Do you haaaaate writing benefits for your copy? Do you ever resort to fist-clenching, teeth-gritting and/or loose-lipped-profanity-followed-by-white-wine-chugging because you just can’t seem to nail them down?
(Don’t lie to me, lady. I’ve talked to enough of you to know the answer is a resounding, “HELL YES!”)
Well, I’ve got a super cool secret that will make writing benefits a total breeze, yo. And I’m sharing it with you RIGHT NOW. So get your (sparkly) pens ready, ladies! It’s time to get schooled on bennies.
Here it is: Sometimes we think something is a benefit, but it’s not. (Dun, dun, dun.)
Um, say whaaat?
If a benefit is truly a benefit, it must somehow solve a problem for your prospect – and make an emotional, not just tangible, connection.
For example, I might say a “benefit” of my copywriting is that I take an (often) tedious, ridiculously booooring, arduous task off your (already cluttered) plate. Because I love you, and I don’t want you to write shitty copy. Or do anything you dislike, actually.
That sounds nice, right? It sounds concrete.
But can I dig deeper? Is there more there?
You can cut straight to the juicy core of any benefit by asking one simple question: “So what?”
That’s it. That annoying little phrase every 7-year-old seemingly has ready-to-roll off his tongue actually holds the key to delicious copy. Who knew?
So let’s try it in real time, shall we?
“Supposed” Bennie: I take a task you hate off your plate.
So what? (Read: “What does that really mean to you?”)
It means you’ll have more time to do other cool shit. Like drink lots of red wine at dinner or, y’know, book three extra clients.
The reason this is now a better benefit is that it speaks to one of my ideal client’s biggest, most niggling, awful problems: not having enough time to do what they love…because they’re constantly slaving over sales copy.
What it does now is connect on an emotional level.
‘Cause the truth is, nobody really gives a flying you-know-what that I’m taking a task off their plate. What they do care about is what that extra time means to them – and what they can do with it. They care about how their lives will be gloriously happier, madly more fulfilled or just plain better because by hiring me, I’ve gifted them this extra time. (BTW – time is the MOST valuable resource on the planet. More valuable than money or accolades or anything-the-eff-else. When in doubt about benefits, remember that MOST people want more time.)
The supposed “benefit” of taking a task off your plate is really just a glorified feature without that essential emotional element. And we can’t have none of that “glorified feature” nonsense when we’re trying to make bookoo bucks, now can we?
When you’re doing this for your own copy, just remember that the answer to each “So what?” needs to talk about HOW the particular benefit solves (one of) your prospect’s problems.
In this case:
The Problem: Not having enough time to do the shit they really love because they’re spending even the most hoppin’ Saturday nights (Does anybody say “hoppin” anymore? Did they ever…besides my Dad?) chained to their MacBooks resentfully pounding out sales copy
The Benefit: Hiring me means THEY DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT. and THEY CAN GO OUT AND ENJOY THE FUCKING PARTY, MAN…LIKE A GOD DAMN NORMAL PERSON. 🙂
Now, the point of this blog isn’t that you need to sit at your laptop all day muttering, “So what?” ’cause that’d be freakin’ weird, weirdo.
The point is I want you to remember that YOUR BENEFITS ARE WHAT SELL YOUR STUFF. As the famous Zig Ziglar said in that super wise quote up top, we buy based on emotion first, and then we try back it up with logic.
Benefits are emotional. Features are logical.
Without solid benefits, nobody’s buying.
Not even if you’ve got the most amazing, well-thought-out, slaved-over-for-months, wrapped-in-gold offer. And not even if you’re promising iPad Minis with every order. (Okay, maybe then. But are you really gonna do that? ….And if you are, will you hook a girl up?)
So next time you’re wondering if your sales page is lacking or why a seemingly stellar, super hot offer isn’t racking up 0’s in your bank account, go back to the basics & shine up your benefits. Give them the extra love & attention that they deserve and ask, “So what?”
You – and your business – are worth the extra couple minutes it takes to dig deeper + discover the real reasons people will want what you have.
And of course, don’t forget to go forth + deliver on your promises, too. Grateful-clients-to-be are waiting.
Dig this post? Tell me about it, sugar.
Try the “So What?” exercise above and post your results below. I’ll give the first 5 lucky ladies a FREE QUICKIE REVIEW of your bennies, entirely on da house. Aaand…go!
Apparently, I’m getting older.
Two weeks ago, I was lounging in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, delightfully marinating underneath the palm trees with my 2 besties who are also late 20-somethings. I was rocking my low-rise denim cut offs and gladiator sandals and flowy top and feeling generally okay about myself, in spite of the fact that it was spring break week and everybody everywhere was about 10 years younger than me.
I didn’t really feel any “different” – at least, not until we hit the town later that night, still in our low-rise denim. Still in our gladiator sandals. Still in our flowy, oversized tops.
‘Cause every other chick in a 2-mile radius? Every other chick was sporting a crop top and high-waisted denim cut-off shorts that would probably get you arrested most places in the U.S.
