Posts Tagged ‘free report’


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.

How To Get Rich, Especially If You Hate Selling

By: Dave Dee on: February 28th, 2013 4 Comments

“I hate selling.”

I’ve heard that hundreds of times from entrepreneurs. The problem is the success of your business depends on sales. You need to be good at pitching your products or services. If not, you’ll not only lose revenue, but you could lose your business.

There is a lot of advice out there about what to do if you don’t like selling…

Like “change your attitude about selling” or “get over it.”

That’s NOT what you’ll hear from me today.

Today I want to give you a different way to sell that makes it possible to make more in one hour than many professionals make in a whole year.

You won’t have to worry about being shy or feeling awkward because it doesn’t involve public speaking.

It doesn’t involve live coaching or consulting either.

In fact, of all selling methods this type of selling has the lowest amount of personal interaction with buyers. In many cases, you’ll have no interaction with buyers at all.

You won’t even have to face rejection.

What’s more, you can do it without even leaving your home. Plus you can leverage what you already know and use the things you are most passionate about to make it easier and more enjoyable.

The best part?

You can do work once and get paid forever.

Sound too good to be true? It’s not.

I’m talking about copywriting. Putting words on paper that encourage people to send you money.

Now obviously you’ve heard the term “copywriting” before. But here is something you may not know about it…

It’s the highest paid skill in the world. And it gives you tremendous leverage. Because once you get the right words on the paper, all you have to do is use the right media to deliver the message to the right person.  And then you simply “rinse and repeat.”

Let me tell you a story about a man named Gary. Gary was an encyclopedia salesman who wanted to get into information publishing. He was a very good salesman, but he hated the long days, and hated the rejection.

He made a lot of money, but he hated seeing people face to face. Hated it.

The reason Gary wanted to get into information publishing was so that he never had to do face-to-face selling and telephone prospecting again.

The idea of sending out a letter in the mail, and having money come back without ever seeing his customers or even talking to them on the phone appealed greatly to Gary.

Plus he could have a printer print up all his letters and the post office deliver them so that he would never have to do any “leg work.” Write the letter, have others send it out. Gary is, of his own admission, a somewhat lazy fellow, so you can see why the information business appealed to him.

So, Gary used what he had learned while he was selling encyclopedias to write a letter. He took all the elements of his sales presentation, and put it in print. So now, instead of giving a sales presentation one on one, he could deliver it to millions of people at the same time.

What was the bottom line? Simply this: Gary was soon able to mail so many letters, that he brought in over 20,000 checks per DAY!

What was Gary selling? It doesn’t matter! See, the magic was not in the product – it was in the letter!

People were sending Gary money because of the words contained in the letter. And, the neat part was, Gary only had to write the letter one time – once it worked all he had to do was mail it again and again.

That’s the power of good copywriting and a great way to sell.

In fact, whenever top marketers want to make more money, they just write, or hire someone else to write, a killer sales letter. Once they put it in the mail, the money starts to roll in.

Copywriting truly is the best way to go for the person who doesn’t like to sell. The truth is though that it takes a lot of work, study and trial and error to learn how to do it. However, if you don’t like to sell and don’t want to spend time mastering copywriting, then you do have another option.

You can hire a copywriter to write sales letters for you.

Even with paying a professional copywriter’s fees, it’ll be well worth it. You won’t have to sell your products or services yourself and if you hire a good copywriter, you only have to pay them to write the letter once, then you can use it to sell your products or services and collect checks from it forever (or at least a very long time.)

NOTE: If you’re interested in hiring 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!”

This report reveals critical information average copywriters don’t want you to know. However, the good ones won’t mind a bit. Plus, you’ll be better off, and make more money. Beware though, you’ll probably have to pay more to get a good copywriter. Worth it though when you consider that bad copy wastes precious dollars and costs you sales.

So the question to ask yourself now is would you rather save a few minutes by not looking at this report? Or would you like to set yourself up to make millions?  Remember there is no charge for this.

Click here to get your FREE report!

If you’d like GKIC’s best selling copy-writing course for 33% off, click here now.

ONE MORE THING: 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. 

