Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

October 20, 2014 016

A personal, bittersweet note today.

August is a little hard for me because it would have marked my 9th wedding anniversary with Sylvie Fortin. At least we had eight good years, thanks in large part to The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Through their generous support and groundbreaking clinical trials — along with Sylvie’s courage, optimism, and fierce determination, which she had so much of — we were given seven more years than the bleak 18-month prognosis at the onset.

When I get sad as I often do in the last few days, my thoughts often turn to Sylvie and to the idea that I was indeed lucky to be blessed with more time — how little that may seem.

That said, it is also comforting to continue the journey and help those who face similar diagnoses.

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Stop Serving Customers to Save Money

cup-of-black-coffee1

If you’re a small to medium-sized business, and you’re trying to grow your business but you’re drowning in a mountain of client emails, and your inbox is overflowing with too many sales and support questions, then you need help.

But help isn’t just answering emails. Perhaps you also need help in…

  • Selling your products and services when pre-sales questions come in.
  • Promoting additional or alternative offers, including affiliate ones.
  • Building a knowledgebase for your clients to answer common questions.
  • Gathering positive feedback to help build testimonials of happy clients.
  • Responding to and deflating negative feedback that only gets you down.
  • Upselling and cross-selling in the backend, increasing your sales volume.
  • Escalating only those issues that strictly require your personal attention.
  • Or reducing refunds by digging a little deeper and offering alternatives.

In short, getting help isn’t just to answer support emails. Customer sales and support assistance, like what we offer at Workaholics4Hire, frees up your time to allow you to work on your business rather than in your business, as we act as sales representatives for you while being advocates for your customers.

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“Do What You Love” Explained

Do what you love and the business will follow

So a lot of people ask me to explain my quote, “Do what you love and the business will follow.” To clarify, it has three different and distinct meanings.

First, if you do what you love, the business (the idea for a business model, i.e., how you can monetize what you love) will come to you. Because your passion for what you do is so powerful, you’ll find a way to make a living at it.

I say this because not everything you love to do can be monetized in its original form. Sometimes, you need to manufacture your business model around it.

For example, you’re in heaven when you’re in your orchard. But being in an orchard doesn’t make money. Selling apples isn’t a profitable endeavour, too, if your orchard is small and you’re by yourself. But you can make and sell apple pies, apple sauces, apple juices, etc.

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How to Target Your Perfect Customer

How to target your perfect customer

The most important part of your copy is not your headline, not your offer, and certainly not your benefits. The most important part is your customer.

Sounds obvious, right? But in the last few weeks, I’ve been critiquing some pretty good copy. Very well-written and compelling, too. But if the conversion rate is low (hence, the reason why I was hired to do a critique consultation), it’s because these sales letters do not target the right audience for the offer, or the copy fails to connect with their readers.

Researching your customer in depth is vital to the success of your copy. It’s not only an important component of targeting and qualifying the best prospect for your offer, but also an effective way to discover new ideas, different angles, captivating storylines, unsought benefits, and appropriate length and language of your copy that will convert more.

The question is, how do you target and connect with your readers?

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Dead Copywriters Don’t Tell Stories

copywriting is about telling compelling stories

For over 15 years now, I’ve been teaching the concept of “storyselling,” a term I coined about using the power of stories in the sales process.

It’s nothing new. It’s a technique I learned way back in my early career, especially from one of the most brilliant minds in copywriting and a master at the art of storytelling: Gary Halbert.

Gary passed a few years ago, and I sure do miss the old fart. We used to talk on the phone, sometimes for hours, discussing the industry, people in it, new techniques, and upcoming seminars.

When Gary wanted to make a point, he didn’t state it. He would tell me a story. It often had nothing to do with the point (not at first, anyway), but it drove his point home beautifully, brilliantly, and poignantly. Even now, years after his passing, I still remember the stories he told me quite vividly.

That’s because Sir Gary of Halbert was a true master at telling stories that sell.

