I’ve picked up on with a clients’ website is how much of their copy refers to “our customers” or their clients in the third-person. This is perfectly acceptable when you’re relating case studies of past customers, but for the most part your web copy should be aimed directly at the browser- think of words like ‘you’, ‘your’, ‘you’re’ and ‘yours’.

It’s going to make the website audience feel a stronger connection with the message the business is delivering, which in turn improves their response rate and means that new business is all theirs.

Compare that sentence with this one, and see how it feels:

It’s going to make your audience feel a stronger connection with the message you’re delivering, which in turn improves your response rate and means that new business is all yours.

Case closed.

#5- Relate to their experiences/ emotions

While your copy might be technically, factually and grammatically sound, if it doesn’t appeal to the experiences and emotions of your audience, then you’re going to lose them. Remember just two points back where we looked at tapping into their ‘fear’ emotion? Well think about all the other emotions you can tap into as well. How often do you remember exactly what somebody said to you or something you read, as opposed to how it made you feel? I expand on that idea here

#6- Tone-Matching

What language or use of jargon is going to appeal directly to your audience? Because that’s how you should write your web copy, so they feel as if you’re on the same level as them. A while back I spoke about this. Essentially, this is how you make a great connection with your audience. The trick is to present information in a manner that they’re going to understand (and relate to) best.

#7- KISS*

Essentially: keep it simple, stupid. Say what needs to be said on your website and use the fewest amount of words you can. Again, you want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to read through and then take action how you want them to (more on that, shortly). But first:

#8- Link Me Up

Be sure to also include hyperlinks in your website copy- this is not only great for your search engine rankings, but it also provides a better user experience for your site visitors. These can either be links to information to do with your business (internal links) or links to information that have to do with a subject that’s relevant to your business (external links). You’ll see I’ve included both examples right here in this very article! Internal links are useful for helping your site visitors to develop a deeper understanding of your business as a whole (and what you can provide for them) while external links are great for helping to establish your credibility. So include links to both!

#9- Clear Call To Action

There’s no point going to the effort of writing all that amazing content on your site if there’s no clear call to action. This means you need to do both of 2 things:

1- Present a clear call to action that persuades your website visitors to do what you wish for them to do in a given section of the website (contact you or your sales team, place an order, subscribe, buy now etc.)

2. Present your CTA so that it’s clear what happens next. Don’t be vague about what the next course of action is. If you have a free download that users can get if they enter their details and join your database, don’t just say ‘Free download here’- say something like ‘Enter your details, join our amazing database and get your complimentary copy of ________’.

Your website should have at least one call to action on every page, even the pages where you aren’t necessarily selling something.

By following these 9 steps you’re well on your way to producing good web copy, whether you’re building a new site or updating an existing one. However, because I’m in a generous mood, here’s a BONUS tip for you:

#10- Plan

So you’ve got a website. Great! But what else? What’s next? Do you have an email funnel to back up the free download you’re offering? Do you publish regular blog articles to your website so that one-time visitors want to come back regularly and see if you’ve got anything new for them to read? Depending on how people interact with your site, you want to plan what you’d like to happen next, which itself is dependant on the decision your audience makes:

Subscribe to your database: What happens after that?

Order from you online: What happens after that?

Browse your site then leave: How can you get them to return?

For a truly outstanding website, you need more than words and links on a few pages- you need a plan of action to go with it so you maximise your audience, your leads and your customers.

So I wish you luck with all of this but remember- if you’d like some professional feedback you could always make it easy for yourself and contact me

How To Write Unique, Memorable Blog Articles That Stand Out

 

I can still remember one of the first things that made me begin to question what the media told me…

It wasn’t something I read on a mainstream media website, saw on the news or read in a newspaper that sowed these seeds of doubt…

I was back in my first year of uni, not yet 20 years old. And in the brand new edition of our university’s quarterly magazine, I read an article about the recent University Games, held up in Cairns…

I’d gone to the games, playing in my campus Rugby League 7’s team. We’d stayed in a nice holiday apartment complex, just across the road from Cairns Central Shopping Centre and walking distance from the footy grounds, the centre of town and (most importantly) a well-known establishment by the name of Gilligan’s. And even though it was the middle of winter, we were in tropical North Queensland. So every day we’d get around in summer gear. In the early hours one morning, traipsing back from another big night at Gilligan’s (the designated party venue for students throughout games week), it was raining. But even at 3am and walking home in a singlet, shorts and thongs, the humidity had made the short trek perfectly bearable…

Yet here in the student magazine was an editorial from some girl, complaining about the accomodation her team had been put up in. She was going on about how sub-standard it was, adding that “most of the time it was cold and raining”.

You liar! I thought.

It’d rained (on and off) for one and a half days out of the 7 we were there. And even if it was the middle of winter, it was never cold. Yet here this girl was, making shit up to try and make the living conditions of her and her team-mates sound even worse.

