Have you ever walked into a Target and ALL THE SHELVES WERE EMPTY?
What a fucking pickle, right?
But now imagine there you are, sucking your thumb in your snowpants, when they welcome you in, luring you with a blue raspberry ICEE, those crafty little red shirted bastards.
So you stroll over to the lawn and garden aisle, only to be met by an overenthusiastic college student with big boobs. Of course she has big boobs. But before you can utter a word, she starts yelling in your face like a drill sergeant:
“HI! I HOPE YOU REALLY LIKE OUR LAWN AND GARDEN AISLE! WILL YOU PROMISE TO STAY FOREVER AND EVER?!?!” And you’re all, What? Calm down, crazy.
So you have another sip of your ICEE, momentarily breaking your train of thought to wonder why no one has ever solved the problem of the two sip slushie (before the whole thing freezes up on your parched, needy throat), as you saunter on over by the hair & makeup section. Because, hair and makeup.
When you get there, however, instead of finding your favorite flavor of Juicy Tubes (the only time you will ever see the word “juicy” on this website), you’re greeted, yet again, by some riled up hipster who spots you coming from a mile away.
“HI!” he yells. “WELCOME TO TARGET! WE’RE A REALLY GREAT COMPANY! WILL YOU PROMISE TO STAY FOREVER AND EVER?!”
And at that point you start to wonder what the fuck Target is putting in these ICEES.
Then the same thing happens as you walk past the kitchen & home section, the women’s clothing section, and subsequently…out the door. No way are you getting involved with these psychos.
Two lessons here:
1. Your website is the local Target store. If you spend all this time and money to get people to visit your site, and then they get there and there’s nothing to buy, you cannot make money.
Target couldn’t even make money. And isn’t this the point of having a business? Seemingly obvious, but I am often surprised at the level of hesitancy business owners have to make offers, and put things up for sale. Why? Wouldn’t you find it incredibly odd if Target, a place you’ve been super excited to visit after hearing all the talk and commotion, HAD NOTHING FOR SALE? Making money is a lot less complicated than most people make it–you make offers, and people give you money in exchange for the value they’re receiving via the offer. That’s how the marketplace works. But if you have no offers, you cannot possibly have buyers. Let’s call this The Universal Law of Entrepreneurship. Or The Universal Law of STOP BEING SO MODEST AND START MAKING OFFERS WHEN YOU KNOW IT’S GOING TO BENEFIT SOMEBODY. (If you don’t know if it benefits them, then you’ve got a whole other problem altogether.)
2. When they do show up, and you start yelling in their face to be your friend forever (AKA pop ups that ask for the opt-in or make you feel like a guilty asshole who’s never going to be successful at anything unless they do what you say) they’re going to think you’re a crazed lunatic and go running in the other direction.
I find this ironic because this is what most sites do these days. After an entire “content marketing” revolution, where the focus was getting away from traditional, intrusive advertising and, instead, providing value to an audience (also known as prospective buyers) in order to earn their attention and trust…we’ve gone full circle, now putting ads on top of the very content we set out to replace advertising. It’s maddening, you know? And fascinating, all at once. Yeah, yeah. I know. Get the opt-in. I do this for a living. And I’m really good at what I do. But we can do better than that.
I think the bigger lesson here isn’t, of course, about offers or opt-ins or pop ups or girls with big boobs: It’s about bringing value to the table. That’s what business really is.
It’s what my company strives to do with everything we put out into the world, from free blog posts to Facebook updates, to services we offer, classes we give, workshops we do and offers we make. It’s not about being cute. It’s about making business more fun & profitable for broke people who suck at it. This is the real value I bring to the table. And therefore, all of our offers are structured around having fun & making money.
