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How well do you know your potential clients?
Chances are you’ve developed at least a simple client avatar. You know her business, her age, her income and education levels. You know where she lives and how many kids she has and what her biggest dreams are.
But do you really know what drives her?
We’re not talking about just what she wants (we all want more money and free time) but more importantly, you need to know what her biggest pain points are. Figure this out, and you’ll not only be able to better create programs to help her, but your sales copy will dramatically improve as well.
Think about it—if you’re uncomfortable with technology, and once in a DIY mood you destroyed your website during a simple update, then website management becomes a huge pain point for you. Now imagine you find a VA who not only works with WordPress, but who calmly shares examples of how she’s rescued client websites after such disasters.
She’s clearly addressed your biggest pain point, and you’re sold!
The same is true for your potential clients. Show them you can help them avoid those pain points—or better yet, eliminate them completely—and you’ll forge an instant bond.
Now you may already have a good idea what causes your clients pain, but if not, you have plenty of ways to find out.
• Talk to them. What do they most often ask or complain about?
• Listen in on forums, on social media, and other places your audience hangs out. What are they struggling with?
• Reader surveys. These can be a rich source of information in any market. Pay special attention to the words and phrases your readers use to describe their troubles.
• Keep an eye on your competition. What pain points are they addressing?
Once you’ve uncovered your ideal clients’ biggest pain points, you’ll have a powerful tool that you can use not only in your sales copy, but it will also help define your programs and service offerings. If you can help your clients overcome the most painful issues they face—whether it’s a lack of self-confidence or a fear of public speaking—you’ll instantly become a more valuable resource in your niche.
And when you incorporate those same pain points in your sales copy, your conversions will dramatically increase as well.

If there’s one thing that confuses and frustrates new (and even seasoned) copywriters it’s the not-always-obvious features and benefits.
We want to share all the great things about our new coaching program, so we say things like:
• 6-week self-study course
• Includes workbooks and live training
• Members’ only discounts
While these are all good points, they’re pretty bland. That’s because they’re features, not benefits. They tell us about the program but not why we should buy it.
Benefits, on the other hand, tell us the “so what” of features.
“6-week self-study course.” So what? Why should your reader care?
• Because she’s busy and needs to work on her own schedule, not yours.
• Because she’s already studied shorter, less comprehensive courses and needs more in-depth information.
• Because she prefers to learn on her own, not in a group.
“Includes workbooks and live training.” So what? What are the benefits of workbooks and live training?
• Your student can put what she learns into action with workbooks.
• She can get her specific questions answered during live training.
• She can work through complex issues with the help of the group.
As you can see, benefits go much further than simple attributes, such as length and format. They show your prospective client not only what’s in the program, but why the product is exactly right for her, at this specific moment in her life and career.
Features and benefits work together in sales copy as two halves of a statement, like this:
“6-week self-study course so you can learn at your own pace, when it’s convenient for you.”
In fact, this powerful feature/benefit combo is often the basis for the bullet points you see in sales copy, and the format of them makes them easy to write, too.
Simply list all the features of your product, then for each one, ask yourself “Why?” Why should the reader care? But don’t stop there. Dig deeper to uncover “the why behind the why” and you’ll soon be crafting truly irresistible sales pages that convert far better than you expect. In the above example, the why behind the why might be, “so you don’t have to spend family time on webinars that have been scheduled to benefit someone else.”
Now not only is your prospective client working at her own pace, but she’s also freeing up time to spend with her family. That’s a great benefit she won’t find with most courses.
It’s easy to list all the features of your product or coaching program, but far more difficult to uncover the benefits that will drive sales. When you truly understand the difference though, it will become easier, and your sales will reflect the change in your copy.

