Archive for September, 2008

Find Your USP and Use It to Leap Ahead of the Competition

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Message from Michelle

I just returned from an awesome conference in Miami, where I attended the Inner Game of Abundance Mindset Retreat with Fabienne Fredrickson and David Neagle. Needless to say, I’m high on life right now and excited for the future. Already, I’ve begun implementing changes and systems to reflect the vision I have for the future of my company.

It’s impossible to move forward if you don’t know where you’ve come from and where you are now. As I’ve been reevaluating my company, I’ve had to go back to the basics. Specifically, what makes my company unique? What makes my business stand out from the competition? Answering this in detail is so important because, if you can’t answer it, neither can your customers.

In this issue of Your Business Marketing Solution, we take a look at the importance of defining your unique selling proposition (USP) and why it’s essential if you want to grow your business.

Feature Article:

Find Your USP and Use It to Leap Ahead of the Competition

Competition. It’s inevitable, but not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, competition can push you to make your products better than they would be otherwise. Have you ever looked around and noticed it seems as if other businesses in your market are doing the same things you are to attract customers–the same type of advertising, the same type of deals, aimed at the same people?

How can you stand out? By having a USP.

A UniqueSelling Proposition (USP) is a short statement explaining how your company or product differs from your competitors’. It informs prospective and current clients why your product or service is the best option.

Many businesses fail to establish a USP, just as they fail to pinpoint their target market. These companies don’t recognize that customers want and need to be led down the sales path. Therefore, they don’t clearly state what makes them distinctive, so customers aren’t motivated to buy from them.

You must communicate a specific, compelling reason for customers to buy from you. If you don’t, you’re just another puppy in the window, jumping around pleading, “Pick me!”

Without a USP, your marketing and advertising will not be as effective as it could and should be. And you are leaving money on the table.

The first step in identifying a USP is to research your competition. Unless you know what else is out there, you cannot properly evaluate or showcase a USP. If you haven’t already, plan to research as soon as possible.

Study the competition’s website and marketing materials, noting each company’s history and mission, product features and benefits, and target market. Why do customers buy from them and what does the market want that they do not or cannot provide? Note gaps in their product or service offerings. If you have difficulty clarifying benefits, list the features and why a prospect requires or desires them. Those reasons are benefits.

The second step is to list and describe the major benefits of your product. Remember, your customer cares about his or her problem and how you can solve it. Pay attention to those benefits that appear distinctive or stronger than the competition’s.

Ask yourself, how will your product or service solve the client’s problem and does it satisfy the market gaps you identified? You should see a unique set of benefits for your product. If you don’t, think about what you could change to make these benefits clearly stand out.

It’s important to remember that you aren’t limited to a single benefit. Try to focus on one or two primary advantages at first. Chances are good your competition hasn’t thought about its USP, which gives you the opportunity to position your company as the solution provider.

You will want to differentiate yourself as much as possible; however, a USP claim must be truthful. Faking or exaggerating a USP will harm your sales and reputation and could cause serious legal or regulatory repercussions.

Communicate your USP far and wide–articles, brochures, press releases–and update your marketing materials as soon as possible. Also, train your sales staff in your USP and how they can successfully deliver your message to clients and prospects.

Want to see more marketing articles like this one? Visit Michelle’s blog,  Sumer Blog.

Tip of the Month

The following 6 ideas may help you discover or refine your USP.

  1. Could you decrease prices and be known as the lowest-cost provider? Or increase prices and gain high-end customers?
  2. Pricing and value are two different things. Would adding accessories, related merchandise, or free shipping enhance value?
  3. Is the customer able to compare apples to apples? Does your product or service have integrated features that the competition charges extra for (or vice versa)?
  4. Do you have a superior selection? If not, is it possible to offer additional colors, larger sizes, or personalization?
  5. Can you provide a more comprehensive guarantee or longer warranty?
  6. Companies often focus on sales and ignore service, but customers value premium support. Is your service world-class? If not, make it so.

