The Essential Key to Making Your Web Content Understood by Absolutely Everyone

by Marcus Sheridan

blog jargon

As I was churning away on my elliptical Friday night around 11pm, I found myself watching the latest episode of NBC’s “The Shark Tank”—a show that I’m starting to feel should be required watching for every entrepreneur and business owner from here to the North Pole. The reason why I say this is because the entire success or failure of the show’s contestants (entrepreneurs trying to get investors to agree to their concept/business and invest money) is contingent upon clear communication. And in this particular episode, a gentleman that was pitching an advanced water bottle/filtration system was so very unclear in explaining his product that he immediately lost the respect of the judges.

Literally, as I watched this man attempt to articulate the unique features and benefits of his water bottle, and as I saw the sweat start to build on his forehead upon realizing that he was a crashing and burning, my mind was brought back to a problem I’ve been seeing a lot more of lately:

A huge portion of businesses can’t explain, in the most simplistic of terms, the problems they solve.

Instead of describing what they do in a way that relates directly to the consumer (again, their problems), they instead dance around theory, ideas, and cloudy phraseology that makes everyone’s head spin until the point of mental exhaustion.

Why Interview-Based Blogging Isn’t For Everyone

I bring this up because a few months ago, I started a very unique blog outsourcing solution called EasyBizBlogging. With this being an interview-based system, we are able to help people that don’t have the desire or time to write and produce web content by sitting down for  a 1-hour virtually recorded interview and complete 6-10 new posts per setting. Even better, the content is produced in their voice, something that is often the biggest problem with blog outsourcing.

This being said, I have found that services like EasyBizBlogging are not for everyone. And why is this? Because, as I mentioned above, some people simply can’t seem to explain what it is they do. This can be especially prolific in the B2B realm where the “thing” being offered is a service.

Keep in mind many of the companies  I’ve worked with up to this point could easily address how their service (or product) addressed consumer issues, concerns, problems, etc.—but at the same time, I’ve worked with others that, after having interviewed them, it was almost impossible to makes sense of what was said in a way a prospect or consumer could easily understand it.

A Sole Focus on Problems Solved

Recently, I’ve become very good friends with a gentleman named Ian Altman. He’s a member of Cadre, a business group I belong to in Washington DC and is easily one of the most talented communicators I’ve ever been around. With Ian, 90% of his time is spent helping business understand who they are. But when it comes to understanding who they are, the conversation is never primarily based on company lingo, jargon, services, products, and all that all junk that seems to kill great business to consumer(B2C) or business(B2B) communication. Instead, Altman’s sole focus is on helping his clients understand the problems they solve. Once this is clearly identified, and the entire organization is able to understand and articulate this vision, the communication to prospects and consumers now becomes magical—be it face to face, blog posts, video, etc.

Think about it for a second—when was the last time you met with someone for the first time and when they described what they did for a living you were left scratching your head? Personally, I know for certain in the past I’ve made the dumb mistake of telling companies “I specialize in content marketing.” Considering most people have no clue what “content marketing” even means, it’s not  the smartest thing in the world for me to come out of the gates talking about it.

This is exactly why my communication today with prospects goes a little something like this:

“Businesses come to me because they have problems and need them fixed.

They’re tired of getting a report from their SEO firm and not having any idea what it means or if they’re getting results.

They’re tired of hearing all this talk about social media and not knowing how or where to start.

They’re tired of having a great company with a great product or service that doesn’t get noticed by anyone.

They’re sick of seeing their competitors crush them online and want to make some digital noise of their own.

So I fix these and many other problems business have…”

Do you see the difference? Instead of saying something really dumb like, “I’m a content marketing expert” I focus the conversation on all the problems I can help solve.

Since taking this approach, my face to face communication has improved drastically and I’m starting to help clients catch this same vision with all their verbal and digital communications as well.

It’s Time to Figure it Out

My point with this little post is a simple one:

If you can’t tell me, in simple terms, what problems your company solves, then you need to stop talking and go figure it out. Heck, contact Ian. But it needs to happen. If it doesn’t happen, your verbal communication will stink and your web content will stink even worse.

In fact, here’s what I’d love to do, just as a little challenge: In the comment section below, tell me the problems you solve. Again, don’t tell me your service, I’m only interested in the problems you solve. Include a link to your website as well if you’d like so readers that share the problem can see how you could fix it. If it goes to spam, I’ll make sure to bring it out, so don’t worry.

Trust me, this will be a good exercise for you, so give it a try.

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{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

Anthony Kennedy April 8, 2013 at

I help IT Managers maximise the value from deploying the iPad within a business by working with, and coaching their leadership team on adopting and using the iPad with confidence as a core business tool.

I work with business leaders and presenters on using the iPad as a client relationship and business development tool.

I write books on using the iPad to improve individual confidence in mastering the iPad.

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Anthony, this was a first go at it, but let’s make a small adjustment to make it even better. Instead of starting your sentences with “I” start with the subject in mind:

“Companies come to me when they are experiencing problems with__________________________”
“Peopl come to me when they can’t figure out how to __________________________”

Make sense?