It’s one metric we consistently watch and try to improve: email open rates. There’s good reason for it, too. If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, then they can’t read about:
• Your newest coaching program
• Your latest must-have tool discovery
• That epic blog post you just wrote
The trouble is, you only have about two seconds to entice a reader to open your email. Even worse, you have to do it in ten words or less.
Yikes! That’s a pretty tall order, even for seasoned copywriters. But there are some tricks you can use.
Be Ambiguous
If you’ve been on Facebook lately you’ve no doubt seen those “click bait” headlines that say things like, “She adds this to a box of Wheat Thins and I’m drooling!” The reason headlines like that work is because we can’t help but want to know what “this” is that she’s adding to her Wheat Thins. Is it sugar? Salt? Peanut butter? We imagine the possibilities, but in the end we have to find out, so we click.
You can employ the same technique in your email subject lines. Just substitute the word “this” for the actual thing you’re writing about, and you’ve got instant enticement.
Use Numbers
Here’s another strategy for creating must-read content: numbers.
“7 Hidden Benefits of Waking Up at 5am”
“3 Unlikely Ways to Close the Sale”
“5 Social Media Platforms You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring”
The reason numbers work so well in subject lines is because we are ego-centric and curious. We simply must know if we already use those three ways to close the sale. We will either walk away feeling good for being a marketing maven, or we will have learned something. Both are compelling reasons to open an email.
Use Power Words
Just as with all writing, choosing power words is far more effective than settling for their weaker counterparts. Imagine these two subject lines appear in your inbox. Which are you more likely to open:
“WordPress Makes Better Looking Websites for Non-Designers”
or
“Create a Gorgeous Website—Even if You’re Not a Designer”
While both subjects offer the same information, the first is weak, while the second is far more compelling.
When it comes to email subjects, there are a few more tips to keep in mind if you want to up your open rates:
• Keep it short – no more than 10 words at the very most, and fewer if you can.
• Test everything. Use your autoresponder’s split-testing functionality to see which subject line styles perform best in your market.
• Use personalization, but sparingly. Occasional use of your reader’s first name can be a powerful technique.
Here’s the bottom line: If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, they’re not buying. Paying closer attention to your subject lines is the single most important thing you can do for your email marketing campaigns.

We’ve all seen those old-style sales pages filled with yellow highlights and screaming red text and lots of “BUY NOW” buttons, and when we think of copywriting, that’s often what comes to mind. While that style of sales page can be effective, it’s not the only way to make sales.
In fact, by taking a more subtle approach, you might even find that you generate more interest—and potentially more sales.
Stories Sell
One effective way to entice readers to click through to your sales page is with stories. These can be your stories or those of other people, with the goal of helping your readers to see themselves in the same situation.
Did you help a client turn her chaotic household into a calm oasis with better organizational skills? Her story on your sales page will get more clicks than all the yellow highlight you can buy.
What about that time you trashed your entire business plan and started over because you simply weren’t passionate about your work? Your potential business coaching clients will be anxious to learn more, and will click through without you even asking.
That’s the power of stories, and you can use them everywhere: in your blog posts, in your emails, on your sales pages, and even in videos and on social media.
Be Genuinely Helpful
Want to build a reputation as the go-to person in your niche? All it takes is to help people. Answer questions on social media, volunteer to speak to groups who need your advice, write blog posts that address the most common issues your readers face.
By volunteering your time and knowledge, you’ll attract a wide audience of potential customers who may need your services in the future. Who will they turn to? That very helpful person who went out of her way to offer assistance in the past.
Now we’re not saying you have to give away all your time, but if you really want to show off your expertise, you can’t do better than a little volunteer work. Not only will you make an impression with the person you help. But chances are good she’ll share with her friends as well, further expanding your audience.
Of course this doesn’t mean that there is no place in your business for a strong call to action. “Click here to buy” and “Learn more right now” are still useful (and even necessary) on sales and opt-in pages. The key is to know when to make a subtle offer, and when to offer a bit more hand holding.

When you hear the word “copywriting” do you immediately think of long sales pages, squeeze pages, and unwanted bulk mail?
You’re not alone in that thinking, but the fact is, copywriting is more than just sales messages. In fact, as an online business owner, most of the content you produce could be called copywriting at least in some sense. After all, if you’re creating content with the ultimate goal of selling something, that is by definition copywriting.

Facebook

Sure we all like to hang out on Facebook and chat with friends, catch up on the latest funny videos, and enjoy a mindless “quiz” or two. But for coaches, Facebook is much more than that. It’s a place to connect with potential clients, and that means that when you’re sharing your latest blog post or program with your business friends, you have to keep good copywriting in mind.

