Ian Brodie https://www.ianbrodie.com Generate Leads · Build Authority · Win Clients Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:52:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.ianbrodie.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cropped-ianbrodie-square-32x32.png Ian Brodie https://www.ianbrodie.com 32 32 Generate Leads · Build Authority · Win Clients IanBrodie clean IanBrodie ian@ianbrodie.com ian@ianbrodie.com (IanBrodie) Generate Leads · Build Authority · Win Clients Ian Brodie http://www.ianbrodie.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Authority-Marketing-rss3.png https://www.ianbrodie.com How To Get More Customer Reviews And Testimonials https://www.ianbrodie.com/more-customer-reviews-testimonials/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 17:02:51 +0000 https://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=14919 If you've worked in a service business for any length of time you'll know the power that customer testimonials can have in shaping buyer decisions. Especially when the service is expensive, intangible and new to the buyer. As eConsultancy showed recently, 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision and that results in an average sales uplift of 18% if you use reviews on your site. And as I showed in my recent article on how to get star ratings to appear in the Google search results, having those reviews visible in the search listings can give […]

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If you've worked in a service business for any length of time you'll know the power that customer testimonials can have in shaping buyer decisions. Especially when the service is expensive, intangible and new to the buyer.

As eConsultancy showed recently, 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision and that results in an average sales uplift of 18% if you use reviews on your site.

And as I showed in my recent article on how to get star ratings to appear in the Google search results, having those reviews visible in the search listings can give you a significant boost in clicks to your site too.

So if that's the case, how come most of us don't use customer reviews and testimonials all that often on our sites?

The truth is that despite knowing how valuable reviews and testimonials can be, most of us don't have anywhere near as many really strong ones as we'd like.

In this article, I'm going to show you how to get more customer reviews and testimonials by following a few simple steps. So let's get going…

Step 1: “Recover and Reuse” your Existing Testimonials

The first step to getting the most from your testimonials and reviews is to make better use of the ones you've already got.

The Hunt For Linkedin Testimonials

The Hunt For Linkedin Testimonials!

How many great recommendations have you got buried in the depths of Linkedin where no-one but your most dedicated follower will see them? Or on your Google MyBusiness page where they only get seen by people searching for you? Or worse, languishing in an email file somewhere never having seen the light of day?

For a testimonial or review to have impact, it needs to be part of the decision-making process of your potential clients. In other words, they need to see it at around the time they're thinking of hiring you.

Where are they likely to be looking at this time? Probably not on Linkedin or your MyBusiness page on Google. And they certainly don't have x-ray vision into your email inbox. Your testimonials need to be highly visible on your website. Either (or preferably both) on a dedicated testimonials page or visible on the page describing the service they're thinking of buying.

So your first step is to dig up your best testimonials from Linkedin, MyBusiness, your email inbox, letters your clients sent you (remember them?) and any other source and get them onto your site where they'll be seen as part of the decision-making process.

Where someone has officially sent you a testimonial (such as on Linkedin or where they've emailed you and said ou can use it) you can just get it straight up on your site (some people even use screenshots of their Linkedin recommendations to show their authenticity).

If someone has said something nice about you and your work on an email that you'd like to use, but they haven't agreed to it being used as a testimonial yet, you need to take an extra step – more on that later.

Step 2: Set Expectations

One simple way to make sure you get more testimonials when you ask is to make sure your clients are expecting you to ask.

That way they won't feel surprised and “put on the spot”. And they'll have done some thinking about it subconsciously so it will be easier for them.

You can set expectations in three ways:

  1. By having testimonials and reviews highly visible on your website, it'll be apparent that you regularly ask for them and they're part of your way of doing business.
  2. You can discuss testimonials at the “contracting” stage of your work together. This needn't be a formal contract, but more the part of your process where you agree what you'll be doing for them.

    As you take them through the steps of your work together it's an obvious time to say something like “…and after the project is over and you're getting great results, if it's OK with you I'd like to ask you for a testimonial I can use on my website” and wait for them to agree.

    Since you've said “you're getting great results” and “if it's OK with you” you're very unlikely to get disagreement here. And this small commitment now makes it more likely that they'll say yes when you remind them later.

  3. Shortly before asking, give them advanced warning so they can think about what to say in the testimonial. This is particularly important if you're going to ask face-to-face: you don't want them to get flustered and give you a weak testimonial.

    You can use something casual like “Hey John, remember when we were planning the project and I said that when you were getting great results I'd like to ask you for a testimonial? Would it be Ok if we sat down and did that when I'm in next week? I'll drop you an email later with some ideas on the sorts of things to include.” This can help them prepare and give you a great testimonial covering all the right bases (especially if you follow the guidelines on questions to ask in Step 4).

If you do pro-bono work or free “showcases” as speaker, you can make getting a testimonial part of your “payment” for doing so. Not only does this get you a testimonial, it sets the expectation that your time is valuable and requires payment of some kind, even if not financially this time.

Consultant (and ex-lawyer) Sarah Fox makes sure she has a contract for every piece of work (even an unpaid showcase) and includes the provision of testimonials in the terms. You're clearly not going to go to court if they don't give you the testimonials you asked for, but the inclusion of testimonials in the contract is an easy prompt to get the discussion going and a reminder after the event.

Step 3: Get the Timing Right

Get The Timing RightRather like asking for referrals, timing is crucial when it comes to testimonials.

Ask for a testimonial when the client has just experienced great results from your work together and they'll be delighted to give one. Ask when things are still in progress or just after the sale and it'll feel like you're more interested in advancing your own business than helping them.

If you do 1-1 work with clients or you otherwise have visibility into how they're progressing, you can time your request to perfection.

You don't have to wait until the end of your work with them and the final results are being seen. As long as tangible progress is being made and you can feel that your client is delighted with how things are going, then it's a good time to ask (well, maybe after waiting a day so it doesn't seem quite so ambulance-chasey).

If you don't have direct visibility into your client's progress (for example if you do talks or training courses when the results come later after you've gone then you can get immediate feedback on their experience with you (ie whether your talk was inspirational, your training insightful etc.) and then take an intelligent guess as to when they're most likely to see some progress or results and check back then.

If you deliver online training where you don't see exactly how your clients are using your work then again, you need to take an intelligent guess as to when they're most likely to start seeing results. if you use a modern Learning Management System you can track consumption of your materials and trigger alerts when your customers have finished significant sections of your material.

But even without that, you should be able to estimate when they're likely to see progress based on your experience with others implementing your material.

The trick then is not to ask for a testimonial directly, since it might not be the right time. But instead to ask how they're progressing, or what their experience has been like so far.

If you get a positive message back, you can start probing further and eventually ask for a testimonial or review. If they're struggling you can reach out to help and get them back on track.

Step 4: “Ease In” to Asking for a Testimonial

If you know for sure that your client is getting great results and they're ready to give a testimonial or 5-star review then you can skip this step.

But in many situations, you won't be sure exactly what's going on in your client's world. You can guess that since it's a few weeks since they were on your sales training course they should be seeing some results. Or since your online training on building a website takes 2 weeks to complete that by the end of those 2 weeks they should have made good progress.

But you don't know for sure.

So it's best to “ease in” to asking for a testimonial or review so that you're not messing up the timing.

And perhaps more importantly, by easing in to asking, you take the pressure off the person you're asking to come up with a word-perfect testimonial.

As Customer Success expert Lincoln Murphy points out, one of the main reasons people don't give testimonials is anxiety and overwhelm.

“Umm… how do you write a testimonial? Do it in third-person or first-person? Or second-person?

Am I allowed to write a testimonial? Do I need approval from legal?

What should I say? Should I be a raving fan or throw in some real talk so it doesn’t seem fake?”

Too many things to think about, so they do nothing.

If you're not sure someone is ready to give you a brilliant testimonial straight away, the best way to ease into it is to ask some more general questions first and then narrow down to gently get the feedback from them you need. Then summarise it and ask them if you can use it as a testimonial.

No pressure. They don't even realise they're being asked until you summarise what they've said and ask if you can use it.

For example…

“Hey John, it's been a few weeks since the sales training course…how are your team getting on implementing what they learned?”

“Really well, in fact we've seen some big changes already”.

“That's great to hear…can you share some specifics of what's been different for them? What results have they got so far?”

“Well, Derek's already beaten his Q3 quota after just a couple of weeks and he's never come close to that before. And Jim's just landed a brand new client he's been trying to get for years”.

“Brilliant – I'm really pleased for them :) You know, before the training started some of the team expressed concerns about whether the tech side would be practical for them. How did that turn out?”

“Well, we had a couple of early hiccups, but everyone helped each other out and with the tips you gave in the last session we were fine. In fact I haven't heard of any issues at all since the first week.”

“John, that's so great to hear. Something I'm doing right now is compiling some testimonials for the course from people who've had success with it. Do you mind if I use some of the things you've just said? I was thinking of something like ‘In just a few weeks since taking Alec's sales training masterclass we've seen improvements already. One of our team has beaten his Q3 quota already and another has landed a big client he was struggling to even speak to before. Even the skeptics in the team who thought this would be difficult to implement have got it in place already and are seeing results'.

