Because the information you’ll find below is germane to my clients and prospective clients, and because you may not be subscribed to “Almost Famous” I’m excerpting here another blog post that I wrote last month. (Sorry, I can’t get spaces to appear between paragraphs. I guess the cut-and-paste command doesn’t let me re-format the paragraphs after the fact. I can see the spaces between paragraphs in the preview, but they don’t appear in the published version. GRRR! )
Earlier today I posted the 100,000 viewers gif from my other blog. Since then, 200+ more people have come and gone (and I hope subscribed), so I feel secure that people are getting value from the virtual time they spend with me.
I want to use this blog (Word Whisperer) to impart wisdom to business owners and entrepreneurs as much as I can. I want you to get something out of it because we’re all busy and I don’t want to waste anyone’s rare, spare time. So I’m wondering what kinds of questions I can answer for you from a copywriter’s or small business owner’s perspective.
Yesterday I posted my 10-30 second elevator speech/commercial. Today–and until I hear back from you about what you want to know–I’ll cover a few things about creating compelling, converting copy, in case any of you are writing your own marketing or social media materials.
Memorize This: “Social Media Isn’t About Selling!”
Hear me loud and clear on this one. An occasional “shout out” on social media about your product, service or cause (especially if something truly noteworthy and beyond-the-norm is happening in your realm) isn’t going to cause people to run screaming for the exits, but unless your blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feeds are MOSTLY (98% or more) dedicated to getting readers to know, like and trust you aside from what you do for a living and what you hope to compel them to do for your bottom line, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot.
Social media was developed to create relationships (fond bonds) and to share valuable, helpful information. Clueless business owners, entrepreneurs and corporations looked over the social media landscape (as they did decades earlier during the advent of the Internet) and smelled potential additional “target audiences” and $$$$, so they started pushing their products, services and causes the way it worked back when TV, radio and magazines were the primary outlets for advertisers. Back then, the copy was one-sided (B2C, Business to Consumer) and designed to get the biggest bang for the advertising buck. “Lots of you have this problem; we have the solution. Buy now.”
It doesn’t work that way in social media. People are inundated with thousands of advertisements every day– on TV, radio, at the mall, in the movies, and driving along the boulevards and streets where they live, work and play. And guess what? Just like you, most people have programmed themselves to ignore B2C ads.
If you’re doing the same thing within social media circles that you’re successfully (or hope-fully) doing elsewhere because it’s FREE to do it here, STOP IT! What visitors to social media sites–including your blog–expect to find is valuable information; fun, entertaining moments; and a person: YOU! People do business with people they know, like and trust. Presuming you’re likeable and transparent to begin with (anyone following me probably is!), your job on social media is to be YOU. (You aren’t always selling, are you? If you are, get a life! People love to buy but they hate being sold to!)
Social media is your chance to “kick your shoes off” and “set a spell” with the people who want to get to know you better. (I know “set” is wrong but The Beverly Hillbillies’ theme song is playing in my head as write this, and I can’t over-ride it just to prove I’m a Grammar Nazi!)
Read Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen for a primer on how to do it right. Then do it. Otherwise, your social media efforts will work against you. If you spend a lot of time on social media, shooting yourself in the foot is beyond easy to do: just push what you offer without reprieve.
My newest title is on Kindle now. The good news is that you don’t have to own a Kindle to get it; Amazon has a FREE Kindle reader that you can download. Follow the URL below to order the Kindle edition:
But just a heads up. From February 1st to 5th in the U.S. and from February 2 to February 4th in the UK, you’ll be able to get the Kindle version for just .99 the first day, $1.99 the second day, $2.99 the third day, and so on until it reaches its regular price of $5.99, so if you can wait that long, please write these dates on your calendar right now and start your countdown–eighteen days to go!!
I’ve added my 30-second elevator speech/commercial. You’ll find it under the Hire a Pro radio button.
The first paragraph you’ll read there is my 10-second response when someone asks, “What do you do for a living?”
This is a good example of a combined 10-second/30-second spiel. If you haven’t written one for yourself, do it today, or connect with me so I can do it for you.
Your 10-30-second elevator speech is the first thing you’ll need when you start networking and letting people know who you are and what you do, so don’t wait to get it done!
Read Get Clients Now! by C.J. Hayden, implement what you learn there, and let me help you with the written/public-facing aspects of your marketing campaign and materials.
Don’t entrust the copy you send to your target audience to amateurs. If people aren’t immediately engaged with and impressed by what you present to them, they won’t remain and will rarely return to see if your materials and the information you provide got any better.
Bottom Line: Hire a pro from the get-go. It’s too risky not to!
My first-ever blog Almost Famous By De’s Fault reached a milestone a couple of days ago: 100,000+ views. That’s pretty darned amazing. Who could have guessed, when I started it four or five years ago, that it would receive this kind of attention. It just goes to show you how popular DeForest Kelley remains in the minds and hearts of fans around the world nearly fifteen years after his passing on June 11, 1999.
