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Use Emotional Hooks To Make Your Prospects Take Action

For your marketing to be successful, you need to use emotional hooks to make your prospects take action. As I say week after week it’s all about:

  1. The market – who you’re talking to
  2. The message – what you’re saying to them
  3. The medium – the channels you use to communicate with them

Within the message you have to be aware not just of what you say but how you say it. For your message to have impact, you have to press the right buttons in your readers’ minds.

Now  as we know, people only ever buy for one reason and that is to solve a problem. If they have a problem we have to pull on their four emotional hooks:

The pain

The commitment

The cure

The reason to believe

This is probably the most sensible order to address the issues and you will need to address each one if you’re going to make the sale.

The Pain

The pain is simply the effect of the problem your reader is facing. What is their problem and what effect is it having on the reader.

Once you’ve identified the pain, you want to rub it and aggravate it until it’s raw and throbbing.

Say you sell thermal clothing, the pain your customers suffer is the constant discomfort of cold feet, of never feeling warm, spending too much on heating bills and potential health issues. This is the pain you would need to remind them of.

The Commitment

The commitment is the promise you make to solving the problem and removing the pain. So if the pain is that the readers are being made miserable by being continuously cold and even suffering from chilblains, the commitment is what you’re going to do to solve the problem and maybe even how you plan to do it.

In effect what you’re saying is “if you’re sick of being cold, this is my promise to fix it for you”.

The Cure

The cure is simply what they get when they take action to get you to meet your commitment.

If you want me to keep you warm, then you need to call this number or go to this website where you will see my range of toasty warm thermal clothing

Your offer must be clear and unambiguous. You should tell them what to do, why they need to do it, what’ll happen after they’ve done it and the consequences of not doing it.

The Reason To Believe

The reason to believe is the element which gives the reader the confidence to go ahead and do what you’re telling them to.

The good news is that people want to believe. All they need is the reason to trust you to solve their problems.

The two best ways to give them this trust are testimonials and guarantees.

If you see a customer who suffers from the same problem as you, saying that your product solved their problem then this is so much more convincing than if you say it yourself. Try and get video testimonials  – they’re the ultimate.

Guarantees simply take the risk away from making the purchase. If I know that I can get my money back if the product doesn’t live up to my expectations, then it’s really easy to make the decision to buy.

So there you have it.

When you build these four emotional hooks into your marketing copy you’ll see your response rate soar.

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6 Simple Marketing Tips To Grow Your Business

When times are tough we all need more business. But if you’re not sure how to go about it, the following six simple marketing tips to grow your business will ensure that you win and retain loads of new customers.

To be honest it’s not rocket science – it comes down to the kind of advice your mum gave you about how to interact with people.

  1. Be Visible

How often have you heard yourself say “ I didn’t know that business was there”. If you don’t know about  certain businesses, you can be sure there are plenty who don’t know about you.

So are you visible to prospective customers if they decide to go looking?

  • Make sure your website looks good. If it doesn’t, upgrade it. Don’t let your website let you down.
  • Have a blog, that you update regularly. I blog once a week. www.bda.me.uk/blog
  • Participate in social media – let people find you on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Be Credible

When your prospects go and look at your public presence, will they feel motivated to get in touch?

  • Have compelling testimonials on your website. There’s nothing as persuasive as other customers singing your praises.
  • Make sure your phone is always professionally answered by a human being. If your office isn’t always manned, use a telephone answering service. How sad would it be to generate interest and then lose the opportunity because you don’t answer the phone?
  1. Be Memorable

Your objective is to ensure that when your target audience need what you sell, that they think of you.

To generate the awareness the following model works well :

  • You need to construct a database. Ideally you will already have a list of contacts – people who have enquired before, people who have completed a sign up form on your website, names you’ve generated from networking, trade shows etc.
  • If you haven’t got your own list, you can buy names and contact details from list brokers but these will never be as good or as receptive as your own list and you could get a reputation as a spammer.
  • Email your list regularly with valuable and useful information. This should be an on-going activity as response will increase over time as recipients grow to trust you.
  • Analyse response to your emails, tracking who opens them and who clicks on your links.
  • Have a process to follow up respondents. This may be a particular sequence of emails or you might prefer to take the bull by the horns and phone them.
  1. Be Personal

The more you can tailor your emails to the specific recipients, the more response you will get. Remember it’s about them and not about you.

All your readers are interested in is what’s in it for them so make sure you give them plenty of personal content.

