Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

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1 Essential word your marketing needs, plus 1 you MUST avoid!

Here’s a quick tip, to improve the effectiveness of your marketing. It’s all about a word you use, which is negatively impacting how people feel about your business.

That word is… change!

People are hard-wired to fear change.

We know that change, good or bad, is a source of stress. Even something as positive as the change that comes from getting married, buying a new home or setting off for a week in the sun, is a cause of stress.

Because of the negative way people feel when confronted with change, it makes sense to remove the word from your marketing. Don’t worry, I am going to give you a massively more powerful, motivating alternative!

Improve rather than change

Whenever possible, use the word improve, rather than change. Improve, is a positive word. It’s an attractive word too, because we are always looking for something better.

For example, look how the phrase below becomes far more powerful, when change is replaced with improve.

“This copywriting tip will change your marketing results.”

“This copywriting tip will improve your marketing results.”

Your prospective clients or customers fear change, but want things to improve. So, stop offering them what they fear and give them what they want!

Tip: Here are over 180 posts, related to copywriting and content marketing. Enjoy!

Are you going to do your best work today?

If not, what story are you telling yourself, which is motivating you to do less than you’re capable of?

Just for today

Tell yourself a more empowering story. Choose to give everything you do your very best shot. Then, do the same tomorrow.

The world deserves to see what you are truly capable of… not a cranked-down version of your amazing self.

Could this mindset have a direct, positive impact on your business and your life? Yes. Yes it could!

So, who are your next 10 clients?

Your next 10 clients will usually be a lot like the previous 10. They will pay you a similar fee, have similar requirements and expect a similar level of service too.

That’s great news if you already attract high value, high profit clients. It’s not such great news, if you tend to attract fee sensitive, average clients.

How to build a highly valuable client list

If you want to build a more valuable client list, start today by getting specific about the type of clients you want to work with. When you have done that, consider the following:

  • What level of service do these higher quality clients expect? Do some research. Find out what they want from a provider in your industry.
  • Next, build a level of service, which over-delivers on what they expect. By exceeding their expectations, you will have a vastly more powerful proposition to offer them — something that will earn their attention and interest.
  • Are you prepared to execute on this strategy, in order to build a massively more valuable client base? Nothing I have mentioned so far is difficult to do. However, putting it into play requires courage. It means leaving the failing familiar.

As service providers, we have the freedom to choose who we work with. Deliberately selecting the kind of clients we want, in advance, is the key to building a highly valuable client base.

In every sense, it pays to choose wisely.

How to get more clients from your newsletter or blog

Leigh asked me a great question yesterday. She wanted to know why her newsletter, which has over 5000 subscribers, generates very few client inquiries for her consultancy.

As Leigh was making a mistake, common to lots of newsletter publishers and bloggers, I thought I’d share my answer with you.

Building your list

The root cause of Leigh’s problem, is that she is doing everything possible to build her list. This is the mantra of pretty-much every content marketing guru and newsletter / blogging course out there.

It’s also total, utter bullshit.

The numbers

If the purpose of your newsletter or blog is to generate business leads from prospective clients, then your focus should be on quality, not quantity. It’s about building meaningful, deep relationships with the right people, not shallow relationships, with a wide, vague readership.

For example: If you have just 50 engaged subscribers, who value your newsletter or blog and are a perfect fit for your services, you have a valuable list.

If, like Leigh, you have 5000 poorly-targeted people on a list, who you gained using list building techniques, you’re wasting your time and money.

An alternative approach

Get out of the list building mindset. Stop chasing the wrong numbers.

Instead, focus exclusively on earning the attention of your prospective clients. Learn about their most pressing challenges. Then, publish answers and ideas, which will help them. Become a valuable asset, before they need your services.

If you get too few client inquiries from your newsletter or blog, it’s probably because you’re building a list, rather than creating connections with prospective clients.

In short: Go deeper. Not wider.

How to get your marketing noticed by the right people

If you want to enjoy better response rates from your marketing messages, you need to know 2 things.

