An Ethical Way For Newbie Copywriters to Get Testimonials

This is another in my series of articles for newbie copywriters, helping you get words to work for you. This time, instead of talking about how to write turbo-charged copy, I’m going to reveal a secret for ethically getting testimonials even if you’re just starting and haven’t yet written any copy commercially. We’ve all been there, right?

Every copywriting manual, book, CD, seminar or whatever tells you to ask for testimonials and put them on your sales page, or at least to say who can give a testimonial. But how can you do that if you haven’t sold any copy?

One way would be to make it up. I recently came across a piece of copy stuffed with testimonials for a seminar, one of them was from me. The testimonial I gave was heartfelt. It was a great seminar with Topher Morrison and a galaxy of other internet marketing stars giving value-laden presentations. All I’d have to do would be to point you to that webpage, and all you’d have to do would be to grab some of those testimonials, perhaps mine, adapt it to your needs, and hey presto!

But don’t do it! Never tell a lie in business! Definitely put the best spin you can on your product or service. That’s legitimate selling. But don’t go over the edge and make up testimonials you haven’t earned. I’ve met people who brag on doing that. But don’t take that easy way out.

Firstly, lying — for that’s what it is — is wrong. No two ways about it. In some cases it can get you in trouble with the law — and no one wants a spell in jail. Claiming a testimonial you haven’t earned can also get you mightily embarrassed with your friends, business associates and potential customers. Then, as well, doing something that gets copywriting a bad name is bad for all of us Business is built on trust. And trust is built on truth. Tell the truth about yourself. You needn’t emphasize, or even mention you’re a newbie, but don’t start down the path of telling lies. They have a way of catching up with you.

Just leave out anything that goes farther than you’ve actually got. Indeed, somewhere in your publicity material, you could make a virtue of necessity. You could say, for instance: Highly-qualified and experienced English teacher adds copywriting to her wide repertoire of skills. Launching this month, my copywriting service will specialize in, etc. You could then add some testimonials you have earned for previous work.

That’s all fine and dandy, I hear you say. But what’s the solution for me? I don’t have any testimonials. The solution is to use what I call conditional testimonials.

Conditional testimonials work like this. They use words like could, should and would. Suppose you ask a business for a copywriting commission. You might be told they have no need of copy just now but they would call on you if they had. Or you could ask a friend and be told, “I wish I could buy some copy from you.” Or you could talk it over with someone and get the response: ‘Yes. You’re so good. People should get their copy from you.” See. You’ve got testimonials — conditional testimonials — and you can use these in your advertising. Just ask the people who said those things if you may quote them and refer people to them. Most likely they’ll be glad to help if you share your problem with them.

Then, as you earn real testimonials — and you should always ask for a testimonial from anyone you write copy for — you can replace the conditional testimonials with unconditional ones. It’s unconditionally simple, easy, ethical and almost as effective to use conditional testimonials when you’re a newbie as it will be to use the unconditional ones you’ll earn when your copywriting business is fully up and running.

Ethics For Your Energy Business

Before you start any business you need to decide what the purpose of the business is, and what your ethics are. These can change as the business continues, but you should start with some sort of a compass.

By the time you are teaching classes in energy work you have probably encountered several different teachers. Teachers teach us great things to do, but may also teach us things we don’t want to pass on to others. At some point we have all felt uncomfortable at a class or have taken something that was said, personally. You take away with you that which benefited you and leave the rest behind. All of the class experiences that you have had will help you to set standards for your own teaching. Your personal code of ethics will play an important roll in your energy business.

Decide how your purpose for your business works with your ethics. As an example, let’s say your purpose is to teach Reiki and put more healing lightworkers out into the world, but then you don’t teach your students how to teach their future students. The fear may be if your experienced class members begin teaching others then you have fewer people to instruct in your classes. Obviously the money that is paid to you for these classes is probably the basis for your fears. On the other hand, if you are getting paid to teach a class of individuals who have been practicing for months to become Master/Teachers, and you leave out important information to help them become the best teachers they can be, what do you think is being said about your code of ethics? This is just one example of how you can sabotage the business you have worked so hard to create.

Before you begin your energy business write down what you hope to accomplish and then create a code of ethics to match your purpose. Many business owners depend on word of mouth for their advertising. Keep in mind that it is easier to maintain a good reputation then it is to fix a bad one.

Online Advertising-The Way It Is Done

With the sudden but inevitable emergence of Internet marketing process, we have witnessed a prominent change in Global marketing scenario. Online marketing or the Internet marketing has highly dominated the marketing strategy and has become people’s favorite day-by-day.
Like any other business process involves some kind of advertisement to make people know about your presence and business process, online marketing also needs effective advertising strategy to make Web traffic aware of ones online presence.

When you enter the Web world to look out for any information, you might have noticed the number of small images, texts, video and audio clips that appear in the Web page. Not only this, you receive list of emails not from your intimate friends but from various companies who send such mails to advertise their products and services.

