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Tag: Michele PW

[Video] Flip It! How Can You Make Something Go Viral?

[Video] Flip It! How Can You Make Something Go Viral?

Having one of your blog posts or videos or podcasts go viral is something most people, including entrepreneurs, authors and artists, dream about.

What’s not to love? It means you matter.

Right?

So, before I get into some tips on how you can make something go viral, let’s talk about the ramifications if you succeed in having something go viral.

For most people, they imagine it’s going to feel like a huge validation. They did something a lot of people loved and shared. That has to feel good, right?

And, if you’re an entrepreneur, well you just got the golden ticket. It’s like Brene Brown and her Ted Talk, she parlayed that talk on vulnerability into a massive platform.

But, what if the wrong thing goes viral? In other words, what if you’re inspired to write an article, that ends up going viral, and takes your business into a direction you didn’t want it to go?

A blogger I follow just wrote about that. A post she wrote went viral, and after she saw the results of that post, she decided she didn’t like what she saw and needed to tear down what she built so she could create what her heart and soul truly desired.

And that’s the thing about things that go viral. No one really knows why it happens, so trying to build your business around it is problematic at best.

You may never create anything that truly goes viral. Does that mean you failed as an entrepreneur or artist or author?

Or, maybe something you create DOES go viral … and you hate it. In a way, that happened to Louisa May Alcott. Her most famous and popular book, Little Women, was also the work of art she liked the least. And yet, that’s what ended up most defining her.

Or maybe what ends up going viral is something that is more of a distraction, taking you off in another direction that isn’t helpful.

In other words, having something go viral may not end up meaning what you think it might.

That said, while no one really knows why something catches fire and something else doesn’t, there’s three things you can do to improve the odds of it happening.

Step 1: Create things. Blog posts, videos, speeches, podcasts. The more content you have out there, the more likely something will go viral.

Step 2: Create high quality things. Don’t just put out a lot of crap. Take the time to make sure what you’re creating is solid and high quality. Crappy things are less likely to go viral.

Step 3: Give yourself as many opportunities as possible to have something go viral. As the saying goes, Good fortune favors the bold. Be visible. Take chances. Try new things. Don’t be afraid to fail (or, at the very least, don’t allow your fear of failure to stop you). The more opportunities you give yourself to have something go viral, the more likely it will happen.

And, above all, relax. Have fun. Chances are, if you’re trying to hard to make something go viral, it won’t. It usually happens when you least expect it, when your back is turned and you’re focusing on something else.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Video] Flip It! Could Changing One Habit Change Your Life?

[Video] Flip It! Could Changing One Habit Change Your Life?

There’s a surprising story in the beginning of the book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business.

Lisa’s life was a train wreck. She couldn’t hold down a job, drank too much, ate too much, smoked, and was in substantial debt.

Then, one day, her husband told her he was leaving her for another woman. Initially, she spent four months crying, binge drinking, and binge eating, before finally deciding to take a trip to Egypt to clear her head. (Her credit cards weren’t completely maxed yet, so why not?)

When she got to Cairo, she had a bit of a meltdown as she thought about how much her life sucked and how absolutely nothing was working for her. So, in a fit of desperation, she decided she needed a goal. Something to work toward.

And that goal would be to trek across the desert.

It was a crazy goal. She was completely out of shape and had no money besides. But, she was determined.

She would give herself a year to get ready.

One of the things she decided she needed to give up to get ready was smoking.

And THAT decision changed her life.

Four years later, she had lost sixty pounds, was running marathons, had a good paying job she had kept for over 3 years, paid down her debt and was about to buy a house.

And yes, she had returned to Egypt to cross the desert.

So, what happened? How did Lisa change her life so drastically in only a few years?

It’s been proven that most people who make dramatic changes in their lives in very short times have focused on changing a single habit first. And when they changed that habit, they were then able to more easily change other habits.

But, what’s interesting is not all habits are created equal.

Some habits, and smoking is one of them, are what scientists call “keystone habits.” If you’re able to change that one, you can more easily change others.

It’s a pretty cool idea, isn’t it? If you could focus on changing just one habit, it could lead to you changing a lot of unhealthy habits.

But, if you don’t smoke, then where do you look?

Alas, that wasn’t really answered in the book, so I’m going to give you my answer.

Experiment on yourself.

Pick one habit to change at a time and see what happens after you change it. It doesn’t even have to make much sense. For instance, apparently people who make their beds in the morning are far more likely to live within a financial budget.

What do those two things have in common? No idea.

And that’s not the only non sequitur when it comes how one habit influences another.

In other words, it may not make sense with our logical brain, but it can still transform your life.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my Love-Based Goals” book.

[Video] Flip It! Are You Building a Business Or Are You Just Making Money?

[Video] Flip It! Are You Building a Business Or Are You Just Making Money?

A few years back, there was what I call a “launch business phenomenon” (for lack of a better term) in the Internet Marketing/Information Product Industry. In a nutshell, these were “businesses” that relied on the product launch for  their main source of income.

These entrepreneurs would do 1-2 product launches a year, make 7-figures, and spend the rest of the year delivering the program and planning for the next launch while hanging out at the beach taking selfies to post on Facebook.

Needless to say, it was a great gig. Yes, there were a few intense weeks during the launch itself, but for the rest of the year, you only had to work a few hours a week.

However, like most things that are too good to be true, this idyllic way of earning a living didn’t last. Unfortunately, it also left a lot of unnecessary pain and anguish in its path.

You see, the launch business fed into this whole Internet business myth of working only a few hours a week and cashing in massive checks. Sure, that was true for some people. But, not for most.

But, here’s the thing. A launch business isn’t a business. In fact, I would go so far to say any business that is based around one or two income streams isn’t a real business.

Yes, it’s a way to make money. But, it’s not a business.

