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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Look at your marketing material (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jon Gallagher
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Veteran user
Elmwood, Illinois
395 Posts

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I just got something in the mail from a friend in another state. He knew that I'm a former English teacher, and he wanted me to check the letter and brochure that he sends out to potential clients.

I'm glad he did.

In two pages of copy, he had 14 misspelled words. He had one paragraph that ran 261 words without a single punctuation mark. He had seven grammatical errors in the brochure alone.

Now you may think that doesn't matter if you're saying the right things. But with that many errors, many decision makers, especially if you're selling your act to schools, will just toss it, figuring if you can't write a simple letter, you probably aren't very good at doing magic (or whatever you're offering) either. You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression and if your first impression is in written form, then you should make sure it's the best it can be.

The solution is simple. Contact a local person (teacher, newspaper writer, or anyone else who has a lot of experience with the written English language), and have them look it over. Don't just assume that you can put something on paper just because you have the best double lift in three states. Get some professional help.
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
TheDean
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Inner circle
Reno, Nevada
2164 Posts

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Write-on brother! Smile

Just kidding... seriously, I am probably the WORST offender of the English language, but when it come to sending out professional materials, I ALWAYS run it past my editor.

No-kidding, he has saved my patoot on sooooo many occasions!

He is one of the head writers at Microsoft as well as that fact that he is a performer as well... so he understands what we are going for.

Bravo Jon!

...and please forgive my egregious error here as well. Smile

I am at your service and in His service,
Deano
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
Brent Allan
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Elite user
Chicago
415 Posts

Profile of Brent Allan
My wife is the head of the grammar police!! LOL She gets so peeved when she sees an error in any sort of professional capacity, whether it be signs, brochures, billboards, whatever. She has taught me well. Any spelling errors you see from me here on the Café is because I am a terrible typist, not a terrible speller! (And you can't use spell check on Café posts.)

Anyway, one well-known magic/marketer who sells his marketing materials also includes ready made sales letters that a person can just put there name on and send them out. The sad thing is, these letters are chock full of spelling and grammar errors. And this is from a so-called marketing "expert."

Anyway, just to parrot a very wise man "You never get a second chance to make a first impression.)
Turn your business card into a relentless salesperson that brings you business!

http://www.TransformYourBusinesscard.com
Neale Bacon
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Inner circle
Burnaby BC Canada
1775 Posts

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My wife is a member of that same police force! She proofreads a lot in her work, so I always use her to check my material for stuff spell check misses.

Better to do that than to lose a job over unprofessional material.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
TheDean
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Reno, Nevada
2164 Posts

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Coming from me, this is like gunna' sound like an oxymoron, but I 100% AGREE with all of you!

Honestly, (this English thing) It's NOT my gifting, but I am aware of the of the importance of the whole thing for me! Hehehehehe!

There is ONE thing that I AM now gunna' say that may seem to contradict what has already been discussed here...

There is scientific evidence that shows that an occasional benign error in a response letter (specifically - NOT a brochure or any other "printed" type stuff!) has an oddly compelling response rate to it.

It seems that, what appears to be an honest mistake engages the reader on a more human level. These sleight imperfections cause the reader to be able to more deeply RELATE to the author as another, "not-so-perfect" human being. It makes the reader more trusting in the message and other equally "interesting" scientific returns.

Hmmmmmm... makes ya' think, don't it?

I remain at your service and in His service,
Deano <== Just reporting the FACTS.
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
RoyHolidayMagic
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New user
New York
85 Posts

Profile of RoyHolidayMagic
Look at you you prisoners of the gutters,
condemned by every syllable you utter.
By right, you should be taken out and hung
for the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.
...
Hear a Yorkshireman, or worse,
Hear a Cornishman converse,
I'd rather hear a quire singing flat
...
Why can't the English learn to set a good example to people who's English is painful to your ears?
The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears.
There even are places where English completely disappears (Why, in America they haven't used it for years!).
...
[Now, just for the fun of making fun of the French, it seems to be the "thing to do"]
In France every Frenchman knows his language from A to Z (Well, the French don't really care what they do, actually, just as long as they pronounce it properly).


Thank you Alan Jay Lerner!

-Roy
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Jon,
Thanks so much for posting that. I am also a very bad person when it comes to the English language and putting my thoughts down on paper.

I try to seek help and use people around me. It is very important that what you send out to people is as professional as it can be. Thanks again.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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http://kpmagicproducts.com

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NJJ
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Inner circle
6439 Posts

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I am a TERRIBLE speller!

My website (wwww.funnybones.com.au) is full of errors that no matter how many times I read over it I JUST DON'T see. I have asked other people to read over it but is pretty big and it's not fair to ask them to read so much!

ARGHHHH!
Jon Gallagher
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Veteran user
Elmwood, Illinois
395 Posts

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Time out!!!!

I did not expect an avalanche of email asking me to look over promotional materials. With the grammar hosting duties here (which seems to be a never ending job), my own performance schedule, my own writing (I'm working on a second novel), and time spent with my family, I really don't have time to look at everyone's promotional pieces. I am flattered by those of you who think that I can be of assistance, but, really, there are people around you who are even better than I would be.

Check (as I mentioned before) with newspaper writers (which might lead to some publicity), high school English teachers, Community college English teachers, radio or TV copywriters, etc, and they can be your best source.

As an update on my friend, he seemed a bit upset that I found so many errors in his work. I just calls 'em like I sees 'em. Sometimes I tend to be a little more blunt than I ought to be.
www.jongallagher.com

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
Great Scot
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New user
Bellows Falls, VT USA
58 Posts

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Quote:
On 2003-07-27 00:42, Jon Gallagher wrote:

As an update on my friend, he seemed a bit upset that I found so many errors in his work. I just calls 'em like I sees 'em. Sometimes I tend to be a little more blunt than I ought to be.

If people ask for something, they should not be upset when they get it, especially when it is a critique or editing.
My $.02.
The Great Scot, Bardic Magician
Bringing Magic To People's Lives
http://www.greatscotmagic.com.
Stuart Joseph, 802-463-1954
Bellows Falls VT
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