Michael D. Hume, M.S.
Author Archives: Michael D. Hume, M.S.

Brochure Rewrite For An Environmental Clean-Up Firm

This client wasn't happy with the content of his brochure, and needed help - fast! - to make it more persuasive, upbeat, and readable.

Here, in part, is what he had...

The Client's Original Text

We are Colorado’s largest by-volume abatement contractor in the State of Colorado. We achieved this distinction by providing customer service at a high level of excellence, with a proven track record of following state guidelines and regulation which ensure your safety. AAI has earned a top rating from the Better Business Bureau, because no matter how large or small a project is, we approach our work with professionalism and high regard for your home or business, striving to make and inconvenient situation as seamless as possible.

What You Can Expect

Once Asbestos Abatement, Inc. has been accepted as the abatement contractor for removal of toxic materials, we work with you to obtain the necessary documentation to begin the removal process. In cases where more than thirty-two square feet of materials are removed, we are obligated to submit a request for a permit through the State according to Regulation 8 standards...

The client sent a brief email describing what he wanted from the piece, thoughts about the right "voice," and a few important points that were left out of the original piece (or needed more emphasis).

The client was particularly keen that the copy be as upbeat as possible... persuasive... and not quite as "way scary."

In a matter of hours, Michael was able to create this...

Michael's Copy: New-And-Improved!

Colorado’s Clean-Up PROS

Since our humble beginning in 2008 (really humble: $150 and a small pick-up truck*), Asbestos Abatement, Inc. has had one mission: to bring you the finest environmental clean-up service available anywhere. We’re passionate about it. Frankly, we’re even a little nuts about keeping you safe, keeping you informed, and keeping your world – home or business – completely clean and hazard-free. Maybe that’s why the Better Business Bureau rated us tops… and why we’ve grown to become Colorado’s largest (by volume) abatement contractor.

Asbestos Is Ugly…

Look, nobody loves that moment when they learn they have asbestos to deal with. We get it. After all, asbestos – which, despite going by scientific names that would challenge the most brilliant spelling-bee champion, is basically just a rock – is ugly. And we’ve all heard about the dangers of asbestos: breathe in enough of those diabolical microscopic fibers, and you get anything from scarred lungs to tumors to, well, a chance to draft your Last Will and Testament. And get this: most folks think asbestos is illegal, but it’s not! Only a few dangerous products have actually been banned… and materials containing this stuff are still shipped to the U.S. and used every day. Anything in your building from floor tiles to pipe insulation might contain asbestos – even if it’s a brand-new building. Ugly!

… But We’ve Got This

You don’t need to panic. In truth, asbestos itself is generally nothing to fret about, as long as it’s contained. It’s only when the material has been disturbed or compromised (like, by a water leak) that the rock “shatters” into tiny assassins you can’t see (but might inhale). But we’ve got this. Our clean-up pros will do a thorough pre-abatement check, take care of all the state’s paperwork (whew!), set up state-of-the-art triple-redundancy containment, and...

The client's final feedback?

"I LOVE what you wrote."

Great Copy Helps Your Ideal Customer Find You

Michael D. Hume, M.S. - Customer Search

Are you looking to grow your business?

Maybe you have all the work and revenue you can handle.

But if you aren’t reading this as you sit on a pile of greenbacks and gold coins, you’re probably wondering how you can find the sort of ideal customers who not only bring you repeat business, but become advocates for you and bring even more customers through your door.

On the other hand, perhaps you don’t have any competition.

But if, like almost all businesses, you do have competitors… you can be sure they’re out there looking to win your ideal customers away from you.

And your ideal customer is out there, too, scanning the horizon, searching through what might seem like an ocean of marketing messages.  Looking for the perfect business to help her solve some problem or meet some need.

Looking for you!

Case Studies: Your Best Cheerleaders

When a prospect is considering doing business with you, one of the strongest enticements you can use to put your offering over the top is proof.

Whether you’re soliciting your prospective customers through direct mail, email marketing, website content, or any other method, you need to prove, to your prospect's satisfaction, that your business will do for her what you say it will.

There are lots of ways to do this.

You can give statistics about how much your customers have made, saved, or improved their lives by doing business with you.

You can point out the growth of your own business, as evidence that you must be doing something right.

But the best way to prove your case to prospective customers is to let your existing customers do it for you… through their testimonials.

Is Your Website Content Working?

Website Content Analysis Michael D. Hume

You are the face of your business.  You represent it to everyone you meet: customers, employees, suppliers, investors… everyone with a stake in your business from your personal banker to the person who waters the plants twice a month.

But what about those important people you haven’t yet met: your prospects?  Your potential ideal customers, upon whom the future of your business depends?

Who (or what) represents you to them?

More than anything else – more than casual word-of-mouth from customers and employees, more than that single-line listing in the phone book, even more than your mom – your chief representative to your future customers is your website.

And, more precisely, your prospects will assess your business more by the words you’ve given them to read on your website than by any other measure.

How confident are you in your web content?

Message Mastery: Your Key To Business Victory

Michael D. Hume Key Message Platform

My late mom, who was a true wordsmith herself, had a favorite expression she used to illustrate bad writing… but it’s also an amusing word-picture that describes action without focus.

“He strode confidently to his horse, leapt gallantly into the saddle, and promptly rode off in all directions.”

Not sure where Mom got that… or even if she might’ve made it up… but it’s stuck with me through the years.

And it does describe the scattered, inconsistent marketing efforts of some companies.

Here’s a scenario that’s all-too-common:

One person is assigned to come up with an email marketing campaign… she labors mightily to create the right message, tone, and text, all from scratch.  Meanwhile, a colleague is writing newspaper ads, also building the messages from the ground-up, unaware that he’s duplicating (and maybe even contradicting) the work of the email marketer.  And a third person might be off in her own silo, developing new content for the company’s website or even a direct-mail sales letter, also unaware of the efforts of the others.

And if they were aware of each other’s exertions, things might be even worse: they might feud over whose vision is best, or even right.

They might all be talented.

But they’re riding off in all directions!

It’s Christmas Every Day!

Pip and Sebastian (Michael and friend Becca)

In my world, every day is Christmas.

You might say that, while I’m a professional writer by trade, really, deep down, I’m in The Christmas Business.

I can give you at least three good reasons it’s Christmas every day here in Michael’s world.

I Married Mrs. Christmas

First, my fantastic wife of (soon) 25 fabulous years, Kathryn (not pictured; that’s my friend Becca with me in the photo, singing in the snow… more on that later), is the living embodiment of all things Christmas.

Actually, technically, I guess that would be Jesus.  But hopefully you get my point: I married Mrs. Christmas.

We have Christmas trees and a few other holiday decorations up all year long in our home, thanks to the amazing Kathryn.