Wonderful USP: Unique Selling Proposition

You down with USP? YEAH, YOU KNOW ME!

Now that I’ve shown my age (38, if anyone’s counting), let’s talk about what makes you the best person to serve your dream client.

White dog with text overlay

USP = Unique Selling Proposition

What makes you and your product unique? Why are you the best person to buy from?

What makes you special?

This is not a rhetorical question, and I don’t want you to shrug it off. There is something inherent about you, and your product or service, that serves your clients in a different way than your competition.

Yes, you.

What is it?

And is that clear in your website copy?

If someone takes five minutes to read your home and about page, they should come away knowing what sets you apart.

Try this: ask a buddy to take five minutes to read your home and about page, then just ask. “After reading that, what would you say sets me apart from my competitors?”

Definitions Across the Internet

Entrepreneur defines USP as: “The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition.”

Kissmetrics rolls its eyes a bit about Entrepreneur’s definition and says: “A unique selling proposition is what your business stands for. It’s what sets your business apart from others because of what your business makes a stand about.”

Copyblogger has a 60-second video on the subject, but those who prefer to read: “In essence, a unique selling proposition (USP) is something that you offer customers or clients that your competitors do not offer. It’s also known as a ‘remarkable benefit.'”

Let’s talk about how to find your USP, and then how to communicate it through the language on your website. First, we’ll look at an easy example, then we’ll delve a little deeper with some help from coaches who work with business owners like you.

A USP in the Wild

Let’s use a blaring example. If you have a coffee shop, why should someone come to your place instead of the Starbucks one block over?

What does your business stand for? What are you known for? What are you about?

Let’s look at my local hang. My neighborhood coffee shop is 100% vegan, and their tagline is “Drink coffee. Take care.” They are known for being a vegan coffee shop in East Portland. You can buy records there, but that’s not why they exist.

Starbucks, on the other hand, is known for a consistent gourmet coffee experience. You can buy bananas there, but that’s not why they exist.

Both coffee shops have other offers, and other marketing messages, but they’re not trying to be the cheapest coffee in town. They’re not trying to sell the most breakfast sandwiches.

Of course, you don’t have to be a vegan coffee shop or Starbucks to be successful. There’s room for you to have your unique niche in the marketplace.

Finding Your USP

If you’ve been wondering what the heck your USP might be, you’re not alone! It’s not necessarily going to be 100% crystal clear right out of the gate. It might take some thinking and refining, and it might change as time goes on.

Lucky for you, this isn’t something you have to come up with right this moment. It might take a little musing and shaping. It might take a couple of passes, and a long walk on the beach. I tend to get my “aha” moments while zoning out to NPR in the car.

Danielle Ewalt is a business coach who specializes in working with parent entrepreneurs, and she knows a thing or two about crystallizing your abilities and communicating them succinctly.

As Danielle says, “Your USP isn’t one thing. There are many competitors that will share one, or maybe even two of our unique traits. It is the synergy created when three or four traits combine that make you (or your company) truly unique and stand out in the crowd.”

Deer stands out of the group at the zoo

Try this: make a short list right now of what makes your business product unique. Then list the top two or three things you do really well. What does the intersection look like?

USP and Impostor Syndrome

I have to be honest with you. When I started thinking through my own USP, I found some internal resistance pretty quickly. “What, me? I don’t know anything!” part of my brain wanted to tell me.

Brain, please. I’m good at what I do, and I’m constantly trying to learn more and improve myself. I’m funny when I want to be, and I have a knack for simplifying complex concepts. OKAY, BRAIN? Can I live?

Plenty of other women and non-binary entrepreneurs struggle with this as well. How do we position ourselves as the best, especially when we don’t feel like the best?

I asked the wonderful Selena Maestas from the Love YOU More Project to share her perspective as a coach who helps people see and be their best selves.


Says Selena:

Our minds are our biggest obstacles. When we believe what our inner critic tells us, we stay small. We question our knowledge, our success, and our worth.

It’s a vicious cycle that requires a LOT of work to overcome, especially if you don’t have the right tools.

First, it’s important that you think about your thoughts. You hear them and understand that those thoughts are NOT YOU, it is your survival brain trying to keep you “safe.” You write all of the thoughts down, without editing. Then, you go back to the top of your list and question your own thinking. Ask:

  • Is this true?
  • How does this make me feel?
  • Do I want to feel this way?
  • How would I rather feel?
  • What thought must I have to feel differently?

To be fair, this doesn’t fix the problem right away. There are other pieces necessary to override your survival mind; however, it is a good start to see your thoughts for what they are and to notice how those thoughts are affecting your results.


Thanks, Selena! I’m going to write down my negative thoughts for a few days. And by “write down,” I mean on my phone or in a notebook, not “tweet jokes about.”

USP in Your Website Copy

Okay, you say. I’ve figured out my unique selling proposition. But how do I express that in my website copy?

Well, I’m so glad you asked!

It’s a lot like what we talked about the features and benefits:

  • Figure out your USP
  • Keep it in mind when you’re writing your first draft
  • Go take a walk (have a cup of tea, etc.)
  • Tease it out on your second draft
  • Ask a friend if they can figure it out in 30 seconds
  • Walk away from it for two days
  • Edit it again, etc., etc.
  • *OR* hire a writer to do the above for you

Home: Is your USP communicated clearly? Why would that prospect want to learn more about you?
About: How does your story highlight your USP?
Services: Are the services you offer truly your best work? Or are you offering services you think you “should” for your industry? (If you offer those “should be” services, are they making you more money?)
Work/Portfolio: Amplify your skills and expertise by being super specific and showing examples.
Tagline: Your brand, including a tagline if you use one, should work toward communicating your special talent.
Elevator pitch: Can you tell me in ten seconds what sets you apart?

What’s Your USP?

As Danielle says, “It is so powerful when you find it—but it is a process. Sometimes people put so much pressure on themselves. But keep testing things out, listening to your customers and you will find the reasons they choose you!”

Have you found your USP? Feel free to brag on yourself in the comments.

Let’s talk about what you have to offer: hello@kelleygardiner.com


If you liked that blog post, you would looooove my email newsletter.

It goes out once a month or so, and it’s a short and sweet way to keep up with the latest in business communications.

Email signup button

Features and Benefits: Lead with Benefits

What’s the difference between features and benefits, and why does that matter for your website copy?