So, what IS a business? And do you have one?

To answer that let me ask you a couple of questions.

• Do you have to be personally involved to make money?

This one is probably the biggest. If your only source of income is to be personally involved, maybe even selling your time, you don’t have a business.

What you likely have is a job.

A true business generates income for you regardless of whether you’re personally involved or not. You would be able to go on vacation or take the afternoon off because your kid is sick and not have to worry about income fluctuations. You may even be able to cut how much time you spend working in your business without seeing a drop in your income.

• Do you have multiple sources of not only income but also prospects?

Most stable businesses have multiple ways of finding new customers. They are usually advertising on multiple platforms, not just Facebook. They’re using a variety of marketing campaigns and strategies, not just one complicated funnel or one or two product launches.

They also tend to have multiple offers and are making money selling multiple products and services.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to start spending thousands of dollars on advertising or creating dozens and dozens of products, but it does mean not putting all your eggs in one marketing strategy basket OR one product basket.

There is a bit of a fine line here between spreading yourself too thin because you have too many products and services and leaving yourself too vulnerable, because the vast majority of your income relies on one or two main strategies or products. I would encourage you to slowly add marketing strategies and product offers to your mix, to make sure you ARE getting a return on your time and money investment, and then you can also slowly add to your team to support what you’re doing.

Of course, all that said, maybe you’re not interested in building a business. Maybe you really are just looking for an income stream. For instance, maybe you’re a massage therapist or a freelance graphic designer and you love what you do and only really want to sell your time. If that’s the case, then go for it.

But, just don’t confuse what you’re doing with building a business.

What you’ve done is create a way to bring income into your life, which is fabulous while it lasts. And, never forget streams have a way of drying up pretty quickly.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book — you can check it out here.

[Video] Flip It! How Do You Pick Yourself Up After You Fail?

[Video] Flip It! How Do You Pick Yourself Up After You Fail?

Let me start by busting a myth: If you’re successful at anything, you’ve also experienced a fail or two.

And, likely, a lot more than one or two.

I’m not sure it’s possible to BE successful without also experiencing failure. Because, if you’re not out there and trying new things and testing out new ideas and concepts while knowing you may fail, it’s difficult to BE a success.

Projects you thought would be a big hit … aren’t. Or they take longer than you planned to catch on. Or maybe they WERE a huge success, and then one day they stopped selling.

Launches crash and burn. Marketing strategies that once worked stop.

I could go on and on. And, these are just entrepreneurial examples. There’s also countless examples if you want to be an author or artist or scientist or inventor, or even climb the corporate ladder.

Thomas Edison experienced over 10,000 failures (which he didn’t call “failures”) before he figured out how to make a light bulb work.

So, I suspect you already know this. It’s not a secret.

But, I also bet you forgot.

Because, unless the fall from grace is really public, you don’t see it. A lot of failures happen behind closed doors. A product doesn’t sell as well as hoped — is that truly something most people are going to see? Probably not. It didn’t sell well so how would anyone outside the business know?

I start here because I’m beginning to believe one of the key attributes all successful people share is their ability to bounce back after they fail.

Because failure is going to happen if you want to become a success. And, the more successful you want to become, the more failure you’ll likely experience.

Now, my take on picking yourself back up after you’ve fallen is maybe a little different than what you heard. You see, I think the first thing you need to do is feel all those crappy feelings.

Yes, feel the anger, the disappointment, the resentment, the jealously, the envy, the shame, the embarrassment, the grief. Stomp your feet. Hit a pillow. Cry.

Do whatever you need to do to move that energy from your body.

Because that’s the only way you’ll be able to stop feeling those feelings.

Feelings just want to be felt. And, if you don’t feel them, they’ll keep following you around, harassing you, until you do.

So, how on earth will you be able to pick yourself up if you’re still stewing? How are you possibly going to focus on taking action to get yourself back on track when you’re still battling rage or grief or wanting to shrink into yourself and hide under your bed?

The answer — you can’t!

That’s why so many people CAN’T pick themselves back up. They may tell themselves they need to beat this, and they have to get back on their horse and all the other rah-rah inspirational motivational messages.

But, it’s just talk. If they feel like crap, it’s going to be tough to take action. Not only because you don’t feel like doing anything when your emotions are out of control, but trying to keep yourself from feeling your emotions is a lot of work, so you’re likely going to be more exhausted than normal.

So, before you do anything, before you get that plan together to beat this thing, let yourself just feel as crappy as you want to. Go ahead, let it all out. Have a big ole pity party for yourself.

And, when all of those emotions have been felt and have moved through you, you may be amazed at how easier everything looks.

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

[Video] Flip It: Are You Letting Your Critics Win?

[Video] Flip It: Are You Letting Your Critics Win?

When I was a freshman in college, I was accepted into an advanced creative writing class. I admit, at the time I was pretty brash and full of myself (and not in a good way) and definitely deserved to be taken down a peg or two.

And, that’s precisely what happened. The creative writing professor didn’t care for me, gave me a C, and told me it was because I didn’t have much talent as a writer.

Now, for years, I would imagine telling this story on these national platforms, like Oprah, after I was a huge success, of course.

There was only one problem.

I had stopped writing.

Oh, I still had fantasies of becoming a famous author. And I often dreamed of telling this story as a revenge fantasy. But, in terms of putting the work in and actually sitting my butt down in a chair and writing, I wasn’t doing a darn thing.

And it wasn’t for lack of trying. I just didn’t have any ideas. I was completely blocked.

So, why was that? What happened to me?

Well, what I see now is I didn’t allow myself to process my emotions.

I jumped right into “Well, I’ll show her” and “Every famous author was told he or she didn’t have talent” mode, and skipped right over the part where I have a good cry because my feelings are hurt and maybe throw a temper tantrum while I’m at it. (Alone of course. This is not about creating a lot of drama and having people feel sorry for me. This is simply me behind closed doors feeling my emotions.)

