Sunday, November 15, 2009

10 Things you should know about me…

#1 I absolutely love writing! 

 That means that I enter into each writing assignment enthusiastic and excited about exploring something different or differently! That’s right. Even within the same topic, each piece of writing is a uniquely crafted piece. If I did not have this attitude, I really would not be able to sustain myself in this work!

#2 I absolutely love reading!

That means I am always exposing myself to new ideas, new styles, new content and new trends while observing how various stakeholders (e.g. writers, readers, social networks, businesses and institutions) evolve both off and online. It’s a fascinating thing!

#3 I have an observant, curious, analytical, reflective, intuitive, loving, peaceful, joyous and creative mind!

That means that I bring the most critical skills and qualities to each and every piece of writing, deciding as I go along which skill/quality and how much of each to apply to a given piece. I have a good mind and a good heart and a fascination with the human mind and psychology. Together, they help craft some wonderful pieces of work :)

# 4 I am interested in most things!

That means that there aren’t many things that don’t interest me! I find the world a fascinating place and I am enthralled by what I keep discovering about it… and about myself:). However, let me give you some background.

When I am not writing (when is that??), I mentor, give talks, run seminars and retreats in the amazing field of Personal and Spiritual development. This work draws on my academic/research, professional, spiritual and personal background in Science, teaching, cognitive psychology, public speaking, Christianity, Buddhism, Vedanta, parenting, community activities and writing, of course! I have also lived in four countries and now live in Australia.

As you can tell, my background has exposed me to much. My attitude towards people and things simply enhances my ability to write on a wide variety of subjects using different voices.

# 5 I can play the devil’s advocate and argue against my personal beliefs!

Shocked? Let me explain. It means that I am able to look at something from a number of vantage points and actually enjoy authentically engaging in different perspectives and ways of thinking. It also means that I avoid getting egotistical about what I write and how I write.

This does not mean that I am indifferent. On the contrary, it gives me the freedom to be guided by my client’s needs and preferences. I should add that I am not shy about making suggestions or helping a client clarify things, but I only do this if I sense that the client wants my help.

# 6  I’m a bit of a player….with words that is :)

That means I like to make my writing as enjoyable as possible for my reader and for me. With a few exceptions, even the most academic piece of writing can be lifted with changes of pace, references to unexpected sources and episodes of levity.
I especially love the craft of persuasive writing - writing that causes a shift in a 'cold', uncommitted lead in response to a message that offers understanding, sincere support, hope and inspiration and an invitation to something better, a call to action, if you like. That's what I believe great sales copy does.

# 7  Give me any topic and I’ll show you at least ten different things I could write about it!

That means that firstly, I have a ‘can do’ attitude and secondly, I am committed to exploring a topic in as many different ways as necessary to get your message through in the most effective and compelling way.

# 8  I meet all deadlines I commit to.

Even though I may cringe at some deadlines, once I commit to them, I make sure I deliver! If I don’t feel I can make a deadline, I let the client know before agreeing to a job so that we can negotiate a realistic timeline or I simply don’t apply for the job. I have learned to lead a stress-free life and I intend to keep my life that way.

# 9  I ‘get’ what a client wants pretty quickly!

That means that I won’t start writing until I am clear about what I need to do. However, I do have a knack for being able to quickly grasp a client’s requirements. And because I am a keen learner, I am able to quickly acquire new skills and information when I need to.

And finally…(Well, I could go on, but my moral responsibility is to help you get on with your work even though you are currently pleasantly distracted from it J)

# 10  If I can say something simply, I will! That means that unless I am writing for purely literary indulgence (and I sometimes do), my aim in writing is to INTEREST, ENGAGE, INFORM, PERSUADE and INSPIRE a reader, in that order.

In summary
You will find me a really pleasant, honest, responsible, creative, attentive and intelligent person to work with. I approach every assignment with the assumption that, just like me, you want quality. Consequently, I aim to give you nothing less than the best that I’m capable of.

Just me - a sorry copywriter determined to help you succeed!

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Selling a product? You'll need to get schizophrenic to write a great sales copy for it!

"People don't ask for facts in making up their minds. They would rather have one good, soul-satisfying emotion than a dozen facts."
Robert Keith Leavitt

There’s a twist to that quote which every marketer needs to understand but I’ll get to that later. Right now, though, let’s talk about you.

You’ve had an idea, your very own baby, nurtured it from fragile conception to robust, full-bodied product and you can't wait to let it loose on the world.

What has motivated you this far? The many thousands you'll make from its sale? The things you'll do with the money? The need to achieve something of recognizable value? The desire to help others who might be going through challenges you’ve personally experienced and triumphed over? All of the above?

Regardless of your motivation, you’re now standing opportunistically on the precipice of inspired action.

“You what???”

'The precipice of inspired action'.

It means this:

That 'do or die' point, that 'make or break' moment, that edge upon which you dangerously teeter between success or failure, when how you think, or how you are prepared to think, is going to make all the difference.

Will you stay stuck in 'selling' thoughts or will you take that critical leap into 'buying' thoughts?

Hang on. I did say inspired action, not inspired thoughts, didn't I?

Yes, I did. And inspired action, as we all know, springs from inspired thought. How you think and how you are prepared to think is going to matter even more now.

You see, there is a difference, and a critical one, between ‘thinking to sell’ and 'thinking to buy'.

Selling, or what people think is selling, is the easy part. It’s check box formula:

You have a product, you launch your product, you provide incentives/bonuses, you get JV partners, you send out press releases, you do list swaps, you have your blogs, your webinars, your Q & As, your time-sensitive offers and special offers, your testimonials and your autoresponders.

All fine and dandy. But how do you get people to buy?

Here's how. Once you’re certain that you’ve checked off every item in the ‘selling formula’, it’s time to get schizophrenic. It’s time to exit ‘seller’s mind’ and enter ‘buyer’s mind’. Yes, go inhabit your customer’s mind and hang out there for a while.

Get cosy, get intimate and most of all get real.

Know what your customer is feeling, thinking, hoping, needing, wanting, desiring, craving, fearing. Know it so well that you’ll be able to anticipate them when you write that sales copy. What that means is…

You’ll write as if you know them.

You’ll write with a deep understanding that they're looking for help, for encouragement, for someone to believe and help them believe that their dreams can come true and their goals can be achieved.

You’ll write sincerely empathizing with them over their struggles, their past failures, their regrets and their loss of confidence in themselves and others.

You’ll write convincingly showing them that they too are on the ‘precipice of inspired action’ where things are going to change for them, for the immeasurably better, the moment they, like you, take inspired action!

You’ll write flawlessly, describing to them what that inspired action is and how they’re going to take it.

You’ll write enthusiastically, sharing with them how others, just like them, have been on the ‘precipice of inspired action’ and turned their lives around by taking that inspired action.

You’ll write having a deep appreciation of the fact that people don’t like to be pressured or frightened into taking action. They prefer to be inspired.

In short, you’ll write to inspire them into action. That’s when people buy most willingly, most joyously and most repeatedly!

You, your baby and your customer, on the precipice of inspired action! Game over!

So, the twist in that quote that I mentioned at the start?

People do want facts when they want to know about you or your product. But once equipped with the facts, the thing that gets them over the line to buying what you're selling is, as Leavitt says, “a good soul-satisfying emotion”.

Just me - one sorry copywriter determined to help you succeed!

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