Well, your business is awesome! You have an exciting product or service, and you want the world to know about it. When you focus your sales copy on the benefits of your goods, it’ll help keep your leads interested, and put them in the mindset to buy.

As the old adage says, “features tell, benefits sell.” Let’s sell.

Features

Features are cool things about your product or service.

Let’s say you sell cat shampoo. Features of your cat shampoo might be a seven different cat-friendly scents, organic ingredients, rinses clean, free shipping, or frustration-free packaging.

These are details about your product that your customer does want to know. They belong in your website somewhere.

But do they sell?

Sure, if your client is looking for something very specific and they already like you and your business. But most of the time, your goal is to hook the prospect to try to keep them interested and on your site. As we discussed before—people do not read. They’re not going to hang around more than a few seconds to figure out if they want what you’re selling.

Benefits

Now, let’st think about how those features benefit your customer.

Got cat scratch fever? Stop the struggle at bath time, thanks to our clean-rinsing formula.

The clean-rinsing formula is still there, but now you’re reminding people how that benefits them. It saves them from holding down an angry cat longer than they have to.

For example…

To make this a little more clear, I talked to a couple of women who own beauty businesses here in Portland, Oregon. They were kind enough to help me illustrate this a more specifically, using their beautiful examples.

Best Year Ever—Caity Hubert

Caity Hubert is running a program to help self-employed hair stylists make more money. (Love it!) It’s called Best Year Ever.

Features of the program:
  • Lifetime access to a membership site including video lessons and PDF workbooks
  • Access to a FB group exclusive to paid members of the group
  • Monthly livestream trainings that build upon the course content
  • Weekly “office hours” that provide coaching and mentorship
  • Budgeting, pricing, and expense trackers and calculators

That all sounds good. My soul is not stirred yet, but this is good to know.

Five benefits of the program:
  • Clarity in marketing and branding strategies
  • Increase confidence from the support and encouragement from other group participants
  • Knowledge to help build clientele quickly
  • Increase in retail sales, service sales, and tips
  • Higher and more consistent take-home pay

That’s the soul-stirring stuff! Would I like to make more money, and consistent money, as a self-employed person? Yes, please.

Caity didn’t point this one out, but one feature immediately leapt out to me when I checked out the website.

“You can wear your PJs, drink wine in ‘class,’ or learn on the go.”

Feature: Online class.

Benefit: Drink wine while taking said class.

See what I mean?

 

Sandra Kafka Beauty

Sandra Kafka is a makeup artist and hair stylist at Sandra Kafka Beauty.

Feature: Professional makeup application for headshots
Benefit: Look more polished

Feature: Professional wedding makeup application
Benefit: No stress day of wedding, looking & feeling your best for photos that last a lifetime

Feature: Licensed professional makeup artist
Benefit: Up-to-date licensing on sanitation & insurance means no chance of infections

Feature: Only professional grade makeup
Benefit: Makeup that lasts all day and through the night

Feature: Personal makeup shopping
Benefit: An expert to help pick the best products for you without the pressure to buy

I love that last one. I think I need her to hold my hand and take me to Ulta.

Baby bulldog with text overlay

That’s why we lead with benefits. Your clients do want to know the details of your offer, but you have to hook them first.

Thanks to the fantastic Caity and Sandra for taking the time!

Need help parsing features vs. benefits? Let’s work through that in a consultation.
Kelley Gardiner head shot


If you liked that blog post, you would looooove my email newsletter.

It goes out once a month or so, and it’s a short and sweet way to keep up with the latest in business communications.

Email newsletter signup button

 

 

 

Create Your Customer Avatar

Who’s your dream customer or client?

Hello! We’re back with even more from the Website Copy That Converts checklist. I’m holding your hand on a friendly journey through each point on the list, so you can learn more about writing (or hiring out the writing of) effective website copy. You can download your very own copy of this handy checklist today.

Cool?

Cool!

Check out the previous installments about pain points, keywords, and headlines.

Today we’re on installment #4, which is:

Target a specific audience; keep your customer avatar in mind.

Business owners, especially new ones right out of the gate (Hi! You’re doing great!) tend to get a bit itchy at the thought of focusing their marketing or services to a narrow niche. Certainly we don’t want to exclude any potential clients when prospects are already few and far between?

Stand strong for yourself and your brand, because narrowing your focus can open up possibilities.

Figure out who your prime customer is, and speak to her.

Just her.

happy dog with mouth open, text overlay

One super useful exercise to determine who that is, and how to address her, is using a customer avatar.

I gotta tell you, the whole customer avatar thing was HOT at the Digital Summit Portland marketing conference I went to last year. Maybe this year there’ll be a new hot topic, but it looks like customer avatars are here to stay. (BTW, are you going to Digital Summit Portland in June? Let me know so we can say hi!)

What’s a customer avatar?

Blue lady 8)
Still from “Avatar”

 

No, not that Avatar.

Digital Marketing Institute and Forbes have some smart things to say about it.

tl;dr?

A customer avatar (aka buyer persona) is a “semi-fictional” ideal client. Instead of thinking about a range of people who might buy your product or service, you’re drilling down to think of one.

One person.

What’s her name? How old is she? (Not 18-45, but maybe 32.) What does she do for fun in her spare time? What magazines or blogs does she read? Does she use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or does she claim she doesn’t have a smart phone?

Yes, it feels strange and reductive at first. After all, you serve a number of fabulous and unique people. But there’s a point to all this, so stay tuned.

Creating your customer avatar

A lot of very smart digital marketing folks have written a bunch of smart articles about creating your avatar, so I’ll let you have at it.

You might be thinking of one person in particular who you’ve worked with, mixed with your idea of the perfect client. This kind of thing is fun for me, since I’m—you know—a writer. I like to ponder human behavior and then make things up based on that. It’s my thing. If it’s not your thing, grab a friend/marketing professional/copywriter and talk it out over a cafe au lait.

It's a cat in a cup!

“Cafe au lait? What am I, Marie Antoinette? How about a nice mug of Folgers?”

That’s how specific you can get!

(See what I did there?)

Take ten minutes and brainstorm whatever comes to mind for your customer avatar worksheet, then come back to it the next day or the next week. Your subconscious will do plenty of work for you here if you let it. After all, you’re thinking about your customers throughout the day as you’re wooing and serving them.

If you have a fun customer avatar, I’d love to see it. Email hello@kelleygardiner.com, or leave a link in the comments.

