The Marketing Word | Differentiation Marketing

CAT | Marketing

Measuring Success

Success or FailureSomeone asked in one of my groups if a book “qualified” as a failure if it didn't sell. And, he asked, what makes a book a bestseller anyway?

I had a book that broke the Amazon/Kindle bestsellers' list in a couple of subcategories. It stayed “on the charts” for a couple of days, then faded in sales and rankings. But I would definitely say it was NOT a bestseller. I think I sold about 30 copies. (No reflection on you, my faithful friends and readers -- definitely a reflection on my lack of marketing effort.)

Here’s the background: Last summer, I put together a little ebook collection of 21 of my marketing tips (yes, the ones you can get for free, each week by signing up for them on this site). I use it as a lead generator to help bring people to my site and get “my name out there.” In short, it’s a marketing tool.

It was an “unintentional” bestseller. I was in my Kindle back office one day and noticed that the ebook had never been published. Yes, I uploaded it and did everything I was supposed to do… except hit the publish button. (Brilliant, I know.) So I hit publish, then made a FaceBook post about it. Then I decided, what the hell, I’ll announce it’s up there on Twitter, too. How’s that for marketing genius?

Then a friend reposted on FaceBook and Twitter and Google + and maybe even on Pinterest. And another friend. So I posted it in a Kindle publishing group and a couple of my FaceBook marketing groups. And I sold a few copies and then for fun I checked the stats. I had broken into the bestsellers list in a category (actually several, but I didn't know how that category stuff worked at the time and I'm still fuzzy on it). So I posted that I was on the bestseller list and more people bought and spread the world. (There’s a marketing lesson in that sentence, isn't there? Hint. Hint.)

Eventually I got to around #30 or so on a couple of the categories.

Was that book a success?

In some ways, yes. I guess now I can say I am an Amazon or Kindle “Best Selling Author!” but I would feel pretty cheesy saying that. Thirty copies is not exactly setting the world on fire. I think I made about $20 or so on the book so I can’t really say it was a financial success. Did it create some buzz and some publicity for me? Yes, it did. So that’s a partial success. It's all relative. Success is partially measured by how close you come to achieving your goal. In this case, it was a very small partial success.

But here’s a different kind of success. I wrote a free (giveaway) ebook for one of my clients to use as a marketing tool to sell his course. It converted at a great ratio (over 50%) but it didn't get seen by many people. So, it was a great success in its conversion ratio, but not in the total number of sales. HOWEVER...

He sent the free ebook out to a person who was interested in his course on private lending. The man didn’t buy his course. He asked for an appointment with my client to find out more about how he ran his business. That meeting led to him investing a couple of million dollars with my client.

Is that a success?

It was not the end result my client thought he was looking for. It was a result that came out of left field and brought him something that was, as he would say, “more better” than selling a $700 home study course. In terms of dollars in the door for his business, which was his goal in creating the initial course, it was a rousing success.

Success is relative. Sometimes success is partial, fractional.

Failure is relative and fractional, too. Put aside all those uplifting, motivational memes that flood social media feeds. (Because really, when you've had your ass handed to you, do you really care that Edison went through 10,000 light bulbs?) Sometimes failing tells you that you are in the wrong business. Sometimes it tells you that you have to change your approach or you will assuredly fail again. Sometimes it really is complete and total rejection and the marketplace has spoken.

More often, failure is a sign that something needs to be tweaked. That’s where being able to track and measure comes in. How many people actually visited your site? How many people stayed for more than 15 seconds? What search terms did they use to find you? Did they spend five minutes reading your sales page and not even give you their name and email address? Did they give you their name and email address, but not buy?

It’s harder to track how many people saw your book on Amazon, read about it and said, “Pass.” But you can measure how much marketing you did of your book. You can look over what groups you posted in, what social media sites, whether or not it was shared. You can see if people watched your YouTube video on the book or how many people are searching on your name specifically. You can certainly measure how many books were sold.

So was the book a failure or a success? Is your marketing working or not? Failure gives you insight and a foothold that can lead you to a future, perhaps different success. But all in all, full-on, unmitigated, absolute success is more better.

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Article MarketingUsing articles to drive traffic to your website was a win/win marketing concept at its best.  You submitted articles to content directories, publishers picked up free articles and in return, they ran your author’s bio with your article, adding to your credibility and driving targeted traffic back to your website or offline business.  But then article marketing fell into disfavor. The Great Google decided articles weren’t all that important in providing the information that people wanted.  It (GASP!) changed its algorithms and articles didn’t skew as high in the organic searches.