  1. Be Consistent

The secret to success will be developing the trust of your readers so that they come to think of you as an expert in your field. You’re not going to do this with one or two emails. You must commit to sending regular emails at a given time each week, fortnight, month or whatever regularity you decide on.

To achieve this you will have to set aside regular time in your diary to do the work.

  1. Be Persistent

This kind of marketing requires a medium/long term commitment. As I said you have to commit to doing this over an extended period of time. As we all know, everyone will be at a different stage in their decision making process. No response today doesn’t mean that they won’t respond in six months time.

Persistence is even more vital in the follow up. It’s too easy to give up after one or two unsuccessful contacts. You need to continue trying until you get either a “yes” or some useful information about their buying intentions.

If you manage to take these six simple marketing tips on board, I can guarantee that you will pick up more customers and more business.

 

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The Importance Of Having A Marketing System

Getting new customers and clients should be easy and I’ll show you how if you’ve got a marketing system it can be.

You’ve got a great product and lots of people would benefit from it.

All you’ve got to do is get the message out to the right people and social media in the shape of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc gives us access to millions of people at basically no cost.

That’s bound to bring you loads of customers isn’t it?

Unfortunately not.

But you’re getting masses of “likes”, retweets, and connections. That’s got to generate stacks of new business hasn’t it?

Unfortunately not.

It seems like virtually every day there are new ways to promote your business and they’re all clever and cutting edge. They’re bound to work.

Unfortunately not.

So what’s going wrong?

The difference between activities and systems

The problem is that they’re all “activities”.

Now to generate new business you’ve got to be active, but activities in isolation seldom result in people doing business with you.  Marketing systems do.

I’ll explain what I mean.

Let’s take Facebook “likes”. We’re always hearing that most people on the planet are on Facebook and the more “likes” you have, the more people you can communicate with.

Great but that’s where it falls apart.

Just because someone has liked your post doesn’t mean they’re going to buy something from you. People mistake “likes” and similar responses for a sign that people are going to do business with them.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.

Social interaction is a good first step but it needs to be part of a larger system.

Let me show you how you can make social media fit into your marketing system.

The importance of your blog

Your blog needs to be a key element of your engagement strategy.

  1. Firstly you write a great blog post – something that will be of major interest to your social media contacts.
  2. You promote your blog post on social media in order to get the maximum amount of people to click through to read the whole thing.
  3. Your blog page will be set up to include your lead magnet (the item you offer for free) so that visitors will opt in to your list.
  4. You can now start marketing to these prospects over time and so convert them into paying customers.

Remember it’s the people on your list not your social media friends who will actually become customers.

Social media is a tool for getting people onto your list. It is not a method for getting new customers by itself.

If you want further information or help, get in touch.

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How To Generate Leads Using LinkedIn

I bet you’re on LinkedIn but the question is “Are you using it?”

Almost all business people are on LinkedIn but virtually no one uses it proactively or effectively.

Two or three weeks ago I wrote a piece about about how to use social media to actually generate business. In that post I was referring more to Facebook and Twitter. Those are the social platforms with the largest memberships and the greatest awareness, but they’re used predominantly for social networking and not business networking.

LinkedIn is different.

Everyone on LinkedIn is there in a business context but as I said so few people actually use it effectively.

Half the profiles you look at haven’t been filled in completely.

People think they must be on LinkedIn – they set up an account, fill in their profile in a half hearted manner and then do nothing more.

This is a great waste.

LinkedIn has more than 350 million members, all business people, all available for you to connect with and it’s all free.

Two ways to generate business

The first thing you need to do is create a business page that clearly explains and demonstrates the benefits you offer.

While you’re at it get some of your clients to give you testimonials. On LinkedIn they have to be genuine, they can’t be made up and social proof is always the most persuasive copy.

But even when you have your company page, the strategy is still going to be to drive people to your website, where your marketing funnel is waiting to convert visitors into clients.

So how do we get prospects to connect with us on LinkedIn?

The best opportunity is with groups.

Remember you can join up to 50 groups.

Your strategy with groups is not to join the groups related to your own industry because otherwise you will be interacting with your competitors. Instead join the groups which your prospects are members of.

Now there are two strategies for your communication with groups.

  1. Commenting on other people’s posts is one way to raise your profile, establish your credibility and demonstrate your expertise. It is important to be viewed as a credible and valuable member of  the group.
  2. The other route is to make postings of your own –posting teaser copy which links to your blog. These posts of course need to be interesting and valuable to the group members and not just an advertisement for your business. On your blog page you must make sure your lead magnet is prominently displayed. If visitors like your blog, there is a good chance they will be interested in your lead magnet and once they’ve subscribed to that they’re into your marketing funnel and into your process.