I can remember back then feeling out of sorts, like I was a bottle of carbonated fizzy soda all blocked up with nowhere to go. I was literally feeling myself block my creativity, even though I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing at the time. I didn’t understand how important it was to feel my emotions and let them out before I could settle back down and do the hard work of creating.

So, now let’s talk about you. I get it. Being criticized is never fun. It’s even less fun now when social media is lurking right around the corner and people can say all sorts of nasty and hateful things for the world to read.

I understand. You should check out some of my reviews on Amazon. Ooof — a few are brutal. One even compares my writing to a 6-year-old. So, yeah. It happens.

But am I going to let those nasty-minded mean people stop me from getting my message out to those who are looking for it? Absolutely not. In fact, you can check out my fiction brand right here.

And you shouldn’t let them stop you either.

Which is why taking care of yourself is more important than ever.

If you don’t allow yourself to feel bad when you’re criticized, OR if you’re not allowing yourself to feel the fear you might be criticized if you get too big, you’re never going to allow yourself to get big enough to be criticized.

And, if you do that, who wins? You or your would-be critics?

The best part? Eventually the critics will lose their power to hurt you. Honestly. If you do the work and feel the feelings, no matter what they are, you’ll stop being triggered.

And then, who is the real winner?

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

What I Learned from My Blog: 5 Mistakes I Made

What I Learned from My Blog: 5 Mistakes I Made

In 2016, I took a hard look at my blog, my business, and my industry, and I knew I had to make some new choices when it came to marketing and promoting my business. (I share my story in depth here.)

Along with deciding a blog was still the way to go, I also decided my blog (which I now lovingly refer to as my “starter” blog) had so many issues, it seemed the best thing to do was start over with a fresh, new blog.

Mind you, it wasn’t the easiest choice to me. My starter blog was getting a decent amount of organic traffic. Not great, but it was something to build on.

Plus, I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to build my SEO back up. While my research showed it was entirely possible to build up a new blog’s organic traffic, I also knew it was more difficult now than when it had been when I had first started blogging.

In the end, I just felt like I had made too many mistakes with my blog to justify keeping it. It felt like it would require too much work to fix what I had done versus starting over fresh.

So, what were those mistakes? I lay them out for you below.

1. I didn’t keep it up-to-date.

My blog no longer fit my brand. It was built around my old brand, which was “The $Ka-Ching!$ Marketing Strategist!” I had named my blog “Rev Up Your Results!” None of this fit into the new Love-Based Business brand, which is where my business is now.

In addition, the blog theme itself was old and dated. It desperately needed a facelift.

Now, it’s true I could have simply rebranded everything. Put it in a new template and added new graphics. But, that’s actually easier said than done. I had A LOT of content on that blog, and making sure all the content survived the transformation is not only tricky, but a ton of work.

If that was the only mistake I made with my blog, I may have attempted it. Alas, there was more to come.

2. There was no clear focus.

When I started my blog years ago (I’m not even sure when I first started it), I did it because at the time the “new” marketing strategy that was getting all the attention was BLOGGING.

Throw a blog up! Get thousands of visitors! It’s the new, hot thing!

Okay, I could do that. Plus, I was already writing a weekly ezine (well, nearly weekly, maybe three times a month), so I had content I could post.

Made perfect sense.

Needless to say, while I do believe having a blog is better than not having one, this isn’t the best blogging strategy. Having a clear focus, goal, and plan for your blog is essential, if you want it to be successful.

And, that lack of initial focus ended up being reflected in the content I posted over the years.

Now, before I get into all my wanderings in the blogging wilderness, let me put things in perspective.

I started my business as a freelance copywriter in 1998. Since then, I’ve morphed into a copywriting company and further morphed into the Love-Based Copy and Marketing Company. I’ve published a non-fiction book series (the love-based business books) in addition to fiction books (I have two novels published and a three-book series due out later this year), plus I have a lot of other plans in the works.

This type of shift in business focus over a twenty-year time period is pretty normal.

After you’ve been in business for a few years, you’ll start to see that your business is a living, breathing entity. It grows and changes just like you do. (And, just like other living things, sometimes it dies, too.)

So, expecting your blog to have the exact same focus when it’s over a decade old isn’t realistic. And, if your blog IS that old, I don’t think it’s a problem if some of the older content is different from your newer offerings.

That said, my content problems were bigger than normal “growing pains.” Mine stemmed from not having a clear vision for my blog other than attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every month. So, when I didn’t attract hundreds of thousands of visitors, I would vacillate between tinkering with my plan to ignoring my blog in frustration for weeks (or even months) at a time.

Needless to say, that’s not a plan for success. (For anything, not just blogging.)

But, looking back, I feel like a lot of what I did was a necessary part of my journey. In some respect, I used my blog to help me find myself and get clear on my message and what I stood for. I posted some beautiful tributes (the ones to my mother and my dog, Roxie, are two that come to mind). I also posted some very odd, more personal posts that really had no place on a business blog (like one about tequila during my Cabo vacation that still attracts a visitor every now and then—needless to say, those visitors aren’t my ideal clients).

Overall, though, my “starter” blog gave me the freedom to explore my creativity and test what worked and what didn’t. And for that I’m grateful.

I was able to see which posts worked better than expected, and which ones flopped. That was priceless information.

Unfortunately, however valuable that creative experimentation was, in the end, it still led to the bigger problem, which was my blog felt disjointed. It didn’t hang together right. And, just liked the branding issue, it felt like too much work to tinker around to try and fix it. (Especially since I wasn’t even sure precisely what to do to fix it.)

But, even this paled in comparison to Mistake #3.

3. I wasn’t sharing very good content.

Ouch!

