Monthly Archives: December 2009

How do you write sales letters so they don’t sound so hype-y?

As a direct response copywriter this is a question I get asked a lot. And I completely get it. After all, so many sales letters and emails sound so inauthentic and hype-y, (not to mention just plain badly written) why WOULD you want to sound like them?

So how do you write a sales letter that doesn’t sound hype-y and yet still makes you money? The answer is actually very simple – you need to make a connection with your ideal clients.

You see, the more you connect with what’s keeping your ideal clients’ up at night, the more you provide a solution to that, the more you speak to your ideal clients in their language and talk to them about issues that concern them, the more persuasive your sales letters and emails will be. Best yet, they also won’t sound hype-y because you’ll be connecting to them on a deeper level then just screaming things like “make more money” or “lose 100 pounds in a month.”

If you want to learn more about this along with other tips on how to write online copy that sells your brilliance so you make more money with less effort, then you need to join me on January 6. I’m going to be hosting a special Q&A call with my business partner Lisa Cherney, the Juicy Marketing Expert, answering all your questions.  (Just in time to start making money in 2010!) Here’s the link to learn more and reserve your space: http://bigmoneyonlinesecrets.com

What Ohio State Football can Teach You About Your Business

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If you follow college football, you’ve probably run across Ohio State a time or two. Their football program is very old and very prestigious.

But I’m still cringing at the thought of watching them get beaten by Oregon at the Rose Bowl. (Yes I’m fairly certain they’ll lose although I do hope I’m wrong.) As a Big Ten fan, I’m really tired of watching Ohio State get hammered in these big, national games.

(Of course, if MY team, the Wisconsin Badgers, would ever actually beat them in conference, maybe all of this would be different but I digress.)

For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Why did Ohio State win so darn many games only to consistently embarrass the Big Ten in big out-of-conference games? Jim Tressel is an excellent coach. Isn’t he?

Well, this year I finally got my answer. Yes Jim Tressel is an excellent coach. But he plays not to lose. He doesn’t play to win.

And that, my friends, is why he loses the big games. Because those teams come to win. And Tressel is coming not to lose. (And that’s why he’s probably gong to lose to Oregon at the Rose Bowl because Oregon has been playing to win all season.)

So what exactly does it mean to play not to lose? Well it means playing very conservatively. You punt the ball rather than going for it on 4th and short. You go for the field goal rather than the touchdown. You build very strong defenses. You commit very few penalties. You have a very well coached team.

It also means you don’t take chances. You don’t have quarterbacks that heave the ball down the field in broken plays that can result in an interception or an 80-yard touchdown. You also don’t win a lot of shootouts. And if your game plan isn’t working, you don’t have a lot of options because winging it isn’t something you do.

And you’re also pretty uninteresting to watch. (Sorry Buckeye fans but it’s true.)

Now, can you win games playing not to lose? Absolutely. Tressel has a very respectable record. (Much better than my Badgers.) He’s won the Big Ten Title nearly every year.

The problem happens when he gets to the big games. Now I’m not a coach nor did I ever play football but I do watch a lot of it and here’s what I think happens. If you’re not able to prevent Ohio from executing their game plan, you’re toast. If Ohio can execute their game plan, they’re going to do it very well and probably beat you.

But, if you throw a wrench in that game plan, if you throw them off, well then Ohio has a problem. They’re not good at improvising nor do they take chances. And if you don’t take a chance, especially when the chips are down, you’re probably not going to win those games.

So what about you? Are you playing not to lose or are you playing to win? Sure you can do well playing not to lose, but you’re never going to play as big of a game as you could be. Play to win, sure you might fall on your face from time to time but you’ll probably end up playing bigger than you ever thought possible.

So what does it mean to play to win or play not to lose? I’ll talk about that more in next week’s article.

If you follow college football, you’ve probably run across Ohio State a time or two. Their football program is very old and very prestigious.

But I’m still cringing at the thought of watching them get beaten by Oregon at the Rose Bowl. (Yes I’m fairly certain they’ll lose although I do hope I’m wrong.) As a Big Ten fan, I’m really tired of watching Ohio State get hammered in these big, national games.

(Of course, if MY team, the Wisconsin Badgers, would ever actually beat them in conference, maybe all of this would be different but I digress.)

For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Why did Ohio State win so darn many games only to consistently embarrass the Big Ten in big out-of-conference games? Jim Tressel is an excellent coach. Isn’t he?

Well, this year I finally got my answer. Yes Jim Tressel is an excellent coach. But he plays not to lose. He doesn’t play to win.

And that, my friends, is why he loses the big games. Because those teams come to win. And Tressel is coming not to lose. (And that’s why he’s probably gong to lose to Oregon at the Rose Bowl because Oregon has been playing to win all season.)

So what exactly does it mean to play not to lose? Well it means playing very conservatively. You punt the ball rather than going for it on 4th and short. You go for the field goal rather than the touchdown. You build very strong defenses. You commit very few penalties. You have a very well coached team.