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Ana Hoffman April 8, 2013 at

I found it interesting you mentioned the “Shark Tank”, Marcus – I watched my first episode a couple of days ago and really saw a guy sweat trying to explain why anyone should buy his water bottles.

Love how you brought it into the post; makes a great point!

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Hey Ana! With you being an entrepreneur, you’re going to love that show, and I’m glad you saw the episode I’m referring to :-)

Hope you and the family are well,

Marcus

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Ryan Van Tuyl April 8, 2013 at

I take musicians age 8-18 and teach them how to become better musicians by placing them in performance groups and then developing their skills and confidence through workshops, rehearsals, and concerts.

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Ryan, well done for a first go-round. Try it again and this time start the sentence with:

“Aspiring musicians who are 8-18 years old come to me when _____________________________”

Good luck!

Marcus

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Craig McBreen April 8, 2013 at

Hi Marcus,

Happy Monday to ya! And great points here. When I meet with a new client they often want to focus on graphic design only, but with every branding project I have them start by crafting (with my help) a positioning statement and answer questions like these:

1. Can you clearly define your target market?

2. What are the specific needs of that market?

3. A crystal clear description of your services. (Who are you?)

4. What need does your product or service satisfy?

5. What makes your business stand out?

And as you pointed out, it’s more about what they can do for a potential client/customer. This sets the tone for copywriting, tagline, blog posts and yes, visual branding! If the business owner can’t recite an elevator pitch it’s time to go back to the drawing board and hold off on design and copy. Step one is positioning.

Dude! On the elliptical Friday night around 11pm! You are making ALL of us look bad ;)

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Hahaha Craig, I like eating too much not to be working out at 11pm on a Friday night brother! :-)

Keep helping clients like you do man, I love how you help them reframe things ;-)

Marcus

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Krista Kotrla April 9, 2013 at

I inspire people to lead a great company culture. I love to spark enthusiasm for social business transformation. I love figuring out how to utilize the strengths of everyone on a team.

And I love Shark Tank.

I am also uncomfortable stringing together so many “I” statements. :)

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Samy April 9, 2013 at

Hi Marcus,

good point, as usual.
We help bettors by providing tips along with a clear overview of their bankroll.

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Not bad Samy. Try it again though by saying instead, “People come to us where they have _______________ and ______________ problem. We fix these problems.”

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Douglas Burdett April 9, 2013 at

I help companies attract qualified leads and convert them into customers.

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

I’m going to push you to reframe that Douglas, because it started with “You” and not your client. Try it again and finish this sentence:

“Companies come to me when they’re sick of__________________. They’re also tired of____________________. I help solve these problems.”

Give it a try ;-)

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Ian Altman April 9, 2013 at

Marcus,

Thank you for the kind words. It is natural for most people to describe WHAT you do rather than WHY people need it. Your example perfectly illustrates how it should sound. For those struggling, think of what your ideal client would complain about to a colleague – being sure to describe something you are exceptional at solving.

Use this phrase to help:

Clients come to me when they are sick and tired of…

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Ian, you know how I feel about you bud and appreciate you man. I’m sitting here responding to comments and most people are making a similar mistake and starting with “I” instead of “people” or “companies” etc. Feel free to help people through this if you get a few minutes. ;-)

You’re the best,

Marcus

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Bobby Holland April 9, 2013 at

I help clients:

1) Brand their business at the top of Google’s search results (search “atlanta church insurance” or “personal injury athens ga”… my clients are the ones at the top with their image blazing!)

2) Increase traffic to clients websites (being #1 in Google helps this a lot)

3) Capture leads through the use of lead generation

4) Follow up marketing to convert sales

5) All of the above by leveraging keyword content marketing (thank you Marcus!)

IN SUMMARY:

I help clients increase traffic to their website, build their brand in Google, and increase leads and sales through the use of high quality content.

Thank you,

Bobby Holland
http://BipperMedia.com

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Bobby Holland April 9, 2013 at

WOW… I just realized how far off I am – I just did exactly what Marcus said not to do.

Obviously I have a lot of work to do :-(

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Bobby, we’re all there to a certain extent bud. It take a major shift in the way we communicate, but one you run with it, it’s very, very powerful.

Thanks,

Marcus

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Bobby Holland April 9, 2013 at

People come to be when they are tired of not seeing their business standing out on the front page of Google, they are sick and tired of the website not attracting high quality, increasing traffic, and more than anything… they come to me when they are tired of not generating leads and sales from the web.

A lot of times, people come to me also when they just can’t stomach pouring another dime into Google Adwords with no results.

I provide a search content marketing solution that fixes all of these problems once and for all!

(how’s that?)

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Bobby Holland April 9, 2013 at

FOR EXAMPLE, a law firm here in the Atlanta area came to me after spending hundreds of dollars a month on SEO without ever reaching the front page of Google.

