You NEED a Copywriter…

 

It’s funny…

Ask a budding entrepreneur about next steps for their business and I get hilarity in response:

  • I think I need a billboard
  • Business cards
  • Social media
  • A better website

The list goes on. And most of this stuff is, excuse my bluntness, “Marketing Masturbation.”

Truth?

One great connection, or a system to make deep, meaningful connections means REVENUE. 

How to achieve this?

Copywriting. (I’ll tell you how to make yourself into one, if you can’t afford one, in a moment)

The ways a copywriter can drive revenue into your business are endless. A lot of people want to attack this problem on all fronts. I recommend you get with someone who can help you with strategy and pick ONE, to start.

Take Tim Tialdo, for example…

Tim called me with a desire to take his TV career from the local level to the national stage. He was smart about it, and only wanted to achieve ONE connection.

Tim wanted to be the host of Miss Teen USA. Now, he’d already laid the groundwork, so the credit I can take for helping him is minimal. But the important thing is, Tim knew his strengths needed to be drawn out, highlighted in a “non-salesy” way, and presented to his target: the organizer of Miss Teen USA.

Enter the direct mail package.

Together, Tim and I created an “over-the-top” package that would stand head and shoulders above any other piece of mail that target had EVER seen in her life.

In the industry, we like to say, “Grab ’em by the Eyeballs!”

It worked, and a few weeks ago, Tim Tialdo was the 2019 Miss Teen USA host. The result is that now he’s taken his career to the uppermost echelon of TV hosting. Many doors are opening to him. His phone calls are now welcomed where before they were screened and not returned.

Business owner, do you need to drive revenue and take your business to the highest level?

You need great copywriting. After all, sales people are good, but they need sleep. Vacations. Rest and sick days.

Copywriting is your 24/7 365 never sick,  never sleeping sales machine!

Here are a few ways I help business drive growth:

  • Sales funnels
  • Email sequences
  • Sales pages
  • Direct response letters
  • Webinar video scripts
  • Newsletters
  • Website copy
  • Offline Advertising

If you don’t think copy is KING, I challenge you to name any company that’s achieved great heights without words that sell.

Look at Trump, for instance: it can be argued his “Make America Great Again” was the tagline that pushed him into office.

Now, as promised, here are a few books I recommend if you’d like to start learning this fine art on your own (and, even if you plan to hire a copywriter, have a look, because not knowing good copy from bad can mean hiring the wrong copywriter… and paying a steep price to listen to crickets!):

  1. Ogilvy on Advertising
  2. Hey Whipple, Squeeze This!
  3. Cashvertising, 100 Secrets of Ad Agency Psychology

In closing, if you’d like to have me look at your campaign and possibly help you with strategy or writing, remember:

My prices are steep.

If you’re undaunted, head to Copykickstart and book a free consultation.

For free videos on copywriting, head here.

To your success!

JESSE

PS: If you identified with the business card/website stuff I mentioned at the top, don’t despair… but before you take any action, ask yourself: is what I’m about to do going to bring a measurable amount of money into my business?

If the answer is no, or maybe, it’s probably time to talk to an expert.

Avoid this Mistake When a Loved One Dies…

If you are lucky enough to meet a friend before they die, don’t make my mistake.

Now, be clear: I’m not regretful of anything big, no, don’t misunderstand me… I did right by my Momma. Let me tell you the story…

To be honest, I feel lucky about it.

The confluence of events which allowed me to be by her side in the final weeks was amazing.

We had many quality conversations. Retold memories, it was great.

Of course, my Mom’s biggest struggle was allowing help into her life. This had been a lifelong struggle for her, and mine.

Seeing her life ebb as she lost her ability to care for herself independently was tough.

She refused meds.

She wouldn’t listen to the nurses.

She stubbornly kept at her carrot juices and homeopathic cures.

Some days she tried to keep me at home…

She’d tell me not to take out the trash, even as it began piling up around her bed. “Don’t bother,” she’d say, “I’ll do that.”

Then she’d struggle to recover her breath, put out by speaking.

Every time I refilled her water.

She couldn’t walk to the kitchen but she didn’t want to trouble an able-bodied man with saving her a 30-minute walker-assisted trek all the way to the other end of the house.

Going to 14-Carrot, her favorite health food store, for some take-out vegetable mix or a fresh cup of carrot juice.

She didn’t want to put me out. She tried to remind me of my wife. Of my business, then failing, which needed revival. She’d say, “stay home.”

Those days I would promise to stay at the dining room table. So I would work. Inevitably, she’d be lonely. Call me back to talk. I knew she would. Then she’d feel guilty for taking my time.

Scold me to go home. Tell me not to come the next day.

“Right Mom.”

Instead?

I cleaned her bathrooms. I met her caregivers.

They were Human, but better than me.

