Copywriting Exercises: How to Transform Long, Boring Sentences Into Short, Powerful Copy

Want to make a bigger impact with your copywriting in half the time?

Today on The Marie Forleo Podcast, learn three copywriting exercises to transform long, rambly sentences into copy that’s powerful and to the point. Iconic brands and prolific writers use these strategies to dazzle readers and skyrocket sales — and now you can too.

Practice these copywriting exercises often and you’ll be able to:

“I wish they took LONGER to get their point across.” ~ No one, ever. Learn 3 steps to write short, powerful copy →  https://bit.ly/3copytips Click To Tweet

Ready to ditch your writing insecurities and become a better copywriter? Hit play below or listen on your favorite podcast platform. 

(Warning: this episode contains magical singing from yours truly. #sorrynotsorry.)

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WANT TO BE A BETTER WRITER?
If you want more help with your writing, join me in The Copy Cure. It’s a copywriting program designed to help you write more powerfully, persuasively, and in your unique voice —
and it’s backed by a 100% risk-free satisfaction guarantee.
Doors close Wednesday, May 20th. Learn more here.

Transform Your Sales Copy With These 3 Copywriting Exercises

Worried that you’re scaring away potential customers with long, boring sales copy? You’re not alone. We surveyed over 20,000 people about their writing habits and 33% struggle with being too wordy and long-winded. Use these three copywriting exercises below to write stronger, more concise copy — in half the time.

Copywriting Exercise #1: Write A Shitty First Draft That’s Waaaay Too Long.

I know, I know. You want it to be short and powerful right off the bat, but that’s not how writing works. If you want to become a better copywriter, practice getting all your ideas down first. Best-selling author, Anne Lamott, calls this your “shitty first draft,” because that’s exactly what your first attempt is — shitty. The first step in the writing process is to get it out on the page, not get it perfect.

Key point: Just write, don’t edit. 

Why? Because writing and editing are two different functions. Doing both at the same time will only slow you down. Write the shitty first draft and trust that the copywriting magic happens when you spend time editing and polishing.

Don’t believe me? Here are some examples:

  • The Continental Congress made 86 changes to Thomas Jefferson’s first draft of The Declaration of Independence.
  • Ernest Hemingway wrote 47 endings to A Farewell To Arms.
  • Marion Roach Smith submitted her essay Spam Chop Suey to NPR after draft 45!

Copywriting Exercise #2: Write It Rude.

Politeness leads to long-windedness. If you’re trying too hard to make everyone like you, your writing will suffer. You’ll add all kinds of unnecessary parentheticals and word softeners to your message, which will make it bland and forgettable.

Writing it rude will help you write more
effective sales copy, faster and clearer. 

These iconic ads are the perfect example of writing it rude:

  • Got Milk? — They didn’t say, “Excuse me, I hate to bother you, but I’m just wondering whether you have some milk?” No! They kept it short and sweet.
  • Just Do It. — Nike didn’t write, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you did it?” Or, “We strongly suggest that at your earliest convenience, you do it.” Instead, they wrote. “Just Do It,” and the rest is history.

To be clear, writing it rude doesn’t mean keeping it rude. Use this copywriting exercise to zoom past your inner critic and say what you want to say, without a filter.  

Copywriting Exercise #3: Trim the Fat.

Once you have a shitty first draft that contains the essence of what you want to say, it’s time to edit. Cut as many words from your copy as you can without losing the meaning. Be ruthless. Lose every unnecessary word, adverb, and cliche.

Here’s a quick editing trick: use your document’s find and replace tool to cut common “filler words” like the following:

  • Just
  • That 
  • Really/very
  • You can
  • Start

Want to see some copyediting in action? Here’s an example from our flagship copywriting program, The Copy Cure.

BEFORE:
I firmly believe that everyone is fully capable of writing their own copy and developing their own truly unique voice, as long as they have the necessary knowledge of how to implement certain techniques, which I am about to share.
AFTER:
Everyone can write. Everyone can develop a voice. All it takes are these simple techniques. 

In our writing program, The Copy Cure, we show you how to trim all the extra words (and include a list of words to avoid at all costs) so your writing is tight and powerful. 