  1. Your prospective clients have never had so many people, fighting for their attention. Whether they are at work, at home or on the move, their computers, phones and tablets are feeding them endless notifications.
  2. You need to understand how they cope with all those messages. They actually do the same as you — They filter out the noise and focus their attention on those they can trust.

So, adding to the noise is not going to help you.

Earning the trust of your marketplace is a far better strategy.

Here’s something for you to think about

If building trust was the foundation of your marketing messages, how would it improve the way your marketplace feels about you and your business?

Tip: Here’s how to create marketing, which people want to receive.

How to be an overnight success

how to be overnight success

Here are some proven examples, of how to be an overnight success.

  • Angry Birds creator Rovio became an overnight success, after 51 less successful games, 8 years of hard work and almost going bankrupt.
  • Harry Potter author JK Rowling, became an overnight success in 1997… though she started writing fantasy stories as a child, more than 20 years earlier.
  • The Beatles become an overnight success, after playing more then 1000 gigs.
  • The fastest selling Kickstarter book ever, was written by Seth Godin. Most people say it took around 3 hours. Godin said it took around 8 years. That’s how long it took him, writing blog posts almost every day, to build a big enough community to reach his Kickstarter target in 3 hours.

The overnight success formula

So, here’s how to be an overnight success in 2 steps:

  1. Choose the date you want your overnight success to happen.
  2. Work hard for years, leading up to that date.

Be extremely cautious of anyone suggesting otherwise.

A valuable business lesson, from Twitter!

Twitter

If you want to learn from the success of others, copy their strategy rather than their tactics.

Just like Twitter

Twitter succeeded because it was the first, mass market, micro blogging service.

The hundreds of start-ups who tried to copy what Twitter did, failed. They copied Twitter’s tactics, rather than their strategy. Twitter’s strategy was to create a unique form of communicating and connecting.

If those start-ups had built their own, unique way to communicate and connect, they would have created something with the potential to succeed. Instead, they failed, because the people who wanted a service that was just like Twitter… used Twitter!

It works like this

By copying the tactics of a successful business, we become a clone. A copy. Something unremarkable.

By copying the strategy of a successful business, we can create something of our own. A remarkable original. A valuable proposition.

Tip – Here’s the best post I’ve written on this subject: My name is Jim Connolly and I am a freak!

Puppies look cute when they beg, but business owners don’t!

When we see a puppy begging for attention, it looks incredibly cute.

When we see a business owner begging for attention, it makes us cringe!

We all need help at the start

At the very beginning, every business needs to push it’s message. No matter how remarkable, amazing or unique your business is, no one will know about it unless you get it in front of people.

Then, once you have pushed your business under the noses of friends and contacts, and advertised it to your target market, it’s time to listen. If your business is remarkable enough, you will see a snowball effect.

  • People will start talking about you.
  • They will share links to your website and pass your details to their friends.
  • They will call you, email you and ask you for more information.
  • As a result, more and more people will know about you, talk about you or hire you.

Or not.

So, what do you do if people hear about your business, yet it just doesn’t interest them enough to buy from you or talk about you?

When all you hear is crickets

If your business is more then 6 months old and your friends and your best contacts, along with those who saw your advertising, are not spreading the word, buying from you or you’re not attracting very regular inquiries, take heed. It’s time to find out why and fix it — to build a new proposition, which people are interested in.

Here’s what doesn’t work: Begging people to be interested in something that’s uninspiring. That approach is what happens when you refuse to fix the problem. It’s a low leverage, low profit, frustrating and reputation-damaging way, to slowly go broke.

  • Pestering people with unwanted phone calls.
  • Sending them emails they never asked for.
  • Sending needy messages using social networks.
  • Bugging people on forums and community groups.

These all have a negative impact on the way people think and feel about you.

The answer is as simple and as challenging as this

Instead of looking for new, cheaper ways to beg for attention, invest in developing a better proposition… something people will want to spend money on (and share).

Tip: Read this – How to build a successful business. It’s packed with ideas and examples for you to use.

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