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4 Unusual Marketing Hacks to Attract More B2B Clients

August 23rd, 2016 No comments

B2B marketingB2B is different.

If you convince the right decision-maker that you can improve their company’s profits without compromising their integrity, you’ll almost always make the sale. If you can’t convince them, you haven’t got a prayer.

This is why B2B leaders publish white papers, join associations, and attend conferences. You should already be using most of the tactics listed below. But let’s look at how you can tweak each of these tools so they sell like crazy.

 

Your First Tweak: The private VIP webinar

You might publicize your webinars online. Maybe you send an email invitation to everyone on your list. But if you want to attract your ideal clients, you need to drill down a bit.

Who are the top 10 companies you wish were your clients?

Come up with a solution to a problem these clients are dealing with. Invite the CEO and the president. Send them a personal email, and give them a call if you can. If you have any contacts who might be influential in one of your “target” companies, reach out to them, too. Be sure that everyone you invite knows this is a VIP webinar, tailored specifically for them.

Maybe only 5 people will show up, but they will be key decision-makers.

 

Tweak Number Two: Publish a targeted case study

This is not your father’s white paper. You’re not going to describe how to deal with a common issue in your industry. Instead, select a specific problem that one or more of your clients are facing.

A typical white paper would provide good advice on how you could solve that very problem. Your case study will do something more.  You’ll give the specific details of how you already solved the problem for someone else.

This tactic has the added benefit of social proof. Like a testimonial, it shows that other people have used your solution with good results.

 

The Third B2B Tweak: Proactively send your best white papers and case studies to target clients

Don’t be like everybody else. Most companies have an opt-in form on their website where visitors can leave their email and download the free PDF. This is a proven tactic, but there’s a way to take it further.

Target the companies you want to do business with. Print out your case study on good quality paper and send it by FedEx to the President, CEO, or other specific leader. If you send out just 10 of these a month, and they prove relevant to the recipient, this tactic will pay for itself a hundredfold or more.

While you’re at it, there’s a proactive way to send a digital copy of your case studies. Post them on LinkedIn and send a LinkedIn message to your target recipients. Announce it to your groups, if relevant. In the end, you’ll touch your target clients three times: Once with the group announcement, once in the LinkedIn message, and once when they receive a hard copy through FedEx.

While your competitors continue to passively offer white papers on their website, your company will be doing acrobatic spins and dives on the radar screens of your dream clients.

 

Tweak Four: Build a deliberate referral system

You know the value of a good referral. Yet how often do you ask for one? Are you systematic about it?

Consider the benefits of consistently asking for referrals whenever you close a sale, complete a project, deliver a solution. Almost every transaction gives you at least one opportunity to ask for a referral. Develop a specific email and/or sales script for each of these situations.

While we’re on the topic, what about asking all those contacts who don’t necessarily do a transaction with you each month? Come up with a monthly email that actively asks for referrals.

You could be blatant about it, and offer a discount or other ethical bribe. You could be more subtle, tell a story, and tie the story into a request for referrals. Maybe even hold a contest.

As another part of your referral system (something I wish I did more often), give referrals to your clients. If they’re getting new business from your efforts, they’re even more likely to return the favor.

 

You don’t have to make sweeping changes to get dramatic results

It takes time, money and other resources to create a new level of product or service that can set you apart from your competition. And sometimes it can be an uphill battle to get clients to adopt your innovation.

But there’s always room for innovation in your marketing. New marketing tactics can set you apart without requiring any significant change in your operations.

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Categories: marketing, Tactics Tags: ,

Kickstart Your Social Media for $497. Money-Back Guaranteed.

June 9th, 2016 No comments

Nobody looks at the Yellow Pages anymore.

If you want your business to thrive, you’ve got to maintain a strong presence on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites.

For $497 I’ll build you a personal content management system that gets your business into all the major social media, where everyone can see it. If you don’t like the work I do for you, for the next 30 days I’ll promptly refund every penny you paid, no questions asked.

So what exactly do you get?

