Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

attract more clients

Christmas Craziness and 8 Marketing Secrets to Attracting a Never Ending Supply of Dream Clients

Santa
Santa

As I walk past pictures of angelic looking families gathered around a perfectly decorated Christmas tree, I laugh at how my Christmas experience at that exact minute is polar opposite. My arms are breaking from my shopping bags.

I’ve got an oversized dog bed hanging off of one arm (what was I thinking). My phone is ringing, it’s my printer on the line trying to get final signoff for an Everest sized project for one of my private clients. I’m carrying my toddler’s hat, gloves, coat on one spare finger, and she’s at my side yanking at my coat, too tired to walk because her new shoes she wanted to show Santa are hurting and is about to let the good folks shopping in this over crowded mall know just how much noise can come out a two year old’s lungs.

Ahhh, the holidays.

And a brand new year is peeking just around the corner.

If Santa asked you what you wanted for Christmas this year, would you tell him you wanted a bigger, more successful business? Would you say “hey Santa, can you bring me a boatload of new customers – and not those pesky, high maintenance kind who are always trying to drill me on price – but the kind who are funny, intelligent and fun to work with? And have the ability to pay me? You know, dream clients? Oh, and Santa, would you mind delivering me these dream clients every single week, to my front doorstep like clockwork so I never have to worry about prospecting for new business again and can really build my client base?”

Then the old man with the apple red cheeks and shiny black shoes would chuckle softly and say “well, it’s about time you asked…”

So here it is.

Straight from Santa’s sack.

The 8 Marketing Secrets To Attracting A Never Ending Supply Of Dream Clients For Your Business

  1. Know who your dream client actually is. Sounds obvious but few people have this part thought out. Most folk define their dream client by default as being – well, anyone who wants to pay me. Na-uh. Get clear.
  2. Make a list of 20 -100 companies or people who would be your dream clients. When I first started my copywriting business I set my eyes on working for the really big guys – the Fortune 100 Companies like Walt Disney, Coca Cola and Mercedes Benz. I made my list of 100 companies and looked at it every day, thinking of all the different ways I could “break in” to be able to work with them. I didn’t get to work with all 100. Actually I only got to work with 3 before I changed my focus, but those 3 big clients gave me more work than I could handle. Thing is I would have never have been able to work with them if I didn’t know from the start who I wanted to work with!
  3. Brainstorm how you could create the dream experience for those dream clients. Put yourself in their shoes. If it was you writing them the check, instead of the other way around, what would be the absolute ultimate, rave worthy experience if anything was possible? Now you have your new gold standard.
  4. Hold a focus group of your current dream clients. Take them out to dinner and ask them what you could better. You will be amazed at what they tell you and how much they appreciate you asking their opinion.  Work with your current client base.
  5. Truly there really is no marketing secret if you become a marketing nut. Marketing is the life blood of your business. Period. Remember that it’s not the best company who wins, it’s the best marketing. Make it your business to learn everything you can about real world marketing that has been tried, tested and proven in the battlegrounds of real life. Not crummy marketing theory that should work in principal but is unproven.
  6. Create a monthly, and weekly marketing plan for your business. Then implement it. Separate your marketing into 3 sections:
  • your lead generation
  • what you do to convert a prospect into a paying customer
  • what you do to keep a customer so they buy from you again and again.

7.  Make marketing your daily fix. Just like ordering your cup of Joe or having a lunch break. Spend a little time every single day working on your marketing. Don’t make your marketing a series of sporadic, haphazard events that happen in reaction to cash flow issues or “when you get the time.” Without marketing, you don’t have a business. So put it at the top of your list.

8.  Be remarkable at what you do. Give more than your clients expect. Follow up with them. Care about their success.

Photo Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

The Ultimate Marketing Secret To Attracting More Clients

I once heard a great story about a little commercial fisherman who fishes off a well-known peninsula in New York. This man has become legendary in fishing circles and I even heard it rumored that he was the guy who captured the Great White shark that inspired the movie Jaws. Every morning, Captain Jack heads out bright and early to go fishing. But that’s pretty much where the similarity between him and every other commercial fisherman ends. Instead of hiring a big crew to help get his catch, Captain Jack has one lone deck hand.

And they don’t use nets to catch their fish. Call him old school, but he still prefers to use just fishing poles and lines.

But here’s the thing.

Every day for the past 20 years, without exception, Captain Jack catches not hundreds of fish, but thousands of fish. In fact, he out fishes every single commercial fishing operation in the area, usually by multiple times.

It doesn’t matter what the tides are doing, what time of year it is, or even if the fish are “running.” Captain Jack seems to have the “Midas touch.”

Over the years, he has been interviewed multiple times. Each time, the journalist tries to pry out of him the secret to his success. And every time, this is what he says (what’s most interesting is that it applies just as much to marketing as it does to fishing):

“I make it my business to know everything I can about my fish. I think like the fish, not the fisherman.”

That one little statement right there is the single biggest reason why his methods work while most methods fail.

It was made by an entrepreneur (it could have also been written by a marketer), who is thinking like his prospects, not like other entrepreneurs.

There is no one who knows more about fish in those waters than Captain Jack. For the last 20 years he’s documented the water currents, studied the fish migratory patterns, examined water temperature and, of course, knows his fish food sources.

A fisherman knows it’s all about putting the right bait on a hook to catch the right fish. If you’re looking to catch Cod and you bait your line with an old sock, you’re going to be very hungry come dinner time. On the other hand, if you use Peeler crab at a time when the Cod are looking for it, your chances of success multiply exponentially.

So why then do so many people make the mistake in their marketing of offering the wrong bait to their market? They offer things they themselves think their prospects should be interested in – but don’t actually know for sure what their prospects are looking for.

You are never your prospect. Even if you think you are. Assumptions are the most dangerous (and most expensive) things to make in marketing.

To catch a prospect, you have to think, act and talk like a prospect. Not like a marketer.

When I create advertising campaigns for my private clients, at least half of my time is spent studying the target market. I don’t even dare pick up a pen until I have a very firm grasp of whom I’m writing for and how they think. Copy is written very differently for business owners than for employees. You speak to a 30 year-old man very differently than you’d speak to a 40 year-old man; married women very differently than single women. Moms very differently from “empty nesters." Knowing and understanding these nuances makes all the difference to your marketing - it's the only way to attract more clients.

Think like the fish, not the fisherman and you'll experience your own Client Stampede!

How To Talk to Women (And Why Your Marketing Has To)

Recently, I spoke to a group of business owners about how men and women make buying decisions very differently. I told this kind-of-funny story about the couple shopping for a BMW 540i: After months of research, this particular couple finally found their dream car. Striding into the dealership they knew within a few short hours they’d be leaving with 3,000 pounds of fine German steel.

The husband jumped behind the wheel, the salesman rode shotgun. They talked torque and performance engineering. So far, so good. The test drive was going fantastically. But then the wife, sitting in the back, noticed something that really bothered her. It seemed so trivial, but the more she thought about it the more it bugged her. So, wincing inwardly at the scorning that was likely going to come from the front seat, she asked the sales person, “So, what’s up with the cup holders?”

The salesperson shot her a pitiful stare. “They’re right there.”

“Yes,” she replied, “but they’re so tiny. And those claws look flimsy. There’s no way they’d actually hold a coffee mug.”

Deathly silence from the front seat. Her husband did his best to keep a straight face.

“Well, that’s because Europeans don’t eat or drink in their cars,” the salesman retorted curtly.

“Yes, but I do,” the wife insisted. “And so do my kids.”

Another irritated look from the salesman, “Well, you could just hold your drinks between your legs.”

Game over.

The salesman went home that day with only moths in his wallet. And the husband and wife team went home without their new car, although theirs was only a temporary set back.

After doing some research online, they found the pathetic cup holders were a common complaint of many BMW owners. The answer was to buy an attachment to fix the problem. Happy to have a solution to their problem, the husband and wife team went back to a different dealership and this time, came home with their new Beamer.

You’re not alone if you’re reading this thinking that it sounds pretty stupid that a $50,000 deal could be blown because of some flimsy cup holders. But the car salesman made the very common (and very costly) mistake of assuming that the woman didn’t have any say in the buying decision. According to the most recent statistics, not only do most women influence 80% of all car purchases, they also buy the majority of cars (including trucks).

Welcome to the New Economy my friend. There are two sexes in the human race and only one of them does most of the shopping.

Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases

91% of new homes 66% computers 92% vacations 80% healthcare decisions 89% bank accounts 93% food 90% insurance, investments and retirement accounts

(Percentages of women that participate in decisions affecting their household’s retirement and investment accounts.)

Women also are the biggest online consumers. 22% of women shop online at least once a day.

Source: Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather

But, here’s the rub.

Most marketing is aimed squarely at the male consumer, even though it’s women who make most of the buying decisions. Even for products considered traditionally for men like deodorant, men’s clothing, and yes, even your 6.6L V8 turbo-diesel Duramax truck.

As a marketer, here’s what’s most important for you to realize: women make buying decisions very differently from men. Women prefer practical benefits to features. They don’t care how many settings a freezer has – they want to know if it’s big enough to store frozen pizza. Men on the other hand, tend to love features.

Women are story driven. They want to feel a connection, empathy, with the company they are buying from. Telling the story of a business or a product becomes a very powerful sales tool. Men on the other hand, are more influenced by facts and figures. Give me the info and I’ll make the decision. Women want to know who you are first and foremost before deciding whether they’ll buy from you. Stories are also very powerful when selling to men, but typically to demonstrate outcome.

For women, it’s much more about the relationship. Does what you’re offering work for the kids? The rest of the family?

These are just a couple of critical differences you need to take into account when you’re creating your marketing. More and more big companies are realizing who holds the purse strings and are scrambling to change their marketing, and their businesses, to accommodate it. Lexus offers free massages while your car is being serviced, and a local rescue repair team in case of breakdown. Ryland Homes completely changed their floor model so the back yard could be viewed from the kitchen and all living spaces.

Final Takeaway

Marketing to women is not about excluding men. It’s about gaining a deeper understanding of your target market and, specifically, how to make your marketing message strike a chord and spur action from a prospect, whether they’re XX or XY chromosome.

Avoid marketing strategy that relies on clichés or stereotypes. A direct mail piece in a pink envelope won’t win you new female customers. Ad campaigns that speak exclusively to men will alienate women, and vice versa. Aim instead for gender-neutral design and packaging like Apple’s. Steer clear of insults, don’t oversimplify consumer preferences, and avoid generalizations about your customers.

Increasing your market share involves designing marketing pieces that appeal to both sexes. Set out to create a marketing campaign that speaks to both men and women.

How Strong is Your Website?

Today I’m just gonna tell it like it is. No more beating around the dog bed. Your website. Let’s talk about that for a sec. In today’s modern times it’s waaaay more important than having a plush office to meet your clients in. Are you meeting with them surrounded by fancy artwork and rich leather chairs?

Who cares?

It’s the strength of your website that’s first going to determine if they’re even remotely interested in doing business with you.

Thousands of people will look at your website.

Hopefully hundreds of thousands, or even millions, if you’re doing your marketing right.

But only a small handful are ever going to set foot in your office.

So how much is it costing you to run your fancy office a year?

Uh-huh.

Now how much time and money did you invest in developing the most kick-butt website that wins people over first and then gets them stampeding to your office or setting your phone system on fire?

Hmmm, that’s what I thought. No wonder you find marketing frustrating. You’re putting the cart before the horse.

Your website is THE most important anchor piece of your marketing arsenal. It’s the first thing people are going to look at when they hear about you. And you’ve got just 3 seconds of their undivided attention to win them over… If your website isn’t up to the job then it’s time to make that a top priority in your business and give it an extreme makeover.

Wooooof!

9 Slam Dunk Ways To Attract New Clients to Your Business

Forget magic closing tricks, gimmicky marketing, or having to chase prospects and beg for business. It is easier than ever to attract new clients to your business without having to sully your good name or resort to sneaky tricks to get people to do business with you. Whoa, back up the bus a minute Nelly. Yes, I did just say that prospecting for new clients is getting easier (if you know what you’re doing, that is), and here’s why.

  • Because most businesses are terrible at marketing (and getting worse, not better)
  • Because most businesses drop their customers like a lead balloon once they’ve got your money (you never hear from them again, or their service is plain awful)
  • Because most clients are hugely frustrated/disappointed with the companies they do business with. They’re looking for that one little nudge, that one reason, to switch allegiances and buy from you.

Right? So how do you attract those clients jumping ship to you?

It’s simple. Here are 9 Easy Ways to Attract New Clients:

  • Quadruple check that your product/service solves some pressing problem, terrible pain, or difficult issue. If you don’t think it does, then you need to go back to the drawing board and reposition your service. Moving away from pain is a far more powerful motivator than moving towards pleasure.
  • Make being one of your customers mean something. Do they get a special gift? Some kind of recognition? A membership in a rewards programs that’s actually useful? If not, get your thinking cap on. This is huge.
  • Offer exceptional customer service. Everywhere you go, you can’t help running into companies who treat their customers like dirt. These businesses won’t last (no matter how big they are – mark my words). Show your customers how much you care about them and you’ll be amazed at how much more they’ll want to buy from you.
  • Show that you've helped people just like them (make liberal use of testimonials).
  • Be of service first. Create a powerful, free, opt-in magnet for people. It could be a free white paper, audio series or video. But don’t give free stuff without a plan. That’s just throwing your money away. Your opt-in magnet should help guide people along your sales funnel.
  • Write a great sales letter. Still the most powerful form of marketing on the planet.
  • Implement an referral program with incentives.
  • Follow up, follow up, follow up. Before the sale. During the sale. After the sale. Get a follow up system in place that gets triggered at each of these 3 points.
  • Give your website a “direct response marketing” makeover. No I’m not talking about having to use flash and fancy graphics. I mean rewriting and redesigning your website so that it accurately conveys the value you provide, your expert positioning in the marketplace and magnetically attracts the right kinds of prospects, while at the same time repelling the wrong kinds.

That’s it! Go get em’ tiger. Pretty soon you'll see you've attracted so many clients you'll have your own Client Stampede!

173 Ways To Get More Clients

One of the questions I get asked all the time is, "What is the one thing I can do to get more clients?" Actually, I can do a lot better than that…here’s 173 marketing tips you can do right away. But here’s an important thing to remember…when a client of mine was asked by his colleagues the secret of his success and how they could add 30 or 40 more patients a month to their practices he replied:“I don’t know one way to get 40 new patients, but I know 40 ways to get a new patient and I use all 40 of them!”

1. Get very clear about your marketing message 2. Write out your unique selling proposition 3. Define who your ideal clients are 4. Follow up with prospects within 24-48 hours 5. Deliver more than expected 6. Deliver it before it's expected 7. Implement a referral campaign 8. Use Personality Infused Marketing™ to write a warm letter to family and friends 9. Join a networking group 10. Hold your own focus groups 11. Build a mailing list 12. Offer a bold guarantee 13. Keep your promises (do what you say you’ll do, when you do it) 14. Keep an abundance mindset (not a fear based scarcity one) 15. Call up everyone you didn’t close last month and make a special offer 16. Carve out a niche for your business 17. Be clear about your own unique ability and how this helps others 18. Start a coffee group for prospects 19. Send your clients gifts (birthday, holiday or just random “I was thinking of you” gifts). 20. Start doing presentations 21. Revamp your website so that it’s “Client Stampede compliant,” and is easy to navigate, value filled and builds instant rapport 22. Create a Client Stampede business card so that it actually brings you business 23. Do a co-marketing campaign with another business 24. Hold your own workshops 25. Hold a webinar 26. Hold a teleseminar 27. Do a neighborhood direct mail campaign in areas where you have other clients 28. Time block your time 29. Stop checking email and Facebook throughout the day 30. Raise your prices (really) 31. Start your own blog 32. Write articles 33. Create an auto responder sequence for your website 34. Create a consumer awareness guide 35. Automate your marketing – get your marketing system in place so you can get clients while you sleep 36. Call up your competitors and work collaboratively on a special campaign 37. Start a paper and ink newsletter 38. Write an ezine 39. Create a brochure that clearly articulates what you do 40. Create a one page flyer 41. Create a Welcome to the Family customer kit 42. Create a shock n’ awe box 43. Record an audio program and give it away for free (in return for email addresses) 44. Use sales scripts – don’t wing it 45. Practice your close in front of the mirror 46. Practice asking for triple your current rates in the mirror and keeping a straight face 47. Find out where your best clients have come from 48. Take your “centers of influence” out for  lunch 49. Don’t chase clients for work (but follow up professionally) 50. Remember "no" doesn’t really mean no (except in dating) – keep anyone who says "no" in your follow up file 51. Write a letter to your Chamber of Commerce introducing yourself and offering your services to them to use for free (gain credibility) 52. Ask for testimonials 53. Use your testimonials 54. Provide incentives for referrals 55. Tell everyone what you do – even at family bbqs 56. Ask your clients what success looks like for them 57. Write a sales letter 58. Send a lumpy 3 step direct mail campaign 59. Use your on hold message as a way to educate about the value you provide 60. Get a personal assistant to farm out all the jobs you don’t like doing 61. Write your WHY on a piece of paper and keep it pinned to your desk (the WHY you’re in business for yourself and what you REALLY do for your clients) 62. Keep your best testimonials pinned to your wall so you can see it often 63. Enroll in a copywriting class 64. Realize that all writing in business is copywriting (writing to persuade), and become determined to be great at it 65. Use a bold, curiosity arousing headline 66. Never, never, never give up. The race is won by perseverance, not the person who runs the fastest 67. Memorize your selling scripts 68. Don’t take rejection personally 69. Research your target market and understand what makes them tick 70. Volunteer your time in the community and be visible 71. Write a book or eBook 72. Surround yourself with people who support your dreams and goals (not people who tell you it can’t be done) 73. Stop brand advertising and start REAL Marketing (Rewarding, Easy, Authentic and Loved) 74. Create a tear sheet and send it to your prospects 75. Do a podcast 76. Keep an ideas book for all the big ideas you have for your business 77. Drink your own Kool Aid – make sure you use your own product or service 78. Get a marketing coach who can hold you accountable and help you create your own marketing materials for a fraction of the price it would cost to hire a copywriter 79. Hire a copywriter to create your marketing materials 80. Have a price sheet 81. Offer packages and call them cool, memorable names 82. Protect your confidence by only working with people you like who respect you and your time 83. Don’t be afraid to fire problem clients 84. Invest in your marketing education by attending classes, reading newsletters, reading books 85. Ask for suggestions and feedback from your top clients 86. Implement a lost customer campaign 87. Use a vanity 800 number 88. Become an expert in your marketplace 89. Become a celebrity people are fascinated and intrigued by 90. Use a local celebrity in your marketing 91. Write a guest blog 92. Write a newspaper column 93. Start your own association 94. Spend extra time with your best clients 95. Use a professional photo for your marketing 96. Get a tag line 97. Implement a marketing plan 98. Use a marketing calendar to plan out each of your marketing activities 99. Do fun holiday marketing promotions 100. Become religiously fanatical about direct response marketing 101. Study marketing greats like David Ogilvy, Gary Halbert, Gary Benzivenga, Joe Karbo 102. Write out the copy of one of the best performing ads in long hand – 3 times to get the flow and rhythm of how to write great copy 103. Read Ogilvy on Advertising 104. Use Paypal to accept payments 105. Write newsletters for associations where you’re a member 106. Target and study other great networkers 107. Study the advertising your competition is using (and don’t copy it) 108. Use your email signature to communicate your value proposition and get opt-ins 109. Hold a client appreciation party 110. Get a professionally designed logo 111. Brainstorm different offers 112. Use direct mail to build relationships 113. Realize that email marketing is not free at all 114. Implement a marketing plan 115. Keep your language simple – avoid trying to sound fancy 116. Use take away selling 117. Use positive affirmations daily 118. Create scarcity with your services 119. Be known for one thing 120. Brainstorm all the ways you can quickly and inexpensively connect with prospective clients 121. Ask all your friends for referrals 122. Have a list of topics you can speak on at your fingertips 123. Dress better 124. Respect your clients' time and never take an incoming call when speaking/meeting with them 125. Use call to actions in all your marketing 126. Brainstorm a list of irresistible offers 127. Offer discounts for fast action or full payment 128. Use vision boards for the lifestyle you want 129. Create a team of peers to hold you accountable 130. Start your own mastermind group 131. Check local newspaper for groups that meet on regular basis (city business journal) 132. Create systems for your marketing so you know exactly what needs to happen and when 133. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up! 134. Speak slowly and clearly – don’t try and explain your value at break neck speed 135. Use hand written thank you cards 136. Brainstorm time each week for how you can add more value to your clients 137. Make an apples to artichokes comparison when it comes to your prices 138. Create packages and products out of what you already know 139. Focus on building relationships, not making the sale 140. Write in plain English as if you were having a friendly conversation with someone 141. Brainstorm a list of the 50 best headlines you could use 142. Be passionate about what you do 143. Give back – tithe a percentage of your earnings 144. Slay procrastination by having an action plan each day and sticking to it 145. Do the job you dread the most, the first thing in the day and get it over with 146. Be authentic – don’t ever sell out. 147. Care about the results your clients get 148. Create a survey and find out what your target market really wants, then give it to them 149. Mystery shop your competitors' businesses 150. Become clients of your competitors 151. Start becoming very aware of how other businesses (not in your industry) market themselves – this is where your best marketing ideas will come from 152. Use live stamps to send your direct mail (not bulk rate) 153. Create a memorable experience for your customers they’ll want to tell all their friends about 154. Choreograph everything about your business so nothing is left to chance. 155. Think positively but take immediate action. 156. Behave as if you are already the successful person you want to become 157. Use the “Theatre of the Mind” to practice your selling situations 158. Write a press release announcing new products, services, partnerships or awards 159. Create a video and send out to your list 160. Start tracking the numbers in your business – ruthlessly 161. Know how much a client is worth to you over 3 years 162. Know how much it costs you on average to get a client 163. Give awards to your clients 164. Use attention grabbing signs outside your place of business 165. Make it easy for people to find you – provide clear instructions and maps 166. Follow up with people who don’t show 167. Have a late and no show policy 168. Hold a contest 169. Buy the phone numbers of your competitors who have gone out of business 170. Use a vehicle wrap for your car 171. Sell to groups 172. Don’t advertise like your competition – you have to look and feel different to be different 173. Expect wonderful things to happen. Take massive simultaneous action.

Improve Your Marketing Message - 6 Easy Steps

Do you sometimes struggle to explain to people exactly what it is you do?  Maybe you offer a service that takes a little explaining. Or perhaps you get that awful tongue-tied feeling at a networking event when the room is hushed and all eyes are on you? Sometimes it’s not always obvious to people what the benefits of working with you are, or even who your target market is.  We’re crystal clear on the value we bring to the relationship– but often times our prospects are not.

To fix this problem, sometimes all that’s needed is a refinement of your marketing message.

Try these six easy ways to improve your marketing message and help networkers and prospects grasp your value more quickly.

1. No one cares about the labor pains or the process – just show them the baby!  What I mean by this is no one is interested in your methodology – they only care about the outcome.  Always keep in mind that as people are listening to you speak, they’re secretly thinking in the backs of their minds, “What’s in all this for me, and exactly how are you going to help me?”

2. Walk a mile in your prospect’s shoes and think about what the BIG problem is that’s making them lose sleep at night. What are their top 3 worries when they get out of bed in the morning? If they had a magic wand that would fix anything, what would it be?  What would they pay anything to get access to?

3. Make a list of the top 5 objections your prospects would likely have for NOT doing business with you.  You likely know this list off the top of your head without having to think very hard.  Now write down an answer to each of these objections, and work that into your marketing message.

4. Select a handful of great client testimonials and then sprinkle liberally in your marketing materials.  What someone else says about you is at least 5 times more compelling and persuasive as what you say about yourself. You can also casually drop these “examples” into conversations when talking with people to add more persuasive power.

5 .What would make YOU leap out of your chair and shout “YES!” Think how apprehensive you feel before you decide to invest your money in the services of a person who you’ve never worked with before.  We’ve all had bad experiences… but we’ve also had some amazing experiences too.  Think about a message you can deliver that would relieve any nervousness and get them feeling excited and confident in working with you?

6. Make your marketing materials stand out and grab readers by the eyeballs by using snappy headlines that demand to be read.  Think of your headline as the ad for your ad.  Use phrases that arouse curiosity or speak directly to the reader like “Discover how to…” or “Never before revealed secrets of….” Your headline has to immediately answer that same old question we talked about above - “What’s in it for me?”

As you begin to talk with colleagues and prospects, watch how they react to what you say. Do they ask similar questions?  Are they still confused about anything?  Get feedback from people you trust about what your marketing messages (ideally someone who is in your target market and not your beloved Mom, spouse or great Aunty Sue). Then apply what you learn as you create a new elevator speech, new marketing materials and new service offerings.  Remember, as your business grows, you’re going to keep refining your marketing message – this is perfectly normal and to be expected as you keep getting better and better at what you do!

Your Marketing Message - It Ain't About You!

Your marketing message is one leg of a three-legged stool that also includes the right market and media, and it’s the fundamental building block to building a successful marketing system.  It’s also the secret sauce that quite literally could make or break your business.  Domino’s Pizza built a multi-million dollar empire on the strength of their marketing message – it was just 7 words long. What’s your marketing message?

In my work as a copywriter and coach, I critique hundreds of ads and sales letters every year.  One of the most common mistakes I find is that… most businesses focus the message on themselves.

Having a marketing message that’s all about you - your accomplishments and your success comes off as hollow bragging.  It doesn’t create a compelling marketing message to make your prospects want to leap out of their La-Z-Boy and go flying to the phone to call you. It doesn’t build rapport. And it doesn’t answer that age-old marketing acid test: what’s in it for me?  Newsflash: to get your marketing noticed by the right people and connect with your prospects, you have to make your marketing all about them, not you.

Now don’t worry.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk about your success and accomplishments.

It’s all in the way you do it. Good copywriting repositions your experience and success in a way that servestheprospect and makes them feel so connected to you that it’s like you’re reading their mind.  That couldn’t be more opposite to the way most people market their businesses – which is usually about pushing a message out to the market that’s all about them.

Also, never give prospects or customers a reason to say, “So what?” Sentences like “I’ve been in business for 20 years,” or “We care about our customers,” can lead to the “So what?” response.  You have to link the dots and tell your customers why that’s important to them.

I recently got a card from a Gold Stampede Member who, after purchasing my Ultimate Marketing Homestudy Toolkit, changed his marketing message from the “we’ve got” to the “you get” approach. He also rephrased all of those harsh sounding sales words in his sales letter (he now uses “agreement” instead of “contract,” and “invest” instead of “buy.” These words can be found on my list of 23 Most Persuasive Word Subs). He told me his leads increased and his closing ratio jumped from 35 percent to 56 percent with those changes.

By taking a client centered approach to your marketing, you’ll also stand out from your competition, who most likely don’t do much else in their marketing other than talk about themselves. Don’t believe me? Dust off a copy of the Yellow Pages and see for yourself (doctors, attorneys, nutritionists, real estate agents, plumbers, life coaches… you name it – ME based marketing is everywhere!)

How To Attract Clients By Leveraging Your Most Powerful Marketing Asset – YOU!

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia As a small business owner, the temptation for many of us is to pretend that we’re bigger than we really are.  We live in a world where bigger is better – bigger houses, bigger cars, bigger bank accounts… so of course it makes sense for us to assume that people only want to do business with bigger companies – not the one person consulting firm, the solo freelance web designer or home-based business coach.  This is simply not true.  There is incredible power in being “an army of one,” and I’m going to encourage you to celebrate your business size, not hide it.

Here are two pieces of very valuable client attraction advice for you:

1)    Resist the urge to make yourself look bigger than you really are.  Bigger is NOT always better (in fact, nowadays in business, bigger is rarely better – the service gets worse, it gets harder and harder to speak to a real person at the end of the line, and we lose all sense of connection with the company we’re working with). At the end of the day people want to do business with people – REAL people, not some big faceless, impersonal company who makes them feel like just another number or another sales statistic.

2)    Don’t lose your own voice in your marketing.  Marketing is nothing more than a way of connecting with people.  Your voice, your authenticity, what YOU bring to the table to help your customers solve their problems isthemostvaluableassetyouhave.  Don’t be tempted to neuter the language down to sound like it’s being written from a larger business, from no person in particular, or from someone who’s not really you.

No one else does exactly what you do – the way that you do it.  Your own special uniqueness is what helps set you apart from everyone else out there.  Don’t hide this.  Bring it forth and shine a giant spotlight on it.  Shout it from the rooftops so that you will attract clients who mirror those same qualities and values as you and who will be an honor to work with.

This kind of marketing is what I call Personality Infused Marketing™  and it forms the basis of The Ultimate Marketing Homestudy Toolkit - Personality Infused Marketing™ is an immensely powerful way to connect with your audience, a more meaningful and authentic way to attract and serve your clients, and a happier, more stress free way to run your business.

Once you give yourself permission to be authentic with your marketing, you will be amazed at the difference it makes to your life and to the lives of the people you serve.

Marketing: How to Beat the Pricing Bugaboo

Pricing is a very sticky topic among just about every solo business owner I know. That’s because when we started our businesses, we had no idea what to charge, but we were told that there are market “norms” – amounts that people will, and won’t, pay for things.

So we take a peek at what our competition is charging – we charge the same, or most commonly, we charge less than the competition, to make our prices look competitive.

There are a couple of major flaws with this strategy…

First, if we let the market dictate the prices we charge and how we charge them – then we’re effectively letting other people set our income.

I once did some consulting work for a printing company that told me they couldn’t change their prices because there were industry guidelines that “set” their prices!  Huh?!

You’re the entrepreneur!

You’re the captain of your own ship!

One of the GREATEST things about working for ourselves is that we don’t have to play by anyone else’s rules.  There’s no boss breathing down our necks watching how long our lunch hour is, or deciding if we deserve a pay raise.

Now we get to make the rules including what we think the value of our services are. Lesson 1: don’t let anyone else tell you how you should “price” your services and determine your income.

Here’s the second problem. Most people only know one way to market their business – based on price.  Being the cheapest in your marketplace is a very dangerous, a very stressful and very unstable position for your business to be in.  Here’s why:

1)    Because someone more desperate and more hungry than you can ALWAYS undercut your prices.  Having a value proposition that you’re the cheapest has never worked long term for any business (perhaps with the exception of Wal-Mart, who has become the1000 pound gorilla of “cheapness”).  Cheapness is a recipe for disaster.

If you’ve marketed your business as being the lowest cost and suddenly your competitor gets behind on their mortgage payment, gets desperate and offers even lower prices – you’re in big trouble.  You’ve either got to keep undercutting your prices – working more for less – to maintain the integrity of your value proposition.  Or you have to find a better, different way of marketing your business fast!

2)    Secondly, people who shop at the bottom end of the market are the worst kinds of clients to have anyway.  They’re typically high maintenance, high drama, folk who don’t appreciate you or your value.  And they’re always trying to beat you down on price.  Let other people serve those clients – not you!

I was at Tractor Supply the other day and saw a landscaping truck with this slogan on the side – “We won’t be undersold.  We guarantee to beat anyone’s price.”

It was obvious to me that this guy had seen some big company (probably Wal-Mart) use this kind of marketing strategy.  And he probably thought it made great sense for him to do the same, without realizing the horrible trap he was falling into.  It’s not his fault – no one likely showed him how to market his business any better way.

Now here’s a really big secret.

Not everyone buys on price.

In fact not even the majority of people buy on price.

That’s why you can drive through the ghetto and see some of the biggest TVs you’ve ever laid eyes on.  It’s also why we have so many stores that aren’t the $2 store.

But here’s the rub.

In order to not get caught serving the bottom end of the market, you have to provide compelling reasons why your customers should never buy on price, and why your services are so much better. 

Because if you don’t do this, people will always default to deciding on price.   You need to convince them to do otherwise. We’re all hard wired that way.

This is not easy to do, which is why so many business owners struggle with their marketing.  And it’s why I spent almost a third of my Ultimate Marketing Toolkit on explaining how to create real value for your customers and get them to happily pay you more money, even at prices much higher than your competition.

Your success boils down to these two simple things: Having great marketing and creating real value for your customers.  When you have both these things working for you seamlessly in your business, then truly, the sky is the limit!

Time to Go... When Firing a Client Can Be the Kindest Thing to Do

You might have heard of people say “The customer is always right,” and “Whatever the customer wants you should do.” Now, I am the first person to tell you that providing exceptional customer support in your business is a necessity – serving clients is the ONLY reason any of us are in business.  And it’s an honor and privilege I certainly don’t take lightly – I’m sure you don’t either.

But unfortunately, not all clients are made equal.  Some people have a PhD in complaining.  Others just decide to perpetually get out of bed on the wrong side every morning.  None of this happens to have anything to do with you.  Some clients think because they’re paying you for a specific product or service that they actually own you – and have the right to treat you as they want… calling you all hours of the day and night, beating you up on price, changing the project specs on a whim with no advance warning, paying late, or in some instances not even paying you at all.

This doesn’t have anything to do with customer service.  This is what I call ABC – Abuse By Client.

One of the worst ABC cases I’ve experienced was with a financial advisor who had very a high-end clientele in a posh part of town.

Over the years, he had managed to build a very successful business for himself, especially during the housing boom.  But when the economy turned – as happened for many, his business dropped off substantially and the old way of attracting clients wasn’t working for him anymore.

In fact by the time he’d come to me for help with his marketing, he hadn’t had a new client in more than 2 years!  You could say this guy needed my urgent attention!

When I look back on the whole experience I realized that this client had been waving some bright red flags from the very first consult.  But I had felt a deep empathy for his situation and really wanted to help him.

That was Lesson Number One.  When entering into a new business relationship – always, always listen to your intuition.  If something doesn’t feel quite right then, at the very least, buy yourself some time to think things through before leaping headfirst into a decision you’ll surely regret.

After the initial consult, I spent a full day at his office doing an in-depth diagnostic and prescriptive consultation with him.

This is a critical, very deep dive where I overturn every aspect of a client’s existing business to see where the big hidden opportunities and low hanging fruit are.  Except, not in this case.

Instead of letting me do the work he was paying me for, for the first half of the day all he did was talk about himself and his idea of how marketing should be (remember, this is a guy who hasn’t been able to get himself a new client in more than 2 years).

That was Lesson Number Two.  If someone is looking to hire you for your services, but then turns around and tells you how they think you should do your job – run – don’t walk – away from that relationship.

You’re probably thinking I was out of there by now, right?  Wrong.  I kept on… thinking this was a “nice guy” who clearly really needed my help. He had the money to pay me... surely that was enough..

What gave me an ice cold bucket of reality was when it came to agreeing the details of our future working relationship.  Suddenly, this nice and somewhat talkative guy became a tyrant.  Wow, was I wrong! He made it perfectly clear that as he was going to be paying me a substantial sum of money (more than double what my currently monthly earnings were at the time), that he “owned” me.  He also made it clear there was only one way of doing things – his way.  And then he proceeded to beat me up over the head on price trying to extract every possible concession from me.

I began to lose sleep over the relationship.  Every time he emailed me or called I would feel sick to my stomach.

That in itself is a massive warning sign that a client needs to go.

So I ended up withdrawing from the relationship.  It was hard to do because I was walking away from a substantial amount of money and I didn’t have a whole lot else sitting in my pipeline.

But I realized the personal toll the relationship was taking on me wasn’t worth any amount of money.  And I wasn’t being fair to my other clients because this guy was sucking the life out of me.

Having the guts to fire that client was one of the hardest and the best decisions I ever made. It gave me a real sense of freedom and empowerment that I really did have the power to choose who I did business with.

The day you stand up for yourself in your business and say “No – this isn’t how I want to be treated.  No your behavior isn’t acceptable and no you’re not the kind of client I want to do business with” – is the day you’ve achieved massive success in your business.

It’s a fantastic feeling.

Saying “no” to the wrong kind of client also means you can say “yes” to the right kind. Not long after that difficult experience, I attracted one of my most favorite clients (we’re still working together today).  If I had worked with the other gentleman I would have never have had the capacity to work with my dream client and that opportunity would have flown right by.

Pocket Money

Here's my last story to share with you about my Irish Christmas vacation..well maybe my last, I just might have one more up my sleeve... So there I was.  In blustery, butt freezing Belfast.  Out braving the cold and the throngs of mad post-Christmas shoppers.

The wind was relentless, my cheeks were bright red (even redder than usual) and the sky had just opened up, pummeling me with pea sized pieces of ice.

So.... I did what any sane person would do.  I gritted my teeth, stayed my course and made a beeline through the now icy streets.  I had  my target fixed firmly in my sights while people all around me were bailing left right and center into the nearest pub.

I hurdled around the corner and charged through the doors of my destination - a mega sized department store called Marks & Spencer. Fighting my way through the throng of frenzied, wet and hail assaulted shoppers I made my way to the kids clothing area.

I did manage to find what I was looking for - a cool sweater for my daughter (one with patchwork elbows made of ridiculously soft Irish wool).

Then, as I was lining up to pay, my eye caught sight of something which can only be termed as sheer marketing brilliance.

It was a sign strategically placed to catch the attention of anyone under 3ft tall, right next to where "Mum" would be forced to stand in line for the next 10 minutes at check out.

Here's all the sign said.

"Pocket Money" (that's Irish speak for Allowance),

Beneath it was a series of little bins with at least 35 different ways to separate kids from their precious weekly allowance with all kinds of useless colorful trinkets.

Absolutely brilliant marketing.  Here's why.

First of all the sign specifically targets kids to buy stuff using THEIR OWN MONEY. The sign is not meant for adults to read, it wasn't even at our height.

Secondly the sign is located in the area most Moms and kids visit - in the kids clothing section.  Most kids HATE clothes shopping and get dragged there under duress.  This little marketing ploy was the perfect diversion to keep the kids out of their "Mum's" hair and make a sale at the same time.

And thirdly, the location of the sign was strategically placed to catch little eyes while they were rolling theirs, bored senseless and being forced to wait in line.

This kind of marketing brilliance is called niche marketing - and if you're not doing it in your business, that's why you don't have an extra zero at the end of your income....yet!

(For those of you who are smart enough to have already invested in a copy of my Client Stampede Ultimate Homestudy Toolkit - don't worry the easy niche marketing magic formulas I give you in there are bullet proof...just plug and play and you're on your way!)

As the rich happily say "there are riches in niches!"

A Dose Of Thursday Inspiration And A Life Changing Strategy For Your Marketing

We’re already nearly half way through January, so here’s a little inspiration if your New Year’s resolutions are wearing thin, or you’re struggling with a big problem in your business right now (like not getting enough clients)… When JK Rowling (Harry Potter inventor) wrote her first book, she was so poor she couldn’t even afford to have photocopies made of the transcript.  So she typed out 3 entire copies of the manuscript to mail to potential agents.

Good ol’ blue eyes, Frank Sinatra was dumped TWICE by a record label.  Lady Gaga was told she wasn’t talented enough by her first record company. They fired her, too.

Whether you are fans of these three artists or not, just imagine what they would have deprived the world of if they’d quit.  If they’d said, “This business is too hard, I’m gonna go drive taxis instead…"

Now back to you and what all this has to do with your business.

I’m assuming that what you do in your business really DOES help others.  You’re only selling a product or service you truly believe in…right?

Ok, good.

And just one more thing I need to check with you: people NEED what you’re selling too, right?

Alright, phew.  I just wanted to check you weren’t scrambling around trying to find a market to “sell your thing to” – there’s already a hungry market out there.

Well in that case, GET OUT THERE AND MARKET YOUR BUSINESS.  You don’t owe it to yourself – you owe it to the hundreds, possibly thousands of future raving fans who are desperate to find someone like you to do business with. They’ve been searching for you for a LONG time.

Many of my private copywriting clients say exactly that.  “We’re SO glad we found you!”  That’s because I remove a huge stress from their shoulders, I take the guess work out of their advertising, I do exactly what I say I’ll do, and I get them real, measurable results.

Just think about it for a second.

That one realization that you OWE IT TO OTHERS TO TELL THEM ABOUT HOW GREAT YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE IS - changes EVERYTHING about the way you approach your business.

If your future customers don’t know about you, their lives are going to be a lot harder.  They NEED you.  They’re looking for you.  And they’re looking to you for ways to make their lives easier.

It also means that you’re now approaching your marketing from a giving mentality instead of a taking mentality… and that’s one of the BIG secrets to attracting more customers.

So now I’ve helped you change the way you think about marketing and selling your business.  You’re not doing it from the perspective that it’s an activity you have to do in order to make a bunch of money (although that’s exactly the happy by-product of what we do).  It’s about looking for ways to help others, and telling enough people about the great work you do.

One of my mentors Zig Ziglar once said “you will get everything in life if you will only help enough others get what they want in life.”

So true.

Now get out there and tell others about how you can help them!

My Irish Vacation

Wow, it's great to be back to a Michigan winter.  Really!  I never thought I'd EVER say that, except that the weather in Ireland was about 100 times worse!  Wet, cold, dark, miserable, with icy winds whipping your face straight off the Atlantic.  Just look at how many layers of clothing I had to wear just to go out shopping (and I can hardly see out of my hood!). Lucky that the Irish are so warm and welcoming because the weather sure isn't.  Maybe that explains why family life revolves around the local taverns that are always brimming with laughter, guinness (of course), and some of the most incredible fiddle playing, singing and Irish dancing I've ever seen!  The whole reason for going to Ireland was to catch up with my older brother Dale and his family, who live in Belfast.  He's got 3 kids of his own now who range in age from 1 to 6 and are delightful little characters with thick Irish accents and a naughty streak.  I sat on a whoppee cushion about 10 times, got pelted with "Nerf Bullets," and helped make a gingerbread train for Santa to hopefully "cancel out any naughtyness" during the year!  I also suffered 4 humiliating defeats playing tabletop football with my 4 year old nephew...!

I was last in Ireland 2 1/2 years ago - it's a country I love visiting, and this time around I was curious to see how things had changed. Particularly in regards to how the recession had impacted the area.  The reports I had read lumped the Irish economy alongside other EU economies that are in the toilet (like Greece).  Were there going to be stores borded up and lots of "going out of business" signs?  Would there be people begging on the streets?  Lots of vacant commercial buildings and houses?

What I was about to discover astounded me...

In Belfast, the post Christmas sales have always been legendary.  With the recession going on, I thought that the post Christmas shopping experience would be a little more sane, a lot less hectic, and far less busy.  So when my sister-in-law suggested we "hit the shops," I thought it was a great idea as I'm not usually one to brave big crowds.  With the economy, surely most people would be staying home - right? Afterall, in a country whose economy has been likened to that of the great depression, how many people would be out spending their hard earned dollars...not many, right?

WRONG.

Oh my goodness...

It was total madness.  There were crowds clamboring to the stores like I have NEVER EVER SEEN IN ANY ECONOMY.  People were lining up outside some of the high end department stores, braving that terrible weather, just for the chance to buy a $200 sweater at 25% off!  These people were NOT strapped for cash, and what blew me away is how well dressed everyone was - designer duds everywhere, expensive baby strollers...if there was a recession going on, the people shopping in downtown Belfast surely hadn't been told about it!!!

In one store I went to (that I wish I owned shares in) - there was quite literally a MOVING HIGHWAY of people in and out, all hustling to buy and then moving onto the next deal.  I stood in the same spot by the door for maybe 5 minutes and watched throngs of people push past me in search of bargains.  The store is a high end clothing and homeware store where basic throw rugs sell for the equivilent of $175 USD!  To put things in perspective, in Northern Ireland the currency is British pounds, which is a lot stronger than our US dollar, and dollar for dollar things are much more expensive in Belfast than what we pay over here.  Yet I watched in amazement as people dropped huge sums of money on purses, suits, coats, linens...hundreds and hundreds and very often thousands of pounds!

After I recovered from my initial shock, I realized with a grin the significance of what I was witnessing.  Actions speak a lot louder than words...WHAT RECESSION?  These people were thriving!  Businesses were thriving!

So here's the BIG LESSON:  Just like you've heard me say so many times before...be very careful what you read and who you listen to and whatever you do.... "DON'T BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ IN MASS MEDIA." Scare mongering is the real business they're in.  It's bad news, not good news, that sells newspapers and magazines.  Despite what you might hear there are many businesses thriving (including mine :) and there is MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY TO PROSPER EVERYWHERE!

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not denying that there's a recession going on.  I know times are tough for many right now.  There's no doubt that shrinkage has happened and will continue to happen for those industries and businesses who refuse to adapt and keep operating under the rules of the old economy. But YOU won't be one of them -  providing you run your business according to the new rules of the new economy.   (If you're not yet familiar with the new rules of the new economy then drop everything right now and order a copy of my audio CD "How to thrive in the new economy" - (worth $97, it's yours for just $2) - it's your blueprint for success in the coming year.

And speaking of this year - take heart that things aren't nearly as bad as they seem. In fact many businesses will continue to quietly thrive, racking up record profits.  There's NO reason why your business can't be one of them.

So set your goals HIGH for this year.  Work tirelessly to deliver even greater value to your customers. Refuse to read anything negative and only listen to those of us who are getting on and making things happen.  And stay tuned, I've got some REALLY exciting things happening to help you build your business quickly and easily, that you're just going to love.

Warm regards,

Julie

7 Easy Steps To Writing A Darn Good Sales Letter

You've gotta love the power of a great sales letter.  It's THE best leverage of your time and is like having your very own army-sized sales force, pounding the pavements for you, perfectly delivering your marketing message every time for less than a cup of coffee.  They never call in sick, never go on vacation, never ask for a pay raise and they'll work tirelessly around the clock for you 24/7, 365 days of the year. So here are 7 expert secrets to writing an extremely effective sales letter.

Secret #1  Create an attention driven headline that specifically speaks to your target market, arouses curiosity and answers the question in your prospects mind "what's in this for me?".  For example: "Using a Lawyer May Be Dangerous To Your Wealth" "For the Woman Who Looks Older Than She Is" "Former Hairdresser Earns $8000 a Month As A Real Estate Specialist" "How To Double Your Income in 60 Days Or Less"

Secret #2 Open your letter with a personalized salutation (the more PERSONAL you make your letter look and sound, the higher your response rate will be).  If you can't address it to the person directly (eg Dear John, or Dear Mrs McDonald), try using one of these salutations: Dear Friend Dear Neighbor Dear Fellow _______er <i.e. Golfer> Dear Colleague, Dear Reader Dear Frustrated Tax Payer Dear Valued Customer

Secret #3 Use a powerful "letter opener".  The first couple of sentences of your sales letter have to be really compelling to "hook" your prospects and get them to read the rest of the letter.  Consider these: Here’s you chance to... In looking over our records I noticed that you... Will do me a favor? Will you try this experiment? Here’s an amazing opportunity! I’m writing to.. Congratulations! Could you use an extra $500 a week? Frankly,I’m puzzled... I couldn’t wait to write to you.

Secret #4: Talk about Benefits, NOT just features in your sales copy.  Understanding the difference between benefits and features is critical for the success of your sales letter.  A feature is fact driven, a benefit is more of an emotional connection.  This difference is extremely important because people BUY ON EMOTION, THEN JUSTIFY WITH LOGIC!!!  For example a feature is this drill has 27 different drill speeds.  The benefit is that you can get your work done in half the time which means you get to spend more time relaxing on the couch, watching your favorite sport.

Secret #5 Use Subheadings, bold font, itallics, and underlining to create a "double readership path" Everyone reads sales letters differently.  Some people will read every word, others will skim read every paragraph, and still others will just read the headline, the opening paragraph and then maybe the PS at the end of the letter.  That's why you need to make sure the most persuasive and important messages in your sales letter are made to jump out at the reader and create a "double readership path"..

Secret #6 Make sure your sales letter contains an irresistible offer and a deadline to respond by (remember this offer should be bold, it should be different to anything your competition offers, and compelling enough to light your prospects' pants on fire).  Here are some examples of irresistible offers:

  1. FREE with absolutely no strings attached
  2. Free trial converts to monthly billing or payment of product after X days – (Pay nothing now)
  3. Free Shipping
  4. Hold your check
  5. Bonus overload – stacked bonuses
  6. Early bird bonus tied to a specific response date
  7. Silly premium – mousepad, cartoon, t-shirt, coffee mug
  8. Mystery gift
  9. Easy pay options (monthly payments)
  10. The more you buy the more you save – tiered discount based on amount purchased

Secret # 6 Include a bold reverse risk guarantee.  This is a very powerful copywriting technique to make it easier for your prospects to say YES than no.  Here's an example:

"You’re fully protected by our iron-clad money-back guarantee: If you decide that your <name> membership and <publication> aren’t for you, just let us know at any time during your membership period. We’ll send you a prompt 100% refund – every penny you paid. That’s a full refund, not partial or pro-rated. All the issues and the bonuses are yours to keep – even if you cancel. Could any offer be fairer than that?"

Secret #7  Use a powerful close to make your prospects whip out their credit cards

The way you close your sales letter is very important - it will determine whether your prospect puts your sales letter down to "think about it" or is moved to tale immediate action.  Here are some great examples:

"The next move is up to you. I’ve shown you that the <name of your product> is as risk-free as an offer can come. You and I both know that if you’ve read this far in the letter, you’re seriously interested in improving your business and personal income. All that’s left to do now is take action and call the number below to place your order".

"You really can’t afford not to invest in this course! Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to move on this incredible opportunity?  So what are you waiting for? Drop the enclosed card in the mail today."

That's it!  Follow these 7 simple steps and your sales letter will be MILES ahead of anything your competition is using!!!!

 

The 2 Secret Reasons Why We Buy

In this month’s Gold Nugget I want to take you back to a fundamental marketing principal – the two real reasons why any of us buy anything.  Understanding this is like unlocking the key to the vault. Once you understand the real reason why someone is buying your product or service, you can carefully tailor your words – your sales copy, your sales pitches, your in-person appointments – to resonate with your prospect at an even deeper level, quietly speaking to their “secret need.” Here are the only 2 reasons why we buy: 1) We buy a solution to our problem and/or 2) We buy to get transference of feeling.  I think the first reason is obvious, the second reason less so.  How many times have you rushed to buy something because without realizing it, the actual act of making the purchase, rather than the thing itself, is what makes you feel great?  I’m guilty as charged.  For example, one of my private clients www.NourishMD.com specializes in helping moms find safe, natural alternatives to kid’s health problems, they’re also strong advocates of the REAL food movement.  Just searching their website makes me feel like I’m a better mom, and when I reach for my credit card and buy their homeopathic flu remedy or a bottle of probiotics for River, subconsciously I’m already congratulating myself for being a “caring, health-conscious mother for my child.”  It’s not that I don’t want what I’m buying – of course I do – but the instant gratification I secretly want is the transference of feeling.  That feeling is addictive. How many times have you gone out and bought something that made you feel instantly better, instantly happier or self-assured only to quickly forget about it and “rediscover” it weeks or months later, by which time it feels like a bit of an anti-climax?

Ok, so now you’re armed with this “insider” knowledge about your prospects.  What are you going to do with it to help them and to help you?

The Kardashian "Mother Lode" - How Chris Jenner Created The Kardashian Juggernaut

Love 'em or hate 'em, reality tv stars, The Kardashians and Kardashian Inc. are branding powerhouses to be reckoned with. Last year they earned $65 million – more than Tom Cruise, Sandra Bullock and Angelina Jolie combined. This year their estimated earnings are set to top more than $100 million. From fragrances and paid endorsements to designer duds and a “destination Kardashian” at the Mirage in Las Vegas (which houses every product the family endorses). “We’ll take Kim in a bikini and put her on a beach towel,” mother Kris Jenner says. “So you would be laying on a Kardashian at the pool.” The hotel itself will be a Kardashian shrine: room keys will bear their image, each of the 4,338 rooms will house Kardashian-branded water in the minibars, Kim’s fragrance on the vanity; oh, and Kim and the girls will be vamping on a dozen of the new slot machines. Really? You can lay on a Kardashian by the poolside and this is their mom speaking? (Actually it was Kris’s idea).

The mother and “Momager” behind the Kardashian powerhouse, Kris Jenner, may be many things – bossy, controlling, nosy, obsessed with personal lubricant to name a few, but when it comes to monetizing her family’s reality TV fame in inventive and controversial ways, the woman can’t be beat.

And, just like the inventor of Silly Bandz, the success she’s created for her family hasn’t been overnight either – it’s been many, many years in the making. A former airline hostess, she started back in the early 90s selling exercise equipment via an informercial she wrote and produced with gold medalist hubby Bruce Jenner.......... (continued below).

Kris met husband Jenner on a blind date - at the time he was doing  a little motivational speaking, a few public appearances but mostly playing a whole lot of golf.  Kris recognized an opportunity when she saw one and began overseeing his speaking engagements and management deals.

By 1994, Kris and Bruce launched a line of stair-climbing fitness equipment via a self-produced infomercial, “Super Fit With Bruce Jenner,” in which they both appeared. The ad was a success, running 2,000 times a month in 17 countries, however in 1995 and 1997,Kris added 2 more daughters to the clan and her show biz career took a 10-year hiatus.

In February of 2007, inspired by the Success of Sharon Osbourne and the Ozzy Osbourne Show, Kris independently produced a presentation tape of a reality show following her family and had begun shopping it to different production companies.  It was about this time that Kim Kardashian sat her Mom down and told her that a sex tape she'd made with her boyfriend had been sold to an adult film distributor and was going on sale at the end of the month.  If there was ever a time to turn lemons into lemonade, this was it.  Kris hired a spin doctor to handle the public outcry. Vivid, the adult film distributor ended up having to pay Kim a reported $5 million for the sex tape and the tape itself went on to become one of Vivid’s best-selling DVDs in 10 years — putting the Kardashians squarely on the map. In 2006 Kris signed a deal with Ryan Seacrest Productions to follow her family on a new reality tv series - Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

“My job", said Kris "is trying to take my kids’ 15 minutes and turn it into 30.”

Looks like she hit the ball out of the park on that one ...

Why Artists Are Starving

This last weekend I was at the Ann Arbor art fair, which is a pretty big deal in this part of the country. Hundreds of artists from all over the country sell their wares over a 4-day event downtown. The streets are closed to traffic and visitors flock to the event in the thousands. Unfortunately, the art fair ended up being held during the hottest week in recent history. Every artist I spoke to told me that this art fair was the worst one ever – many having attended for the last 10, 15, even 20 years. Weather aside, I made some very interesting marketing observations as to why these artists were REALLY experiencing slow sales, and none of it had anything to do with the weather.

  1. Very, very few of the artists greeted me when I came to look at their art. Most were sitting off at the back of the tent, fanning themselves with a newspaper or junk magazine, looking decidedly bored and frustrated. They didn’t get that people want to buy things from people. People want to hear stories; to understand how or why something is made. This is a HUGE mistake that, almost without exception, every artist I saw made.
  2. Very, very few people had any marketing collateral to give away – a few did have postcards, but there was nothing on them enticing to me to follow up with them. No irresistible offer - just pretty pictures; which doesn’t exactly get people rushing to the phone to place an order.
  3. I bought a couple of things including a pair of sterling silver earrings from a local metalsmith. NO ONE asked me for my contact information – not even for an email address. This is a giant mistake and shows that these artists have the mistaken idea that you get a customer to make a sale, instead of making a sale to get a customer. No matter how bad the weather, how poor the crowds, if any of these artists had been collecting contact details of past customers, they could have held a special pre-event show with special incentives next year for those VIP customers. After the art fair they could do a follow up “thank you” direct mail campaign to sell even more of their wares.

Instead the artists were 100% reliant on generating enough foot traffic and interest over the event not just to break even, but to actually turn a profit. I’m told that renting one of these booths cost in the thousands of dollars. Many artists schlepped their art, display cases and panels from as far away as California. No wonder they’re starving.

How risk reversal can transform your business & beat your competition every.single.time

A mother was looking to buy a pony for her little girl.  She had done her homework and knew exactly what she wanted.  After a bit of searching the mother found 2 ponies that were virtually identical in size, age, temperament and training. All that differed between them was the asking price.

The first farmer wanted $500 for his pony. He told the mother all she needed to do was to write him a check for $500 and the pony would be delivered to her.

The second farmer wanted $1000 for his pony.  He wanted the little girl to have the pony right away but he didn't want any payment for it.

Instead the second farmer offered to deliver the pony to the little girl for a full month.  He'd bring all the pony's feed and supplements for that month, so it wouldn't cost the mother anything to "try out" the pony.  And he'd send his barn manager over to the little girl's house once a week to teach her how to groom, feed and care for her pony.  He told the mother that the pony was kind and gentle, but that the little girl should ride the pony every day, just to make sure they got along.  He also offered two free lessons with his wife (who happened to be a certified horse riding instructor).  All at absolutely zero cost.

If at the end of the 4 weeks, if the mother decided she wanted the pony, then the $1000 would be payable then.  And if she decided that she didn't, then the farmer would send out his barn manager to clean out her stall and pick up the pony. No questions asked, no mess left behind, no payment needed.

Which pony do you think the mother bought for her little girl?

Obviously there was no contest. And it will be no contest for you if you incorporate strong risk reversal in your business operation.  By completely eliminating the risk from the buying decision - you make it easier for your client to say "yes" instead of "no" and you eliminate the major barrier to them buying.

How?

You need to totally and completely guarantee the purchase for your client.  Think about what your clients want most from purchasing your product or service.  Then guarantee them that outcome, or they can have their money back.  If it's not practical to fully guarantee the entire purchase then guarantee whatever portion of the purchase is practical.

Take my guarantee for example.  I back all my services with my 100% Grin-Ear-To-Ear Happiness Guarantee.  If for any reason my clients aren't happy with any of my work - then I'll do whatever it takes to make them grin ear to ear - whether that means: completely reworking a campaign at my cost, refunding their money, or both.  No hard feelings.  Whatever it takes to make my clients happy, I'll do it.

And everyone wins.

My clients win because they get a truly amazing service or they can get every penny they paid back.  I'm motivated to work even harder to ensure my client is happy because of my guarantee.  And I win because I get a happy client who'll keep using my services and will spread the word.

Reverse the risk in your business and place this message up front and center in all your marketing.  Watch what a difference it makes.