Today’s Insight Into Action Challenge

Now I’d love to hear from you. Today’s question has two parts:

  1. What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to writing?
  2. Try one of our 3 copywriting exercises to something you’ve written: a sentence, tagline, or headline. Share your before and after in the comments below!

If you feel like you write like a robot or keep telling yourself, “I suck as a writer” remember this: writing isn’t rocket science. It’s a learnable skill anyone can develop. 

Use these exercises and keep going. Because the world really does need that special gift that only you have.

With enormous love,

XO

Need A Creativity Boost? 10 Hand-Picked Books On Creativity From Me & Team Forleo

Have you ever struggled to bring a creative vision to life? Welcome to the club. I’ve yet to meet a single human who hasn’t felt frustrated and overwhelmed by the creative process.

Lucky for us, there are entire books on this topic — books that can help you overcome those all-too-familiar creative obstacles of perfectionism, impostor syndrome, or feeling like you’re not good enough. 

Books have always been and always will be a big part of my life. Everything I’ve done or overcome ties back to something I learned or was able to figure out thanks, in part, to a book. That’s why my team and I have curated a list of our top ten books on creativity for you below. 

As a bonus, we also created a special episode of The Marie Forleo Podcast that we’re calling #ILovedThisBook: Creativity Edition. Think of it as a virtual book club between you, me, Team Forleo, and our community. You’ll hear excerpts from some of our favorite books and stories from our own creative journeys.

You were born to create and contribute. Keep going. Click To Tweet

So make yourself a cup of something delicious, put on your cozy pants, and settle in for some good old fashioned book love.

We need artists, entrepreneurs, problem solvers, and writers like you to share your gifts with the world.

If you’re looking for fresh creative inspiration, this episode and the books listed below will help. 

Download the podcast episode from wherever you love to listen or hit play below.

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WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING? The Copy Cure 2020 is almost here. If you run a small business and want your messaging to produce better, stronger results please join us. Sign up here to be the first to know when doors open to The Copy Cure.

10 Life-Changing Books to Read On Creativity

Whether you’re stuck in a creative rut or struggling with writer’s block, the books below will inspire you to keep creating. Team Forleo and I have hand-picked these books on creativity to remind you that your voice, perspective, and artistic expression matter — no matter what job you have or season of life you’re in. 

1.The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

If you’ve ever struggled with procrastination, writer’s block or self-doubt — The War of Art is a must-read. It’s one of my all-time favorite books about creativity and Steven Pressfield is truly extraordinary. Any time I’m terrified about a creative project I’m working on, The War of Art reminds me that these feelings are a normal part of the creative process — and then I keep going.

“On my bulletin board, over my desk, I have the last page of The War of Art and I read it every day. When I’m scared to write or express myself or that my work isn’t “worthy” or important — I just read that. It’s part of my work here, too. Our words matter.”
~ Heather F., Customer Happiness

Want more Steven? Watch him on MarieTV: How To Overcome Resistance & Why Talent Doesn’t Matter 

2. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

If any part of you longs to make and do really cool things in this world — write, paint, cook, dance, sing, speak, produce, code, act, bake, or just bedazzle your toothbrush — read Big Magic.

It’s a treasure map to unleash your most creative and expressive life, and with Elizabeth Gilbert as your guide, you can’t go wrong.

“I was on the verge of giving up my writing dreams when I read Big Magic. I realized I needed to say to my creativity, “I’ll never force you to support me before you’re ready.” I started approaching my writing with a sense of playfulness, so instead of worrying about what was literary, I just wrote what I enjoyed. Reading Big Magic gave me permission to be patient with myself, which led me to an important realization: People love to praise youth when it comes to talent, particularly in the arts. So-and-so started playing piano at 4, so-and-so started dancing at 3, etc. There’s a market for child actors, models, musicians, and artists. But there’s NO market for child writers. There’s no point in feeling bad about myself for being 29 and not having a book out yet. It’s not too late and the past couple of years I’ve spent writing, I’ve only gotten better, more dedicated, and more joyful in my work.”
~ Mandy S., Customer Happiness

Want more Liz? Watch her incredible interview on MarieTV: What Elizabeth Gilbert Wants You To Know About Big Magic

3. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Want to understand your creativity on a deeper level? The Artist’s Way will guide you through exercises, writing rituals, and self-discovery techniques that will help you become a better artist. Julia Cameron is a master teacher, and reading this book will transform your creative process.

