January 2017 | The Write Idea

Monthly Archives: January 2017

Get on the proof train and rock your biz — fo’ shizzle!

By Renae Gregoire

A new breed of business owner wants to help you rock your biz–so you can rock your world.It’s the mom-preneur, dad-preneur, wantra-preneur, solo-preneur, heart-centered-preneur, healer-preneur, wellness-preneur, and other-preneur. The gurus, biz bosses, thought leaders, and experts in their various topics who started online businesses a year or so ago, and are now out there full […]

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Is your business struggling? You might need softness.

By Renae Gregoire

Softness. Such a lovely word. It brings to mind pillows and clouds. Feathers, warm towels, and cuddly kittens.​ But I doubt “softness” is a term you’d associate with a struggling business, so it’s probably not a “solution” that’s crossed your mind.  Whether you’re finding it hard to win customers, attract prospects, gain traction, or even break even […]

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“We will respond in 5 business days”

By Renae Gregoire

Chasing down broken emails  Just this morning, I filled out a form on the Holiday Inn Express website because they’re sending me email messages I can’t read.Here’s what I see:​ Broken in the browser, tooI use Outlook, which presents this message for all emails with images: “If there are problems with how this message is […]

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“Your company sucks!” The value of negative feedback

By Renae Gregoire

Have you ever been swayed by a company’s testimonials? You know, those customer statements that tell you why you should buy? As a prospect, you read through the glowing testimonials thinking, “Gee, if all these people were happy, then maybe I will be, too!”​ Trouble is, no company willingly publishes negative testimonials. Amazon and Yelp aside, could you […]

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How to bring your marketing content to life

By Renae Gregoire

Marketing content: Heaven (and sales) is in the details.  Quick question for you:What do you see when you look at this postcard? It’s nice, right?Maybe, if you like snow.But to truly appreciate the image takes a little imagination.​ For instance, imagine standing in the scene yourself, right where the photographer stood, seeing that exact view. Your hands […]

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Are your infographics killing readers?

By Renae Gregoire

Don’t get me wrong: Infographics done right are GREAT. People love to look at them, read them, and share them.​ I’m one of those people.​ Lately though, I’m seeing more and more infographics that are so dense, so complex, that they frustrate rather than help readers. (Well, this reader, at least.) This trend mirrors a quote by Jay […]

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For insightful content, use an INFJ marketing writer

By Renae Gregoire

Differentiation is the name of the writing (and selling) game.   I’m into personality assessments and have taken lots of them over the years. Recently, I took a Myers-Briggs test over at www.16personalities.com (great site and presentation, by the way), and saw something in the results that I thought you, my client or prospective client, ought […]

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Your company sucks! Negative feedback, part 2

By Renae Gregoire

In part one of this three-part series about the value of negative feedback, I talked about one particular instance where I wasn’t able to satisfy a client, and why I think the engagement went wrong.Here, in part two, I’ll share yet another painful, personal example of a failed client engagement. In this instance, I really […]

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How to write an About page that rocks

By Renae Gregoire

I hate most About pages. How about you?We have to read them before doing business with others, yet they’re so formulaic.​ “So and so is a professional blah-dee-blah. She has been blah-ing and blee-ing for more than a decade. Her focus is on meeting clients’ needs by providing the highest quality blah blah blah. She earned […]

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Keeping up a blog is a pain in the $#!@#*

By Renae Gregoire

“Just keep blogging, just keep blogging, just keep blogging….”(Imagine Dory from finding Nemo as you read that first line.)Yep. I said it. Despite my best intentions, I struggle to keep my blog fresh with new content.​It’s not that I don’t have anything to say or share. On the contrary. My Evernote account is loaded with […]

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Should we expect even memes to be usable?

By Renae Gregoire

Poke around my website and blog. You will quickly notice I carry the banner of usability: Usable websites! Usable documents! Usable applications! Usable hardware! Usable … memes? Okay, so your business may not be in the business of creating memes. But, if it was, I’d say that even the lowly meme and how you present it deserves consideration and attention to […]

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Can webinars really be “full?”

