No.21/ November 19, 2006

 The Corporate Muse


Happy Thanksgiving!  And welcome to The Corporate Muse.  This month we're doing something a little different. We invited our good friend and fellow copywriter Leah Carson to contribute her article on marketing to women. We're also excited to announce we've added a new segment to the newsletter entitled, Recognition. Each month we'll feature a different business we know about that maybe you don't. As always, we welcome suggestions and/or questions. 



Marketing To Women: Expand Your Influence And Skyrocket Your Sales

If women make up a significant portion of your target market, one of the simplest – and most overlooked - ways to make it easy for them to choose your product is to keep in mind this one characteristic that is common among virtually all female consumers…

When deciding whether or not to purchase a product or service, virtually all women stop to consider what effect their purchase will have on those around them.

Always remember when you're marketing to women that women are inclusive. Whether husbands, parents, sisters, children, friends, and even bosses realize it or not, women think about them as part of the pre-purchase process.

In their book Don't Think Pink Lisa Johnson and Andrea Learned describe this as constituent-driven decision making.

Is this new flooring going to trip Mom when she visits? How will changing my investment strategy affect our plans to buy Lindsey's car in April? Which week will my vacation least impact everyone at the office?

Women's heads race with questions like this constantly.

My mother is a perfect example, but you need a little background for this to make sense. Back in 1999, my husband Joe had brain surgery (he's doing very well, thanks!) which slightly impaired the left side of his body.

Now, although we live over live over 800 miles away and visit about once a year, Joe played a prominent role in Mom's decision making when she shopped for new sofas and chairs. For her, one of the make-or-break factors when buying furniture was "Will my son-in-law be able to sit and stand easily?"

If making a decision on a sofa based on an annual visit from your son-in-law who lives 800 miles away isn't constituent-driven decision making, I don't know what is.

What you need to know about constituent-driven decision making is this: If you fail to address how the benefits of your product or service ripple out beyond her personal experience, then you're missing a critical component in your sales message.

After you've fully demonstrated how your product or service will make life easier for her, go a little further. Let her know how her loved ones and friends will benefit, even tangentially, after she makes her purchase.

Doing so will help you stand out among your competition and just may win you a lifelong customer!

Leah B. Carson, M.A. is a direct response copywriter and marketing strategist who has earned a reputation among her colleagues as the "go to gal" when it comes to writing for the women's market. This article is just one out of a 7 – part series. Can't wait to read the rest? Go to
http://www.catalystcopy.com and sign up for Leah's special report on marketing to women.




Help For The Introvert



Twenty or so minutes after we arrived, we'd greeted and hugged all the people we'd hoped to see and shaken hands with several new acquaintances.  Andy trotted off to talk to someone out in the hall.  I stood alone in the middle of the room, searching for a friendly face.


A few seconds later, I felt a tap on my shoulder.  A woman with a bright smile and long salt and pepper hair introduced herself.  She chatted amiably, while munching on a messy barbequed wing.


We learned the usual things about each other.  Where we were from.  What business we were in.  Why we'd come to the seminar.  How many of these conferences we'd attended. 


After several minutes of genuine conversation, she dabbed her lips with a cocktail napkin and said, "You know, networking is only hard if you make it that way."


Her statement hit me right between the eyes.  I tend to be an overly self-conscious worrier in an unfamiliar crowd.  As soon as I arrive at a new place, the nerves start to jangle.  And my apprehension is often perceived as standoffishness. 


Even though my stomach flips a few somersaults, I put a smile on my face and press into the throng.  That's when the inner dialogue begins.  Who should I talk to first?  What if I sound like an idiot?  What if we don't hit it off, how will I know when to move on?  And on and on it goes.


Heidi Nabert (http://www.podcast-marketing-center.com/) was right.  It's not necessary to make a big deal out of networking.  After all, it's just a matter of talking to people.  Still, knowing that doesn't alleviate shyness or anxiety when you enter a room full of strangers.  So how do you overcome these natural tendencies?


First, you can learn to relax.  Trust me, I know how hard this is for an introvert.  Loosening your posture and reaching out to say "Hi" is an excruciating exercise for those of us who suffer from bashfulness.  I often have to refocus and take a few deep breaths.  It doesn't always do the trick, but it helps.


