Posts Tagged ‘small business marketing’


What Tim Tebow Can Teach You About Marketing…

By: Dan Kennedy on: May 9th, 2013 17 Comments

Lately, the recently waived NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has the media discussing where his next job should be.

He’s one of the most talked about players in the NFL. And whether you love him or hate him, you’ve probably talked about him too.

What’s interesting is how this player who has shown less than spectacular results in his NFL career, is one of the most popular players, not only in the NFL, but perhaps in the history of the NFL.

When Tebow arrived in New York, there was plenty of fanfare. There were billboards that welcomed him. Sandwiches were named after him.  And his jersey was one of the top sellers in the league before he even made his first snap in the NFL.

The question is why?

Over the past decade or longer, there certainly have been football players and coaches that have had far more success who never made it to the spotlight…and the money, the way Tebow has.

To prove my point, yesterday a football coach by the name of Larry Kehres stepped down as the head coach of Mount Union college. During his 27 year career, he has coached 359 games.  His record is three games ending in a tie,  24 games ending in a loss, and an incredible 332 games resulting in wins. And he won 11 Division III national championships.

He is the most successful football coach of all time, yet most people have never heard of him.

There is a lesson here if you look for it. What made Tebow into such a media sensation? What has made him one of the most talked about players of all time? And what has kept Kehres relatively abscure and unknown?

He’s an underdog. He’s likeable. He has a personality that is consistent and unwaivering.

One comment from a writer sums it up, “In America we love the story about the little guy. The guy who people believed couldn’t get the job done and then finds his way to do just that, and in dramatic fashion.” And this is what makes Tebow so memorable.

It’s an important point and one that Dave Dee made at SuperConference this past week.

If you tuned in to SuperConference via the web Saturday or were at the event itself, you heard Dave reveal the precise steps to take to dominate your market and transform your business.

You may have missed it when Dave revealed this secret during his presentation…

It came right at the beginning of Dave’s talk when discussing my number one recommendation for client retention – the print newsletter.

During his discussion of newsletters, Dave shared GKIC reader’s favorite part of the No B.S. newsletter.  You love to read the stories and political rants I write at the beginning of the newsletter… about what “pisses me off.” (I believe those are the words Dave used.)

This “reader favorite” is what has allowed me to keep customers hanging around for years.

Here’s the thing. The information you provide your customers won’t keep them for life. But the clue I’ve given you here is what keeps people coming back again and again and gives your business longevity.

In fact, adding a consistent personality to your copy is my number one copywriting secret that most marketers will never know.  It’s provided me with the privilege of keeping  customers for decades.

But it’s not just in your copy where you will benefit from capitalizing on your personality.

If you want to make your products and services more memorable and add longevity to your business, you have to inject it into everything you do.

In Florida there is a deckhand on a ferry boat named BJ Hart. Hart is a real character. He jokes with passengers, salutes people, sings, dances and is in my mind a big reason why the ferry, which is in danger of going under, is still operating. People ride the ferry just to see this guy.

Now I’m not saying you have to be the underdog like Tebow or sing like Hart or go on a political rant like I do, but you do need to develop consistent  interesting character.

Because if you’re going to go to the trouble of getting a customer, you want to keep them for life. And if you don’t inject personality into your business, then you’ll keep customers, clients and patients for maybe a couple of years. But if you want to keep them for life, you better figure out what Tim Tebow already knows—that to be memorable requires personality.

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.

When Should You Charge And When Should You Give It Away?

By: Darcy Juarez on: May 2nd, 2013 4 Comments

With Mother’s Day approaching, I saw an unusual, but clever gift designed specifically for the stay-at-home mom…

Knowing that many stay-at-home moms feel undervalued, salary.com lets you generate a “paycheck” for moms based on the number and age of children, duties, etc.

Although the check isn’t real, it’s designed to elevate the mom’s worth.

Like moms, business owners often have a hard time evaluating their true worth. As a result, sometimes they give things away when they shouldn’t and are hesitant to give things away when it makes sense.

Today, I’m going to address something that every business must consider at some point…and that is when to give things away for free.

It’s a tricky tightrope.  You don’t want to undervalue your work and portray your product or service as having little worth. And, of course, an item that’s given away for free is sometimes viewed by the recipient as having zero value. Another problem is that by giving it away, you might only attract those who want the cheapest thing that might solve their problem. Additionally, you might attract people who take advantage of you.

So the question is when is it okay to give it away and when should you charge?

When it’s okay:

When it helps you build a relationship:You have a product or service that you know will help your clients, customers or patients…if you could only get them to buy it.  If you are trying to get people in the door and start building a relationship with them, and you have backend products and services, you might consider making “an offer they can’t refuse.”

Do this by offering free products or services attached to what you are selling.  For example, let’s say you own a car repair shop and someone comes in for  some repair work or an oil change. You want to keep him as a customer, so you offer a service plan for $59.00 that gives him one free oil change, free refills on fluids such as windshield wiper fluid, priority service when he needs a repair, free shuttle service when he needs a repair, and free beverages and snacks while waiting.

The value of the free incentives can help make this a “no-brainer offer” for someone who is on the fence.  You know that because he has your service plan, he will return to you to get service versus taking his car somewhere else. Plus, your service plan will allow you time to build a relationship, market to him (because now you’ve captured his contact info and gotten “permission”) and prove that you provide great service.

When you want clients to demonstrate you can deliver: Unfortunately, our society is more and more distrusting. It is easy for anyone to slap up a website or a blog and say they are in business. That means when they come across your business, they may be skeptical and wondering if your solution will really work.

