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What's Your Unique Brand Voice?

Rules Were Made to Be Broken {+ How to Live, Lead, & Do Business Authentically}

rules were made to be broken

 
Last night, I reached into my vanity nervously shuffling to find the amber-tinted luxury glass bottle. It’s routine for me to slather the stuff inside from forehead to chest DAILY before bed. I’m not necessarily a K-Beauty follower, but you could say that I’ve adopted some of the 100-step wash-your-face-and-do-all-the-things habits.

So, when I couldn’t find my Marie Hunter Beauty Rapid Repair Serum for Step 38 in my routine, I became super annoyed.

I’m on the serum step. I. NEED. SERUM.

The skincare rules are simple:

Cleanse
Exfoliate
Tone
Plump
Treat
Moisturize

In that order.

The products that fulfill the rules for each step are specially designed to grace a certain part of your face for maximum benefit. Eye creams pack soothing, energy-boosting ingredients to plump the skin and make you look awake. Moisturizers pack oils and hyaluronic acid to nourish dry skin. And serums – that little joy I couldn’t find – pack concentrated blends of vitamins to tighten and brighten.

One is applied before the other in an order that I’ve come to respect and follow, religiously. I’ve been trained to believe that toner goes before serum, but eye cream before that. Break a rule and nothing will work effectively, right?

Tone after cleansing, or the treatments won’t absorb.

Dinner before desert or your appetite will spoil.

Pantyhose for interviews, or you won’t be taken seriously.

Use proper grammar or you won’t have clarity.

Write like a professional, not how you talk, or you won’t sell anything.

Share part of the story, not the whole thing, or you’ll lose everybody.

Show some personality, but not too much, or you won’t be appealing.

FOLLOW ALL THE STEPS, OR YOU WON’T HAVE SUCCESS.

THE RULES FOR LIFE, BEAUTY AND BUSINESS ARE BRUTAL. AND THIS IS JUST A SAMPLE.

But, what if these commands were as empty as the serum bottle I finally found without a single drop of juice left in it?

What if the widely-adopted industry rules for showing up, marketing yourself, and writing were made to be broken?

Could you finally attract the right people to your business if you started showing up as the right person to serve them, and stopped acting like everyone else?

Could your message connect better if the words in it were chockfull of your personality?

Could your sales page feel like a genuine offer of service, rather than a used car salesman pitch, if you shared your own story of transformation?

I wonder how much faster we’d all grow, both personally and professionally, if we stopped following the “how-to” rules of others and started living, leading, and doing business AUTHENTICALLY.

After accepting the fact that I wouldn’t be able to follow my normal skincare ritual last night, I slathered my anti-fatigue herbal eye gel on my forehead, chin and cheeks. I broke the rules. And my skin and mood this morning is brighter and better for it.

WHAT LIFE, BUSINESS OR WRITING RULE DO YOU NEED TO BREAK, STARTING TODAY?

 

Talk Soon,

-xoxo, amber

 

Best Practice Brand Strategy {Krispy Kreme}: Lights, Traffic, and Free Donuts

best practice brand strategy case study:

 

All we saw were lights.

I knew they weren’t the celebratory kind because they’d be accompanied by balloons, signs, music, and maybe some confetti, right?

And if it was an emergency, I certainly couldn’t decipher which kind since the lights had no sound and they weren’t going anywhere.

Despite their stillness, the disco-like rotation of them nearly blinded us.

But, we’re in the suburbs!

It was our anniversary and we had already prayed for calm children, a smooth ride, and zero drama. Plus it was only 5 pm and the sun was still out.

WHY WERE SO MANY POLICE IN THIS SHOPPING PLAZA WITH FLASHING RED AND BLUE LIGHTS ON?

My parents house, where our kids are, is just 5 minutes away from this scene. Do they know what’s happening? Is it on the news?

Six police cars surrounded half the plaza bordering the Giant grocery store and the gas station. No one could enter the parking lot from the main entrance or exit to Route 301. There was one way in and one way out. All other paths were taped off and physically blocked by a blue and red barricade.

Was this an active shooter situation? A crime scene under investigation? A hostage negotiation in progress? An officer down? Or some yet-to-be-reported suburban horror story playing out as we were driving by to pick up our barbecue?

I googled to find the answer.

The explanation for all of the lights was found in just two words.

They would also make sense of the half mile backup of cars that grazed the highway exit waiting to pass through the single lane entry into the plaza – cars filled with faces that somehow didn’t seem alarmed.

Two words:

“FREE DONUTS”

Now, why didn’t I think of that!?

Yesterday, Krispy Kreme launched its “Celebrate Your Grad” promotion, offering a FREE “Graduate Dozen” of specially-decorated donuts to graduating high school seniors across the ENTIRE COUNTRY.

If you fit the bill, all you had to do was wait in line with a cap and gown (or some other proof of your status).

