I love this quote from Warren Buffett because it truly describes what sales and marketing is all about.
If your clients or customers are complaining about the price of the services or goods you are offering, they probably don’t understand the value of what they are buying. And this is where you need to beef up your marketing efforts.
We’ve all heard how we must feature the benefits of an item, not its features when selling. This concept takes that credo to a new level. People will pay — and pay handsomely — for something they value.
Within the past few months I had the opportunity to work with a start-up company in creating its brand and new website. We went round and round with the pricing for copywriting on their new site. If it weren’t for the fact that I was referred to them by someone they respected, I’m not sure they would have hired a copywriter at all. They simply didn’t see the value in good writing or the need to pay for it. But in the end, they ended up hiring me for the job and accepted the completed copy for their new site.
I Didn’t Realize Your Value
I recently received an email from this client whose very words were, “We have gotten such great feedback on our new website. I didn’t realize the value that a professional copywriter could bring.”
Since then, I have run into this client at a networking event and in their introduction of me to one of their alliances, they bragged that they had hired me and what a difference I made. Not only did I provide excellent website copy that was already getting them leads, they told this new company that I saved them from what had been hours and hours of labor trying to come up with the copy themselves. This I had not known when I first met them. Multiply the lost revenues of the hours an executive can spend agonizing over the rights words vs. the comparatively small cost of hiring a professional and you’ll see the value too.
You Just Can’t Write About Yourself
One of the most difficult things you can do is write about yourself. You’re too close to it. Even I have difficulty writing about myself although I write about others all day long. Part of the value a professional copywriter brings is the ability to stand outside your company and look at what a potential customer might need and want from you and translate that into copy that sells. In fact, by looking at a client’s website from outside eyes, with a consumer mindset, I most often see obvious things that the client missed if they wrote the copy themselves. This is a truly valuable insight that some business owners neglect.
Through our interview process, analysis and research, along with a plain old consumer attitude, we can create value not only for our customers but for their potential clients and customers as well through the right words, delivering the right message at the right time.
Be Prepared to Talk About Value
The next time someone counters your price or complains about your fee, be ready to counter with value. Have concrete examples of how you provide that value in terms they can understand–often the bottom line. If they see and understand the value, they will have no problem accepting the cost.
If you need to have your website copy written or reviewed by a professional copywriter, contact All the Buzz. We’ll be glad to bring value to your organization.
According to Google, “Duplicate content refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” This means that when writing good web copy, each page should be original and blocks of copy should not be repeated within your site.
This also means that blocks of copy cannot be lifted from other sites and used on your site. Besides, this could be considered plagiarism without consent and attribution.
Google instates this rule to avoid deceptive practices by which content can be “deliberately duplicated in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic.” This also results in a poor user experience where a visitor sees the same content on various pages of your site, and can lose you credibility in their estimation.
“Google tries hard to index and show pages with distinct information,” it reports. If you are caught and determined to be guilty of deceptive practices, Google will make “appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the site may suffer, or be removed completely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.”
There are times, however, when duplicate copy cannot be avoided, such as with PDF-formatted items, printer-only versions, discussion forums that generate both regular and stripped-down pages for mobile devices, and store items linked via multiple distinct URLs. These are recognized by Google as “non-malicious” duplicate content.
Trust the Copywriting to the Experts
Professional copywriters, like those at All the Buzz, know the rules Google applies, and we work hard to provide unique and keyword-rich content to each of your online pages, whether they are web pages, blog posts or social media listings.
Navigating search engine optimization can be tricky, and although you can do it yourself, it is best left to the experts. You don’t want to make a mistake with something as important as your online business presence.
Contact All the Buzz for expert website copywriting.
–excerpted from Google’s rules for Duplicate Content
Washington Post Reports Writing Skills Rising on the List of Job Requirements But Failing in Candidates
Selingo continues to reports hearing an interviewer from government contracting firm, looking to hire proposal writers for federal agencies, complain about “how difficult it is to find good writers these days.”
“According to national surveys, employers want to hire college graduates who can write coherently, think creatively and analyze quantitative data. But the Conference Board has found in its surveys of corporate hiring leaders that skillful writing is one of the biggest shortfalls in workplace readiness,” Selingo said.
“That’s why so many employers now explicitly ask for writing and communications skills in their job advertisements. Experience in writing and communications are the most requested job requirements across nearly every industry, even in fields such as information technology and engineering.”
Need a Good Writer–or Writing Training? Contact All The Buzz
The most successful businesses realize that how they communicate with their customers can either make–or break–their sales, so they don’t leave the marketing copywriting up to their staff. They bring in an expert to write their website, sales materials, brochures, direct mail, proposals, and other important marketing collateral.
All the Buzz has conducted corporate training classes in how to be a better business writer, and worked with executives to assist with their writing skills. If you need writing training, or desire a great (and award-winning) business copywriter, contact All the Buzz.