If you have a boring one, just keep it to yourself, I guess. (KIDDING, YOU ARE WONDERFUL AND NEVER BORING)

Writing to your customer avatar

Now that you have your ideal customer in mind, you can talk directly to her.

By the way, I really mean directly to her. Using the second person, or “you,” is currently considered the effective way to go. After all, your customers aren’t interested in what you can do. They’re interested in what you can do for THEM.

Which is more compelling?

We have the best customer service in town.

You’ll enjoy the best customer service experience in town.

Thought so! Even better if you can describe this wonderful experience in detail.

Writing in the second person helps your prospect see themselves as your customer.

Reign in the specifics

Say your customer avatar likes lavender lattes and marionberry scones. Great! That doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily mention those things in your website copy. Maybe you’ll talk about grabbing a cup of coffee, which your reader will know can certainly mean a lavender latte (or cup of tea) if they like.

Maybe you do want to mention lavender lattes. They’re totally in right now. If that fits your brand, go for it.

Focus

Keeping your ideal client in mind will help you keep your focus on sales and storytelling. It will also plain help you write and get words on the page.

We tend to procrastinate and get stilted when writing. It’s normal. But when you’re thinking of your client who is Really Into Star Wars and orders in pad kee mao at least once a week, there’s a good chance the words will start to flow a little more easily. You’ll put more of your personality into your work, which will attract the right clients for you. That friendly face, real or imagined, can guide you through the process, whether you’re writing your own copy, or thinking through your messaging while working with a professional writer.

Like me!

You can hire me to help you through this process, too! You will need to go through part of the thought process that goes behind strong writing and marketing, but you won’t have to do any of the heavy word lifting. That’s what I do every day, because I love it.

What do you love? <3

hello@kelleygardiner.com



If you liked that blog post, you would looooove my email newsletter.

It goes out once a month or so, and it’s a short and sweet way to keep up with the latest in business communications.

Email newsletter signup button

 

Hey! Grab Attention with Headlines

We’re here today as part of the 18 Must-Haves for Website Copy That Converts checklist series. Go ahead and grab the checklist now so you can follow along.

Yep, just click that link and follow the instructions.


Today we’re talking headlines!

Headlines: Should create curiosity and be easily understood at a glance

Easy, right? Let’s get to it.

Dog chasing a yellow ball

Why are headlines important?

I have to tell you something about writing website copy that you might not like, after all this work/money you’re putting into it…

People don’t read.

If this is a shock to you, think about the way you glean information from a website you’ve never been to before. You probably scan. You see what’s relevant to you, and if something catches your attention, you’ll read more deeply.

One study said that 28% of copy is read. (Lots of interesting stuff in this article, btw, if you’re in the mood for… you know… reading.)

So, people are scanning from top to bottom, in an “F” shape, checking anything that pops out if it’s relevant or intriguing.

Website Copy That Converts Checklist: Headlines

What the heck is a headline, anyway?

For our purposes, let’s think about any headings on your website. The big words that give your website structure. Some sites might have just one heading on each page, and some might have a bunch.

This page has a bunch, but most of your web pages won’t be 500+ words like this blog post is.

Headlines Should Create Curiosity

Via Giphy

You don’t have much time to convince someone to stay on your website (about 15 seconds, if you’re lucky), let alone to follow your call to action. Your headlines, design, and visuals need to do a lot of heavy lifting to convince busy and distracted people to stick around.

Good headlines will pique curiosity. Let’s look at a a few examples. Which one would catch your attention?

HeadlinesYawn. See you later, gonna go check Facebook.

Headline Optimization for Simplified ConversionAre you talking to me as a business owner? You must be talking to someone who enjoys throwing jargon around, and I’m only interested in getting clients and pretending I don’t spend as much time on Facebook.

Headlines Potential Clients Can’t IgnoreI may stick around to learn more about this, if Facebook is slow.

Hey! Grab Attention with HeadlinesKelley’s at it again, isn’t she? She usually has pictures of dogs, though.

Try to stay away from “clickbait” titles that may elicit an emotional reaction, but probably won’t attract your ideal customer.

You know clickbait when you see it: One Golden Retriever Licks Its Chops, and You’ll Never Guess What Happens Next

Headlines Should Be Easily Understood at a Glance

Yes, headlines should create interest, but don’t get too cute, friends.

Too cute, in an appropriate way

We’ve already established that people don’t read. Headlines must convey meaning in the few seconds you have to convince your prospect to stick around.

So, yes, your headlines had better be clear, especially on home pages and—holy crap, even more so—landing pages. (Sing it with me: Home pages are not landing pages!)

Headlines create organization

One of the hardest parts of writing is finding the best structure for your many wise thoughts and ideas.

Headlines and headers are the steel beams of your copy structure. Just like those topic sentences in five-paragraph essays you wrote in high school, your headlines announce what’s coming.

Be clear to everyone

Stay away from jargon, unless you’re absolutely sure that your audience knows what you’re talking about. If you’re not sure, ask a friend from outside your industry to read through your website. Sometimes you forget what a subject matter expert you really are.

And you are.

cat high five


Like this post? Read the first two in the series:

Target Pain Points to Make the Sale

Keywords 101



Do you need help with writing or rewriting website copy?  Email me! hello@kelleygardiner.com

Let’s get more clients in the door.



If you liked that blog post, you would looooove my email newsletter.

It goes out once a month or so, and it’s a short and sweet way to keep up with the latest in business communications.

Email newsletter signup button

Keywords 101

We’re back at it with our blog series based on the 18 Must-Haves for Website Copy That Converts checklist. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, might as well go for it now.

#2 on the list: Select a mix of short and long-tail keywords to weave into text.

Today, we’ll go very briefly over keywords.

Why? In short, optimizing your keywords will help your business show up in internet searches.

Shaggy teeny dog with text overlay

This subject can be a bit of a yawner, I know, for non-techie types. But if* you want to show up in these searches, you’ll need to put a little bit of work into the front end. We’ll try to make this intro quick, fun, and actionable.

*Wait… what do you mean, *IF* I want to show up in these searches?

Some people don’t care as much about SEO. Maybe you’d prefer not to get every rando on the internet emailing you to ask you for a quote. Instead of gathering leads via your website, you’re trying to convert warm leads once they get there.

For the rest of us… KEYWORDS!

Keyword 101

What the heck is a keyword?

Make a cup of coffee and sit down here for a moment. I’m here to tell you about a story about a penguin, a panda, and a hummingbird.

