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How to Create Raving Fans for Your Brand

Why do some brands succeed beyond all reasonable expectation, while other brands that are just as good or even better wind up failing within a few months? How is it that an Oprah becomes an icon, while dozens of other talk show hosts quickly fall into oblivion? Why do brands like Nike inspire fierce loyalty while other brands struggle to get attention?

How to Create Raving Fans for Your Brand

In the book Primal Branding, Patrick Hanlon explains his theory for “Creating zealots for your brand, your company and your future.” He explains how the powerful brands become that way by carefully (and sometimes accidentally) creating a community of believers by employing seven different marketing tactics. All seven of these components are found behind every super-successful brand, product, service, personality, social cause, religion or movement.

Imagine if your product inspired the same level of loyalty that Apple, Disney and Starbucks receive from their customers. Now imagine you can actually engineer that loyalty right into your brand – it makes your head spin a bit, doesn’t it?

According to Patrick, these are the 7 key ingredients that you or your product, service or brand must have to inspire zealous loyalty.

The Creation Story – This is the back story that sets the stage. Think of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak working out of a garage building the first personal computer, Jeff Bezos writing Amazon’s business plan in the backseat of his car, or pharmacist Dr. John Pemberton concocting Coca-Cola.

You need a back story for your product, service or business. This might be how you got the idea, your struggle to solve a problem, your inspiration, etc. Storytelling is as old as language itself and touches people on a very deep, primal level. Do you want to foster a real, unifying connection on a subconscious level with your prospect? Then you need a story.

The Creed – This is what you believe in, your core principle, your mission statement. A creed differentiates and motivates. According to Sidney Pollack, “It’s the spine that supports the entire enterprise.” See if you can recognize these creeds:

“It’s the real thing”
“Save the whales”
“All men are created equal”
“Just do it”

So what’s your creed? Invest some time to get this right. And if you have more than one product and the products are wildly different, know that you’ll want a different creed for each one. For example, you won’t have the same creed for an info product on traffic generation as an info product on building your abs.

The Icons – These are best defined as a quick concentration of meaning. This could be a logo like the Nike swoosh, the smell of Cinnabons in the mall, a country’s flag, a national anthem, Alice Cooper’s eye make-up, Kiss’s face make-up, the Budweiser Clydesdales, Disney’s castle as well as Disney’s 2 black mouse ears, McDonald’s arches, the 2 notes Law and Order plays just before the show appears, the opening music to any television show or the 5 signature notes of Intel.

Choose your icon carefully, and then use it in all of your marketing. Update it when needed, being careful not to lose it in the process. It should always be instantly recognizable and tightly tied to your brand.

The Rituals – This is how our customers interact with your product and service, and how you interact with them. This one is a little harder to define and illustrate. We have rituals for everything we do on a frequent basis, including brushing our teeth, doing laundry, driving our car and checking our email. The key here is to focus on improving the experience the customer has with your product or brand. How can you raise the experience to a higher level? How can you make it more enjoyable, or even something they look forward to? How can you take the stress out and put the fun in?

What can you do to make the ritual of discovering, buying and using your product more enjoyable – so enjoyable, in fact, that people will talk about you and your product?

The Pagans, or Nonbelievers – These are best defined as “those other guys.” Us against them. Apple vs P.C. and Internet Explorer vs Firefox vs Chrome. One political party vs their opposition. One sports team vs their rival. Nothing unites a group faster than having a common ‘enemy.’ 7up declared itself the “un-cola.” Taco Bell tells you to “think outside the bun.”

Defining your pagans is important in defining who you are. Do you teach methods of getting free traffic? Then paid traffic methods are your pagans. Do you show people how to eat only clean, healthy foods? Then pseudo foods, pseudo food manufacturers and people who eat pseudo foods are your pagans.

The Sacred Words – Words specific and exclusive to your own product, service or brand. Walt Disney has ‘Mickey Mouse,’ ‘Goofy’ and ‘Donald Duck.’ Starbucks has a ‘grande.’ Dr. Seuss invented an entire world of sacred words. Apple has “think different.” Texters have their own sacred language. Information product creators and authors create their own terms to define what they’re teaching. By creating your own sacred words, your fans and followers are on the inside of the secret circle with their own language. It’s a cohesive, insider’s-only knowledge that brings a group together.

Think of a young couple in love – they develop their own language that is indecipherable to anyone else, and in this way they become 2 against the world. You can replicate this with your own sacred words, so don’t be afraid to get creative – your customers will love you for it.

The Leader – This person is the catalyst, the risk taker, the visionary, the iconoclast who set out against all odds to achieve something. Think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah, Gandhi, Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela and others who have led movements, companies and causes.

The leader could be the founder or it could be someone who takes their place functionally or symbolically. This means if you don’t want to be the leader, you can choose someone else, like a spokesperson for your brand.

Does all of this sound like too much work just to sell a product? Perhaps it is if you’re thinking small. If your goal is to sell a few hundred copies of something and move on, then you don’t need these 7 steps. But if you want to create something that takes on a life of its own and grows exponentially, then adhering to every one of these 7 pieces of the Primal Code is essential.

We talk about making a video or an idea or a product go viral. How does that happen? Is it an accident, or is it because that product or idea meets every one of these 7 criteria? Spend some time looking at the famous people and especially popular brands, and see if they don’t use all 7 of these in their marketing.