All women, and they treated her with honor.

Respect.

They helped me aim to be a good son, better than I had been.

And I did good.

And I could have done better…

So what was this thing?

This sin of mine?

Well, I’ll tell you, finally.

And you might laugh at me. Tell me I’m foolish. I’m OK with that. It’s what I did, and writing this IS therapeutic and as I uncover the wound, this wound, I hope it heals.

And I hope you never make this error, with your dying loved one:

In her final hours, I didn’t play HER music.

That’s it.

Seriously.

I did play music for her…

Yes, on Jolie Smith Moskel’s last night on earth, we did our utmost to make her comfortable.

(And that can be the frustration of caring for someone in this phase of life: sometimes there’s just not that much to do, and you might feel helpless.)

During one of those helpless moments, it came to me: I’d play soothing music.

Not too loud.

Just from my phone.

Peaceful tunes, at a distance.

Ambient. Birds chirping. Slow piano. Perhaps a lullaby, or a note from a flute, or a xylophone.

Gentle.

Easy.

Love.

Always the DJ, I went to my own playlists and pressed “Play.”

Gave it my best.

Peacefulness.

Ambience.

God, even.

It was beautiful.

And I felt fine about that bit, that tiny faucet of environment in her home, as she neared the end.

Until Sunday.

On that day, I was responding to text. On her phone. And I realized,

If ever you are lucky enough to be with a loved one in their final hours, look into their phone for music to play them.

Seek out their playlists. Go to iTunes. See what albums they bought.

Finding her favorite songs in her phone was the punch in the gut, for me. “I’d thought of myself, even in her final hours.”

Yeah, sure, I’d stayed up all that night.

All night.

And the night before, all night. I was haggard. I’d put in my duty, done the best I could, and yet, all these things were secondary thoughts, to this one…

My shortcoming.

Silly, right?

It is thus, when a loved one dies.

No matter how much or how little we do, the human mind tugs toward guilt. And when we allow shame to fit in that equation, we resist the natural order of things.

Allow help, and allow humans to give it.

Imperfect, selfish, fellow humans.

From this day forward, I will deny the shame.

Embrace help when it comes…

And try to play your songs, more often.

Do You Clean Your Recyclables? Surprising Poll Reveals…

Picking a fight today…

A little midlife suburban first world controversy for ya:

—->It’s my belief that recyclables that gets taken away by the City of Columbia every week does NOT need to be washed. My wife thinks otherwise…

So what the hell’s your recyclable policy?

Wash? No wash?

Do ya think they already have to wash it all? Or maybe it’s good karma? Or that they keep a list of names for those who don’t? (they do!)

As an efficiency expert (self-proclaimed internet-version), it seems to me that over a lifetime, we’ll handle lots of these jars headed for the curb. See the problem is that my wife puts them in the dishwasher. Sometimes we keep glass jars (more than necessary, of course), but I never know what to do with it when it comes out (Yes, I unload the dishwasher even though I almost NEVER get all the pots and pans dirty!).

Is this silly? I think not. I want other people to believe in me so I feel better about my absolute “rightness” in position on this vital issue!

That is all. End communication.

Oh yeah, that poll?

Leave your response below and I’ll tally them up! Wash or No Wash!

How to Know if Your Writing is Any Good?

It’s stupid simple, really…

How to know if your writing is great, or even just good enough? Well, I can tell you I’m writing a story right now, and it’s got me so incredibly, utterly, unbelievably excited that I stopped writing, just for a moment, to post this quick read!

So the secret is actually this: if you’re excited about what you’re about to share with the WORLD, then you’re on the right track.

Don’t dismiss what I just said.

You see, don’t be like most people and skim that… you are better. You are paying attention. Re-read this:

If YOU are thrilled and positive and can’t freaking wait to get what is in your head onto the page so you can press publish and put it out there… you’re on the right path.

Think about this: there’s so much shitty content that people put out.

Dispassionate stuff.

If you’re publishing stuff, and you don’t feel electrified about your messaging, and if you could even possibly wait a month to write something–don’t freaking write it!

Do you get this? I am sick and tired of marketing companies who publish crap all year on a schedule. They’re churning out poop! It’s just stuff they can blog and re-blog and tweet about, just to be making noise so a few cows–ignorant consumers who know no better–will wander over and take a bite of grass (become customers), graze awhile, and move on.

Why would anyone want to be so boring?

I think of David Ogilvy… and the SIN of being boring.

If you’ve nothing GREAT to say, why speak at all? Perhaps that’s why I speak so little. Who knows. In any case, I do feel oh-so-very-passionate about this, and if you’ve read this far, please allow me to make a rather sad admission:

I’m also guilty.

Before I discovered these principals, I was also a “content-churner.” And guess what? Nobody gave a crap. Nobody should have. But now…

Now, I’m getting it.

