Tag Archives: Linda Barrett

What is it You’re Truly Selling?

raising-hand-in-a-crowdI 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:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What do you do?
  3. Who do you do it for?
  4. What do those people want and need?
  5. 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.

An Insider’s Tip to Getting Your Story into the News

woman-reading-newspaper

She should be reading YOUR story.

I, like other writers, am always looking for good stories. When we writers find something we think is interesting, it is likely that others will find it interesting as well, so we pitch the story idea to magazines, newspapers, online media, etc. If the publication also believes their readership will benefit from the story, they will contract with us to write it.

But how does a story get from your company into the media? Continue reading →

Article: National Aquarium

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Diver at the National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD

There’s something about seeing your story in print that never gets old. I also find it especially thrilling when my photographs are also printed, as in this beautiful montage for my article about the National Aquarium (see photos and story here) in the May/June 2016 issue of Viva Tysons magazine.

Have a story you’d like to see in print? Contact All the Buzz to find out how we can help.

 

 

6 Steps to a Better Presentation

man-giving-presentation

Sometime in your career, you’ve been asked to give a presentation. Maybe it went well. Or maybe it didn’t. The answer lies with your audience. Did they listen attentively and ask questions, or did they look at their watches and dart out the door once you were done?

There is a science to giving a good presentation and professionals know they just can’t wing it. A good presentation is carefully researched, written and practiced ahead of time, keeping the audience’s interests in mind. Here are six steps that can help you develop a better presentation.

How to Give a Better Presentation

  1. Find out who your audience is. Then single out a couple of members or leaders and send a questionnaire or hold an interview in advance to find out what issues they are facing, or what it is they really want to learn or know. Incorporate this information into your presentation.
  2. If you must use slides, use them as visual backup to what you are saying. Do not outline your presentation on the slides and read it to your audience.
  3. Continue reading →

Should You Write in Full Sentences or Fragments?

Do you get this

Do you get this “fragment” prompt?

When I run my work through Spell Check, I’m often stopped by the phrase “Fragment (consider revising.)” Does this happen to you?

While Spell Check helps me find spelling and spacing errors, it doesn’t really know about conversational writing style. Writing for blogs, the web, or social media is different than writing novels or papers. You MUST use sentence fragments.

Yes, use fragments

People don’t speak in full, formal sentences. They speak in fragments. And the point of engaging an audience is to stimulate a “conversation.” I’m sure you’ve heard people say, Continue reading →

What Does a Modern Web Writer Look Like?

My inbox today contained a great infographic titled The Perfect Anatomy of a Modern Web Writer.  It explains what we, as web writers, need in our arsenal as professional writers, as well as demonstrates what to look for when hiring a web writer. So I thought I’d share it.

The Perfect Anatomy of a Modern Web Writer

  1. image-of-modern-web-writer-infographicOutstanding Copywriting Ability.  Copywriting begins with knowing your customer’s hope and fears, her principles and problems…and then figuring out how to help her achieve her goals and ease her pains.
  2. Storytelling Skills.  Storytelling creates a narrative that spellbinds people. There’s no debate: the best web writers are also the best storytellers.

Continue reading →

Author Finds that Sometimes Publicity is Just Serendipity

I foolishly knocked my carriage clock off the mantle while cleaning one day recently and was heartbroken to see its shattered condition on the marble hearth. So I picked up the pieces and took the remains to a local clock shop.

The news wasn’t good. My clock was so badly broken that all that could be salvaged was the Seth Thomas brass face. A customer standing in line behind me, carrying his own broken mantle clock witnessed this transaction and commented on how beautiful my bright clock face was. He thought, in fact, it might fit into his own clock, which had a tired, faded face.

We held the face up and it seemed to be a perfect size match. He purchased it from me on the spot.

You Never Know Who’s Listening

While he was waiting for the clerk to research his problem, we struck up a conversation. It turns out he’s an author and has just published his second book: Titanic’s Resurrected Secret–HEW.

Having done a lot of reading about the Titanic and its survivors, I was interested–not only in the book, but in this fascinating man and his stories. Continue reading →

“Drive” People to Their Destination Through Your Landing Page

image-of-landing-page-tips-graphicI came across a great infographic that shares the biggest landing page goofs business owners can make. It compares the experience of visiting your landing page (or home page) to that of a cross-country road trip.

You want to make the trip a smooth journey for your visitors, taking them from where they are now to their final destination. And you get to decide that destination.

Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter, click the “buy now” button during a special sale, or call you for a price quote or free consultation? Pick one and give them the directions that will lead them directly to the end of the line without confusion or roadblocks. Continue reading →

Your Website is Sooooo Out of Date

website-audit-image-All-the-Buzz

It’s time for a website audit.

I can’t believe how many websites I see that are just plain awful.

  • Their copy is out of date.
  • They have only bulleted lists on each page.
  • They haven’t used keywords or internal links.
  • They have typos or bad grammar.
  • Their pages only have pictures, without even having captions.
  • They are even lacking copy altogether.
  • Worst of all, they have the dreaded “Under Construction” on their pages or their entire site.

Egads! Are people turning away from your site because they get a bad impression from it?

When’s the last time you changed or updated your copy?  One year?  Two years?  Ten years? Continue reading →

6 Tips for Writing More Effective Twitter Headlines | All the Buzz | Writing Tips

Twitter-logoAt All the Buzz, we’ve been asked lately, “How do I get people to read my Twitter post?” Writing for Twitter is like writing for anything else. You have to capture the reader’s attention right off the bat. And what’s the best way to do that? Write a great headline.

The 80/20 Rule applies

You won’t get everyone to read your Tweet, no matter how great your headline is. Your headline has to capture the interest of that specific reader at that specific time. The 80/20 rule applies here: 8 out of 10 people will read your headline and only 2 out of 10 will read on. People scan, and if your headline doesn’t capture their interest in a second or two, they move on to the next shiny object. Here are some tips, however,  that can help you write more effective Twitter headlines and increase your readership: Continue reading →