Monthly Archives: January 2011

Insecure Marketing Secrets

OK… this one’s a little risky.

Because to share it with you I’ve gotta reveal something…

Despite my ongoing success… I might be the worlds only neurotic, insecure psychologist.

OR, there just might be something about internet marketing which makes us all inherently insecure.

I’ll let you be the judge… the SHORT MP3 is right below, just PRESS PLAY

Enjoy!

Dr. G ūüôā

(The Great Big Hairy Insecure Marketing Psychologist)

PS – Bonus points for anyone who can tell me what conversion principles today’s post highlights?
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The Emotionally Unique Selling Proposition

In my work with Terry Dean on The Total Conversion Code (anticipated launch date shortly after Valentines), I believe I’ve come to an important conclusion:¬†the quintessential marketing insight is the “Emotionally Unique Selling Proposition”, or your E-USP.

Follow my logic for a moment please.

The Unique Selling Proposition (a term first coined, if I’m not mistaken, by Rosser Reeves), is the reason your prospect should do business with you as compared to every other option in the market. (For example “Guaranteed First Page Video Rankings for the Keywords of Your Choice on Google” or “Double Your Visitor Value or Double Your Money Back”)

Given this definition, it follows a USP should be built upon the strongest “point of difference” benefit you can offer your market¬†(as compared to the “price of entry” benefits every other vendor provides just to get into the running).

Which is why my research methods have always been centered around finding points of difference.

But to truly leverage your USP, you need to know the emotional environment it operates within… what human needs does your real point of difference fulfill? ¬†What heartstrings does it tug on?

And you need to know THAT because you’re going to have to support your USP with a full set of advertising materials. ¬†That starts with a full sales presentation of course (whether in long copy, short copy, video, etc), but extends to every word you communicate, every image you select, every person you choose to represent your company… everything about your “brand”.

(Please don’t shoot me for mentioning “brand”… brands actually DO matter online for direct response marketers… and they’re nothing more than a consistent set of expected benefits and features associated with your company due to repeated presentation)

For example, “Double Your Visitor Value or Double Your Money Back” is a VERY ¬†unique point of difference. ¬†And I know it captures the serious attention of anyone with a web business.

But you can’t maximize the value of that USP without knowing the EMOTIONAL REASON WHY the market desires it. ¬†Without knowing WHY, we can’t “fortify our position” with message after message, video after video, word after word, etc.

And there could be DOZENS of reasons .

On the surface, people want to double their visitor value so they can afford to buy more advertising and grow their business. ¬†Duh. (As an important side note… you only THINK you’ve got a traffic problem, you really have a CONVERSION problem… which you’ll realize as soon as you’ve got an extremely high converting offer and can suddenly afford to pay outrageous bounties/commissions for traffic )

Buy why does this particular market want to grow their business?  Is it for Power?  Control?  Safety?  A Sense of Accomplishment?   Independence?  Financial Security?  Adventure?  To Feel Intelligent?  To Take a Leadership Role?

I’m sure you can envision vastly different advertising messages dependent upon which emotional end benefit this particular USP was associated with.

If it were for Power, I’d highlight the ability to “make deals happen” at will, and at-your-fingers paid traffic available for the taking…

If Safety was the prime emotional mover, I’d talk about how a high visitor value site makes you immune to “Slaps”, or even the disappearance of any media, because you can afford to test and optimize multiple channels (and I’d agitate the pain of business after business failing because they didn’t diversify their lead acquisition methods)

If it were for a Sense of Accomplishment, I’d tell stories which illustrated there was “nothing like the feeling of building something from the ground up” and seeing the fruits of your labor come to fruition in a real business, helping real people…

If it were for Financial Security, I’d talk about families which had to put their loved ones in shoddy nursing homes, or couldn’t afford to pay for their children’s college (with all the negative implications of same), simply because the bread winner couldn’t ever quite figure out how to turn visitors into dollars at a good enough rate.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I guess what I’m saying is, a USP is infinitely more powerful when you can isolate the Emotional context in which it operates. ¬†And your Emotionally Unique Selling Proposition is the whole package… it’s something nice you help your prospect to say or feel about themselves because of a powerful benefit your company offers which no other competitor can match.

