Dec
30

Cashing in on the not-so-obvious

Why do people overcomplicate things like they do?

It always amazes me.

Without a single thought or care about mastering the basics of marketing, they sprint head first following the scent of a shiny new “social media marketing tool”.

Meanwhile…the greatest marketing opportunities are right in front of their eyes.

Here is a perfect example that was sent to me by my friend and fellow marketing consultant, Graham McGregor (who, by the way, has an EXCEPTIONAL free book you can grab at  http://www.TheUnfairBusinessAdvantage.com).

======================
How they capitalized
on one of the
worlds greatest disasters.
======================

Before the naysayers go off on their tangent about capitalizing on disasters… listen in first before you judge.

The Titanic sunk in 1912.

Thousands of lives were lost.

The 100 year anniversary of this disaster is in 2012.

rather than shying away from the sinking of a cruise liner, the New Zealand Cruise Ship, the MS Balmoral, decided to make the most of it.

2,000 people have pre-booked a cabin for the MD Balmoral voyage that retraces the route of the Titanic’s maiden voyage

Not only are people paying up to $12,100 for passage on this cruise, they are also lining up to “have costumes made to re-create the appearance of the original passengers, while there have also been requests from musicians to audition for places in the modern version of the string quartet that played as the flagship of the White Star Line fleet began to list.”

This Centenial Celebration is gearing up to be a highly enjoyable one for the passengers, and a highly profitable one for the Cruise line.

(http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10775547)

======================
What did they do right,
and how can you copy?
======================

The 2012 Cash Flow Calendar http://www.cashflowcalendars.com is designed to help YOU do exactly what the MS Balmoral has done…

…find unusual events, and create theme-based promotions around it.

For example, in January of 2012, here are a few unusual events you could create themed product or services launches around:

* Second week of January is National Pizza Week
* The fourth week is National Mozart week (and Jan 27th is his birthday)
* January 12th is the 36th Anniversary of the passing of Agatha Christie in 1976
* Friday January 13th is not only a Friday the 13th, but is also the Rubber Duckies birthday
* Sunday, January 22nd is National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day… what better reason for a pet-related marketing campaign (pet campaigns can be a BIG draw for contests, competitions, and just fun all-around promotions).

Keep it simple.

Find a special event or date you could really have fun with.

Do some research about the basics of the date or reason for celebration.

Create a 3 step (minimum) campaign that has some fun with the date, tells a great story that ties into that date, then relate the celebration to your special offer.

Send out all 3 steps, each of them having fun and telling a different part of the theme or story-based campaign.

Simple.

In theory… right?

The key is to just do it. Don’t overthink it… massive momentum and action will take you MUCH FURTHER than over analyzing it will!

Just get it done.

Have some fun.

And give your clients and prospects something fun to get excited about too.

It worked for the cruise line… and will work for you too.

Here’s to a fun-filled, promotion and story packed marketing year!

Troy

PS: People often ask if this applies in their country too (assuming they are outside of North America).

Why not?

Even if National Pizza Week is an American thing, or a Canadian thing, so what?

There is no rule book saying you can’t create your own holiday like this.

DECLARE IT!

You don’t need to ask for permission to do a promotion… just get it done!

2012 Marketing Plan and Cash Flow Marketing Calendar

The 2012 Cash Flow Calendar...turning wacky dates into money making marketing campaigns

The 2012 Cash Flow Calendar http://www.cashflowcalendars.com walks you through the basics of good theme-based promotions and gives you AMPLE opportunity for standing out from the crowd.

…it also gives you a 12-month, week-by-week calendar you can modify to suite your own marketing plans for the year.

Rest assured though… actually filling the calendar out for your own use… and then IMPLEMENTING what is planned… is THE KEY to massive marketing success in 2012.

Thinking about it or promising to do it won’t get you there…

…getting it DONE will.

Dec
20

How to repurpose marketing ideas into your own

Nothing I love more than hearing a story about someone who hears an idea I shared, and then goes out and does something with it.

I wish it happened more often than it does (or at least than I hear of).

After 9.8 years in this business I have written hundreds upon hundreds of articles around marketing, copywriting, lead generation and internet marketing.