“This book changed me in the sense that it’s helped me, repeatedly, to not feel like a weirdo for being the way I am or living the way I do, and instead it helps me to see the gifts and treasures I carry and how I must nurture them. It’s one of those books that makes you feel truly seen, understood, and supported in a way that you may never have before by anyone in your life. And that is such a gift.” 
~ Julia M., Customer Happiness

4. Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day

Feel like an oddball? Embrace Your Weird is here for it. Felicia Day is a multi-faceted actress and creative who will challenge you to let go of old insecurities and become the creative force you were always meant to be. No matter what kind of creative outlet you enjoy, Embrace Your Weird will help you tap into creative reservoirs you didn’t know were there, and have fun doing it.

“I love how this book poses shifting your thoughts around anxiety and creativity, which is something I struggle with (“Is this ever going to be good enough??”). I have this quote written down in my notebook – “Next time there’s an anxiety-inducing task at hand, why not visualize doing it in front of someone who’s delighted at everything you do?” Plus I’m also a secret nerd and love Felicia from my Comic Con days … it’s all about being okay with being weird!”
~ Kelsey V., Project Manager

5. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Got a love/hate relationship with writing? Anne Lamott is a bestselling author — but that doesn’t mean that her feelings on writing aren’t complicated.

Bird by Bird is about Anne’s experience as a writer, and how to handle the peaks and valleys that come with it.

“No idea has changed me more than Lamott’s take on “the shitty first draft.” When it comes to most writing, there are no magic formulas. Just helpful exercises and mindset shifts that stick with you enough so that when you sit down to write and you’re staring at the blank screen or blinking cursor, you remember that Anne told you that it was okay to write, “Mr. Poopy Pants” just to get something on the page. I swear, this single technique has helped me write and publish essays, work on my first novel and do my day job, all without the pressure to make things perfect. This book is also funny as hell, which is rare in the world of writing advice.”
~ Marian S., Copywriting

6. Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke

Letters to a Young Poet are letters for the creative soul. Rilke’s words are mystical and beautiful.

They will leave you marveling over the power of well-crafted, heartfelt words.  

“I read Letters to a Young Poet as a teenager at a tender time after I’d lost my father and was questioning so much about reality. It felt as if Rilke was writing directly to my heart and easing all my worries. I felt recognized and hopeful for future treasures unknown. Those comforting letters told me to keep going, keep creating, and that words have the power to reach through time and transform lives.”
~ Jayasri C., Customer Happiness

7. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

Betty Edwards wanted all her students to learn how to draw successfully, and Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is one of her educational masterpieces. It’s a drawing book for artists of any experience level. Best of all? It will train your brain to think more creatively. 

“I found it on my grandparents’ bookshelf when I was little, and I think it’s what first implanted the idea that EVERYONE is creative (or at least has the potential to be), and that art isn’t this mysterious rare woo-woo thing that only select people get to participate in. That being an artist is more about learning how to really SEE, and it’s something that everyone can learn and benefit from. I was always really ‘artsy’ but also very analytical and left-brainy, and I feel like that book spoke to my full self in a way that other drawing books never did. ALSO serves as a really great introduction to tons of basic art/design principles like white space, proportion, etc.”
~ Meg L., Design

8. In The Company of Women by Grace Bonney

Doubt that you have what it takes to bring your creative vision to life? Grace Bonney’s In The Company of Women may be the inspiration you need. You’ll learn about 100 multipassionate women who’ve led interesting lives and careers built on their talent, ambition, and creativity.

