Posts Tagged ‘marketing’


Five Ways To Harness The Power Of This “Must Have” Marketing Tool…

By: Dave Dee on: March 21st, 2013 3 Comments

Newsletters are one of the most powerful tools you can use…

In fact, Dan Kennedy has said that 50% to 70% of his private clients have grown out of his newsletter base.

But there are many additional powerful uses for your newsletters too.

Today, I’m going to show you how to use your newsletter content to rank higher in Google, get free advertising and do something that Dan Kennedy preaches about and says every business owner needs.

The big idea is that your newsletters can be recycled and used to significantly multiply your impact and your income.

Let me show you five ways to do this.

Rank higher on Google. The more fresh content you have on your website, the higher you rank in Google. You can pull articles or even portions of articles from your newsletter and post them on your website. If you optimize your articles with keywords you can improve your search engine ranking even more. If you add content frequently enough, this will help improve your search engine rankings and help more people find your business when using search.

Increase your newsletter subscriptions. When including articles or portions of articles from your newsletter on your website, drive people to subscribe to your newsletter by letting them know they can get more information like the post they’ve just read by subscribing to your newsletter.

Get your industry to endorse you. Do you have an article that is particularly well suited for a trade organization in your industry? Submit a query to trade publications in your niche to see if they would be interested in publishing your article. When your articles are published in a trade publication, it’s like having your industry endorse you.

Get Free Advertising. If a trade publication, newspaper, or magazine can’t pay you for your article, let them know you normally get paid $500 to write articles, but if they would be willing to trade you double that in advertising space, you will give them the article for free.

Write a book. Recycle your articles into a book. Dan Kennedy says that if you want to position yourself as the expert in your field, industry, or niche, you must publish a book.

Publishing your own book will affect:

  • Who you attract: a book will make people perceive you as the expert, which means you’ll attract better, bigger and more prestigious clients.
  • How clients, customers or patients behave towards you: people treat experts with more respect.
  • How well you are compensated: experts get paid more.
  • How much influence you have:  the person positioned as the expert will have greater influence than the person who is running with the pack.

Of course, writing a book is daunting to a lot of people. This is to your advantage though since most people will never take the time to write one. Which means that when you do, you’ll be positioned out ahead of the pack in the lead position.

Use your newsletter to write your book, e-book or special report. Gather ten articles from your newsletter and you’ll have a nice report to use as a bait piece or could even create a Kindle book. Collect 40-50 articles from your newsletter and you will have enough for a book.

There are many other ways to recycle your newsletter content to multiply your impact. What are some of the ways you’ve used yours? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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.

Doubles Your Sales In 20 Minutes Using These E-mail Secrets

By: Dave Dee on: March 7th, 2013 3 Comments

Recently I was speaking with a busy, small business owner and Internet marketer who confided he wasn’t doing what he coached other businesses to do.

He said, “I know I should be doing this for my own business too, but sometimes I act like the cobbler with holes in his shoes that spends so much time repairing others shoes that he doesn’t have time to repair his own.”

He added that what makes it worse is it’s the one thing he knows he really needs to be doing.

In a tough economy every penny counts and not doing this is like leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table.

What was he neglecting?

He wasn’t giving his prospects and customers a second (and third and fourth…) chance to do business with him.

A costly mistake in any economy.

You see, according to market researchers, 98-99% of your website visitors won’t make a purchase on their first visit.

Converting even just 1-2% of those lost visitors could make a significant difference to your bottom line.

For example, if 6,000 people visit your website each month, a 2% bump in your conversion rate translates into 120 additional customers. Times that by the gross profit you make per sale and, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s something that deserves your attention.

So how do you go about converting that additional 2%?

Email marketing.

In fact, according to Ogilvy who are cited as pioneers in the interactive marketing industry, “People who are registered to receive email marketing messages from your company will purchase an average of 167 percent more than those people in your marketing database who are not receiving email.”

Email marketing allows you to keep in touch with prospects as well as current and past customers, clients and patients.

It helps you drive traffic back to your website, sales pages and promotions.

It gives you the opportunity to educate your customers so they can be more successful in their business.

You can position yourself as a go-to resource.

You can cross-sell and up-sell your products and services to existing clients.

And win customers back.

This business owner knew all this, but still wasn’t doing it.

Like you, me and everyone, he’s busy.