Don’t get me wrong – they all looked beautiful. I think the look is cute. And especially cute on Amazon-esque, tan, thin 18-year-olds.
And it wasn’t like each girl wasn’t giving it her own unique twist. Nobody was wearing the same crop top, or the same pair of denim cut-offs. Some crop tops were basic, some were patterned. Some cut-offs were white, some were shredded, some had cool, vintage looking patches. But still…it was like there was some Cabo uniform I was unaware of, and it made me mildly self conscious.
But a funny thing happened when we went out in Cabo. We found ourselves swarmed by people (guys, girls, locals – whatever) wanting to talk to us + get to know us. Everybody told us we looked friendly and “different” (or, y’know, maybe we just looked old enough to wield an AmEx…I don’t know).
Either way, the fact that we were a bit older, and not dressed like everybody else…turned out to be a wonderful conversation starter. An asset, if you will. (Not to be confused with an ass-et.)
And all of this, naturally, got me thinking about business. Ladies, honestly: It’s so easy to get lost in online business. It’s so easy to become the “Cabo Girl” – blindly following the trends and desperately trying to make them your own…but still looking like everybody else in the end.
There are so many people who run similar types of businesses, write the same kinds of blogs, have the same style of website, package their shit in similar ways.
Which is fine. And expected. You shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel as an entrepreneur, especially when there are proven systems/tactics/tips that work (in fact, I’ve written about this before).
The real problem is that there are so many people who create businesses, websites and blogs and all these things without a real, clear sense of their brand. They don’t know WTF sets them apart, or how to showcase that in a way that’s fun + exciting + unique. They just decide to embody a certain trend because they saw it on
Lookbook.nu some forum, or somebody else’s blog.
I know I’ve talked about it before (in a slightly different context), but I truly believe it’s the “little things” that make us feel the most polished + put together – the most “us.” IRL, I mean like…manis + pedis. Hair color + style. And blending classics + trends together to create one-of-a-kind ensembles. And rocking super low-rise denim even if it’s not “the thing” anymore, just because you love it.
I believe it’s the same online. The key to standing out is all in the little things, baby.
Here are a few (little) ways you can add more delicious YOU-ness to your brand:
1. Name Your Client Documents
Most of us send our clients documents at one point or another – be it an intake form or a coaching agreement. One way to stand out from the competition is to give these necessary (and often times, boring) docs interesting names. For example, I recently changed the name of my “intake PDF” to “Beat Sheet,” which is a Hollywood term that refers to an outline where each major plot point gets it own bullet point. Since the point of my intake form is to have my clients dish on everything that ever happened to them ever (in terms of getting to where they are today in their business) and all the minute details of their dream clients + specific offerings, it makes sense to call it a “Beat Sheet.” It gives me an outline of their story and their business – and gives me a place to start writing the script (their drafts). The name is also totally in line with my brand. (Have you peeped my bio page lately? One of my first lines is about how I believe online business is like one big, sexy Hollywood shindig.)
2. Re-name Your “Tribe”
Does anybody else cringe when they hear the phrase “tribe”? I do! I don’t know if it’s just ’cause I’ve been online for awhile, but it seems so trite, passe and…yesterday. (It also makes me think of the Cleveland Indians, which, y’know is fine, but probably not what you’re going for.) Why not switch things up + describe your peeps in a new way? Y’know, something like posse. Clique. Or entourage (which is, coincidentally, the one I’m newly trying on…but maybe only ’cause I think Erica’s Entourage sounds really fucking cool. Or maybe because I have a serious addiction to alliteration. Like, might need rehab addiction. But anywho.) How can you give your people a unique moniker that’s not only intriguing to them, but contains a nod to something you love, too?
3. Create A Signature Sign-Off
Everybody needs a signature sign-off – a few word ditty you can use at the bottom of blog posts, emails, documents – whatever! This is something I occasionally work on with clients, but I didn’t realize until last week when I was updating my Mailchimp autoresponders that I don’t have one. And the more I think about it…the more necessary I think it is. Especially if you’re a personality-driven brand. Luckily, your sign-off doesn’t have to be crazy, or even that clever, to be effective. It can be an easy way to show off your personality (got a phrase/word you always use? throw it in your siggy!) and what you believe in.
You could say something like…
To more [thing you love #1] and even more [thing you love #2], Your Name
In [thing you believe in #1] and [thing you believe in #2], Your Name
Another idea? Keep the same basic structure as one of the above, but switch it up depending on what you’re writing about. If you just drafted an email newsletter all about Beyonce and the super cool un-marketing strategy she used for her last album launch, your sign-off could be like: “To Beyonce and keeping people on their toes.”
4. Amp Up Your Packages
Since everybody + their mama has packages these days, this is one place you definitely gotta step up the “You-ness.” Even if you’re selling the exact same package as someone else, you can give components of your package fresh new nom de plumes to keep things interesting. Like, how ’bout ditching the 30-minute “Discovery Session” for a 15-minute “Champagne Chat”? Also, make sure the package has a cute, catchy title. For example, my packages “Overnight Celebrity” and “The It Girl Experience” are both totally in line with my brand and my personality. (I seriously listen to the Twista song on the regular, ’cause I’m a weirdo.)
