One of the absolute best sources of how to information on creating content is Kevin Riley. Read my previous post about some of his products he has available at the “Lab.”
Building a business is a fantastic and challenging experience. You can wake up exhilarated to begin your day and go to bed feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. The key to success is to maintain a positive, yes you can do it, mindset.
Easier said than done, right? Here are 5 keys to help you create and sustain a positive mindset so you attain the success you desire.
1. Surround yourself with successful and positive people. The influence people have over our own personal energy is amazing. Moods and attitudes are so easily spread – think about how much of a difference a simple smile from a stranger can make for your day and then magnify it 1000 times to demonstrate the power of positive and successful friends, family and associates. When you have people around you who inspire you, believe in you and want you to succeed, there’s no room for doubts and even when they creep up, they’re quickly swept away.
2. Create a mantra or an affirmation. Repeating positive affirmations has been shown to get people through tough times and to actually help them truly believe what they’re saying.
For example, “I am building a powerful and profitable business.” Many of the most esteemed business professionals have used the same affirmation strategy to attain their success. To find the right affirmations for you, consider writing a quick list of your doubts, insecurities and complaints. These can then be quickly turned into affirmations.
For example, if you write that you’re always feeling disorganized then your affirmation would be, “I am organized and in control.” Repeat your affirmations several times a day and feel the power of positive thinking.
3. Capture negative thoughts. We all have negative thoughts from time to time, however, negative thoughts and emotions can derail us and prevent us from achieving all we desire. Of course catching those negative thoughts takes practice and persistence. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or having negative emotions, find a trigger to turn them around. The affirmations mentioned above are a great way to turn the negative into the positive. You can also find quick pick me ups like a favorite song, a walk outside in the fresh air, or some exercise to help improve your mood.
4. Set goals/intentions and then be willing to let it go. The law of attraction says that we attract what we focus on the most. However, desperation, needing your business to be a success, sends mixed messages and a lot of negativity into the universe. Set your goals and intentions and then let them go. A certain amount of faith in yourself and in the power of attraction is necessary. Give it a try.
5. Be grateful. Gratitude is perhaps the single most powerful and positive tool for success. When you’re grateful for all of the wonderful things and people in your life the challenges you face seem significantly less important and are more easily dealt with.
Consider keeping a gratitude journal and make a practice of entering into it daily. That way, when you’re facing challenges a quick peek at all the amazing things in your life will make you feel as if you can tackle anything. Additionally, an attitude of gratitude helps you maintain a positive perspective and to face challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles.
Success is within your reach and with the right attitude you can accomplish anything you set your sights on. Embrace these five powerful mind success strategies and you’ll build a better business and live a happier, more satisfying life.
Your business website is essentially your storefront, business card and most significant marketing piece all rolled into one. How it affects your visitors and customers is then essential to your success. Provide a memorable experience and customers are sure to return time and time again. Let’s take a look at five keys to creating a website that sells.
Key #1 Make your website interactive.
As the internet continues to grow and evolve it’s becoming more important to create a community around your business. To accomplish this you want to engage your visitors and customers. This can be accomplished a number of ways. You can:
* Provide a forum
* Post surveys or polls
* Enable visitors and customers to review or rank items. For example a “How valuable was this article?” question and a scale of 1 to 5 stars or a ranking from 1-10.
* Offer a blog and inspire comments and feedback
* Host contests and sweepstakes
* Publish video and audio content as well as written content. This gives users another way to access you and your personality.
Key #2 Make sure your website provides value.
People go online for a number of reasons. They go online to research a potential purchase, to seek solutions for a problem they’re having and to be entertained. If your website provides all three; products, information, and entertainment then you’re in tip top shape. The good news is your content can provide both the information and the entertainment and when written well, can also inspire purchases. Here are a few ideas to provide value for your customers and prospects:
* How to articles, videos, and audio
* Tips articles, videos, and audio
* Case studies
* Workbooks and reports
* Interviews with experts
* Product reviews
Key #3 Make sure your website is easy to navigate.
It takes a visitor about 20 seconds to make a decision about whether they’re going to stay on your website or click away. If your site is laid out nicely, with products and services, information, prices, FAQs, and content easy to find then people are more likely to hang out – the longer they stay on your site the more likely they are to make a purchase or to return again.
To make your site easy to navigate consider:
* Keeping your site simple.