But the reason he wasn’t doing it went beyond that.

He wasn’t doing it because he was worried about what many businesses are concerned about when they start thinking about doing email marketing …

Creating content.

Writing relevant content that’s both interesting and helpful to your readers is a real concern.  Plus the fear it will suck up all your time.

Another concern this entrepreneur worried about was that his emails might alienate some of his customers, damaging his reputation.

If you have any of these concerns, here are four tips that will help you write emails FAST and build a solid relationship with your readers.

1) Invite your customer in. Be transparent and personal in your messages. Give your customers a sneak peek inside your home, your business, your leisure time.  Tell them about something you read, a movie you watched, or something funny or spectacular that your kids did. Tell them about where you travelled or what a customer said to you.

Not only is it easier and faster to write about what you know, but it’s more interesting too. Plus, it helps you to build more of a relationship with your customers by helping them feel like you trust them like a friend.

Some of my most successful (and profitable) emails have revolved around a personal event from my life. When you put your trust in your readers with details of your personal life, they’ll be more likely to trust you back.

2) Stick to one topic. Decide on one topic you want to talk about before you start writing…and stick to it. Often when people don’t decide what they want to write about first, they ramble on to different topics.  This is like you giving your reader an invitation to stop reading.  It’s important that you focus your email on one idea.  Do this upfront and you’ll save a lot of editing time later.  Plus your emails will be more effective because your audience will only need to remember one big idea per email.

3) Brevity. Keep your messages to 500 words or less. This will make it easier for prospects to finish and faster for you to write.

4) Write conversationally. GKIC member, Matt Furey writes email messages to his list every day…bringing him $10,000+ per email. It only takes him about 20 minutes a day. He recommends writing like you speak. In fact, he often “speaks” his message into a transcription device. You can even buy devices that attach to your computer with a microphone that type what you speak.

 

Email is still one of the most effective strategies for doubling and tripling your sales. Using these tips will not only help you write faster, but will help you strengthen the bond between you and your readers, making your emails more effective.

By the way, the marketer I spoke of earlier is now doing email marketing. He says it has:

  • Re-engaged prospects and past customers making them once again interested in his services.
  • Brought inquiries about other services he offers.
  • Driven more traffic to his website.
  • Educated people on how he can help them.
  • Converted more of his prospects into paying customers.

You don’t have to spend a ton of time creating emails to get these kind of results. And the time spent will be well worth it.

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 Steps To Making More Money in 2013!

By: Dave Dee on: January 3rd, 2013 4 Comments

The end of the year and beginning of a new one tends to make one reflect on the year’s successes and failures…

What were your top achievements?

What was your biggest failure?

What had the biggest impact?

And so on…

Instead of focusing on generic achievements, I thought it’d be fun to put a little twist on this year’s achievements by relating them specifically to your marketing successes and failures.

So here’s how to review your 2012 marketing and 8 easy steps to making more money in 2013:

1)   Map out how you did sales-wise throughout the year. Write down your total sales per month for the entire year. Which were your biggest months? Why? For instance, did you hold an event or launch a product that created a spike in sales? This will give you clues of things you might want to be sure and repeat next year.

2)   Which were your three most important marketing initiatives for the year? Why were they important? At GKIC, one of our most important initiatives is membership because without members, we have no one to attend our events, buy our products, etc.

3)   What were your top three marketing campaign results of 2012? Maybe you launched a product that generated twenty percent of your income this year or added a lead generation funnel that has created a new source of qualified leads.

4)   What was your biggest marketing failure this year? What did you learn from it? Marketing is never successful 100% of the time, however when you test things, you can learn to be more successful the next time. Think about your marketing failures and what the biggest lesson was that you learned last year so next year you can do better.

5)   What are three marketing techniques or strategies you used that had the biggest impact on your bottom line? Did you incorporate direct mail? Or add one of the 12 Business Building Strategies or Magnetic Marketing famous 3-step sales letter system? Write down what the strategies were and how they impacted your business.

6)   What are three things you want to achieve with your marketing in 2013? Do you want to get better and more qualified leads? Increase your sales or membership? Be able to charge more with less resistance to price? Create a steady stream of customers, clients or patients that come to you? Shorten your sales cycle? Determine what it is you want to achieve and that will help you define where you should focus your time, money and resources.

7)   What marketing (already in place) would you most like to improve or change? How and why? Sometimes we have marketing in place that needs a tune-up. For example, maybe there is a sales letter or an email sequence that isn’t working as well that could use some freshening up. Or maybe your website needs a tune-up.

8)   Describe what your marketing will be able to do for you in the future. What marketing do you need to get in place or what do you need to do to create that? For example, you might say…

“I want marketing that will attract well-paying customers that love my products and services to me so that I don’t have to chase them.”

or “My marketing will develop customers into raving fans who tell others about my products and services and are willing to pay premium prices without resistance.”

or “My events will fill quickly and easily. And when I launch new products and services I’ll sell a minimum of $500,000.”

The next step would be to figure out what you need to do to make your marketing picture a reality. In the above examples, an integrated lead generation strategy would need to be in place which means you might need to develop a lead magnet. Or you might need to take a course on how to market to the affluent.

Spend a few minutes reviewing your marketing from last year and it’ll be easier to develop a more successful plan for 2013. Plus you’ll find it easier to make decisions about what type of resources you need to get in order to fulfill your marketing goals in the coming year.

NOTE: If you want to be sure to make your marketing better in 2013, consider joining myself and Lee Milteer in the Peak Performers Implementation Coaching group. New this year we are adding ways to find money fast and a marketing hotseat. For more information or to apply, click here.

Four ways to add quick profits to your business…

By: Darcy Juarez on: December 28th, 2012 2 Comments

“Publish or perish.”

That’s what Dan Kennedy and Matt Zagula say in their new book, No B.S. Trust-based Marketing.

Dan continues, “Even if you are a proprietor of a local hardware store, landscape company, home remodeling company, etc., …you need to write and publish your own book as well as other information media such as newsletters, special reports, how-to-guides, and more. Anyone who seeks trusted authority and advisor status will publish, or perish.”

In an age of diminishing trust, establishing credibility and authority are increasingly becoming key factors to success. And there’s no doubt that published authors are considered trusted authorities.

In chapter 7, Dan starts out by saying that Matt Zagula points out that “author is in the word authority.”

But before you start thinking you need to run out and write a book, I’ll let you in on a little secret: That is not what I, nor Dan are suggesting here.

There are many things you can publish. In fact, information products don’t even have to be written. You can create video and audio information products too. Or create an audio program and have it transcribed to create a book or report.

Here’s a sample of some of the info-products you might want to consider for your business:

  • Newsletters
  • E-books
  • Special Reports
  • How-to Guides
  • Lists of resources
  • Insider reports
  • Expert interviews

Information products establish trust and credibility—making it easier to sell your core products and services at premium prices.

In addition, here are four additional reasons why you should consider adding information products to your business:

  1. High profit margins.  Consider that people value information differently than they do physical products. For example, the cost of an iPhone is worth a set amount. But an information product that promises to double your income in 90 days is worth a subjective amount to each person considering purchasing it. Combine this with the fact that you can create information products at a very low cost (especially if you create digital products that consumers download) and you have an extremely high profit margin.
  2. Create enduring information products once, get paid on them forever.  When you create evergreen information products they retain their selling power year and year. That means you do the work once and make money year after year.
  3. Easy and low cost distribution. You can create an e-book or a video series or special report with very low costs. You can use video, audio, and PDF files to create low-cost information products and with inexpensive distribution channels such as email, you can distribute your products instantly, automatically, easily and inexpensively.
  4. Eliminate commoditization. In a world where commoditization is a problem, you can set yourself and your business apart by leveraging your knowledge to create information products. Plus while there may be products similar to yours, there is virtually no competition for your product because no one knows exactly what you know, nor will they present it in exactly the same way you do. That means your info-product will be unique and won’t exist in any other place. You can also use your info-product to set your business apart even further by incorporating your unique selling proposition throughout your product. For example, if your unique proposition is that you are the only health club that includes a custom diet for your customers, you might want to talk about the benefits and importance of combining proper diet with exercise throughout your info-product.

Increase your credibility and authority this year by creating an information product. You’ll find it a low-cost way to increase your income  and set yourself apart from your competition.

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 The Next “Casey Stengel” Of Your Marketplace?

By: Dave Dee on: December 27th, 2012 1 Comment

He never intended on being a coach.

In fact, his long-term goal was to be a dentist.

