Category Archives: Coaching

The Legal Side Of Copywriting, Marketing, Email Marketing and More

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The Legal Side Of Writing (AND Teaching) For Your Business
By: Sandi Krakowski
 

When I began my first business it was important to understand trademarked names, phrases and logos. We had over 400 kitchenware products we were drop shipping and while most vendors and dealers gave us unlimited permission to use the graphics and images in our online and printed catalog, some required that we only use 2-3 images at the most. This occurred when a vendor also sold the product we purchased from them for resale on their own company websites or catalogs. Limited use is the phrase for only permitting someone to use images and descriptions in a limited way. 
 
Many times I used the phrase, “The Art Of Bread Rising” in my marketing and was advised several times to have this trademarked or copyrighted. We never did and I honestly didn’t care who used it. No one could compete with me and how we did business anyways. That isn’t an arrogant statement it’s just that people are loyal to people in business, and the way I ran my eCommerce stores was very unique. 
 
So where do you draw the line between what you should protect, what you can’t use that belongs to someone else and the wide range of imaginary protection some companies use that aren’t even legal in the first place (like over-inflated non-compete contracts)?
 
When it comes to trademarked names, phrases and images it’s a good idea to check the Trademark Database. Here’s an example- a picture of a bull wouldn’t be copyrighted or trademarked, that would be foolish. Using a photo of a bull is too common. But a picture of a bull with a line through it and the words, ” No Bull” are a trademarked image used by the legends in Direct Response Marketing and Copywriting, Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer. 
 
Trademarks aren’t hard to find and sometimes you can even ask for permission to use something and it’s no big deal. You might stumble upon a JV deal or affiliate product you want to add to your marketing, and the vendor or product creator will gladly give you usage.
 
When you do catalogs online or offline, ask for the images directly from your vendor. Even when you do JV deals, promote a book or a product from someone else, just ask for the images you can use. That’s easy to do. People are happy to provide them and respect the integrity it takes to ask.
 
The legalities of copywriting and writing ad copy is pretty significant. 
 
I surely don’t want you to turn into a paranoid writer but be mindful of these rules.   You can get a good overview of what they are here from The American Writers And Artists Inc.  This book shares what you can and can’t say in copy and how to be wise.  However, If you aren’t looking to make 6-7 figures AS a copywriter I don’t think you need this book. 
 
LISTEN UP, though…… if you are selling weight loss products, for example, you might find it important to note that in this book you’ll see that outrageous claims, misuse of testimonials and stating things that can’t be scientifically proven could fry your butt (and your company!) in the long run.
 
I worked with a company years ago that had one of the best products on the market. 
 
This product literally flew off our shelves. Branding happened almost instantly because of the results people got. Then they made some foolish mistakes and didn’t watch what people were saying. When you called their corporate office to order a bottle of the amazing liquid supplement you heard story after story of miraculous events occurring because of the ingestion of said product. This went BEYOND just testimonials and now they were advertising health claims, miracles and more.
 
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe many natural products can heal the body. I take several every single day. But to make a claim that something cures cancer, kills cancer cells, makes every single person who takes it drop 5 dress sizes in 24 hours is just not a good thing to do. Not to mention it breaks a very big copywriting rule that will ruin your conversions- it’s UNBELIEVABLE! Just because something is fantastic doesn’t mean the average person will want to buy it. Keep it relatable, easy to use and you’ll see more sales. No exaggerations needed!
 
Legal rules in the marketing of nutritional supplements is important to understand. Easy remedy- listen to what your company supplier tells you if you are in direct sales and honor those recommendations. They have a lot more at stake than you do. But pay attention when someone goes off the deep end! The company we worked with mentioned above went out of business with a $ 3 million dollar lawsuit and an FTC fine. Yikes! 
 
Back to trademarks….. I’ve often heard it’s better to ask for forgiveness later than to seek permission from the get go. Whoever came up with that statement was a nut! ASK permission and avoid a law suit. 
 
Don’t copy what others do.
 
Just because someone else was very successful using a phrase or word in their copy doesn’t mean you can copy and paste it into your campaign. Especially if they used someone else’s trademarked product, slogan or graphics. 
 
In closing here are a few tips:
 
1.  Be careful you aren’t using someone else’s trademarked logo or graphic or phrase. But don’t be paranoid about this topic.
 
2.  Remember that original ideas might not always be the best thing to come up with. Most successful businesses are built on someone else’s idea that had a unique selling proposition attached to it.
 
3. Just because someone has a ton of contracts does not mean they are in control.
 
4. Build your business, fan the flame of creativity in everyone around you, and work together as a team to get the best results possible.
 