For example you, (Mr. or Ms. prospect) will feel more powerful when you double your visitor value, and you can feel confident about this because if you don’t, I’ll give you double your money back.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the E-USP… a critical insight for you as a marketer. ¬†But it’s NOT how you would present it to the prospect. ¬†99% of the time, when it comes to delivering emotional benefits, you want to SHOW the prospect via stories, analogies, and metaphors… NOT telling them directly, because that interferes with their need to feel like a smart shopper. ¬†(Sharon and I call this “Rational Purchasing Consciousness” and it’s the emotional marketer’s worst enemy)

How do you figure out the emotional component of your USP?

Well, first, it goes without saying that you’ve gotta have a USP! ¬†(You DO have one, right? ¬†If not, get thy behind into my club and learn how to identify point of difference gaps in your market!)

Once you know your point of difference, you need to talk to your prospects and customers, and use the “ladder” exercise to find out which of these 37 emotional benefits it’s connected with. ¬† Sharon and I did two MP3s you can download (Self Esteem & Purchase Behavior Part One | Self Esteem & Purchase Behavior Part Two)¬†to demonstrate this technique. ¬†NOTE: these interviews are ¬†several years old, so the audio quality isn’t great, but they’re EXTREMELY powerful and you’ll be able to hear every word if you listen closely.

There’s more material on emotional marketing in the club, and Terry and I are really going to town on this in the Total Conversion Code because emotion is ¬†what bridges my ultimate research methods and Terry’s superior copywriting/conversion system.

Last thing… did you know most all my previous audios are available on iTunes as a FREE podcast subscription?

Onwards and upwards,

Dr. G ūüôā

PS – Henry Ford once said “If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.” The older I get, the more truth I see in this, and the more I treasure the insights I’ve gleaned from others. ¬† So please SHARE below!

Is your email poisoning you?

In an earlier post this year I provided some simple advice about email. ¬†I wrote it as a simple afterthought in the PS… it took me less than 30 seconds, but I’ve been approached about that advice by dozens of friends, colleagues, coaching students, and more.

So I thought I’d expand on it a little today.

If you didn’t catch the post, here’s what I suggested:

Let’s resist the compulsive urge to check email first thing in the morning, and instead take 20 minutes in the morning to do a little journaling and stretching, make a nutritious breakfast, or more generally engage in constructive self care.

I pointed out that it’s only natural to feel compulsive about your email in the morning… and that what we were seeking was MONEY, LOVE and INSPIRATION whether we know ¬†it or not.

And we actually CAN find these things in our inboxes:

Money in the form of new order notices…

Love as notes from friends and loved ones…

And Inspiration in the form of new ideas to change our lives.

BUT… there’s also POISON in our inboxes. ¬†Lots of it!

Every marketer I know is¬†besieged¬†by problems which come to them first in the form of an email. (There’s just something about the medium which makes it seem less significant to share upsetting news)

Then there’s spam. ¬†(I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s nothing better than starting my day with the oh-so-important reminder that my penis is too small… I’m not saying it’s not, mind you… I’m just saying!)

And the constant onslaught of offers… to which we’re eager to respond impulsively looking for guess what? ¬†Money, love and inspiration!

My suggestion wasn’t to stop checking your inbox… but rather to put yourself in the right mindset before you went there.

To care for yourself first, rather than blindly “looking for love in all the wrong places”

Because as corny as it sounds… if you give yourself love BEFORE you face the myriad of email adventures you’re much more likely to make the right decisions.

If you feel less empty when you get to your email, you’ll have more to GIVE all the people trying to connect with you through it.

And make no mistake, every last dollar you’ll ever make from here forward will come from PEOPLE…

And the more you can help THEM feel settled, full, and nurtured, the more likely it is you’ll find a way to exchange value for money…lots of it. ¬†And you’ll deserve it, too.