Would it be OK to use that, or would you suggest some changes?”

So what's happened is that you've had a gentle conversation with your client to ask about how things have progressed, you've drilled into his answers to get to some specifics, then you've paraphrased his answers to turn it into a testimonial you can use.

In other words you've made things super simple for him and you've got a great testimonial phrased in the way you want to have impact.

Of course, the example I've given is an abbreviated version. And things might not go so swimmingly. Maybe they haven't seen the results they were hoping for. In which case it’s an opportunity for you to help further and sort things out for them – leading to an even better testimonial downstream.

There's also the possibility they might not like your wording. In which case you can simply ask them what they'd prefer to say instead – and you've still made progress.

So any way it works out, you're doing well. You either have a great testimonial, or the chance to further help a client get results.

Now, of course, you'll need to change the wording to fit your situation. Lincoln Murphy's original examples are from the world of Software as a Service – so he asks about what the customer's experience with the product has been rather than asking about results. The point is to use wording that allows your clients to say things that could easily be turned into a testimonial.

Step 5: Ask the Right Questions

Ask the Right QuestionsYou'll notice that in the above example Alec the sales trainer eased out the specific results the client had got, rather than just general statements about how they liked working with him.

Testimonials that include specific results of the type your potential clients are looking for are perhaps the most powerful of all. So when you get the chance to ask a client directly for a testimonial, or if they volunteer to do one, ask them what specific results or benefits they saw from working with you.

Another powerful use of testimonials often highlighted by copywriter Colin Theriot is overcoming objections.

Once your potential clients have bought into the benefits they'll get from working with you, they'll usually have a series of concerns or questions holding them back. Can you get results working with people like them? What if they don't have much time to do this? What if they're no good with technology?

You could try answering those concerns directly, but a far better and more believable way of doing it is to let customer testimonials do the job.

And the way to get testimonials that overcome objections is to ask them about the concerns they had before buying and how they turned out. Colin likes to ask a version of “what made you hesitate to hire me, and how did your opinion change once you started working with me”.

Finally, I like to try to embed a call to action in a testimonial. Something to spur the reader to take action. So I like to ask testimonial givers what advice they would give to someone thinking of hiring me. Often the answer will be some form of “If you're thinking of hiring Ian, just do it – you won't regret it” which works well!

So if you do have the chance to ask someone questions to cover in their testimonial, I usually advise asking some form of the following:

1) What were the main benefits you got from working with me? What results did you see?

2) Was there anything that initially made you hesitate or you were concerned about before working with me? How did working with me change your mind after you bought?

3) What would you say to anyone considering hiring me? What would your advice to them be?

You can also adjust your questions to draw out any interesting stories or examples you know the client has. Or if you have a gap in the benefits or objections other testimonials cover, word your request to get an answer specifically about that so you can “plug the gap”.

The point is to ask questions that get you the kind of testimonials you want, rather than the wishy-washy “Ian's a great guy” testimonials you usually get if you don't give people guidelines.

Step 6: Use Tools and Technology to Automate and Enhance the Process

So now you know the best time and the best ways to get more reviews and testimonials. It should be plain sailing, right?

Sadly, real life tends to get in the way. We get busy so we forget we were supposed to call that client to ask for a testimonial. We're worn out from running a workshop so we haven't got the energy to discuss next steps and how to get testimonials.

Tools and technology can help us stay on track.

By tools I mean simple things like checklists. Every time you start working with a new client, make sure you have a checklist of the steps you need to do to make the onboarding process a brilliant experience for both you and the client. And make sure that agreeing that you'll ask for testimonials at the end of the project is on that list of steps.

If you're a speaker or trainer and you hand out feedback sheets at your events, make sure you have a process in place that you always follow for processing those sheets the next day. And make sure your process includes contacting people who gave you great feedback you could ask to turn into a testimonial.

Simple checklists and processes have an exponential impact on your ability to make this stuff happen.

Technology can help you too.

The first step is to make sure that your testimonials don't get lost in your email inbox. One simple way of doing this is to ask for them to be made on Linkedin. That way they show on your profile (though these days buried deep down), you can always find them, and you can then copy them to your website.

But make sure you make it easy for people. Don't just say “leave me a testimonial on Linkedin”. That gives them the job of finding where the link to leave a testimonial is (it's not by your existing testimonials, it's up at the top of your profile behind the “…” link). If, like most people, they struggle to find the link, they'll give up.

So give them the testimonial link directly. You can construct it by taking your Linkedin profile link and adding the text “recommendation/write” on the end as per the picture below:
 

Finding your Linkedin Recommendation Link

Finding your Linkedin Recommendation Link

If your customers click that link it will take them directly to the page on Linkedin where they can leave you a recommendation.

One little “trick” for Linkedin recommendations by the way. If you recommend someone else, it will prompt them to recommend you back. So if there's someone who you would genuinely recommend and you think they would recommend you; the easiest way to start the process is to simply go on to Linkedin and recommend them. that will then show them your recommendation and prompt them to recommend you back.

Overall, while there are some advantages to collecting testimonials on Linkedin, they're not huge. The truth is that Linkedin have buried the testimonials so far down your profile (and after needing to click “more” for every 5 testimonials) that most people won't see them there.

My preference these days is to collect testimonials on your own site. This not only keeps them under your direct control, but if you collect star ratings too, it's in line with Google's new policies for displaying star ratings in the search listings (they want the ratings to come from reviews visible on your site, not external ones).

There are a number of good tools for doing this.

Thrive Ovation

A Testimonial Capture Page on Thrive Ovation

For testimonials only (with no star ratings), Thrive Ovation is a good tool. It integrates with the other Thrive tools like their Page builder and allows you to create nice looking forms for collecting testimonials and it allows you to get answers for specific questions (like the ones we covered in Step 5). Once you've collected the testimonial it has a process for reviewing, editing and getting the testimonial-giver to approve the use of the testimonial. You can then easily insert it into a web page through a shortcode or as an element on Thrive's page builder.

You can find out more about Thrive Ovation here.

Review Trust Testimonial Form

A Testimonial Capture Form on ReviewTrust

Personally, I prefer being able to capture testimonials with star ratings. Not only can you use this if you sell products, it also means you can get your star ratings to show up in the Google search listings and so increase clicks to your site.

The best tool on the market for collecting customer testimonials with star ratings is ReviewTrust.

ReviewTrust is a full system for getting and displaying more reviews. In addition to the basics of letting you create forms to capture reviews (text, video or audio), it gives you 10 options for displaying those reviews on your site.

More importantly, it can manage the whole process if you're using an e-commerce system/shopping cart. You can set it up to automatically send a series of emails asking for reviews a certain number of days after someone has bought a product on your cart. That way there's no need to remember to ask manually, it’s all automated.

You can read my full ReviewTrust Review here.

It doesn't automatically turn the star ratings it collects into the structured data Google needs to display stars on your Google listings. For that you'll need to use the free WP SEO Structured Data Schema plugin.

You can find out more about ReviewTrust here.

The Review Display Page from WP Customer Reviews

The Review Display Page from WP Customer Reviews

A basic option you can use for collecting customer testimonials is the free WP Customer Reviews plugin. It gives you a page where you can collect and display testimonials with star ratings. And it has the advantage of creating (almost) the correct structured data for Google to use for star ratings (it's missing an image item but Google seems not to mind right now). However, it has no automation and the format of the display is pretty uninspiring :)

There are, of course, many other options such as Trustpilot, but at a whopping $299 per month for the basic plan, I prefer to stick to the options I've already listed.

In my own business, I'm currently implementing ReviewTrust with manual links to the review page for my 1-1 services and ideally a degree of automation for my online products.

My advice to you, however, is to start simple. Start with checklists to make sure you're not missing any opportunities for testimonials. Start with the simple processes and questions I've outlined in the article that will get you more testimonials and better ones.

When you've got that figured out, move on to the automation side.

Remember, even though this might all seem like a lot of work, testimonials and reviews are among the most important drivers of sales for any business so make sure you're getting the most from them.

– Ian

PS the links to Thrive Ovation and ReviewTrust are affiliate links so I'll get a small commission if you buy either of the products. Both are systems I use myself and recommend.

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[Podcast] Chris Laub on Market Research to Build Deep Understanding of Your Ideal Clients https://www.ianbrodie.com/chris-laub-market-research/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:25:37 +0000 https://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=14914 Today's podcast is a great follow-on from my recent article on the first steps to becoming an Authority where I highlighted that the first step is to understand your ideal clients and what they care about. In the podcast, I talk to copywriter Chris Laub about the steps he follows when he's researching a market. And in particular how he does 1-1 interviews to build deep insight into potential clients. In the podcast Chris shows you when research works well and when it doesn't, what sort of questions to ask to get beneath the surface and find real insights, and […]

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Today's podcast is a great follow-on from my recent article on the first steps to becoming an Authority where I highlighted that the first step is to understand your ideal clients and what they care about.

In the podcast, I talk to copywriter Chris Laub about the steps he follows when he's researching a market. And in particular how he does 1-1 interviews to build deep insight into potential clients.

