Get Your Handyman

I noticed a job post for someone to write Twitter posts for a handyman service. They asked people to submit 5 tweets as examples. The content could be anything you deemed appropriate for the site/ service.

What would you write? This is what I am sending in. Maybe it is too commercial and too much of sales copy for what they would like. But, I don’t see the point of advertising a service to the world at large unless you can do it with email or some other digital media.

  • Need someone good with their hands in Queensland? Call Fallon Services for your handyman. We’ve got the right tools.
  • Has your TV antennae fallen and can’t get up? Call Fallon Services in Queensland. We can fix it!
  • Sprung a leak? Have a drip you can’t get rid of? Call Fallon Services, Queensland. Handyman and plumbers.
  • Getting a bit hot under the collar? Call Fallon Services, Queensland. Let us get your air conditioner working.
  • Need some electrical work done? Tidy up your wiring? Call Fallon Services, Queensland. Let us zap your problem.

Could you be a Copywriter?

The following comes from a real job posting for a copywriter. It gives a lot of detail about the job and what they are expecting. Could you get this job? Or, are there some areas you could brush up on?

Position Outline:

Responsible for writing advertising copy for all English language print advertising in Canada.

Responsibilities:

Writing effective advertising for company flyers, inserts, newspaper ads, point of-purchase signage, brochures, and other special projects.

Proofread copy proofs prior to sending out for printing and/or uploading to the website.

Assist creative department in initiating/refining ad layouts.

Work internally with product managers to develop accurate and effective advertising products.

Ensure campaigns and promotions are in alignment with overall corporate brand image, strategies, market demographics, and partnerships.

Ensure all offers and advertising claims are in alignment with applicable advertising laws at both federal and provincial levels.

Specialized skills are needed to write and conceptualize ideas for all forms of printed advertising, radio and interactive media

Qualifications:

The successful candidate must have at least 3 to 5 years working experience coupled with a College or University degree in Advertising, Marketing or English.

Must be familiar with current Canadian advertising and credit laws and regulations.

Strong organizational and time management skills are required.

Being able to work on multiple projects within tight deadlines in a detail driven environment is crucial.

A proficiency in both PC and Mac operating systems is essential while having knowledge in Promotion Manager is considered an asset.

A Testimonial

A testimonial is given as acknowledgment of quality service or product. A testimonial is given by someone who has benefited from the service/ product and is willing to write (and have it published) a tribute to the quality of the product or service which they received. A testimonial needs to be sincere/ genuine and written clearly. Testimonials are valuable as word of mouth marketing.

If you write a testimonial, be honest and sincere and use your own words. Think of specifics rather than generic or multi purpose meanings. Don’t try to be too kind or flattering. You shouldn’t try to sell the product or service, instead, write as if you were telling a friend what you found useful, good or above your expectations about the service or product.

Keep the testimonial short, sometimes a sentence is just fine. It shouldn’t go beyond a paragraph. That’s enough to write and enough for someone else to give a quick read.

When a testimonial is published the person who gave it should have credit for it. Link to their site, or write the name of their own business, something that turns them into a creditable source and gives a point of reference. Also, if you wrote the testimonial you should ask where it will be published and check it once it does become available.

When you are actually asked to write a testimonial the simplest thing is to speak it out loud and write down what you said. If that doesn’t work for you try a structured approach:

  • Why did you need the product/ service?
  • Why did you choose that product or service?
  • What were your concerns as you began using the product/ service? What did you think might not work, or might not work for you?
  • What were the results that you did get from the product/ service?
  • What did you especially like about the product or service, was there a feature that really stood out or an extra benefit which you had not expected?
  • Who would you tell about this product/ service and what would you want them to know?
  • Will you use the product/ service again? Why?

An effective testimonial is in the customer’s own words but may have edits (which should be approved by the customer) to make the meaning clear or to add the name of the product or service. You want the testimonial to be sincere but you want it to be clear as well. Also, specifics are important, rather than something ambiguous like “the service was great!”.

