Archive for 2010

A Woman’s Best Friend

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 30th, 2010 6 Comments

WARNING:  If you are easily offended skip this post.

More than half — 56% to be precise — of women feel that their household pets are more affectionate than their human partners, and 45% find the pets more physically attractive.*

I believe I am ahead of Oprah, Phil and The View on this one. Apparently, the term ‘desperate housewives’ has deeper meaning, far beyond the frothy TV show.

Humor or, depending on your perspective, fear aside, I link this to the subject of the two prior posts, as the end to my little presentation on ‘selling by psyche.’

You see, the bottom line of the human experience and the human psyche is restless dissatisfaction, the vague, always there feeling that there must be something better just down the road, over the next hill, in the home diagonally across the street, in someone else’s marriage, bedroom, corporate boardroom.

Presumably this is genetic, hard-wired, from the beginning. All progress has come from such dissatisfaction. Without it, caves and candles and everybody thinking, “what’s wrong with this?”.

The only reason there’s a stapler on your desk is somebody got fed up with folding corners together. But the price of all human progress is, apparently, unrelenting human dissatisfaction. Anybody who says God lacks a sense of humor just isn’t paying attention.

What motivates all action, all buying action, is, at foundation, such dissatisfaction.

From an advertising, marketing and selling standpoint, I am about to risk a very vivid but very ‘adult language’ analogy . If you are easily offended, you might stop reading now. However, the analogy seems especially appropriate given this post’s title.

As analogy, the G-Spot. There is that spot, if stimulated, that produces very predictable response. If really stimulated, it suspends all thought, common sense, reason, and unleashes a totally visceral, physical, emotional response. (My private phone number is…)

Well, think of the D-Spot located elsewhere, in the brain. D for Dissatisfaction. In advertising, marketing and selling, you want to locate that D-Spot in the prospect’s brain (which may very well be a simpler task than locating that other spot) and stimulate it until the prospect is in seizure, back arched, every muscle taut, eyes rolled back, breathing in gasps, drenched in sweat, desperate for release. Then present your, uh, solution.

* from BizRate Research, ‘Pets & Women.’

The Way To Certain Success

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 29th, 2010 7 Comments

Align whatever it is that you sell, regardless of its price or its prospective buyers, regardless of media used, with the timeless, most fundamental motivations for parting with money. Fight the temptation and tendency to slip into selling based on your product or your service or your credibility — sell based on what actually motivates people to buy.

Fight the temptation and tendency to believe your prospect or client is overly sophisticated or intellectual or analytical and requires a more factual, logical, ‘high brow’ or professional sales approach. There is no such prospect or client.

Fight the temptation and tendency to insist your business is different. It isn’t. None are. Evaluate every word spoken or written, to be sure you are talking in the language of what people really want, what really motivates people to buy. Do no ad for men’s suit, luxury car, blue pill, red haired dog, private banking, investment in Macao, $10.00 child’s toy or 10-million dollar software system without talking in terms of what really motivates people to buy.

… hardest, longest, most diligently, studiously, aggressively, continuously at sharpening your skills at organizing words in a way that motivates people to part with their money. If you must be a nincompoop about some things, don’t let this be one of them. If you are to be a world class expert in any thing, let this be it.

Supposedly, I am a distant relative of philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, generally credited with the now hopelessly antiquated “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” Here is my new version, never antiquated, never to be antiquated:

Assemble the right words that truly motivate people, and deliver them by some effective means, and the world will open its corporate vaults and private piggy banks to you.

In short, what we work on most together, through every means: newsletters, recordings, telephone seminars, personal coaching, meetings, boot camps….the No B.S. Marketing Letter, Gold+, Look Over My Shoulder, a newsletter marketing to the affluent, etc., etc., is what you should work on most yourself, invest in most yourself. Be cautious of distraction. Be cautious of feeling bored with digging up the same ground again and again.

Beware siren songs of some easier way. Stick to the only skill certain to produce success, in any century, at any time, in any place, in any environment, in any economy, with any clientele.

The Old Is Still New…

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 28th, 2010 8 Comments

I want to share a discovery I just made from well over a century ago and how the simple rules still apply today.

I recently got some reprints of a newspaper from the Civil War era. In its advertising section, I found an ad selling a book on how to meet and marry your ideal mate, a home study course to learn to play the piano at home, an ad for goop to grow hair, an ad for breast enlargement padded bras and corsets, an ad for a tonic that gives you energy, and an ad recruiting sales agents for a line of Union pins – “everyone will want one.” The best ad offered its booklet “free, for $2.00.”

I repeat: during the Civil War.

Who was it? – Coolidge? – who said “The business of America is business.” The one certain thing is commerce never stops, so advertising, marketing and sales never stop. Other kinds of jobs, careers and business skills may come, go, die; there are few buggy whip manufacturers left, few typesetting businesses. But there will also be salespeople, always be direct marketers and direct marketing. Different media perhaps. Same game. THE evergreen, ever-valuable skill is to put words together in a way that motivates people to buy things.

And peoples’ fundamental motivations for buying things fortunately do not change either.

People want to know how to do things, mostly to improve their lives, entertain themselves, impress others, save money or make money. People want to be attractive to others, to influence others, to impress others; to be the life of the party, the envy of the neighborhood, the leader of the pack. They want to feel good (better), emotionally and physically.

They want to know what others know that they don’t even if they are using little of what they already know. They want to get what they don’t have, get whatever’s new, even if what is old, that they already own, that fulfills the same purpose perfectly sits unused in cupboard, closet or garage.

They want to go where they aren’t, even if where they are is just fine, and they haven’t yet explored or taken advantage of the things in their own neighborhood. They want a magic potion or pill, a way to make money without work, a simple solution to a complex problem. We aren’t, after all, all that complicated.

We like to think we have evolved from primitive caveman to sophisticated, complicated creatures*.

But we remain easily mesmerized by bright shiny objects. And Robert Collier’s sales copy works just fine today.

*Dr. Laura has now famously advised women: “Offer him sex. If he’s not interested, make him a sandwich. He’ll be happy.”

Are You Counting?

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 27th, 2010 4 Comments

Most of last week, I covered jealousy, envy, the cures for both and most importantly the quick and easy ways to fame and fortune. But now it is time to back up a minute and discover where you are right now and see if you are even heading in the right direction.

How are you doing? Are you on pace, ahead or behind schedule with your every goal and objective?

Do you know?

A lot of people do NOT know, and that’s too bad. There’s a line in the Kenny Rogers song, advice from a lifelong gambler: “you never count your money when you’re sitting at the table.” The advice came from a guy who died broke in a boxcar, riding the rails.

By all means, count. Every day. Every hour. Every week. In every way that you can.

I am ASTOUNDED at the otherwise smart entrepreneurs I have sat with in consulting days who aren’t counting. I recall one with two men running a company with an in-house sales force. They knew the macro numbers: sales up 40%. All salespeople beating quota. But they knew none of the micro numbers – and when they go home and investigate them, they are going to discover the increase is largely deception; recurring monthly billings being converted to discounted prepays.

The cross-selling of other products isn’t occurring because it’s not being measured. Another past VIP Member in the manufacturing business wasn’t job costing. Immediately after discussing that at a meeting, she uncovered a severe flaw in the way customers were being charged.

Look, frankly, I never found this any fun, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve chosen not to build, own and run a business. But if you are going to do it, it is incumbent to do it right. By knowing what the hell’s going on.

I am also ASTOUNDED at otherwise smart entrepreneurs playing blind archery everyday; not measuring their gains toward targets, on timetables.

This isn’t Amtrak here, subsidized by the government. This is your life. You can’t get somewhere on time unless you know where you’re going and have a timetable for getting there.

I have a client who says he wants to sell his business for 10-million dollars in the next few years . I asked: what does it have to look like – in detail – by then in order to achieve that goal?

He couldn’t tell me. And odds are, he won’t sell that business in that time frame for 10-mill either.

Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

How To Quickly Be Famous Part II

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 23rd, 2010 4 Comments

Let’s continue our discussion on fame and fortune and the easiest ways for you to have both.

I find it kind of funny when people see, but don’t model; when they say they want my kind of success and wealth and autonomy, but then don’t emulate the visible strategies that made and make it possible or aren’t willing to do the work.

Happens all the time, though. Envy is pointless. Modeling is extremely useful.

Almost everything I’ve done, I’ve done because I’ve observed others who had some piece of success I wanted doing it.

At the time I first encountered Jerry Buchanan, he had some things I envied and wanted: a following, making a good living as a writer, people seeking him out and paying him for advice. So I paid attention to what he was doing

One of those things was a newsletter. Around the same time, I took note of Gary Halbert’s success and the fact that he wrote and published his own newsletter. So I started my own newsletter.

I can assure you, the most certain path for an “ordinary Joe” to become both a sought after expert and a celebrity to a target group is by writing and publishing….newsletter, books, in some cases “white papers” or reports.

If you were going to model me, you would observe a number of things about my writing and publishing. For example, I frequently contribute a chapter to others’ anthology books. I did it in 1978, in Dottie Walters’ anthologies, and, by the way, got one of my first fee-paid speaking gigs as a result.

I’ve got a chapter in Linda Forsythe’s ‘Walking With The Wise Real Estate Investor’ (along with Ron LeGrand, Jeff Kaller and Donald Trump.) I made it possible for a lot of my clients, Platinum Members, etc. to participate in books with me. Some did, some who should didn’t. They don’t get it. They see what I do, but don’t see the lesson.

Another example, you would see I get myself mentioned in a lot of peoples’ books. I provide a lot of free articles for others’ newsletters and web sites.

I pay a publicity guy to get chapters of my books printed as articles in magazines. I write and get published “real” books; I self-publish other books; I self-publish ‘viral’ books for others to buy in bulk and give away, like ‘Farting Cat.’ And, of course, I write newsletters.

You ought not make any assumptions that I am on an ego trip, insane or stupid. I’m smart, sane, and care very little about ego stroking.

So you should ponder why I do these things now, still, and have done them for nearly 30 years. And you should emulate me, on either a global, national, niche or local scale as your circumstances and aspirations warrant.

Why Page Rank Isn’t Enough: Five Reasons Why They Hit the Back Button

By: Brian Horn on: December 22nd, 2010 2 Comments

Unless you’re new to internet marketing, you’ve already heard that improving your rank in Google search results is the best way to build traffic and generate leads for your online business.

However true this is, the time and money you spend attracting people to your site won’t be worth a handful of common keywords if your landing page practically forces them to click away.

Buyers in competitive markets understand the options they have, so your site needs to make its case in minutes or seconds.  Making the prospect spend that time trying to figure out what you do or how to stop an assault on his senses directly affects your conversion to sales and discourages visitors from exploring resources on your site.

From overly technical language to incoherent design, searchers report a variety of reasons for clicking away.

Don’t miss an opportunity to get bookmarked today or to have your page sent by visitor who likes what she sees.  Instead, use a casual visit to establish your credibility because today’s lurkers may become tomorrow’s sales.

Your Landing Page Makes a Secret of What You Do

Some internet marketers get so focused on educating visitors that the services your online business provides get lost in the clutter.  Ads that make it impossible to tell what product is being promoted may work for selling perfume, but your site shouldn’t make a secret of your product or service, no matter how exclusive your client list.  Don’t make your readers work to find a list of services to learn if your online business offers anything they need.

You Offer the Same Information as the Number Nine Ranked Site

Believe it or not, some searchers actually skip the top results because they often present the same information in slightly different forms.  If your strategy involves educating readers, you’ll need to tell them something they don’t already know.

Incorporating data from an independent study that supports your product’s use or an article on new developments in your field builds your credibility and shows you’re keeping up with changes in your service area and industry.

You Add Rather Than Evaluate or Group Resources

How often you introduce new resources to your page will depend on the focus of your online business.  Although new links and resources are essential if you want return visits or comments on your site, racking up novel offerings without assessing their value or integrating them with your original design leads to a confusing and disorganized page that will make your visitors click away.

Group new resources in a logical way in tabs or drop-down menus so that visitors and loyal followers of your site can find and use the resources you introduce.

Your Language Use Reflects on Your Online Business

Bricks and mortar operations can communicate with customers in a store, but you only have the written word.  Visitors to your site will pick up on spelling errors, dead links and unnecessarily technical language.

While your language use and housekeeping may leave readers wondering if you take any more care with the services you provide, less obvious issues in the copy on your site can drive new readers to click away.

Visitors should be able to glide across your page without having to stop to read the writer’s mind.

Primary Colors Are for Primary School

Blinking ads and animations might be perfect for a children’s site, but they don’t always work for promoting financial services.  Leave the moving ads and banners that block text to competitors who don’t mind looking desperate.  Unless your online business has something to do with distracting people when they read, don’t start a Las Vegas light show on your site.

Top ranked sites garner traffic but don’t necessarily convert it to sales, or even build their businesses over time.  Today’s top ten results may fall to page four without the revenue to purchase competitive keywords.  Making the best impression on visitors to your site is as important as getting them there.  You can build your online business one click at a time as long as those clicks are moving in the right direction.

How to Quickly Become Famous with “Manufactured Celebrity”

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 21st, 2010 8 Comments

Let’s talk about fame and fortune and how you can have both.

My local supermarket has a large, diversified selection of magazines – from Millionaire and Worth to Small Business Opportunities to People, US, Entertainment Weekly to Maxim and GQ to Good Housekeeping and Town & Country to Cigar, Player and Poker Weekly, etc.

Paris Hilton for example, during the height of her popularity appeared on 13 of the 30 magazines in a magazine section. She was being paid $300,000.00 to make a 60-minute appearance at a party or night club. Paid to appear in magazine ads for several products, has licensed her “brand” to several others. She is the ultimate example of cashing in on being famous for nothing more than being famous. (I’d love to employ her publicist.)

At a Renegade Millionaire Retreat, I talked about manufactured celebrity, and why and how it is such a valuable asset – and best of all, is one that anyone can create for themselves out of thin air. I talked about Bob Stupak, for years the brilliant marketer, promoter and operator of Vegas World (now the Stratosphere), how he made himself a celebrity his customers were eager to meet, get photos taken with, then breathlessly tell their friends and family about meeting him – as if they’d met Elvis.

Unlike the late Elvis, I very rarely (as in: never) get asked to autograph bare breasts or bras or panties, but while about 300 stood in line for Bill Rancic’s autograph and photo opp, about 100 did so for me, and you might think I’d be “old hat” to many of them.

But I have cultivated celebrity within my customers and target markets, just as Bob Stupak did with his, and have profited by doing so. Even for local market business owners, this is important; VIP Members Bob Higgins, Dr. Greg Nielsen are somewhat good at it. The Phoenix restaurantuer and (local) “celebrity chef”, Eddie Matney, that I had Rory hire to speak at his boot camp for restaurant owners is good at it.

The simple truth is, if you aren’t deliberate, systematically, methodically – or rapidly and dramatically – establishing yourself as a celebrity, at least to your clientele and target market, you’re asleep at the wheel, ignoring what is fueling the entire economy around you, neglecting development of a measurably valuable asset.

For resources, certainly revisit what you own of Paul Hartunian’s, Steve and Bill Harrison’s, Raleigh Pinskey’s.  Observe me.

Then the question: do you have a plan you are following, working, implementing, step by step to make yourself a (bigger) celebrity? If not, why not? If not now, when?

Don’t Envy Me – Join Me Part II

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 20th, 2010 3 Comments

Let’s continue our discussion about jealousy and envy and how to instantly overcome both.

I’m using the information marketing business as metaphor and example. We could just as easily be talking about schucking everything, moving to the Bahamas and opening a resort. Or becoming a bestselling author. Or losing 50 pounds. Or making an extra million dollars this year.

My point is, simply, if someone can do it, why not you?

Dr. Paul Searby went from barely making a good living as a dentist, working 40 to 50 hours a week, to making more money in a month than he did all year, working two days a week in the information business. I know Paul well and, no disrespect intended, there’s no innate or genetic edge, no personal attribute that you might lack. Yes, he’s studied and worked hard for a handful of years, made himself a good copywriter, had a couple false starts before hitting it big. But that’s nothing you can’t do

If he can, why not you too?

Bill Glazer went into the family retail business and successfully ran menswear stores before coming into the information marketing business “cold”. Only a few years later, he went on to having a multi-million dollar a year info-business enjoying continuous, rapid growth, encompassing online and offline marketing, niche and mainstream markets. He had no relevant experience.

If he can, why not you too?

Jeff Kaller was a short order cook, Ron LeGrand a car mechanic. Ron’s info-businesses produced over 25-million dollars last year. He even bought his own private jet.

Jerry Jones was merely putting out a newsletter for dentists; to having a high-priced coaching program, a complete ‘do it for them’ direct-mail company. (He’s also doing huge real estate deals.)

You know Yanik Silver as an internet marketer. But he’s quickly built an amazing coaching/services business, providing marketing to cosmetic surgeons — a program that sells for $96,000.00 per person.

No, he’s never been a surgeon.

If they can, why not you? I developed the most successful marketing newsletter business on earth.

I’m a high school grad, I’ve been bankrupt, I’ve zero professional credentials. If I can, why not you?

This is how you MUST think. About everything. There’s no reason not to. Do NOT disqualify yourself. From anything.

Don’t Envy Me…Join Me

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 17th, 2010 1 Comment

Yesterday, I discussed the key ingredient that all successful entrepreneurs have in common. Now let ‘s talk about jealousy and envy and how you can instantly beat it instead of being beaten by it.

I’ve actually lost track of the number of people I’ve led into information marketing. Over half of all the Gold/VIP Members are involved, many as second businesses in addition to their core businesses, others full-time.

The info-business is a wonderful way to make a living, and often I find myself in conversations with people green with envy over how much money we info-marketers make, with few, even zero employees, complete mobility, totally flexible hours, and so on.

Sometimes this happens at seminars; somebody sees $500,000.00, even $1,000,000.00 in registrations and product sales and says “You know, I have to work like a damned dog for 3 years to make what you guys just took in here, in 2 days.”

Have You Got It?

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 16th, 2010 5 Comments

Let’s talk about some personal traits of the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners.

Paul Newman is an inspiration. It’s my hope to age as he did. He was on Leno, while in L.A. for the Long Beach Grand Prix. At age 80, driving professionally in races. At age 78 or 79 , he did the 1,000 mile Baha endurance race in souped up dune buggy. Man, would I like to be able to function like that at 80.

On Leno’s show, the two raced little go-karts around a Grand Prix-ish course backstage. Newman was out there walking the course, checking out the cars, working on winning before the show. When the green flag moved, he zoomed past Jay to take the lead and never let up, trouncing Jay by a commanding distance.

In his book, talking about his food business, he says that, somewhat to his surprise, he really enjoys kicking competitors’ butts.

This is a guy for whom competing and winning is very important. At 80. With not one damned thing he needs to prove to anybody.