Yes, I’ll fully admit it.

Okay, so to be fair, pretty much all of my “not great content” happened over approximately a two-year period where I had tried not one but two different strategies to boost my number of visitors to hundreds of thousands.

It started with me joining a 30-day blog challenge and deciding to post every day.

This was a mistake. A big one.

Not because posting every day won’t work. It can. But, there’s a catch.

You need to be posting good, solid content.

And, I wasn’t doing that.

You see, for years I had a problem with the concept of speed. I had bought into the hype to move quickly, so I did. But, unfortunately for me, part of how I defined “quickly” was pretty close to “sloppy.”

On one hand, the blog challenge was a success. I posted every day for a month. I even extended the blog challenge for a few months (although I didn’t quite make every day, I was definitely posting four to six times a week).

Some of those posts were good. But, others were crap—something I simply threw up so I could check off the “yes I posted” on my to-do list.

Eventually, the “nearly-every-day-blog-post” started to wear on me, so I switched strategies (again) because I still wanted multiple blog posts a week and I thought if I changed my system, it would be easier for me to create them.

Unfortunately, the bad habits I had picked up during the blog challenge stuck with me, which meant some sloppy content still got posted.

In addition, because I was trying to move quickly, I didn’t have my editor edit my posts, so that contributed to a further decline of quality.

So, again, trying to sort through all that mess just gave me a headache. Plus, since I had switched strategies and visions so often, the whole blog felt energetically confusing, and the thought of putting my beautiful and powerful love-based message on a discombobulated platform sent shivers down my spine.

While this was probably my main reason for rolling the dice and starting from scratch, there were a couple other mistakes that turned this decision into a no-brainer.

4. I was dealing with broken plugins.

For whatever reason (maybe the technology was reflected in the content mess), I had a few strange technical issues with my old blog. The podcast plugin never worked, so I never did get my first, “starter” podcast on iTunes (or any other platform). I added one of those Tweet plugins, which worked for a little while and then stopped. It just seemed to be a never-ending battle with apps and plugins that just wouldn’t work right.

This was more annoying than anything, and maybe if my heart was more into saving that blog, I could have landed on a satisfying technical solution. But, I was also missing a vital piece.

5. I had no call to action.

Now, this wasn’t entirely true. I did have a CTA at the end of each article to sign up for my free gift.

But, part of where I wanted to go with the love-based platform was to also wrap the articles around one of my books. Selling the love-based business books was most definitely part of the overall vision for the new love-based business blog.

And, if I used the old blog, with the old posts, I would either have to go in and edit a whole bunch of articles OR live with the fact that my older articles (i.e. the ones getting organic traffic) didn’t have a CTA around the books.

Again, it felt like a much easier and less stressful project to simply start fresh.

So, now that I’ve walked you through the mistakes I made with my blog, check out this post where I walk you through what I did to set the new one up for success.

And, if you want to learn more about how you can be more effective with your Internet Marketing (including your blogging strategy), you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book available at most online retailers.

[Video] Flip It! Why Becoming an Overnight Success May be the WORST Thing to Happen to You

[Video] Flip It! Why Becoming an Overnight Success May be the WORST Thing to Happen to You

I get it. I, too, have dreamed about becoming an overnight success. Still do, in fact.

But, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to believe that NOT becoming an overnight success may be the best thing to happen to you.

To illustrate, let me start with a story.

Over twenty years ago, a freelance writer wrote a book called Simple Abundance. This book ended up catching fire. Oprah had the author on her show a few times, the book was on the New York Times bestselling list for over two years, and by the time all was said and done, the author ended up selling over 7 million copies (5 million in the US and 2 million oversees).

Fast forward to today. While you might have heard of the book Simple Abundance, you likely haven’t heard of any of the author’s other titles. You might not know that she ended up losing all the money she made from Simple Abundance, and even declared bankruptcy.

She’s far from the only one. How many singers in the 80s had a massive hit, only to sink into oblivion? It was so common we even had a name for it: One-hit wonders.

How about people who win the lottery only to lose everything they won (and more) a few years later?

What do all of these stories have in common?

In my opinion? Success happened too fast for them.

Too fast? How can that be?

You see, every time you reach a big milestone, maybe it’s breaking the 6-figure mark or quitting your job to start your business or finally publishing your book, something shifts inside you.

The bigger the milestone, the bigger the shift.

And, if we’re not emotionally ready to accept the shift, we’ll unconsciously sabotage ourselves. Hence all the one-hit wonders.

Gay Hendricks has a name for it in his book, The Big Leap. He calls it an “upper limit problem.” We all have unconscious limits to how much success or happiness or money or joy we can accept. When we get more than what we can tolerate, we do things to bring ourselves down. That’s why after a particularly close moment with our spouse, we may start a fight or after we experience a big windfall of money, an equally big expense rolls in.

It takes both time and work to raise our upper limits and expand our capacity to receive. Which is why the journey to success is just as important as the success itself. What we end up learning on that journey is what helps us mentally and emotionally accept our success when good fortune does decide to smile down on us.

Look, I get how difficult and discouraging and frustrating the process can be. Waking up every morning and taking action even when you’re not seeing results yet, and worse, not having ANY idea when or IF you’ll see results is tough.

But, here’s the thing. The discipline and perseverance you develop during that process will serve you well when success finally does comes knocking on your door.

(And yes, it WILL come — maybe not how you thought it would arrive or when, but it will come.)

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

The Future of Copywriting: 5 Copywriting Trends to Watch For

The Future of Copywriting: 5 Copywriting Trends to Watch For

I’m back with my crystal ball (aka angel snow globe) with a few predictions on copywriting trends to watch for in the wacky world of copywriting over the coming year.

But, before I dig into those copywriting trends, let’s define what copywriting is.

