The Unprofessional Touch

Perhaps, my website is still not very accessible to the individuals I seek…

Following on from my previous post, perhaps I should zoom in super specifically on my target audience, and create a homepage which matches them and their interests –

There is indeed a disparity between my blog and my website, so perhaps I should make my website fit the honest and upfront form of my blog.

I’m here to support the struggling start ups and small businesses, and those interested in becoming self employed, who, like me, get near to no practical support.

My website does not clearly communicate this objective, even though it declares, “Digital Marketing Support for Small Businesses” in big letters at the top –

Perhaps, my website is still not very accessible to the individuals I seek…

Perhaps it actually looks too professional.

As an Unprofessional, it should be more welcoming to other unprofessionals – that is, others who are struggling, perhaps even with advisors who don’t want them to admit to being or recently being on benefits.

Its really a gem –

Don’t tell anyone you attend the job centre.

Sincerely, the Job Centre

Why?

Are we unworthy of acknowledgement?

Should we pretend that this part of our life is unimportant, or irrelevant?

I venture that no one who has ever experienced unemployment, especially long-term unemployment, can possibly understand what it means to try and break free of the physical and psychological barriers which hold you in your box of “The Unemployed”.

Nor will they understand how backwards it is to tell an unemployed, benefits claimant that they should hide that they are an unemployed, benefits claimant.

Doesn’t this feed into the taboo of not admitting to being a “benefits scrounger”, as we are more commonly known?

Well, b*llocks to that.

My target audience is others like me –

Not snobs, not successful business owners who can afford more experienced copywriters, but others on tight budgets who just need that extra bit of help to get going.

I’m pleased that this disparity was brought further to my attention –

I will need to assess what my next move will be, but I have some ideas…

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What Would Grant Cardone Do?

I need a new angle, a new idea, a better way to communicate my value…

“Terms of Ill-Endearment” has closed the chapter on my first attempts at gaining interest in my products –

The bottom line is that I’ve little clue how to introduce myself in a way which effectively communicates my value.

At the job centre, they tell me not to draw attention to the length of time I have been job searching: I ask them, Isn’t it better for me to acknowledge it openly, rather than attempt to hide or lie about it to a potential employer or customer?

Whichever one of us is right can be disputed, but it cannot change the fact that on paper, my years of unemployment and health problems means that I have very, very little to recommend myself with.

No matter how skilled, competent or qualified a writer I am, I still struggle to come across as inspiring or trustworthy –

I’m still a stranger. So, can I draw people’s interest in another way?

I have spoken about this before, but what if I lead my business ambitions with teaching English to foreign learners –

I only need to prove I’m a native speaker, and my copywriting can prove my strength at written language too. I may even gain work writing English language marketing material for foreign companies this way, or proofreading English marketing or documents…

Whatever I choose to do, I cannot continue along the trajectory I’m on currently on of trying to build trust with British companies in the way I am doing.

My confidence wavers every time I have to mention my current situation as a long-term unemployed person (known colloquially as a “benefits scrounger”), and I fear I may be becoming less and less convincing with every attempt at confidence.

I need a new angle, a new idea, a better way to communicate my value –

And a new audience.

Perhaps it is not scientific to seek to change so many variables at once, but the only element of my business model which is strong is my product itself.

This product needs to be presented to someone with a reason to trust me – such as a business owner abroad with a need to advertise in English.

I’ve spoken often about the law of averages/ LoA, and my need to simply speak to a lot more business owners –

But the LoA requires the basic business pitch and value propositions to be sound, and from the lack of interest in my product so far, it’s reasonable to conclude that my pitch and value proposition are not sound.

What Would Grant Cardone Do? He’d sort it out, then begin relentlessly pitching again.

So I need to Sort it out… And begin pitching and pitching some more.

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Voluntary Copywriter Proposal to Job Centres in Sheffield

Be unreasonable.

Grant Cardone

The following is the voluntary copywriter proposal I put to Job Centres in Sheffield via a direct message to my work coach (who is my only contact at the job centre).

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And honestly, it is a good deal for everyone – so hopefully whoever makes decisions will think so too.

Or is this more mad optimism? Possibly – but more claimants (customers) becoming financially independent is good for job centre employee targets. 

I’m offering a valuable service – for free – to others just like me! And I’d be delighted to be able to help other new, low-budget, small business owners –

I’ve been planning what manner of  voluntary proposals to also make in my intro videos. Its difficult because many organisations simply do not understand the value of a voluntary copywriter, and that is my fault.