And it feels great–and I’ve got to close–because I have something to tell the world, to get out. And it won’t wait!

To your success!

Jesse

PS: Leave a comment below and tell me about your own journey in copywriting, writing or whatever inspires you, in your life, career, business!

IRS: How to Feel a Little Better about Paying Your Taxes…

Good old grandpappy…

It’s tax time again here in America. Unless you’re president Trump, you probably have to write a check to the government.

If you’re feeling that particular pain, please, PLEASE enjoy this joke:

***********************************************************

The IRS decides to audit Grandpa, and summons him to the IRS office. The auditor was not surprised when Grandpa showed up with his attorney.

The auditor said, “Well, sir, you have an extravagant lifestyle and no full-time employment, Which you explain by saying that you win money gambling. I’m not sure the IRS finds that believable.”

“I’m a great gambler, and I can prove it,” says Grandpa. “How about a demonstration?”

The auditor thinks for a moment and said, “Okay. Go ahead.”

Grandpa says, “I’ll bet you a thousand dollars that I can bite my own eye.”

The auditor thinks a moment and says, “It’s a bet.”

Grandpa removes his glass eye and bites it. The auditor’s jaw drops.

Grandpa says, “Now, I’ll bet you two thousand dollars that I can bite my other eye.”

Now the auditor can tell Grandpa isn’t blind, so he takes the bet. Grandpa removes his dentures and bites his good eye.

The stunned auditor now realizes he has wagered and lost three grand, with Grandpa’s attorney as a witness. He starts to get nervous.

“Want to go double or nothing?” Grandpa asks. “I’ll bet you six thousand dollars that I can stand on one side of your desk, and pee into that wastebasket on the other side, and never get a drop anywhere in between.”

The auditor, twice burned, is cautious now, but he looks carefully and decides there’s no way this old guy could possibly manage that stunt, so he agrees again.

Grandpa stands beside the desk and unzips his pants, but although he strains mightily, he can’t make the stream reach the wastebasket on the other side, so he ends up urinating all over the auditor’s desk.

The auditor leaps with joy, realizing that he has just turned a major loss into a huge win. But Grandpa’s own attorney moans and puts his head in his hands.

“Are you okay?” the auditor asks.

“Not really,” says the attorney. “This morning, when Grandpa told me he’d been summoned for an audit, he bet me twenty-five thousand dollars that he could come in here and pee all over your desk and that you’d be happy about it!”

Is Government Still a “Thing”?

I heard something outrageous this week.

For me, trust me, it takes a lot. After all, I’ve been around the world. I’ve lived in Korean and Thailand. Hell, I even spent a nickel in the Bangkok Hilton.

But this week I learned that marijuana is being sold for “legit medical need” in states which haven’t yet had their vote.

How is this possible?

I mean, if you’ve studied the tenuous relationship with Californian pot entrepreneurs and the “still-on-the-books” federal laws they ignore–you’ve got to be amazed. At any time, on any day  the feds could swoop in and  eliminate every pot shop off the West coast and send most of those “pot-trepreneurs” to jail for life.

Ignoring Federal laws, on Obama’s word is one thing. Flaunting local and state law is another level of disregard, in any state.

And yet, here we are.

As I sat in a friend’s living room, hearing that some states in this country are selling marijuana as if it was legal, despite federal and local laws that say otherwise, is flabbergasting.

I am truly at a loss… left only to ask this question: has the last election signified the end of government as a “thing?”

Is Government Still Relevant?

Here’s a prediction: Soon Trump Will Start Planning His Own Exit

He’s gonna get tired of the harassment, haranguing and aggravation.

Could he resign?

How much of a beating can even the champ take? It’s actually more likely they’ll push him out using some of the laws that he has already broken, or will break. They will oust Trump.

That said, I predict he’s gone in 12 months.

Time will tell.

How to Make Your Life a Masterpiece…

I love motivational speakers.

The day Tony Robbin’s new movie “I Am Not Your Guru” came out on Netflix, I  invited my closest friends over and we had a screening party that night.

(Spoiler: it could have more accurately titled, “I am Not Your Effing Guru.”)

One of the all-time favorite quotes is from Zig Ziglar who famously said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

As a result, there are quotes peppered around my house – which I see every day – like this:

img_0276

Of course, writing amazing copy and wandering around my home to look at quotes isn’t all I do.

These quotes need updating regularly.

The only way to do this properly, I’ve found, is to get an Amazon Prime membership and spend LOTS of money on books. Of course that’s only half the battle…

You’ve also got to carve out time to read them. In either case, you might own a bookshelf (or three) that looks like this:

img_0279

Most importantly, you I hope you have also begun to study the great men who came before the  current-day men and women who are transforming lives and inspiring our generation.