A few more thoughts to help you implement this.

First, if you wait until it “feels right” you’re never going to do it. ¬†In fact, it’s going to feel downright wrong for the first few weeks.

It’s because human nature wants to move quickly away from any feelings of emptiness (“I don’t have enough money, love, or inspiration”) towards the easiest–not necessarily most effective– source of previous¬†gratification.

That’s OK, do it anyway.

You’ll also probably feel some variation of “I can’t afford to wait… there are dozens of urgent things I’ve got to attend to in my email”

Remember, that’s only natural too, so try to dismiss that voice… you’ll probably find you attend to MORE of the RIGHT things, even if you have less actual work time to do it. ¬†(But you could also set your clock 20 minutes earlier to get started)

Last, here are TWO critical questions to ask yourself each morning when you journal:

  • What did I do right yesterday, and how can I improve?
  • What’s the single most important thing I want to accomplish today, and why might I want to RESIST getting it done?

OK, back to marketing tomorrow. (But the savvy amongst you will realize today’s post is just as profitable a marketing tip as many others we’ve discussed!)

Before I sign off, I wanted to let you know that Ryan’s getting excellent results with his coaching students. ¬†Ryan is the ONLY person I allow to represent me and take people through my marketing method… because he’s built his own $250,000 business using it, and approximately 40% of his students have now launched profitable businesses the same way.

Since you can get Ryan’s services for just a little more than half what coaching with me personally costs…Maybe 2011 is the year for YOU to get it done?

Food for thought,

Glenn ūüôā


Why Emotional Copywriting is So Difficult (Video)

People are endlessly fascinated with the emotional marketing model Sharon and I have discussed for years. ¬†Yet it seems so elusive for so many…

Here’s one of the central obstacles I think is preventing most people from really infusing their copy, websites, and imagery with the emotional tone necessary to induce purchase:

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Enjoy!

The Weirdest Job in the World

Here’s something VERY strange which occurred to me today…

I’ve got the weirdest job in the world.

It’s true!

Because, you see, I get paid gobs of money to talk to myself. ¬† I spend a LOT of time alone in my room, staring at the computer, recording Camtasia videos, MP3s, etc. ¬† Of course, I’ve also got REAL businesses, and of course, I’m not really talking to myself, I’m talking to thousands of people.

But still, if a Martian were to land and observe what I was doing, he’d see a great big hairy guy sitting in his room and talking to himself.

Which couldn’t be farther from what I set out to do as a psychologist… (I really thought I’d be spending my days in a room listening to other people talk to themselves)

Anyway… sometimes it makes me a little “loopy”

(The Rocket Clicks team is great, and always interested in talking to me… but they’re in Milwaukee and, truth be told, Rob Sieracki is such an amazing Chief Operating Officer and partner that Jeff and I really don’t have to do that much anymore)

I dunno.

Maybe I really am nuts.

What do you think?

Effective Guarantees – The Vomit Principle

Here’s a thought for you…

A REAL guarantee in today’s day and age should be so strong it makes you feel like throwing up!

See, the very essence of a guarantee is RISK REVERSAL: ¬†You don’t know you’ve done it right UNTIL¬†YOU FEEL THE RISK. ¬†If you’re feeling perfectly safe when you first consider your guarantee… if don’t feel at least a little bit nauseous…it’s almost definitely NOT¬†strong enough!

Of course, I’m NOT¬†suggesting you do anything foolish.

  • You’ve gotta know the economics of your business inside and out…
  • You’ve gotta KNOW which customers you can satisfy and which ones are gonna be nothing but trouble¬†(the stronger your guarantee is the better screening and filtering mechanisms you’ve got to have in place)…
  • You’ve gotta review everything with an attorney to be sure you’re totally covered…
  • And most importantly, you’ve got to be THAT GOOD!

