Today I saw a Facebook post by someone who should know better, arguing that Superbowl ads sent millions of people off to buy.
That person was what we call unclear on the concept. She was thinking of a sales letter, which is altogether different.
Today’s Saturday edition included a half-page article, “Hacking the Hyperlinked Heart.”
Data analyst Amy Webb was looking for a mate. A Jewish husband, to be precise. She was searching JDate and Match.com, but as she writes “What followed was a series of bad dates worthy of a romantic comedy.”
Enough was enough! Amy decided to apply her data analysis skills. In other words, she began thinking like a professional marketer. She analyzed the most popular profiles which are easy to identify because they come up earlier in the search. [Read more…] about Marketing Tips From A Dating Service Veteran
When I was taking improv classes, one of my instructors made a really good point. His group has rules (unusual in the industry) about what’s appropriate for performing regularly scheduled shows. No 4-letter words that would get this message bounced. No humor in the style you find at college fraternity parties.
Nothing wrong with these types of content, he said. But if you’re not skilled in your craft, they can be a crutch. You use a word to get a laugh instead of taking the time to create a great scene, with situation and character.
I found myself remembering this discussion as I look around the Internet. Just about everyone promises “6-figure” and “7-figure” programs. It doesn’t matter whether the presenter crashed the 6-figure barrier or if any of his clients ever did.
As with 4-letter words, there’s nothing wrong with promising a program that has the potential to bring a huge income to participants.
But what’s the reality?
No single technique or tactic will transform your income. In fact, when you blindly follow a coach’s advice to implement a technique, you can lose business. What works for someone else can be deadly to you, because it clashes with your style or alienates your market.
On the list of 15 things you don’t know about me is the item, “I’m a volunteer for historical tour in Philadelphia, sponsored by a group dedicated to preserving the city’s amazing landmarks. I got involved 15 years ago and joined again when I moved back last year.
When you’re guiding a group of people around the city, surrounded by noise and traffic (we always say museum guide have it easy), you have to find a way to hold their interest.
Commanding attention – whether with a tour group, a workshop or a class, is all about creating energy.
Reading from notes? Energy destroyed.
Lively stories and anecdotes? Energy goes way up.
The same idea applies to creating your online persona, which is defined as the way others perceive your online personality. When your website, blog and sales letters radiate energy, your readers want to hang around – just as we all enjoy spending time around vibrant, high-energy people.
In fact, it’s a lot like guiding a tour group: you’ve got LOTS of competition for your attention.
To get started, here are 5 tips creating high-energy content that keeps readers riveted:
(1) Use strong verbs that carry emotional charges and communicate energy. Some marketer use verbs like Smash, Hammer, Develop, Master, Triumph, Crush.
Those words may not suit your target market or your own personality. You can also use words like Share, Collaborate, Communicate, Energize, Connect and Gain Insights Into.
Strong verbs are like spices you use in cooking: a little goes a long way but you’ll notice when they’re missing altogether.
(2) Create a show room, not a tea party.
Phrases like, “Welcome to my site,” and “Please look around my website” will signal, “I’m not really comfortable with marketing.”
Let’s face it. Your visitors know they’re welcome. They know you’re not doing this for fun. When you tiptoe around, they start looking for the elephant in the room.
(3) Paint word pictures.
We’ve all heard “Create your perfect life,” “Take it to the next level,” and even “Boost your business.” Those phrases can be effective, but why not challenge yourself to get the reader involved:
“Imagine yourself in a bookstore, standing next to your published book…”
You can be even more vivid:
“Imagine yourself signing your first published novel in the Miracle Mile Bookstore.”
(4) Make your artwork elevate your copy.
If you’re a sailing instructor, definitely include photos of sailboats, preferably with yourself in your instructor’s role.
But if you’re a business consultant, use photos of yourself working with clients. If you use stock photos of people, dig for photos you won’t find on every site. There’s one photo of a young woman with a laptop that seems to show up everywhere.
(5) Quote yourself — not Chopra, Gandhi, Kennedy, and other iconic figures.
They’re great people who are worth quoting … when you’re building a website in their honor. These folks are worth quoting. But on your website, we want to hear *you.*
One way to add energy to your website is with my high-energy Strategy Consultation: just one consultation will add energy to your marketing the way a single shot of espresso will power up your coffee. This is my most popular program – you’ll get a guided tour through your own website or sales letter, respecting the landmarks and digging deep for insider info most people don’t know about.
Joint ventures are a very good way to increase your opt-in list, gain visibility and attract new clients. A joint venture takes place when any two people come together to create a class, product or promotion for their mutual benefit.
Example: Your Product + Jane’s Teleseminar. You have an information product that sells for $97. Jane agrees to interview you on a podcast program that introduces you and your product to a new audience.
You win because you sell more copies of your information product, so you get more revenue. Your name also gets introduced to a new audience. Jane joins your affiliate program and gets 50% of all the revenue. She also benefits because her fans see that she attracts interesting guests who bring them information they couldn’t get otherwise.
Example: Sam’s Product + Your List. Sam has an information product. You agree to send a mailing to your list, presenting the product. You get 50% of the proceeds and Sam gets access to a new market as well as revenue he would not have obtained otherwise.