* Keep your pages uniform with the same options and appearance.
* If you have a lot of content, great! Use drop down menus and organize your content by topic for easier access.
* Offer a search function where users can search for products, services, or content topics quickly and easily.
* Provide a way for users to easily go back to previous pages. A back key is an option however if every page has the same options and drop down menus, including the ability to quickly return to the home page, a visitor will always be able to find what they need.
* Test your website’s appearance on different browsers to make sure every visitor has a good experience.
Key #4 Make your website easy on the eyes.
Ever visit a website and the text was so small or the colors so incompatible that you couldn’t read a word? Readability is critical to a selling website. Make sure:
* Your colors are easy on the eyes,
* Your graphics aren’t distracting
* And keep formatting like underlining, bold and italics to a minimum.
* Spacing between sentences and paragraphs is adequate
* Font size is large enough for people to read and font is easy to read
Key #5 Give them a soft sell.
People expect to be sold to and they’re looking for it – they’re wary. Instead of hitting website visitors with a hard sell, provide information, solve their problems and show them the benefits of your products or services. They’ll be much more receptive and appreciative.
Creating a website that sells requires a structured approach and a desire to create the best experience possible for your visitors. Once you’ve created your website, consider testing it and asking associates, friends and family for their opinion.
You have only a few seconds to capture a reader’s attention. One of the single most powerful tools you have to accomplish this task is your headline. There are several keys to a compelling, and converting (sales) headline and a few tips to help you get the job done.
#1 Tap into Your Prospects’ Emotions
According to psychologists, buying decisions are based first and foremost on our emotions (especially if your target market is women). Use headlines which offer your readers a strong emotional benefit or reaction. Some possible emotions are:
The 20-Minute Step that Will Make You a Business Genius taps into readers’ desires to feel smart and powerful.
Other emotions you can tap into are a desire to feel:
7. A sense of belonging
8. In control of their own destiny
#2 Make it Active
To compel your prospect to action, it’s important to use active language – language that shows movement and commands attention.
For example, “Stop Your Sugar Cravings Today With This Simple Step,” is a fine headline however it doesn’t command action nor does it really tap into any emotions. However, “Conquer Your Sugar Cravings With This Simple Step.” Conquer is an active and emotionally powerful word. Readers receive the benefit of feeling powerful and in control and it commands action.
#3 Let Your Reader Know They’re Important
The word YOU is a very powerful word. It let’s your reader’s feel as if you’re talking to them specifically and interested in solving their problems, issues and helping them achieve their desires. Instead of using I, Me or We in your headlines, use You. Using the headline example above compare the two options
“Conquer Your Sugar Cravings With This Simple Step.
“Conquer Sugar Cravings with Our System”
People want to know what’s in it for them and when they can assess that information in the headline, they’re going to be compelled to continue reading your copy and making a purchase. Remember to speak directly to your potential client.
Here are three more ideas for powerful headlines:
* Make a promise – Earn $1000 a day
* Make it newsworthy – New program guarantees you’ll earn $1000 a day.
* Ask a question – Do you want to ensure your financial future?
Three Simple Steps to Write Headlines That Sell
So now you have some ideas about what types of headlines sell, how do you begin to write those powerful headlines?
Step One – Get to know your audience intimately. Paint a picture of them in your mind. What are their hopes, dreams, desires, and problems? Understanding your audience will help you create an emotional and powerful headline directed specifically at your audience.
Step Two – Determine how your products or services are going to make your prospects’ lives better or solve their problems. Always keep in mind the “what’s in it for me” concept. For example if you sell fitness equipment and your audience struggles with feeling attractive then you can create a headline that highlights a specific benefit your fitness equipment offers to solve that problem.
Step Three – Write ten to twenty, yes twenty, possible headlines. Not only will this give you practice writing compelling headlines, it’ll help you hone in on that perfect headline. And if you think you have a few winners you can always test them for conversion rates to find out which headline is more effective.
Marketing and copywriting experts consider your headline to be the most import element of any effective marketing piece. Take the time to craft a compelling, and selling, headline and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.
Buzz Marketing is best defined as word of mouth. Much like Viral Marketing where the objective is to get people talking to other people about their experience you provided as a marketer, the big difference is the part where you get people talking is generally done off line. If you’re standing outside a movie theater and shouting about your product and maybe dressed up as your product guess what is going to happen? People are going to start talking to one another. Regardless if you tell another person there is some crazy man or woman outside shouting about something the goal has been met once one person tells another.
