Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category


Still The Best “Big Darn Secret” I Use To Make Serious Money

By: Dan Kennedy on: October 10th, 2014 4 Comments

Words matter.

One of the things many people wonder about is what I do that can possibly justify fees of $18,800 to (more commonly) $100,000 to write an ad, sales letter campaign, video script, TV call to action, etc. The answer is simply that “words matter” and I’ve gotten good at picking and combining words that sell.

I have a little, internal alarm bell that goes off when I hear or see “turn off words” (words that will turn off the reader), so I edit myself as I write. Still, I often spend hours upon hours agonizing over the choice of a few words in a given piece.

It is absolutely true that how you say it is at least as important as what you are saying. This accounts for the success of people in every field.

If you have good marketing systems in place and they aren’t making money for you or if you are experiencing shrinking sales, you should check your copy.

Especially if your marketing worked at one time, but has suddenly dropped off and stopped working. It may be that you just need to resuscitate your ad. All great ads eventually peter out, however it is not always necessary to completely re-do them.

By the way, sometimes copy that isn’t working from day one contains great elements worth hanging on to—elements that do their job.  But the reason the copy isn’t working is because key elements are missing such as an opening paragraph that grabs your reader by the throat and won’t let go or a great offer. You need to know how to identify what’s missing or you may waste a lot of time and money.

You can sell just about anything with great copy. While there are a few isolated cases where great copy hasn’t made a difference, it is rare, and even then the copy still sells, just not profitably.

Not only can you use copy and use sales letters to sell, but you can use them to sell your products and services the way you want to—to sell things on YOUR terms. To make your prospects comply with the way YOU want to do business.

This is a very important principle. Because it is one thing to make money, but it is an entirely other matter to make money the way you want to make money.

Everybody believes that their business is different. That this doesn’t apply to you. That no one else is doing this in your business.  That they aren’t using the written word to sell or that their copy must be acceptable because they are making sales. Maybe it’s “acceptable.” But using better sales copy gives you a competitive edge. Especially when you possess this #1 skill and they don’t.

Darin Garmin was making sales in real estate, but he wasn’t happy with the process and was becoming increasingly frustrated by doing a lot of work only to lose the sale to a competitor.

No one was using sales letters to sell apartment buildings until Darin decided to do it. Not only did he succeed at selling apartment buildings with sales letters, he got the people HE pre-determined were good candidates to respond. Plus, when he did some research, he found that he had moved into a position where 70% of all apartment building transactions go through HIS office. That was NOT the case before he started using sales letters.

It does not matter whether your clients are the CEO or the broom pusher…everybody buys the same way. They all go through the same process. They all go through the same emotions. And if you do not accept that, then you are missing out on the single greatest secret I have to offer.

I made my first money from writing sales copy when I was 17 years old. To this day, it is still the greatest secret to making money I’ve ever discovered.

And I can tell you that there is A LOT of money at stake by not taking your copy more seriously.

From the boiler room to the boardroom, across all demographics, words sell. To believe that your customers are above all this…that they won’t read…or that your words are adequate…or that you can simply hire someone to write them for you without fully understanding whether the words are well-chosen or not… is hopelessly naïve.

For the most part, we MUST use words on paper to do our marketing which means you have to keep this is mind as you choose your words. And if you are hiring someone to choose your words for you, then you better know if it is good, if not great copy you are looking at. Because in today’s market, you simply cannot afford to be adequate.

As a side note, I often hear from business owners that they want to grow their business to millions, but they don’t like to write.

This is like being a pro football player, but never wanting to get hit or a pro basketball player, but never wanting to try the game-winning shot.

Sorry, but the serious money comes from result-getting performances, not just acceptable writing.

Fortunately there is literature about the art and science of selling through writing, so you can learn it, change your attitudes about it, and translate it to ‘selling by media’ and copywriting. I talk about how to do this more here.

Also, GKIC Chief Marketing Officer Dave Dee has put together a sales letter template for you to help you write better copy faster and a special live call with Mike Stodola to get some of your pressing copywriting questions answered. Find out more here.

Programming for Success

By: Lee Milteer on: September 23rd, 2014 3 Comments

Over the years I’ve had many people ask me about being best friends with Dan Kennedy. They want to know what the common denominator is that makes us friends. The truth is we are both very introspective. We enjoy analyzing what makes things work and why things don’t work.   Dan and I strongly believe that the quality of your mindset and beliefs determine how successful you will become in the entrepreneurial world. If you don’t have a good inner game, your outer game is going to be below average. Sadly, most entrepreneurs do not recognize the important fact that they must value their minds as their most important asset in creating wealth and happiness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson declared that “The ancestor of every action is thought.” Napoleon Hill of the famous book, Think and Grow Rich said that “You have absolute control over but one thing—your thoughts. This divine prerogative is the sole means by which you may control your destiny.  If you fail to control your mind, you will control nothing else.  Your mind is your spiritual estate.  What you hold in your mind today will shape your experiences of tomorrow.”