Just a few days ago I wrote this article about Mountain Woven Money Making Advertisements. It shares the story of a very successful single page ad that sold 26,000 neck ties in a single run.

My friend Marilyn Jenett took that article to heart and has done something beautiful with it.

Something that not only helps you, but helps feed the homeless during the Christmas Season.

I think her awesome headline says it all…

Feed a Homeless Person and Your Spirit  
Through December 31, 2011 for Only $2

http://www.feelfreetoprosper.com/holiday-secrets-ebook.html

Please have a look at how Marilyn took the ideas in that Mountain Woven article and used them to create a lovely offer that helps those in need right now.

$2 is not a lot of money to you and I, but it means a meal to someone who may have to go without.

Give up that next small Starbucks coffee and invest in Marilyn’s generous offer instead.

(actually, I don’t think you can even get a small coffee at Starbucks for $2!… but you CAN feed the homeless with it).

Merry Christmas!

Troy

Dec
19

Random Marketing Miracles

   

     People LOVE unexpected surprises.

Sometimes, unexpected surprises can be the launching pad for exceptional results in your marketing.

2 top of mind ones that I really like…

…Johnny Depp and Lady Gaga

 

Johnny Depp, to me, is one of the greatest actors of our times.  He is also an incredible unexpected hero to 9 year old Beatrice and her classmates.

Beatrice wrote Johnny a letter asking for him to come to their school assembly…

…hoping he would… but probably not planning on it.

But he did – in full Jack Sparrow get up.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11498980

He was filming his newest Pirates of the Carribean movie and brought come decked out crew members with him – all in full Pirates outfit and character.

What a way to make an impression!

I think Johnny just added a whole new legion of fans, and a significant pay raise for all his future movies.

Lady Gaga… loves making her fans scream with delight.

I wrote an article about her some time ago http://blog.smallbusinesscopywriter.com/how-to-monetize-your-little-monsters/

Some people didn’t like it – saying all she had going for her was skin and breasts.

Sex sells, they battled back. 

She is nothing without boobs, says another. 

While I am not one to disagree that sex does sell and showing some skin definitely attracts a certain type of person…

…Lady Gaga IS a masterful marketer.

And she doesn’t rely on her looks exclusively to warm over her fans (her customers).

She likes to pick up the phone and call one of her fans –completely out of the blue and unexpectedly.

Now THAT is a way to win the hearts of your fans!

Imagine the buzz that both of these unexpected surprises have given their customers.

Imagine what you could do if, just once a month, you did something unexpected for your clients and prospects.

A few unexpected surprises you could start using every month.  Alternate them – or stick with the ones that get the biggest shock-value from them:

-       Call a new client out of the blue – heck, call them all.  Say hi – have no ulterior motive – and just say thank you. (in the day and age of emails everywhere – the actual phone has become a VERY powerful tool for touching base.  I saw it this past week when I called a new customer how shocked he was, I am making it a new practice in my business!)

 

-       Send a handwritten card.  While I love services like send out cards for keeping in touch, a real handwritten card is unmistakable and will win them over much faster.

 

-       Send one random customer a present every month or week. Make the present something of value – and don’t always use your own products – use other people’s products as the central theme here.  This is not self promotion – it’s selfless promotion.

 

-       Pick a customer of the month and put their picture (with approval of course) on your site, your blog, in your store.

 

-       Do a write up on your customer of the month.  This would be especially powerful if you are dealing business to business.  Use your writing prowess and do an editorial on them – send it out to all your other clients. Send it to the press. Send it in a newsletter.  Plaster the write up everywhere.  And frame it and send it to the customer your profiled so they can hand it up in their office.

 

-       Give someone cash, for no rhyme or reason.  I had this happen to me a few weeks ago and it was an incredible feeling.  The amount doesn’t have to break the bank – the thought is what matters.

 

-       Gift them something sweet.  I have written enough about Kinjo Sushi here, but one of his secret weapons is his chocolates he gives out.  Only to the ladies and children… but it is a practice that makes him a mint (pun intended). He knows down to the penny what each free box of chocolate brings him back in business.