The best BM (Buzz Marketing) campaigns are those that do not come off as marketing campaigns. Ambient Marketing is loosely based on BM where you are simply there and making your presence known. Every GM tactic contains elements of another GM tactic but each is different and used in a different way. If you’re thinking BM may not be the best approach to get traffic to your website or offline store then you are really underestimating the power of BM. By nature people are curious and gossipy. Why not let the most basic of human instincts do your marketing for you?
One of the draw backs to this particular GM tactic is that if you are a shy or quiet person then this may not be best for you as it generally involves making a mockery of yourself or at least being in a public place and doing something that will get people talking.
That is okay though. With the Internet you don’t have to be seen by anyone. You just have to do something to get people talking. Since VM (viral marketing) and BM are so close to each other on a principle level, you can start a VM campaign and reap the benefits of word of mouth. Refer to the VM section for a great way to get people talking about whatever it is you want them to.
Of course most BM campaigns don’t require you to make a mockery of yourself. A great BM tactic is to place fliers, business cards and or signs all around your town, city and or state. When one person sees the message you have 1% better chances of them telling another person.
When a hundred people see your message, grab your card or whatever you want them to do you have a 100% better chance of them telling just one other person which would be 100 people telling 100 people. Think about it this way, in today’s economy it can take a dozen or more contacts (seeing or hearing about your product or service) before a consumer is willing to part with their hard earned cash.
Thus far, not one of these Guerilla Marketing tactics is going to cost you more than $20, often, it’ll be much less than that and the results will linger for a long while. The key to GM is to combine tactics since even when you combine five or ten GM tactics you’re still nowhere near the cost of a tv or newspaper commercial that just blends the surroundings (not to be confused with Ambient Marketing although it contains AM elements).
People for the most part have grown to ignore commercials. How often do you actually leave the TV on the same channel when a commercial that doesn’t interest you comes on? Not very often. Most people nowadays just DVR and skip through them anyways. In spite of this, tv commercials still fetch a high price tag (think of the millions of dollars spent for Superbowl ads…although this might be the one time people are actually excited to watch a commercial).
A few copywriting quick tips
Do think of who your customer is, their values and needs.
Do be brief and to the point.
Do keep things simple. Think of the KISS principles (Keep it Simple Stupid).
Do be sincere. Your marketing doesn’t have to be full of mumbo jumbo to be effective.
Do separate the features from the benefits. Why is this feature helpful, better, etc?
Do make it easy for your potential customer to buy.
Don’t start writing your copy until get all of your facts.
Don’t forget a powerful headline.
Don’t talk too much about what your product is. What it does is more important.
Don’t use too much technical jargon.
Don’t forget to tell your prospect what you want them to do.
Don’t forget to build your company’s reputation into your copy.
Snail mail is not dead. Probably the easiest and broadest way to Guerilla Market is direct mail. Not only can you get out a lot of letters via the mail to get new customers for your off but your target market is used to getting mail from businesses.
However you don’t want your potential customer to think of your mail as just “junk mail.” There are also other ways that follow the idea of DMM (direct mail marketing) like sending out business cards, flyers, coupons, etc…
DMM also works on the consumer’s psyche where they reward hard work with rewards. If you’re an electrician and sending out cards most people may initially ignore you but they’ll most likely keep your card or letter somewhere and when it comes time for an electrician you are at least in their immediate reach.
You can do this yourself if you have business cards, letters and or fliers. You can invest about $0.44 (possibly cheaper for bulk mail) per letter to mail them out. Or you can target your mailings by neighborhood, income, ethnicity, etc if you purchase a targeted list.
If you get some business then your marketing materials did their job and you paid less than $1.00 to get a new customer. You could reinvest some of the profits in a bigger mailing, which could really boost your business!
For the small business or non-profit, having a real marketing plan that is implementable can be a tremendous challenge. I have a quick tip for you today, that you can apply immediately with a few quick steps of preparation.