Athletically inclined, he played a number of sports including football, basketball and baseball, continuing on in the minor league in 1910-1911 where he saved enough money to go to dentistry school.

However, after having problems finding left-handed dentistry tools, he continued in baseball and was brought up to the Dodgers late in the 1912 season. It was then that baseball became his primary profession.

In 1914, after getting in touch with his former coach, Bill Diver, who was at the time the head coach of football and basketball teams at the University of Mississippi, he got his first coaching experience, coaching the baseball team at Ole Miss to a winning season.

While he was a good baseball player, he was by no means a superstar. But as a coach, he shined.

His name, Casey Stengel. Among his achievements as a coach, he was the only person to manage a team to five consecutive World Series championships.

He was nicknamed the “The Old Professor” or  “Perfessor” because he could talk at great length about anything baseball related. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.

Imagine if Stengel would have stuck to dentistry? Or if he’d never gone beyond playing baseball.  He would not have been remembered or in the hall of fame. Not to mention all the lives he impacted as a coach.

Like Stengel, you may find not only a lucrative income stream, but coaching is where you truly shine. And there’s nothing like the feeling you get when you help someone achieve success.

Aside from the great feeling you get from coaching or consulting, here are seven more reasons you should consider adding it to your business next year:

  • It can be very lucrative. Whether you have a big herd, a small herd or no herd, coaching and consulting is very lucrative which means you only need a few clients to earn big money.  I actually talk about exactly how to do this in my courses Coaching and Consulting Bootcamp and Advanced Coaching and Consulting
  • It can help you create info-products to sell. Coaching and consulting allows you the opportunity to find out the biggest challenges your coaching clients are having which gives you unique insight to what type of products you should create and sell.
  • It positions you as an expert. Coaches and consultants are viewed as authorities in their field. Being seen as an authority and expert gives you credibility which can boost sales of your products and services because people want to buy from experts.
  • It can help you position yourself as a celebrity. You can use your expert status to position yourself as a celebrity.
  • Leap to big money fast. Not only does coaching and consulting give you a back-end product that you can charge thousands of dollars for, but as an expert and/or celebrity, you can charge more for your products and services.
  • Your marketing becomes better.  Because you have special insight into the fears, challenges, and desires of your coaching and consulting clients, you’ll have a better handle on what your other customers, clients or patients are worrying about, wanting  or dealing with. You can then  infuse this information into your marketing.
  • Coaches and consultants are in high demand.  More and more people want to be led by the hand. They want someone to show them how to do things. As a result you can charge big money to help them find the answers.

If you’re looking to really boost your income in 2013, consider adding coaching or consulting to your business. It’s a great way to earn more with less stress. Plus, you can add $100,000 to $1,000,000 a year as a coach or consultant, even if you’re a newbie.

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 transform your life (and your bank account) with what you already know

By: Darcy Juarez on: November 8th, 2012 5 Comments

Yesterday I arrived in Nashville for what promises to be the best INFO-Summit GKIC has ever held.

I know, I know. You’ve heard that before. But the reason why I say it with such confidence is I’ve never seen so many big hitters from the information marketing world in one place before.

Picture bumping elbows with Rich Schefren, Alex Mandossian, Ali Brown, Dave VanHoose, Yanik Silver, Dave Dee and Vince Palko. Imagine having a conversation with Dan Kennedy and John Carlton about the sales-generating, hard-core selling intricacies of info-marketing and copywriting that separates great marketers from so-so marketers.

Hundreds of GKIC members excited and eager to get that one golden nugget… or make that one connection that will catapult their businesses to the next level.

Information marketing is a phenomenal business. It allows you—no matter what your background, experience or education level — to achieve financial and personal freedom very quickly, from scratch and with limited resources.

What’s more, you can do it using what you already know.

However, despite all its benefits and advantages, people still ask me what type of opportunities info-marketing provides.

So today, I thought I’d share some stories from a few info-marketers:

  • In 1980, Gene Kelly hit rock bottom. A law enforcement officer turned salesman turned manufacturing company owner, he decided to try a new path after he ended up “dead broke.”  He bought some surplus junk and figured out how to make a kit. He used this as a template and created an information product with instructions on how to make your own “junk” into whatever you want. He went on to sell well over a million dollars with that one product. Kelly also created a video from all the questions he received, turning the video into a $10,000 product.
  • Marc Lerner created his info-marketing business because of his personal struggle with multiple sclerosis (MS.) After discovering that every struggle in life demands the same life skills, he created Life Skills Inc. to teach others his approach to managing intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical needs to achieve wellness. Marc’s first product was seminars that he taught and expanded to e-books.
  • Bob Sterling started as a software engineer. Because he could write, he started turning computer manuals into something people could understand. Writing manuals lead him to copywriting until one day when he realized he was giving away a lot of information for free.  It was then that he created his first information product and started getting paid for what he knew.

One of the big misconceptions about info marketing is that people sometimes confuse info-marketing with Internet marketing.

It’s important to understand that a lot of info marketing is done through direct mail.

For example, Brett Fogle  with Options University took the e-books he was selling online and started using direct mail and other media to build his business into a full-scale information marketing business. (You can find more stories like this in the Official Get Rich Guide to Information Marketing.)

To jumpstart your thinking about how you can convert what you already know into your own information marketing product, here are some different types of information products you can sell.

Paper and ink products:  There are dozens of paper and ink products you can sell, some of them like books, reports and manuals you may have already thought of.  However, you can also sell tip sheets, checklists, correspondence templates, back issues of your newsletters, forms you use for business, time management forms, and sets of cards such as recipe cards or flash cards, etc.

Audio and video products: If you’re not big on writing, record yourself instead. (You can even take a recording and have it transcribed to create a second paper and ink product.) Record speeches, webinars, teleseminars, consultations, interviews, mastermind groups, coaching sessions and more.

Internet products: This can range from e-books to downloads, to online lessons and membership to a content-rich website.

Miscellaneous products: Information can come in many forms. Ideas include packages of information, services, private labeled products, memberships, customized products or services, training kits, software and more.

One of the big advantages of info-marketing is you don’t even need to know how to create these products yourself. All you need is the idea for the product.

Mike Capuzzi created software to sell his idea of CopyDoodles. The beauty is, Mike says you don’t even need to know anything about software to develop it. All you need is an idea and you can pay someone to develop the software for you.

By leveraging what you already know and creating an information marketing product, you can add an additional stream of income. Even better, for many information marketers, they soon discover that they can make more and have greater freedom with their information marketing products than they can with their regular business.

So if you have an idea for a product or every newsletter you’ve ever printed or there is something your customers are always asking you about—consider that an invitation to try information marketing. You might be surprised at just how lucrative and fascinating this business can be…

…and wonder why it took you so long to try it!

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 pricing yourself out of business?

By: Darcy Juarez on: July 12th, 2012 11 Comments

The other day I was looking through a Pottery Barn Catalog and thinking about how they can charge so much more for something…

For example, a glass pitcher which they named “Tavern Pitcher” goes for $39.50. At Walmart an almost identical pitcher costs $5.00.

A “party bucket” designed to hold ice and multiple wine bottles, the Pottery Barn version is $129. A similar version at Walmart costs $32.99.

Now obviously these businesses are catering to two different demographics, but if Pottery Barn charged $5 for a pitcher people might not buy it because they’d think something is wrong with it.

And obviously their pricing strategy has not hurt their business one bit.

Pottery Barn, founded in 1949 and acquired by Williams-Sonoma, Inc. in 1986, is the leading home furnishings retailer in the country. They have 200 retail stores and a direct-mail business that distributes 100 million catalogs a year. Not to mention their online shopping store via their website.

In fact, they’ve been so successful, they spawned new businesses including Pottery Barn Bed + Bath, Pottery Barn Outdoor Spaces, Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen.

What to charge for your services and products is one of the biggest obstacles business owners face…and they routinely under-price their goods and services to try and “beat” their competitor’s price.

The fear of losing customers…being judged as too expensive are things that keep businesses from charging what they should for their products and services. Charging too little can and does cause  businesses to go under.

Often I hear business owners say things like, “I can’t charge more than I already am” or “I can’t get away with charging that much.”

The truth is, when you look around, chances are you will find someone charging more than you are.

And… when you charge too little or surrender to your “fear of price” by reducing prices, you are not only undervaluing your product or service, but you are jeopardizing your business in the long-term.

When it comes to setting your price, there are some simple dos and don’ts you should always follow.

Don’t lower your price to win a bid. One highly successful, more than competitive business owner I know of had the chance for one of the biggest deals of his life.  He had submitted a quote to a major company within his industry.