  • A 30-minute brainstorming session to uncover the hidden potential in your business. We’ll find the qualities that will make you stand out and attract the best clients and customers
  • Fresh, original content posted on WordPress, FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. This new content comes straight out of our brainstorming. It’s tailored to sell your services and products, but it is also material your market will actually want to watch, read, and see. We can easily fit it with the online marketing you’ve already done, or I can set everything up for you if you’re starting from scratch.
  • A flagship Youtube video. Google owns Youtube, and those search engines love Youtube videos. We’ll make a video that promotes your core message, embed it on your website, post it on your Facebook page and promote it through Twitter and Instagram. You could potentially reach thousands of viewers.
  • A Facebook Page that really works. There are two common mistakes that prevent your FaceBook page from turning heads and attracting real clients who want to do business with you. If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your business, we’ll set it up right the first time. If you’ve already got one, we’ll level up your Facebook mojo with new posts and videos that increase “likes,” and leave visitors eager to come back and learn more from you
  • A personalized, easy to follow marketing plan with templates and ideas so you can continue to produce new content in the future.

If you’re unhappy with this service for any reason, for 30 days after we finish I’ll refund your money, all 49,700 pennies of it, no questions asked.

How do we start?

If you’re interested, call or text me or fill out the contact form below. We’ll set up a 30-minute session by phone or Skype, where I’ll ask you 14 questions.

Usually that’s enough to know whether we can work together. There may be a few follow-up questions but usually after the first conversation I’ll have 2-5 key points that will be the basis for most of your social media.

Over the next few days I’ll write up your core content, which tells your story and puts your business in the best possible light. Once you’ve approved this basic content, I’ll have everything I need. My team and I will get to work on your video, and soon your story will light up all the major social media platforms.social_media-marketing-deal-expires-August

All you need to do to get started is text 213-453-1327 or fill out the contact form below:

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14 questions to unleash your secret potential

May 24th, 2016 No comments

There is a spark of greatness in you.

You already knew that, of course. The hard part is finding that spark and using it to light a fire. You may not know what your spark is, but it’s already sitting there in plain sight. Or else it’s just underneath the hood.

I’m about to show you how to find it.

Some 50 years ago, a guy named Bud Robbins discovered the power of looking under the hood. He got a job trying to promote the Aeolian Piano Company. Ever heard of them? Neither has anybody else.marketing capo d'astro bar aeolian piano company

Robbins had to persuade the average starving musician to buy an Aeolian piano when they could get a well-known Steinway for the same price.

He took a tour of the Aeolian factory and found out that their piano weighed more than a Steinway because of a metal part known as the capo d’astro bar.

The capo d’astro bar is useless until the piano has been in use for 50 years. After 50 years, the capo d’astro bar prevents the aging instrument from warping.

The manufacturer saw this as a simple engineering fact, but Bud Robbins saw the potential story. A little bit of further research led him to the discovery that the New York Metropolitan Opera was using an Aeolian piano, and the extra longevity was starting to pay off.

When the Met relocated to the Lincoln Center, an opera singer told Robbins, “About the only thing they’re taking with them is the piano.”

Saying the piano was “built to last” wouldn’t be such an extraordinary tagline for an instrument which lasts generations. But the quote about the Metro taking the long-lasting piano with them–well, that became the headline for a full-page ad in the New York Times.

The outcome: Thanks to the story behind a hidden metal bar, the Aeolian Piano Company had a 6-year waiting list for their product.

Bud Robins later wrote about this experience and what it means for every business, every product: “No matter what the account, I promise you, the capo d’astro bar is there.”

Finding your bar

If I opened this post by telling you about the lifespan of a piano, you would have moved on within a few seconds. But you’ll listen to a story. A story about the underdog piano company, and the hero Bud Robbins who has to save the day.

Everyone loves a story. The most popular video games involve a story. We’ve been telling stories around the campfire for thousands of years.

Find your story, and you’ll find your greatness.

When I meet with a new client, one of the first things I do is try to figure out their story. Here are a few of the questions that will help you uncover yours.

  1. What were your dreams as a kid? What did you enjoy doing most in your spare time? What did you worry about?
  2.  What was your first job? What was your first entrepreneurial effort?
  3. What is the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
  4. Who was your business’ first client? What was memorable about the experience?
  5. Who was your worst client? Why? If you could teach them one thing, what would it be?
  6. Describe your first year in business.
  7. When did you know you were going to make it? What was the decisive event?
  8. What is the first thing you do when a new client is interested in doing business with you?
  9. What is the last thing you do for your customer or client?
  10. What, if anything, do you do to follow up/keep in touch with past and existing clients?
  11. Why should I do business with you, instead of all the other alternatives, including doing nothing?
  12. Who is your most valuable partner or employee? What makes them so valuable?
  13. If you could put up a billboard anywhere, where would you put it and what would it say?
  14. What habits or outlook do you attribute to your success?

You should try to write out the answers to all of these questions. Better still is to actually talk to someone about these answers. More spontaneous ideas will come up, and you can test their power by the other person’s reactions.

