Industry Innovators: Sam Ciaramitaro
Industry: Marketing and Advertising
Title: Copywriter and Consultant
Location: Concord, California, USA
Years In Business: 9 Years
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all–in which case, you fail by default.” - J. K. Rowling
Firstly, how are you and your family doing during the pandemic?
Sam: Grateful! It’s been amazing to see things we’ve always taken for granted suddenly disappear–and realize more than ever how blessed we are. Watching people in hard-hit industries suffer has also inspired me to do more to help struggling SMBs get more clients and customers.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded or joined this company!
Sam: As a teenager, I was both creative and ambitious (a little overly-ambitious, perhaps), and I’ve always loved to write and use language to influence, express, and entertain. By chance, I discovered the demand for direct response copywriting in the digital marketing world, bought a couple of books, and put an ad on Craigslist. I was so excited to land those first few clients! Within a couple of years, I was working with an Inc. 500 financial education company, which became my big break as a pro copywriter. Since 2011, I’ve found my niche as a direct response copywriter and marketing consultant. Helping entrepreneurs unearth their most irresistible message and leverage that message to serve and solve problems for profit–that’s what I love!
What makes your company “THE choice” in your industry? How is your business special?
Sam: My discipline and versatility set me apart. Since copywriting is selling in print, it requires an intimate familiarity with how people perceive the world and make decisions combined with the focus and discipline to keep digging until that irresistible message appears. And that’s what I’ve spent thousands of hours developing: the ability to wield the alchemical power of words to make something out of nothing!
How has your industry changed in the past five years? What have you seen from inside your company? What changes do you think will happen in the next five years?
Sam: I’d like to think digital marketing is becoming more and more authentic. The Internet has made prospects savvier than ever, and buyers reward only the most substantial, valuable, and credible offers with their hard-earned money. This is one of my favorite realities of business: money follows service! Along the same lines, top marketers are also finding that the most powerful “sales pitch” is often a first-hand experience of what the company can do. For example, a generous 45-minute consultation makes selling monthly consulting effortless. The prospect experiences the value, and no convincing is necessary.
How has the pandemic affected your business? The industry?
Sam: Some marketing-related freelancers may have suffered from cost cuts in 2020, but truthfully, clients need good copywriting and consulting more than ever. I suspect the process of client-getting has evolved a little bit to emphasize the bottom-line ROI even more. Businesses will always need more clients and customers!
Was your company required to make difficult choices? What are the lessons learned?
Sam: Over the past year, I was reminded that people perform best when they are centered in their unique abilities. Everyone has a superpower, and the more we learn to embrace and leverage it, the more effortless success becomes. This can become a difficult decision when re-centering requires cutting loose from existing obligations. “Know thyself” is a cliche for a reason!
How has your sales team found the transition to remote work? More generally, did you offer sales professionals remote work from home or flexible jobs prior to the pandemic? If you have specific experience working with freelance, commission-only, independent sales reps, manufacturers’ reps, 1099 reps, or commercial agents, please share it here.
Sam: My previous experience as an independent sales agent myself has been very positive. I’ve always been attracted to the flexibility of working commission-only, and the potential for leverage is phenomenal. For example, an independent agent can innovate ways to automate parts of their workflow, resulting in more earnings in less time. For the person whose superpower is starting conversations and motivating people to take action, commission-only sales may be their ticket to all the freedom they’ve ever dreamed of!
What remote-working technologies and tools have helped you embrace the “new normal” and improve efficiency and productivity?
Sam: Aside from the bevy of videoconferencing tools, I make extensive use of Trello for project management, Toggl for time-tracking, Salesmate for outbound email and SMS sales campaigns, and OneNote–where literally all of the magic happens in my business!
What was the last business book you’ve read, or podcast you’ve listened to? What did you learn?
Sam: “Sell or Be Sold” by Grant Cardone! Grant is the guy who points at you and shouts, “It’s YOUR fault it didn’t close”–and yet somehow it’s good news! Taking 100% responsibility for results or a lack thereof is incredibly empowering–because it means there’s something I can do differently next time to get a different result. His disciplined way of working and reworking his language and objection-handling is both inspiring and clarifying. High-performance sales (or marketing, for that matter) never happens by accident.
How are you feeling about 2021? Anything else you’d like to share?
Sam: Incredibly optimistic! I feel that the events of 2020 will be like the intense heat and massive pressure that makes a diamond. Difficulty and obstacles always instigate innovation, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish in 2021!
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