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Copyright Question 30 April 2007

Filed under: Copywriting,Marketing,Small Business,Website marketing — worddocdooley @ 11:15am

Here is a question put to me that is a variant on similar questions received at the MediaMinister virtual head office:

What constitutes fair use of a magazine article topic when you have sold the rights to one publication and want to rework it for another, which only wants original articles? In other words, how different does it have to be? What if it is twice as long, but duplicates the previous article and fleshes it out more?

If you can use a different slant, or take a new angle, add some stats and other bits and pieces, including fresh quotes, then I don’t see anything wrong in approaching the publication.

I myself would probably stay away from sending the article out IF both publications are competing ones. I would normally try to rework the article for a magazine of a different genre. This obviously means more research and more work in general, but can be really worth your while.

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley

 

How Does Your Marketing Message Measure Up? 27 April 2007

I was reading Hot Button Marketing by Barry Feig recently, and realised that this was the same author who had shared a story about a new product launch that failed – initially – to impress focus groups because of the wrong marketing positioning.

The Glad-Lock Zipper Freezer Bag seal (where the yellow and blue strip becomes green) eventually went on to become a major hit with consumers.

Good job the company didn’t scrap the very part of the bag that has almost become a household ‘must-have’ – re-sealable storage bags. Instead, they re-crafted the core marketing message (CMM) based on the potential buyers’ perceptions, and launched a winner.

This illustrates a crucial area that most entrepreneurs and small businesses tend to overlook: You need to tap into the emotional mindset of your target market in order to craft a laser-sharp CMM. This means not second-guessing or assuming how your consumers will perceive your new product or service, but instead actively carrying out market research – both on your target audience and also how they perceive your product, preferably before it goes to market.

Think of your potential purchasers being inside the bulls-eye on a darts board – the better you know where and how to aim, the more likely you are to hit them (hypothetically speaking!), and in turn the more sales you can anticipate.

Only when you have created a system that focuses on the wants, needs, desires, etc of your audience and show how your product provides relevant solutions will you be able to define a well-targeted core marketing message. Without a defined CMM, your marketing efforts will vanish into thin air.

So to ensure your product launch is a success (or indeed to rise above the clutter of competition), you must take the time to understand your customers, identify what they feel about what you’re selling, and build your core marketing message accordingly.

On a final note, test. Often. Refining your messaging platform can be the best and most inexpensive way to increase revenue.

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley

 

Easy Online Collaboration With Free Tool 25 April 2007

Filed under: Marketing,News,Online Advertising,Small Business,Website marketing — worddocdooley @ 8:41am

Whether you are a copywriter, managing director, entrepreneur or small business-owner, there might well be occasions when you’ll be either writing copy or developing projects and sharing ideas with someone else.

One way to work on a project collaboratively is to email back and forth versions of the document. However, those who have tried it will no doubt have discovered that it can be confusing – and doomed to failure as one person in the loop inadvertently overwrites good copy or an important idea…

Fortunately, there’s a very cool and pretty much foolproof online tool called Writeboard that makes it easy to:

* Collaborate with peers and colleagues on documents, copy, proposals, memos, and so on.
* Write or develop documents without fear of losing or overwriting copy or a good idea.
* Be notified of changes.
* Compare different versions of a document without losing any changes.
* Keep your writing and projects completely organised.
* Feel on top of things.

All this and at zero cost to you. That’s right, Writeboard is FREE!

For further information, visit:

http://www.writeboard.com

 

Beat Clutter Stress: Special Report Reveals Essential Skills for Success 23 April 2007

Filed under: News,Small Business,Uncategorized — worddocdooley @ 8:56am

“Help! I’m feel permanently stressed and it’s having an adverse affect on my career and relationships…”

If this sounds like you, you are not alone…

Research continues to show that more and more of us are suffering with stress.

While it’s true that some stress is beneficial and helps by, say, motivating you to meet deadlines, negative or mismanaged stress can be harmful to your health.

What’s more, clutter creates extra stress, not to mention making your stuff harder to find.

And when your home or office is full of clutter, in addition to being disorganised and chaotic, you will be causing unnecessary frustration and anxiety on top of the extra stress.

What are you supposed to do?

Well, once you manage to beat work and life overload, you will not only let you have more time to lead a better life, you will be more productive and effective in all that you do, to boot.

The new downloadable report Smart Strategies to Conquer Clutter & Beat Stress shows you step by step how to regain control. There are easy-to-follow tips and exercises to help you establish order, free up your time and get the most out of each day.

Stress Can Ruin Your Life, While Clutter Can Add to the Misery

Even better, perhaps, the special report is just £3.99 (that’s less than the price of lunch for one) – making it affordable for anyone.

