Writer for Hire!

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Do you struggle with creating superior content for your business?

Are you too busy changing the world, and don’t have time to write?

Does your current copy not convert well enough?

I’m your writer. I can help.


Bite-Sized Offer

One blog post, essay or article, 750 words$99

If you’d like to see what I can do without making too much of a commitment, this is the package for you. I’ll write a blog post for you, an article or an essay, nearly anything your heart might desire. No more than 750 words, please!

All you have to do is contact me, and we’ll get the ball rolling.


Premium Package

12,000 words of content, delivered any way you choose$2,450

Don’t know what kind of content you need? I’ve got you covered.

12,000 words is forty pages. That’s a lot of content for a great price!

I’ll write press releases, blog posts, biographies, technical articles, Frequently Asked Questions, listicles, comparisons, anything you might need.

Let’s get started! All you have to do is contact me.


Blogger’s Delight

Ten 1000-word blog posts$1,950

My blog posts are guaranteed to boost your standing in Google search results.

I love writing about conscious business practices and technical subjects. I want to improve your business by writing about what you need!

Getting started is dead simple. You only have to contact me!


On-Call or Retainer Services

2000 - 6000 words of content$variable

Need content, but don’t know how much? I got your back.

For a monthly retainer fee, I am at your beck and call.

We will first have a conversation about what you need, then we’ll see how I can serve that need.

Let’s talk! Just contact me to get started.


Nota Bene (note well)

  1. In order for me to start a project, I ask that my clients put 50% of our total agreed-upon price down. The rest will be due on completion.
  2. I invoice through Wave, which enables you to make payments with credit card or bank transfer. I’m also happy to accept PayPal.
  3. It is customary for projects under $500 to be paid upfront.
  4. I want you to be happy with the work I perform for you. If you are not, please let me know and I will revise the work to your specifications.
  5. Revisions should not include new instructions.

Other Stuff

Don’t see a package that strikes your fancy?

Let’s have a conversation about how I can help your business!



Posted by ThreeOwlMedia in admin, 0 comments
The Magic of Ghostwriting

The Magic of Ghostwriting

Part 1, By John Onorato

Do you need content created for your website?  ✅

Do you yearn to be an author?

Do you seek to make your content relatable and understandable? 😍

We can all write, sure.  It doesn’t take any special training to help others understand our thoughts and feelings.  Words are available to everyone!

We can all create a “first draft” of material we want to communicate.  Some of us can do that faster than the next person.  

Here’s the thing, though.  If a person doesn’t have a real affinity for writing, if they don’t really enjoy it, then they’ll rush their work.  They won’t take their time with it.  They won’t read it out loud just to see how it sounds, and how it comes across.  

And in circumstances like these, quality suffers.  

When writing quality suffers, your message suffers as well.  

Let that sink in.  In fact, let me say it again:  When writing quality is poor, your message suffers.

Tell me, what is the point of having content on your site, with your name on it, that people can’t understand?  Or even relate to?

Perhaps more meaningfully, what does poor writing like that say about a company?  What does that say about a leader’s thought process?

Clearly, it’s best to leave writing — especially mission-critical writing — to the professionals.  👍

Ghostwriters to the Rescue!

If you want to write a book, but don’t have the time …

If you want content on your website, but only have a few ideas …

If you want to improve the way you or your company is perceived …

If you want quality communications coming from your office …

Then you are not alone!  More and more business owners, entrepreneurs, and industry professionals want to write books and put quality content on their websites, just like you do.

Ghostwriter logo designed by calicoowl

This is where the ghostwriter comes in.

But what is a ghostwriter, anyway?

A “byline” is the attribution given to a written work.  Typically, it names the author of the book, article, or other piece of writing.  This article was written by me, so I put my byline under the title.  

A ghostwriter is simply someone that writes under someone else’s byline.  

That is, the ghostwriter creates the piece, and someone else gets credit for it. 

Many famous books have been written by ghostwriters.  To name a few:

  • Many of the popular Goosebumps books (by R.L. Stine) were ghostwritten after the series got too popular to keep up with demand
  • The Jason Bourne series, started by Robert Ludlum, was continued by Eric von Lustbader after Ludlum’s death in 2001 
  • Ian Fleming started the series, yet many of the James Bond books were ghostwritten

Politicians also use ghostwriters.  Hillary Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump’s books were created this way.

And industry leaders use ghostwriters.  Billionaire Richard Branson wrote a book this way, as did Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton.

In fact, many of the books I read and treasured as a child, I am only now discovering were ghostwritten!

Photograph by Hugh Kretchmer
  • My father read me the Hardy Boys detective series, by Franklin W. Dixon.  Ghostwritten!
  • The Nancy Drew series was written by Carolyn Keene, yet that name is a nom de plume (pen name) for a larger collective of writers
  • Even Victor Appleton didn’t write all the “Tom Swift, Boy Inventor” books that I loved so much!

If so many famous people benefitted from employing a ghostwriter … shouldn’t you do that as well?

Yes, But Why Would You Do This?

Sure, ghostwriters create famous books.  They also write blog entries, white papers, social media posts, magazine advertorials, and even newspaper articles.

