Rainmaker Rewind: Announcing a Breakthrough Educational Collaboration between Copyblogger and U.C. Davis

This week on Rainmaker Rewind, Sonia Simone shares an exciting announcement on Copyblogger FM that you don’t want to miss.
James Garvin of U.C. Davis joins Sonia to chat about the evolution and future of online education, as well as a new collaboration between Copyblogger and U.C. Davis!
And, as always, be sure to check out the other great episodes that recently aired on Rainmaker FM.

Copyblogger FM. Sonia Simone and James Garvin reveal the collaboration between Copyblogger and U.C. Davis and what it means for online education going forward: Announcing: A Breakthrough Educational Collaboration between Copyblogger and U.C. Davis
The Digital Entrepreneur. Joanna Penn hops on the show to discuss her online entrepreneur journey and share her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: How Joanna Penn Designed the Lifestyle (and Career) of Her Dreams
Confessions of a Pink-haired Marketer. In this episode, Sonia Simone answers a few questions about B2B and B2C marketing sent in by her Twitter followers: Q&A from Twitter, Independence Day Version!
Elsewhere. On Write With Impact, Pamela Wilson chats with Glenn Leibowitz about writing and publishing her first book: Pamela Wilson on Write With Impact
Youpreneur. Chris Ducker welcomes back New York Times best-selling author Tucker Max to explain “Book in a Box” and the process of writing a book: Catapulting Your Personal Brand by Launching a Book, with Tucker Max
The Missing Link. Carrie Dils joins Jabez LeBret to talk about teaching and taking courses online and how it affects your digital business: What Lynda.com Can Do

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Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Defined in 60 Seconds [Animated Video]

Like David Ogilvy, mid-20th-century ad man Rosser Reeves promoted a hard-sell approach and thought advertising should do one thing: sell.
And sell he did.
Campaigns for Viceroy cigarettes, Carter’s Little Liver Pills, Listerine mouthwash, and Colgate toothpaste boosted sales and put these brands on the map.
His goal was to get customers to recognize a specific brand proposition — what has become known as a unique selling proposition (USP).
But what exactly is a unique selling proposition? And why is it so important?
Watch our 60-second video about unique selling propositions
With help from our friends at The Draw Shop, we whipped up 12 definitions from our new Content Marketing Glossary into short, fun whiteboard animated videos.
Check out our video for the definition of USP:
Animation by The Draw Shop
And for those of you who would prefer to read, here’s the transcript:
In essence, a unique selling proposition (USP) is something that you offer customers or clients that your competitors do not offer.
It’s also known as a “remarkable benefit.”
In the late 1970s, FedEx effectively branded itself as the fastest, most reliable shipping service with its tagline: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”
That was the remarkable benefit no other company could claim.
And once you identify that unique element for your business, you’ll know exactly what the theme of your content marketing should be, which will eventually become the big story of your business.
Share this video
Click here to check out this definition on YouTube and share it with your audience. You’ll

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Does Your Copy Pass the ‘Forehead Slap’ Test?

One of the most repeated rules of writing compelling copy is to stress benefits, not features.
In other words, identify the underlying benefit that each feature of a product or service provides to the prospect, because that’s what will prompt the purchase.
This is one rule that always applies, except when it doesn’t.
We’ll look at the exceptions in a bit.
Fake benefits
The idea of highlighting benefits over features seems simple. But it’s often tough to do in practice.
Writers often end up with fake benefits instead.
Direct response copywriter Clayton Makepeace asserts that fake benefits will kill sales copy, so you have to be on the lookout for them in your writing. He uses this headline as an example:
Balance Blood Sugar Levels Naturally!
That sounds pretty beneficial, doesn’t it? In reality, there’s not a single real benefit in the headline.
True benefits
Makepeace advises to apply his patented “forehead slap” test to see if your copy truly contains a benefit for the reader. In other words, have you ever woken up from a deep sleep, slapped yourself in the forehead, and exclaimed “Man … I need to balance my blood sugar levels naturally!”
I think not. So getting someone to pull out their wallet to buy that so-called “benefit” will be difficult at best.
Here’s how Makepeace identifies the real benefit hidden in that headline:
“Nobody really wants to balance their blood sugar levels. But anyone in his or her right mind DOES want to avoid the misery of blindness … cold, numb, painful limbs

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Suck Less | A Plea For User-Centric Design: Powered By You!

Analysts, honestly, make the world go round when it comes to any successful business – yes, data is that important. As you might expect from any role, they also make a handful of important mistakes. I’ve written about the biggest mistake web analysts make.
Today’s post is an adjacent mistake: The cardinal sin of spending too much time with data and in reports!The Marketing-Analytics Intersect. Thanks. [/sidebar]
BUT I Want Data-First!
For some in our audience here, it is hard to leave analytics and data behind no matter how desperately I want you to. I understand the pain of trying to let go of years of accumulated comfort from never having to experience your business, and only living through data. I’ve done it.
You can use data as a starting point, if you really want to.
It is possible that the HTC team could have found their heartbreaking Pre-Order page via the fabulous Shopping Behavior Analysis report that is part of the magnificent Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting in Google Analytics.

