Are You Being Strategic?

What I love the most about my first Strategic Communications class is the amount of planning that goes into each campaign.

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t done that much planning in my career as a copywriter. 

My biggest takeaway from the class is that you start by doing research into the problems and the opportunities that your business is facing. 

Next, you look at all the people involved, and break them down into specific groups that can help you reach your goal.

Once you’ve identified the people who can help you solve your goals, it starts to finally makes sense how to approach those people. 

You need to do a great deal of research to come up with a strategic communications plan. For starters, understanding what people that matter actually think about the situation that you are dealing with. Who are the people that you are most trying to reach actually listening to?

A strategic marketing plan systematically puts all those details together so that you can know that the tactics you’re employing will actually resonate with the people who you must reach in order to reach your goals.

If you need help with your strategic communications plan, I am looking forward to help since I’m taking the class and want to use what I’m learning to help you succeed.

If you are interested in having me put together a strategic communications matrix, click here to make an appointment.

Can you tell these are fake?

Call me old fashioned, but I’ve always thought that they were full and lush enough already. I’ve certainly never considered having them enhanced in any way.

Never thought I needed it.

But when I was getting ready to have my pictures taken, the photographer felt that something needed to be done to make the picture really pop.So I let her plump me up a little bit.

Is it obvious?

I’ve never had fake eyelashes before.

…. (I’m over here laughing at my own joke)
I’m getting ready to record some new podcasts, publish some new blog posts and try to give you what you really want.

So, I thought I’d ask first. What do you want from me?

Are you looking for…

____ Offers and (possibly) discounts on copywriting services?

____ Expert advice on marketing trends?

____ Ideas on how to do your own content marketing campaigns?

____ Something completely different?

Your feedback is appreciated!

Just send me a note at email@mandymarksteiner.com to let me know what you’re looking for.

These emails gave the whole sales team a boost

Early this year I wrote a series of emails for a solar company.The sales manager explained that he is completely confident making the sale once he gets the prospect on the phone.The problem is getting them on the phone.  People are so busy and overwhelmed these days, and nobody likes being sold… even if they ASKED for the demonstration. My client was playing phone tag all day long and it was getting old.
That’s where I come in.

This client hired me to write a series of emails that he could send out to all the new leads that he got through the system.

Rather than have to call and call and call again, he could just send out the emails that I wrote and the prospects started to call him.

Everyone knows that business runs much smoother when people call you, right?

I followed up with him to see how the emails were working, and apparently they are working so well that he’s uploaded them into the system and all the sales reps are using them to get prospects to call them.

If that sounds like something that can help your business, let’s talk.

You can see my email samples here.
You can contact me at email@mandymarksteiner.com, call me at 505-515-7001 or click here to schedule a 15 minute phone call.

Monster Mice Interview with John Forde

John Forde is a copywriter who has made millions for his clients in the financial, health and travel industries and trains copywriters for companies like Agora.

He is the co-author (with Michael Masterson) of Great Leads; The Six Easiest Ways to Start any Sales Message. I this interview John reveals some of his writing and research best practices and shares one of the most important secrets to writing sales copy that works.

Check out his newsletter (The Copywriter’s Roundtable) at copywritersroundtable.com.

Listen here:

Monster Mice Interview with Brit McGinnis

Brit McGinnis is a multitalented copywriter, content creator, and social media expert.

During this interview, she gives some excellent advice on how to write web content (and sound like a real person), how to manage a thriving Facebook community, and how to stand out from the crowd with personal branding.

You can find her on the web at blackbowcommunications.com.

Listen here:

So stupid… it made me sick!

I wouldn’t believe that anyone would be this stupid if I hadn’t seen it for myself.

Kids… and I’m not talking about toddlers here… teenagers… are eating Tide detergent pods for fun.

It didn’t really hit home how pathetic and sad and scary this is until I saw a video of a young teenager on YouTube doing the “Tide Pod Challenge.”

Where is his mother??

On camera, this kid fired up his bong and broke open a tide pod and smoked it. His face turned bright red and he said, “that burns” as the smoke hit his lungs (and brain!) and then the scene ended and flipped to him breaking one open and putting it into his mouth.

I was horrified. Especially since I know my kids love watching videos about various so-called challenges online. How can people get away with posting challenges that involve doing things that could kill you?

I got some smug consolation knowing that I don’t use Tide Pods. I use Melaleuca laundry detergent for this very reason. If eating a Tide pod can kill you, why would you want to wash your clothes with it? The same goes for other cleaning products.

But Melaleuca products are non-toxic. They don’t even require a childproof cap.

You’ve probably heard me talk about how emotions can push you to buy certain products, and you need to understand what those emotions are and know that some of them might seem to come from left field.

