New article… Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

An article I had published last week. Maybe I think too much….

Does Everything “Happen for a Reason”?

 

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An article in Catholic Exchange which I wrote about why our sins don’t just go away when we confess…

I’m sharing a little more of my spiritual writing here. Much of this comes as a result of my own faith journey and how God is moving in my life. Not always easy, but I pray that some of my thoughts may trigger an understanding or movement in prayer for you.

Learning to Heal From Past Sins

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An article from me about God’s need for our love….

A new article posted in Catholic Exchange a few days ago. My thoughts on whether God needs our compassion… does he need our love?

God is Our Consolation

 

 

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Wonderful book, “From Grief to Grace”

Here’s a book review I wrote for my fellow Catholic author, Jeannie Ewing. It was published in Catholic Exchange:

catholicexchange.com/move-grief-grace

 

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If You Are Wondering About What This World needs…

This Book Dares To Take On All the Political Parties and World Governments …The Answers Are What Many Have Suspected… Christian Morality Must Lead Our Nation and Our World Back

By John S. Cohoat

I heard about this book over a year ago and ordered it. As I quickly read it, I was floored. Finally I saw someone actually willing to stand up and speak the truth about our problems.

The book makes so much sense but has insight that most of us could never fathom on our own. Because the answers go back further than what we’ve experienced in our lifetimes.

Our personal frame of reference just doesn’t reveal what this book so systematically proves… our nation, our world is badly broken. And the fixes will require that we return to a society we’ve only read about in history books and novels about medieval times.

The book is Return To Order-Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go-From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society” by John Horvat II.

I have observed the recent upheaval with Brexit, the presidential campaign debacle in the U.S., our economy held together with duct tape, immoral Supreme Court Decisions, international terrorism striking in our own country, religious persecution of every kind, redefinition of the most basic aspects of life and so much turmoil that it seems impossible we can find our way again. This book provides a measure of hope that I have not seen or heard from others.

Perhaps most surprising is that the analysis and prescriptions are primarily based on economic issues. For those of us who are strong Catholic/Christians and see all the sin embodied in the factors I mentioned above, doesn’t it seem like the problems are more religious or spiritual? The interesting insight that I apparently never considered is that the economy is the way we live our lives. It’s our culture. It’s an expression of our values and it is all related organically.

So, yes, our moral values and sense of right and wrong is amiss. But, when it all worked much better (the world was never perfect) there were certain guiding principles, cultural norms and institutions that held it all together in an economy that reflected the best of the Bible and Catholic teaching.

The author, John Horvat, has been at this for over 20 years, studying every aspect of our economy and the history of what brought us to this point. He shows how we’ve become so enamored of materialism (what he calls frenetic intemperance), technology, “happiness”, individualism and getting our marching orders from the governments.

In this have-it-all, do-it-all, be-all-I-can-be society there really are no limits and no reason to sacrifice. Just keep spending and acting as irresponsibly as you want in all facets of your life. If you don’t like the answer, make up your own. Government will always somehow be there as a backstop and if it really gets messed up, it’s not my problem. Just blame the other party, other country or The Church. Whoever yells the loudest or has the media in his or her pocket wins the game.

Cracks in this approach are showing up everywhere we look. And, for those of us who do understand what Jesus taught us, it is no surprise. He is our way, our truth and our life. Trying to do all of this without His guiding compass is bound for failure, corruption and death for many souls.

Centuries ago, there was emphasis on smaller, feudal communities. The family was the core and there was an interdependence and order within the organic societies. This was before the United States was even conceived. When Europe flourished in medieval times, the Catholic Church was the pre-dominant driver of daily life and society. It wasn’t forced on anyone, but it just “worked”, organically as Horvat points out.

Certainly I can’t do the book justice here. Horvat writes in a compelling style that is full of footnotes, evidence, bibliography, stories and strong reasoned conclusions. The case is built little by little in bite sized chapters that make it easy to consume.

The problems are developed in a way that makes you see the underlying cause. The case for the Catholic approach to life is built. Again, Horvat demonstrates what used to work and what the root principles behind the economy and culture were.

While Horvat is obviously a conservative Catholic, he isn’t advocating some new Catholic world order or Catholic government. Rather, he just shows principles that work because they are true and moral.