“More of a coffee table collection of photos and profiles than a how-to book on creativity, but I often find heaps of inspiration, and bits of myself, reflected in the pages. I LOVE learning about the lifestyles and philosophies of artists –– how they live, work, dress, and share their ideas with the world –– and this book gives me the opportunity to sit down with 100 different women and learn about their creative processes, anytime I need a bit of grounding or an extra boost of encouragement.”
~ Hailey F., Creative Strategist

Watch the incomparable Grace Bonney on MarieTV: Overcoming Fear, Accepting Imperfection, And The Real Deal With Work Life Balance

9. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

Remember getting lost in your imagination as a kid? From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will take you back to those precious moments. It made E.L. Konigsburg a Newbery Medal­–winning author, and for good reason. This book is a classic and will remind you of the pure, childlike joy that comes with creativity. 

“This was one of my very favorite books as a kid, and even now. It impacted me and my life in ways I couldn’t have predicted. I credit it for my single-minded determination to live in NYC, deep love of The Met museum, and obsession with art history mysteries which sparked a quest to see every Vermeer painting (28 and counting!). Claudia’s quixotic nature and her ingenuity taught me that no plan is too outlandish, no dream is too big. But, it’s always important to leave room for the unexpected if you want to experience a life beyond your wildest dreams.” 
~ Louise, Head of Storytelling

10. Bossypants, by Tina Fey

If you want to feel inspired and get a good laugh, look no further than Bossypants by Tina Fey.

It chronicles her life, time on SNL, and what she’s learned from taking creative risks along the way. 

“I read Bossypants while I was in grad school to become a teacher. I wasn’t excited about this career, but was desperate for something that would allow me to be creative. All the women in my life who weren’t stay-at-home-moms were teachers, nurses, doctors or worked at an office job that they didn’t like. I was in my early twenties, still trying to figure out who I was and where I fit in. Then I read Tina Fey’s Bossypants and it opened up a whole new world to me. Who was this woman who tells it like it is, has a career built on her creativity, and refuses to put up with people’s bullshit? She’s not trying to be anyone but herself — and she’s wildly successful at it. That book planted a seed. I promised myself that no matter what, I would find a way to be more myself — to write and create, even if it’s just for me.”
~ Laura B., Copywriting

Ultimate Must Read: Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

If you haven’t read my instant #1 NYTimes bestselling book yet, what are you waiting for?! Everything is Figureoutable will retrain your brain to think more creatively and positively, especially in the face of setbacks. Whether you want to leave a dead end job, break an addiction, learn to dance, heal a relationship, or grow a business, Everything is Figureoutable will show you how. 

Now, I’d love to hear from you. 

What book has made the biggest impact
on your creative journey and why? 

Tell me in the comments below. 

For extra love, share a screenshot of this episode on social with the hashtag, #ILovedThisBook. Then tag me @marieforleo and the author of your favorite book. Writing a book is a challenging process and, as an author, it means a lot when you hear from your readers that your book made a difference.

Share as much detail as possible. Thousands of incredible souls come here for insight and inspiration. Your words may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough. Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be deleted as they come across as spammy.

If you’ve spent any time around these parts, you know I take a strong stand for kindness. Please write and respond to each other in that spirit.

Remember, everything you do in life requires creativity, imagination, and determination. You were born to create and contribute. Keep going. 

With enormous love,

Robin Sharma On The Extraordinary Benefits Of Waking Up at 5am

Keep getting sidetracked from what’s most important to you? Tired of getting sucked into distraction after distraction?

Robin Sharma’s morning routine may be just what you need.

Long before COVID-19, Robin joined me on the set of MarieTV to talk about his delightful book, The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. It’s about a 3-step morning ritual that Robin created after working with leaders and high performers from around the world to create astonishing results. 

While this morning habit will make you more productive, it’s about so much more than that. It’s about lowering your stress and maximizing your creativity, happiness, and growth.

“You can play with your phone or change the world. You don't get to do both.” — @RobinSharma Click To Tweet

Doubt that waking up at 5am will work for you? Don’t knock it until you try it.

Getting up early to write was the only way I finished Everything is Figureoutable and still managed to run the business. Robin calls 5am the “magic hour” and I couldn’t agree more. There’s something special about those moments when it’s still dark out, silent and peaceful.

That said, you can obviously apply his three-step morning ritual to your preferred wakeup time. 

Also — please know that taking care of your mental, physical, and emotional health right now is more important than productivity. Take only what works and leave the rest. 