Don’t write your own faked testimonials. You will end up sounding phony and insincere. In the end you will lose more than you will gain. When someone else writes a testimonial their perspective is not the same as your own, it will have more truth than advertising.

Don’t be shy about asking for a testimonial from someone who lets you know they are pleased with your service. People like to be asked for their opinion, to feel important. Also, as bloggers, they may be glad to have a link back to their own site.

Extra Resource:
WikiHow: How to Write a Personal Testimonial About Yourself?

A real testimonial as an example and an actual testimonial:

UP to the DL has a fresh, new white paper for sale, written as a guide to new and not so new bloggers who are getting into running and accepting ads on their sites.

“I’ve read the ProBlogger book, from the perspective of a long time blogger I didn’t learn many new things. However, reading “Passive Income” an article from Deanna I found at least two new things which I had never thought of before. I was impressed and I came away with something new to try in my own advertising and money making efforts online. Yay me!”

Testimonial by Laura, of ThatGrrl.ca and Word Grrls.com.

Creative Technologists

Creative Technologists are a new type of breed. The Creative Geek (or “Creek” for short) has a very unique and mixed profile. It’s a profile where the left side of the brain meets the right side. Creeks are logical, rational, analytical and objective which are all qualities coming from their technical background and left side of the brain while equally they are random, intuitive, synthesizing and subjective which are all qualities coming from the right side and creative side of the brain. They have this unique blend that looks at the parts as well at the wholes.

Quoted from post on Wunderman: The Creative Technologist, a new role in an agency near you. (I found this quoted on Everyone’s a Genius originally).

I went looking for more:

Would you call yourself a creative technologist? I think it’s a pretty great term to add to your writing resume for any web writers. We do have some of each world. That kind of experience and knowledge should count for something, even if we are not experts on the technological side.

Know Thy Less-Than-Perfectness

I am a social geek/ nerd/ cave person. I know this about myself and I am okay with it. I can live with being semi- social phobic and not all that chatty in large groups of unknown people. Some would call it shy. It isn’t really. It’s more like intimidated and growing up polite – not cutting into the conversation. (One of my pet peeves, which I do not talk about, is being interrupted when I am trying to say something).

Anyway, this is one part of my character which does not go well with blogging, the promoting part of blogging. Some say they are shameless self-promoters. This is not me. I am more like a shy, rebellious self promoter. Half of me does not even like all that advertising/ marketing/ commercial and sales stuff and the other half thinks it would be much nicer to just keep writing and not bring attention to myself. This does not work really well. It is detrimental to several of my blogging and fame seeking goals.

Still, I know myself. I know where my difficulties/ challenges are. Do you?

What is your challenge as a blogger? I won’t assume you are all in if for the fame, like myself. (I will pretend I’m not, but I know I want the glory and gusto of fame, deep in my quietly shy heart). Anyway, is your challenge something personal or something like spelling which can be helped with proofreading (unless you are one of those anti- rule reading types who thinks proofreading is for sissies).

We all have these little challenges. No one is perfect. No matter how perfect you think someone else is, just ask them, if you catch them in an honest mood. Everyone can tell you their story of woe and less-than-perfectness.

Ephemera: No More Than a Day

From Wikipdeia: Ephemera is transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day. Some collectible ephemera are advertising trade cards, airsickness bags, bookmarks, catalogues, greeting cards, letters, pamphlets, postcards, posters, prospectuses, stock certificates, tickets and zines.

If I try to think of specific things not meant to last more than a day the mind draws a blank. It’s so far from my own experience and view of the world. But I think of insects, even though they are not printed matter, some only live a day or a week.

What others things only last a day (or really short time) and why is that idea kind of romanticized?

The Ephemera Society, UK.
Flickr: Printed Ephemera
Ning: The Ephemera Network

Spinning Perception

Tim Horton’s says you save ten cents on their coffee refills if you use the plastic mugs instead of the paper cups. They could have said you pay ten cents for the paper cups each time. But it sounds better to save ten cents than to be charged an extra ten cents.