 

-       Use the product launch strategy of giving away one of your high end products.  But don’t build it into a launch – just do it without expectation of future sales (you can and should do a write up on the gift recipient though).

 

-       Use part of your profits to do a random donation to a good cause.

 

-       And yes, you can monetize these ideas – not only with the great karma and word of mouth, but with the immense pr potential when you do this consistently. Don’t do it once and call yourself a hero, expecting the press to crawl all over you.  Do it consistently for a year – and you won’t have to tell the press – your customers will do that for you.

 

I am making it part of my business (should have done it sooner – doh!).  I hope you do as well.

To your success.

Troy

Your 2012 Marketing Plan and Calendar (complete with thousands of marketing ideas, blog post ideas, promotional campaigns, etc)

PS: If you want off-the-wall marketing ideas… the 2012 Cash Flow Calendar is ready to roll… http://www.cashflowcalendars.com
…done-for-you, copy and paste marketing campaigns that make 2012 your best year yet!

 

If you need help with your marketing and promotional plan for the next 12 months…

…this is an exceptional way to plan out all your campaigns, with simple formulas and copy/paste templates.

 

We executed the September promotion and received over
$1000.00 worth of sales from it in one day! 
Fabulous I say.” – Fran Agar – Ballymoon Beauty

Dec
15

Mountain Woven Money Making Ads

Fellow business builder,

You may have heard of an ad that ran 65 years ago with the headline:

“Hand Woven by The Mountain People of New Mexico”

New Christmas Patterns in these unique ties. Wearers say an exceptional value.* Sold only direct from weavers to you.

It was a one-page ad that ran in the November 1940 edition of Life.  Simple – copy intensive – with a picture of the ties.

Fantastic example of copy-driven theme marketing (click the image to see a full size)

 

Get this: that ONE AD SOLD 26,000 TIES!

An amazing success story. And an amazing ad (written by James W Young).

What is most evident about the ad is the unique ways they use a number of great advertising techniques – ones that STILL work today just as well.

 

Think about this:

1) A unique headline – “mountain people” conjures up pictures with those two words.  “Hand woven” portrays the quality that they put into the ties.  Combined, this is a very intriguing headline.

2) In the subhead, this statement is interesting – “Wearers say an exceptional value.*” Note that the * references a footnote at the bottom of the ad that is actually a testimonial of a happy buyer.=]

George W Engelmann, well known Chicago business man, writes:

“Enclosed is my order for some of your ties. I would like to

take this opportunity to tell you how well I like your ties.

When I wear them they never fail to attract favorable

comment. They are also the most durable ties and best value

I have ever seen”

 

NOTE: a testimonial in a clothing advertisement! How often do you see that? 65 years later and few people are using this simple strategy.  The footnote is a nice touch – very interesting way to get people involved in the ad.

Also note how the testimonial is written. Chances are the adman wrote the testimonial and had the client approve of it.  In your business you should do the same. Your clients will provide glowing testimonials but (typically) have a tough time saying the best things about your business and how those things affect other potential buyers.

This testimonial touches on “here is another order” “they attract favorable attention” “durable” “best value” “well know business man” All of that in a couple short sentences!

3) The ad starts out with a very compelling story:

“For over 200 years the Spanish people who settled New

Mexico have been raising sheep and weaving wool. Their

looks have been handed down from father to son…..”

 

and on it goes into the story of where they live, the types  of fabric they make, the colors, the make of the tie, intriguing features like “invisible silk”, how they wear, wrinkle free, the textures, cleaning… and so on.

It literally forces you to read the entire story!

Then it goes into “My Christmas Offer” showing that they obtained a fantastic deal ($1 per tie) – makes the perfect gift – guaranteed.

How to order details are very intricate – making sure people know exactly what must be done to get a part of this special offer.  It is even discussed how they will be  packaged so the customer knows what to expect in their mailbox.

Last, the true  kicker: why they MUST order now – “before the Spanish go on their El Natividad” and why you must make a decision now before Christmas gets here and your gift is late.

What an amazing ad.

And, there is absolutely no reason you can’t use a concept like this in October and November for your year end specials.  Either you sell products or services that make a good gift – or it is the perfect time in the new year to order a new model.