Copywriting is writing promotional materials for businesses, nothing to do with protecting intellectual property or putting a copyright on something (notice the difference in spelling).

My specialty is a subset called “direct response copywriting,” which entails crafting copy that your ideal prospects directly respond to. For example, when you write an email asking your community to click on a link, you’re writing direct response copy. Those long sales letters you’re scrolling down forever, all-the-while asking yourself, “How much does this actually cost?” and wondering if anyone actually ever reads those things anyway … yep. That’s direct response.

(And by the way, the short answer is yes—people read them.)

The Internet is littered with direct response copy, mainly because it’s a fabulous way to leverage yourself and your marketing efforts, especially when you’re using the Internet to market yourself. Direct response copy does the selling for you, so you can market and sell yourself one to many.

But, as much good as it does, people still hate it. That’s partially because traditional direct response copy uses a lot of fear-based triggers (which doesn’t feel very good). It’s also because a lot of people just hate writing, and would rather not do it at all. (It’s okay if this is you, we’re all friends here.)

Needless to say, there’s a lot of misinformation around the future of copy, so I thought I’d take a moment to sort out the facts from the fiction—and what better way to do that than by talking about five copywriting trends I see happening now?

Without further ado, let’s dig into those copywriting trends.

Trend 1. Copywriting isn’t going away (and yes, that includes writing email copy). Yep, I hear those proclamations too: “Email is dead. Facebook is the place to be. No, maybe it’s videos. Or podcasts. Or …”

So, first off, nothing beats building your own sandbox versus playing in other people’s sandboxes. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using Facebook and Youtube—you absolutely should have a presence on any platform your ideal prospects are on.

You just shouldn’t build your entire business on them.

An excellent way to market and build your business is to spend time in the places your ideal clients are hanging out, with the intent to inspire them to join you in your sandbox.

Ideally you’d love for them to join your email list, so you have permission to reach out when the timing is right for you. But, even if they regularly visit your blog or have subscribed to your podcast, that’s a step in the right direction, too.

And, for any of that to happen, it’s important to have harnessed the power of copy in your marketing. No, that doesn’t mean YOU need to do all the writing yourself—hiring it out is perfectly acceptable. But, you need to come to terms with the fact that as long as you own a business, you’re going to be generating copy (and likely a lot of it).

And that leads us to the second of the five copywriting trends.

Trend 2. Connecting with your ideal clients is key to future success. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when you could generate an awful lot of money simply by harnessing the power of “new” in your marketing.

That time has come and gone (and frankly, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, as I would argue very few entrepreneurs who had mastered the power of “new” actually had a solid, sustainable business.)

So, if you can’t use “new” to attract customers, clients and buyers, what can you do?

Easy. Focus on connecting and building relationships with your prospects. (And, if you are looking to attract more ideal clients to your business, connecting and building relationships is hands down the best strategy to use).

Copy is one of the best ways to connect and build relationships, especially when you use it in an email. (Emails are one-to-one medium: people are getting emails in their inbox, so by it’s very nature, it’s a personal connection. It’s just a matter of you remembering that, when you craft emails to your subscribers.)

But, this is just the first step to building more rapport with your ideal prospects.

Trend 3. Focus on giving your prospects exactly what they want. And I guarantee what they want is plenty of content, and maybe even to be entertained.

What they DON’T want? To be sold to constantly.

That’s why so many entrepreneurs have email lists that are, for all practical purposes, dead. They’ve sold to them so much that their prospects have stopped interacting with them.

(Note: Constantly sending your subscribers to other people’s “free” launch content, such as free books or videos or webinars, constitutes selling. Yes, yes, I know the content is usually pretty solid. But, it’s still designed to sell a program, likely a high-ticket item, and anyone who says “yes” to that free content WILL get inundated with emails for a few weeks. Your subscribers know this, and are tuning it out. I’m not saying not to promote other people’s launches or to stop doing your own; I absolutely still believe product launches are an important tool in your marketing toolbox. However, what I AM saying is to count those emails toward your “total sales emails” quota. You only have so many sales emails you can send to your list before they stop paying attention, so choose wisely.)

Your subscribers don’t mind some sales emails, but it’s important to balance those sales emails with what they’re really looking for, which is most likely content and entertainment.

But, there’s an even bigger prediction on the horizon (a.k.a. the fourth of five copywriting trends)…

Trend 4. Segmenting is the future. While this is a more advanced tactic, having a way to segment your subscribers and allow THEM to decide what sort of content and communication they want from you is going to become more and more important.

I’ve seen stats showing far better results when emails are tailored to your subscribers based on their answers to a few questions you ask them.

So, how do you do this? Some email programs, such as Infusion Soft (although there are cheaper email software programs that are coming out now that are offering these options) allow you to “tag” your subscribers depending on if they click a link, or how they answer a question. You can then send an email to just the people who were tagged.

For instance, maybe you send out an email asking, “If you’re brand new to business, click here,” you can then “tag” everyone who clicks on that link. Now you have a segmented list of new entrepreneurs, and you can send them content and offers that are tailored specifically to them.

See how powerful that can be?

It’s always been the case that the more you can speak directly to your ideal prospects concerns and what’s keeping them up at night, the more they’ll buy from you. Until the Internet, it was far more complicated to give them tailored offers.

Of course, this is a bit of a catch-22. Now that it is easier, it’s likely your ideal prospects will be expecting it more. Which means if you’re NOT segmenting, you could be losing potential clients, customers and buyers.

But, there’s still one last of the 5 copywriting trends that will also be important when it comes to writing copy.

Trend 5. Use passion, vulnerability, and stories in your copy. Remember, people want to do business with people. And, you connecting and building relationships with your ideal prospects is going to be even more important now, as it truly is one of the top trends in marketing and business.

One key way to connect with them using copy is to do things like tap into your passion, and show your personality. Reveal your vulnerabilities and share stories in your copy.

