How to find windfall profits within your business, starting now

There could be a fortune in hidden, windfall profits in your existing business, just waiting for you. In today’s post, I want to help you find it!

I need to begin with one of the fundamentals of marketing…

marketing maximizer

You never get marketing right, the first time

No one gets their marketing right, the first time. The best marketing comes from testing each element and then measuring the feedback. You then make the required adjustments and test and measure again. You repeat that test and measure process until you can’t wring another 1% of improvement from it. Then, when you have maximized that, you move on to the next element of that piece of marketing.

For example, if I were helping you massively improve the success of your marketing emails, I’d start by testing and measuring each of the following areas, one at a time:

  • The headline or subject line.
  • The call to action.
  • The number of links within the email.
  • The language used. (Phrases like ‘click here’ or ‘amazing results’ within the text of your emails can result in them being filtered as junk mail)
  • The same is true of using characters in your subject lines, which are not letters, such as exclamation marks (!) and percentage signs (%) etc.
  • The length of the email. Most are at least 300% too long.
  • The font style and size.
  • The size of your paragraphs.
  • The day you send your emails out.
  • The time of day you send your emails out.
  • The form of distribution you use. Do you send them yourself or use a 3rd party? If you use a 3rd party, do they have a solid reputation for getting emails through filters?
  • There are many, many more elements we’d need to work on in addition to these obvious ones.

Small changes can lead to massive improvements

Even seemingly small changes to your marketing can lead to massive improvements in your results.

Let’s take the example of the first item on that list above. Something as simple as using a better headline in your marketing emails, can see your open rates increase by hundreds of percent or more. Most small business owners find a headline they like, then just use it because they like it. By testing open rates with different headlines (or subject lines) and then measuring the results, it’s possible to uncover headlines, which your prospective clients find irresistible and have to open.

By testing and measuring just that one element of your email marketing, you can see amazing results. Now imagine the potential, when you leverage all the elements!

One word of warning here: Only test and measure one element at a time. Otherwise, you will not know what change created what result.

Other areas to maximize

Every area of your marketing can and should be fully maximized, not just your email marketing. Here are just a tiny number of examples:

  • Test and measure the call to action message on the sales pages of your website, blog, mail shots and advertisements, etc.
  • Test and measure different locations for the email capture box on your website. Time and time again, I have found the top right hand side to be the most effective – even out performing annoying pop-up boxes.
  • Test and measure different voice mail messages. Subtle changes can increase the number of people who leave you their number.
  • Test and measure different advertising vehicles.
  • Test and measure different window displays.
  • Test and measure different guarantees within your marketing.
  • Test and measure sending out your mail shots, marketing emails, catalogues, newsletters, etc., with different frequency. If your newsletter is sent once a month, try sending it out every week or every 10 days. If you offer a catalogue and it’s sent twice a year, consider sending it 3 or 4 times a year. I’ve seen this double a company’s turnover and profits.
  • Test and measure different order amounts. If people currently buy from you one item at a time, test selling your product in batches of 3 or 6 or 100. If you sell individual blocks of your time, test offering your time in batches of 3 sessions or 5 sessions.
  • Test and measure different prices or fees. Start by testing increases as these tend to have the best results.
  • Test and measure offering an elite version of your service or product. There is a highly profitable section of your marketplace, who will happily pay more for a more exclusive service or product.

Uncovering your windfall revenues and profits

No small business owner can afford to leave a fortune in windfall revenues and profits on the table. However, that’s exactly what most of them do, by failing to maximize their existing marketing assets. Test, measure, maximize and start enjoying massively better sales results.

Please check out this post’s sponsor: Clarity For The Boss.
“Get rich quick” doesn’t exist. If you want to learn to create your own success, build a business with sustainable profit and growth, and are
willing to commit 4 hours per month, click here.

Online advertising: Looking beyond the obvious

Today’s post is about an element of online advertising, which gets very little attention. I’m referring to the longer term impact of a successful advertisement.

Mercedes and the longer game

I recall Seth Godin talking about the way Mercedes look at advertising.