They hired me for one keyword phrase (probate lawyer athens ga). And after 2 weeks, they were #1 in Google AND the only search result on the front page with a Google+ profile image – which means they stand out like a sore thumb and instantly capture people’s attention and clicks.

After I achieved in 2 weeks with other SEO firms couldn’t do in 2 years, they have expanded to over 20 keyword phrases and I now handle 100% of their content marketing, web hosting, and SEO strategies.

They are KILLING IT here in the Atlanta area!

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Ian Altman April 10, 2013 at

Bobby – Now you’ve got it. Nice work!

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Bobby, I meant to tell you, this reply was AWESOME. Really, if that ain’t on your website, put it there!!

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Like you said Bobby, the good thing is you have a clear idea of what you do and what you’re good at. Now just flip it around and say it as a potential client would say it.

Once you do that, you’re there. :-)

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Bobby Holland April 9, 2013 at

Hi Marcus – any chance you can give me an idea of where I’m off track on the language I’m using? This is so awesome… thank you for taking time to work through this with everyone!

BTW – I’ve taken on some work in Atlanta and rive nearly 2 hours everyday to and from work. I’ve listened to every one of The Mad Marketing podcasts going back to October. I’ll pick up with September tonight…. awesome content my friend! Thank you

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Krista Kotrla April 9, 2013 at

That sounds soooooo much better and makes perfect sense. I love it. Thanks, Ian!

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Ian is a master at this Krista. The key is not starting with “I” and instead starting with “People” or “Companies” or “businesses” and then it’s framed how they would state it. This is the key.

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Krista Kotrla April 9, 2013 at

Yes, a little bit of a palm-to-forehead moment. What a world of difference that tiny change makes!

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Laura Foley April 9, 2013 at

People come to me to become better PowerPoint communicators. I enable them to Cheat Death by PowerPoint by teaching them some easy-to-learn graphic design and marketing techniques that transform their decks from text-heavy monsters into compelling messages.

If they’re too busy to learn these techniques themselves, people will hire me to redesign their presentations and templates. This enables them to get the results from their audiences that they’re looking for, whether it’s making a sale, successfully training staff on new procedures, passing a course, or whatever reason they’re using PowerPoint in their presentations.

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Laura Foley April 9, 2013 at

After I completed this exercise I updated my website to remove all of the “I do this and I do that” language, replacing it with copy about the problems I solve. Thanks again, Marcus!

You were working out at 11:00 pm? You nut!

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

I always work out that late Laura :-)

With your business, this model of messaging is really, really good. People have so many struggles and problems with Powerpoint and so it’s very much up your alley.

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Deb Prewitt April 9, 2013 at

I help people remember what it is like to play and have fun, by using art and creativity as a starting point. By adding playfulness and creativity into their daily lives, they can ease their stress levels, find more enjoyment and laughter, and become happier people.

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Deb, this was almost perfect. Very nicely done. Do me a favor and try another statement though. Start it this time with : “People come to me when they’ve……”

See what I’m saying? The key is not starting it with “I” and instead with “People”

Hope this helps!

Marcus

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Jim April 9, 2013 at

I’ve often found that my ignorance is often my best asset and when working with a client tend to embrace my lack of knowledge in order to fully understand what they do and the problems they solve. When I admit that I don’t understand what they are talking about, it allows me to ask the right questions and get to the heart of what they really need. It can also force the client to step outside of “industry speak” and think about what they do from a different perspective.

As for the problem I solve…how about:

I show businesses how to use information to attract potential clients to their website and lead that potential client to a sale.

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Jim, thanks for jumping in. Not a bad start with this, but don’t start your problem statement with “I show…” Instead, start it with:

“People come to me when they’re experiencing ___________________ and ______________. They’re frustrated and ready to_____________________. I fix these problems.”

See the difference?

Marcus

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Jim April 9, 2013 at

Yep. I noticed that after I wrote it. Like the problem solving approach.

How about…

“Business come to me when they’re having trouble driving business from their online marketing efforts. They’re frustrated and ready to give up and often resolve that internet marketing, blogging and social media marketing doesn’t work.

I show them that it does and make it work for them.”

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Nice Jim!

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RV Business April 9, 2013 at

I give RV Businesses solutions for connecting with more campers.

Brenda

PS:
I LOVE Shark Tank! Thanks for reminding me I missed Friday’s episode and need to watch it :)

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

You’re very welcome Brenda. Do me a favor–Tell me more from a problem perspective. In other words:

“When campers are frustrated with _________________, they come to us, and we fix the problem.”

See what I’m saying?

Marcus

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RV Business April 9, 2013 at

How about:

When RV Businesses are frustrated with online marketing, they come to us and we fix the problem.

OR

When RV Business owners are frustrated with online marketing, we take care of their online marketing for them.

Am I getting better?

Any other critiques?

This was a good exercise, I never thought about it until you presented it the way you did. Thanks!

Brenda

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Ian Altman April 10, 2013 at

Brenda,

Try and imagine A) Who is doing the complaining; and B) What it would sound like in their own words.