As humans, we’re wired to respond to stories. So, the more we can use stories in our marketing, the more our ideal prospects will pay attention to us. And, if they’re paying attention, they’re far more likely to become buyers, customers, and clients.

I know it can feel strange to use stories and share your vulnerabilities (business IS supposed to be professional after all, and if you came from corporate, it can feel even more alien), but sharing something you’re vulnerable about can go a long way in making you far more relatable.

And, now, for a last, bonus prediction (because 6 copywriting trends didn’t sound nearly as sexy as five).

Bonus Trend 6. Fear-based copy that focuses on shaming and scarcity is on its way out, and love-based copy is the new black. So, as the founder of the love-based copy philosophy and the love-based business movement, I get that this might seem more than a little self-serving.

It’s also not completely true.

Yet.

While fear-based copy and marketing DOES still work, it’s definitely not working as well as it used to. I do believe it’s on its way out, and selling and marketing yourself with love is on its way in, but we’re not quite there yet.

As a species, we still psychologically respond to fear-based triggers. The more we do the inner work and shift to building our businesses and living our lives on a foundation of love, the less fear-based triggers will work.

And, if you want to dig into love-based copy at an even deeper level, you may want to check out my books: Love-Based Copywriting Method: The Philosophy Behind Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites and Love-Based Copywriting System: A Step-by-Step Process to Master Writing Copy that Attracts, Inspires and Invites.

 

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Product Launch Secrets: Are Product Launches Dead?

Yes, the product launch is dead.

No, it isn’t.

It depends.

(Way to be decisive Michele!)

Before I dig in, I want to start by defining “product launch.”

Product launches aren’t new. Businesses have been crafting campaigns to launch a new product or program or service for as long as they’ve been creating new offerings. Turning the unveiling of a new product into an event is a pretty standard business and marketing strategy.

However, with the arrival of the Internet, and thanks to a man by the name of Jeff Walker, the product launch now has a completely different meaning.

Walker has crafted a specific formula called PLF, or Product Launch Formula, that has made thousands of entrepreneurs thousands (if not millions) of dollars.

The formula typically consists of dripping content out (three 20-30 minute videos is pretty common) which leads to opening the cart (or offering the product for sale) for a short period of time. Typically, during the time the cart is open, more content is dripped via webinars or livestreams or coach-a-thons.

Now, just because you decide to launch a product doesn’t mean you have to have all those bells and whistles. There are plenty of simplified launches that consist of a webinar or a livestream that leads to an offer.

Or maybe there’s an “in between” that would work for you. Really, the variations of how you structure a product launch are endless.

However, when we’re talking about launches that generate multiple six or seven figures, you typically need to create more launch content than a single webinar, which is why the Product Launch Formula has been so successful.

Until recently, that is.

Over the past couple of years, the big, elaborate project launch has lost a bit of its luster. Many entrepreneurs who had relied on them for years as a major part of their business income began experiencing dwindling returns.

So IS this the end of the product launch? Or is something else afoot?

Let’s dig in and find out.

Scenario 1: Yes, product launches are dead.

Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon for entrepreneurs to build their entire businesses around the product launch.

They would have one (maybe two) launches a year, and earn enough income during that frenzied period of time to sustain them the rest of the year.

For those entrepreneurs, life was fabulous. Sure, they had to work hard during the launch, but launch windows are deliberately short (a few weeks at most) and the rest of the year they could spend posting selfies of themselves hanging out at the beach on Facebook.

Alas, that golden time of product launches appears to have come to a crashing halt.

Now, before you start posting comments or writing me emails letting me know about all the entrepreneurs who are still doing this successfully, let me just say that yes, I’m sure that’s true.

BUT, I will contend they are more the EXCEPTION, not the rule.

The overall trend is that one or two product launches can’t sustain a business for a year anymore.

This is partly because product launches became a victim of their own success. They were so successful, everyone started doing them, and the more people did them, the less effective they became (see this post for more about this cycle).

However, the reality is that this was never a good business model anyway. Relying on ONE thing for your yearly income is actually a really crappy way to run a business. It doesn’t matter what the one thing is, it’s never a great idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

So, in this case, I would say yes, product launches are dead, IF you’re relying on them as the entire financial model for your business.

Scenario 2: No, product launches aren’t dead.

It’s been my position for years that the product launch is an excellent tool to have in your marketing toolbox (note: it’s a tool, not the entire box) IF viewed in its proper context.

For many entrepreneurs, the product launch is about:

  1. Making money (sometimes a lot of it … sometimes not so much).
  2. Building your email list (which you’ll need for all the promoting you’re going to have to reciprocate for all the folks who are jumping into your launch).

There’s no question product launches are great in both of these respects. But, there are more benefits of product launches:

  1. They can grow your exposure and visibility. Product launches give you an excuse to email your prospect list more than normal, to advertise on social media sites (or just do more organic posting), and to have other people promote you. All of the above will help you get more exposure and visibility. Even if your ideal prospects don’t opt in to your list (which is, of course, the most desirable action), the sheer fact they’re getting an introduction to who you are and what your business is about is huge, and can reap big rewards down the road.
  2. They can grow your credibility. When other people recommend or promote your work, they’re sharing their credibility with you. This is an excellent way to build your reputation and your influence.
  3. They can jumpstart your marketing momentum. It happens to all of us; we get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is launch something. The sheer act of launching generates energy and momentum that can carry over into other areas of our business, even if the launch itself isn’t as financially successful as we would like it to be.
  4. They can push you out of your comfort zone and cause you to face your fears. I’m a big believer that everything you want is on the other side of your greatest fear. But, for that to happen, you need to actually, you know, FACE your fears. So, you’re likely going to have to take some action to make your fears surface. And launches are an excellent way to trigger those fears, so you can move through them. (Plus, it doesn’t matter if your launch is a big failure OR a big success–both of those outcomes will likely trigger more blocks and fears.)