Mercedes’ head of advertising said that if he focused on showing people advertisements for Mercedes the day before they were about to buy a new car, it wouldn’t work. Instead, Mercedes focus on getting their advertisements in front of us when we are children – so that when we’re 35 and looking for a luxury car, we buy a Mercedes.

Understandably, that’s a longer term approach than most small business owners are interested in. I mention it, because it highlights an element of online advertising that is often overlooked. I’m referring to the lifetime value of an ad and the need to look beyond the obvious, immediate, trackable results.

People are still hard to track

When we decide to advertise, we need to look beyond the obvious and beyond the short term. Yes, there are some people who only use one device, only use one Internet connection and have cookies enabled on their one device. However, most of us use multiple devices and multiple ip addresses (connections) to connect.

For instance, I use half a dozen different connected devices and access the Internet from lots of locations, such as; home, work, coffee shops, hotels and my phone provider’s data connection, etc. If I were to access your site via an advertising link, using my phone from a coffee shop’s wifi connection, I will not show up as coming from that ad a week or a month later, when I Google you from home using my notebook. I will just show as a new visitor, accessing your site with a new device from a new IP address for the first time.

Beyond the obvious

If online advertising is part of your marketing mix, don’t make the mistake of only looking at the immediate, obvious metrics. Look for an increase in sales and inquiries, related to the advertised offering. Look for an overall lift in visitors to your site. Oh, and never miss the opportunity to ask a new customer or client, where they first discovered you. The trackable metrics matter. In fact, they are essential, but they are not everything.

It will become possible at some point for all online advertisers to trace people across multiple ip addresses and multiple devices. Until then, I believe it pays us to look beyond the obvious.

Would you like to Pick My Brain for the answers and ideas your business needs, with a 100% money back guarantee? Well, now you can!

A confession about the blog post I published earlier today

I want to share something with you, about the post I published earlier today.

It was written on an inexpensive, Google Nexus 7 tablet, with no special software. I wrote it straight into the web browser, edited it, added the image and hit the publish button.

nexus 7

Here’s why this matters

In marketing, it’s all too easy for us to get hung-up on the tools we use, when we should be focusing on the outcome. The tools alone are not what make us productive. It’s what we do with them, which determines our productivity and our results. For instance, this post is being written in my studio, using a Lenovo machine that cost me more than 10 times as much as that cheap tablet device.

Now, here’s a question… Can you spot the difference between the two posts?

Of course you can’t spot the difference, because there isn’t one.

The ultimate blogging machine?

When it comes to blogging, newsletter writing or marketing in general, it isn’t the computer you use, which people care about. It’s whether you have written something of value to them – that’s what matters.

  • That’s what earns their attention.
  • That’s what positions you in their mind as an authority in your field.
  • And if you do it frequently enough, it’s also what demonstrates your ability to consistently show up and be useful.

Certainly, get yourself the best machine you can. Then, use it as well as you can, as often as you can.

Photo: Google

What is winning the battle for your attention?

The most successful business owners focus on doing what matters. In order to have enough time to do everything that matters, she ignores everything that doesn’t matter.

Her approach is simple: She knows what needs to be done, she does it first and she does it as well as she possibly can.

The average business owner focuses on whatever is noisiest in that moment. He allows what’s happening around him, to dictate his attention and productivity.

He finds himself often complaining that there are not enough hours in the day, rather than accept that it’s his use of time that’s the issue. He has the same 24 hours each day as the most productive person in his field, after all.

An alternative approach

Identify the key tasks we need to do each day. Then do them, first.

When they are done, we’re ready to receive calls, check Facebook, tweet or hit send/receive on our email. We may even have enough time to respond to the noisy people who we often mistake for needing our urgent attention, because of their volume. Just do the important tasks first.

There will never be enough time for you to do everything, so make sure it’s the least important stuff that’s left on the table at the end of your day.

7 Things you need to know about Worry

Here are 7 things you need to know about worry, including a more helpful alternative.