Well, everything old is new again, ain’t it? Once again, the great internet wheel of fortune has completed its turn and articles are ranking higher again.  But with a little different twist.  Google has gotten smarter, refined its algorithms and now is tying together content with the authors of that content.  In short, Google has managed to find a way to rank the value of the content you provide, make connections among all your published web content and evaluate this information. Your “grade” will affect your page rank.  Tie it all up in a big bow, and Google calls it “Author Rank.”

What does this mean to you? It means that if you provide high-quality, useful content, through articles, blog posts or any web content, your information is going to come up higher in Google search than someone who is merely “phoning it in” i.e., putting out a series of superficial, low-quality articles.  Original content will be rewarded. Those who were merely gaming the system will be thrown into the Google dungeon.

The best part of this is that Author Rank is still being rolled out. It’s in testing stages and that means you can get a jump on your competition by creating a library of high-quality articles NOW.

A FaceBook friend, Steve Eason, posted a great guide to setting yourself up to take advantage of author rank.  Click this link to get a jumpstart.

http://www.ingeniousinternetincome.com/your-guide-to-setting-up-google-authorship-markup/

If you want to learn more about how you can use article marketing in your business, tune in to my webinar on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 at 9:00 pm Eastern.  I’ll be talking about how article marketing works, how to come up with topics that people are searching for, easy ways to write articles and fill you in on Author Rank.  You can register by clicking this link:

http://www2.onlinemeetingnow.com/register/?id=0e735bcba4

Here are just a few of the topics the webinar will cover:

  • What is Article Marketing?
  • Article Marketing Strategies -- Using the Google Keyword Tool and Spoking Your Articles
  • Easy Ways to Write Articles

I'll also post a link during the webinar with a list of sites to show you where to submit articles.

If you haven't been using article marketing as part of your business marketing mix, now is the perfect time to put this ball into play.

 

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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 (http://vonhenry.com/ ) 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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You're in business. You've sent emails. In fact, you send email after email.  Are you tracking your email open rate?

One of my clients emailed me with the question, “How can I get people to open my emails?”  She was looking for tips to make her subject line more enticing.  She had recently sent an email to her list of 527 subscribers and had 124 opens.  That’s an open rate of 23.5%.   

A "good" or average open rate for an email is 15 - 30%.  Her open rate is within range. But it could be better. In her niche, health, the average open rate is higher, in the 30 – 40% range. Here's an article I found with open rate info:

Average Email Open Rates

Her particular email was announcing a local event. Because her list is national, her open rate was probably lower than usual – her subscribers know where she is located.  But event emails are not a one-shot deal. For an event (seminar, get together, webinar) you really have to hit people at least 3 times with emails because they either miss the email, or don't have time to open and look the first time they see it or think they will go back and open it "later on" (which is why I have over 1,000 emails sitting in one of my accounts).

People are in a time crunch these days. One thing I have seen work is a subject line that says -- "This will take less than a minute" (or 30 seconds) and I've also seen something like that in the first line of an email: “This email will only take you about 2 minutes to read but will blah blah blah -- some benefit to you.”

People also respond to FUN.  So, if you’re doing an email series, have at least one of the emails have something about fun or pleasure in the title.  Analysts (marketing and psycho) say people are more motivated by avoiding pain (2.5 times more likely to move away from pain) than moving towards pleasure, but in my experience people go for instant pleasure if the ensuing pain is 1) not that painful and 2) far enough away in time, i.e., “Eating cake will make me fat and isn’t good for me.  I don't want to be fat but that's the result of MANY pieces of cake and this one piece of cake won't make me instantaneously fat so I'll have it."

Do I have a study to back me up on that? No. But I do have whoopie pies and ice cream in my kitchen. And if you take a look around you, you will probably see the results of people making that choice. On a daily basis…   So, give people a little pleasure in your subject line mix.

The same day my client emailed me with that question, I also got this email with a free offer for an email marketing tip ebook from Icontact, an autoresponder company:

10 Rules for Successful Email Marketing

I’m not sure how long it’s going to be available.  It looks like an affiliate link (not mine, probably for whoever runs WebProNews, the company that sent me the email) so you will most probably be put on a list. This particular opt in is especially intrusive – Icontact has put this ebook out and is offering a free trial of their services with it.  (Complete disclosure: I gave them valid information except for my phone number – I can delete emails; phone calls are just freakin annoying.) My attitude on this is if I get tired of the emails or find they are not helpful, I’ll just unsubscribe. But I’m always open to new sources of info.  (Hmmm.  I think I feel another blog post coming on about information gathered for opt ins.)