By Renae Gregoire

The sold-out webinar: Is it false scarcity? Or is it for real?I confess: Since the dawn of the webinar, I’ve always thought that statements like these from webinar hosts were nothing other than feeble attempts to use scarcity to try to convince people to “sign up now”:There are limited seats and we’re almost full up.​Seats […]

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How to differentiate using your logo

By Renae Gregoire

My goal is the same as yours: Differentiate! You’ve heard it said that one of the chief goals of marketing is differentiation: Showing, telling, and illustrating to prospective customers why your product, service, or solution is better, faster, stronger, the right choice.I faced the differentiation dilemma when developing a logo for my freelance writing business; perhaps […]

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Marketing so useful, people would pay you for it

By Renae Gregoire

Have you heard of Youtility? It’s a concept coined by Jay Baer, author of a book by the same name. Jay defines Youtility as “marketing so useful, people would pay you for it.” You create Youtility when you’re useful where customers are–when they need it, where they need it.Is your company Youseful? In other words, […]

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How to reduce shopping cart abandonment

By Renae Gregoire

Is your ecommerce site loaded with minefields, each of which may cause shopping cart abandonment, and inadvertently kill a sale? What kind of minefields? Consider:​Site speed, or how long customers wait for stuff to load​Product reviews, either on your site or elsewhereProduct visuals, whether images, videos, or the lack thereofContact details, whether easy to find or […]

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5 tips for writing a winning press release

By Renae Gregoire

EXTRA! EXTRA!So you want free publicity? Thinking about writing a press release? Great idea! In the age of the Internet, most major news outlets and publications get a high percentage of news from press releases.Your goal is to get your release noticed rather than ignored or trashed. But keep in mind that a new website, new […]

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The free “Small Business Work Easy” Resource Guide

By Renae Gregoire

Get your free Resource Guide with my most “Can’t-Live-Withoutable” tools Are you a small business owner? Marketing pro? Freelancer? Or are you just starting your entrepreneurial journey? Either way, chances are that you, like me, are always looking for business tools and resources to help you get stuff done.I’ll tell you this: I’m one of those […]

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Adwords campaign for training products

By Renae Gregoire

​An Adwords campaign to sell online and DVD trainingThis client, a producer and distributor of online training programs for individuals and corporations, wanted to run an Adwords campaign to push people searching for various keywords to specific landing pages.To create the campaign, I first studied Adwords to understand how to deliver the best results. Then, […]

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Nurture emails for online & DVD training

By Renae Gregoire

Selling a training product with a series of emailsHave you ever signed up to receive news or information from a person or company and found yourself on the other end of an email nurture sequence?Yeah … me, too. I actually sign up for a lot of newsletters and offers, the best of which become part […]

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What’s your differentiation? Your “disruptive”?

By Renae Gregoire

What’s so special about you? Why should your prospects care? What’s your disruptive? Whitney Johnson’s HBR article on career change, innovation, and disruption really got me thinking—not just about my disruptive skills (although I am thinking seriously about them), but also about a company’s disruptive ability, or even a document’s disruptive power.By “disruptive,” Whitney means unique, […]

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How to draw and write on screenshots

By Renae Gregoire

Save time for yourself … save time for your readers … with annotated screenshots. How many times have you visited a website, read an ebook, or downloaded a document loaded with screenshots?And how many times have you had this experience?You read the text leading up to the screenshot.Then you look at the screenshot.Then you read the […]

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Web content for a mortgage company

By Renae Gregoire

Creating 30+ pages of web content from scratchWhat a fun web content project!I had worked with this company’s VP of Marketing for many years as he served in different roles–first as a consultant for a management consultancy, next as a marketing guru at a SaaS company. This time, he called me to to help with […]

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Success story teasers for the web

By Renae Gregoire

Whetting appetites to encourage clicks and readsThis client, showcasing its success stories on the web (who doesn’t, right?), asked me to create summaries of its stories–teasers, you might say–that would appeal to and draw in readers.View the success story teasersDid I succeed? Click the image below to read the success story summaries here, and judge […]