The above data does not belong to HTC (15% also might be a bit too high!). But, the first column is what we would be looking for. That could trigger a visit to the website to try the user experience.
I do want to caution that not everything broken will be so easy to find, hence I want you to complement your data skills and analysis efforts with just going to the site/app and trying to emulate a normal person (you!).
Another source of starting points, if you insist on using the data, is to leverage the Behavior Flow report that automatically helps you unpack the complexity of the user experience on your website or


A Simple Way Out of Your Precarious Freelance Income Problem

Freelancing. That’s the life, isn’t it? Total control. Total freedom. Abject terror.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot to be said for the freelance life. You’re in charge of your own time. You pick and choose the projects you’ll take on. You select your clients.
When it’s all working the way it’s supposed to, that is.
When you’re not breaking into a sweat as you open your checking account statement. When you’re not wondering how you’ll pay next month’s rent. When you’re not thinking, “Maybe a job with a salary wouldn’t be so bad …”
There’s a simple solution, though. One that will restore a feeling of stability to your freelance life.
It’s nothing you haven’t heard before. But you may not realize how important this solution can be for your freelance business. You may not be taking full advantage of the peace of mind and regular income it can provide.
Let’s get it working for you.
How to build an income foundation for your business
The solution to a freelancer’s unstable income problem is to take on a handful of retainer clients. Retainer clients pay you a set amount every month, and they provide a steady income you can count on. There are several ways to negotiate a retainer agreement, and we’ll cover them in this article.
For a freelancer, retainer clients are the closest thing to the stable income a salary provides.
The reliable income retainer clients provide is great, but if you don’t specify exactly what their retainer payments

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3 Tips for Creating Your Own Independence Day

July 4 is Independence Day here in the States, which, for most of us, entails the risk of losing:

Your fingers to cheap fireworks
Your waistline to hot dogs
Your liver

All of which, as a red-blooded American, I support wholeheartedly. But if you’re spending today celebrating the country’s independence, how about giving some attention to your own personal independence?
It might be independence from a day job, financial stress, or even a mindset that’s keeping you from making things happen.
Here are three of my favorite tips for declaring your own individual independence.
1. Expand your audience
Andy Warhol had it wrong. Now that we’re living in the future, everyone isn’t famous for 15 minutes. We’re each famous with 15 people.
Each of us has our own village of customers. And most of us would like to expand that village, at least by a little bit. Especially if we want to build a business around it.
So, what’s the secret to finding a wider audience?
Put more thought into what your village of customers wants and needs.
Sure, personal expression can be a good thing. But never forget the other side of that computer screen.
There’s something you can offer your audience that will fulfill their fondest desire or solve their most pressing problem. Think a little more about them and a little less about yourself.
2. Create a revenue stream
For most of us, freedom and independence tend to boil down to having enough money coming in the door.
It’s a lot easier

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Rainmaker Rewind: From Infoproducts to Software Rockstar, with ConvertKit’s Nathan Barry

This week on Rainmaker Rewind, Chris Ducker welcomes Nathan Barry of ConvertKit to Youpreneur.
Nathan and Chris dive into the story behind ConvertKit and the fundamentals of email service providers.
And, as always, be sure to check out the other great episodes that recently aired on Rainmaker FM.

Youpreneur. Chris Ducker and Nathan Barry talk about the fundamental and powerful features of email service providers: From Infoproducts to Software Rockstar, with ConvertKit’s Nathan Barry
The Digital Entrepreneur. Brian Clark, Chris Garrett, and Jerod Morris revisit the perennial importance of email marketing and why what you’re doing probably isn’t enough: Is Your Email Marketing Leaving Money on the Table?
Copyblogger FM. Sonia Simone explores the one, big reason why customers often turn away from offers at the last minute: How to Break Past the #1 Conversion Killer
The Writer Files. Kelton Reid wraps up part two of his interview with publishing consultant and writer Jane Friedman: How Publishing Consultant, Educator, and Author Jane Friedman Writes: Part Two
The Missing Link. Jabez LeBret welcomes John Nemo to the show to address LinkedIn privacy concerns: How to Stay Safe On LinkedIn (and Have Fun While You’re At It)
The Showrunner. Jerod Morris and Jon Nastor discuss the reason why an email list is so important and how you can get your listeners to subscribe: [Rebroadcast] Next-Level Tips for Building Your Show’s Email List
Confessions of a Pink-haired Marketer. Sonia Simone shares her opinions on the “abundance mindset” vs. wishing really hard: The Difference Between Mindset and

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