He felt sure he would win the bid as he had the experience required and was making a name for himself in his industry.

When he didn’t get the job, he asked his contact why. Their answer, “Your rate was much lower than we thought it would be, so we thought maybe you weren’t as good as we thought you were.”

Don’t give into fear. Dan Kennedy tells a story about a thriving $100-million-a-year company that gave over a significant share of profits and control of their operations to a bluffing competitor who threatened to destroy the business with lower prices and massive advertising.

Dan says that  it turned out that once the competitor became a partner, he destroyed the business from within in order to create a vacuum in the market so he wouldn’t have to compete head on.

The company owner didn’t go out of business because of the competitor, but instead because of his fear of price competition.

Do test out different prices and price strategies. Instead of picking a random price, test out different prices and offers. For example, try different payment terms such as a one-payment term, three-payment term and six-payment term.

At SuperConferenceTM, Ryan Deiss talked about a price test where the price was a one-pay at $197. There were 340 conversions at that rate. However when they changed the rate to two payments of $97 they had 977 conversions. But they didn’t stop testing there. The price that had the most conversions (1008 conversions) was the highest price with three payments of $97.

So as you can see, it’s not always the lowest price that brings in the most sales, but the most appealing offer.

Do consult qualified advice on price if you are having trouble raising your prices. Let me emphasize the word “qualified”. This isn’t your spouse or your next door neighbor. This most likely isn’t people in your niche or marketing other businesses in your area of town. It definitely isn’t your friends and family.

If your fear of raising your price is getting in your way, seek professional guidance. A marketing consultant or business advisor who specializes in price strategy such as Jason Marrs. The increase in profit often quickly makes back your investment.

No matter what you do, adding price strategy to your business plan is one of the most important tools you can use to not only increase your profit but help you stay in business for the long haul.  Don’t be afraid to try pricing strategies out. Raising your prices even 10% will have a huge impact on your business and your life. And you won’t have to work any harder to make more money.

NOTE: Are you short-changing yourself by failing to extract the maximum price for your products and services? If you are, consider this your invitation to access a goldmine of information on how to raise your prices and increase your profits with little or no resistance. Discover 10 ways to raise your price, 15 price strategies to make price irrelevant and how to separate yourself from your fears about price in our Price Elasticity Online Course. Click here to learn more.

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.

Feed your mind like you’re at a 4th of July party

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 26th, 2012 5 Comments

With Independence Day approaching in the U.S., people are planning fireworks displays, decorated bike parades and massive feasts of food.

Red, white and blue desserts adorn food magazines at checkout stands.

Not to mention the red, white and blue decorations, paper plates, napkins, beach gear, clothing and so on located in every big box store, grocery store, etc.

People will spend hours planning, inviting, buying and baking for parties, festivals and events.

In fact, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Independence Day survey conducted by BIGinsight, 67.6 percent of Americans will celebrate the 4th of July by hosting or attending a cookout, barbecue or picnic, more than any other time in the history of the survey.

Spreads of food like this remind me of how a lot of people equate intellectual input to eating food.

At picnics, cookouts and barbecues for special occasions like this, there is always more food than can be consumed which prompts one of two actions: Try everything—stuff yourself until you have to undo the top button on your pants, maybe even go for seconds. Others will just fill their plate once, trying their best not to overeat.

Of course, special occasions that tempt you to “try everything” are not “normal” behavior.

It’s more common for people to believe, if the refrigerator’s full, they don’t need more. If they can’t clean their plate, they most assuredly don’t want a second helping. That’s being sensible about food.

You don’t really want your belly in endless expansion.

But the mind is different. You want all the stimulation it can get and not just on special occasions.  The mind is fully capable of expanding to meet it, to sift and sort and organize as much as you can put on the table in front of it—much like a 4th of July smorgasbord .

Furthermore, you don’t need to fully digest and use everything you read, listen to or watch in order to get ample value from taking it all in.

The value isn’t in quantity consumed. It’s in gems unearthed. (Like that new recipe you discover from trying every dish at the 4th of July party you attend.)

Personally, I process information by the pound and am happy to find a few little things I can use profitably.

One such goodie in a year’s time justifies my reading a newsletter every month. And value does not even require revelations of brand new things—if the input reminds you of knowledge already in your possession, nudges you into acting on some slow-simmering idea or intention, pushes you past procrastination on just one useful action, counters negative and gloom ‘n doom media blather, it earns its keep.