The line at the Krispy Kreme drive-thru near my parents’ house was so long that it required traffic redirection, entryway barricades, and county police escort. In Long Beach, California, a three-block traffic jam ensued that required emergency police intervention.

All in the name of complimentary sugar highs.

I THINK IT’S GENIUS BEST PRACTICE BRAND STRATEGY.

And not because of the themed dough decor or even the nationwide “free offer” tactic. Let’s be real – on-the-house overdoses such as this are not novel concepts.

I think it’s genius because the brand offered a simple answer to one nationwide loaded question that was never even directed toward them …

HOW CAN WE?

How can we celebrate in a time of crisis?

How can we recognize our graduates who will no longer have a ceremony?

How can we put a smile on the faces of our children who aren’t able to see their friends before heading off to college?

How can we say, ‘Job well done’?

Krispy Kreme’s answer injected a major dose of joy into a present-day society filled with news and rules that offers everything but that.

And for the next generation stepping into adulthood during such a season, this little sprinkle of sugar made the moment something to truly remember – for good reason.

NOW, ASK YOURSELF HOW YOU CAN DO THE SAME. 

What kind of loaded questions are people asking that your brand can answer through its products or services? How can YOU inject a little something unexpected into society, your community, or your customers’ lives?

 

TALK SOON,

-xoxo, amber

 

Just say “when” & other words that sell

need more words that sell right now?

 

Want to know the biggest question your target customers are asking themselves before deciding whether or not they should spend their “uncertain” dollars on your product or service right now?

When am I going to need/use/want/apply this?

The one WORD to help you sell, even through this wave of new hesitation (which is actually not sooo new)? Brace yourself , because this is stupid simple:

 

“WHEN”

 

Easy, right? Just. Say. “When.” Let me explain …

Over the past few months, the dynamics of product and service consumption have drastically shifted. Millions of people around the world are on stay-at-home orders, schools are shut down, plush toilet paper has vanished, and the internet fairies can barely keep up with the number of Zoom meetings and Netflix series we tune into each day.

Because of this shift, the spaces, places, and occasions for which someone would find a need for your product or service have also changed. Depending on what you sell, it could be for the better. For most, it presents a new marketing challenge – one that requires a shift to how you describe the necessity of what you’re selling. 

Put simply, today’s game is about relevancy. To win, you need the right words that sell.

 

THE SUCCESS OF ANY SALE LARGELY DEPENDS ON THE LANGUAGE YOU USE TO INTRODUCE WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER. 

 

I know you know this. So, why are so many CEOs lately crippling themselves into a state of rushed innovation?

A pandemic arose and all of a sudden, nothing their entire brand sold was valuable or needed anymore. Whaaaaaat?

Are you one of them?

 

COULD IT BE THAT YOU ACTUALLY DON’T NEED TO LAUNCH SOMETHING NEW, YOU JUST NEED TO SHIFT THE WORDS YOU USE?

 

Maybe a new message for an existing product that better reflects your customers’ current situation is all that’s needed.  Maybe you just need to explicitly say when this thing that you’re selling fits into their newly-altered lives and why. Think about it.

I just went deep into this subject of converting through crisis with my Copymastery™ Coaching community a few weeks ago.

I referred to the practice of timely language modification as “Choosing the right red for today’s occasion.” We spoke about the brands that are cutting through the clutter by implementing this strategy and replacing their old copy with words that sell … right now.  You’d be surprised at how much consumer perception shifts when you spell out exactly when someone can or should use your product, even when the environment or circumstances surrounding why and how have changed.

 

SOME IDEAS TO GET YOU THINKING:

 

The accessories you need when working from home. (LoveSac)

Calming sounds when you need to unwind.

Indulge-worthy skincare when all you have is time.

Homeschool resources when you’re new to the task.

Bold lipstick when you still need to make a statement.

Freshly-prepared meals when you’re dining in.

 

JUST SAY “WHEN.” TRUST ME, IT WORKS.

 

Want to give it a shot? Drop a comment below with your new product one-liner and I’ll respond with some quick feedback!

By the way, with the exception of the first one, I made all of these lines up to give you some inspo. If something resonates for your brand, take it!

 

TALK SOON,

-xoxo, amber

The right words got her in Vogue Magazine {A copywriting success story}

copywriting success story:

 

Here’s a copywriting success story to brighten your day and help you see that with the right words, your business can achieve ANYTHING.

I remember her being skeptical. Sweet, but skeptical.

“Well, what thoughts do you have about the messaging on my website?”

I couldn’t blame her for putting me on the spot, because after all, I was pitching her on IG.

I had been a fan of her nontoxic matte lipsticks for over a year and genuinely wanted to see her brand succeed. The products were too good not to be in the hands of every discerning sophisticate under the sun. We finally spoke about what I believed she needed to get noticed by the right people and convert them into customers … faster than her competition.

