Category Archives: Writing Tips

Win a Sale with the Triangulation Technique

Triangulation I came across a wonderful technique from Ed Gandia (copywriter, author, speaker and coach) that helps answer the dilemma of not having specific samples to show a client.

Here’s the scenario: your prospective client is a dentist, for example, and while you’re pitching your service, the prospect asks if you have any experience working with businesses like his.

You don’t.

You could just say “no” and walk away. Instead, Gandia offers this alternative: the triangulation technique.

The Triangulation Technique

The steps of the Triangulation Technique are as follows, in this order:

  1. The client wants a project done and asks if you have specific experience in their field. You don’t.
  2. You tell the client what you DO have and have done, and offer examples.
  3. You justify why you will do a great job and ask for the sale.

1. Tell Them What You DO Have

Instead, of “no,”  you answer, “I don’t have that specific experience…but here’s what I DO have that will enable me to do a good job.” Proceed to show specific examples that would relate to this type of job–even if it was in a different field.

2. Justify Why You’re the Right Choice

Demonstrate how your background and knowledge enables you to do a better job than perhaps someone who didn’t have that skill and knowledge set. Show examples of work similar to what they need. Exhibit expertise in the form of education, training, awards, jobs and happy client testimonials.

3. Ask for the Sale

Close by saying someting like, “I just need the opportunity and I promise that you’ll be very happy with the result.” Ask for the sale with an open-ended question like, “When can we get started?”

If the prospect still balks at hiring you, offer a partial project to “try you out,” or assure the client that they will be able to review your work at various stages. Ask how you CAN help them solve their problem, which they obviously have, because they came to you for help.

It’s really all about the confidence the prospect has that you will get the job done. By proving that you can handle the work through the Triangulation Technique, you can win the sale.

 

People need your change | Writing Quotes

fountain-pen

“People need your craft of writing, but they need your change more.”

Seth Godin, author and dot com business executive

How Do You Prove Your Expertise?

Can you prove it graphicI follow marketing expert Marcia Yudkin, author of The Marketing Minute, and her latest marketing advice got me thinking. She begins with stating that your About page must address two crucial questions your prospects might wonder:

  • Are you, in fact, good at what you do?
  • Can I count on you to deliver as promised?

She goes on to state that your bio must include what marketers call “proof elements.” Without them, you have a trustworthiness gap.

So what are proof elements?

A proof element must provide an external indicator of competence and reliability. That means the proof must come from an outside source other than yourself or someone within your organization. Here are some examples and ways you can obtain and use your proof elements.

Types of Third-Party Proof Elements

Testimonials

Most websites have a page dedicated to testimonials. These are endorsements of a personal experience this person had with you or your company regarding quality and reliability. You should include the person’s name (or at least their initials and city), or a reference to the source, in every post to ensure that it is indeed an outside source. If you don’t have a testimonials page on your website, add one. People love to hear about other people’s experiences and trust their opinions. Testimonials can be written, or opt for video testimonials of your customers talking about their experience.

Reviews

Reviews are testimonials that are posted on platforms other than your website. They are placed on these sites out of your control so they carry more credibility than testimonials posted on your site. Of course, you can use these testimonials on your website. You should encourage your clients and customers to leave positive reviews (always ask for “positive reviews” when requesting, and not just “a review.” Better yet, ask for a “five star review!), and offer them the link and instructions on how to do so. Choose sites that are important to your business, like Google My Business, Houzz, Bing, Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, etc.

Social Media

Everybody wants to share their story on social media, so use this to your advantage. Ask your customers and clients to share their positive story with your company and recommendations on using your organization on their social media. This is known as “social proof,” a psychological phenomenon where others both believe and follow your advice, or assume your actions in a given situation. Believe that others want to achieve the same results you have provided. Create fans of your company by posting regularly on your own social media.

Visuals

Visual proof cannot be denied. Include photographs of your product or service in action, show results in a chart or graph, or post a video of how you made a difference. Show your product or service in action. Is it easy to use? Is there a visible effect? Look for ways to “show” and not “tell” about your expertise and delivery.

Statistics

Statistics can come in many forms, and can come in the form of results, public ratings, awards, licenses, certifications, and third-party verifications. Post a visual like a graph of results if you are responsible for increasing web traffic, for example. Or link to awards and certifications you’ve received; post a list on your website and include it in your presentations. This all adds credibility and positive proof.

Positive Media Coverage

If you are fortunate enough to have a positive story published in a publication, use that in your marketing. Post a PDF or a link to the story on your website and your social media. Refer to the story in your monthly newsletter. Make copies of the features and include them in your presentation and leave-behind materials. When the press talks about you, you are instantly credible. Do not, however, refer to negative media coverage.

Case Studies and Project Stories

When your client has a great experience with you, ask them if you can write up their story and use it in your marketing. Give it a warm spin with a project story, or offer more technical “before and after” proof with a case study. Both of these options should include three sections:

  1. What was the situation before you got involved?
  2. What did you do to make a difference?
  3. What is the outcome as a result?