My belief is that, if you view a launch as a more holistic tool that will (hopefully) also generate some additional revenue for you, you’re far more likely to be happy with the results. If you’re just focused on how much money you’re making, you’re far more likely to not only spend the entire launch completely stressed out, but to also be disappointed by the results (and who wants to put herself through that?).

Scenario #3: It depends.

At the end of the day, it’s really up to how you view the product launch if you consider it dead or alive and kicking.

In my view, product launches can be an excellent tool in your toolbox, so if that’s how you’re using it, a product launch can be exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you don’t want to create three videos and a webinar and a livestream and line up a bunch of affiliate partners, you don’t have to. You can choose the precise love-based marketing tactics and approach that makes your heart sing.

And it still can be successful.

But, if you’re relying on a product launch to financially fund your business for six months or a year, it may not be the wisest choice.

I’m a strong believer in creating a business you love AND that loves you back, and making peace with the product launch is key to that. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs freak out, melt down, abandon their normal self care practices, even abandon their integrity and compass, all because they’ve turned the product launch into something bigger than it was ever intended to be.

For instance, I’ve seen entrepreneurs who are typically rock solid around carving out time for meditation or exercises stop all of that during a launch. And, if their businesses are all about mindset practices, along with being out of balance when they need it most, they’re also out of integrity with what their business stands for. Or, normally love-based entrepreneurs switch to fear-based marketing tactics in the middle of the launch because they’re panicking over the numbers.

When the smoke clears and the launch is over, along with dealing with whatever the results of the launch were, they now also have to deal with the remorse of losing their way during the process.

Needless to say, that’s definitely not the way to build a love-based business.

The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s completely possible to enjoy all the benefits of the product launch without it descending into a launch hell, and it starts with you being clear on how it fits into your business.

If this resonates with you, you may like to take the teachings deeper with my book, “Love-Based Online Marketing: Campaigns to Grow a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.” It’s available here.

7 Hot Predictions for Business Success in 2018

7 Hot Predictions for Business Success in 2018

Along with creating new goals and resolutions, it’s also that time of year to dust off the crystal ball (aka an angel snow globe in my case) and make some predictions for the New Year, especially around the hot topic of business success.

And, I’m not going to sugar coat it; 2017 was a little rough, and it could get rougher.

BUT, as always, there is opportunity as well, just as long as you’re open to what it looks like (in other words, it may not be dressed the way it was before OR the way you’d prefer it to be—but more on that in a bit).

Without further ado, let’s see what 2018 has in store for us.

1. It’s no longer “business as usual.”

One thing that became VERY clear in 2017 is how fast marketing strategies can simply cease to work, especially in the coaching/transformation industry. What used to work, isn’t (or, at least, it’s not working the way it used to).

Needless to say, this took some folks by surprise (while creating a lot of panic).

So, what happened?

I think it’s the part of the end of a cycle of two basic human drives (or two things we’re hardwired to be attracted to):

* The attraction of “new”

* And the attraction of “easy”

I’ll explain.

You may not know this, but there was a time (really!) where all you had to do was post a little opt-in box on your website with the words “Free Newsletter!” and people would sign up. (I actually once had someone email me wanting to get my free newsletter because my opt-in form wasn’t working properly.)

Now this was way back … when hearing the words “You got mail!” was exciting. (I got mail! Yay!)

Today, it’s a serious challenge to persuade people to even give you their email address much less buy something from you. And “You got mail!”? People are now excited when they manage to whittle down their inbox to below 100 emails.

Back then, email was new. Free newsletters were new. Therefore, it was a lot easier to see results.

And, in some cases, we’re talking pretty dramatic results.

In the early days of the Internet, it wasn’t uncommon for early adopters to get some insane results without doing a lot of work. And it wasn’t necessarily because what they offered was so incredible, or even that their marketing was so great.

It was because what they did was new.

And the power of new broke through the clutter.

So then, the attraction of “easy” kicked in. Early adopters made more money teaching their “easy” system to the next wave of entrepreneurs, who eagerly lapped it up. (After all, there are very few things we humans love better than something being “easy.”)

Of course, the fresh, shiny sheen of “new” eventually wears off, turning it “old” and “familiar.” “Old” and “familiar” is not nearly as sexy as “new.” They don’t attract nearly the attention, which means it doesn’t work nearly as well. Even worse, “new” becomes “old” even faster when more people use it.

Which means the early adopters need to find a different “new.” And the cycle starts all over again.

Until, eventually, we reach the predictable end.

Internet Marketing itself is no longer all that “new” or “easy.”

(And, all those tricks that came with it? Yeah, those are “old, familiar, and busted,” too.)

You see, the problem with “new” and “easy,” at least as it relates to Internet Marketing, is that it circumvents two key components of growing a successful business—work and patience.

And a lot of people get addicted to “new” and “easy” and forgot about the “time” and “work” part.

So, when “new” and “easy” stop getting results, there is panic.

Then what do we do?

Is the world as we know it over? Do we all need to get j-o-b-s?

Well, before you start trying to remember what a resume even looks like, let’s see what the next prediction is.

2. BUT it IS sort of “business as usual.”

Wait. I’m confused too. Wasn’t the first prediction that it’s no longer business as usual?

Yes, IF you’re building your business on a foundation of “new” and “easy.” While “new” and “easy” will always provide a shot in the arm, it’s not sustainable.

If you want a solid, dependable, profitable, successful business, then maybe it’s time to go back to solid, dependable, profitable, successful business practices.

What are those?

It’s simple—solve a problem that’s keeping your ideal clients up at night, and offer it to them at a fair price (fair to both of you—you need to make a living, and your ideal clients need to feel like they didn’t overpay for what was delivered).