Inspired? Here are two big caveats I want to mention.
1. Add as much “you” as you want – but keep it cohesive.
Once you get the ball rollin’, it’s almost too easy to get carried away. Make sure that when you’re injecting personality into your brand, you’re sticking with 1-2 major themes. For example, you shouldn’t call one package something to do with vampires, and another one something about rock n’ roll. Unless, of course, your brand mascot is a guitar-wielding bloodsucker. Then, by all means.
2. You don’t have to do every single one at once, or at all.
Remember the girl in high school who went all out, all the time – rocking a mohawk, ripped fishnets, black lipstick, black ties, dog collars and spiked out hair….almost every single day? Okay, yes. That girl was me. But that girl was also a bit overzealous…and ended up looking ridiculous in far too many photos that are now encapsulated for life. One or two “accents” is all you truly need – in business and in life. Choose the two that most speak to you, and start there.
Do you have a cool, quirky or memorable brand element that’s totally you? Inspired to create your own after this article? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
P.S. If this kinda stuff intrigues you, I dive wayyy deeper into adding your unique interests + personality into your copy in my e-book, Crushworthy Sales Copy 101. For just $5, you can learn how to brainstorm loads of ideas for sweetening your copy with more you. Click to learn more.
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a magazine journalist.
As a teenager (who was equal parts angsty as hell and also totally stereotypically girly), I was obsessed with a capital ‘O’ with magazines. I subscribed to at least 5 – Cosmo, Teen People, Seventeen, BUST, Teen Vogue, the list goes on – and whenever a beauty hit my mailbox, I lit up like a kid on Christmas. My joy (and compulsion to check the mailbox at least 3 times a day) might have been a little over-the-top, but there was literally no problem a quick flick through a glossy couldn’t fix.
And why was I so obsessed?
Because those damn magazine writers were fucking awesome at writing compelling headlines.
“16 Easy Ways to Feel More Pleasure Now” – Sign me up for that!
“12 Love Moves that Turn Him to Mush” – Yes, please!
“Feel Happier in 10 Seconds or Less” – I mean, come on.
And not only would I gladly throw down my last $5 for a chance to find out “how to rock his world with hot new moves,” as a budding writer with a few articles under my belt, I knew I had, had, had to learn how to craft titles like that. (Side note: I did go to school for Magazine Journalism, but let’s just say the coolest headline I wrote was about the local Red Cross blood drive. Such is life, yo.)
Now, let me let you in on a little secret: Magazine writers know what they’re doing. They’re not writing headlines like that for fun (except I’m sure it’s one helluva blast).
Magazine writers write headlines for one reason only: to grab your attention by playing on the powers of innate human curiosity.
Of course you want to find out how to look sexier with one new easy makeup trick. Right?
Humans always want to know about the newest, most innovative, easiest and quickest thing…and headlines need to play on one of those attributes.
And since western society has a serious case of ADD, headlines are even more important in the online realm. You’ve got literally seconds to grab a reader’s attention.
That said, headlines are arguably the most important part of any piece of writing you’ll ever write.
But how the hell do you write a headline? Where do you even start? There are tons of headline hacks available online, but I’m going to encourage you to get a little more creative.
Here are a few of my fave online hotspots for snagging some seriously sweet headline ideas:
Reddit is an awesome place to scour for juicy headlines….as long as you make sure not to get lost in it’s vortex. It’s also a double-whammy where you can hit two birds with one proverbial stone. You can find fresh story ideas, too, either by swiping the concept + tweaking it to fit your niche or stumbling upon a story that’s already in your niche.
Need an example of headline-tweaking for your niche? I just happened upon this gem: Are PCs Dying? Of Course Not, Here’s Why. If I was using this as inspiration for a blog post, maybe I’d write a post titled, “Are Long Form Sales Pages Dying? Nope, Here’s Why.” Just be sure not to straight up plagiarize, ’cause that aint cool.
2. The local rag rack
Obvs, this must be included. Really any magazine will do, but Cosmo’s got headline-writing down to an art. In fact, I have a blog post planned titled, “4 Signs This Client is ‘The One'” – highjacked straight from a Cosmo cover headline about knowing if you’ve found Mr. Right.
Here’s link to check out some of Cosmo’s more recent covers. Swipe away, ladies.
3. Huffington Post
If you use the Internet at all ever, you’ve seen Huffington Post stories pop up somewhere – most likely your Facebook news food. You know, the whole, “This woman looked inside her dresser drawer. What she found next was astonishing.” bit.
Now, while I don’t advocate using “click-and-switch” headlines – meaning they look like they’re going to be about one thing but are about something totally different, a tactic the HuffPo does use occasionally– I think the Post does an amaaazing job piquing human curiosity with their headlines.
So while they may be mildly annoying, these types of headlines still get me to click every time, which proves to me they’re doing something right.
4. Retail Sales E-mails
Okay, so this isn’t necessarily for headlines in particular, but I create some of my most punny writing (yes, that was totes intended) based on the sales e-mails of my fave online shops. Not only do copywriters for retail brands have to come up with clever, succinct calls to action, they also have to grab a reader’s attention and FAST.
