How A Good Copywriter Can Add Incredible Leverage To Your Business…

You work hard marketing your business, there’s no doubt.

But, do you truly see and capitalize on the most important opportunities for profit leverage when they arise?

Most business owners don’t.  They keep using one (maybe two) methods of marketing their business, never realizing the full opportunity for incredible profits that awaits.

Typical statements from these business owners sound like this:

“Oh, I get most of my business from referrals, I don’t need to market.”

“We’ve been running this one print ad for years, no need to change anything.”

And on, and on…

Do you relate to this?  It’s ok, you’re not alone.

Enter a good copywriter with a marketing mindset.

If you use one, like me for example, I will examine more than just the “one” project you assign me for…in fact, I will reveal some hidden marketing assets you have probably had sitting right under your nose for a long time.

Marketing assets, that when capitalized on, can bring almost immediate and substantial profits right to your bottom line.

In addition, I can help you test your marketing efforts, tweak, and then maximize the profits coming from these new streams of income.  All this, in addition to the “one” project you assigned me to do. 🙂

And, the best part is…no babysitting required.

So, after reading this, you really have one of 3 choices to make:

1)  Keep doing what you’re doing, justifying to yourself that you cannot afford a copywriter right now, or don’t need any help.

2)  Think about this post…and always wonder “What if?”

3)  Send an email to joe@josephratliff.com right now (or call 360-438-3632) and at the very least explore this option for profits right now.

Action takers, movers and shakers, and successful entrepreneurs will pick #3. 😉

See you at the top.


Here Is What I’ve Been Thinking

Remember when I said “I’ve been doing some deep thinking”?

Well, it was about my business model.

For those of you who may not know, I’m a writer.  I write direct response copy, articles, and such…while also offering consultation services to people who are using the Internet as a marketing media for their businesses.

That has been a VERY successful model, by the way.  I’m seriously into the “lifestyle business” it has provided me and my family.  From working when I want to (literally), to being able to provide for my family, this business model has served me well.

Now it’s time to expand on the “lifestyle” part even further and be a writer…

Here is what I WILL be doing effective August 15th, 2010:

After some deep thinking, and soul-searching…I’ve discovered that the best ways I can serve people best is to write, but on a different level.

I will no longer be offering marketing consultations as part of my business model, and I’m expanding the writing part of my business model.

Of course, I will provide marketing strategy and advice as an added-value PART of my writing, just not the official, formal, and paid mentoring sessions that I’ve been providing.

So here’s what I will offer from this point forward, effective August 15th, 2010 (have to wrap up current contracts)…

  • My foundational service, writing direct response copy that pulls in sales and leads for my clients.
  • Offline postcards, direct mail packages, and other direct response copy.
  • Magazine articles, I will be focusing some of my efforts towards print.
  • “Lifestyle Essays”.  These will be rather unique, longer articles (reports?) and will be offered on this blog as downloadable PDF’s in paid and free format.
  • And more…

So that’s why I’ve been thinking.

It’s said our businesses go through a transformation as we discover how best to reach our markets, and make the bigger-scale shifts in the economy that we want to in our “missions” as entrepreneurs.  This is how I will make mine.

Until August 15th, I will be offering “shorts”, or those short marketing consultation sessions (up to about 4 hours at the longest).  These “shorts” will be offered in 2 varieties…

Up to 2 hours of hard-hitting marketing advice or a kick in the ass (whichever or both as needed) :  $197.00

Up to 4 hours of hard-hitting … you know:  $297.00

I will only sell 7 of these sessions in either format (remember, mine is a lifestyle business 🙂 ).  Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

IMPORTANT: But just because you want one, doesn’t mean you’ll get one. To qualify, send an email with your preference of 2 or 4 hour session in the email body.  Send that email to joe@josephratliff.com .  We’ll chat a bit on Skype, or over the phone (via email?) to make sure what you need and what I offer are a fit.

I look forward to offering paid marketing consultations, one last time.

Sales Letters (Even Long Ones) Aren’t Dead

There have been some courses released recently (and marketing efforts that follow)…which claim that long-form sales letters are dead.  (the link is to the post that inspired this post, not a course)

Bull.

Some marketers have even claimed they aren’t using them any more.  Their loss. I’m still writing them.

This is NOT to say that video doesn’t have a place in online marketing, it most certainly does, and probably will occupy a permanent place in the toolbox of every successful online marketer.

That doesn’t mean that video marketing replaces the long form sales letter.  What it does mean is it compliments long form sales letters.  They work as a team to more effectively engage your audience and keep their attention right where you want it…on your web page.

