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,



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

How to find fresh ideas for your newsletter

Nobody loves a stale message. But how to you keep it fresh?

Nobody loves a stale message. But how to you keep it fresh?

Nobody loves a stale message. But how to you keep it fresh?

“Stella, how do I find new ways of saying the same thing in my newsletter?”

It’s a question that I get asked often, from business owners who have established their newsletter and blog habit. Some of them have been sending a regular newsletter for years. They are already convinced of the mighty email newsletter as an effective marketing channel to stay in touch with many potential clients at once.

The trouble is, they find themselves running out of juice. It feels like they are saying the same thing. … Read the rest >

Posted in copywriting

The real story about how I made $100,000 in one launch

Big money. That’s what the internet promises us, right?

Big money. That’s what the internet promises us, right?

Big money. That’s what the internet promises us, right?

I was recently on a walk with a friend, who reminded me of an article I wrote last year about how I sold out one of my writing workshops in 6 hours from one email. (You can read it here)

She actually quoted me back to me, bless her heart: “I sold out my event in 6 hours with one email – and all I had to do was send a newsletter every week for 4 years.”

Well, consider this round two. Because last year, I had a $100,000 launch… … Read the rest >

Posted in Uncategorized

Are you sending your newsletter into a black hole?

When you are starting your newsletter and blog habit, it can feel like you are playing Marco Polo by yourself.

When you are starting your newsletter and blog habit, it can feel like you are playing Marco Polo by yourself.

When you are starting your newsletter and blog habit, it can feel like you are playing Marco Polo by yourself.




I was at the hot springs with a group of business owners this past weekend, soaking our bodies after a two and a half day Writing Intensive in Bozeman, Montana.

There was a family – couple adults, 6 or 7 kids – having an epic game of Marco Polo in the pool.

Earlier in the week, one of the women at the workshop mentioned that writing a blog and sending a newsletter is like “playing Marco Polo … Read the rest >

Posted in business, marketing

Most marketing is written by people faking their emotions.

I’m not a big Star Trek fan, but remember Spock?

(I keep writing Dr. Spock, only to realize that’s someone else).

Spock was the Vulcan who didn’t really have feelings.

In fact, he didn’t really get them.

You know who else doesn’t have feelings?


You know who else doesn’t have feelings?

Most of the promo emails written by other people in my inbox right now.

They say things like:
“I’m thrilled to announce…”
“I’m excited to share…”
“It breaks my heart.”
“I get so angry when I see this.”

Thrilled. Excited. Heart-breaking. Angry.

Actually, this is not a bad … Read the rest >

Posted in brand + message