What is Copywriting?
My definition of Copywriting is any written word where the goal is for the reader to take some kind of action.
Every company uses copywriting. The text you see in brochures, websites, emails, catalogs, billboards, etc are all considered ‘copy’. Copy is EVERYWHERE! It is part of a $2.3 TRILLION industry worldwide.
The trouble comes when companies do not use their copywriting intentionally. Copywriting is often called ‘a salesperson in print’. You would never send a salesperson out without training. So why would you leave your copywriting to someone who has never done it?
There are many principles that should be in your copy to make sure you have the best chance to achieve your goal. Whether that goal is to sell a product, sell a service, opt-in to a funnel, download a resource, engage with your company, etc. a professional copywriter is essential to obtaining your goal.
For more information about copywriting and to see if I am a good fit as your copywriter visit: www.FreshFocusMarketing.com
Expectations Are Future Resentments?
I heard a famous person in an interview say, “Expectations are future resentments…” My initial reaction was absolute agreement.
But as I thought more, it occurred to me that some expectations are good? What kind of world would we live in if nobody had any expectations of others? We may not resent anyone, but nothing would likely EVER GET DONE!
My next logical step (and I have also seen this in other places online) is UNREALISTIC Expectations are Future Resentments. This one made much more sense to me. If you expect something from someone that they have NO WAY to accomplish, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Disappointment when compounded will eventually turn into resentment toward that person.
But then I thought, “WHO DEFINES UNREALISTIC?” Obviously it is unrealistic that I am going to win a gold medal in swimming in the Olympics. EVER… But for Michael Phelps, it is not unrealistic at all… So who gets to define it? The person doing the expecting? The person who has the expectation put on them? Unfortunately, these two people will likely NEVER have the same definition…
So, back to square one.
Then it hit me. What is the key to any good relationship? Communication.
Un-Communicated Expectations Are Future Resentments…
In order for resentment to occur the person placing the expectation did one of two things.
They told the person about the expectation, and they did not come through. There are a lot of potential issues with this one, however, we don’t have time to address all the issues in one blog post, so we’ll just go to the next one…
They did not tell the person about the expectation…
Here are a three reasons why people do not tell others about their expectations:
- We over-estimated the perceptiveness of the person we put an expectation on.
Some people are VERY PERCEPTIVE. Others of us, not so much… I have told my wife before, if you want something done, please tell me. Unless I physically have to stand on the garbage can and jump up and down, I probably won’t notice that it needs taken out. That is not an excuse to not notice anything. Obviously it does me well to try and improve on my perceptiveness, and I suggest you do the same.
For the sake of this conversation though, we will focus on the one placing the expectation. Anytime we assume that someone else will notice something without just flat out telling them, it is a dangerous. Think about a time when you missed something that should have been obvious. It happens, right? Life is a circle of entering a ‘storm’, living in a ‘storm’, and exiting a ‘storm’. It is really easy to get caught up in our own ‘storm’ and miss things that are seemingly obvious.
- We take for granted the life experience/knowledge WE have.
Seemingly obvious is where we ended on at the end of the last paragraph. Seemingly obvious is very subjective as well. Obvious to one person can be oblivious to someone else. Following the garbage example, maybe one of my wife’s jobs growing up was emptying the trash. That makes her acutely aware that the trash is overflowing. Every day for the first 18 years of her life, she has noticed the trash can… Made it a point to make sure it wasn’t overflowing… Her life experience and the knowledge that she has has altered her perspective (for the better, I may add…)
I however did not have that same experience. It is human nature to take for granted the knowledge and life experiences you have. Which leads to the logical conclusion that other people have similar knowledge since it is such base level for us. It just isn’t the case…
- We under-estimate the character of the person we put an expectation on.
This may be the most damaging to the person you are placing the expectation on. I know I have both done it and had it done to me. Neither is a good feeling. Unfortunately it does happen where we think that since a person has reacted or acted a certain way before that they will act the same way again. Instead of communicating with them, we just know that they will not handle the ‘right’ (read OUR) way, so it is best to just stay quiet about it. The problem with this is that, even though we make a conscience decision to not tell them, we still think they should know. So the bitterness builds and builds…
At the end of the day, bitterness, resentment, anger, it all builds and builds… Eventually there is a volcanic eruption. Sometimes it can be fixed, other times, it can’t…
Did I miss anything? If so, let me know…
Your Pet Pees, and Sometimes It’s On Your Carpet
When dealing with pet stains on your carpet there are three main concerns. In this report, you will discover the best remedies for each of these concerns. Those areas of concern are:
- The Odor
- The Spot or Stain that remains
- The Cleanliness of the area damaged
Before we can deal with how to fix these issues that are going to come up in every pet owner’s home, we need to understand what urine is and its chemical make up. Urine, when it leaves the body, is an acid with a pH that is typically between 5 and 6. Though urine is sterile with no harmful bacteria or microorganism when it is in the body (unless there is a urinary or bladder infection), it quickly becomes a breeding ground for these harmful ingredients upon contact with the air and carpets in your home. It is very important to clean up as much of the urine that is expelled as quickly as possible. (I will lay out best course of action later on in this article that will be a step by step guide on what to do when your pet has an accident.)
The exact makeup of urine is different for each pet based on the pet’s species, age, health, diet, and other factors, but the basic make up is the same in each. Urine’s principle ingredient is uric acid, followed by yellow pigment, cholesterol, urea, among other things that will differ from pet to pet. The longer urine sits it begins to be break down into ammonia and carbon dioxide. The ammonia due to its high alkaline pH (usually 11+) is what can damage the dyes in your carpet which could result in permanent color damage that will not be able to be corrected through cleaning. That is why it is important to attack the spot as soon as possible.
If left untreated the acid from the urine reacts with the ammonia that is being created and will form alkaline salt crystals. These crystals are the source of much of the odor that is present in your carpet. The crystals when totally dry do not have a very strong odor, but they absorb moisture from the air which keeps them chemically active. This condition is why you likely smell the presence of urine much more when humidity is high or if there is moisture exposed to areas where your pet has urinated in the past.
Any area where untreated urine is present becomes a great place for bacteria and microorganisms that may be present in your home to breed and grow and cause an unhealthy living environment. Even if the potentially harmful bacteria are killed the ammonia and the other chemicals present often still produce an odor. Due to these conditions sometimes it is necessary to do further treatments to neutralize odors along with sanitizing the area.
One question that I have received is how long does it take for the urine to soak through the carpet, into the pad, and ultimately into the subfloor beneath. Unfortunately, there is not a standard answer for this. It truly depends on the amount of urine, the thickness of the carpet, what the carpet is made of, and the type of pad. With that said, it doesn’t take long though. That is why it is important to stay vigilant and get on the issue as quickly as possible!
- The ODOR
As we discussed briefly above, the odor of urine is created from the ammonia gas that is created from the alkaline salt crystals. To remove these odors, you must find ALL of the damaged areas first. To find all of the areas there are many techniques used. They are:
- Eyes – This is the easiest way to see a pet stain. The yellow pigment present in urine is the tell tale sign of pet urine. However, it will not guarantee finding all of the areas.
- Nose – Now that we have seen some areas, it is time to smell. The ammonia gas and other off gases produced from contaminants attracted to urine is the second best way to find areas damaged by pet urine. In many cases this will allow you to find all the pet stains present, but not always. According to a recent study, men can identify 3, 000- 5, 000 distinct odors. That is a lot of odors! However, women can identify nearly 10, 000 distinct odors. Many times that means that the homeowner can identify areas where I do not detect an odor. If this is the case, I move to the next indicator.
- Moisture detectors – As we discovered above, urine changes into alkaline salt crystals. These crystals are hygroscopic, meaning that they draw moisture from the air and remain chemically active. The fact that they draw moisture from the air assures that areas where a pet has urinated will have a higher moisture level than other areas around them. You may be able to feel the increased moisture with your hand or it may require a commercial moisture meter, depending on the level of urine present.
- Ultraviolet lights – If you are having a really hard time finding all of the areas where a pet has ‘done his/her business’, ultraviolet lights are another way to find them. Urine will glow under ultraviolet lights. Although urine is not the only thing that will glow under uv lights, they are easy to spot based on their distinct colors and shape of the spot.
Once the areas of the smell have been identified, it is time to start the odor removal process.
