“You’re like the Sherlock Holmes of Marketing…”
My husband, whom I call “BeardyFace”, once said this to me. And once he did, I knew that he was right.
You see, I’m not what you’d call “normal.”
I’m probably a high functioning autistic… what docs used to call Asperger’s. I say “probably” because I’ve never been diagnosed. But then again, most women aren’t.
Feeling frustrated about the consequences of that fact doesn’t change the fact that I’m not wired like everyone else.
So now I roll with it.
When I was a kid, I was what you called “bookish”. That is… I was in my head constantly. If I wasn’t reading something, I was busy writing. In fifth grade I remember some boys teasing me for using too large vocabulary. I was also, that same year, the only student in my class who knew the chemical formula for salt.
I’ve never known a time when I wasn’t insatiably curious about everything. And the most interesting topic of my life has been people.
You see, people fascinate me.
“You ask too many why questions,” is the only complaint Mr. BeardyFace ever has for me. “You’ll never understand why people do what they do. People are irrational.”
The thing is… people aren’t irrational. Not really. Sure, there are nuances and conditions, but at the base people rely on their lizard brains. It’s the logic they use to back it up which gets strange and “irrational”.
Back to the story. So, BeardyFace often shakes his head at the mental energy I spend understanding people’s base motivations. I’m constantly turning in my head why people do what they do.
- Why do people continue to make bad choices?
- Why do people do hateful things? (Hate is an emotion that alludes me.)
- Why do people choose actions contrary to their best interests?
- How do con men and cult leaders persuade?
- What message does various body language tell?
- What makes people buy when they can’t afford something?
- Why does marketing, sales, or hypnosis work?
- How does it work?
Answering these questions has been my insatiable profession and hobby for over three years now.
You see, I used to really, really suck at people.
The only jobs I ever got? Friends helped me get them. Finances? Still a mess, only because I get caught up in ideas and forget executive functions like paying bills on time. Housekeeping? Sometimes good, sometimes terrible. Mostly, I look like the eccentric writer you see in movies. I have stacks and stacks of books. Body language? It’s getting better, now that I’ve mastered thinking about my posture and engaging in conversation at the same time. Fashion? If I had the choice, I’d wear the same outfit in a few basic colors every day and be as happy as a puppy. Food? I’m equally boring. Once I find something I like, I enjoy the comfort of the sameness.
But not having good social skills and boundaries hurt me the most in my relationships. I fell into some emotionally and sexually abusive ones which made me feel like a terrible person. I am still facing family court hell with abusive men who only want me for the money I can shell out. And of course, shark lawyers of equally morally shallow motivations which follow such men.
Let’s just say that I used to suck at conflict and basic human interaction. I expected people to be good when they weren’t. I expected kindness and civility, and was shocked to learn that abusers manipulate and lie (even in court) when it suits them. There’s no magic to enforce justice – it’s not blind. It’s very, very biased… because at the end of the day justice is just telling a good story.
I accepted that if I wanted my life to change, I needed to learn – FAST – so I was never a “victim” again.
On top of that, I needed skills that could make the kind of money that would give me what everyone else viewed as power. In the court system, money is power. You don’t get justice without wheelbarrows of money to throw at lawyers to make it rain like a money funnel on a game show. And once you’ve been labelled the “bad guy”, you only redeem yourself by throwing truckloads of money at the other parent. It’s like paying penance for not being a sociopath in court.
This is fact, and I hope you never feel the weight of the money-to-justice ratio in your own life.
Those skills, naturally, became marketing and copywriting for entrepreneurs like you.
So yes, learning human nature has been my absolute obsession, out of both curiosity and necessity.
Here’s how this benefits you:
The foundation of effective marketing and copywriting is an understanding of human nature as it relates to your market.
And if that sounds icky to you, you’re not alone. Most people can’t look at this stuff in a distanced way like I can without being complete sociopaths. And trust me, I’ve met entirely too many internet marketers whom I wouldn’t sit in the same room with. Terrible, terrible people who are only in it for the fastest money they can steal.
Which is why you need a copywriter on your side. We delve our hands into the sticky vats of human nature and manipulation so you don’t have to. So you can keep your hands clean and relax and sleep well at night not having to think about why a certain piece of copy works so well.
Unfortunately, I forget that most people… even my professional peers… aren’t nearly as full steam about this stuff as I am.
Maybe they don’t have to be. I don’t know.
Anyway… we’re talking about you, not me.
BeardyFace has another saying.
He says, “If we were all truly unique, the world would be pretty lonely.”
Here’s what this means for you:
You may think that your market is unique… or that your offer is unique… or whatever.
They’re not. It’s not.
The laws of human nature apply to them like it applies to you.
That is, what works in general tends to work in the specific. Humans, even the “unique” ones, are swayed by the techniques of persuasion, manipulation, and yes… marketing.
And effective marketing works, even when (especially when) you think it won’t because you think your market is full of special snowflakes who only want facts.
Marketing (aka salesmanship in print aka manipulation) WORKS. Yes, there are ways to make it subtle (storytelling, for example) and ways to make it loud (hype), but at the end of the day if you aren’t persuading and manipulating… you aren’t selling. And sales without selling is a lie.
Which is why you need at least one person on your team who isn’t afraid to do the dirty work.
My job as your “Sherlock Holmes of Marketing” is multi-fold:
- I identify your current marketing, USP, and offer and help you discover where it’s not working. I’m straightforward and direct in my opinions, which means you may feel the sting of what everyone isn’t telling you because they’re too nice. The sooner you get this out of the way, the sooner you can pivot to what actually works.
- I help you build concise plans to move forward in your marketing – funnels, strategies, etc. This usually means a complete marketing plan for the next year. I have some tools to help you organize projects, such as spreadsheets and flowcharts and what-not. It’s always easier when you break everything down step-by-step, instead of trying to conceptualize the whole thing at once.
- I help you create (or delegate) the copywriting and marketing tasks necessary to launch said funnel, or optimize it, if it’s already running. I’m not a good person to keep a schedule, but I can write the creatives and help with big picture. I’m also good at copy/market research. I know many people and can connect you with specialists in areas like funnel hacking, FB ads, and sales scripts.
- Help you create ongoing copy which attracts (ads, lead magnets, videos), indoctrinates (blog posts, articles, lead magnets, emails), and sells (emails, sales pages). I’m a writer, and this is what I do best. I will write as much copy as is needed to get the job done. Most clients are astounded that I can get copy close to their voice. One client said, “It’s like what I want to say, only better!”
How to Hire Me
As I’m energetic and tend to go ALL IN with my clients, I prefer to work with those who want a joint venture, partnership, or retainer model. I say this because it’s almost impossible for me to work with you and not comment about your pricing… or your website… or other parts of your marketing and operations that I’m not assigned to. I can’t help it and it drives me nuts to only be assigned one cog in the machine. I’d probably be a good COO or CMO to the right person. (Imagine a female Altucher running around your organization. But shorter, prettier, younger, and with better hair.)
I’ll also work as part of an established marketing team or agency where my quirkiness and high energy can be harnessed for good and set to task on various projects. Previous employers have complained that replacing me required 3 people. Another asked if I was on some sort of drug to have so much energy – to which my reply is always coffee. (I’m a caffeinated nut.) I work well with hands-on mentor-type bosses who give regular feedback so I can adjust course. I love being knee deep in work, especially writing work or project coordination…. Or problem solving where “normal” people think there are no solutions. (There are always solutions.)