Because being real is something you can’t fake.

We live in a world saturated in advertising, sales emails, and strangers telling us to “click here buy now.” But in this digital wasteland of empty promises and snake oil hustlers lay your golden opportunity.

The way we see it, there are plenty of people in the marketplace who ignore “fast food” messages of cheap, easy, and convenient. They want truth. They want real. They want results. And they buy what they want, no matter the price. So how do you talk to them so  they become clients for life? And how do you change the conversation so you connect with them… right from the start?

That’s what we help you do around here. Nail your message. Spark a real conversation that’s so awesome, they can’t look away. Be someone who’s “disarmingly genuine” in your writing, talks, and videos.  Brand yourself so that you appeal to high-end clients.  Get your projects done — and out into the world — so you make money. With a style, voice, and point of view that’s all your own. (So it shimmers naturally, without you having to gussy it up with magic, manipulative, mind-controlling power words).

Welcome to the neighborhood. We’re glad to join your team of advisers, creatives, and colleagues getting you where you want to go.

Keep up the good work,



Does making people feel bad sell more?

“Buy my stuff, you struggling, overwhelmed idiot”

“Buy my stuff, you struggling, overwhelmed idiot”

“Buy my stuff, you struggling, overwhelmed idiot”

As a sensitive person who believes that words have real power, I’m amazed by how many entrepreneurs write copy that is so shaming and negative towards the very people they want to hire them.

The tone of so much sales copy is so:

  1. unbelievable
  2. fake
  3. putting people down

That it really leaves me wondering.

Who on earth would that sort of approach actually work on?

If you’ve been in any marketing 101 class, you’ve probably been told you need to “touch their pain” – or at least name what they are struggling with … Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting, how to be, how to write

The thing I was ashamed of was pure gold.

The thing you are ashamed of can be pure gold, to your ideal clients.

I have a secret.

I run a successful copywriting shop and creative agency…

… but by all traditional standards, I have no right to do so.

I don’t have a marketing degree.

I have never worked in an advertising agency on Madison Avenue.

And if I’m going to be REALLY honest, I didn’t even know what copywriting was before I started my own copywriting business, 6 years ago.

Yet –

I am regularly introduced as an expert in my field.

I am often invited to speak Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting

6 steps to pick your next money-making writing project

Six steps to pick the right project for your goal

Recently I wrote about writing being the last thing you need to do to get your business off the ground, if you’re newer.

One of the philosophies behind my production labs is “right project.”

Right project means that you pick the project that stands the most chance of getting you to your goal.

See, a lot of business owners THINK that it’s their writing that isn’t working.

But that’s actually not true.

It’s usually one of two things: 1) they never stopped to pick a goal for their writing – … Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting

How many people do I need on my list before I sell?

Last week, I wrote about a woman who has 160 people on her list, and a coach who told her she needed to simply “write more emails” to fill her group program online.

Which prompted some response from you guys.

The problem, I pointed out, is that you can’t just “write.”

Knowing how to write on its own – even if you know how to write that special thing called copy – isn’t enough.

So one of my clients asked a great question (Hi Jane!), “okay, so how many people do I need on my list to start selling – … Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting

Writing is the LAST thing you need to do.

Only after you’ve got your message and strategy down, then set to writing.

I talked to a lovely woman last week, who wanted to know why her writing wasn’t winning her business. She’s a parenting coach who’s been in business three years.

She was trying to sell a group program by email.

Unfortunately, this woman was working with a coach who told her: “the reason it’s not working is you aren’t sending enough emails. Write more emails!”

So she wrote more emails.

But they didn’t work, either.

I got so mad when she told me that.

Because “more emails” is … Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting

Being “nice” doesn’t win you clients and other truths

I started writing plays with my neighbor Sarah in Wisconsin. That’s me on the right.

Before I wrote copy, I wrote short plays.

I was facing my thirtieth birthday. I’d just moved. And I was looking for some new projects.

So, I decided to do some of the things I loved as a kid.

One goal was to enter a piece in the short play festival at the local theater.

Now, I never studied playwriting.

But when I was 13, I did put on a full season of theater – romantic comedy, farce, western, whodunit – in my basement with … Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting

The road kill story for entrepreneurs

About a week ago, the Philosopher and I were driving home from the grocery store in our new neighborhood.

(Not just any grocery store, by the way. Jungle Jims. Imagine Disney and Dean & Deluca had a love child, that dressed up in a wizard costume and roller skates. Yah, weird. Wonderful. Also, the guy that runs the joint is a marketing genius. Tacky, but genius.)

Anyway, it was nighttime.

The Philosopher was driving.

But then, there was a thud.

We hit something.

I felt it in my bones. Ew.

The Philosopher checked the rear view mirror, then … Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting, creativity, how to be

Got a lot of writing? 3 tips to get it done — fast

There’s a lot of writing to do in your business.  Newsletters, blogs, emails, video scripts, social media, presentations, handouts, bios, speaker one sheets. To say nothing of email campaigns, autoresponders, preview call opt-in pages and – gasp­ – full blown sales letters.

But the thing about writing is that it takes time.

And, I’d argue, a different part of your brain.

So, for many business owners, this writing thing is a pain in your hiney.

But a potentially very lucrative pain in your hiney.

See, when you do it right, you become like a really popular yoga teacher or bartender.… Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting

3 tips for hiring a great copywriter

If your “this needs to get written list” isn’t getting any shorter, try these three tips.

You’re neck deep in writing. You’ve never written so much in your life. Or you SHOULD be writing – but the days go by, and it’s just not getting done. You watch your “this needs to get written list” sit there. It doesn’t get shorter.

You tried to get your VA to do it.

It didn’t go so well. She’s great. Don’t get me wrong. That’s just not her wheelhouse.

So, you want to hire a copywriter. Smart thinking. Here at Stella Orange, we’ve … Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting

5 ways to stop attracting people without money.

Words are like little magnets -- are yours saying 'overwhelmed?'

Words are like little magnets -- are yours saying 'overwhelmed?'

Words are like little magnets — are yours saying ‘overwhelmed’?

Did you know that the words you use DIRECTLY relate to the caliber of person showing up in your sales conversations?

That’s why I don’t recommend using certain words to describe your people’s problems. Here’s a partial list:

- broke
– struggling
– overwhelmed
– confused
– wanting to be seen

Now those are fine words. And there are certainly plenty of people out there who will line up under a sign that says “Overwhelmed? Line Up Here.”

The trouble is, words are like little magnets. So you really have Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting, how to write