When I was in my mid-twenties I injured my low back. The L4-L5 disc.
I was in the gym, doing squats, bent a little too far over, and POP.
It's never been the same since.
To this very day there are still movements and exercises I can't do. They'll just wreck my back.
Well, over the past twenty some odd years since, there have been three times... only three... when that disc has slipped or shifted or protruded or whatever you want to call it, and hit a nerve.
And let me tell you...
Absolutely excruciating pain.
I'm talking... bring-you-to-your-knees-level pain.
Well, last week... while, of all things, flushing the toilet... POP.
Disc out place, crazy pain, tightness, curved back, the whole nine.
Fortunately my home gym has some equipment to help me ease the pain and help move the disc back in place. Stuff I got specifically to help with my low back.
So, it's been a bit of a long and draining week, to say the least.
But, thankfully, I'm feeling much better.
Still tight. Still achy. But better. (The muscle relaxers certainly don't hurt.)
Why am sharing this with you in a newsletter about marketing and business growth?
For one reason...
To remind you of the importance of your health and caring for yourself while pursuing your business/financial goals.
All the business success in the world can never... nor will it ever... make up for poor health.
Health and wellness are by far a more valuable treasure.
Unfortunately, this usually only becomes apparent for lots of people once their health is gone or faded.
I was reminded of this once again over the past week.
So, take care of yourself.
Make your health... your wellness... your fitness... a priority.
And do it now. Don't wait.
Keep in perspective what the true treasure is.
With that said, let's get to this week's goodies...
MY FAVS THIS WEEK
- Procrastination hack: change “and” to...
Quick, simple productivity tip from Derek Sivers.
Even includes an audio version.
Read the short article (taken from his book), then spend a few minutes perusing the comments.
I found some insightful tips in there as well.
- If You Use These 6 Words, You Lack Empathy. Do This Instead to Become a More Effective Communicator
I learned this many moons ago.
So, the six words shared in this article have been the topic of many discussions in my household. Both, with my wife and girls.
- Michael J. Fox Reveals Painful Setback That Led to His 'Darkest Moment' Since Parkinson's Diagnosis
Man, Michael J. Fox has had it rough. Yet thru it all he's been a stalwart of positivity.
Well, I think you'll find the answers insightful.
There's some major stuff to be learned from Michael's outlook and tenacity.
Read the article.
ODDITY FROM MY LIBRARY
Not sure if The War Of Art can be considered an "oddity"...
But, I'm including it this week nonetheless.
If you do any kind of creative work, and find yourself putting it off or struggling to get the work done, this is a must read.
This is the book which helped me understand the internal battle going on when attempting to create anything I'm passionate about.
Like Pressfield says, "It's a war."
Thankfully, he also gives direction on how to win that war, and do it one battle at a time.
Again, if you regularly find yourself procrastinating on important, creative work, I think you'll really find this helpful.
WHAT I'M TELLIN' MY TEAM
This week on our internal marketing training...
We dissected and edited the headline, deck copy, and lead of a coaching student's campaign.
First, things needed to be simplified.
Our aim is one, clear, instantly-understandable idea or theme for every promotion. Not a mix of ideas.
Second, things needed to be made more concrete.
Our aim in every promotion is specific, tangible, and measurable promises, claims, and benefits. Not vague, general statements.
And, third, things needed to be communicated with less hyperbolic language.
Our aim is to make our proposition enticing to prospects through our benefit claims and proof, not through the use of colorful, exaggerated language.
TEAM TAKEAWAYS IN THREE BULLETS:
- The angle, hook or idea for every promotion must be simple and immediately understandable. Prospects must be able to "get it" instantly, no need to read on. As well, we need to always remember the Rule of One.
- Avoid vague statements which can’t be quantified or pictured in the mind's eye (eg. Return sanity to your days). For prospects to have a visceral, emotional response to the copy they must be able to picture what's being talked about in their imagination. This requires concreteness in copy.
- “When in doubt, take it out.” Clean, simple and concise copy is always more powerful. Clarity should always trump creativity. Say it as simply and clearly as possible in the prospect's language.
This question was posted inside the MFA Nation Facebook Group.
Below was my response:
I don't know the easiest or fastest, but I'll tell you the most effective...
Read a good piece of copy every day and write some copy every day.
Copywriting is a skill.
And, like every skill, it takes practice and repetition.
Reading a good piece of copy -- something performing well -- will give you a feel for the flow and sequence of a good marketing message.
The more you do this, the more familiar you'll become with how good copy reads, sounds, and comes across.
And writing every day, after you've read some copy, will help you get more comfortable putting pen to paper and getting your ideas out.
While reading copywriting books and watching training videos on copywriting can be helpful, the real value is only extracted when you take what you learn and write.
You'll never become a great golfer simply be reading golf magazines or books or watching golf on television. To get good, at some point, you have to start golfing.
Same with copywriting.
At first your copy will likely be pretty awful.
Be okay with that. And be patient.
Regardless, keep reading and keep writing.
I believe with enough time, anybody can get good at copywriting.
Maybe not to A-player level, but certainly good enough to write copy which brings in sales.
This is a cool tool for a couple of reasons...
It's called Descript.
It makes editing or cleaning up audio or video content super-simple.
Basically, it takes any audio or video content and produces a transcript for you.
Then, enables you to edit the audio/video content simply by changing the transcript.
So editing audio becomes as simple as editing a Word doc.
Want to remove a word or phrase from the audio? Just delete the words within the transcript.
Want to remove all the "ums" and "ahs"? Find all and delete them from within the transcript.
It even has this cool "overdub" feature where you can replace words or phrases... or add them to an audio... right from within the transcript.
If you do anything with audio or video you should check it out.
I think you'll have some fun with it.
PIC OF THE WEEK
A screenshot from early 2013, one of my first times being a guest on a Google Hangout. This one with fantastic marketer, Charles Kirkland.
When I see pics like this it makes me realize how quickly time passes. I can't believe I've been in this game of direct response marketing for almost two decades now.
It also reminds me of how things, markets, people, tactics, etc., evolve over time.
It's pretty amazing to think about how different the online marketing environment is today compared to when I was on this Google Hangout seven years ago.
I wonder what things will be like seven years from now.
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