What’s New

I want to give you a heads-up about my FREE teleseminar that will happen in November that will skyrocket your online company growth. In this call, I’ll show you proven strategies you can implement now to drive website traffic and increase sales quickly and with ease. I’ll be sending more detailed information about the teleseminar in the weeks to come.

Also, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you more about how you can make 2009 the most profitable year, using your website to generate clients and cash without spending a fortune. You’ll be the first to know about my upcoming teleseminars and workshops on marketing your business online. So stay tuned!

About Michelle

Michelle Salater is an award-winning writer and owner of Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial, LLC, a copywriting company dedicated to helping small to midsized businesses increase their competitive edge, boost sales, and expand their online presence through stellar copy.

Michelle’s clients benefit from her seven-year experience as a freelance writer and her dedication to each client’s success. With an understanding of the business world, marketing strategies, SEO copywriting, and magazine publication, she offers a variety of copywriting services that address each client’s marketing needs. Her goal is to provide result-oriented copy, including web copy, SEO copywriting, ezines and newsletters, online articles, along with other marketing materials such as brochures, press releases, and ebooks.

Michelle resides in Charleston, South Carolina, with Mama Mia, a gorgeous dog she rescued from St. John, US Virgin Islands. She can be contacted at or 843-364-2401.

How to Maintain Brand Loyalty through Your Website

Monday, September 29th, 2008

All businesses strive to obtain brand loyalty and customer trust. Competition is fierce in the business world, and by working to build credibility for your company, more people will buy and stay loyal to your brand.

Websites are an excellent tool to solidify trust between the company and the customer. They’re an excellent commodity to have, even if they don’t provide sales transactions directly. For example, if you own a small shoe boutique and want a website but currently don’t have the manpower to accept online credit card purchases, don’t bale out. Websites can still benefit your company, providing company awareness and loyalty. Your website can entice internet users to come into your store and make the purchase. It’s worth the extra time and effort, even if you can’t receive sales directly from the site. 

A word of warning: a website can backfire if used incorrectly. Don’t jump the gun and try to sell, sell, sell. Your goal is to gain the trust of the customers and give them what they want. Show your visitors you care about their needs and want to satisfy them.

Here are a few tips on getting the right message across on your website:

·       Provide customers with product / service features that will make the decision to buy a simple, truthful, and fast process.

·       Accentuate the benefits of each feature and connect it to their needs.

·       Provide contact information that allows the customer to trust you’ll be there when necessary. If customers know you’re there to answer any questions and concerns and provide them with the best customer service possible, they’ll trust your business and continue working with you.

The key is to get inside the customer’s head. What is your target market looking for? What kind of tips and services can you provide for to ease them into purchasing your product / service? Many people compare products and information online to make a better purchasing decision. Don’t lose the customer to the competitor that provides useful tips and information about the product / service. Get on track, and you’ll see sales and brand loyalty increase.

Looking to punch up your web stats? Hire a webcopy writer.

Make More Online Sales

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Your website works around the clock to persuade customers to purchase your product without any personal interaction. However, many websites aren’t doing all they can to draw customers in and persuade them to act. This often occurs because companies do not know where their website falls in the sales process.

The sales process of your website is similar to the one you use in store—beginning with identifying the customer and ending with a customer relationship that will bring him or her back in the future.

The online sales process consists of . . .

·       Create a stellar first impression: First impressions are everything. Your website has to prove to your target that your products / services will satisfy their needs. The tactics you use on your site through words and design are equivalent to the store-based salesperson approach and must be executed to the highest degree of efficiency.

·       Promote features and benefits while answering customer objections: Websites must anticipate what questions a customer may have, and the copy should already have them answered. Once you’ve fully described the various features and benefits of your products / services, answer any customer fears and concerns. This allows the customer to make a better buying decision and recognize your company as thorough and knowledgeable. FAQ’s and customer testimonial pages can be used to get various answers across.

