story + E2 ----> Rocket fuel for donations to non-profits
COPYWRITING, CONTENT MARKETING, & CONSULTING FOR CHRISTIAN NON-PROFITS AND COMPANIES
AND OTHERS CARRYING OUT THE PRINCIPLES OF MATTHEW 25:40
ABOUT LIGHT SPARK MEDIA - Copywriting, content marketing, & consulting
tap the wellspring, qualifications/bio, and STORIES, from James Wallace
tap the wellspring - let emotion flow
THE NICOLAS SPARKS OF CHRISTIAN COPYWRITING
AND CONTENT MARKETING
Prospects take action based on emotion. They then justify it with logic. But you must evoke core emotions first - emotions already within the prospect that your copy and content draw out.
I'm a story teller. Successful fundraising is driven by uncovering and telling compelling stories in a simple, conversational way. These stories create an emotional bond with the reader or viewer. The donor or prospective donor must be made to feel he or she is the hero (not your organization). His or her donation will help real, live, specific people. It will make an immediate, impactful, positive difference! It's all about how the donor benefits by giving money to your cause.
I evoke emotion (E2) in my writing. Why E2? Because when the writing - the story - causes the reader's or viewer's own core emotions to well up inside himself or herself, the effect is amplified, almost exponentially. A deep, genuine, emotional connection is formed. The next step flows naturally. The prospective donor wants to donate. The existing donor wants to donate again. These donors benefit as much as the ultimate recipients of the donations, just in a different way. But the benefits are just as profound. A relationship based on emotion and trust is created among the donor, the non-profit, and the clients. That's exponential.
I recently helped two young people rewrite their graduate-school admissions essays. Both had come to me with factual information presented dryly (snooze!). I stayed true to the information but transformed the content into life stories of hard work, motivation, and passion. We had moist eyes and small lumps in our throats (and these were just one-page essays, for crying out loud). Some of my short stories in Tales From The River evoke similar emotions. I've included one below, called "The Wishing Well."
I'm an attorney (including a number of years as a partner at a large law firm). I'm an advocate of healthy foods and supplements. I've read many financial newsletters and followed the markets. I could write for the financial and health markets.
But my primary passion is Christianity. The Christian market is where we can reach people in the deepest and most profound way. This is where we can use our talents and resources to make a difference and truly change lives.
Walking With God is a Christian-living book based on my own experience of spiritual insight and renewal while physically walking at sunrise in two beautiful locations in Mississippi. I love being outdoors. It always beckons and restores the soul. It's in nature many of us feel closest to God. No wonder. It's His creation. If we just pause, He reveals Himself in it. The sunrise. The fresh blooms of spring. A gentle breeze. The morning melodies of birds. God is everywhere. What a gift He has given us.
I am well versed in the structure and secrets of direct-response copywriting and content marketing. See below for a partial list of AWAI (American Writers & Artists) courses I've completed. AWAI is the recognized standard for copywriting training of all types.
The combination of my extensive writing experience, my understanding of direct-response copywriting, and my passion for bringing the message of Christianity and tangible help to people in need (including the least of our brothers and sisters) . . . is a trifecta for copy and content that will impact your audience more powerfully than ever before . . . and empower them to support your missions time and time again.
What if your message sparks a thousand lights . . . a hundred thousand lights . . . a million lights?
How many other lights will flicker on . . . become steady . . . shine brightly . . . and ultimately fan the flames of countless more lights, because of the people you reach with your missions of humanitarian assistance, church planting, rescuing orphans and widows, helping children, bringing the Bible to people in their native languages, providing food, shelter, medicines and surgeries, and clean water . . . and with your messages of love, hope, healing, mercy, forgiveness, redemption, restoration, renewal, and amazing grace?
If we can work together to make this happen, let's do it!
In copywriting, a cardinal rule is to know your prospect. For the Christian market, I am the prospect. This shared identity makes it easy to "put my boat in the water and paddle downstream with the prospect."1
Secrets of Writing for the Christian Market
The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting
Secrets of Writing Blockbuster Financial Market Controls
Bob Bly's Ultimate Guide to E-Book Writing Success
The AWAI Method
Long-form sales letter and package (financial market)
The Wishing Well (from Tales From The River)
Chapter 7 of Walking With God: God is in Control
>Scroll down to the the Writing Samples page to download any sample.
