Writing a blog is a new endeavor for me, as well as marketing my business. As I work with start-up entrepreneurs, I am finding that many of them are in the same boat and struggle with their branding and their communication in traditional marketing, as well as social networking.
Because I love to learn, and share what I learn as part of my coaching practice, I have been spending quite a bit of time reading books, searching for interesting blogs, and looking at successful websites. From time to time, I will share articles around clear communication with you that I have found to be of interest to me.
What strikes me about the following article is the pointed reference to creating value in everything you do, simplification or back-to-basics, and the use of measured judgment, or what they are calling maturity.
These are important concepts in coaching, as well as in communication. They create the foundation upon which you work to build the life you want.
- Taking the time to identify your values and standards of integrity, and structuring your life around them rather than around what others expect of you.
- Eliminating clutter and simplifying your life so that you can concentrate on what really matters.
- Responding to opportunities that are presented to you rather than reacting to them.
I found this article to be multi-purposed, and am pleased to share it with you.
Planning for and reaching success can be daunting. I can help you work through the discovery of your purpose and your passion, and provide the support and encouragement you need as you develop the goals and action plans to get you there. As you begin to implement your action plans, I will hold your vision for you when the going gets tough and celebrate with you when you achieve each step toward success. We will work together to identify your values and standards of integrity, envision the life you want to lead, eliminate the clutter that gets in your way, and develop your ability to respond rather than react to all opportunities presented to you.
Contact me for my gift to you of a 30 minute coaching session, or log on to my website for your free copy of Collaborative Conversations, a weekly ezine of practical and thought provoking articles and tips.
Owner, Collaborative Transitions Coaching
August 26, 2009
What Three Recessionary Trends Mean for Your Copy, by Jennifer Stevens
During the lion’s share of my formative years, my parents drove a midnight blue 1964 Pontiac Tempest. They didn’t get rid of it until 1986. AM radio. No air conditioning. They had it reupholstered when they added the seatbelts. But until then, stuffing would escape from the cracks in the light blue vinyl. When the windows were open, that stuffing would fly around the interior like the seed pods in a cottonwood grove.
We were hardly destitute. My father was a professor and my mother an elementary school teacher. It’s just that my folks didn’t believe in spending money on cars. That car got them from point A to point B for 22 years. And it was paid for.
I grew up with a recessionary mindset. Thrift isn’t something I’ve had to learn of late. But lots of people have. The way they feel, their concerns, and their priorities have shifted in the last 18 months.
This newfound thriftiness is just one recessionary trend worth pondering when you sit down to write. Because copy works only when it speaks to a reader “where he lives.” And that habitat looks a lot different today than it did early last year.
Now, I’ve mentioned thrift already. But let’s take a closer look at it — and at a couple more trends, too — and talk about what they mean for the copy you write today.
Trend # 1: Thriftiness. Even among the well-heeled, flaunting wealth is no longer chic. Have you heard about shoppers at Tiffany’s asking clerks to brown bag their purchases?
Time magazine reports, “4 in 10 people earning more than $100,000 say they are buying more store brands, 36% are using coupons more, and 39% have postponed or canceled a vacation to save money.”
As one financial advisor quoted in The New York Times put it: “Saving money is the new black.”
What does that mean for your copy? It means that good value is more important than ever. So look at your offer. Do you stress what a good deal it is? Can you make it an even better deal?
Coupled with the idea of thrift comes quality. It’s like my parents’ old Pontiac. That thing was built to last. And it did. In what ways is the product you’re selling “built to last?” How does it exemplify quality? Highlight those things. They matter to people now in a way they haven’t for years.
Trend #2: Nostalgia. When times are tough, people tend to retreat to “safer ground.” They romanticize childhood icons and symbols of the past, times when things were easier, simpler, happier. Have you noticed that those cute little fifties-era sweater sets are back in vogue? Record sales (I’m talking vinyl here) have increased 89% since 2007.
What does that mean for your copy? It means that “retro” images — created both in words and in the illustrations you choose — hold real power today.
We’re coming off an era of conspicuous consumption, and people are turning their focus away from “stuff” toward things that “matter more.”
The idea of simplifying, of getting back-to-basics has new-found resonance today. So think about how the product you’re selling helps simplify your prospect’s life. What kinds of solutions can your product provide that will help your reader recapture those “better days?”
Trend #3: Maturity. When times were good and credit was loose, people wanted the new-fangled … they’d pay for the hot fad. And they’d follow any young, swaggering bloke to get it.
But where did that land them? These days … maturity is fashionable. The idea of measured judgment doesn’t seem so geeky any more. People want to see accountability and responsibility.
What does that mean for your copy? Beef up your track record. Now’s the time to make a case for the tried-and-true. If you’ve got an expert with a solid resume and shining clientele, talk that up. If your product has been around for three decades, shout about that well-earned longevity.
This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/.