Look at it this way – if you could create a brand that grows like a religion, wouldn’t you want to? Imagine the people you can help, the alliances you can forge, and the profits you can make.

10 Tips for Building Your Blogging Brand

You’ve either got a blog already, or you’re just about to start one. Congratulations! You are one of only 500 million. Now then, knowing that your blog is (statistically speaking) less than a needle in a haystack, how are you going to get it NOTICED and read?

10 Tips for Building Your Blogging Brand

In one word, the answer is BRANDING. You can either throw together a blog and hope it somehow gets found, or you can carefully craft a brand that captures readers’ attention and keeps them coming back for more.

To throw one together, just do what 99.9% of other bloggers do – wing it. Fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best. In six months (or sooner) you’ll likely be so discouraged you’ll give up.

Building a brand is obviously the way to go. Think Google, Coke, Apple and Nike to understand the huge potential branding holds for your blog. Brands stand for something, mean something and create loyalty in their customers. They stand apart and often far, far above the competition. And best of all, really good brands get remembered and are sought out by consumers.

Here then are 10 tips for building your blogging brand:

Who are you writing to? Exactly who is your blog meant for? Create a clear picture of your ideal reader, including age, profession, family, worries, problems, hobbies, etc. You’ll be writing to this one person rather than trying to talk to everyone. Remember, when you target everyone, you interest no one. But when a certain segment of the population believes you’re writing just for them, you’ll build a loyal following.

Why are you writing to your specific readers? What is your goal? It might be to educate, to persuade, to motivate, etc. Keep your goal in mind at all times.

What are you writing about? This is your topic. It might be physical fitness, marketing, dating, etc. Decide in advance what your message is going to be.

Choose a brandable name. If you’re creating a fitness blog, for example, then you might choose a one or two word brand name that people are likely to remember, rather than a keyword laden name.

HowToGetHealthyAndLoseWeight.com isn’t really brandable – it’s too generic and too keyword rich. Think in terms of “Google” – now that’s a brand. You might try things like FitMonkey.com or SkinnyCakes.com – those are brandable and memorable.

Create a snappy tagline. A name generally isn’t enough – you also want a tagline to help brand yourself, to clarify what you do and to make your blog more memorable. If your blog is on bacon recipes, your url might be DeadPiggy.com and your tagline might be “Bacon lover’s recipes for the non-chef.” See how the tagline not only defines that the site is about bacon recipes, but also narrows the niche to those who don’t consider themselves to be good cooks? This is a prime example of using a tagline to define what you do and WHO you do it for.

Get a logo. Can you picture the Apple logo? Nike? Coke? A logo is an integral part of your brand. Make it clean, simple, eye-catching and unique. It’s worth the extra money to get your logo just right.

Adapt your logo into a favicon. Again, this is an important part of branding your blog.

Use a website design that matches your topic. A header full of balloons and clowns on a website about grieving generally isn’t going to work. Dull colors on a children’s website or a lack of photos of gardens on a gardening website won’t work. Make sure all of the visual elements of your site correspond with your topic.

Choose a writing style and stick with it. Take a lesson from McDonald’s here and give your readers what they’ve come to expect from you. Maybe you’re writing to a technical crowd – then you might write like an engineer. Or perhaps you’re taking on a persona, like the Rich Jerk. Odds are you’re going to write like yourself, which is perhaps best of all because you won’t have any trouble maintaining that style. Consistency is key because if one day you’re writing like the guy next door and the next day you’re writing like an English professor, your readers are going to get confused and likely won’t return.

Promote your blog’s name through social media. Consistently use your blog’s name everywhere. Don’t use “Law Enforcement Weight Loss” on Twitter and “Muscle Cops” on Facebook – no one will realize it’s the same blog you’re referring to. Again, this is another reason to choose a unique, short, brandable name that no one else is using anywhere.

If your blog is going to stand apart from the crowd, then you’ve got to do a little extra work, but that work will likely pay off handsomely in the end.

Not only will you stand apart from the crowd, you’ll also discover that if you ever decide to sell your blog, you’ll be able to charge a great deal more because you took the time to brand it.

‘Magic’ Words to Build Your Business Exponentially

It’s fine to build your business gradually, a step here and a step there. But it’s so much better, faster and just plain more FUN to build it by leaps and bounds.

'Magic' Words to Build Your Business Exponentially

Below you’ll find the magic words that will help you to do just that. Forget taking the long, slow painful route and resolve to achieve a quantum leap, or true metamorphosis in your business.

1 Magic Word That Quadruples Productivity And Profits

There are a myriad of tasks any one online marketer needs to perform, and the faster and better those tasks are completed, the more profitable the business can be. But struggling marketers who are trying to balance administrative duties, product creation, social media, customer service, formatting and uploading books to Kindle, writing blog posts, setting up JV’s, recruiting affiliates, writing emails, setting up autoresponders, doing research, writing sales copy, answering emails, forum posting and all their many other marketing tasks might be better off doing less, not more.

If you’ve ever been on a ship, you probably noticed the captain doesn’t cook the meals or swab the deck. Nor does he maintain the engines, hoist the sails, plot the navigation or the other 101 duties that are done aboard a ship. Rather, he is the pilot of the entire operation, instructing everyone else on what to do.