·       Close the deal: Make sure navigation to the purchase button is obvious and user-friendly. If you’ve gotten as far as getting them to purchase, it would be a shame to lose them during the actual purchasing process. To account for any skeptical customers, it would be beneficial for your website to recommend different products, utilize promotions, and reinforce benefits of the products / services.

·       Keep the relationship alive: It’s extremely important to keep past customers returning to your website / store. Thank you emails, coupons for future purchases, and excellent customer service all aid in maintaining future relations with the customer.

Not sure if your website could use a sales process facelift? Visit Michelle Salater Writing and Editorial, LLC, to learn how we can help you with our writing services. 

Time Management: The Key to a Happy and Successful Life

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Working hard to handle excessive work overload is a sure way to complete tasks. And increase stress. Finding ways to successfully manage your time can lead to a better work environment, happier personal life, and a more successful business.

Many of us find ourselves working late nights to finish work that we couldn’t manage during the day. Time management is about finding what to work on, when to work on it, and where. Effective time management means you need to break down and focus on what needs to be done to achieve your goals.

Time management elements consist of:

·       Eliminating Procrastination:  We all suffer from procrastination to some degree. It’s important to recognize when we’re doing it and develop a way to combat the urge. Procrastination occurs mostly from feeling as though a task is too difficult or too boring. Prioritize the important tasks you need to perform in list form, then find ways to motivate yourself to work. If you’re still having trouble getting in gear, make a list of the risks involved in not completing tasks or treat yourself to something when you finish two objectives on your list. If you’re overwhelmed by an assignment, brainstorm your thoughts and break the entire task into small pieces to work effectively on each.

·       Understanding Your Body: Throughout our daily lives, we may be more focused at certain times than others. It’s important to recognize these fluctuating levels during the day and define your tasks around them. Note when you feel most alert and focused and when you feel most tired. After a week of logging these feelings, you’ll most likely recognize a pattern. If you notice you’re usually more focused during midmorning, it would be beneficial to save your most important tasks until that time, making you more motivated to complete them.

·       Setting Goals: Having solid goals in mind will aid you in managing your time since you know where to focus your attention to gain success. Set a long-term goal to have an idea of where you’re heading, and use smaller goals to lead up to the main one. Achieving the smaller goals will build your confidence and motivate you to keep reaching for the future.

Using YouTube to Grow Your Business

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Message from Michelle

Welcome to this edition of Your Business Marketing Solution.

I’m still recovering from my vacation with the family. We ate too much, laughed too hard, and I’m still sore from all the Wii we played. Mama Mia enjoyed herself as well–we took her to the dock to swim, but she refused to get in. Here’s a shot of the two of us on the dock.

During vacation downtime, I spent a lot of time surfing the web. One thing that struck me was how many websites are using video to draw customers to their site and to educate potential customers on a product or service. Video is an effective way to communicate with viewers and to create a personal connection online.

In this issue of Your Business Marketing Solution, we take a look at using YouTube to boost online visibility and grow your business.

Send Us an Email

Want to see something covered in the next issue of Your Business Marketing Solution? Drop an email to . I’d love to hear from you.

Feature Article

Using YouTube to Grow Your Business

YouTube is used by millions on a daily basis not only for a good laugh and conversation starter, but businesses are also using it to drive site traffic and increase online visibility. With YouTube’s popularity among various ranges of target markets, your business might consider utilizing it to some degree. YouTube can provide you free advertising while showing viewers you’re an expert in your field. Your goal is to give useful tips and advice to viewers, so avoid using YouTube to put up commercial-type videos.

