Posts Tagged ‘convert a customer’


Six Pro Copywriter Tips To Make Your Copy As Strong As Possible

By: Darcy Juarez on: April 25th, 2013 27 Comments

What is good copy? What is bad copy? And how do you tell the difference?

This past year, I attended the American Writer’s and Artist’s Inc. (AWAI) copywriting boot camp.

AWAI is best known for training professional copywriters. Which is why I went to scout out copywriters at AWAI’s Job Fair. While there, I spoke with AWAI’s co-managing partners Katie Yeakle and Rebecca Matter.

One of the things I learned was some great tips for how they review the copy they receive from writers to help make the copy they receive even better.

Because let’s face it, whether you write your own copy or hire someone else to do it, you want to make sure it’s the strongest it can be.

So here are some tips I learned from Katie and Rebecca about how to review your copy:

1)     Read the copy out loud.  When reading your copy out loud, if you find a place that you stumble, inevitably this is where your reader will stumble too.  This is a great indicator that there is something wrong that needs to be fixed.

2)     Read for one type of edit at a time.  When editing, there are really different types of editing you should do. One type of editing involves looking for spelling and grammar errors, missed words such as “not”, or misused words such as “they’re, their, or there”.

The second type of editing involves looking for clarity and accuracy in the copy. Is the come clear? Does it get your message across clearly? Are there better word choices that could make your copy stronger or places where an example might help to clarify?

By reading through copy more than once, focusing on only one specific type of editing task each time, you’ll be able to zero in on places that may need work. Some editors suggest you narrow down your focus even further, for example, looking for places where you can use action verbs instead of passive ones for example.

3)      Use the CUBA method.  This is a great method that anyone can use. In fact, you can have your family, your staff, etc. use this to help make your copy stronger.

The idea is to give the content to several people to read. As they read through, have them identify any areas where they find the copy confusing, unbelievable, boring or awkward. To indicate these areas, have them mark a C, U, B, or A (Confusing, Unbelievable, Boring, Awkward) directly on the copy.

4)     Use track changes and comments.  Having several reviews/editors with different comments can get confusing for anyone. If you want to make sure all of your edits are addressed, using the “track changes” and “comments” under your review section in WORD is one of the best ways to send edits back to a writer.

5)     Check for readability. When proofing your document in Word, you can check “show readability statistics” under your preferences for Spelling and Grammar.

When Word has completed checking your spelling and grammar, it will show a screen that gives your Readability score. This measures three things:

The first is your percentage of passive sentences. Reducing passive sentences makes your document stronger.

The next measure is something called the Flesch reading ease. You’ll find the best copywriters keep this around 80% or better, although this can be difficult and may not be achieved when there are technical terms involved.

The last score is the Flesch-Kincaid grade level. This rates your text on a U.S. school grade level. Ideally you want your level to fall around a sixth grade level, no matter how intelligent your audience is because it makes your message easier to read.

6)     Print it out.  It is easier to catch mistakes on a printed page than on a computer screen.  This is especially true if you do your own writing and don’t hire someone else to write your copy for you.

What methods do you use to help make your copy stronger? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

NOTE: Knowing that you are looking at reasonably good copy and understanding why it’s good will help you make better decisions, hire better copywriters and get better results. Inside The 7 Key Questions Every Copywriter You Hire MUST Be Able to Answer To Write Killer Direct Response Copy and Create Marketing Campaigns That Will Outsell The Pants Off Your Competition!”  is what every business owner should ask before hiring a copywriter.

So if you plan to hire a copywriter to give you an advantage, be sure to get GKIC’s FREE report here.

Three Ways To Increase Your Clicks & Revenues Online

By: Dave Dee on: April 23rd, 2013 8 Comments

Recently I heard sad news about a small business that has been an industry giant for decades.

I’ll refrain from using their name as it is one you would undoubtedly recognize. Their products are fantastic and have helped hundreds of thousands of people.

The company has done a great job building their subscription list. They send out emails and hold free webinars with formidable guests. They engage in social media and have hundreds of thousands of followers. Their posts are shared, liked, and commented on. They have even been successful generating viral activity.

And selling is, if not their top strength, close to it.

The thing is…unfortunately, this company is struggling and I’m afraid might not survive.