Perhaps it’s time you think of yourself as the pilot of your own business. Do those tasks which you are extremely good at, and OUTSOURCE the rest to professionals who excel in those areas. You will not only get far more done, but odds are the work will be completed faster in a more professional manner. And when you can quadruple your efforts by adding a few part time outsourcers, you can also quadruple your results and your profits.

Don’t kid yourself – you cannot do it all and make the kind of money you want. As soon as you can afford to, start outsourcing. It’s not only one of the most profitable things you can do, it also gets you away from the grindstone and able to see the big picture so you can better navigate the waters of your business.

2 Magic Words To Make You A Marketing Rockstar

If you want your content to be seen and shared, and if you want it to make a lasting impression on prospects, then the written word is seldom enough anymore. Let’s do a test: Tell me everything you can about the person who wrote the blog post you read yesterday. Drawing a blank? Now tell me everything you can about a video you saw yesterday. Different story, right?

What if someone calls you on the phone to sell you something you’re interested in, versus someone that shows up at your door. Which one are you more likely to buy from? Assuming you’re not freaked out that a salesman appeared out of no where with the product that adequately fits your needs, you’re going to buy from him, not the faceless person on the phone.

Obviously you can’t visit your prospects in person, but you can do something almost as good – USE VIDEO. People remember video over the written word because it engages more of the senses. If you only use the written word, you’re simply not going to make nearly the same level of connection that you could have with video.

Now then, you might be afraid to get in front of the camera. If so, you can start out with slideshow videos, animated videos or screencast videos. Then move up to videos of yourself because this is the real pay off. This is where people start to feel like they can really connect with you and they KNOW you. Remember, content is more important than quality. You don’t have to be the next Steven Spielberg to make this work, you just have to be authentic with something to say that people want to hear.

3 Magic Words That Can DOUBLE Your Sales

You should be doing this every single time you sell a product or service because it will invariably increase your bottom line. Marketers have added hundreds of thousands of dollars to their sales funnels by simply incorporating these three words into every sales system they create.

What are the 3 magic words? ALWAYS BE UPSELLING. Every single time you sell anything, offer an upsell / downsell sequence because it can turn your original $47 sale into a $300 sale or more, simply by offering the customer additional options.

Offer something that is complimentary to the original offer. It might make the original offer easier or faster to implement, go into more depth, offer more options, or even perform a service for them. It could be coaching, an additional information product, software, a membership program or anything else that helps the customer to achieve the result they want.

What if you don’t have a product or service to offer as an upsell? Then find an appropriate affiliate product that matches your original offer. And here’s a secret: When a customer turns down an upsell, they are typically more open to buying a lower cost (downsell) product. It’s almost as though the higher ticket item warms them up to the downsell offer. This is why car dealers and real estate brokers like to show cars and properties that are too expensive for the client. Once they show the client something more affordable, the client is more likely to make an offer than if they’d been shown the lower cost model in the first place.

4 Magic Words To Get You More Clients

If you’re selling big ticket items or services, I’m about to utter the 4 words 9 out of 10 marketers dread: PICK UP THE PHONE. Nothing sells as well as face to face contact except perhaps the phone. Let’s face it – your prospects are inundated with emails and shout-outs on social media. If you really want to connect and make the sale, you need to pick up that 500 pound phone and establish a real one-on-one relationship.

If you’re phone-a-phobic, start with existing customers. Find out how they’re doing with the product(s) they’ve purchased and what you can do to help them along (coaching, perhaps?) Next, move on to your lowest hanging fruit – those prospects you deem most likely to bite. Make it a rule to call 5 people each day, and within 3 weeks you’ll notice 2 things: First, being on the phone isn’t so scary anymore. And second, business is definitely picking up.

5 Magic Words That Virtually Eliminate Any Competition

Whatever your niche, there are others who are doing very nearly the same thing, better known as your direct competition. For example, if you’re a weight loss coach, there are thousands of other weight loss coaches you’re competing against to gain clients.

That’s why you’ve got to find a way to stand completely apart from the crowd, and the best way to do this is to CREATE A UNIQE POSITIONING POINT for yourself and your business. Find that one thing that makes you totally different from all the other weight loss coaches out there, that thing that draws customers to you like flies. And mind you, saying that you’re better, that your work is higher quality, that you’ve got more experience, etc., isn’t unique. Everybody says those things.

Can’t think of anything? Try this: “I will show you how to lose weight while NEVER feeling deprived and still eating the foods you love.”

Sign me up!

Here’s one from a carpet cleaner: “If I don’t remove your stain and get you sparkling clean carpets, I’ll pay you $50 for your time.”

You’re hired!

I wouldn’t need to hear another word in order to choose this carpet cleaner over all the others – would you?

A Chiropractor might advertise: “I’ll get you immediate relief from your back pain or your visit is completely free.”

That’s what I want to hear – make me an appointment now!

6 Magic Words That Double Subscribers

You already know how crucial it is to continually build your list. But are you being aggressive enough? The vast majority of websites are missing opportunities to grab more subscribers because they don’t PLACE OPT-IN BOXES ON EVERY PAGE of their website. Yet this simple step can as much as DOUBLE the number of subscribers you get from your site.

Most websites have an opt-in box on the homepage or none at all. But very few have an opt-in box on every single page. And fewer still place opt-in boxes on both the right sidebar above the fold, and again at the bottom of each post. But adding these boxes along with a great incentive to sign up will increase the number of subscribers you get. And make sure your opt-in box stands out with clean lines and no clutter.