–excerpted from washingtonpost.com/news/gradepoint
Not 20 years ago, it was easy to get noticed with your own website. But now that there are more than 1 billion websites on the World Wide Web, it is increasingly difficult to grab your audience’s attention and get them to click on your site.
Good Use of Keywords
Keywords are those words that are entered into a search, and that indicate just what a person is seeking. It makes sense, then, that the more specific the information that is entered, the more closely a match will be created in the search. When writing your copy, be sure to include keywords that not only generically describe your product or service, be specific.
Make a short list of your top keywords, and pepper those throughout your copy. Pay attention also to long-tailed keywords, which are three-to-four keyword phrases that are very specific to what you are selling and what your prospect is searching for. Most people enter more than one word when performing a search query. For example, if they were looking for a dentist for their child, they might enter, “pediatric dentist fairfax virginia.”
Even if you don’t have the exact keywords on your page, search engines are smart enough to recognize your content as relevant enough to rank you highly in a search. You might rank highly for “jogging” for instance, even though you use the word “running” in your content.
Bad Use of Keywords
Stuffing your site’s pages with keywords, especially when they do not naturally refer to the content on a page, leads to a bad visitor experience. Not only do they not find the important information they need, and for which they came to your site in the first place, it junks up your content as to be annoying and irrelevant to the user’s needs.
High Keyword Rankings are Not an Indicator of High Sales
Just because you rank in the top listings for your keyword does not mean that you will automatically receive more sales. Your copy must be written in order to fulfill the expectations of your visitor, and must convert visitors to sales. Track those keywords that bring in visitors, and track again which visitors convert to inquiries or sales.
Copy that excites people enough to make an inquiry is what you actually desire.
There are a number of online tools that can help you determine your keywords and track your SEO rankings. There are also expert copywriters, like those at All the Buzz, who can help you create copy that not only attracts visitors, but sells.
Have Your Reviewed Your Web Copy Lately?
If you haven’t updated your web copy in a couple of years, you have probably dropped off the search engine radar. Let us check your existing site to ensure that your copy is relevant and keyword rich. We can review and edit your current website, or create entirely new copy that will sizzle.
Contact All the Buzz today for professional web writing services.
Many business owners are told that they need to create a downloadable document that can help them explain their business, support their findings, provide education, set themselves apart as an expert in their field, or used as a free giveaway to help build a list. This can be a white paper or an e-book.
In speaking with business owners, I find that they are often confused about the differences between a white paper or an e-book and which is the appropriate item to create and offer.
According to David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR, a white paper is an authoritative report or guide addressing issues and how to solve them. It is used to educate, and can come in the form of a research report, summary or tech brief.
White papers can be considered old-school, and tend to be boring, with extensive detail. They are generally used for more technical explanations, and can highlight an expertise in your field in a longer format. They do not make good link bait and are most often used in the B2B market.
An e-book, on the other hand, is looser, more playful, with an engaging theme, appealing design and layout, and bold text treatments, he explains. They are written in small chunks that can be easily skimmed through or scanned. They can also be concept-centric based on ideas and trends. Preference is given to visual layout, with callouts, bulleted lists and illustrations.
E-books are generally engaging and can include links, videos, or surveys, or can be used to encourage readers to take action. Offered free, they make excellent link bait and subscriber bonus giveaways. If offered freely, they can spread like wildfire through sharing. They are most often used in the B2C market.
Creating a landing page for your e-book will help people find it. And be sure to include your website, contact information, and a call to action within your e-book to build your brand and let people know how to contact you.
What to Include in your White Paper or E-book
For either publication, follow a format that uses these elements:
- Title page
- Table of Contents
- Body Content
- Call to Action (invite readers to take the next step)
If you need help creating a white paper or e-book, contact All the Buzz. We’re experts at writing content that sells.
Pablo Picasso was sitting in a restaurant one day when a woman walked up and asked if he would draw her a sketch. He said OK, and jotted down a quick sketch. When the woman went to take the drawing, Picasso held back and said, “That will be $10,000.”
The woman was outraged. “How can you charge me $10,000 when it only took you five minutes!”
Picasso politely answered, “No ma’am. It took me 50 years.”
I love this story because it reflects upon my own life as a marketing copywriter. People often wonder why I charge the rates I do, especially if the copy is short.
Here’s where they’re missing the connection:
Like Good Art, Good Writing Take Years of Preparation and Practice
I have honed my craft for more than 40 years, studying and learning how to write professional marketing copy for all the different mediums and outcomes: print, online, web, social media, white papers, grants, sales letters, advertisements, etc. It isn’t something I take, or do lightly. It is a talent as well as a profession, as it was with Pablo Picasso.
It’s not a fluke that I’ve won a prestigious Clio award, and other writing accolades. Those type of results only come from serious study of the art form.
When someone wants a job done well, they go to a professional. For example, if you need a heart transplant, you want the best, most experienced heart surgeon possible, and you’d expect to pay top dollar for an excellent result. Right? Would you trust the heart surgeon that didn’t charge a professional rate? I think not.
