No, But I Mean It: Specialise (If You Want to Live)

Looks like my email about specialisation the other day caused some anger.

A reader replied by writing a blog post.

It’s in dutch so I’m afraid I can’t share it with you.

The gyst of it is that this reader diversification a hallmark of being human.

Which I agree with.

It doesn’t get you your daily bread though.

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Tell Me What to Do – Don't They Know How Arrogant I Am?

Had an interesting conversation with a few smart local femtrepreneurs the other day.

They were asking me about my habit of emailing daily.

And they were trying hard to convince me that it’s a bad strategy.

“You’ll bore people”
Nope. People mail me back to say thanks.

“They flag you for spam”.
Not so. I get hardly even any unsubscribes.

“People just ignore you”.
Not true either. It gets me consistently high open rates.

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Weird Huh? The More Skills You Offer, the Fewer Sales You'll Make

One of the most widespread mistakes people make is being versatile in what they offer.

Service-based businesses are especially prone to this, and it has devastating consequences.

The story usually goes like this:

I offer web design services, but I’m low on clients and that causes a cashflow problem.

I’m going to also offer related services, like modifying website code, and copywriting, and Aweber integration.

That way I can catch more clients for different types of gigs, and solve my financial problems.”

After that, financial problems tend to spiral right out of control.

Why?

Several reasons:

If you want people to pay you handsomely, you have to excel at what you do. If you want to earn top dollar, you have to be one of the best.

And let me tell you: if you don’t focus 100% of your energy on becoming the best, you won’t become the best. Obviously.

But also: what kind of client do you want to work with?

I don’t know about you, but I prefer my clients to be smart, focused, driven, and poised for success.

To me, that means a client who hires experts for each part of his project, because hey, experts are the best for the job. Right?

So if you offer 7,5 different kinds of service that are only partially related (if at all), your client won’t be the type who hires experts.

He or she will be the type who hires freelancers who learn everything half-ass, because they try to do too many things at the same time.

Logically, a client like that isn’t exactly set up for massive success.

Which means his launch could bomb, his traffic might be untargeted, his funnel might be broken – many things can go wrong.

And if it does go wrong? Then you have a problem, possibly several.

He could blame you even though the work you did isn’t the reason for the lack of results.

He is not likely to come back to you because he probably won’t make enough money to reinvest.

He could even come back to you and try to get a refund, which is just another hassle for you.

Focus. Specialise. Be really amazingly good at one specific thing. A small thing or a big thing, that depends.

Point in case: I could specialise in just email marketing services, but instead my offer is wider: I also write website copy, ads, direct response copy and video sales scripts.

But, it’s all a matter of copywriting services. As soon as a client asks me if I can also set up Mailchimp for them, I refer them to a specialist.

I could do it, but won’t. I specialise. That’s what makes me good at what I do.

And most importantly: it gives my clients the confidence that I don’t muck about with my work, but that instead I give it 100% every day.

Don’t be the guy who sells ice-cream but who will also paint your house.

Be the guy who is THE best housepainter in town, OR be the guy with the richest and creamiest icecream. Not both.

Here’s where I normally place a crafty reference to my work and a link, but it’s late and I’m tired so I hope you’ll forgive me if I just give you the link without further ado.

Just in case you want to hire a sales-driven and highly specialised copywriter: http://martinstellar.com/high-conversion-sales-copy//

Cheers,

Martin

 

Oh Man I Miss the @Rimshotbot – And I'll Miss You If You Disappear

Few years ago there was a twitter account I just loved.

It was a bot, but such a fun bot.

It scanned the twitterverse, for anyone using the word ‘rimshot’.

You know, the badum-tshh sound they make on the drums after a comedian tells a joke.

As soon as you’d say #rimshot, you’d get a reply from the @rimshotbot.

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Client About to Drive off a Cliff – Again

I thought this might be useful for you. It’s an email I sent to a client last night.

I’ve mentioned him before: he’s getting ready to launch his business, and still has a few big problems on his site.

Notably, his landing pages are broken: the copy is good (obviously – I wrote it – don’t ever let anyone accuse me of modesty).

But the design and layout is a mess. The pages won’t convert. So I offered him a report+wireframes, and since he’s a client who keeps sending me jobs, I offered this at a stupid discount.

 He declined, saying his web development team will fix the problems.

 I’m fine with that, but…

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Screw the Customer and Make a Profit (Don't do This)

Just saw a quote that made me angry.

Not because it isn’t true, but because of who said it, and because of the company this individual runs.

“People say the customer is always right, but you know what – they’re not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so”.

That little gem is from Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair.

Ryanair is of course the low-budget airline I love to rant against.

Ryanair is a complete asshole to its customers.

“Short of committing murder, negative publicity sells more seats than positive publicity”.

Yep, he really said that. It pretty much sums up Ryanair’s attitude.

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Why a Little Bit of You Makes You Come Alive To Them

I was talking to a friend the other day about her marketing.

She owns a little grocery store here in town, and she asked my help in order to attract clients from a wealthy neighbourhood.

Her plan was to distribute a little flyer to raise awareness and interest.

I put together some copy giving the reader some fine incentives to come visit her shop, and printed it out to show her.

But I don’t want my picture on it, Martin. I’m not that coquette, you know? It’s not about me”.

I smiled at her, because I like it when people say smart things.

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Smart Guy: I Don't Want to go to His Shop, But I Probably Will

A few times a year, everything in this town gets covered by a thin film of fine red sand.

It gets carried across the Mediterranean sea when the wind is just right, and it actually is sand from the Sahara.

I got on my motorbike, started, and drove away to a horrible crunching sound.

It was the Sahara sand on the chain, and it causes massive wear on the chain, so on my way out of town I stopped at a workshop to have the guy clean off the sand.
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Facts Are Stupid Things – What Does That Even Mean?

When you write, it’s incredibly important that you get your message across unequivocably.

The worst thing that can happen is for you to carefully craft a message and then have the reader get a different And it’s far easier than you think.

For example, take the following quote, by the late Ronald Reagan.

“Facts are stupid things”.

On the face of it, it means that facts are useless, bothersome, undesirable to deal with.

Quite a stupid statement, if you ask me.

But if you think about that sentence,

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You Wouldn't Believe the Things I Send Myself Sometimes and Oh Yeah: Download My Free eBook

Sometimes when I’m on the road or at the beach and I get an idea for these daily emails, I send myself a quick email from my smartphone.

I was just going through my inbox to see which nuggets of straight-out genius I’ve been sending myself, and I found a piece that started:

“When I woke up I wasn’t wearing any underwear”.

The rest was a few lines of self-reflection that were meaningless and had no further relevance to my state of dress or undress such as it may have been.

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