Go ahead and place opt-in boxes in unexpected places as well. Do you have sales pages? Place an opt-in box on each one. Do you have more than one sign-up incentive? You might place one incentive in the right sidebar, and the other at the bottom of the page. This way if one incentive doesn’t interest them, then the other one might. You can then position your follow ups according to the incentive they chose.

You might even place a video with your opt-in boxes, instructing the reader to fill in their email address and press the button to get the incentive. By telling people what to do, you increase the chances they’ll actually do it.

Can you make a short, snappy and powerful quiz people can take? This is another way to capture email addresses. Once they finish the quiz, you request their email address so you can send them their confidential results via email.

7 Magic Words To Build Your Visibility And Reach a Larger Audience

If you’re not doing Google Hangouts yet, you’re missing the boat. Google Hangouts will increase your visibility, help you boost traffic to your site, improve your search engine ranking, improve your authority, increase the distribution of your content, and connect you to your potential customers, affiliates and joint venture partners. Therefore, HOST REGULAR GOOGLE PLUS HANGOUTS ON AIR. Hangouts are multi-participant video chats. When you host a hangout, you can carry on a training or conversation.

Your Hangouts might be informal chats, scripted or anything in between. You can keep the Hangout private, or you can live stream and broadcast your Hangouts on Hangouts On Air. By publicly streaming your show, it’s automatically recorded and added to your YouTube account. You can also embed it on your website.

If you don’t want it to go live, you can make it private, download it when you’re finished and edit it before posting it.

This is a great way to reach a huge audience and strengthen your reputation. Make a plan on how and when you will use Hangouts on Air, and set up a regular schedule for broadcasting. Think about using Google Hangouts for teaching and lecturing, for coaching, consulting, interviews, webinars, product demonstration, hold question and answer sessions, etc. The possibilities are exciting and nearly endless.

Live Hangouts On Air8 Magic Words That Increase The Money In Your List 10 Fold

A list full of buyers is worth at least 10 times more than a list full of people who haven’t purchased anything from you yet. In fact, in most cases a buyers list is often worth closer to 100 times more than a list of prospects, and here’s why: When someone purchases anything from you, even if they only spend $1, they are now in a vastly different mindset concerning their relationship with you and your products. They now have an OWNERSHIP mindset because they own one of your products, and because of this they are far, far more likely to purchase from you again and again and at higher and higher price points.

So what are the 8 magic words that increase the money in your list 10 fold or more? TURN PROSPECTS INTO BUYERS AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. In the beginning it doesn’t really matter if they are spending $1 or $100. The important thing is they have crossed that threshold from prospect to buyer.

How do you get prospects to immediately buy? The easiest way is to get them pre-sold by people they already know and trust. This means having affiliates refer people to you. If you cookie the affiliates in so that they receive commissions on anything prospects purchase for a long period of time, such as a year or even lifetime, affiliates will be more than happy to send you referrals.

Other ways to get people pre-sold on you before they even hit your site is to guest blog, to do joint ventures, and to create products that others in your niche can give away as a bonus to their own product. Whatever it takes, turn your prospects into happy customers as quickly as possible and you’ll be able to continue to sell to them for a long time to come.

9 Ways to Make a Million Dollars Online

Do you think a million dollars is out of reach? Think again. Short of investing – which takes capital – or working on commission in high ticket sales, there is likely no better place to become a millionaire than via the Internet.

9 Ways to Make a Million Dollars Online

To put a million dollars into perspective, you will need to earn $2,739 per day for 365 days if you’re going to accomplish the task in one year. If you’re patient, you need only make $548 per day for 5 years, or $274 per day for 10 years. You see? Making a million dollars is completely doable.

Here then are 9 gems to get you thinking in the right direction. My recommendation: Choose one and focus on that until it’s earning you a good income, then add a second and even a third stream into the mix.

1. Leveraging. Find something that works and then multiply your efforts. For example, create a great product line with a dynamite affiliate program, and then focus on recruiting the best affiliates to sell for you. You’ll be leveraging their efforts for your gain.

I forget who said it’s better to have 1% of the efforts of 100 people than 100% of the efforts of one – but imagine if you get 10% of the efforts of 100 people. You might need to recruit a 1,000 affiliates or more to find these 100, but it will be well worth it. There are product creators right now on ClickBank who have earned far in excess of a million dollars simply by using this method.

2. Scaling. When you create a product that is a hot seller, don’t stop. Create similar products at larger price points that you can sell to your same customers. Then create related product lines to sell to existing customers, as well as to attract new customers to your product lines. Your goal is to add to your product line both vertically and horizontally, attracting a much larger share of your market and making you the market leader.

3. Coaching. Start with a few clients to figure out what you’re doing. Then scale this up and leverage it with affiliates. You can sell one-on-one coaching, coaching memberships, group coaching and coaching events. Imagine putting on a coaching event in a different city every two weeks and selling seats for $997. You’d only need to sell 39 seats in each city to earn that million dollars.

Not possible you say? Tell that to Tony Robbins – he probably earns close to a million dollars for every event he does, and that’s after expenses. In case you’re curious, his net worth is estimated to be $500 million. Think about it – if he can earn a million dollars 480 times, you can certainly do it once.

