Greetings {FIRST_NAME}, October 2007

Don't Let Your Website be a Bad First Date

Have you ever had a first date with someone and all they did was talk about themselves? How anxious were you to have a second date? Well, if people come to your site and all you do is talk about your company, product or service, guess what they want to do?

Exactly. Go away and never come back. The big difference? They're not sitting in a restaurant or coffee shop where they have to come up with an excuse to leave. They're gone in a click! And they won't be back.

So what do you do? How can you make your website a great first date? It's not as difficult or scary as a first date, I can assure you. And surprisingly, it's not that different from the secret to being a great first date!

What is the secret to being a great first, second or even third date? Your willingness and ability to listen. And your website can do exactly the same thing.

Here are the secrets to great website copy:

  • Ask questions - asking questions is a great way to get people thinking about what they're really looking for. It also gives you a way to direct them deeper into your site in search of helpful information. This helps you get a commitment from them.
  • Be fascinating - people search the web for information before they search for a product or service. Rather than talk about yourself, talk about the kind of problems people who use your product or service usually have. Give them real-world, helpful information. Why would they leave your site if you were the one who answered their questions?
  • Keep it short - Don't be long winded. In our current, information-heavy society, people have a lot of competition for their attention. If you bore them, you'll lose them. Use short, punchy sentences. Keep your paragraphs to two to three sentences. Break up the page with subheads so they can scan down to the information they're looking for.
  • Be friendly - don't talk like a corporation. No matter how well educated the person reading your copy is, they still talk like a regular person. Don't start using terms like "cyberspaces" and "real-time solutions" and "creative options". No one knows what those terms mean. You'll be spending a lot of nights alone if you talk like that on a first date.

Guest Article:

Emotions: The Bottom Line of Success

Did you know that emotional intelligence is the number one factor determining success? According to Daniel Goleman, author of Working with Emotional Intelligence, "...emotional competencies make up two thirds or more of the ingredients of standout performance."

Goleman goes on to identify five primary competencies of stars in the workplace as: Self-Awareness, Self Regulation, Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills.

Would you like to learn secrets to building a core emotional skill that will enhance the five competencies and guarantee more peace of mind AND success? If so read on.

The first step is awareness.

The key to building emotional intelligence is awareness of your thoughts and emotions. Researchers have discovered that emotion is a spontaneous physiological reaction to a thought. Often the thought is invisible to us because over years we have developed automatic responses.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could call on the positive emotions such as joy, happiness and exuberance to motivate you at will and let go of the negative emotions like anger, shame and despair quickly and painlessly? This skill can be learned.

Below is a four step process to get in touch with the emotion in your body and the thought that preceded it. **It works best if an experienced coach guides you through the process, however you can begin the process on your own and build your emotional awareness skill.

  • As you notice a state of agitation or emotion, close your eyes and bring your awareness to your body. Notice the area of your body that first draws your attention. Note the sensations there; the size of the area they cover, the color, the density, the temperature and movement or changes.

  • Ask your body "If this were an emotion what would it be?" and listen for the first word that comes back.

  • Next move your attention to your mind and ask "What am I thinking?" Observe the thoughts from a non-attached place as if you are a neutral visitor.

  • Focus on your breath. This will help you to remain an observer rather than becoming attached. Ask yourself what is the quality of my breath? Is it smooth, rich and expansive or hesitant, raspy, shallow or thin?

The second step is choice

Would you like to be able to choose positive outcomes for yourself? It is possible, and after awareness, the next step is choice. Choose the thoughts and feelings that forward you. At the point of conscious awareness choice IS possible.

Prior to conscious awareness you are like a robot that has been programmed with automatic responses. Consciously exercising choice allows the development of qualities like resilience, initiative, optimism and adaptability; all key components of emotional intelligence and success.

A practical process that can help you exercise choice is to ask yourself "Does this thought serve me? Does this emotion serve me?" If not, ask yourself "What do I want to think?" "What do I want to feel?"

Choose a thought that forwards you and concentrate all consciousness on what you want to think. As you get better and better at this, you will find yourself feeling better and you will begin to notice that things turn out the way you want more often. You will experience freedom as you take charge of your own thoughts and feelings.

The third step is commitment

For most of us, consciously choosing our thoughts and emotions is not an easy process and it takes much practice and commitment. If you find yourself attached to a thought or emotion that you would like to release a statement that can help is "I choose to release this - emotion or thought - now. It no longer serves me."

A physical action can be helpful at this time as well. By involving multiple senses the subconscious learns more quickly. You can pretend you hold the emotion or thought in your hand and drop it or flick it away.

We are very attached to our negative emotions. We act on automatic programming from childhood and it takes commitment to continue to be willing to choose the thought and emotion that we desire, rather than the one automatically programmed in.

In time the new process of choice becomes automatic and our life becomes easier. At this point we partake of the emotional star quality described by Daniel Goleman and we begin to experience freedom and success on a regular basis.

**The four step process provided by Kathy Pike of Pathways to Radiance.

Note: If it's not convenient to go through the process at the first moment of agitation, you can bring the memory of it up later, in a safe quiet place and go through the process at that time.

Judy Merrick-Lockett is a Master Coach, Entrepreneur, Corporate Veteran and Founder of Smooth Sailing Professional Coaching.

She has combined 20 years of successful corporate sales with over 5 years of coaching and small business ownership to create a powerful coaching process.

Judy has distilled all that experience into a new Self-Coaching Class.

To learn more about Judy and her coaching services, visit Smooth Sailing Professional Coaching.

Thank you for reading this issue of WordsmithBob's Website Marketing Secrets, published monthly. Bob has been helping businesses turn their websites into 24/7 sales machines since 2000.

If you want to create a website that actually leads to sales or sales leads, please contact WordsmithBob or call 612-226-7667.

Visit my BLOG for more tips and tricks for websites, Internet marketing, copy writing and marketing in general.

Need help developing an effective slogan or "hook" for your firm? Contact right now! 

In This Issue

• Don't let your website be a bad first date.

• Guest article from Professional Coach Judy Merrick-Lockett

• Website Marketing Tip

 • Learn more. Visit   WordsmithBLOG!

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Website Marketing tip

Contact Us shouldn't just be a page on your website. It should ba an integral part of every page.

And never have just one way for people to contact you. You may prefer that they call you. However, some clients or customers will prefer to fill out a short form or email you.

Always give them multiple options and definitely include your phone number and email links and "Quick Form" links within your copy, not just at the bottom or off to the side.

For more on this subject, read article:

The Power of Placing Links Within Your Text

WordsmithBob is Web Business
Bob McClain or WordsmithBob, has been studying and perfecting his skills in:
Web writing
Web marketing
Web copy
Search Engine Optimization

since 2000.

He is also a restaurant reviewer for Twin Cities Dining in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a volunteer with The Rose Ensemble in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and a member of the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce in Plymouth, Minnesota.

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