Retail copywriters are experts at playing on words, creating puns + using idioms. (Trust me – I used to be one!)
Although I wouldn’t use a headline like, “Sweet Hearts” (this was for a feature on heart-shaped accessories) for a blog headline or sales copy headline, I would totally use this in email marketing, within the body copy or as inspiration for naming a product.
Alright girlfrands, that’s all I got. Now it’s time for you to share your headline secrets. Spill in the comments, por favor.
P.S. If you want more tips like this, I’ve got a secret for ya. I’m currently whipping up my FIRST EVAH e-book. Crushworthy Sales Copy 101 is a short-n-sweet guide to your most burning copywriting Qs….with my signature sass + flair. And pop culture references. The best part? You can pre-order it starting today at a PAY-WHAT-YOU-WISH price. That means you can pick your own price (minimum $5) + you’ll get the beauty automagically sent to your e-box on March 7, 2014 in downloadable PDF form. Click right hurr to hop on over to the special Crushworthy Copy pre-order page.
Your turn! //
Ready for Action, Jackson? Here’s what I want you to do:
1. Re-write 1-3 of your blah-est headlines (either from a blog post or sales copy) using one of the websites above as inspiration.
2. Sign up over at VisualWebsiteOptimizer.com (tutorial forthcoming!) and create a “headline test.” Pit your old headline against your new headline. (This website is pretty easy to use if you’re mildly tech savvy.)
3. Wait a month + check back. Which one got more engagement? More shares? More likes? Use that headline for good. And congrats – you just ran your first A/B test!
Let’s be honest: Business sometimes feels like a big ass guessing game.
We’re constantly asking (and being asked) burning questions about our target audience, like…
Who are they?
Where do they hang out?
What blogs do they read?
Where do they live?
Do they drink coffee or tea?
What problems do they have?
How do they talk about the industry?
…Am I stressing you out yet?
Lady, I get you. As a biz newbie, you might not even know exactly who your target market is, let alone how they speak! And since you’re not hanging out inside your dream client’s pretty little head, well, finding the answers can seem a downright daunting task.
Unfortch, it’s imperative you figure this shizz out – and lickety-split.
Every minute you waste NOT knowing your target market is another minute you’re NOT hearing the sweet ca-ching of money hitting your bank account.
Today, I’m going to reveal a few tried-and-true (yet not-so-well-known) methods for “reading minds” and how I apply this to writing copy that makes my clients serious cash.
Ready to become a master mind reader, too? Let’s dig in!
1. Read your own mind first.
I can’t lie: I resisted the idea that we are our own ideal clients for a grip. But after some profound inner digging, I finally accepted that often we’re creating products & services for people a lot like us – a few years ago .
Think about it. We’re all in the business of transformation, really. And the messages we’re spouting from our online soap boxes are often the exact missives we needed to hear or learn before we began our businesses. I’m willing to bet you went into business to teach something you’ve learned yourself, right?
So how do you use this to read your client’s minds? You read your own!
A few key questions to ask yourself to tap into your client’s deepest desires:
1. What made you decide to start your business? Think allll the way back to when your biz baby was just in diapers. Were you searching for information on a specific topic that proved fruitless? Did you solve a massive problem in your own life and wanted to share the wisdom?
2. What thoughts do you recall having about your situation before you went through your transformation/learned your life-changing lesson? Write down what you were feeling, thinking and doing at that time in your life (and specifically in regards to your pesky problem).
3. Now, fast forward. What benefits did you experience in your own life after learning what you now know? What changes did you make? How did you grow, change, shift?
Voila! You’ve just interviewed an ideal client without having to do a darn thing (and probably learned a bit about yourself, too.)
And speaking of interviewing…
2. Actually talk to your prospects (but take their insight with a grain of salt).
You can learn so much about your prospects by simply gifting them some of your precious time. Many online biz owners offer freebie consults to get their audience on the phone and chatting about their problems (I do this and I love it!)
Yep. Allowing your prospect to pour her wittle heart out over the phone isn’t just fascinating – it’s lucrative! First, get her on the horn. You can do this by setting up a simple sales page or simply adding a link to your calendar on your existing sales pages. Once you’ve got her on the line, ask her to describe her current situation, what she’s struggling with and what she wishes her life looked like instead.
Posing a few simple Qs ’bout her current sitch will give you invaluable information about her fears, frustrations & the shit that gives her heart palpitations at night. And if you listen closely, you’ll also get wind of any potential objections to working with you (even if she doesn’t bluntly tell you) so you can address them in your copy.
Even better? You’ll hear actual words your clients use to describe their problems. And those words, my darling, are priceless little money-makin’ nuggets. Sprinkle ’em throughout your sales copy & you’re golden! Mind: Read.
