She scoffed when I told her I write emails…

  grumpy elderly woman with a butterfly necklace and a blazer tucked over her shoulderI was in the Delray Beach Marriott.

I had just wrapped up a solid two-hour networking extravaganza at the famous and insanely valuable Job fair at the end of AWAI’s Bootcamp.

I was in the middle of a gaggle of copywriters waiting for the elevators. We were hyper and jazzed about our careers and the opportunities that were afoot for everyone.

One woman was among us, but not part of the group. She looked like she just came back from the beach and she wanted to know what everyone was so excited about.

She pulled me aside and asked me, “What do you write?”

… and I was still in the groove, marketing myself and trying to stand out as an email copywriter. So I blurted out, “I write emails.”

“Emails??” she scoffed. “I thought you were a real writer… I thought you wrote BOOKS!”

All the other copywriters turned to look and hide their giggles… this lady was really bellowing at me and I could feel my face turning bright red.

I wondered when that damned elevator would show up because this lady was still scowling at me like I was the world’s biggest moron. Emails, indeed!

But, whatever.

I don’t have to impress her.
Because I can tell you for a fact that writing emails is totally awesome.

Just last week I was sending one email a day to my client’s list. We’ve been trying to sell tickets to an yoga retreat in Mexico.

The early bird tickets were $3,500 (and the regular price is $5,000).

Our goal was to sell ten tickets. I’m not a math genius, but I believe doing that would bring in $35,000.

Not bad for a bunch of stinkin’ emails!

The best part is that we sold more than ten. 🙂

I’m just really pleased to get some good results for my clients… and to go to bed knowing that the money that I charge is WELL worth it, because of the ROI that they are getting.

So, did I explain all that to the lady at the elevator?

Of course not!

Not with her giving me the stink eye like that… (Gosh, you’d think she’d be in a better mood after spending the afternoon at the beach!)
Anyway, if you’ve been thinking of using email to increase your sales, give me a call.

Was trick or treat on Mainstreet a SCARY waste of time?

I took my kids to Trick or Treat on Mainstreet last Friday with myperson in a neighborhood wearing a Ghostface mask and cloak kids.

It was fun, but I couldn’t help but snicker behind my mask when business owners claimed that it was a good way to get in front of people and give back.

Was it really?

I remember being herded from booth to booth, my kids waited for the candy to drop into their buckets.

But I don’t remember any single business giving me a reason to come in and buy something. Why would I become anyone’s customer?

Ideally, when you run a booth, you want to get people’s attention and stick around long enough to give some information that will make it possible to follow up and make a sale.

Like the owner of Sunshine Plumbing and Heating, who won the Powercircle Small Business Marketer of the Year Award.  He has a booth at a busy expo and drew people in by giving away balloons to the kids. (Similar to Trick or Treating).

Once he had people’s attention, he offered to give people a free copy of his book – a consumer guide to heating and air conditioning.

Now, not everyone is in the market for a heating and air conditioning system. If someone has no interest in getting that book, they might not be interested in becoming his customer. So they can take the balloon and go away.

If someone says YES to the book, they might buy something from him. He didn’t just hand over his book on the spot. He got their address and mailed them the book.

He also mailed them ten other pieces of information in the four months after the expo. When he finally sent the sales letter, he made $200,000 in sales from the people that came to his booth.

So when I see people shoveling handfuls of candy to kids and parents who aren’t even paying attention, I think, what a waste!

I want business owners to make the most out of these opportunities, and use their booths to start a real relationship with customers (that lasts longer than the one-second dopamine rush that comes when the Snickers bar plops into the pillowcase).

I want to see business owners think of a clever way to collect the names, email addresses, and addresses of possible customers and follow up and make a sale that can be traced back to the booth at the event.

It makes me sad to see waves upon waves of people walk past your booth while you give away shocking amounts of sugar… and maybe a business card gets passed out… but nothing happens after that. 🙁

… maybe this situation doesn’t lend itself to generating leads. But I’d like to think you could do it with some advance planning.