The bottom line for us as self-employed entrepreneurs and business owners is that the sole means by which you may control your destiny is through your thinking processes. A very easy way for you to begin using your power to create the future you want is to simply think of your mind as your personal computer. It has two distinct parts that are under your control: the conscious mind, the part of your mind that is rational, knows right from wrong, directs your thoughts and makes decisions; and then there is the subconscious mind, a huge memory bank that records everything that you have ever heard, read, seen, or told yourself.  Your subconscious mind records every thought that goes through your conscious mind through all of the five senses. These thoughts are then classified and recorded so they can be recalled through memory.

Your subconscious mind doesn’t know right from wrong; it simply receives and files thoughts. It does exactly what the conscious mind tells it to do.  According to scientists, your subconscious mind will hold more information than all the libraries in the entire world put together. Your power to be whatever you want starts with your desire and commitment. Program new information into your computer that makes you feel good about yourself, and allows you to use your potential. New beliefs created from your new thoughts will enable you to stay motivated to do whatever it takes to reach your goals or dreams.

As the most important organ in the body and a highly sophisticated memory bank, the mind works upon the information and data you feed into it everyday; and, with it, creates the reality of your life. That’s why it’s so important to carefully consider the kind of information you feed your mind.  Everything you think — true or false, good or bad — goes from the conscious mind and imprints on the subconscious mind. That information is translated into a picture. So, whatever information is programmed into your subconscious mind about your abilities, your potential, and your worth, is what you believe to be true and becomes your self-image. Too often, you don’t see your real talents and skills; you simply see the information that has been programmed into your computer from outside sources and your outdated thoughts (whether it’s beneficial or detrimental to you). And your self-image — whether real or illusionary — is a foundation upon which your entire future is built. You will simply act out the type of person you conceive yourself to be, based upon your own beliefs about yourself.

It’s no wonder that some of us fail at new ventures before we even start.  Unless we take charge of the caliber of information that goes into our computer and change our inner pictures, we will be saddled with an outdated self-image and a comfort zone that will not allow us to become motivated to make our dreams come true.  In the words of Dr. Maxwell Maltz, in his famous book, Psycho-Cybernetics, “The self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment.  It defines what you can and cannot do.  Expand the self-image and you expand the areas of the possible.”  The development of a positive, realistic self-image will imbue your life with new capabilities, new talents, and literally turn a life of constant failure into one of repeated success.  Decide today to no longer be a victim of the past. Consciously decide to change old, negative programs and give yourself a new lease on life.  You can do that by maintaining constant awareness about your daily thoughts.

You’ve heard the old saying that people teach what they most need to learn. This has been particularly true in my life. As a child, I had a very poor self-image. Although my “inner voice” kept affirming that I had something important to offer to the world, my environment did nothing to reinforce it. It wasn’t until I decided to take charge of my destiny and change my life that I really started seeking help. I read every book and listened to every educational audio program I could find on self-image and personal empowerment, and gradually over the years, gained the courage and resources to revamp the negative picture of myself. Today, I know that this was one of the most critical decisions in my life. Without changing my self-image, I could never have created a better life for myself doing what I really love to do, speaking, coaching and writing.  I would have simply continued without using my inborn talents, and most likely would have ended up an unfulfilled person.  Sadly this is the story most people will live in their lives.  They will look for the quick fix and not do the necessary inner game work that has to be done to sincerely create long term success and wealth. As I say in my book: Success is an Inside Job “No matter how great your ability, how large your genius, or how extensive your education, your achievement will never rise higher than the confidence you have in yourself.”

When you consider the brain as a computer, you can act only in a manner that will match the pictures of who you think you are and what you think you can do. The great news is that you have the power today to reprogram yourself with new, empowering information that will change your life for the good forever.

If you’re dealing with challenges with your sales mindset, marketing strategies, or personal blocks, PLEASE stop trying to do this all alone. Join the Peak Performers-Implementation Coaching program. This exclusive Coaching Program is focused on Performance, Productivity, Right THINKING, wealth building, Entrepreneurial Marketing, Masterminding, and Implementation Strategies.  Go to www.gkic.com/coaching to find out more about it today. See video of GKIC members who have benefited from Peak Performers to upgrade their lifestyle, make more money, and jump ahead of their competition.  Truth is where are you going to find the RIGHT PEOPLE to hang out with who will assist you with no jealousy to move to the next level of success and you actually LIKE them?

The Unsung Causes Of Failure In Small Business

By: Darcy Juarez on: May 6th, 2014 5 Comments

I just finished re-reading Making Them Believe by Dan Kennedy and Chip Kessler.

Based on the advertising, marketing and promotions of Dr. John Brinkley, it dissects the 21 principles drawn from Dr. Brinkley’s advertising.

At one point in the book, Dan Kennedy discusses the Dr. Brinkley idea that impresses him the most. He says it’s impressive because it is very common to find entrepreneurs doing just the opposite.

In fact, since the beginning of Dan’s consulting business forty years ago, he’s witnessed business owners spending sizable sums of money and expending enormous effort on marketing while giving little or no regard to this principle. Which often causes struggle, frustration, and may exact great penalties on a business—even failure.

So what was John Brinkley so good at that earned Dan Kennedy’s admiration?

His laser focus on developing a clearly defined target audience and a clearly developed message.

Dan says business owners, “Either begin and grow without focus, or lose focus and drift away from what brought them to the dance over time.”

Dr. Brinkley on the other hand, from start to finish, maintained very clear focus.

When reviewing this I thought a great deal about the reasons behind why so many business owners are unfocused or drift from their original target.

One reason is that focusing on a small target seems contrarian. On the surface it would seem that if you had a larger audience to choose from, you would sell more.

But actually the opposite is true.

A focused target audience matters more than the size of that audience. In other words, you don’t need millions of customers to grow your business; you just need enough of the right ones.

Brinkley was very clear about who he was targeting and why they were his ideal customers.

In fact, he tossed aside enormous segments of the population such as women who, at the time, purchased 80% of medicines and medical treatments.

Instead he consistently focused on a single segment of the population which was age and gender specific, and within that, ailment/condition specific, and within that mind-set specific.  And he never strayed away from that segment.

When you target everyone or even a broad segment of the population, you’ll find people simply aren’t going to respond. That’s because your one-size-fits all message can’t compete with the messages which speak specifically to them.

Another reason for lack of focus is that it is easy to be led astray.

A media sales person offers you a deal so you take it, despite the fact the target audience is a poor match for your business. Or you hear about a hot trend in media and think you must get onboard right away.

Once defined, stick to your target. Don’t let economics, media sales persons, hot trends, and other distractions steer you off target. If your target market isn’t looking at that media, it’s not right for you and can cost you far more than money.

Direct your marketing efforts to a very, specific, very focused target market—and avoid drifting away from that target—and you will waste less and profit more.

It’s not just an unfocused target audience that can lead to failure. Your message must be on point too—and you must continue to consistently convey that proposition.

Clarity of a specific proposition trumps general propositions. People aren’t listening to generalities. Get rid of vanilla messaging in favor of a specific, specialized message that is clearly focused on what your defined, specific target wants.

Brinkley built a single specialty and crafted a very single-minded, specific proposition that he stuck with throughout a lot of controversy, opposition, and criticism. He never strayed from his proposition, not once.

Dan Kennedy says, “This is something most business people cannot seem to do.” Many are swayed by the opinions of others or by criticism they hear.

He encourages you to not be swayed by critics and continues, “I have, for example, never once gone and read any of the criticism and gossip about me…I couldn’t be less interested in it because I am convinced the sources of it are not my good customers or candidates to be good customers.”

Expend your energy on those who will be good customers. When you continually focus on a single message, you will develop passionate audiences who will even help spread your message for you because of the nature of people who share through social media.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Never confuse motion with action.”  While you may have a message you are actively spreading, ask yourself, is it targeted and focused on a single audience and message? In today’s world, a vanilla, one-size fits all message targeting a generalized audience will not be heard. Which means the motion you are taking may not always be worthwhile.

NOTE: If you want fewer struggles and faster, cheaper, non-boring marketing that attracts only your ideal clients, customers or patients that like and respect you then don’t miss our next Fast Implementation Bootcamp on May 29-30, 2014. You’ll leave knowing how to:

  • Attract your ideal client (while repelling the ones you don’t like and who don’t respect you.)
  • Craft a compelling, specific message that is irresistible to your target audience.
  • Create a lead generation magnet that is positioned to lead that perfect customer to beat a path to your door.
  • Do the #1 thing that your business must do to not only survive but to be successful.
  • And much, much more.

If you’ve struggled with determining who your exact target market should be, don’t feel your message is focused enough or find that you are not where you want to be in your business, then it’s time for you to attend GKIC’s Fast Implementation Bootcamp.

We’ll get you focused and on-track. Plus if you are a member, it’s FREE to attend.  If you’re not a member, you can take our 60 day trial membership now (with no commitment) and come for free as well.  Just click here now to discover what all you receive with the 60 day trial.

Is This Media Really Dead?

By: Dan Kennedy on: February 15th, 2014 10 Comments

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”—Mark Twain

There’s a lot of B.S. out there about newsletters. The declaration by several bloggers that “Newsletters are Dead,” is not only a huge misguidance, but an expensive piece of advice to follow.

Considering that 50%-70% of my private clients have grown out of my newsletter base—deciding to follow this advice and give up my print newsletter would cost me a substantial fortune.

Tell this to the many GKIC members who currently use newsletters to attract their ideal customers, clients and patients and you’ll find many of them will tell you that their newsletter readers are WAY more likely to hire them than someone who reads their blog or engages with them on social media.

You’re also likely to hear that newsletter subscribers are much more loyal and way, way, way less fickle than online only audiences.

Shaun Buck whose company mails more than 1.5 million newsletters for diverse businesses annually has a 98% retention rate and has grown his business by 4000%. He has used newsletters to extend the life of active customers and boost retention rates in a big way.

Let’s not forget the list you build with a print newsletter or the fact that print newsletters have a much longer shelf life. It’s not uncommon for me to hear from someone months after I send a newsletter who is just getting around to reading it. When is the last time you heard from someone about an email or blog post that was from months or even weeks before?

Sadly, many read these articles—usually written by bloggers with a good following and certain amount of authority—and justify not doing a print newsletter based on these bloggers’ advice and claims that print newsletters are a waste of time.

Entrepreneurs may further justify not doing a newsletter because “no one” in their industry is doing one.

I’ve long preached that if everyone in your industry is doing the same thing, you should realize there is opportunity there to stand out and capitalize by doing something different. Renegade Millionaires get rich by looking at what everyone else is doing and then doing the opposite. Based on feedback from clients and members, I wouldn’t be surprised if very few, if any of your competitors are using print newsletters for self-promotion, which puts you at an advantage.

Let this be a further cue. An idea certainly worth testing for yourself. And when I say testing, you can’t do this for a month or two and give up saying it isn’t working. You must give a real go of it.

The premise given as to why “newsletters are dead” is usually that newsletters are outdated, boring and have no personality. That blogs allow readers to read previous archives while newsletters don’t. That you should instead concentrate your efforts elsewhere.

I know that newsletters are not something people want to do—even writers are often pained about doing them.  But newsletters offer a great deal to your business…

A good newsletter increases retention because a newsletter builds relationships, especially when you are careful to build in personality.

An ad or postcard promotes your business, but instantly raises your reader’s guard because he knows you are trying to sell him something. Include useful tips, hints and ideas that also demonstrate your knowledge in your newsletter and it acts as self-promotion without putting your readers guard up.

You can also use your newsletter to tastefully name-drop when you associate with a celebrity or influential person—especially if they are a client of yours and one that your readers look up to. This will not only raise your credibility, but will also recognizing and promote your customers, which can lead to referrals.

Archived newsletters can be arranged into a book or collection, providing a useful resource for customers and a further source of income for you.

Will Rogers said, “All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.” Now that you have the other side of the story, what’s your alibi for not doing a newsletter?

If you aren’t sending out a monthly newsletter for your business, you are leaving a pile of cash on the table and missing out on a way to build a strong community of members (not just “customers,”) and create a loyal long-term “top of mind” bond of trust with your readers.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Are You Making This Professional Practice Advertising Mistake?

By: Darcy Juarez on: February 11th, 2014 4 Comments

Selfie Olympics.

Have you heard of this?

It surfaced in January when the impending 2014 Winter Olympics and the “selfie” trend of taking a photo of yourself, inspired a new social media trend. A competition called “Selfie Olympics”, people are competing with each other to see who can post the most outrageous “selfie” online.

Why are selfies such a big trend? Professor Cary Cooper at Lancaster University says, “Selfies are a modern day form of communication but one of the motives for doing this is because people are showing off.”

Another article says that people who post a lot of selfies are “self-absorbed.”

I imagine that most people don’t like being thought of, let alone labelled as “self-absorbed.”  However, there is something many businesses, especially professional practices, are guilty of in their promotions, websites, and advertising that makes them appear just that.

In fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes that the majority of professional practices..such as attorneys, chiropractors, dentists, financial advisors, health care specialists, etc. make…and most don’t even realize it.

What’s worse, much like the “Selfie Olympics”, many professional practices try to out-do their competitors.

This occurs mostly because they are copying what other professional practices do. Plus, I believe professionals experience some confusion when reviewing advertising ethics that different organizations direct towards their professional practices.

What is this big mistake? Their copy is company-centric instead of patient or client-centric.

What I mean by “company-centric” is that the ad or webpage, etc. is all about the professional provider when it should be “patient or client-centric” or all about the consumer.

You see, truth be told, your patients and clients aren’t really concerned about your credentials and accolades. They want to know what you can do for them. They want to know… can you really help them…can you solve their problems… and give them what they want and need?

In other words, your ad should be about them—not you.

For example, the following is typical copy found on a professional provider’s website:  “Founded in 2001, we are the area’s leading provider of routine dental care and high-quality cosmetic options. We feature the very latest technology and state-of-the-art dentistry equipment with our only goal being to create beautiful, healthy smiles.”

Can you see how it’s focused on the provider?

Change this to be about patient and your copy might say: “You’ll get the smile you’ve always wanted with the most comfortable and state-of-the-art technology available.”

Here are three ways you can make your professional practice advertising more patient-centric or client-centric:

1)      Highlight the benefits. When designing your ad, make your headline benefit-oriented and include all the benefits your prospective patient or client can get by using your services.

2)      Strengthen your ad with patient or client stories. In professional advertising, ethics guidelines talk a lot about truth and trust in advertising. Trust is important because people are skeptics.

One of the best, most effective ways to build trust and strengthen your advertising claim is to let your patients or clients do the talking for you.

This is because a patient’s story is much more believable than what you can say about yourself. And…it won’t make you look self-absorbed. Plus, not only do people love stories, but your patient or client success stories help differentiate you and break through the constant barrage of marketing messages they see.

Imagine reading a statement like this: “Over the years my dentist has helped me overcome my fear of going to the dentist by being very patient with me and using break-through technology. Now, I finally have the smile I’ve always wanted.”

To strengthen your testimonial story even further,

  • Ask patients or clients who match your ideal target audience. The more these people resonate with your ideal target market, the more your ideal prospects can relate. Look for people whose occupation, age and other demographics line up.
  • Ask your patient or client if you can use their picture.  Including a picture, especially when the demographics line up, will help your ideal prospect identify with you even further.
  • Include pertinent details.  Of course you’ll want to include your patient or client’s first and last name. Also, when possible, include their age and occupation too. This will make the testimonial more believable, further reflect matches and can even build credibility. For instance, if your target audience includes military personnel then adding the terms “veteran” or “military officer” could help strengthen trust.

Offer them choices. Let your patient or client be the one to decide how they to respond by giving them choices. For example, you might offer a web form, a phone number to call you directly and a click to call button which allows them to enter their phone number and have you call them. To help guide which method they use, promote your preferred method first.

When promoting and advertising your professional practice, you may feel compelled to do what everyone else is doing and talk about yourself and your credentials. In fact, your credentials may be more impressive than any of your competitors, however, when you focus your ads on your patient or client, instead of yourself you’ll be one step ahead regardless of your credentials and closer to creating explosive growth for your practice too.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

5 Underdog Moves You Can Make to Blowout Your Competition

By: Dave Dee on: February 4th, 2014 1 Comment

While many people thought last Sunday’s Seattle Seahawks-dominated Super Bowl game was a disappointment and a bore; there was something great about the game that you can’t ignore…

The underdog won and won big.

In fact, according to point spread history from VegasInsider.com, their victory was “the most lopsided win ever for a Super Bowl underdog.”

I think the reason many people root for the underdog is because they can relate to feeling like an underdog. And when an underdog becomes champion, it gives them hope that underdogs can still come out on top.

Because let’s not dance around the subject…

In your own world, there are businesses selling the same products or services you are. In fact, depending on your business, there might even be hundreds or thousands trying to sell the exact thing you do.

Some have more experience than you.

Some have better people with more talent on their team than you.

Some have more fans, followers, customers, clients, or patients than you.

Some have more or better connections than you.

Some have more money to spend on marketing and opportunities than you.

Generally, in one way or another, you are the underdog (or at least feel like the underdog) at times. So how can you possibly compete with businesses like this?

Use direct-response marketing. The Seahawks were able to counter Denver’s explosive wide receivers and tight ends by using a smaller, quicker defense.

You can counter big box stores with huge marketing budgets with a smaller marketing budget simply by strategically using direct response marketing.

If you’re not sure where to start or want to get your direct response marketing campaigns locked in for a big win, then I recommend you come to one of our FREE Fast Implementation Bootcamps.

Do things differently than what others do in your industry. The Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll didn’t just do what other football coaches were doing. He did things a bit differently. For instance, most football coaches run their teams more like the military, expecting players to conform. Carroll is looser and encourages individuality.

In your business, if you are simply studying what everyone in your industry is doing and copying them, there is a good chance you’re copying what isn’t working.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

8 Ways To Make Your Product Or Service Stand Out From The Competition

By: Darcy Juarez on: January 16th, 2014 6 Comments

It turned the worst and last, little no-name hotel in Las Vegas into one of the largest and most successful hotels on the strip.

And it’s one of my favorite Dan Kennedy marketing stories (as related in Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing program.)

You see the owner didn’t have a tremendous amount of money to do advertising at the time so he couldn’t compete with the larger hotels that used billboards, television and full page ads in magazines.

Instead he created an offer that turned his hotel and casino into a very specific, stand-out destination that got people clamoring to go.

Here is what his offer said:

“Give me $396. I’ll give you two nights, three days in my hotel in one of the deluxe suites. There’ll be a bottle of champagne waiting for you when you arrive. You can have unlimited drinks the entire time you are here, whether you are gambling or not, even if you’re sitting in one of the lounges and enjoying the entertainment, you pay nothing more for your drinks. Most importantly, for your $396, I’m going to give you $600 of my dollars to gamble with in my casino.”

The (obvious) lesson to be learned?

Turn your ordinary offer into an extraordinary one and your product or service becomes completely new and different than your competition. This is especially important if your product or service is a commodity.

You can transform your standard ho-hum offer into a killer offer using some of the following elements:

Develop high perceived value. Create a perceived value for your product or service that is higher than the price you are charging and you make your offer irresistible. In the casino hotel offer, the $600 dollars for gambling alone makes the perceived value higher.

Reduce their risk. When you make risk-free offers, it demonstrates confidence in your product or service and makes people feel more comfortable about choosing you over a competitor who doesn’t make a no-risk offer.

  1. Money back guarantee. People often worry about the “what ifs” –what if I don’t use this, what if I don’t like it, what if it doesn’t do what it promises to do. Give people the confidence to buy your product or service by offering a “no questions asked” full refund.
  2. Generous trial periods. Offer a “try before you buy” period, such as “Try it free for 21 days.”
  3. Low-cost trial periods. Ease the fear of making a large investment by giving a trial for an expensive program or membership for a small fee. “Normally $275 per month, you can try it for 7 days for just $1.00.” (The added advantage for you is that you now have their credit card information which makes it easy to automatically charge their card full membership pricing at the end of the trial.)

Create urgency. Everyone needs an incentive to “hurry up” and order now rather than put it off until later. Five ways to nudge people in your offer are to present:

  1. A limited quantity. If you truly have a limited quantity, you can say, “Only for the first 250 orders.” If you don’t have a limited quantity you can say something like, “Your check will be returned if supplies run out.”
  2. A special combination. Create a combination offer that will expire such as, “Buy two get one free” or a special bundle or package at a discounted rate over buying them individually.
  3. A price increase. Say in order to lock in the lower price, the prospect must act now.
  4. An introductory rate or bargain. Offer a pre-publication rate or an introductory rate and explain that after so many are sold the price will increase.
  5. A limited time opportunity. Let prospects know that only a certain number of widgets are available per region. For instance, a company selling franchise opportunity might only offer one franchise location per every 100 mile radius.

Include a powerful image. The casino hotel offer outlined earlier paints a powerful picture through the story-like wording. Another way to create a powerful impact is by including a powerful picture to help tell the story. You’ll see effective examples of this in ads for restaurants, retailers, travel and charitable organizations where a picture can evoke strong emotion.

Never assume that you’ve made the sale or use a weak close that gently “urges” your prospect to act. You must tell your prospect in clear, simple language what you want him to do and give him a great reason to act immediately. When you add some or all of the elements listed, you’ll create an offer that not only does that, but that stands out and makes your product, service or company completely different from everything else out there.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

The Secret Profit-Boosting Tip From The Boring Store

By: Darcy Juarez on: January 9th, 2014 2 Comments

“The Boring Store” in Chicago is anything but…

With its bright orange awning and illustration of a private detective pushing a shopping cart, it is Chicago’s only “Secret Agent Supply Store.”

With grappling hooks, secret decoders and glasses with rear-view mirrors, they have everything you need to be a spy. But what The Boring Store really serves as is a front for a non-profit writing and tutoring center, 826CHI. The center uses the proceeds from The Boring Store to provide a variety of services for grade school students free of charge.

Their unique fundraising approach has differentiated them and is largely the reason for their success.

Differentiating your business is a key component to success.  Failure to do so is often the reason some businesses fail.

Because the reality is that you are in a sea of competitors who do what you do. Trying to market yourself the same way they do will only make yourself look more like your competitors. The problem then becomes that you have to compete on price instead of the value you have to offer.

In Dave Dee’s article One Cool Strategy That You Can Use To Make More Money Now he discussed the easiest way to make more money this year—raise your prices. However, you’ll find it difficult to do that if you don’t have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

There are many ways to make your business interesting and not boring…and differentiate your product or service from every other offered on the market. Do it right and, not only will you attract more “ideal customers,” you can charge more too. Here are four questions that can help you discover your USP:

1)      What makes you different? When you look at your competitors, what is something you do that they don’t?

Fence manufacturer, iDeal Aluminum makes gates, fences and railings that look like the ones their competition makes. What makes them stand out is they use a different type of screw. The screw makes their product stronger and better able to withstand high winds.

Even if you can’t identify something different about yourself, you can always find a way to be different. The Doughnut Vault in Chicago always has a line of eager buyers out their door and regularly sells out of doughnuts each day. What makes them different from the other doughnut shops in town? While they do have three classic doughnuts available daily, the rest of their menu changes every day.

2)      What’s your story? Sometimes it’s your story that makes you stand out. A common mistake businesses make is thinking your story is boring. Often this is because you’ve heard your story so many times you think everyone knows it or you think people wouldn’t be interested. So while you may be sick of your story and think there’s nothing there, don’t be too quick to dismiss it.

A company in Chicago that uses its story to maximum advantage is an adventure events management company, Red Frog Events.

Inspired by the TV show, “The Amazing Race,” its founder decided he wanted to organize his own version of the event in Chicago, which he called the “Great Urban Race.”

It was so successful and gained so many followers that he decided he could make a business out of it. With a compelling story of both his inspiration and success, Red Frog has become a hugely profitable business earning tens of millions in revenue from producing and marketing adrenaline-inducing events.

3)      Who is your audience?  One way to stand out is to serve a unique audience or specific niche.

Cone is an Irish-themed gourmet ice cream parlor in Chicago that caters to a segment who love “all things Irish.”  With a handful of employees who are from Ireland they serve Irish beverages, sweets and ice cream such as their “Hair of the Dog” sundae with scoops of Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey’s ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, whipped cream and chocolate flakes.

4)      Do you have a mission?  I’ve met many business owners who donate a portion of their earnings to their favorite charitable causes.

A flower shop in Chicago called Flowers For Dreams partners with charities. For example, for every bouquet of flowers purchased, they donate a backpack full of school supplies to a student in need..

They even offer a way to make the giving more personal to customers by offering to team up with an organization important to them. For instance, dance studios can create a custom URL where their student’s families can purchase flowers for recitals. A portion of the proceeds raised is then used to donate back to students of the studio who need financial assistance or to help fund improvements to the studio.

This a great way to differentiate your business and contribute to the public good.

This year spend time analyzing what makes you special, different or stand out from the crowd. Ask your customers, clients and patients what they think makes you extraordinary. When you do, you’ll find your business is not only more profitable but it’s easier to attract and market to the right people.

What are some great ways you’ve seen businesses position their USP? Share in the comments below so our GKIC community can be inspired by your examples.

NOTE: Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

The 7 Critical Marketing Areas You Need To Have In Place To Be Successful

By: Darcy Juarez on: January 4th, 2014 8 Comments

In business, there are 7 critical areas of marketing every business must have in place. Think of it as your “Wheel of Marketing.”

And in order to have your business run smoother, be less stressful, less time-consuming and excel faster, you must have all the spokes in place and balanced.

We determined the spokes of our “Wheel of Marketing” from working with Dan Kennedy and our millionaire and multi-millionaire entrepreneur GKIC members.

Through our members generous sharing of their successes, we discovered that these extremely successful and wealthy business owners each have 7 critical marketing areas (i.e. spokes) in your wheel and consistently have them working at their maximum potential. These 7 critical areas are:

1)      A market that is hungry to consume your message…and your product or service.

2)      A marketing message that grabs your prospects by the lapels and gets them to read your ad, sales letter, emails, or other marketing pieces.

3)      A system for increasing the lifetime customer value (LCV) of each customer, client or patient.

4)      A system for reaching more affluent customers that don’t make purchasing decisions based on price.

5)      A lead generation machine that never leaves you wondering where your next customer, client or patient is coming from.

6)      Offline strategies for getting your marketing message in front of your customers.

7)      Online strategies for siphoning more leads and sales to your business.

Take a minute to honestly rate yourself on each of the spokes of your marketing wheel—with 1 being not existent and 10 being outstanding. For example, if you don’t have a system for reaching affluent customers then you would rate yourself a 1 or if you have tried reaching out to the affluent market, but don’t have a system that consistently works, then you might rate yourself a 5.

This will not only help you determine where you are weakest and can improve the most, but it will also show you whether or not you are balanced. For instance, if you rate yourself a 10 on offline strategies but a 1 on online strategies, you can’t experience a thriving business.

Make all of your spokes strong in each of these seven critical areas and you will have a business that provides you with the income that allows you to take vacations without feeling guilty and have a business you look forward to going to each and every day without having worries constantly keeping you awake at night.

Is your “Wheel of Marketing” balanced? Leave a comment about what area(s) you need to strengthen the most.

NOTE: If your Wheel of Marketing isn’t balanced, check out our never before released Maximum Profits Online and Offline Fast Track Success Kit.  This is the closest thing to having GKIC personally take you by the hand and personally mentor you to get each of these 7 critical areas in place and running at maximum strength so you can possibly double or even triple your profits.

You’ll get GKIC’s uncommon strategies and the most comprehensive training we’ve ever compiled to date that will allow you to not only balance your marketing wheel, but push each spoke to its maximum. Plus, this training is designed to help you QUICKLY assimilate, implement and profit from a balanced GKIC-style marketing wheel so your business can start thriving FAST.

For more information click here

What This Crazy World Series Can Teach You About Becoming An Instant Hit

By: Darcy Juarez on: October 29th, 2013 3 Comments

This past weekend the “water cooler” talk has hit a record high for the World Series.

Even if your team didn’t make it to the World Series this year, (my Cubs didn’t,) my guess is you’ve at least heard something about the crazy endings to games 3 & 4.  You might have even been curious enough about what you heard to find a replay of the “first walk-off interference play” that lead the Cardinals to a win in game 3.

