In the first post in this series, I mentioned the importance of understanding the great, tried and true universal truths of marketing.
Today I want to focus on one of them.
And then I want to show you how to leverage it – to put it to work for you – the fastest way possible.
So what is this great marketing truth? Well it comes from one of my own copywriting heroes, Robert Collier.
Collier was an early 20th century author. He was well published in the self-help niche of the day. But he was also a master salesman on paper. And his great revelation came in his epic book “The Robert Collier Letter Book.” (If you’ve never read it, I highly recommend you do.)
One of his chief principles was that in all your marketing you have to “…enter the conversation in your prospect’s head.”
That’s as true today as it was in the early 1930’s when he wrote it.
I’m kind of an introvert.
I’ve always been the guy who prefers to stand at the edge of the party looking in rather than be the center of attention.
And my “outside-looking-in” tendency extends to other areas too. Like the way I think about marketing.
I’ve always been on the outside of the “marketing-think” community too. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that there are time-tested marketing truths. Rules you always have to respect. (You have to know the rules before you can bend them, as they say.)
And I’ve used pretty much every conventional method and channel you can name. I’ve used direct response strategies in the mail and online. I’ve bought newspaper ads. Radio ads. PPC ads. Facebook ads. I’ve used product launches. Marketing funnels. You name it, I’ve done it.
But at the same time, I’ve always kind of looked at all of it from the outside. I’ve always looked for ways to “crank up the heat”, so to speak, of all my marketing. Whether it was the one small tweak I could add that would add major dollars to my bottom line. Or testing an entirely new breakthrough marketing idea. Read More
Struggling to get your marketing noticed? Disappointed by the lack of clicks and the opt-ins you’re getting? Frustrated by your lack of sales? You shouldn’t be surprised.
Today your average prospect is literally drowning in a tidal wave of marketing messages. Keeping your head above water in a sea of competitor’s promises, benefits, catchy slogans about their products is a nearly impossible task.
That’s no secret.
But what you may not know, is there’s a simple, little-known way to rise above it all. A secret that will lift your product (and you) out of that sea of sameness and into a position of unchallenged preeminence in your prospects’ minds.
Let me tell you a quick story about it…
In today’s message I’ll share with you a single shift that can have you making more and working less. How? By shifting your positioning. In other words, how you are seen by your market place. At brunch this past weekend with Dan Kennedy and Michael Masterson, Dan said this: “It’s better to be paid for who you are, rather than what you do.” In other words…
Positioning Trumps The Product!
And if you truly “get it,” you realize how profound this really is.
You see, odds are that right now your positioning was not established strategically. In this video I’ll give your two questions that’ll set you on the right path to determining your ideal positioning (the one that gets prospects eager to spend their money with you) and make it crystal clear what you’ll need to do to achieve it.
So, what are you waiting for? Watch the video, answer the questions, and radically improve your…
To higher profits
Is this a good thing?
Recently, Mastercard and Visa, as well as other merchant processors have conveyed some new regulations with regard to program execution such as one-time offers, forced continuities, and shipping and handling only, to name a few.
These new rules/regulations are due to longtime complaints from customers that are being billed for products they didn’t want or felt they were being misled into buying. All the processors have basically decided to shun any company that employs tactics like deceptive forced continuity type programs.
So the big question remains…is this a good thing or not?
Well, I guess the answer depends on you, your business philosophy, and the quality of products or services you provide for your customers.
I believe that there are many pros and cons to this new set of guidelines.
I’m very excited about these guidelines and plan to use them to our company’s advantage in order to lead our company to higher levels. We will simply do what we always preach and that’s to do the right thing.
Now, if you are one of those companies that is focused on taking every last dollar from your customers or trying to misguide or force people into a continuity program unwillingly in order to squeeze a month or two of program fees out of them… than you’re probably concerned about the new regulations. As you should be!
If you get caught violating these regulations, not only will you lose your merchant processor and merchant account, but most likely you won’t be able to get another account from other processors in the future.
Here at Strategic Profits, from time to time, we have tried optional continuity type programs. It is a possibility that we may offer some type of optional continuity program in the future, however, these new guidelines are making us step up our game, convey all of our offers with even greater clarity, and become superior in the way we handle our prospects and customers.