Stop Worrying

  1. Worrying doesn’t make things better.
  2. Worrying is a hideous waste of your time. Time is your most valuable resource.
  3. Worrying is infectious to those who love you. Your family and friends will start to worry about you, when they sense you’re worried about something.
  4. Worrying is infectious to your clients and customers. You can usually tell very quickly, when a business owner is worried about business. It’s common for people to pull their accounts from vendors, who they believe may be about to go broke.
  5. The vast majority of things we worry about, either never happen or when they do happen, were nothing to worry about.
  6. Worrying causes you to feel worse (and worse and worse.) It can also make you ill.
  7. Worrying is the lowest possible use of your amazing imagination. Use your mind to build images of what you want and the things you are grateful for. Don’t use your mind as a movie theatre, which plays the worst case scenarios of whatever you’re worrying about, over and over again.

You get to determine what you think about. You choose what you focus on. If you want one less thing to worry about, stop worrying.

Now you have stopped worrying, use that time to get creatively inspired like Steve Jobs and Pablo Picasso.

Case Study: How to win more customers or clients!

I’m going to show you how to attract massively more inquiries from your marketing and convert far, far more prospective customers into paying customers. This post contains lots of workable ideas and also a case study, to show you how the process works.

It’s about something I call The Proposition Multiplier Effect.

How The Proposition Multiplier Effect works

Here is an example of how the process works:

  • If you give someone a good reason to buy from you, you stand a chance of earning their custom.
  • If you give someone a great reason to buy from you, you stand an even better chance of earning their custom.
  • If you give someone lots of great reasons to buy from you, your propositions becomes irresistible. You stand an excellent chance of earning their custom and keeping it. These multiple reasons (propositions) and their power to motivate people to buy from you, are what create The Proposition Multiplier Effect.

Them focused

The Proposition Multiplier Effect works, because it’s ‘them focused’. In other words, it’s developed around the customer and their needs and wants. It’s a process, which starts with an examination of everything a prospective customer could possibly want and then finding a way to build the most important elements into your product or service.

Me focused

Most products and services are developed from the ground up, around the vendor and the vendor’s needs. It’s ‘me focused’. Then, that package is marketed to prospective customers as cleverly as possible, to try and make it sound attractive. However, because the product or service has been built primarily to serve the needs of the vendor, it is far less compelling to prospective clients. The customer is not interested in what the vendor needs, they are attracted to products and services, which satisfy their own wants and needs.

As a result of this approach being used by the vast majority of businesses, the marketplace is full of predictable marketing messages, about equally predictable, uninspiring products and services.

The switch: From dull and average – To inspired and exceptional

As business owners, we all have a decision to make. We can either use our creativity to market an average product or service so it sounds great – or we can use our creativity to make our products and services actually great.

  • The first option has zero longevity built in. It’s dull. It’s uninspiring. It’s the low-profit, high churn end of the market. It’s also the hardest way to build a successful business.
  • The second option is future-proof, because people will always crave value. It’s where the best profits are. It’s an approach, which compels customers to tell their friends about you. It’s also the easiest way to build a great business.

The Proposition Multiplier Effect works, by adopting a ‘them focused’ approach and combining as many motivating, valuable reasons as possible for people to do business with you. Here’s an example of how I built an extremely successful service, using The Proposition Multiplier Effect.

Pick My Brain: A brief case study of The Proposition Multiplier Effect

I used The Proposition Multiplier Effect to develop and launch my Pick My Brain service in August 2011 and the results were amazing.

In case you have not seen it yet, Pick My Brain is a service where you book a 90 minute session with me, during which you tell me what you would like help with and I give you as many answers and great ideas as possible. The reason you may not have seen this service before, is that it has grown virally, via word-of-mouth. This makes it a great example of how the process works.

I was getting client inquiries within minutes of the launch and had over $14,000 in bookings within 72 hours. The service has had a waiting list ever since and I have only mentioned it a handful of times in blog posts. It is now the most popular service I have ever offered.

So, let’s take a look at how I developed the service and why its marketing spread so successfully, via word-of-mouth.

The Proposition Multiplier Effect: Building layers of value

I started by looking at the service exclusively from the perspective of a client. I knew business owners needed answers to specific marketing questions, rather than the kind of general advice available from websites, forums etc. I also knew that most were put off getting the expert help they needed, because of the huge fees charged by marketing consultants, consultants who the business owners often knew nothing about.