Creating a free solution that will demonstrate your value and deliver a successful outcome can build that trust.  For example, we currently give away our Fast Implementation Bootcamp to GKIC Members. This allows members a way to test a live event, our systems and coaching all at once. Once attendees experience success from something they learned at Bootcamp that encourages them to try our other resources, attend events and participate in our coaching programs.

When you want to give back: While not everyone will agree, many believe there is a social obligation to give back. Most likely you’ve had mentors or had people help you out with free advice on your way up in your business.  Giving free advice to young people or people on their way up is a great way to give back and will often come back to you ten-fold.

Most people are genuinely looking for advice and not a hand-out, however that said, I do recommend you listen very carefully when someone is asking you for free advice. Do they want you to do the work for them or are they just asking for guidance? For example, someone that says something like, “Could you do this for me just this once since you have so much experience…”  Or “If you have an overflow of clients you could refer me…” are telltale signs that the person probably isn’t willing to do the work or the marketing for themselves.

When it’s not okay:

When you’re offering professional services: If you offer a professional service such as copywriting, financial advisor, etc. then you should charge accordingly. If your plumber, doctor, or auto-repair shop wouldn’t give it away than neither should you. Think of it this way. You might bake some cookies and give them to your kid’s school for a PTA fundraiser, but you wouldn’t bake dozens of cookies, package them up and give them away free to your local grocery store so they could make a profit on them.

When it diminishes your valued customers: You must be careful to not train your customers to wait for free offers.  Here at GKIC, when we have events, the people who sign up first get the best deal. Period. Not only do they pay the least expensive price, they get the most bonuses. What I mean by that is that if we offer a free bonus as an incentive at a later date, the people who initially sign up, get that bonus too—even though they’ve already registered. This helps to encourage people to sign up early to get the best deal.

While these are just some guidelines and don’t address every situation, following them should help you feel better about when you should and shouldn’t give things away for free.

What are some of the “rules” you follow about when it’s okay to give something away and when you should charge?

See you next time…unless I figure out how to automate that too,

Darcy Juarez

Automation Expert GKIC

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.

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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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.

 

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. 

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.

Nine Questions You Must Ask Before Creating An Information Product

By: Darcy Juarez on: February 12th, 2013

People.

You, me everyone…

We have a voracious appetite for information.

We want information on how to do things better, faster and easier.

We want information on how to be more successful, how to be healthier, how to play guitar, how to be thinner, how to create wealth…the list goes on.

Over half of this country’s economy is on expenditures on information and information products according to an article I read recently.

However, with a demand for so much information, how do you know which niche will be successful for you when considering what information products you should sell?

I once read that 90% of success in relationships is in selecting the right partner. The same holds true for picking an information product to sell.

Here are nine questions to ask yourself when picking the topic for your next information product. Your answers will greatly increase your chances of success:

Do you really enjoy it?  Not everyone loves and has a passion for what they do even if they know it inside and out.  So although you might have expertise in a specific area, if you don’t really love and look forward to working within it, you might want to consider going with something you are really passionate about instead.

Think about what you continually gravitate towards. What do enjoy reading about and researching? Is it something you like to learn about without the promise of making money from it? Chances are if you pick a topic that you find interesting, you’ll not only enjoy creating information on the subject but it’ll also be easier for you.

Does it appeal to buyers? The key to developing an information product that people buy is picking a subject that attracts readers, gets them to drop everything and then holds their interest over the long haul.

Look for a strong  emotional connection to your product that will attract new buyers. Emotions can be good or bad.  For example, there might be a common distrust of big government or a common good of wanting to cure cancer. When you find a strong emotional connection, you are on the right track.

Is it long-lasting? It’s true you don’t know the future and what will or won’t be popular, however, you also want to make sure your topic isn’t a fad. Fads come and go which means your so will your income. In the health arena, fad diets such as the “grapefruit diet” and the “cabbage soup” diet. Hobbies are another common place you’ll find fads, such as latch hook rugs  or friendship bracelets. Sure, you could sell a book on “How To Lose Weight By Adding This Miracle Fruit To Your Diet ” and make a quick buck if your timing is right, but in the long run, fads fade and so does your money-making opportunity.

Is it usable? In order to get repeat customers, you’ll want to make sure your idea is usable. You want to make sure your information fills a need for people. For example, a newsletter about when and where restaurants are having specials (saves them money) and reviews restaurant menus is a very usable product.

Is your topic narrow enough that you can you dominate your niche? Often topics are too broad to dominate. Picking a topic like gardening or health will give you a lot of competition and make it difficult for you to dominate. However, if you narrow to say, organic vegetable gardens, you’ll have a much easier time becoming the leader in your field.

What makes you better or different than your competitors? Take the time to make a list of your competitors. What makes you better or different than them? Why would someone choose you over your competition?

Can you think of “endless” ideas you could develop for this niche? You’ll want to be able to write about multiple ideas within your niche and even have ideas for different products you could develop in order to dominate your niche.

Is it timely? Information needs to be relevant and timely to succeed. If you are too far ahead or too far behind a product’s time, it won’t do well in the long run. A publication that discusses social media for musicians, you might not want to focus on MySpace, but you would want to include YouTube and Music Clout.

Will people buy it? You can have the most relevant, timely, usable, interesting idea in the world, but if you can’t sell it, you’re wasting your time. Define who your target market is and determine how you will market and sell your product. As Dan Kennedy says, “50% of your success is in the list.” Make sure you know who your customers are and how to find them.

Ask yourself these questions before you commit to an information product to sell.  When you do, you will help you increase your chances of success and eliminate wasted time, money and frustration.

Do you have any other tips for helping pick the right topic to focus on when picking an information product to sell? If so 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.