Additional Advice

Stick to the Facts

Proof implies factual documentation. Think of a legal case. To prove the innocence or guilt of the accused, counsel on either side must provide factual proof. What are some of the ways you can prove that you are good at what you do, and that you can deliver as promised?

Let All the Buzz Help You Prove Your Expertise

We at All the Buzz work with business owners to create marketing copy that sells. Let us help you revamp your website copy, create your blog posts, or create the proof of expertise that will win customers. Contact us at info at allthebuzz.net.

 

You too can subscribe to Marcia Yudkin’s Marketing Minute, published each Wednesday. She is the author of Inspired!, Meatier Marketing Copy, and 15 other books.

Why Should I Blog?

Why should I blog?Is blogging a difficult thing to do? No. Is it essential? Yes. Many clients ask us, “Why should I blog?” That shows us that they don’t know or understand the benefits of blogging, so let’s review those benefits here.

Blogging attracts interested prospects

People are searching the Internet for answers to solve their problems. When your business blog post offers that solution, you are immediately on their radar as a qualified resource, without their having to make a commitment.

Blogging establishes and reinforces your expertise

Your business blog posts are prime locations in which to establish and reinforce your expertise in your field. Post answers to the most often-asked questions about your business. Post evidence of your expertise with awards and links to articles in which you appear. Post proof that you are an expert with examples and explanations of your products and services. Post reviews and testimonials. There are numerous ways you can build your credibility.

The business mentorship organization Score offers 10 reasons to keep an active business blog, beginning with the fact that “customers who read your blog at 97% more likely to click on your website.” The answer to “Why should I blog” is to attract and convince potential customers and clients. Continue reading →

What to Look for in a Really Good Copywriter

copywriterThe hardest thing any business owner can do is to write about him or herself or their business. It just can’t be done—or at least done well. You need that outside eye—preferably a writer with a good marketing background and solid writing reputation—to create copy about you that others will find compelling. If you try to write about yourself, you will get bogged down in too many details, wondering which are the most important. You will also labor for hours on end trying to get the copy “just right.”

What Makes a Really Good Copywriter?

When you’ve decided it is best for both your sanity and your time to hire an outside writer, here’s what you should look for:

Style of copywriting experience

Your copywriter should be up to date on the latest ways to write for the particular medium you’re writing for, be it the web, brochures, a media kit or an author bio, for example. The writing styles for each are entirely different. If the writer doesn’t know the difference, look for one who does.

Great interview skills

Most of the information for the copy will come from you. A great copywriter has the confidence to conduct an interview to gather what they need in the shortest time possible. We know you’re busy and we need to use our skills to ferret out details quickly that make your copy shine. Expect some “off the wall” questions, and roll with them. We’re also looking for insights into your personality so we can inject that into the copy.
Continue reading →

25 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Business Blog

blog post template graphicDo you write a blog for your business and keep posting to it regularly? It’s a great way to talk about your industry, provide information about your business, and to entertain. It’s also a great way to build a following for your business. Yet many business owners ask how to make people aware of their blog and to attract followers.

25 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Business Blog

  1. Tell everyone you have a blog
  2. Post your blog name and link in your email signature
  3. Include your blog link on your business cards, stationery and all forms
  4. Add your blog link to your bio
  5. Post snippets of your blog posts on your social media with links to the blog
  6. Add your blog link to your social media profiles
  7. Be active on your social media accounts and social networking sites like StumbleUpon and Mixx
  8. Continue reading →

Types of Blog Posts

types-of-blog-postsWe all know that we should be blogging in our business. Blog posts not only keep relevant content on our website for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, they give people a way to learn more about what you do and what you can do for them. There are a number of types of blog posts, as we’ll discuss here.

Types of Blog Posts:

  • Story
    Tell readers a story about your product, your company, a client case study, or an industry happening. People love to read about other people’s experiences.
  • List
    Offer an easy-to-read bulleted list of items that can help someone overcome an obstacle or organize their lives, for example.
  • How To
    Take the reader step by step through a process to an outcome. Highlight how to best use and benefit from one of your products or services.
  • Continue reading →

Why a Well-Done Intake Interview is Vitally Important to Writing Copy

intake-interview-importanceWhen working with a new client, we always perform what we call an “Intake Interview.” This interview is valuable in a number of ways.

Get the Facts

First, it provides us with the facts we need about a company’s products, services, customer service policies, history, background, target customer audience and goals.

Get the Tone

Second, it gives us the opportunity to “hear” the company owner. We listen not just for the facts but for how the owner represents the business. Does he or she speak using technical language? Are the sentences long or short? Is there humor? This helps us to write in “their voice,” not our own, and is especially helpful when writing a speech the interviewee will be delivering. Most of the time our client remarks, “It sounds just like me!”

Get the Customer

Listening also helps us to uncover problems the owner may be having in the business, or issues their customers might be having. These can and should be addressed when creating good copy. Continue reading →

Value is What You Get

Warren_Buffett_quotePrice is what you pay.
Value is what you get.

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, Continue reading →

Google’s Rules on “Duplicate Content”

Do_Not_DuplicateAny good web designer or web copywriter will tell you that you cannot have duplicate content on your site. They’re right–in most cases.

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. Continue reading →