My sister opened a business a few years ago. Her initial price for admission and birthday parties had to go up when she had a better idea of her expenses after being open a month. I told her to say it had been an introductory price for the new business, a sale price, but now the business was going back to charging the standard rate. (As if that was the plan all along). She really liked the idea versus just raising her price and explaining that she had to charge more. Instead, she let customers think she had been giving them a deal (which she had, just not intentionally).

Public relations and putting a different spin on things is always interesting to me. You can format or frame an idea in a different way and completely change the outlook of others. Does it mean people are gullible? No, I think it just means there is more than one way to look at things, like being optimistic or pessimistic.

“Subliminal perception is a subject that virtually no one wants to believe exists, and — if it does exist — they much less believe that it has any practical application. . . . The techniques are in widespread use by media, advertising and public relations agencies, industrial and commercial corporations, and by the Federal government itself.” – Wilson Bryan Key

“Public-relations specialists make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them so that the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by sturdy blooms” – Alan Harrington

Looking for a Link Exchange?

Want to trade links with me? Let’s not do it the old fashioned way. I don’t want to have a huge list of sites I don’t really want to endorse by giving them a link here. I don’t want to check each link to make sure the content has not had a sudden change of topic. I don’t want to test each of them for link rot either.

Instead, the new way to do link exchanges is by using a network like CMF Ads. Join the forum for a look around. Join your sites to the advertising network and set up your account with a 125 x 125 square image. You don’t have to buy a thing. But you can if you want to speed things up.

Using CMF Ads lets you exchange links the easy way. Someone else has the headaches all you do (once you set up your site to run the widget) is accept or deny ads. Placing ads on other sites is also just that easy.

Sales Technique for Writing

I’ve never liked being a salesperson, yet as a writer we are in fact, salespeople. You can’t get around it. We sell ourselves as credible sources for information. But, we also sell our ideas and our writing itself. If you’ve ever thought “Why should anyone read my stuff?” You can understand the relationship between sales and writing (even before publishing comes into it). We want readers to buy into our writing, to be believe what we write, take it seriously. So, we have to sell it.

The following comes from: How Stuff Works – http://money.howstuffworks.com/sales-technique1.htm

“The foundations of most modern sales techniques lie in five stages of action. These began in the 1950’s and include:

Attention: You have to get the attention of your prospect through some advertising or prospecting method.

Interest: Build their interest by using an emotional appeal such as how good they will look to their boss when they make this deal that will save the company thousands of dollars!

Desire: Build their desire for your product by showing them its features and letting them sample or test-drive it.

Conviction: Increase their desire for your product by statistically proving the worth of your product. Compare it to its competitors. Use testimonials from happy customers.

Action: Encourage the prospect to act. This is your closing. Ask for the order. If they object, address their objections. There are then many variations of closing techniques that can help get the business. ”

It’s not too hard to see how that applies to our writing. Think of copywriting, fiction writing or even writing an instruction manual. The first thing you need to do is pull them in, catch their attention. You do this by surprising them, perking their curiousity, giving them what they want or showing them you have what they need. Whichever works for the writing you are doing. In website reviews a catchy headline is everything. If it’s a book you need a great opening line. Magazine articles use headlines and highlighted phrases in the article.

Interest, desire and conviction sort of roll into one theme, keeping your readers reading. How do you pull them through your writing? Some may only read the catchy beginning and then skim to the end for the conclusion. Keeping their interest through the middle is the real trick. This is where your writing style comes in. Don’t let them stop reading, keep providing content they need, want and must have. Keep the writing lively rather than droning on.

Then, as with any good sales pitch, you want them to take action. If you are writing fiction you want them to leave the world you created feeling they have left something of themselves behind when they read that last word. If you are writing copy for sales you want them to understand how important the product is. If you are explaining how something works you want them to feel confident enough to proceed and use the product. Even if your only purpose is simple entertainment, you want them to buy that from you. In order for it to be bought, you have to sell it.