LinkedIn Profile

What makes you stand out from the other coaches in your niche? Your LinkedIn profile is where you share what makes you the best person to solve your ideal client’s problems. It’s where you shout about your credentials and let your ego run the show. Think of your LinkedIn profile like a resume, and be sure to list your most impressive credentials.

About Page

Here’s your chance to have some fun while blowing your own horn. It’s important to know that the about page is often the most visited page on a website, so it’s a critical piece of your overall brand and message. The purpose of your about page is to entice people to want to learn more about your services, so be sure to include a call to action on the page.

Blog Posts

All blog posts have a job to do. Maybe they’re meant to lead your reader to a sales page. Perhaps you’re asking for readers to subscribe to your mailing list. Maybe your blog post is designed to start a conversation. Or maybe it’s just sharing great content and inviting readers to learn more by clicking on related posts. Whatever the job, it’s copywriting that entices your reader to take that next action.

Twitter

One hundred and forty characters is precious little space for creating compelling content, yet that’s exactly what you must-do if you hope to use Twitter as part of your overall marketing strategy. Think of tweets like email subject lines, and craft them to convey as much information as possible while still enticing readers to take action.

Email

Whether you’re sending an email about a new product or service or simply letting readers know you have a new blog post up, your email definitely qualifies as copywriting. In fact, even the personal emails you send to prospective clients contain what we would call copywriting.

Ads

Even if your ad is only one sentence long, it needs to be a sentence that influencers the reader to take the next step and click on it. No point shelling out big bucks for impressions.

The fact is, copywriting is everywhere in your business, from your sales pages to your invoices. Whenever you ask a reader to take some action, you’re writing copy, and the more comfortable with the idea of it, the better (and more natural) you’ll become.

As any smart business owner knows, the key to passive income is a well-established (and full) funnel.
So of course you’ve optimized your opt-in pages and monetized your download pages and encourage more buyers through well-placed upsells and downsells.
But what about the follow-up? Do you contact customers about the products or services they didn’t buy? Do you encourage them to use the products they have purchased? Are you making sure they know about all your other wonderful programs?
If not, you’re missing the boat. But the good news is, this can be easily managed with just a bit of simple automation, and when done right, it will smoothly lead your customers from one purchase to the next, at the exact right time for them to take advantage of your best offers.
Segment Your Audience
Many autoresponder services allow you to target emails based on reader action. Want to sent a follow up email to those who clicked a specific link? Create a segment and mail away. Want to re-engage with those who haven’t opened your emails in a while? Easy to do, and you can potentially recover subscribers who have gone missing.
In more sophisticated systems, such as Infusionsoft or Ontraport, you can dig even deeper, and move people from one series to another based on their buying habits. That way you’ll never promote a product a reader already owns. Not only that, but you’ll always be able to offer the very best next thing, no matter where a subscriber is in your funnel.
Still another way to segment your list is according to what they do not buy. If a subscriber has been on a list where you’re promoting your top-level coaching program, and she has not yet purchased, it may simply be too expensive for her at this time. Consider moving these readers to an autoresponder series promoting a lower cost option instead.
All of these tactics require that you know your audience and your products exceptionally well. Study your stats. Know your open and click rates. Pay attention to the promotions that work, as well as those that fall flat. With information in hand, you’ll be better able to effectively segment your lists and make the most of all the parts of your funnel.

