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?

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Sales and Psychology: We're All Automatons. Plus, Don't Bark at Your Customers

Saw a fantastic piece of automatic psychology happen the other day.

It reminded me of how easy it is to persuade people.

You push a button, you get a reaction.

You tell someone a certain thing; they react in a predictable way.

It’s part of our ancient lizard brain, the part that reacts instinctively, before you even have time to think.

 

I’d been shopping for groceries and was walking up into the old town.

Some 50 metres ahead of me there was a young black guy. Probably no more than 18 years old.

He’s from Senegal, from some dusty village where there’s only one phone, and he came here across from Africa, looking for a better life.

Continue Reading

You Too Can Get Lots of Sales, Despite the Recession. Here's How

I have a pretty odd collection of friends.

One of them is Dick (his real name – it’s short for Richard).

Dick is a real estate agent in England.

Now, we all know the terrible reputation that most real estate agents have.

Dick is different though, as you’ll see in a minute. He doesn’t have a bad reputation at all – in fact he’s got a 5-star reputation.

He and his wife are over on holidays at the moment, and while chatting he told me that in the seven days he had been away, 3 properties had been sold.

Big ones too. And, two more sales are lined up to close.

Continue Reading

Of Course You Wouldn't Say "I Wrote a Newspaper"

So then why do so many people say ‘I wrote a blog’?

It makes no sense – and what’s worse, incorrect usage of words is devastating for your sales.

I’m a wordguy.

I just love languages, especially English.

And as you would expect, I’m a bit of a puritan.

Still, language is a living thing, which means it evolves.Continue Reading

5 Simple Copywriting Principles That Help You Land Your Ideal Customer

People like to make a big spiel out of copywriting.

Truth is, it ain’t all that hard.

What’s hard is figuring out why people want what you do, make or sell.

That goes back to that old fave of mine: psychology.

In other words: you need to know who your customer is. You need to know them to a T.

Their problem, their worries, their struggles, everything.

Start here: If you make something valuable, there are people who want it.

Continue Reading

Cialdini, Marketing, Persuasion and… the Strange Power of Belief?

Last week I mentioned the new fad: touting psychology as a new thing in sales and marketing.

In reality, there is quite some research available – mostly not online but in print instead.

One of the most famous books on the topic is Robert Cialdini’s Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion (recommended read!).

In one section, he describes how our psyche works when we believe things.

Specifically, how we can be persuaded to perform specific actions, if only we believe that those actions are natural for us.Continue Reading

Why Sending Daily Emails Gets Me High Open Rates, Traffic, and Fanmail

If you’ve been a subscriber here for any length of time, you’ve probably been surprised at the nearly daily emails I’m sending lately.

And before anything else: I do hope it’s not too much for you.

If you do feel that it’s too often, or if you don’t feel my thoughts are worth your time, feel free to opt out at the bottom of the page. (Hope you don’t though).

Today on my Mastermind call I was asked why I mail so often these days.

Am I not worried that people will find it too much? Shouldn’t I schedule them and spread them out over several weeks, so my writing gets me more mileage?

Reasonable questions, but I decided to take this approach for a specific reason.

Continue Reading

Build It. They Won't Come. Plus, the Solution

Isn’t sad when you see good people make bad decisions?

I can’t stand it: Someone comes up with a good idea, and then they just murder it off.

Point in case: Back in April, a friendly couple here in town decided to start selling soft-ice on the beachfront.

By all standards, a great idea: Tropical coast, summer, tourists, soft-ice. Spells profit, doesn’t it?

Sadly, it didn’t.

When I first heard of their plans and was introduced to them, I had serious doubts.

I asked – of course – my favourite question: How are you going to sell that stuff?

The owner blinked at me. Was I stupid?

Continue Reading

Why My First Ever Client Will Never Go Anywhere

Recently I worked on a client project with an incredibly smart User Experience (UX) expert.

We fell in love with each other’s work, and a few weeks later she ordered some copy from me.

During the briefing process, she told me one of THE most important notions in business:

To the end user or customer, the user experience IS the product

There is so much truth in it, it’s staggering.

You can apply the principle to every aspect of your business, from your website all the way to the fountain pen your client signs a contract with.

You’ll have heard about the difference between features and benefits, but user experience is probably even more important.

Now, people don’t consciously make purchase decisions based on user experience.

Having said that, you can bet your bottom dollar (literally) that a broken user experience is a fantastically effective sales killer.

Continue Reading

Menu Title