4. Continuity. If you could sell a product once for $27, or you could sell access for $10 a month, what would you do? Here’s a hint: What do Netflix, cable companies, cell phone companies, utility companies, hosting companies, etc. all have in common? Continuity – the ability to bill month in and month out. Find something that people are willing to pay for monthly, then scale it up and use leverage, and you’ve got a proven wealth formula. So what’s the best place to start looking for the right product? Software or some kind of online automated service. You can give away free trials and then begin charging.

5. Consult. If you’re really good at business or marketing, consider consulting with existing business for a share of the profits. For example, you work with a publisher to increase sales of their products, and in exchange you get 50% of the increased revenue. This is found revenue they would not have received if not for you, so it’s a win-win and a great way to make serious money. Start with small businesses, earn your successes and work up to the million dollar deals.

6. JV Broker. There are tons of businesses outside of the IM field who don’t know much of anything about doing joint ventures. You can set up deals between these businesses and product owners to promote the products to the business’ existing customer list for a share of the profits.

For example, an online fitness equipment seller has a list of 100,000 customers and prospects. You broker a deal between them and a fitness info product, taking a percentage of the profits. You write the series of emails, set it all up, and take your cut. Then you do it again and again. One deal could make you anything from several hundred dollars to six figures, depending on the size and responsiveness of the list, how well matched the product is to the desires of the list and other factors.

7. Be cheap. If you can somehow offer an extremely popular and in demand product at a lower price while still making a profit, you could earn far more than a million dollars. Swanson Vitamins offers nearly every herb and vitamin imaginable, and every price is almost always lower than stores and mail order competitors.

Netflix offers unlimited streaming for less than $15 per month – about the price you used to pay for 4 movie rentals – and you had to drive to pick those up and return them. Hosting is another great example – it used to cost far more to host a website until one company decided to start charging $10 a month, and later reduced that price even lower. You won’t find this type of opportunity available everyday, but if you keep your eyes peeled and you’re not afraid to take massive action, you could be the next Netflix.

8. Be an authority. Or better yet, get famous. When you’ve got a name people recognize, they want to do business with you. In fact, if you’re famous or enough of an authority, you can command top dollar for your products and services. Just look at a handbag in a discount store versus a handbag with the famous Gucci name on it. The difference in price is downright ridiculous, especially when you realize there sometimes isn’t much difference in quality.

Could Tony Robbins command so much money or fill entire auditoriums with $1,000 attendees if he weren’t famous? Probably not. So how did he get so famous? Infomercials. And results, of course! Originally, he bought his way to fame and made money the whole way by truly helping people. Put out press releases, do outrageous things, become known as the mover and shaker in your industry and you can be famous, too.

9. Be Oprah. Not actually Oprah, of course, but look at how she got rich – she hosted a talk show and made her guests look good. Today thanks to the Internet, anyone can host their own show. You can do video or podcast or both. You can interview anyone on any topic, so long as you can get them to say yes. And you can become famous and rich doing it.

How? Choose a niche and make your show THE authority on that niche. Then promote the products of the people you interview.

Now that I’ve shared these methods with you, take a few minutes to read them again. Which one resonates with you? Which one gets you excited and motivated? Which one can you see yourself doing?

Notice something – you are no longer thinking about “whether” you can make a million dollars. Instead, you are now thinking about “how” you WILL make a million dollars. Big difference, huh?

The very first step to making money is believing you can do it. The second step is choosing a plan of action. And the third step? TAKING action.

Why Opens, Clicks and Number of Visitors Don’t Mean Anything to Me

You see an ad for a new traffic gimmick that sends you thousands of visitors a day. Or maybe it’s someone bragging on the forum that they get 50% opens on their emails, or that 25% of their email recipients click the links inside the emails.

Why Opens, Clicks and Number of Visitors Don't Mean Anything To Me

I’ve only got one question for those who spend time on such things – how do you pay your bills with opens, clicks and visitor numbers? Because if they can tell me that, then I’m all ears. Otherwise, it’s about time someone said what needs saying – those numbers don’t mean a darned thing.

Let’s say you get 10 visitors to your website and your competitor gets a million visitors. I’m using crazy numbers here to prove a point, so bear with me.

Out of your 10 visitors, 5 of them buy a $1,000 product. You’ve just made $5,000. Your competitor doesn’t sell a single thing to any of those million visitors, but there they are, bragging about their traffic and trying to sell you a product on how you can replicate their results…

…while you quietly grin all the way to the bank.

Or maybe you send out a series of emails that only get a 10% open rate and only 10% of those opens click the link, but again you outsell your competitor who’s getting 50% opens and 25% clicks.

Are you going to think you’re doing poorly? You are if you measure your success by their terms. But again, all that matters is the bottom line.

So much of what they try to peddle in marketing is simply smoke and mirrors. It’s a wise person indeed who can see through the nonsense to what is truly important.

Let’s say you have a subject line that says, “Naked hot movie star pics” and you get a 100% open rate. But you’re selling a product on blogging. How many sales will you get? Likely none. But you got a 100% open rate, that should count for something, right?

Wrong.

Let’s say you’re still selling the exact same blogging product, but your subject line is, “How to make $100 a day blogging.” This time your open rate is a dismal 10%, but from that 10% you make 50 sales.

Which is better? The 100% open rate and no sales? Or the 10% open rate and 50 sales?

The next time some one is bragging about their opens, clicks and visitors, ask them one question: How much in SALES are they doing? Because that’s the only statistic that pays the bills.

How to Write a Book… Without Writing!

