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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please feel free to add to the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

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Saturday, August 09, 2014

Author Lets Car Market for Her

Guest Post

Taking Your Branding to the Next Level? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
By Kristine M. Smith, Author and Copywriter

After seven years as a well-regarded copywriter and after being invited into a Joint Venture partnership with John Assaraf, best-selling author and international business coach, I realized that it was high time to take my marketing efforts to the next level and stop looking and acting like a struggling startup.

I’m in a power partnership with a graphics design marketing man, Eli Struck of Enlighting Design so I sent him copy I’d written for my newest copywriting brochure. There would be an unusual amount of copy on the inside that would be challenging to segment properly, so I knew I was handing him a serious “adventure.” I needed the brochure to explain the return-on-investment value of hiring a professional copywriter to help prospective clients overcome any “sticker shock” they might experience (if they were hiring a professional writer for the first time) when they got to the price of my services.

Eli did such an amazing job on the brochure (as he does on everything he tackles; he’s Madison Avenue quality) that I asked what it would cost to professionally “wrap” the windows of my SUV so I wouldn’t be driving around town with small magnetic signs that telegraphed “Wannabe!” instead of “Tried-and-True Pro!” I was expecting a quote from him that I wasn’t willing to pay just yet (despite the fact that I had received 1000 stunningly beautiful, unique brochures and business cards from him, including the logo design, for a seriously reasonable price that not even Vistaprint™ could match). When Eli told me he could incorporate my logo and two “sound bites” from my elevator speech to make a smoking-hot presentation on the back and sides of my SUV for under $250 plus tax (including the $90 installation fee), I said, “Let’s see what ya got!” 

Eli found a SUV exactly like mine online and graphically placed the prototype of my “wrap” on its windows, showing me what my own SUV would look like before I paid him a dime. Again, I was amazed and thrilled. Waiting any longer to “go pro” wasn’t even an option. I said, “Let’s do it!”

Within a week I was driving 15 miles north to have Eli’s installer apply the finished product. The lettering and logo are done in stark white vinyl lettering on mine. There are many other options, but I like this one. It’s affordable, classy-looking, and boy howdy, does it get attention!

I’ve driven three places so far in my newly-decked-out SUV and each time I’ve stopped, people have asked me, “’Weaving words into wealth!’” or “’Turning browsers into buyers!’ How do you do that?” which gives me the chance to explain that I write website copy, brochures, flyers and other marketing materials that make people pick up the phone or engage in some other way instead of skittering away, never to be heard from again. Then I offer them a brochure to learn more, and I expect I’ll hear from them when they, or someone they know, needs a copywriter.

It almost goes without saying that this never happened when I was driving around town with small magnetic “wannabe” signs attached to the sides and back of my vehicle. Not even once.

So I’m onto something here. Catch the Wave

As an author or copywriter, having a professional-looking logo and intriguing catchphrase that lets other drivers know quickly what you offer is a boon. Imagine parking at a book fair, trade show, arts and crafts festival or anywhere else looking like you’re the full meal deal.

And get this: when you’re decked out like this, you are a traveling advertisement. This means that you can write off every mile you drive at tax time, not just when you drive to book venues and other places to ply your trade. (At least, this is true in Washington State. Ask your tax adviser if the same is true where you live.)

I have a feeling the cost of taking my vehicle up a notch in professionalism is going to pay for itself in less than a month, and every month thereafter as I “move on down, move on down the road…”

And yes, here is a shameless plug for my friend and power partner Eli Struck. If you live in the western Washington area, Enlighting Design should be your go-to provider for products and services like the ones I just explained. I endorse him wholeheartedly. His phone number is 206-229-9438. His address is 26426 Lake Fenwick Road South, Kent, WA 98032.

But Eli would be happy to work with you to design and create your marketing materials, including a vehicle wrap –simple, like mine, or more involved—no matter where you live.  He can include instructions for installing the wrap yourself, but I highly recommend that you hire an installer who knows what he or she is doing, because I watched as my graphics were installed and it would be all too easy to mess up and ruin the application unless you really know what you’re doing.


Kristine M. Smith is a copywriter and the author of seven books, three of which debuted well at Amazon (#1 in Motivational Self Help, #2 and #4 in Nature>Fauna and Animal Welfare, and #8 in Star Trek)  in 2001, 2011 and 2012. You visit her website at wordwhisperer.NET.

Kristine suggests this video for those who absolutely must do It themselves and thinks it would be easier with small decals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRkURz3GrDQ If you would like to see a sample of the brochure Eli did for Kristine, e-mal her at kristinemsmith@msn.com.

PS: “It happened again yesterday when I went to Taco Del Mar for a mondito burrito: people on the sidewalk were reading my SUV aloud as I came out the door of the restaurant. It throws me for a loop every time. I've had the graphics on my vehicle for less than a week and it has happened three or four times already--nearly every time I leave my driveway, in other words. This never happened when I had those crappy little magnetic signs on the SUV.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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