According to description given in Wikipedia, which is the biggest multilingual free-content encyclopedia on the Internet, online advertising has dual face – former is legitimate and latter is illegitimate. Legitimate online advertising involves search engine advertising, advertising networks and opt-in e-mail, whereas, illegitimate online advertisement is done through spamming.
Let us discuss in brief both legitimate and illegitimate face of online advertising-
Search Engine Advertising – Advertising your business process through search engine is the most effective way of advertising, because various Internet research have revealed that more than 80% of Web search is generated through search engines. People consider the search results gathered from search engines is pure and highly relevant. So, if you are serious about search engine marketing, you should concentrate on ethical way of website optimization and submission of your website to major search engines and directories to receive online visibility.

Advertising Networks- This process involves banner advertising and rich media advertising like audio, video, text, electronic mail etc.
Banner Advertising – Banner is the graphic representation of a company that represents a website. Banner is a tool any website can prepare to impart a prominent impression on people’s mind so that they may like your way of business promotion and remember your name as soon as they enter to the net to search the kind of products or services you sale.
There are two types of banner- static and dynamic. Static banner remains same each time a Web page is loaded but dynamic website keeps on changing and rotating for each visitors. Dynamic banner advertising is highly advisable since, more than one banner for the same product can be shown to the visitors and that help to increase people’s confidence over the products.
Rich Media – Online advertisement through rich media involves the use of interactive digital media such as videos, audios and animations which is done with implementation of advanced technological effects that catches the eyes of majority of Web searchers.

Opt-in e-mail Advertising – This is a process of email marketing where businesses are advertised through email. In this case, there is consent of willingness of mail acceptance between customers and advertiser. The advantage of such practice is the direct contact with the customers in low cost and the major disadvantage is the possibility of deleting the advertisements without being viewed. Although, such process helps website owners keep updating their customers regularly regarding new products/services or any new added features.

Illegitimate online advertising involves spamming, which refers to sending unsolicited email, instant messages, mobile messages to people who are not the willing recipient of such mail and messages. Spammers often harvest users address from Usenet postings, DNS listings, Web pages and by a unique way of guessing common names under each domain which is known as dictionary attack. Spammers also use Web spiders to find e-mail address on Web pages.
But, to achieve a long lasting advertising effect, one should never follow illegitimate methods, rather should always follow fair way of advertising. People often feel irritated if they are provided spam advertisements, but they obviously paid fair amount of attention to view and understand the advertisements presented in a graceful manner.

Ethics – Why Should We Be Ethical? “To Be Or Not to Be”

In the pursuit of profits, business ethics often get lost or forgotten – or simply ignored altogether. But in the grand scheme of things, ethical business practices are vital to the success of any business, no matter how large or how small that business may be. This includes your business.

Business ethics are not written in stone. There is no set guide to go by. Instead, business ethics simply means conducting your business in a way that is both honest and moral, whatever that means in your particular industry. There was a time when ethics played little or no role in business practices. Today, however, consumers, employees, and businesses that serve other businesses are extremely informed, and business ethics are more important than ever.

While there is no written guideline for business ethics, there are specific areas that are covered. These include general business ethics, professional ethics, and even ethics of economical systems. For example, insider trading has a strong, negative impact on the economy, and therefore, it is not an ethical business practice. It also is not a legal business practice. Insider trading would be considered a breach of ethics concerning economical systems.

Not all breaches of ethics are illegal, however. Some are just frowned upon, while ignoring some business ethic principles can literally ruin your reputation and put you out of business, even though it won’t send you to prison. Let’s take a look at some of the more important business ethics that you should be aware of:

Ethics that concern consumers. – This would include things such as developing quality products, charging a fair amount for the product, backing the product with a guarantee and honoring that guarantee, and making sure that your customers – consumers – are completely satisfied in their business transactions with you. It also entails providing safe products for consumers, and advertising those products in an ethical – truthful – manner.

Business ethics – concerning business-to-business transactions – Obviously, you should conduct business with other business owners in an ethical manner. Failing to pay vendors is not ethical. Ruining the reputation of a vendor, without just cause, is not ethical. Asking another business to do something illegal is not ethical. Getting creative with the accounting is not ethical. Bribery, kickbacks, and other types of transactions such as this, of course, are not ethical, and are illegal in most cases.

Employee ethics – Just as you expect your employees to hold up to a certain set of standards, your employees expect you to hold up to a certain set of standards as well. Most people will remember the Enron scandal for years, and many business schools will hold the Enron scandal up as an example in their business ethics classes for the rest of time. Other ethical concerns that relate to employees include discrimination, sexual harassment, union busting, privacy issues, and even work place surveillance, such as reading the email of employees, or listening in on their personal phone calls.

If you are a business owner, and you have never taken a course in business ethics, you should really consider doing so. Such classes are offered at most local colleges, and are even available online. Know what is and what is not acceptable in the business world, and you will be better able to help your business grow and succeed, with your reputation intact.