Here's the reality, even if we're inhibited, we still like people (I know I do).  And we attend networking events to meet people.  Most don't bite and some won't give you the time of day, but every once in a while you strike gold.  You connect with someone who can become a long time friend.  But if you don't extend your hand, you'll never know.


Then again, sometimes you need to look beyond your immediate circumstances.  Yes, it might be uncomfortable or even painful to "reach out and touch someone" in the moment, but what if you don't?  What will you miss if you don't take the chance? 


For me, it's always worth it to force myself out of my timidity.  At the seminar we attended in late October, my efforts were rewarded.  I had a good time.  I was at ease; I felt as if I was in the middle of friends, even though I'd only spent three days with them the year before.    


Like most things in life, networking is not complex.  But it does take some work, especially if you're among the naturally shy.  So next time you're in a new situation, inhale and exhale; then say hello to someone you've never met before.  You never know where it will take you.


(Disclaimer:  There are legitimate anxiety disorders that need to be treated medically.  I'm not suggesting someone with such a disorder try to remedy it by using one of the ideas I've outlined here.)



(SKC)   © QuickSilver Copywriters 2006 -- Andy & Shawn Catsimanes; http://www.quicksilvercopywriters.com/; mailto: andy_shawn@quicksilvercopywriters.com; Sign up for The Corporate Muse: admin@quicksilvercopywriters.com





 A Word About Copywriting

People still give me that blank stare when I tell them what I do.  So I try to explain.  "We write those long sales letters you see on websites." 

When that fails to register, I say, "We write junk mail."  The statement elicits a perfunctory nod, but I still wonder if people really get it.

Copywriting is a vague term.  It encompasses TV, radio and print advertising, Internet marketing, infomercials and host of other promotional materials.  It's the engine of all marketing.  As copywriters are fond of saying, "Nothing gets sold before the copy gets written."

Personally, I like the way Michel Fortin, one the heavy hitters in the industry, describes it on his Copywriting Crew website (http://www.copywritingcrew.com/).   "Copywriting is salesmanship in print."  His very succinct definition lets the inquirer know exactly what he's talking about. 

But copywriters aren't the only people who write copy.  Anyone who crafts radio spots, newspaper ads, brochures and the like, utilizes the skill.  If you try to sell something, you need copy.  And the better the copy, the more likely your product or service will sell.

Copywriting isn't an everyday job, but it affects everyone on a daily basis.  The cleverest TV commercial and the most effective sales letters will always be with us; and so will the copywriters who created them.



Merry Brewer of Wyldewood Cellars Winery


Wyldewood Cellars is a family affair.  Merry Brewer (her real name) and her brother, John, originally started the business as a means of making their farm pay. 


John, an amateur winemaker, had been a researcher on the east coast looking for a way to return with his family back to the Midwest.  Merry had been laid off from a boring job.  At the same time, their mother had become very involved with elderberries.  The pieces of the puzzle fit together and the winery was born.


They chose to make fruit wines because they're a part of Kansan history.  During prohibition, wine was considered a food preserved with alcohol rather than an alcoholic beverage.  Families were allowed to keep 200 gallons per adult per household per year on hand.  Before prohibition, Kansas was one of the top producers of wine in the nation.


Merry made her first batch of wine in a 1000-gallon tank.  Today they manufacture up to 30,000 gallons of wine a year.  They still insist on doing it the old-fashioned way, one batch at a time, though they've automated much of their production.


Since they opened their doors in 1994, they've grown into a multi-million dollar operation.  Their wines have won over 300 international awards, including the best non-grape wine in North America.  They employ 45 people and buy from 18 local growers on a regular basis.


While they feature wine, the biggest seller is elderberry concentrate, widely known for its health benefits. For hundreds of years, it's been used to treat a variety of illness, especially those associated with the upper-respiratory system.  It's anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and a powerful anti-oxidant, which gives it its anti-aging properties.  A teaspoon a day of the pure elixir is all it takes.


To promising entrepreneurs, Merry suggests thoroughly researching your idea before taking the plunge.  She says there are multiple college-based and state-based programs designed for developing and growing a business.  "See what's available and make use of it," she advises.


Though you can't purchase the wines via the Internet, due to interstate shipping laws, you can stop at the winery in Mulvane for a free tour.  Or visit one of their other three locations for free taste test.  For more information check out: http://www.elderberry.net/.




Thanks for reading. See you next month!

Andy & Shawn Catsimanes


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