Four tips from Kris Kringle’s spreadsheet…

By: Dave Dee on: December 4th, 2012 6 Comments

At home in Atlanta, the holiday festivities are in high gear…

From the great tree lighting in Lenox Square to concerts, events leading up to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, ice-skating, Santa appearances and shopping …it seems everyone is full steam ahead.

Of course there’s a lot to do personally too—right?

Present-shopping for family and friends, gift-wrapping, tree-trimming, holiday card writing and mailing, house-decorating, holiday meal-planning and making, cookie baking and on and on…

There is a lot to do, but somehow we manage to get it all done each year.
Why is that?

Are we superhuman?

Does “Kris Kringle” have a spread sheet?

No, but we are more focused.  We have our to-do lists and our priorities and we relentlessly attack them into submission.

To be super successful at your business, you have to adapt the same “nothing can stop me attitude.”

Here are a four tips you can take from the holiday season about how to improve your productivity and results…

Take massive action consistently. The biggest take-a-way here is to take massive action—but not just at the holidays.

Every year businesses go all out for the holidays. Planning special events, decorating, doing massive amounts of advertising. Imagine if you did this every month all year round?

Sure, businesses are capitalizing on the holidays, however, if you look, you can find something to capitalize on every month all year round. (For ideas on how to generate more revenue and take maximum advantage of the holidays year-round, check out Dan’s unique system that will show you how to promote your business on almost every day of the year in the Ultimate Holiday Promotions and Swipe File.)

Prepare. Are you holding any holiday dinners or parties this year?

Think about the preparation you put into these. You have to make a guest list. Pick a date. Decide on a menu. Shop for the food. Get your house ready for company. Send out invitations. Follow up with your guests. Plan what you are going to wear. Set the table. Make a plan for cooking the food so that it’s finished at the precise time you want to serve dinner.

There is a lot of thought and energy that goes into planning this one event. In fact, more time and energy goes into the planning and preparation than into the time the actual event takes.

Yet many business owners do not put the same thought into preparing their marketing!

They spend more time on the execution than on the planning. For example, invest more time finding out who your target audience is and who you should send your marketing to. Decide when and how you will follow up. Work on creating an irresistible offer that will make your prospects and customers not just eager, but “foaming at the mouth” eager to respond.

Use a “holiday mindset” to get it done.  Every year at the holidays you wonder if you can get it all done. But somehow you figure it out.

You might not have everything picture perfect, but somehow you manage to complete all the items on your list. Shift that mentality to your marketing and you will not only find you are implementing far more than you ever have before, but that you are getting results far beyond what you ever have.

Just like with your holiday planning, prioritize. To get marketing items done, plan to do the things which require the most energy and focus during your peak energy time. For most people this tends to be in the morning. Save repetitive tasks for when your energy slump kicks in.

Minimize the number of man hours.  The other day I saw a commercial for the post office. You can pick up pre-paid boxes for shipping at the post office and your postman (or woman) will pick them up from your house to save you a trip to the post office.

I’ve also seen ads for companies that will not only print your holiday cards, but who will also mail them for you.

In your business, you have time-saving resources available to you too.  For example, you can use time-tracking software to keep track of billable hours for you. You can set up autoresponder emails as a follow up to prospects and customers whenever they take certain actions like buy a product or sign up to receive your emails. (A great way to automate a lot of your business is by using Infusionsoft.)

Whenever possible utilize software and resources to automate your marketing. This allows you to not only get a lot more done, but to save you time by not having to do things over again and again.

Don’t wait until next year to put this into play. Take clues from your holiday preparation and put your marketing on steroids before the end of the year. When you do, you’ll start next year off in high gear and every day will seem like Christmas.

What other success tips can you take from the holidays and apply to your business? Share your ideas in the comment section below.

NOTE: One of the biggest things that stops businesses from implementing marketing is copy. If you haven’t seen 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!” this is a great place to start to make sure you find the right resource. You can grab your FREE copy by clicking here.

How To Make People Choose You When They Are Ready To Buy…

By: Dave Dee on: October 2nd, 2012 11 Comments

Last week a friend of mine’s husband had six hours of dental work.

