3 Business Lessons Everybody Can Learn from New Edition

First off, let me say I am a huge New Edition fan. I have all their albums. Had posters of the group covering all four walls of my childhood bedroom. And when I saw them again in concert a few years back, I shrieked just as I did the first time I saw them perform when I was 12 years old. 

Yes, I love me some New Edition. Now, if you’re NOT a fan, you may have no idea BET aired a 3-day epic movie event, The New Edition Story, where they take viewers through the triumphs and tribulations of five harmonious boys whose sole goal was to “make it out the projects.”

Now, as a kid, I sang every word in their hit songs: “Popcorn Love,” “Candy Girl,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” and the list goes on and on. But what I didn’t realize was the behind-the-scenes turmoil (at times self-inflicted) these boys went through to “make it out the hood.”

And all that craziness bubbled up to the surface as I watched The New Edition Story. You see, as an ambitious entrepreneur, my soul screamed when the camera zoomed in on the $1.87 check they had to split 5 ways after their first tour.

My heart ached when Michael Bivins busted into the executive boardroom at MCA Records only to discover their record deal was with their deceitful manager, Gary Evans. And tears ran down my face when these hard-working teenagers were forced to vote their bandmate and friend Bobby Brown out of the group due to his tumultuous behavior.

Now knowing a bit of the backstory that has Twitter buzzing, let me break down 3 business lessons I learned from watching The New Edition Story:

1. Reading is fundamental.

Sorry, New Edition moms. Allowing your sons to make a deal to “sang their little hearts out” for $500 apiece and a Betamax (an old school videocassette recorder) each was just ludicrous. As kids, they likely would’ve signed the deal for 10 Snickers and a moped each. But you – the New Edition mama bears should have read the contracts. Hired a lawyer. Or talked to somebody – anybody in the neighborhood who knows about business.

Any move would have been better than the one you made – signing your sons’ souls over for a quick buck and an at-home movie player. Now, I know we can all pass judgment after the fact and none of us have walked in your shoes, but mamas, you did the same thing all over again with the second manager.

And that takes us to lesson #2 …

2. Lessons ain’t cheap.

I give you the mistake of signing the first contract. The boys were amped about being stars. Their mamas were excited about leaving the projects. And excitement was in the air. But baby, when the second manager, Gary walked in the apartment holding that briefcase with nothing but stacks on stacks of expense reports and NO money – I didn’t think he was going to make it out that apartment – at least not fully intact.

But real talk … it wasn’t Gary’s job to protect a family that had already been burned by the music industry once before. You see lessons ain’t cheap and that $1.87 check New Edition’s first manager expected the group to split 10 ways – between each group member AND their mamas – was one of the most expensive lessons the group should’ve learned.

Only it wasn’t. because they got hit over the head with an even more expensive lesson the following year. So for that, I don’t blame the manager. I don’t blame the record label. Heck, I really don’t even blame New Edition because they were still babies. Sorry mamas, this one is on you again.

3. The business world is full of hustlers and liars.

As an entrepreneur, I know business folks streeee-eeetch the truth. So when I saw Michael Bivins finally ask the right questions and handle group business, I was throwing up all types of fist bumps and high fives.

You see, in business, the only intentions you can account for are your own. Now, I’m not saying you need to be your own accountant, lawyer, manager or business adviser, but you surely better have some knowledge of how business works.

For example, writing is my talent. Now, as a business owner, I can’t just sit at my keyboard banging out spine-tingling sentences day after day. I also need to know the business side of my talent so my bank account ain’t sitting on empty every single month.

Same thing goes for entertainers. You don’t have the luxury to hop on stage, belt out beautiful tunes and go to sleep. Do that and you’ll wake up broke.

Let me bottom line this for you:

In this wonderful world of business, having talent is cool, but if you want to keep your bank account happy, you better get you some business knowledge.

Want to turn your talent into a profitable business? Stretch forth your fingers and click here to find out how I can transform your website into a cash-generating machine.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Apryl Beverly, The Million-Dollar Word Stylist ™ crafts compelling copy that has generated over $7 million in revenue for B2B solo entrepreneurs, small business owners and some of the country’s top brands.

Known for her “tell-it-like-it-is” writing style, she has earned a variety of awards and recognitions including hitting the Amazon Best Seller’s List in 3 categories just 24 hours after releasing her first book, Shots Fired! How to Write Copy that Pierces Hearts (And Opens Wallets).

