Archives for May 2009

May
26

Your USP – fact or fiction?

Are you dramatically different?

One of the best books you will ever discover to help you grow your business is Doug Hall’s “Jump Start Your Business Brain”. It is an underground classic that is absolutely wonderful advice – it is the book that helped me break free of mediocrity into a life I absolutely love.

One of his biggest points in the book is how you can create a company that is dramatically different than any, and every, competitor in your marketplace.

It doesn’t sound easy at first.

Honestly, how many hairdressers or dry cleaners or grocery stores are there in your city that are DRAMATICALLY different?

Few and far between.

In fact, it appears to me that most business owners lose all sense of creativity when they start their business.

The typical process they go through?

Look at what all their competitors do, where they advertise, the types of advertisements they run, the marketing materials they use, the web sites they have… and then they

COPY everyone else.

Open your yellow pages for proof… in house painting or carpet cleaning… what is DRAMATICALLY different? Or any section for that matter.

How do you create a dramatic difference in your business?

And why should this be considered important?

First, having a dramatic difference gives you a 353% better chance of succeeding (based on thousands of business success stories being ran through a computer model Doug Hall invented). That alone should be enough.

So – tripling your odds of making your business the leader in your industry is all you need to know at this point.

NOTE: 80% of copycats end up failing in their business – so this is very important.

Now, let’s get into how to create your own dramatic difference.

1) list out all your biggest benefits you provide right now. If you struggle with this – list out all your features on the left side of the page then the benefit of that on the right.

2) list out your competitors biggest benefits as well – same method.

3) cross out the benefits on your list that are the same as your competitors.

(great service is not a benefiteveryone says that – unless you do something different with your service offerings)

4) is there anything left over? If so, you have the start of a dramatic difference. If no, you need to get real serious about this. If your customers can’t tell the difference between you and your competitors you are in trouble (and they judge this by this same process – who appears to be different or better?)

5) Can you create a dramatic difference from this so far?

Can you answer – ” is the first to offer _________ in this industry” or “What makes different is that we are the only company out there that offers _________”?

Write out 5 answers to each of those.

Does it SHINE?

Or does it suck?

If your statement doesn’t leap off the page as a big breakthrough – keep working on it. What could make your difference 10 TIMES greater than all your competitors?

With so many daily distractions in front of your potential customers – you have to create a MASSIVE difference in their eyes.

What would make them stop everything they are doing to visit your store, read your ad, or answer your letter to them?

Find a way to become dramatically different and you will succeed. Probably the best way to find your own dramatic difference is to look at what your competitors are doing – and do the opposite! And the easiest way to do the opposite is to look at OTHER industries to see what they do differently than you do – THEN find a way to use their difference in your own business.

Ø If you paint houses – copy the service ideas behind cleaning companies, window cleaners, tree trimmers.

Ø If you run an accounting firm – copy the service ideas behind printing companies, marketing consultants, house painters, car detailers.

Ø If you run an information product business – copy the service ideas behind luxury property rentals, artists, paving companies, fence builders, moving companies or pizza delivery companies.

YES – these are completely off-the-wall, unbelievably abstract ideas.

That’s the point!

Find out what works best in other industries (stands out as the most bizarre way to do business in your own industry) – and copy that idea. Try it out for a few months and see how people respond.

You will be pleasantly surprised.

May
25

A simple way to ramp up your sales

How to sell more in a month than you did last year

Can you use long copy for selling soda?

Most people love to question the use of long copy.

“It’s not needed” – – “no one will read all of that” – – you can do the same job without all the words”, etc.

All untrue.

How do I know that?

Facts.  Based on a hundred years of measurable, scientifically proven tests.

The results of the test? Long copy will always out perform short.  A 4 page letter will outperform a 2 page. An 8 page will out perform a 4 page… and so on.

Video ‘infomercials’ are basically sales letters spoken on camera… and longer videos always win out over short.

Look at all the infomercials on late night television… the only reason there are so many of them is that they WORK!

Here is an example from 1923… selling of all things… soda.

Written by George Cecil

Headline:

“Down From Canada Came Tales Of a Wonderful Beverage”

the subhead and intro…

How Canada’s famous old ginger ale was brought to this
country and adopted by New York’s most exclusive clubs,
restaurants and hotels. Now sold in this city.