I’m talking about men like Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Wayne Dyer, Norman Vincent Peale, Steven Covey…

[May they all rest in peace.]

I was reminded of those titans whose shoulders we’re able to stand on this morning as I read the following passage:

“Either make the tree good and it’s fruit good,

or make the tree bad, and it’s fruit bad,

for the tree is known by its fruit.”

This comes from the Bible.

My entire purpose in writing today is laud these wonderful examples of humanity and to point out their dedication to put their faith at the core of their message.

Their speeches, which you can still see And they encouraged daily Bible reading. Quoted scripture in their talks and writing.

It’s getting more difficult these days to find men or women who are willing to embrace  faith, to share the undeniable wisdom that comes from a daily practice with the Bible.

There’s a stigma involved for those who write, as I am now. In the past, I feared doing this, because “I didn’t want to turn off some of my readers.”

There is also a growing sentiment where people like to see themselves as more self reliant and accomplished. Perhaps admitting that God is necessary for some is a sign of weakness, that

Now I see this was wrong.

It’s vitally important for me to be 100% everything that I truly am, in all aspects of my life. Just as a tree can’t hide it’s fruit, it’s foolish for me to hide what I am.

I am a Christian. An imperfect, stumbling, fumbling, standing-up-again-and-again Christian.

Becoming who I am these past few years has been a challengin battle for me. My past has been shrouded in secrecy and shame, most of which was uninformed and unnecessary, harmful, in fact.

But today, I make a small stride toward greater transparency, by sharing a beautiful verse from Matthew twelve. It seems to me, Jesus was trying to say that we ultimately can’t hide what we are, that our fruit will always reveal us to others.

Our hearts will be known. 

My way of working on my heart is to read a page, or a chapter of this wise book, the Bible, each day.

Of course, this is what I strive for. A lot of times I completely fail.

But as I’ve already alluded to, my mission is far from complete. And failing only moves us closer to the goals, to the success that’s in store for those who never give up.

No matter your religious affiliation, I hope these words inspire you to do your best work, and be the best version of yourself you can be. Truly, you will be known by the fruits of your labors.

God Bless You in your particular journey.

One footnote:

Please don’t misunderstand me: if you’re not a Christian that’s fine. I have read books on all major religions. In fact, I’ve lived in Buddhist countries for nearly a decade, read the Quran from cover to cover and consistently found good people, redeeming characteristics, principles and practices in all people – when I look for them – from Atheists to Zoroastrians.

Do This One Thing, and Your Children Will Never Forget it…

A quick story:

One day a father was packing up the car to take his wife and three kids for a much-anticipated trip to the circus.

Just then, a call came in for him to go to work, instead.

Going to work would mean breaking his promise, made months ago to his children. It was an easy decision to make:

The father declined the work.

After the call, his wife suggested that perhaps he should have taken the work

But the father was quick to respond: “The work will come again… but childhood will never return.”

Those kids grew up with that lesson, and they remembered it for the rest of their lives.

IMG_2623.jpg

Not my kid, but I love this one. 😉

ON Gratitude… (with a “stranger-than-fiction ending”)

Today is a beautiful day because…

I’m lucky to be alive.

Last night, coming home from the grocery, my wife and I got slammed by a guy who was racing to beat a red light.

More on that, in a moment. First, a confession:

I can be something of a curmudgeon. Here’s an example:

When I first got married, I didn’t much like saying I love you all the time to my wife. It seemed repetitive and unnecessary.

Then I watched my dear aunt and uncle in action.

They are retired, with grandchildren and they say it every time they talk on the phone or part ways.

It’s like their religion.

I guess it rubbed off on me and I’m glad it did.

Since I saw them last November, I’ve been pretty good about it. It was weird the first couple days, but I stuck at it, and now it’s as automatic as putting the seat down afterwards.

(Yes, I have now completely covered the two topics I’m good at in husbandry.)

The reason this has come up now is because last night I got T-boned by a color-challenged driver (you know, the one who has a hard time differentiating red from green).

After we got entirely knocked out of the intersection and spun around, I realized that if something had happened I’m glad I’ve learned to tell my wife that I love her.

She knows my position. She’ll never wonder.

And without getting too specific, this “lucky” incident was a great reminder of just how fragile life can be.

In closing, I’ll say this: my last car was an economical one and did not have many safety features.

The wrecked car you see the photo, did.

I’m glad to have spent the extra money. Had I been driving my earlier car, my wife’s head would have smacked into a glass window, instead of side curtain airbags.

Thank you Lexus.

Oh, and totally weird, stranger-than-fiction ending?

Turns out we both thought the driver looked familiar. We were correct to think so…

It turns out he lives in the duplex… directly below us, down our street.

Yes, he’s our next door neighbor. And, no he does not have insurance.

Talk about awkward…