It was kind of surreal, imagining all the people on my campus (Griffith, Gold Coast if you must know) reading this article, people who didn’t go to the uni games, and thinking that we’d all suffered through a cold and rainy week in Cairns when it just wasn’t so.

This led me to wonder: how much of what was presented as ‘fact’ each day in the media, actually so? How much of it was made up of half-truths or (to precede Donald Trump by a decade) “Fake News”

Maybe it wasn’t just the Murdoch Media empire or “those bloody lefties at the ABC and Fairfax” who put their own spin on the truth- maybe they all did it, to some degree? But one thing for sure- my trust in the media would never be the same again…

Now where was I? Oh yes- explaining how this ties in with the art of writing posts that make YOU memorable as a writer!

You remember ‘Mary Poppins’? A delightful kids’ movie, and even though I normally hated musicals growing up, I actually found this 1966 Walt Disney classic to be quite charming. You wouldn’t call it scary, would you? But what if people did some editing tricks and made you believe it was a horror masterpiece? Could people even do that? You be the judge:

The same footage. The same dialogue. The same music all found in the original. But what a different impression you get of the entire movie, just from how this material is presented in a 1 minute clip!

Writing articles gives you the same power.

You have the power to take what could otherwise be static information, easily found on Google, and give it your own slant. Include your unique stories and experiences and your own ‘voice’ and bingo! People remember you.

Living in Australia, like many I grew up listening to the music of Paul Kelly. It wasn’t until I grew older that I realised he wasn’t just someone my parents listened to, but he was in fact a household name across Australia- to audiences blue and white collar, urban and country dwelling, European and Indigenous. Why was this?

Because even though so many of his songs cover the same material as other artists from around the world, he has this way of writing lyrics- there’s a candidness, a vulnerability that comes forth in his music and the ability to narrate a scene or tell a whole story in song- and it draws you in.

In similar fashion, even if you’d never heard of the book before and didn’t know who’d written it, you could pick up a written piece and soon recognise Tim Winton’s fingerprints all over it.

The lack of quotation marks.

The setting of a fictional coastal town in Western Australia.

The use of language and the terminologies (Hey sport/ orright/ Christ!)

The vivid, descriptive prose to portray scenes or seasons or sensations, that make you feel like you’re right there as it’s happening.

It’s a voice that is uniquely Tim’s. And while (like everybody) he has his critics, likewise there are people everywhere who love to read his works.

cloudstreet-reading-notes_hero

Having to read ‘Cloudstreet’ in Year 12= my introduction to the unique prose of Tim Winton…

If you want to make your pieces memorable, let them feel the weight of who you are, let them hear your voice. And make them feel something. In a world where so much business is carried out online, we’re still looking for anything that helps us to feel like we’ve made a connection with another human being.

Let me give you a further two examples of what I’m talking about here, because nailing this is so important to making your articles worth the time they take to write:

Firstly, I was listening to the following YouTube video, (Frank Ocean Sings ‘Nikes’ Without Autotune) when I came across this comment in the comments section:

Summer 16….i was one year out of high school. I had just broken up with my girl and went to chicago to stay with my dad side of the family. There i met this girl who was so beautiful she made me nervous. The way she looked at me gave me warm chills like icey hot. I could never notice my surroundings when i was with her. This song played in the back ground when we first kissed. Butterflies filled my chest as if she was my first. She made my summer one to remember that year…nikes and ivey were our theme songs. Once i went back home we kept in touch but we faded away because only so much can keep a woman warm…it’s 2019 and she’s now pregnant and engaged….yet here i am listening to this song…single and wishing the summer of 2016 never ended.

Judging from the 4k + likes this comment received at last check, I’m not the only one who loved it. But why?

Because as you read it, can’t you picture the scene he sets out? Even if you’ve never had this exact experience, don’t you feel as if you can relate?

This is what makes your writing memorable- when you make people feel something. What you write or what you actually say has less of an impact than how they feel. For my second example-

Last year I went along to an event hosted by a colleague of mine, Tara Mollel. During one exercise, she talked about the value of compliments and wanted a volunteer. I figured what was the worst that could happen, so I raised my hand. I should note that by this stage, we’d been there a couple of hours, done a few exercises and I’d played a reasonably active part in the group discussions- so it wasn’t as if Tara knew nothing about me before she spoke.

What she then said to me, after volunteering…I remember the first part, where she thanked me for giving my time to come along to the event. But what she said next, I don’t remember. I just remember that I got that same feeling you get in a movie, when the protagonist delivers an inspirational, profound speech and stirring music soars and leaves you with this fresh, uplifted sensation. Needless to say, by the time Tara finished addressing me in front of the room, I was glowing.

To this day, I remember it clearly. But even though I can’t remember what she said, I remember it so vividly because of how I felt.

So think about this when you write- because yes the technical details matter. But if you can go beyond just sharing helpful information with your readers- if you can find your unique voice, take people into what it’s like to be you and see things as you do- and make them feel something?

