It’s chilly here in New Jersey. And what better to do than snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie?! “Moonstruck” is one of my all-time favorites — funny, charming, with Cher AND Olympia Dukakis…come on! — and I just realized what a valuable business lesson it has.
Many of my clients are creative professionals and web designers, who sometimes feel pressure to justify their prices to clients. But I think we should all take a lesson from Cosmo Castorini.
The clients who don’t understand the value of the copper pipe will figure it out eventually. (How many clients have found you after multiple tries with other service providers?) Or they won’t. But the right clients will respect the value you bring. It’s not your job to justify. You just need to do an awesome job installing the copper pipe for those who appreciate it.
You (and your services) cost money because you save money. Got it?
P.S. Need someone to help show off your fine-tuned abilities? Let’s talk.
You might say, “But Frankie Valli is 84 years old. There’s no way he could be good in concert.”
Well you’d be just-plain-wrong.
I went to see Frankie Valli with my parents in Atlantic City. The audience was dancing and singing. His backup singers were alight with energy. The people-watching was beyond all expectation (I have never seen so many women in leopard print or fringe). The whole atmosphere was warm and fuzzy and joyous. I’m telling you—you could feel it!
Undeniably, Frankie Valli has a confident command of the stage and a voice like no other.
The poise that comes with experience…
The authentic, unique voice that nobody else has…
The work ethic and unwavering commitment to delivering for your audience…
That stuff is ageless. It’s what we pay for. Because it’s so, so, so special.
Trends, new competitors, new technology and new needs come and go. But HOW you show up to them—with your voice, your confidence, your commitment—those things sell tickets and make people dance.
If you bring you to everything you do—you don’t really have any competition.
On the way to dinner, I stopped at the wine store. The man behind the register said, “Can I help you find something?” I asked for a particular Chianti—my parents’ favorite.
“Head to the third aisle. It’s halfway down on the left.”
Then he added, “If you don’t see it, just yell ‘Alan.’”
This last statement made me giddy.
I’m a person who, in new situations, rarely knows what the heck to do next. I’m the girl asking, “How does this work?” pretty much everywhere I go (frozen yogurt stores, train stations, car washes). Heck, I need an instruction manual to open a gate—and if the nice employee at Trader Joe’s didn’t teach me how to grind coffee, I still wouldn’t know. So when people provide me a next step, it just lets me EXHALE.
Next steps are so important.
Let your website visitors know what to do. Guide them. Help them exhale.
Gates aren’t my specialty, but inviting web copy—that I can handle expertly,
P.S. Want to talk about the possibilities of working together? I offer a complimentary 30-minute consultation. Just email me and let’s pick a time.
I was telling a friend (who trains service dogs) about how I think we should talk to people in elevators instead of ignoring them. He thought I was nuts.
The next day, I got a message from him:
Hey Deidre. So I was at the mall today with some dogs. I got on the elevator and a woman got on with me. She seemed upset. I was thinking about you so I turned to her, smiled and said hi. She told me that her dog had died yesterday. She asked if she could pet the dogs. I said yes and when she was done, she gave me a hug too. I would have never done that had we not talked about elevators. Just thought you should know that you made an indirect impact on someone’s life. It gave me a warm fuzzy too; that smile I had when she hugged me felt really good.
Whether it’s in an elevator, in the supermarket line or through your web copy, it’s all a chance to connect. Take the chance. Say the thing you want to say.
Going up? I’m here for you,
P.S. If you want to help amazing people make amazing service dogs more affordable to those who need them, check outAmazing Tails, LLC.
Last night I saw an opera for the first time: La Bohème.
At the conductor’s announcement that we could follow along with the English translation on our smart phones, I rolled my eyes. Can we do NOTHING without our smart phones? I would rely on my two semesters of Italian class, so there!
Majorly confused after the first act, I decided to get over my stubbornness and go digital, and let me tell you—my engagement with the experience was much deeper. Knowing what they were singing about made a huge difference. Duh, Deidre.
You’re putting so much passion into your opera. (Brava!) Translate it into your audience’s language…so they can really get it.
Everyone else says things like beef brisket, roasted chicken, chicken piccata, burgers, pot pie, stir fry!
I say oatmeal or eggs. Everyone looks at me pitifully. They are worried I’m nutritionally deficient and sometimes bring me large Tupperware containers of meat—which despite the fact I’m not a big meat eater, I’m grateful for (and then usually feed to Cannoli).
I make the oatmeal a bunch of different ways: sweet with walnuts, raisins, cinnamon and pumpkin—or savory with salt, pepper, peas, olive oil and Parmesan. Or I make eggs with veggies or smoked salmon. There’s enough variety to keep me happy without driving me crazy. Heck, I might start wearing the same thing every day too…just to see what happens.
If you want to eat ______ every night for dinner, you have my full support. Because I think when we simplify the other stuff, it helps us be even better at what really matters to us!
I was visiting my parents last week. Sometimes my mom bakes, so she keeps her house stocked with chocolate chips. Unfortunately for me, under these conditions, I keep my mouth stocked with chocolate chips. I eat little handfuls of them with walnuts throughout the day and before you know it, gone.
So, I begged my mom, “Please hide the chocolate chips. I have no self-control!”
The next day, I saw a bag of popcorn in the cabinet. Yum, popcorn! When I removed the chip clip, I discovered the empty bag of popcorn was being used to conceal the package of chocolate chips.
Had my mom hid them in a pretzel bag or cereal box, or just about anywhere else, they could have survived forever untouched by me. But she “hid” my first favorite thing inside the wrapping of my second favorite thing.
In chocolate-chip-hiding, and in writing words for your website, it’s all about knowing your audience.
I go to the dogpark most afternoons where I sit on a plastic chair in a giant circle with lovely, nutty people and a kerfuffle of running, barking, dirt-eating, misbehaving dogs having the best time ever. My dog likes to rub her body on the perimeter of the fence and gnaw on a pink Frisbee.
I mostly just sit there and laugh. Dogs are totally more inclined to show their quirky than humans…and I think it’s awesome.
Our personalities and unique perspectives make us authentic. We bring that authenticity with us into everything we do—whether it’s sitting around a dog park or providing our clients with a service.
Here’s the thing. Cannoli doesn’t know that she’s quirky. She might not be able to recognize her most endearing qualities because they come so naturally to her. And you probably can’t either. Can any of us see ourselves clearly?
I’m not ashamed to admit it. I paid $32 to ship a purple bridesmaid dress across the Hudson River to my house.
Surprised at my request, the woman on the phone said, “But honey, you’re right across the bridge.” My internal budgeteer said, “That’s a ridiculous price to ship a dress!” While both statements were true, I’d still rather pay $32 than drive to Yonkers!
While also proving why I’m not an accountant, let’s look at the real cost:
Annoyance thinking about driving to Yonkers: (at least 60 minutes)
Bridge toll: $4.75
Parking (meter): $.50
Parking (aggravation): at least some
Total drive time: 60 minutes (without traffic)
Total cost = $7.25 + at least 120 minutes of time/annoyance/aggravation
For $32, the dress just showed up on my doorstep—preserving sanity, time and focus. That’s totally worth it!
Are you “just across the bridge” from having awesome website, newsletter or blog copy? How much time are you spending worrying about it, planning it, and/or trying to write it yourself? Let me deliver it to your doorstep.
Anyone have nude shoes I can borrow?
P.S. As far as I’m concerned, my UPS delivery man (Bobby, you rock!), postal workers and everyone who drives for a living are my heroes.