I’d love for someone to prove me wrong. Show me your system for turning the hoards of zombie trick-or-treaters into customers. If you did something that worked, I want to hear about it.

If you have an event coming up and you don’t want to squander your booth fee and your time… give me a call. My number is 505-515-7001. We can put our heads together and make an offer that will bring in leads that you can turn into sales.

A web designer I recommend.

I’m excited to be collaborating on some website projects with Karim Ardalan, the co-founder of Rapid Sites.
I met Karim two years ago at a B2B Expo in Albuquerque. He helps small businesses create their website in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
The only problem with that is that a lot of companies aren’t sure what to say on their websites. Even though the websites that he puts together are ready to go very quickly, the projects often get held up because the content isn’t ready.
I’m glad he reached out to me to get those projects moving forward.
If anyone needs help creating an affordable website, I recommend Karim. His website is here!

Help, it’s too tight!

Have you ever taken tried something on in the dressing room only to find out that not only is it too tight, but you’re stuck? And now everyone in the store will hear your cries for help as you try desperately to loosen the zipper and release yourself??

… yeah. Me neither.
Well, something similar happened the other day when I announced my shiny new niche. I said, “I specialize in writing daily emails for people in the personal development industry.”
One of my email subscribers, MC, said that it doesn’t sound like me. He said, “It seems like you’re scaling back somehow (and maybe that’s what you’re trying to do).”

Before I go deeper into the feedback that he gave me and how I used that to revise my niche, I want to let you know why I felt it necessary to choose a narrow niche. Because I believe doing so can make it easier for me (and you… so pay attention) to market your business.

Many of my business mentors have given me the same piece of advice: Specialize and choose a target market. Doing those two things makes it possible for you to be the expert in your field, and it also makes it easier and more affordable to reach your ideal clients.

Joshua Boswell is a copywriter and coach who described a good target market as a group of people who are 1) easy to find… there are online groups, mailing lists, associations, etc. 2) they are interested in the products or services that you sell and 3) they have the money to pay your full price.

A wonderful thing happens when you identify this target market. You know where they are. You can start to create a mailing list. You can research their needs and find out how to talk to them. You can learn how to speak their language.

All those things make it exponentially easier to sell.

Ans while I’m already questioning whether “personal development” is the RIGHT target market, I’ll tell you how choosing a group might help me (and anyone else who cares to try) find clients.

OK. In the personal development niche, the first question I have to ask before I can find a client is “what kind of person am I looking for?”

One possibility is an author of a personal development book. An author could use my help because I could write an email series selling the book to people who opt into their list. I’ve seen authors in this industry hire copywriters like me. It’s only a question of finding them and attracting out the ones who can afford my services.

Once I have a direction, it was easy to go onto Facebook and search for groups of self-development authors discussing their books, how to market those books and get the word out about them. BINGO. All I have to do is get to know them and make an offer that would be appealing to them.

It is a step in the right direction, to say the least. Because without identifying a group, you’re staring into a sea of prospects… and you’re standing there chasing your own tail.

MC didn’t think that my niche sounded like me, though, and so I had to ask how he would describe what I do. (I got to say, I really appreciated the feedback. It’s hard to describe what you do, especially when you’re not sure how others perceive you.) He said: “Wordsmith and publicity guru for small businesses.”
I told him that I’ve been getting a little stressed out, and spread too thin. But he didn’t see it as a lack of focus, but rather a strength. “You are the type of person who wears many hats, so to speak. You don’t fit into the so-called experts’ categories, and that’s okay (I think). I have watched you expand your influence in this town, greatly, during the past two years. You take new things on and actually do them, which says a lot about you as a person.”
Well, shoot, now I’m blushing…
But after hearing that it seemed like a good idea to expand it to “personal and business growth.”
So to make a long story short, I’m still tweaking things. But I want you to see the value of narrowing it down. Doing that makes it easier to move forward with your marketing. It makes it possible to buy more targeted ads and write something that hits home. It makes it possible to create a mailing list full of people who will respond to your message. It instantly turns overwhelming marketing ideas into doable tasks.
Feel free to call me if you want help narrowing down your niche… or if you want to add your two cents on how I should narrow down mine.

