I follow Caitlin Johnstone’s writing. Every year she publishes an update of who she is and what she stands for.
For those who sell based on trust and expertise this struck me as a good idea. After all, you can’t understand anyone better than you understand yourself. The beliefs, values, ambitions and goals that make up you are only a snapshot held still in time.
So, as we head into 2023 I want to share an annual review of who I am and the work we’re doing here.
I’ve been on what you might call a ‘grand tour’ of direct marketing. My work here started tentatively in 2012 as ‘RJD Consulting’, initially as a web designer then later as a Google Ads service provider.
Since then I’ve operated as ‘Rear End PPC’ (don’t ask), then ‘The Confusion Clinic’ (I was an Infusionsoft partner so this was a play on ‘Confusionsoft’). Later I rebranded as ‘True Story Selling’ – which essentially encapsulates what I do today, I just didn’t like the name. After that I operated as ‘Magnetic Expertise’, and later as ‘Maze Mastery’ (drawing on Perry Marshall’s maze concept of marketing follow-up). Story Copywriters is the most recent manifestation of the same business.
Talk about a snail trail of domain name carnage!
For long suffering subscribers, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you had to shake your head through each domain name change. However I do think that each change was necessary to help get to the truth at the heart of my work.
The question “how do we authentically build trust at scale” has remained constant through every domain name change. What has been lacking is clarity on my part about who I am serving and the value I provide. I’ve suffered from an absence or limitation of vision, if you like. Vision only comes into focus by participating in the market and doing the work.
I’m a marketing generalist at heart, which is both a strength and a curse. (It’s far easier to launch a successful business as a specialist!) There is however a growing need for strategy-driven marketing generalists who adopt a holistic approach. What I really do is tie things together using words.
To me, the written word is paramount. Writing a message forces you to slow down and think carefully about what you are trying to say. You can and should convert your best messaging into audio and video, but writing comes first. Writing offers permanence and consistency. Additionally, nothing builds trust more effectively than a book; even one self-published yourself.
I believe most businesses already have enough leads. Over the years you’ve been in business you’ve likely talked to more than enough people interested in your work. The bottlenecks usually are clarity over the work you’re doing and the value you provide, clarity over who you serve and an inability or unwillingness to follow-up authentically or for long enough in multiple media.
The question of how best to follow-up authentically can’t be simplified to a single funnel or strategy. The threads that tie authentic communications together are storytelling, systems; and I now believe, community.
As Caitlin Johnstone says, to survive and thrive as a species we need to learn to collaborate both with one another and with the natural world. I wholeheartedly agree with this. As a guiding principle it underpins everything I do. The conventional power structures of the world don’t want an abundance of sovereign, independently powerful entrepreneurs. People who understand their value and collaborate with others to command their own destiny. People who are unafraid to tell their story. Telling your story is a key that can unlock your sovereign power. In my book I describe this as a ‘business growth lever’; something that can catapult you from one level to the next.
My perspective has changed somewhat since I’ve had kids. I have less time and more urgency. My daughter Rumer was born on 20th March 2020, the day ‘lockdown’ was imposed in the UK. My burning desire for her is that she grows up as free-thinking as possible, blazing a path that provides what Maslow called ‘self-actualisation’. That’s what I want for her. That’s what I want for me, and it’s what I want for you too.
I want to support you as you grow into the fullest version of yourself. The fullest expression of you. The version of you that impacts the world in the most positive way. Collectively, if enough people do this, we survive and thrive.
My vision for Story Copywriters is to build a community of writers who support each other and provide services to each other. You may write professionally for others, or you may write for yourself. But you do write, at least from time to time. Writing is how you clarify your thoughts, tell your story and express yourself. By subscribing to this email list you’re already a part of that community, at least as an observer participant.
My immediate goal for 2023 is to relaunch my own agency offer, but there is a bigger goal behind this. Frankly, I can’t do all the writing. I want Story Copywriters to be an enabling environment, not one of dependence. I like to teach. I like to run courses. The problem we are solving here is bigger than just me.
I’ll finish by quoting Caitlin Johnstone:
“People are very distrusting in today’s environment, and rightly so; we swim in an ocean of lies. You can get around that distrust by manipulating people into thinking you’re trustworthy, or you can do it by taking transparency to the furthest extent possible and letting yourself be fully seen so that people can make up their own minds about you for themselves.”
Thank you for joining me on the journey so far. I appreciate you. I value your time and attention. Let’s do bigger things in 2023. Time is of the essence.