I know I sound like a broken record sometimes (OK, most of the time) but the best way to get people to listen to you, whether you are sending emails, writing blogs posts, doing videos or posting on social media, is to put out good information. People search the internet for information. Yes, they buy things over the internet, but first and foremost, they want information. The best thing you can do is make sure the information you give is relevant, helpful and applicable.  The importance of the subject line goes down as people get to know, like and trust you and your information. However, if your list is constantly growing, people are in various stages of their relationship with you. The stronger you can make your subject lines, the more likely people are to open your emails and from there, develop a stronger relationship with you.  But don’t let it torment you. They can’t all be diamonds. Better to get the email out than to sit and agonize over the subject line.

 
Barbara Grassey

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Don't want to read?  Click below for Audio

Use Different Formats for Your Marketing Messages Audio

I received an email from a marketer with a subject line that was interesting enough to get me to open it up.  That is a major hurdle.  Even though I have cut down on the number of lists that I subscribe to, I still get over 100 emails a day and the first thing I do is go down the list and delete emails I am not going to bother with.  I bet you do the same thing.  (This is where you say, “But never with your emails, Barbara.” Yes. Of course and thank you.)

So, I clicked on the email, prepared to give him some of my time and hopefully get a bit of information in return.  But when I opened the email, I was directed to a link to a podcast.  Now, that is really cool for people who learn by listening, but I’m a reader.  In fact, I’m a pretty fast reader and even faster when I am skimming something to pick out the information I want and move on.  I can’t do that with audio or video. (Though I have clever friends who will run a video at 2x speed and slow it down at the good parts. I will leave it up to you to imagine what the good parts are.)  Frustrated, I closed out the email and deleted it.  I was interested in the information only to the extent that it took me little to no effort to get it. Had my interest level been higher, I may have gone on through to the podcast.

But for those people who learn by listening, the podcast was probably a welcome change in a sea of printed material. Different people like to learn in different ways -- some by watching, some by listening or reading or actually doing. We all tend to put out information in the way that we prefer to receive it. But we’re shutting off a large part of our marketing reach.

While I didn’t listen to the podcast, I may have learned a better lesson from that marketer’s email. It pointed out what I’m NOT doing – I need to offer my blog posts with a
couple of options – podcast or video along with the written word. Do I need to do every one like that? No.  But it might be nice for my readers if I break it up a bit.

If you’re like me and don’t like to be seen on camera (Really – change out of my shorts and t-shirt and put on make-up for a five minute video?), you can do Camtasia style videos.  (Try the freebie version for short videos using JingProject.)  Or just record what you’ve written using your computer or a digital recorder.  You may not want to read it word for word.  You may add in or take out a line or two.  And it may take you more than one “take” to get what you want.  If you normally do video or audio messages, then have them transcribed and give people the option to read instead of watch or listen.

The next time you sit down to write a blog post or send an email to your list or create a marketing piece, add another dimension to your marketing.  I’ll guarantee that your information will be heard and seen by a wider range of prospects and clients.  And, don’t forget to cross-post your message on YouTube and other video sites, article submission directories and podcast sites.

 

 

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Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

Get a 1,000 followers in a day!
Get 20,000 followers in a week!
Be on the first page of Google!
Sell 3,000 books on Kindle in 7 days!

 

I don’t know why anyone goes to a job anymore since making millions on the internet is so easy you can do it in your sleep just by pressing a button.

What?  Oh?  You can’t?  It’s a little tougher than that?

Really?

The above are the headlines that make me crazy.  I sit there and say, “I’m not pulling numbers like that. What am I doing wrong?”

Two separate articles and the latest Google algorithm update went a long way towards making me feel better.

The Google update knocked a lot of people off the front page of search listings. One strategy in particular – backlinking -- back-fired big-time.  (I love alliteration.)   I remember when that strategy came out. I had a friend who had tried an SEO backlinking technique that had totally screwed his rankings. Then someone came out with a big SEO backlinking “System” and everyone jumped on the bandwagon.  I was ignored when I posted in a marketing group that the system wouldn’t work.  In fact, I wrote a blog post about it (http://themarketingword.com/marketing/you-cant-game-google/).  But all the SEO guys knew better than I did.  A month later, BAM. The Google hammer came down. The latest Google algorithm change popped one of my websites up to the first page. It is a website that has fresh, original content. No gimmicky SEO anything. Go figure.