It is not nearly as cute as it sounds.

When someone makes a search on Google, Google takes a look at everything the company has indexed, all across the internet, and uses its algorithm to give the user back the most pertinent information. That’s why we use Google—because it works. Most of the time.

Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, and Fred (yes, Fred) are all code names for Google algorithms, which are being tweaked and changed all the time—maybe once or twice a month. Google doesn’t always announce changes.

Red panda
Surprise!

You know how this works. When someone searches for “cat photographer,” a number of websites pop up. In this case, “cat photographer” is a search term. If you want that search term to find your delightful internet home, you use “cat photographer” on your website as one of your keywords.

Long-tail and short-tail keywords

There are two kinds of keywords: long and short.

Long-tail keywords are… longer. They’re a string of words. They’re searched less often, but have higher conversion rates.

So, maybe 100 people search this term in a month, but many of those 100 people are doing specific searches that mean they’re ready to buy.

Think: best cat photographer in Portland, Oregon

Short-tail keywords are… short. There’s a ton of competition across the internet, and your conversion percentage will be much lower.

People are searching for these terms might be looking for something unrelated to what you do. But, hey, they’re easy to sprinkle throughout your site.

Think: photographer

Figure out the type of traffic you’re looking for, and plan your mix of short and long-tail keywords accordingly.

Keyword Research

I’m not even going to pretend like I’m the best person to talk to about this.

Check out a couple of beginners’ guides. Here’s one for WordPress.

And so many more you can google. The point? Start thinking about what keywords you want to rank for BEFORE you start writing.

You can pay people money to do this for you if you like.

Make a list

Still on board?

You have:

  • thought about what kinds of traffic you’d like
  • did some keyword research to find long and short keywords, and
  • put them all in a neat and tidy list

Maybe a spreadsheet. I do love a good spreadsheet.

Cat sitting on a computer lol

And yet…

Put away the list and start writing

I know, I’m sending you mixed messages. Yes, you’ll need to know what keywords you want to rank for before you start writing the bulk of your project. But. Don’t worry about putting those actual keywords in until your second or third draft.

Your copy needs to be written with your ideal client in mind. One perfect client who loves you dearly, pays on time, and sends you chocolates on your birthday. Write to her. Sell to her.

Make things clear. Or, make things weird on the first draft, a little better on the second, and clear on the third.

You’ll have the opportunity to put those keywords in later, when you’re fine-tuning the message.

Go back to that list of keywords

Once you’ve written everything, go back to your list and make sure all those keywords are included. Don’t force it. Keep it natural. If I were putting BEST PORTLAND OREGON COPYWRITER in every other paragraph, you’d be very aware of that instead of my message. The first goal is to be useful to your clients, prospects, and hot leads.


That’s it! Told you we’d keep it short(ish). If you’d like to do some extra reading on the subject, here’s some food for thought:

SEO Copywriting Ultimate Guide from Yoast.

Don’t load your copy with keywords, says Neil Patel. Sprinkle and wave, baby.

Most Massive SEO Copywriting Guide from CoSchedule. Maybe save this one for when you break your leg and can’t move for a few weeks. (Partially kidding.)

Need help wrapping your brain around all this? Let’s talk! I can write it for you, or coach you through finding a strategy.

hello@kelleygardiner.com



If you liked that blog post, you would looooove my email newsletter.

It goes out once a month or so, and it’s a short and sweet way to keep up with the latest in business communications.

Email newsletter signup button

 

 

 

 

 

 

Target Pain Points to Make the Sale

Hold on to your butts, because today we’re kicking off a special blog series.

Do you have your copy of 18 Must-Haves for Website Copy That Converts? You can get it for free. FREE! Just for signing up for my email newsletter. Go ahead.  Sign up now. My newsletters are fun, useful, and not too frequent. You’ll like them.

Now that you’ve grabbed that, this blog series will be doing a deep dive into each item on the checklist.

leaping white dog, with text overlay

 


We start with research. All the data you ferret out now will go directly into writing your killer web and sales copy.

Identify Customer Needs and Pains. Target Pain Points to Make a Sale.

We’ve reached the first stop on our website copy checklist train.

Needs are pretty simple. That’s stuff that your ideal customer needs to have. Or thinks they need.

Got it.

Pains are a little more complex. You can think of them as a problem that that your product can solve.

So, what does that look like applied?

For the sake of this blog post, let’s say you’re a cat photographer. You specialize in boudoir cat photography. JUST KIDDING. You’re a cat portrait photographer.

How do you find out what your clients want and need, and how do you communicate your ability to solve their problems?

How do you suss out their pain points, and then communicate how you’ll make all those pains fade away?

Instead of telling them what you do, tell them how you can enrich their lives.

Instead of being too to the point:

Cat and dog, with title "Photos of your cat"

You can sell by getting to the pain point:

Let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Step One: Research, baby.

You could guess what your client base’s problems are. That would be a lot less work, but it’s not going to be as effective.

Talk (and listen) to your clients.

Talk to them. Easy as pie, right? All you need is a little time.

What do you mean you don’t have any time? I know. It’ll be worth it.

Talking, and listening, should be at the core of your business communications.

That looks like sitting down for coffee and having a long conversation with a past client.  “Social listening” on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Gritting your teeth and reading Yelp reviews.

Ask your Facebook fans questions, and pay attention to the answers.

Create a survey.

Surveys can be incredibly powerful… if you can get anyone to respond.

Make your survey short and easy to complete, and give your customers a reason to spend the time. A chance to win a $20 gift card is not worth 20 minutes of my time, people. Five minutes for a chance win a $100 gift card? Now we’re talking.

If you’ve never written a survey before, start simple. Nedra at Blue Deer Forest has some good advice. I’d also recommend giving a test survey to a few friends or a beta group in your network. Sometimes you don’t realize how your questions will be interpreted until the answers start coming back.

The wonderful thing about creating polls and surveys is that you can mirror the responses right back to your client base. We’ll talk about that a bit more below.

More research

Almost there! Just need to gather a little more intel.

Chat with your front line customer service staff.

If you have them, they’re a great resource for what your clients are wanting or not wanting.

Chat with other people in your network.

People who do exactly the same thing as you—your competition.

People in the same niche or industry—your network.

People who might hire other people with your skills—your potential clientele.

Go to a few networking events and get down on some shop talk.

Pay attention to complaints.