KENISHA RUFF, CEO & FOUNDER OF MARIE HUNTER BEAUTY AGREED TO LET ME MENTOR HER IF IT MEANT ME MAKING GOOD ON THOSE SUGGESTIONS.

 

Marie Hunter Beauty

 

In the beginning, her challenges and goals weren’t radically different from the majority of CEOs I meet. She struggled with communicating what made her different from the rest. Finding the right words to tell her story was an issue. And word-smithing magnetic messages for her website that would attract her ideal audience and weed out the “unqualified” was a persistent and annoying problem.

I WAS UP FOR THE CHALLENGE, SO WE GOT TO WORK ON THE TRUE CALL OF DUTY: ALL NEW COPY.

After several weeks of branding, storytelling, and copywriting trainings, KeNisha learned that the customer she wanted to reach wasn’t just a lipstick snob; she was a discerning sophisticate with class, unteachable taste, a disdain for all things mainstream, and one who strived to be the girl who did things differently.

With this, we solidified an “eclectic luxe” positioning strategy that had a Chanel-esque vibe, giving us the freedom to talk like we were in Vogue magazine. It also gave KeNisha the ability to charge what her products were truly worth, without making any apologies to those who simply didn’t get it.

We dubbed the Marie Hunter Beauty customer a “Modern Muse” and began crafting copy that spoke directly to who she was, ultimately converting her faster than the competition.

HERE’S A SNIPPET OF THE NEW COPY KENISHA NOW USES TO INTRODUCE HER BELOVED MARIE HUNTER BEAUTY BRAND:

 


 

BE BOLDER™
Cosmetics and fragrances for the modern muse.

Copywriting success

REAL BEAUTY

If there’s one thing that wakes us up every morning, it’s the belief that beauty should be simple and uncomplicated. Our mission is to boldly empower wo(men) like you with the beauty, confidence and class to feel like the best version of yourself on the inside and outside. For us at Marie Hunter Beauty, that’s where real beauty begins. Our iconic packaging and statement-making modern collections are designed to help you discover and walk in that reflection. We’re just here to help you Be Bolder™ as you do it.

 


 

SINCE LAUNCHING ITS NEW MESSAGING, MARIE HUNTER BEAUTY HAS BEEN FEATURED IN VOGUE MAGAZINE, TATLER, AND HOUSE & GARDEN, TO NAME A FEW. 

“I was essentially trying to target ‘everyone’ to grow my brand. [Amber] helped me really hone in on who my ideal customer was, how to talk to them, and how to develop content to keep them interested. After sharing my new story, I gained new customers and continue to do so!” – KeNisha Ruff

To say that I’m proud and grateful for the opportunity to help grow a brand that I believe in so much with something as simple as new copy would be an understatement.

Truth be told, transformations like this are the real reason I launched COPYMASTERY™, my new copywriting coaching membership program for CEOs and thought leaders just like KeNisha.

If you have an amazing product with value that’s already been proven, but you sometimes struggle with communicating that to the right people when selling, I want to help you create your own copywriting success story.

Join COPYMASTERY™ today for just $49 at our new member pricing and you’ll get access to the same kind of branding, storytelling, and copywriting success coaching that will help YOU take your business to the next level.

As we say with our girlfriends when bragging about new cosmetics we just discovered …

Give it a try.

You can cancel anytime.

 

Talk soon,

xoxo, amber

Why Relationship Building Is Not Efficient (& a Better Way to Convert)

hey savvy!

Relationship building is not efficient.

That was the focus of the EntreLeadership podcast episode I listened to yesterday morning while sipping my La Colombe Vanilla Draft Latte. Alex Judd (the host) could have been in my head when he said,

“Relationships are not efficient.”

You’d think a common sense statement like this would go without saying since we’re talking about the human practice of getting to know one another and the state of being connected. I mean, there is no excel spreadsheet or value one can assign to measure how little or great our acquaintance or relation is to those we serve, right?

BUT, then I thought about it, and yes, it does need to be stated – exaggerated, even – for business owners who too often forget that the “connections” they’re after for the eventual purpose of conversion should begin with some level of genuineness.

It should be shouted from the rooftops that connection comes before conversion in the business dictionary, and the cultivation of the former is a not-so-efficient process that we should ALL be putting more energy into – especially now.

And I get it.

Focusing on relationship-building doesn’t seem like the natural first order of business in the midst of a crisis …

FOCUSING ON RELATIONSHIP-BUILDING DOESN’T SEEM LIKE THE NATURAL FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS IN THE MIDST OF A CRISIS …

… but it is. In fact, it’s Priority #1.

The reality is that the businesses that spend their time now growing closer to their customers and finding new and innovative ways to connect with them are the ones that will undoubtedly thrive when this is all over.