Deathly afraid of the dentist, he put his visit off so long that he needed a lot of work done.

In fact, it took six years of poking and prodding the guy to finally get him to go.

Now that might be a little on the long side of the buying cycle, but today I want you to think about when, why and how you buy stuff.

To start, do me a favor and answer the following questions:

Have you been to the dentist recently? If not, will you need to go within the next six months?

Will you go out to eat one or more times this month? What about this week?

Could you see yourself buying a new electronic device—a computer, TV, stereo, or phone for example in the next 6 months to one year?

For some reading this, you might be looking to buy a new computer right now, others might be thinking in the next year they want to upgrade.

You most likely will eat out at least once this month. And go to the dentist in the next six months to get your teeth cleaned and checked (unless, of course, you are like my friend’s husband.)

The point is everyone is at different places in life’s continuous array of buying cycles.

And so are your customers.  Some are looking for your products or services right now. Some don’t need them right now, but down the line, in six months to a year for example, they will need what you offer.

It’s difficult to exactly pinpoint when necessity, your marketing or some other force is going to push them into buying mode.

Now let me ask you a question…

Let’s say your car breaks down today. Who would you be more likely to choose to repair your car?

Would you choose:

a)     The dealer you bought your car from that you haven’t heard from?

b)     An auto-repair shop you’ve driven past a few times?

c)     The auto-repair shop that sent you a free report on how to keep your auto repair costs down  and has been sending you tips to keep your car running better for the past several months?

d)     The auto-repair shop that you found by doing a search on the Internet?

 

Chances are you would pick “c”, the repair shop sending you tips because you’ve started to get to know them. Maybe you even used a tip or two that helped you, which makes you trust them a bit more.

In other words, you are starting to build a relationship with them.

Understanding that buyers are continually in different places in the buying cycle will help you understand the importance of having a lead generation system in place.  And understanding that if they have a relationship with you, then they are more likely to do business with you when they are ready to buy will help you capture more leads, sell more product and keep you booked solid.

Here are five things we do at GKIC that you can do in your business to continually introduce people to our business, establish a relationship with them and be ready when they are ready to buy.

1)     Always have something to invite people to.  This can be a webinar, an open house, a tele-seminar, a live event…and so on. Pick a topic or idea that relates to your product or service and get started. This helps you connect with many potential clients all at one time.

 

2)     Build a community. Communities are powerful because they give people a sense of belonging to something and that they are not alone. From a business standpoint, communities build credibility by establishing that other people like you and trust you.  Holding an event , creating a forum or getting them to “like” your Facebook page allows people to connect and engage with you.

 

3)     Keep your name in front of your prospects by providing valuable content. Once a lead is in your system, your objective is to create content that will keep your products, services and brand in front of them.  The key here is to give away something that your prospects perceive as having value–something that will benefit them or solve their problems.

 

4)     Have multiple points of entry. Create multiple ways to introduce people to your products and services. One point of entry might be through your website.  You can also use free reports, books, events, referral strategies, speaking engagements, articles written for publications in your niche or industry as points of entry.

 

5)     Use a variety of media formats. Once you have figured out different points of entry, send content in a variety of formats so that you are sure to hit your customers’ communication preference.

Let me explain. When I’m communicating with different friends and business associates, some are more likely to pick up the phone when I call, while others prefer a text message. Dan Kennedy, he prefers something by fax. Others will be more likely to answer my email. And some respond best when I mail them a personal note.

Your customers are like that too. They will be more likely to respond to different types of media than others. For example, one customer might be more likely to download a free report from an email while another will be more likely to respond to the free report if the offer is sent through the mail. That said, this doesn’t mean you pick one media that you think they are most likely to respond to—otherwise you will miss a whole segment of your audience.

 

Remember to get more clients and make more sales, you need to have a lead generation system in place that will continually supply you with potential buyers in different stages of the buying process. Create a system that starts the conversation and makes a connection, and when it’s time for them to buy, you will be the only logical choice.