Not that Almost Famous is a blog that’s 100% about De (yet). But by the time I get this site fully underway and the germane posts (about word-smithing) moved from Almost Famous to here and other stuff deleted or shuttled to other venues, eventually it will be 100% about De-related information and happenings. I’ll use Almost Famous to update fans about the upcoming DeForest Kelley Up Close and Personal from the Fan Who Knew Him Best, slated to debut in 2016 during Star Trek’s 50th anniversary.
This blog is for prospective clients to get a chance to meet me (virtually) and for current clients to stay abreast of what’s happening with me on the professional front. It will also have a behind-the-scenes FOR YOUR EYES ONLY opt-in spot for copywriters (pros and newbies) where I’ll share my insights and hard-won wisdom about how to write riveting copy and make a living as a professional copywriter. That option will eventually be monetized. (The precious, irreplaceable time that I spend blogging has to pay for itself somehow.)
A lot of Creatives have a Donate page that lets subscribers donate funds to the person they’re following. One of my professional friends (a local networker and power partner) has a site where she asks readers to pledge whatever they decide on a monthly basis to help her along. This idea resonates with me; it would be a way to monetize (to some small degree) the time I spend writing blog posts. I’m just not sure how many (if any) of my readers would pledge even two dollars a month; y’all are used to hearing from me and getting my take on things FREE. (My storefront blog posts will always be free. You’d just have the option to donate. So … would you, if you had the option? I’m asking!)
IF 100 readers, for example, pledged just two dollars a month, the $200 would do me a lot of good, so I’m considering it–but I’d like to know your thoughts before I even consider it further.
Updating my storefront blog (and other necessary pages) as often as I’d like will take time (a significant chunk of my life, which I can never get back) and this factor weighs on me when it comes to deciding how to spend my rare, spare time.
Of course, I’ll almost always be writing in my spare time (big surprise there, huh?) but it could be books rather than blog posts. And the books would cost readers money and be less interactive. (I still have at least three books in me that want out.)
So I’m torn. Social media is a venue that I love even though it takes precious time every time I partake and interact. I put myself on a 15-minute timer when I’m on Facebook (usually twice a day) and on a 60-minute timer when I blog so I make sure I don’t ‘socialize’ my work days away. But one-to-one time with y’all means a lot to me and I don’t want to stop doing it “just” to make the money I need to survive. I need money (we all do) but it never has been (and never will be) the be all and end of my existence–which is why I’m not where I should be financially this close to the end of my working days. (May my working days never end for as long as I’m able to think clearly and string words together! I love what I do with all my heart!)
I’ve followed my passion the past seven years and it’s paying off well enough but it isn’t even close to making me feel financially secure. I just thank God that I don’t have expensive habits or crave a lofty lifestyle! I can make a living as a writer and copywriter as long as I stay well physically and mentally and remain well-grounded. I’ve never felt the need or the desire to “keep up with the Joneses”, drive a fancy car or wear expensive clothes, so I can survive well enough as an ‘almost-famous’ author and copywriter for the foreseeable future . Good thing–because I can’t even imagine going back to what I did before I decided to take on this adventure–and luckily, I don’t have to!
I’m doing what I love every single day. How cool is that? If you’re willing to support me by sending clients my way (see ‘My Ideal Client’ before you do this, please!) or by pledging a Kris’s Friends, Fans and Financial Funders monthly donation, let me know!
As I type this blog entry, my power partner Lisa (check out her site at TacomaComputerTutor.com) is working in the background, under the cover of darkness, surreptitiously moving heaven and earth (or more precisely, fingers and keyboard) at warp factor wow to get more eye candy for your peepers. So hang in there; subscribe and keep coming back. (Lisa put additional widgets on this site yesterday so you can connect with me in more ways than one easily enough. The subscribe radio button is the first one you see in the upper left-hand corner beneath the SEARCH field. You probably know what the other ones are: FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google +1, Pinterest and heaven only knows what else.)
And the best is yet to be: a page about my existing books (and a future title) in their various incarnations (soft cover or Kindle) with links to take you to the places where you can buy or pre-order them for yourself or as gifts for loved ones; and another page about the topics I can speak on with some degree of authority. Other pages will be along shortly, too.
After this site is completely rolled out, it will up to me to keep you engaged and informed (which is the scary part). Such a responsibility!
In other news…
Yesterday I completed a $450 project in a single day–hooray–after a week or more or financial famine. Last night I kicked off (minutely, just 100 minutes’ worth) the ghostwriting project I’ll be tackling for the next several weeks. Right now I’m on page three (or maybe the top or middle of page four). It is slated to be a $7500 project but may not end up that way because I write faster than most writers (after decades of honing the craft). I estimated that a 35,000-word manuscript will take around three and a half weeks (at 20 hours/10,000 words per week/500 words per hour) but I think I’ll be able to deliver it sooner, so it might only be about $6000. We’ll see. I know the claimant (my client) will want to offer his insights and tweaks as we go along, so it might take the full time we’ve slated for it. As a work in progress, one just never knows! All I know for sure is that I’m enjoying it immensely. Not being able to claim it or put my name on it will be hard. I think it has the potential to sail pretty far up the charts and become “high profile”–perhaps even a bestseller. I sure hope so for my client’s sake and for any future work he may want to send my way if this title does go to the top in its niche! We’ll see!
