Time to Share

I recently had the opportunity to encourage others to become copywriters. It’s a great field to make a living in. Yes, you do need to turn a blind eye toward the bright, shiny promises of get-rich-quick gurus. Copywriting is for those who are willing to exercise patience, even as they exercise their brains and marketing skills.

I’m going to share here what I told them.

It’s quite an interesting field, and very broad.Training is anything from teaching yourself, to investing in decent courses and subscriptions. Begin by looking up “copywriting as a living” (with the quote marks).

First listed after the ads is makealivingwriting.com with Carol Tice. A few links down is menwithpens.ca. Next page is copyblogger.com.

Names:

Carol Tice

Chris Marlow

Bob Bly (bly.com)

Steve Slaunwhite

Avoid odesk, elance, and the dozens of other writing sites that pay too little, or bid sites that encourage you to race to the bottom of how much you’ll accept as payment.

After looking through those, you’ll get a sense of where you want your writing career to go. Be brave! Follow that sense, and do the diligence (and use your work-smarts).

See you in the writing world!

New Directions

Once upon a time, I thought I could change the world. Some part of  still thinks so. The view of forest and tree has changed considerably between the 15-year-old in 1971, and the 58-year-old today. My beloved forest is now mostly scattered trees, and sparse landscape. However, that has distilled the distance into clarity. Those trees that still grow are more precious to me because there are fewer of them. There are more chances to save them than the entire forest.

This blog is changing directions. Instead of a copywriting sales platform, you’ll find opinions and ruminations and suggestions for changes. You’ll read the good, the bad, and the yawn. You’ll agree, disagree, or shrug. My purpose is to move you beyond the yawn and shrug. Hence, the new direction.

Come, view the remaining trees with me from the peaks and valleys. Smell the tang of fir and pine in the air. Taste fruits and nuts, burrow for veggies and truffles. Hear the life around you. Mostly of all, touch those around you, and make a new direction for yourself.

“In Today’s Competitive Market” Doesn’t Exist

By D. Kendra Francesco

We’ve all heard the phrase:

To keep up with what your customers want most in today’s competitive market, you need [insert bright shiny product/ course/service].

But, what if it wasn’t true? What if the only things different in “today’s competitive market” were the speed of the Internet, and the whole “global economy” thing? After all, when hasn’t the market – any market – been competitive? When active bartering (aka haggling) was the only form of commerce, there was competition.

Even today, local farmers’ markets are competitive: look at how many booths sell produce, honey, nuts, bread, fresh fish, or smoked meats! At craft fairs, look at how many booths sell hand-crafted necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, plus all the household items you could ever dream of owning.

What if the fear-mongerers who use the phrase don’t want you to know the truth?

What is the truth? To be successful in your business, you only need one thing:

Customers, Hungry ones

You want customers who want what you’re offering. Customers buy only three things: physical products, knowledge, or services. That’s it. (Go ahead, think about it a minute; took me a few to realize that everything I’ve ever bought was one of those three things.) Sometimes there are combinations of those three. But, the customer buys at least one of them.

Any physical product you offer must be useable, and stand up to that use.

Any information you offer must meet the customer’s need, and continue to be of value to that customer.

Any service you offer must be efficient, ongoing, and worth it to the customer.

If your product, or information, or service is useless, worthless, or out of date, then you’ve lost a customer.

It doesn’t matter how many [bright shiny products/courses/services] you buy to improve your Internet presence, or touch on the global market. If you don’t have quality, your competition will take over your market. It’s always been that way. (Don’t believe me? Watch Disney’s “Aladdin” and watch the vendors trying to entice Princess Jasmine to buy “a pretty necklace for a pretty lady!” or a handful of pistachios.)

You Still Need to Keep Up With Progress

I’m not saying that you should ignore the products or courses or services that will make your business stand out. In fact, it’s because of the Internet – and its long reach – that you need to be aware of what your customers want. If it means taking an online course, then do so. If it means going to local sources to think global, then do that.

Just be sure to study as many of the possibilities before buying into the next [bright shiny product/info/service]. As in anything else, buy what you need as inexpensively as you can (not cheaply – that’s poor quality and you don’t anything to do with that), to get the most out of it that you can.

Then, go out and find your hungry customers – in any market!

What bright shiny object have you fallen prey to lately? Did you regret it afterwards, or did it actually help you improve your business? Let me know in the comments.

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