This is an example. I started out with fear that my youngest child or my dog might get into the Tide Pods. Then there is the sense of horror that older kids would do it on purpose, and rage that they’re encouraging others to do it, and sadness for these kids (because how is it possible that they have so little respect for themselves?) and finally, disgust that this company is making billions by selling us poison. Yes, those are the reasons that I buy the Melaleuca detergent.

If you want to uncover the emotions that your customers may be going through, you’ve got to dig deep, ask questions, and keep your eyes open.

If you need help, sign up for a FREE 15 minute meeting to see if my services make sense for you.

I’m attending finishing school.

Recording a podcast is a lot like going to finishing school.
At least, that’s what I like to tell David Wolf (my wonderful producer) whenever he gives me advice on how to sound more polished and professional during the show.

Last week we had an interesting discussion about how to sound like an authority, even when you’re bringing in guests who might be more recognized in your field.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m interviewing someone on my podcast, it’s because I consider them to be an expert and I want to listen to what they have to say.

But, as David has pointed out, it’s easy to lose control of the conversation, have an episode that wanders in the wrong direction. It’s the host’s job to keep the conversation going in the right direction and make sure that it’s interesting to listen to.
Here are three of David’s tips that have helped me host a podcast with authority.
  • Prepare your intro and out-tro messages ahead of time and practice. I personally have a low-key speaking style and so I have to ramp up the enthusiasm when introducing people. It doesn’t feel “natural” but it sounds good.
  • Think of questions that will get the guest to share information that your guests will care about. Before the guests come on the show, spend time asking yourself why you want to introduce this person to the listener. What will the listener gain from knowing this guest? Once you have that clear in your mind, write out your questions.
  • Create a sense of form and structure with your episodes. Just like news programs and talk shows have regular segments that give the show a predictable flow, you can add sections to your shows too.
Being the host of a podcast has been a great experience. And the lessons that I learn in “finishing school” go with me when I’m out and about in the business world.
P.S. Click here to find out more about David Wolf’s podcasting services.
And if you think you’d be a good guest on my show, send your idea to email@mandymarksteiner.com.

How to promote music events.

Douglas Detrick is a friend from Lawrence University. He and I both studied trumpet performance.

When I caught up with him recently, I was happy to see that he was still playing the trumpet and composing.
But he’s also bringing his marketing skills to the table in a big way, raising money and awareness and growing a loyal fan base for the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble as well as for his own musical projects.
During this interview, he tells you all about the marketing methods that have worked well for him and will work with other musicians.
Listen to it here.

How’d this turd get on the windowsill?

I got my son a box of pranks for Christmas (because he loves doing practical jokes).

It came with a ice cube with a fly in it, a bloody bandage that lets you pretend that your finger was stabbed through with a nail, and of course, fake poop.

When Calvin first got it, I could see that his mind was reeling with the possibilities of where he should put the poop to get the biggest laughs.

In someone’s shoe?

On Dad’s pillow?

It turned out he casually left it on the window sill by the stairs. And when my husband saw it there he was perplexed.

Who did this?

Was it the baby or the dog?

How in the hell did Ella or George poop in the windowsill?? Is that even possible?

Calvin was more than willing to take credit for the poop (I would have let the mystery drag on a little longer).

Next, the fake poop got left on the floor under the computer. And George’s reaction (btw, George is my dog) was priceless and disturbing.

He saw it and without missing a beat, ate it. Once it was in his jaws he seemed genuinely disappointed that it was fake…

… which is why you never let him kiss you on the lips.

Where am I going with this?

This prank set might be the most played-with present this  Christmas season in my house. I was the one that bought this $20 prank set. It doesn’t really solve a problem, I’m just bored and love it when my kids play practical jokes on each other.

Sometimes we buy things for highly illogical reasons.

And so do our customers.

We may have a list of benefits in front of us, but we’ll never know the quirky reasons for buying or be able to collect the random testimonial unless we keep in close contact with our customers.

And that is why I love daily emails.

It makes it easy for your customers to find you when they need you (because your emails are always in their inbox).

They can hit reply and tell you what they think, good or bad, at any time. All that feedback is a gold mine for marketing.
And it makes it a lot easier to sell most products.

My team is growing.

2018 is off to a heart-pounding sprint, and I can’t help but thank my lucky stars that I have help.
Brit McGinnis is a copywriter from Oregon who has stepped in for me when things get crazy to crank out copy when I need it the most. Her assistance has made it possible for me to meet all of my deadlines and continue to move forward with my business.
And I’ve also gotten some motivational lashes from Misty RHN. Misty is an email copywriting coach and persuasive copy expert who has helped me come up with some big ideas to grow my business and (later this week) will be working with me to improve some email copy for one of my new clients.

I’m thrilled to be working with these two talented ladies. Their support will help me and my clients have a great 2018.