In the podcast Chris shows you when research works well and when it doesn't, what sort of questions to ask to get beneath the surface and find real insights, and what pitfalls to avoid when doing research.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking the play button below.

Chris is a direct response direct response copywriter who's worked with Shark Tank winners, Inc. 500 companies, and a host of well-known industry experts. These days, he focuses his efforts on helping experts increase sales of their high ticket training programs.

You can contact Chris here, and get a copy of his interview script here (I'd recommend doing so :) ).

Subscribe To The More Clients Podcast

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Today's podcast is a great follow-on from my recent article on the first steps to becoming an Authority where I highlighted that the first step is to understand your ideal clients and what they care about. In the podcast, Today's podcast is a great follow-on from my recent article on the first steps to becoming an Authority where I highlighted that the first step is to understand your ideal clients and what they care about. In the podcast, I talk to copywriter Chris Laub about the steps he follows when he's researching a market. And in particular how he does 1-1 interviews to build deep insight into potential clients. In the podcast Chris shows you when research works well and when it doesn't, what sort of questions to ask to get beneath the surface and find real insights, and […] IanBrodie clean 26:56
The Proven Path to Building Authority: Getting Started https://www.ianbrodie.com/proven-path-authority-started/ Tue, 06 Jun 2017 16:30:57 +0000 https://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=14623 There's no doubt in my mind (and my experience) that being seen as an authority in your field is the best way for people in expert businesses like consultants, coaches, trainers and other professionals to win more high-paying clients without having to become marketing geniuses or spend all their time on sales. But of course, becoming seen as an authority is easier said than done. New: Click here to register for my FREE 5-Day Authority Challenge. In just 5 days you'll learn what it really takes to become seen as an Authority and build your roadmap to get there. Late […]

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There's no doubt in my mind (and my experience) that being seen as an authority in your field is the best way for people in expert businesses like consultants, coaches, trainers and other professionals to win more high-paying clients without having to become marketing geniuses or spend all their time on sales.

But of course, becoming seen as an authority is easier said than done.

New: Click here to register for my FREE 5-Day Authority Challenge. In just 5 days you'll learn what it really takes to become seen as an Authority and build your roadmap to get there.

Late last year I ran a survey asking what your biggest challenge in the area of building authority was. There were a huge number of answers which I then used to help me shape my Authority Breakthrough Program. But overall, three big challenges came out well ahead of the others:

  • Getting visible and getting your message in front of the target clients you want to build authority with.
  • Standing out and differentiating from your competitors in a crowded market.
  • Getting focused and finding the time to do the actions necessary to build authority on a consistent basis.

So let's talk about the big issue of visibility first (I'll return to the other topics in upcoming articles).

In other words, if you're a genuine expert in your field but you're not part of a big firm and you haven't published a best-selling book or already have a well-known name, how do you get your ideal clients to notice you enough for them to realise you're an expert?

Well, the first step is to understand who your ideal clients really are, and where you need to be visible to get their attention.

Sounds obvious, but you won't believe how many people make the mistake of going where it's easy and comfortable for them to go, rather than going to the places where they're really going to connect with their ideal clients.

Case in point: I knew a consultant once who was a leading expert in marketing and sales for large manufacturing firms, but who was trying to drum up business by going to those local business networking breakfasts so many small businesses go to.

His friends had all told him it worked for them, and he bought into the “you never know who knows who” line and the remote hope that someone he met over breakfast in a chain hotel at an ungodly hour in rural Cheshire would just happen to know the head of marketing at a major international manufacturing firm.

And, truth be told, it was comfortable for him too. There were always friendly faces, nice conversations. People impressed by his expertise and who promised to introduce him to any big business marketing people they met.

It never happened.

He was kidding himself to think that the people he met at local networking events – lovely though they were – were likely to introduce him to the sort of people he wanted to meet. But the alternative seemed much more daunting.

That consultant was me, by the way, a decade ago before I found much better ways of connecting with potential clients and eventually transitioned to helping others like me do the same.

I see the same problem repeated with online marketing today. Consultants who target large corporates writing guest blog posts for small business websites. Or vice-versa: experts on a big topic with global interest trying to cold email a handful of prospects to talk to them face to face.

Realism Is Your Best Friend

If you want to get visible to your ideal clients, you need to know where they hang out (both virtually and physically).

And the best way to do that is to ask them.

Now, if you find yourself thinking “but I don’t know enough of them to ask”, you have a problem: you're not being realistic.

If you don't know anyone in your target market well enough to ask a few questions to set you on the right path, what are the chances that they'll be ready to work with you if you do manage to eventually connect with them? And what are the chances you'll understand them and their problems well enough to be able to communicate in ways that resonate with them?

There's a concept in biology called “the adjacent possible”. It means that, for example, in the primordial soup before life evolved, the basic chemicals like methane, ammonia, water and carbon dioxide might well combine to make something more complex like formaldehyde. But they're not going to instantly spark a living, breathing creature even though all the fundamental components are there. It's too big a leap.

But once you have formaldehyde, there are now more targets in the adjacent possible and it can combine to make something more complex. Then more complex still. And eventually, you get what we have today.

In the case of marketing and getting visible, you're most likely to be able to get visible to people in your own “adjacent possible”. People one-step removed from your current circle of visibility.

If you've worked in senior roles in IT organisations all your life and have now moved into executive coaching, who do you think you're more likely to be able to find connections with? Senior IT executives, or executives in Advertising Agencies or the Public Sector?

And if you got your message in front of them, who would your stories and examples most resonate with?

Now I know that for some people reading this, that message might disappoint you.

Perhaps you've spent all your life working in one field and you're bored with it and want a change. Or you're looking at a new area and find it immensely exciting even though it's completely new to you.

I'm not ruling out the possibility it'll be a huge success for you leaping from one field to a new one that's completely different. It's been done before. But it's the exception rather than the rule.

And when it's been done it's usually because there's some common thread that gives credibility in the new field. “I used to be an actor, now I work with senior executives who need to improve their speaking skills and presence”, for example.

If you do want to make a big leap from where you are to somewhere completely new, you're much better off plotting a series of incremental and achievable steps to get there. Build up your visibility and network as you go, rather than trying to make a leap to a completely new field from scratch.

It's what I did when I set up.

After I came to the realisation that trying to find a ready supply of major manufacturing firms based close enough to me so that I wouldn't have to travel wasn't really on, I looked at other markets to focus on.

And I realised that although my consulting clients had all been major international manufacturers, what I'd learned to do as well as the work I did for them was market and sell consulting services to them.

And a huge number of the contacts I had were consultants or ex-consultants who had moved into coaching or training or similar roles.

So while working in exciting and fast-growing local sectors like the media and high-tech looked appealing, the reality was I had very few contacts in those areas, no relevant experience to show them, and I didn’t really speak their language. My “adjacent possible” was consultants and related fields.

In an upcoming article, I'll show you a method for quickly breaking into a completely new field if you do decide that it's what you want to do. But it's far easier to go somewhere in your “adjacent possible” – and that's what I did.

And since you have contacts in your adjacent possible, you can ask them questions that will help you understand how to get more visible and how to stand out.

The best way to do this is over the phone or face to face over a coffee. Tell them you're looking to publish some of your ideas and share approaches that have been successful, and that you're looking to find out where best to publish to reach people like them.

If you've got any sort of relationship with them (or you can get an introduction from someone else who has) then many of them will be willing to give you 10-15 minutes to answer a few questions.

Let Your Clients Tell You Where To Go

Ask them an open question first about where they get new information in their field. They might jump straight to something you can use directly, or they might mention something you hadn't thought about at all.

Next, ask about what websites they visit and any blogs or newsletters they read. Or any podcasts or video channels they subscribe to.

Ask about any print magazines they read or events they attend to get information relevant to their role. And what social media they use on a regular basis.

Ask them about what type of information is the most useful to them (e.g. case studies, new research). And finally ask them what the biggest challenges they face are that they look for new information and ideas about (this is quite an intrusive question, so ask it last after you've built up rapport).

If you can get half a dozen or more answers to those questions you'll have a brilliant idea of what will get you more visible to these people.

If you already have an email list you can send a short survey to get more data. Or post the survey in groups on Linkedin or Facebook or private forums (with the permission of the group owners). The nice thing is that you're not pitching for business in any way so the survey will be viewed as non-threatening.

If you do go down the survey route, I'd still do the personal interviews first: you get more in-depth, quality information and that personal touch will also enhance your relationship with the person you interview.

Knowing where your ideal clients go to get the information they rely on and the sort of information they look for will save you hours and hours of wasted effort. It'll allow you to take an 80:20 approach to produce the kind of material that will make your audience sit up and take notice, and get it in the places they're most likely to see it.

Of course, you might not be able to jump straight to communicating with them in all the channels they mention. If Harvard Business Review is their print magazine of choice you're not going to get an article published from a standing start anytime soon.

But it's something you can work towards if you want. And their other sources of information like blogs, podcasts and social media will give you something more immediate to shoot for.

So for now, I want you to start taking action to build this picture of the best places to be visible for your “adjacent possible” clients.