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Take Your Reader For a Drive

Take your readers for as drive

When I critique, edit, or rewrite sales copy, I discover that many clients commit some common errors.

Granted, not all of them are writers. But most of them fail to drive customer actions not because they lack writing skills but because they fail to look at their copy from their readers’ perspective.

Although unintentional, they’re so involved with their business or product that they tend to forget their prospects. They tend to explain things in ways that only they understand. They tend to forget the number one element in copywriting. And no, it’s not the copy. It’s not the offer, either. It’s…

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The Power of Positive Pressure

Use Positive Pressure to Prevent Procrastination

After my wife passed, I decided to relocate into a smaller home and my current home is up for sale. Moving always reminds me of something that happened when I was shopping for a new home in the past.

Part of the process was furniture shopping. Since we were slated to move several months down the road, I was looking for an extended layaway plan that would help me temporarily store the furniture until I move into the new house.

But something strange happened, which reminded me of the power of applying pressure in copywriting.

After shopping around a few stores, I came across a big chain department store that carried what I was looking for — a bed, a couch, a dinner table, and chairs, all at reasonable prices. (In fact, they were all on special, which was nice.)

I walked in, spoke to a salesperson and asked if they had an extended layaway plan. After I asked him, he used what seemed to be the “good cop, bad cop” routine on me, which is a common sales tactic I’m all too familiar with.

“Let me check with my manager,” he said. He left, spoke with someone in the neighboring electronics department who obviously didn’t look like a “manager.” (In fact, the person seemed like a normal sales rep from the electronics department.)

Five minutes later, he returned, and said:

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How I Write Copy in Seven Steps

My 7-step copywriting process

A lot of people ask me how I write copy. I don’t mean the actual writing process (such as how I come up with headlines, bullets, offers, etc), but how I tackle the actual task of composing a new sales piece from scratch.

Everyone is different. My writing process is one developed over many years, and many people may adopt or dislike the same techniques. But in the hope that knowing my process may be helpful to some writers, I’d like to share it with you.

Of course, if I were to describe all of the steps, there would be way too much information to squeeze into one article. But for now, I can offer you a basic look at my methodology by giving you a short list of the seven steps I take.

Here they are. Continue Reading…

Mixed Tears

Priya Randell – Tyler Fortin Wedding Video

“I don’t want to tell people because I want tears of joy, not sadness.”

Sylvie said this when she was asked if she wanted to tell people at the wedding about her breast cancer diagnosis just a week before we got married.

Fast-forward 8.5 years later, here we are at another wedding.

My son, Tyler Fortin, and Priya Randell got married in the hospital room before Sylvie passed. The ceremony ended at 11:15, and Sylvie took her last breath at 12:15PM — literally one hour later. It’s as if she held on for this excruciatingly beautiful moment. She even opened her eyes when they exchanged rings.

Obviously, tears of sadness were mixed with tears of joy this time, and we had no choice. (Sorry, Sylvie. There’s no working around this one.)

My son recorded the ceremony and shared it on Facebook. What my son said was so beautiful, I’ll simply quote him below as he explains this highly emotional day.

Priya Randell – Tyler Fortin Wedding Video

This is without a doubt the most emotional piece of film I have ever seen. By now most of you know that my mother, Sylvie Fortin, recently died of cancer at the young age of 45. When she was in her last stages of decline, Priya Randell Fortin and I decided to get married in the hospital, so that my Mom could see it for herself before she passed. I also decided to get this viscerally candid moment on my GoPro camera. What I’m about to show you was filmed on, by far the most emotionally crippling, and transcendentally beautiful day of my life. I have chosen to show this to you, completely uncut. Keep in mind this is also the first time anybody has seen this footage, other than myself. Please join me by honoring the memory of my Mom Sylvie, as she touched myself and so many others, and will be truly, truly missed. I love you Ma, always and forever.

Posted by Tyler Vincent Fortin on Sunday, April 12, 2015