These new guidelines will force us to revisit the marketing basics that we know have worked for decades and decades (because consumer buying habits never change).
Because of what I read yesterday, I finally committed to do something many mentors have been telling me to do for some time now.
Our very own Rich Schefren does it and has been preaching its benefits to me for at least 2 years. Michael Masterson of Agora recommends it and has also been a long-time fan. Even my wife has been egging me on to get started.
What am I talking about?
Daily writing in a journal.
Many high-performance entrepreneurs swear by the increased clarity they receive from daily thinking and writing within a personal journal.
Thoughts about business, AHA moments, weekly reflection, brainstorming, success reviews, and anything else that’s on your mind are all great topics or categories you can journal about.
But, if you’re at all like me, sitting down to a blank page that’s awaiting your deepest thoughts and desires can often be a bit daunting. So much so for me that I’ve chronically delayed getting started. Until yesterday, that is.
I was sitting outside by the pool at the hotel I’m staying at here in Orlando enjoying a nice robusto. I was flipping through 55-pages of personal notes Rich Schefren shared with me from his read of a very deep, very profound, and very thought-provoking book about success and psychology.
Page after page I continued to notice an enormous number of questions being posed by the author. His purpose: to help readers get deeper and deeper clarity on who they are, what they want, and where they want to go with their lives.
And that’s when it struck me…
I could just use the questions posed by this author as the jumping-off point for my journal entries. I could simply tackle one question each day… and this way… I would never have to worry about sitting down to a blank page. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do as soon as I return from my trip.
If you’d like to give it a try along with me, below are some of the first questions I’m going to tackle:
* How do I define personal success?
* How would I describe a life well-lived?
* What is my vision for my life?
* What were the most successful moments in my life?
* What were the biggest failures I’ve experienced? (Describe the lessons I learned)
* What do I really value about my life?
* If I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I attempt to do?
* Who is the real me?
* What am I most grateful for?
* What am I really talented at?
* What relationships in my life do I value the most?
* How much success do I believe is possible for me?
* What are the most unhelpful, limiting beliefs holding me back?
* How do I measure success?
* How can I make today a success?
* Who do I want to be?
* What is it that makes me happy?
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Getting the top authors within your niche to contribute to the creation of your information products is one of the quickest ways to gain tremendous credibility within your marketplace.
Imagine having the names of two, three, or four of the most recognized authors and experts in your niche alongside your name on your next info-product, on your sales letter, and in your email follow-up messages. It instantly makes you more trustworthy. Makes your offer more believable. And positions you and your product well-above your competitors.
In essence, it’s a true business shortcut.
And, fortunately, making it happen… with zero cost or expense… is easier than you might think.
It all comes down to TIMING.
If you want to get virtually any top author within a field to contribute to your next information product via an interview, you need to approach them at the “right time”.
When is the right time to approach a top author, you might be wondering?
When they’ve released a new book.
Because when they release a new book, authors are eager to get as much exposure for their book as possible. So they’re almost always excited about doing an interview. Plus, when a top author releases a new book, they typically get and welcome interview requests from several sources.
Here’s how you do this:
Step #1: Go to Amazon.com.
Step #2: Search for books using your potential product’s main keyword or keyword phrase.
Step #3: Sort the books by publication date. This lists the newly published books first.
Step #4: Make note of the top 5-6 authors names. Then, find their websites on Google. This is so you can get their contact information.
Step #5: Contact each author about wanting to interview them about XYZ topic and their book. Let them know they can plug their book, and that you’ll be including their interview with a collection of other interviews from their fellow experts for customers who just so happen to be their target market.
Timed correctly, there’s no doubt you can easily get 90% of the experts you approach to participate in a great interview for you. I’ve used this technique on several occasions. Have interviewed at least 7 top authors. And, used this very technique to break into a brand new niche in 2003 when first starting in the info-product business. And, it’ll work for you as well.
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Prior to about the age of 23 I despised reading. Back then I was more interested in playing a little Sega Genesis or simply goofing off with my buddies.
It wasn’t until I was bit by the business and marketing bug that reading became one of my most treasured joys.
Today, I love books. I love buying them. Flipping through them. Reading them. Highlighting them. And, putting them to work in my life.
Having invested in an average of about 2 books a week for the past 14 years, I can honestly say… the acquisition of actionable knowledge via reading has… no-doubt… altered the course of my life.
There are about 15 or so books that I credit for having the greatest impact on my thinking and actions.
Today, I want to share 10 of those books with you. In a future blog post I’ll share the rest.
For now, scan the list below to see what books, if any, you haven’t read. Then, go get ’em. More important – go get ’em, read ’em, then put what you learn into action.
Psychology Of Winning by Denis Waitley
This book was one of the first “self-help” books I was really exposed to. I was given the 6 CD version of this book by my, then, employer. It radically changed my thinking about success and failure. More than anything, it taught me how winners think, and that with some practice, I could train my mind to think the same way. I credit a lot of my mindset today to this book.
Goals by Brian Tracy
This quite possibly could be my favorite personal development book of all time. Because I’m a huge believer in goal setting, I fell in love with the depths this book goes into as it explains and lays-out the goal setting process. At the end of almost every year, I go through this book to refresh my memory of the goal setting process and help me prepare for another coming year.
Triggers by Joe Sugarman
As someone who spent almost 12 years in fitness-related sales, I really enjoyed the way Sugarman breaks down 30 different sales principles in this book, and shows how they’re used effectively in business every day. This is one of those books you’ll refer back to periodically. And, every time you do… you’ll be reminded of a gem.
Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan S. Kennedy
When I first started learning about direct response marketing and long-form copy, this book was a goldmine. It really gave me a great foundational understanding of the format and structure of a good sales letter. Even to this day, I still reach for my original copy of this book and flip through it for random ideas and reminders.
The Robert Collier Letter Book by Robert Collier
When I started to get serious about writing great sales letters I decided to grab a copy of this classic. And, boy am I glad I did. It contains some incredible examples of quality salesmanship in print. It was this book that really opened my eyes to many of the principles we still use today when writing sales letters and crafting email promotions. I guess that’s why this book is recommended by almost every legend of marketing and advertising.
How To Write A Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab
What makes this book such a gem is how Schwab breaks down, in detail, the process every marketer needs to follow to get the attention of the marketplace. He actually reviews 100 great headlines and explains why they’re so effective. This was the book that really showed me the mandatory elements of a response-generating marketing or advertising piece.
Testing Advertising Methods by John Caples
In combination with the previous two books I mentioned, I feel this book really took my understanding of effective copy to a whole new level. This is one of those books that you’ll want to keep close when you’re writing any kind of copy. Caples’ does a superb job of handing readers actionable lists you’ll refer to over and over. I still do.
The 26-Hour Day by Vince Panella
A couple of years prior to going full-time online, I got hooked on the idea of time management and productivity. I started reading everything I could get my hands on about the topic. More importantly, I started putting into action the things I was learning. And, very quickly I realized… the better I controlled my actions and time, the more I got done. I was so impacted by this book, I requested an interview with the author. And I got it. It provides some great advice about managing your time. (Honorable mention here: Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. The main concept of this book also changed my view of tasks and prioritization. It’s definitely worth a quick read.)
Influence by Robert Cialdini
This book is the mother of all persuasion books. Almost everything you need to know about persuasion and the way the human mind can be “controlled” you’ll find within this book. Not a day goes by that something I learned from this book isn’t used in our marketing efforts. I think almost every top marketer would agree.
Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
From a pure marketing perspective, there’s probably no other book that’s had more of an impact on me than Breakthrough Advertising. The way Schwartz breaks down and explains the process of creating winning marketing and advertising is just outstanding. This book shares what no other book does – the appropriate communication style and approach for each stage of marketplace maturity. This little book is truly been worth it’s weight in gold for me!
That’s all for now. In a future post I’ll share the rest of my list of books that I credit for having the greatest impact on my thinking and actions.
What about YOU?
What books have had the greatest impact on you, your thinking, your actions, your business, your marketing?
Share it below. Leave a comment.
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