That model is clearly broken. It places all the risk on the business owner. I saw a unique opportunity to help business owners, so long as I could develop a service, which switched all that risk and removed the uncertainty. So, with over 100,000 people connecting with my work every week, I knew there were lots of business owners who would trust my advice, if only I could make it affordable and remove the risk.

Here’s how I used The Proposition Multiplier Effect, to build layers of reasons why hiring me for a one-time session was an easy, obvious solution:

1. I decided to offer a money back guarantee

This reversed the risk, from you to me. I either deliver great value for money or you pay nothing. So, no risk to you whatsoever.

Although people love the reassurance of a money back guarantee, not a single person has requested it. By being selective who I allow to hire me for the Pick My Brain service, I am able to avoid freebie hunters. Genuine business owners get massively more value than they pay for, so the service works beautifully. So beautifully that they tell their friends, which is what made the service a viral hit.

2. I made the fee affordable

I knew that many of the people using this service would go on to become long time clients, so I factored that into the initial fee. This allowed me to reduce the fee for everyone. Initially, I sold each session for $500. I then looked at the numbers after the first month and saw that I had under-estimated how many Pick My Brain clients wanted to work with me over a longer period. As a result, I was able to bring the fee down to just $319 (or £200 + VAT if you are in the UK). That’s a fraction of the fee I charge my large corporate clients for consulting.

3. I made the sessions longer than people expected

Finally, I decided to make the sessions 50% longer than is typical for this kind of work. Usually, services of this nature are sold in 60 minute chunks. That model works great for the provider, but less well for the client. I found that by offering 90 minutes of my time instead of just 60 minutes, I had more time at the start of the call to get into rapport with my client, uncover their needs and get all the information I need. This means I am better able to provide the answers, ideas and insights clients need.

What The Proposition Multiplier Effect allowed me to create

So, by using The Proposition Multiplier Effect, I have been able to create a service that:

  • Is 100% risk free to you, the client.
  • Is offered at way less than half my typical fee.
  • Is 50% longer, so I have more time to work with you and give you the answers, ideas and insights you need.
  • Has grown organically via word-of-mouth and has had a waiting list since the day it was launched.

Here’s the thing: Any one of those benefits of the Pick My Brain service would have made it sound attractive, however, by multiplying them one on top of the other, the service became irresistible.

Tips for building your own irresistible service

The basic framework, is for you to start off by thinking exclusively of your prospective clients or customers and what’s best for them. Remember, people buy for THEIR reasons and not yours.

So, your task is to determine the things they value the most and then figure out how to build them into your service, in a way that makes commercial sense for you. Yes, it’s essential that your service (or product) is built around the needs and wants of your client, however, it has to be commercially viable. There needs to be a way for you to be remunerated appropriately for your enterprise.

For instance, with Pick My Brain, I made the decision to reverse the risk from my clients to me, because I knew that the risk of hiring someone for the first time was a huge barrier for many people. So, to reverse the risk AND to make the service commercially viable, I added 2 simple processes:

  1. I designed the service so that people pay before the date of the session. This requires some commitment on their part and shows me that they are serious. Had I offered the service free, with people only paying me after the call if they wanted to, it would have been a magnet for every freebie hunter out there.
  2. I ask people to fill in a simple fact-finder form before the date of our session. After reading their completed form, unless I believe I can offer them massive value, I refund their payment instantly. People really value this and it increases their confidence in me and the service enormously.

Can it work in my industry or profession, Jim?

Yes. I have helped people create services and products, using The Proposition Multiplier Effect in just about every industry and profession, worldwide. These include; Lawyers, restaurateurs, accountants, trainers, construction companies, graphic designers, software companies, jewellers, bloggers, PR agencies, resume / career marketing professionals, interior designers, hoteliers, art galleries, corporate entertainment, recruitment agencies, manufacturers, translators, wholesalers, financial service professionals and many, many more.

Whilst The Proposition Multiplier Effect sounds radical, it’s just basic common sense. People are massively more likely to buy a product or service, which offers them multiple layers of value and has their wants and needs it its heart.

I hope you found this post useful and that you give the idea of The Proposition Multiplier Effect some real thought, for your own business. If you want to know more about the Pick My Brain service used in the case study earlier, here’s how it works.

