Copy writing 101 - what you need to know

Copy writing 101 - what you need to know

Do you struggle with writing copy in your business?

Maybe writing doesn't come naturally to you.

Or it does, but it's falling flat and not making sales.

Or you feel GROSS about selling anything at all, so you never write any offers - surprise, surprise that nobody takes them!

Copy is one of those things that's kinda non-negotiable in business... IF you want to have any kind of online presence.

And you know what? These days, it's REALLY hard to have a self-supporting business that doesn't have an online presence.

That doesn't mean you have to have an online BUSINESS - but having a website and at least SOME presence on social media is definitely advisable, even if you love working mostly face-to-face with real live people. :)

So what do you do if you just HATE writing?

Or you know what you want to say, but just can't seem to say it in a way that makes sense and sounds like how you want?

Or you really don't have ANY idea what to say or how to say it so people will connect with the soul of your business?

That's where I come in...

Today I'm going to share with you what I call "Copy Writing 101" - the absolute basics for getting started on rocking some copy on your site, in your newsletters, wherever - start with your website, because almost EVERYONE who signs up to work with you will look there, and if they don't connect with what they find? You may never hear from them again...

So here we go...

1. Decide what you want to say

This one sounds really obvious, but many people never sit down and decide what they want to say. What is it that you want your potential clients to know about you? Make a bullet point list, and then...

2. Write down what you want to say, and pretty it up later

Most of us get SO caught up in worrying about what it will sound like, that we never start. Just write down ALL the stuff in your head WITHOUT worrying that it sounds incoherent, silly, or whatever. Once it's down, you can put on your editor hat and fix it up. As a good friend once said, "Garbage is easier to edit than a blank page." So give yourself permission to write "garbage," and the writing will come a lot easier! :)

3. Make sure you're covering what your CLIENT wants to know

Along with communicating what YOU want your potential clients to know about you, make sure your website covers what THEY'RE interested in. ALWAYS come to your writing (and your business!) with your client in mind. Your list could include:

  • Your vision - what's the global, huge, pie-in-the-sky vision you're working toward?
  • Your mission - how are YOU working toward that vision (who do you serve, how do you help them)?
  • Your core values - what's most important to you?
  • Your "why" - why are you doing this? What's YOUR story (remember this is in relation to your client, so it's not about oversharing or going on for too long - it's about helping them connect to you by sharing some of your real-ness)?
  • The transformation you help people achieve (this is different than your modality and is one of the MOST important things to get right)
  • Your prices - not everyone agrees that price should be on your site, but I'm a fan. I like to know, when I'm looking at a practitioner's site, whether they're in my ballpark or not. So that's my two cents' worth! :)

4. Remember to be real

Don't worry too much about sounding "smart" or even "professional"! On the one hand, you ARE a professional, and an expert, and you know your shiznit. On the other, trying too hard to appear a certain way usually comes off as kinda phony, so remember to be real: share some vulnerability and some of your story. There is an art to this, so if you're not sure about how it's coming off, remember you can always...

5. Run it by someone else before you publish

You don't need to be the best writer ever, or even a very good one, to write kick-ass copy, but being real is NOT about having typos or errors in your copy! If you have a friend who's pretty good at knowing the difference between then and than, or it's and its, run your copy by her - if she's willing! If you don't, pay someone to look at it. Copy editing usually isn't very expensive, and the text on your website usually isn't very long. I don't do this for things like newsletters, but your website copy is more static AND it's your online business card. If you're not confident in your writing, get someone else to read it to make sure it's doing what you want it to!

You want to make sure you're accomplishing the main purpose of ANY website, which is...

CONNECTION.

You want your people to see your site and INSTANTLY:

  • Know they're in the right place
  • Want what you have, even before they know exactly what it is (because they feel so connected to you)!
  • Want to hear more from you, and more, and more, and more...

If you don't think your website is doing that yet, grab my Writing Sizzling Copy tipsheet here if you don't have it already.

Take a gander, noodle around with some copy upgrades of your own, and if you need extra help PLEASE reach out and let me know.

This is what I'm here for, and I have lots of varying levels of support to offer based on what you're looking for.

To your success!

xo

-Jennifer

PS - grab my Writing Sizzling Copy tipsheet for help on upgrading your website copy so your peeps can CONNECT!

What to do when you feel overwhelmed

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What to do when you feel overwhelmed

I know overwhelm. I know it INTIMATELY.

I used to have a high-level, high-stress job where I was required to manage All The Things, and I did NOT deal with the stress levels in a healthy way all the time (or even hardly any of the time!).

This experience is partly what led me on my healing journey, and the healing journey has led me on this business journey, and here we are...

So now my experience of overwhelm has changed slightly, but it is STILL THERE.

And this is a lesson I love (when I'm in a learning mood)! :)

The lesson that there is no "perfect." We never "arrive." There will never be a time when there is NO stress (nor should there be!), a time when one has ALL the energy, ALL the motivation, ALL the knowledge, and NONE of the overwhelm or self-doubt.

Nope.

It doesn't exist.

So what do we do, as entrepreneurs who are trying to manage All The Things and make money in the process?

Here we go...

1. Break it down

When I get overwhelmed, there is always the feeling of there being a tsunami of work/appointments/meetings/tasks/deadlines washing over me, and I can't see how it would EVER be possible to do it all. So then I want to crawl back into bed and pass out, thus making life even more difficult for myself. :)

When I can break down the wall of overwhelm into manageable chunks of things I can ACTUALLY do in the time I have, I ALWAYS feel better.

