Since I’ve gone out on my own my time has been divided up between clients, family, and giving out the below advice over and over! HAHA
Funny but true.
With 5 years under my belt and a network of over 1000 top marketers and traders I’ve learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing. I’ve seen first hand people with no experience make millions, and companies with years in the biz go belly up…and it’s all because they either follow or don’t follow the below points.
If you’re marketing for others, marketing for yourself, or not yet marketing the following should be your road map to LONG TERM success!
1. Stay True to Yourself
You might say; ‘yeah Brad I know that!’. But countless times during the week I receive an email or read a blog post and wonder out loud, ‘why in the heck would they do that??’ I dig around a bit and find out that they sold out for the short term bump. Here are two examples (where the names, products, and full email content has been changed to protect the guilty):
— Email Received–
I wanted to invite you to a webinar from a good friend of mine (FAKE NAME) talking about a strategy he uses with a lot of success…(so good he had to change his name). I’ve tested it and it works!
Q: Why did this person send this crap out for someone that has a fake name with a ‘strategy’ that we all know you haven’t looked at?
A: The fake name person has a ‘big list’ and they want them to blast out for them!
Wow, so you’re willing to promote for someone that could KILL your reputation if people found out the real person, all to get at their leads? Come on.
Think about who you position yourself with as it reflects DIRECTLY on you!!
— Blog Post–
(Gist) Read this article (disguised as an advertisement) for a product/service/investment that I don’t promote or encourage, but I think you’ll like it!
Q: Why, why why!?!?
A: Money, money, money!!
The above blog post could have easily been an email blast as well. They’re using their influence and relationship for a quick buck. This blog has (or had) a lot of readers that trust and rely on the person for honest, insightful market talk. Then they get this blatant advertisement? Give me a break!
The point of both examples is that you need to be true to yourself. If you’re sending something out for someone just to get them to promote you, be truthful with your words as to not lead people astray. And if you’re doing a blog post that’s really an advertisement ADMIT IT! Your people respect you more for saying “hey this is an ad”, then finding out later it was, and they ‘bought into’ whatever that ad was selling them…and they got burned. Who’s to blame?? YOU!
2. Don’t be lazy!
This is one of my favorite topics because it’s really not about MORE work, it’s about SOME work. First of all this is more for those of you who choose to participate in affiliate marketing. If you’re not then skip to point 3 and know that I look down on you…HA!
OK, let me explain…how many times do you receive ‘swipe copy’ from a company you promote for, and simply copy and paste it? I’d venture to say that 90% of the people just copy and paste and pray. This is a good strategy if you have a huge email list or millions of daily blog readers (if you have a huge list or millions of readers go ahead and skip to point 3). But if you’re just copying and pasting, you’re leaving BIG money on the table!!
I watch a lot of marketing in this space, and the people that consistently do the best are the people who take 5 minutes and personalize their marketing messages to their audience! Instead of copying and pasting, they read the piece, analyze how best to tell their audience about it, and put that message IN THEIR OWN VOICE!
–Launch– A small blogger with a list of less then 7000 sold MORE UNITS then a company with over 200,000 on their email list! He didn’t blast 3 times a day, he didn’t lie to his list, and he didn’t trick them…he wrote his own copy. It wasn’t long, it wasn’t super fancy, but it was IN HIS VOICE. I chatted with him last week, and do you know how long it took him to ‘re-write’ that marketing copy? Less then 10 min. You know how much he made from his 7k email list and that extra 10 min a day?? Over $35,000.
He made a ton of cash and BEST OF ALL…he’ll be able to sell to them again!
–Content– A newly formed site asked me to help them share the content they were getting from TheGoldandOilGuy.com (affiliate info here) better with their audience. Before they would take the exact titles, exactly articles, and copy and paste. The traffic was decent, but never really made them stand out. My advice to them was this…”change the headline, write a 2-4 sentence intro, and tell them ‘this is where I read the article’.” That advice took them from 5-8 sales ($500.00+ commissions) to 18-25 sales and OVER $3,000.00 in monthly commissions!
That took them 5 min per article to do…and netted them over 2k increase in revenues.