Here’s what happens when most people sit down to write a non-fiction book: First, they procrastinate because they don’t know where to start. Next, they finally get going and they even manage to write a chapter or two, but then they get stuck. Finally, they shelve the book to “finish later” and it never gets done.

How to Write a Book... Without Writing!

Frustrating, right?

But if you have a system, writing a book can be nearly painless and possibly even fun. And if that system involves speaking – something you are likely far more experienced at than writing – so much the better. The best part? You can finish your book within weeks or even days, instead of slaving over it for the next 6 months.

So here’s how you ‘write’ your book without (much) writing, step by step:

Solidify your idea. Hopefully you have a topic picked out, be it How to Care for Tropical Fish, How to Raise Chickens or How to Build a List Using Skype. It should be a topic you’re already familiar with, one you can already speak about with authority. You don’t need to have all of your facts lined up, but your working knowledge should be fairly extensive for this system to work. If you don’t know a good deal about your topic, see below for a work-around.

Now then, for the next few hours or days, keep asking yourself what you want to teach others about this topic. Make notes of the ideas that come to you. Take time to research on the appropriate forums and find out what people want to know, and make further notes. At this point you’re getting ideas for your chapters. Don’t edit, just make notes on whatever comes to mind.

Once you have enough ideas, go through them and pick out the best 10-15 ideas and arrange them in the order you want them to appear in your book.

Make notes on each idea. Jot down what you want to say under each heading. These don’t need to be extensive notes if you already know your topic. The time you’ll need for this will likely be one day to one week. Stay at it, and you’ll find all sorts of things popping into your head at the oddest of times. Write them down so you don’t have to try to remember them.

Place the notes for each chapter in an approximate order of how you would like to cover them. For example, if you’re writing a book on vegetable gardening and you have a chapter on cucumbers, you might start with how to choose the best variety of cucumber, where to get the seed, how to prepare the soil, how and when to plant, how to take care of the plant as it grows, how to extend the growing season, etc.

Speak your chapters. Start with any chapter you like and record yourself speaking the chapter (rather than writing it.) You’ll have your outline in front of you, and you’ll be speaking just as if someone were there in the room with you. In fact, if it’s easier you can record your sessions with a friend who helps to prompt you with the appropriate questions and prods when you leave something out.

Do this for each chapter, and then get your recordings transcribed.

Edit and fill in the missing material. You’ll need to do some editing to get your chapters just right. And in some cases you’ll need to go back and add something in that you either forgot or didn’t have at the time. For example, you’re recording and you realize you didn’t know a piece of information – you can simply add it in at this point.

Get someone to edit your nearly finished manuscript for you. There’s nothing like having another pair of eyes on your writing to make it the best it can be. If you can afford a professional editor, terrific. If not, get a friend who’s good with communication to do it.

Remember, your book doesn’t have to sound like it was written by a stuffy English professor. In fact, it’s better if it’s written in a conversational tone, which gives you a real advantage using this system because you really are speaking rather than writing.

Rinse and repeat. Now that you see how easy it is to ‘write’ a book using this system, you’ll want to do it again and again.

What if you’re not already knowledgeable about your topic? Then you can speak as you research. This is a bit trickier but can be done. Write down what you want to cover in your outline, and then research each item. As you find the information you seek, read it to yourself and then without looking at what you just read, explain it into the recorder. This way you convey the same knowledge but in your own words.

You’ll find there’s a an extra bonus to using this method – by immediately explaining what you just read out loud, you’ll remember far more of it later. Basically you are learning and teaching simultaneously, which means that once you become adept at using this system, you can ‘write’ about almost anything while learning it at the same time.

15 Tips to Sell More Non-Fiction Ebooks

Whether you’re selling ebooks to make immediate profit, to build your list of buyers or to position yourself as an expert in your field, here are 15 simple ways to get more buyers.

15 Tips to Sell More Non-Fiction Ebooks

1. Know your target market, find out where they hang out and then be there. Whether it’s forums, blogs, websites, etc., find out their favorite haunts and then figure out ways to get your book seen and talked about without spamming. Frankly, half the battle of selling more ebooks is knowing where your best customers are. Far too many marketers and authors are promoting their goods anywhere and everywhere, rather than concentrating their energy where they will gain the highest return for their efforts.

2. Use video. A 2-3 minute video about your book can be the perfect lure to use in social media to get people interested and heading over to your sales page.

3. Give away the first 1-3 chapters of your ebook. People want to know if they’re getting quality and the fastest way to prove they are is to give them the first chapters for free. Include a detailed, benefit-laden and curiosity provoking table of contents, as well as a cliff hanger at the end of the last chapter you give away. Be sure to place the order page link at the end of the free chapters as well, along with instructions to click the link to immediately get the rest of the book.

4. If you don’t want to give away the first few chapters, consider creating a special report that includes some (not all!) of the best information from the book. In the report you’ll mainly tell them what they should be doing, but not ‘how’ to do it. This way they need to buy your book to get the results they seek.

5. If you haven’t launched your book yet, build up anticipation for it. Build a wait list, use email and video to disseminate information, and basically get people excited to get the book when it arrives.

6. Offer a discount for a specific time period when the book is first launched to quickly ramp up sales and get testimonials.

7. Get testimonials before you launch. Give your book to prominent people in your niche and to people in your own network asking them to review it for you.

