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What’s Your ESP?

What’s Your ESP?

Not sure? Here’s how to find out…

What did you think when you saw “ESP”?  Extra-sensory perception?  That’s certainly the common use of the abbreviation.  Or did you wonder if I meant “USP” – unique selling proposition?

What I’m going to talk about has nothing to do with the supernatural (well, maybe just a little) –  and it’s definitely related to your USP – but with a clever twist.

ESP = Emotional Selling Proposition.   What on earth does that mean?

Marketing – it’s all about emotion.

Every business needs clients, customers or whatever you prefer to call them – the people that buy your products or services.   These people don’t care what you do.  All they care about is how you will solve their problems.

I’m a scientist, so I like scientific explanations –  here you go:

There are three sections to the brain:  outer (new), middle, and reptilian.

The youngest part of the brain is the outer layer. It is responsible for such things as processing the written language, complex thinking, calculating, and rationalizing your decision.

The middle section of the brain processes emotional responses.  It gives you a gut feeling on your decision.

The oldest part of the human brain is the reptilian area (known as the amygdala)

The amygdala is responsible for instinct and survival.  Its main focus is to avoid pain – you’ve heard of “fight or flight”. This area makes our decisions.

The brain accounts for only 2% of our body weight, but uses 20% of the body’s energy.  Our bodies are optimised to conserve energy – hence the brain will only activate all its regions when it’s a case of survival –  and avoiding pain…

When writing marketing copy, creating graphics or videos, we need to think about what drives a customer to buy – and crucially, what initially attracts their attention.  We need to get the reptilian brain activated!

Accentuate the…. negative??

You’d think focussing on the positive aspects of your product or service would be the best place to start, wouldn’t you?

You certainly need to do that, but NOT at the beginning of your marketing piece.  Remember “fight or flight” and the reptilian brain?

Start with a negative.  Focus on the pain – not necessarily physical pain, but the bad feelings someone might have when they NEED what you offer.

Start by asking a question like “Are you struggling with xxxxx?”

Then;  “When you work with us, you’ll feel relieved because xxxxx”  (that’s the simplified version, you’d want to flesh it out a bit!)

Negative emotions are the most powerful trigger to the reptilian brain.

Your Ideal Client

I’m sure you’ll know what I mean –  you’ve probably heard countless times that you can’t market to everyone. Try to do that, and you end up attracting no-one.

Looking at this from an emotional standpoint, it becomes a bit more straightforward than the usual method of researching and creating a very specific “avatar” –  although it’s definitely still a good idea to do that.

When you think about your prospects (potential clients), what are they struggling with right now?  What would they do anything to fix?  Crucially, what EMOTIONS are they experiencing in their current situation?

Worry? Fear? Panic? Stress? Frustration?

Identify the problem and demonstrate the solution.

Almost certainly they will be feeling one of those negative emotions – which is why they are looking for a solution.  Your job is to identify this and describe exactly why your product or service is the answer. 

The way you do this is to start by portraying the negative emotions.  Think about the questions you’re most commonly asked, and imagine the emotions that prompt those questions.   As an example, an accountant might say “Are you feeling frustrated because you’re paying too much tax?”  or “Are you confused over who you can claim as a dependent for tax purposes?”

Now, offer a bit of reassurance –  show them you understand their problem completely.   And then demonstrate how the problem will be solved when they buy your product or service, by portraying the positive emotions that will result:   relief, peace of mind, sleeping better – and so on.

Finally, tell them what to do next (the all-important Call To Action that is so often forgotten).

When you follow this process, you’ll find marketing a whole lot easier because you’ve identified your ESP!

Your prospects will feel able to trust you –  you’ve demonstrated that you understand exactly what their problem is and shown them a simple solution.   Now it’s your responsibility to follow up and close the sale.

Putting it into practice…

Here’s another thing about the amygdala… because it’s the most primitive area of the brain, it responds in a primitive way.  Our ancestors were hunters – their survival depended on quick response to any threat (that fight or flight thing again!)    Threats tend to move – think sabre-toothed tigers…

What I’m getting to is that the human brain is hard-wired to respond to movement.  What moves and can be used in our marketing?  Video of course –  and let’s not forget gif images.  There’s a lot more to gifs than those silly ones you see on social media –  they can be a great promotional tool for your business.

