My Marketing Content Isn’t Resonating. My God, What Shall I Do?

My Marketing Content Isn't Resonating. My God, What Shall I Do?

Show Notes

How do you write good? That’s the question we ask our guest today! Laryssa is a trained writer who not only writes business and marketing copy but self-published a fiction book and also teaches creative writing to undergrads at Rutgers University. So when it comes to talking about writing good… er, real good… er, the goodest… Laryssa knows her stuff. She has some great stories to share about how to fund and promote a self-published book plus lots of insight into what it takes to create good business content, even if you’re not a writer.

In This Episode We Talk About

  • The lamentable state of customer service and why you should never ask for a large, buttered popcorn
  • How Laryssa funded her first book through a Kickstarter campaign, plus the amazingly dedicated promotional campaign she ran to get the word out
  • How “academia” frowns on self-publishing and why we think that happens
  • What makes good writing good and bad writing bad when it comes to your business and blog
  • Why sometimes even the best writers can’t see what’s not working about their content
  • The importance of getting an outside perspective on your writing
  • Whether any of us can truly self-edit and what you need to do if you try
  • What you need to think about if you’re planning to hire an editor or writer (it may not be what you think)
  • The difference between bad writing and bad writing (no, that’s not a mistake) and why even “bad” writers can be good
  • How to get past the pencil in front of you and convey what you want to say to your customers and prospects
  • Plus we talk about how to set your expectations when it comes to budgeting for and hiring a copywriter, why “a blog post” is a waste of time and money and we name guacamole the official food of podcasting

Links & Resources

Your Marketing Action Item

From Laryssa: Take time every few months to do housekeeping on your social networks, especially Twitter and Instagram. Get rid of people you don’t enjoy engaging with or whose content doesn’t interest you and pare your account down to what you really want to see. Then you’ll enjoy being online and be able to connect with people who matter to you.

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Carol Lynn Rivera

Carol Lynn Rivera

I'm a business owner, content creator, podcaster and marketer. In 1999 I founded Rahvalor Interactive, a web and creative services production studio, with my husband and business partner Ralph. In 2011 we created Web.Search.Social, a consulting and marketing service line for small businesses. We also cohost the Web.Search.Social Podcast where we challenge the status quo of marketing and the Carbon Based Business Units podcast where we talk about the human side of being an entrepreneur. On any given day I wear the hat of project manager, consultant, social media manager and content marketer. My true passion is writing and in my spare time I'm busy planning my early retirement to Barcelona as a famous and wealthy novelist.
Carol Lynn Rivera
Carol Lynn Rivera
  • This is for Ralph: So many things to say here and I haven’t even finished the episode.

    Number one. French Vanilla??? Waste of ice cream cabinet space. “Whipped topping”???? You mean like that oily stuff that tastes like the lining of the can? Your choices here are so wrong.

    Then there is your LARGE this and LARGE that. With such choices, you really should weigh 400 pounds. This in itself is infuriating. WITH butter? Really, Ralph? I think the “buttered popcorn without butter” would be a better choice, but if you want to clog your arteries like NJ streets at rush hour, be my guest. Carol Lynn and I will retire to Barcelona on your life insurance payout.

    Then your lovely and caring wife points out – from pure concern, that the treadmill had no part in these life choices. Not before, not after, or even around. You know what my RunKeeper stream looks like right now? Like I’m the only person on the planet who moves.

    Now, the interview? The interview is good. I felt a little like I was listening to Fresh Air. However, Terry Gross never reveals her appalling dietary choices. Spell broken.

    I’m loving hearing about Laryssa’s self-publishing odyssey and so glad she’s sharing a bit of the practical with her students. The ability to “write good” is sorely lacking in so many and it holds a bunch of talented people back!

    In conclusion, I will be checking RunKeeper and expect to see you both there. Tsk. Tsk.

    • Way to hammer, Alisa! 😉

    • Alisa, you’re hilarious. And if you could get either one of us on the treadmill you would also be supernatural! Well, you are a superhero so I suppose that’s your next evolution…. there is hope for our fat butts yet!

      Next time we go to the movies I swear I’m going to ask for a buttered popcorn without the butter. Just because it sounds like fun!

      • … or tell them you want the butter without the popcorn. That should wake somebody up! LOL!

        • LOL! I’ll have to do that. “I’d like a large butter, please.” 🙂

      • But, but, you did it for a bit – I saw proof! Challenge accepted.

  • Problem: Your marketing content is not resonating with your audience.
    Solution: Hire a professional copywriter (Carol Lynn) and/or copy editor (Me).