8. Make it super easy to order. Regardless of how you distribute your ebook, make the sales process as seamless and easy as possible. The more hurdles they have to jump through to get your book, the more likely they are to click away before completing the sales process. If you are selling the book from a sales page, make the sales page match the ebook cover with the same colors and same type of graphics for a seamless experience.

9. Use keywords in your book title and your website URL. This can make it easier for prospects to find your book.

10. Run contests via social media to give away free copies of your book.

11. Do webinar joint ventures. Find list owners, bloggers and affiliates in your niche who will promote a webinar to their readers. You provide free training on the webinar and then sell your book at the end, splitting the profits with the list owner.

12. Offer a free coaching course in conjunction with your book. This course is delivered automatically via autoresponder, and helps the purchaser to get the very most out of your book. This can get some fence-sitters to act, since they can see how this will make the book more useful and increase the odds they’ll get real value from it, instead of letting it gather cyber dust like so many other books they’ve purchased.

13. Hold an affiliate contest. Some affiliates will go all out just to get the bragging rights of having won the contest.

14. Find bloggers in similar but non-competing topics whose readers would benefit from your book. Send them a free copy and offer a special deal just for their readers.

15. Hold a challenge. Ask for volunteers to go through your book, implement the information with your help, and report the results. This can gain a lot of social media attention, depending on your topic.

21 Marketing Tips to Sell More Products

Want to sell more of your amazing and life-changing product? Do one or more of these 21 things and customers will start beating a path to your physical or virtual storefront. 😉

21 Marketing Tips to Sell More Products

  • Talk about your customers, not about you. “Make the customer the hero of your story.” – Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, Marketing Profs 
  • Respect your customers. In the words of David Ogilvy, “The consumer isn’t a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her.”
  • Be exclusive. Make it a privilege and a proud moment to purchase from you and join the ranks of your customers.
  • Long copy outsells short copy because it tells more. But no matter the length of your copy, prospects will only read it so long as it’s interesting and relevant.
  • Stay in contact with your customers. A lot. All the time. Everyday. Your goal is to stay in your customers’ minds until they are ready to buy your next product, and your next, and your next. He (or she) who communicates most wins in business.
  • Let your customers take your product for a test drive. If you sell software, let them try it for 7-10 days before they buy it. If it’s information, let them see the table of contents and the first 10% of the content, whether it’s written, audio or video. Spend as much time on each item in the table of contents as you would on a headline, and make that first 10% of content totally awesome.
  • Teach as you sell. You’ve seen the advertorials – ads that look like editorials. If done correctly, they teach as much as they sell. If you’re giving benefit through your sales copy, your readers will reason that you give a great deal more in your product.
  • Write as though you are writing to one person, not a crowd
  • Use emotion in your marketing. All the logic, stats and facts in the world won’t sell as well as emotion, so use it.
  • Ask for what you want until you get it. Whether it’s a sale, a referral, a tweet or anything else, keep asking until you get it.
  • Bloggers and graphic artists – make the image match the words. Otherwise the reader is left wondering what the image has to do with the copy instead of getting engrossed in the message.
  • Don’t use the same stock images as everyone else. You know the ones – people in suits sitting at a conference table, having a meeting, on the phone, staring into a computer monitor, etc. Tests show those stereotyped pictures can actually hurt your conversions.
  • Don’t just tell – show. Use your words to paint vivid pictures in the readers’ minds. “When you use abc product, you wake up feeling like you’re 20 years younger, vibrant, alive and knowing this could be one of the best days of your life so far.”
  • Use incentives for any action you want people to take. It doesn’t matter if it’s joining a list or buying a product – give them an incentive to do it and to do it right now.
  • Treat your prospects and your customers as you would good friends and that’s what they’ll become.
  • Give prospects choices. Instead of ‘yes’ they’ll buy or ‘no’ they won’t buy, offer your product in different sizes, formats, colors, etc. This way you can get them to choose (Red or Blue? Small or Large?) which takes their mind of off whether or not to buy and onto how they should buy.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. Time and again marketers are trying to find new ways to do things, while someone else has already laid down a proven method that marketer could simply follow. When you need to do something new, find someone who’s already done it and model what they did. Once you get good at it, then you can refine it further to suit you.
  • Use “because.” If you are giving a freebie to your list, tell them why. If you are stipulating a deadline or offering a bonus, tell them why. If you don’t, you’ll leave an unanswered question in your prospects’ minds that could make them hesitate. “I’m limiting my coaching to just 10 people because I want to have the time to absolutely ensure the success of every one of my students.”
  • Give reasons why what you claim is true. If you say your toothpaste whitens better than any other, tell them why. “14 years of clinical research culminating in a breakthrough discovery of 3 specific proteins that leave your teeth shiny white.”
  • Test. If you have a successful campaign that yields $50,000, but with a little testing it could have been double that, you’ve just lost $50,000.
  • Read your copy out loud. Whether it’s a sales letter, blog post, email or article, read it out loud. You’ll discover what works and what needs fixing.

Nothing Sells Like Scarcity (and Taboo)

True story: A student attends a strict private school that decides to ban a multitude of books. These books are classics such as The Canterbury Tales, Paradise Lost, Animal Farm, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy and many, many others.

Nothing Sells Like Scarcity (and Taboo)

The student – appalled by the administration’s actions – uses her own collection of books to start her own lending library out of an empty school locker. She keeps an inventory log and gives students due dates. Before she started the locker library, she says, “Almost no kid at school but myself took an active interest in reading!