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 Truth About Converting Customers And Four Tips To Make It Easier

By: Dave Dee on: September 25th, 2012 2 Comments

Last week at the Fast Implementation Boot Camp, GKIC members left excited because of the proven “ready-to-go” marketing processes they now have for their businesses.

It’s one of my favorite events because the change we see in businesses after they attend is so dramatic…

Like Walter Bergeron, our 2012 co-Marketer of the Year winner, who attended the Fast Implementation Boot Camp one year ago in September of 2011.

Walter went home and mailed out a newsletter using some of the things he learned. As a result, just a few weeks later, he received his first order from the newsletter for $30,000 from a “lost customer.”

I love stories like this.

The thing is, this might sound like an overnight success story. But the truth is, it’s not.

You see, Walter was a member with GKIC for a year before he came to that boot camp. And even though he was a member for a year, he didn’t use GKIC strategies during that first year.

He says, “When I started as a GKIC member I agreed with everything Dan (Kennedy) and all the members and guest speakers taught. I found it all very fascinating and intriguing and I thought that maybe someday I could do some of those things. But there was always something preventing me from taking the next step.”

The continued messaging to Walter through direct mail, emails, newsletters, webinars and boot camp is what finally convinced Walter to do something and try GKIC strategies.

In reality, Walter’s path is similar to the majority of your customers. Because there really are no “ready-made” customers, no matter what your business is. In other words, there is a period of gestation between when your prospect finds out about you and when he or she buys.

In Marketing to the Affluent, Dan Kennedy talks about how a $14,000 exercise machine is sold. He says, “The guy on the other end of the phone who took the order only– says that it was pretty easy (to get the order.) The salesman asked three questions and closed the sale… he didn’t see all the other stuff that lead up to it, nor did he see what else those prospects may have done.”

Not only do we not know how long a customer has been considering their purchase, often times we don’t see the other products and services our customers consider or even buy before they buy our “thing.”

Realize that no matter what you sell… insurance, financial services, furniture, food at a restaurant, pet products… whatever… everything has an incubation period. That means in order to win the business and truly convert a prospect to a buyer and a buyer to a loyal fan, it’s your job to get in front of and stay in front of your prospect.

This also means that you can’t expect a prospect to immediately convert to a customer.

This is why you need to constantly generate leads and help lead them through the gestation period to bring them to a fully mature, raving fan.

Four tips to developing raving fans are:

1. Create systems. Putting systems in place ensures you are regularly attracting and leading prospects to your product or service and engaging with them to help guide them and sell to them during that gestation period.

2. Create systems for every stage your prospect, client, customer or patient will go through. For example, create a system to attract new clients, to follow-up on potential clients, to manage current clients, to educate prospects and clients and to help customers use your product or service. Without systems in place, prospects and customers, clients and patients will never find out about you or they will fall through the cracks causing lost revenue or worse.In No B.S. Business Success In The New Economy, Dan relays this story from Dr. Michael Roizen M.D. as seen on PBS and Oprah. Dr. Roizen says, “…Even if the pills are free, in the V.A., and patients who have hypertension and know that it is a serious disease, only one-third of those patients take the pills prescribed—and that’s when the pills are free! Only two-thirds even fill the prescription to start with.” Dr. Roizen goes on to say that the “failure in medicine is failing to understand that we have to sell health.” In another story in Marketing to the Affluent Dan talks about how he was personally ready to write a check to a guy for $77,000 for a service he needed. Dan says he had the money. It was easy to get the money. He needed the service. And he trusted the guy. But… there were three or four things that Dan had questions about that weren’t answered or followed up on. The result? No sale. Lost revenue of $77,000 and probably a whole lot more because now there are no referrals from Dan nor a new customer who would continue to buy. In your business, you need to continue to sell whatever message your prospect or customer needs to understand and respond to.

3. Having systems in place means you won’t have to chase after clients, customers or patients—nor are you losing sales because you didn’t have time or forgot to follow up with them. Don’t worry about having a perfect system. You don’t need the perfect system to get started. Put something in place, then tweak as you go. At GKIC, we are constantly tweaking existing systems to make them better and sometimes we put something up, knowing it could be better. Don’t let perfect get in the way of done—because even an imperfect system will capture and convert more sales than one that isn’t done in the first place.