One thing that I always try to do as a business owner and copywriting pro is underpromise and over-deliver. As a result, I’ve never missed a deadline or had to charge a dime more than I’ve told a client the price would be. I’d much rather give money back than have to ask for more–and so far (in seven years) I have only had to give money back; I’ve never had to ask for more unless the scope or parameters of a project changed to include more work. So my “estimator” abilities are pretty good…
What else? Are you curious about anything? What brought you to this page? (I didn’t twist your arm that hard, did I?)
Let me know what you want to hear or learn about. Engage! Social media is SOCIAL, a two-way street. And to get the ball rolling, tell me about the story (or book) that is in you that needs to come out. I’m all eyes! (I’m only “all ears” when I’m with you on the phone.)
Let’s do something creative together. Maybe write a many-author poem. I’ll write the first line and you write the second one, then we’ll have someone else write the third one for a total of eight lines. That might be fun. Or not. Only one way to find out!
Here’s the first line:
When I woke up this morning…
(No cheating! “You were on my mind” has already been taken :)!)
If that one is too tough, you start one and I’ll write the next line…
Drum Roll, Please!
I am so stoked about this new website I can hardly stand it. I want to thank Lisa Twining Taylor for looking over literally hundreds of templates and then trying out several of them with my copy and photos in them before settling on this one as the best avenue for getting the word out about what I do.
Lisa has the patience of Job and is really learning her way around WordPress sites at warp speed. (Her persistence and the way she can pick up technical skills astounds me: I am primarily right-brained so people with well-developed left brains are a constant surprise and wonder to me .) If you need a WP site designed for the way you want or need to do business, make Lisa your go-to gal, for sure. I’m putting my own reputation behind hers–right here right now–so if you trust my integrity and judgment, rest assured that you can trust her to do something equally great for you!
My other websites are substandard affairs at best. For starters, they’re static and non-responsive. Kristinemsmith.biz ( my first-ever, Vistaprint-based site–the one I chose the template for and populated with my own copy) allows just five pages and only so many words per page before it starts misbehaving or requires more money for additional pages. Copywritercopywriting.net is SEO-based and was written at a time when I was straitjacketed by earlier SEO protocols that required keywords to appear in certain spots frequently-enough to be “seen” and ranked by search engines. (This was prior to last year’s Hummigbird algorithm roll-out, which makes SEO-based articles a lot more fun to write these days). Imagine what a time I had writing to the keyword phrase “copywriter copywriting”, which is the term my web developer insisted on using for the Home/Landing Page! UGH! I never liked what I came up with and think it probably drove people away. It would not have been my first choice for a home page but I usually defer to the experts.
That said, writing to that key phrase put me at #1 globally within a month. So … yes, you may ask if I’m able to retire as the result of being at the top of Page One results under “copywriter copywriting”? Or you may simply wonder if (or assume that) I’m rolling in dough because of it. All I have to say about your wondrous assumption is, “From your positively-wondrous brain to God’s ears!” Except that I love what I do so much, why would I ever retire until my faculties start to falter and I become a fumbler? I’m not going anywhere as long as I can hold up my end of the deal!
One thing Lisa noticed when she was working on this new site was that I’m darned easy to find on the ‘Net! She says I’m so involved in all the ways I’m supposed to be (blogs, social media, articles, interviews, videos and more) that I’m in great shape “organically.” She says she’s going to set up my Author/Authority Profile Google thingy so Google will place my photo and a brief bio into its search engine results when people look for any subject matter that I’ve written (or will ever write) that has my my byline on it. (That will be interesting. I don’t even remember how many things I have written with my name on the byline on the ‘Net. I can’t wait to find out!) God bless her for offering! Because I looked over the directions to make this happen, planning to do it myself, and I ran screaming for the exits! It’s a horrendous number of steps and a wee bit of programming (I think) to make it happen and “Dammit, Jim, I’m a writer not a …” whoever it is that does that kind of stuff! (This is why I have power partners: I write for them, they do left-brained stuff for me.)
Anyway, I’m glad you found me and my new site and blog. Please tell me how you found me so I can keep doing it reliably! And please, please, please subscribe to this site (or bookmark it) so you can find it again. Now that I have you, I don’t want to lose you!!!
Happy New Year!
P.S. I’ll be slowly transferring some of my writing-related blog posts from almostfamousbydesfault.blogspot.com to this site. I’ll leave all (or most) DeForest Kelley and Star Trek-related posts at that site, as it’s well-named for the practice–and it has drawn (as of this writing) almost 100,000 views since it debuted several years ago, so I don’t want to let it (and them) go. Don’t know what I’ll do with the rest of the posts that are there–delete, move to an eclectic blog, or what… Only time will tell.
One frequently-active blog is probably plenty. Y’all are BUSY and so am I. So I don’t want to add to the static. Instead, I want to help punch holes in the darkness. How can I help you? Can I answer a question (beyond the FAQs I’ve already answered), offer insights, give you a hand with anything? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do to “Make it so!”