If you feel the need to excuse yourself for not acquiring, investing in and processing information, look for a smarter one than (a) I can’t use it ALL, or (b) I’m not using everything I already know. That’s NOT the thinking of exceptionally successful people.

Donald Trump says he gets up every morning at 5:30 am—to read. Several daily newspapers, professional newsletters and books. I imagine the overwhelming majority of what he finds he already knows or has little interest in. I’m confident he’s smart enough not to care about that, but to be steadfastly hunting for the rare find or something he did not know or a fresh, different perspective that triggers profitable thoughts.

I’m fortunate to know a lot of very rich entrepreneurs. I can’t think of any who don’t have piles of books they’re always behind on while buying more, who aren’t in constant pursuit of more information and ideas and inspiration.

The playwright Archibald Macleish observed that the only difference between a man and a pig is his mind. Both man and pig must feed their bellies—and do, often with disturbingly similar gusto. Only some men feed their minds as regularly, constantly, continuously and enthusiastically.

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Direct Marketing Legend Lyman Wood’s 8 Tips For Selling A New Product

By: Darcy Juarez on: June 21st, 2012 7 Comments

This past Sunday, June 17th, was the anniversary of Lyman Wood Day…

A 1993 proclamation given by the Governor Howard Dean, M.D. of Vermont cited Wood for:

  • Spending “half a century developing and improving dozens of Vermont direct marketing businesses.”
  • Providing “a model of socially responsible, values-based business management, long before the notion of ‘a bottom line’ was invented.”
  • Serving “as  guide and mentor to innumerable Vermont entrepreneurs and direct marketers; ” and
  • Being “a ‘silent giant’ who has helped foster a $500 million a year industry in Vermont.”

Lyman Wood (1910-1997) formed his first company selling candy and washing cars to summer vacationers when he was 13. For seven decades he marketed and sold everything from used motorcycles to prayer books to earthworms—mostly through mail order.

What a Way to Live and Make a Living: The Lyman P. Wood Story a book by Roger Griffith, outlines what Wood calls “the joys of having your own mail order business.” Griffith tells you how Wood created a life he enjoyed through making money through mail order and how you can too.

While the book was written with the intent of teaching you about mail order, many of the tips and Wood suggestions apply to online businesses too.

In fact, one series of suggestions is perfect for avoiding pitfalls when testing out a new product or service with either mail order or the Internet.

And, if you aren’t already using both mail order and the Internet, the ideas will help you expand your business by providing you with the know-how you need to successfully conquer the one you’re not currently using.

These suggestions will help you start a business in your spare time with very little money and almost no risk…grow a business as big as you want…and run a business from anywhere in the world.

In What a Way to Live and Make a Living: The Lyman P. Wood Story,Griffith gives Wood’s eight suggestions for avoiding pitfalls when testing a new product or service through the mail. Of course these are also perfect for testing on the Internet.  Here are Wood’s tips on how to move a new product or service through mail order (or the Internet) successfully:

1)      Start small. Never invest a large amount of money until you know you have a winner. Test on a small scale first to see if your idea, product or ad will work before you launch into a bigger campaign or business.

2)      Set up a system to keep detailed records. Wood says to be good at mail order you must test and understand your results.  Set up a system that details the response to your mailings so you can base all of your decisions on results.

3)      Quickly have more than one product to sell. Wood says your customers for your first product will be your best customers for your second.  That means you need something to sell them as quickly as possible while they’re still “hot”.

4)      Guarantee your product.  No secret here.  You will boost your sales when you offer a money-back, “no questions asked” guarantee because you are taking away the risk from your prospect.

5)      Write your ad first. Before you ever create a physical product, write your ad. You should be able to state exactly what you intend to do or sell. If you can’t state this clearly, then you don’t have a strong plan in your mind for your product yet. Serial entrepreneur and marketer, Ted Nicholas also recommends you send the ad out before you even create the product to see if there is any interest. If there is, then create the product.

6)      Set your price at about double your product’s cost to you. Wood says that if the price is under $100, “you can go directly for the order, not for inquiries, with your advertising.” If the item is higher priced, he says, “usually you want to get the inquiry, not the sale, from your advertising.” There are exceptions to this rule of course, but generally higher priced items will sell better if you start a conversation with your customer about the item you are selling before you tell them what the price is.