Why? It’s the same problem many small businesses suffer from…

Not only did they eliminate almost all of their direct mail activities and move the majority of their marketing online, they failed to use direct response concepts in ALL of their online marketing.

You see they didn’t quite understand that while it’s cool to have a big list and necessary to engage with people online…it’s really important that every aspect of online marketing is about hardnosed direct response marketing.

When you engage with a prospect, there must be a purpose behind it. Every time you…

  • send an email
  • write a blog post
  • direct someone to a page on your web site
  • make a post on social media…

…you should be thinking about how you can generate more clicks to your sales pages.

This does NOT mean you should be “selling” or promoting in every online activity. Let me say that again in a different way, because it’s really important. It’s not always about making a sale, but rather about “selling the click.”

For example, let’s say you have an event coming up that costs $500 to attend. You can’t sell someone on a $500 event in a 140 character tweet; however you could send them to a sales letter.

Even better though, you could send people to an opt-in box to get a free video, a free booklet, or attend a free teleseminar that relates to a topic you’ll be talking about at your event. Not only will you get more people to click through to something that is free, but now you’ve captured their email address and can market to them about your event (and your products and services and future event.) This means that instead of getting one chance to get them to click through to your sales page, you have multiple chances.

When you start focusing on how to use direct response in everything you do online, you’ll increase clicks.  And when you increase clicks, you’ll convert more clicks into sales. Just imagine increasing your conversion rate from 5% to 10%. If you did that consistently you would double your revenues.

Here are three ways you can use direct response to increase your clicks…

1) Use Active Verbs. Many businesses will create a link and write something like, “This week’s specials” or “Calendar of Events”. Instead trying putting an action verb at the beginning…”Find out what this week’s specials are here” and “Explore our calendar of events.”

2) Add urgency. Give them a reason to respond right now. While you don’t want every email or social media post to be promotional, using urgency when you are doing a promotion is really effective. You can accomplish this in many ways including using a limited-time offer, scarcity, or a fast action bonus.

3) Make offers. One of Dan Kennedy’s Direct Response Rules is to always make offers.  Look at ways you can incorporate offers into more of your online activities. Offer the first ten people that post a comment on your blog post a copy of the template you mention in your post. Or offer a free webinar on the topic you discussed in your email in your P.S.

If you don’t have a plan that includes how you will insert links that click through to a sales page, your time is wasted. Even worse, you could be the next small business that “bites the dust” because you didn’t put enough focus on how to get people to take a specific action.

Study direct response and start looking for more ways you can implement direct response marketing into your e-newsletters, emails, blog posts and social media. When you do, you’ll see an increase in clicks, which will lead to more sales.

How do you regularly use direct response in your online activities? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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Four Key Factors You MUST Know If You Want To Hold Onto Your Online Audience

By: Dave Dee on: April 11th, 2013 2 Comments

Last week I was in Ohio with Dan Kennedy and a packed room of entrepreneurs at the New A to Z Info-Biz Blueprints event.

I’m amazed that after 17 years of reading and studying and attending everything Dan does, I still discover new “ah-ha action items” for me to implement.

While I won’t be sharing my action items here today, I do want to talk about the psychology of how you get clients to continually come back to you.

Whether it’s getting your prospects and clients to come back to your events or come back to your website, there are specific ways to accomplish this.  Things you’ll want to implement ASAP because “returning prospects and customers” are key to growing your income.

Today I’ll discuss four ways specific to your online marketing.  It’s important to…

Understand the difference between the way customers view online and offline media.  The Internet was not created to sell. It was created by the U.S. military as a communication system and was later made available for academic institutions.

The idea was to create a place where people could connect and share information, not to sell.  And if you think about what most people do online, they go there to search for information or connect with people on social sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This means they are in a very different mindset when they read something on your website versus when they read something you’ve sent in the mail.

Reading a sales letter that came in the mail, they may be more relaxed and sitting in their easy chair. But online, people are more alert and searching for specific answers. Make it simple and easy for them to find the answers they are looking for and don’t waste their time with copy that is focused on  branding your product, service or company.

Create specific landing pages. Online your customers compare prices. Offline they don’t. The truth is online audiences do price comparisons… frequently. This is bad news for you.

To help avoid price comparisons and drive your customers to your website, try sending something offline that drives customers to a specific online landing page that then drives them offline again. (KEY POINT: drive your audience to a landing page created specifically for your offer. Do NOT send them to your home page and make them search for your offer or you will lose them.)