Employees or other volunteers charged with creating words for web e.g. website content, social media and blog posts are able to continue with effectively or not these tasks. And a new person coming out of nowhere offering to do it for free may seem like a waste of effort to organise –

I spoke about value propositions in my last blog post, and that is what I need to consider now.

I really need to build trust and goodwill, and I started doing this in September last year for Striver.online. I need to make unique offers which accurately communicate my value to a business or other organisation –

I should think about who I mostly want to work with and for, and show my enthusiasm and understanding of their aims and objectives, and exactly what I can do to help them achieve them.

I’ve looked up e.g. “LGBT Sheffield” many times but Sheffield certainly isn’t known for its thriving gay scene… I contacted one (of the few) organisations representing and hosting many LGBTQ+ individuals and events and asked if they had any start ups or entrepreneurs in their organisation who could benefit from free digital marketing. My message, however, went unacknowledged. Perhaps I will send them a video message…

I already contacted a large homelessness charity who after some Zooms and discussion then agreed to take me on as a marketing volunteer – perhaps about 9 months ago and are yet to give me any work.

But this is also my fault – I haven’t been contacting enough businesses or organisations, I’ve been building my website and blog, and writing to businesses instead of meeting or video messaging them.

I want to help the working class and the underrepresented groups, and have not found much joy, but I need to try harder –

I want to write for the new business owners on the self-employment pathways at job centres (in South Yorkshire and beyond) to help them grow and prosper, and I have given my proposal. It is now in the hands of whoever decides things at the job centre.

I want to write for small and independent business owners to help their business fulfil their great potential! And I will –

Life and work is snakes and ladders  – but we’re all still in the game!

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The Very Hungry Entrepreneur

It’s my job to sell myself confidently and prolifically

Yes, things need to drastically change – I need to drastically change. I need to visibly become the HUNGRY entrepreneur Grant Cardone describes in his books.

I’ve screenshotted tons from the pages of different books for quick recap – I’m just so grateful to have all this amazing sales advice. Even though I’ve read these books before, I’m now seeing them from a copywriter perspective.

Ruth’s To Do List:

  • Be nosey, enquiring, enthusiastic and unreasonable – stay on the ball and on everybody else’s case as to just how great copy and an excellent service can and should be my prospect’s fortune today
  • Create confident and personalised video introductions and shareable video presentations
  • Add value and more value to my products through creating an excellent customer experience
  • Research and go to lengths competitors would not in order to win sales (– such as what? Those musings will be for a other post)
  • Assess and make all other adjustments necessary to distinguish my business and brand from competitors

Plenty more research and skill development will be needed but this can’t get in the way of content creation – doing my best with the skills I have now, and improving them with the help of practice and research as I continue.

Lecturing in copywriter talk and with plenty of sales lingo isn’t something which comes naturally, nor is it something I imagine my future clients particularly want to sit and listen to. So what can I speak more fluidly about?

Creative writing. Seeing the wonder in everything. Writing passionately about anything… Those are the things which come naturally to me.

Completing written assignments for English literature was my strongest skill in school – writing expressively and using logic to create strong arguments. It doesn’t sound like much until you consider the strength and influence of written word…

Today I appealed to a representative at the job centre to allow me to offer free digital marketing services to other claimants also on the “self-employment pathway”. These are not services which are accessible to job seekers on a benefits budget, but as I explained to the representative, I have skills to build businesses through e.g. locally targeted online marketing.

I explained that such experience will help me build my portfolio and it will help my fellow claimants to become successful, small business owners and entrepreneurs.

I have an extremely valuable skill and it is my job to sell myself confidently and prolifically. And for somebody in my position, that almost certainly means selling myself first as an extremely valuable volunteer.

Among today’s tasks will be a fresh review of my website. It requires many improvements specifically in the area of “Communicating VALUE”.

I would also like to appeal for more opportunities to work with new small business owners through employment agencies such as Reed (another organisation I attended several years ago as part of a job centre initiative).

I’m a veteran of the unemployment wars – I’ve learnt so much from my experiences wrangling with health and employment advice that I KNOW my value to so many others as a voluntary and as a low cost copywriter.

I also know my value as a high cost copywriter – but a healthy income I can travel and explore the continent with is something I can work towards.

Right now I must learn to communicate high-value using the most efficient methods I can.

I’ll get on with it, shall I?

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