I don’t want to give away my clients’ secrets, but here are some interesting quotes I’ve dragged out by using these questions.

“Many real estate agents are lazy parasites who only do the minimum amount of work for easy money.” (A member of the California Association of Realtors)

“I’m always talking to people who might be five or ten years younger than me, and I’m telling them about some new useful app or software that they’ve never heard of and they don’t want to use. You have to keep learning or you’re toast. I’m always testing out new tech for my clients.” (A 47-year-old video editor)

“I’ve been trying to find out why I’m still alive, what I’m meant to do on this earth. Helping you might be the answer.” (A business owner who nearly died a dramatic death when he was 24)

Any of these quotes could easily lead in to a compelling story that would make eligible clients want to do business with this person.

Now it’s your turn. What is your story?



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A new type of content that breaks all the rules

February 13th, 2016 No comments

If you don’t know Bill Bonner, he’s an extremely successful business owner and investor. Probably a quarter of a million subscribers read his financial advice, including me.

Funny thing, he likes to brag about his worst investment ever, something that is costing him every year and possibly adding grey hairs to his already wizened head.

There's a story behind this, if you can find it

There’s a story behind this, if you can find it

Several years ago, he “invested” in a large tract of land in rural Argentina. He mentions it in practically every blog post, email, and newsletter. It takes hours to reach the land from anywhere, on roads that are barely passable in fair weather and reduced to mud when it rains. He talks about ungrateful tenants who not only don’t pay their rent but expect him, as a rich gringo, to pay for their healthcare, their children’s education, and sometimes their groceries.

The thing is, he loves his losing proposition and it’s fun to read about it. It probably intrigues curious readers and ultimately wins him more paying subscribers.

This brings me to a big bold marketing tool. I call it the “Tangential Post.”

Sometimes it’s useful to go off on a tangent. You don’t always have to talk about your business.

Most of the time, your clients only care about the value you can deliver for them. The trouble is, you have competitors who are probably capable of delivering value, too. That’s why it’s so helpful if your clients feel like they know you.

So if you have a blog, Twitter, a YouTube channel, a newsletter, or any other media for staying in touch with your market, go off on a tangent every now and then. Post something that’s not directly related to your business or what you can do for your clients.

If nothing else, you’ll have a little bit of fun. Share something interesting about yourself and your life. A picture of your dog. The story of how your son scored the winning goal.

Almost everyone loves dogs, kids, and a good story.

If you do something really unusual, like chariot racing or buying farmland in a foreign country, you could put this in, too.

This will be a breath of fresh air, and you might create something popular that gets shared around a lot.

Pretty soon I’m going to go off on a tangent, and tell you why I haven’t posted anything new on this blog for more than a year. It’s a long story that will probably piss a few people off. It made me angry as it happened.

But this isn’t about me. Go Tweet or blog or post something personal and interesting. Go off on a tangent, before I do.

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Persistence or relentlessness?

August 30th, 2013 No comments

“To tell you the truth,” said the company president, “the only reason I agreed to take your call is because you’ve been relentless.”

This was a gruff, hard-to-reach guy who I was calling to help out an old client. He was known to deal with programming code better than with people. Within fifteen minutes he had done everything I needed from him.

He also reminded me of something I had started to forget about persistence.

Before the big-shot company president took my call, I left a total of three–count them, three–messages with his receptionist. This was hardly a Herculean effort, but to his mind, I had been “relentless.” He isn’t used to someone making three attempts to reach him. This was such unusual behavior that he considered it relentlessness.

What this tells me is that most people give up after the first call.

I’m lazy, but it seems that most people are lazier than me. And this means you’ve got yet another reason to do what you already know you should.

If you’re in marketing, sales, or really any profession in which you have to get other people to do things, you can easily place yourself above your rivals. Just keep going. Be persistent. It seems that most people won’t do this.

You’ve probably heard the statistic that it takes seven contacts to make a sale. I don’t know of any actual research to back this up, but it’s a good principal. Back in my freelancing days, it was normal to do business with a client after sometimes a year or two of calls, postcards, and email. Most of my competitors gave up before they were even tired, and soon I would be the only one left.

You know that persistence pays off, even if you don’t yet know it in the core of your being, even if it’s not yet tattooed on the inside of your medulla oblongata. You’ve heard people say it enough. Get the tattoo.

The lesson I’m trying to give you here is that it doesn’t always take as much persistence as you’d think. Just be persistent once or twice, and you’ll soon be labelled “relentless.”

