Welcome to In Her Element, a series that shines a spotlight on some of the remarkable women entrepreneurs I get to work with. The purpose of this series is to demystify what happens in a Thought Partnership; share inspirational success stories; and to highlight tips and teaching points that might help other women entrepreneurs as they walk along their own path.

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Meet the Sugar Shift Queen: MICHELLE MACLEAN!

Michelle is a certified Wellness Coach and Nutrition Consultant on a mission to help you shift your relationship with sugar so you can change the course of your health and live the sweetest life possible. Michelle’s personal story has been an important influence in the development of her business and brand. A few years ago, the trajectory of her health was headed straight for diabetes. Today, her life is filled with a lot of other sweetness. Freedom. Lightness. Energy. Balanced emotions. No cravings. Pure, whole real foods. And her work now takes people on an 8-week transformation in how you think and feel about your body, about food and about sugar.

When I first met Michelle, I fell in love with her integrity. She is someone who walks her talk in every way. She knew she was making a difference for her clients but she was really run ragged in how she was operating her business. After a year of really hustling she was ready to differentiate her brand in the marketplace and define her key messaging and approach. What unfolded over the last four months has been a complete transformation.

It has been an absolute delight to partner with Michelle and watch her business and brand evolve into a clear and powerful platform with an amazing new signature service. This lovely woman claimed her point of view and stepped solidly into her zone of genius. Learn more about Michelle here.

This is Michelle:

1. What were your top goals when you stepped into your Thought Partnership with Jac?

My top goals were to:

1. Have offerings that come from an authentic place within me and serve a true need for my right people

2. Be on my way to implementing strategic, original, tiered programs and services

3. Initiate the process of a developing new website

4. Reach new audiences and build my list

5. Reduce overwhelm and learn to co-habitate better with my inner critic

2. Whenever we bring an outsider into the tender secrets of our business it can feel really vulnerable. When you hired Jac, what were you most worried about?

I was worried that the initial success I had in my business was coming to an end. My business felt like an apple tree. One that had been picked clean of the low hanging fruit during my first year and I was not sure where the next harvest of apples was going to come from.

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3. What impact did your work with Jac have in your business (and life)?

The initial self-discovery work with Jac helped me dig deep into my life experiences and draw out the lessons, learnings and my unique gifts. I believe this process enabled me to be open to seeing the next right steps for my business. I always felt like my right people would show up, and because of the work with Jac, I was able to see and identify them clearly. Jac’s support, encouragement and insight gave me the confidence and courage to step out of my comfort zone and take my business to the next level.

4. What specifically did you achieve?

I accomplished so much more than I ever dreamed we would together:

1. I refined my brand positioning so I could clearly differentiate myself (this included new key messaging and all new copy).

2. Developed and launched a gorgeous new website.

3. Made my television debut! (and they’ve invited me back!)

4. Grew my list by almost 50 percent.

5. Created and launched my brand new signature service called The 8-Week Sugar Shift (and registration is now open!)

Today, my business feels like an apple tree in full bloom all the time with lots of ripe juicy apples.

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5. Youve done incredible things in the last few months, whats been your proudest moment?

My proudest moment was being interviewed on Global TV. As a former PR and media relations gal, I spent time reacting to negative media converge, pitching corporate angles and securing media opportunities for executives. I always wanted to be in the background. Being in the spotlight was completely different for me and totally out of my comfort zone. I felt very proud that I mustered up the courage to overcome the fear, stand in my passion and truth, and believe that I could do it and do it well.

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6. Based on what you learned about yourself in our time together, whats had the most impact for you?  What ideas or concepts do you find yourself wanting to teach or share with others?

I believe that we all need to do own own work first. Whether it’s in our business, our personal lives or our health. If we are truly wanting to make lasting change and reach new heights, it’s got to come from within, by going deep and listening to our hearts. And that there is no one-sized-fits-all approach or quick fixes if we want change to be sustainable. These concepts are integral to my approach to wellness coaching and nutrition consulting.

7. As your Thought Partnership comes to an end, what are the next challenges youre facing in your business?

In health and wellness, new information surfaces every day. Staying on top of the latest findings, research and trends is key to having a timely, relevant and effective practice. Staying fresh, current and connected to what my right people need is an ongoing challenge.

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8. What worked for you about Jacs approach?

Jac is ferociously supportive, loving, and empowering. Knowing she was there in my corner with brilliant advice, counsel and mentorship gave me the strength, motivation, inspiration and belief in myself to dig deep and take the leap. She helped me make peace with my inner gremlins, kept it simple, cut through the clutter of overwhelm and kept me on track.

9. What are your top tips for hiring a Thought Partner or Coach?

I decided to hire Jac because I got to the end of last year and was at a complete standstill in business planning for this year. I just couldn’t do it alone anymore. I was tired of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick. I needed a partner who was focussed solely on bringing my unique gifts into my business. Hiring a coach was life changing. I always knew when I was ready it would be Jac. I didn’t really entertain other options. For me there has to be a personal connection, someone you trust, someone who has been there and done their own work. I respect and admired Jac’s integrity, warmth, realness, and fierce belief in her clients.