Truth and morality always wins. Love wins. God is love. My own thought is that we will see resurgence in Catholicism when all of this falls apart. It is already happening in some parishes, countries, ministries and media outlets. Yes, there are growing numbers who despise our Church or are completely indifferent to Christianity. But, there are many who are awakening. This book is part of that awakening.

The Return to Order will take on a life of itself. How it will happen, I don’t think Horvat or anyone else knows. But, it will happen.

In the last short chapter, there are some very simple suggestions about what we can each do in our lives to spread this message and live this approach. There are no sweeping criticisms of politicians or calls to arms. There is no big legislative agenda.

But, this book has many of the answers to what may be gnawing at you as you see what is happening all around us. How could this world get so messed up?

I dare say this book is different than any other book you have read

You need to read this book.

And, we need to find a way to spread the message. It won’t happen in this election cycle. Much more bad stuff is going to happen. Out of this adversity and crisis we will need a new type of leader and a return to a way of life that can work.

I’d like to think that there are a few leaders somewhere who will read this book and act on it. Get the book to leading government officials, politicians, Christian/Catholic leaders, business executives, entrepreneurs, ministries, parishes, men, women, students… Start the discussion.

Horvat and the organization he leads are thinking, substantive, moral and determined people who are willing to step up for our world. They offer this book for free at www.ReturnToOrder.org. What an expression of commitment and faith!

A press release on their web site says that they will reach about 250,000 books in print this summer. That is wonderful and there is momentum because this time last year there were 35,000 in print. But, we need millions in print. Soon.

Grab a copy today and see what you think. Spread the message and do what the book suggests for your own life.

And, let’s all pray for our world and our nation.

 

 

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Fundraisers, Copywriters, Entrepreneurs…. Think Big

I was struck by this article about how major universities are raising millions for research. $50 million plus. And, I know of one small, Catholic university right here in my home town, which got a donation over $20 million for a new medical school.

It takes big thinking to nurture and raise this kind of money. Investing in the relationship with the donor over decades sometimes. Surely, not just one page ask letters for the annual fund drive, which I’ve heard from some fundraisers is “the only thing that works. They won’t read more.”

Anyway, it’s this kind of big thinking we need to have the courage for. Asking for much, expecting much, going for the big prize. It’s necessary for not-for-profits and we also need to think bigger in all our businesses. There is a lot of money out there. Affluent people will give you that money for your products, services and donations if you know how to ask and don’t scrimp. Hire real marketing professionals, including skilled copywriters. Craft your messages. Invest in relationships and keep at it. The results will come to you!

http://www.insidephilanthropy.com/alumni-giving/2015/4/1/why-donors-give-big-for-campus-research-a-50-million-case-st.html

 

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Direct Mail Tips and Tricks

Direct Mail Tips and Tricks
(Why direct mail may be even more effective in the New Economy)

by: John S. Cohoat

In this digital age, many like to tell you that direct mail is dead. No one reads their mail and you certainly will get much more out of free email marketing or social media. They are all ignorant of what really works so don’t buy into this line of thinking. Direct mail is alive and well…. And it will never go away as a tried and true media for most businesses.

So, if direct mail is dead, why do I get 8-10 pieces of mail from all kinds of different sources every day? Just an example of some of the mail I’ve gotten recently:
• Multiple political “surveys” with a request for my opinion and my money.
• Faith based mailings telling me about events or offering books, CDs or DVDs always with an opportunity to give.
• Catalogues for classic car and truck parts.
• Postcards with plastic keys attached inviting me to take them to a local car dealer to see what I’ve won.
• Catalogues for golf equipment or repair.
• Catalogues for firearms and ammunition.
• Readers’ Digest Sweepstakes mailing
• Val-Pak
• Invitations to local business seminars.
• Invitations to financial planning luncheons or dinners.
• Etc.
• Etc.

Many of these are large national mailers who are obviously investing millions in direct mail marketing.

So, the question for you, oh master of “internet marketing”, why in the world would all these organization do this? Are they just stupid? Or, are they making money?

Oh, any by the way, if you open up some of these mailings, you will see long, long sales letters, testimonials, lift letters, order forms, pictures, etc. Sounds like the typical direct mail pieces that guys like Scott and I tell you about all the time.