For years and years, visitors to Canada have come back with
tales of a wonderful ginger ale. They described its
exquisite flavor- – they told of drinking it in the Houses
of Parliament in Ottawa, in the residence of the Governor-
General, and in the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

…and on the story goes… for a whopping 700 WORDS (or so) in total!  SELLING A SODA!

So… did it work?

First day after the first ad ran = 500 CASES sold.
In 30 days – plant working overtime.
In 90 days it was 300% OVERSOLD
In 1923 the orders were 5-10 TIMES the capacity of the plant
A new plant was built designed to fit “all future
requirements”
In January of 1924 they sold MORE THAN ALL OF 1923

Long copy – selling a soda drink.

Yes it worked.

To say the least.

And yes, it WILL work for you when you find the right message.

Tell your story in a compelling way.

And tell it as often as you can.

Here’s to your success on this fabulous day.

Troy

PS: If you really want to ramp up your sales in the summer months, the Wild West Marketing and Wealth Library will give you the tools you need.  25 speakers… billions of dollars in proof… for pennies on the dollar.

Have a look at http://www.wildwestwealth.com

May
22

Vasectomy nights … wacky marketing stunts from the field

Hitting a homerun with wacky marketing stunts

Fellow business builder,

Happy Memorial Day long weekend to all our US readers!  And all of our friends from other countries across the world: I realize you all have big holidays just wrapping up, or about to come, too many of them to list here.  Enjoy them and be safe out there.

In Canada, we just celebrated the Victoria Day long weekend, and I took the kids out of town to my secret hideaway. They had a blast… they got to dig in the mud… I tired them out… a successful weekend all around.

I was back to it first thing Tuesday morning.

And one of the first calls I had was with someone who attended a large marketing conference a few weeks ago.  The problem was that the numbers were down across the board… attendance down 30% and sales at the “back of the room” were down even more.

Lots of people I talk to are seeing an impact.

But, it doesn’t mean the end is near and your business is in trouble.

It DOES mean you have to get creative and start thinking out of the box on your marketing.

One of the most creative industries for fun promotions?

The sports industry.

And YES, it does apply to you.

No matter what field we are talking about (pun intended), the ideas behind these promotions could easily be changed to fit your own.

The sports marketing industry is very creative and they have to draw a lot of people out to their games… so their marketing had better be good!

Imagine if you had to get 10,000 people to pay you money every single week or month… what would you do?

Many with the marketing mindset aim for product launches and successful campaigns for single products.  But what would you do if you had a weekly event to sell out that delivered pretty well the same experience?

Here are some great ideas that sports teams have used to get people through the gates, money in hand.
As you go through these, PLEASE start thinking about how you could make one or more of them work in your business.

I guarantee they could… if you try.

* The promotions could be for a sale.
* For a launch.
* For a fun event.
* For a customer appreciation party.
* Or just to get some free publicity.
* As a co-operative promotion with other like-minded businesses
* As a seminar or workshop
* As a theme party you throw for all the photos and videos you could use

Or any one of a hundred different reasons to get your customers and prospects interacting with you.

Wacky Marketing from the field

Bald head night: anyone who has their head shaved gets in for free.

Mustache Appreciation Night:
Fresno Grizzlies fans were encouraged to grow mustaches. They also were incented to encourage their friends to contribute $ to a worthy cause as part of the promotion.  Contests were also held for “best in show,” “best Tom Selleck look-alike,” and most pathetic attempt at a mustache.  Great times – and great results.

Second Chance Night:
Probation officers got in for free.  As well as anyone who  brought in a traffic ticket and promised to never do it again also got in for free.

Kevin Federline Night:
The first 3,000 fans got free temporary K-Fed tattoos. They also got to watch videos of K-Feds rise through the ranks, and a dance contest between the dance troop to which Kevin Federline once belonged and the Grizzlies’ mascot.

The Hagerstown (Maryland) Suns had a McDreamy Day: Everyone was encouraged to dress the medical part… and to know their medical lingo to win prizes.

Or what about Anger management night – held by the Augusta (Georgia) Green Jackets.  One of their rival teams manager had a meltdown… so let’s turn it into a promotion! They offered the first 250 fans free stress  balls and DVDs of the movie Anger Management.

