Notes From The Scribe (71)
As I write these words, it’s just a few hours before I head off to Sydney to watch Liverpool play a post-season friendly match against Sydney FC….
Ok, so the Easter long weekend has been and gone...
After long days spent indulging, partying or taking it easy with family and friends, how are you backing up?
I love that it's a shorter week and next weekend comes around much quicker but-
On the other hand?
If you're serious about expanding your business empire, about getting better at what you do best, a keen appetite for learning is essential. Here's why...
I leave the house at last and start walking towards the mountain, a kilometre away.
It's the first time I've been outside all day, away at last from my laptop screen.
I've spoken to barely anybody since I woke up.
Just to go for a walk up the mountain is a chance to escape this feeling of disconnect from the outside world.
I've had this feeling before, and when it sets in my ability to think productively sinks like an elephant standing on quicksand.
Many people think being a writer is the ideal life. They imagine it being a life as simple as this:
1. Get Ideas.
2. Write Them Down.
Except it's not like that. Let me tell you why...
"Earth!" shouts the man as he thrusts his balled up fist skyward.
"Fire!" yells another man, balled up fist also pointed to the heavens.
"Wind!", "Water!" call two girls, joining in the call.
"Heart!" a younger man follows.
Each of these young people have rings, lightning beams of colour shooting out from the gem stones. In the air, a blue man with a green mullet appears out of the blinding flash:
Time is ticking away...
You need to come up with a great flash of inspiration and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Yet as much as you sit there and think of what to write, nothing comes to mind. You can't even think how to start. Instead of finding the answer to this dilemma, a question begins to loom:
I've loved to look at maps since I was a kid. I like to see whereabouts different places are, finding new suburbs, cities or towns and getting an appreciation of distance. Where does everything sit? Street Directories, Railway Maps, Country Maps, World Maps- you name it, I'd read it...
Do you remember when J.R got shot?
What about Scott and Charlene's wedding?
Or when Ross and Rachael FINALLY got together?
Or how about when Ted, after so many seasons, at last "met your mother", standing under her white umbrella on that empty railway platform in the pouring rain?
You recall moments like these and you laugh. You smile. Or you remember shedding tears. These are all stories about fictional people, yet we remember these moments as if they were real life.
Why is this?
Every day, thousands of new blog articles are posted across social media sites worldwide. If you want people to stop and read what you've written, then stop and read what I'm about to share with you...
I'm keeping this one short and sweet, because that's all it needs...
At last, it's a wrap for this year. Well...almost. We still have Christmas to get through, obscene amounts of food and alcohol to consume, time needed to recover from it all and 'New Year New Me' posts to scroll past on social media while rolling our eyes BUT...
It's the time of year that always divides us...
No I'm not talking about State of Origin.
I'm not talking about an upcoming election.
I'm talking about the festive season. Here's why:
Come back in time with me now...
John Howard is PM, Australia is preparing to host the Rugby World Cup and people nationwide tune into this new series called 'Australian Idol', where contestants dream of dominating the airwaves like Coldplay, Christina Aguilera and 50 Cent currently are.
As for me? My Highschool days are just months from coming to an end. Then one evening, at the 18th birthday party of a friend, I meet a girl. We dance together late into the night. Despite being a novice when it comes to romance (and a little bit drunk), I can tell she fancies me...
You've got the skill...
You've got the know-how...
You've got the procedure...
You've got the wisdom...
You have the big dream to go with it, too. So what will it take to convert your visions into reality?
Do this one little thing. It can take YEARS off the day until your dream is realised. But use it wisely!
This is one I've only come to appreciate more recently, but as soon as I grasped it, I recognised the power it has over my state of mind and wellbeing- and it does the same for you:
"He who fails to plan, plans to fail"
Once upon a time, the badge ‘Made in Japan’ was the equivalent of 'Made in Taiwan'. But the Japanese came to establish a reputation for high production standards, build quality, efficiency and innovation. Japanese products and technology are now highly sought-after in Western countries that were formerly dominated by American or European products and brands.
How did this turnaround happen?
So, following on from last weeks' post where I shared my skepticism about the rush to immediately embrace "the next big thing", today I'm going to touch on another key principle I live by- and this is one that I've only adopted in more recent years. It came from a little bit of letting my guard down, and a lot of experience...
I know, there was no post last week. Guilty as charged!
You see, I was so busy organising my debut 'Blogging- Stories That Sell' workshop that I didn't get to sit down and write a new post here. But here's something I came away with from the workshop...