Now. Why should you take all this glorious feedback with a grain of salt (and perhaps a smooth shot of Jose)? Research shows humans are inherently terrible at predicting what will actually make us happy and are equally shitty at predicting what we’ll buy in the future. Apparently, we really have no fucking clue what we want, ever (as anybody who has ever lived through their 20s knows all too well!) So make sure you don’t base your entire business model on a few conversations. We humans are a flighty bunch.
BONUS! It’s also important to talk to clients after they’ve worked with you to hear the benefits of your work right from the ladies’ mouths. You can set up a simple survey at WuFoo.com to pick your clients’ brains about their experiences with you (and – bonus again! – the survey can also double as a testimonial creator)!
You can cull some serious pearls of wisdom by hopping back inside their brains with a post-work survey – and these pearls can later become the back bone of your sales copy.
3. Stalk ’em, HARD. (And I promise I mean this in the least creepy way possible.)
With the Internet, privacy has kinda-sorta become a thing of the past. And while this might suck as a regular Internet-perusing human, as a business owners, you can use the lack of confidentiality online to better provide for your terrific lil’ tribe.
Here are a few bennies for gettin’ all stalky on your prospects:
1. You can create solution-based content based on their problems. Here’s an example: If you’re a business coach & your clients are constantly tweeting about how they have no time to do anything ever, you can use that intel to compose a series of blog posts about time management or suggest tools to better track their hours. Ta-da! You’ve just read their minds, girl.
2. You’ll discover what they do in their free time – and subsequently, what references will resonate with them. I love plugging movies, books, guilty pleasure TV shows and other hobbies into the copy I’m writing. If you notice your ideal clients always commenting on how they share your Scandal obsession or constantly posting links to Rihanna music vids, find a fun way to work those items into your copy. You’ll have them squealing, “That’s so me!” and build even more trust.
BONUS! If you’re on Facebook, here’s a quick (but oh-so-useful) trick for discovering other interests of your customers.
In the search bar, you can do a couple fun things:
1. Type “Pages liked by people who like ________” into the search bar (replacing the ____ with your business name, an interest, a movie, a book, a blog, etc.)
2. Type “Interests liked by people who like __________” into the search bar
The results might just astound you. (Like, who knew my Facebook fans were so into the Dalai Lama? Okay, I actually could’ve guessed that one.)
4. Test Your Audience
Sometimes we just can’t choose between one juicy headline or another. There are so many dang amazing words in the English language and only so many we can stick on our websites. So what’s a word-lovin’ nerd to do?
Split test, baby!
A/B testing is an easy way to uncover what language is most captivating to our ideal clients.
I know, I know. A/B Testing kiiiiinda sounds like a terrible algebraic formula, but it’s actually a super simple process that involves pitting one copy element against another – and seeing which ‘performs’ better (read: makes more sales, gets more clicks, etc.).
The best online tool I’ve found for split-testing is Visual Website Optimizer. Go ahead & snag yourself a free trial. Then, you can enter different headlines on any & every page on your site and Visual Website Optimizer will let you know which headline spurred the most page interaction, therefore learning even more about the words your peeps respond to.
YOUR TURN! //
How do you lady geniuses learn about your ideal clients? Any tips, tricks or tools for uncovering what truly makes your tribe tick? Share in the comments!
Originally I planned to release this as a fancy dancy, writable PDF worksheet. Then, I got rip-roaringly sick and had to stop doing pretty much anything that didn’t involve slurping through a spoon and bad reality TV. That said, the worksheet was written but never designed. Still, I didn’t think it was fair to keep all the goodness to myself. So here it is, in a slightly different form: Your ultimate guide to creating a sparkly new service in 2014! You can either grab a notebook, your fave pen & set aside 15 minutes or so & follow along here, or scroll to the bottom of the page and download the worksheet in its less-fancy-yet-still-totally-useful Microsoft Word form. Either way, let’s create something fabulous!
THE BASICS //
First, take time to write down the answers to the following…
1. What do you do?
2. Who do you do it for?
3. Why do you do it?
4. And what is the ONE BIG PROBLEM you want to solve in your clients lives with this offering? Every offering must solve a CLEAR, SPECIFIC problem.
THE BENEFITS //
1. What are your clients experiencing in their lives right now? What do their lives look like when they come to you for help?
Example. If you’re a health coach, maybe your clients bodies embarrass them because their clothes totally hug all the wrong places. Maybe they’re totally wiped out all the time because they’re so out of shape every movement takes a ton of effort.
♥ ACTION: Write about your dream client’s current experience.
2. What kind of experience do you want your clients to have while working with you? What FEELINGS will you give them during your time together?
♥ ACTION: Take a few minutes to write about how your client will feel while knee-deep in work with you.
3. Ask yourself what your client’s life will look like AFTER working with you. How will they be changed? How will they be closer to their ideal lifestyle? (These are the BENEFITS of your offering!)
Example: Health coaches aren’t just selling nutrition advice. They’re selling body confidence and the ability to finally zip your damn skinny jeans. Get specific as humanly possible. Words like “clarity” and “happiness” are BANNED. BANNED, I SAY.
♥ ACTION: Write about your dream client’s life after working with you.
4. Your job is to take your clients from where they are now, to where they want to be. What would need to happen, change or shift in your clients’ lives for them to travel from number 1 (where they are now) to number 2 (where they want to be)?