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Before and after success story sample

By Renae Gregoire

Turning a disjointed success story into a success story that flowsThis client called on me to power-up her company’s marketing collateral, including what she called “case studies.” Although I think of case studies as being much more technical in nature than this example story is, I also think that what you call the thing doesn’t […]

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Success story rewrite for a technology firm

By Renae Gregoire

Teaching team writers to create readable storiesOne of my clients, a management consultancy, often brought me into client projects as a consultant, often to rewrite success stories. For this particular project with a technology firm whose name you’d recognize, I edited and rewrote several success stories, and developed a success story writing approach to guide the […]

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Need SaaS web content? Experienced SaaS writer here.

By Renae Gregoire

Creating new content after a rebranding effortAfter a rebranding effort, this leading provider of cloud-based, customer-experience software turned to me for fresh SaaS web content for its new site.I’m familiar with the space and had been working with the company’s updated messaging for several years, so I didn’t need to conduct external research.To write the […]

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Web content for consultants

By Renae Gregoire

Selling yourself through your web contentIf you’re a consultant, then you already know that when you’re selling your services, you’re really selling yourself. You also likely know that buyers of your services often form first opinions of you based on your website content.That’s why I like to interview my consulting clients, and why I’d like […]

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Web content for an online store

By Renae Gregoire

Using web content to convey a sense of qualitySometimes companies want web content to project a clear voice, whether it’s a sassy, “we can help you” confidence or a lyrical, “we mean quality” refinement.This company–a provider of handcrafted Amish gazebos, decor, and furniture–wanted the latter to draw readers in and help them envision their lives […]

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Web content for a medical consultant

By Renae Gregoire

Speaking the language of experts for a niche medical consultantWriting web content for a medical consultant is no different than writing web content for any other audience: No matter what product or service you offer, no matter your space, your web content needs to speak in the language of readers. This is especially critical when […]

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Report: Tax guide for traders and investors

By Renae Gregoire

Establishing authority and expertise with a for-sale tax guideIn a previous life, before I became a freelance marketing writer, I earned an accounting degree and worked as an accountant, giving me a special knowledge set that comes in handy when called upon to write about or for accounting, tax, and finance products and services.For this […]

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Flyer: For a home furnishing designer

By Renae Gregoire

Creating awareness by handing out flyers during a seminarThis award-winning designer and manufacturer of unique home furnishings came to me seeking a flyer to hand out to interior and home designers during an upcoming seminar. The goal of the piece was to showcase the varied services the firm offered.View the handout / flyerView the handout […]

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Flyer: For a Network Consultant

By Renae Gregoire

Informing the local market about a new network consulting businessThis flyer for a network consultant launching a new business engages the reader by asking lots of questions, such as “Having trouble with Windows? Tired of yesterday’s technology and software?” In this writer’s opinion, questions to engage the reader beat a bulleted list of “services offered” […]

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Flyer: Targeting the design trade

By Renae Gregoire

Reaching a local niche market by flyerFor this professional house painter, I created a flyer he could use to get the word out to the design trade about his business. The idea was to leave these flyers in places where designers roamed, and to use a headline that was sure to get noticed: “We specialize […]

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Webinar to ebook sample: Content repurposing

By Renae Gregoire

Getting more miles from B2B webinar contentThis client, wanting to get more mileage from ongoing webinar efforts, hired me for content repurposing, during which I transformed multiple webinars into ebooks.If your webinar is long, or jam-packed with valuable information, as was the case in this ebook-from-webinar sample, you might want to do as my client […]

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Direct mail for a graphics and print company

By Renae Gregoire

Using direct mail to prepare prospects for a call from salesThe owner of this graphics and print firm came to me for a direct mail letter that would warm up prospects before a sales call that would follow a week after the mailing.Thanks to my detailed questionnaire, I learned that a huge peeve of readers–one […]

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