Find a way to use these ideas:

- intriguing headline – make it a visual one

- testimonials – lots of them – or your best quality ones at minimum

- a great story about you – your employees – your spouse –  your kids – your pets – whatever, just make it interesting

- descriptives on what they get and why it matters

- a very special offer that WILL NOT be repeated

- make it descriptive on how to order (and give them options)

- the big reason why they MUST order now!

- tie it in to a holiday or special theme

Not rocket science – but if they can sell 26,000 neck ties with an ad like this – don’t you think you could find a way to sell more of your products and services using similar techniques?

You could if you try!

To your success,

Your 2012 Marketing Plan and Calendar (complete with thousands of marketing ideas, blog post ideas, promotional campaigns, etc)

Troy

PS: The 2012 Cash Flow Calendar is ready to roll… http://www.cashflowcalendars.com
…done-for-you, copy and paste marketing campaigns that make 2012 your best year yet!

 

If you need help with your marketing and promotional plan for the next 12 months…

…this is an exceptional way to plan out all your campaigns, with simple formulas and copy/paste templates.

 

We executed the _________ promotion and received over
$1000.00 worth of sales from it in one day! 
Fabulous I say.” – Fran Agar – Ballymoon Beauty

Dec
02

Biker babes and bad-ass story success

I’m a big fan of Sons of Anarchy.

Hadn’t even heard of it until recently, when a friend gave me seasons 1 through 3 on dvd.

Spellbound and a major time vampire.

Sons of Anarchy has turned out to be one of the best series I have ever seen with some of the most powerful, emotion wrenching storylines I’ve experienced.

The best part is that they use some of the same principles I unexpected have been teaching through my emails and in my Story Selling Coaching calls.

A very basic tool that keeps your prospects interested in hearing from you.

…one that grows your business by leaps and bounds over the years if you use it.

Guess what it is?

If you guessed a fantastic story line (something everyone, yes… you too, can create in their marketing), you are correct.

But there is something else other than the main story line that keeps people craving more and addicted to the characters.

Cliffhangers.

Everywhere.

The amazing writers behind this series are masters at creating tension through cliffhangers.

“Will Jax kill him?”

“Will she tell SAMCRO the one thing that will rip the entire club apart at the seams?”

“Will the Doctor be able to save her career… or be subjected to years as a ‘biker-babe’?”

Each episode leaves more unanswered questions in the viewers mind.

Unbelievably addictive…

…and I am not much for watching a lot of tv.

Get this though:

5.8 million viewers per episode

Highest-rated basic cable drama in the US

Emmy nominated

2011 Golden Globe Winner (Katey Sagal… THE best character I think… and a big surprise Peg Bundy could end up to be such an amazing actress. She was also nominated for numerous other acting awards for her role)

 

…much of it through the incredible use of hooks and cliffhangers.

Something you should be working on in your marketing campaigns.

It’s works like gangbusters and isn’t that hard to do when you practice it a wee bit.

I’ve used it for myself and for many different clients over the years.

 …and the clients and prospects LOVE IT.

A great story, mixed into your marketing and personality-driven communication with your clients/prospects… sprinkled with a dash of cliffhanger and BAM, you have a winning campaign.

One they will want more of.

One they will continue to open, read, and act on.

And you know what?

I’m teaching this in the Story Selling Coaching Club.

To find out the full details and to reserve yourself a spot, go to:

http://www.storysellingtips.com

 

Troy White

Nov
30

Best of Craigslist

I don’t spend much time on Craigslist…but I have recently found some pure GOLD there!

WARNING: What follows is rated R.  Profanity is throughout it.

Consider yourself warned.

BEST. SALES. LETTER. EVER.

here is where I found it (I copied it below)

http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/2549849730.html

Best. Roommate. Ever.


