The Sophia Surprise
A One Minute Screenplay
About Your Business...
An attractive young woman in her late twenties is working on her computer. Multicolored lights from the screen flicker across her face. She smiles with her eyes as she shimmies with her hips around and into overstuffed pillows grasping a GOLD PLASTIC credit card with her thumb. Settled, she types—
C/U LAPTOP SCREEN
The letters fall rapidly to spell out
telephone number Briggs gift shop
THE COMPUTER cursor arrow taps an button on the page and then—
A fresh screen explodes as a new page. She grins and WE SEE her click the cursor again. She has autodialed the store right from her computer. She waits as it rings. She adjusts the volume and the ringing gets LOUD. Excited about how well this is going she sits forward and waits
WE SEE THE YOUNG WOMAN
The RINGING of the phone stops and the click tells us it had been picked up. The YOUNG WOMAN is visibly excited.
Briggs Gifts. How may I surprise YOU today?
Weird! You sound so familiar. I'm looking at this cute
Teddy Bear. It's for my new boyfriend—Bobby!
Yeah! He's cuddly. He's an investment banker.
He's handsome and best of all he's really rich!
She chortles happily as she shares her information with a stranger.
Is your name Sophia?
She pauses to inhale. The thoughts in her mind are turning over and over and she realizes—
Hi Sophia! Nice day, huh? Wanna go for a walk in Central Park later?
Bobby. You work in a GIFT shop????
I can explain—Sophia.
THE WOMAN lowers the cellphone and turns it off. She turns off the laptop and as she stands plops the LAPTOP onto the cushion where she has been sitting.
The LAPTOP bounces and becomes wedged under a pillow as if hiding.
THE YOUNG WOMAN stomps out as she pulls a jacket over her shoulders followed by the strap of a handbag.
Surprises come is all shapes and sizes. Are you ready for yours?
We are all one click away from opportunity, or regret. But, when our relationship information is wrong, we can't engage and what we thought were opportunities turn into disasters. No business lasts without customer engagement.
Direct engagement is practiced by Amazon, Apple, Federal Express. They understand relationship marketing. Why not imitate the best?
Eighty-two percent (82%) of all transactions are made via mobile devices—all around the world. But that requires knowledge and expertise no one can give you. Such engagement is exclusive to you. All you need to do is extract it from YOUR business.
Reaching Your Prospects
Is NOT As Easy As
Want You To Believe
Engagement offers a clear and strong message about your solutions. Many businesspeople have never taken this approach—but digital makes engagement mandatory. Because it's fast—a clear and strong message is REQUIRED.
That is why my clients appreciate coaching that unlocks fresh solutions for their prospects and customers.
The Red Pencil Message is a process of scheduling winning interactions easily by matching customer expectations. It's your product or service in copy and interaction. You win when you are fully engaged with your customers. Whether you have hundreds, thousands, our tens of thousands of customers—or if you are beginning!—winning relationships must be part the cornerstone of your business.
You see ONLY you can provide your skills and services. Share them and you will attract sales.
Qualified clients and your whole business improves. Researching your market exposes changes in your customer base, and your competition. (More on this the Writing Process section)
General business responses almost DOUBLE with engagement strategies. Visitors to your mobile app or website, readers of your letter, or people who scan your emails can be pulled in if you make it easy. We've created many ways to do this on mobile devices and almost any electronic device.
Sadly... Many businesses SOLE FOCUS is the initial client transaction. They foolishly leave out the potential lifetime customer relationship.
A strong message reminds customers of a problem. It provides a solution. When we coach I work to align that solution to a personal of organizational strength. There are two steps in customer engaging copy and strategy.
Reaching the RIGHT Prospects...
A Personal Decision
What distinguishes winners? Successful companies understand how, why, when, where they help their customers.
Customer research, and not capital, turns the new wheels of profit.
Here is how the Red Pencil Message works.
In 1937, a highly knowledgeable copywriter, Elmer Wheeler, did some testing.
He offered his findings to a store manager in Brooklyn, a friend. As a copywriter Wheeler recommended the servers at the counter add a simple phrase. He suggested a two-word question.
Whenever someone ordered a Coca-Cola, the soda jerk would respond: "Large one?"
One simple phrase. No training. Easy! The manager shrugged and agreed to a test. The first day sales doubled.
Wheeler's research had identified the key—engagement. The buyers motive was simple. An easy decision. No one wants to be impolite. "Large one?" Sure! Who doesn't want to be cooperative.