Ghostwriters are often part of a corporate team.  They create lots of content using the byline of an executive, or maybe under no name at all.  Alternatively, a ghostwriter may work freelance, working on only one or two projects at a time.

Many people want the acclaim and accolades that come with being a published author.  Having a book or two under your belt makes you seem credible, trustworthy and reliable.

It’s also worth mentioning that books and blog posts can grow your business.  Especially if you’ve got a personal brand, a well-written book attributed to you is worth a lot of street cred.  

And a freelance ghostwriter like myself can create content for your small business, helping you get more customers and driving more traffic to your website.  Or even to your fancy new brick-and-mortar store!  (Or your old store. We don’t discriminate 😁 ) 

Isn’t it better to focus on growing your business?  

Isn’t it better to concentrate on what you already know, rather than trying to master yet another new skill?

People who are busy changing the world don’t have time to write.  People who don’t have the skill or the time to write quality content have an alternative:  They hire ghostwriters.

Conclusion

Ghostwriters are an incredible resource to tap into.  They can position you and your business well — creating content, managing blogs, and generally making it seem like you are superhuman.  

I can see your readers now:  “They’re changing the world and they have time to write this fabulous content?  Wow! I wanna know more!”

In my next post, I’ll talk about how to hire a ghostwriter.  (Hint: it’s as easy as clicking the Contact link above!  😁 ❤ 🙏 ) And we’ll talk about some things to consider when hiring a ghostwriter, as well as how to prepare for hiring one.

Hiring a ghostwriter might not be the first thing you think of.  But when you do, the results can be downright mystical.  

Mystical, get it?  Because ghosts. 👻 (Did I mention I’m a father?  I sure do love me some dad jokes.)

Posted by John Onorato in Blog, Portfolio, 0 comments
How to Make Your Business Even More Successful with Blogging

How to Make Your Business Even More Successful with Blogging

by John Onorato

Are you a life coach?  

A conscious business leader? 

Are you the owner of a business whose aim is not only to earn money, but to do good?  For other humans, for animals or for the environment?

You are?  Awesome! Keep reading, then 😃

So  … how do you get your message out?  

One of the best ways to market your business is through blogging.  Blogging is a great way to build awareness of your brand.  Blogging also makes it super-easy to serve your customers by providing content that’s both relevant and useful.

There are several more reasons blogging is good for your business.  

  • It drives traffic to your website or store
  • It enhances your other inbound marketing efforts
  • It attracts more potential customers
  • It makes your search rankings better (SEO/SERP)
  • It can help position your brand as an industry leader
  • It helps you develop better relationships with your customers

In fact, according to HubSpot, businesses that make blogging a priority are up to thirteen times more likely (13x) to see a positive return on their investment.

Let’s talk a little more about these benefits!

More Traffic, Better Traffic

Blogging gives you a chance to provide relevant content for your customers.  It is a very effective way to drive traffic to your website or your storefront.

It doesn’t matter if your main presence is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or even StumbleUpon (are they still around?).  With little to no investment up front, you can start a blog. Then you’ll send notifications to these services, linked to your articles.

Doing this makes it easy to make your blog the basis of all your social media activity!

All you have to do is provide a reason for your followers to click through to your website.  Your content provides this reason.

Better Search Rankings

Who wants to improve their Google search rankings?

You do, of course!  😃

Blogging will help you do just that.  Fresh and original content is still the best way to beat your competitors on the search engine results page.  

Liberal use of keywords is a great way to do this.  Make a list of the topics, categories and keywords you want your business to be known for.  When writing your posts, use these and other related words frequently.

Even if you can’t figure out how to wedge those keywords in there, a regularly maintained blog about your product, business or industry will naturally improve your search rankings.  This is because Google favors original content.

Of course, being intentional about keywords will only improve your results.

Usage of keywords on your website is a great way to tell Google that your site is a good place to find information about those topics.

Once a Leader, Always a Leader

Want to position yourself as an industry leader?

Write a blog!

Want to show off your knowledge and resonate with your market?

Write a blog!

Have something to say?  

Write a blog!  😁

Well written blog posts position you as an industry leader.  When you post about topics that impact your market and demonstrate your knowledge, people recognize you as an authority in your field.

If you have a physical product, write about how it improves the lives of your customers.  If you have a service, write about how happy people are after experiencing it. Your customers will grow to understand that you are the source for knowledge about the things they are interested in.

Blogging builds trust as well.  The more relevant knowledge you demonstrate, the more your customers will trust you to provide what they need.

Not only that, but your readers will benefit from the value you provide them!

Improving Customer Relationships 

A good blog deepens the relationship you have with your customers.  By providing information directly on your website, you maintain control over what they know about your offering.

An informed client is a happy client.  And they will appreciate the fact that you are the one talking to them — they are not having to dig up some third-party information that may or may not be true.

Additionally, your patrons want to be seen as people, not as numbers.  Or, heaven forbid, as dollar signs.  Who is your ideal customer? Customizing your blog for that person will attract that kind of person.

Regular blogging not only improves the relationship you have with your customers, it boosts customer retention as well.  People want to buy from other real people, and a blog proves there are real people on the other end of that transaction.