I’ve personally been a part of and witnessed the effectiveness of door to door marketing. Now I don’t mean being a sleazy sales person selling vacuum cleaners or lotions and snake oil. But what I mean is taking your business to the street. In my neck of the woods, election season is hot and heavy and every day I see different groups of politicians, supporters, etc with their signs and waves. If you have a storefront location, you can implement door to door marketing in a quick fashion. Just make or buy a few signs (think weather resistant for best bang for your buck) to hold out in front of the store. Think of a special offer you could advertise with this. In my neighborhood, Little Caesar Pizza has been doing this too great success. I see many other pizza and sandwich shops, “hitting the street” with their own version of sign holding marketers. I’ve even seen some very impressive dancers, holding signs and advertising.
For smaller businesses, that perhaps work from home or have an online presence you can still use D2D Marketing to your advantage. Make up a few flyers and mark out a target map of neighborhoods or business districts that could use your good or service. I would suggest using say Google Maps or Mapquest for ease. Write out a mini speech with a couple of key points. I suggest introducing yourself, your business and what you can offer them, in a about 90 seconds or less. Then go for a nice walk (or drive) to your target neighborhood. Knock on doors and meet with people face to face. Leave them a coupon, special offer, or flyer. Ask them to pass the word around. You will be surprised at how effective this face time can be.
A couple do’s and don’ts
Do go with a buddy or small group.
Do not be pushy or salesy.
Do not skip houses or businesses unless there is a legitimate reason (ie for sale sign and house is obviously not occupied).
Do be respectful of people’s time.
Do be respectful of “No soliciting” signs.
What Experiential Marketing attempts to do is connect with customers on a personal level that leaves the customer/client/consumer with a positive image of the marketer which is believed to lead to a loyal customer.
Experts say that Experiential Marketing is perhaps one of the most effective and successful methods of marketing. A great example of this form of GM (and it is considered GM and not the other GM, General Marketing) is when you are walking down the street and see a performer. You can choose to stop and watch, perhaps give them a donation if they are taking them or you can choose to keep going. Since people generally don’t like commercials or being “targeted” by advertisers this method preys on that exact idea.
You’re choosing to attend the event, you’re choosing to watch, listen and learn (very similar to Ambient Marketing). If it’s a band playing or a solo person playing music they are most likely promoting themselves as an act or at least getting you to want their album. With a little imagination you could figure out how to make customers come to you and actually want to be advertised to because they don’t see it as advertising when they are requesting it.
See? Marketing can be fun, effective and cheap, especially when you’re practicing Guerilla Marketing. With only seven methods to carry out effective GM campaigns that you’ve learned so far there is no limit to how much more business you could get.
The best way to see what works best for you is to go out and try each tactic. See what tactics work well with one another and you’ll be inadvertently creating a marketing plan. It’s not as boring as sitting down with a pen and pad or typing on your computer and can be a lot more rewarding since you’ll be getting that creative part of your mind flowing.
You don’t have to have your business or website tattooed on your forehead to take part in BM (body marketing). Having a permanent tattoo of your business or website is not a very good idea if you’re not established or not certain you’re going to be around for the life of you and your tattoo.
Wearing a shirt, hat or shorts with your business on them is considered body marketing since all these things are on your body. You could even sell the shirts, hats or shorts, or anything else that goes on your body. You’d basically have people paying you to get your marketing message. The best bet with this GM tactic is to just give the stuff away (sort of like tissue pack marketing) or wear it around. People are always noticing what other people are doing; saying or wearing so it’s a great way to capitalize on that.
If you’re in a service business it’s a way to identify yourself and promote your business at the same time. Some of the simplest businesses are so powerful and profitable for just this reason. You most likely wouldn’t associate ‘Tim’s Landscaping’ as success but in its own way the guy you see with a cheap sticker stuck to his beat up pickup truck (no offense to landscapers or blue collar works intended) but ‘Tim’ is doing a great job of identifying his business and brand and this will lead to more business for him. Another example is a family that can be sponsored by companies and the whole family where’s their t-shirts and blogs about where they go and what they do. I believe they also put pictures or video up of them wearing their shirts. I think the kids are pretty young, but I wonder what their approach may be when the get to be tween/teens and don’t want to wear the shirts…
Tattoos may not be your thing and as you’ve learned they don’t have to be to benefit your body marketing efforts. If tattoos are your thing and you serious about business and are out and about a lot it maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get a ‘tat’ of what you’re promoting.
Can you think of another marketing method that will last your entire life? I can’t either so let’s get back to some more GM that you don’t have to live with for the rest of your life. I just want to say that although all of these methods may sound silly and like common sense, it is really true that the easiest things are often the best.