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Working with clients – Jenny Thompson’s advice to copywriters

Jenny Thompson is the Founder and CEO of SafetyPIN Technologies, a tech startup that lets you pre-screen people that you might hire online (like dog walkers, baby sitters, and housecleaners) so that you can establish mutual trust.

Before starting SafetyPIN, she had a successful career with Agora and was the President of New Market Health. She has hired and worked with countless copywriters. And in this interview she gives copywriters valuable advice on how to work with clients, get your foot in the door, establish trust, negotiate effectively and maintain positive relationships throughout your career.

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.

Better than a resolution.

Have you ever set a goal or resolution, only to completely forget about it?
(Like the time I set a goal to run a half marathon, only to get distracted… Later, a friend asked me over lunch whether I “finished my half.” I thought he was talking about dessert!)

One of the most valuable things I learned in 2017 was the difference between making resolutions (which is a lot like wishful thinking) and creating s system of daily habits that lead toward the outcome that you want.
What does that mean?
It means that if you have a desired outcome (I’ll use myself as an example… I’d like to make enough money to finally pay off my student loans this year) break the big task up into smaller bits and figure out what task you have to do every day to reach that goal.
I get most of my business through my email newsletters. So I will discipline myself to continue to write an email every day and find out what offers will be more attractive to the people on my list.
I haven’t set a dollar amount to the goal. I can’t control that… I can just control what I do with my time every day.
If you’ve set some goals for yourself this year, I encourage you to try this approach.
Sean Kaye explains the idea of working backward to achieve your goals in this Monster Mice podcast interview.

WAY too much traffic.

Last night we were driving up 285 toward Carlsbad, NM, (still on the Texas side) when we hit a pothole hard.

The air exploded out of our tire. My husband steered the van onto the shoulder of the road while a speeding semi bore down on us from behind.

We drove as far down into the shallow ditch as we could, dumped a dozen Christmas presents onto the dirt to get at the spare and got to work.

Meanwhile, tankers and other huge trucks continued to speed by… going 80, 90 miles per hour. This was insane!

The narrow two-lane road was in terrible shape, potholes everywhere and yet the drivers were treating it like it was a freeway.
There was just too much traffic.
The oil companies are clearly making lots of money, but the infrastructure is falling apart.
Most business owners have the opposite problem. Their products are ready to go, but they aren’t getting enough traffic to make consistent sales.
If this sounds familiar, we should talk.
I can write the kind of engaging content that will bring new customers to your site, engage your audience, give them a reason to sign up for your newsletter and buy from you.
If you want to get more traffic and make more sales in 2018, let’s get started now.

Your blog will be AWESOME in 2018… here’s why.

Did you create the content that you planned to create?


Did your blog drive traffic to your website and did you turn that traffic into sales?

Whether you knocked it out of the park last year with your blog… or fell a little
short… chances are you want things to go even better next year.

And I have something that can help you reach your 2018 blogging goals. It’s my blog
brainstorming worksheet for content marketers.

Download it here.

And if you know anyone who wants to use content marketing to grow their business
next year, feel free to forward it to them. This is a free resource that
I put together to help marketers come up with profitable ideas.

Hey! You got egg yolks all over my mattress!

My husband and I want to get each other a new mattress for Christmas because we’ve had our mattress long enough that it’s starting to gross us out.

(One way to sell a mattress is to talk about all the horrible skin cells and dust mites that build up over the years… barf!)

And now I’m getting all kinds of mattress commercials in my news feed and on my YouTube channel.

My favorites are the ones by Purple.

I like these commercials because they find a dramatic way to demonstrate the benefits of the bed. They break raw eggs on the bad mattresses and show that the purple mattress can support a raw egg even when a lot of weight is dropped on it.

It’s entertaining and fun to watch. The “how-to” makes you think you’re going to learn something (and you do) and it’s so off the wall that you don’t mind that you’re being sold a mattress.

… have you tried this mattress?

How to weave stories through your marketing.

Once upon a time, as snow fell softly on the roof of a little cabin in rural Arkansas, Todd E. Jones learned his most important business skill at the feet of his two grandpas… how to tell a story.

 

As a digital marketer, Todd uses his storytelling to entrepreneurs and B2B companies improve their SEO rankings, engage their customer base and make a steady stream of sales. And in this podcast, he shares his tips on how to use weave compelling stories into your marketing mix. Check him out at https://www.grafixcatmedia.com.

 

 

Tell your business story from the customer’s POV.

In a couple of days, you might find yourself sitting around the table, eating pie.

Your cousin or uncle or nephew will be next to you making small talk, and you mention work.

And a look of panic and confusion might sweep across their features… just before they ask, “What do you do, exactly?”
Happens to me all the time.

(But I have to admit it’s funnier when it happens to my husband… who always has to explain that plasma physicists don’t work with blood or TV’s.)

I’m sure it happens to you too.

And it’s not because your job is that hard to understand. It’s just that it can be hard for others keep track of what you do.

It’s up to you to make it memorable.

Earlier this year I wrote a case study that helped several people explain what they do for a living all at once.

Edj Ink (a printing and branding company run by Patrick and Lisa Brenner) hired me to write the case study.

They had done some branding work for the Supportive Housing Coalition, and I interviewed the people at SHC to find out how that re-branding job helped them explain how they help homeless people in Albuquerque. Take a look.

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.

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.