7)      Find a problem and create a product or service that offers a solution to it. A great example of this is an ad I saw in one of those magazine shopping guides. The problem the ad solves is repairing a bad credit rating. The ad addressed this by offering a software program that helps repair your credit by reversing late payments and late payment fees for $5.95.

8)      Offer a good proposition. Just as Dan Kennedy teaches, “the proposition drives the copy” and makes it work. Wood reminds us that, “You can have the best copy in the world about a proposition that people don’t want and it won’t work.”

Wood tells a story of how he had a “Grandmother Table” designed and a few manufactured. The tables were made of walnut with glass tops that people could put photographs under. He had photographs of the tables made. Type-set the ad for $1000. They tested the ad in just one paper and got no orders.

Wood said, “That was a perfect example of not having the right proposition. The ad copy was good, the price was right. The table just didn’t sell, probably because the style of it didn’t fit well in the homes of the people who were potential customers. The copy was good; the proposition was lousy.”

Follow Wood’s advice. When you have a new product or service idea, test the idea first. Start small with an ad instead of creating an expensive direct response campaign, buying lists, and running up your expenses. If you don’t have anything to sell, find a problem and solve it. Then write your ad first to test  your solution and see if there is any interest before you create the product. Besides saving time, you’ll save yourself lots of money by ensuring you only create and roll out successful products and services on a large scale.

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The “Soda War”: What Schwarzkopf Could Teach Bloomberg

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 14th, 2012 7 Comments

The “soda war” press about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban super-sized soft drinks is really heating up…

Bloomberg wants to restrict soda drink servings to no more than 16 ounces in restaurants,  street carts and entertainment facilities like stadiums and movie theaters.

Millions of dollars are being spent on advertising on both sides of the proposal.

Recently the city ran a full-page ad showing a 32 oz. soda cup—the kind you see in fast food restaurants and movie theaters—alongside 26 packets of sugar.

The message reads:

“Your kid just ate 26 packs of sugar” and gives a warning message that states sugary drinks can cause obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Another ad shows a man chugging sugar packets at a diner counter—illustrating what people do when they drink soda.

The soft drink industry, shop keepers, the fast food industry, New Yorkers, the media…have all responded, not all favorably I might add.

In an attempt to restore their reputation, a recent ad appeared in the New York subway with former rivals, Coca-Cola and Pepsi teaming up with Dr. Pepper Snapple Co. The ad depicts four delivery workers pushing dollies of obviously different cases of Pepsi, Coke, Sunny Delight and Dr. Pepper.

The message reads:

“More Choices, Smaller Portions and Fewer Calories.” (The three soft drink industry giants formed an advocacy group with the American Beverage Association and have spent nearly $70 million in lobbying and advertising in an attempt to fight against campaigns, which have slightly damaged their revenue.)

A NY local television poll found 53 percent of residents opposed the ban, 42 percent were in support, and more than half thought such a measure would do nothing to help combat obesity.

Bloomberg’s “soda war” made me think of when I was making speaking appearances with General Schwarzkopf.

One of my favorite “green room stories” from the Peter Lowe “Get Motivated” circuit involves a conversation I had with General Schwarzkopf about how his Gulf War leadership had wound up being so personally profitable for him; high speaking fees and enormous demand, book deals, and so forth.

I asked him what he thought was the one smartest, cleverest, savviest thing he and Colin Powell had done that produced this outcome.

He answered, “Picking a war we could win.”

When I consult with clients, often times, when I first meet them anyway, they have a plan of where they want to market and spend money and what type of marketing piece they want me to work on first.

Ninety percent of the time a client will ask me to do something—an ad campaign, a radio spot—whatever—that is NOT the best place to spend their money.

Fifty percent of the time a client will tell me they want to have me work on a campaign that I know will fail or only generate moderate results.

It’s one of the reasons I do a diagnostic process up front before we agree on what I’ll do for them—because I want to start with the campaign I know is going to give them the biggest win.

I’m not sure who will win the “soda war”, but as you make marketing decisions about your own business, I can tell you this…

Run the campaign you know will give you the biggest win.

And before you go full tilt on an unknown, test it out in a small market to see if you get a win — before you find yourself in an expensive ad war you’re not certain you can win.

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