For example, an offline postcard could drive people to a landing page with a specific low cost or no cost offer that requires them to enter their address to receive a CD mailer, report, etc. This gets them to raise their hand and say they are interested and gets them offline before you start talking price, thus avoiding the price comparison online.    The next step would be to send them what you promised with an offer to buy your product or use your service. By taking this approach, you’ll have a captive audience and loyal audience that are more apt to buy.

Have a system for capturing email addresses and use auto-responder emails. Another way to get people coming back is to use autoresponder emails. There is always a large portion of people who won’t buy your product or service the first time they find you.

Be sure to include an email capture box on your website so you have a way to continue marketing to them. Then create a series of emails designed to send prospects and customers back to your sales page for your product or service.

Be relevant. Always. If you are looking through the business section in the newspaper searching for information on ways to market your business, you’d expect to see ads about business, travel and things which aren’t related to marketing your business. But online, if you typed in Google, “Ways to market my small business” you’d expect to find exactly what you are looking for, right?

Your content on your web pages, in your emails, etc. should be very relevant to what your reader is looking for and not wander off topic. Because it’s much easier for people to click away from your website than it is to find another book, magazine or newspaper on your topic. This means if you stray they are gone.

Of course these are just four of many things which will help you keep readers returning to you online. If you want to be profitable online, you’ll want to beef up your understanding of the online reader’s mindset. Concentrate on learning and using online marketing strategies that make it simple for you to not only capitalize on this audience, but keep them coming back for more.

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.

Dwindling customers? How to make more money FAST

By: Dan Kennedy on: March 28th, 2013 12 Comments

A recent article about one of the world’s largest ferry boat systems says they are swiping money from one program to keep another program afloat.

Why are they forced to do this?

Increased  costs coupled with a dwindling customer base.

A cry all too familiar to many businesses these days.

Swiping money from Peter to pay Paul may keep them afloat – but only temporarily.  It’s a stop-gap method that eventually catches up to every business.

Did your business lose customers last year?

If “yes,” my guess is you can’t say for sure how many you lost, who you lost, why you lost them or where they went.

But one thing is for certain…

If you do nothing different, I can send you this same message next year too.

In stormy economic seas, investors turn more attention to preservation of capital vs. growth or yield.

The next four years provide tremendous opportunity, but also are filled with tremendous risk.

Business owners must give more attention to preservation of their business’ equity—which actually lies almost entirely in their relationship with their customers, and, of course, their personal capital: their time and energy.

Regrettably, many do not pay nearly enough attention to these things until forced to by adverse circumstances.

Most businesses get this wrong. They think it is easier to just keep trying to attract new customers. Aside from the fact that there is a finite pool of new customers, in truth, a great way to make more money is to stop losing customers.

This will require accurately determining what a customer is worth and what the cost of replacing a customer really is…so you can decide how much you are willing to invest to NOT lose a customer.

Next taking that investment and deciding how to apportion it, between programs for customer retention and winning back customers. Then designing, re-designing, beefing up and actually implementing both programs. Then testing, evaluating, improving, again and again.

In my own work and you’ll find in GKIC’s strategy, that a lot of time, money and work is spent in doing exactly this, even though we already have low loss/high retention and sophisticated multi-step, multi-faceted “stick” programs for new customers, and “keep” programs for continuing customers, and “rescue and recovery” for lost customers.

Do you?

But we continue and will continue to add to, experiment with, refine and hopefully improve all three.

Will you?

Often we will implement twenty or more different adjustments in a ninety day period. Some minor, some simple, some painfully complex.

How many are you testing in your three programs by June 30?

Every year, I’m somebody’s lost customer. Many don’t even realize I’m lost. I guess they think “gee, he hasn’t been in, in a while,” or perhaps they don’t even know I’m gone. Every year, national companies and local shops lose me as a customer. I can’t recall even one, ever, doing anything proactive and significant about their loss.

That is just one very practical suggestion for making a lot more money fast. Here’s another: upgrade customers before you lose them. You’ll then lose less automatically. This idea alone is worth giving a lot of thought.

You ought to HATE and I mean HATE—losing customers.

The athletes and teams who win a lot hate losing, even more than they like winning. To win races, you’ve got to hate losing. Winning is not sufficient motivation. You NEED to understand the true economics of losing customers.

You NEED to get yourself highly motivated and passionately committed to invest aggressively in not losing customers.

No business exists solely on its owners’ ability to get customers. Successful businesses sustain themselves only keep them.

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.

Begging For Change To Millionaire In One Year. His Secret Revealed…

By: Darcy Juarez on: March 26th, 2013 1 Comment

He was abused and started drinking as a teenager.

Ending up homeless, he begged on the streets for change in order to survive.

Today Toronto Canada native Francis O’Dea is a multi-millionaire.

O’Dea says, “One year I was broke, the next year I was a millionaire.”

What is his secret?

He says for six months he lived on the streets with no clue as to what he wanted or how to get out of his current situation.

He changed his circumstance by changing his focus. 

He got a job and focused on turning his life around.  Later, with a friend, he opened a little coffee shop naming it, “Second Cup.”

Today, Second Cup is Canada’s largest Canadian-based specialty coffee retailer with more than 360 cafes across Canada.  Although, O’Dea sold his shares in Second Cup in 1988 when they had 150 locations, he went on to enjoy an extremely successful business career, receiving the Order of Canada in 2004.

While sometimes it’s a lack of focus on what we want that causes us to stay stuck, other times it’s caused by getting too comfortable in our routine and not knowing how to change our situation.

By just shifting your focus, even slightly, you can create big wins.

Here are some simple ideas for where you can shift your focus to improve your business and your income:

Sharpen your marketing. If your marketing isn’t working the way the way it used to, a quick way to correct the problem is to consider hiring a professional copywriter to audit your copy. While it may make more sense to start fresh, sometimes an audit of an existing piece of copy or funnel can identify slight changes and quick fixes that will make your marketing fresh and profitable again.

Before you hire a copywriter, be sure to read our FREE report:  The 7 Key Questions Every Copywriter You Hire MUST Be Able to Answer To Write Killer Direct Response Copy and Create Marketing Campaigns That Will Outsell The Pants Off Your Competition.

Check your client-attraction system. If you aren’t earning the income you desire, focus on doing one thing every day towards getting more and better clients.  Fine-tune your approach, learn how to identify and attract clients who can pay you big money right now. (Dan Kennedy will introduce and present his new “Specific –Customer-Focus Process® at SuperConference May 2nd –May 4th)

Specialize in a niche. Narrowing your focus in your industry can quickly increase your income.  If you’ve already picked a niche, see if there are courses or certifications which can further qualify you as an expert in your chosen specialty.

Identify a gap. Look for an area which is not being covered well or is in big demand.  For example, Mike Capuzzi of CopyDoodles saw a need in the copy cosmetics field as there were no real options other than to hire a graphic artist or to individually mark up your copy and try to photo copy it. By creating a product to fill that gap, he quickly rose to the expert in his field. Concentrate your effort on identifying and filling a need.

Focusing on the most important activities which keep your business growing is what separates the most successful businesses in the world from the businesses that spend their entire shelf life wondering why nothing they do seems to work.

So if you’re wondering how to bring your business up a notch, look at how you’re spending your time—you might just need a slight focus adjustment.

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 Only Sustainable Advantage For Local Business, Use It Or Fail…Permanently

By: Dan Kennedy on: March 19th, 2013 16 Comments

 

In January, Forbes published key trends to watch regarding local marketing in 2013.

Among their predictions was that Facebook paid advertising will continue to be “a flop” with most local service businesses. They also said national brands with multiple locations will transfer more of their marketing dollars to local marketing and away from branding.

There are two key items to pay attention to in these predictions. The first is that the promise of new media, while seductive will continue to disappoint.

The second is that big companies – your competitors – will be investing more money in advertising and marketing. That means if you don’t want to be eaten by all the “wolves at your door,” you need to beef up your special bond with your customers, clients, or patients NOW.

A new report from the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Council reveals that senior marketers indicated that it is essential to engage in localized marketing for lead generation and revenue to stimulate business growth and profitability. Yet surprisingly only 7% rated their ability to activate local audiences as being highly evolved.

In other words, companies are failing at local marketing.

In my book, No B.S. GrassRoots Marketing, co-authored by Jeff Slutsky, I discuss the fact that the strongest, most profitable small businesses are owned and operated and promoted by people who rely predominately on what Jeff calls “grassroots” marketing. This is magnetic marketing done at the street level, by direct connection by integrating with their customers, their community, and their daily activities.

When you think of it, this is very similar to politics.

In politics, it’s the guy with the most doors knocked on, the most yard signs and bumper stickers that wins. So, one of my big pieces of advice for local small businesses is the same today as it was 35 years ago when I began giving it: Get up every morning and act as if you were running for mayor.

Being a local business has one advantage no big box retailer or big company or distant discounter can match – the  customers, patients, or clients who you’ve formed a special bond with consider themselves ‘customers for life’ and in a monogamous relationship with you. Examples of these are the car repair shop owned by Joe who’s lived in the community all his life, or the dry cleaner on Main Street or the corner restaurant.

Despite hard times and discounter competition, people prefer to shop at locally owned, independent retailers. A small business survey from American Express found that 93% of respondents believe it’s important to support local businesses.

This advantage however can become a huge hazard, and even more so in light of the movement of marketing dollars from big companies to your local market. The hazard? This may be the only sustainable advantage available to you and if you fail at it, you fail entirely.

NOTE:  Up until now, we’ve had to keep the identity of our local marketing SuperConference speaker, Mr. X a secret. But, for the first time, Mr. X is allowing us to reveal his identity as Ryan Deiss!!!

Like you, Ryan knows the wealth in your business is in the lead flow. The more people who know about your local business, the more opportunity you’ll have to win against Mr. Big Box  and Mr. Discounter.

The problem is how to compete against the marketing dollars these big companies are now throwing at local advertising. Ryan Deiss will show you how to get thousands of leads in just a few days using a new strategy which is based on a model I believe EVERY business needs.

In addition to Ryan Deiss, this year’s SuperConference will give you ample opportunity to arm yourself with what your business needs to win the “mayoral” race in your local community. In an entirely new presentation I’ll be introducing ‘The Specific-Customer-Focus Process®’ which will show you how to attract the hugely valuable customers within your market.

We also have three presentations that will give you three fast and easy strategies that’ll drive more leads to your local business so you achieve more certainty, sustainability and control in your business.

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 Most Important Question You Should Ask When Advertising

By: Dan Kennedy on: February 26th, 2013 5 Comments

Over the weekend advertisers spent between $1.65 and $1.8 million for a 30-second commercial during the Oscars.

That’s a lot to spend, however if the economics are right spending that much can really pay off for a business. Especially if their competitors aren’t willing or able to do the same.

Years ago, I thought about building a multi-million dollar company like Nightingale-Conant.

However, I learned through painful experience the impracticality of building a mail-order business without the ability to “go negative” on the front end. The simple truth was I didn’t have the financial resources to do so which meant I had to abandon that idea and go in a different direction.

I often teach that even great marketing can’t make up for bad economics. It is equally true that neither the greatest product or the greatest marketing can make up for insufficient capital.

Smart marketers at the Oscars, the ones who had the right message, the right audience and choose the right media, could pull ahead of a competitor that wasn’t willing or able to spend that much.

You might remember when Pepsi dropped out of some major advertising for a few years while Coke stayed their course and continued spending. As a result Coke overtook Pepsi as the leader.

The business truth many people insist on ignoring is that most businesses are built by “buying customers.” That means that if you are restricted to only acquiring new customers through means that deliver a first sale, front end profit, you cannot grow a business quickly. In fact, you probably cannot grow a business at all.

Conversely, the marketer with the willingness and ability to invest in acquiring customers, even losing money on the first sale AND with an effective strategy for maximizing customer value has an enormous competitive advantage.

Business owners have difficulty accepting this message. In fact, when determining budgets, marketing is often one of the first areas that businesses believe they can reduce their spending.

The rationale is that the business can maintain the customers they currently have or that their competitors may be facing the same economic challenges and therefore do the same.  What really happens is that you open up the market and make room for your competitor willing to advertise to move in and take over some of your market share.

Really the question should NOT be, “What’s the least amount you can spend to acquire a customer?”

The most important question you should ask is, “What’s the most that you can/will spend to acquire a new customer?”

(Dan Kennedy Talk About This At Length In His Newly Released “Marketing To The Affluent” Course…Available For 33% Off Now.)

That number determines what can and cannot be done, which media and marketing tools can and cannot be used, and virtually dictates your marketing plan.

Ultimately, the business that can spend the most to acquire a customer wins. In the U.S. recessions from 1980-1985, McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 companies. The businesses who continued advertising and outspent their competition during the 1981-1982 recession hit a 256 percent growth by 1985.

There is more evidence to support the same.  If you expect to make a profit on the initial sale only, you will grow slowly, if you grow at all. You must make sure you can afford to buy customers, outspend your competitors and have an effective strategy for maximizing your customer’s value on the back-end.

NOTE: This is just one of the money-making rules you’ll learn how to apply at the GKIC Fast Implementation Bootcamp. If you’ve been flailing around, growing slowly or not growing at all, take advantage of our Free FAST Implementation Bootcamp. It’ll get you out of the gate and running FAST.

Note, this is NOT about getting more information. It’s about showing you how to use GKIC marketing and helping you develop an actual marketing campaign. You’ll actually leave bootcamp with a complete campaign ready to send to your customers the minute you get home.

Register for our next Free Fast Implementation Bootcamp here now.  Or go to www.dankennedy.com/bootcamp

 Or hear what one of our recent Bootcamp attendees has to say here.

Four Secret Principles Between The Haves And Have Nots

By: Darcy Juarez on: February 21st, 2013 4 Comments

The other day I read that Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry are due to release a new TV series…

The name of their new series is The Haves and the Have Nots.

Based on the musical play written, produced and directed by Perry, it follows the dynamics of the affluent Cryer family and the family of their not-so-affluent housekeeper – and the dramatic secrets that reside within each.

The show made me think about what I’ve read in recent months about the differences between the “haves” and “have nots” in real life.

A vanishing middle class caused by globalization has driven down wages for people with routine skills. Yet incomes at the top have skyrocketed.

I’ve read that students should focus on science, technology, engineering and math to earn the best money in the future.

The truth is that if you want to be a part of the “haves” it doesn’t matter if you focus on art, English or technology. Or if your business sells services or products that are widely accessible with lots of competition or your business sells products or services that are normally in a low-price point…

Because people will pay more for products and services than you imagine. Plus somebody will always be at the top of the food chain, so to speak, dominating their market, so why shouldn’t it be you?

In Dan Kennedy’s Marketing to the Affluent program, Dan shares story after story of businesses that could easily be commoditized and competing on price, but instead are dominating their market and selling their products and services at top dollar. From pet sitters to guys selling lobster to his story of buying a $350 rubber ball at Disney World.

Here are four simple secret principles you can put into practice immediately to instantly align yourself and guide your business to be among the “haves”:

1)    Stop believing your business is different. In the GKIC February 2013 Gold Letter, Dan Kennedy discusses and shows evidence of how human emotions are the same no matter the educational level, income and affluence level, life experience or sophistication. In other words, no matter their differences, people respond the same to GKIC marketing strategies.

Once you stop believing GKIC marketing ideas won’t work in your business because your clients, customers, patients or business are different, you will experience tremendous financial breakthroughs. So next time you think one of our marketing ideas won’t work, try it first and see what happens.  (If you aren’t currently receiving the Gold Letter, click here to get 2 issues, along with $633.91 of free money-making Info.)

 

2)    Make big changes with small choices.  Every business owner understands the painful necessity of choice in decision-making for their business. It’s these choices and the fear of making the wrong choice that sometimes paralyzes a business owner.

If you find yourself paralyzed by indecision, make a smaller choice to get you started. For example, if you are unsure about a marketing strategy, test a small portion of your target market first to see if the strategy works.

After all, it’s better to do something than nothing. Plus by making a smaller choice, you don’t have to worry so much about making a wrong decision.

 

3)    Differentiate yourself. This is especially important in highly competitive markets. If you want to be able to charge the highest possible fees and never compete on price, you must distinguish yourself from your competitors.

Think you can’t charge more for your products? Think again. Disney charges $350 for a rubber ball that you can buy at Walmart for $5.00.

Think your business is different?

See point one.

(Learn about how to differentiate and avoid commoditization on our upcoming Diamond Member Calls in March and April where Sally Hogshead discusses using customer fascination and three great GKIC members discuss strategy for fighting differentiation in highly competitive and commoditized markets.  Not a Diamond Member? Get access here.)

 

4)    Do something to market your business every day. Many of our most successful members talk about how taking “massive action” has generated a lot of their success. However, for some that seems overwhelming. Realize that even doing one small marketing activity every day can have enormous impact.

Dan has a rule of doing something to drive his business forward every day. That means that sometimes you have to make the choice between quitting work at your normal time or staying ten more minutes to send an email or fax to a potential client. What small choice can you make today that will make a difference in your business tomorrow and beyond?

Follow these four simple principles and before you know it you’ll be one of the “haves” experiencing more freedom, less stress and an income that can provide you with both everything you need and everything you could ever want.

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.

How To Build Your Own “Million Dollar Rolodex”

By: Dan Kennedy on: January 24th, 2013 4 Comments

This month, in the No B.S. Marketing Letter I talked about the only two ways to think about the 1% and 99%.

If you read it, you got a big lesson in how certain thinking and complaints can virtually guarantee you will never be rich—and what to do if you want to change your circumstance and become a member of the 1% club.

Another complaint that comes from the unsuccessful is that success or wealth has more to do with WHO you know than WHAT you know.

Some people may think this is unfair. When they see someone getting ahead because of who they know, they think it’s not right.

But why they feel that’s bad or unfair is beyond me. Like it or don’t, it’s the way the game is.

For as long as people have been conducting business, one of the ways to win at it is to surround yourself with successful people.

In NFL football, it takes 10 yards to get a 1st down. Maybe it should be 8 or 12 yards instead, but it’s 10.

So the coach and his team need to figure out how to get 10 yards in three plays.

It’s the same with your business. Determine your goals and put a plan together to achieve them. For example, if you know you need to get some “who’s” on board, you’ve got to figure out how to get to know the people who can contribute to your success.

My “Million Dollar Rolodex” is called that because I value it that highly. Case in point, a specialty printer I use came from my rolodex. At the time, we had called and gotten three quotes from local printers and one from a little-known, specialty printer, out of state, who did the kind of printing we needed. We saved 55% by knowing about the existence of this printer.

In preparation for February 3rd’s Superbowl, next week, the NFL’s annual traveling NFL Experience will be underway in New Orleans.

The “interactive theme park” spans more than 850,000 square feet and costs $25 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under.

If you’ve ever been to one of these things, there is plenty to do. Interactive stations where you can test your football skills such as punting and throwing. Obstacle courses and chances to try on actual pro football gear. There is a Pro Football Hall of Fame. Food vendors and, of course, an NFL shop.

This is also a good place to meet one of your favorite pro football players, celebrities or some of the major players in business as they are known to be there for the big game and will wander near or around the “Experience”.

There’s a lesson here if you look for it. First of all, if you want “who’s” that can help you be successful, you need to do your homework to figure out who those people are or what type of people they are. If you don’t know who would be helpful to you, how can you expect to recognize them should the opportunity arise let alone find anyone to introduce you to them? It’s worth mentioning that while you may not always have specific names of “who’s”  that can help you, identifying a specific industry or company will help you quickly recognize a successful “who” for you to connect with.

Second, once you’ve identified some “who’s” you should do a little research to figure out what they are interested in, something about their company, etc. This way if you happen to get the opportunity to talk to them, you can establish immediate rapport by discussing something you know they will be interested in.

Third, determine if you know someone who might be able to make an introduction for you.  Remember it’s a small world. You may already know someone who is friends with, works with or plays golf with your “target who.” Usually they are more than willing  to make an introduction for you.  You just have to ask.  (Hint your GKIC membership might be a good place to start. Use your online Success Club, GKIC Chapter meetings, and GKIC events as place to meet “who’s”. Not a member yet? You can take a test drive FREE here.)

Not that I’m suggesting stalking, but if you see that a “who” is an active member of an organization or club or you find out from scanning the paper that they will be speaking at an event, attend the meeting or, if it makes sense, become an active member of that club.

Fourth, know what you are going to say ahead of time.  Make a great first impression and good things are bound to happen. Almost every event I speak at, people want to ask me about their business. Unfortunately, what I often hear are vague generalities. Be specific about what it is you are looking for. No one can help if they don’t know what you want.

Fifth, you should have a follow up plan in place.  Just like a sales letter that is sent out with no follow up, not following up on a potential hot lead will have a similar result.