JV partners and affiliates are a huge asset for any coach or product seller. They’re the ones who are out there singing your praises, spreading the word about your services, and helping you reach a larger audience than you could on your own. Not only that, but they generously lend their good name and reputation to your business, so it makes sense that you want to treat them as well as possible.
But there are some mistakes that product sellers make over and over again that will frustrate and even turn your potential affiliates away. Here’s how to fix them.
No Promotional Calendar
Busy entrepreneurs are obsessive planners. They know they need to produce content, mail their lists, create products, speak at events, and all the other marketing tasks that go with owning a business. They very likely maintain a calendar that helps them stay focused and on track. If you want them to promote you, it’s a good idea to publish your own promotional calendar so they know what’s coming up.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and it doesn’t have to stretch for weeks or months ahead, but it should give them a bit of notice about upcoming launches so they can work your products into their schedule.
Launching Without Them
Got a big product launch coming up? Excellent! But don’t even think about launching without your affiliates on board. Your lists most likely have some overlap, and promoting to your list before you allow affiliates to mail will result in lost sales for them—and angry JVs who won’t be anxious to promote you again.
Stealing Their Sales
This should go without saying, but if you’re considering creating your own affiliate link for your products, stop. Mailing your list or posting on Facebook with your own affiliate link will—in most systems—result in your promotions overriding those of your affiliates. In short, you’ll be stealing their sales, and no JV partner will want to promote you after that.
If you need a tracking link, there are far better ways to go about it than to create an affiliate link in your own system.
Slow Pay
No excuse is ever good enough for failing to pay your affiliates on time. If you promise to pay monthly, then you must make that a priority. It’s never okay to “borrow” from your affiliate payments to cover an unexpected bill or take advantage of an opportunity. To do so is bad form, bad karma, and will give you a reputation for unreliability.
Your JV partners and affiliates are some of your most precious assets. Treat them as such, and they will return the favor with increased sales, more leads, and plenty of social love.

When it comes to leveraging your time, automation is the sharpest tool in your toolbox. It allows you to get more done in less time, and to smoothly move people through your funnel.
For many small business owners, though, the one area that’s often overlooked is your website.

Use Your Blog to Build Your Mailing List

Like any smart business owner, you likely have opt-in forms on your website. They’re in the sidebar or maybe the footer, and you might have a pop-up to capture attention as visitors are about to leave.
But do you have a solid call to action at the end of your blog posts? When a new reader is finished consuming your posts, she’s primed to learn more. Give her the opportunity by offering an opt-in at the end of each post.
Even better, make it a logical next step by creating a related offer for each post. Called a content upgrade, these offers typically consist of a simple checklist or worksheet, and capture attention by providing even more information about a topic they’re already interested in.

Keep Them Reading With Related Links

How often do you revisit old blog posts to link to newer content? This is an important maintenance job that will help provide visitors with the information they’re looking for by linking related posts together.
Not only is this strategy good for keeping visitors on your site, but Google approves as well. Posts that link to each other encourage search engine bots to crawl your site more thoroughly and help boost the rankings of your most relevant posts.
[Hint: This is a perfect job for your VA.]

Make the Best of Your Download Pages

Whether you’re giving away a free report or paid product, your download pages can pull double-duty by offering visitors a “what’s next” option. For free download pages, a related, low-cost product is best. It gives readers the chance to learn more about you with a small investment.
For paid products, consider offering a complementary product instead. If you’re protecting your download pages with a membership script such as Customer Hub, you can even offer upsells based on what they already own, making the choice even easier for them.
And if you’re using a double-opt-in mailing list, make use of that confirmation page, too! That’s the perfect place for a quick upsell or an invitation to join you in your Facebook group or weekly Periscope.
Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow on your website: Whenever a reader lands on a page, she should be offered the next logical step. When you write your blog posts or create your download pages, keep that in mind, and your funnel will practically fill itself.

No matter how proudly you embrace the “solopreneur” title, there comes a time when you absolutely must reach out for help. And for savvy business owners, that help often comes in the form of JV partners.
Also called affiliates, JV partners act as your own private sales army, spreading the word about your products and services to a whole new audience—theirs. Not only do you reach people who might otherwise never encounter you, but you also benefit mightily from your JV partners’ existing relationships. By promoting you, an affiliate is endorsing you to her audience. She’s saying, “I know this seller; I trust her, and you should, too.”
But even with all those many benefits, coaches and product sellers sometimes struggle to find great partners. Sure, lots of people will register for your affiliate program, but the Pareto Principle is alive and well when it comes to JV partners: 20% of your affiliates will do 80% of the work. That means your goal is to recruit higher performing partners.
The only question is, where do you find these great partners?
Pick Your VA’s Brain
Chances are good that your VA works for other business owners in similar niches. If you’re a business coach, she very likely works with several other coaches, and she’s in a position to know…
• Where her clients are in the business development cycle (ideally you want established partners, not newbies)
• Their audience demographics (so she’ll know if they’re a good fit or not)
• Their willingness to promote (some people simply don’t do JV partnership, so it’s a waste of time to approach them)
Look to Your Best Clients
Especially if you’re a business coach, your clients might just be your biggest fans—and they’re in a position to recommend you to friends, family, social connections, and elsewhere.
Be sure your clients all know that you offer a referral/affiliate program, how to sign up, and what the benefits are.
Your Competitors
It’s true—your competitors might just be your biggest affiliates, if you give them a chance.
In some circles (such as business and relationship coaching) clients tend to “graduate” from one coach and move to another. This is normal and to be expected. And when you’re on good terms with your competitors, the coach their ex-clients move to might just be you.
Don’t be afraid to look in unusual places for your next JV partner. You really never know who can connect you with potential clients and partners. Think about all your relationships—from your team to your social circles to your competitors and colleagues—and consider all of their relationships and how far that might stretch. Then pick up the phone or draft an email and start leveraging your contacts!