♥ ACTION: Write about the transformation your client would need to go through. Think about stuff like: How long will it take? What support will they need? What do they need to learn/do/experience?
5. Now, let’s talk logistics. Take a moment to list the process your client will take from beginning to end to achieve the transformation they desire. Really step into their shoes.
Example: If you’re an online entrepreneur, chances are you’ve purchased a service from someone else, so you know what the process is like. So for example, if you listed “private coaching session” above, what would that look like? Would you need an intake form first? And then an interview? And then a wrap-up email?
For reference (and ’cause I just love ya), here’s the process for my Overnight Celebrity service.
1. Client books freebie appointment via ScheduleOnce
2. I call client at scheduled time via Skype (and using E-camm to record our conversation)
3. I create an official proposal for the client. Client okays it.
4. I send the client a first invoice, contract & playsheets.
5. When client pays the invoice & signs the contract, I officially add them to my calendar & send them a link to schedule their copy clarity session.
6. Client schedules copy clarity session and works on playsheets.
7. Client sends playsheets to me at least 24 hours before our session.
8. We hop on Skype at our scheduled time (again, recorded) and I do my thang.
9. I write. Client relaxes. I deliver drafts in 72 hours.
10. I send through drafts. Client gives feedback within 48 hours.
11. I send second drafts. Client gives feedback within 48 hours.
12. I wrap up and deliver final copy plus my wrap kit to client.
13. Final invoice is sent.
14. Follow-up is sent one week, one month & three months after work together. I use Google Calendar to set reminders.
And there you have it!
♥ ACTION: List the steps of your process in your notebook now (and please don’t stress about this – it WILL change over time!)
YOUR WORK STYLE //
1. Now, let’s take the focus off the client & back onto you, baby. No matter what your client wants or needs, you won’t be able to deliver maximum results unless you’re doing your job in a way that’s in alignment with your natural abilities and gifts.
Remember: This is YOUR business and you can work any way that feels good to you. Oh yeah, baby.
So… how do you like to work?
Do you like to work one-on-one? (This is where I suggest most people start!)
Do you like to work with multiple people at once?
Do you like short, intense bursts of work (i.e. could you spend an entire day w/ one client, and that’s it) or would you rather set up long-term relationships?
♥ ACTION: Write all about how you like to work in your notebook now.
THE SECRETS OF SEDUCTIVE SERVICES //
Now that you’ve got the basics down, you’ve got to find a way to make sure your offering really stands out. How can do you do that? Here are just a few ways to create an offering nobody can say no to:
UNIQUE TURNAROUND: Can you offer a speedier service than the competition? Maybe you offer lightning-quick turnaround on your web design services while your clients take months to complete one project. Maybe your coaching clients see rapid-fire results in less than 60 minutes while most coaches require a 3-month commitment. Get creative! (Just make sure you’re not promising something you can’t deliver!)
UNIQUE DELIVERY METHOD: Think about the way most people deliver content in your niche. For example, most life coaches do live coaching calls. If you’re a coach, can you come up with a Recorded messages? Customized videos? Skype Instant Messaging Sessions for the shy types?
Basically, people LOVE novelty. Forget all the “rules” + come up with some ways you can turn your service into a one-of-a-kind experience for your clients.
♥ ACTION: You know the drill. Brainstorm some creative (and seductive) tweaks you can make to your offering in your notebook.
DRESS UP YOUR OFFERING WITH BONUSES //
If your service seems too large or too small, bonuses are the perfect way to balance things out. If you’re giving too much away, pull out one of your core components and list it as a bonus instead (you can even list it as a limited time bonus – like only the first 10 sign ups get this particular bonus). If you DON’T have enough, tack on a bonus that’s easy for you to manage (i.e. an ebook, an old program you’ve retired but is relevant, etc.) Everybody loves a good bonus!
♥ ACTION: List 3-5 bonus ideas in your handy dandy n’book, Blue’s Clues style.
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER! //
Here’s something you may not know: Writing your sales page first is actually a great way to create a new service. Crafting copy before you’re 100% “there” helps you define + refine your offering in a way nothing else can.
You’ve brainstormed quite a bit of goodness. All you need to do now is put together your sales page to see where the holes are. Yep. Writing the sales page for your offering is by far the greatest (& easiest) way to fine-tune your service. And you can quote me on that.
♥ ACTION: Write your sales page. Or, you know, hire a professional to help if that’s more your style.
To Download: Right click > “Save Link As”
Congratulations! You’ve set a fabulous foundation for your sparkly new service, but you may be wondering…”WTF do I do with it?”
Well, how does getting your entire sales page written and designed for you in one fell swoop sound? I’ve teamed up with interior-turned-web-designer Kelsey Grauke to offer a one-stop sales page shop where you can get your entire landing page professionally crafted from header-to-footer, with copy written (by moi) and beautifully designed (by Kels) at an exclusive low rate (and at lightning speed, to boot).
Wanna get in on this much-needed package before we announce it to the masses? E-mail email@example.com and mention the sales page promo to learn more!