5. Don’t steal someone else’s trainings. Remember as well that when someone teaches a class and you take that lesson and teach it as your own, charging people to learn from you, not only is that copyright infringement, it’s a licensing violation and could end up costing you MILLIONS of dollars in fines. Teach your own classes, in your own way. Be brilliant and use the skills God gave you. No one gets ahead stealing. 
 
Don’t get into trouble with a trademark!
 
Kick your business into higher profits by being yourself in marketing, being creative and understanding good copy sells because the words trigger a buying response, not because someone else’s trademarked image (or content!) was used.  
 
With love,
Sandi Krakowski

P.S.   If YOU need some help in your business coming up with creative content that converts OR you want to build a career around managing other
people’s content as a social media manager, my class that is coming in May is almost sold out! Get a seat now before it’s too late! :)  (The one who delays
always stays. JUMP! Get a seat!) 

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Will This Work? Jumping In With Both Feet As A New Business Owner

By | Blog, Coaching, Email Marketing, List Building, PPC, SEO, Social Media, Wordpress | No Comments

 

Will This Work?

 Jumping In With Both Feet As A New Business Owner

By: Sandi Krakowski

 

When we start a new business so many questions can run through our mind. Things like: 

“Will this work?”

“Is this something I can make money on?”

“Should I be doing this?”

…..are just a small sampling of the common questions that can plague the new business owner. Imagine if you will, that there is a coach who knows everything. They can just look at an idea and know if it will fly. Let’s say there is such a coach who anyone can bring their their business plans to. This person is able to tell others, “Yes that will work and be very profitable” or “No that’s a failing idea and that won’t work at all.” Such a coach, if there was one, would dominate the marketplace and be the “Go To” person of all business owners. Rest assured, there isn’t such a person. No one knows what can work or not work, what will be profitable and what will not just by reviewing documents and ideas from beginning business owners. 

Back in reality however, there are a few things every new business owner must take into consideration before putting their eggs into one basket believing their great business idea is going to build millions-

1. Market Research– it’s so important to know the climate where you wish to launch your business. Here’s a big key- is it being done by someone else already? If it’s not, there’s a very good reason for that. Because it won’t work! You want to find successful and profitable business models and then add your unique attributes and ‘spin’ to things. This is how you come up with a million dollar idea. Do something others have done but do it so uniquely YOU go farther! 

Let’s say you want to sell lambswool baby rugs for inside of a crib. My son had one of these as a little guy and it was very beneficial to him. It helped him sleep longer, have less tummy issues and he grew up loving it even late into life. Today, he even has a lambswool pillow case!

Begin doing research on where these lambswool items are being currently sold. Look at all the websites you can find. Do research that leaves no stone unturned. (like hours worth, not just one day!) Become so familiar with what is out in the marketplace with your perspective niche that you can tell the pros and cons in your field. 

Who is the best? What are the mistakes people are making? What are customers asking for? This can lead you to something very unique. Find the need that people have and if it’s within your ability to do so, fill it. Give an excellent experience with the purchase. Offer incredible customer service. Really care about your customers. This my friends is what a good business is made up of. 

2. Current Demand – Can you fix a problem and do it in such a unique way that everyone wants to be a part of it? Take fitness, for example.

Fitness is common, right? But dancing and doing choreographed kickboxing moves are not! Chalene Johnson has created many videos and DVD’s that BeachBody sells all over the world. She took a common thing- fitness and dance and created an uncommon solution. It’s fun and people love doing it! (Including yours truly!) 

Here’s another one- Teaching people how to blog, use WordPress and build a website with a small budget is not uncommon. But most of the current training venues out there, courses, books, DVD’s and videos, are all full of ‘geek speak’ that confuse people half to death!  We decided to “KISS- Keep It Simple Silly!” and have been hugely successful with our step-by-step courses that range from WordPress, to Web Copywriting, to Email Marketing and more. Growing a business with more than 80,000 clients in under 9 months we started and that later grew to over 1.8 million clients PROVES it was an ‘in demand and a unique offering’ people love!

3. Financial Considerations– It makes me very concerned when people purchase training courses and business opportunity kits like they do a lottery ticket. Now I’ve built businesses and pulled myself out of massive debt, but this is different. Making a decision to buy a business opportunity so that you can work hard real fast and pay off your past due bills is really not wise if you’ve never run a business before… or worse yet know nothing about business.

Learning to develop your marketing skills, write amazing copy, how to speak to your ideal client, write a blog and market any product is more important than anything else you could learn.

It’s going to take some money to learn marketing and start a business, so be prepared to invest some money. But if you put your marketing training above anything else it has been my experience that people begin to earn a profit MUCH more quickly than if you put it last. 

 Many new business owners get so caught up in the idea phase of business they forget that more important in all of your business building activities is Marketing. Even a ‘brilliant’ idea can fail if marketing is not done correctly. Sometimes a ‘not so good’ product can do well when marketing is done amazingly!