I hope this has given you a few ideas and ways to improve your marketing strategy.  As always, I welcome feedback so please feel free to leave a comment below.

Need Help?

Want a bit of help identifying your ESP?  Book a 15 minute free, no-obligation call with me HERE.  We’ll explore the emotions your potential clients might be feeling, and discuss your solutions.

Or ask me about a bespoke whiteboard explainer video for your business that focuses on situations and emotions, ideal for getting your prospects excited about working with you.

Here’s an example:

Did you know that gifs could be used to promote your business?   They are image files, so they’re really easy to share on social media, embed in emails or even add to your website.

is your marketing boring?  

Ask me about having one created for your business.

Why not say hello on my Facebook page too? 

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If you’d like to receive occasional emails with useful hints and tips for your online marketing, simply add your details on the right and click SEND.
Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
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Blog Like You Mean It (And Keep Your Readers Coming Back)

Blog Like You Mean It (And Keep Your Readers Coming Back)

21 Ideas To Supercharge Your Blog Posts

The more you blog, the quicker you’ll become at writing effective, impactful posts that readers love and want to share.
Here are 21 ideas and tips to help speed up your blog writing process.

Try these tips for better, faster blog post writing.

  1. Eliminate Distractions.

    Close Facebook and other social media. Don’t be tempted to check email.  Put your phone on silent. Shut your home office door, if you can.
    Try to pick your ideal day of the week and time of day to write – for example, Wednesday at 9:30, when you’ve got that freshly-made cup of coffee sitting on your desk, the kids are safely in school and the dog is fast asleep.
    And make that time slot sacred: You’ll be amazed at how easy it becomes to start writing creatively, when it’s a weekly habit.  Of course, you don’t have to blog weekly – monthly or even less frequently is fine, as long as you don’t go months without writing.

  2. Keep It Short.

    One idea per blog post will easily fit within 500 or so words. (If you find yourself passing 750 words, you’ve got two or more ideas – split them up!)

  3. Re-use and Recycle.

    Do you have any old articles you’ve written? Reports? Blog posts that never got off the ground? Put them to good use and re-purpose them into new blog posts. Here’s how…

    • Go through your piece of old content and use highlighting to isolate individual ideas
    • Pick one
    • Write a short post (no more than 500 words) on that single idea alone
    • If you do this for an entire document such as a report or even just a longer article, you should have a great batch of related blog posts in an afternoon!
  4. Write about what you know.

    Your biggest problem, if you stick to subjects you know off by heart, will be keeping the word count down! (See Idea # 1)

  5. Write first, research later.

    This tip fits with Idea # 3. When you’ve finished your post, re-read it. You’ll know if you need to expand on a statement with a line or two of research to add credibility to it.

  6. Write first, find images later.

    If you start looking for the right photo in the middle of your blog post, it’s far too easy to become distracted by pages full of wonderful visuals as you scroll through your favourite image site.

  7. Share a gem.

    If you discuss a fascinating fact, helpful link, hidden shortcut or little-known resource, you won’t need to write pages and pages! All people will see, want and grab is that one golden nugget.

  8. Use a screenshot or video.

    If your post sharing that amazing resource doesn’t quite make the magic 500 words,  boost interest and value by adding a screenshot or a screenshare video, showing some aspect of the resource that’ll make the reader want more.

  9. Start at the end!

    (aka reverse engineering) One trick widely used by professional bloggers is to write a conclusion first. Then write the introductory paragraph and several bullet points leading to the conclusion.

  10. Leave your reader keen to discover more.

    It’s better to leave your readers wanting more than bore them with pages of weighty research or – even worse – your unedited, in-depth opinion. (Think “teaser”).

  11. Create a series.

    This is a great way to break up a lengthier topic, dealing with it point by point.  Your readers will be eager for the next instalment!

  12. Dig out that never-used PLR bundle.

    If you’re like the majority of business owners who spend time online, you’ve bought PLR (private label rights content) and never got around to using it (my hand is raised here!) now is the time to dig it out and use it. Reword, move things around, or just use as the basis for your own ideas.