Relentlessness gets things done. Relentlessness is persistence that talks.

Be relentless.

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“Cheap Tactics” to test your marketing

January 9th, 2012 No comments

I found a new technique based on an old marketing trick I read about a few years back in Response magazine.

The magazine article suggested testing a few different marketing messages with radio ads. Each ad should have a toll-free number, a website, or some other way that people could resonse. The response for each ad needs to be different, so you can compare the response from each of your radio spots.

Once you’ve found a clear winner, you can use it to unroll a more comprehensive (and expensive) marketing campaign.

The take-away from all of this is to test your copy and your marketing ideas with cheap media. This keeps your expenses down. Then you can raise the stakes once you have marketing copy that has already been proven.

But even a simple radio ad will cost your company thousands of dollars. So here’s an even easier way to test your copy, your offer, and possibly generate some leads in the process.

Start with a sales letter. This is the canon of all marketing, and I’ve mentioned it before. If you don’t have the resources to print and mail a sales letter, you can adapt the copy into a web page and draw traffic through AdWords, classified ads, cold calling, or many other tactics.

The reason I start with this model is because it’s the most inexpensive way to present and test a “hook” that will get the attention of your best prospects, address the pain that they’re feeling, provide a solution and break down your offering into a solution to their problem.

When you’ve tested a few different sales letters, you’ll have a clear picture of the best offer, the best hook, the most profitable markets for a project and a viable strategy for bringing it all together.

Testing a sales letter is the best way to tweak and test your message. Copy is the foundation of every effort. So once you’ve got it right, then you can re-apply it–with amplified results.

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How to get money from anybody

August 12th, 2010 No comments

Is marketing irrelevant?

I just had a bizarre experience which convinced me that if your clients feel they’re getting real value, you’ll get their business. It doesn’t matter how incompetent, rude, or irrational you are.

It started with a mysteriously threatening letter I received from the City of Los Angeles. After some entertaining verbiage about “Protecting the interests of the city” the letter informed me that I was  delinquent on a city tax.

When several phone calls failed to resolve the problem, I gathered up a sheaf of requested documents and went to City Hall to take care of the situation in person.

Protecting the Interests of the City, Part I

Once I found the right room,  The woman behind the desk told me to take a number, even though there wasn’t anyone else waiting. She took a few minutes to make a call on her cell phone, and then called out three or for numbers ahead of mine. When my number came up, I approached the desk and was informed, “I can’t serve you until you place your number in the receptacle.”

I jumped through a few more hoops and then finally got to explain my situation. The woman behind the desk  asked what kind of business I was in.

“I’m a copywriter.”

A blank, inquisitive, uncomprehending stare.

“I write marketing copy that businesses use on their websites to get more customers,” I explained, with all the confidence and enthusiasm I could muster.

“And people pay you money for that?”

“Isn’t that why I’m here?”

She scowled, sighed, rolled her eyes and  shook her head.

“Well, Mr. Bear,” she finally said, “It looks like we were unable to determine how much money you made, so the computer picked a random number and that’s the income you’re being taxed on.”

I took out my state and federal tax returns, printed records from QuickBooks, and showed her the correct figures. But when one item was still missing, she angrily shoved the folder back at me and demanded, “How could you NOT bring that?”

Don’t blame me, I’m the creative one…

Protecting the Interests of the City, Part II

In the end, I got everything sorted out. The City of Los Angeles has given me permission to continue to do business here, with the Mayor’s blessing.  But there’s a useful marketing lesson here as well, and it isn’t the obvious one about good customer service

The truth is, the city of L.A. offers tremendous value to me, so I’ll happily pay whatever I’m reasonably determined to owe them.

Maybe we need bureaucracy. Surely I do. Let me explain.

The city supports a large industry of attorneys, CPAs, IT professionals and others to help people and businesses deal with situations like mine. These organizations hire numerous bicycle messengers, whose high-energy caffeine addictions support the coffee shops where I often ply my trade on a laptop. Better still, these organizations need copywriters, so they keep me in the green and allow me to pay taxes to the city. What comes around goes around.

Not to mention the woman of my dreams works for the City of L.A., makes less than half of what she’s worth, and manages to support several of her family members and a whole menagerie of cute, furry animals.

In fact, just the Los Angeles Public Library by itself has done more for me than 4 years of college. That’s worth giving a few bucks to the city.

What I’m saying is without any advertising, horrible PR and abysmal customer service the City of LA still retains me as a loyal customer because her numerous and elusive products and services are immensely valuable. I get my money’s worth. Value trumps marketing.