Which brings me to Rule #5, the final law in my new brand credo, The Copy Code!

 

relationship building

 

CONNECT FIRST, THEN CONVERT.

It’s the #1 rule in all successful relationship building strategies. This week, I want to challenge you to find at least one new and innovative way that you can connect with your community and strengthen the relationships that exist there. After all, how else will you know how to serve them in the future or what to even promote that’s relevant right now?

ASK YOURSELF:

-Where is my community spending more time online and how can I tap into the conversations they’re having?

-What commonalities do I share with the most loyal customers in my community and how can I start a two-way conversation around those?

-How can I give my customers a message of hope during this crisis and reassure them of my brand’s dedication to serving them?

-What nonconventional methods can I use to cut through the clutter and talk to my audience like a real human being?

HERE’S SOME IDEAS:

On Friday of last week, I hosted ‘COFFEE SHOP’, a virtual coffee chat with several mompreneurs in my community. No strings attached or sales pitches, just good conversation connecting on the common thing that’s rocked our entire world – becoming homeschool moms.

Dave Ramsey and his crew have been streaming a live series entitled, “A Message of Hope”, featuring weekly addresses of encouragement for small business owners from his personalities and other guest experts.

Harambee Crafts donated face masks to several healthcare providers in their community working on the frontlines with COVID-19 patients. As a modern, handcrafted goods company inspired by the African Diaspora, this was their way of connecting with the individuals working to keep their families safe.

The EntreLeadership Podcast, in addition to switching up their entire content schedule to connect with their listeners in a relevant way, began doing IG live interviews with special guests fielding questions on survival and strategy from small business owners.

Women Entrepreneurs Inc. transformed what would have been their marquee Charleston, SC conference into a month-long virtual Zoom series with keynote presentations, panels, and a community connection check-in.

Comment below and let me know what can YOU do to connect better with your community during this time!

Copywriting Coaching for CEOs Just Launched!

hey savvy!

 

I just launched my new copywriting coaching program for CEOs and I want to tell you why …

Small businesses everywhere are putting up the fight of their lives to attract the attention of their ideal customers and create new ways of serving them through this crisis.

I’m seeing it everyday. Some strong attempts to cut through the clutter and connect, but mostly well-intended, good-hearted failures. The thing that binds the misfortunes together?

BAD COPY – usually written by good people, but overall just really, really bad copy that would never resonate, not even in a thriving marketplace.

IF YOU’RE LIKE MOST CEOS IN TODAY’S ECONOMY, YOU’RE PROBABLY EXPERIENCING:

1. DIFFICULTY CUTTING THROUGH THE CLUTTER & GETTING NOTICED BY THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

You know exactly who your customers are and what they want from you. You’re confident in your solutions and your value has been proven. The problem is getting your message to break through the 5,000 ads per day consumers are inundated with to get noticed by more of the people you want to serve.

2. FRUSTRATION WITH CONSISTENTLY PRODUCING CONTENT THAT DOESN’T ALWAYS YIELD A RETURN FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

You’re spending hours and hours every week to produce podcast episodes, email newsletters, and social media content because the experts say, “you need to be visible.” BUT, on some days, not even the birds are responding to your CTAs. You’ve started to question the point of consistency if no one ever converts into a paying customer.

3. DECLINING IMPRESSIONS AND ENGAGEMENT ACROSS CHANNELS THAT USED TO SERVE YOU WELL.

The community that you’ve worked so hard to build online is barely engaging with your content. Your email open rates are shameful, homepage conversions are embarrassingly low, and thanks to our friends in the algorithm department at Facebook (who are all living a #WFA life right now), 90% of your followers aren’t even seeing a single word you write (much less “liking” your post).

Are people no longer interested in what you have to offer, or are your copywriting strategies not set up for today’s digital marketing environment?

NEWSFLASH: THE PROBLEM ISN’T ‘WHAT’ YOU’RE SAYING; IT’S ‘HOW’ YOU’RE SAYING IT.

You’ve got a #copyproblem, my friend.

And I’ve got just the solution for CEOs and content marketers like you who want to fix it …

IT’S CALLED ‘COPYMASTERY™’, MY NEW *LIVE* COPYWRITING COACHING MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM DESIGNED TO SHOW YOU ‘HOW’ TO: 

  • Identify the right words to stand out and sell faster than your competition
  • Stick to smarter-not-harder content strategies to keep your audience engaged
  • Cultivate the invaluable skill of persuasive copywriting (a skill that just so happens to work through ALL economic seasons)

The best part? It’s only $49/month and you can cancel anytime.

Seriously, what do you have to think about?

Learn how it works and become a member of Copymastery™ with our new member pricing. –> COPYMASTERY™ INFO & JOIN LINK

Planning on joining us? Let me know your biggest #copyproblem in the comments below!

 

Talk soon,

amber