About a month ago, the BBC broke the news that Facebook had over 83 million fake accounts – about 8.7% of its population. (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19093078)  This affects the dollar value of Facebook’s advertising.  But it also calls into question some of those strategies that promise to add 1,000 or more “Likes” to your fan page. They may “really, really like” you, but do “they” actually exist?

Then, about a week ago, it was revealed that many of the high-profile Twitter accounts – those social media rock stars with massive followings – were purchasing their followers, not attracting them with their message or even getting followers who, well… actually followed. (http://site-reference.com/articles/high-profile-tweeters-busted-for-purchasing-twitter-followers/) There are thousands of inactive Twitter accounts.  Having these “followers” doesn’t do anything to bring in business.

It comes down to the old adage: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  And I hate that. I wish there was an easier way to let people know that I put out quality work and I care about whether or not what I do helps my clients.  But it just ain’t that way.

Marketing, online and offline, is damn hard work.  Or maybe I should say marketing ethically is damn hard work.  But in other ways, it is very, very easy.  Create strong content. Give value. Deliver on what you promise. Work consistently towards your goals. Most of all, interact with your clients -- on social media, in real life, through your emails.  Just because the world is using more technology to market and to buy doesn’t mean that the personal touch, a real relationship, is obsolete.  In fact, it is even more necessary now than ever before.

It doesn’t make any sense to go skyrocketing up in numbers – followers or Google rankings or fake five star Amazon ratings -- if it is all going to get taken away from you.  Build your business for the long term.  It’s sometimes frustrating.  You feel like everyone else is zooming past you. But a solid business will take care of you long after all the “rock stars” have fallen off the map. And the relationships that you build, the real relationships, will create a successful life that no impersonal, automated business could ever produce.

 

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Webinar Woes

I was listening to a webinar replay the other day. (Full Disclosure: I sign up for a lot of webinars, knowing fully well I won’t catch the live webinar. I usually watch the replay at my convenience.)  The webinar was an hour and forty-two minutes long and when I say long, I mean L-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-N-G!  I swear they had manipulated the screen clock. I’m pretty sure it lasted three days.

As you know, I market my own products so I was sticking around to check out what the offer was: what was being offered, how many and what type of bonuses and what the price point was.  Some people might call that sitting around all afternoon  goofing off, but I call it research.

The webinar was on a topic I was pretty familiar with.  No matter how much I know (or think I know) about a topic, I am always hoping to pick up some nugget that will open up a new way of thinking or a new marketing avenue.  In our industry, one good trick can sometimes lead to a large return on time invested.

So I strapped myself in for the long haul.  Personally, I think just under an hour is optimal for a webinar but I was prepared to go the distance.

Herewith, my pet peeves:  (OH! Like you didn’t know THAT was coming!)

LANGUAGE:  The gentleman giving the webinar (not the JV partner) was one of those guys whose vocabulary includes an excess amount of “awesome,” “dude” and other hype language typical of 20-somethings.  I understand your voice has to convey excitement but I’m a businessperson, not a skateboarder.

NO CONTENT:  There was very little content of any substance the full first hour.  I know because I looked at the clock when I finally heard something I felt was worthy of writing down.  The gentleman spent a full 5 minutes (maybe more) giving stats on how big Amazon is.  Does anyone not know this? Has he looked up the definition of “Amazon” in the dictionary?  This is what I call “fake content.” It seems like he’s giving you information, but it’s really not information that you need or that is worthwhile.  It’s filler.

COULD NOT FAST FORWARD:  The controls on the replay allowed you to go back but not forward.  I went back to listen to something again and went too far. I wasn’t able to push it forward and had to listen through five or six minutes of the already interminable webinar again.

DID NOT SEEM ORGANIZED OR PREPARED:  Even though he had a PowerPoint prepared, it didn’t seem like he had spent much time working with it. While he never said, “Oh, yeah… this slide” I had the feeling that he was thinking it.  Very few people can throw together a PowerPoint or a talk outline and then glide through the presentation smoothly.