Now, if you hate copywriting, you’re in the perfect market for these “video-only” courses.  You’ll probably ignore the advice on this post, and use video for the results you get (which will be not as good as you could get, and yes this is tested).

Think about something for a minute…

  • When you’re watching a video online, and it’s a sales pitch, are you going to take the marketer’s word for it that the details and promises offered will come true…or do you feel more comfortable with it all in “writing”?
  • If you’re watching a video that “rambles” on, do you find yourself wanting to “get to the price” of the offer, whereas a sales letter can give you the details when YOU want to read them?
  • When watching a video, have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, I wish they just had something I could read during a break or something, I don’t have time to watch all of this!”?
  • Can you print a video and read it later?
  • Don’t you hate those long videos with no controls that force you watch the whole thing?
  • And on…and on…

Once again, I’m NOT making a case to not use video in your online marketing efforts…merely offering points against using video to replace a style of marketing (the long-form sales letter).

The main point is, so long as there are human beings on this planet, and you’ve targeted your market properly, there will be some that want to read, some that want to watch, and some that want to listen.

Why not offer all three? 🙂

5 Books Every Marketer Is Required To Have On Their Bookshelf

The following is a list of 5 books that every marketer should be required to have on their bookshelf (and have actually read them several times each)…

Scientific Advertising/My Life In Advertising by Claude Hopkins

Influence (Science and Practice) by Robert B. Cialdini

Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz

Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham

The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner

Yes, you can probably add to this list (please add a comment with more from your list below) and yes, you could even replace a book or two with a different one…but the list above WILL provide you a foundational education in advertising, copywriting, and marketing…all skills critical to successful marketing online and offline.

Enjoy! And please help me out by sharing this list with others who might be starting out, or who need a boost to their business.

One Disease That Is Destroying The Response In Your Direct Response Copy…

There’s no doubt that direct response copy, or the words that move people towards a specific action on your web page plays a large role in the success of your website.

If you don’t believe that, well, sorry…don’t call me when the money runs out.

Onward…

When examining the many websites my clients use to market online, and other websites that I surf regularly…I find a common theme lying in the “weeds” of failure those websites share (i.e. when a client tells me “my website isn’t producing” etc…).

It’s almost like a disease, hence the title to this post.

What is this disease?  (translation:  “Joe, get to the damn point!” 🙂  )

I call it “Lazy-research-osis”, or LRO for short.

Symptoms include:

  • Web pages that have no call to action where they should.
  • Web pages that have the wrong call to action according to the message (copy or video) on that page, like selling way too soon for example.
  • Copy that doesn’t give an immediate feeling of “Wow, this message is directed at me!” to the people reading your message.
  • Copy that “feels” like it’s written generically…loaded with “corporate” language.  You need to write directly to the people in your audience.
  • Copy that “feels” like you didn’t even research your market at all (I mean real market research, not just combing through some Ezine Articles and calling it good).  This is a BIG problem on a good majority of websites.
  • And on, and on, and on…

So, if your website suffers from this disease in any shape or form…the “antidote” for “Lazy-research-osis” is simple…

Don’t use shortcuts when you’re researching your market.

Contrary to some advice provided on the Internet, don’t just “throw a website up” and try to sell until you’ve completed this research.

Some of the elements of complete market research include (emphasis on some) :

  • Talk to people. I can hear the clicks off of this post now, and your “shuddering” when you read that…but yes, actually talk to the people in your market.  Ask them questions about what they want when it comes to the product you’re about to bring to market.  Find out what drives them emotionally (which is the FIRST reason people buy, not logic).
  • Read articles in a number of  magazines pertaining to your market. That doesn’t mean read one and you’re done…sometimes when I’m writing copy for a client, I will read 25 – 50 articles (the Borders bookstore here almost knows me by name).
  • Develop a general curiosity about life and things in general. Read about a lot of stuff, file away interesting stuff, talk to people you don’t know (if you’re an introvert, get over this fear, people are nice for the most part).
  • And yes, part of your research can be done online. Watch the “free” information available though.  I subscribe to a few paid research sites, where info is accurate and studied.  The Extreme Searcher’s Handbook is a good place to start if you don’t know what I mean by paid subscription research sites.
  • And on, and on…don’t stop until you feel you have 5 – 10 times the info you think you would need for your website.

If your website suffers from LRO, real market research is the cure.  Arm yourself with more info than you need, because if you don’t, this disease can infect your website in even the smallest “crack” in your content.

So get to it then…I want to see some websites that sing to me people 🙂

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Joseph Ratliff