Okay, lady. Let’s talk.
I’ve been working really hard behind the scenes here, and I have an inkling you have, too. December for me is always a classic mixture of magic & mayhem, to say the least. Although I make it a priority to spend a gracious amount of time reflecting on the past year & projecting for the new one – I also sometimes fall prey to running-around-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off-itis.
It feels like my To Do list is never done, and my “To Buy” list keeps expanding. It can get overwhelming when you’re trying to manage both your business & personal lives with flair, amiright?
That said, I’ve put together a fun list of 10 ways you can treat yourself AND your business this holiday season, ’cause lord knows they both need a little bit o’ lovin.
[Disclaimer: A few (but not all) of these links are affiliate links. That said, I only recommend & become an affiliate of products & services I personally own & use & appreciate. I’d never suggest something to you I wasn’t 100% a fan of.]
Now, without further ado…
1. Organize the hell outta your space.
I don’t know about you, but clutter really throws me off. I think the week right before the new year is a vunderful time to get your (physical) shiz together. I love scoping out sites like Hobby Lobby, SeeJaneWork.com and SortingWithStyle.com. (I’m seriously obsessed with their “Work Hard & Be Nice to People” print!)
Personally, I plan to pick up this adorb Kate Spade journal set – one says “Live It” and one says “Love It.” I’m going to use one as my paper To-Do List & the other as my gratitude journal.
I’ve also been eye-balling “The Day Designer” which is dubbed “a yearly strategic planner and daily agenda for creative entrepreneurs, business women, and working mommas everywhere” for, like ever. I’m excited to commit to getting it this year & using it to plan all my new adventures in 2014. And for realsies, isn’t that black and gold just to die for?
2. Dig Deep.
Not only is the new year a great time to get your physical space together, it’s also a good time to get your head space together.
One of my favorite ways to uncover what I’m really thinking & feeling is to use something Tara Wagner at the Organic Sister created called the Digging Deep process. In a nutshell: It’s an ebook & collection of brilliant worksheets that force you to uncover & deal with your limiting beliefs, once & for all. It’s down right magical how much you can learn about yourself when you actually sit down & put pen to paper & ask yourself the hard questions.
You know how people say you won’t see results in your personal development unless you do the work? Tara’s system is a fabulous guide to get “the work” done.
3. Plot & plan.
I’ve always been really into end-of-year rituals. I love looking back on the year I just had & creating all sorts of delicious plans for the new one.
Sound like something you’re into, too? Then Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Life & Biz Planners are a must-have. (Yes, that is an affiliate link!) I’ve used them the last two years and THIS year, they’re available in a PRINT VERSION, which makes me super happy since I never seem to have enough printer ink around. (New Year’s Resolution? Go to fucking Office Max, ya lazy goober.) Really though, there’s nothing quite like writing your goals out in longhand, you know?
I also plan on picking up moneymaking expert Ellen Ercolini’s “Get A Grip!” bundle which features two wildly unique digital workshops: Reflect, Remix, Remaster (for a massive dose of reflection) & January Jumpstart (for plotting your best year yet). Ellen just recently had her first 5-figure month, so let’s just say girl knows what she’s talking about.
And I can’t forget about Amber McCue’s Fresh Start workbook which is chock full of practical worksheets that’ll help you jump into 2014 with a clear head. Did you know businesses that plan outperform the competition by 60%? Oh yeah, baby. Now that’s a treat!
4. Work ON your biz, not IN your biz.
Every entrepreneur knows how easy it is to get swept up in doing all the day-to-day managing of your business (including client work, as fabulous as it may be) so much so that you completely neglect your own biz. (In fact, I wrote a lot about that in a post right over this way: Are You Begin Codependent In Your Biz?)
Are you guilty of letting your own business collect dust? Well, you’re in luck. One of my fave business mentors Shenee Howard is running a short-but-sweet 5-day challenge called, “It’s ON!” which, of course, is all about working ON your biz, not IN it. You’ll receive an actionable step to take each day to shine up some aspect of your business – be it updating your autoresponders, deleting that service from your shop page or just updating your Twitter bio. Best part? It’s totally FREE. Make sure to sign up ASAP so you don’t miss any of the fun!
A few ways I’m workin’ ON my business this holiday season:
♥ 1. Collaborating with my web designer for a full re-design.
♥ 2. Re-writing all my site copy & upgrading my services like whoa
♥ 3. Outsourcing for the first time evah
How ’bout you, darling?
5. Make some extra cheddar.
I’ve been doing a lot of money work lately. And I don’t mean that I’ve been hustling my butt off (although I have), I mean I’ve been really exploring my mindset around money. I think every entrepreneur should consistently work on her money-making mojo, and what better time to start than right before a new year?
Tools of the trade? Kate Northrup’s Money: A Love Story and Denise Duffield-Thomas’ Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. Guys, I can’t tell you how powerful & transformative this work has been. Like, WHOA. I landed two new clients within hours of doing some forgiveness work around my past money memories. (This was an exercise I procrastinated on for weeks. Turns out if you feel mega resistance to something, the payoff on the other side will be that much sweeter.)
