The Marketing Word | Differentiation Marketing

Archive for November 2012

promote yourselfIt’s so very hard to promote yourself. I mean, you know, if you weren’t raised by wolves. Most of us were taught not to brag. The phrases “blow your own horn” or “sing your own praises” are used derisively, usually for good reason.

I am friends with a lot of marketers, coaches, gurus, whatever and I understand the need to promote yourself to prospects and clients. But mostly I am seeing how NOT to promote yourself.  Here’s a recent Facebook post:

“It's been an amazing day of discovery & realization for me. It's so moving to be an inspiration & to know I've helped others just by being.”

Can you say narcissistic?  Because that’s the word two of my marketing friends came up with when I sent over that post and asked what they thought.  The “ewwww” factor was pretty huge on that one.

Here’s a post where a guy basically tells people he’s an a-hole:

“It's a little creepy when people I don't know recognize me and approach me in public places. Did I do something wrong to misinform people that I'm approachable and pleasant? I guess it's better than being actively stalked.”

If you’re actively marketing and promoting yourself, people are going to recognize you. That’s kind of the goal. In fact, he’s incredibly pleased that he was approached, then turns around and is ungracious enough to complain about it. Who does he think he’s fooling? If you were following this guy, would you ever walk up to him and introduce yourself after reading this?  Would you bother keeping him on your “friends” list? But I've "talked" with him. He's a nice guy. He was pleased that he got recognized, wanted to tell people, but didn't really feel comfortable just saying that. So, he blew it off, pretending to not like it.  And that path didn't serve him very well at all.

So how do you get the message out that you are good at what you do without sounding like a blowhard?

Here’s one way to do it and with it, a moment of truth: This blog post was inspired by a series of Facebook posts I saw today. One of my friends, Yvonne Charneskey ( ) posted a series of videos that her company had done for various clients, about three or four examples. Her last post of the series said: “As you can see, we can help you with a variety of video formats. Video puts a face to your words and makes you more believable and trustworthy. People do business with those they know, trust and like...”  That is a benefit statement, not a chest-thumping “look how wonderful we are.”

She also did something else with that series of videos. Outside of showing the high quality of her work, she spotlighted her clients to an audience (her Facebook friends) that may not have known about these people and companies.  That’s a bonus for her clients, which is a pretty nice thing to do.

There’s no call to action in her post but this is social media.  Social media has everyone walking a tightrope – trying to promote themselves and what they do without looking like they are promoting themselves or what they do. Could she have added a “light” call to action. Yes. But it is implied. If you need video done and done well, talk to Yvonne and her husband Hank.

What have you done for your clients that you can use to showcase what you do and how you can help others? I know a carpet cleaner who posts before and after pictures. An artist who shows her work in progress. A running coach that posts his students’ times and successes. There’s a way for you to showcase your talent on social media without being heavy-handed.  Give it some thought and then put it out there.


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On Selling False Hope

A while back I wrote a manual for a client.   He asked me what I would charge to create a sales page for him.  Copywriters charge a lot of money for sales pages.  Some of those copywriters are worth the money and some aren’t. But the truth is, unless you can drive traffic to the sales page, it doesn’t matter how good the copy is.

I told him I didn’t do sales copy for anyone other than myself. I won’t make promises that my magic words are going to bring in thousands of sales and millions of dollars. There’s a science to writing sales page copy. Good copywriters spend time researching the target market’s buying process, taking pains to ensure that the copy covers all the touch points for various buying types, crafting the right hooks to intrigue the buyer into pressing that “Add to Cart” button.

Sometimes, in spite of the copywriter’s best efforts, the product doesn’t go. The page doesn’t convert.  Or, more often, the page doesn’t get enough traffic to determine whether or not the copy is doing its job. You can SEO a page from here to eternity but if the niche is crowded or has big players, the page may not crack the first page of Google without strong marketing support from other quarters.

I am more honest with clients than I should be sometimes. Many copywriters would have charged an arm and a leg (including a backend cut of product sales) and have written copy that was … shall we say… less than fresh. I can write that kind of copy. All day long with my eyes closed.  I don’t.  So my client went off to find a copywriter for his sales page.

That was over six months ago.  He popped back up (as my favorite clients do) about two weeks ago. He said that the person writing his sales page had dropped the ball and wanted to know if I had any recommendations. I know he is on a budget. I know he needs to get this thing off the ground. I know he’s probably been ripped off. I offered to do it at a cut-rate price.

After a little bit of back and forth, we finally got down to the real nub.  He asked me, “Do you think this product is viable? I want to know if I will make my money back.”

Again, I was more honest with him than a good businessperson should be. I told him that the sales page alone won’t sell his manual. That it would take marketing efforts such as talking to groups, email marketing, social media, etc. etc. etc.

Yes, he is looking for reassurance. Yes, he has a pretty good product that has an easily targeted market. And yes, my sales page copy will convert prospects to buyers. But at the end of the day, there are no guarantees. There are no magic words. There’s just probability and rolling the dice to see how that all plays out.

I would love to tell him that YES! He will definitely make his money back.  But as I said to him, anyone who flat out declares that you definitely will have the sales numbers you need is selling soap.  And that’s where the toughest part for any entrepreneur comes in. At some point, you have to roll the dice, take the chance, close your eyes and jump. Sometimes you win. Sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, you lose. But you’ll never know until you put yourself out there. Something I recommend wholeheartedly.

And, shameless plug:  I'm re-playing my webinar "Marketing in 4 Hours a Week" this Tuesday night.  If you want some ideas on how to market your business in a time-efficient and effective  manner, tune in.  Register here:   Marketing in 4

Barbara Grassey

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November 2012
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