Example:

Executives in RV companies come to us when they are sick and tired of hearing about customers who bought the competition’s inferior product because their own company was virtually invisible on the Internet so the customer never even considered them.

A= Executives in RV companies. B= the rest of it.

Make sense?

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Leah Rattray April 9, 2013 at

I enjoy Shark Tank, too! It definitely teaches you that, as an entrepreneur, you MUST know your business’s numbers, and you MUST evaluate its worth properly.
Many remodeling contractors take advantage of their clients and give them a nightmarish experience on their project. We make sure our clients feel safe and confident with us, and that they enjoy the process of their remodeling project the whole way through.
Old windows, siding, and doors can look ugly, not function properly, let a lot of heat or cold into the home, and drive up energy bills. Our high quality products look beautiful, function with ease, keep bad heat or cold out of the home, and keep energy bills significantly lower.
Those are the main problems we solve. :-)

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Leah, that was really good. You’re onto it. As I mentioned to Lee , the most powerful way to start your “problem” statement is: “People come to us when they’re sick of__________ and _________.”

In your case, a few to consider:

“People come to us when they’re sick of losing money over spending on their electric bills due to old, poor quality windows.”

“People come to us when they walk up on their front door and they hate what they see…”

“People come to us because their home’s siding is old and ruining it’s beauty.”

Keep being awesome :-)

Marcus

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Lee Kirkby April 9, 2013 at

Great post Marcus. You are absolutely right about the inability most of us have to get away from the jargon of our industries to telling what it is that we do that helps our clients. So here goes and we got help from a colleague named John Cousineau (amacus.com) in figuring this out after about 10 years of struggling.

Leppert helps clients manage the risks and costs of managing their documents.

website is http://www.leppert.com

Keep up the great encouraging work Marcus.

Lee

PS Shark tank was modeled after a show that has been going on Canadian CBC TV for several years called Dragon’s Den. Check it out sometime I’m sure they have stuff on the CBC website. You will see a few familiar faces.

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Lee, love the comment man and thanks for the note about Shark Tank, I’ll check it out. I’m going to push your description a little harder though Lee. Tell me why people come to Leppert. In other words, you want to start it with, “People come to us when they’re sick of ________ and ________. They’re tired of _________________. And we help them fix these problems.”

See what I’m saying?

Marcus

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Jeff Simmons April 9, 2013 at

Well said Marcus. This will probably sound familiar to you :)

The No. 1 challenge faced by B2B marketers is producing enough good information (or content) to support the sales process.

Most companies don’t have the in-house capacity to create good content on a regular basis. As a result, there’s a chronic shortage of information suitable for sharing with customers, prospects and partners.

If you’re struggling with this, it’s easier than you think. I help companies produce engaging, high-quality, content marketing fast, sometimes within 24 – 48 hours, in less than 15 minutes of your time.

How? My specialty is interviewing subject matter experts and turning those interviews into compelling content.

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Jeff, that was really, really good, easily one of the most refined yet. Nice job man!

Marcus

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Jeff Simmons April 9, 2013 at

Thanks Marcus. Keep up the great work.

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Jeanette Benway April 9, 2013 at

Hi Marcus,

We help people put their custom graphics on t-shirts and other garments, another way to communicate information about a business.
T-shirt art is unique because the message needs to be short and sweet and easy to read from a few feet away. Much different from what you might put on your business card or letterhead.

JB

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Very oool Jeanette, and props to you for tapping into a business model that’s so unique. Wholefully you’re leveraging content marketing as well! ;-)

Marcus

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Jeanette Benway April 9, 2013 at

Yes! After reading the article about your blog in the NYTimes, we have started a blog. You might find our first entry funny:
http://www.brewsterscreenprinting.com/blog

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Vicky Bowie April 9, 2013 at

Great post and reminder to speak from our customer’s point of view!

To answer your question/challenge – Northern Engraving provides solutions to customers who are in need of branding for their product through nameplates, labels, decorative trim. Come check out the possibilities.

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Marcus Sheridan April 9, 2013 at

Well done Vickie, thanks for answering :-)

Marcus

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Dan Moyle April 9, 2013 at

Great point Marcus, as usual. I love the idea of using plain English to explain things. I try to do this when I tell people what I do (inbound marketing) for my employer (AmeriFirst Home Mortgage). this usually includes roughly what you say above about businesses. So here goes.
My company (my employer) helps people finance their homes. We offer educational material so home buyers are smart and powerful, to hopefully avoid another housing market meltdown. An educated buyer is a powerful force in the housing market!
Cheers,
Dan Moyle
AmeriFirst Home Mortgage http://www.amerifirst.com/

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Kathleen Booth April 9, 2013 at

Most small business owners don’t have the time to develop and consistently implement effective marketing strategies. We provide small and medium sized businesses with a one-stop-shop solution that makes great marketing possible.

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Not bad at all Kathleen, but make sure to state it in their point of view. In other words, instead of “we provide” change it to “people come to us with these specific problems….” (or something like that)

It makes all the difference. :-)

Best,

Marcus

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Andrea T.H.W. April 9, 2013 at

I’m a mind gardener, I help people to replace weeds with flowers and fruits.