It’s the same with your business. Why spend the money on shoddy work that could actually stop the heartbeat of your business? Wouldn’t you rather have the best, most trained person possible to help you create a healthy flow of business?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of “wanna-be” copywriters out there. I know, because I get a lot of their work from my clients who ask me to “fix it.” My poor clients sadly then have to pay double for the same work–once to the not-so-good copywriter, and once to me, when for a lot less money, they could have gotten the best the first time. Think about that when you’re comparing writing costs.
Short Copy is Harder to Write than Long Copy
Short copy must deliver your entire message in the fewest words possible. This means that each and every word must carry weight and importance. Finding the right words to convince, influence, enlighten, or persuade also takes years of practice honing the skill. And a good writer can do it quickly. But that doesn’t mean it is easy. In fact, short writing is the most difficult type of writing.
In a writing class, I was asked to write a short story containing only 10 words. It was a wonderful exercise in storytelling that I’ve used many times when writing marketing copy for clients.
Pablo Picasso may have been controversial, but nobody could say that he wasn’t a true genius. I hope someday people regard my work that way, although I doubt it will ever appear in a museum — hmmm, unless I’m hired to write the art descriptions, catalogs, sales copy, promotions… Come to think of it, maybe my writing WILL appear in a museum someday.
If you want the best marketing copywriting, please contact All the Buzz.
When we used to use typewriters, in order for the copy to be read clearly, it needed two spaces to set it apart. There was only only font, after all, and it was not as easy to read as our modern proportional fonts found on computers.
Today, every computer is proportional, and good writers know to only put one space following a sentence. Even the style guides, like the Chicago Manual of Style, dictate that a single space should be used. Likewise, only one space should be used after a colon or semicolon.
Nothing looks more amateurish on your website than copy containing double spaces. Take another look at your website and other written materials to make sure you’re up to date on publishing style.
When is the Last Time You Updated Your Website Copy?
If your website is dated, or you haven’t refreshed your copy in several years, it may be time to call in a professional copywriter, like All the Buzz. We’re experts in creating compelling copy that will highlight and illuminate your company, and get you noticed on the web. Contact us today.
I was listening to a TED Talk today that offered to teach people how to find their true calling in just five minutes. In it, the speaker, Adam Leipzig, asked the audience five questions:
- What is your name?
- What do you do?
- Who do you do it for?
- What do those people want and need?
- How do they change as a result?
When he asked the first question, of course everyone in the audience knew the answer, however, as he progressed down the short list, the responses became fewer and fewer. Although most people knew what they did, they knew not why they did it.
The last question, #5, is the most important, he said. Knowing how you make a difference in someone’s life or work is how you should answer the question, “What do you do.”
In other words, instead of saying, “I do bookkeeping,” you could answer, “I keep people’s monthly accounting up to date so they know exactly how their business is doing at any time.”
Look for the real reason people rely on you and your service, and engage and intrigue your audience with the benefit.
All the Buzz Can Uncover Your Real Value
If you have difficulty defining what it is you really do in terms of its benefit, that’s where we come in. Let a professional writer, like us, look at your website copy and your marketing materials. We’ll uncover the real benefits of doing business with you and help you share them with the world with more compelling sales messages that get results. Contact us today.
Many years ago, when I was cutting my teeth as a business writer, I made the same mistake. Then my editor told me to go back over my copy and edit out every time I used the word “that.” He said it would make my copy stronger, and you know, he was right. Although the use of “that” might be grammatically correct, it is unnecessary and overused.
Now, there are times when you need to use the word “that,” but most times it is superfluous to the copy. Effective copy needs to be brief and clear. If you are using the word “that,” you are using too many words in your sentence. How can you cut back the sentence to make a more powerful and interesting statement?
Can you see the difference in this example?
- Original: Margot said that she was going to take dancing lessons so that she would someday become a great ballerina.
- Better said: Margot planned to take dancing lessons, hoping to someday become a great ballerina.
If it is a person, use “who.”
When writing about a person, use the word “who” instead of “that,” as in this example:
- Original: The man that held the door was wearing a green uniform.
- Better said: The man who held the door wore a green uniform.
Hire an Expert Business Copywriter
When you’re considering hiring a copywriter, ask for writing samples, and note how many times you see the word “that.” If it is used more than a few times, you’ll know you’re working with a beginner, and may not get the best bang for your buck. It’s a quick way to tell.
When you need powerful, effective business writing, hire an expert. Contact All the Buzz.
Even as a professional writer, I have to review everything I write to make sure I am writing in “active voice.” I review for it in my professional writing as well as my everyday correspondences via email or letters, and believe it or not, I usually find at least one place where I can make my writing stronger.
What is Active Voice?
When using active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action expressed in the verb: The girl brushed the dog. An example of this same sentence in passive voice would be: The dog was brushed by the girl. One tip for identifying a passive sentence is to look for the word “by.”
Why is Active Voice Important?
Active voice sentences are preferable in writing because Continue reading →