The offer implies a big, easy, sociable benefit. The transaction is nearly assured.
Coke's #1 question in 1937: Large one? is the same TODAY!For me? [His friends look him over.] You bet! That's no big deal to a someone like me. Deal closed.
Remember: COKE sales DOUBLED. The phrase-change was easy for the soda jerk. Customers easily agreed to the idea, generating free cash flow for decades. It is still used today.
Are results like these possible in your business? It's probably worth the test to find them.
Here's one of our best services: We research your sales points. First, we identify the LANGUAGE your customers use.
Your business’ sales, the demographic and psychographic research of your target market, titles, tags, and categories, media, headlines and calls to action... are all reviewed.
With this information your future sales can be identified. You can use that document and we can develop copy from it. You choose. Either way—it's a super-powerful tool.
How to Identify Prospect "Desires"
By investigating specific problems and objectives for your product in copy we open interest in how it works—and how its advantages make it a bargain. Think about your customer habits and behavior. The copy should illustrate your product from their point of view. This is covered in more detail later.
Truly great copy gets readers thinking. Wow! I never knew that! and Yowza, Do I need THIS! The Red Pencil Message cuts out distractions. Focuses on selling.
In the 1920s the legendary Claude Hopkins called direct response copywriting 'salesmanship in print.’
Hopkins was among the first to make his clients, and himself, very wealthy. He understood that the ONE and only objective of customer communication is: "Let's do business!"
Your business works best when a prospect spies a benefit in his self-interest.
Good copy clones your leadership and enthusiasm.
When we do it right, your sales increase and possibly double or triple.
Understandably, you want the right person for the job. And, you don't want to risk money. You don't want to waste time.
Don't get aggravated
My goal is to get you a high return on your investment in my work.
We want to know your penetrating needs and objectives for the business. These get matched with your customer targets.
Inverting, twisting, massaging data creates your ways to build hooks that engage interest.
How much can you expect to earn back with my top-notch engagement ideas and writing?
The trade magazine B2B reports that professional sales materials return 7 to 36 TIMES the investment in copy and strategy. That is a respectable return, particularly when it can be repeated several times during the year. That's our goal.
Ok. It’s time for a deeper truth.
Diligence and honesty in the copywriting process is no secret.
Authenticity is what grabs legitimate attention. However, attention is only one part of an engagement. Anyone who has ever gone on a date knows the difference between a date and a kiss!
If we were sitting together in your office—you'd have some questions for me. Let me answer a few of those questions now.
Communication Is Different Today
It's Not About You
Copywriting is persuasive writing for a commercial or even a non-profit business.
Our work encourages a specific and prompt response or action from your prospects. Direct marketing contains a structure for handling responses, feedback and, obviously, sales. But persuasive copywriting and direct response marketing are old school.
For my client work I concentrate on understanding your audience.
I have written financial strategy—for alternative investments, strategies, fintech, medtech and recently, crypto-currencies. These are tough audiences with very complex needs.
That work included print and digital B2B writing for services and B2C writing for advisory services and financial newsletters.
But, I've written for non-financial business, too—pretty much from A to Z. The process remains pretty similar.
Persuasive and direct response copywriting is all around us—that means copywriting is a $325 billion dollar a year industry in the United States alone. Much of that is moving to digital spending. Like websites, landing pages, and email campaigns.
Most marketing leaders add single-purpose websites. Email and SMS campaigns and catchy envelopes (yes, still!) in your mailbox are all direct response marketing.
But I have found many benefits at a higher level of conversation right here:
that re-sells by referral is
always based on
how you treat a customer
I enjoy crafting.
Subscription and sales letters, print and email follow-ups, email campaigns, informational content for websites, key business letters and proposals, B2B white papers about innovations and technical advances, information e-newsletters, live webinar design, success-case studies, video scripts, speeches, blog posts, and—a too often under-appreciated skill—website audits.
I want discussing these media to inspire, and not discourage, you. They aren't all expensive and they don't all NEED to be used. Nor should you use them ALL!
Message effectiveness is measurable. It is also scalable and can be refined as results come in. And it is the most important element.
Messages get adjusted. The results heightened. Especially with digital media. A projectable, even predictable, return on your investment is my goal.
I hope it is your goal, too.
Understand this—I am in business, too. Beside this consulting, I have partners in other online business-to-business products. My clients benefit from all of this.
