copywriting Archives - Sandi Krakowski, Facebook Marketing Growth Hacker, Copywriter, Direct Marketer

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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BIG Copywriting Tip For Facebook Ads & Your Sales Pages

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How To Write Better Headlines And Ads (and GET THE CREDIT CARD!)

The bottom line of every business is closing business. Even if you love your business, it’s driven by passion and you want to help people, at the end of the day, if you don’t close business (have money going into your bank account) you’re going to have to CLOSE your business soon! Operating like a “non-profit” is not a good sign for a business. Even non-profits have to bring in donations, sponsors and money to keep their doors open!

One of the biggest things you can do for your business is learn how to write better headlines, ads and call to actions. The best website, email campaign, YouTube video, Facebook page and even the best InstaGram following isn’t going to add up to much IF you can’t write a great headline that causes people to jump OUT of the seat, grab their credit card and start entering THEIR numbers into YOUR shopping cart. It could make you feel super popular, envied and great about yourself, but you won’t be paying off any debt, supporting missions you believe in OR going on any dream vacations if you can’t close sales!

4 Closely Guarded Secrets For Magnetic Copywriting:

1- Speak to ME about what I want and not about your product. When you write a Facebook ad, rather than saying, “Buy The Best Tasting Shake Thousands Of People Love!” tell me about what I WANT with an ad that says something like this, “Stop Laying Down To Put Your Jeans On! One Shake Per Day Makes The Fat Go Away!” or something like this, “Those Skinny Jeans Are Calling Your Name! One Shake Per Day & You’ll Be There In No Time!”

So many small business owners love their product or service so much they just HAVE to talk about it. But can you imagine if I sold you my Facebook Ads class and said that it was filmed on the best video platform so you could play it anytime day or night and it has the best HD color and it will be filled with all kinds of things you’ve been hoping and praying for! You might be curious, but I’m not gonna get that credit card until I say, “It’s going to show you how to cut your ad costs in half and bypass all of the long steps most marketers take to higher conversions! Use dark posts to get your competitors customers buying your products without them even knowing it!”  NOW I got your attention. You want money, you want short cuts, you want your competitors customers and you want them NOW!  See what I mean? Speak to me about what I want and you’ll get my credit card.

2- Use a photo I can relate to and stop showing me your product!  When doing Facebook ads and to be honest with you, even sales pages, focusing on the product, what the product does and how pretty the product is really doesn’t work. It might have grabbed your attention on an infomercial, but remember, that same infomercial also told you stories and stories and more stories you could relate to and before you knew it, even against your better judgment, you took your credit card out!

So when you write a Facebook ad, create your next sales page and send out your next email campaign, try using a photo that shows the people your product or service will help. When we did our Facebook Ad class I didn’t use photos of the FB ad manager. NOPE! I used photos of small business owners and made over $348,000 in just 60 days! When we marketed our Twitter for Business class we didn’t focus on the blue bird or all the Twitter logos! NOPE! We focused on the small business owner who was struggling to figure out what the HECK Twitter was about! $58,987 in under 2 weeks!  When we can ‘see ourselves’ in the ad, it’s just as powerful as hearing story after story on an informercial. Later on down your sales page, feel free to show me your product, tell me more stories and go into more details. But remember: Facts tell and stories sell so SHOW ME someone I can relate to in your ad and you’ll get my credit card!

3- Speak in words I can relate to and not your cultish brand ideals! So many people get super excited when they start a small business and they want to create something ‘ultra unique’ that identifies who they are and what they do. In this process, they set out to create ‘buzz words’ and phrases that will uniquely identify who they are. Sadly, this is driving a lot of business AWAY from the new business. Most of the buzz words I hear are completely irrelevant and make me want to ask the question, “What the heck does that mean anyways?” If your customer is asking this question, YOU are in trouble and you will not get the credit card!

Use words that they are already using! Read comments and testimonials on Amazon about similar products, or about books written for your niche! Pay attention to the praises and positive feedback the customers in your niche are giving to your competitors. Then FLIP THAT ON THEM: Mirror it back to them in your headline and you will close more sales and you will get the credit card! Say back to people what they are already saying. It’s Sales 101. It still works on social media!

I hope these tips help you when you’re writing ads.

Remember, TEST don’t guess. Do tests. Try different options! Don’t guess your way through! I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years now. I wrote my very first Pay Per Click ad for LinkShare and Overture before GOOGLE was even created. So I’ve been around the block so many times you can see my footprints. A lot of people give me their credit card heeheehee! AND… I’ve had the honor of pouring into a lot of missions that mean the world to me!

Trust me, these tips will work. I look forward to seeing the results you get!

With love,

Sandi Krakowski

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How One Business Owner Increased Her Profits By Changing Her “Voice”

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 Business Woman Speaking

Do YOU Need To Change Your Voice?

Suzette owns a consulting practice where she serves families who have autistic children. She is a speech pathologist  and has gone to college and worked with the a lot  medical experts to understand the psychological and physical aspects of autism. Her very successful practice is run in her home. Learning how to transfer her message to a social media world presented several challenges. This is why she came to me for some help. 

