Find your story. Then have your copywriter tell your story

Last night I watched “Seabiscuit” again. Thank you to my daughter for picking that out at the movie place! It was timely given we’d been showing my racehorse (pictured here) to potential buyers over the weekend. But as a copywriter, not horse lover, that movie is a wonderful reminder of the power of stories. Seabiscuit came along when the people needed something to believe in, a success story of an underdog winning against all odds. It was the depression. It was a horrible, scary time. And here was this scrappy little horse who paddled out with one leg (like mine!) but whose heart was [...]

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Stories, stories, stories…copywriter says keep telling stories!

My friend Mavis is a freelance copywriter like me. But she calls herself a story teller. And it’s true. Copywriters are story tellers. Companies hire us copywriters to tell their stories on their Websites, in their email marketing, in their blogs…at least the smart companies do. People love stories. Maybe it’s because for most of human existence, we’ve relied on oral traditions to pass along information, lore and lessons. Whatever the reason, watch a room full of children enraptured by a story teller, and you’ll see that same attention given to a compelling speaker standing before a room full of adults…if [...]

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Engage potential customers, don’t ignore them!

Have you ever met someone and liked them but figured they didn’t like you? This happens in the dating world all the time, right? But marketers do this without meaning to, telling prospects “We don’t want you” with their words, even though what they really want is to turn them into customers…   Last summer at a party I did not plan on attending, I met someone who gave every indication of not being interested. I hadn’t even planned on attending this party. Worse, I wasn’t even invited. I was supposed to be somewhere else, as I drove home from [...]

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Seven bottles of shampoo…or why your prospect ignores you

This morning I realized there are seven bottles of shampoo in my shower. This is odd for two reasons: 1) only two people live in my house right now, and 2) I only just noticed and counted the bottles…which have been there for a while. A long while.   This is noteworthy and relevant because those shampoo bottles are like your marketing: easy to ignore. I don’t know how long I’ve been showering surrounded by seven bottles of shampoo (and two conditioner containers). I’m sure these bottles were collected gradually. But until I knocked one over and became aware of [...]

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Are potential customers labeling and avoiding you?

I’ve had several bad espressos from those cheap looking, roadside coffee stands. To the point where I won’t even risk it anymore. I’d sooner go to a Starbucks—which is against my principles as a small business supporter and champion—than risk one more really bad latte. My brain knows they can’t all be that poor quality, those little independent barista booths. But my stomach and taste buds have been burned enough times to avoid anything like that.   I’m wary of the roadside coffee stand, I admit it. Just like women are wary of a certain type of guy. At the [...]

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Your marketing and copywriting can delight your customers by anticipating their needs

Yesterday I read an email marketing blog post on surprising your readers, that that’s a type of “relevance,” anticipating their needs, wants or desires by offering them something unexpected but welcome. This is a classic “marketing is like dating” scenario.   It reminded me of a man I dated who was a single dad with full custody of his kids. He could spot things that needed doing as soon as he walked into my house in a way another man couldn’t, because his experience running a household made him aware. I kid you not, this guy amazed me. He was [...]

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Even when using blogs as marketing tools you can market with email newsletters

This Seattle copywriter is finally updating the We Know Words web site. It’s a running joke that I need to hire a website copywriter to keep the web site maintained! But a pleasant lull in the copywriting business is making the update doable. Part of the update is simplifying the site since I now rely more on blogs as marketing tools. (More on that in my next blog.) But I as a copywriter have a tendency to get a little fond of copy. As a result, I’m posting an article on email newsletters here since it’s being deleted off the copywriting web site. It’s an [...]

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Marketing is like dating: Sometimes you gotta change your message in order to get heard

I’ve been thinking about communication and how you can keep saying the same thing over and over and not get heard. And the implications when you consider marketing is like dating.   Ever been in a relationship and had trouble communicating? Or understanding your partner? It happens. People have differing communication styles. The meaning of words, tone of voice, body language and even the topics of discussion can vary greatly between people. It’s not for lack of trying. We want to communicate. We are humans, after all, social beings. And that can lead to frustration when we feel like we’re not [...]

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Tell your stories, influence your customers

Stories are compelling. Stories are how people passed along knowledge, lore and culture for thousands of years before the written word. If you have children, you know how compelling stories can be: There are some stories kids can’t hear enough. (I used to know “The Little Engine that Could” by heart, I read it so many times to my son when he was little.) Even longer books keep kids engaged: “Wolf Story” is a chapter book I read dozens of times to Evan, then later to his sister.   Or think about a dinner party: Who’s the most entertaining guest? [...]

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Smart businesses get long-term customers through “free prizes”

Years ago Seth Godin wrote a book called “Free Prize Inside.” The idea of a free prize, that little something extra you get (as a customer) or give (as a business) has stayed with me ever since, and I notice free prizes and lack thereof on a regular basis.   Staples had a great free prize going on recently. They called it a Career Stimulus Program and were giving away 20 resume copies and 40 business cards, for free! How sweet is that? How relevant to the mindset of their customers, either those who did get laid off or those [...]

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