4. Swipe & Deploy. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Use what is already in place and proven to work. (The key here is to use something you know is successful.) For example, grab ideas from your Million Dollar Swipe File in your No B.S. Marketing Newsletter or the three-step sequence in Magnetic Marketing.  Not only does this make it easier and faster, but because these are proven to work, you will be more successful and more profitable. Bookmark systems. When you come across a system you like, bookmark it so you can easily find it later when you are ready to use it. For example, our most incredible free gift offer sequence (located here ) is a great example that every business can use to attract new customers and boost sales. If you aren’t ready to set this up in your business, bookmark it in a “to-do” file online. You can also save direct mail sequences to see what other businesses are doing. If you are holding an event, look at what GKIC is doing and save all the pieces we mail. Look at what companies who send out catalogs do. Save mail from non-profit organizations (big non-profits like American Cancer Society, World Wildlife Fund, and other non-profits tend to have excellent examples.) Then when you are ready to create your system, you have a ready-to-go swipe source waiting for you.

Put systems in place and you will find a lot more of your “Walter Bergeron” customers. You’ll be more efficient, more productive, and convert more prospects to paying customers. Plus, by ensuring consistent contact with your prospects, customers, patients and clients, you’ll always have a steady flow of new business.

Three Tips On How To Prevent Your Prospect From “Walking Out” On Your Sales Offer…

By: Darcy Juarez on: September 20th, 2012 5 Comments

The end of the first teachers strike in 25 years in Chicago yesterday made me think about mistakes businesses make when doing lead generation promotions…

Similar to the Chicago strike where teachers felt their problems were not being solved by their current contract… prospects don’t respond to your lead generation letters when they feel you aren’t solving their problems or challenges.

Dan Kennedy just released his course Opportunity Concepts Marketing in which he reveals why most businesses are DEAD WRONG about what their prospects are really thinking…and how to close this Grand Canyon sized gap.

Here are a few simple remedies that Dan shares that can put an end to their feelings of rejection and garner you a much better response:

1) Remember, it’s not about you. Spend most of your time talking about what your prospect cares about.  When you create a sales letter to promote yourself, your product or your service, it’s important to remember that your prospect isn’t interested in you, your product or service. What they really want to know is what’s in it for them.

The rule of thumb is to spend a very small amount of time (only about 10% of your sales piece) talking about yourself.  You do this to establish your credibility and trustworthiness. Spend the rest of the time talking about what your prospects care about—which is their problems and challenges. Once you’ve discussed these, tell them how your product or service is the solution they are looking for.

2) Make a valuable offer. Lead generation is an important component to growing your business. In these pieces it’s common for these types of promotions to say something like, “For a free information package” or “for more information.”

However, using the words “more information” tends to be a tip off and can come across as  being about what you are concerned about—making the sale—instead of what your prospect cares about.

Instead try offering a free report, free e-book or complimentary introductory kit.  This will still contain many of the same items as your “more information” would such as samples and information about your product, but is more appealing for a prospect to respond to.

Tip: To discover what to put into your introductory kit or report, try getting on forums, social media sites and other places where you can survey people about what questions they want answered.

3) Use a headline, not your logo, at the top of the page.  A common mistake is to put your logo and branding at the top of a sales letter or to use letterhead when contacting prospects. Again, this says the focus is on you instead of on your prospect.

The most valuable real estate is at the top of your letter. Use it to put a headline that will have a powerful impact and dictate whether or not your prospect continues reading.

Here’s something else – and it’s extremely important. Don’t use “wish washy language” at the end of your letter.  Don’s say things like, “If you are interested in finding out about ten ways you can ensure you will be prepared for retirement, call us at 1-800-234-5678.

Instead, use authoritative language when it’s time to make your call to action. Tell your reader what to do.  For example, say, “Complete the enclosed reply card and mail it today to receive your free report on The Financial Planner’s Ten Secrets to Retiring Early.”

Follow these three tips in your lead generation promotions and more people will take you up on your offer the first time.