The Next Step

So yes, blogs are great.  There are many ways to make them happen.

Yet you can’t just snap your fingers and expect to have an effective blog.

Or can you? 🤔

ThreeOwl Media specializes in writing blogs.  The information provided above comes from direct experience with the thousands of blog posts that we have written.  

Maybe you already have a blog.  That’s okay! ThreeOwl Media can make it better.  We guarantee it.

See, I am a freelance writer. I do it full-time. I love the act of stringing words into sentences and paragraphs.  

And I love serving people.  I love making people look their best.  I love helping people shine.

So if you don’t have time to write, let me do it for you!

If it’s not convenient for you to write, let me do that for you.

If you have more of a numbers brain, and not so much a word brain, let me write for you.

I’ve been writing ever since I could push crayons around a piece of paper.  And I’ve been writing professionally since 2013.  

To say that writing is my passion is to understate it completely.

Yes, writing is my passion. But it’s also my life. That’s how my brain works. That’s how I process feelings. That’s how I express myself. That’s how I relate to the world.

So let my expertise help you!

With your marketing efforts, with your manuals and documentation, with your correspondence, with your video scripts … whatever! Anything you need written, I am happy to write it for you.

And if you already have written material, I guarantee I can improve it.

Contact me to arrange a call or meeting!  Use the Contact Me link, found under About Me.

I look forward to helping you with your writing projects!

Posted by John Onorato in Blog, Portfolio, 2 comments
Empathy and Chatbots:  Not So Exclusive

Empathy and Chatbots: Not So Exclusive

by John Onorato

I have a friend who is a salesman in a high-end clothing store.  

I recently asked him how he does it so well.  “Think of it like a sixth sense,” he replied. “I can tell how a person is feeling right when they walk in.  In five seconds or less (usually less), I can tell if a customer is happy, stressed, or sad.”

How does he do it, though?

“I watch the way they walk.  I look at their eyes.  I can tell if they came in to browse, if they have something in mind, or if they want to talk.  And I know just how to respond so I can make my commission.”

Compare this with an experience I had recently with a chatbot created for a national florist.  A different friend had a good experience with it, and encouraged me to try it out.  It took me through my order and was quite efficient about it.  As I was taking out my credit card, it said “Have a colorful, fantastic day!”

Ordinarily this would be considered friendly and perhaps even pleasing.  Of course, I had just spent the better part of the last hour looking through floral arrangements … for a funeral.

Sure, this came from a chatbot hosted on Facebook Messenger.  (edit:  Since this writing, the company has taken funeral arrangements off of the chatbot interface.  I did not contact them, so I do not think there is any causal relationship there.)  It had no idea what actions I might have taken on the company’s website. 

Chatbots are extremely popular right now, though, and more are coming.  Facebook released the chatbot API in April 2016; in June there were over 11,000 chatbots on that platform alone.  As of September there were over 30,000. 

These bots are supposed to represent artificial intelligence.  They don’t.  Right now they offer scripted, highly structured experiences. 

Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for the florist’s chatbot to wish me condolences, after watching my shopping habits?  This should be a no-brainer for ecommerce folks.  It ought to be easy for a bot to see what I’m doing and respond accordingly.

Of course this still wouldn’t be actual artificial intelligence.  The easiest way to make this happen would be through a script.  But still.  When chatbots actually do get intelligent, things are going to get awfully interesting.

What happens when a bot can examine a user’s actions, derive their most likely mindset, and be able to respond accordingly?

Perhaps more importantly, what will happen when they can empathize with us?

Understanding the Users

The term “digital body language” refers to a person’s combined digital activity.  My digital body language with the florist chatbot should have prompted an offering of condolences, as opposed to the cheery thanks it did offer.  It’s hugely important to understand what users do online, and not just record what they say.

So why should digital body language be so important to ecommerce vendors and chatbot developers? 

Because digital interactions are based in large part on nonverbal communication, just like the real-world interactions we have every day. 

When interacting with people in the physical world, we continually assess and process thousands of nonverbal cues.  Just a few examples include eye contact, gestures, tone of voice, and facial expressions.  As anyone who has gotten into an argument over text knows, it’s impossible to know what an interaction truly means unless we have access to these signals. 

In the burgeoning age of AI and chatbots, it’s just as important for a website — or a chatbot — to be able to interpret these signals.

Sadly, even as important as digital body language is, it is still underutilized by ecommerce.  For the most part, it remains an umbrella phrase, covering profile-based personalization and after-the-fact analysis.  Chatbot vendors have attempted to humanize their products, and they’ve as yet to succeed. 

To date they have failed to assess, examine and fully parse the aspect of human communication that’s most powerful and meaningful:  The unspoken.

This is soon to change, however.  Utilizing and exploiting the power of digital body language is hardly science fiction.

Using digital body language

So what’s the breakthrough?  It might sound like it’s science fiction, but it’s not.  In the same way as we infer another’s nonverbal signals when we are in the offline world, we can use innovative customer experience technology that can infer the mindset of a customer.  In real time.