Jac helped me bring the Sugar Shift to life and Im thrilled to be sharing this transformative, step-by step program with women who are struggling with the negative impacts of sugar. If you’re curious, you can check out my signtaure program right here.

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Michelle MacLean is a certified Wellness Coach and Nutrition Consultant on a mission to help you shift your relationship with sugar so you can change the course of your health and live the sweetest life possible. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest or check out her new Sugar Shift program here. 

Join us in the Comments!

In what ways can you relate to Michelle’s journey? What stands out to you? We’d love to hear from you.

Tweets Made Easy:

Check out @JacMcNeil ‘s Thought Partnership with the creator of The Sugar Shift @MMHealthCoach! Tweet this!

Is your initial biz success coming to an end? Read @MMHealthCoach’s story in brand positioning via @JacMcNeil. Tweet this!

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This is a guest post by Abby Kerr Founder and Creative Director of The Voice Bureau which focuses on brand voice development for values-based business.

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You need to write sales copy but you have zero professional copywriting experience.

You’re transitioning your business from offline to online only (or online mostly). You know how to sell effectively to the Right People in person through a no-pressure sales conversation, but when it comes time to translate that acumen on to the page, you choke up.

Sound familiar?

Sister, you are not alone.

Even though writing is a gift of mine, I, too, struggled with writing sales copy for the first couple years of my online-only business. I used to own a brick and mortar retail store and had no trouble selling high end gifts, home furnishings, jewelry, and apparel to my in-person customers.

Whenever I’d try to write a sales page for my copywriting or brand consulting services, I’d slip into a voice that felt about 90 degrees off from my usual conversational speaking voice. My ‘sales voice’ felt slicker than it needed to be, snazzier, and lacking the confident, ease, elegance, and wit I knew suffused the rest of my site copy.

It took several years and lots of practice writing both for myself and for paying clients before I fully stepped in to writing sales copy in a way that worked well for me and my Right People. But I got there. And I’m getting there still, growing and learning more with every sales page I write.

If you need to write good sales copy for your offers, programs, events, or services, but you have zero professional copywriting experience and are feeling intimidated and twisted up about selling through the written word, this post is for you.

First, the truth: It’s not possible to become a great copywriter overnight. It’s just not. Great practitioners and creatives are never made overnight, even when there’s a high level of talent present and mucho desire.

But you CAN learn to write good (and better) sales copy for your own offers in a short amount of time. And you can write great (and better) sales copy over time as you practice these techniques offer after offer, page after page, and observe what other sales page writers are doing well.

Here are my best tips for writing good sales copy when you have zero professional copywriting experience:

WRITE FOR ONE PERSON

Assume that this one person is really ready for and desirous of the offer you’re making. Yes, we all have to overcome objections  and address some ambivalence in our sales copy, but you should never approach writing copy as if you’re sitting down to sell to an adversary or a naysayer. NOTE: There is a time to understand what the naysayers would think and say when you’re outlining your ideas for your sales page, and we’ll go over that in my new sales page-writing course.

Write your sales page for your particular Right Person client or customer who is full of high hopes, positive expectations, and a shining degree of enthusiasm for what you’re offering. And make sure this Right Person you’re writing for is perfectly wired and prepared to receive the full value your offer encompasses.

FOCUS ON BENEFITS AS MUCH OR MORE THAN FEATURES

Features are what the offer has, includes, or does. Benefits are what the buyer gets, receives, or experiences, as a result of the features.

It’s tempting when writing descriptive sales copy to go feature-crazy, bulleting out what’s included and adding a dozen high value bonuses to pad the core offer. But here’s the weird truth: often people will buy something without totally understanding what it is if they’re convinced they know what they’ll get or experience, in terms of enhancing their life or self-image.

Case in point: my partner and I just signed a two-year lease on a townhome we’d never seen in a community outside of Seattle we’d never been to. I know.  Although the online photos were not so flattering and we hadn’t a clue what the neighborhood was like, we knew the following: that we’d be living in proximity to a safe, pretty, interesting community; that the home was animal friendly with a fenced backyard; that the property had a good price-to-perceived value ratio, and finally (a perk I couldn’t overlook), the place has a “garden soaking tub.” Proximity to a desirable community, animal friendly, price-to-value ratio, garden soaking tub: all features.