  13. Keep an Idea Jar.

    -either a literal one (I’ve seen people with these on their desk) or a document on your desktop or phone. Every time you think of a new idea,  drop a post it note into the jar, or update your Blog Post Ideas document.

  14. Pick a keyword.

    This is important! Similar to the Idea Jar, keep a keyword list or Excel spreadsheet. This numbered list should contain keywords that are evergreen – ones that will never go out of date for your niche.

  15. Use online tools.

    Try answerthepublic.com and contentideagenerator.com for blog topic ideas – you’ll be amazed at some of the suggestions. And the grumpy man on answerthepublic will make you smile 😉
    Not all the suggestions will be appropriate, but you’ll certainly find something of value –  these tools are great to try when you feel totally stuck.

  16. Set a timer.

    If an idea hits you, just write the post (not while driving -that’s when I often get lots of ideas)! But before you begin, set your phone timer for a short period of time (no more than 15 minutes)
    If the timer goes off before you’ve finished, save your post into a folder called “In Progress” (or whatever name works for you). Go back to your regularly scheduled work. Much later – perhaps even weeks later – dig one of these semi-completed blog posts out, when you need to come up with an update for your blog (or for a client, if you’re a content writer).
    Finishing a half-written blog post is much easier than thinking up an entirely new one. It will feel like cheating – and you’ll gain lots of practice in self-discipline and  writing faster by using the timer. Basing your post on one single keyword can help you focus and streamline each post.

  17. Write (something) daily.

    Nothing speeds up writing time more than getting into the habit of writing. Daily is good – social media posts count too, but make them meaningful! One blog post a month is better than none – but why not make it 2 or 3 posts?   It’s fine to keep them short (up to 500 words), although longer posts (over 1000 words) are also worthwhile occasionally (Google values longer blog posts).  However you tackle it, regular writing is good for self-discipline!

  18. Use a template.

    -especially if you’re writing reviews. It’s not always easy to write a short review post. In fact, many times you will get better results if you write in more depth, but using a template helps make the process relatively painless.

  19. Stick to a basic structure.

    If you don’t want to use a template, make sure you learn the basic structural elements of a strong blog post:

    • A beginning paragraph that makes a statement and promises what the reader will learn
    • At least two or three middle paragraphs that expand on the premise
    • A summary to bring your post to a strong conclusion
    • A call to action, encouraging comments or click-throughs from your reader – it’s so important to tell people what to do next.  I see so many bloggers write a brilliant post but forget to include any calls to action…
  20. Don’t edit as you write.

    Doing the latter is the surest way to:

    • Take the momentum out of your writing
    • Go off on a tangent
    • Lose the conversational feel and immediacy of your post (side note – don’t use jargon and technical language, write as if you were explaining the subject to a friend)
    • Undermine your own confidence
    • Prioritise layout, spelling and grammar above your vital message
    • Throw off your pacing (story flow)
  21. Create a plan and use a blogging calendar or schedule.

    Brainstorming and planning all your topics for the month ahead is a wonderful way to get you into the habit of writing,  and will speed up the whole process (try this for a useful calendar) Knowing your post topics ahead of time also helps you to:

    • Grab a great graphic whenever you come across one
    • Note any useful research links
    • Mull topics over in your mind
    • Seize the opportunity to ask questions of experts
    • Read related material

Final Thoughts

Do use sub-headings (H2, H3 etc in HTML terminology) and/or a few bullet points, if your blog post is over 350 words long. Sub-headings and bullet points break up the text, helping the reader feel that your post is easier and quicker to read.

The outcome of following this method means that all the fiddly stuff is done in advance.

For example:  you are browsing online, looking for graphics for today’s posts. While checking out the “People” category in your favourite photo site, you come across a photo of a small girl in a lilac dress, holding a posy of violets.

You realize this photo is the perfect illustration for next Wednesday’s post on “Styling Bridesmaids For Your Wedding”. Download it, edit, add text, your logo etc – and save it. Your photo will be ready to instantly drop in and go.

I know from personal experience that image editing can take quite a while, so the more you’re able to streamline this process, the better!