With the help of these advanced solutions, it is possible to keep track of real-time digital activities, such as hesitation, click-through rates, scrolling speed, browsing behavior, navigation use, and more.  This allows retailers to stay ahead of the curve and stop using behavioral models based solely on past behavior.  Instead they can capture, utilize and respond to actual current digital behavior.  They can quickly zoom in on the psychological needs of each shopper, in order to be more effective when assisting them with the decision-making and buying process.

Machine learning makes it possible to develop models which are able to assess and categorize the mindset each customer has when they visit the site.  As they assess this per shopper data, these algorithms would be able to categorize a user’s intent.  To do this, they would simply look at the user’s actions.  Then using this knowledge, a brand can alter their offerings. 

Where do chatbots come in?

The answer is simple.  If we can look at a user’s behavior on a website, if we can quantify their mindset — and if we can then offer the user customization based on that data, if we can then personalize their experience — then we can code a chatbot that will do the same thing.

Looking at the example with the florist, their chatbot would determine that it should offer me condolences, based on the fact I was looking at funeral arrangements.  Not only that, but it would also assess the actions I took on the website — what page I visited, the movements of my mouse, which pages I looked at, which I passed over, which images I lingered on.  It would use this data to infer my mindset as I browse. 

A savvy chatbot would be able to see that I was simply looking at all the choices on the site, and offer to assist me by narrowing down my options.  It would also be able to tell if a more focused user came to the site, ready to buy.  It would then engage a subroutine to help guide them through the process as fast as possible.  It may also be able to tell if a user would be open to suggestions on an order:  For instance, if I might be willing to go with a wreath versus a more traditional arrangement.  Either way, it would then suggest some popular options.

Simply put, a well-coded chatbot would be able to do what my salesperson friend can do with his customers.  It would sense my mindset and be able to react to it.  It would behave in an empathic manner, even if it is not able to empathize in the human sense. 

My friend was not happy to hear about the information in this article.  “Next thing you know,” he said, “chatbots will be able to tell your waist size, just by looking at you.”

That’s just science fiction, though.  For now.

Posted by John Onorato in Blog, Technology, 0 comments
How to Kickstart Your Kindness

How to Kickstart Your Kindness

“Be kind whenever possible.  And it is always possible,” says the Dalai Lama.

So kindness is important, right?  

Of course it is!  After all, the Dalai Lama says so.

Kindness:  It’s a pillar of strong character.

Kindness:  It’s a big part of a balanced spiritual life.

Kindness:  It’s valued by every religion in the world, and every society.

We have all heard the saying “People may not remember what you say, or even what you do.  But they will remember how you make them feel.”

So the unspoken invitation is to help others feel how we ourselves want to feel.  I don’t know of a single person that truly wants to be treated badly or unkindly.

If we all want kindness, then why is practicing kindness so difficult?  Why do we not act kind more of the time?  Why do more of us not realize the benefits kindness brings to society and to the person being kind?  

After all, kindness is often its own reward.

Kindness Found in Words

One of the reasons kindness is so difficult is this:  In our English language, we do not have a word to express our happiness when other people succeed.

The fact we don’t have the word shows that we lack even the concept of an individual being happy when another person succeeds.  

two hands and a heart

The colloquial definition of “success” is often tied to a profit motive.  Even the dictionary (in this case, Google) ties the two together in the second definition of the word:  “Success: The attainment of popularity or profit.” And the third definition mentions “prosperity,” which is another word often tied to a profit motive.

Profit is fine.  I’m not here to judge anyone with a profit motive (or without one).  But I’ve observed that when you have that motive in mind, and someone fails to meet your expectations, the profit motive often becomes the most important thing.  When that happens, kindness disappears.

Kindness disappears when humans value profit over people.

Kindness disappears when we are taken advantage of.

Kindness disappears when we fail to consider others.

When we think that we are the only person in the world, kindness falls away.  If we really were the only person in the world, there would be no need to be kind (other than to ourselves).  

Of course, we are not the only person in the world.  On an Earth housing over seven and a half billion people, kindness is more important than ever.

Kindness In Languages

There’s a word in the German language — “schadenfreude.”  Literally meaning “damage joy,” it refers to the pleasure that we derive from another’s misfortune.  For example, we might feel a sense of schadenfreude when we learn our ex-boyfriend’s new relationship isn’t working out well.  Or that his house burned down. “He got what he deserved,” we think, not stopping to consider his inherent goodness, or how much trouble this caused him.

As an aside, English does indeed have an equivalent to this word, though it’s rather obscure.  Not nearly as well-known as its German cousin, the English word is “epicaricacy.”  The three parts of the word are Greek:  

  • Epi, meaning “upon”
  • Chara, meaning “joy”
  • Kakon, meaning “evil”  
globe encircled with country flags

There is another word in English that refers to the concept of being happy about the success of others.  That word is borrowed from the French, and it is “compersion.” The root “compère” means partner, or accomplice, and it comes from the Latin compater or compatrem (meaning “godfather”).  A relatively new word, its origins and full etymology are not clear.

I am very interested in language, and especially how it molds and shapes our brains.  So the fact that certain words even exist in a language often gives clues to how the speakers of that language behave.

