Startup + Small Business Copy That Sells

I specialize in writing landing pages and content for startups and small businesses. My copywriting technique focuses on providing all the information necessary to ensure a purchase as well as structuring the page in a sales-funnel format, encouraging the customer to buy as they research the product.

With defining the background of a company and “about us” section, I apply the principles of the “Golden Circle,” helping the target customer see how a company’s vision and values align with their own.

Click on the images below for examples of website copy I have written:

Foreo ecommerce site copy

liquid diamonds copy website

B2b copywriter small business copywriter startup copywriter landing page copywriter remote copywriter

Sample product pages:

Main Page copy

Cleansing Landing Page

Not ready to take the plunge? Try our smallest ever cleansing device to test the true power of T-Sonic™ technology

As originally published on MYSA.

Meet the smallest member of the LUNA™ range, the LUNA™ play. This little, non-rechargeable version is a great way to test out the true power of T-Sonic™ technology.

Full and effective cleansing routine for clearer, healthy looking skin

The LUNA™ play integrates T-Sonic™ technology into its compact design to enjoy a full and effective cleansing routine. Despite its compact size, based on clinical tests it can removes makeup residue and 99.5% of dirt and oil. If you are combating acne, it also clears away residue that causes blemishes as well as dead skin cells, improving the absorption of other skincare products. The full routine is only one minute.

Two-zone brush to suit all skin types

All of our skin is different and thus needs customized treatment. The LUNA™ play has thinner touchpoints to gently cleanse sensitive or normal skin and larger areas like our cheeks, with thicker touch-points on the top for precision cleansing and deep cleansing for areas such as the T-zone. That way you can exfoliate the tough to reach areas such as your nose and then use the thinner base area for the softer skin on cheeks.

Travel friendly

When packing, you are in a rush with limited space and yet, you have to prepare for introducing your skin to dry plane rides, new bacteria, and new climates. Luckily, the LUNA™ play is the size of a cotton cosmetic pad and yet so much more effective. That way, you don’t have to sacrifice effectiveness when you really need it.

The ideal introduction to the LUNA™ range

This is not a replacement for the LUNA™ 2, which also has an anti-aging mode, but a non-rechargeable version that provides 100 uses – more than enough to feel the full effectiveness of the LUNA™ range. Check it out here.

Domestic firm Xiaomi is looking to rival global giant Apple in the technology market

Published in FOCUS magazine.

Designer, developer, and retailer of smartphones, apps and consumer electronics, Xiaomi ranked third in Fast Company’s 2014 list of ‘Most Innovative Companies’ – the only Chinese organisation to make the cut. Now the largest smartphone maker on the Mainla nd and nicknamed the ‘Apple of China’, Xiaomi could be a game changer. The company’s success could prove China is a strong importer and exporter, a producer of low-cost, low-quality goods, and a developer of innovative, high quality products.

Xiaomi was founded in October 2011 and has been growing rapidly since. In the first half of 2013, the company’s revenue reached RMB 13.27 billion, totalling all of its sales in 2012 – when it grew 150 per cent. In August, the organisation received a valuation of US $10 billion after its most recent round of funding. To put this into perspective, it has already matched Lenovo’s market value and doubled that of Blackberry. Xiaomi’s rapid success comes from its strategy of social media-focused flash sales, constant user experience adaptation, and profits based on software instead of hardware. Using flash sales rather than relying on traditional new product rollout methods, Xiaomi increases hype and demand for its products.

The company sells phones in 200,000 to 300,000 limited quantity batches directly to consumers via Sina Weibo, China’s 400 million-member equivalent of Twitter. Most new product releases sell out within an hour, but the Redmi model vanished in 90 seconds, with more than US $7 million in pre-orders. These small quantities allow Xiaomi to better understand consumer interest in products before the company commits to larger production quantities. By year’s end, many believe Xiaomi will be a top-five client of Foxconn, a major high-volume technology manufacturer involved with Apple products as well.

To read more, click here.

China’s Li-Ning Sticks to its Roots to Build Consumer Clout Over Nike, Adidas

As originally published on brandchannel.com. Article made top 5 most viewed.

In China, the sporting apparel market is a bit of an anomaly. For one thing, fitness and physical activity in China is a lot less common than in other global markets like the US, Europe and South America. And when Chinese consumers do hit the gym or track, it’s usually in their street clothes.

That presents a unique challenge for both foreign and domestic brands like China’s Li-Ning, the oldest and second-largest Chinese sporting goods brand. Facing the relentless competition of Nike, adidas and Under Armour on both its home turf and abroad, Li-Ning has had to adjust its product and growth strategies to focus less on hard-core athletic gear as a free-expression trend continues to grow among China’s fashion-savvy youth.