You can use YouTube to post:

  • How-to Videos: Let’s say you own a cupcake company and want to show people how to cook a one-of-a-kind cupcake. A how-to video shows your expertise and is useful for people who are interested in a free baking class. The goal is to enhance your company’s name recognition, drive traffic to your website, and get people to visit your store for a taste of some of those mouth-watering cupcakes.
  • Minilecture Videos: If you own a chic boutique, for example, and want to express your incredible ability to change a person with a fashion faux pas into a fashionista, a minilecture will help express your expertise. With a minilecture, you can discuss what’s hot and what’s not. This kind of video can help you and your store gain fashion recognition, while bringing a personal touch and creative aspect to your boutique.
  • Product-Production Videos: Many people are curious to see how the products they use are made. A product-production video is a great way to show how your company operates behind the scenes. In these videos, you can show where you get products from and how they’re produced in your office or factory. It perks viewer interest and allows them to trust that your company is efficient and ethical in the production of products and services.

Want to see more marketing articles like this one? Visit Michelle’s blog, Sumer Blog.

Tip of the Month

According to, “Online Video isn’t the future, it’s the present: 75% of Americans watched a video online last month. And YouTube is far and away the leader in this space with hundreds of millions of videos viewed daily.”

Michelle Recommends

I cannot count how many times I’ve read Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich. It’s one of those reads where something new shows up every time I revisit it. Hill, who studied hundreds of highly successful men, shows through case studies the techniques one needs to apply in order to master the art of success and fortune. It’s an awesome read. Get your copy by clicking here.

About Michelle

Michelle Salater is an award-winning writer and owner of Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial, LLC, a copywriting company dedicated to helping small to midsized businesses increase their competitive edge, boost sales, and expand their online presence through stellar copy.

Michelle’s clients benefit from her seven-year experience as a freelance writer and her dedication to each client’s success. With an understanding of the business world, marketing strategies, SEO copywriting, and magazine publication, she offers a variety of copywriting services that address each client’s marketing needs. Her goal is to provide result-oriented copy, including web copy, SEO copywriting, ezines and newsletters, online articles, along with other marketing materials such as brochures, press releases, and ebooks.

Michelle resides in Charleston, South Carolina, with Mama Mia, a gorgeous dog she rescued from St. John, US Virgin Islands. She can be contacted at or 843-364-2401.

Website Effectiveness: Discover Your Return on Investment

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Curious about what your website is contributing to business? It’s important to measure successful and unsuccessful elements of your website in order to understand what changes need to be made for an increased return on investment.

Once you understand what your target market needs, you can predict their website behavior and track it by logging data about the number of visitors in a specified period. Also, log the number of website sales per week. This will show you the popular and unpopular items, which you can compare to store sales. Are there some items bought online more than in the store? If so, cater to those items online to increase website profits.

Identify patterns in the data that may lead you to make changes to your website content and design. Is there a page you have on your website no one is visiting? It could mean the link isn’t in an obvious spot. If many people are visiting your site, but no one is buying, it could mean your website content, such as web copy, and interactive tabs aren’t developed strongly enough to get you the sales you want. If you notice an area on your website is getting more attention than others, pinpoint the successful aspects and apply them to other pages to see if that helps increase visitors.

It’s important to constantly analyze your website data and connect it to your return on investment. Constantly keep your website fresh, user-friendly, and interactive to ensure you are effectively communicating with users, selling, and providing excellent customer services at all times.

Want to learn more about the services that will help your website be effective and increase return on investment? Visit Michelle Salater Writing and Editorial, LLC, our many result-driven writing services. 


Web Design: Do You Need an Update Now?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

You’ve decided it’s time to change something about your online presence. Along with creating new and unique web copy for your site, you need to make sure the design is effective. New website design techniques have allowed users to become more interactive with site content. These techniques also free designers to be more creative and innovative through their designs with flash player, video, audio, and other enhanced elements.

What effective web design can do for you:

·       Your website should be user-friendly. Get the client to take action and come back repeatedly through simple navigation tabs on your website. If clients have to search through a website to find what they want, they may become discouraged and move to your competition’s site. Communication is one of the most important components in selling, and a properly formatted website will express to your potential client that you conduct business well and know exactly what they want. Web design should always be unique, but working with communication tabs should be generic and straightforward. This will eliminate any uncertainty and discouragement for the viewer. 