For example, let’s take a look at the lineup we’ve got coming out here for the rest of Q1 & Q2 (which also serves as a sneaky way for me to make all of these announcements without having to write, “ANNOUNCEMENT!”, which I feel awfully smart about):
1. WORD LIPSTICK: À la carte editing and creative copywriting for prose that needs polish (eulogies not included…yet)
Perfect example of keeping it on brand, and emphasizing our value through the way we talk about things, right? By the way, this is a service spearheaded by our very own Jess Manuszak, Lead Creative Writer with my copywriting agency, B.A. Creative Writing, and author of our former Adultery column discussing the art of being an adult. Word Lipstick is great for getting polished prose in record timing: The perfect About Page, that email campaign that’s dry as wheat, a killer TED talk introduction, the copy for your book jacket. Or maybe even the love letter you’ve been dying to write.
***Available now. One project per day. Click here to reserve!
2. SENTENCES & MONEY: An upcoming mentorship program for learning the business behind running a copywriting business, from start to finish.
From creating your offerings to setting your fees to learning how to negotiate with clients and manage projects like a pro, this is the first mentorship we’re doing specifically for new and aspiring professional copywriters who want to make it big. (There will even be special expert guests, such as actual clients, lawyers, accountants and more.)
***Registration opens Tuesday, March 3rd. (You can put your name in the hat to get notified over here.)
3. COPY SNITCH: Quick n’ dirty weekly copywriting tutorials for broke a**holes who have no time.
Perfect example of keeping our offers on brand. I could have called this “weekly lessons to help you learn the basics of copywriting,” but I didn’t. Because I know my value (fun and engaging), and that value’s got to be highlighted via my message. By the way, this is a great alternative I’ve created for anyone who, as the tagline suggests, doesn’t have a lot of time to take things like 8 week long classes or workshops, but needs to up the ante and learn how to use words that people will BUY.
***Subscription available Friday, March 6th. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement.
4. THE 2015 SIX APPEAL PROCESS CLASS: A framework designed to help any business, freelancer or creative improve revenue by six figures or more by changing nothing more than their words.
We ran our inaugural class last year and it was perhaps the biggest hit in history. This is a repeatable framework in advanced, graduate level copywriting & persuasion psychology informed by real-world research and applied to the written word.
***Registration opens in April. Class begins in May. You can jot your name down here if you’re interested in joining the class.
(Note: If you think you want to take this, but you’re worried you aren’t ready yet, be sure to sign up for the Copy Snitch subscription to learn the basics ahead of time, and you’ll be just fine.)
5. And….are you ready for this? This might be my favorite of all. We’ve decided on the location for our 2015 Life Hooky International Business Retreat. And this summer, you’re welcome to join us in – drum roll – ITALY!
This was, by far, the most requested country last year, and so this year we’re making it happen. (You have no idea how excited I am to stroll around in a vineyard wearing the biggest floppy white hat I can find.) The focus will be more on business than ever – while pairing it with plenty of luxurious, sinful free time. A nod to work/life balance, if you will. Because as they say, when in Rome…
***We’ll be releasing further details soon. In the meantime, go here to check it out, and enter your email to express interest!
As you can see, all of the things we offer are right in line with our brand. The names alone are a dead giveaway as to the kind of personality this company is, and the type of people that work for it.
We’re also really good about continually finding new ways to bring value to the table. That’s evidenced in the number of projects we take on every year (and this list doesn’t include other favorites like Love, Business Owner
or Brandgasm 101, of course!)
It’s no wonder that we’ve been successful in business—sometimes it’s a simple matter of probability. The more value we create for others, the more wealth we create for ourselves.
If you’re struggling in business, don’t hesitate to:
:: Try another angle
:: Adjust the message
:: Come at it from another way
:: Create something new
:: Test the waters
:: See what works
:: See what doesn’t
:: Try it again
:: Fuck it all up
:: And keep flashing the world with your brilliance. In whatever form that may be.
And remember, if you aren’t making money…
…maybe it’s not because you’re bad at making money.
Maybe it’s because you just aren’t asking enough.