Tell Me If You've Heard This One: I Used to Be a Tailor

Not the kind that shortens trousers for your dry cleaner, either.

I’m what is called a bespoke tailor.

That means I used to create fully handmade suits, entirely made to individual measurements.

I used to be pretty good at it too: People used to call me an artist, and said things like ‘magnificent’ and ‘most comfortable ever’.

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The Most Dangerous Thing, the Biggest Threat to Your Business…

…is you.

This takes us all the way back to the very basics of being in business: it’s never about you.

It’s about your buyer, and how well their problem will be solved after they buy from you.

And yet, the majority of websites don’t take this approach in their messaging.

That’s a big problem, because unless you talk to your customer about them, your offer isn’t going to interest them much.

Here’s what most site copy looks like:

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Quick Tip to Get More Sales Between Now and December

I know it’s early in the year, but you need to know this.

While researching the other day, I came across a very interesting fact: The majority of Christmas spending happens in October and November.

Now, you could argue that it’s too early, but I’m telling you: Within two weeks from today, there is going to be a lot of money changing hands.

Provided you have something on offer that makes a good present, and you act quick, some of that money could be yours.

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How Not to Write an Article or Blog Post

Sauntered over to Twitter just now.

Saw a link by someone who usually shares good stuff, so I clicked.

Landed on a blog post.

It opened thusly:

“It’s like this, you see”.

Now, I’m all for conversational writing.

I commend personal style.

But if you’re going to write something, do it in a way that makes people actually read the stuff.

 

How do you get people to read you?

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Uh-Oh – Client About to Make a Fatal Mistake

Note: I was planning to do a copy review today, but I thought this would be fun and useful instead.

It’s an actual email that I just sent to a client, because he’s about to launch a company – making one mistake that can completely nullify his initial traffic investment.

He only hired me for copywriting and not consulting, but when I saw the mistake I just had to tell him, obviously. Glad I caught it, too.

Here goes:

Hi Clive,

Here is new copy, it’s down by about 100 words, I think. Let me know what you think.

Note: there’s a problem with the optin form from a UX point of view: if they are new, they don’t have an account yet so ‘sign in’ is the wrong cue to give.

It’s a good optin form and looks good, but it should read and look like the one in the attached doc.

Also – and this really is getting to turn into consulting, but you need to know this or it’s not going to work – you’re asking for an awful lot of info on the ‘create profile’ page.

Address, company, date of birth, language… That’s way too much.

Know that the highest conversion rates are when you ask only an email address and nothing else.

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Are You Testing? If Not, You're Bleeding Money

In the world of UX (user experience), they say ‘test early, test often’.

Now, UX is a big industry. People who hire a UX expert usually have a bunch of money to spend.

For most people though, the cost is dramatically prohibitive.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t test.

And it doesn’t mean you should forego testing either.

Something as simple as the colour of a button or the placement of an image can mean a big difference to your conversion rates.

It’s not unheard of that split testing brings 5%, 10% or even more improvement in sales.

So how does that work?

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Ready for Take-Off? Launch That Sucker – And Start Paying Attention

Yesterday I told you that you shouldn’t fix the plane once it’s in the air.

Stellar advice, I would say. (Of course I’d say that)

On the other hand, there’s something to be said for launching your business, and improving as you go along.

You’ll have heard the motivational advice:

“Good is good enough”

“Launch it already”

 

Taking that approach though can be very risky. Like I said yesterday: Being in the air is very precarious.

One hitch and your plane drops, your site fails, your traffic bombs.

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Why You Don't Fix the Plane Once It's In the Air

Here’s a mistake many businesses make, especially startups.

They build a site, a product, prepare to generate traffic.

Build content strategies and set up list management software.

Sometimes I get called in to write copy at that point.

Very often, I have a hard time deciding whether or not to take the gig.

Because very often, there are big mistakes in their site, their funnel and their strategy.

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Guess the Quote: Everyone is Always Selling Something

 

Who do you think might have said that?

You’d expect someone from the business world, right?

A marketer or maybe a coach. An author.

But you’d be wrong.

This little nugget came to us through Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island.

And, there’s a lot of truth in it.

Actually, it’s a fact of life.

It’s a notion that can make or break your business.

That is, IF you’re prepared to accept it as true.

Everyone is always selling something.

When you tell a co-worker: “Would you mind grabbing me a cup of coffee on your way back?” – you’re selling her on the idea of doing you a small favour.

If you’re telling your kid: ‘Eat your veggies”, you’re selling them vegetables (hard sale, too)

Asking your spouse to take out the trash? Same thing.

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Weekly Free Copy Review, Starting Today. Check it Out, Submit Your Copy

The other day I asked my readers to submit their copy for a free review.

Got some interesting reactions, and I think it’s something I should do weekly.

So if you want me to review your copy, just hit reply and tell me the link where I can see it.

I’ll only do one each week, and I’ll choose based only on what I think is the most interesting example for my readers.

So here goes, the first of my weekly free copy critique.

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