One of the components present in urine is cholesterol (lipids), which is animal fat. If there is a large presence of lipids present the spot will feel sticky and oily. The oily condition left by an excess of lipids will prevent water and some cleaning agents from penetrating the area and stop it from getting clean. Therefore, in some cases, it is necessary to use a specialty spotter that will break the lipids up before moving forward with the normal cleaning process. Once the lipids have been broken up, normal cleaning procedures can proceed. (See the step by step process later in this report!)
If the odor is still present after the normal cleaning process it is time to use a topical deodorizer to eliminate the urine smell. I have found that this will eliminate almost all normal pet smells.
|A topical deodorizer is a product such as lysol, febreeze, or other odor eliminating spray. These products are effective as long as the source of the smell has been neutralized.|
There are some cases where a topical deodorizer will not be effective. The cases where we must get more involved are rare and are usually due to multiple pets, prolonged illness to a pet that results in lots of accidents, or neglect. If the smell has persisted to this point, it has often times migrated to the subfloor or into the walls. If the smell has migrated to the subfloor, the flooring that is installed will need to removed, the subfloor disinfected, and then sealed. We also have found that a use of an air scrubber is needed at this point. An air scrubber actually pulls the odor molecule into the machine and destroys them. This is not usually necessary, but is an option if necessary.
- The spot or stain that remains
As we previously discussed, unfortunately, urine can cause a chemical change in carpet which will result in permanent fiber damage to your carpet. If this occurs, there are no cleaning options that will repair your carpet. There are other repair options that you can explore. If you have any left over carpet from the installation, you can have a flooring installer patch the carpet. Depending on the location of the spot, it may be perfectly acceptable. However, like any textile, seams are usually visible (especially if you have carpet that is brand new seaming to carpet that has been walked on). If you do not want to seam the carpet there are companies that have the ability to dye carpet on site.
Before you get to the point of having to replace carpet though, there are several options for your carpet cleaning professional to try. In a lot of cases, normal carpet cleaning agents will remove unwanted spots.
If the spot is removed, but returns in a few days it may be necessary to pull the carpet back and clean the backing of the carpet and/or the padding that is under the carpet.
If the normal cleaning agents are not powerful enough there are several specialty spotters that can be attempted (Enzyme based, bio-modifiers, hydrocide, oxidation). These options can be tried based on the amount of time and cost you would like to invest.
- The cleanliness of the area damaged.
One of the biggest concerns about pet spots is the cleanliness of the area where your pet has decided to expel their waste. As we mentioned in a previous section, these areas are breeding grounds for many unwanted organisms to grow. All of the cleaning options mentioned above are used in order to make sure that the environment is left in a healthy state, so that it is not harmful to breathe the air or even sit on the carpet. Hot water is also an important part of the sterilization process. In all cleaning processes it is best to use the CHAT cleaning method.
Cleaning Agent. Use the best cleaning agents for each soiled area.
Heat. Make sure the water reaches at least 212 degrees.
Agitation. Work the cleaning agent into the area to make sure the cleaning agent gets maximum coverage.
Time. Allow the proper dwell time to ensure the cleaning agent reaches its maximum effectiveness.
The last step you want to take anytime you put a cleaning agent on any surface is to rinse the area with hot water to ensure all cleaning agents have been properly removed.
If there is ever any blood in your pet’s urine or feces, be sure to give the pet care professionals of Pet Care Animal Hospital a call immediately to schedule an appointment.
What can a homeowner do when their pet ‘goes’ on the carpet?
- Use a white absorbent towel or wet vacuum (Shop vac, pet stain remover, or any other vacuum that allows for liquid clean up) to soak up as much of the urine in the carpet as possible. When using a towel apply constant steady pressure to absorb the liquid blotting it onto the carpet. Do not use a wiping motion or you will just make the spot bigger.
- Use an over the counter hydrogen peroxide applied directly to the area in question. Allow to dwell for about 5 minutes. Remove the hydrogen peroxide with a wet vacuum or a new towel as described above.
|*NOTE* Before using any chemicals on your carpet it is best to test it in an closet or another area where it is not visible to make sure the product will not bleach or change the color of your carpet.|
- Rinse with hot water, and remove using a wet vacuum or new towel.
- Apply white vinegar directly to the area in question. Allow to dwell for about 5 minutes. Remove the white vinegar with a wet vacuum or new towel.
- Rinse with hot water, and remove using a wet vacuum or new towel.