A handful of people are in a bad mood, like to complain about everything, and will not be happy until they get your product or service at 80% off.

However. Real talk, here.

If you hear the same complaint over and over, the common thread is you. Set aside your ego and figure out a solution.

(Often, if the common complaint is price, the solution is targeting your ideal client who will pay your prices. NOT lowering them. You’re worth it, you capable unicorn of professionalism.)

Ask the question at least three times.

What do my customers need?

  • They need photos of their cats. Why?
  • They want to have photos to remember how cute they are. Why?
  • Because animals are only in our lives for a short time, and they’re dearly loved. Why?
  • Because they love us unconditionally and add peace and joy to our lives.

See what happens when you dig a little deeper? Use that language in your copy. Instead of: “Obtain a professional photograph of your cat,” you might say, “Your cat adds peace and joy to your life. Capture your love today!


Whew! You’ve talked to your customers, completed a survey, and talked to your front line staff and other key players in your network. Now you have the information about what your customer wants, and why. Maybe you even know some of the reasons that keep them from buying.

You have so much info, friend. And information is power.

Now comes the next step: distilling that information into compelling copy that gets your customers to buy what you’re selling.

Stretching kitten

Step two: Rethink your products and positioning

Eep! This seems like a step back. I know. But if you learn in your market research that what you’re offering isn’t exactly what people want to buy… well, isn’t it good to learn that sooner than later?

Maybe you thought people wanted formal portraits, but they really want candids. Start playing up the candids! You can still do the posed pillow portraits for anyone who asks about it, after all. You’re just highlighting the candids now.

Don’t be afraid to tweak your packages and products from time to time. Times change. You change, your interests change, and the demographics around you change, too. Your strategy and product mix has to move with fashion, technology, and the economy.

Yes, okay, you knew that already. Or you did on some level. Now’s the time to make sure that carries over to your website copy.

Got it?

Good. Let’s move on.

Cat reflected in glass

Step Three: Start Writing or Rewriting

All that work and we haven’t even deleted one word yet. That’s okay. No one said this would be easy.

Hiring someone to do it for you is much easier. Did I mention that? Wink.

Start a list of words and phrases to use.

Pull out words and phrases—the ones your customers have already given you in conversation, on Facebook, and in surveys—to use in your marketing and website copy.

Maybe a cat photographer wants to use word and phrases like:

  • Those delectable toe beans
  • Memories
  • Forever
  • Better holiday card than your ex-boyfriend
  • Love
  • Instagram famous

Keep a file of those words, and don’t worry about them too much on your first draft. Sprinkle them in on the rewrite.

Surprised cat with "record scratch" text overlay

“HOLD UP, Kelley. You want me to do TWO DRAFTS? This is like high school all over again! And not the good part!”

I know. This is why I started a writing business. So I can have fun doing it, and you can take pictures of cats.

Yes, you have to do several drafts, or hire someone to do it for you.

Remind your customer of the pain point.

And, of course, we’re keeping in mind those “pain points.” The problems you’re trying to solve.

You’ve seen a million ads that play this up.

SCRUBBING THE SHOWER… AGAIN?

Why, yes, I am tired of scrubbing my tub, and I hardly ever even do it! If only some product could help me out with that…

Tell them how you’ll relieve this particular pain.

Be clear about how your services scratch that particular itch. Do you have happy clients who cried when they saw their cat photos? Say so!

Do you have testimonials? Bring ’em on, and don’t save them for the testimonial page. (We’ll talk about this one in a later post for sure.)

You hear people say, “Show, don’t tell,” and that’s partially true. Proposed solutions to a client’s pain point should be super clear after a quick glance at your page. But once you have them hooked, try telling a story.

What’s more compelling:

“Hire me, because I have 53 years of experience.”

“Over 53 years of cat photography, it’s hard to choose a favorite client, but one memorable kitty was Chester the polydactyl lynx.”

Solve the client’s problem.

If clients keep telling you, “My kittens are growing so fast,” you say, “Your kittens are growing up fast. Get your portraits taken now, and preserve those memories forever!” “Our photographers know how to capture those quick kitten pounces.”

If they tell you, “My iPhone camera is actually great, but the background is always messy,” you say, “Your cat will lounge in luxury as she enjoys fresh tuna and a whisker stylist in our exclusive locations.”

Fluffy kitty


Need help with this? Let’s talk! I can walk you through some simple steps, or refer you to someone who does more in-depth marketing.

Craft your message today. 

 


Like this post? Check out the next installment of the series.

What the Heck Is Copywriting, Anyway?

There’s kind of a funny problem with copywriters.

Our job is to make communications as clear as possible, but it’s not clear to everyone what we actually do.

“I’m a copywriter.”

“So, you… create copyrights?”

Hmm, no, I’m not a copyright lawyer. Let’s try again.

“I’m a writer.”

“Oh, have you written anything I’ve read? I’ve always wanted to write a novel.”

“I write website copy for small businesses.”

“…Well, I’m sure you could write a novel if you wanted to.”

Besides, business owners outside industries like publishing and marketing rarely even use the term “copy.”  No wonder people get confused.

Resting spaniel head

Okay, so what the heck IS copy?

Writing! The word part!

“Copy” is used across different industries in different ways—a book publisher, a newspaper reporter, an advertising executive might be talking about slightly different aspects of the written word when they use the term.

However.

For small business owners, these distinctions aren’t so important. Think of it as the messaging that will help you move product or fill your dance card.

The words in your Facebook ads.

The words on your website.

Your tagline.

All the written words you put out into the world to persuade people to exchange their hard-earned money for your goods and/or services.

Great.

Copywriters have the magic combination of experience and know-how to make those words on the actual (virtual) page.

 

Content & Copy

I use the phrase “Content and Copy” because it’s both broad and narrow enough to talk about what I do: I write and edit for small businesses for the internet. Right now, I’m focused on website rewrites and revamps. Hey, you should hire me to do that!

Your blog posts? That’s usually considered content. You might hire a copywriter to write that, or get a content marketer on board. Or do it yourself. But then you actually have to do it. (If you have a blog, that is. It’s not required.)

Content & copy go hand in hand. They don’t need to be written by the same person, but they should be informed by the same marketing plan.

What’s content marketing, then?

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”—Content Marketing Institute

In plain speak:

That’s a plan to create content (blog posts, social media, email newsletters, etc.) that drives customers to you, and keeps them engaged. All in a strategic way that ends with you diving into a pool of money, Uncle Scrooge-style.