And as soon as you know what some of these media are, make sure you're looking at them yourself. You can't expect to get published on blogs or in magazines you’ve never read, or to appear on podcasts you don't listen to. So start building up your familiarity now.

And check out my next post which is an interview with copywriter and research expert Chris Laub where we dive into how to research your ideal clients to get real insights into who they are and what will get them to buy.

Next Step: Register for the FREE 5-Day Authority Challenge here. In just 5 days you'll learn what it really takes to become seen as an Authority and build your roadmap to get there.

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The Tools I Use To Run My Online Business https://www.ianbrodie.com/tools-i-use-online-business/ Mon, 01 May 2017 23:36:31 +0000 https://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=13799 Probably the question I get the most emails on is some variant of “what's the best X?”. What's the best email marketing system? What's the best landing page builder? What's the best shopping cart? And, of course, there's no one right answer for everyone. What suits a full-time online marketer with a team behind them isn't the same as what suits a small solo business with limited time to do their marketing in. And personal preferences play a role too. But what I can tell you about are the tools I personally use. These are the ones that I've tested […]

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Probably the question I get the most emails on is some variant of “what's the best X?”.

What's the best email marketing system? What's the best landing page builder? What's the best shopping cart?

And, of course, there's no one right answer for everyone. What suits a full-time online marketer with a team behind them isn't the same as what suits a small solo business with limited time to do their marketing in. And personal preferences play a role too.

But what I can tell you about are the tools I personally use. These are the ones that I've tested and I feel are the best to help me run my online business. They might well be a good fit for you too.

Tools I Use To Run My Website

I run this (and my other sites) on WordPress. Of course, there are other free tools to build websites. Some, like Wix or Squarespace, are actually much easier to use than WordPress.

But WordPress scores on two critical dimensions.

Firstly, there's a huge range of marketing tools built to integrate easily with WordPress. Whether it's tools to get email optins or share things on social media; the best tools that get the best results work on WordPress.

Secondly, there are a ton of freelancers, VAs, agencies and other professionals who can help build a site in WordPress for you if you need help. The choices are much more restricted when it comes to other systems.

For my main site here, I use the Astro Theme from Themeforest for the blog side of the site. It's a beautiful, clean single column layout where all the emphasis is on the content rather than flashy widgets and sidebars. I then built my homepage and other landing pages on my site using Thrive Landing Pages.

In fact, if you get my Client Winning Websites course you not only get tutorials teaching you how to build a website like mine, you get all the key page templates you can just load up into Thrive Landing pages and tweak to make them your own.

A free alternative to Astro (though not quite as pretty) is the Independent Publisher theme. I used that before I found Astro.

For all the optin forms, popups, scroll-mats and the like on my site I use Thrive Leads. To my mind it's the most advanced optin system (for example, it lets you show different calls to action depending on whether someone is already a subscriber or not) yet it's also one of the cheapest. Like Thrive Landing Pages it's just a one-off fee of $67. (I actually pay an annual fee for membership of Thrive as it gives me access to all their plugins and themes).

For my membership site I use Memberium for Active Campaign. It's the Active Campaign version of Memberium for Infusionsoft which is used by some of the world's biggest membership sites. It's still in the later stages of beta testing so it's actually free to use right now and integrates tightly with my email marketing system Active Campaign (see below).

For my social sharing icons I use the Social Warfare plugin – it's one of the few that properly counts Tweets these days. I also use Tweetily to randomly tweet out links to my old blog posts.

For domain registration I personally use godaddy.com as my primary registrar. Some people don't like them, but they're easy to use with good customer support. And because they're big, no matter what you're trying to do (for example configure google apps) there'll be instructions on how to do it on godaddy.

My key sites including this one are hosted with Lightningbase. It's not only high performance hosting, it's great value too and their customer support is excellent. For smaller sites I have them all on a multi-site plan with Siteground.

You can boost the performance of any site using a content delivery network. Cloudflare is a free one I use. It's a bit technical to set up but worth it.

Tools I Use For Email Marketing

Email Marketing is probably the most important component in an online business. I don't know of any really successful online businesses that don't focus heavily on email marketing- which may be why I wrote a book about it :)

Making a recommendation is pretty simple: I use Active Campaign. It provides advanced email marketing with excellent integration with CRM systems, accounting systems and a whole host of others. And unlike Infusionsoft or Ontraport, their Lite plan starts off at pretty much the same pricing level as simple systems like Aweber or Mailchimp.

You can read my review of Active Campaign here: Active Campaign Review.

A good alternative to Active Campaign that many people like is Drip. It's got all the great automations, tagging etc. and it's a bit easier to use than Active Campaign. It hasn't got quite so many features or integrations as Active Campaign (for example you can't get a tightly integrated membership system like Memberium), but if you don't need them and you want a system that's perhaps a bit easier to use, Drip would be a good solution for you.

Tools I use For Online Purchases

Of course, the other key tool you need to run an online business is some type of shopping cart so that people can actually pay you money (I find getting paid is a pretty essential component of any business ;) ).

Many people start off with just a Paypal button to buy from them and that's a great and simple way to get started. But if you want something that will get you more buyers, is considerably quicker to set up, allows proper invoicing and record keeping, handling of taxes and running an affiliate program then you'll need a proper shopping cart platform.

The tool I've been using for the last 6 months is Thrivecart.

Weirdly enough, Thrivecart isn't related to Thrive Landing Pages or Thrive Leads except for the fact that I use them all and recommend them highly :)

Thrivecart is one of the few shopping cart platforms to properly handle EU Digital VAT – which is one of the reasons I switched to using it. In the last few months for my business and my wife Kathy's we've run literally thousands of transactions through it and it's worked flawlessly. It has brilliant integration with email marketing systems (you can automatically add buyers to Active Campaign tags, automations and lists depending on what they buy, the upsells and other offers they take, etc. And you can trigger automations for failed subscription payments or when the cart gets abandoned).

Right now, Thrivecart is still in pilot mode and isn't available to the general public. When it goes public it'll be priced at something like $97 a month. But a few experienced and enthusiastic users like me are allowed to promote it before it goes public at a very special one-off price of $595 (+VAT if applicable).

You can check out the special offer on Thrivecart here – but if you're interested be sure to take it up before it goes public and switches to monthly pricing very soon.

You can also read my in-depth Thrivecart review here.

And that's it. Those are the core tools I use to run my online business. If you're a solo business like me then they could well be a good fit for you too.

*Some of the links in this article are affiliate links and I'll get a commission if you buy through those links, so make sure you do your due diligence rather than just relying on my recommendation. Though obviously all of them are tools I use and ou can see them in action on my site and in my marketing.

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[Podcast] Brent Adamson on Winning Business with Commercial Insight https://www.ianbrodie.com/brent-adamson-commercial-insight/ Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:42:12 +0000 https://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=13596 Brent Adamson of the CEB is back :) You may remember my podcast with Brent from a few weeks ago where we looked at his research into the “Challenger Customer” and its implications for selling high-value products and services. You might also remember that we touched on the concept of “Commercial Insight”. It's perhaps the most effective method for individuals and firms to both differentiate themselves vs competitors and motivate their potential clients to take action. So I got Brent back for a second interview to dive into more details on Commercial Insight. In the interview we talk about: What […]

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Brent Adamson of the CEB is back :)

You may remember my podcast with Brent from a few weeks ago where we looked at his research into the “Challenger Customer” and its implications for selling high-value products and services.

You might also remember that we touched on the concept of “Commercial Insight”. It's perhaps the most effective method for individuals and firms to both differentiate themselves vs competitors and motivate their potential clients to take action.

So I got Brent back for a second interview to dive into more details on Commercial Insight.

In the interview we talk about:

  • What Commercial Insight is.
  • Why traditional “thought leadership” doesn't work and the missing component you need.
  • How to develop your own Commercial Insight for your products and services.
  • How to communicate your Commercial Insight in a way that spurs potential clients to action, rather than causing them to reject or react against your new ideas

You can listen to the podcast by clicking the play button below.

Brent is a principal executive advisor in the sales and marketing practice at CEB, and co-author of The Challenger Sale and The Challenger Customer. With more than 20 years of experience as a professional researcher, teacher and trainer, Brent facilitates a wide range of executive-level discussions around the world for Fortune 500/Global 1000 executives in sales, marketing, and customer service, including global sales meetings, keynote presentations, board-level presentations, and hands-on best practice workshops.

You can find out more about the CEB here.

And you can grab The Challenger Customer here – I recommend it!

