In case you’re just getting to know me, let me catch you up.
I’m a professional copywriter and marketer that helps connect brands with their customers. But I’m also an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer with more than 600 dives under my belt. In other words, if there is a warm body of water with a reef nearby, I’d much rather be exploring it than walking on land.
Now scuba diving is probably the last thing on your to-do list. I realize it isn’t a common hobby. Every person is drawn to different hobbies and pastimes that make us do a happy dance, which is what makes the world go round.
Think about these facts for a minute: 70% of the earth is covered by water. Of the 7 billion people on the planet, only 6 million are scuba divers. This fact means that a lot of people are not playing underwater tourist. (Guess that keeps the underwater-ways less crowded, huh?!)
As life tends to provide pivots and turns that are out of our control, this avid diver ended up on land without diving for six long months from the fall until recently. So you can imagine my deep desire to get back into the deep blue.
We planned our first dives of the year to occur Memorial Day weekend at our favorite “local” dive spot — Jupiter Dive Center — which is currently a quick 7.5-hour drive away from our house. Unfortunately, the forecast showed a possible tropical storm that could make diving a bit of a challenge.
Making a Choice
Just like every business faces continual decisions, we had a choice to make about our diving trip. Should we steer clear of the ocean altogether based on the inclement weather forecast, or should we push forward to see what would happen?
An analysis of the options helped us decide to stay the course and make the drive from Charleston to Jupiter. While that may sound simple, it wasn’t. Driving this distance for diving requires a dive gear checklist, as well as advanced planning to coordinate multiple things, e.g., the hotel, the dive charter, packing for ourselves and furry sons, etc.
Facing Your Fears
With choppy waters and 3-4 foot waves, the 40-foot boat took us away from land into an overcast day with patches of rain on the horizon. Like any business situation, at every step of the journey, we had a choice of stopping or preserving through the less than ideal situation.
Our three-tank dive started by diving the Deep Ledge. This dive site is where the big fish (aka sharks and Goliath groupers) are known to hang out.
This is also the same place Robert and I dove last year where I unexpectedly plummeted to the bottom of the ocean and got a nosebleed in my mask as two huge bull sharks were passing by. This experience brought on a bonafide panic attack that found me reciting every scripture I’ve ever memorized to get me through the situation. (You can read about that past adventure here.)
I knew that if I didn’t jump back into the blue and face my fears—I would never grow and learn from the experience. So I did just that, I dove in with a new mindset to overcome any previous challenges.
Oddly enough, while everything went smoothly, we never saw any sharks or Goliaths. In fact, the only thing we saw were …. other divers floating in the abyss. It was an odd feeling. Oh, and the water temp was 12+ degrees colder than we anticipated, which created an entirely different dynamic.
Amazing Dive Stories
When all was said and done, we chalked up this three-tank diving adventure to one of those amazing dive stories you share with others who will listen. You know, the kind of stories that begin like: “Remember when we decided to dive in a tropical storm?”
Of course, that raises eyebrows, and people typically lean in closer as they want to hear more. This is the pivotal point where you can embellish your “fish tale,” or tell it like it really happened.
In our case, we honestly had no idea the tropical storm—that was nearly 250 miles away—would have an impact on the waters we were exploring. Unfortunately, it did in, and in a big way.
The waters were cold. This is especially challenging when warm temps are expected. The visibility was cloudy, and it was dark like diving at dusk. The impending storm made the sharks ping around the reefs like popcorn. In the end, there were no underwater photos worth sharing, Robert got hypothermia, and I felt like a popsicle.
Planning Your Next Adventures
When you have experiences like these, you have a choice to make. You can stop dead in your tracks, sell your gear, and never go diving again. OR you can chalk it up to experience, reflect on what you learned, and start planning your next adventure.
Perhaps you’ve had similar experiences in the workplace? Have you prepped for a meeting with an important client, boss, or prospect—only to have hidden agendas appear out of nowhere. (Yeah, I thought so.)
Whether you’re in the ocean diving or the office meeting with someone—you must learn to face your fears, evaluate your experiences, and plan your next moves.
Here are some quick tips you may want to consider:
No matter what the situation in business, life, or the actual ocean—you can always persevere against the odds.
Does your copywriting and marketing help your business navigate your sea of customers? I can help you with that, by doing it for you or coaching you through the process. Let me help you.
This morning I opened the dishwasher to unload it before heading to the office. As I started to take the “clean” dishes out, I noticed something. They were all wet like clean dishes, but they didn’t look or smell clean. Something was definitely off.
Upon closer examination, I noticed that the dishwashing detergent tray never opened during the cycle. A quick analysis found me opening the detergent tray and starting the dishwasher over again to get the dishes clean.
This real-life situation made me think about copywriting. How many times do we write emails, website copy, infographics, blogs, or social posts that fall flat? The words we write don’t connect with our audience or evoke the response we are looking to achieve.
(This also reminds me of the scene in Rush Hour where Chris Tucker thinks Jackie Chan doesn’t speak English.)