Take This BONUS—Right Now!!!
A Short Course on How to Attract
"Qualified Leads with Professional Copywriting"
Q: Do I NEED a dedicated copywriter? Hire a copywriter for this reason: You want measurable results that will grow your business.
I have written newsletters and long-form letters. I have designed and drafted conference plans and notes from concept to sales closing and follow-up.
As a journalist, I wrote television and radio news copy and articles for print. I have written business letters my whole career on corporate and smaller business to both powerful executives and owners, and everyday people.
I am a believer in always polishing skills, at any age or experience level. Professional alliances, such as American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI) are sources. The Professional Writers' Alliance my a focal copywriting affiliation.
Marketing and copywriting techniques and tools are always changing. I have found that the stronger my business relationships—in writing and finance, for starters—the better and more powerful is my writing.
My writing is stronger when I am engaging new prospects with my clients. It's more fun.
My copywriting overlaps my strategic investment advisory. Here copywriting skills provide my clients added value to the business, financial, strategic and process plans I develop.
Copywriting is my "secret financial weapon" too, on my clients' behalf. I become their competitive and strategic advantage. In all my decision-making and business leader-client relationships, our successes depend on great writing.
Q: But—what about my website? My email marketing? And... social media?I worked at a major advertising agency in New York City on large client business. My efforts included refining messages to increase sales for those global clients. Where it was most successful, traditional advertising had leaned on strong persuasive writing that is the centerpiece of my relationship marketing.
I chose another value-adding school for my training: The Wharton School’s Finance program, at the Arresty School. This is a sort of crash course in high-level planning for CFOs (and in my case, curious marketer-partners.) You see—research isn't just reading and thinking—it's doing! And we've done a lot—So you don't have to!
Still More Secrets
You are free to use
Q: MY BUSINESS is different! Some say... [That's an okay idea but it is a VERY dangerous mistake]
I've written blog content based on live interviews with institutional money managers.
In New York City, I developed and edited numerous newsletters and websites, as well as the sales and persuasive executive letters, speech messaging and development of actionable collateral materials.
I see things a little differently. But while a business may have a unique offering the exchange process of business remains constant.
My first book, The Plan—The Machine That Runs the World (Amazon) is a suspense novella about a violent clash between wealthy New York City families.
The fictional work is based on interviews and research into the workings of real family offices, foundations and high net worth families and especially their advisors. It teaches how to manage your family team of professional advisors—from accountants to zoologists.
The story is an instructive guide to modern investing. [Two (2) Spoilers: In the book, my main character, Michael Fitzhugh, DOES NOT save the day. And second—most people prefer to be entertained over making money. The book actually produces better investment results!
That was my goal.You know.
Wealth advisors have become interested in this for their clients nearly three years after it was published. I was ahead of the curve.
Finance and money management will always present new opportunities for helping clients. My job is to help you identify and express those to begin the sales conversation, whether your business is a product or a service.
Q: What about strategic consulting?
I advise and consult. When I advise, I am recommending something as more than a suggestion. If I consult I will assist with the steps and you will pay extra for it. But it will be accomplished—and well.
So—there you are. I'm more than a copywriter. I am a businessman, so if you are also a businessperson we're at the same level.
That's more valuable to you than some opinion. Isn't it?
I'm also an idea guy who brings them to life. I keep current on domestic (The Week) and global economic (Foreign Affairs) and business topics (I am currently a fan of Barron's).
With my background in consulting I am a valuable resource for you. Marketing and sales decisions, after all, are also copy positions.
Q: What's a "copy critique" and a “web critique?” How does that help me?A copy critique is an in-depth look at your copy. A web critique covers your message and how you are using the tools available to you to close business. I will make suggestions for lead or money-generating improvements.
In copy and web-critiques this might include a sales letter or pitch, a brochure or page, a separate landing page, and online or print marketing funnels and email campaigns and blogs. I examine your headlines with the "4Us" system for writing effective headlines. (Ask about the "4Us" in a headline—it will change your business.)
I analyze the ideas communicated in your copy for clarity and persuasiveness. Calls to action (CTA) are vital. (What if they aren't? They will be after I'm through!) And your actions will be compelling.
A keen eye for grammar, tone, and style come in handy. No misspelled word or misplaced comma gets by me. This is why I was a go-to copyeditor throughout my career. I find ways to make copy stronger and clearer so the layout might change. Remember. My goal is to get your (well-defined) selling message across in front of genuine prospects.