So, direct mail works. And, it makes you money… more money than you will make from other media, especially if you are a small business. You can’t afford to have a real impact on radio and TV. And, the Internet… no harm in trying (other than all the time you lose and some investment in web sites, etc.), but if you want real bang for your marketing bucks, use direct mail.

Before you go off half-cocked with direct mail, investigate a little. There are great sales letter and postcard templates you can obtain. Vendors that can give you mailing sequences and mailers that will have an impact. List companies. Your own lists. (Plus, great strategic marketing consultants and copywriters who know what they’re doing.)

And, in another article I talked to you about sales copy, the kind that works. I gave you a checklist of all the critical elements of direct response sales copy. So, don’t send out some crappy postcard one time and think you will get results. It won’t work and then you will say that direct mail doesn’t work. Crappy marketing never works. Sorry, you’ve got to study a little and put some time and money into this.

We teach you how to do good marketing and grow your businesses. Just ask us how…
john@cohoatbusinessgrowth.com

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Killer Sales Copy Is the Lifeblood of Your Business

Killer Sales Copy Is the Lifeblood of Your Business

Don’t Try to Market Your Company Without It

By John S. Cohoat

Where I spend a lot of my time and get the most kicks is helping a client with developing sales copy. And, I find it amazing how little attention most businesses give to the words you use to sell your products and services. Many don’t even know what I mean by “sales copy”, and they just blindly put together ads, web sites, emails and mail campaigns mostly using words prepared by vendors or advertising agencies. Some understand that there is something to be said for “direct response” copywriting, but they dive in and do it themselves or copy something from other direct response ads. Oh, and then there’s that guy who got A’s in high school because he could write good term papers and his English/grammar is perfect. He assumes he’s a great copywriter, too.

Well, I’m here to tell you that copywriting is a real art. I’ve been studying direct response copywriting from some of the masters like Gary Halbert, John Carlton, Dan Kennedy, Bill Glazer and others for over 15 years. While I get better all the time, I know that there is constant learning and studying to get to the top of the copywriter’s mountain.

But, another point is this… you should know the basics of copywriting, even if you don’t want to write a word. Just so you know how to evaluate what you are putting out there and whether it really has the element to put your products and services in the best light. So, here’s a quick list I use with my clients and when I evaluate most ads, online copy and sales letters.

What to consider when reviewing an ad or sales letter

  1. Does it really use a direct response approach
  1. How is the headline? Compelling, plain vanilla, me too? Does it really draw you in?
  1. Testimonials? Are there any? Are they done right? (full name, city, etc.) Do they relate?
  1. Features vs. benefits? (Instead of talking about features, do they tell you the benefit?)
  1. Unique Selling Proposition? Is it evident? Is it clear why the product or service should be your unique choice?
  1. Organization- is it logical and organized or a mish-mash?
  1. Style- consistent and appropriate?
  1. Offer and call to action- strong and clear how to respond?
  1. Guarantee- Is there one and is it strong?
  1. Format/media- aligned with audience and the media?
  1. Misc. – premiums, cosmetics, etc. Are there any? Are they effective?

You can use this to take a look at stuff you are putting out. See what you think.

Get some basic copywriting books like Dan Kennedy’s “Ultimate Sales Letter” to at least get a few basics. But, realize what you say about your products and services sets you up for success or failure. If all you talk about is low price, that’s the impression you give…you’re just a cheap date. But if you want to be a cut above and sell to the affluent, say it with words and messaging portrayed by your sales copy.

And, if you don’t expect your sales copy to really sell… that is get somebody to do something like bring in a coupon, go to a web site, subscribe to a free report, whatever… you might as well just throw your money away.

Sales copy, when well done, is what tells your story and makes the sale… Don’t leave home (or your business), without it.

If you have interest in learning more about how I can help with any of your strategic marketing and sales copy, just drop me an email at john@cohoatbusinessgrowth.com.

 

 

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The True Story Of Passion Behind A Notre Dame Fan

On the way to BCS championship game. Video shows why Notre Dame will win and why you need the Spirit in your business and your life.

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Marketer Of The Month

February 2012

March 2012

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