Now it is true that one size does not fit all. Because we are all wired differently, what resonates with one reader may not strike a chord with someone else.
Just like the dishwasher analysis, sometimes you need to analyze your copy to determine if you’re reaching your goals. Or maybe like Chris Tucker, you need to understand your audience so you can speak the same language.
Here are some questions to kickstart your copywriting analysis:
At the end of the day, you need to use a marketing and copywriting approach that works for you. If what you’re doing is working, stick with it.
If your situation is similar to the dishwasher scenario, you may be setting everything up for success, but you’re not getting the results you wanted.
Long-term marketing success comes by consistently creating and delivering content (emails, website copy, infographics, blogs, or social posts) that benefits your readers.
So how can you help your readers find value in the words you write?
Believe it or not, there are formulas you can use to make sure that your words connect with your audience. I’ve learned these tips by continually studying master copywriters, and even working with them.
Here are a few things to consider when you write:
If you’ve read this far, you could be a loyal reader who likes to read what I have to share. Or perhaps you’re someone who is having a hard time creating content to reach your goals.
Whatever brought you here, please consider me as a resource to help guide you in your journey to connect with your audience.
If you’d like to learn more about the latter points, I’m sure to write about them in upcoming posts.
Do you need help now, and don’t want to wait for future posts? I love helping people succeed. I can walk you through how to do it, coach you to success, or do it for you. Schedule a 30-minute call with me today.
As an entrepreneurial copywriter and marketer, I love what I do. My world is so diverse that I'm always stretching and growing, while I stay focused on meeting goals and deadlines.
Take a look at some of the things I worked on over the past few days, and you may see what I mean. I’ve:
Okay, this isn’t everything I’ve done today, but I’ll stop because I think you get the drift. When you’re focused and driven, you can be quite productive. Of course, some days have unexpected hurdles and obstacles to overcome.
It does seem like the more I have to accomplish for others, the harder I push myself to make sure I’m using my talents and skills to serve my clients. My continual goal is to ensure I help my client and myself successfully reach our dreams.
Lately, I’ve learned that I can only get things done if I integrate my personal relationship with God into the mix. (If you’re not a believer, don’t stop reading. Hear me out. I’m just speaking my truth.)
My mentor Ray Edwards says that God wants us all to prosper. (Gal. 3:20 and 3 John 1:2) Ray encourages everyone to speak this truth aloud daily: “His (God) wealth flows to me in avalanches of abundance. All my needs, desires and goals are met instantaneously with infinite intelligence.”
I believe this truth, especially as I reflect on a small snapshot of what I’ve accomplished today. Otherwise, how on earth could I get it all done?
Here’s another way to look at it. Rachel Hollis says: “Most success occurs because you’re the one that keeps showing up.”
In addition to striving for success and leaning into God throughout each day, I continually write out all my short and long-term goals. I then cross each item off the list as I work through them one at a time.
Like mowing the yard, you can look at your list and see proof of what you’ve achieved.
How can you make sure you’re stretching and growing, while you stay focused on meeting goals and deadlines?
Ask yourself these questions:
This may seem pie in the sky or overwhelming. But I guarantee if you intentionally walk through this exercise, you can see results.
As you may hear me say from time to time: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, of course.”
Do you need help strategizing, planning, writing, or achieving your goals? Let me encourage you to hire a coach, copywriter, or marketer—someone like me—and you’re sure to realize more than your dreams. There are many people who can help you achieve your goals. It is simply a matter of finding the right person for you.
Take minute to reach out and schedule a free 30-minute call with me. If I can't help you, I'm certain to know someone who can.
Remember Y2K?! It was that crazy time when something called the Millennium Bug created a problem in the coding of computerized systems as they transitioned from 1999 to 2000. Remember how global havoc occurred as companies scrambled to prepare and make sure their businesses didn’t shut down? And then nothing happened.
If you’ve subscribed to an email list, bought products online, or even read a news article through your favorite publication — you’ve probably received 100s of emails from each place you’ve opted in about the GDPR and privacy policies.
If you’re not a business owner, you may wonder if you should care. Just like Y2K, it is important to be informed about what is going on. Who knows, you may decide to start blogging or selling courses online one day. When you do — you’ll need to know about the GDPR and privacy policies.
What Is The GDPR, Anyway?
According to Forbes, “the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) is a legal framework that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of European Union (EU) citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states. It covers all companies that deal with the data of EU citizens, specifically banks, insurance companies, and other financial companies.”
According to data security and analytics pioneer Varonis, “if a US company collects data from EU citizens, it will be under the same legal obligations as though the company had headquarters in say France, UK, or Germany — even though they don’t have any servers or offices there.”
GDPR Resources You Can Use
I’ve collected some GDPR resources to share with you. Keep in mind that I’m not a GDPR expert or a lawyer. If you have doubts, get legal counsel.
If you’re just waking up to the GDPR phenomena and wondering what to do, you may want to check out some of these:
If you’re using an email service provider, keep in mind that they are just as responsible as you for ensuring compliance. Here are some guides for each of the services I use with my clients:
GDPR & Bloggers
If you’re focused on blogging and live in the U.S., you may think the GDPR doesn’t impact you. Think again.