Though I did make a good income in the past from blogging, it was never enough income to support my family. If it were not for my design and marketing skills, I would have been back to the corporate grind a long time ago.

Feeling disenchanted by the whole blog business/passive income dream? Whether it be from lack of income or your heart just not being in it – I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone girlfriend.

Many bloggers are tired of chasing stats and blog hopping their day away in return for a few adsense dollars.

Do you feel as if you’re selling bits of your soul in exchange for enough to buy a mani-pedi and a mocha frap grande?

If you’re a blogger who wants to build her business, this post may get your gears turning and ideas brewing.

12

First, let’s get this out of the way.

Work at home does not mean some cheesy sleazy get rich scam that costs a barrel of money and then doesn’t work.

I can’t number all the ways moms can work from home and build an empire of their own, but let’s start with an even dozen.

These are a few work-at-home, mom-run businesses that I find:

  • have potential
  • are easy to start
  • need a small investment
  • getting started can fit into almost any mom’s schedule

1 – Traveling Hairdresser

When I lived in Brooklyn, there was a mom of 3 in my building who was once a hairdresser. The chic could do wonders with a blow dryer, a handful of bobby pins and a brush. Even with her 3 kids, all under 5, tugging at her legs. I worked 2 hours overtime one Wednesday and had a meeting the next morning with potential clients. My hair was a mess to say the least. When I griped about my hair, she pulled out the blow dryer and followed me to my apartment, all kids in tow.

For the last 6 months that I lived in Brooklyn, I never saw the inside of a hair salon again.

Never had to rush home to get to the salon before it closes.

And? She was less expensive than the Salons.

Never had to rush home to get to the salon before it closes.

And? She was less expensive than the Salons.

I would have to pay for an extra hour of babysitting AND pay the hairdresser $40 to wash and blow dry my hair straight. With Leanna scheduled to drop by at 8pm (while her kids were with her hubby), I had lots of time to feed the kids, get ’em settled and wash my own hair.

Here are pictures from 2006 of her styling younger teen’s hair for a school party. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have hooked that mama up with a website and a local web presence so people could find her on their iPhones.

 

 

2 – ChildCare

Certified childcare giver? You are not limited to craigslist and flyers honey. Moms are always searching online for caregivers and having a solid web presence with reviews and showing off your credentials gives you an advantage over the competition.

 

3 – Caterer

No you don’t need some fancy shop to sell your baked goods and mouth watering dishes. You need a website, pictures, reviews, a listing on all the major review sites and the willingness to deliver samples to a client’s home or office. When my friend Patty was reviewing caterers for her wedding reception, the running around was the most stressful bit. She would leave work early or on her lunch break to check out some caterer in the city. Would have been a whole hell of a lot easier if she could have visited websites, checked out reviews and ordered dishes to sample and have it delivered to her office.

 

4 – Holiday Decorator

By: David DeHetre

One thing I can tell you about my old neighborhood, it was always decked out for the holidays – Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween. Shop windows had colorful drawings and there was never a gaudy, blinding house at Christmas. There was a team of two moms and a teen in the neighborhood that had established themselves as holiday decorators. From what my ex-landlady told me, they had a portfolio and catalogs with decoration ideas. The home owner would buy the supplies themselves but the team was responsible for first coming up with a design and then implementing it once everything arrived. Smart. Hell, if they were affiliates for the companies who’s catalogs they used…super smart.

