Archives for February 2010
The words you use in your marketing…WILL make or break the success you see. It really is no different than a live sales call – except this time it’s in print – or on their computer screen.
Copywriting is really “salesmanship in print” and here are some basic techniques to make your marketing and sales materials do what they are supposed to – sell more products and services.
1. Have your offer in the headline – or near the top of you advertisement. Possibly have a Johnson’s box (box that highlights areas of importance) with the offer near the top or on the right hand side after your initial 3 paragraphs. This will weed out tire kicker immediately as they realize it is not free – they have to pay. That and many people are ready to read the whole thing – but are interested (possibly) in what your offer is.
2. Refer to specific pages within the copy, or in the bullet points. Talk about a major benefit of your product then “and on page 14 you will see exactly how to use this to accomplish ….” The way you write this can lead in to chapters or sections within a chapter – “and on page 27 you will learn the gap between reading and acting on your offer.”
3. Design a 2 step advertisement. Web based or not – 2 step advertising can pull in exponentially more inquiries – and build your database very quickly. Instead of asking for an order from your web page – offer them a free report for giving you their physical address. No pressure for “another” ezine that won’t get read anyhow. With all the spam and filtering problems – you seriously need to start building an offline database. Ask yourself this – if the internet “shut down” or your backups of your client’s emails disappeared – would you still be in business?
4. Make your free report more enticing! Offer them information that they will not find anywhere else…or would have to look for a long time anyhow to find. For example – “Five simple ways to write a PS and especially a PPS that will triple your sale this year.” Typical free reports have minimal content and more sales letter than anything – so make sure you are delivering on your promise in the report before selling them.
5. If you are having people call an 800 # for a recorded message – make sure they know no one will answer, that no one will be phoning them back, and that they will not be hassled – unless they ask for someone to call. This leaves no pressure on them and their resistance to calling will be dramatically lowered. With their guard down, the likelihood (if your recorded message is good) that they will leave a number is much higher.
6. Make a fantastic headline as part of your order process. Add in a hidden benefit that you have kept quiet and bring it out right before the inquiry form or order form. People love pleasant surprises so give them some. If they have read all your copy right to the end – they are obviously interested. Throw in one or two more significant benefits and they will be yours.
7. If you are marketing more locally – make sure your local numbers, addresses, etc are displayed prominently in your copy, and at the end of your copy. Weave in a great story about your local business and show them you really are local – and your responses will be dramatically higher. Make sure your phone number (especially in local newspaper or magazine ads) is very prominent and positioned well.
To your success,
Creating a USP can be a daunting task for many.
Keep it simple and start writing down ideas… and you will be far ahead of your competitors who are still scared of starting.
The more you write – the more ideas that will come to you.
Here are some simple ways to get going.
1) Ideas to start your own USP.
Fill in the blanks –
I legally help people to….
I (legally) teach people how to…
I (legally) show people how to…
I set people up to…
In one hour…
I save you…
[Note: by adding in “legally” you add a touch of human interest… and keep them intrigued. Who doesn’t want to learn something that seems to break all the rules – but is above board and very legal?]
Here’s another: You know how most companies ______? Well what we do is ____________, which is much more powerful because it helps you__________
It must say what it does for them – not how great of a company you are. They could care less. All they care about is- what can you do for me?
2) Does it answer “why should I do business with you, above any and all other companies out there, including doing nothing, or doing what I do now?
3) Does it touch on emotions? It should.
Here is a great one I heard – “I give people a money personality profile that shows them how they are blowing thousands of dollars per year – and how to get it back”
4) Can you plug your competitors names into your USP? Does it fit them like you? Then your USP needs work.
Mine is “I Turn Your Words Into Wealth” – which is not perfect – but – it does the most important thing a USP must do – it makes people ask me – “how do you do that?” If you can get people to ask you how you do that – then you have a winner.
I also tested a Double Your Profit or Free Guarantee to great results – everyone wants to do that – and I take the risk with a very bold guarantee.
5) What is the BIGGEST benefit you provide to your clients? What can you do that no one else in your industry does? What would make you buy from you? What is the ultimate gift you would like to leave with your clients when they deal with you?
Answer a few of those and you are well on your way to creating a USP that makes you a fortune in your business. Less than 5% of companies have a real USP – when you figure yours out… you will immediately be in the top 5% of your industry.
Push the envelope
Get people out of their comfort zone
*** Make them say – “what did you just say?” or “how do you do THAT?”
Find a way to incorporate some of those ideas and you will stand far above the crowd.
I’m always up for a good laugh… and this site gave me many.
The sad thing is: these are your neighbors, your co-workers, possibly even (gasp) your family members.
For you entrepreneurs out there, I really hope they are not your customers.
My biggest worry about our future is how technology seems to be making people stupid, at a blistering pace!
People cannot think for themselves.
They rely on technology to run their lives.
They think they need to be wired in 24 hours a day.
They think that being plugged in to their cell phones is the way to get more done.
And they are this dumb http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/facebook_wants_to_be_your_one_true_login.php
The writers on that site created an article about Facebook. Their article was ranked highly on Google (now in #2 spot if you search for “Facebook login”).
The 1,533 comments there are proof that stupid people are taking over.