Established in 1989, Li-Ning, which sells basketball, running and women’s fitness apparel, dominated the Chinese market until the late 90s, when Nike and Adidas gained force in China. But, the company has hit hard times in the last few years. In 2012, Li-Ning sales declined 25 percent, allowing ANTA, a local competitor, to become the largest sports retailer. Despite closing 410 stores in 2013, Li-Ning still has the largest distribution network, with 6,024 stores throughout China. The brand gained back some strength in 2013, with inventory reaching relatively normal levels and same-store sales at directly-owned stores increasing 9 percent in the first half of 2013.

Much of the loss over the last several years was actually a result of the sports boom following the 2008 Beijing Olympics, after which, on average, 11 sports apparel stores opened per day in the country. Li-Ning and other local brands were forced to dump products on the market at severe discounts, stripping the brands of their value as compared to Nike and adidas, which are more highly-regarded among Chinese consumers.

But Li-Ning, which also markets products under three sub-brands—Double Happiness, AIGLE, and Lotto—has since focused on rebuilding its brand value and differentiating itself from foreign competitors. The brand re-embraced its lower-priced roots in order to expand to China’s second and third-tier cities, adopting the slogan “Anything is Possible.” But Li-Ning is not alone, as adidas opened up some 500 new stores in China’s higher and lower-tier cities in 2013, flaunting its Neo and Originals labels to appeal to trendy Chinese youth.

One aspect where Li-Ning has been comparatively successful is with sponsorship deals, mainly with NBA star Dwyane Wade. The brand, which signed Wade in 2012, has built up its brand awareness abroad and its street cred among basketball-obsessed Chinese with the deal, which has seen Wade release personalized basketball shoe and gear designs for the brand. It has also focused much of its growth on e-commerce—a rapidly growing channel in China.

Li-Ning, which is already the third largest sports apparel company in the world, has also expanded to the US. In 2012, the company rolled out its US branded website, which has seen a 600 percent increase in web traffic since its soft launch in late 2011. The company differentiates itself by emphasizing its Eastern philosophy around movement.

But relative success in the US won’t keep Li-Ning afloat in the global market that is still being driven by its home country. adidas, Nike and Under Armour continue to invest in China, debuting unique merchandise and retailing concepts, like adidas’ new HomeCourt store design and Under Armour’s “Retail Theater” experience in Shanghai, which also aims to speak to the specific athletic needs of Chinese consumers.

Will Li-Ning be able to break free from the stigma of Chinese brands in China? Only time (and the addition of another major brand ambassador) will tell.

To read the original, click here.

 

In China, Under Armour Looks to Brand the Workout Experience

As published on brandchannel.com on October 29, 2013.

Earlier this month, Under Armour introduced a completely different retail concept to the Chinese sporting apparel market—a market that has proven hard to crack even for the most seasoned retail veterans, including Nike and Adidas. But Under Armour’s new Shanghai retail theater experience aims to do much more than just sell clothes and sneakers.

Located in the Jing An Kerry Centre, the store features a 270-degree screen that covers 90 percent of the relatively small boutique, encapsulating store-goes in the sights, sounds and experiences of athletic training—a truly foreign concept in China and greater Asia.

In China, especially, working out is not a common activity. Seeing joggers is a rarity and oftentimes in the gym, Chinese are seen wearing jeans or leather shoes as opposed to sporting apparel. Sports participation is also low due to lack of time, the single child policy, and limited governmental support to popularize sports. But, there is still huge market potential; after the Beijing Olympic Games, there has been dramatic growth in sporting brands.

Still, the market has proven difficult, with Nike, Adidas, and others struggling to localize their retail approach to fit the unique needs of Chinese consumers, both young and old. In fact, Nike and Adidas have spent much of their time in the country with a hard focus on building a lifestyle brandaround young consumers, capitalizing on consumer trends towards creativity and self-expression. Still, Nike recently saw a three percent decline in its China sales while it experienced an increase in all other geographic locations.

So Under Armour, a brand built largely on its popular undergarments, is instead focusing on introducing the idea of athleticism to Chinese consumers, putting retail sales second. “You walk in the store going how do athletes train?” Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank explained in a press release. “In China they don’t exercise, so they’re going, why do I exercise? It’s a tutorial on why would I train.” Guests are greeted by a familiar, athletic face: Michael Phelps, who took home eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, serves as the store’s virtual host.

“Wherever we go around the globe, we will lead first with our story and bring the people into the best Under Armour experience possible before we ask them to try our performance apparel and footwear,” said Plank.

The company, which as experienced steady quarter-by-quarter growth over the years, saw a 26 percent increase in revenue in the third quarter ending Oct. 24, growing by over 20 percent for the sixteenth consecutive quarter, according to Seeking Alpha. Netting its highest revenues from apparel, followed by footwear and accessories, the retailer shows a lot of promise—that is if it can maintain its impressive growth rate.