[Look at all the new movies out and coming out on dvd – is there any way you can tie a promotion into the theme of the movie? The newest as of this week: Mall Cop, Valkyrie, My Bloody Valentine, Million Dollar Mutts, The Last Word, The Grudge, Flirting With Forty, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, New In Town, Addicted to Plastic, Defiance, Gran Torino. Street Fighters, 45 RPM, to name just a few]

How can you go wrong with a Britney Spears promo? She certainly gives us all lots of great opportunity to make fun of her antics. The Newark (New Jersey) Bears held a Britney Spears Baby Safety Night. Anyone who dressed as a baby, brought a baby toy, or brought an actual baby got in for free. Everybody else that attended received a brochure about baby safety.

[NOTE: before you get uptight about how “hokey” or “unprofessional” these events sound… remember how many TICKETS they sold.  Thousands and thousands of tickets sold per event.  They didn’t worry about the “hokeyness” of the event… they cared about the newsworthy parts of the promotion only. News and buzz gets people talking about buying… these events did everything you and I should be aiming for!]

The San Antonio Missions held a Used Car Night and gave away a dozen luxury used automobiles randomly.

Or how about the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays and their College Course Giveaway Night? Each fan received a free three-credit course of their choice at nearby Kellogg Community College.

The Charleston RiverDogs minor league baseball team is a master at using wacky promotions to get people in the seats.  Some of their events: a Run, Forrest, Run 5-K Race; My Hot Dog Is Green Night and Salute to the G-string Night in which select fans will receive a G-string.

Get this… they even had a Vasectomy Night where a lucky male fan would win a vasectomy. That was canceled after management received complaints.  Talk about getting some press!

Or this: they even staged a Nobody Night, locking out fans at the door as the club attempted to set a minor league record for lowest attendance at a game.

Steal of a deal. Recessionary promotion gone wild with the Minnesota twins offering an entire season (81 games) for only $250.  Comparable seats in New York go for $250 per seat – per game.

Hungry fans unite! The Athletics, Orioles, Rangers, Royals, Braves, Dodgers and Padres all have designated All-You-Can Eat sections for fans hungry to see more than a game. Ranging from $30 – $45 per person to eat their way through the game.

Musical fan fare.  The Pirates have offered up REO Speedwagon and Collective Soul and the Marlins offer KC and the Sunshine Band. The Devil Rays have the most interesting series featuring The Commodores, Trace Adkins, Kool And The Gang, LL Cool J and MC Hammer. (could you not offer something like this in any of your promotions with lesser know artists?)

Luring them in. The Twins promotion department hooked some new fans by offering a Joe Mauer fishing lure. Only available to the first 5,000 fans, this was a run away winner.
How about some NON sports promotions?

What about the Beer-for-Bags event, which the company promoted that they would accept beer for merchandise. They grew their sales by 20% using this promotion (including all the free publicity they received as well).  The company hopes to make “Beer For Bags” an annual event, as it is in Australia.

Gonigam’s World Furniture Mall near Chicago offered customers up to $10,000 of free furniture if the Chicago Bears shut out the Green Bay Packers (which they did).  The company had prize reimbursement insurance to cover their backs.  They saw huge traffic growth to their site and an increasing amount of new sales to people who never bought from them before.

Long John Silver’s offered to give customers free “Giant Shrimp” if NASA found conclusive evidence of an ocean on Mars.

This is a great list you could use anytime you need a promotion.

The key is to MAKE IT FIT.

I realize 99% of those who read this blog are NOT in the sports marketing business. But… so what?  Why can’t you put some time and effort into this list and find some ways to use these ideas?

Keep your eyes on the local news, industry news, Hollywood movies, strange trends, technology trends, and pretty well anything you see on the covers of the magazines like Star, National Enquirer, The Globe, etc (those are the ones the majority of the population reads… and you should be finding a way to tie into them!)

All it takes is some effort – and the results could be exceptional.

You won’t know until you try… right?

Thanks again.

To your success,

Troy White

May
20

Halfway through the year… are you halfway through your goals?

I wrote this for January 2009, but the information is as valuable now as it was then.

June marks the 6th month of the year – and it should mark a significant chunk of your years goals as accomplished.

Sounds good… but is it a reality?

If not, what will you commit to doing differently for the last half of the year?

What will you do during those 6 months to make sure you STICK to your commitments for the year?

I am hoping there are some ideas here that can give the extra oomph to make it happen.

From January 1, 2009: It’s here… what have you already done?