The second strategy is for you to identify the prospects you want to start a conversation with and contact them directly.

The advanced search button allows you to find people against an extensive list of criteria.

Once you’ve identified your prospects you have to send them an invitation to connect.

Please avoid the standard “I’d like to connect with you” message. I’m much more likely to connect with someone if they have demonstrated a genuine benefit to me of connecting.

Try and show how you can potentially add value – give me a reason to want to connect with you. Once you’ve established a connection, you must remember that you’re networking. It’s about establishing a relationship over time and not about trying to sell right up front.

If you’d like any more advice or help with your LinkedIn networking, give me a call on 01483 200387, email me on mikejennings@bda.me.uk

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You Can Do It Fast Or You Can Do It Slow

So you want more customers.

In that case you’ll need more leads and more prospects.

OK so how are you going to get them?

Well there’s two ways – a quick way and a slow way.

Or I could phrase that another way – there’s the way that involves spending some money and there’s the way without spending money.

So it really depends on how quickly you want to do it.

The slow way

If you’re not in a hurry you can rely on your website appearing high on the organic listings on Google, so that when your prospects are searching for a solution to their problem, up you pop.

So we’re talking about SEO or search engine optimisation.

The problem with SEO is that not only does it take a considerable length of time to achieve those rankings, but Google also regularly changes its search algorithms which means that one day you can be ranking well and the next you’ve disappeared into the back of cyber space. I know I’m talking from painful personal experience.

But now the question is how do you get onto the first page of Google and it does have to be the first page because anything else will not deliver you any meaningful volume.  Not only do you want to be on the first page, but the top half of the first page.

The answer is simply to have the best website in your area of business.

That’s it – just have lots of high quality content, delivering masses of value to your visitors. On top of that you also want lots of high quality people linking to the site.

These characteristics will tell Google that yours is an authoritative site which is worthy of a high ranking because you offer the best solution to their searchers queries.

But that’s a long term strategy.

You probably want traffic and customers right now.

So what’s the other option?

The fast way

The fast way to generate traffic is to buy it.

That’s right you have a marketing budget and you go out and advertise in a range of ways.

The thing now is to ensure you spend your money wisely.

Designing the ad is just one part of the process. There are plenty of other aspects you must pay attention to if you’re going to get a return on your investment.

Remember the way your sales funnel works online is to drive people to a landing page where they give you their contact details in return for a report or white paper.

Below is a list of things you’re going to have to think about.

  1. What are you going to promote? You must have some offer or report of sufficient value to motivate people to give you their contact details. That’s the first thing you have to think about.
  2. Your landing page is the next thing on your list. Sending people to some generic, badly designed page will just lead you to wasting your money. Take great care writing and designing a killer landing page and you’ll get boat loads of sign ups.
  3. Once you’ve got the sign ups, what are you going to do now. You need a system in place which builds trust and credibility, making you the number one choice when they’re ready to buy.
  4. Where are you going to run your ads. With the proliferation of pay per click media, there are all sorts of options these days. Not all of them are necessarily on line. Don’t forget our old friend off line.
  5. Once all this is in place, you need to write and design your ads and get the campaign live.

Blimey there’s lots to do, so you’d better get busy.

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Your Marketing Messages Need to Attract And Repel

The ultimate objective of your marketing is to attract only those people you want to do business with. By that I mean you don’t want to attract the pain in the arse clients one comes across only too often.

You know the sort I mean.

  • The sort who have no money
  • The sort who want to do everything just the way they’ve always done it
  • The sort who always cancel your meetings
  • The sort who don’t pay your bills
  • The sort who don’t treat you with respect

I could go on but you know the sort of clients I mean.

How do you attract clients?

The first thing to do is to understand your ideal customer in minute detail. The more you understand your prospect, the more you can get inside their head and the more you can offer solutions to the issues they have.

For this purpose I always recommend that you create an avatar of your prospect – are they male or female, how old are they, what do they do, where do they live, how much do they earn, do they have kids, married or single, what are their hobbies etc etc.

Once you really understand them, you should be able to identify what you can provide for them, what problems you can solve and what benefits you can deliver. If your marketing messages address these points then you should attract the people you want.

So how do we repel the clients we don’t want?

Whatever you do, you don’t want to start alienating people. You may not want them as customers, but you don’t want them bad mouthing you.