Specializing in writing daily emails for people in the personal development industry.

I feel like I’ve reached enlightenment because, after 9 years of writing for all kinds of industries, I’ve chosen a niche.
I specialize in writing daily emails for people in the personal development industry.
Please feel free to pass my information to anyone you know who can use my services.

Use social media to be agile.

I first saw Mandy’s work for other people on social media. We were open to changing over to someone new, and we’re happy we changed over to Mandy. It’s gone from general writing and social media management to helping us curate our personality in the community.

The most successful thing Mandy’s done was during our recent remodel. People were confused, thinking the fire marshal shut down one of our locations. Business dropped off. Mandy wrote a press release, got it posted in the Monitor, and cross-posted it on social media.

This was late Thursday night. Friday was our most successful day in two weeks. Our business doubled compared to what it had been over the last two weeks. That’s what she does.Mandy’s also helping us keep our wine events successful. They’re continuously selling out.

Hands down, I’m happy we hired her. She knows our style. She understands it’s all business, it’s nothing personal. If Food Network approached us, I’d feel comfortable approaching Mandy about that. Our role in the community is always changing. You never know what’s going to come. We feel like she’ll be able to rise up to the challenge of that.

— Laura Crucet, Pig + Fig Cafe

Hands down, I’m happy we hired her.

Use social media and press coverage to find true fans

Mandy is my publicist. She writes articles for the magazine and the local papers and also posts articles on social media. It’s well worth the money, and it gets rid of the headache of ‘I have to write this article.’ Mandy takes care of it.

Since I hired Mandy, I have more of a continuous presence online and locally. People are aware of my gallery, see the articles and appear to read them, and they come in as a result. I have seen an increase in people saying they found me through articles and Facebook.

As a business owner, I was thinking of saving time over saving money before hiring Mandy. For someone who knows how to write well, knows how to place them… it’s invaluable.

I would absolutely recommend Mandy to other people. She works very hard to satisfy [the] business owner. She’s very creative with the placement of articles. Recently, I had someone from Santa Fe come up after reading an article about us. I didn’t put it there!

— Karen Wray, The Karen Wray Gallery

People see the articles about the gallery and come in.

The love couch

I don’t want to brag, but the minute I got home from Bootcamp everyone wanted to cuddle with me.

My dog was first in line, because he was the first to come thundering down the stairs at three in the morning ready to greet me with licks and affectionate doggy lean-ins.

Then came Quinn, ready to cuddle.

When Ella woke up she climbed into my bed and curled up next to me like a baby monkey. Gloria was there in the morning, ready for hugs.

Once we went downstairs Ella insisted that we go straight to the love couch (really our love seat). She considers the love couch a place where we hug and kiss each other.

The whole love-fest reminded me of a point that Perry Belcher

made in his presentation, “How to Put Yourself in the Shoes of Your Avatar, Write Copy That Speaks to them and Generates Sales.”

Now, before I tell you what he said, I will emphasize that Belcher knows exactly how to generates sales – He’s used this method to generate over $200 million in sales of goods and services.

The most important point is that you can sell more by understanding the psyche of buyers.

He pointed out that human beings actually have three brains in one. There’s the “human” brain, full of logic, facts, ideas, and concepts. Then there is the “mammalian” brain, full of feelings and emotions. Then there is the “reptilian” brain, which is all about eating and reproducing.

It’s very difficult to sell to someone up in their “human” brain… because people don’t buy based on logic. People want things that make them feel good on an emotional level. People buy things to get sex.

Part of writing good copy is to get past or around the logical part of the person’s mind and get to those other levels.

He made me laugh when he said, “Unfortunately, we can’t send people a bottle of booze to drink before they read our copy.”

No. Obviously, we can’t. (Can you imagine the shipping costs?)

But we can use our words to put people in a certain mood or state of mind. People react to emotion, nostalgia, and storytelling.