Vanderbilt University - B.A. English and Business Administration, Phi Beta Kappa
Cambridge University, Queens' College, International Law Studies
The University of Texas School of Law - J.D. with high honors, Chancellors
Ghost Eagles (action-adventure series for teen readers)
Walking With God
Tales From The River
1Paraphrase of a Richard Armstrong quote. He also said, "Effective copy doesn't try to put beliefs and desires into the prospect's head, but rather to discover those already there and resonate with them in a way that triggers a response. Effective copy sings in the customer's key."
A few stories
I grew up on a farm in the Missouri Bootheel. Flat as a pancake, it was mostly lowland swamps (Mississippi River floodplain) before being cleared and drained around 1905. The three counties making up the Bootheel would have been part of Arkansas, but for a man named John Hardeman Walker, a prominent landowner who convinced Congress to include the area in what would become the state of Missouri. According to legend, Hardeman or another resident implored that the Arkansas Territory was sickly and "full of bears and panthers and copperhead snakes, so it ain't safe for civilized people to stay there over night even."
The dirt was dark and fertile. Our main crops were cotton, soybeans, wheat, corn, and milo. We had a cotton gin. Also Black Angus cattle. And horses and dirt bikes. My brother and I would take off after breakfast, ride the backroads, and get back in time for supper. Back then, the only danger was taking a turn too fast and getting skinned up on the gravel road (never did that, but one time a bee flew into my helmet and . . . ouch!).
I recall many a sweltering summer day of chopping cotton or soybeans (we didn't actually chop the crops, just the weeds), looking down the long rows and seeing the heat mirages (usually visions of the water cooler at the end of the row). Also many a day of free ranging. We had room to roam. What those years did, beside give me fits of allergies and asthma, was instill an appreciation of the land and wide-open spaces. It was a good way to grow up.
I went to boarding school in Chattanooga, Tennessee (McCallie). It was a great college-prep school, but my favorite memories are the outdoor club. We canoed whitewater rivers, rock climbed, and spelunked. Spelunking is a fancy word for caving, which was my favorite of all three. The caves were all on private land. We used carbide lamps, the ones with the rocks and flame. We'd be in the caves for hours, going across chasms and rooms with mud up to our knees, through tunnels (one of the larger students got stuck in one), and over natural walls and formations. I never gave it any thought at the time, but how we got out and back to daylight now seems like a minor miracle (though I'd guess our teacher/instructor was never worried).
I ventured on to Vanderbilt University and The University of Texas School of Law, did well both places, and signed on with Baker Botts (the oldest firm in Texas) in Houston. After some years in the Dallas and Austin offices, I left to pursue the entrepreneur's life.
We encamped in Estes Park, Colorado, a majestic setting adjacent to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Nancy, My Dallas-born wife, soon experienced sub-zero weather, lots of snow, grey skies, blustery winds, and the ever-present danger of rocks cascading down the mountain onto the narrow, windy, cliff-hanging road she had to drive to get down to the valley and civilization (shopping). To top it off, our new neighbors included bears and mountain lions.
June of our second year there rolled around. In Texas, June means 90 degrees, swimming, and picnics. In Estes Park, we still had thigh-deep snow on the trails. We followed some visiting friends back to Texas.
There was no talking Nancy into returning to the mountains, she having realized winter was just around the corner and how crazy it was to have ever left Texas in the first place. Given the urgent circumstances, we took what we could find, which was a 30-foot travel trailer on the Blanco River, in Wimberley, Texas.
The kids finished out the summer and early fall camping under the shade of giant live oaks and swimming and fishing in the cool, clear water. For a few months, life slowed to the pace of Huckleberry Finn. And it couldn't have been better.
We are all about family. We have five children and seven grandchildren. We laugh a lot. And we thank God daily for His amazing blessings.
children, Matthew 25:40, and veterans
Children are a gift from God. Each child (including the unborn) has a right to life, free from abuse or neglect, in a loving, nurturing environment. When the disciples rebuked a group of parents who brought their children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them, Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19: 13-14)
Concerning people in need, Jesus said:
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"
(Matthew 25: 37-40)
And regarding our veterans who served honorably, protecting our freedom, including our freedom to worship, you have my highest respect. To your brethren who made the ultimate sacrifice, we owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. I'm in awe.
Copywriting, content marketing, & CONSULTING Services
direct-response mail (long and short)
web content writing/content marketing
other content and consulting for the christian market - online or offline
structure: monthly retainer or project-specific
Contact me to discuss your project!