Its How You Say it

Posts About Sales Copy

What Everyone Can Learn From Ruff Ryders, Roc-A-Fella, and Wu-Tang

I grew up loving Hip-Hop. In South Carolina, when the latest rap song blasted through my radio, it fueled excitement in an otherwise simple and uncomplicated day-to regime. Although I had never walked the mean streets of Philly, sold drugs on the streets of Brooklyn, or ran the streets of New York, I knew about it because of these famous rap labels.

As a business owner, that experience has shaped how I approach marketing. They used a strategy that every business should be using if they are online. The fact that these record labels were able to reach a small town teenager 100s of miles away is not only due to huge financial backings. It’s due to something a bit less obvious.

Branding

What these labels did is create an identity for themselves outside of their music. They created something bigger than the product they were actually selling. By doing that, not only were they able to be more memorable, they were also able to make money off of their brand.

How many times did you see Ruff Ryders apparel in the mid and late 90s? Could you hold up the hand signal for Roc-A-Fella if prompted? Maybe you own some Wu-Tang branded merchandise?

Branding gives potential customers something to remember your business or product by. It helps customers forgive that mistake you made last month…

Remember when Old Dirty Bastard got in a little PR trouble? It didn’t kill the brand.

Your business can do something similar – with a little effort.

We’re Not All Rap Stars

This is probably a good thing too because my free-styling skills suck. However, we can all brand ourselves.

Seattle branding event

Which is why I am proud to be an ambassador for Tribe of Zero, a Canadian company helping small businesses and entrepreneurs find their way. This month, they are hosting a one-day event focused on branding for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Seattle, Washington.

Not only will I be attending, I also have discounted tickets to give away. If you would like to join me at the event, enter code JMCK307 to receive more than 30% off of your ticket.

Learn how to stand out from the crowd and be memorable, without having a crew of extra rappers who never actually produce anything…

And if you need any help with a writer to put it all together for you, you know who to call =)

Buy your discounted tickets here. Hope to see you there!

Grammarly: It’s Like Writing with a Coach

Even the greatest players have coaches –  but for some reason, people believe having a writing coach is against the rules. I simply do not get it – wouldn’t you want someone to tell you when you are messing up? That’s why I was willing to give Grammarly a shot. Yes, they had a free trial, so that definitely was part of it… But I knew that my content and my client’s content, deserved the best possible writing I could produce. Grammarly helps me produce it.

More than a spell-checker

My husband laughed at me when I told him about my new proofing tool. “Why would you bother with that when Word has that built-in?” Well for one reason, Grammarly does so much more that Word could ever do. I mean, I remember back in 1995 when I could depend on the built-in grammar checker- but those days are long gone. Writing and the different forms of writing have become more pronounced; not every type of writing fits into red and green squiggles.

Take these screenshots, for example:

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Grammarly found 8 mistakes, and 2 possible cases of plagiarism, while MS Word  corrected the word Grammarly.

Writing for the Web; Writing a Sales Letter

All writing is not the same – a good copywriter knows that- but do you? It’s okay, you don’t need to because Grammarly has got you covered. When proofreading your work, simply choose the style of writing you’d like to check it against. Grammarly has six different categories to check against- from medical to casual and everything in between- it knows the rules for MLA, AP, APA and blog style and checks your work against them. No more stiff-sounding blogs or over-casual business letters… just your writing with the right style, punctuation, and grammar.

Because Auto-Correct Sucks. …

I call Grammarly a coach – and not a cheat – because you must approve or fix every suggested change yourself. Sometimes even, the tool tells you what you’ve done wrong, but doesn’t tell you how to fix it. This happens especially with style issues because they typically require rewording or a different choice of words. If you have a fairly good command of grammar, Grammarly will serve as a powerful safety net that keeps you from making the mistakes you probably don’t normally make. If your writing skills are basic, it can help you learn from your mistakes, making you a stronger writer with each use. With Grammarly, you must approve or deny every suggested change – and most times you are given the corresponding rule the suggestion is based on. It’s like having a dictionary, thesaurus, middle school English teacher, style book and a Google plagiarism search all in one. They may remind you of the rules, but it’s up to you to do the work.

Who Should Use Grammarly?

Anyone who writes. I can’t begin to express how useful this tool is. It is available as a MS Word plug-in as well as an online tool. It corrects in American English, with the exception of a few Canadian spellings of certain words.

Ready to try it out?

It’s free to give it a shot!

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Test your writing for free and see just how much Grammarly could help you. The free version is limited, but it gives you a good idea about how it works. Don’t worry, if there are too many corrections needed, I’ll be glad to fix it for you.

Does Your Online Content Reflect You?

I had a discussion with my husband the other day about what my work entails. Strangely enough, although I work from home, my family believes I type away at my keyboard and read Twitter all day. If that’s all I did, that would sure be an awesome way to pay the bills- but I digress…

My husband – like many traditionally business minded people- believed that my job entailed making people look better. I explained that it was a little bit different; that I give people a voice.

My writing business is formed around a marketing principle that I passionately believe in. It’s called authenticity, or as I frequently call it, ‘keeping it real.’ Authenticity builds trust, it forms connections, and ultimately, it closes deals.

As a salesperson and promotional marketer it was easy to use authenticity. I simply remained very honest with people, giving them the good and the bad, and letting them make their own decisions. See, I was confident in what I was selling, so much that I didn’t need to hype it up to get the job done. I simply needed to know what I was talking about and smile pretty.

Yes, appearance matters… unfortunately, for some.

But in writing, this process is not as straightforward –                                         and it takes a talented writer to do it well

How does a company remain authentic when marketing on a platform that is mostly text based?

How do you stand out from every other business in your industry? You could create videos, display professionally designed info graphs, or record informative podcasts; but what are you going to write in the description?

My point is, building authenticity online is about maintaining your business’s voice. It’s not about using industry buzzwords or copy-writing formulas for putting together a website. It’s about taking your business, and everything that it is – the good, the bad, the unique – and accurately depicting that online in an attractive way.

For the small business, the Internet is not about looking better than you actually are; it is about extending who you are to a different market.

You made the business, let me help you share it with the world.

Check out my newly launched website, Jenn Marie Marketing & Writing for a list of all the services that I provide for small businesses, individuals and anyone seeking an authentic voice online.

Prufreed Your Content

The Internet is fast-paced. I get it. But there really isn’t a good reason for not proofreading before you hit submit. With so many automated tools, its amazing how anyone is able to send out bad content without knowing.

Unfortunately, they do.  This parody by Weird Al Yancovich proves they do.

People need help writing!

Thankfully, there are people like me and software like Grammarly that can comb over your writing with expert eye, but they only work if you use them.  When you have an online business, your writing is part of your image. You wouldn’t show up at a meeting with a stain on your shirt, so why would you leave a typo on your blog post?

Yes, I did link to a software program that has automated a process I charge clients for.  I did it because I hardly ever take proofreading only projects. I’d much rather you find an easy way to proofread your content over trying to sell you my services. Besides, there is plenty of poorly written content to go around.

For more information about my proofreading services, read this blog post.

I’m going to be honest; I hate proofreading, so I get why most people would fail to do it. It slows down the creative process and keeps you from saying what it is you have to say. However, when what you have to say could convert into money or spread your cause, you might want to be a little bit more careful about how you say it.

People judge you by your website, and they judge your website by your content. What do you want them to learn about you?

Make the best impression. Proofread.

 

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