The topic trended on social media sites…increased the number of overall viewers by 15% over last year…and drew six times the number of tweets as anything else on opposite of it Saturday night.  Fox analyst, Tim McCarver said fans tuned in and talked about the event “at levels not seen in years.”

Similar to promoting a television event or show, marketing your business is a contest for people’s attention.  You want to continually strive to get people to react to your messages, talk about you and take you up on your offer…at “levels not previously seen.”  Here are three ideas to attract more attention that you can “borrow” from the 2013 World Series:

1)      Don’t be afraid to be a bit crazy. Granted no one, not the networks, the Cardinals, the Red Sox, analysts, etc., could have predicted these crazy events would happen, but as a marketer you can intentionally create some “crazy moments” for your prospects.

Dan Kennedy says, “The worst marketing sin you can commit is to be boring.” Create marketing that is exciting and outrageous…something that makes your peers, maybe even yourself, cringe a bit.

Tell a funny or embarrassing story that people won’t be able to resist sharing. Send a note on a balloon, a lunch bag, or a placemat. In other words, make your marketing fun. (For Outrageous Advertising examples, check out Outrageous Advertising Workshop & Swipe File.)

In No B.S. Business Success, Dan gives an example of how ad-man turned TV commentator Donny Deutsch went after (up to that point) the largest client of his ad career. A $3 Million dollar account, it was an auto dealer association. Despite the fact that Deutsch had no auto industry experience and no TV experience (which was the media the client primarily used,) he won the account against bigger and more experienced competitors using an outrageous idea that included delivering car parts from a junkyard to the client with different marketing messages. For instance a headlight was sent with a note promising bright ideas. (Get the full story in Chapter 6 of No B.S. Business Success.)

You have the opportunity to get people talking about your ad around the “water cooler,” sharing it on social media, and showing it to their friends. What can you do to create some “crazy” moments in your customer, client or patient’s day that will get them talking?

2)      Pique curiosity. You must admit that reading headlines such as “Cardinals Win Game 3 of World Series on Crazy Final Play” and “Call of The Century: Cardinals Win On Obstruction” make you wonder what happened at the very least. And the more you hear about it, the more you want to find out what happened.

Take the time to learn the fundamentals of crafting a compelling sales message. When you do, you will have the tools to consistently be able to create curiosity and other elements that will drive your prospects to want to find out about your products and services…and ultimately buy from you.

3)      Understand what triggers response.  The obstruction call and the pickoff throw that ended games 3 & 4 respectively, were not the only things that contributed to the win. Home runs and errors could have easily been the subject of the headline here, but that isn’t how top media chose to hook their readers, viewers and listeners.

Ask yourself why that is.

Of course, getting people to respond to your marketing goes deeper than just picking the right hook for your headline.   You must know and understand what will get your target audience to continue reading and what will make them want to whip out their wallet and buy…and what will cause them to keep their wallet comfortably resting where it is.

Let me show you what I mean…Your headline has a big job. It must telegraph your news, idea, or breakthrough and “sell” people on reading the rest of your ad. Its first job is to compel people to stop whatever they are doing and instead shift his/her attention to your message.

Once you’ve successfully shifted their attention, you need to push their hot buttons by addressing what is keeping them awake at night.  Then make sure your offer creates believable urgency as to why they should respond to you immediately. You want to all the triggers in place so by the end of the ad, you close the sale.

For example, Chauncey Hutter Jr. of Real Tax Business Success runs an ad shortly before the April 15 tax filing deadline with a headline that says, “Warning! Procrastinators: If you have NOT filed your taxes yet, read this now!” His ad copy triggers the fear and stress he knows people who have put off filing their taxes are feeling. In the end he offers to solve their problem, eliminating their pain. And by sending this ad out near the tax deadline, he creates a believable urgency that gets them to take action.

Using direct response triggers such as the attention-grabbing headline, emotional triggers, and believable urgency will consistently generate higher response.

By always looking for exciting ways to present your product or service, understanding what will get people truly interested, and knowing how to make them respond, you’ll not only get people talking about you, but you’ll create some dramatic sales and marketing breakthroughs that will add to your bottom line in a big way.

NOTE: If you want the fastest way to make your business, products and services an instant hit and ensure that next year, you are at the top of your game, I highly recommend you attend the upcoming FREE Fast Implementation Bootcamp taking place in December.

You’ll discover:

  • The “8 Direct Response Triggers” that you must know in order to double or triple response.
  • How to drive Massive Amounts of qualified traffic to your website.
  • How to craft a captivating message that will persuade your prospects to buy in droves.
  • The Secret to transferring winning campaigns from one industry to another.
  • Outrageous advertising that cuts through the clutter and gets you noticed.
  • And much more.

Find out more and register here www.gkic.com/bootcamp.