So the point is this…
Take the content, or marketing material, you’re given and put it in YOUR VOICE. It’ll take less then 10 min per article or marketing copy…and if you can’t spare 10 minutes for an extra 2k…YOU’RE LAZY!! And I don’t want you to be lazy 🙂
3. Frequently ‘Trade Places’…
We’ve all watched the classic movie “Trading Places” with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. There are really too many great quotes to list here, but we as marketers in the ‘trading space’ can take a good lesson from ol’ Valantine and Winthorp. In the movie they traded places in their jobs to see how the other lived (not by their own choice) and it gave them a perspective on each other that lead to a great friendship, fruity drinks on the beach, and huge sailboats. Silly, but think about this…
How often have you ‘traded places’ with the people on your email list or those that read your blog? You’ve probably been writing and emailing them so long that you’ve kinda fallen into a routine. You don’t think about things from THEIR side of the world and just assume how you’re doing it is right…well TAKE A STEP BACK MY FRIEND!!
The economy has changed, people’s priorities have changed, and you need to change with them. If you’re seeing a drop in open rates and communication maybe it’s time to take another look at what you’re sharing with them. Think about ways to connect with them on a (and I HATE to say this) beer summit level. Even if you’re not a beer drinker, you’ve got to put yourself in your readers shoes and ask ‘what would I want to hear from me’?
If you can do this then you should get yourself on a path to pulling better numbers, and (most importantly) connecting with people for a LONG TIME!
I spent the past few days on this, but as always, I might have missed something. Don’t let me get away with it! If you see something to add, change, edit, or just want to get on your own soapbox please feel free to do so in the comment section!
All my best,
I have argue on the side of number one for years, so many business people try to reinvent themselves for every client that comes along. It may work once in a while, but ultimately it will kill you!
You’re right Ray! It’s easy to be fickle and change with the ‘new thing’ to please just a few…when they want you to be YOU!
Brad a great post,
WOW! The first point about being true to myself hit me pretty hard. I think that sometimes us small guys want to get noticed by the big gurus with the big lists so bad. We will do just about anything, include totally alienate our lists which is making us the money in the first place.
I would add be true to yourself but also be true to your list.
One thing I would like to add about marketing to your list, Is that you really should give them good free material all the time. I give my list enough free material that they could actually train themselves to be traders just off the free stuff. You know what my list is my income source and they treat me good so I should treat them good. If someone learns from my free stuff and becomes a great trader then that is great and I am happy I helped them out. There will always be enough people that are going to want paid help.
My list likes me because I am good to them and they are good to me, it is the perfect relationship.
Casey, it’s hard being patient especially when you see big guys pulling in massive traffic and conversions. How can anyone not want the money they’re making?!?! But being patient and focused on what’s growing your list (and revenues) consistently is what’s going to get you to the next level with much longer and easier staying power.
Free material is always a good thing! The more you can teach and educate your list the more you connect with them, and have the ability to sell to them over and over and over! Keep up the great work man!
Brad really enjoyed this article. Simple advice that can make a big difference for all marketers in any industry. Keep these posts coming.
Harrison, it’s often the simple stuff that’s overlooked. As internet marketers embrace new technologies, tricks, and methods they often forget about what got them to where they are. I’m not discounting new advances at all…I’m saying just make sure you stay focused on core principles. Cool pics from Harvard
Brad, I will admit you know your stuff and you can write some killer copy. That being said no matter how good a marketing guy is, that content will only see its full potential when the end user (website owner, promoter) shapes your copy into his one wording which readers are comfortable with. That’s when all the pistons start firing… not to mention altering an article title and/or content will help a little with that users focus SEO keywords.
Agree 100% my man! If the copy is not in your ‘voice’, your list will see through it. If they even catch a hint of another writer they could bolt! Great working with you by the way…
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Great article as always. I know an affiliate or two that never settle for the copy/paste mentality, and always have great success w/ promotions because of this.
Stay true to yourself, take care of your subscribers, and your subscribers will take care of you.
Nice Article Brad, I completely identify with and have experienced many of the points you raise. Content as they say is king! Echoing what Casey Phelan said if you look after your subscribers, build and nurture their trust as if they were family it will always pay dividends and you will feel good about the direction you are taking with your business.
Hi Brad – Great article. One of the things I always tell my readers at My Online Biz Blog is that to get started with something you actually have to get started. Too many people research, plan, research some more and never get around to getting started at whatever they want to do whether its investing or starting a business. Its the old story that “perfect is the enemy of good.
Good advice and I have been guilty of the quick cut and paste since my schedule is maxxed out–even worse when you go to cut and paste a promo email and instead of clicking a new email and new checkboxes for the auto-responder list you use a previously sent email and “think” that you erased the old promo text and have dual promos in the same email (one hidden out of my sight lower on the page)…yeh not pretty…..