Subscribe To The More Clients Podcast

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Brent Adamson of the CEB is back :) You may remember my podcast with Brent from a few weeks ago where we looked at his research into the “Challenger Customer” and its implications for selling high-value products and services. Brent Adamson of the CEB is back :) You may remember my podcast with Brent from a few weeks ago where we looked at his research into the “Challenger Customer” and its implications for selling high-value products and services. You might also remember that we touched on the concept of “Commercial Insight”. It's perhaps the most effective method for individuals and firms to both differentiate themselves vs competitors and motivate their potential clients to take action. So I got Brent back for a second interview to dive into more details on Commercial Insight. In the interview we talk about: What […] IanBrodie clean 48:37
How to Get Star Ratings for Your Site in the Google Search Results https://www.ianbrodie.com/get-star-ratings-google-search-results/ Wed, 25 Jan 2017 12:14:10 +0000 https://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=13316 Ever done a Google search and noticed that some sites have star ratings next to their listings, while most don't? If a site is showing up as 4 or 5-star, it's going to get more clicks than sites with no stars at all. And people visiting the site are going to be going there with a good impression before they even land on the site. And although Google don't release details of their algorithm, many SEO experts believe that having good star ratings and reviews can help you move up the search results. If nothing else, because people are more […]

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Ever done a Google search and noticed that some sites have star ratings next to their listings, while most don't?

If a site is showing up as 4 or 5-star, it's going to get more clicks than sites with no stars at all. And people visiting the site are going to be going there with a good impression before they even land on the site.

And although Google don't release details of their algorithm, many SEO experts believe that having good star ratings and reviews can help you move up the search results. If nothing else, because people are more likely to click to your site because of the star ratings that higher clickthrough rate will move you up the listings over time.

I've found that since implementing this I've gone up in the search results a couple of places for some of my main page 1 keywords.

As it turns out, despite the fact that hardly any sites have star rating in their search listings, it's pretty easy to make happen. It's fiddly, as you'll see, but relatively easy.

I implemented some simple changes to my site and within 4 days I had star ratings next to my site for searches for my name, and the next day the star ratings were there for other important keyword searches for me as you can see below.

Star Ratings in Search Results

So how do you get star ratings to show up?

Step 1: Getting Some Reviews To Use

Important note: Google recently updated their requirements for star ratings. They want the reviews that star ratings are based on to be visible on your website, not just taken from external sources like Yelp or Trustpilot or Google MyBusiness as previously recommended.

The easiest way to achieve this is to use a plugin or script to collect testimonials and display them on your site (an alternative is to screenshot your reviews on external sites and paste the screenshot onto your own site, but that looks far from impressive to visitors).

Review Trust Testimonial Form

A Testimonial Capture Form on ReviewTrust

In my experience, the best tool on the market for collecting customer testimonials with star ratings is ReviewTrust.

ReviewTrust is a full system for getting and displaying more reviews. In addition to the basics of letting you create forms to capture reviews (text, video or audio), it gives you 14 options for displaying those reviews on your site ranging from e-commerce type displays to blog and Facebook type displays, through to pull-out tabs that appear at the side of the page.

ReviewTrust Ecommerce Display

A standard ReviewTrust e-commerce display.

More importantly, ReviewTrust can manage the whole process for you, meaning you don't have to rely on remembering to email new customers to ask for a review.

If you're using an e-commerce system/shopping cart you can set it up to automatically send a series of emails asking for reviews a certain number of days after someone has bought a product on your cart. That way there's no need to remember to ask manually, it’s all automated. or you can use your own email marketing system to send out a link to ReviewTrust's review page.

You can read my full ReviewTrust Review here and find out more about the plugin directly here: find out more about ReviewTrust.

If you're looking for a free solution to gathering customer reviews, the best option is the WP Customer Reviews plugin.

The Review Display Page from WP Customer Reviews

The Review Display Page from WP Customer Reviews

It's a more basic option but it does allows you to capture reviews and display them on a page. And it has the advantage of creating (almost) the correct structured data for Google to use for star ratings (it's missing an image item but Google seems not to mind right now). However, it has no automation (so you'll have to remember to reach out manually to ask for reviews) and the format of the display is pretty uninspiring :)

Once you've got at least a few reviews, you can proceed to Step 2 where you'll get those reviews to show up in your Google search listings.

Step 2: Getting Your Star Ratings onto Google's Search Results Pages

To get the star ratings on your Google Search results listings you need to use something called “schema.org markup”, “structured data” or “microdata”.

Basically, this is a standard for how you label data on your website so that browsers and bots like Google can interpret it and know what it represents. At a simple level, that means that rather than just having your address as text on your site, you label that text as being the business address of your business and Google will then use that data so it can place your business on a map listing.

I've included the technical details for how to to this manually yourself below. but the easiest method and the one I use is to use the free WP SEO Structured Data Schema plugin.

WP SEO Structured Data Schema

The Aggregate Review Settings in WP SEO Structured Data Schema

With the plugin you set up two types of data.

Firstly you set up sitewide data to tell Google about your organisation, logo, opening hours etc.

Secondly, on pages where you want your star ratings to show, you set up the “Aggregate Rating” data to include the name of the thing the rating is for, the number of reviews (taken from ReviewTrust, for example), the average rating, etc.

It really is as simple as putting a few bits of data into the forms in the pages you want the ratings to appear on or on the WordPress dashboard for the sitewide data.

Of course, you can't guarantee the star ratings will appear. That's up to Google and it's usually particularly difficult to get ratings to appear for your home page as Google prefers ratings to be about specific products or services.

But in my experience, if you use the plugin, the star ratings will show up in the search results 3 or 4 days later.

By the way, if you buy ReviewTrust you'll get a bonus video with me walking you through all the settings you'll need to use in WP SEO Structured Data Schema to get your star ratings to appear.

And that's it.

Just using a couple of plugins and plugging in a few bits of data, you've got star ratings to appear in the search results and so you'll get more clicks from interested buyers.

Appendix: Setting Structured Data Manually

If you don't use WordPress or you really want to do this yourself without a plugin you can follow these instructions for setting up structured data on your site.

Typically, you'll put the structured data in the footer on the pages of your website as it's also useful – though not essential – reference information for web visitors.

There are a myriad of different types of data defined in schema.org, but the ones we're most interested in are the definitions of:

If you click on those links you'll see a whole load of complex information, the vast majority of which you don’t need or isn't applicable. So let's stick to the basics.

For a Local Business (which I assume you are rather than a big Corporation) you need to tell Google at minimum, the business name and address and provide an image (either of the business or your logo). Google also likes to see your opening hours, telephone number and email address too. It would also prefer pricing information, but for most of us that's not appropriate and it's OK to leave it out.

It's also a good idea to put any legally necessary information in here too. For example, in the UK if you run a Limited company you're required to put your company registration information, address and contact details on your website – so you might as well put them in this section.

To get the data on to your site in a way Google can interpret you'll need to use some html code with “itemscope” and “itemprop” labels to tell Google what your data relates to.

Here's what I have in the footer of my site:

<div itemscope="" itemtype="https://schema.org/ProfessionalService">
  <img itemprop="image" src="https://www.ianbrodie.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/ian-new-email-logo.jpg" style="display:none;">
&copy; Copyright 2007 - 2017 <span itemprop="name">Ian Brodie</span>
  <div itemprop="address" itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">Business Address:<span itemprop="streetAddress">29 Dean Road</span>,<span itemprop="addressLocality">Wilmslow</span>,<span itemprop="addressRegion">Cheshire</span>,<span itemprop="postalCode">SK9 3AH</span>,<span itemprop="addressCountry">GB</span> |Tel: <span itemprop="telephone">0161 408 0984</span> |Email: <a href="mailto:hello@ianbrodie.com" itemprop="email">hello@ianbrodie.com</a>.</div>
    <span itemprop="geo" itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/GeoCoordinates">
      <meta itemprop="latitude" content="53.34292">
      <meta itemprop="longitude" content="-2.207815">
    </span>
    <span>Company No. 06372487</span> |VAT No.<span itemprop="vatID">922 3892 18</span> |Business hours are <time itemprop="openingHours" datetime="Mo,Tu,We,Th,Fr 09:00-17:00">09.00 a.m. to 17.00 p.m. Monday to Friday</time>
  </div>

Obviously, if you're not technically minded and this all seems like gobbledegook to you then you'll need to use the plugins I mentioned above or get your web developer to do it for you.

But in essence, all you need to do is change the details to reflect your business and get it into the footer of your website. Here are the tweaks you need to make:

  • In the itemtype section, I have linked to “https://schema.org/ProfessionalService” which tells Google my business is a Professional Service business. There are other definitions like Dentist, LegalService, FinancialService etc. You can see the full list at the bottom of the definition of LocalBusiness here. Just find the most relevant business for you, click through to the definition, and select the web address of that page to use like “https://schema.org/LegalService”. If you can't find a specific type that fits you, just use “https://schema.org/LocalBusiness” – the exact type doesn't really matter as long as it's not misleading.
  • In the itemprop “image” section provide a link to an image representing you, your business, your logo etc. This doesn't get displayed in the main search result listings so it's not super important but you do need to provide it. I've set the style=”display:none;” so that the image doesn't appear in your footer – you're just telling Google where it is for future reference.
  • In the itemprop “name” section you need to put the name of your business – mine is my own name.
  • In the itemprop “address” section you'll need to put your business address in all the relevant fields. The “addressCountry” part needs to be the two-digit ISO country code for your country. You can find a list of country codes here.
  • The “telephone” and “email” sections need to be your telephone number and email address. The email address is hyperlinked to open up a mail to you in the visitor's browser if clicked.
    The “geo” section is where you put the latitude and longitude of your location so Google can place your business on a map. You can find out your Latitude and Longitude thanks to Nasa here. Note that North and East are +ve numbers and South and West are -ve.
  • The Company Number part above isn't for Google so it doesn’t have an itemprop, but it's a UK legal requirement so I just show the text. The vatID and openingHours itemprops aren't mandatory but putting them in helps show Google you're a legitimate business.