:)

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Hahaha, that you are Andea. :-)

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Jill April 9, 2013 at

Water well owners come to us when their water supply has changed or suddenly stopped, or if the water from their well leaves blue-green or brown stains on their fixtures. Matthews Well & Pump can repair most water well supply issues with one trip by our state certified technicians and fully stocked repair trucks.

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Ian Altman April 10, 2013 at

Jill – this is fantastic. You can imagine that if someone was experiencing one of those issues, the message would jump up and smack them on the forehead. Nicely done!

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Sally Black April 9, 2013 at

TOO funny Marcus…
I was watching that same “shark tank” and I was thinking …What would Marcus say about this dude’s presentation.

Every business owner needs to have a quick elevator pitch in their back pocket…

Vacationkids.com specializes in Family Vacations. We save parents worry, time and money as we help them get out and explore the world with their kids.

One word of advise I would add….”MEDIA TRAINING”
It’s worth EVERY penny. It not only teaches you how to act on camera or during interviews but it helps you to hone the elevator pitch. It also keeps you on task and makes sure you get your point across to your audience. If you’re company doesn’t have the money to invest just yet in Media training…
“Watch Politicians”…Analyze exact what they say and exactly how they say it. Politicians go thru intensive media training to get ready for the campaign trail.

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Looks like we’re on the same page here Sally :-)

And GREAT points btw!!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Marcus

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Chris Picanzo April 9, 2013 at

Hey Marcus, first time visitor and just want to say I hear ya.. I’ve had my business just over a year on a part time basis and it’s been pretty good even great most of the time. But I still suffer when it comes time for my elevator pitch and I can’t wait to use your advice here and moving further.

I help businesses get to the top of a Google search and create and manage social media sites to complement their website or I can build a website if they don’t have one. Helping them with branding and customer reach. My site is http://www.flipit4u.com which is also my blog to help anyone willing to learn what I know.
Thanks for the great post I look forward to reading more.

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Ian Altman April 10, 2013 at

Chris – The natural inclination is to describe what you do, or share the outcomes/benefits. Just a suggestion or two.

Businesses come to me when they are annoyed that the perfect search on the Internet finds everyone EXCEPT them. Their ideal customers can’t seem to find them. We also get requests for help from companies who either lack a social media presence, or worse, they have one that is suffering from benign neglect. They know both issues result in missed business opportunities, but don’t know how to fix things.

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Mike Kawula April 9, 2013 at

People visit MyJobsIt online who are considering opening a business and want to learn from other owners what to really expect.

This helps you decide if its a business for you and if it is, helps you to be more prepared to succeed with secret tips from those successful owners.

Awesome Post as always Marcus!

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Well done Mike, make sure that’s on the site bud!!!

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Jonathan Evans April 9, 2013 at

Hi Marcus,

as always great post, you remind me of a good ol’ fire & brimstone preacher when you get going and that’s definitely a compliment. Love the faith & believe that you have & this really shines through in your work.

My main problem when communicating to potential customers is keeping it simple as we work in the complementary health field and we cover a huge variety of health problems

so avoiding the ‘I’ word i’d say ..

People come to us when they have a health problem or want to avoid getting a health problem – but i just feel this is too wide, vague & uninspiring especially as here in Australia a lot of what we do is not well known (i.e. osteopathy, osteopathy for babies & children, treatment during pregnancy etc)

So here’s me being more specific ..

If people are in pain or have had an injury we get them back up & running
(that’s our osteopath bit)

People wanting to have better health, feel stronger & perform better at sport & in daily lift regularly do Pilates at our Studio (pilates bit obviously!)

Parents being their children to us when they have problems e.g. colic, reflux, won’t sleep, asthma etc

But then I’ve got a whole load of other stuff that doesn’t have much public awareness’t so I’m addressing this by trying the visual route on my website by giving lots of pictures with hyperlinks to different services & of course blogging.

Jonathan Evans
http://ionosteo.com

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Ian Altman April 10, 2013 at

Jonathan – great stuff. The specific stuff really resonates. The message does not have to be “one size fits all.” It is best to have a few variations depending on the audience.

Online, you can allow people to drill down into their area, and then hit specific messages for them. You might have something like “We help parents who have been struggling to address chronic health issues with their children. Click here to learn more.” Then, on that page, you describe the specific conditions.

Make sense?

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Jonathan, I meant to thank you for the kind words here and you did a GREAT job with this stating it from *their* point of view. Keep it up man!

Marcus

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Mary Segers April 9, 2013 at

This was a totally awesome post. I’ve been following you for awhile and have never left a comment til now. But I simply must…
People come to me when they are sick and tired of not having control over their home time management. They seek help in creating menus, cooking smarter, handling laundry, and finding time for their families, friends, and themselves. They are frustrated and ready for life to “slow down.” I help them fix these problems.
AND
People come to me when they need learn how to successfully incorporate being a nontraditional student into their already busy lives. They are desperate to gain control over their home time management so that they can have sufficient time to study. They want to learn how to create menus, spend less time while cooking healthier meals for their families, not be bogged down on the weekends by piled-up laundry, and make time for family, friends, and themselves. I help them address all those areas and find solutions that work for them.