“Now not only are all the kids reading the banned books, they go out of their way to read anything they can get their hands on” she says. She and the other students are risking getting into trouble to read books, all because the school banned them.

The first marketing lesson here is loud and clear – the scarcer something is, the more people are interested in it and the higher price people are willing to pay. In this case the price paid is having to sneak around and risk getting into trouble, possibly even getting detention or being expelled from school.

The second marketing less is that taboo sells. How many times have you heard about a film only because some group was boycotting it? And what almost always happens? The more the film is protested by some people, the more others want to see it. Heck, if you have a movie that’s failing, get a group to denounce it and your ticket sales will almost certainly increase in direct proportion to the publicity your film’s adversaries are garnering.

And while you might not be able to incorporate the second lesson into your marketing, you can certainly use the first. Decide to sell your products for a limited time or to a limited number of people. When you hit the limit, pull it immediately. Do this each time and your customers will become trained to purchase your products the moment they become available or risk losing out.

Do you have a product that’s not selling well? Announce it will be disappearing forever in 7 days and see what happens. This psychology doesn’t just work on kids, it works on everyone.

One has to wonder if the administrators of that school were shortsighted for banning books, or geniuses for finding a way to get kids to read. It’s certainly a lesson other schools could use – perhaps giving a list of books to students that they “shouldn’t” read, placing those books in a special locked section of the library, and then having the librarian lend the books only on the condition that they tell no one. What a brilliant way to get kids reading. 🙂

How to Find Your Next Hot-Selling Product

Odds are you’ve been a hair’s breath away from a $10,000 product idea sometime in the last 24 hours – you just didn’t recognize it. That’s because great product ideas are all around you, but if you don’t keep your eyes and ears open for them they’ll pass you right by and get found by somebody else.

How to Find Your Next Hot-Selling Product

For example, you’re online reading about a famous athlete from the past, and there’s a sentence in there about how this athlete swore by using a special herb or a particular training technique. Most people would just breeze right by that sentence, but you’re on the lookout for new product ideas.

You do some research and find out that particular herb or technique does indeed give tremendous benefits to athletes and maybe even to people wanting to lose weight. Best of all, it’s not widely known. So you do further research and make a report on it. Then you write a sales letter with all the stories you found and the benefits of this practically “secret” herb or technique, and now you’ve got a product.

Better still, you back end your customer with related products, or even sell them the herb or the technique on video. And all because of one sentence you read in a biography.

Let’s give another example of finding ideas: You’re on a forum and you see a question you haven’t encountered before. You do a little research and realize this is a problem a lot of people are having, so you do further research and find a solution. Bingo! Another product.

One such bloke read comments from expensive sports car owners lamenting that their car emblems get stolen and they’re several hundred dollars to replace. He asked if they’d be open to a less expensive alternative and the forum members asked how to order. That was a pretty clear sign, so he did some research, found the exact same car emblems for far less money and had himself a new business. In this case he didn’t even need to create the product, he only needed to find it and make it available to his customers.

Let’s say you’re having coffee at the local coffee house, or a beer at the local pub. You start chatting with the guy next to you, and you find out he’s an expert in something or other. So you begin to quiz him on his best knowledge and you find this guy is a treasure trove. You do some quick research online and find this is a lucrative niche, so you partner with this person and create a product.

And it doesn’t have to be someone you meet by chance– it could be a book author, a blogger, someone in your local paper, etc. Contact them and see if they’re open to working with you to earn additional income.

Now you’re really into finding great ideas for new products, so you decide to get a little crazy. You place an ad in Craigslist looking for experts and offering to make them authors. Think you’ll get responses? Likely so, and even if you don’t find someone who fits, it didn’t cost you a dime.

You go to your mailbox and you find one of those packets of various local advertisers. You open it up and find the following advertisers, which gives you these product ideas:

Liquor store – book on how to make your own liquors

Satellite television – this is a good CPA niche, but you could also make a product on how to watch all your favorite TV without buying cable or satellite

Cafe – an info product on how to do marketing for cafes and small restaurants

Auto mechanic shop – either products on how auto shops can do marketing, or on how consumers can get cars for cheap and also save money on maintenance.

Home security system – how to keep your family safe from harm

Landscape maintenance – how to landscape for minimal upkeep by using native plants, installing automated irrigation, etc.

Carpet cleaners – Joe Polish is a marketer who caters to this niche, teaching carpet cleaners how to clean up financially. And he makes a gob of money teaching in this niche. Makes you think, doesn’t it? There are a ton of professions out there that desperately need marketing help.

Address labels – okay, this one has me stumped. While first class mail is at an all time low – who needs address labels? I’ll tell you a secret: The sellers of address labels don’t make anything selling the labels. They make their money by enclosing offers from all kinds of different businesses when they send out those labels. Sort of like doing multiple solo mailings at one time. Which is a great idea for a local service you can offer to businesses.

Dentist – info products that teach dental practices how to market, as well as products that teach how to get expensive dental services such as implants for a fraction of the cost.

Window cleaner – maybe a product on how to get new windows for cheap, or how to install them yourself? How about teaching people who to open their own window cleaning business?

Chiropractic – once again, how chiropractors can market as well as additional products and services they can sell to increase their profits

Golf course – anything that takes strokes off.

You get the idea – there are product ideas EVERY where, you just have to be open and attentive to find them.

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