Start to build your “Million Dollar Rolodex” by putting yourself in situations where you will be surrounded by quality people and then taking action to build rapport and relationships with them.

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.

For Ladies Only? You Can’t Be Serious…

By: Dan Kennedy on: January 15th, 2013 6 Comments

Over the years I’ve become known as “the professor of harsh reality.”

I was dubbed this because I was the only one in a chorus of yes-men who would ever point out the flaws in a proposed idea.

Not everyone always likes to hear about flaws. In fact, I learned early in life that most people prefer delusion to reality. Dislodging people from their delusions often winds up making you the brunt of their anger—the “shoot the messenger syndrome.”

However, you and I need to relentlessly seek out reality in our own businesses and our own lives, even when unpleasant or uncomfortable as real success is based on truth.

I suppose that sounds elementary, but in actuality,  people  often avoid hearing unpleasant truths.

Next month I’ll be speaking at GKIC’s Women Entrepreneur’s Next Level Summit where I’ll be delivering some straight facts. I’ve decided to toss caution and tact aside and deliver a very ungentle collection of reality and advice that comes from my experience and dealings with the most successful women entrepreneurs, thought leaders and celebrities I’ve worked with over 38 years—and there have been many.

Last year we began this event which is exclusively for women entrepreneurs leading or engaged as partners in business, not as an exercise in segregation, but as what Walt Disney called a “plus-ing.” A plus-ing is an additional opportunity for exploration of shared interests, exchange of knowledge, networking and inspiration. To simplify: more knowledge is better than less knowledge.

I’ve heard from some of what I –affectionately and respectfully—call the “women with balls” in GKIC that they were not happy about this event. They wanted to know why they were being singled out. They felt they were being asked to sit at the kids table. Admittedly I can see their point. A lot of what I see merchandised to women in business by women coaches and gurus doesn’t have much substance.

But I don’t see this event that way…

To me, it’s another means of expanding and providing additional opportunity to a group with special interests—similar to what we’ve done with Info-SUMMITs just for info-marketers.  Or what we’ve done within our mastermind groups like Lee Milteer’s Peak Performers/Implementation Coaching Group, or our Platinum and Titanium groups.

Members helping members, encouraging, networking, entering joint ventures and creating another productive community within GKIC.

It’s also been my experience over 30 years that women do have a different mindset about business than men.

After working with both women-owned and men-owned businesses, some of the broad observations I’ve made between men and women are as follows.  You will find some of these observations truer than others because everyone is unique. And you may find that you don’t want to hear some of them.

I’ve noticed that men tend to be more short-term, immediate outcome, and any-means-to-an-end thinkers, while women entrepreneurs are interested in a more complex collection of issues.

Both are double-sided coins. For instance, men tend to be less concerned than they should be with how customers or clients feel after a sale is made, and with sustaining relationships over time. Women tend to be overly concerned with how customers feel, which can foster timidity and inhibition.

Overall, I think men are less wealth-inhibited, but women are smarter about money, or at least inherently capable of being smarter about money – and there is factual evidence to support the latter conclusion, from long-term studies of male and female investors.

Women, statistically, are paid less than men inside hierarchies, but also tend to price lower than men, charge lower fees than men, and avoid negotiation and confrontation more than men – although that has not always been my experience—Joan Rivers, comes to mind.

I don’t see anything wrong with airing these matters, facts from research about them, opinions that may or may not be accurate, considering and discussing the differences.

Ultimately, I don’t believe there’s anything I would advise or say to a man in business I wouldn’t to a woman in that same or similar business, but there is advice I would give the woman that I wouldn’t give the man.

There is different conditioning, and there is bias. To deny either is, I think, delusional. To deny it in the interest of political correctness or to avoid risking offending women is, I think, counter-productive.

Exploring reality like this isn’t for everyone. But it can be useful to entrepreneurs who are will to open up to find out what may be holding YOU back…What is getting in YOUR way, what conditioning or belief is getting in YOUR way, what conditioning or belief systems or barriers do YOU have, what business, marketing or selling strategies might best fit YOU?

I invite you to be relentless in your pursuit to seek out reality in your own business and life…and be willing to develop the habits of being brutally honest with yourself and insisting that others you rely on give it to you straight.

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.