2 More ways to grow your business and blow the lid off your potential!

There are 2 more ways I can help you and your business, which I know you will find extremely interesting.

Until recently, the only services I offered you were:

Both of these have been extremely successful, with the blog community growing at it’s fastest rate ever and my marketing mentor program attracting clients worldwide.

2 New services: Exactly what you need to grow your business

However, I now provide 2 additional services. So, no matter what size your business is or how small your budget is, I can help you to advertise, sell and market your services:

  1. I can help you advertise your products or services to thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s fast, inexpensive, effective and easy. To find out more, read this.
  2. I can help you solve your biggest marketing problems, via a powerful one-time marketing session. This service has existed for some time but hasn’t been advertised, meaning you almost certainly will no have heard of it. The service gives you access to everything I know, to help you with whatever challenge you are facing right now. Here’s how it works, including pricing (and a money back guarantee)!

To make paying as easy as possible, you can now buy any of my services using PayPal, credit card, debit card or bank transfer.

So, no matter what your marketing challenge is, I can help you and it has never been easier or more affordable. Just select one of the above options, then get in touch using the contact form on that page. It’s that simple.

I look forward to hearing from you.

5 Amazing times for you and your business

Here are 5 ways to use time super effectively.

  1. Consistently showing up on time, is a great way to build a reputation for reliability.
  2. Sending your mailing or newsletter out at the right time, is essential if you want to maximise its effectiveness.
  3. Finishing projects on time, is so rare that it sets you head and shoulders above the competition.
  4. Learning how to get the most from your work time, is the key to exceptional productivity.
  5. Last and by no means least… Showing respect for other people’s time, is the hallmark of a true professional.

What everybody needs to know about scarcity

I have a powerful question for you to ponder today.

It’s simply this: Where is the scarcity in your business… what do you provide, which is in short supply?

Scarcity creates value

When something is in short supply and there is a requirement for it, its value increases. For example, a bottle of water can cost pennies at your local town (where there are lots of other stores selling water.) That same bottle of water could cost you 2 or 3 times as much, when bought at a theatre (where there is no competition).

One off

Most small business owners have 2 problems, because they fail to build scarcity into their products or services:

  1. People don’t talk about commonplace products or services. So, they attract few if any word-of-mouth referrals.
  2. People won’t pay a premium for commonplace products or services. This drives profits down. It also causes those who provide similar sounding products and services to compete on price – as price becomes the only way for potential customers to determine value.

I want you to avoid those problems!

Here’s a tip. It’s a simple exercise, to help you determine where your business fits into the scarcity scale. I want you to take some time out to think about your business, your competitors and your marketplace.

Then, I want you to focus on answering this question: ‘How simple would it be for my customers, to replace me with a competitor who provides a similar sounding service?’

Here are 3 posts, which will help you build unique value into your business. I hope you find them useful:

How to attract the best clients and the highest fees – Part 1.

How to attract the best clients and the highest fees – Part 2.

How to attract the best clients and the highest fees – Part 3.

Why getting the basics right is so important

Snazzy product launches and gimmicks are no substitute for a great product or service.

basic570

Getting the basics right

When our customers buy from us, they expect great products and services. At the very least, they expect us to deliver on all the promises we made in our marketing. They will hope for more than that, of course. Keeping a promise really is no more than the baseline. It’s the start point. It’s not the destination. It’s just providing the basics!

It’s what we add to that experience, which turns customers into super-satisfied customers and passionate advocates.

Here’s what doesn’t work

What doesn’t work, is an average product or service wrapped up in lots of hoopla.

As customers, we don’t care if a company has a zany, media friendly image, if they fail to look after us – fail to get the basics right. It doesn’t matter to us that they have a snazzy looking website, if they fail to reply to our emails.

We want the basics. Simple things:

  • We want them to pick the phone up when we call.
  • We want them to take ownership of problems they create and resolve them – not waffle.
  • We want them to listen to us, so they get our order right.
  • We want them to deliver on time and on budget.
  • We want them to care about us after the sale, not just during the sales process.

Unsexy

Getting the basics right may sound less exciting than dazzling people with ‘the sizzle’. However, those basics form the foundation of our business. We ignore them at our peril.