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Ian Altman April 10, 2013 at

Mary – I think you just shared a “problem you solve” that likely resonated with half of the audience. Nicely done!

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Mary Segers April 10, 2013 at

Thanks… that’s what I was aiming for.

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Mary, this was so GREAT!!! Really, I’m so glad you commented :-)

BTW, if that’s not on your website, get it there!!

Marcus

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marty April 10, 2013 at

First of all I have to agree with you about shark tank I watched it by accident and have been interested ever since it really makes you thinks about your business plan and all the details. When people ask me what I do this is generally what I tell them .I know my pitch needs work
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I am here to help people who want to learn how to make a little extra cash online with FusionCash and other affiliate marketing sites.I also take the time to talk about family,college,and the stress of growing up.In the end I am just a disabled 24 year old recent college graduate who just got tired of having no walking around money and decided to do something about it. Now I spend my time helping others fill their piggy banks and hopefully we all learn something about life along the way.

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Marty, that’s not a bad start, you just now need to eliminate all the “I’s” and replace them with “People come to me when…”

If you do that, it will truly resonate with your end customer.

Thanks!

Marcus

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marty April 15, 2013 at

thanks Marcus for your advice.I have this blurb in my about me page should I change it to “people” there as well

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Micky April 10, 2013 at

I have very impressed by reading this post. Lot of important points and tips have been suggested. I hope these are helpful in making our website more accessible and effective. Nice post.

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Ian Altman April 10, 2013 at

Marcus – one more point to share…

The natural inclination is to come up with a problem you solve and then try and turn it into some eloquent marketing blurb. Avoid that urge. Keep the message “raw.” You want the audience to think “That sounds exactly like what we were talking about yesterday!”

I love seeing the evolution of the exercise. Marcus – thank you for inviting me to participate. I look forward to everyone sharing the results. This exercise alone can be transformational.

Best,
Ian

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Lori Gosselin April 10, 2013 at

Okay Marcus (long time no see!) I’ll take the challenge with both my business and my blog:

First the business:
People come to us when they are fed up with expensive essential oil home diffusers because we make simple, natural, effective and affordable wearable diffusers which keep the essential oils in their breathing space wherever they go all day long.

Now the blog:
People come to the LFI porch when they want to talk about the deep, challenging issues of life. We provide a safe, nurturing, comfortable place to connect with like-minded people.

How’d I do?
Lori

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

You did AWESOME Lori!! Seriously, this was really, really strong. You nailed it, and I’m not just saying that. :-)

Have a wonderful weekend,

Marcus

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Johnny Bravo April 10, 2013 at

Professionals come to me when they need help selling. Whether that’s selling their product, their service, or themselves. Not everyone has training and experience as a professional salesperson. And that’s OK because selling is not their product. That’s why businesses and professionals in every industry come to The Sales Pro Blog for best practices in sales training, branding, management, and networking.

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Very nicely done JB!!

Keep up the great work bud,

Marcus

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Johnny Bravo April 13, 2013 at

Thanks Marcus. This is probably the best post I’ve read in a while. Look at all the people you’ve motivated to communicate better. I’ve already started using my above blurb in some of my other channels and simply wanted to thank you for the idea and inspiration.

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Chris Huntley April 11, 2013 at

Hey Marcus,
Another awesome post. Thanks.

People with high risk medical conditions such as a history of cancer, stroke, or heart disease, come to me after being declined for life insurance. We help them secure affordable coverage.

Chris Huntley
President of Huntley Wealth Insurance

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Chris, that’s it man. Well done bud.:-)

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Mel Richards April 11, 2013 at

Hi Marcus,

This is a truly inspirational thread! Thanks. Here are my efforts:

Men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes come to us when they want to improve their health and fitness. Many people take their vacations with us because they want to have a break from work whilst avoiding the negative effects that vacations often have on long-term health, fitness and mental wellbeing through over-indulgence, inactivity and boredom.

People take their vacations with us because they want to escape to the fantastic climate of southern Europe, enjoy picturesque hikes and bike rides, do fun, structured, gym classes, eat healthily – but not faddishly – and be able to relax in comfortable surroundings, whilst still being able to maintain contact with home and work when they want to or if they need to.

People take their vacations with us because they are seeking a “boot camp” like experience, but don´t really want to suffer. Instead, they want to learn how to enjoy moderate, healthy exercise and achieve lasting results.

People come to us for their “fitness breaks” because they want to spend time with people who will understand their lifestyle and who won´t tell them that they are crazy for exercising at 11 pm :-)

Am I trying too hard to appeal to the widest possible audience?

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Easily one of the top 3 in this massive comment strand Mel. WELL DONE!!!!

Marcus

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Mel Richards April 16, 2013 at

Thanks Marcus.