Copy might be somewhat static—you can keep your website “About” page the same for years with no detriment to your sales—but fresh content like your blog posts and social media should also be a part of your marketing plan.


What the heck do copywriters do once you hire them, anyway?

We don’t just write.

Well, okay, if you want to split hairs, we write. We make words appear on the page. That’s what’s hard for most people, and it’s what we wake up wanting to do.

But we can’t pull it all out of thin air, friends! Usually, copywriting involves information-gathering, a little journalism, a good dash of marketing, and a large glug of interviewing, messaging, and massaging. After you sign a contract with your writer, they’ll want to download your brain once or twice. It’s likely that they’ll want to talk to other stakeholders as well, like your customers, constituents, or team members.

Two brown dogs and quote "Teamwork makes the dream work"

On a personal note, I’m always happy to talk to you about referrals if I don’t do what you need. I have a little cabal of writers, marketers, proofreaders, and designers at the ready for any kind of project.

Break it break it down

Writing marketing copy for the web means:

  • Keeping up with online marketing and content marketing strategies
  • Nurturing a productive relationship with the client with stellar communication
  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Writing and editing copy that helps the business reach its goals
  • Delivering clean (proofread) copy

It sometimes means:

  • Testing headlines
  • A/B testing for newsletters and other sales copy
  • Writing longform sales pages
  • SEO writing
  • Placing copy on the website itself

It does not mean:

  • Coming up with all the ideas
  • Steamrolling business owners into a direction they’re not comfortable with
  • Playing fast and loose with deadlines because of “creativity”

For a better idea of the full range of what copywriters do, grab my free checklist: 18 Must-Haves for Website Copy That Converts.

More Questions?

Now, to answer a couple of questions I got from my Facebook page:

“What is copywriting, and how does it apply to being an entrepreneur and in biz?”

See above.

If it’s good, you will sell more. If it’s bad, you’ll lose customers. That sounds scary, but it’s something you can control.

There’s anecdotal evidence of a change of copy increasing sales 19.5x. Not percent. Almost 20 TIMES. That’s an extreme case, but 19.5% actually sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

“What is an expected range of costs I would expect to pay for copywriting? Say for a website?”

Depending on who you’re working with, a writer might charge by the hour, the word, or by the project. By FAR, the most common way to charge is by project. It’s the best deal for the writer and for you as the business owner—with no surprises when the bill comes.

As a general rule, most writers charge $150 and up per page. That’s one web page, in the 300-800 word range.

Some charge thousands of dollars for sales pages. If they’ve gotten to that point, it’s because they have a history of being worth it. Or they’re just cocky, so do your due diligence, please.

If someone is quoting you $20 an hour, run! (I don’t know anyone who can freelance on $20 an hour, which is probably like getting paid $5 an hour by an employer, but that’s a different blog post.)


Do you have any other questions about copy or content writing? Toss ’em in the comments, or drop a line!

Lke this blog post? Sign up for my email newsletter, which gives you helpful information once a month. No strings attached. You’ll like it.

 

 

 

 

How to Not Annoy Local Media with Your Small Business Website

I wasn’t always a writer for small business. I used to write what we call editorial—stuff the website or magazine wants you to read for fun so they can sell advertising.

You know. Like “Eight Portland Dog Shampoo Boutiques You Must Try in April.”

I have not personally tried every dog shampoo boutique in the city.

I don’t even have a dog.

A lot of gathering information for this kind of article, to be honest, is googling and asking around. When those writers are poking around the internet, looking for the best insert your business category here, make it easy to follow up. First, make it easy to connect and fall in love.

If you follow the guidelines below, it might even help your customers do the same.

Earn the Hearts of Local Media with Your Awesome Small Business Website

When you’d like to earn some free media, make life easy on those hard-working writers. They need your phone number to get the quote their editor is requiring, and if they can’t find it you might not end up in that article after all.

Here are the demands. They’re simple, I promise!

wincing dog

Give us the basics.

If you’re open certain hours, please list those hours and keep them current. If you sell online, make it obvious from the front page. If you have a brick and mortar, please come out and say so. It is okay to be obvious. Artfully obvious, of course. You can assume some visitors to your site are flying in from the farthest reaches of the world wide web, knowing absolutely zero information about you and your business.

Tell us how to contact you.

If you want to be contacted by phone, please say so. If you want to be contacted by email, same. Either way, you have to be somewhat available, AND get back to people in a reasonable amount of time. One or two business days is usually fine.

Next, make sure your phone number and/or email is listed in more than one place. Put it on every page, if you need to. Don’t make people search or scroll. This blog post will have my email, hello@kelleygardiner.com, at the bottom. I only have my phone number on my contact page because I rarely pick up my phone unless I have a scheduled call.

See? I’m trying to make it easy for you to contact me in the way I prefer to be contacted. hello@kelleygardiner.com

Make your physical address obvious.

This one is dedicated to Portland, Maine. I’ve been burned one too many times.

Make it easy for anyone scanning your information to get this info. Put it in your social media profiles, too. Please. Location matters.

Your address (AND PHONE NUMBER, for the love) should be text that can be copied and pasted. Not an image. You have my permission to ask your designers to change this. Depending on other people to type your phone number correctly is a dangerous business. I like to leave my dangerous liaisons for leisure, not business.

Related: read up on how to make your business show up in local searches.

You don’t need to be fancy.

If you own a graphic or web design company, fancy can be good. Show off those skillz. (You know that already though, because you’re an expert in web design. Sweet.) For the rest of us? There might be some creative fields where a Flash introduction is super appropriate, but in general, let’s not. Keep it simple, readable, and fast to load.

But please join us in the 21st century.

If your site hasn’t been updated in ten years… we can tell, and it doesn’t make the most impressive of first impressions. Make sure the content is updated as well as the design.

Get mobile friendly.

More and more customers are using mobile devices to search for and find information. Your site should load quickly, look good, and be easy to navigate. Remember, those phone numbers in an image are a total killer on mobile. Not in a good way. Your customers expect that they’ll be able to click to call.

Make sure we know what the heck you do.

What the heck do you do? “Create opportunities for small businesses to increase their conversions.” Okay. But what the heck do you DO? “Handmade lovely adornments for your life and living.” Come again? What in the loving heck would that look like on a shelf?

A quick read  should tell the prospect what it is that you do. Exactly. What services you perform, what you sell, and how the reader can obtain said goods or services. Ideally, this will cut down on messaging from peeps who are not your core customer, as well as boost your SEO.