Q: Digital media? Social media? You've done all THAT! And built websites, too? Digital communications impact all my clients in some way.
I draw from experience in television, radio, on-air, on-camera, production, writing and promotions. Today, media has evolved. Interactive email, video, interactive recorded webinars are important. They should be part of your consideration. You are likely to find huge advantages. These advantages could apply to your persuasive copy and to your business.
Q: Who are your clients... What do THEY say about your copy and counsel?I have included a partial list of past clients in this information packet. You will also notice client testimonials.
Q: How fast will I make money from my copy?Development and copy-writing time have several variables. What is the type and scope of the project? Is the client providing full and accurate responses on a timely basis?
To write I need to know about you and your goals—in depth. We will discuss many areas and I may need to drill down as we progress—so your copy works.
Larger projects, such as websites and case studies, are going to take more time. These have elaborate requirements. You have no doubt heard how easy is it to place a website today. That is true. But, you are unlikely to like a site that doesn't achieve your goals.
Sites involve research, interviews, writing, automation schematics, and editing, just as a business letter does.
Shorter projects such as short copy emails and blog posts will have a quicker turnaround. We can discuss a deadline that works for you when we talk.
Q: If I hate what you've done—do you revise?I offer two copy revisions on every custom project. The changes must be inside the scope of the original project. I will be happy to review your comments and edits.
To make it easier for both of us, I often use Google Docs/Drive so we can share input as available. It's a handy tool, for now, that I recommend to clients.
Note: Deadlines are critical to results. If we both honor our agreements this will work very well. That includes the agreed payment schedule. If a new client causes a delay, I reserve certain rights. Among these: To reschedule due-dates, cancel the agreement, or renegotiate the entire agreement. I assume we are all businesspeople: We're adults. There are no refunds. Let's just commit to big results.
Q: Do we have to get along? You will find that working with me is easy. My client communications are proactive. I will inform you of the status of any project I'm working on, particularly as we get close to a deadline. I answer client emails within 24 hours.
There are best practices in any service business. I have seen many, as a journalist, as a broker, and as a writer. Each one demonstrated the value of maintaining high standards. That is how I work with my clients—as reciprocating professionals advancing to the same goal.
Q: Not that I haven't worked with a professional copywriter...but, I have a proven process that works very well. There is a full description of it on this site. And we will discuss the process and your objectives in detail. I make myself available with few limitations, and with the expectation that my client is a professional seeking the best path to her results. Every custom assignment I accept is treated as my own.
Q: Can you help me look better? This is work. And, it requires open and regular communication to make it effective—so it has the chance to achieve your goals. I typically retain some rights to use the copy strategy I create. You receive full lifetime use rights. My ego has no good place in client copywriting.
If these ideas run counter to your world-view, no problem. I would be happy to provide you with the names of other great copywriters.
Q: I'm thinking about it Rob... Ok. How do we—you know... The quickest way to get in touch with me is to call 561 214-4866. We'll discuss your project(s), goals, and business.
If you prefer, shoot me an email: email@example.com and
I'll get back to you within 24 hours.
So. What's Your Red Pencil Message?
Know Your Prospect's Desires
Grow Your Business—SIMPLY
Attract and engage up front—
draw the right clients!
Enjoy your business more
Make MORE money with a
Really—Aren't you ready for better...?
PS: Look. Time flies—yours, mine, and your clients. Businesspeople are decisive. They know when strategy needs a review. (I can tell you some true stories.) Contact me today—confidentially and without obligation or hassle from me—about your business objectives and desires. LOSE NO MORE QUALIFIED PROSPECTS with writing and strategy to win.
PPS: I usually include include mobile-ready work at no additional cost. You know why. Boost your visibility to new business. Reach the 80%+ of the world that already does transacts day-to-day business via mobile devices.
What Can You Do?
Focus your underlying strategic on your advantages and strengths. This is efficient. This will nurture your best quality prospects around the clock with automated customer engagement.
Build powerful interactive copy in your blogs, mobile automations, landing pages, email campaigns, printed collateral material. This will secure your introductions and lead straight to transactions!
The right leads refine your customer knowledge. That leads to more leads... and better prospects.
Write? Just do it.
All this grows your business sustainably—measurably and confidently! THAT is the power of your Red Pencil Message.
Copyright Robert M Bailey 2019 All Rights Reserved