The world doesn’t need more mediocre marketing copy.

But you want to know what the world does need?

More people who have figured out how to effectively communicate about the good work they do.

More folks who know how touch, move or inspire other people.

And more ethical, thoughtful professionals who know how to get the right people to click on their links, open their emails, and buy their good work, so they can lead lives of deep gladness, freedom and service (bankrolled by a healthy, profitable business).

You feel me? Then, welcome to Stella Orange and roll up your sleeves – we’ve got work to do.

Keep up the good work,

How to stop sounding like an advertisement

Composite image of smiling casual businessman walking

Composite image of smiling casual businessman walking

How do you stop sounding like your advertising, and sounding more like a real person?

When you want to sell your products and services online, sounding like an advertisement is the biggest turn-off. Especially to quality clients.

Because quality clients want something different.

Even if they have never met you, they want to feel like they know you.

And one of the ways that you as an entrepreneur can create that feeling is by letting go of trying to “sell people” all the time.

(What a horrible phrase, “sell people.” It connotes slavery or manipulation. Word to the wise: … Read the rest >

Posted in Brand + Message, Marketing, Marketing Online

6 reasons your online marketing isn’t selling

Why is your online marketing not selling? Let me count the ways.

“Stella, I’m great at what I do and my clients are getting AMAZING results. But my online marketing doesn’t bring me business.”

I hear this all the time.

And within 20 seconds of looking at someone’s website, I can usually pinpoint what’s keeping someone from selling online.

Here are the most common culprits:

#1 Using writing when you should be talking to people. I’ve noticed that many business owners have negative feelings about asking people for money. This is a problem that will put you out of business! … Read the rest >

Posted in Copywriting

How to deal with the gremlin voices that tell you your writing stinks

I’ve been talking with business owners a lot about creative process lately.

And I just wanted to normalize this for everybody:

There are voices in your head – for nearly all of us – who bark at us. They may say things like:

What you are writing is awful.

You suck.

No one’s going to pay you for this!

Why even bother – this isn’t going to work.

Again, this is normal. And as one of my clients reminded me this week, anytime you do something new or get out on the skinny branches, fear, resistance and what she calls … Read the rest >

Posted in Brand + Message, Business, Copywriting

Case Study: Don’t write a sales page when a flier will do

How are you going to fill those seats? Mighty thanks to Dan Farrimond

How are you going to fill those seats? Mighty thanks to Dan Farrimond

How are you going to fill those seats? Mighty thanks to Dan Farrimond

“Stella, can you help me write my sales page?”

This question has been coming up a bunch lately, so let’s talk about it.

I just spoke with a new client yesterday whose business coach suggested that she talk with me about writing a sales page together.

I asked her a few questions, and it became clear to me that she didn’t actually need a sales page to get the job done.

Here’s the scenario. This woman is a big speaker and networker, so most of her clients … Read the rest >

Posted in Copywriting | Tagged

Is there a Great Divide in your business?

Do you attract GREAT clients offline through word-of-mouth, referrals, and the relationships you’ve built BUT …

… you attract people online who aren’t motivated, have money baggage, or aren’t fun to work with — or don’t attract much of anything?

I call this The Great Divide.

The Great Divide is the giant space between knowing how to build rapport and move people to action one-by-one… and knowing how to do it through your writing, with people you’ve never met.

Many business owners never cross this divide. They know how to be in flow and in connection with people one-on-one. But … Read the rest >

Posted in Business, Copywriting

The case for mindfulness in marketing (a sh*tty first draft)

Let me preface this. What you are about to read is what my clients and I call a Sh*tty First Draft, with hat tip to author Anne Lamott, who coined the term in her lovely, real book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

In my how-to-write-marketing-that-doesn’t-suck classes for online business owners, we use the term to remind us all that you don’t need to be perfect on the first go. You just need to get your ideas out of your head and onto the page.

Please note: I am talking about writing marketing copy here.

And … Read the rest >

Posted in Copywriting, Marketing

Do you ask great questions in your business?

When I was in grad school studying to become a classroom teacher, I was trained in how to ask questions.

Questions that evoke response.

Questions that engage.

Questions that spark curiosity in a student’s mind.

Even though I am no longer a classroom teacher — and just paid off my debt for grad school in March – I use much of that training in teaching business owners how to write great marketing. Nothing is wasted.

A great question is an attention grabber.

On a practical level, a great question can be used as an email subject line. In the first … Read the rest >

Posted in Copywriting, Marketing

How I turn fast food marketing into gourmet – case study

Over here at Stella Orange, we’ve spent the last week talking about the difference between taking a fast food approach to marketing and taking the approach I teach, a gourmet approach.

The fast food approach gets taught a lot – especially online – but it ends up “calling in” lower caliber clients who just want the cheapest prices… it just doesn’t work.

On the other hand, taking a gourmet approach to promoting your work can make a real difference, especially if you are working on building an audience of raving fans who truly care about what you have to say … Read the rest >

Posted in Case Studies, Copywriting

you can’t satisfy gourmet clients with fast food – with examples

This may sound like a radical idea.

But I swear on my mother’s toes, it’s true.

The language you use telegraphs who you are, what you believe, and the sort of experience you’re up for having.

This goes quadruple in your marketing.

For the sake of illustration, let me invite you into my brain when I review copy. (You should know that I have been in business for 6 years, as a copywriting teacher and consultant. I’ve worked with hundreds of business owners, helping them craft copy that sells without being corny or cliché.)

A few years ago, I had … Read the rest >

Posted in Copywriting, Marketing

Want to attract high-end clients online? Read this.

This is what most people’s marketing sounds like to me:

In 6 years of writing sales copy with online business owners, I’ve noticed a phenomenon.

There are whole bunch of established business owners who get loads of business offline from word of mouth and referrals… but you have a hard time attracting high end clients online.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I see the root of the problem.

It’s us. And our fast food ideas about what online marketing should be.

The way I see it, a lot of businesses take a ‘fast food’ approach to … Read the rest >

Posted in Copywriting, Marketing