Not only that, but you’ll find subsequent offers will be more successful because they’ll look upon you as someone concerned about their problems and challenges and not just another marketer trying to sell something.

NOTE: Interested in even more tips for bigger profits from your lead generation sales letters?

Find out the BIG obstacles most marketers don’t know exist and how to overcome them with Dan Kennedy’s newly released Opportunity Concepts Marketing.

I Want To Find Out Why Most Businesses Are Dead Wrong About What Their Customers Are Thinking...click here.

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.

Olympic 2012 Shortfall: 3 Principles To Help You Get Your Message Right, Even In A Bad Situation

By: Dave Dee on: July 19th, 2012 9 Comments

In eight days, the 2012 Olympics start.

And one company contracted to help out has announced they can’t deliver.

The company, G4S, was paid more than $444 million to provide 10,400 guards for the event.

The chief executive, Nick Buckles, told UK’s government that they had a shortage of staff and he “hopes” they can provide 7000 guards.

So far they’ve only been able to send 4,200.

While the company said they would investigate after the games how this happened, one reason given for their failure had to do with G4S’s employment policies which pays little more than minimum wage.

After reading the story, I read a few comments from readers…

“20 billion and the publicity begins to pour in for London…what a waste of money and resources.”

“Just think, New York. If NYC’s bid had “won” the rights for the 2012 games, this mess could have been all yours.”

“The following MUST resign or be sacked. CEO of G4S Nick Buckles, Minister Theresa May MP, Jeremey Hunt MP. End of discussion.”

Not good.

Here’s the thing… Nick Buckles, despite the situation he was in, could have found a better way to deliver the news.

For starters, instead of saying “We hope to have 7000 guards”, he could have said, “We will have at least 7000 guards and have already made arrangements to have our current staff work overtime to meet this demand should we be unable to hire enough additional guards.”

This would have painted him as a man who is proactively doing everything he can to correct the situation and painted him as a man with solutions.

Of course, when a situation like this arises, word choice appears more critical.

But the truth is…

Word choice is important in EVERY situation.

From selling your products and services to generating leads to handling situations when mistakes occur—the way you say something can make a huge difference.

When choosing your words do the following:

Paint a picture that puts you, your product or service in a positive light with your target audience. Dan Kennedy relays a story from Cavett Robert about the southern politician during prohibition who was asked for his position on liquor and moonshine.

The politician said, “If by liquor you mean that evil substance that corrupts America’s youth, disrupts family life and pits friend against friend in drunken argument, then friends I am 100% opposed. But if by liquor, you mean that nectar of Nature, born from the golden grains of our farmlands, that soothes the aches and pains of the elderly, lubricates enjoyable conversation and brings friends together on the front porch, then, by God, I’m for it.”

Same product. But two completely different pictures. Two different takes that conjure up extreme opposite emotions and paints the politician in a positive light depending on who he is speaking to.

Choose salesmanship over explanation. Too often businesses give explanations of their product or service when they really should be focused on salesmanship.

A weight loss product with the messaging “Tone Protein Brand gives you 26 grams of protein and no added sugar in each serving” is  an example of telling you what the product is (explanation).  Changing the message to “Lose weight faster and never feel hungry drinking one Tone Protein Brand shake a day,” turns this message into an example of a message that tells the reader what the product or service will do for them (salesmanship).

This is important because, the true function of your copy is to cause the reader, viewer or listener to perform a positive act as the direct result of your message.

Explanation does nothing more than educate. You want to get your reader to give you their contact information… buy something… sign up for your free report. In other words…do something.

Create clear messages. Have you ever seen the bit on the Jay Leno show called “Headlines”where people send in ads with funny headlines, stories or ads? Often the reason the ads are funny is because the advertiser was not clear with his message.

An ad ran for a hair system product for men looking for a solution to their thinning hair. The headline said, “Thinning Hair…” and the second line said, “We Guarantee It!” Do you think the company meant to guarantee you’d experience thinning hair with their product?

When you choose words and phrases, a clear message should take precedence over everything else.