And that's it for the definition of your business. You could put other properties in too from the schema.org definition. But these are the main ones you want.

Also note that the properties should match up with anything you put in your business definition on Google My Business (for example, your opening hours). In fact, if they don't, the next time you log in to Google My Business, you'll be asked if you want to update the data in Google My Business to match your website.

Next, we come to the Star Ratings themselves. Just like your business definition, you want to put these into the footer of your website:

<span class="rating-desc" itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/Product">
 <span itemprop="name">Ian Brodie</span>
 <span itemprop="aggregateRating" itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/AggregateRating"> Rated <span itemprop="ratingValue">5</span> / 5 based on <span itemprop="reviewCount">5</span> reviews. | <a class="ratings" href="https://www.ianbrodie.com/review">Review Me</a> </span>
</span>

Here's what you need to tweak for your own business:

  • The “name” itemprop is the name of the product you're giving the star ratings for. For a service business I would advise just using your business name as people will be rating your business as a whole rather than specific products.
  • The “ratingValue” is your average rating out of 5 on the tool you've used (Google My Business Reviews for most of us). The “reviewCount” is the total number of reviews you've had.
  • I also provide a link to my review page. This isn't mandatory, but I think adds legitimacy to the rating, especially if someone from Google does a manual review of your site.

Once this data is up on your site you can test it using Google's Structured Data Testing Tool. You simply put in your web address like this:

Google's Structured Data Testing Tool

Google will then review the data on your site to check for any errors in the markup. You'll see results like this:

Structured Data Test Results

The website and person definitions come from the website generally and we can ignore them for our purposes. What we're looking for are the Business definition and Product definition. In my case the business definition shows up as “ProfessionalService” as that's the one I used, yours may be slightly different.

You'll see the Product definition has no errors or warnings. You can click on it to see what data it has.

My ProfessionalServices definition has one warning. Clicking on it shows that the warning is because Google recommends including the priceRange property but I don’t have one. That's OK – I don’t want to put prices up on my site for my services generally and a warning doesn't stop the item being processed by Google.

If you do have errors, click to see what they are. Most of the time they're just when you've mistyped something so double check against the code I gave you.

You'll notice a couple of things about the star ratings.

Firstly, you have to manually enter them. In theory you could get some kind of plugin or automation to keep them up to date with your current ratings in the review system you use. But I think it's just easier to manually update them if they change significantly.

Secondly, because you're manually entering the ratings then in theory you could completely fake your star rating and put in 5 stars even if you don't have 5 star reviews. I'm sure some unscrupulous sites do this, but obviously I don't recommend it. It's dishonest and I'm pretty sure that at some point Google will cross-check your ratings and you'll be in trouble if you fake them.

And that's it. You've now got your business details and star ratings marked up on your site. When Google next “spiders” your web pages it should recognise the markup and begin to get them on to the search results pages.

Of course, nothing with Google is certain. It took 4 days before the star ratings began to appear for me – but my site gets spidered by Google fairly frequently because I often update the content. Your site might take longer. Or it might never happen at all.

But for a little bit of work, it's definitely worth doing. If nothing else, getting reviews on Google My Business can do no harm even if they never show up in the main search results.

Do feel free to report back on your results using this in the comments. It'll take a few days for the results to show up (faster if you have a frequently updated site that Google checks regularly, slower if your site isn't often updated) but it would be great to hear how you get on.

Of course, showing up well in the search engines is just the first step in winning clients, so don't forget to sign up for my regular client-winning tips both online and offline using one of the many sign-up boxes on the site.

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[Podcast] Mark Williams on the Big Upcoming Changes in Linkedin https://www.ianbrodie.com/mark-williams-big-linkedin-changes/ Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:38:54 +0000 https://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=13195 If you market and sell your services to other businesses then the chances are you use Linkedin. Probably a lot. If you know how to use it, it can be a really effective system for finding contacts and referrers to begin a high-value relationship with. And someone visiting your profile can be the first step towards them making contact. But the whole Linkedin interface is about to change… Only 22% of Linkedin users are active once a month or more frequently. Contrast that with 66% of Facebook's 1.79 Billion users who are active daily and you can see that Linkedin […]

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If you market and sell your services to other businesses then the chances are you use Linkedin. Probably a lot.

If you know how to use it, it can be a really effective system for finding contacts and referrers to begin a high-value relationship with. And someone visiting your profile can be the first step towards them making contact.

But the whole Linkedin interface is about to change…

Only 22% of Linkedin users are active once a month or more frequently. Contrast that with 66% of Facebook's 1.79 Billion users who are active daily and you can see that Linkedin has a big activity problem.

The way they aim to address it is by simplifying the interface. Making it easier to use for the majority of basic users who they hope will then use it more.

But the flip side of simplifying the interface is that they'll be taking features away and making it more restrictive. If you're a frequent Linkedin user you'll find that many things you rely on now (like Advanced Search) are going away or changing significantly.

On this episode of the More Clients Podcast I interview the UK's “Mr Linkedin” Mark Williams. Mark has been training businesses in how to use Linkedin since 2008 and he runs the Linkedinformed podcast where other Linkedin trainers and advanced users go to find out the latest news and tips on Linkedin.

Mark has had special access to the new Linkedin interface since October last year, and in this interview he walks us through all the significant changes in Linkedin we'll see when the new interface is rolled out widely (scheduled to be completed in May this year).

He covers what the changes are, how it impacts the key things you might want to do on Linkedin, and what you can do to prepare for the changes or deal with them when they happen.

If you're a serious Linkedin user you MUST listen to this podcast and in many cases take action before the changes hit you.
 

Mark's Winbusinessin website on how to win new business with Linkedin is here and you can sign up for his regular updates on new Linkedin features and how to best use them here.

You can see Mark's video on how to search effectively using the new interface here (I suggest you bookmark it and come back to it when you get the new interface).

And finally, his 5C System for winning business on Linkedin is here.

Subscribe To The More Clients Podcast

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If you market and sell your services to other businesses then the chances are you use Linkedin. Probably a lot. If you know how to use it, it can be a really effective system for finding contacts and referrers to begin a high-value relationship with. If you market and sell your services to other businesses then the chances are you use Linkedin. Probably a lot. If you know how to use it, it can be a really effective system for finding contacts and referrers to begin a high-value relationship with. And someone visiting your profile can be the first step towards them making contact. But the whole Linkedin interface is about to change… Only 22% of Linkedin users are active once a month or more frequently. Contrast that with 66% of Facebook's 1.79 Billion users who are active daily and you can see that Linkedin […] IanBrodie clean 44:03
[Podcast] Danny Iny on the Huge Opportunity in Online Education https://www.ianbrodie.com/danny-iny-online-education/ Thu, 05 Jan 2017 20:06:52 +0000 https://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=13176 If creating online courses is on your agenda for 2017, this podcast is a must-listen for you. In it, I discuss the current huge opportunity in online education with Danny Iny, founder of Mirasee and author of “Teach and Grow Rich” which is about to be published in its second (expanded) edition. We cover: Why there's such a big opportunity right now in online education as it becomes more mainstream. How to transition from delivering live services to online courses, and what to focus your courses on. The impact of sites like Masterclass.com with celebrity trainers like Aaron Sorkin, Dustin […]

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If creating online courses is on your agenda for 2017, this podcast is a must-listen for you.

In it, I discuss the current huge opportunity in online education with Danny Iny, founder of Mirasee and author of “Teach and Grow Rich” which is about to be published in its second (expanded) edition.

We cover:

  • Why there's such a big opportunity right now in online education as it becomes more mainstream.
  • How to transition from delivering live services to online courses, and what to focus your courses on.
  • The impact of sites like Masterclass.com with celebrity trainers like Aaron Sorkin, Dustin Hoffman, Serena Williams and Gordon Ramsay- and how a small provider can compete against them.
  • How to ensure your courses are genuinely valuable for your clients and lead to achievement of real results for them.
  • The best way to get started with online courses.

Danny is the founder of Mirasee, an online education business, and the author of “Teach and Grow Rich”.

A new, expanded edition of Teach and Grow Rich is being released at the end of January. All the free 50 hard copies Danny mentions in the podcast have now been taken, but you can sign up for notification to get a free Kindle version of the book when it goes on special promotion by clicking here:

Register to Get Your Free Copy of Teach and Grow Rich
 
On the page you'll see a number of “Get the Book + Reserve My Spot” buttons. Underneath there's a smaller link saying “No thanks. Just notify me when the book comes out”. Click on that to register and you'll get an email when the promotion starts. You'll then have a couple of days to get it free on Kindle during the promotion.