2008 flew by in a flash… and 2009 is here waiting for those who can handle what she brings.

Not only will this coming year prove to be an exciting one, it will also bring out the best and worst in people’s personal financial situations.

Sadly, quite a few people will not be prepared…. they will lose their jobs with no savings to tide them over… they will lose most of their savings, and sell off what remains in a state of panic… or they will go through the coming year in a zombie like trance, just waiting for it all to come to an end.

Then there are those who go into this year with a plan.

They have thought through what they will do differently this year, month and week. They think through the long term consequences of the businesses they start, the projects they get involved in, the investments they put money into, and the priorities they make in their life.

Early January 2010, one year from today, some people will reflect back with awe over what happened in 12 short months. They tripled their income.  They bought rental properties for pennies on the dollar. They started that new business, or expanded their existing one.

They are living the life they once thought was just a vision in the back of their mind.

On the flip-side… January 2010 will also see some people overwhelmed with fear, sadness and depression.  Maybe they lost their job and couldn’t see the foresight to find a new job in a new industry.  Or they panicked and sold off their remaining investments, only to see those investments return back to their
former levels.  Or they just went about their day-to-day activities as they always have, and, surprise surprise, things look pretty well exactly the same for them this January as they did last January.

The choice IS yours… you know that.

But, if you have not at least started thinking through (on paper) what you are doing differently this year… how can you expect any different results?

If you have not set some goals for the coming 12 months, how can you expect to achieve them?

How will you know what it is you’re aiming for?

By now, you should have put together your best of/worst of lists for 2008.  This is a great way to reflect back on the year… to give yourself a pat on the back for everything you did that worked out for you on the plus side.

It’s also the chance to reflect back on the things you did in 2008 that didn’t work out all that well for you.

The defeats.

The failures.

The constant frustrations you met with.

When you look at the good AND the bad… you will see trends.

And those trends you see can revolutionize 2009 for you.

The failures… have they happened before?  Constantly?

What are you going to do differently about it this year so they DON’T happen again?

Here is what I would suggest you do right now…

…set aside 60 minutes.

Turn off the tv. Forego a lunch break. Get up an hour earlier. Or stay up an hour later.

Lock yourself away somewhere without phones, tvs, or email.

And get busy writing!

List out everything good that happened to you in 2008.

List out everything not-so-good that happened to you in 2008.

And look for the trends.

Things that keep repeating themselves… things that have positive and negative results for you.

Then come up with a plan on how you will do 10 times more of the positive things in the coming year.

And how you will eliminate the negative things you do that cause bad things to happen in your life.

The best way to write your plan?

This is something I have done for many years now, and I love how it feels once you are done.

After reviewing your good and bad.  And after thinking through what you will be doing differently in the next year.

Write a letter to yourself (or your spouse, your kids, or whoever is most important to you in your life right now)… but the letter is dated January 1, 2010… a year from now.

And talk about all the incredible things that happened over the past year.

Gush about your accomplishments, your successes, your biggest ah-hah moments.

Talk about what a wild ride 2009 was… and how much fun it was to accomplish all those dreams in one year.

See yourself in that state, a year from now, and really feel how exciting it will be for you to be there celebrating your best year ever.

Lock that feeling in.

Get that letter typed up – or leave it in long hand.

Important: Read it every morning for the next year (it takes you 1 minute… you CAN find the time).  When you read it… see yourself there enjoying the moment. Feel what it will feel like to celebrate the big wins you wrote about.

You do that, right now, before you forget and “put it off for later”, and I guarantee you that 2009 will break all of your previous record years.

You do that, and review it every single morning, and some amazing things WILL happen for you.

It helps you think big.

It helps you plan the year.

And it helps reprogram your mind for success, with a daily boost to keep out all the negative stuff the media is throwing at you.

Despite what the media is saying, right now is an incredible opportunity for success minded individuals like you and I.  More wealth is made in the down times than the good… and that time is right here and now.

The choice is yours… will you do something differently right here and now that guarantees January 2010 will be a massive celebration at your house?  Or will you keep hoping and praying something will change… “one of these days”?

Make the right choice… I am here to support you in your quest.

To a fabulous year ahead!

Troy

May
19

Marketing success with spuds

Real Fries In a Fake World.

Love it! The headline and photo are perfect here.

They capture your attention and do what a decent ad should do… get you to stop and start reading.