Obviously, these morons typed in “Facebook login” into Google (because they can’t figure out how to type in “Facebook.com” into the browser address bar.)
They clicked the second link without even looking at what they were clicking… then couldn’t understand why the page looked so different, or why they couldn’t log in.
So they left messages.
Lots of them.
Proving their stupidity.
Which got media attention.
And brought more rocket scientists… and sarcasm galore.
1,533 comments – and they are funny!
Even if they were made up, they were still great for a laugh.
And a cry.
They may be the buying public. And they are not intelligent enough to spend money.
Sad but true.
A lesson for us all – know your customers – and don’t sell to people like this.
Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.
The Olympics are almost upon us, and the world stage is about to descend on Vancouver, BC, Canada.
The excitement is high, and the athletes are in their final stages of preparation.
Much of it is between their ears.
When they have the right mindset, anything is possible. They have visualized winning an Olympic medal since they were a child, and they have played it thousands of times before with eyes closed.
Back in 1988, I was fortunate to be living in Calgary where the Olympics were held.
I even worked at the bottom of the ski jumps during the Olympics, slinging chicken burgers. I didn’t last at that kind of job long (I don’t play well with crappy bosses), but I was there during the Olympics and got to partake in the festivities and excitement.
Do you remember Eddie The Eagle? Or the Jamaican Bobsledders?
They all made their debut in front of the world, here in Calgary.
And the lessons I learned from them have propelled me forward in business, hopefully they can for you too.
Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards was a sensation!
…20 pounds heavier than any of his competitors
…no decent ski jumping equipment (he had to wear six layers of socks to make his boots fit)
…extremely short-sighted (even though when skiing they fogged to such an extent that he could not see)
…living temporarily in a Finnish mental hospital due to lack of funds
…Scared of jumping from the 200+ foot jumps
…Edwards first represented Great Britain at the 1987 World Championships, and was ranked 55th in the world and this performance qualified him, as the sole British applicant, for the 1988 Winter Olympics ski jumping competition
Not exactly the favoured to win!
…He finished last in both the 70 m and 90 m events.
But that didn’t stop him from winning over the crowds (even getting personally mentioned in the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, an Olympic first)
The worse he did, the more popular he became.
He quickly became a media celebrity and appeared on talk shows worldwide, even appearing on the Johnny Carson Show during the Games.
Eddie is JUST LIKE every successful entrepreneur I know.
They have taken far more than their share of bumps and bruises.
They don’t come from money… they had to find it themselves and struggle to keep it.
They are willing to do whatever it takes to make their dream a reality.
And they NEVER let excuses get in the way. (20 pds overweight, short-sighted, crappy equipment, broke, scared: enough to drive away most people from even bothering to try… not Eddie. Not the entrepreneurs I know either)
His latest? He was chosen as a torchbearer in the relay for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. One of the worst (if not the worst) athletes in the 88 games, yet the most famous.
How do you practice bobsledding in Jamaica?
As with Eddie the Eagle, the Jamaican Bobsled team made international headlines in Calgary during the 88 winter games as well.
They had no snow to practice on, but they had sand!
Two Americans travelling in Jamaica saw a pushcart derby taking place in the sand. Realizing that pushcarts were very similar to bobsleds… an idea was born and the Jamaican Bob sled team was formed.
Consisting of military personnel, a railway engineer, and some fast sprinters, this mish-mash collection of athletes went on to inspire the world.
The entire idea of bobsledding in a tropical location like Jamaica was enough to cause some laughter, but just as much admiration for their motivation to compete.
They did not finish because they lost control of the sled and crashed during one of their four runs.
Rather than doing what most would do then, they actually got out of their sled and walked with it to the finish line to roaring applause from the crowd.
The great and late John Candy played the team coach in a movie (Cool Runnings) inspired by the Jamaican Bobsled Team. Great laughs to be had there!
They came back to compete in the 1992 Olympics, but finished poorly.
Which motivated them yet again to compete in the ’94 Olympics in Norway. There, they stunned the critics and placed 14th in the world, ahead of the US, Russia, France and Italy.
In 2000, they won a Gold Medal at the World Push Bobsled Championships.
Not bad for a team without snow to practice on!
Unfortunately, they failed to qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics…
…but they taught me an incredible lesson.
Success in life and in business is NOT always about being first.
Especially always trying to be first right out of the gate.
Both Eddie the Eagle and The Jamaican Bobsled team had many things going against them.
As do most entrepreneurs.
But they were willing to battle their inner demons and outside critics… and just knew that they would ultimately prove people wrong.
Which they did.
The entrepreneurs I know are as pigheaded as these guys… and it is that stubbornness that drives us all to great levels of success.
So when the Olympics start this Friday, remember the stories of Eddie the Eagle and The Jamaican Bobsled team.
Think about what they had to go through to get into the Olympics, and then to become worldwide sensations by LOSING.
In business you do not always have to be first in your market. Revenues are not indicative of your success. Being driven to be different is.
No matter what happens around you, and when things seem down, it is then that you must push yourself harder to break through to your next level of success.
Then the next.
And the next.
You are the only one that matters in your race for success.
Hold fast to your own Olympic dreams and keep on pushing yourself to greater and greater heights.
The ride is a blast… and I look forward to being there with you.
To your success.