Subscribe To The More Clients Podcast

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If creating online courses is on your agenda for 2017, this podcast is a must-listen for you. In it, I discuss the current huge opportunity in online education with Danny Iny, founder of Mirasee and author of “Teach and Grow Rich” which is about to be ... If creating online courses is on your agenda for 2017, this podcast is a must-listen for you. In it, I discuss the current huge opportunity in online education with Danny Iny, founder of Mirasee and author of “Teach and Grow Rich” which is about to be published in its second (expanded) edition. We cover: Why there's such a big opportunity right now in online education as it becomes more mainstream. How to transition from delivering live services to online courses, and what to focus your courses on. The impact of sites like Masterclass.com with celebrity trainers like Aaron Sorkin, Dustin […] IanBrodie clean 38:41
[Podcast] Brent Adamson on the Challenger Customer https://www.ianbrodie.com/podcast-brent-adamson/ Wed, 21 Dec 2016 01:36:53 +0000 https://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=13169 This is a special podcast. Partially because my guest, Brent Adamson of the CEB, is such an expert and entertaining speaker. But perhaps more because the topic is so critical. As I mentioned in Why Being An Expert Won't Get You Clients, we're in an era where it's becoming tougher and tougher to sell premium solutions to our clients. Time and time again a service we know will bring huge benefits is turned down in favour of a cheaper option, or the client just doesn't move ahead and do anything. It's not just because of the way we're marketing and […]

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This is a special podcast.

Partially because my guest, Brent Adamson of the CEB, is such an expert and entertaining speaker.

But perhaps more because the topic is so critical.

As I mentioned in Why Being An Expert Won't Get You Clients, we're in an era where it's becoming tougher and tougher to sell premium solutions to our clients. Time and time again a service we know will bring huge benefits is turned down in favour of a cheaper option, or the client just doesn't move ahead and do anything.

It's not just because of the way we're marketing and selling to clients; it's because the way they're buying has changed.

In this podcast Brent dissects the way corporate clients buy today, based his extensive research at the CEB. And he highlights what service providers like us MUST do if we want to win clients for our premium services in today's new buying environment.
 

Brent is a principal executive advisor in the sales and marketing practice at CEB, and co-author of The Challenger Sale and The Challenger Customer. With more than 20 years of experience as a professional researcher, teacher and trainer, Brent facilitates a wide range of executive-level discussions around the world for Fortune 500/Global 1000 executives in sales, marketing, and customer service, including global sales meetings, keynote presentations, board-level presentations, and hands-on best practice workshops.

You can find out more about the CEB here.

And you can grab The Challenger Customer here – I recommend it!

Subscribe To The More Clients Podcast

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This is a special podcast. Partially because my guest, Brent Adamson of the CEB, is such an expert and entertaining speaker. But perhaps more because the topic is so critical. As I mentioned in Why Being An Expert Won't Get You Clients, This is a special podcast. Partially because my guest, Brent Adamson of the CEB, is such an expert and entertaining speaker. But perhaps more because the topic is so critical. As I mentioned in Why Being An Expert Won't Get You Clients, we're in an era where it's becoming tougher and tougher to sell premium solutions to our clients. Time and time again a service we know will bring huge benefits is turned down in favour of a cheaper option, or the client just doesn't move ahead and do anything. It's not just because of the way we're marketing and […] IanBrodie clean 35:16
Being Seen as an Expert Won’t Win You Clients. Here’s Why. https://www.ianbrodie.com/expert-wont-win-clients/ Sat, 17 Dec 2016 18:42:05 +0000 https://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=13139 There's been a big trend in the last few years that says that the way to win clients as a professional service provider is to become seen as a leading expert in your field. As a result, more and more professional services marketing has become focused on creating mounds of content which showcases and proves the expertise of the service provider. It makes sense, in theory. When clients want help for complex, tricky problems, they call the best expert they can find. Or do they? Let's give this idea a little reality check. Think about the last few times you […]

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There's been a big trend in the last few years that says that the way to win clients as a professional service provider is to become seen as a leading expert in your field.

As a result, more and more professional services marketing has become focused on creating mounds of content which showcases and proves the expertise of the service provider.

It makes sense, in theory. When clients want help for complex, tricky problems, they call the best expert they can find.

Or do they?

Let's give this idea a little reality check.

Think about the last few times you pitched for a piece of work with a client and didn't win. How often was it because you weren't seen as being enough of an expert by that client? Or because the winner was seen as a bigger expert?

My experience: very few times indeed.

The reasons you win or lose work are rarely because they don't see you as an expert.
 

Here are the reasons I see time and time again:

  1. They decide not to do anything at all.
  2. They decide to try to do it internally without any outside help.
  3. They go with a lower cost option.

None of these are because they don't see you as an expert. They're because they don't think that their problem needs an expert to solve it.

In the first case, they've decided that the problem isn't worth solving at all (compared to the cost and disruption of making the necessary changes). In the second, they think they can do it themselves. And in the third, they think a less costly (ie less expert) provider is capable of solving their problem.

To draw a simple analogy, no matter how “expert” a painter and decorator is at renovating a house, if I don't think my house needs painting, or if I think a quick lick of emulsion is good enough, then I'm not going to hire that expert painter and pay the premium rates they're looking for.

“Proving” he's an expert by showing me all the wonderful renovations he's done, blinding me with science about the brilliant brush technique he uses or showing me legions of testimonials: none of it is any use if I don't think my house needs any work doing. He could be Michaelangelo for all I care, I'm not going to hire him.

What should he do instead?

His “content” needs to help me see that actually, my house does need work.

Perhaps he could give me some insight into what my friends are thinking when they see my drab paintwork. Perhaps he can show me how his exciting paintwork can help raise the mood of everyone in the house, or get visitors to think I'm cooler than I am :) The point is that the most important content he can produce isn't about positioning himself as an expert, it's about me. It's about showing me that I need to do something.

Now once that's established, once I realise that actually I really do need to do something, then I'm going to be on the lookout for an expert to help. But until then, proving your expertise is a complete waste.

That's why so much content marketing is misguided. It's an endless quest to establish yourself as more and more of an expert, when in fact, clients are perfectly well aware you're an expert and the real reason you're not being hired is that they don't think they need your level of expertise.

Now don't get me wrong. Being seen as an expert is a good thing. But you need to be seen as an expert in something clients think they need an expert to help them with.

Job number one is to give clients that insight. To trigger lightbulb (or “oh sh*t”) moments when they realise that they're doing something wrong, they're missing a big opportunity, they need to change.

Without that, all the expertise in the world isn't going to help you win that client.

So where is most of your marketing and content focused? On proving to clients you're an expert, or on the real work of giving them insights into their own business that show them they need to change (and that therefore, they need to hire an expert)?

If most of your content is more and more proving of your expertise, it's probably misplaced. Think about focusing on your clients, not you. Think about what they need to know and feel to see that change is necessary. Rework your content to give them those insights.

And guess what? If you share insights that open your client's eyes to the need for change, chances are that in itself will position you as a real expert and the one they want to work with.

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Three Steps To Get More Email Subscribers From Your Website https://www.ianbrodie.com/three-steps-get-email-subscribers-website/ Fri, 23 Sep 2016 00:13:05 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12793 You don’t need me to tell you that a responsive email list is the key to winning clients and selling products online. For every clickbait headline from some attention-seeking guru proclaiming that email marketing is dead, there’s a ton of studies and analysis showing that email still drives exponentially more sales than any other channel, and is the preferred method of business communication across all age groups. But, of course, knowing that building a responsive email list is key to your success and actually building one are two very different things. In my early days online I did what most […]

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You don’t need me to tell you that a responsive email list is the key to winning clients and selling products online.

For every clickbait headline from some attention-seeking guru proclaiming that email marketing is dead, there’s a ton of studies and analysis showing that email still drives exponentially more sales than any other channel, and is the preferred method of business communication across all age groups.

But, of course, knowing that building a responsive email list is key to your success and actually building one are two very different things.

In my early days online I did what most people do. I put a nice little “Subscribe to my Newsletter” box in the sidebar on my blog and waited for a flood of subscribers to come rolling in.

It didn't happen.

And there was far less competition back then, certainly in terms of people providing tips to consultants, coaches and other professionals about getting more clients.

It's even tougher to get subscribers today.

Today in almost every niche you can’t move for falling over newsletters and email courses. Today you have to work a lot harder to get the right email subscribers.

“Subscribe to my Newsletter” doesn’t cut it anymore. Nor does a simple box in your sidebar.

In this blog post, you’ll discover the three most important factors when it comes to turning visitors into your website into email subscribers. Get these three right as some of my students have done and you’ll often double or triple your email signup rate.

Email Signup Step #1: Give Your Website Visitors a Powerful Reason to Sign Up

Sounds obvious, but most people don’t put nearly enough thought into what would motivate their ideal client to sign up for regular emails from them.

The prospect of a “newsletter” won’t do it. No one wants your news. They want value. They want actionable information. They want it now.

So the first component of a Powerful Reason To Sign Up is an effective Lead Magnet. Something free you give away as an incentive to get people to subscribe.

Yeah – we all know about having a good lead magnet. But look around the web and you’ll see that most lead magnets are actually pretty weak.