Her second book, F.A.S.T. Money! The Easy Way to use Facebook Ads to Hook Smokin’ Hot Leads shot to the No. 1 spot on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List two days before its official release. Apryl’s work has also been featured in The Huffington Post, YFS Magazine, and other notable online and print publications.

Apryl has 15 years of experience in copywriting, marketing communications and proposal writing. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University in Journalism and the University of Phoenix in Masters of Business Administration in Marketing. Visit www.baab.biz to find out more about her spine-tingling sentence slinging skills.

R.I.P. Revenue – FIVE Ways Your Website Is Killing Your Sales

Investing in a website is one of the first things 85% of all entrepreneurs do when starting a business. Whether they pay a designer/developer to create it or they take a stab at creating it themselves, they’re still investing time and money into the process. 

The bottom line is: Having a website is a great thing, and most entrepreneurs recognize that. You see, a website puts your brand in front of the people who need your products and services, no matter where they are in the world. It secures your online real estate, so people know you have a service or product available for sale. And it serves as your “digi-home” – the place from which you deliver incredible content and serve your audience.

Now, the problem comes in when entrepreneurs ONLY focus on creating a “pretty” website and slapping up any old words on the pages without considering how powerful words can be in attracting the RIGHT people to their brands. Of course, the bottom line here being so they can realistically generate the cash they need and want.

What this means is, if you’re doing any of these FIVE things, you may as well say R.I.P. to your revenue because you’re allowing your website to murder any chance you have of making sales.

1.  Starting your website with “Hi, my name is …” or “Welcome to my ______.”

You see, these are wimpy words that do nothing to let browsers know what you can do for them. And if you want them to stick around on your site, you need to tell them how you can help them in a few seconds. Phrases like this waste precious time and space.

2.  Talking all about you.

Real talk … people only want to know the things about you that demonstrate how you can help them. For example, do you really need to tell folks you spent 10 years working as a chef when you’re selling life coaching services? Now, your audience would likely love to hear that if you’re health coach.

The point is to make sure you share relevant information because going on and on about your life story is a surefire way to get folks racing AWAY from your website.

3.  Using wimpy words.

In addition to wanting to know how you can help them, people also want to trust you CAN help them. Using dull, wimpy phrases like “I believe,” “I think,” and other confidence-sucking content tells browsers you’re not the right one to deliver the service.

4.  Hiding behind the “business.”

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “people do business with other people.” You see, when folks land on your website, they want to “converse” with the person/team who can solve their issues.

So, when you flood your website with third-person speak, you come across as standoffish and cold.

For example, would you walk up to someone, start talking and refer to yourself as “she?” Likely not. And just like in a face-to-face conversation, having that type of “welcome” on your website will surely have browsers looking for the nearest exit.

5.  Your service sucks.

I wish I didn’t have to be blunt here, but it’s the truth. You can have the best products and services ever, but if you link to a questionnaire that doesn’t work or you never respond when people take the time to complete your Contact Us form, you’re kissing sales goodbye.

So, how’d you do? If you’re not committing any of these website crimes, congratulations your revenue will live on forever. Now, if you’re committing one or more of these deadly website sins, click here to find out how I can help you turn things around.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Apryl Beverly, The Million-Dollar Word Stylist ™ crafts compelling copy that has generated over $7 million in revenue for B2B solo entrepreneurs, small business owners and some of the country’s top brands.

Known for her “tell-it-like-it-is” writing style, she has earned a variety of awards and recognitions including hitting the Amazon Best Seller’s List in 3 categories just 24 hours after releasing her first book, Shots Fired! How to Write Copy that Pierces Hearts (And Opens Wallets).

Her second book, F.A.S.T. Money! The Easy Way to use Facebook Ads to Hook Smokin’ Hot Leads shot to the No. 1 spot on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List two days before its official release. Apryl’s work has also been featured in The Huffington Post, YFS Magazine, and other notable online and print publications.

Apryl has 15 years of experience in copywriting, marketing communications and proposal writing. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University in Journalism and the University of Phoenix in Masters of Business Administration in Marketing. Visit www.baab.biz to find out more about her spine-tingling sentence slinging skills.

Money-Snatching “Guru”​ Tales

Any of these online marketing “guru” tales sound familiar? 

They get you to enroll in a 20-week course, watch 3,000 hours of videos to learn exactly how they made their riches and are now able to stretch out on the beach sipping margaritas every day.

They tell you that you’re suffering from “money blocks” and if you’d only stop pushing money away, you could make that gazillion dollars this year.

And you believe them because you did drop $20 in the street the other day which signifies you repelling money. Plus, sitting on a beach sipping margaritas and making a gazillion dollars falls right in line with what you put on your vision board for this year.