Additional reading: What the Heck Is SEO?

Answer your dang email. 

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve emailed a business with a request to reply within two or three business days and… crickets. This is not good, people! Either they don’t want free advertising, or are too disorganized to get back to people in a timely manner. Get your email in order.


Ready for Contact

It’s not just me, either. Jenni Bost from Portland Bloggers and A Well-Crafted Party has the same kinds of beefs when looking for local information: “The non-existent contact or hard-to-find contact info is the worst. Drives me batty… When a company doesn’t value the web it makes me wary of their staying power or ability to fulfill my consumer needs effectively.”

Mmmm hmm.

Hear that? You need content. If your content is thin or non-existent, email me today. We can even talk about getting a little local publicity.


Have you had any luck with earned media? What worked for you?



If you liked that blog post, you would looooove my email newsletter.

It goes out once a month or so, and it’s a short and sweet way to keep up with the latest in business communications.

Email newsletter signup button

Solving the Email Problem

Are you drowning?

When you’re crunched for time, is email one of the first things that gets neglected?

We can get through this.

Control thy emails

Today’s the day to take a few concrete steps to get this under control for the long term.

First, we’ll look that inbox right in the face and show it who’s boss. Then, we’ll talk about how to keep things from spiraling out of control next time.

Set aside an hour. Get a beverage and some high-tempo music. Roll up your sleeves. We’re diving in.

Step One: Clean Out Your Inbox

352 unread email icon

There’s a good chance you need to clean out your inbox. You know who you are out there, friends.

Unread messages distract from the important stuff.

If you’re like most of us, most of your unread messages are basically junk that you are never, ever going to read. Get rid of them!

Wave goodbye to the junk.

Feel free to use your “delete all from” feature to say goodbye to all those ads you get from ReallyCuteShoes.com. Bye emails.

Next, unsubscribe from all the lists you never touch. Every legit marketing email has an unsubscribe button at the bottom, required by law. If it doesn’t, mark it as spam. Bye emails! (Please don’t mark legit, opt-in email newsletters as spam. It unnecessarily penalizes the sender.)

There are services that will unsubscribe you from a bunch of newsletters at once, but at a price. Usually, the price is that after you give them access to your email, they sell your information.

Get yourself a beverage and power through the rest.

Now—and this might be the hard part—go through that inbox and answer or file everything.

Everything.

If you can’t answer or file it yet, flag it.

Do it all in one go, or take a week to chip away at it.

You can do it! No need to apologize for late responses. You’re doing great. Starting is the hardest part.

Step Two: Organize Whatcha Got

Organized work space

Once you get your email under control, you’ll need to find and stick to a system to keep it under control.

Consider checking your email one or two times a day. Answer everything right away. If a message needs more than five minutes of your time, you can put that task on your calendar, and update the sender on your progress.

Some people say not to do email first thing in the morning. As a writer, I find it easier to start with something “easy,” rather than creative. And I’m on the West Coast, so I don’t want to feel behind the times. Your choice!

Keep it Simple, Stunner.

This is a personal preference thing, but I like to keep my inbox management extremely simple. The inbox is for unread messages and anything you need to reference today.

For unread messages:

  • Reply if needed, and file or delete the message.
  • Delete everything you won’t need to reference later.
  • Flag messages that you need to reference immediately (meeting confirmations, electronic tickets, etc.).

That’s it.

If there is more than one page in my inbox, something has gone seriously off the rails.

This is low-key and works very well for me, with my relatively low volume of messages.

Maybe you’d like to implement some more technology to file, reply, and organize automatically? Please share with the group if you have a favorite app or plugin that automates your email responses. There are also experts in this stuff who will help you streamline your business communications—well worth the investment if you’re so busy you’re missing money-making opportunities.

Folders? No Biggie.

Don’t get too worked up over folders. Search works pretty well.

Sometimes I set up temporary folders for research, and delete them later, including all the messages. No muss, no fuss.

One folder I am fastidious about is my “To Read” folder. Everything that’s just for information, that I don’t want to take the time to peruse during email time? “To Read.” It gives me something productive to do when the baby falls asleep in the car. Everything over a week old in that folder gets deleted. No mercy! Again, unsubscribe when you find yourself deleting the same messages over and over without opening.

Take Charge of Notifications.

Do you need your Facebook notifications to be sent to your email, or do you already check Facebook too much?

I’m not judging. Just saying.

Change your settings if needed. I, for one, need notifications if someone sends me an Instagram direct message, because I never check that. Anything else? I’ll see it.

Canned Responses

Find yourself sending the same message over and over? Create a template and save some typing.

Managing Multiple Email Addresses

Phew. I don’t know about you, but with a quick count, I have… at least seven email addresses.

Yikes.

Now, here’s the thing. I don’t know how many emails you have, what you use them for, etc. What I do know, is that you’ve got to find your system and stick to it.

Logging in to “check” seven email addresses would take a long time. Longer than I have. So, I have notifications for some on my phone, and forwarding for others.

Forwarding can be convenient, but potentially confusing. Let’s say you have info@mywebsite.com forwarded to iamsogreat@gmail.com. When a client sends a message to info@mywebsite.com, you see it in your gmail account. And when you reply to that client, it comes from iamsogreat@gmail.com. This may or may not be what you want.

This blogger uses a “master” account to manage messages from several blogs. That might work well if you have several accounts that don’t get a ton of traffic.

I’ll let the pros tell you how to merge a bunch of addresses into one gmail account.

 

Step Three: Increase Communication

Women using phone

Plenty of messages clogging up inboxes come from misunderstandings and missing information.

To increase understanding, keep your messages relatively short and simple. Put important information in bold or add bullet points. Use descriptive subject lines. Start a new subject when beginning a new conversation.

Reduce Back-and-Forth.

Hey Everyone, Can you meet on Monday at 4? Warm Regards, Angela

I can! Does that work for everyone else? Lu *~Live your dream~*

Hello, No, not me. How’s Wednesday looking? Best Wishes, Stevesie

NEVER AGAIN. Those three emails will become six, seven, or seventeen.

This kind of back-and-forth is an inbox killer, especially when more than two people are involved. Use a scheduling program like Calendly or Acuity to schedule one-on-ones. Do a Doodle to figure out a group meeting time. Work groups can share calendars to avoid all that Doodling.