It also means you don’t take chances. You don’t have quarterbacks that heave the ball down the field in broken plays that can result in an interception or an 80-yard touchdown. You also don’t win a lot of shootouts. And if your game plan isn’t working, you don’t have a lot of options because winging it isn’t something you do.

And you’re also pretty uninteresting to watch. (Sorry Buckeye fans but it’s true.)

Now, can you win games playing not to lose? Absolutely. Tressel has a very respectable record. (Much better than my Badgers.) He’s won the Big Ten Title nearly every year.

The problem happens when he gets to the big games. Now I’m not a coach nor did I ever play football but I do watch a lot of it and here’s what I think happens. If you’re not able to prevent Ohio from executing their game plan, you’re toast. If Ohio can execute their game plan, they’re going to do it very well and probably beat you.

But, if you throw a wrench in that game plan, if you throw them off, well then Ohio has a problem. They’re not good at improvising nor do they take chances. And if you don’t take a chance, especially when the chips are down, you’re probably not going to win those games.

So what about you? Are you playing not to lose or are you playing to win? Sure you can do well playing not to lose, but you’re never going to play as big of a game as you could be. Play to win, sure you might fall on your face from time to time but you’ll probably end up playing bigger than you ever thought possible.

So what does it mean to play to win or play not to lose? I’ll talk about that more in next week’s article.

What’s your biggest question about how to write online copy that sells your brilliance so you make more money with less effort?

Well it’s that time of year again where we spend time putting together our goals for the new year. One of my goals is to help as many entrepreneurs as possible reach THEIR financial goals. So, in order to help you better, I’d love to get your response to this question:

What’s your biggest question about how to write online copy that sells your brilliance so you make more money with less effort?

Click here to let me know your question: http://budurl.com/JOMEB

And, on January 6, I’m going to be hosting a special Q&A call with my business partner Lisa Cherney, the Juicy Marketing Expert, answering all your questions.  (Just in time to start making money in 2010!)

It will only take a few minutes of your time, I’d love to get your feedback. Here’s that link again:

Click here to let me know your question: http://budurl.com/JOMEB

When Bad Things Happen to Good Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

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It’s an unfortunate fact of life (and business). Out of the blue you get a nasty email from someone. Sometimes it’s about an article you’ve written. Sometimes it’s accompanied by a refund request. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it’s tied to anything at all.

Or maybe you discover someone writing malicious things about you on a blog or a forum. Or maybe some other negative things suddenly start getting tweeted or posted to Facebook about you, your products or your business.

Stuff happens. As a business owner and entrepreneur, the more successful you become, the more you open yourself up to criticism, negative feedback or just plain being attacked.

As someone who is both a writer AND a business owner, I know all about what happens when you’re dealing with unwelcome criticism. (I write fiction so yes, I’ve dealt with my share of negative feedback.) But if this is something new for you, or even if it’s not new but you’re feeling like you’ve just been sucker-punched by something out of the blue, I thought I’d share a few insights to help you get through it.

1. Know you’re not alone. We’ve ALL been there. And I mean exactly that. It doesn’t matter how small or big your business is, stuff like this is going to happen. So know that no matter what just happened to you, there are a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners out there who will both sympathize and emphasize.

2. See it for what it is. All criticism is not created equally. Sometimes what someone is saying has absolutely nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own issues. Sometimes they have a legitimate complaint but the person is so unhappy with their own life they blow it completely out of portion because they just want to strike out at someone and you’re the one they picked.

And sometimes they have a legitimate beef AND they handled it fine, but you just didn’t want to hear it. An example of this is some of the criticism I’ve gotten from some of my stories. The people were thoughtful and absolutely right. And I hated them. (Until I got over myself and slunk back to the keyboard to make the edits.)

Now the third option doesn’t happen too often (unless you’re a fiction writer) but the first two do. You just have to see it for what it is. If there’s something buried in the anger and name-calling you can use to improve your products, services or business, by all means use it. But know the rest of it has absolutely nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

(And you’ll know when the criticism is right. Trust me. Your gut will tell you.)

3. Be kind to yourself. When these things happen, it can hurt. And that’s okay. Call a friend. Or better yet, your mother (if you can). Write about it in your journal. Take a walk. Don’t bury your feelings, let yourself feel bad and then let it go. Don’t tell yourself it doesn’t matter and let it fester inside you, deal with it. Get it out of you. And then let it go.

4. Let someone else deal with these things. Whenever possible, have someone else in your business be a filter for stuff like this. Let other people take care of refund requests or just read the nasty emails and they can decide if there’s a legitimate complaint buried in there or not. Protect yourself, there’s no need for you to see everything or deal with everything. Yes you’ll have to step in if something big happens, but let other people take care of the small stuff. The small stuff is what wears you down anyway. Save yourself for the big things and don’t worry about the rest.