I sat across from Gavin (former Australian middleweight champion and founder of the gym) as he said what a journey the next 10 weeks would be for me...
Let me share with you a tale of two experts, if I may. And (in the process) extinguish this idea that "the early bird catches the worm"...
I've been feeling real gratitude of late...
When I think of all the things of real value that I have in my life: close family, true friends I can count on, the freedom that this career allows me- I instead see my ongoing challenges as chances:
When I say you should be posting a new blog every week to your site and across social media, I already know the two most likely excuses (sorry, "reasons") that you'll give me. Or are you different?
Whether you plan to sit down and schedule time to write your own sales copy, or you've reached out and got a professional copywriter on board- make sure you have a clear answer to these 5 questions:
As somebody who specialises in writing for businesses just like yours and professionals just like you, what I'm about to say might come as a shock:
You might not realise it but right now, as your read these words, there are people looking for you.
You might not know who they are and that's a pity, because you should.
Because once you got past the “getting to know you” bit, it could turn into a glowing, mutually beneficial relationship that lasts for years. So why isn't this relationship happening?
Lately, all I’ve been hearing about is Pokemon Go. People wandering around like zombies, staring at their screens- and I’m the uncool one sitting here at my laptop and writing? I feel like I’ve time-travelled back to the late 90’s, the way so many people my age are out to “Catch ‘em all”. It got me thinking about another old craze that I couldn’t get into…
Here's how I overcame something that gave me the "public speaking" jitters- and how you can overcome that leg-trembling, palm-sweating fear of taking the stage by remembering the same principle:
Last week, I took you through the first 6 steps of developing a procedure to write and post 12 blog posts. We covered all the pre-writing preparation work so with that done? Now is the time for your fingers to hit the keyboard (or the pen to hit the paper if you’re a romantic who loves to keep it old-school). Following on from this, here's the next step:
Writing 12 blog posts might seem like ‘Mission Impossible’ at first, but if you follow these 10 steps and follow them frequently, it becomes an automated process. As I’ve discussed, blogging is a great way to establish the relationship of trust with your target audience that is so crucial for long-term success. It doesn’t matter how entertaining your writing is- if people don’t trust you, they’re not going to buy from you. Building up that bond with your readers, where they come to see you as the trusted voice of expertise, usually equates to money in the bank. So here’s the 10-step process to writing 12 blog posts:
Think back to some of the most memorable quotes in cinematic history:
“I’ll be back!”
“I AM your father.”
“We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
“I’m the king of the world!”
“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”.
Why is it that we know the reference and the movie they come from, even if we haven’t seen the movie? What does this have to do with writing a blog on the regular?
So by now you’ve done your research and you know what subject matter is molten lava for your target market. You’ve sat down and jotted out a list of topics that’ll have ‘em feeling the heat, with your own guaranteed sizzling solutions to back them all up. Maybe you’ve even sat down to write your draft posts by now and are on the verge of posting them to your website and social media accounts?
Hold up just a moment-
Last week I highlighted how important it is to prepare your subject matter before you start writing. There’s no point writing hundreds or thousands of words if it’s not giving your audience what they’re hanging on for. So having spent the last blog focusing on your target audience, now I want to spin the focus 180 degrees. This is where you come in.
First, the good news:
You know how last week I kept you waiting on the answer to how you can boost your sales tenfold? Well here’s the answer you’ve been hanging on for:
Do those words make you shudder?
Do your normal social graces vanish the moment another one of these types tries to sell you anything?
Why is that?
(This post follows on from my previous one, 'Playing Railways and Powerful Revelation'- if you haven't read it, I suggest you go back and check it out first so you get up to speed on the concepts I'm revealing here)
For the rest of you? Sit back and (for added effect), play this track- because even though I heard many songs on the night in question, this is the one that still lingers from that moment in time:
I remember it still, clearly to this day. I was 6 years old and Dad had just picked me up from after-school care. As I hopped into the back seat of his old HK Torana, I was in the middle of thinking about what I’d seen...
‘How I Met Your Mother’ was a cult series, cleverly produced to ensure a second wave of popularity about 15 years from now when we get swept up in the tidal wave of nostalgia for everything to do with the first decade of the 21st century. Although I enjoyed watching it when it was on, I was never a devoted fan. But the other night while eating dinner, I had the TV on, and an episode came on that caused me to have a revelation. It wasn’t a tear-jerker or an episode that made me think “Woah- story of my life!”. But the basic message behind it was how an unstoppable conviction that we will succeed can have a massive flow-on effect to our fortunes…
From me (and others no doubt) you’ve been well-drilled in how crucial it is to keep your target market in the loop if you want to keep breaking records in your ‘Big Book of Business Success’ and that the route to that glory is through frequently creating/ adding to your online content.
P.U.A. It’s an abbreviation for Pick-Up Artist- a guy who’s turned picking up women into a technique or even a profession- other guys will pay him just to learn his secrets!
Suddenly everybody is so focused on minute time. The moments are counting down- people hanging on second by second. Their voices grow in unison all around you. There’s no backing away, like a runaway train with doors fast shut, you’re stuck on this ride...
Remember at school or university, that one subject you dreaded? Time itself stood still, you wondered how learning any of this would ever help you out in “the real world” and by the end of class, your brain felt like a balloon that’d had all the air drained out of it. To make matters worse? It was ALWAYS a compulsory subject, wasn't it? It was a black-hole with no escape!
Like many other people, I used to reach Sunday evening and feel my heart sink with the sun as I lamented the irreversible slide into Monday, waiting there on the other side of nightfall to drag me back down into “the system”.
Once upon a time, the badge ‘Made in Japan’ suggested a product that was cheap and inferior in quality. But over time, the Japanese came to establish a global reputation for high production standards, build quality, efficiency and innovation. Japanese products and technology are now highly sought-after in Western countries that used to be dominated by American or European competitors products and brands. How did this turnaround happen?
For millions of kids around the world, 1994 was the year they learned about the grim reality of death. It didn’t just happen to people who were old, sick, or careless. It could be completely unexpected. It might not even be your fault. Did they learn this after a death in the family or the unexpected loss of a friend? Not necessarily. It happened to somebody they didn’t know, personally. It happened to somebody who didn’t even exist in reality. But after they witnessed it, the imagery would stay with them forever…
Yes, I'm aware of the saying that "Too many cooks spoil the broth". It's true that when you have (generally) more than three people negotiating decisions, taking action gets bogged down in voicing differences of opinion and conflict negotiation. Who hasn't at some point thought "If you want something done properly, do it yourself!"
But the problem with doing it yourself?
In a post not so long ago, I shared the story of how I was given the role of Prince Charming in our class production of ‘Cinderella’ when I was in Year 1. What I didn’t mention was something that happened before we went on stage the day of the big performance, which in itself contained a life lesson that feels more relevant the older I get...
It was the middle of a cold, wet winter in 2013. I was in my first year of business and felt like I was taking a course in what not to do rather than what to do. I’d start my day rugged up on the couch, coffee in hand and thankful I didn’t have to venture outside to go to work. Yet I was in a fog- was I investing my time in the most productive areas, or wasting all my waking hours completely? How far was I from “getting it right”?
Hospitalised for 9 days after telling Dolph Lundgren to try and knock you out. Binge eating to the point where you’ve stacked on nearly 50 kilograms. Starving yourself and learning the piano for four hours a day. The action I suggest you take isn’t as radical as any of these (sigh of relief, huh?)
The story goes that back when he was in Highschool, Kieren Perkins went into a swimming race and finished in last place...
As the saying goes, “You’ve gotta be in it, to win it” and I believe that behind the cliché is a valuable truth. It makes perfect sense when you stop to think about it. Yet how often do we disqualify ourselves without even bothering to face the moment of truth and seize that opportunity?
For the last 6 months, this was all I had dreamed of...
Establishing 'Tone'- One Small Change In Your Written Content, One Giant Leap For Your Marketing Results!Written by Ben Mackie
‘Tone’ is a crucial element of any businesses’ written content. The reason for this is it helps you to build a mental connection with your target audience.
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon as I got comfortable in the partial shade of this café in Noosa. There was an easy-going, peaceful vibe to this place, which is why I decided to stop there to eat (and write). You’d never have guessed it was a Monday!
If you're reading this and own your own business, chances are that you have been there since it all began- right from the moment you decided on a business name, registered your ABN, opened for trade and popped a bottle of something to celebrate the occasion.
It doesn't matter whether your business is 6 months old or you're celebrating your 25th year of operation- at every stage of the entrepreneurs' journey there are new, valuable lessons to be learned...
A picture really is worth a thousand words...
When you’re a small business (particularly in the start-up phase), the urge is there to “get going” as soon as possible. Get organised. Get up to speed. Get the clients. Get paid. Get a regular income etc. For many of us, we figure that the best way to achieve that “get more clients” goal is to market ourselves to the widest audience we can.