While it’s true that security company G4S would still have an embarrassing situation to handle, paying more attention to their choice of words would have dramatically helped their situation.

I hope you never find yourself in the position of over-promising like security company G4S did, but if you do, these three principles will go a long way to helping you make better word choices so that you’ll come out looking much better than they did.

Regardless, developing positive messages using salesmanship and clarity will help you gain more customers, sell more product and most importantly, stay in good standing with your prospects and customers.

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Is this stopping you from starting or growing your business?

By: Dan Kennedy on: July 17th, 2012 9 Comments

In a few days, on July 23rd the next Grow America Springboard Competition begins giving away $1 million in awards to entrepreneurs.

The competition awards winners in three categories: those with an idea, but no business yet; a start-up business working on getting customers; and existing businesses that are looking to grow their business.

Described as “Shark Tank meets American Idol,” Grow America was created by Utah businessman, Alan Hall in an effort to help grow companies, create jobs and stimulate the economy.

Each contestant has three minutes to make their case before a panel of business executives and then answer questions for four minutes.

Winners advance in the competition and eventually the top businesses receive cash prizes.

It’s a concept that makes sense because most people believe that money is the thing that is stopping them from starting a business or growing their existing business.

The truth is, money is rarely, if ever the thing that stops you. Rather it’s fear that paralyzes.

I wonder how many would participate in a competition that helped you conquer fears instead—something that, in my opinion, would be far more valuable than free grant or prize money.

One of my early ideas is that the most powerful people are powerful because they have long ago shed any concern over what others think of them.

The entrepreneur able to take business risks, experience failure, accept losses and incur criticism of others without insomnia, ulcers, or remorse has overcome his fears of failure and humiliation and in doing so, has acquired immense power.

A number of years ago, I remember watching the CEO of Archer-Daniels-Midland being grilled by John Stoessels of ABC-TV about so-called “corporate welfare.” Stoessels told him that, in one magazine, his face was put on a pig’s body and he was called the greediest of all pigs at the Washington trough.

The CEO calmly, literally with zero-emotion, said, “Why should I care about that.”

Why indeed? The magazine gone and forgotten in days or weeks, while he remained CEO of the largest agricultural corporation in the world.

It’s a variation of the famous exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor; she said to him, “You are disgustingly drunk” and he said, “Yes, madam, I am drunk, but you are ugly and I will be sober in the morning.”

Lacking this total freedom of being fearful of what others think, a person is continually making judgments based on criteria other than his beliefs about what will or will not work, should or should not be done or is right or wrong.

It stops people from turning that idea jotted down on a napkin into reality.

Fear of others’ opinions about the outcomes of your decisions and actions hamstrings you more than any other obstacle or handicap.

I was taught that the level or strength of your belief shows in your results.

In other words, your outcomes reflect beliefs.

In considering the rich, successful, powerful and persuasive individuals I know, I would summarize their most significant beliefs as follows:

  • A belief in unlimited abundance, not lack.
  • A belief that the Universe, Universal intelligence, God or whatever you call “It” responds to committed thought (prayer) and determined action.
  • A belief in unlimited and unrestricted capability, i.e.  either that you can do a thing as well or better than anybody else or that you can learn to do a thing as well or better than anyone else.  Meaning, if someone else can do a thing, so can you.
  • A belief system of self-worth, self-respect and self-confidence based on realistic assessment of one’s strengths and weaknesses, attributes and flaws potential and limitations. A profound disinterest in perfection in all things. And a disconnect between deserving and being perfect.
  • An unwavering, even somewhat stubborn and obsessive belief in attainment of their goals.

If you want to be rich, powerful and successful, you’ll have to first learn how to check your fears at the door. If you don’t, it will catch up to you, even if you are the next winner of Springboard Competition.

NOTE: If you’ve wanted to start a business but been held back by the fear that you’d have to risk too much to do it, I wanted to recommend you check out Michael Masterson’s new book The Reluctant Entrepreneur. You may remember Michael Masterson from when he spoke at InfoSummit 2010. He’s started many companies without taking any risk and amassed a $50 million personal fortune along the way.  Click here to learn more.

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