To order your copy today, or for further information, visit:

http://mediaminister.co.uk/products.htm

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley

 

What Success Means, and How to Be Successful Challenge… 20 April 2007

Blogger Aaron Potts http://www.todayisthatday.com/blog has created a fun blog experiment called ‘Simply Successful Secrets‘ based on the 5-10 things one does each day in the quest for success.

The idea is to get as many bloggers taking part and for each to link back to the original post by Aaron. Think of it as a ‘viral blog’ that helps spread the word as well as helpful, creative info and know-how to boost your own success rates.

Not one to miss out on challenges, I thought I’d play along.

1. After guzzling a few mugs of coffee (decaffeinated these days), I take 30-60 minutes ‘mind-body-soul’ time in the form of yoga.

I started yoga about 10 years ago and although I’m not quite as bendy as I would like (my body is a stubborn one), I find it really starts me off on the right track for the day. I love it!

Sadly, I haven’t been able to do it for some time due to my broken back – and sheesh, does my body know it. I suddenly have ‘punch-bags’ on my thighs and my belly seems to be taking on a new, distended form of its own that would rival that of a Sumo wrestler! My spirits aren’t quite as good as they were during my yoga days, either, so I’m willing my back to mend pronto so I can take it up again…

2. …which takes me to number 2 on my list. I have been meditating for about half an hour each day for the past few months.

Anyone who knows me will know that my brain doesn’t even switch off while sleeping (er, hopefully, not because I would soon be at the Pearly Gates in the sky! But I guess you know what I mean).

As my brain is always buzzing or twittering away, I have to do guided meditation. One that I listen to again and again, and which I highly recommend, is Sound Health, Sound Wealth by Luanne Oakes. It has honestly made a difference to my health and general outlook. Plus, I’m sure it’s helped my overactive mind calm down so that it is generally more focussed. 😉

3. My brain still craves information, so I make sure I feed my brain.

I read emails (why do I feel the need to check my emails about 100 times per day?!), blogs, online information sources, magazines… I study copywriting, marketing, online stuff… anything that helps me with my business, MediaMinister.co.uk.

I watch movies, too, and a little TV (oh, OK, it’s how I unwind at night) in the gallant effort of trying to understand how animals and people interact. I love psychology and anthropology. Mmmm, maybe I should have studied that at uni…

4. The next one on my list is fairly obvious, considering I’m a writer – I write, a lot.

Since being knee-high in my late mum’s life I’ve had an obsession with the written word. That’s where the book reading comes in again, and I’m almost ashamed to say that I lived on a fiction diet of The Famous Five, The Secret Seven and, when I was the age where teen spots make an unwelcome guest, Sidney Sheldon, Wilbur Smith and Danielle Steele (oh dear, now my secret’s out!).

Encouragement from teachers, family and friends helped me make my dream of becoming a writer a reality.

Now I write for a living, in the form of client’s marketing materials, ebooks, publicity materials, blog posts, newsletters, sales letters, white papers and more.

Even when I’m ultra busy, I make sure I write at least 50 ‘creative’ words per day. I think it helps my brain offload a little.

5. If I hit writer’s block (actually, I do this next step every day regardless), I stop what I’m doing, de-shackle myself from my desk and venture outside. This usually involves me being on the end of a dog lead, with my pooch eagerly leading the way to the park or beach.

Once there, I take a few deep breaths, take in the landscape and ‘connect’ with the sights and sounds of nature (man!). It’s great for de-stressing, re-energising and often brainstorming (things just pop into my mind!).

6. While out on a walk or researching for clients or the next big project, I listen to music. At the moment, I’m tapping away on my keyboard to the dulcet sound of Terry Wogan on BBC’s Radio 2. When I need serous concentration, I like to listen to Mozart, Schubert or Beethoven.

7. Every day I try to find ways of helping people. This can as simple as sending a useful link to a loved one or a client (I love ‘em, too!) or donating to my favourite charities.

Often, it involves me posting answers to forums, blogs and online message boards.

At other times, just smiling at passers-by can help brighten up someone’s day. Perhaps it was the way I was brought up, but I always go out of my way to spread a little happiness and be kind whenever I spot an opportunity.

8. Listen to my gut instinct. I’ve been burned more than a few times by evil people taking advantage of my generosity or naivety.

Now, whenever I come across anyone or anything new or need to make a decision, I make sure I listen to my gut. It’s never wrong.

That said, had I listened to my gut some weeks ago, I probably wouldn’t have a broken back right now. 😉

9. Write my ‘To-Do’ list each evening before shutting the office door. I love lists! I have mine colour-coded for ‘Important and Urgent’ stuff, ‘Important but Not Urgent’ things, ‘Not Important but Urgent” stuff, and ‘Not Important nor Urgent, but Still Would Like To Do’ things.