The Sanskrit language originated in Ancient India over 3,500 years ago.  It is an old Indo-Aryan language, and is related to Greek and Latin. And of course, our own English language owes much to Greek and Latin.

There is a word in Sanskrit that means joy, especially vicarious or sympathetic joy.  It refers to the pleasure which springs from delighting in the well-being and successes of others.  

That word is “mudita.”

Sanskrit word "mudita"

Mudita is a joy that is pure, and not touched by self-interest.  One feeling mudita likely has no direct interest in, nor any direct income from the accomplishments of the other.  Think of the joy a parent might feel when they see their son walking for the first time. Or the feeling you might get when you watch your dog exuberantly playing with her rope toy.

Jealousy is an opposite (an antonym).  So is unfettered envy.

Though I’m not going to dive into Buddhism right now (I find myself to be an “Accidental Buddhist,” and I imagine I’ll write more about that later), I will say that many Buddhist teachers refer to mudita as an inner spring of infinite joy.  This is available to anyone, at any time.  “The more deeply one drinks of this spring,” it is written,  “the more secure one becomes in one’s own abundant happiness, the more bountiful it becomes to relish the joy of other people.”

I don’t know if anyone has done any scientific comparisons of overall happiness level of Sanskrit-speaking countries versus that of English-speaking countries.  But I’d be really interested in reading the results of one.

Where We’re Going, Where We Can Go

In our Western cultures, we are taught to value competition.  Struggling against others is supposed to be a fuel that pushes people towards ever-rising levels of success.  Indeed, many of our most visible industries, such as film, music and sports, all spotlight a culture built on the idea of achievement, no matter the cost.  No matter the hurt we cause, no matter how we might undermine someone else, no matter who we might step on in our quest to “reach the top.”

happy group with arc above

Yet out of the other side of our mouths, we profess to value peace.  We say that harmony is a lofty goal. We maintain that we are working together for a better future.

We can’t have it both ways, though.  The sad truth is that when humans are taught to value success at any cost, and excellence no matter the price, we get results that are not in line with what we’ve professed, as above.

I myself am not involved in any of those industries.  Still, I’m a freelance writer, and there is ostensibly plenty of competition in that field as well.  

What if it was better, though?  Success and abundance are not pie.  There’s not a finite amount of prosperity to go around.  We can all be successful, if we only listen to the truth in our hearts.  We can all be abundant.  We can all be prosperous. We can all be joyful, if only we choose it.

So the next time something nice happens to a coworker, try telling them “Hey, I’m really happy you got that promotion!”  The next time an acquaintance tells you they just won the lottery, try being pleased for their good fortune, and ask what they’re going to do with the money.  

In doing so, you just might change the world.  And that’s a world that I want to live in.

exuberant group
Posted by John Onorato in Blog, Relationships, 0 comments
You Need to Identify Those Pain Points!

You Need to Identify Those Pain Points!

I’d like to talk about pain points again today.

Now that we know what a pain point is, how do we identify those points?

So I’m walking around in my house as I’m talking to you. And – OUCH! I step on a Lego brick that my hypothetical 6-year old son Kieran left on the floor.

Say hello, Kieran! 😍

Well, he can’t, because he’s hypothetical. But will you look at that? My foot is bleeding.

What’s my pain point here?

Is it that I don’t have a bandage that will staunch this blood?

Nope! That’s a solution, not a problem.

Is it that I stepped on a Lego? Well, partially. (Thanks, Kieran!)

Is it that I have a Lego-induced wound in my foot? Getting closer.

Is it that I’m losing blood and OMG I’mgoingtobleedoutandDIE?

Yep, that’s it!


Problems and Solutions

So my “pain point” is that I’m losing blood, and the bandage is the solution, or one way of addressing that problem.

Now let’s say I’m a bandage manufacturer. Or at least I’m writing for the marketing department of one.

A traditional marketer will try and sell bandages. They’ll be wonderful bandages! They’ll stay on great, and won’t hurt when removed. They’ll keep your body’s natural healing power in, and keep out the ravages of infection. And this Care Bear bandage will swaddle your ouchie in a nice warm hug!

Oh, and it’s 100% waterproof, too! 😁

Yet our traditional marketer (let’s call him Joe) is addressing only the solution, not my actual pain point.

My pain point is that I want to stop my foot from bleeding, right? So I don’t die.

When that’s understood, Joe will address his marketing very differently.

Won’t you, Joe? ❤

Sure, since I work for a bandage manufacturer, the solution will still be a bandage. In this case, at least. But it will be a bandage that clamps one side of the wound tightly to the other, for minimum scarring. It will be a bandage that prevents bleeding even when the skin is sweat-slick. It will be a bandage that acts as a second skin, to keep on healing and keep out germs.

And the solution might not even be a bandage. It could be a butterfly closure or a glue or even some kind of medical tape that stops bleeding right away.

The important thing is your solution needs to directly address the pain points of your customers. Any marketing you do needs to speak to those pain points, and how to fix them. Your marketing is actually not about the product or service itself.


Solutions Provided in Terms of Horsepower

There’s a quotation often attributed to Henry Ford. “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.’ ”

Whether he actually said that or not is irrelevant (aside: he didn’t). But if you realize that Ford helped usher in the Industrial Revolution by creating cars made for personal use, it makes sense.

See, this quotation isn’t about turning a blind eye to customer feedback. It’s not about horses, and it’s also not about cars.

It’s about identifying the underlying pain point that his customers had, which was “How do we get from Point A to Point B quickly and efficiently?”

Horses were the fastest and best land transportation at the time, so naturally people thought in terms of horses. (Well, yeah, trains, but did you ever take a train to get a gallon of milk at the corner store?)

Ford didn’t. Ford thought in terms of fixing the problem, not in terms of improving upon already existing solutions.


ThreeOwl Media Helps With Your Problems

It’s important to zero in on the root pain points your customers have. When you do this, your approach changes dramatically. The way you speak to your listeners changes. You don’t promote one solution. Instead, you shine a light on how your solution addresses a specific pain point.

In other words, you connect with your audience.

You build trust with your audience.

Because you understand your audience.

And here’s where I come in. Because I’ve made it my job to understand my audience.

It is my job to understand your audience!

I love people. I love talking to them, I love finding out about them, I love connecting with them, and I love understanding them.

When I was younger, I was never good at this. But I got better — way better — and now I love finding out what makes people tick.

To say that people are my passion is to understate it completely.

Yes, people are my passion. But they’re also my life. We’re all so interconnected, and yet so diverse! We all depend on one another, yet we are capable of so much on our own. Yes, as a child I was never good at social situations. But as an adult, I am fulfilled by them.

Let me help you!

With your marketing efforts, with your manuals and documentation, with your correspondence, with your video scripts … whatever! Any thing you need written, I am happy to write it for you.

And if you already have written material, I guarantee I can improve it.

Simply contact me to arrange a call or meeting! Use the Contact Me link, found under About Me.

I look forward to helping you with your writing projects!

Posted by John Onorato in Blog, 0 comments

How I Can Help with Your Pain Points

What are your pain points?

A writer must know the pain points of his audience beforehand, in order to create quality copy for that audience.

A pain point is a problem that your customers are having. It might be an actual problem, or it can be simply perceived.

Entrepreneurs often create opportunities for themselves by naming pain points, then creating solutions for those points.

I am a freelance writer. I do it full-time. For my primary market — my niche — I have chosen to serve conscious business leaders and coaches who are so busy changing the world, they don’t have time to write.

So when putting my work out there, I have to identify their pain points around writing. I talk about one of those in my mission statement, found in the above paragraph.

Maybe they don’t have time to write.

Maybe it’s not convenient for them to write.

Maybe they have more of a visual brain, and not so much a word brain.

Maybe they already write, but they feel like they’re not good at it.

And that’s where I come in!

I love the act of coming up with words, then stringing them into sentences and paragraphs. I’ve been doing this ever since I was old enough to push crayons around a piece of paper. My father told me I was good at it — he’s a college professor with several books under his belt, so it’s not just something nice he said about his kid. I’ve had teachers tell me. Bosses. Friends. I even had one friend steal my journal, just to read my poetry.

To say that writing is my passion is to understate it completely.

Yes, writing is my passion. But it’s also my life. That’s how my brain works. That’s how I process feelings. That’s how I express myself. That’s how I relate to the world.

So let me help you!

With your marketing efforts, with your manuals and documentation, with your correspondence, with your video scripts … whatever! Any thing you need written, I am happy to write it for you.

And if you already have written material, I guarantee I can improve it.

Why don’t you contact me to arrange a call or meeting? Use the Contact Me link, found under About Me.

I look forward to helping you with your writing projects!

Posted by John Onorato in Blog, 0 comments
Sharing, Don’t Overshare: The Key to Making Friends Fast

Sharing, Don’t Overshare: The Key to Making Friends Fast

by John Onorato (ghostwritten for SpeedFriending Events)


Stacy Jules didn’t know anyone in Austin after she moved.  She had spent 38 years in San Francisco, and making new local friends was a priority for her. “It was pretty devastating to be so anonymous,” the 66 year old artist says.

Jules made herself leave her house every day for the express purpose of meeting people. She visited a tea house, took yoga classes, went to senior centers, joined a gym and a community garden. She describes herself as being a shy person, but she still compelled herself to strike up conversations at the grocery store and on the bus.

Lasting relationships were still a problem, though. Most people were nice, but they had nothing in common together. Others simply didn’t want to get close.

Then, a short time ago, a woman complimented her blouse when Jules was in a store. They began to chat, and discovered not only that they both liked to write, but they liked to work with textiles as well. After a few minutes,  Jules asked a risky question. “Would you like to come over to my house for coffee … now?”

The other woman accepted the invitation, and now the two are extremely close.

Jules thought that all good friendships had to be “slow cooking,” based on years of experiencing life together. This contrary experience was a marvelous revelation.

Is it really possible to forge such an intimate relationship so quickly?

Yes it is, say research psychologists. “Fast Friends” is a protocol that many use to study friendship in the lab. It takes about 45 minutes, and helps strangers attain a certain level of interpersonal closeness. The key is for both parties to disclose personal information – and do it gradually.

Curious? People working in pairs are given three sets of 12 questions. The questions must be answered in order, with partners taking turns. Questions in the first set are only slightly personal, like:

  • “Do you ever rehearse what you are going to say before making a telephone call?”
  • “When did you last sing to someone else? To yourself?”
  • “What small things make you happy?”

 In the second set, the personal-ness is edged up a little.

  • “Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?”
  • “What is your scariest memory?”
  • “Which of your possessions could you not live without?”

And the last set is the most personal:

  • “When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?”
  • “Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find the most disturbing?”
  • “What are your top 5 most beautiful things in the world?”

Each set of questions also includes an exercise, for instance “Tell your partner what you like about them,” which is intended to
build the relationship.

The idea is to grow the connection slowly and organically.

Arthur Aron, professor of psychology at Stony Brook University, developed the protocol. “You want to be slow and reciprocal,” he says. “If you disclose too much too fast, you put someone off.”

If you’re not sure how to find that sweet spot between disclosing too little and way too much, just think of this: Remember how desperately you wanted to get off that plane the last time someone in the next seat did a brain-dump into your head?

Yeah, that.

Dr Aron says that oversharing is often seen as overwhelming, one-sided and generally socially inappropriate. If the other person seems tense, shifty, fidgety or at a loss for words, then you might be oversharing.

There are a plethora of situations that the Fast Friends technique can be used in, to great effect: Improving business connections, romantic bonds, and relationships between neighbors. Researchers have also used it when studying how to create closeness between groups that typically distrust each other, such as police officers and residents of low-income neighborhoods. It also helps between people of different ethnic backgrounds.

I’ve made friends quickly while waiting in line to vote, talking to homeless men outside of Target, and delivering packages to offices. Sure, I strike out from time to time. There has to be some chemistry there in the first place. When I meet someone I might like to know better, I like to share something about myself that is both personal and slightly self-deprecating. People often appreciate it when I tell them that I’m divorced.  That tends to spark their curiosity and opens them up some.

If you want to establish intimacy, the only way to do that is to be willing to open up about yourself. It’s easy to open up about more intimate details, once each person sees the initial connection.

When Jules’ new friend, Susan Simmons, came over to her house on the day they met, they talked about their creative projects. The more they talked about themselves, the more they realized that they were very much like each other.

It wasn’t long before Simmons alluded to a sad time in her own life. Then Jules shared a story she usually keeps under wraps, about how she had to rebuild her life after the end of her first marriage. The sharing was careful, a consciously building thing.

The two now describe their friendship as as unexpected gift. The sharing and spontaneity are beneficial in a mutual way. It has been exciting for the both of them to discover that they could forge deep a friendship so quickly.

“I learned that life can be shared in the moment and be just as alive as if it had been experienced together,” Simmons says.

Published Link:
http://speedfriendingevents.com/the-key-to-making-friends-fast-speed-friending-events-reports/

Posted by John Onorato in Portfolio, Relationships, 0 comments
Converting Addiction into Productivity

Converting Addiction into Productivity

by John Onorato (ghostwritten for Toshiba)

Have you heard the term “nomophobia?”  Perhaps, perhaps not. This is an actual thing, though:  Nomophobia refers to the fear of being out of mobile contact, due to a user having no network coverage, losing their phone, running out of battery life or not having credit.

The word itself is an abbreviation of sorts, standing for No Mobile Phone phobia.  It makes the language geek in me cringe, as it should properly mean “an irrational fear of the law.”  (Nomos, in Greek, means “law.”) Still, there’s no accounting for taste, or Internet pundits, for that matter.

And apparently this is a big problem, as well.  47% of 2,163 women assayed have this fear, and 58% of men have it too.  The level of fear participants experienced compared to those experienced on wedding day, trips to the dentist, and so on.

Of course, in many cases, this may not be an actual fear — or phobia — but may be simply a more typical anxiety.  Yet still, this points to dual growing trends in Western culture — those of mobile phone overuse and Internet addiction disorder.

So the question is — is this a real problem?  And if it is, should we address it? How?

To be sure, mobile productivity applications and cloud-enabled networks, along with Unified Communications technologies and others enable workers to “make better use of their time.”  They can email while standing in line at the grocery store; they can work on a presentation while waiting for their car to be serviced; any idle bit of time can be transformed into a moment of productivity.

The downside to this, though, is that it’s disconnecting humans from one another, and pulling our focus into devices, a million miles away from the people standing right next to us.  We’re increasingly addicted to our tech, many enterprises having workers that are spending every free moment tweeting, emailing, and chatting, with the line demarcating work-related tasks and personal ones growing more blurry all the time.

Mobile devices are great ways to give us things to do.  Many times those things are even quite useful. Too often, though, these devices take priority over the other people in the room with their users.  This is enough of a problem in a social setting; in a business setting, it can be disruptive and even insubordinate.

Again — how do we deal with this easy-to-distract workforce?

The first thing that needs to be done is basic parameters need to be laid down.  Like what parents do with children, ground rules for good screen time habits need to be set.  Firm corporate expectations need to be established. Let your employees know, for example, that it’s your priority that your company be seen as on-task during meetings.  In other words, no phone use during meetings, especially when clients are present. Of course there are extenuating circumstances; information needs to be looked up, and so on.  Phones are indeed useful tools. But when that situation is dealt with, put the phone away. And for heaven’s sake, no personal use.

Simply put, boundaries need to be set.

Another possible strategy might be to try convert disruptive habits to a more collaborative and productive effort.  Take, for example, business VoIP applications. Most of them offer cost-effective ways of maintaining constant communications, and even collaboration between departments.  There’s video conferencing, SMS, IM, and the various features of UC as well. So if, by their own choice, your employees are going to be cyborgs anyway, you might as well leverage that to your advantage.

For instance, do you have an employee that’s overloaded with work?  Try shifting some of that over to one of your more smartphone-addicted workers, and you’ll have a shot at remediating two problems at the same time.

And of course, there’s always the last step:  Bringing in an outside expert to talk about device etiquette in the digital age.  They can also deliver talks on how to deal with addictions to their devices, and actually get more done … instead of simply checking their phones 110 times a day.

Posted by John Onorato in Mobile, Portfolio, 0 comments
IP Phones can be Six-Figure Liabilities Just Waiting to Happen

IP Phones can be Six-Figure Liabilities Just Waiting to Happen

by John Onorato (ghostwritten for Toshiba)

Bob Foreman’s seven-person architecture firm is using the latest technology in IP phones.  Thinking they were safe and protected, they went about their business normally, until one day they opened their phone bill to see that they had run up a bill of $166,000 in one weekend.  Quite odd, given that no one was in the office at the time.

Based on the firm’s normal phone bill, it would have taken them 34 years to amass those charges legitimately, as stated in the complaint filed with the FCC.  But the charges weren’t a mistake. Malcontents had hacked into the phone system of the company, and routed the calls to premium-rate numbers in Somalia, the Maldives, and Gambia.

The Fraud
The firm, based in Norcross, Georgia, is one of the latest victims of an old fraud that’s found a new life, now that most corporate phone lines are IP-based.  This swindle is easier to pull off on the web and infinitely more profitable. The targets are largely SMBs, and cost global victims $4.73 billion last year. That’s up almost $1 billion from 2011, states the Communications Fraud Control Association.

Tier 1 carriers have anti-fraud systems meant to catch hackers before they mount false six-figure charges.  They can also afford to credit their customers for millions of dollars in fraudulent charges every year. SMBs, though, often use local carriers, that lack these sophisticated systems.  And worse yet, some of these carriers are leaving their customers to pay for the calls they didn’t make.

The Law
There are no laws that assist in this area, as there are no regulations that require carriers to reimburse defrauded customers the way credit card companies have to.  Lawmakers have occasionally taken up the torch, yet little progress has been made.

How It Works
Hackers lease premium-rate phone lines, typically used for psychic or sexual-chat lines, from one of many web-based services that charge callers over a dollar a minute, then give the lessee a cut.  In the US, these numbers can be easily identified by their 1-900 prefixes; furthermore, callers are told they will incur a higher rate. Elsewhere, though, such as in Estonia and Latvia, these numbers can be more difficult to spot.  The profit for the lessees might be as high as 24 cents for every minute a caller spends on the phone.

The black hats then crack a SMB’s phone system in order to make calls through it to their premium number.  This is typically done on a weekend, when nobody will notice. Using high-speed computers, hundreds of calls can be made simultaneously, thereby forwarding up to 220 minutes’ worth of calls a minute to the pay line.  Ultimately, the hackers get their cut, usually delivered through MoneyGram, wire transfer or Western Union.

This plan can be quite profitable, when executed well.  This is why premium rate resellers are on the rise. In 2009 there were 17; in 2013 there were 85, says Britain’s Yates Fraud Consulting.

What’s Being Done
The problem is moving fast, say many industry groups, yet they are still trying to tackle it.  One slow solution is to routinely input known fake “hot numbers” into a fraud management system, then sharing that with carriers so they can be blocked.

Catching the elusive hackers is hard, if only because the crime can cross up to three jurisdictions.  In 2011, the FBI worked with police in the Philippines to arrest four men who used the ploy to collect $2 million in fraudulent charges.  This money was funneled to a militant Saudi Arabian group that US officials believe underwrote the 2008 Mumbai terrorist bombings.

Bob Foreman’s firm has turned to the FCC, the FBI, and several other agencies for assistance, yet they are still on the hook for their $166,000 phone bill with their local carrier, TW Telecom.  It now includes $17,000 in termination fees and late charges. The telecom’s VP for corporate communications said that Foreman’s firm ought to have taken measures to ensure the security of its equipment.

Mr. Foreman responded that his firm didn’t even understand that this was a possible risk.

To avoid this happening to you, be sure to turn off call forwarding, and ensure there are strong passwords for international dialing systems as well as voicemail.  Treat your phones as Internet-connected machines, because that’s what they are. Hackers are already doing that. When you put a computer or an IP phone system on the Internet, it immediately gets probed for a weak point.

published link:
IP Phones can be Six-Figure Liabilities Just Waiting to Happen

Posted by John Onorato in Portfolio, Technology, 0 comments