So here’s the bottom line. Be good at what you do. If your clients really feel you’re delivering great value, doing far more for you than the dollars they pay you, they’ll stay with you and protect your interest. Then use your copywriters and marketers to make the outrageous, irresistible promises that you know you can deliver.

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What every copywriter doesn’t want you to know

August 2nd, 2010 No comments

Don’t tell anyone I revealed this. I’ll get enemies left and right. But here’s the reason I always talk about missing 20% of your best opportunities. Because even the best copy only accounts for 20% of your results. There are two other factors that are twice as important: Your list, and an offer.

But before you even get started writing copy, or especially before hiring someone else to write copy for you, get clear on the two things that may account for up to 80% of your marketing success: The right offer to the right people.

Be the demanding client for a moment, and let’s see how this works.

The backpacker principle

Suppose you’ve earned some free time, and you want to do something special. You’ve always wanted to go backpacking in the remote parts of Hawaii. You want to climb volcanoes and watch them erupt at night. Hey, you’re even going to sleep in a lava tube if you get the chance.

Four hundred travel agents are competing for your business. But they’re not all on a level playing field. After some initial research, you start getting emails from 100 travel agents that are based in Hawaii, and specialize in travel there.

Which one will you choose? Out of 100 possible agents, fifty of them advertise on outdoor adventure websites. You now have 50 agencies that specialize in outdoor Hawaiian adventures. They know where to find the most comfortable lava tube beds. They can get your camping gear safely on and off the plane, and bring you to the best trailhead.

Ten of these companies are offering special discounts or premiums for the month you want to travel. Guess what? Out of 400 competitors, these 10 are the only ones in the running, based on choosing the right list and the right offer.

Who will be the winner? Assuming the 10 finalists offer comparable value, then and only then will the copywriting make a difference.

What the research says

A lot of market research over the last 30 years has produced the same conclusion. Getting the client is 40% list-building, 40% the offer, and only 20% the copy. A good copywriter will help you write a good offer, and could therefore contribute 60% to your success. But finding the right list is critical. Don’t waste your time selling lava tubes to clients who want a 5 star hotel.

Does copywriting still matter?

These are tough times. There are still plenty of people spending money, but everyone is more careful about where and how they spend it. Focusing on a narrow list is critical. (You can have multiple lists, but you need to market to each one separately.) Constructing a worthwhile offer is vital.

But then, in the end, when you’ve done all your hard work and research and you’ve made the right offer to the right market, all of your efforts can go to waste. Because when you’ve fought your way into that last handful of carefully-selected candidates, you’re competing with businesses that did all of their homework too. You’re up against the toughest and smartest competitors, and they’re going to fight you with everything they’ve got.

This is when you need a copywriter at your back.

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How to use copywriting to reduce your costs and lower your risk

June 19th, 2010 No comments

Response Magazine often talks about a low-cost way to test your infomercial, before you spend a fortune on DirectTV.

They suggest running a long radio spot with the same or similar script that you plan to use for your infomercial. Many long-copy radio spots have been successfully morphed into high-yielding infomercials. And if your radio spot bombs, you can change the script or the concept before you’ve spent a fortune on TV advertising.

But even a simple radio ad will cost your company thousands of dollars but the priciple is useful no matter how small your advertising budget may be: It’s better to discover a failing campaign before you when the costs are low.

Since copy is the backbone of every ad campaign, along with a solid offer, you’re best off testing your copy and your offer as cheaply as possible. If it’s successful, you can invest more money to get your message out there on the expensive media.

Start with a sales letter, and make 2 slightly different versions so you can compare the response.  Maybe change the headline, or they layout, the “p.s.” at the end or the call to action.

Mail each one directly to 100 or 1,000 of your most likely prospects. Send out the different versions as an email to everyone on your list. Post them on your blog, and link a few relevant Google ads to the pages.

Track your results, and find out what works This is the time to tweak and test your message. Copy is the foundation of every effort. Once you’ve got it right, then you can re-apply it–with amplified results, over other media such as radio and TV.

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Why is economic recovery so slow?

May 27th, 2010 No comments

Somewhere out there, for every person who has done business with you, there are maybe ten others who could or would, but aren’t because of several reasons:

They haven’t heard of you.

They don’t understand what you can do for them.

They didn’t need you when you approached them in the past, but they do now.

They aren’t aware of the advantages you offer over your competitors.

The aren’t aware of the need for your services, and the potential benefits of working with you.

What are you doing today to keep in touch and enlighten them?

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