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Gloria Rand April 11, 2013 at

Hi Marcus,

Here’s my stab at it… Companies come to me for help because their prospects can’t find their websites on Google, and their phones aren’t ringing. I help them out by writing copy for their websites that gets noticed by the search engines and convinces their prospects to call.

By the way, I met you at Social Media Marketing World. I’m going to share your ideas on blog writing with a landscape lighting client of mine. He’s already getting better leads now since I rewrote his website copy, but if I can write blog articles for him in the style you suggested, I know he’s going to be kicking butt in his industry!

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

Nice job Gloria!! And it was wonderful meeting you at SMMW!! :-)

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Paul Abrudean April 12, 2013 at

We help companies create and promote social media campaigns directly on a websites, without diverting users to social networks.

We offer a easy to use solution for creation of social media campaigns, customizable graphics as well scheduling options, including automated website updates (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

We are one of the few companies that offer customizable templates for Facebook Timeline, so you don’t need a designer to create awesome designs for your daily posting.

By using our solution you can create graphics, social media campaigns such as contests or discounts, and schedule them to appear on your Facebook and website anytime you want.

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Marcus Sheridan April 13, 2013 at

This was really good Paul, but it wasn’t “great.” The reason is simple. Don’t start each sentence with “we.” Consumers don’t relate to that. Start with “People come to us when they have problems with….”

Now that is the language of the consumer.

Either way, nice job bud.

Marcus

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Anshdeep Verma April 13, 2013 at

Nice post… as usual, You shared nice points dude……. It was very interesting topic and helpful too.

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Mary E. Ulrich April 14, 2013 at

Late to the party, but this exercise was very helpful.

Parents and Caregivers of people with disabilities come to me for advice, contacts and encouragement to solve their problems.

They like when I share personal stories and transformational experiences.

That sounds dreary– need more work–but thanks for pushing in the right direction.

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Marcus Sheridan April 15, 2013 at

Actually Mary, you’re clearly on the right track. Very nice job here!!

Marcus

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Mary E. Ulrich April 15, 2013 at

Thanks Marcus. I can see where this exercise could help me figure out a product to sell. :)

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Don Stanley April 15, 2013 at

Clients come to me when they are feeling overwhelmed, confused and really, really stuck with their marketing. Our clients have great products. They have great services. They have great ethics and are motivated. But they have NO clue how to let the right people know what they do and how they can help them.

We help them solve these problems. How?

We help clients figure out who they absolutely need to connect with, why they must connect with them and how to effectively and efficiently reach them when they need their product or service.

How’s this for a first go?

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Joey Giangola April 16, 2013 at

Hey Marcus,

I love Shark Tank, glad I’m not the only who thinks it could double as a glossy, business training series.

Sorry I’m a little late to the party on this, but would like to give it a shot.

People come to us to make sure they don’t lose everything they’ve worked for because of a medical emergency.

They have trouble understanding the best way to protect their life’s work and need someone to help assist them with such an important decision.

Not only do they require all those things, but they also come to us if they want that protection monitored 24/7 and to always be reassured it’s the most effective and efficient solution available.

Tell me if i’m wrong, but didn’t you also just help everyone rewrite their about us page?

Really fun and productive idea.

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Marcus Sheridan April 17, 2013 at

Joey, you NAILED this. Really, that was GREAT!! And I hope it’s on your website!!

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Ian Altman April 23, 2013 at

Agreed – This hits the nail on the head.

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Joey Giangola April 18, 2013 at

Thanks, if I said it was I can’t promise that isn’t a lie. I can promise it won’t be a lie much longer.

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Bobby Holland April 18, 2013 at

Hi Marcus – this is insane I know… but tomorrow morning I’m going to be hosting my first ever Google+ Hangout webinar where I’ll talk about technology, content marketing, and how businesses can increase web traffic, leads, and sales.

The crazy this is… I’ll be doing this from my iPhone, while driving to Atlanta!

The only way I know to ping people to invite them in is to send out a notice to everyone in my Google+ circles from my iPhone.

If you want to tune in and be a part of iPhone / mobile webinar history, add me to a circle here >> https://plus.google.com/110975047011932237125/posts

Hope you can tune in – and have your questions ready!

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Wade Harman April 28, 2013 at

I like it. You have to learn how to communicate with other people. That’s how you’re going to make a name for yourself in this business. Who cares if you know everything? …if you can’t put that into words people understand then it really doesn’t mean that much…cause it’s lonely at the top! lol!

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Pitt Goumas May 2, 2013 at

Thought provoking article. Thanks for sharing.
I agree with you, not everyone can explain what it is they do. I’ve met a bunch of people like that

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Charry May 2, 2013 at

Marcus,
This blog topic has been stuck in my head since the day you put it out there. I finally got around to tweaking my new business promo video applying this strategy. I love it. Just a simple sentence but I like the message worded from the point of view of my clients. And, it solved that dilemma I was facing with my video voice over. Something wasn’t quite right with my wording and this concept solved the problem. Thanks for all your knowledge you share (I’m one of the many pet sitters now following you thanks to Josh and Bella).
Oh, and my sentence: Pet owners turn to us when they need a professional to care for their pets either when they are traveling or are gone for an extended time at work.

