Rome wasn’t built in a day and Neither Was Your Business
Why do so many people think businesses have to be an overnight success? The news reports events: Pixar bought by Disney or local restaurant owner opens 5 new locations.
None of these businesses were built in a day, but all you hear about is the BIG sale.
It’s no wonder everyone thinks successful businesses come out of nowhere. What you don’t hear is that Pixar lost money for 20 years before Toy Story was a hit and that your local restaurant chain has been in the family for 50 years.
Success in business is a process, not a one time event.
So, when you’re trying to validate ideas, market your business, or face rejection, just remember that it’s all part of the process that can be improved over time.
When we think of copy-writing , we automatically think of the legendary copywriters like Eugene Schwartz or Gary Halbert , or we immediately conjure images of some sort of Mad Man type advertising agency. Yet all of us in our daily business lives write some sort of copy – The emails we send to clients or Business colleagues and leaders trying to win them over to our ideas , the proposals we submit to clients, the agreements we make with vendors, and the articles we write for our our blogs. And to succeed in business , we need to become proficient at writing well.
In Writing Riches, Ray Edwards, reveals myriad ways that we can improve our effectiveness in writing great copy. Oh and dont get fooled by the title “Result Based Web Copy” , the advice that Ray provides has value that is just as effective in the offline world. The book is filled with great practical and actionable ideas, that as Ray says will help you keep your “most wanted result” front and center at all times.
Most Wanted Result - Before you even begin writing – stop and ask yourself “What is my most wanted result” from this document, this email, this blog post? Decide what , that is- and then start writing with your most wanted result in mind. When you keep what you want from your readers in focus, you will find your writing more effective.
Start a Swipe File - When we started our business (back in the dark ages – that was the 90’s) , we could not afford someone to write our advertising copy. So i improvised, i would cut and collect every piece of great advertising and marketing copy that i could find (and that i knew achieved results). And then i would try and rewrite those pieces and apply them to our business. Make a habit of collecting every piece of great advertising , marketing, sales letters, brochures, etc. Your goal is to collect a file of relevant copy that you can draw from to make your own marketing/advertising/writing more effective
Start to carefully evaluate the writing you do as part of your everyday business - your emails, proposals, ads, marketing etc – Start thinking about how your readers read – hint, most people skim, scan, and scroll as they read . So get into the habit of adding headlines, sub headlines, bullet points. graphics and images – to focus attention on main points. Your aim is to make your writing easier to read and thus more effective.
Outline the Major Headings - When you start writing , try and outline the major headings that you initially envision and just start writing down your ideas under each of those headings. This is a tactic that helped me out a lot both in law school. and when i briefly practiced law. I would write the major legal points that were at stake in the question or case , and then fill out the details. The idea is not to write final copy during the first round, but to get comfortable writing copy .
Save the Copy you Write - One of the pieces of writing that i am most proud of and that i have kept for years , was a labour dispute case that i won for our family business (while i was in 2nd year of law school) – The case and my legal brief got written up in a law review journal , and i always used the way i structured my legal arguments in that case as the basis of my legal writing for years to come. You should also develop a system for keeping the copy you write, so that you can refer back to ut easily, and that you can refine, enhance and improve, and use again and again, when you face a similar issue. Find ways that you can capture all the bits and pieces of copy that you write once, but can use many times – remember , there is no need to reinvent the wheel or your copy for that matter. Some of the things that you can copy and reuse – your bio, the copy that describes your business story, a list of your product benefits. an email that addresses a issue or situation that occurs frequently.
Always be testing - One of the things that the great copywriters do best is this – they are constantly testing their copy. Test different approaches in everything you do with customers. Dont believe that becuase some copy was succesful once, it will always be successful – your best marketing and advertising copy becomes old and stale after a while. Heck – Testing is one of those things that is not just limited to writing copy – you should do it with everything in yur business – your products, your systems, your policies etc. Make it your goal to continuoulsy improve the effectiveness of your copy.
Use Time Limitations when Starting Your Business
You will be more creative as well as save time and money by limiting the time you put into starting your business.
Just ask economist Cyril Northcote Parkinson.
Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. It is the magic of the imminent deadline. If I give you 24 hours to complete a project, the time pressure forces you to focus on execution, and you have no choice but to do only the bare essentials.
Surprisingly, this time I’m not talking about investing in my education so much, but what comes next; making a habit of investing in the acquisition and nurturing of customers for my business! Or put another way, I believe the quickest way to create financial freedom is through business
More than investing in real estate, more than trading in stocks and shares, more than anything else, by investing in your own business, you create the greatest potential for building the cash flow that will enable you to buy good assets such as property.
Some business owners, HR Managers, leaders and experts say that all you have to do to get better performance and productivity out of your employees is to create an award system that rewards employees with titles and higher compensation. The end result they say is higher performance and happier , and more engaged employees.
If you have read any books on time management or personal productivity, one of the ideas you will have come across is this – they recommend that you start thinking of each hour of your time as being worth a specific quantity of money. This is an extension of the old “time is money” concept.
First you have to figure out what your hourly rate is, and then you use that as a guide to determine where you should spend your time. The reasoning is that if you want to earn more money, then you must first mentally raise your hourly rate. These books suggest that you should do this so that you can start focusing on activities that are worth more.
If you currently earn $50/hour and want to earn $75/hour, then you have to do less and less $50/hour work as you shift to doing $75/hour work. Brian Tracy advocates this type of thinking in his time management programs, as do many other time management experts. I’ve used this model myself in the past.
I’ve spent a lot of time considering this paradigm, and at present I have only one problem with it.
Really, this is probably one of the dumbest paradigms you can use for income generation.While it seems enticing on the surface, in the long run it will hurt you more than help you.