This is one of the biggest reasons why I created my entry level of our Inner Circle Mastermind, where the focus  of our program is marketing. It’s not a website assessment, audit, counseling session for dreams or hand holding to creating new ideas- it’s a strategic step by step online marketing mentorship putting into the hands of a beginner the keys they need to market and be successful online, QUICKLY.

When we understand what it takes to get a website up and running, how to craft a great opt in offer, write auto responders that build rapport and connect for us with our prospective clients 24/7, write newsletters, create amazing sales page and set up a shopping cart- the reality is this- we’ve now covered the hardest part that so many people miss. Finding the right product or service is actually much easier!

When we get our marketing in order, and we we learn how to launch something into the marketplace, find our ideal client, create a tight-knit growing list, offer and message, than the issue becomes, “What do we sell?”  Far too many times people spend most of their time in product development phase and they present something to the marketplace without any marketing abilities or without even knowing if the market wants what they have. Worse yet, they have NO ONE to sell to.

“Will this work?”  It’s the question every business owner asks themselves. A better question would be, “Do I know how to market this?” Now that you know what to begin in your online business career, finding the ideal product and service will be a lot easier. Because a big part of marketing is finding your ideal client and everything they need.

With love,

Sandi Krakowski

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Kiss Cold Calling and Phone Prospecting Goodbye And Use Social Media To Close More Sales

By | Auto Responders, Blog, Classes, Coaching, Coaching, Email Marketing, List Building, Marketing Points, Offline Marketing, PPC, SEO, Social Media | One Comment

woman on phone

Kiss Cold Calling and Phone Prospecting Goodbye And Use Social Media To Close More Sales

By: Sandi Krakowski

Have you noticed a shift in how people communicate?

No one wants to talk on the phone anymore!

Even when it's a friend or family member calling, talking on the phone all day is no longer desirable!

Most people do not want to answer the phone when someone they know calls. They'd rather talk to them online through social media, email or texting. So how can someone who is trying to build a business use the phone to do so? Or would a better question be, do you have to use the phone like we used to in years past to grow your company?

We can't do cold calling and phone prospecting like we used to be able to do it. As someone who has personally dialed more than 30,000 leads myself in my years of phone prospecting, it is my belief that we either have to step up- or step out, when it comes to using the phone to build our business. (Yes! I have phone logs and lead lists to prove I DID that many phone calls! Wild huh?)

If people don't want to answer the phone when a friend calls what makes anyone think they'd want to talk to a complete stranger?

Currently, A Real Change International has a client base of over 1.5 MILLION customers. News flash! We don't have phones ringing non-stop, we don't have a call center and we don't have employees falling like flies because they are worn out with whining customers. Most of our clients speak to my team of staff through either email or social media. Answers are fast and easy – everyone is happy. This is the new way to do business. Our customers tell us all the time they love it!

When you build a company, one of the biggest keys to success is staying relevant to where customers are currently. If customers don't want to talk on the phone, it's our responsibility as business owners to put up systems so that they can contact us in a way that they feel most comfortable. It's obvious that social media is where people want to communicate in the year 2014. 

Having someone active at all times through email and social media gives our clients a high level of security and trust when doing business with us. Here at ARC, we do have a phone line where someone can be reached during normal business hours. But most of our clients reach out to us through email and social media, as their preferred means of communication.

This same method can be in place if you are running a business that requires a lot of phone prospecting or calling. One of the best ways to get through to a gate keeper is to build a relationship with them online! By doing some initial connection with a client's assistant or secretary through Facebook, Twitter or email, you'll not only be welcomed when you call by phone, but you'll be invited! 

Social media and email are great ways to 'warm up' a lead or to even do your sifting. When I was prospecting years ago for a direct sales company, I would send out initial emails that asked all the right questions to get my clients to reply back to me. These are some of the same things we do today with every person who joins our email list and the results are amazing!

Rather than having hotel meetings, many people online are now hosting tele-classes, info summits that are run virtually and even Skype Chat video parties!  In the same way social media and email have made it much more easy to connect with people and start a genuine conversation quickly.

Disconnect your phone a few hours per day and start making relationships with prospective clients through social media. This is how I was able to make a solid 7-figure income in my copywriting business, too!

Social media and email are how most people prefer to communicate. Go to where your client is, speak their ideal language and closing more sales will be easier than ever!

Come join me on Twitter and let me know if you are already using social media to build your business! I'd love to hear how it's going for you! Connect with me here: http://www.twitter.com/sandikrakowski 

Whatever you do, remember this- People love to talk to those who care and make them feel special. Social media is one of the best places to make that happen!

Sandi Krakowski