So in your marketing communication you identify the characteristics you don’t want ie like the ones above and you simply list them. Having said that you don’t say “If you haven’t got any money, I’m not interested in you”.

You should phrase it something like this:

Our marketing services produce the best results for companies who:

  • Have at least £5000 to spend over the next 12 months
  • Have an established business turning over at least £250,000
  • Are  serious about growing your business and not just thinking about it
  • Are open to new ideas and marketing strategies
  • Understand the benefits of working with an external marketing consultant

As you read these bullet points it’s almost impossible not to answer the questions as you go, to either qualify or disqualify yourself.

Assuming you’ve done your profiling right, the attraction part of the communication should have drawn the reader in so he’s saying “Yes I want some of this”. The second part will either qualify him or disqualify him.

If he’s qualified he’s now an ideal prospect for you and if he’s disqualified then you’ve saved yourself a load of heart ache, wasted time and aggravation.

Next time you’re writing a marketing piece, make sure you include both attraction and repulsion elements.

 

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Are You Part Of The 1%

Are you familiar with the figures 1, 4 , 15, 60, 20?

These numbers represent the success of business owners.

1% are doing fantastically well.

4% are running great businesses

15% are on the road to success

60% are doing OK – they’re getting by

20% are really struggling

So what are the traits that differentiate the really successful business owners from all the rest?

  1. They are brave enough to risk being wrong.  In fact, unless you are prepared to get it wrong, you’re not doing it right.  The only people who never fail are the people who lack the courage to try.
  2. They are willing to listen. The best way to ensure that your products, services and marketing messages are on target, is to listen to your market place.
  3. They are patient.  Overnight success is very rare.  It takes time to get from where you are to where you want to be.
  4. They value their time and maximise it.  Time is your most valuable asset, yet many people waste it. Successful people jealously guard their time and use it carefully.
  5. They prioritise the important stuff. They focus on the things that will make a difference. The nice to do only get done when the need to do have been done.
  6. They know their numbers. In the final analysis business comes down to figures and they understand if you’re not on top of the numbers, you’re flying blind.
  7. They have a vision for their business which they share with all their stakeholders. They know where the business is going and how it’s going to get there.
  8. They have a plan for the business that they update regularly to ensure that they stay on track.
  9. They understand the importance of giving. As Zig Ziglar said “If you help enough people get what they want, you can have anything you want.”
  10. They show up consistently.  If you want to remain relevant to your clients, customers or community, you need to show up regularly.
  11. They commit to lifelong learning.  Society and everything around us is changing faster than ever before. Standing still is not an option. Take the classes, read the books and stay up to date.
  12. They know when to outsource. They know when to bring specialists in to help because their time is better spent doing higher value work or when they don’t have the specialist expertise.

Marketing is one such area that you can’t afford to get wrong.

If marketing isn’t your thing give me a call and I’ll show you the impact that giving the right messages to the right people in the right way will have on your business. Without marketing producing a regular stream of new leads for you, you are condemning yourself to not achieving the results and rewards you hope for.

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The Only Two Principles You Need To Worry About

You won’t be surprised to hear that basic human principles don’t change much at all, and this includes marketing principles.

Over the last ten years we’ve seen the Internet come charging over the horizon and make itself comfortably at home in the business community. More recently, we’ve seen a financial meltdown which we’re only now recovering from.

But even so, things are now pretty much as they’ve always been.

Marketing principles don’t change and that’s because we’re still human and we’re still motivated by the same things, driven by the same emotions and the same hopes and fears as we’ve always been.

So, let’s look at the simple challenge facing your business.

Growing your business is a simple process you can break down into two parts:

1. Generating qualified leads.
2. Converting them to paying customers.

It’s that simple and it’ll always be that simple.

So, when people tell you that internet marketing is different – they’re wrong.
It’s the same as any other kind of marketing: the style and the delivery mechanisms might have changed but the substance will be the same.

And how do you get the highly qualified leads?

Well this is where the difference in style comes in.

Online, you might want to use AdWords, natural search, banner advertising, stuff like that.

One seriously underused strategy is to use offline media to drive people online.

The last few years has been a great time to be doing it because the recession meant that businesses haven’t been advertising as much as normal with the result that ad space has been cheap.

So once you’ve got your qualified leads, what do you do with them?

You want to turn them into paying customers.

Conventional wisdom tells us to convert the qualified leads into sales by “selling” them.

While this might work occasionally, it’s fraught with peril, because if you fail to sell them that first time you’ve lost them. Probably for good.

A better solution in many cases is to begin a relationship with them.