Now, here’s what they never tell you:

The skills and talents they use to make a gazillion dollars ain’t necessarily your strengths. I know we live in a world where everybody thinks they can teach you anything. And while that may be true, everybody does not have the capacity to learn everything.

Take me for example …

I’m a 5’3″ woman with short arms and stubby legs. Now, let’s say I come across an online basketball clinic sponsored by LeBron James who says he’ll teach all participants everything he knows so they can get into the NBA.

I enroll thinking I have as good a chance as anybody else, right?

Wrong.

Let me break this down for you:

People are going to TRY to sell you any and everything. So, before you go and drop your hard-earned money on get-rich-quick dreams, it’s up to you to separate the land of unicorns and fairy dust from reality.

Now, if you’ve been hustling hard and going nowhere, all’s not doom and gloom. You see, I said to make sure you have the capacity to achieve the dream, not give up all together. There’s a difference.

Can you learn how to take shots to the hole exactly like LeBron James in an online basketball clinic? Probably not.

Can you learn how to become a millionaire in 6 weeks without lifting a finger? Possibly.

Can you learn some writing secrets to get more people to smack the buy button on your offers? ABSO-FRIGGIN-LUTELY!

With a little work, a bit of finger stretching and keyboard tapping, you too can write money-making messages whenever you want.

What’s the first step?

So glad you asked because it’s painless and incredible. (pinky promise.)

Stretch forth your fingers and go here: www.moneymoves.co.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Apryl Beverly, The Million-Dollar Word Stylist ™ crafts compelling copy that has generated over $7 million in revenue for B2B solo entrepreneurs, small business owners and some of the country’s top brands.

Known for her “tell-it-like-it-is” writing style, she has earned a variety of awards and recognitions including hitting the Amazon Best Seller’s List in 3 categories just 24 hours after releasing her first book, Shots Fired! How to Write Copy that Pierces Hearts (And Opens Wallets).

Her second book, F.A.S.T. Money! The Easy Way to use Facebook Ads to Hook Smokin’ Hot Leads shot to the No. 1 spot on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List two days before its official release. Apryl’s work has also been featured in The Huffington Post, YFS Magazine, and other notable online and print publications.

Apryl has 15 years of experience in copywriting, marketing communications and proposal writing. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University in Journalism and the University of Phoenix in Masters of Business Administration in Marketing. Visit www.baab.biz to find out more about her spine-tingling sentence slinging skills.

4 Reasons You Should NOT Hire a Freelance Copywriter – Yet

Hiring a freelance copywriter isn’t the best use of money for every business. This might sound odd coming from someone who provides freelance copywriting services for businesses, but I’m here to speak the truth.

If you’re in the very early days of your business, you’re most likely still experimenting with your writing voice and messaging. Also, you may not even have a clear view on your business goals and who you want to attract. In this self-discovery phase, I recommend you NOT hire a freelance copywriter.

Here’s the thing:

Most new entrepreneurs and small business owners are better off writing their own copy.

You see, if you haven’t identified your goals and target audience, you’re going to waste a ton of money paying a copywriter to help you figure it out.

As a freelance copywriter, I spend a lot of time helping clients iron out their authentic story, but it’s important that you understand who the message is intended for and what you want the message to accomplish.

Reason #1: You have no idea who you’re trying to reach.

Having some sense of who you want to attract is the first step in writing effective copy for your business.

Reason #2: You’re still toying with product and service ideas.

A copywriter will need to understand the details of the services or products you offer. That’s the only way we can develop compelling benefit statements about your service or product features. Even if you can’t put the details into words, it’s important that you have a clear idea of what you’re selling.

Reason #3: You have more time than money.

Hiring a copywriter can be expensive. If you have the time, go ahead and try to write your own copy. What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll need to rewrite it because no one’s buying. The beautiful thing about copy is that it can be changed.

Reason #4: You have no marketing strategy.

A good copywriter will certainly make your copy sing. But what good is a beautiful song, if no one’s listening? Even the best copy will be useless without an effective marketing strategy.

So, if your company’s vision and goals look and feel a little blurry, do NOT hire a copywriter … not yet, anyway. Instead, take some time to iron out the details before bringing in the “hired guns.” Not only will it save you money, but it’ll give you some practice with copywriting. And who knows you may actually LOVE writing about your business.

Ready to write your own brilliant words that get people to say “Heck Yes” to you? Get the Write Like A Boss! Guide and finally attract the clients you want. 
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