In order to do so, the relatively new retailer is doubling down to turn its largely North American-based business into a global brand. Last year, of Under Armour’s $1.8 billion in revenue, less than 10 percent came from global sales, compared to Nike, where more than half of sales come from outside the US. Plank’s plan is to double overall and international revenues by 2016—a difficult goal, for sure, but one certainly in reach for the hard-nosed company. In fact, Plank says, by the end of the year, Under Armour will have more international offices than those in the US. Beyond China, the brand is especially focused on growth in Latin America, with upcoming opportunities in the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil to help make in-roads.

Still, China plays a major role in Under Armour’s ability to become a global leader in sports retail. In the last two years, the brand has opened six stores on Mainland China and one in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and the fact that the company manufactures over 50 percent of its products in Asia makes it easy to distribute new designs quickly to the market as the company expands in the region in the future.

To see the original, click here.

Disasters and Proper Use of ‘Recovery Tourism’: New Orleans’s Image Post-Hurricane Katrina

A recent article on ‘Recovery Tourism’ by Christine Birkner speaks of the attempts by the Joplin, Missouri, Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), which released maps highlighting the sites that were hit by the deadly May 2011 tornado. According to the article, the maps were intended to create a historical record of the tornado to appease the interests of locals and tourists. The article also quotes Jennifer Day from the New Orleans CVB saying: “You’re not going to stop people from being curious. Here in New Orleans, people still ask about areas of the city that were damaged and [want] to see them […] From the tourism standpoint, or the brand of the city standpoint, you can participate in telling your story or you can stand back and have no control over the impressions that your visitors take away.”

To use ‘Recovery Tourism’ to successfully improve the image of a city, on top of attracting tourists and being sensitive to locals, the business sector impact also needs to be considered. There needs to be a strong dissociation between the tragedy and the city, emphasizing the recovery, most specifically in the areas of safety, security, and infrastructure in order to bring the city away from the image of disaster, chaos, and danger.

For New Orleans specifically, all the media coverage helped bring in much-needed charity, but as a once popular convention location, years later it is still trying to get back on its feet*. Conventions are a key factor in the local economy, boosting business through those staying in hotels, visiting bars, eating at restaurants, and experiencing the city, and then bringing their stories to other parts of the country (or in some cases, the world). The image leftover from Hurricane Katrina also scares away businesses that may want to open branches/subsidiaries in the area, and that are concerned about the ability to attract employees and their families. Overall, the city has its dangerous parts, but the areas traditionally visited by tourists and businessmen are fairly safe.

In fact, the city has actually become safer than it was before the hurricane. In 2004, the city ranked #8 in CQ Press’s “City Crime Rate Rankings”** on most dangerous cities, just below Hartford, CT. In 2010, it was ranked 11th. However, I would argue from a perceptions standpoint, it is seen as far more dangerous after Hurricane Katrina because it is associated with all the negative images of pillaging, mugging, and murder.

Thus, when actively pushing to change the impact of a city post-disaster, it is not just about the people-to-people soft aspects, (i.e. the recovery stories), but also about the emphasis on the hard aspects, including improvements in infrastructure and safety. Although ‘Recovery Tourism’ can help improve messaging, it can have a negative impact if it is the only or loudest voice in the parlor, or if it does not include emphasis on the traits critical for investment that have also improved.

*Unfortunately economic data could not be found to support this statement, thus it is based on various discussions in my more than twenty visits to the city since Hurricane Katrina.

** Please note this ranks cities relative to each other, so it is New Orleans’ crime rate versus other cities’ crime rates:

Murder

Rape

Robbery

Aggravated Assault

Burglary

Motor Vehicle Theft

2010

US

4.8

27.5

119.1

252.3

699.6

238.8

New Orleans, LA

49.1

40.4

267.5

370.7

1,037.0

676.4

2004

US

5.5

32.2

136.7

291.1

729.9

421.3

New Orleans, LA

56.0

40.1

389.8

462.4

1,112.0

1,387.1

All are rates per 100,000 population.


If you look at New Orleans in 2004 rankings versus New Orleans in 2010, there has been a decrease in murder, robbery, assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft, but a slight increase in rape. The dramatic change in ranking versus other cities is a result of New Orleans having the second highest murder rate in 2004 with 56 murders per 100,000 population. Relative to other cities, New Orleans had the highest murder rate in 2010 with 49.1 per 100,000 population, but this is still a drop relative to the 2004 level. The main reason for the drop in overall rank relative to other cities is primarily due to a decrease in motor vehicle theft.

Also, Morgan Quitno uses six variables to rank cities (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft); other organizations, such as Forbes, use a different methodology and variables (e.g., Forbes uses manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault – in 2010, New Orleans did not make the Top 10).

Sources:

Missouri Marketers Practice ‘Recovery Tourism’ in Tornado
Aftermath

Scott Morgans, Editor at Morgan Quitno (now owned by CQ Press)