The next day, I’ll go through this list and tick off what I manage to do. That’s the best part of my list – achieving things.

Try it. Make sure you break bit or scary projects down into smaller ‘baby’ steps. That way, you’ll not only more readily make a start on them, but you will also get through it a lot quicker.

10. Spend time with those I love. This usually means my pseudo husband Tony (he’s real, but we’ve never gone down the ‘M’ route; my fault, it scares me, but I’m not commitment shy, you understand, we’ve been together for 14 years!) and my mutley hound.

Throughout the day, focusing on them and being truly appreciative of all the good ways in which they have enriched my life really helps me put things in perspective and spurs me on.

Also, without the full financial and emotional support of Tony, the encouragement of my family and friends, and the laughter brought about with the antics of my bonkers Border Collier, I probably wouldn’t be writing this list in the first place. So I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

Oh my Goodness, I’ve reached 10 already! Just when I was getting started… 🙂

I’ve learned a lot and laughed some more with the blog entries on this topic so far.

What about you? I would love to hear your favourite or top 5-10 things you do each day to make your life a success. You can post them as a comment on this blog here, or on your own and link or trackback back to this one…

I would especially love to hear from:

IngredientJunkie

Angelica Jayne Taggart

Mel & Piotr

Lorraine Cohen

Madeleine Giddens

Wishing you all much success!

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley

 

How to Get People to Buy From You 18 April 2007

This latest Communiqué for Success is now ready for public consumption!

In this month’s issue, you will discover things like how to: understand why customers buy and how you can translate this into more sal’es, boost the power of your display ads, and generally help you get more from your marketing.

You will discover things like:

Click here to read:

• The Psychology of Purchase Decisions – and How to Apply it to Your Business
• 3 Ways to Boost Response to Display Ads
• How to Put Your Marketing into Overdrive
• Special Offer for CfS Subscribers Only
• And MUCH MORE!

Approx read time = just over ***14 minutes***:

So what are you waiting for?! Grab a coffee or nice herbal tea, sit back for 10-15 minutes and take your business to the next level!

Click here to read the latest issue of Communiqué for Success!

Wishing you much success and happiness!

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley

 

How Can I Increase the Sales Conversion Rate on My Website? 17 April 2007

What a great question, from Communiqué for Success subscriber Ivor Murray of meditations-uk.com.

I do get asked this quite a lot, so have decided to re-address this in the public domain.

First, let’s look at what conversion is. In a nutshell, it is about turning (converting) visitors into paying customers.

The sad fact is that approximately 70% of people who are ready, willing and able to buy online don’t complete the sale.

Many people concentrate on linking, PPC ads and other means of directing traffic to their websites, but, as you’ve probably experienced, getting people to your website is one thing. Getting people to buy from your site is another thing altogether.

Also, you have to make sure you are attracting the right kind of visitors in the first place. There is no point trying to sell pension policies to 17-year-olds, for example.

So, let’s assume you are getting the right kind of people hitting your site. These people are looking for what you are offering. How do you convince them to buy from you?

For the sake of brevity, we will look quickly at copywriting – which is essentially what your website is ‘saying’ to your visitors. It is the words you use that essentially turn your products into cash…

With a website you are completely depending on the power of your words to qualify visitors, present your sales pitch, close the sale and take the order.

All without scaring off your prospect.

Seemingly, there are many factors at play. But the main one is to always write with your target audience in mind – that is, the very people you wish will become customers.

Think about what it is they want from your product or service (hint: have you asked your current customers why they bought from you, and no one else?). How does what you have make a difference in your customers’ lives? How does it make their life easier, better, richer? What is the true value of what you are offering? That kind of thing…

And then you put an appealing picture in your reader’s head through simple yet clever and attractive words. Not any old words. mind. But rather those pertaining to your product and the needs, wants and/or desires of your prospects.

Here, you have to make sure you spell out the benefits of buying your product or service.

What you want here is not to sell your product or its features, but rather the ***solutions*** it offers your prospects.

OK, so let’s assume you are more than happy that your web copy and content does this at least adequately. Still, are you certain you have removed any and all doubts and other barriers to making a purchase? Something as simple as not allowing an alternative way to make a purchase can mean the difference between sale and no sale.

Also, look at your web analytics tools. These will tell you where your visitors leave, which pages they look at, for how long, etc.

You could try changing the headline on one of your pages and test it to see if you are getting more conversions. This seemingly simple act has been known to increase conversions by up to 50% or even more.

If you want to learn more, specific ways to increase flagging conversion rates – including using web analytics to your advantage, the 5 ***simple steps to making any website sell***, the biggest mistakes that most websites make and more – then point your browser to:
http://www.mediaminister.co.uk/products.htm#Webcopy
.

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley