Internet marketing is the worst thing that ever happened to writing.
Let me tell you all about it.
Writing used to be about giving.
It was never what you’d call a selfless act — we writers tend to be a rather self-absorbed bunch — but what we cared about more than anything else, what we hung our hopes on and agonized over with every keystroke, was the reader.
Will my reader like this? Will they hate it (and, by extension, moi)? Will it make them happy? Entertain them on the grey days?
Can I reach my pen through all the years and miles that separate us… and PUNCH THEM RIGHT IN THE GUT?
Now, our readers have multiplied into the millions — and so have our opportunities to put words in front of their eyes.
So we do. We’ve plastered the Interwebs with our words, and as a result, our reader views us with a healthy level of skepticism and suspicion. She knows about sales funnels, now. She knows about fake news.
And she knows not to trust the words she sees on her screen.
But worst of all?
We don’t care about our readers anymore. We think we do, we pretend we do — but what we really care about are click-throughs, and opt-ins, and $7 trip wire offers.
We care about our reader only in the sense that our reader makes us money. Mo’ readers mo’ money.
Our words are now viewed as a tool, to manipulate our dear reader. To convince her she’s not enough, or that time is running out, or that there’s only a limited number of spaces available, so she’d better act fast and plunk down her $997 if she doesn’t want to miss out.
What once was a gift? Is now a weapon.
You pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down?
I send emails just like all the smarmy digital marketing “ninjas” (gag) tell me to. But I’m far too lazy to do it with any regularity, and I promise you, dear reader — I’m never gonna use a “tactic” on you.
*If I could send you snail mail, I totally would. But let’s stick with email for now, cause postage is a bitch.
I’ve been writing copy — and yes, convincing people to buy shit — since 2015.
And how do I do that? How can I rail against “marketing,” when marketing is pretty much the whole reason I have a job? How do I reconcile this icky-salesy feeling with my legit word-wielding talent and experience?
Whoa. Those are some heady questions for you to be asking me. We just met, after all.
But if you really want to get into it, let’s party.
Here’s the deal: We (and our customers) live in a world that’s choking on shouty Facebook comments, 8,736 unread messages, and just… being SOLD to, every goddamn second of the day, amiright? It stresses me out just writing about it.
But there’s an opportunity here, you see.
If you can pierce through all that noise and negativity, make your reader stop scrolling for a second and remember that they’re not alone — well, that’s the MOST VALUABLE THING YOU CAN GIVE THEM.
They’ll remember you, then. They’ll be grateful to you for saying something different and more meaningful than everybody else. They’ll trust you, because you’re talkin’ real talk, not blowing rainbows up their ass or glorifying Steve Jobs, even though Steve Jobs was kind of an asshole and everyone knows it.
Which brings me to my next point, and if you’re a suit-rocking dude-bro, you might want to avert your eyes.
The current landscape of Internet Marketing — and by extension, professional copywriting — is steeped in male-dominated systems of manipulation and tactics. It’s very data driven, which is not necessarily a bad thing — but when a conversion rate or the “ROI” is more important than the person on the other end of the screen… we’ve got a problem.
And then there are all these startups and swaggery entrepreneurs who don’t seem to be in the business of doing anything remarkable, except making lots of money and/or helping other people make lots of money — and they all recycle the same “best practices” and tactics that got us here in the first place.
Fuck that noise.
All of this comes back to trust. The Internet is full of multicultural, multi-gendered people from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, who don’t identify with the white, heteronormative narrative that’s dominated Internet Marketing.
So why would they listen to a brand who doesn’t listen to (or even acknowledge) them?
On the other hand, when people trust you, guess what they’re willing to do?
That’s right. They buy things from you. They subscribe to your email list, and they even open your emails, too! Because they’re honestly, legitimately interested in what you’re saying and/or selling.
I understand all of these things, and I bring that understanding into your business and ideal customers.
Here’s what happens when you bring me in to wrangle your words:
- You’ll experience my proprietary discovery process, which determines your brand’s unique positioning in the market, and how we want to talk about that to your peeps. When we’re done you’ll have a shiny new Customer Insight Map and a Content Style Guide that encapsulates your voice, tone, and positioning.
- I’ll draw on my experience in the world of startups — and yes, I’ve seen and used alllll the templates, systems, and techniques out there — to help ensure a smooth user experience. This is especially useful when it’s time to build out a launch sequence, or design an email series or sales funnel.
- I’ll create super-organized and crystal clear (read: anal retentive) process, complete with detailed timelines, a plan for day-today communication, and 100% transparency on where your project is at throughout our work together.
- If an About page is on your docket, you’ll get a bio that makes you cry and/or sing hallelujah (← I’ve got a streak to uphold.)
- You’ll be treated to an opinionated rant (or seven) on the bullshit, jargony, “pick up artist” style copywriting we’ve been taught we “have” to do. (I’ll try to keep those to a minimum, but sometimes I just can’t help it.)
- You may or may not be graced with a cameo appearance by my cat-sidekick, Henry (video calls only).