    Okay, now that we’ve got that critical piece out of the way … 🙂

    “Customer Service Comes In One Flavor: Vanilla”

    The current state of customer service
    Is forty-nine shades of grim
    The chance of having a good experience
    Is highly and mighty slim

    Try placing an order for buttered popcorn
    They’ll ask if you want butter
    The era of paying attention and listening
    Has vanished down the gutter

    Do you think a few more dollars an hour would sharpen these folks skills? Nah, probably not.

    • We’re going to need to start taking this poetry thing a bit more seriously. I mean, honestly, you could be everyone’s official podcast poet and retire on it! Maybe you need to adopt that moniker. Podcast Poet. I have to finish that shrine page because all this fabulous poetry relegated to comments is unacceptable!

      On another note, I don’t think paying people more will fix the problem. They will just be well paid and incompetent. Partly it’s training. But also a big part of it is investment. If you’re not invested (personally, emotionally) in what you’re doing then why bother being good at it? I’m sure none of the 19 year olds at the movie snack counter give a crap about that business. They are part time, there for the paycheck and done. I’m not saying that’s wrong, but I do think a company has a bigger obligation to build a culture of employees who value their product an service. You don’t have to make a career out of serving popcorn to do it well! And if the company got some sort of employee buy-in rather than treating everyone as high-turnover temp labor, THEN service would improve!

      • “I do think a company has a bigger obligation to build a culture of employees who value their product and service.” I’ll back you up on that 500%.

        Trouble is … (and I’ve seen this firsthand) …

        Upper management in a corporate setting, in particular, could care less about employees. And they’re making the mistake of a lifetime with that attitude!! They’re all about the profits … period. Employees are their greatest asset but they don’t see it that way and they don’t give a crap when they lose good people. By today’s standards, companies are setting themselves up to create a culture of mediocrity. And that’s PRECISELY what we, as consumers, are seeing in the realm of customer service. I rest my case. 🙁

        • Well, if they care about profits they should see that the way to profit is through happy customers…. which happens through good employees… so it’s pretty short sighted if you ask me. Unless you’re Comcast (or any of those companies you “have to” do business with). And you have no competition. Then, why care?

          • Your head is screwed on straight, Carol Lynn. Theirs is screwed on backward.

            It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. If your employees are happy and they’re being treated right, you can bet your bottom line will reap the rewards, right? But what’s happening, instead, is that companies are trying to squeeze the work of three people out of one employee. Cutback after cutback … all in the name of profit. They want to LOOK GOOD ON PAPER. In the process, they’re burning employees out and losing outstanding people.

            It’s no wonder customer service stinks.

            Their main goal should be happy customers via happy employees.

  • Thank goodness for comic book writer friends, eh? Seems he was there for Laryssa just when she needed some encouragement and inspiration. 🙂

    Kudos, Oreos, and cupcakes for her suggestion to “get outside perspective” when your writing isn’t resonating! She’s right. When you’re too close to the project, you can’t see the proverbial forest for the trees. It’s natural to fall in love with your own work. But will your audience love it? Maybe. Maybe not. So why take the risk? Do the smart thing and get a second pair of [objective] eyes on it.

    Wonderful interview! Very impressed to learn Laryssa did all her own PR, design, and promotion. Let’s Tweet that girl some Twitter love! 🙂

    • If ONLY everyone took that advice! We’d have a lot more work, too 🙂

      I can’t believe how much Laryssa did on her own. Writing is plenty of work by itself but then to do all the artwork and the layout! And of course the promotion for the kickstarter, AND the promotion for the book. Anyone who whines about not being able to get attention for their project should listen to this and get to work.

      • Agreed! I’d have to say what Laryssa did was pretty amazing. She’s a rare bird, for sure. I love her sticktoittiveness. Some people don’t stick with a project for five months let alone five years. I wish her oodles of success with her book! 🙂

  • This episode really drives home for me how marginalizing your business can make you so much more effective, no matter your size. Focusing on what you do best really can make a difference.

    I waste a ton of time on things that I should not be focusing on. This is my year get on a schedule that works.. Thanks for always reminding me of that…

    • You must have had a WSS marathon! I’m exhausted just reading the comments, lol. Focus, baby, focus. Try a time tracker. Even if I’m doing something that isn’t billable or is just business stuff like… paying bills… I turn on my timer because you would seriously NOT believe how much time goes by in a day where no useful things are happening. Or maybe you’re being useful but you don’t really know what you did. So when I get up at 7AM, sit down at my computer and work until 7PM then look at my timer and see I only logged 4 hours of work… I think WTF DID I DO!? The more diligent I get about tacking what I’m doing, the more conscious I am of wasting time and also doing unnecessary things.