Which is what I do for people.

If your ad copy is only producing a sad trickle of sales, chances are you aren’t tapping into the customer’s emotions and buying triggers.

I can help. I will critique one piece of copy for three people for FREE. (Mostly to celebrate all the amazing advice and wisdom that was poured out on me this last week.)

To take advantage, reply to this email. I’ll give a free critique to the first three people who respond.


Talk to you soon!
Mandy

P.S. I’m settling in after a crazy exciting week, catching up with my regular clients, finishing up projects and following up with new clients.

If you need anything from me, it’s up to you to make an appointment. Send me an email with the subject line “appointment” to email@mandymarksteiner.com.

My husband is going to hate this (and love it)

I know it’s wrong, but I can’t help it.

I have a rivalry with my husband over money. Even though he has always made more moolah than me, I still dream of raking in more than he does.

When I told him today that I was offering a package where my clients get daily emails for $1,500 a month he did some quick calculations and said, “Hey! That would mean that I have to go to work for eight hours every day… and yet you could make more than me by writing FOUR lousy EMAILS???”

Yes! I could! (Tee hee).

But listen. When it comes to emails, it doesn’t matter how much time I spend doing them. In fact, the time I put in is completely irrelevant.

Then only thing that matters is how much each email converts. If someone is making sales every day from their emails, this deal makes a lot of sense.

If you or anyone you know is looking for a daily email copywriter, call me.

(It will drive my husband nuts! But he’ll also be thrilled because we’ll be able to get a new mattress. And you’ll be thrilled because of all the sales you’ll be making.)


Talk to you soon!
Mandy
P.S. This week I am running a special on three case studies for only $395. To get this limited time deal, send an email with the subject line “Three case studies” to email@mandymarksteiner.com before midnight on Friday, October 6th.  This offer is first come first served.

Eek! It’s a black widow. Kill it!!!!

I saw a black widow on the way to my car at the airport on Saturday night.

She walked across a parking space, under a black corvette, across the street to a messy web where she snacked on yesterday’s butterfly.

Ever since I moved to New Mexico I have been terrified of black widows.

One of my husband’s friend’s kids got bit by one in his sleep and ever since I heard that story I’ve been expecting a black widow to jump out of the closet, bite my face and lay eggs in my corpse as it cools on the hallway floor.

So my whole being is screaming “Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!!!!!”

And yet, another part of me is going, “Wait. I can’t. I’ve never seen a spider walk across a parking space before. Where is she going? What’s going to happen next? Is she going to hunt? I want to see THAT and take more pictures.”

(Also, I had new boots and I didn’t want to get black widow guts all over the sole… so for a while I thought about running it over with a Smart Cart that someone had left out)

It reminded me of how you and I approach emails in our inbox. We see an email and think “Delete it! Delete it!” and we want to squash that message until it’s good and dead.

The reason I didn’t kill the spider, and the reason that I don’t delete emails that I wind up reading, is that I was curious. This spider doing something unexpected and I was too curious to kill it. I wanted to keep watching because I was being entertained.

Another reason that I didn’t kill the spider was that she was giving me something valuable… she was giving me something to post on my own timeline.

I was posting pictures of her on my Facebook page and people were commenting on it. Killing her after that seemed a little ungrateful.

Plus, she was just being her bad-ass self.

So listen. A lot of people will tell you to send emails less often, because they won’t get read or they might get deleted or your readers will get made because they’ll think you’re sending too often. Don’t listen to those people! They’re wrong and they’re giving you terrible advice.

Like the black widow, you have butterflies to catch and people to eat. You’re going to have to set the trap and weave a little more of your web every day or you will starve.

Let me know if you need help with your emails. I have an open slot for daily emails. When you do it every day you get the best value.

If your business can benefit from daily emails, call me at 505-515-7001 or send me a message at email@mandymarksteiner.com.

Talk to you soon!
Mandy
P.S. Daily emails are incredibly valuable. But you have to do it right. You have to pique curiosity, surprises your reader and makes them want to share it with others.