- If the troubled area persists or you do not have the time to work with the effective area, feel free to give us a call.
|The same process will work with the removal of feces spots as well, just be sure to remove as much of the solid waste as possible before introducing any water or cleaning agents.|
What are the Black Lines Around My Baseboard?
We have all been to someone’s house (maybe even our own) where you see those dark lines around the baseboard, and sometimes under doors that stay closed most of the time. They are rather unsightly, and can really be frustrating. The initial thought that goes through most people’s mind is that the homeowner just doesn’t vacuum enough. This may be true, but often it is not.
Those lines are what are known as soil filtration lines. Soil filtration is caused as the furnace turns on and creates a vacuum that draws air to the HVAC system while pulling dirt from the air and trapping it in the carpet. It most often occurs in the area described above because those are the areas that allow air to flow through them.
Depending on how long the problem has existed and the amount of dirt present, it can be cleaned. Unfortunately, no matter how often you clean them, they will most likely come back. Sometimes, the problem can be fixed by pulling the carpet up and putting some type of sealant (like silicone) between the sub floor and wall framing. Most times, however, you do not know the problem will exist until the walls are finished, which makes it much more difficult to repair.
How Often Should I Vacuum My Carpet?
It is the age-old question… I know it pains you to read this as much as it pains me to tell you, but the carpet should be vacuumed one time per week for every person and pet that lives in your home. For many of you, that means 5 times per week. I know it seems like a lot, but at least you can have weekends off!!
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Look Out!! 3 Carpet Cleaning Frauds
Advertising Ridiculously Low Prices
Most people are attracted by low prices, which is not always a bad thing. We all have a budget that we TRY to stay within so we can be sure that we are going to make it to the beach this summer. However, it is a common practice of unethical businesses to use this tactic to get their foot wedged in the front door. Once they get to your house to clean, they will try to ‘add on’ for vacuuming, moving furniture (you REALLY cleaned around my tennis shoes?!), or reapplying protector, things which should be included in a carpet cleaning service. It would be like getting a great deal on a sports car, but have to pay extra for the wheels.
The Ol’ Bait and Switch
In this scenario the carpet cleaning company quotes you another ridiculously low price (they forget to mention that the price is only for straight steam extraction). When they arrive at your home they switch you to the full method, which includes the actual cleaning agent. If you figure it out in time, and refuse the switch, you will not only get inferior results, but likely bad attitudes and poor workmanship. Also, this method is sure not to carry any warranty with it.
This often presents itself in dogmatic statements such as: “MY cleaning method is the only one that works, and that other guy’s method is horrible!” This statement could be used next to a picture of a child stomping his feet. The truth is the correct cleaning method for you, is the cleaning method that meets the goals that you have. If you want your carpet to dry quickly, a low moisture method may serve you best. Don’t be pressured into a method that doesn’t work best for you.
Which Carpet Cleaning Method is Best?
Which Carpet Cleaning Method is the Best?
There are several different methods that are commonly used to clean carpets today. I believe that there is a time and a place for every method of carpet cleaning, but hot water extraction stands out as the most effective to making your home a healthier place to live. The cleaning methods that I will tell you about are: Dry Foam, Absorbent Pad (Bonnet Cleaning), Dry-Absorbent Powder, Hot Water Extraction with a portable extractor, and Hot Water Extraction with a truck mounted unit.
Dry Foam: This method generally uses an encapsulation cleaning agent that is applied to your carpet with a scrubbing machine that produces foam. Once the foam has been applied and dries, it is vacuumed off with a vacuum cleaner. Encapsulant cleaners crystallize the soil that it comes into contact with, and adds a protective layer to the carpet fibers that works like an onion peel where dirt flakes off through normal vacuum cleaning. This method does work to get rid of many dirts and soils, but without the use of hot water and full extraction it does not sanitize carpet. This method is more of a maintenance cleaning method to be used in commercial applications and in between hot water extraction cleanings.
Absorbent Pad (Bonnet Cleaning): This method is very similar to the Dry Foam Cleaning method. Instead of brushes, this method uses an absorbent pad or cotton bonnet attached to a floor polishing buffer machine which ‘buffs’ the carpet. The buffing motion of the machine causes the bonnet to absorb dirt from your carpet. This method is also best used to maintain an acceptable appearance for your carpet in between hot water extraction cleanings and in commercial applications.