Date: 2011-08-16, 10:06AM PDT


 

Konichiwa bitches. Are you looking for the most kick-ass fucking roommate that ever lived? If so, look no further. You fucking found him. I’m a 25-year-old professional marketing agent with experience at bad-ass companies in New York Fucking City. That’s right! What you know about experience? I graduated from Auburn University in Alabama, and moved to NYC at the ripe, tender age of 22. After deciding that New York was a stinky shit-hole, I moved back to Alabama to cultivate more professional experience. Why? So I can make millions of dollars and not have to post shit like this on Craigslist.Anyway, so I landed this job with a marketing firm in San Francisco, and I have no fucking clue where to live. Honestly, I’m moving there in 3 weeks, so I don’t give a shit if I have to sleep in your bathtub.

A bit about me: I’m respectful, quiet, clean and I won’t bother any of your shit. If you leave shit out, I’m just like, “Oh fuck I better not mess with this shit, because it’s not mine.” I turn off lights. I clean toilets. Fuck it. I’ll even cook for you. That’s right! My dad is a chef and taught me everything there is to know about cooking southern cajun cuisine. I’ll fry green tomatoes, cover them with marinated crab meat and smother that shit in bearnaise. EVERY. GODDAMN. NIGHT. Don’t eat meat? That’s fucking FANTASTIC! I’ll make a zucchini and yellow squash carpaccio that will knock your fucking socks off.

I also read a lot. I fucking LOVE books. Vonnegut, Palahniuk, Hawthorne. All that shit. I read Tuesdays with Morrie the other day. It’s a sad story, but I learned something about life, love, knowledge and the pursuit of something greater than myself. Fucking smart. Do you like movies? I fucking love them. We can watch the shit out of some movies together if you like, or go get drinks, or work out, hike, play video games or play a game of one-on-one basketball, or I don’t have to talk to you at all. It’s completely UP TO YOU!

Sometimes I play guitar. Are you going to love getting baked and listening to Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd? LIVE? WHENEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT? Of course you are! I’ll take requests and learn any song you like, because I have the voice of an angel and the acoustical stylings of James Fucking Taylor. AWWWWWW SHIT YEA!

A lot of people ask me, “Hey, you’re from Alabama. Are you racist?” And, the answer to that question is, no. I’m not racist or judgmental at all. I love everyone. I’m a secular humanist. I FUCKING LOVE PEOPLE. That’s the only requirement to being a secular humanist actually. You have to like other human beings and want to help them for no other reason than they are human regardless of race, religion or sexual preference. WTF?!!!? Pretty fucking cool right?

I own almost nothing! I’m driving my car from Alabama to California in which I’ll be transporting two duffelbags of clothes, one laptop computer, one guitar, one cell-phone with charger, 8 pairs of shoes, one picture frame, probably some condoms and a shitload of beef jerky and Pringles for the trip. Though, you can expect the jerky to be gone upon my arrival. Unless you’d like me to pick up some on my way into the city. See?! I’m the most considerate person you’ve ever met. I’m offering to buy you shit already!

Am I interested in your pad? You can bet my nomadic ass I am! I only require 4 walls, a ceiling and a floor to shelter me from the elements. Other than that, anything else will be considered a convenient plus. I’m taking being a roommate to the next level. Email me! I’ll hook yo ass up with Facebook links, background checks, credit reports, phone numbers, resumes, references, awards, sexual history, pictures of karate trophies and a list of the top 10 women I’d like to bang before I die. If you want a next-generation roommate who consistently blows your fucking mind with awesomeness, then hit me up. I’m ready to give you money.

  • cats are OK – purrr
  • dogs are OK – wooof
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 2549849730

 

What is the lesson?  This letter is littered with profanity, but it the ultimate example of a passion-penned piece of work. Either this person is a well versed writer, or he has a real gift for the written word that needs to be used for better purposes.

Getting into the writing flow like this person did here is EVERY writers goal.  

When you get there, it flows effortlessly and you really don’t even have to think much of what to say… it just appears in front of you on the screen or on the paper.  It is a magical thing.

THAT is where hugely profitable ads and sales letters are created – and millions are made for the business owner.

Look past the swearing here and note the flow, the passion, and the incredible persuasiveness this letter has.

Lots of good ideas in here for the astute.

My thoughts anyhow.

Troy

PS: There is a whole section on Craigslist for best of ads – some of them are GREAT – this is one of the best though.

Here they are… http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/all/