Here are the benefits we saw that really sold us:

Feature: Proximity to good community —> Benefit: Good “quality of life,” illusion of safety, prestige factor

Feature: Animal friendly with fenced backyard —> Benefit: Safety for our beloved furry kids

Feature: Price-to-value ratio —> Benefit: Perception of getting more for our money than we might elsewhere

Feature: Garden soaking tub —> Benefit: Relaxation, ability to warm up on chilly Seattle evenings, and (for me, as a Pisces) immersion in water for ultimate creative inspiration

WRITE LIKE YOU TALK

You’ve probably heard this advice a lot when it comes to writing online copy, and that’s because it’s true. The best sales copy has an informal, relaxed tone and style (even when selling B2B or to fellow professionals), varies its sentence structure, length, and rhythm, and mimics the flow of everyday conversation in that it subconsciously allows for the reader’s mental pauses, need for white space and thinking time, and arising of questions.

In general, most non-professional copywriters could stand to be a LOT more casual and informal in their sales copy. No need for fancy words, stiffness, or laboriously constructed sentences. It’s more important to communicate plainspoken integrity and approachable relability than it is to project an unusually high intelligence.

GET TO THE POINT AND RELY ON STORY

This is the part of writing your own sales copy that is both art and science. Every good sales page strikes a balance between (A) getting to the point with clarity and (B) building relationship, rapport, and recognition, based on what type of buyer your Right Person is. The balance of brass tracks-to-story is also influenced by why your particular Right Person is drawn to your offer.

The suggestion here is to learn to edit your own copy so that it reads clean, straight up, and to the point.

And also to learn how to frame your own experiences with life, business, health, clients and customers, family, relationships, personal development, leadership, what have you, into compelling stories other people can see themselves in.

Let’s Hang Out in the Comments

I would LOVE to hear about your own sales page-writing experiences. What feels like it comes easily to you when you write to sell? What successes have you noticed? What’s been challenging? What continues to mystify you? I’ll be hanging out in the comments and look forward to meeting and conversing with you.

Note from Jac: I’m thrilled to be an affiliate for Abby’s course: Writing the Conversational Sales Page - registration is open and the course begins September 8th. If there’s one popular area of “stall-out” for the women I work with, it’s around writing a sales page with confidence. Abby’s courses are always professional, the content is top-shelf and the community vibe is welcoming and safe. I say go for it! xo

Tweets Made Easy!

  • How to Write Your Sales Copy with Zero Copywriting Experience by @AbbyKerr. Tweet this!
  • Confused about features vs/ benefits when writing your sales page? Read these great tips by @AbbyKerr. Tweet this!

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Revealing the Lies of the Impostor Complex

July 22, 2014

This is a guest post by Tanya Geisler – a certified Life and Business Coach (CPCC, ACC), TEDxWomen speaker, and writer – who teaches women how to step into their starring roles, own their authority, and overcome the Impostor Complex in their life, in their work, and in their life’s work.   I’ll never forget […]

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In Her Element: My Thought Partnership with Shauna Austin

June 16, 2014

Welcome to In Her Element, my new series that shines a spotlight on some of the remarkable women entrepreneurs I get to work with. The purpose of this series is to demystify what happens in a Thought Partnership; share inspirational success stories; and to highlight tips and teaching points that might help other women entrepreneurs […]

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6 Strategies for Better Brand Positioning

June 12, 2014

When I hung my shingle as a CPCC (certified professional co-active coach) eight years ago, the title alone was disruptive enough to differentiate myself as an entrepreneur. I networked in person and handed out business cards and free sample sessions like candy. I was incredibly proud of my post-card style website and cut-n-paste generic copy. […]

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That’s What She Said – Behind the Business with Abby Kerr

June 2, 2014

Welcome to the That’s What She Said interviews –an exciting series to learn about the woman behind the business. You’ll be meeting amazing women who are sharing their gifts with the world through their work. These are the people who inspire me with their creativity, heart and tenacity. I want you to know them too. […]

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In Her Element: My Thought Partnership With Suzanne Digre

May 26, 2014

Welcome to In Her Element, my new series that shines a spotlight on some of the remarkable women entrepreneurs I get to work with. The purpose of this series is to demystify what happens in a Thought Partnership; share inspirational success stories; and to highlight tips and teaching points that might help other women entrepreneurs […]

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3 Ways a Thought Partnership Can Increase Your Bottom Line

May 21, 2014

Several months ago I hit a speed bump in my business. I had grown aware that my work had evolved significantly over the past couple of years and that using the term “coach” to describe my role didn’t feel accurate anymore. Neither did mentor, teacher, or consultant. Instead, my work had developed into a seamless […]

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Sick and Tired of Feeling Like A Newbie Blogger? Yeah, Me Too.

April 28, 2014

For years, my relationship with blogging has been a thorn in my side. An unpleasant, nagging splinter. Ouch. I can’t tell you the number of conversations I’ve had behind the scenes about why it’s so hard for me to blog or blog consistently (hear the victim in there? she’s huge). A couple of years ago […]

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That’s What She Said: Behind the Business With Jen Louden

March 25, 2014

Welcome to the That’s What She Said interviews –an exciting series to learn about the woman behind the business. You’ll be meeting amazing women who are sharing their gifts with the world through their work. These are the people who inspire me with their creativity, heart and tenacity. I want you to know them too. […]

Read the full article →