When she started working on her Facebook page and wanted to increase engagement, it was only natural for her to believe that doing videos and blog posts from a medical and professional standpoint would be the best way to serve others.  In her practice she really enjoyed being able to work with parents and brought solutions to help their children. However, even though she did regular videos and blog posts, her engagement was very very low, and no matter how many articles or videos she did nobody was talking back to her.

She thought her targeting was off. So she changed her ads, tried to write her headlines more ‘specific’. Diving into the latest studies, medical journals and such, she was convinced if she could just provide more information than everyone else, things would change.

I reviewed what she was doing in one of our consulting appointments and knew immediately where the problem was. She was speaking ‘over the head’ of her clients. Even though everything she learned in school said to not get too personal, and to be sure she maintained the ‘Alpha’ position, when it came to social media she was going to have to get personal. The parents were desperate and they didn’t want to feel intimidated by more medical jargon they didn’t understand.  

When we did our research together, reviewing other Facebook pages that dealt with autism, most of them were autistic societies and organizations that also served the parents, but they were very technical, too. The majority of the comments, however,  were from desperate parents wanting help. THIS is where most business owners miss it. They review their competitors content and they’re not paying attention to the COMMENTS coming in from customers and clients.

Suzette had to reinvent the way that she talked, the way her videos were presented, including even the background set up of her videos, the words that she used, and even the topics that she discussed if she wanted to make headway. It was important for her to speak to the parents in their words, at their level, and remembering how stressed out and exhausted they were.

When we worked together in a consultation I helped her to see that the colors in her videos had to change first: the soft and muted backgrounds,  as well as muted clothing she was wearing were not going to work. I asked her to describe to me what she used in her practice that help the children. She said bright colors, things that were animated, and most times, pictures were  instead of or along with words. It was going to be very important for Suzette to lay aside the fact that she had a medical background and training and now she had to speak to the parents at their level. Everything she had learned in school had to be put aside, and she needed to really show that she cared. It took a really big level of personal growth for Suzette to realize that even though she is the expert, it was time to talk to people on her Facebook page the way she did when she was working with parents in her office. Image and appearance had to be laid aside and her focus had to be on how to help these struggling parents.

The changes she made were dramatic and so were her results. When she started talking more one-to-one in a casual tone about the topics of frustration, worry, exhaustion and even feeling like a failure as a parent, engagement skyrocketed on her page. The parents responded instantly.

Some professionals might say that is that lowered herself and would lose her credibility. But with my consultation I was able to show her that actually she earned the trust of the parents who are ultimately going to be paying her. Speaking to them on their level and providing solutions made her the one they wanted to trust. The front end of her marketing had to be very personal and at the parents level. 

It took a lot of time to redo her website, rewrite the copy, get new pictures, change the clothing she was wearing, change the background that she was using with her video props, and then, changing how she spoke on video. Unfortunately, I usually see a lot of business owners who are given this type of solution in our consultations, but they just aren’t willing to to make the changes. Suzette was. Initially it was very scary. I remember how nervous she was about it, and she began to wonder what other people would think in her industry. When we discussed the fact that it didn’t matter what other people thought, it didn’t matter what her competitors opinions were, she never got into this industry to care about what her competitors or the other experts thought, but to serve children. This took her to a whole new level of serving.

Ironically Suzette has just had her first baby. Now she’s going to understand talking to the parents- parent to parent as opposed to expert to parent, at yet ANOTHER whole new level. It’s going to be important for her to remember she is the expert, now that she’s a parent and she has to be cautious to not get too familiar. Being friendly and being vulnerable with your clients is not being familiar.

Suzette is reinventing the speech pathology world and things are going fantastic, her future looks bright. Unfortunately, though, sometimes when I work with clients, the future doesn’t look that bright. They’re very emotionally attached to what they’ve done, they’re very concerned about what their competitors will think, and they forget about the people that they’re serving and what they have to offer. Sadly, they stay STUCK.

If you’re interested in more consultation makeovers and reinventions join me in my Inner Circle Mastermind Coaching program. Every month I’m reinventing a couple businesses and showing what I would do if I owned them.

If I owned Suzette’s business I am confident I could take it to over $1 million in six months. I’m excited that Suzette is taking steps forward and I hope that she continues on this path. By the way, Suzette and I are working on information products that she’ll be able to deliver to the parents and people won’t have to necessarily be in her home office, face to face, all of the time. This is opening up a brand-new income stream for her, and because of the new baby, she’s excited to see this grow. My prayer for her is that she will continue to reinvent herself, break the rules and do things other people are NOT doing.

The big issue for the majority of small business owners is this- keep your mind off of her competitors, ignore what people think and keep your focus on WHO you serve. This is how I’ve been able to make millions of dollars in the companies I’ve started.

Write in the comments below the biggest challenge YOU have in your business. Then jump into the Inner Circle.  (See link at the top of this page marked, “Inner Circle Mastermind”.  YOU could be my next reinvention! :) 

With love,

Sandi Krakowski

P.S. Originally this was written to not disclose the ‘real identity’ of the business owner. But Hallie Bulkin would love for you to see what she does, and how she’s implemented the changes here.