You will truly be memorable. I wish you all the best as you go ahead and write…

And if you want to find out how we can achieve this with your content? Contact me

Here’s Why You MIGHT Need A Copywriter…

copywriter

So…

You know what copywriting is…

You know what a copywriter does…

You have associates or friends who use copywriting services…

BUT-

You haven’t considered the idea of using one yourself.

Maybe you don’t think you need one, and you know what?

There’s a good chance you’re right! But first- why not be absolutely certain and run through this quick checklist. For the video, take a look here:

Here’s Why You MIGHT Need A Copywriter…

Otherwise, keep the following in mind- it’s crucial to remember, whatever you decide:

Outside of paid listings, search engines (like Google) rank businesses not just on keywords, but also how regularly the content of a particular web address is updated or added to. So the more that your online content is added to or updated? The better your SEO rankings…

And the better your SEO rankings, the more prominent you are online. The more prominent you are online, the more enquiries you’re getting. The more enquiries you’re getting, the more sales you’re making…and so on…

But all of this starts with the strength of your online content- it’s simple as that.

“Great!” you might think. But-

Do you (or your team) have the time needed to keep updating or adding to your online content?

Because if you decide to take care of it yourself, it doesn’t matter how well you can write- it always takes time. Time to:

  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Research
  • Write the first draft
  • Edit it
  • Edit it again
  • Compile it
  • Post it, finally!

Even for somebody like me it takes time (and I do this for a living!)

So with all this in mind…

Could you afford to use copywriting services for your business?

If you realise you need to be getting content out there and you want to discuss the best strategy for this-

Get in touch. We’ll discuss what you need in order to drive up your leads, sales- and those repeat customers who are worth their weight in gold to your business.

So let’s get talking!

 

 

 

 

5 BIG Things A Copywriter Needs To Know About YOU:

we-want-you - Copy

Check Out The Video Here:

5 BIG Things A Copywriter Wants To Know About YOU:

OR…

Here’s a run-down of the most important things a copywriter will want to know about your business before they write a single word.

The better you can answer the following questions, the more effective your written content is in attracting new leads and “sealing the deal” with your target audience. But first things first:

# 1 Who Is Your Target Audience?

In other words:

What does your typical customer look like?

What does your most valuable customer look like?

Where do they live, who else are they looking at/ buying from besides you, what’s their age demographic etc.

The clearer your answers to these questions, the more effectively a copywriter can strategise where your content should appear and what needs to be written.

# 2 Your Product/ Service Features?

If you’re a product-based business- what are your products made from, where are they sourced from, what’s the process that goes into their manufacture etc?

If you’re a service-based business- what are the steps involved and the equipment used in carrying out your services? Do your customers deal with you directly or a member of your team?

Knowing these answers enables a copywriter to go into more detail when they describe what you do or what you sell. This has the follow-on of optimising your SEO results because the explanation of your product or service has more clarity.

# 3 Benefits- What’s In It For Them?

Getting this one right is crucial. This is the question that underlies virtually every other question put forward to you by a potential customer or client. Regardless of the specifics of what they’re asking, what they really want to know is how what you do or what you sell is going to benefit them-

Do they make money from it?

Do they save money from it?

Will they feel better?

Gain more time?

Lose more weight?

You get the idea… no point in selling the ‘How’ if you can’t sell them on the ‘Why’!

# 4 What Makes You Different?

Unless you’re one of those rare businesses lucky enough to have a niche all to yourself, chances are you’ve got competitors. Competitors with websites, blogs and social media pages, all quickly found online by potential customers…

So you’ve got to have distinct reasons why people should come to YOU over the rest.

What is it that makes your business unique?

Is it your accreditation, the years of industry expertise you offer, some kind of guarantee, that complimentary item or little bit extra you provide that nobody else does?

This is how a copywriter makes your marketing voice different from your competitors. This is what makes you a more appealing proposition to your target audience, and you’d be surprised how often this makes the difference between you landing the sale or the other guy getting it instead.

# 5 What Results Do You Seek?

After all is written, compiled and posted- what results do you want to see?

More enquiries?

More opt-ins?

More consultations?

More sign-ups?

More sales?

Without a clear understanding of what the desired end-game is, your online content will lack direction and a real purpose. Putting it together turns into a waste of a copywriters’ time- and your money.

You need that definite key objective, that clearly understood outcome to aim all your content towards- because this is how a copywriter knows what you need and what you can do without when it comes down to their professional recommendations.

But…this question is one that’s much more specific to your business.

Maybe you know the answer but aren’t sure on the course of action you need to take?

Or maybe you know there’s stuff you need and don’t have- but you can’t get clear on it?

Here’s your chance to see if we can’t implement a strategy to draw in those leads, sign-ups, enquiries and sales you’ve been waiting for…

You’re now just one step away-

Get in touch and let’s make it happen: