Thursday, October 23, 2014

How to Rebound From a Business Slump: Success Secret from a Red Wing

You should know that I'm from Detroit.

Which means I love hockey.

Which means I REALLY love the Detroit Red Wings.

And a former Red Wing, Slava Kozlov, offers a simple trick to help you break out of any business slump faster than you otherwise might.

Because, whether you sell for a living or run your own business (in which case, you still sell for a living), we all hit slumps.

Just like a batting slump in baseball, or a scoring slump in hockey, some days (or weeks) it seems like you'll never make another sale or land another client.

So, here's what Slava Kozlov told an interviewer about how he solved scoring slumps while playing for the Red Wings under Scotty Bowman:

Russian Reporter: In Detroit they used to give you a disk with your best playing moments as a medicine, when things went bad.
Slava Kozlov: It wasn’t a disk, it was a tape! Those were the times. They told me: “If you can’t score, have a look at it. Tomorrow you’ll score.” It’s important to feel good to rebound back, to have your intuitions again. You’ve got to believe.

Reporter: Did it help?

Kozlov: Yes, it did. You just watch the tape and you believe again in yourself. It’s very useful.

Did you get that? By watching a highlight video of himself scoring goals, Kozlov got his self-confidence back. On demand. And it helped him rebound from slumps.

Now, of course, you probably don't play pro hockey or have videos of yourself making sales ...

But you probably do have one thing you can look at right now to boost your self-confidence and snap out of any slump: Testimonials.

If you need to feel good and believe in yourself again, take a minute to review all of the testimonials on your web site. Then go read the recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. And re-read any thank-you notes in your desk. It works like a charm.

Like all humans, sometimes I get down about myself and my abilities. But with 26 testimonials on my web site ... 16 pretty nice recommendations on my LinkedIn profile ... and nearly 100 thank-you notes from clients in my desk, I've got plenty of nice reminders to look at for an instant boost of self-confidence.

As a result, I'm able to banish slumps, as easily as scoring an empty-net goal.

Try it.

Meanwhile, if you want more clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Direct Mail for Solopreneurs: Postcard Example

One reason you need to include direct mail in your marketing mix as a solopreneur: Most of the trends I see for email marketing are negative.

Of course, email marketing should always have a place in your toolbox. But don't put all your eggs in that email toolbox (to mangle a metaphor). Just because it's efficient to push "send" and zap out a message at no cost to 5 ... 500 ... or 5,000 names, doesn't mean it's also effective.

Let's put it another way. How would you send your mother a birthday card, by email or real mail?

How about your spouse -- would you send him/her an anniversary card by email or real mail?

I thought so.

Treat your prospects and clients the same as any other VIP in your life. When the message really matters, send it by real mail (in addition to email, phone, in person, video, etc.).

Now, if you're like most solopreneurs, you've got a big objection in mind when it comes to direct mail: Cost. And the time it takes to mail stuff. Okay, that's two objections.

Well, I get that. Time and money are the two constraints on much of your growth as a solopreneur.

So here's an easy answer to both those objections to using direct mail: Postcards. They're cheap and fast to deploy.

You print and mail them for less than 50 cents with a service like Click2Mail. Or spend a bit more and do them yourself.

Like the UGLY postcard I wrote and mailed below, from a hotel room in Dallas ...


It helped cement a sale for $7,500 to a busy prospect who had ignored two emails from me the week before. Sure, it's butt-ugly and my handwriting is awful. But the message was 100% personalized and relevant to this prospect.

He got the postcard on Monday and signed up 24 hours later.

Now. Big caveat: No small ugly postcard -- or big beautiful postcard -- is enough to make a sale for $7,500 (or even $75) in 99 cases out of 100. But a postcard can be that one tap of the hammer that splits a big rock.

As a solopreneur, you have a family and/or a livelihood to support every morning you turn on the lights and fire up your computer. You're doing a serious job and you need serious tools. Direct mail is serious. And postcards are seriously simple. Give them a try.

Meanwhile, if you want more clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.



Friday, September 26, 2014

Direct Mail Demystified for Solopreneurs

Much of my work as a copywriter and marketing adviser is for mid-sized businesses in the $2-20 million range.

And a lot of that work is direct mail: lead-generation pieces and sales letters to acquire new clients.

But there's a BIG place in my heart for the solopreneur -- the one-man band or one-woman army who fights every day to earn a good living to support their family.

Maybe it's because I've been a solopreneur myself for 16 years. I understand solopreneurs, I empathize with solopreneur marketing problems, and I want to see them do better.

So it kills me to see so many solopreneurs buy into the myth that direct mail is too expensive or complicated to grow their business. Nonsense.

The same principles my bigger clients use to rake in 6 and 7 figures with direct mail can ABSOLUTELY work for smaller businesses. In fact, done right, direct mail can deliver clients on demand for almost any solopreneur -- whether you sell a product, a service, or your consulting.

First, some unsettling facts about email ...

One in seven commercial emails never makes it to the recipient. Worse, at least 30% of those 85% emails that get delivered ... are deleted unread. And all current trends for the effectiveness of email are negative (sources: Return Path and The Freedman Company).

By contrast, direct mail is one of the most effective ways to acquire new clients. Perhaps because it's so much easier to stand out in a mailbox compared to an email inbox (or Twitter feed, or Facebook news feed).

"You can send targeted, relevant direct mail to anyone with a mailing address. People generally trust direct mail, know how to respond to a direct mail offer, and don't need the  technological savvy required by e-mail or social media platforms. These are the major reasons direct mail works," according to Clif McDougall, VP of Business Development, Com-Pak Services.

Finally, "direct mail is 10 to 30 times more effective than e-mail," according to The Direct Marketing Association. In a study, 34 out of 1,000 customers responded to direct mail, while just one out of 1,000 responded to an e-mail.

In the next few posts, I'll share with you examples of direct-mail that's working right now for solopreneurs.

But for today, ask yourself 3 questions:

1) Do you honestly wish you got more email or less?

2) Do you think your prospects want more email or less?

3) If you're leaving direct mail out of your marketing mix, how much money do you think you're leaving on the table?

Meanwhile, if you want more clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

11 Marketing Nuggets from The Titans of Direct Response

Titans of Direct Response
Titans assembled, left to right: Brian Kurtz, Ryan Lee, Parris Lampropoulos, Mike Fishman, Fred Catona, Arthur Johnson, Eric Betuel, David Deutsch, Jay Abraham, Ken McArthy, Joe Sugarman

Do you love marketing? You should, if you own or manage a business. Otherwise, you’ll run out of clients.

Do you love direct-response marketing? You should, if you want to track and improve your marketing. Otherwise, you’ll run out of money.

... Still with me?

Good!

Then you’ll understand why I was thrilled to attend “The Titans of Direct Response” event hosted by Brian Kurtz and Boardroom Publications.

Imagine a Mount Rushmore of marketing legends with 11 heads ... that suddenly started talking ... for two days straight. That reeks of hyperbole, sure. It’s also true.

Anyway, you can read their bios here, but let’s get to it -- here are 11 nuggets of marketing wisdom I learned at "The Titans of Direct Response" ...

1) Dan Kennedy: There are only really two kinds of copy: product information and emotional manipulation. Wage everything on emotional manipulation; this sells way more than facts. Example: To sell a cat toy, don’t talk about the toy. Talk about how neglected and bored the cat is while you’re away at work. The toy will pretty much sell itself.

2) Ken McArthy: The System Formula for any website is this: traffic plus conversion equals profits. You need to obsess over these simple elements. And remember that it’s not a web site -- it’s a sales system.

3) Perry Marshall: The best unique selling proposition (USP) won’t need a copywriter; it’s not about stringing words together. Ordinary people will discover and share a USP with each other -- it’s baked into the product or service.

4) David Deutsch: Here’s a test of how good your sales letter or promotion is. When people see it they should say “Wow!” and want to show someone.

5) Parris Lampropoulos: Novelty creates dopamine. By telling people something new, you are generating dopamine and your copy is literally addictive.

6) Eric Betuel: To get new ideas and see winning examples of salesmanship, look at videos on Kickstarter.

7) Gary Bencivenga: Your self-image (as described in the book Psycho Cybernetics) is the key to achieving any goal and living a life without limits. If you believe strongly in the image you have in your mind, you won’t need will power to hit a goal. As a copywriter, his self-image was “Gary Bencivenga the Control Beater.” This became his operating system. It motivated him all the time. Ideas began to pop up everywhere, even when he wasn’t working on projects. This philosophy vastly out-performed everything else for him.

8) Brian Kurtz: Contribution is better than networking. Think first about how you can help others and be willing to give 100%, expecting zero in return. This is real contribution and it’s made him millions.

9) Joe Sugarman: Every problem has an opportunity within it so great that it dwarfs the problem. Example: He had an empty page in his catalog, which he had to scramble to fill with another product. That product was a strange pair of sunglasses, given to him by a friend, that had been used by NASA --  BluBlockers, now a multi-million dollar brand.

10) Greg Renker: What does it really take to break through barriers and grow exponentially? Two things have helped: one, his Mastermind group (which includes Jay Abraham and others at a high level); two, plowing profits back into the company and taking more risks.

11) Jay Abraham: Any problem for you is an opportunity for somebody else. Example: A motorcycle maker in Japan needed money to expand. They found a lawnmower maker in Malaysia with a second shift they weren’t using, who agreed to make motorcycles in their factory. Result: Both sides made $10 million on the deal.

There you have it. Eleven marketing nuggets from more than 100 that I collected over two days one weekend in September.

Which nugget can you use first?

Meanwhile, if you want more clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Marketing Synergy: 1 + 1 = 6?


Synergy is what happens when the sum is greater than the parts.

Examples ...
  • flour + water + yeast + heat = bread
  • John + Paul + George + Ringo = The Beatles
  • Email + Direct Mail = 6 ... as in it's possible to get 6 times more response using email and direct mail together, rather than separately.
That last example is Marketing Synergy.

Let me explain ...

Last year, the Canadian division of Staples did an experiment. To one group of people, they sent an email promotion. To a second group, they sent email plus a direct-mail letter.

The results?

The response rate was 6 times higher from people who got a direct mail piece and an email, compared to those who got only email, according to the study, done by Canada Post.

There are two valuable lessons here:

1) Multiple marketing methods can produce synergy. By combining email and direct mail ... or phone and email ... or phone, email, and direct mail ... you get MORE results than using one method by itself.

2) If a big bureaucratic company like Staples can produce 6x higher results with their marketing, imagine the results you can enjoy, if you're a small, agile, smart business owner?

Meanwhile, if you want more clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

You? 10x Profits and Growth?

Think back to a time when you made only 10% of your current income.

It might have been in college or high school.

Why did you make only 10% of what you do now? Were you a loser/slacker/dunderhead?

No.

You were simply less valuable in the marketplace. You earned 90% less because you delivered 90% less value. Today you deliver 10 times more value, so you earn 10 times more money.

What made the difference?

Perhaps your skills are 10 times more valuable. You want from fry cook ($5.00 an hour) to software developer ($50.00 an hour), for example. Or maybe the average amount you saved your clients on taxes increased from $5000 to $5,000. You are more valuable.

Or maybe you reach 10 times more people. You went from cutting grass (5 lawns a day) to owning a landscaping business with 10 employees (50 lawns a day). Or perhaps your list of prospects increased from 100 to 1,000. You are reaching more people.

So, increasing your income by 10 times is not only possible, but you've done it at least once before. Maybe several times.

Now fast forward to the future. Imagine yourself earning 10 times more than today. How did you get there? Are you 10 times more valuable? Are you helping 10 times more people?

Here's an example from my own business ...

My client Ryan, a real estate investor from California. By making phone calls and meeting with home sellers in person, he and his business partner had a nice little business going.

But after the departure of his partner, Ryan faced a potential loss in income ... hours spent banging the phones to sell his service ... loads of frustration. In a word, problems.

But I solved those problems by making him 10 times more valuable.

How? Two ways ...

1) We made him more valuable. We improved his phone sales pitch to push certain hot buttons that made people eager to sell their homes.

2) We helped him reach more people. We turned his phone sales pitch (one-to-one selling) into a sales letter (one-to-many selling), AND we found new lists of people to mail to, AND we're mailing those people more often.

So, more value reaching more people.

Results?

We put $250,000 of cash and equity in Ryan's pipeline in 7 days. Nearly $700,000 in 12 months. At this pace he will enjoy 10 times more profits in less than 2-3 years.

This is life-changing stuff. And it's possible for you, me, Ryan -- anyone.

Just ask yourself two questions:

1) How can I make myself 10 times more valuable?
2) How can I reach 10 times more people?


You've done it before. You can do it again. Why not start today? 

Meanwhile, if you want more clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

How Less Work Equals More Money

Ever read a book, watch a video, or attend a seminar ... come away with a long, exciting list of things to do ... and end up doing NONE of it?

You're not alone.

But here's how one insurance agency in Texas found a simple solution to that problem -- a solution worth millions. And it can work for you, too, no matter what your business is ...

Here's the story: I'm at the BGI Marketing Systems Super Conference, in Dallas. It's the event where the best insurance agency owners in America go to get better.

Louis, a top producing sales rep for 2 Allstate offices in Texas, told me that his team came to their first BGI event a few years ago, took a long list of money-making ideas back to the office, tried to do all of them ... and did none of them.

Their to-do list was too long and intimidating to start work on.

Sound familiar?

So they did something different. After their next event, they took another long-list of great ideas back to the office. But this time, they implemented just one item. After putting one idea to work, they went on to the next one. And the next one. One by one, step by step.

The results?

Louis and his team went from worrying about how to pay their bills to being on track to do $3 million (a huge amount) in premium this year. With a ton of profits left over, and non-stop growth on the horizon.

Your Takeaway: Ideas mean nothing without implementation. But you won't implement if your to-do list is a mile long. It's like trying to climb a mountain in one step -- impossible and demoralizing.

So take a look at your notes from that last seminar you attended or video you watched. Pick just one idea, and do that one thing. After that, do the next thing. You'll get more done and make more money, with less stress and apparent effort.

You can't do everything, but you can always do one thing. And that can change everything.

Meanwhile, if you want more clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.