Sales Writer

 

Websites

If you try to convince, impress or hype people, they'll leave 

 

If your ABOUT page says this

We are the the premier... We are the Leading... Quality... Results Focused... Award Winning... World Class ... people won't stay on your site.

Your website is an anchor, in a rough ocean of information-overload.

It’s an overview of;

  • what you do - understood in a few seconds

  • how you do it - differentiation is key

  • who you are - the internet is not trusted. Adding headshots and interests helps here

  • where you are - suburb and city as absolute minimum

  • and your uniqueness - ask your business friends what they think

  • It’s easy to read, and shows people an easy pathway to purchase

Websites are built in this order;

  1. design

  2. then Usability

  3. then Information Architecture

  4. then Words

As you can see words are last on the list, so are not given priority.

Don’t let this happen to you.

And make sure the words reflect ‘your voice’ and style, not a wishy-washy professionalism.

 

Trust

People do not trust the internet or websites. However, they want to trust you.

So make it easy for them by using;

  • photos (of you, not models)

  • valuable content and information about yourself. Because before they trust your product or service, they need to trust you

 

Websites are an advertisement for your Business. So plan the sale, when you write the advertisement. E.g. If you have a shop, it's your job to make it easy for them to get from their lounge room to purchasing in-store.

 

Graphic Design

The purpose of hiring a Graphic Designer is to help your audience understand your message. Not to win them a Graphic Design award, by building a cool 'hard to use' website. (Yes, I learnt the hard way). 

 

Email

Here’s the 3 best Subject Lines for your first email

1. Hi xxxx. We just spoke on the phone. Here is…

2. Hi xxxx. I just left a message on your phone. Here is…

3. Hi xxxx. I just spoke to xxxxx, she recommended I email you about…

Why are they the best?

Because you have phoned first, now your email will be opened, read and taken seriously

You’re a Stand Out!

 

Automated Emails

Beware of automation. If your gathering customer emails, just to throw words at people it could backfire.

 

Is the message valuable? Who is determining 'value'?

This is where Small Business can Power Up by personalizing emails (phone-then-email combo).

It’s about the message, not the tech (automation). Finding quality information to include is a difficult task. If you constantly produce ‘dodgy’ writing, it could harm your brand.

No-Reply Emails

Sent by Big Businesses (and silly small businesses) that want to TALK AT you. And don’t want you to ‘talk back’. Small Businesses can excel with email, by talking WITH people and creating authentic relationships.

Newsletters

Newsletters were the original form of newspapers. In Ancient Rome newsletters were carved in wood or metal and posted in public places. Cool hey?

 

When we subscribe to a website we receive newsletters. They’re a brilliant way to stay in touch with people.

The great thing about newsletters is that most of the articles don’t have to be great or even good. As long as the reader can scan all the Article HEADINGS, in 10 seconds or less, they won’t unsubscribe. Because they know they'll eventually get some good articles and it only 'costs' them 10 seconds a week. Brilliant !

How to do Newsletters;

  • Have 3 to 5 stories with scanable HEADINGS with 3 explanatory lines under each

  • Fancy design is not necessary, value is key

  • Beware. If your newsletter becomes too 'salesy', people will unsubscribe

  • Don't describe a product (e.g. software) as super-easy-to-use. Coffee Cups are super easy to use. Software is not

 

Have Fun !

Newsletters don’t only have to be about business. Subscribers know you are trying to 'sell', so don't. If you send a quality, fun-things-to-do-this-weekend newsletter, it’s value could be immense. Why? Because everyone wants to do fun things this weekend!

Every 4th Newsletter could simply be a Joke. They know who you are, they just need a reminder. But remember, the funny thing about Jokes is, umm, they have to be funny.

Social Media

When 'Social' first appeared, years ago, it was seen as a real Game Changer, but the opportunity was mostly lost to;

  1. Arguing

  2. Narcissism

  3. Maximising Shares and Contacts

  4. Annoying Copy and Paste responses to complaints

  5. The Cult of Positivity – "Awesome!" (without substance)

  6. Bots – “Hi, what is your email address?” Yeah right

However, the potential is still there.

 

Social Media could be the new ‘word of mouth’ advertising for your Business.

  • A place to understand and engage with your customers

  • A place to start a conversation, without even being there. The potential is HUGE

  • Your website is a place to be Professional – Social is a place to be Human

 

The key is not to push information (like in normal advertising) but to engage people in valuable, friendly conversations that can be seen by others.

Example – How an Accounting Practice could use Social media.

LinkedIn Posts;

  • Tuesdays – Tax tips for Tradies

  • Fridays – Tax Tips for Freelancers.

Facebook Post;

  • Fridays – Things to do this weekend.

This Social Media Schedule quietly showcases a condensed, scanable writing style and advanced formatting skills. (A hidden advertisement for the efficiency of your Accounting practice).

 

Why negative feedback can be good.

It's how you deal with it that counts.

If you ignore it, others customers will think you'll do the same to them.

If you argue, others customers will think you'll do the same to them.

If you Dig Deeper and try to make-it-up-to-them ... everybody wins.

 

Social Media Mistakes;

  • The Cult of Optimism (no substance). “I’m Super Excited to announce…”

  • Fluff - You get 3 lines to 'intro' your Post. Make them count

  • A 'see more...' link that only reveals 3 more words

  • Too Self-Indulgent. It’s about your customers, not you

  • Inauthentic questions to get engagement

  • ‘Bait’ Headlines

  • Urgency. Really!? It’s the Internet, not a hurricane alert

  • Advertising in Posts (that’s what Ads are for)

Social Media Mistakes in Reviews;

  • Not replying

  • Copy and Pasting a reply

  • Arguing (not seeking to understand)

  • A New Manager not addressing old complaints

Form beats Content. Strange but true.

Reading online is different to reading a book.

Format is more important then content when reading online. Because a great article written in flowing sentences, without breaks, makes it hard to read, so it won’t get read as much as an average article, that’s easy to read.

So ... Make it easy-to-read, because people ‘scan’ online, they don’t ‘read’.

How to write online;

  • Short n Sweet. ‘Chunk’ it out

  • Lots of White Space

  • Headings and Subheadings

  • Bolding

  • Bullet points

Don’t get caught up in appealing to peoples emotions and impressing people.

Concentrate on the fundamentals. Make it useful, because if you’re too 'salsey' or 'fluffy', they’ll leave.

6 problems ... and solutions

Problem - Telling customers what YOU want them to know.

Solution - Find out what THEY want to know and solve their problems.

Problem - Wishy-Washy Guarantees.

Solution - “We guarantee to respond in 2 hours (Email) and immediately (Calls) or it’s 20% off your monthly Bill.” Now THAT’S a Guarantee.

Problem - Difficult to read, endless paragraphs.

Solution - Use a number in the title. E.g. “7 ways to warm-up before a Surf.” Then the reader can scroll past the warm-ups they already know.

Problem - Corporate Speak. E.g. “Leveraging multiple vehicles of communication.” Really?! Solution - Make it Simple. “Trying different ways to contact people” sounds better.

Problem - Hype. E.g. “We are the Best / Premier / Award Winning / Exceptional”.

Solution - Make your customer feel good, instead of making yourself feel good.

Problem - Too many long words.

Solution - Assistance – Help. Frequently – Often. Constructed – Built. Demonstrate – Show.

Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Australia  0412 377 309  james@jameshaldane.com.au

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©2020 James Haldane.

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