Ready to start your day with more clarity and focus? Hit play now, or listen on The Marie Forleo Podcast.

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DIVE DEEPER: The 4-minute method to massive productivity and how to do less and get more done with Kate Northrup. Plus: our Coronavirus Support Guide.

Want to Join the 5am Club? Follow This 20/20/20 Formula

Like I said in today’s episode, everyone is facing different challenges right now. Waking up at 5am may not be feasible or helpful for you — and that’s okay! Take what serves you and leave what doesn’t.

Robin’s 5am morning routine is split into three twenty-minute increments, designed to get your body, brain, and mind ready for the day ahead. You’ll be shocked at the results you create.

5:00 – 5:20am: Move

Kick off the first twenty minutes with some movement. Dance, walk, run, lift weights, prancercise — whatever gets your blood moving, heart pumping, and endorphins circulating. As Robin says, “The way you feel when you first wake up is not the way you’re going to feel at 5:20.” 

Trust the process and move your body. In twenty minutes you’ll feel better and your brain will be primed for intense focus.

5:20 – 5:40am: Reflect

Your reflection time should be active. It’s a way to turn inward and connect to what’s most important to you.  Here are some ways to dive into reflection:

Do any practice that helps you connect with what’s most important to your heart and soul. 

5:40 – 6:00am: Grow

Want to grow as a leader, parent, partner, entrepreneur, or human? Now’s your time to read, watch, and listen so you can learn. Here are some ideas from our own library to get you started:

  • Watch an episode of MarieTV. We’ve got hundreds of episodes that are twenty minutes or less.
  • Read Everything is Figureoutable. Unleash motivation and inspiration to take action on your biggest goals and dreams. The Insight to Action Challenges guarantee you’ll get results.
  • Take a free writing class. Want to write words that sell and sound like you? This free writing class will make you a better writer in just 7 days.

Now, Robin and I would love to hear from you. What’s the biggest insight you’re taking away from this conversation and, most importantly, how can you turn that insight into action starting right now?

Share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and inspiration and your words may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough. Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be deleted as they come across as spammy.

If you’ve spent any time around these parts, then you know I take a strong stand for kindness. Please write and respond to each other in that same spirit.

Time is precious — taking even just a few moments out of your day to make sure you’re living with intention will make an enormous difference. Take special care of yourself this week.

With enormous love,

XO

News Got You Down? How to Offset The Negative News Cycle with Tank Sinatra

News cycle got you down? Feeling lethargic, unmotivated — or just not like yourself these days?

That’s understandable. First, the emotional toll of this global coronavirus pandemic is real. Second, because mainstream news always presents more negative stories than positive ones.

Why? Because negative headlines are irresistible to our brains. Really — like a moth to a flame, we can’t help but click, or keep watching. 

But there’s good news. Literally. Good news expert Tank Sinatra is here on MarieTV and The Marie Forleo Podcast to talk about the life-changing media habits that can help you stay positive, motivated, and informed.

There is a direct connection between what you're watching, reading, and listening to all damn day, and how you feel. Click To Tweet

Tank shares daily good news with millions of people through his Tank’s Good News website and social media accounts. Due to this global crisis, his work is more popular than ever.

If you want to learn how to take care of your emotional and mental wellbeing during this extraordinary time (and beyond), don’t miss this episode. 

Click to download the episode now from wherever you love to listen, or hit play below. After you listen, join me in the comments for an important insight into action challenge. 

*Psst… we’re introducing some fun new things on the podcast. If you haven’t subscribed, DO IT. It’s perfect for any time you clean, exercise, or sit down to work on that quarantine puzzle. 😉

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DIVE DEEPER: How to stop focusing on the negative and Rick Hanson’s brain hack for building inner strength. Plus: our Coronavirus Support Guide.

2 Simple Ways to Invite More Good News Into Your Life

Over the last few weeks, we’ve received a lot of voicemails from folks who are not feeling like themselves. Some expressed feeling lethargic, unfocused, and unproductive. If you’re feeling this way, know that this is a very natural response to what’s happening right now.

Reducing the amount of negative news you consume can help. Here are two ways you can start right now.

Step #1: Reduce Your News Consumption To One Serving A Day.