Even if you don’t use every one of these twenty-one speed tips for blog post writing, adapt as many as you can. Writing blog posts efficiently and quickly is mostly a matter of habit and practice. And the best part is… anyone can do it. Yes, YOU can reduce your post-writing time.

Try it and see!

Over To You

I hope I’ve encouraged you to write more and better blog posts. I’d love to see some of them –  why not share in the comments,  or message me on Facebook.

Need Further Help?

If you’re not blogging yet and you’re not sure about the best way to get started,  message me and we’ll chat.  Maybe you’ve been blogging for a while but there are aspects you don’t understand, or you’re not happy with the way your blog looks?
Just ask, I’m here to help 
🙂

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If you’d like to receive occasional emails with useful hints and tips for your online marketing, simply add your details on the right and click SEND.
Unsubscribe at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email. Your details will be stored in my email marketing software but will never be sold to third parties. For full information on how your data is processed, please see the Privacy Notice.

Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Value Added Video
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Secrets Of Persuasive Copywriting: 4 Myths That Will Keep Your Copy Bland And Boring

Secrets Of Persuasive Copywriting: 4 Myths That Will Keep Your Copy Bland And Boring

Is Poor Copywriting Damaging Your Business?

You’re stuck. You’re not seeing the leads you want for your business. You’re offering quality products and great services but only a few people are buying from you.

You might be tempted to believe that the problem is your “tribe” isn’t big enough or that your website isn’t performing optimally. For many small business owners and solopreneurs, these problems are often the result of poor copywriting, whether that’s for a website, brochures or other printed material, and ads (offline or online).
It’s also vitally important for video scripts, particularly 
short promotional videos with a voiceover, where you have 60 seconds or less to grab the viewer’s attention. 150 words is all you need for 60 seconds of audio – just a few short paragraphs.

The good news is that persuasive copywriting is an essential skill that can be learned. But first, understand that certain things you’ve heard or read about copywriting are actually myths that could be harming your business!

SCROLL DOWN TO GET YOUR FREE WEBSITE COPY CHECKLIST!

Myth #1: Copywriting is all about selling.

Some small business owners believe that copywriting is the equivalent of going to a cocktail party and screaming “Buy my stuff!” to every person you meet. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Copywriting is about so much more than selling your product,service or program.

Copywriting is about serving your audience. You can use persuasive copy to address your customers’ concerns, help them make smart buying decisions, and offer solutions to their needs.

Myth #2: Copywriting is all about action.

Many small business owners and solopreneurs think that every piece of content they create must have a call to action (I used to think so myself!), but that’s not true. Most of the time, you’ll be creating content to increase your customers’ awareness of your business. This is often known as the “like, know, trust” factor.

The ‘like, know, trust’ factor is about guiding your potential customers through the buying stages. In the first stage, known as like, you’ll share content that makes your brand likeable. In the second stage, you’ll give potential customers content that informs them. The third and final stage is known as trust. It’s the point where your customers will decide whether they should purchase your product or service.

Myth #3: Copywriting is all about you and your business.

Copywriting isn’t focused solely on you or even your customer. The best copywriting strikes a balance between “about you” and “about your reader”.

You want your copy to show your understanding of,  and empathy with, your ideal clients’ situation. Your copy should highlight the benefits of working with you, the fact that you understand the client’s problems, and why your brand is the no-brainer choice.

SCROLL DOWN TO GET YOUR FREE WEBSITE COPY CHECKLIST!

Myth #4: Copywriting is all about making your brand look perfect.

Persuasive copywriting isn’t about positioning your brand as perfect. It’s about connecting with your reader on both an intellectual and emotional level. Your potential customers want to know about your expertise, but they also need to know that you understand them. One simple way to do this is to share stories about your brand. Don’t be afraid to include stories about your business’s failures.

And never make the mistake of thinking that your copywriting is set in stone. Even expert copywriters create several drafts before they find a version that truly connects with their readers. The important thing is to keep testing your copy until you find what works best for your business.

SCROLL DOWN TO GET YOUR FREE WEBSITE COPY CHECKLIST!

Need help?

I love helping businesses to get the best from their online marketing. I’m also rather good at writing scripts for promotional videos! Please contact me if you need further advice.

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Copyright © 2019 Naomi Jane Johnson t/a Purrfectly Social
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