·       Attract your target market through website appearance. The first impression for many potential clients is your website, and the design of it must sell your company image. Therefore, your design should express the personality of your company. If you have a website for your massage therapy business, you don’t want to use flashy colors, gimmicky ads, and fast-paced photos. Your target market is looking for calm, elegant, sleek, relaxing, and simple features. Create aesthetic pleasure in the client through your website design, and they’ll visit your store for more.

Visit us at for website writing services and tips on marketing your business.

Three Tips for Creating a Sales-Driven Marketing Campaign

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Not seeing the sales results you want? It may be that your old marketing campaign needs a face-lift. Below are three vital components associated with well-executed marketing campaigns that will bring in the sales you desire.

1. Know your target market. I can’t stress this idea enough. Many businesses believe that marketing to a general population will bring in more sales. It doesn’t. Be as specific as possible when marketing to your targeted clientele because they are in the market for something specific.

Let’s say you own a luxury real estate company, and lately, you have been inundated with inquiries from people looking to purchase homes in the $150,000 range. You scratch your head and wonder what is going on. If your marketing approach is targeted to a broad spectrum of people, the luxury clients are going to bypass your company because your message is not specific enough to their needs. You must know the income, needs, wants, lifestyle, and social scene of your target market. Read the magazines they do; visit places they shop. Do what it takes to discover and get a feel for their lifestyle and develop a unique way to market to them.

2. After you know exactly who your target market is, you need a website that has excellent web copy and stellar design. The website should be user-friendly, unique, and most importantly, it must speak to the needs and desires of your target market. If you don’t think your web site encompasses these features, you need to hire a web copy writer and web designer to get the job done efficiently.

3. Show your clients your business is at the top of its industry. Providing product / service updates, industry news, and regularly updating your content shows potential clients that you’re dedicated to your industry and are passionate about providing excellent customer service. Consider creating a blog, which will allow you to post a variety of information and news in one area. Since blogs are so relevant and chock-full of information and keywords, they’ll jump to the top of search engines and may help increase your website rankings.

Want more tips on launching fresh marketing campaigns and need the services to get it started? Visit  

How Online Articles Can Benefit Your Company

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Utilize the keywords your target market will likely use on search engines and incorporate those into your online articles. Your goal is to be the leading expert in your industry, and online articles are an excellent way to achieve this.

Increasing SEO efforts can be done through the correct utilization of keywords in niche-oriented online articles. The same keywords used on your website can be used in online articles. Some people make the mistake of thinking the more keywords they use, the more site traffic they’ll receive. It’s about the placement of your keywords and the correct usage of them that build site traffic. Focusing on a small set of keywords in niche articles will bring in more traffic.   

Submitting online articles to article directories with your web address attached in the resource box is a sure way to get viewers to your website.

Where Does Your Website Fit into Your Sales Process?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Your website is an around-the-clock sales tool. As your business evolves and the market changes, often you adjust sales techniques and marketing strategies accordingly. However, many companies undervalue the importance of updating the content on their website to reflect these changes.

Revamping your web copy from time to time can bring in a new source of revenue and demonstrate to clients you’re on top of your industry. You wouldn’t allow your sales rep to go stale, don’t allow your web copy to.

Web copy must execute the entire process of selling:

·       Engage and peak the interest of the client

·       Communicate clearly and effectively

·       Provide the client with the features of the products / services, and describe the benefits

·       Get the client to take action right now

The main goal of web copy is to get the client to act. The action could be bookmarking your website, making a donation, purchasing a product / service, or contacting your company. If your website can influence potential clients to take action, prepare to see your profits skyrocket.  

If you think your web copy isn’t up-to-date or was poorly written, you need to start rewriting now. If you don’t have the skills to write the content or don’t have the time, hire a professional copywriter to get you the positive results that will change the way you do business forever.

Don’t wait any longer. Dust off that old web copy, and make it pop. Visit us at to check out our many result-driven copywriting services.