This is simple, but oh-so-effective. Find a local news source that gives you the facts and leaves you feeling strong. 

Limit your conventional news intake to 5 – 10 minutes max. Then, be done for the day.

For example, right now I watch New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily news briefings each night, with a nice little bowl of popcorn on my couch. He delivers the facts with precision and empathy. He separates facts from his opinion. No matter how bad, terrible, or painful the data, I always feel informed and hopeful. I appreciate his warm communication style. Frankly, it’s exactly what I need right now.

To be clear, by limiting our news consumption, I’m not suggesting we turn a blind eye to everything negative or close our hearts to the very real suffering and pain of others. We must never, ever turn away from the truth. 

But setting a limit on the amount of negative news you consume each day will help you stay mentally and emotionally strong. This way, you’ll have the energy to turn the pain and heartache of this moment into helpful, productive action.

Step #2: Increase Your GOOD NEWS Consumption With The 5:1 Rule

Negativity bias is a powerful evolutionary force. My friend and neuroscientist Dr. Rick Hanson says, “Our brains are like velcro for negative experiences but teflon for positive ones.”

Translation? It takes a lot more positive news to combat the negative news — five to be exact. I’m basing that off of a longitudinal study by the psychology researchers Dr. Gottman and Robert Levenson, who discovered it takes five positive interactions to make up for a single negative one. 

Yes, negativity is that powerful. With that in mind, I suggest we apply that 5:1 rule to our consumption of negative news.

Each time you choose to consume one bit of traditional news, seek out five pieces of good news to counterbalance it. 

Tank’s Good News Instagram account is a great place to start, but there are also thousands of other good news media outlets. Just Google “good news” and you’ll find plenty to click through. 

Even better, you can create good news through today’s insight into action challenge.

The Good News Insight Into Action Challenge

Ready to make some positive change? Today’s insight into action challenge has two parts. Answer one or both in the comments below.

  1. What’s your new maximum limit of news consumption for each day? Is it five, ten, or 20 minutes? What’s the source and when will you get the information you need? I suggest as late in the day as possible to avoid starting your day with news. It’s not the healthiest or most productive use of your time. Be specific and you’ll make it easier to keep your promise with yourself.
  2. Mute or unfollow negative accounts that are in your social feeds and replace them with uplifting ones. (And if you don’t already, follow me on Instagram because I always post fun, inspiring, funny, and uplifting content.) Share your go-to sources for positive, good news in the comments below. 

Share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and inspiration and your words may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough. Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be deleted as they come across as spammy.

If you’ve spent any time around these parts, then you know I take a strong stand for kindness. Please write and respond to each other in that same spirit.

Make no mistake, your health, happiness, and joyful contribution makes a real difference. More than you might know.

With enormous love,

Is it Ethical to Do Business Right Now? 5 Compassionate Ways to Market & Sell

“Hey Marie, how do you run a business in the middle of a global pandemic?”

Over the last few weeks, I’ve received hundreds of voice messages from big-hearted entrepreneurs on this topic. It’s a fair question. What’s happening right now is unprecedented. Millions of people are struggling financially, emotionally, and physically. The pain and suffering are devastating.

If you’re a small business owner who’s still open, you might be wondering, “Is it even ethical to do business right now?”

On today’s episode of The Marie Forleo Podcast, you’ll learn five compassionate ways to both sell and serve your customers during this global crisis.

If you feel a sense of guilt or shame about selling anything right now, please listen to this episode. You’ll hear real-life examples of businesses that are making a difference and helping their business thrive during these extraordinary times. 

As business owners, this is our chance to step up and become more caring, more generous, and more creative. We have an enormous opportunity to create hope from our collective hurt. Click To Tweet

Bottom line? We need each other. Every act of kindness and contribution matters. Business owners and consumers have an important role to play in the healing of our world. We need everyone to do their part socially, spiritually, physically, and economically. 

This is an enormous opportunity to create hope from our collective hurt. 

As business owners, this is our chance to step up and become more caring, more generous, and more creative. 

Click to download the episode now from your favorite place to get podcasts, or hit play below. After you listen, be sure to join me in the comments for an important insight into action challenge.