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Marcus Sheridan May 6, 2013 at

Love it Charry!!!! Really, this THRILLED me!! :-)

Big smiles,

Marcus

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Danny Breed May 4, 2013 at

Hey Marcus, you just transformed how I conduct parent tours! Here is my attempt to nail the problems we solve.
Parents come to use because they want their children to understand how to think and become a life long learner.

Much of education does not actually prepare children for the needs of a globalized business world. We do it differently by making sure our students are equipped with the skills necessary to add value to any industry they move into.

Christian families come to us because they are tired of seeing their children’s spiritual lives compartmentalized by the traditional forms of Christian education.

Parents from the private school community come to OCA because they want their children to experience the cultural diversity of the real world rather than a place where everyone looks the same.

Parents from low income communities come to OCA because they want access to the same level of excellent education that more affluent communities have access to.

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Marcus Sheridan May 6, 2013 at

Danny, easily one of the best in this longggg comment strand. Wow. AWESOME!! :-)

Marcus

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Alyssa Pacaut October 22, 2013 at

Just re-read this post after following a link to your email. Thought I would try it out for our company…

Homeowners and businesses come to us when they are tired of paying high prices for dirty energy. We install solar panels and solar systems that reduce their utility bills by providing clean and renewable solar energy for their use.

People also come to us because they are tired of being harassed by other solar companies and their high-pressure sales tactics. By educating our customers about solar energy and providing them with options that fit their budget and needs, we keep our reputation as a knowledgeable and trusted solar installer.

What do you think?

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Marcus Sheridan October 27, 2013 at

I think you’ve done a heck of a job Alyssa. Very nice!!

Go with it!

Marcus

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Terr October 23, 2013 at

Marcus,

First off, this article BLEW. MY. MIND. I am forever transformed, regarding the way that I write content. Whether I’m promoting my services or whether I’m writing IM content, I will always write copy that is solution oriented.

Now as far as your challenge: I write press releases for companies and individuals who are tired of being ignored by potential customers and their peers. I help to promote and inspire enthusiasm within my client’s prospects. I see to it that after my press releases are read, the reader will want to learn more about my clients. This will possibly lead to increased revenues or industry respect for my clients.

By the way, may I have your permission to use these statements on my site? I”m feeling super inspired now!

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Marcus Sheridan October 27, 2013 at

And btw, I’m thrilled this article helped Terr. If applied, it will change your life. I really mean that.

Marcus

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Terr October 23, 2013 at

OOPS! I made the “I” mistake. Let me write my statement again (Ehem!)

Clients come to me when they are tired of being ignored by potential customers and by their industry peers.

They ask me to help inspire and promote enthusiasm within others by sharing their good news, accomplishments or news about their community service.

My clients want my press releases to attract others who want to learn more about their products and services; This ideally leads to increased revenue and industry respect.

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Marcus Sheridan October 27, 2013 at

Very nicely done Terr!!!! :-)

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Shelly Moreau October 23, 2013 at

Hi Marcus,
This was a great article, and I’m going to take a stab at telling you what problem I solve as a copywriter. Seeing as I am new to the field, this a helpful exercise for me. Be gentle with your feedback. ;)

Businesses come to me when they need creative messages written – whether for a sales letter, a promotion, web copy, or other printed material. When they need copy that’s going to keep folks interested enough to want to read onward, that’s where I can help.

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Marcus Sheridan October 27, 2013 at

Shelley, this was exceptional. Really it was. I’m very impressed, and have a feeling you’re a heck of a copywriter!!

Much thanks for stopping by,

Marcus

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Shelly Moreau October 29, 2013 at

Hello again Marcus,
I am unsure if you will have received my e-mail reply, so am responding here (just in case)….

Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m very encouraged and honoured. It means a lot for someone rather new in the field coming from someone who is established.

Warmest regards,
Shelly Moreau

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Copywriting Services Sydney February 1, 2014 at

Just write an article is not enough, you have to learn how to do its marketing on the web. If you want to publish your article on the web then the best way to do this job is to create your blog and start posting your article on it. I think this is the best way to do marketing of content in right and legal way on internet. Thanks for sharing such a informative blog with us.

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Terrell April 16, 2014 at

Kudos and thank you Marcus. This article and the interactions with commenters has changed my career as a marketing and communications specialist. Much respect, man.

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Steve Burnett June 10, 2014 at

Customers come to us because:

They want a company who will start when they say they will start and stay until it is completed.

They don’t want it subbed out.

They want to make sure they are protected with all the proper insurance; i.e. Liability ins., Workmen Comp,. etc.

They want a company who has a, time tested, proven track record in their community.

http://www.burnettpainting.com

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Jeff Bamburg July 2, 2014 at

Guitarists come to me when they want an instrument for ultimate self expression.

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