A few of my other fave tips & tricks for manifesting mucho dinero Kate Northrup suggests writing down 3 things you value about yourself everyday. Denise suggests tracking every piece of money that comes into your life to the cent (even the pennies you find in the street!). Both of these have made me appreciate myself – & my life – that much more.
If you need something a little more practical, funky & fun financial planner Leah Manderson is offering 50% off her Done-for-You Debt Savings Plan. (And yes, I just put ‘funky’ and ‘fun’ and ‘financial planner’ together in the same sentence!) You’ll get a personalized action plan, budget & all kinds of tools to manage your financial life in the new year. Can I get a ‘hell yes’ for responsible spending? (…No? Maybe?)
6. Love up your bod.
I know, I know. Everybody tells you one of the easiest ways to feel better about yourself is to go get a manicure & pedicure. But you know why? ‘Cause it works, yo!
If all the end-of-the-year hullabaloo has got you feeling a little rundown, do yourself a favor & step away from the computer & take some time out for YOU.
Whether your nails have run ragged, your roots are down to your shoulders or you haven’t hit the treadmill in weeks – I challenge you to do the one beauty treatment that you’ve been putting off because you don’t “need” it. I guarantee you’ll feel 100 times more confident with a sexy blowout, even if it is a little “unnecessary.”
If you’d rather stay in & decompress, I recommend grabbing a bottle of OPI polish, your fanciest (and tallest) champagne flute and your fave holiday-esque soundtrack and treating yourself to a DIY mani.
Another one of my ultra-fave ways to give my body a little lovin’ is my monthly subscription to YogaGlo.com. They have the most amazing & comprehensive collection of yoga workouts I have ever seen. You can literally search for anything – if you’ve got a sore neck, search for yoga routines proven to help. If you’re looking for something that’s fast-paced & guaranteed to make you sweat, there’s an option for that. Only got 15 minutes to spare but wanna sneak in some asanas? No problemo – just search for it! It’s genius, I tell you! (And all for less than $20 a month!)
7. Dress up your digital goods.
Now that you’ve got a perfectly blown out ‘do & pristine cuticles, why not extend the beautify-ing to your digital tools, too? I’m talking shopping for all new covers for your iPhone, iPad & laptop. I love searching Amazon and Etsy for “sequin iPhone covers.” I’ve uncovered quite a few gems – pun intended – that way.
Let’s be honest: You use your techno-shit a lot. Might as well make ’em fun to look at (and something you can feel proud of when you have to whip ’em out in public!)
8. Have a Brandgasm!
You & your tools all sexed up, but don’t forget about adding some glam to your business! Brandgasm 101 is a fabulous course for the DIY-type looking to pick up a few essential copywriting and design skills to refresh your online presence in 2014. Always wanted know how to design a delicious “Buy Now” button? How about a tasty Twitter background? Or maybe you’d just love to know how to craft a hot headline? Brandgasm’s got you covered.
BONUS: Brandgasm is currently having a holiday sale so it’s 50% off, yo . Grab that shizz while you can. (Yes that is an affiliate link which you are under no obligation to use, but I’d be super happy if you did!)
SECOND BONUS: Don’t forget to give yourself a real orgasm, too. *wink*
9. Give your message a makeover.
Another way to add some sex appeal to your business? I’m currently offering a FLASH SALE on my Mini Message Makeovers. What’s that, you ask? Essentially it’s a package designed to add a little styling to your syntax.
If your business message needs some (serious) definition, or your cocktail pitch is drier than the white wine you inevitably slurp down at all your networking events, a Mini Message Makeover could be just what your brand needs. Read more about it here & get it while it’s haute!
10. Upgrade one other area of your life.
This is another one of my favorite tips from Denise’s Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. Often we get overzealous & want to change everythingallatonce. The problem with that is that 1.) it puts a strain on us (either financially or mentally) and 2.) when you try to make multiple changes at a time, they’re less likely to stick.
So why not commit to focusing on ONE area of your life that you can upgrade incrementally, and go from there? For example, my boyfriend & I have decided to buy all new luxurious bedding – sheets, pillows & a new comforter/duvet – for the new year. It’s the only present we’re giving each other. But we’re doing it, damn it. (Because let’s face it – we spend a LOT of time in bed).
What or where in your life can you upgrade? Maybe you can buy a designer pair of jeans & throw out the old skinnies from college you can barely button anymore? Maybe you can buy the “deluxe’ manicure instead of “back to basics”?
Have fun with it, girl. You deserve it!
Are you thinking about rolling out a new service in 2014, but not sure what the hell to offer? I can help! I’m currently putting the final touches on a shiny new worksheet called Pop, Fizz, Clink!: Launch a Sparkly New Service in 2014 that’ll help you get clear on WHAT you should offer, WHO you should offer it to & WHAT language to use to get your dream clients vying to buy.
Want in? Enter your email in the box below to grab your FREE worksheet, plus the chance to have me personally review & tweak your copy. ‘Cause it’s the holidays, and I’m giving like that.