How do you know if Jane and Sam are the best joint venture partners?
Experienced joint venture marketers move carefully when choosing partners. You can get burned when you choose a partner who is less than honorable, delivers inferior products or services or even just does a lame job of presenting at a webinar or podcast.
My rule of thumb: I won’t invite someone till I’ve heard them on someone else’s call (or their own call). I recommend resources only when I’ve made purchases from the seller myself, and when I know they’ll honor guarantees and keep promises. I got burned once and now I’m *extra* careful.
Be ready to contribute more than 50%.
I’ve been honored to participate in joint ventures with some extremely well-known people, even when I was brand new and nobody knew me. I approached them with a simple proposition: I’d do most of the work.
In one of my earliest ventures I partnered with a marketing coach who had a huge, responsive list. Of course I contributed my expertise in storytelling and copywriting. But mostly, I contributed my knowledge of how to put a course together quickly. I designed the curriculum, made up the slides, and created the sales letter and promo emails.
My partner didn’t do as much of the course creation work. But she had put in the hours to build her list. She knew people who were not only potential buyers but also potential affiliate partners, giving us even more opportunity for growth.
When it came to delivering the course, I offered to lighten her workload even more: she could just introduce me and interject a question here and there, and I’d do the teaching. Or we could set it up as a Q&A for her. Or she could teach part of the course — the part she was most comfortable delivering.
Get clear on how each of you will benefit.
She gained from her share of the revenue, which didn’t require much of her time. She also had more opportunities to nurture her list and demonstrate her expertise to her current audience as well as those who were new to her.
I gained from exposure to her list. I also gained credibility, because she was well known to an audience I wanted to reach but didn’t know yet.
Make sure your expertise will be on display.
Rita was honored when her mentor, Jack, offered to partner with her on a course. Jack even offered a special bonus: a one-hour private webinar, limited to everyone who signed up by a certain date.
Sure enough, many buyers signed up. But most of them signed off Rita’s list as soon as the course ended. They’d signed up to get that webinar with Jack, which was indeed a rare and very special deal.
In retrospect, Rita realized, the course topic was so broad, her unique expertise didn’t set her apart. In future, she vowed, she’d insist on a topic that would attract buyers who would also be good candidates for her own services.
A single joint venture can have a big impact on your business because you achieve multiple goals. You earn revenue — ideally, more than you’d earn on your own. You gain exposure. You gain credibility. But all these rewards depend on choosing the right jv partner, saying “no” to those who aren’t a good fit, and being willing to go the extra mile when needed.
You may hear the word “infographic” [information graphic] coming up more and more these days. What’s an infographic and why might you need one? I didn’t pay attention till Copyblogger created an infographic, 22 ways to create compelling content when you don’t have a clue. The first part of this infographic has gone viral on Pinterest; I even repinned it myself. It’s here: http://www.copyblogger.com/create-content-infographic/
What is an infographic?
According to Wikipedia and other sources, it’s just a visual representation of “information, data or knowledge.” A pie chart or bar chart with good labels would be an infographic.
Why are we seeing more idiographics these days?
People are getting more visual these days. Some information is easier to communicate graphically rather than textually.
As a copywriter, here’s my take on infographics:
The information must be direct and relevant. An infographic with boring, useless information won’t do much.
Successful infographics are simple and use illustrations to make their points. Almost anything can be presented as an inforgraphic. However, I believe that great infographics present information that’s easier to grasp as a graphic
For example, many of us will find it easier to differentiate our Starbucks orders with this infographic rather than a listing: http://lokeshdhakar.com/coffee-drinks-illustrated/
This info could be presented with text but it makes a bigger impact visually: http://thechrisvossshow.com/how-big-twitter-is-in-2012-infographic/
This infographic seems to be working against itself. The info is good but hard to read; the dancing labels in the lower right just add confusion. http://www.princeton.edu/~ina/infographics/weapons.html
Another will be hard to read and the graphics don’t contribute much to your understanding: http://thechrisvossshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/tumblr_lq9xuxFVS61qanrvyo1_1280.jpg
This “How Google Works” infographic has been wildly popular, with good reason. The graphic suits the topic. The authors are admittedly biased; they want to communicate, “Google is complicated and we can help you get through it!” The full-size version of this infographic is quite readable.
How you can use infographics
Make sure the top part of your infographic can function as a standalone symbol that can be embedded in blogs and Interest. Add the panel to your Pinterest account. Here are 3 ways to learn how to use Pinterest for business:
When you present your infographic, make sure to include code and permission so others can embed your infographic. The code is just straightforward html for a live clickable image. Include your name or logo. You don’t want to copyright: you want to everyone to include it!
Keep your infographic easy to read. Avoid jamming a lot of info together and using white on black, colored type or confusing layouts. The idea is to draw readers into your info graphic and make the information accessible.
Where to use your infographic:
your Pinterest account (3 ways to learn Pinterest)
Where can you get an infographic? I’ve seen listings on fiverr.com and would start there, as well as the usual low-end sources: guru.com, Rent-a-Coder, and Craigslist. Some graphics firms specialize if you’re seeking a higher-end version.