Its How You Say it

Posts About Sales Copy

But I Want My Answer Now!

The Internet has spoiled society. I realized this today as I checked my inbox for the third time in a ten minute period. Although I knew it wasn’t rational to spend so much time staring at the screen, waiting for a 0 to change to a 1, I did it anyway. I did it because from experience I know that it is a quick response that makes or breaks you online. As one of my former employers used to say, “go at the speed of the Internet”.

But at what point does preparedness become obsession? Is it when you feel legitimately depressed that there are no new messages in your inbox? Is it when you scour the Internet looking for an opportunity to post something, just so you could elicit a response? As a copywriter, I understand the power of words, and – I’ll be honest- I take it personally when my words do not elicit a response.

So does the fact that I judge the effectiveness of my skill on my ability to receive a response say anything about my passion? I’m not sure.

I do, however, think I am spoiled.

I have grown up with the Internet. I know that people have ways of instantly seeing (and responding to) what I have to say. I have an expectation that what I have to say is important, and that people would want to respond to it. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking like this either.

The problem is: we all think that what we have to say is important; and with the Internet we all have the ability to easily say it to each other. For popular people, that ability is increased, but generally speaking, it is an equal playing field.

But now, with so many of us online, we must rely on our capacity to say something that elicits a response. We must be aggressive in our communications to get anyone to pay attention to us. Nowadays, even a copywriter gets ignored…

So before you begin sulking (like I am) because your website isn’t responsive, your tweets don’t get retweeted, or your emails are marked as spam, consider hiring a copywriter to craft your message. It isn’t a guarantee for an uncontrollable amount of responses, but I can promise, it will help!

I’m a Copywriter; So Why Am I Interviewing Freeway Rick Ross?

Seems like a legitimate question, right? Well, to be honest I still don’t know the answer. Perhaps it was a little bit of the reporter in me- wanting to scoop the story first. Or maybe it was the community activist in me, wanting to learn and share the message of someone with such an intriguing mission. I seriously don’t know why I took hours of precious freelancing time so that I could possibly write a controversial article.

Maybe it’s because deep down, we all want to do something that makes an impact to the World. That was my motivation behind joining AmeriCorps, I wanted to do something. However doing something with writing is not always so straightforward. How do you truly impact society with words? I guess you’d have to say some truly impactful things.

And that is probably the reason why my interview is still sitting on my hard drive- full of jewels of information that I eagerly want to share. I have no problem saying some impactful stuff- I just don’t know who to say it to, and when I do I want to make sure it counts. So for the last week my interview sits in a folder, while my mind races with ideas on the best ways to share it.

I don’t have this problem when I write copy. The medium is clearly defined: a website, an email, a Facebook post, etc. All I have to do is merely translate the brand’s message into words a target demographic can understand. But what do you do when you have the message but struggle with determining the correct medium?

Write a blog post about it?

So hopefully, I will figure this out soon, and can add another published piece to my collection. (Before his next movie is released…) In the meanwhile, enjoy the introduction from my interview.. it may give some idea about what’s in store:

Listen to the Intro Here

 

 

 

Informative eBooks: A Useful Collection of Links

My mother gave me an eReader this year, and for the short amount of time that it worked, I decided to indulge in a little online reading. Let me first explain something about myself- I read medical journals for fun. So, it can be frustrating sometimes to read ‘books’ that don’t provide me with any useful information or enjoyment. If I’m not learning something I didn’t already know, it is a waste of my time. For me, most eBooks are akin to reading the magazines in the checkout line at the grocery store- except they don’t have the good pictures.

So, if I seem highly critical of the electronic book- I am.

So, it is always problematic for me when I take an eBook project. I struggle with writing something that is just a bunch of words with strategically placed links for the purpose of content marketing. I value the readers time, and I probably spend more time than the project is worth searching for that nugget of unique information to put in the writing.

Once again, I am probably over-thinking it, and I wonder if I am the only one. After spending a couple of days reading all of the nonfiction eBooks my brain could stand, I noticed a trend.

Many of them were poorly written summaries of information you could find online. Thankfully, they were free, because I could have taken a screenshot of Google page 1 listings and have gotten the same result. But, there were the few that I felt understood what an ebook is best suited for and wrote in an entertaining (if not useful) style.

In my idealized view of the Internet, an ebook is an extended blog post rather than a technical training. In the non-virtual world, it would be similar to going to a presentation to see someone speak on a topic that interests you. That presentation could be engaging, with music and slideshows and cookies, or it could be an absolute bore, where you cannot understand the speaker, and even if you could, you couldn’t hear him anyways.

Many people think they can take the short cut and throw a few words on some paper with some links and they now have authoritative content. Here’s how that looks in the real world.

“Introducing Jenn, she is going to speak about online writing. Now open up your computers! Wait you don’t have a computer? Go get one. The rest of you, type google.com. This is online writing. Please don’t forget to rate this ebook!”

Good thing I served cookies, because that would have been a total waste of your time. Oh wait, I ate all of them while you were reading.

eBooks don’t have to be like this. If content creators are willing to spend the time investment writing something worthwhile, there are people who will gladly read it. These people will be so grateful for the information you have provided them, they will tell their friends, and support whatever it is you do. Writing an eBook just because it is the thing to do is bad Internet citizenship. If you want an eBook for your online presence, but don’t know where to begin, I’ll be glad to help- but bring your own cookies.

 

 

I’m a Writer, So I’m Not Very Good with Words!

In another life, I worked in technical support, a job that is highly dependent on getting people to explain their problems. One day, I was assisting an older lady who was having a difficult time explaining what was going on with her device. After rambling on about everything but the problem, she said in an exasperated sigh:

I’m sorry I’m so verbose. I’m a writer, so I’m not very good with my words when it comes to talking.

Unfortunately that is the problem with many of us writers. We are so in love with the sight of our own words, that we struggle when having to do so face to face. I say this from personal experience. Although I’ve got years of  face-to-face and phone sales experience, I am much more comfortable (and logical) behind my pen.

The truth of the matter is writers frequently struggle with the right words. Just because someone writes doesn’t mean they are excellent communicators!  Additionally, if it is not something that the writer is personally comfortable with, the message may become convoluted- just like with the lady I was trying to assist. A skilled copywriter will not only know how to use words (writer), they will also know what words to say (the copy part).

Companies that hire professional writers must be aware that there is a difference between someone who writes and someone who writes sales copy. Writing is a creative skill. It is the ability to create or take an idea and artistically express it with the written word. It does not require any specific knowledge per se, but having a toolkit of good grammar and vocabulary does help. Writing is an art that can be mastered. The world needs writers to express those things that cannot be said, but we also need to recognize what they are and what they are not.

Every writer is not a salesperson, just like every salesperson is not a writer.

So why do so many companies, hire writers to handle their sales writing? Wouldn’t you think it would make more sense to use someone that understands how to close a deal if you want them to close your deal? Hiring a writer with some type of knowledge of your message seems to be just logical.

But apparently it is not. Our data-analytic driven society believes that keywords can take the place of quality written compelling copy.  They have shown that people, just like web crawlers, scan for the important information and don’t bother to read the in-between.  To give you an example of how that looks I will rewrite this post in that format.

Writing is a skill that depends on creativity, passion and knowledge. For the best sales-copy hire a knowledgeable sales copywriter.

That isn’t writing, it’s professional Mad-Libs.

Which by the way was my favorite past-time as a kid.