I honestly believe the days of the wimpy guarantee are numbered. For example, it’s simply NOT¬†good enough in today’s day and age¬†to give people 90 days on a DIGITAL¬†product. ¬†

You¬†may be¬†comfortable with a money back guarantee on a digital product because you know you’re not really risking anything…

But these types of guarantees are SO¬†common place, you’ve got to remember¬†the customer knows you’re not risking anything¬†too!¬†¬†(Even on a physical product, a simple money back guarantee is often not sufficient)

Here are some examples of successful guarantees I’ve used and/or have considered appropriate in the past:

  • How to Choose Profitable Markets:¬† “Even after the first 60 days, you’re protected by a second guarantee.¬† I call this the “Double Confidence” guarantee.¬† If you follow the strategies we lay out, and you don’t find a market which proves to be profitable for you, we’ll give you DOUBLE your money back for one full year”… see the site for full details of guarantee, etc.
  • Guaranteed First Page Video Listings on Google for the Keywords of Your Choice or Your Money Back: ¬† Everyone knows Video SEO is the “next wave” in emerging media. ¬†The major engines are 5,000% more likely to index a video as a static site (according to Forrester Research).¬† While other video seo companies will¬†charge you a fortune¬†to even attempt ranking for you, I had a¬†company which GUARANTEED it. ¬†Not “satisfaction guaranteed” but RANKING guaranteed. ¬†As in, you’ll see your video on the first page for your keyword or you don’t pay! ¬† (Note: This offering is unfortunately no longer available.)
  • I’ll Build You an Affiliate Business and Guarantee $7,500 Income by December 31st… Or I’ll Buy It Back From You at Full Price!

Now, I’ve gotta tell you, I felt completely nauseous the first time I put these guarantees on paper. ¬†I spent lots of time looking over the way they were¬†worded, and especially for the higher ticket items, ¬†working on the exact definitions and terms.

But I no longer do. ¬†I’m no longer frightened, because I’ve done what it takes to (a) ensure I can deliver; (b) ensure I’m truly in a position to honor the guarantee if I don’t. ¬† If these two things weren’t true, I wouldn’t launch the guarantee.

So I submit to you that these types of “nauseating guarantees” provide a ¬†strong competitive advantage in the market place.

Now… IF the above aren’t enough to get you considering “the vomit principle” for your own guarantees, consider this…

There was a recent article in the paper about a car dealership’s radical guarantee: “Come on in and take one of our new cars home to drive¬†for a full month. ¬†If you don’t like it for any reason, we’ll buy it back” ¬†(Thanks to Ian Hollander¬†at Karmic Consulting for pointing this out to me)

Naturally, sales went through the roof!

I think, in an internet full of con men, TRUE RISK REVERSAL is a refreshing oasis for the often jilted consumer.

Using More Powerful Guarantees is just ONE of dozens of dramatically effective conversion tactics I can help you with if you choose to work with me personally next year…

But there’s only one of me and I can only take a very small number of new coaching clients.
I’ll open the doors for one day only on Jan 1st, 2016. ¬†Sign up here.

Food for thought,

Glenn ūüôā

 

My 5 Top Business Ideas for the New Year

OK… here goes. ¬†My 5 best business ideas for the New Year:

#1 -YOUR NEW CRITERIA FOR SAYING “NO”:

Never say yes to any marketing project where you don’t have all three of these (a) desperate problem; (b) a unique promise; (c) overwhelming proof

I’ve blogged about this previously, but I can’t underscore it enough. ¬†If you’ve got these three covered, odds are you’re going to have much more of an operations and capacity problem then a sales problem.

Many people objected to the idea the problem had to be desperate. ¬†For example, lots of people buy water filters, DVDs on how to knit, and/or mundane things like hammers every day… and ¬†there ARE ¬†people making a fortune selling these items.

Here’s my counter-argument…

People are more desperate to hold onto their money (especially in this economy) than give it to you.