WASTE OF MY TIME:  Did I mention it was an hour and forty-two minutes? This webinar could easily have been done in under one hour. It was disrespectful to waste my time or  maybe the gentleman was not very experienced at webinars and therefore didn’t know how to keep control of his time, in which case it was unprofessional.  More than that, for some reason the webinar itself seemed to take forever. It was slow moving and I found myself watching the clock, taking breaks, getting distracted while he KEPT ON TALKING!

END RESULT:  His product looked like it might be good, but because I was turned off by the webinar itself, I couldn’t bring myself to click the button and spend $700, even with a 30 day money back guarantee.  I had not heard of the marketer prior to this. His name was a combination of two first names which made me suspicious as to whether that was his real name or not.  In short, I didn’t trust him perhaps because he spent too much time giving me too little information.  If he had a hard time filling up an hour and a half webinar, how much fluff did his product have?  A quick trip through his Kindle/Amazon stats did nothing to convince me that this man had a system that worked.

In contrast…

I listened to another webinar on the same topic this weekend that was “put together on the fly.” It lasted about an hour and a half.  The person doing it was an adult businessperson.  She was warm and personable without trying to be “hip” and more importantly, without talking down to her audience.  She was someone I had seen speak at a few seminars so I already knew that she was a “real” person and I knew her business background.

CREDIBILITY PLUS:  She brought two guests on board with her.  One was a person who was unknown to me but working in the industry. The other was a national speaker with a couple of business bestsellers under his belt, someone I have also met personally.  The webinar host herself is a fairly well-known speaker and has had a business bestseller.

LOTS OF SOLID CONTENT:  I ended up with five pages of notes on a topic I am well-versed in.  I also grabbed some screen shots and reprinted them.

TIME WENT BY FAST:  Maybe having three people interacting helped prevent the “droning on” syndrome.  I suspect the time factor had more to do with the amount of content.  In the first webinar, I spent an hour waiting for some – any – information.  This webinar hit the ground running and didn’t stop.

UNDER PROMISE AND OVER DELIVER:  The host said that the webinar was a last minute idea and had been put together on the fly.  So she was lowering expectations.  But you know what? The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.  And the way this lady does everything can be summed up in a couple of words: Professional and Quality.  She is an over-achiever. If her name is on it, she is going to make sure it is a high quality product, even a webinar “done on the fly.”

Her offer was for a mastermind and she gave you three levels of participation, ranging from $99 to $500.  Some people might think you shouldn’t split the offer, but when you looked, it was all one offer – a one-day online mastermind.  You could add in a personal consult and a few other things or you could just audit the mastermind.  Her top price was affordable (she would split up the payment) and her bottom price was a no-brainer.

 

I actually listened to a third webinar/video on self-publishing this past week.  That one fell somewhere in the middle and didn’t have an offer -- yet.  He is going with the four short videos into the offer model.  His product is a membership site and it will be interesting to see his price point. He has little ebook gifts along the way, at least one of which had some solid content in it. He also has a fairly good reputation as a marketer who does an outrageous amount of split-testing of EVERYTHING.  There’s a definite hype-factor going on, but there is also solid content behind it. For his target market (young 20 and 30-something males), he has hit the right tone.

 

THE UPSHOT:  First, this is a FREAKING LONG BLOG POST complaining about a FREAKING LONG WEBINAR.  My apologies for that.  But I really do analyze marketing, what works and what doesn’t and realize that the marketing that appeals to me might not appeal to someone else.  Your tone and the way you present your information is informed by your target market, so we'll leave my language biases out of the mix. Here’s my takeaway from all this (with a lot of helpful input from Facebook friends who I polled).

1. Let people control the webinar.  That means give them time choices for the webinar and replays. Let them watch it at a time that’s convenient for them.  And by all means make sure they have controls on the video player.  Some marketers would argue against this.  I say, don’t insult your prospects, clients and fans. Forcing people to do something is not the way to win hearts and minds.

2. Give lots of high quality content.  Give away the store. You hear this advice time and again, yet very few people follow it. People will appreciate the content. You will prove you know your stuff. You will build trust and confidence with your target market. And yes, people will still buy from you because guess what?  Very few people take excellent notes and it’s hard to write down everything.  I go back over courses I’ve bought and I always find stuff that makes me say “I knew that. But I forgot it.” Having the product gives people a resource they can go back to. Smart people know that.

3. Be respectful of people’s time.  Tell them what you’re going to talk about so they know the agenda. Tell them how long it should take.  Be prepared and organized. If you’re doing live Q&A, take one or two questions, make your offer at the end of the webinar and then stay on longer for more questions. People who need to go can go, people who want to stay will stay.