Dry, Absorbent Powder: In this method, a moist, absorbent powder is spread on your carpet, and brushed into the base of the carpet yarns. Once the powder has been allowed time to set up, it is vacuumed up. Once again, with the absence of a rinsing agent, this is not a highly effective way to clean the carpet in your home. If you would like to compare this with cleaning in general, think about this: When you want to clean yourself, would you get in the shower or rub a powder all of your body?
Hot Water Extraction: This method is the only method that uses all of the elements of the CHAT cleaning method. CHAT stands for Cleaning Agent, Heat, Agitation, and Time.
- The cleaning agent is forced into the carpet under high pressure.
- The water that is being used to rinse the carpet is heated to the point of steam and is the most sanitary ways of cleaning.
- The cleaning agent is agitated into the carpet with a brush which ensures proper coverage of the cleaning agent.
- Pre-spraying the cleaning agent on the carpet allows the proper dwell time, so that dirt, soil, and other contaminants can be broken down by the cleaning agent.
Hot water extraction is the only method that is recognized by many carpet mills to ensure a carpet maintains the manufacturer’s warranty. According to a technical bulletin by Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, “the hot water extraction system, which research indicates, provides the best capability for cleaning”
There are two different ways to provide hot water extraction: truck mounted and portable. The truck mounted extraction is done by a large machine that is mounted to a truck outside of the facility with only the hoses and a wand brought inside. Portable extraction units are small units that are wheeled into the facility and plugged into standard outlets.
Truck mounted units are much more effective due to the fact that the water is heated to a higher temperature, the water pressure is able to be set higher and the vacuum power is much higher. This method, without question, is the most powerful cleaning method and the most effective way to remove dirt, soil, bacteria, pollutants, and other contaminates from your carpet.
6 Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing a Carpet Cleaner
Mistake #1: Choosing a carpet cleaner by equipment only.
It is very important to have the proper equipment when cleaning carpet, which is why we have invested over a hundred thousand dollars in equipment. However, not all technicians are created equally. It is equally important to have the people using the equipment properly trained on the equipment. The finest machines in the world are just heavy, expensive paperweights without professionally trained technicians operating them.
Mistake #2: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on price alone.
Price is a very important piece of any buying decision that is to be made. We all have a budget that we need to operate under. Unfortunately, price alone may get you into a situation that nobody wants to be in. Without the proper training, insurances, equipment, cleaning agents and other overhead that is maintained by professional cleaning companies you and your carpets may be worse after cleaning than they were before they were cleaned.
Mistake #3: Choosing a carpet cleaner based on one phone call.
Speaking to someone on the telephone can definitely reveal insights into the character and principles of a company, but I would suggest having the carpet cleaner into your home to give you a quote. If you receive a quote ahead of the work to be done, and ask for an accurate, comprehensive quote, then you can find out exactly what the carpet cleaner recommends for your carpets. Also, this will help assure that you will not be ‘pressured’ to buy a bunch of additional services when the technician comes out to complete the work.
Mistake #4: Choosing a carpet cleaner without a money back guarantee.
I personally feel that it is essential for carpet cleaners to guarantee their work! What can show more confidence in an experienced technician’s workmanship than a money back guarantee? Not all carpet cleaners offer a guarantee, and if they do, it is ‘limited’. If a client is not satisfied with the work that was performed, then the client should not have to pay until the work is brought to a level that will make all parties involved happy.
Mistake #5: Choosing a carpet cleaner without recommendations from other clients.
Testimonials supplied by clients are one of the best ways to learn about a carpet cleaning company. If a carpet cleaning company supplies good service and results, they will have lots of customers that would be willing to tell about the good experiences they have had with that company. Ask your service provider for some testimonials, if they are hesitant to supply them, there may be a good reason for it.
Mistake #6: Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn’t use truck mounted hot water extraction.
Even if you are having a maintenance cleaning, which does not require hot water extraction, I would not use a company that does not offer hot water extraction as an option. Hot water extraction with a truck mounted unit is what carpet manufacturers recommend using to have your carpets cleaned. Also, hot water extraction provides the best and healthiest cleaning system available, a carpet cleaner that does not offer it, just does not show the commitment to excellence that I would expect.
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