When scheduling a phone call, I’ll just go ahead and write, “You can call me at 555-867-5309.” Maybe that’s not the epitome of etiquette, depending on the situation, but it helps us avoid Should I call you, or should you call me? and What’s the best number to reach you? emails.

Speaking of Phone Calls…

Sometimes—and I know this is frightening to many of you—it’s better to call than to email. I KNOW. Talking on the phone is not always our idea of fun depending on your personality and generation, but it’s more appropriate when you need a quick back-and-forth conversation.

Ask yourself before emailing: is this information best given in a meeting, phone call, or email?

(Hint: email is great when you need documentation later.)

Set Boundaries.

It’s okay to turn your work email off at the end of the day.

It’s okay to ask people who contact you via Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, or with message sent via St. Bernard, to follow up via email. You don’t need twenty places with different messages to remember and follow up on.

It’s okay to wait several hours before answering non-urgent emails. Email is not an instant message service. As long as you get back to someone within a business day, that’s fine. Yep, if they email you at 4 pm, you can email back at 3 pm the next day. (If they want to talk immediately, they can call you!)

It’s okay to put a vacation email out-of-office message and to really ignore everything when you’re on vacation.

Step Four: Make Your Website Work for You

Getting emails from your customers is a good thing! However, sometimes businesses get messages that are not from their true customer. Let’s try to cut down on those.

Your Marketing Should Tell Your Story.

Sometimes we’re so focused on one aspect of branding or sales that we forget the storytelling aspect of our website marketing. Your website should give clear impression of what you do, and why you’re the best person to do it.

A clear, accessible story will help cut down on questions from people who want a service that you don’t perform, or who aren’t the customer you’re hoping to land—including those who aren’t ready to pay your price point.

Clarify Frequently Asked Questions.

If you’re answering the same questions over and over via email, it might be time to clarify language on your website or add a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section.

Cut down on your busy work, so you can put your energy into work that creates wealth.

Sound good to you? Let’s talk about clarifying the messages on your website.

Schedule a consultation today.

Step Five (Optional): When You Just Can’t Handle It…

Look. Maybe there’s just more email than you are able to, or want to, handle.

Declare Email Bankruptcy.

I had a (wonderful) boss once who looked at all the files from my predecessor in my new-to-me office, and told me, “If there were a fire tomorrow, you wouldn’t miss any of this.”

If you haven’t read those 5,000 emails, would you really miss them if they were gone?

It’s nothing to take lightly, but there’s no law against just deleting large swaths of emails.

Hire Out Some Help.

Let’s do some math.

You’re spending 10 hours a week on email, earning you… zero dollars. Boo. So, you hire a virtual assistant, paying $15 an hour. Now you have the time to do the work you really love, earning $50 an hour.

You’ve just made an extra $350 in a week.

You can’t afford NOT to hire out a little help.

Virtual assistants can help with social media, SEO, email, data entry… anything you don’t love and are ready to say goodbye to.

Do it already, you successful job creator!


How do you manage your emails? Any awesome ideas that work for you? Let us know in the comments!

Can I help you clarify your message, so you can get more of the GOOD emails? hello@kelleygardiner.com



If you liked that blog post, you would looooove my email newsletter.

It goes out once a month or so, and it’s a short and sweet way to keep up with the latest in business communications.

Email newsletter signup button

Learn to Love the Editing Process

I love editing. So much.

I love to take people’s words and make them gleam; to make slightly technical things fun and easy to read; to reduce redundancies and increase clarity.

But if someone wants to edit MY work?

No way. Those are MY words, and letting go hurts. I don’t even feel comfortable having my husband sit next to me on the couch when I’m writing an email.

It’s scary to hand over your writing to someone else.

Laptop, book and tea

Love the Editing Process

Ready to get help? Grab that red pen by the cap and tell it who’s boss. When you’re hiring an editor, you’re in control: of your words, of your message, and of the process.

The goal is not to make you feel bad. The goal is to make your business more money.

Take comfort in working with a professional.

No, you wouldn’t ask any stranger to look in your mouth to check on your plaque buildup. You ask a dental hygienist. And, okay, even that might be nerve-wracking and weird, especially when you’re seeing someone new. But if they’re nice, the next time isn’t so bad. It might even get to be pleasant.

Like other professionals, we the editors won’t judge you as long as you’re reasonably nice and pay on time. Seriously.

Just because you can edit doesn’t mean you have to. Or should.

A lot of people feel like editing is something they should be able to do themselves. You took English in high school after all. Well, friends, I took economics in high school, but I’m not doing my own taxes. We all have our talents and choose our training accordingly.

Create efficiencies.

Small business owners need to focus on what brings them joy and money. As soon as you have cash flow, you can and should be hiring out tasks. Those are tasks that you don’t want to do (hello, writing). Tasks that keep you from making money. Tasks that you’re not particularly good at. Hire someone at $50 an hour so you can make $200 that hour.

When you have a communications piece that needs to be written or edited, what do you usually do with it? Agonize a little, complain about it to your co-worker, check Facebook, open and close the document? That’s all fine and good—and goodness knows writers do their own share of procrastinating—but wouldn’t it be easier just to send it away to a professional you have a relationship with?

Choose your experience.

Editors have a bunch of tools at their disposal. We can show our work—every deleted comma, every strong verb choice—or not. If this is important to you, let your editor know ahead of time what.

Sometimes you just want a job done and not spend one more brain cell on it. No problem!

Sometimes, you want to be more involved. Great!

Do you need to know how far along we are on a big project on any given day? We can set that up ahead of time.

Work with someone who lifts you up.

Can I tell you a secret? I’ve written for a number of online and print editors.

Some of them just took my work and mangled it without asking. Some just barely communicated at all—the work equivalent of having a grunting teenager in your car. One made me cry regularly.

A few went out of their way to thank me for good work, and to ask politely and clearly when they needed changes. Some are just downright enthusiastic.

Guess which ones I still work with?

Life is short. Hire someone who is a joy to work with. Good editors will improve your business prospects. They might even improve your future writing, and make you feel better along the way.

That’s the goal.

Otter holding hands!!


Looking for a pleasant editing experience? Email hello@kelleygardiner.com

Have you ever been scared to hand off your writing to an editor? Share your pain in the comments.



If you liked that blog post, you would looooove my email newsletter.

It goes out once a month or so, and it’s a short and sweet way to keep up with the latest in business communications.

Email newsletter signup button