4. Practice and Do.  The more you do, the better you will get at these.

And I will try very hard to follow these guidelines and keep my webinars (and blog posts!) …  shorter.

·

Fake It Til You Make It Marketing

A recent contretemps (I have been waiting AGES to use that word!) on a social media site revealed a marketing … well, quite honestly, it was a boner.  And a big one.  (Can’t wait to see the spam link comments on this posting.)

Would you buy a used car from this man?

A marketer, using a “stage name” was putting on a virtual seminar. To promote his seminar, he created fan pages for some of the bigger names in the industry and then used those fake social media profiles to comment favorably on the upcoming event as those people.

Any way you slice it kids, this is out and out fraud.  This is FTC territory and boneheaded to boot. He was quickly found out and called on the carpet for his actions. He was reported to the attorney general’s office and the FTC as well as the social media sites he used.  Several of the real speakers who were lined up to do the event pulled out.

There’s nothing wrong with using a stage name or a pen name – as long as you’re not trying to hide your identity in order to defraud anyone.

There’s nothing wrong with adding some sizzle to your marketing message. Just be sure that when you give people the steak, it isn’t made of pink slime.

But there IS something -- no, wait – EVERYTHING wrong with stealing people’s identities and creating false testimonials.  In short, it is wrong to present yourself as something (or someone) you’re not. But if you’re one of my regular readers, you know this already.

I think people mistake the advice "Be an Expert" to mean "Present yourself as an expert whether you are qualified or not.”  Frankly, many people can make someone LOOK like an expert online in under 30 days.  All it takes is a good marketing plan. But the charade falls apart pretty fast when that expert can't deliver on what's promised. I've seen a few people implode because they couldn't walk their talk.

With the all the information now at people’s fingertips, you can no longer fake it til you make it.  People check up on your claims, mostly because it is now fast and easy to do so.

The whole "Fake it til you make it" mentality that seems to have gripped the country these days is doing no one a service.   Yes, marketing is showing yourself in the best light possible.  As a friend says, you don’t really want to bring up your flaws on the first date.  Most probably, if you have been in an industry for a while, you have experience and a certain degree of expertise.  You probably also have something that differentiates you from your competition.  Capitalize on that.  The truth is there are very few people who are the only source of information in any field. Even if you are a bona fide expert, you are competing with other experts. You end up taking turns being the media’s darling.

What matters at the end of it all is that you provide what you said you would. And more.  When someone has paid you for services or product and you don’t deliver, they really don’t care that you rode in Tony Robbins’ private jet or had dinner with Donald Trump.  All they will care about is that they spent money with you and you didn’t take care of them.

Yeah, it sucks when someone with fewer credentials or experience than you flashes by as they’re rocketing to the top.  A fast trip up usually precedes a fast trip down.  Take your time. Build your business. Make it a solid foundation.  Take care of your clients. And heed the words of Mark Twain (aka Sam Clemens).

“Remember, if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

· · · · ·

So many ideas…so little time

If you’re like I am, you probably have at least half a dozen ideas or projects that you want to do.  But there’s only so much time in the day.  How do you choose which idea to implement first?

Here’s my personal criteria for ideas:

1. How quickly can I implement this idea?

What are the specific tasks needed to bring this idea to the real world?

Can I do it myself or will I need help in the form of graphic designers, manufacturers, expert information, technical support, etc?

2. How much will it cost to implement this idea?

Do I have the money to finance this myself?

Can I raise the money either through private sources, conventional lenders or crowd sourcing?

3. What is the potential Return on Investment?

Will this idea, properly implemented, make money?  If so, how much money and will it be enough to make this a worthwhile endeavor?

4. How fast will the money come in?

Can this idea be implemented and marketed quickly?

Does the market for this idea have to be made or does it already exist? (If it has to be made, I will probably kill the idea at this point.)

 

In the Clearwater, FL area? 

If you have an idea (or many ideas) but don’t know where to start, join Dan Stojadinovic and me for a one-day seminar.  We’ll show you the exact blueprint that we use to get ideas from our brains to our bank accounts.

Go to http://www.fromideatoincome.net to find out more and to register.

Don’t wait until the last minute.  Seating is limited to only 30 people, first come, first served.   There will be no videotaping of this event, no live streaming.  This is a closed door session.

Remember: Every great accomplishment began with a single idea.  What's yours?

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