Get their details – name and email address at a bare minimum, but the Holy Grail is a postal address as well – and then start sending them interesting material including but not exclusively sales material. Emails, a paper newsletter, direct mail, postcards… the list is limited only by your imagination.

How do you get them to give you their details?

Simple: offer something of value like a free report or a white paper, something of value that they will exchange their contact details for. There are no real rules, other than it really needs to be something useful and with a high perceived value to your prospect.

So you can now start marketing to them until they buy, they die or they tell you to stop.

Sounds easy doesn’t it ?

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What Do Your Customers Really Want?

Do you know what your customers want?

I mean what they really want.

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When we buy anything, the motivation is always “what’s in it for me”. What will this product do for me?

There are a number of almost primeval buying motivations which drive most of our purchases:

    • Will it make me more money?
    • Will it save me time?
    • Will it make me more beautiful?
    • Will it make me more attractive to the opposite sex?
    • Will it make me feel better?
    • Will it make me healthier?
    • Will it make my life better?

People don’t care about you or your business, they only care about what you can do for them. To be successful you have to appeal to your customers’ self interest.

We don’t buy what we need

When it comes to making buying decisions, in most instances we don’t buy what we need, we buy what we want.

There are so many product categories that prove this – no one needs designer brands, sports cars, ipads etc. There are always cheaper, more functional alternatives but we want these items so we justify to ourselves why we should have them.

What this means is that so many purchases are made not for logical reasons but for emotional ones and you need to recognise this in your marketing. You need to appeal to people’s emotions as opposed to their logic. You always need to explain to your target audience what they will get from your product – how it will make them look, how it will make them feel, what other people will think of them when they see them with it.

Once we’ve set our sights on something we want, we then go about collecting the justification for the more extravagant package.

Last summer I needed to buy a new car. I’m not really interested in cars so it wasn’t anything fancy but the extras made it more desirable and more sexy. Did I need the extras – no not really but I did want them.

So how did I justify it to myself. The blue tooth functionality gave me the ammunition I needed. With blue tooth I could talk legally on the phone while driving. To be honest I do actually need that (having been done for talking on the phone earlier last year) but it made the decision easy for me.

So when you’re creating your sales materials remember people buy what they want and then justify it as a need.

Don’t fill your collateral, especially your website with boring information, especially not boring information about you and your company.

Instead focus on making them want what you sell because if they want it they will find the justification.

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Keep Your Customers Loyal Instead Of Having To Continuously Win New Ones

Winning new customers is hard work.

New customers have to go through the process of deciding whether they believe you are the best supplier, whether your price is right and vitally whether they like you enough to do business with you.

So it makes perfect commercial sense to do everything possible to keep your customers loyal. Bizarrely lots of small businesses tend to forget that retaining customers is just as important as winning new ones.

Keeping your customers loyal also doesn’t have to be expensive. Often very small things can make all the difference.

The following tips should go a long way to making sure your customers reciprocate your love and stay with your business.

Stay in touch

It’s estimated that over 80% of customers who change supplier do so not because they are unhappy with the service but because they don’t feel loved.

It’s so easy to avoid this. You just need to talk to your customers regularly. Keep them informed of any news and developments at your company, any special offers and any way you can help them.

Send them things you see in the press that relate to their area of business, retweet their tweets, like items on their Facebook page. Just go out of your way to have regular contact and demonstrate your commitment to them.

Get to know your customer base

Get to know who are your most profitable customers and those that you think have the highest propensity to re-purchase. Make sure you understand them and why they have chosen to do business with you, so you can give them more of the stuff they come to you for in the first place.

Show them you care

If you can move the relationship from the purely professional to a more social, friendly basis not only will your working life become more enjoyable but it will tie your customers into you. A small token of your gratitude for their business at Christmas and acknowledgement of their birthday, while admittedly not original, will certainly not go unnoticed.
How much you spend and whether you decide to take them out to lunch or dinner is up to you and how much you’ve developed the relationship.

Give them your best offers

So many businesses use discounts or attractive offers to get you ‘hooked’ and then once you become a loyal customer suddenly the offers seem to disappear.
This is really short sighted.
Your loyal customers are the ones who deserve your best prices and if they discover what you’re offering to new customers are likely to disappear in a huff meaning you’ve got to start the process all over again.

Take all these ideas on board and assuming that your core business is top quality in the first place, you find that your customers buy from you time and again and you’re not spending all your time replacing lost business.

Business Development Advisors will advise you on ways to both win and retain your customers. Please get in touch.