Example: I HAVE TO REVAMP MY ENTIRE BUSINESS OVERNIGHT BECAUSE I AM NOT MAKING ENOUGH MONEY SO I HAVE TO REDO MY WEBSITE AND REWRITE ALL MY EMAILS AND REDO THE BRANDING AND NICHING AND MARKETING AND EVERYTHING OMGGGGGGGGGGGGG (real scenario, yup).

How to break it down: What's ONE thing I could do to move my business forward? Even better: what's ONE thing I could do TODAY to move my business forward? One small, manageable thing, like making ONE phone call or sending ONE email. Just one thing!

2. Scheduling Is Your Friend

Because I got into business at least partly to create more FREEDOM in my life, sometimes I have balked at the idea of scheduling my days - it feels too much like that time when I (was totally insane) and had each day scheduled into fifteen-minute chunks. Once I forgot to schedule in dinner, so I didn't eat! #insanity

But now, when I'm feeling overwhelmed, it's partly because I think I "should" (don't should all over yourself!!!!!) magically be able to do ALL THE THINGS in like no time at all - and when things take longer I can go into PANIC mode. When I have a rough schedule for my week, things feel more manageable, and I know what I need to say No to so I can say Yes to the important things! Which brings us to...

3. Prioritize

When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority, and I can spend ENDLESS hours doing what I call "faffing" - tinkering around with this program or that system, and not really getting anywhere.

Every Monday I choose the three top priorities for the week in terms of things I will FINISH (if you're working on big projects, choose some part of the project to finish, and put that on your list). As I go through the week I keep checking in on those three things to make sure they're getting done. And when I do this, they usually do! Voila!

How are your overwhelm levels these days? If you need some extra help in this area, contact me and let me know what you're struggling with. I got some pretty good tools I can share to help you out! :)

To your success!

xo

-Jennifer

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Make it a "giving" page

Make it a "giving" page

I've talked before about the importance of having a clear call to action on your home page: an offer of a free giveaway ("freebie") that people can claim when they sign up by giving you their email address. It's no longer enough to have a "Sign up for updates" box on your home page; people are now overwhelmed with email subscriptions, and email addresses have become currency.

You gotta give something to get something.

With that in mind, here's the latest research: people are now SO overwhelmed with email offers, freebies, and subscriptions that even the sight of a signup box can give them the willies. The best option to get people on your list now is to hide the fact that you want them on your list...! By that I mean, it's much better to have a popup or a button on your page that says "Click here to get [freebie]" without showing them the signup box off the bat - they only see the signup form when they click.

Right away you've positioned yourself as a giver rather than a taker.

Boom!

There are several ways you can do this... the easiest, if you have a SquareSpace site, is to do it through them as a promotional pop-up.

Grab my free video tutorial here on how to set it up in SquareSpace.

> > > VIDEO TUTORIAL

If you're having trouble with it, HATE pop-ups, or don't have a SquareSpace site, email me and let's chat about how you can make it happen.

To your success!

xo

-Jennifer

PS - be a giver rather than a taker - watch my video tutorial on how!

My email marketing top pick

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My email marketing top pick

If you've been around my stuff for a while, you'll have heard me talk about how awesome MailChimp is for your business email list.

And it is.

But as my business expands and evolves, I'm changing my mind about whether MailChimp is right for me.

Let me explain...

Here's what I say about MailChimp on my MailChimp course page:

There are a ton of email marketing services out there, and MailChimp is my favourite. It does have one disadvantage, which I'll explain later, but its many advantages outweigh that in my opinion.
It's easy to use, super powerful, and has a FREE version that will serve you excellently for a long time. 
I AM ALL ABOUT TAKING ACTION TO GET TRACTION WITHOUT SPENDING A TON OF CASH UP FRONT, HEALER.
MailChimp does everything I need and will do everything you need WITHOUT costing you an arm and a leg.
It's what I use, and it's also what Mike Dillard, who made $50 million in the last ten years with a list-based business, uses, so you're in good company! :)

I stand by that - with some conditions.

When I started my healing business, I didn't care AT ALL about learning fancy new systems, marketing techniques and technologies, or how to target and tag. I just wanted to share my blog posts, special events & offers, and business travel with my clients.

MailChimp is perfect for that.

But now that my business has expanded and evolved, I want to get jiggy with more complicated online options - and I want to AUTOMATE as much as possible.

I'm a huge fan of automation whether or not you have an online business - I'm still going to recommend AT THE LEAST having an automated welcome series when people join your list, which MailChimp can totally do - but the disadvantage I mentioned above? Here it is...

MailChimp counts subscribers twice when you have them on more than one list*.

This means that once you get above a few hundred members, if you're using different freebies to get people onto your list, you're paying double for your subscribers (you could always delete people from the "feeder list" once they're on your main list, but because MailChimp doesn't let you tag subscribers, you would then lose the info on how they came to you).*

*If this makes no sense to you, set up a FREE 30-minute coaching call so I can explain it to you! :)

 

MailChimp also doesn't let you get as sophisticated with your automations.

If you want to have the most versatility possible, it's ConvertKit all the way. I'm in the process of, well, converting, and so far I LOOOOOVE it. 

When people click on a link to learn more, claim a freebie, or visit my site, I can set up automations for that action (I can send a series of emails with more info to everyone who claims a certain gift or wants to learn more about a certain topic, so the people who don't care about that topic don't get turned off and unsubscribe).

Seriously this is AWESOME for a nerd like me! :)

It's definitely harder to learn than MailChimp, but if you want the robustness of being able to track, tag, and fully automate - then ConvertKit is for you.

If you just want a simple email list to keep in touch with your clients with the ability to do some automation, then MailChimp all the way, baby!

I'd love to hear what service you use and how you like it. Comment below or email me at jennifer [at] jenniferknowlan.com.

To your success!!!!!

-Jennifer

 

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