So if you can’t MAKE your prospect feel desperate about their problem (even if their problem is “I can’t play that guitar riff like Clapton” or “I want a clean shower or I’m gonna scream”, or “I can’t finish this wood shed for my son by Christmas without a friggin’ hammer!”), you’re gonna have trouble competing, to say the least.

The unique promise – well, now, that’s kind of a given. ¬†We’re competing globally now… so how will you stand out from the other BEST 20 guys/gals on the first page of Google?

Overwhelming Proof – when I scan all the markets I’ve entered profitably, the ones which REALLY produced were those in which I had overwhelming proof.

And no wonder, with all the scammers and competition online.

Prove your claims or don’t make them. ¬†(And if you’re left with NO claims to prove, pick another project).

  • Action Question #1: ¬†What’s the desperate problem your offer solves? ¬†How can you highlight the prospect’s pain to make them more desperate to buy from you today?
  • Action Question #2: ¬†Look at your sales page or site. ¬†How many of your claims have you provided proof for? ¬†How else can you overwhelm them with proof?
  • Action Question #3: ¬†Why did you gloss over the previous two questions?

#2: Plan for Capacity Problems:

This will sound crazy to most of you but bear with me please…

My friend Jonathan Mizel once told me “Glenn, there are about a dozen critical pieces in your sales system, and if even ONE of them goes wrong, you’re not going to make ANY sales”

He was right.

Here are several practical implications.

First, if you want this internet thing then don’t give up. ¬†Ever. ¬† Decide to be successful and make it happen.

Second, be careful about pre-judging media, techniques, and methods.

Because ALL of them have to come together to create your first profitable project, most people tend to conclude they ALL don’t work.

Or they start “praying to the internet Gods”, or they walk around feeling befuddled.

That’s why 95% of people who start an internet business crap out of the game entirely (a sad but true statistic)

There IS hope, there IS a well traveled path. ¬†But it’s a longer and riskier road than most people make it out to be.

Study research, study conversion, study traffic.

Keep managing your resources, put your head down to do the work, and keep going. ¬†There’s a good chance you’ll make it.

But it’s the last practical implication which is idea #2 for 2011… plan for capacity.

Because what happens to many people when you get the 12th piece of the marketing pipeline in place is a FLOOD they’re in no way prepared to handle.

This is NOT a linear game.

It’s a game of debugging the bits and pieces of your system until money flows through it…

And you need to be ready when it does.

Because of the difficulty of the learning/debugging process, we all tend to feel  the sales system is EVERYTHING in our business.

But it’s NOT.

Marketing and Sales are necessary but not sufficient pieces of your business puzzle if you’re striving towards a 7 or 8 figure business.

Take the time to think through exactly how much business you WANT to create, and create a plan for controlled growth once your sales system is functioning smoothly.    Because growing too quickly will kill your business faster than poor salesmanship (seriously).

  • Action Question: ¬†How much business are you prepared to take on when you finally get your sales system humming? ¬†At what rate? ¬†How much in 1Q, 2Q, 3Q, 4Q this year?

#3 – Put REAL GUTS Behind Your Guarantees:

We’re reaching the end of an era … the power of the simple guarantee is fading.

Everyone and their dog gives money back for 90 days on an info product.

Most prospects realize this guarantee is standard and, well… wimpy. ¬†(They know your costs of goods are relatively low)

If your product or service really produces results (and it should or else why bother selling it), then grow a pair and put your money where your mouth is.

For example,¬†how about … ¬†“We’ll build you a business that makes money and teach you how to grow it… if you don’t want to keep it 12 months later, we’ll buy it back at an agreed upon price”

The only way to make such a guarantee is to BE “that good”

The pressure is on for us all to BE stellar… reliably.

The pressure is also on to know the math in your business inside and out, or these guarantees will kill you.

But I firmly believe this is what it’s going to take to sell high ticket items going forward.

Be stellar and guarantee it, or get out of the game.

  • Action Question: “What level of guarantee in your business would make you so nervous you would literally throw up? ¬† Now… can you carefully examine the mathematics and structure of your business so you actually CAN make that guarantee?”

#4: Understand Emerging Media Environments

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but a good part of my early success was fueled by cheap prices when PPC was emerging as a media in 2003 to 2005.

Sure, I stood out amongst the crowd because of my research and marketing abilities (not one in 10,000 marketers claims the same accomplishments even during those easier times), but it was a LOT  easier to profit in 17 markets when clicks cost 1/3rd what they do now.

The reason this is important is because you’ve gotta place your “start up” media in perspective if you’re going to judge the success of your project correctly. (It’s also important because there are always additional media popping up, and if you learn how to watch for the signs, you’ll know how to leverage the “money at a discount” opportunities in emerging media when they inevitably arise)

For example, I’ve had several students who’ve developed a funnel which aggressively builds a list of BUYERS (and thousands of opt ins) at break even in PPC.

It’s somewhat disheartening at first because if they had a time machine and could go back just 2 or 3 short years, these businesses would be earning 2 to 1 on the advertising on the front end.

But now, MOST successful ppc systems operate at or near break even ON THE FRONT END!

Which is why Terry Dean says “I never want to be in a business where I’ve got to make money on the front end”

Here’s another point in this light…

A break-even system in PPC today will often perform quite profitably in a joint venture arena.  Why?  Because to reach break even in PPC requires a very good knowledge of the market, a decent product, a good offer, etc.  And JV traffic LACKS the competition of PPC while GAINING an implied endorsement.

#5: Relentlessly Pursue Reality!

This is the hardest one for most people, but I think the most important.

Because we all had fantasies about this game.

We all thought it was going to be a LOT easier than it really is.

We’re all reluctant to admit that building a business on the internet is just as difficult, if not more so, than building a brick and mortar in the old days.

That we’ve got long days ahead.

With lots to do.

And sometimes months long or years long plateaus before we “jump” to the next level (and that IS how it happens, in my extensive experience and observation)

But you know what…

It’s OK.

I LOVE this game, don’t you?

Sure, I work a lot more than I thought I would.

But I’m working on MY projects.

I might be writing copy, doing research, building website, supervising designers, managing advertising, dealing with $@*&#*& Google, developing systems, supervising outsourcers, talking to attorneys, negotiating deals, making presentations, getting graphics designed, recording products all day on Sundays, forming corporations, dealing with customer service issues, studying new marketing media and techniques, going to seminars, speaking at seminars, coaching my students, talking to mastermind buddies, reading the endless FTC rules, making videos, recording audios, building new scripts, brainstorming products and services, writing a promotion, programming a database, fighting with my web host, managing my domain names, registering trademarks, editing an ebook, recording my marketing club, planning a campaign, doing a webinar, uploading podcasts, writing a blog post (like this one), or just watching the latest internet marketing video.

But you know what?

I’m HAPPY.

I’m doing what I want, when I want, where I want.

I wouldn’t trade this life for any other.

Would you?

Food for thought…

Dr. G ūüôā

PS – Here’s a bonus idea for 2011… don’t check your email until after you’ve had 20 minutes to journal about your goals, frustrations, and dreams every morning.

Here’s a psychologist’s explanation of why this is critical…

We compulsively go to our email looking for nurturing. ¬†It’s true. ¬†We’re hoping to find money (orders in our inbox), ¬†love (notes from friends and loved ones), and inspiration.

Now, there IS money, love, and inspiration in our inbox most days, at least some of it.

But the problem is, there’s also POISON.

LOTS of poison.

The way we marketers use email, virtually every PROBLEM we have to deal with comes at us through email.

And then there’s spam.

So don’t start your day with poison. ¬†Start out by clearing your mind and nurturing yourself. ¬†I’ll bet anything you’ll make more money if you do!

(I actually start my days by first making vegetable juice, taking my vitamins, and doing a little stretching… no matter what I’m expecting in my email. ¬†THEN I do 20 minutes of journaling, before finally pressing send and receive)