Unfortunately that is where it all falls apart. The story starts good about their French fries… but they need more oomph with this.

My thoughts are this ad could be a stellar success with some changes.

As it is, I don’t see too many people seeing the Real Fries Advertisement and going out to a New York Fries because of it. There may be a few oddballs like myself who collect advertisements and show their friends… but it probably doesn’t get much more done than that.

First thing you see?

Well .. duh… that’s the point of the ad!

The girls bountiful assets are obviously not real… but they do capture attention.

Job #2 of an advertisement is to get people to stop and read. This does that. Despite what you think of the use of women in advertising… it is proven to increase sales to BOTH men AND women. Maybe not this photo for some businesses but many others this could be made to work.

The point is not about the use of this photo and whether or not you or I agree with it.  The point is… what kinds of eye-ball grabbing graphics or headlines are YOU using?

If not, isn’t it time?

May
15

Here’s why I canceled the Wild West Wealth Summit

In 2007 I launched the first ever Wild West Wealth Summit, with over 125 people attending.  For three and a half days, those in attendance immersed themselves in the mindset of successful marketers.

People raved.
They wrote me cards.
Emails.
Artwork.

They wanted more.

In June of 2008, I gave them more.  Videos. Letters. Books and emails continued to come in.

They still wanted more.

But this year, I have decided NOT to host Wild West.

There may be something in 2010, but for ’09 I am 100% behind helping my friend Greg Habstritt.

I went to University with Greg (we were both in business and in the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs Club), and have watched and admired his exceptional success for years now.

He is also the reason I am canceling Wild West for 2009… I decided to help promote his Simple Wealth Summit instead.

Why?

His speakers are exceptional… and his formula for success and wealth creation is one I want to share with everyone I know.

Here’s what I’m going to do.
Take a serious look at this event… it is a big part of why I made the final decision to cancel Wild West for 2009.

I believe in this event that much.

Greg Habstritt, the highly successful entrepreneur, investor, and multi-millionaire host of this Summit is a person I want you to meet.

A millionaire before 30, Greg now enjoys an 8 figure networth and $100 million dollars in assets managed by his companies. He has started, built and ran 4 different multi-million dollar businesses.

The Simple Wealth Summit is designed to change the way you think about life.

About business.

And about your future.

http://www.TheWealthSummit.com

Greg has put together an all star team of dream speakers to share with you his Simple Wealth formula.

From everything I know about Greg, and from what I know about the speakers, this will be a major hit.  I also know for a FACT that Greg will over deliver on his promises.

The speaker lineup:

Gary W. Goldstein ~ Billion Dollar Movie Producer of “Pretty Woman” and “Under Siege”

Dr. Robert Cialdini
~ New York Times Best Selling Author of “YES!” and “Influence, The Science of Persuasion”

Peter Schiff ~ New York Times Best Selling Author, “Crashproof” and “Little Book of Bull Moves”

James Arthur Ray
~ New York Times Best Selling Author, “Harmonic Wealth”

Debra Poneman
~ Best Selling Author, Speaker and Mentor To Many of Today’s Biggest Transformational  Experts

Janet Attwood ~ New York Times Best Selling Author, “The Passion Test”

And  Les Hewitt ~ New York Times Best Selling Author, “The Power Of Focus”

I do hope you check this out… the guarantee says it all… and it is going to be an exceptional event…

http://www.TheWealthSummit.com

Over 300 people are already registered, but there are seats still available.

Have a look at the details here…

And I hope this gives you an edge for making 2009 your best year yet!

Money really likes speed… act now.

Join the 300 other eager professionals who are already signed up.  One of the fastest ways you can grow your business is with a highly focused networking opportunity like this.

Create joint ventures.
Find investors.
Find partners and strategic players.
And learn how to use The Simple Wealth Formula in YOUR life…

http://www.TheWealthSummit.com

{NOTE: If you decide to attend (which I highly recommend), I want to offer you a couple bonuses.  First, entry into my Sales Letter Success Webinar series.  Second, audios of BOTH 2007 and 2008 Wild West Wealth Summits (delivered digitally) – sold for $1695 alone to attend live.  I will be at the event as well and would love to chat, network and lunch with you as well.  I am very serious about Greg’s Simple Wealth Formula… and I hope you see that here.)

Have a great weekend and make sure you check out what Greg is offering.

Troy