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Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

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DIVE DEEPER: One tip that will improve your copywriting fast and find marketing strategies that work with Seth Godin. Plus: our Coronavirus Support Guide.

5 Ways Your Business Can Sell & Serve During The Coronavirus

Looking for ways to serve your community and the long-term success of your business? Here are five ideas to market and sell with heart during this global crisis.

Strategy #1: Buy One, Give One

Companies like Warby Parker and Toms have used this model for years. For every item you sell, give one for free to someone in need. 

An inspiring B-Schooler named Line adapted this into her business a few weeks ago for her online hypnobirthing course. She made thousands of dollars this month and was able to give her program away to women in need.

My friend, Natalie Golonka, is another example. Natalie designs swimwear and resort wear for her clothing brand, Jungle Gurl here in LA. A few weeks ago, her team started producing stylish cloth face masks that she calls, It’s a Jungle Out There Face Masks. For every mask she sells, she’s donating one to local folks in need. The first round went to elderly people in assisted living facilities in her neighborhood.  

This buy one, give one strategy is simple but impactful. It’s a way to keep your business running and your team employed while making a difference. 

Strategy #2: Donate a Portion of Your Proceeds

This is a strategy anyone can use, no matter what product or service you sell. 

Take DJ D-Nice. Right now tens of millions of people are self-quarantined. So what did D-Nice do? He created Club Quarantine and Home School on IG LIVE. These live sets have become so popular that he launched a limited edition D-Nice Club Quarantine hoodie, with 50% of proceeds going to the CDC Foundation Coronavirus Fund. 

How could you do this for your business? Whether you donate 25%, 50%, or 75% this is a beautiful way to sell your products and serve your community.

Strategy #3: Offer Scholarships

We’ve used this strategy in our company for years. Our paid training programs like B-School and The Copy Cure have a scholarship program. Every year we give away full need-based scholarships to folks who wouldn’t be able to invest in our training experiences otherwise.

It’s straightforward and a win for everyone.

Strategy #4: Collect Tips and Give The Tips Away

As you’re aware, many brick and mortar businesses who rely on foot traffic have taken a big financial hit. When a small fashion brand and coffee shop called Neve & Hawk was able to stay open and do business curbside, they shared this message with their customers on social media:

“The fact that we are able to open in this capacity while so many of our friends cannot is not lost on us. So many stores & businesses have no way of generating income at this time while their bills keep piling up. Because of this, we will be donating our tips to a different business on the avenue daily.”

This is a brilliant example of businesses helping other businesses. Think through what this means for you. Even if you’re not a business that collects tips, could you show solidarity with your fellow business owners in another way?

Strategy #5: Offer Generous Payment Plans or Put Payments On Pause 

This strategy won’t work for everyone, but it’s a wonderful option if your business has some cash reserves.

Mario Salerno is a landlord in Brooklyn who owns 18 buildings and has about 300 tenants. As soon as the coronavirus hit, many of his tenants started losing their jobs. They were understandably fearful and panicked so Mario decided to cancel April’s rent. He said, “My concern is everyone’s health… look out for your neighbor and make sure that everyone has food on their table.”

So beautiful, right? 

If you treat people with generosity and respect, they’ll remember it. Even if you only pause payments for a month or two, that can help. When your customers are able to get back on their feet, they’re likely to keep doing business with you.

It’s a long-term perspective on customer service and caring that is so necessary right now.

Today’s Insight Into Action Challenge

Now I’d love to hear from you. It’s time to take action, grow, and create results. Today’s question has two parts. Answer one or both in the comments below.

  1. If you can still do business right now, what can you offer folks that they need? How can you best serve your customers and community?
  2. Name 3 businesses you’re grateful for right now. Can you send them a message of appreciation, give them a shoutout on social media, or in some way support them? 

I can’t wait to hear how you’re putting your insights into action.

Share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and inspiration and your words may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough. Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be deleted as they come across as spammy.

If you’ve spent any time around these parts, then you know I take a strong stand for kindness. Please write and respond to each other in that same spirit.

Keep your big heart front and center. The world needs you to show up and share that special gift that only you have — now more than ever.

All my love,