How do you do that? Focus on three main principles:

* Attracting new prospects

* Turning those prospects into clients

* Taking great care of those clients

That’s really it.

Business really isn’t complicated. I know it can seem like it is (especially when you’re stuck in the cycle of “new” because you’re constantly having the chase the next “new” thing), but it truly doesn’t have to be. (And that includes enjoying sustained business success.)

So, how do you do all of that?

Well, let’s jump into prediction three.

3. Relationships are the new currency.

(Relationships were actually the old currency, too, but let’s not split hairs.)

People want to do business with people. People have ALWAYS wanted to do business with people. People WILL always want to do business with people.

So, how did we end up with so many empty, “personality” brand businesses that have little connection to their clients?

Simple. We forgot (blame the frenzy of “new” and “easy” coupled with how easy the internet makes it for us to hide behind our computer).

So how do you do that?

First, let your ideal prospects and clients and customers FEEL you. Hear your voice. Get to know your personality quirks. Maybe even show your vulnerability.

And, don’t ever forget about prediction four.

4. Quality never goes out of style.

There were many things we forgot when we were trapped in the “new” and “easy” cycle, including making sure we actually created a great product or service.

One of the principles of “new” was “speed.” Think about it—the people who benefit the most from “new” are the early adopters. The faster you can get something “new” out there, the better your results.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with speed. In fact, there are times when moving swiftly makes good business sense.

But, “speed” can quickly turn into “sloppy.” And, in the quest to make things happen faster, “sloppy” somehow became more acceptable. “Just launch it and fix it later” became the new motto (or, even worse, “launch it first and create it later”).

Again, there’s wisdom in “launching first and creating later.” For one thing, you won’t spend weeks or months creating something no one wants to buy. You’ll know you have a market.

But, the problem is when people buy, they’re expecting the product. So, you have no choice but to create it fast. And, that leads to “sloppy.”

What’s the alternative?

Ask your prospects and clients what they want (and if you have a good relationship with them, they’ll tell you). Test something small—maybe a small product or a free piece of content—and see what the results are. Keep an eye on what seems to be working (and not working) in your marketplace, so you can stay ahead of the trends.

And that leads us to prediction five.

5. Be nimble.

I can hear you now: “Wait. Didn’t you just say “speed” was the first step on a slippery road to ‘sloppy’?”

“Speed,” yes. But, just because you’re nimble doesn’t necessarily mean you’re moving fast with EVERY part of your business.

For me, being nimble means you’re in a position to see what’s out there and respond quickly to it.

For instance, remember MySpace? No? I’m not surprised. I barely remember it either.

Years ago, before Facebook became the ten-foot-tall gorilla, there was MySpace.

For awhile, MySpace was the hot social networking platform to be on. One of my friends even successfully sold a little product on how to make money on MySpace.

And then Facebook took off.

Enough said.

So, the point of this is you DO need to keep an eye open to what’s working and what’s not working. Just because Facebook is where your clients are today doesn’t mean that’s where they’ll be tomorrow.

(BUT, if you’ve created a connection with your ideal prospects, they’ll likely also follow you to the new platform.)

And, if you want to stay nimble, check out number six.

6. Keep an eye on your statistics.

I know, I know. Numbers aren’t sexy.

BUT, they’re one of the best ways to keep a finger on the pulse with not only what’s going on in your industry, but in your business. And they’re the best way to keep you on the path to sustained business success.

Here’s the thing: There’s no question that right now a lot of entrepreneurs are floundering because the strategies they used to used to both grow their business and enjoy business success aren’t working the way they used to.

BUT, let’s not forget there are also entrepreneurs out there who had their best year ever in 2017.

Just because something isn’t working in the rest of your industry doesn’t mean it will affect you. (Keep in mind, the reverse is true too—just because something is working for EVERYONE doesn’t mean you’ll have success with it.)

That’s why keeping an eye on your specific numbers and looking for trends is important.

What numbers should you watch? Anything you want to grow. Some ideas include:

* Email subscribers

* Opens/clicks on your email list

* How many of your prospects buy

* How many visitors to your website

* Specific numbers for any marketing strategy you’re doing (i.e. blog visitors, podcast downloads, YouTube watches, etc.)

And, to brig it all home, prediction seven.

7. It’s never too soon to panic (aka someone, somewhere will panic this year).

Just as people are attracted to “new” and “easy,” they’re also attracted to “panic.”

It’s important to remember, panicking is a choice. Yes, I know, when the bottom falls out, it’s easy to slip into panic.

And, it’s important to feel those feelings—so if that’s what you’re feeling, then feel it and let it move through you.

Just don’t let it control your actions or decisions.

Nothing good happens when you run your business from a state of panic. And, you especially need to make decisions from your inner wisdom and/or God (or your higher power) if the bottom HAS dropped out. (In other words, when it’s most important that you don’t panic, you’re most likely to feel panic.) (Yes, I agree, it sucks.)

So, feel it, and THEN take action.

ESPECIALLY since there’s actually a lot of opportunity and a lot hope to be found out there.

In fact, let me end on a high note:

I made the claim that Internet Marketing itself is no longer “new” and “easy,” but has moved to “old” and “familiar.”

However, that doesn’t mean Internet Marketing doesn’t work. Quite the opposite. Internet Marketing ABSOLUTELY works—BUT only if you use it correctly.

Relying on novelty of “new” to break through the clutter is a stressful, losing proposition. But, using an old and familiar tool to give people what they really want (i.e. a solid relationship, a high-quality product, etc.) is absolutely a winning strategy.

Even better, it’s also key to building your business on a solid foundation of business success.

If you want more help, you may want to dig into my Love-Based Business series is a great place to get started. Check out all the books here (especially my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book—you can get it here.)