If you collect email addresses for any reason, you must be compliant.
Internationally renowned blogger Leslie Samuels (who happen to live in the EU) writes about what to do in his blog “What Is The GDPR and How Does It Affect Bloggers?”
My marketing friend and colleague, Adam Highfill writes about something called “Legitimate Interest,” which really makes sense to me. Here’s what Adam shared “Before you send a consent email to your entire list, I’d recommend checking to see if using "Legitimate Interest” to comply with GDPR works for your context. This is a much easier way (in my opinion) for many businesses to comply. Legitimate Interest “...is likely to be most appropriate where you use people’s data in ways they would reasonably expect and which have a minimal privacy impact, or where there is a compelling justification for the processing." "The legitimate interests can be your own interests or the interests of third parties. They can include commercial interests, individual interests or broader societal benefits.” It doesn’t require your entire list to re-consent and will be much less intrusive for your opt-in forms going forward.”
You can read Legitimate Interest and the GDPR here.
The new law is complicated, but it doesn’t need to derail your business.
At the end of the day, you need to educate yourself and determine what you need to do to make sure you’re compliant.
I recently attended Jeff Walker’s 3-day PLF Live event in Phoenix, Arizona. Designed for like-minded, visionary entrepreneurs to come together, the conference takes a deep dive into Jeff’s proven process for launching a product. The uniquely structured environment buzzes with high energy and contagious enthusiasm that makes networking and learning optimal.
The excitement builds in the private Facebook group days and weeks before the actual event; especially as attendees prepare to fly in from around the globe.
Once you’re on the ground, things really begin to ramp up. A fever pitch of excitement surrounds everyone, and the air becomes electric with energy that permeates every conversation and interaction.
Better than virtual learning: Intentional conference attendance can build connections and open doors.
The last time I attended PLF Live, it was on behalf of a client with whom I was developing a product launch. While I walked away with valuable information and insights, my focus and reasons for attending last time were very different from this time.
This year I went to PLF Live to make and strengthen connections—both new and old. I focused on learning something new, and immersing myself in all things “Product Launch Formula.”
As an apprentice and Endorsed Service Provider of internationally renowned copywriter Ray Edwards, I’ve learned that attending business conferences can offer insights, ideas, and in-person networking opportunities you can't find anywhere else. So, I embarked this conference to do just that.
I also anticipated quality time with Ray, Marshall Bone, and other apprentices from around the country. The opportunity to rub elbows and breath the same oxygen with my virtual colleagues seemed like icing on the cake of an already off-the-charts experience.
Listening can influence the way you connect with others.
During the conference, it struck me that life is one continual product launch. If you’re going to connect with others, you must share insights that transforms problems while overcoming potential objections.
You may be wondering how or why you this works. Read on as I unpack each item, and I’m sure you’ll see a common action step you can easily do.
Target Transformation: The reality is that most marketing and sales folks tend to focus on the features and benefits of their products and services.
Think about it for a minute. The ads and articles you see describe how they can fix your problem pull you in. Inversely, the ones that give you a list of features tend to turn you off.
Focusing on features and benefits is like listening to someone talk about their family vacation. You see pretty pictures and hear cool stories, but after a while, your eyes glaze over because you can’t relate.
Similarly, the majority of ideal customers cannot relate to intangible features or benefits.
So how do can you reach them and connect?
By sharing how your product or service can fix their problems.
Customers can connect with solutions that help them.
You can easily do this if you pivot your talk track so it targets the transformation your solution offers.
When you focus on the results and outcome the people you're talking to start to pay attention.
Your key is listening so you can learn about the problems you need to address.
Here’s What To Do: Listen to your ideal customers talk about their problems. In turn, you can learn how to talk about their biggest frustrations, triggers, and hot points. Use these insights to list out all the problems and pain points your products and services solve for your ideal customer.
Answer Objections in Advance: Did you know that most prospective customers have reasons why a product or solution won’t work for them?
Good news: You don't have to guess about the objections.
If you listen, customers will tell you what objections keep them from buying.
As you learn what these obstacles are, you can intentionally address and answer them before they are raised.
You can easily uncover these hidden roadblocks by asking questions that help you understand their ordinary world and the world they desire.
Once you determine why your ideal customer hesitates to take action and buy, you can proactively share how your solution helps them.
Here’s What To Do: Have intentional conversations with prospective customers to determine their objections. Ask open-ended questions and listen to their responses. Adjust your copy, testimonials, and videos to answer every objection your avatars might have so you intentionally answer their questions before they are asked.
Did you notice the critical things you need to help you address both transformation and objections?
Ask open-ended questions and listen.
Listening is essential as you seek to connect your brand with customers.
Speaking of listening, I decided to reach out to those I met in person and virtually to get their insights from attending the conference. I received such good response that I’ve decided to share that in a follow-up post. Stay tuned for that…
Until next time, listen to your ideal customers and apply what you learn when you connect with others.