 

5 – Mommy Assistant

I saw an ad for someone searching for a Mommy Assistant once on Craigslist. Looong time ago. And I thought, is that the same as a wet nurse? But learned it was a mom, a busy work from home mom, looking for someone to assist her with errands, shopping, making lunches and picking up her kids when she was tied up. She actually wanted someone for a few hours daily. Now let’s say you’re a mommy assistant that does errands and pick ups only. You could have multiple clients in the name neighborhood. Where do you get these kind of clients? Offline networking of course. PTA meetings, community meetings, community centers, a flyer at the YMCA or local dance school. Hell if you’ve got local Facebook friends, they could help get the word out too. A blog to place your reviews is optional as long as you have references.

 

6 – Seamstress

Now, I’m not looking to put the local cleaners out of business, but it’s $15 to hem a pair of pants. Do you know how expensive school uniforms can become when you’re paying $30/pants x 3 plus $15 to hem each? It took the Cleaners 20 minutes to hem all 3 pants while I waited. Forty-five dollars. Sistah, if you’re nearby and can do it cheaper, I’ll leave those pants with you for a week. If you have your own machine, you can find clients in all the same places listed for Mommy Assistant and create a profile on Yelp, Google Places and Foursquare for local customers looking for a seamstress from their mobile phone or desk. Once established, a website with reviews and pictures builds your credential.

 

7 – Embroider

Custom embroidered bags, tees, jackets. Reach out to your local shops and factories that have uniformed employees. Dance schools, gyms, martial arts facilities and yoga centers usually sell merchandise with their logos embroidered on to them. Seo a website for those services you want to offer but also hit the pavement with business cards and samples.

 

8 – Editing Services

Anal about capitalization? Write with spellcheck off cause you’re smarted than the auto correct? Girlfriend what are you waiting for? There are multiple niche services you can offer. Copy editing, dissertation editing, proof reading everything from blog posts to website copy to manuscripts. Give out a few freebies in return for reviews and get yourself a search engine optimized website.

 

9 – Accountant

You were once a corporate accountant and now you’re a mommy at home with twins? Many people offer this service virtually and yet there doesn’t seem to be enough experienced accounts to go around. When I was working in corporate, though we had an accounting department, there was a virtual specialist for tax time. One of my previous clients runs his business out of his home, his accountant is virtual too.

 

10 – Carpenter

Made to order furniture…does not have to come from a store. Meet Cher of Designs by Studio C. If she were local, I’d keep her busy with orders. Visit her website. She’s doing an incredible job promoting her talents.

DSCF3297

11 – Launderers

No, you don’t need your own laundromat to make this one work. Have a car? Know how to separate whites from colors and fold clothing? I’d pay good money to have someone pick up my laundry, wash it, dry it, fold it and bring it back to me all within a day. Take in several orders a day. No website needed. Hit the pavement and use social media.

 

12 – Photographers

This is one of my favorites. I’ve come across women with an amazing eye for photography. Some who trained professionally, some who it comes to naturally and grew up with a camera in their hands. AMAZING photographers, i should know, I worked in the imaging industry for 12 years with photographers. Guys who make big bucks from name brands. I know when a shot is breathtaking. When the lighting is right. When the picture is retouched or the real deal. Mama, take that camera, build your portfolio, build a search engine optimized website offering your niche of photography (family photographers are the best way to start) to local customers and go for it!

Anything based on past work experience that you excel at

Personal sports trainers.

Party planners.

Decorators.

Pastry Chefs. (If you live in the Bronx and make peanut and tree nut free desserts, drop me an email.)

Certified Nutritionists.

Resident nurses.

Marketing.

Law.

Secretary/Executive Assistant.

Personal shoppers. (Yes, truly. If you can dress my shape and put the right colors on me, you’re hired.)

You can take your expertise and make a living from home.

Takes a small investment and lots of elbow grease.

But it can be done.

What WAH jobs can you add to this list?

home office By: Fabio Bruna