A good lead magnet needs to hold out the promise of immediate value. Your potential clients surfing the web aren’t looking for an encyclopaedia to read or a 27-week training program to enrol in. In fact, most of the time they’re not looking for anything related to what you do. To catch their attention and to motivate them enough to sign up it has to be instantly clear to them that they’ll get something of immediate value.

Now I know you probably do the sort of work that takes time and effort to deliver big results. But think of your lead magnet as a kind of painkiller.

HeadacheIf you go to the doctors with a murderous headache you don’t want her to tell you that you need to improve your diet, get more sleep and exercise more – even though those are probably the things that will stop the headaches long term. Right now you just want something to stop the pain.

Only after the fist-fight in your head has subsided will you be ready to accept advice about what to do to stop it coming back.

It’s the same with your lead magnet. Solve an immediate problem that lies on the path to your ideal client’s long term goals and they’ll be willing to listen to your bigger ideas.

My own primary lead magnet, The 21 Word Email That Can Get You More Clients works well for this.

The benefit is clear: it’s an email that can get you more clients. And because it’s only 21 words long, it’s obvious that whatever it does, you can use it pretty fast.

How effective is your lead magnet? Do your potential clients immediately raise an eyebrow and think “I need that”?

If not, check out my video and 7-point checklist for the Perfect Lead Magnet here:

>> The 7 Characteristics of a Perfect Lead Magnet <<

The second component of a Powerful Reason To Sign Up is the implied value of your emails.

You don’t want people to sign up for the lead magnet and then immediately unsubscribe because they see no value in your ongoing emails. You want them to sign up and look forward to your emails.

A simple tip here is to name your emails in a way that makes the benefit obvious. No one wants a newsletter, but they might want to get your Client Winning Tips as my emails are called.

The quality of the content on your site also gives clues to potential subscribers as to what your emails are going to be like. If your blog posts and videos are insightful, interesting and entertaining then they’ll expect that your emails are the same. And including comments and testimonials from delighted subscribers who’ve got great results from your emails will encourage them further.

Laura Roeder’s site (screenshot below) is a great example of using a testimonial and social proof (the logos of media she's featured in) to encourage email subscribers.

Laura Roeder's Website

And finally, the words you use to describe your lead magnet and emails and give instructions to your visitors can influence the value people perceive.

Instead of asking them to “Subscribe Now” or “Submit”, say they can “Get Free Instant Access” or “Send Me My Free Sales Tips”.

Ideally, the name of your lead magnet itself will imply value (like my 21 Word Email That Can Get You More Clients or Digital Marketer’s Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library). But if not, add bullet points to make the benefits they’ll be getting clear.

Email Signup Step #2: Use High Converting Landing Pages

With traffic to your site from search engines or social media you can’t completely control which page a visitor will land on. But when your traffic comes from paid ads on Facebook, Adwords or other platforms, or from links in guest articles or where you’ve done a podcast or interview or otherwise been featured on another site; you can specify exactly where that traffic lands on your site.

In these cases, you must make sure that visitors land on a page that’s optimised to get them to sign up to your emails. Not a blog post (unless you’re deliberately sending them to content and then retargeting them to an opt-in page later).

Not your home page (though you’d be surprised how many big organisation throw away money on pay-per-click doing exactly that). And not a normal page on your site you’ve added an optin form to (yeah, I’m talking to you Mr “It’ll Be Fine, No One Will Notice”). A proper optimised landing page with the sole purpose of getting an email signup.

A good home page might get a 10% opt-in rate. A blog post 1-3% (maybe 10-20% if you have an excellent content upgrade offer).

Ian's Optin PageBut a dedicated landing page should get you a 40% optin rate or more. My main landing page for cold traffic from Facebook Ads gets a 58% optin rate. The same page gets a 77% optin rate from partner traffic.

Of course, part of the reason it’s higher is that the traffic is high quality and pre-qualified to want to sign up. But a lot of the reason is that the landing page has been carefully designed to motivate people to sign up.

It has a strong headline and clear call to action. There’s social proof and testimonials. There are no prominent menus, distractions or other links away from the page. And the button to sign up is highly visible.

You can build Landing Pages like this using tools like Thrive Landing Pages and Leadpages. Leadpages tends to be more template-driven, faster to get pages up and running, but more expensive and less flexible. Thrive Landing Pages is dirt cheap, very flexible, but with fewer built-in templates to choose from.

Whichever route you go down, make sure you’re using dedicated landing pages.

You can get a detailed breakdown of my best performing optin page with a guide to all the key elements on why they work by clicking here.

Email Signup Step #3: Optimise the Remaining Key Pages on your Site for Conversions

As I said for driver #2, sometimes you won’t be able to direct traffic exactly where you want it. Visitors from social media will go to the blog posts that have been shared on your site. Visitors from Google will go to whatever page Google indexes for their search term. And a lot of visitors will just go straight to your home page.

That means that in addition to your dedicated landing pages, you need to make sure that the other key pages on your site are also optimised to get emails subscribers.

Chris Ducker's Home Page OptinYour first priority is to optimise is your home page as this is usually the most visited page on your site.

As discussed in detail in my article on the 9 Biggest Web Design Mistakes, I recommend a “layered design” for home pages. And to maximise email signups, the top layer should be focused on encouraging visitors to sign up for your emails. Chris Ducker does a great job of this on his page with a big offer for his Youpreneur Launchpad.

Some WordPress themes come with a “feature box” or large home page opt-in section built in. You can also use tools like Leadpages or Thrive Landing Pages to replace your theme home page with a specially designed home page focused on getting subscribers (I use Thrive Landing Pages for this myself). Or you can use the Plugmatter Optin Feature Box plugin to add a big home page opt-in form to most themes.

Next priority is to consider using a popup or “welcome mat”.

Now I know you hate popups yourself because they get in the way of the content you want to see. And people will complain about them. But they absolutely work in terms of getting subscribers. And despite the hordes of people telling you that they result in “lower quality subscribers”, no one has been able to show any evidence that that’s the case.

My experience has been that a welcome mat – as pioneered by Sumo but also available in Thrive Leads – works almost as well as a popup, but doesn’t generate anywhere near the level of annoyance. Maybe it’s because you see the content scrolling down rather than being obscured by the popup that you know you can easily get to it.

Here's the welcome mat I'm currently using:
Welcome Mat

Or alternatively, you can use an exit intent popup which only shows when someone is leaving your page – so it doesn’t get in the way of them reading the content.

Do be aware though that Google have announced that they’re going to start penalising sites in the mobile search rankings if the content is obscured by “intrusive interstitials” – basically anything that obscures the content that was clicked for. Thrive Leads have recently released a feature that allows you to show a full lightbox popup or welcome mat on desktop, but a smaller ribbon overlay on mobile so that you're complying with Google's rules, but maximising your email signups. Other popup and form systems will need to follow suit.

And make sure you’re not showing popups or welcome mats on pages you send paid traffic to. Both Google and Facebook’s advertising platforms frown on it.

Next priority after popups and welcome mats is to have strong opt-in forms visible in key locations on your site. These include:

  • In the sidebar for blog posts. I recommend using the Q2W3 Fixed Widget plugin for WordPress which allows you to “freeze” the opt-in form in your sidebar so it remains visible after a visitor has scrolled beyond the bottom of the sidebar. You can see it in action to the right of this post.
  • Beneath each blog post. Someone who has gone to the effort of reading all of your blog post is probably pretty interested in the topic you’ve written about. So offer them the chance to get more of your best material by signing up for your emails. You can add an optin box to the bottom of each post with most plugins like Thrive Leads, or you can use a scroll-triggered box which appear when the visitor has scrolled a certain way down the post (I prefer not to use this option as I reserve that space for my chat widget).
  • Via Content Upgrades. A content upgrade is a bespoke lead magnet that’s specific to a blog post or other piece of content. So rather than offering your general lead magnet, you offer something more relevant. An easy way to do this is to take your blog post and turn it into a PDF with extra details in it – hence “content upgrade”. If the content upgrade is highly relevant to the article it’s being offered with then you’ll get a much higher than normal optin rate. You can either create your own boxes and forms for content upgrades like I do with Thrive Leads or there's a dedicated plugin which will do it for you called Content Upgrades Pro.

With all these forms, you’ll want to make sure they really stand out from the rest of the site so they get noticed rather than ignored. Use contrasting colours or an image of the lead magnet.

You can also squeeze out a few more signups by having opt-in forms on your About Me page, doing collections of your best posts on a topic with an opt-in form, and using things like Wistia Turnstile to collect email addresses in videos you create. But these are in the “nice to have” rather than “must have” category. The core opt-in opportunities are your home page, popups/welcome mats, sidebar and below post opt-ins and content upgrades.

So, Are You Following These 3 Steps To Get More Email Subscribers From Your Website?

If not, which step are you missing?

Need a more powerful Lead Magnet? Check out my tutorial on the 7 Characteristics of a Perfect Lead Magnet here.

Need to create an effective optin page or beef up an existing one? You can get my detailed breakdown of my best performing optin page by clicking here.

Need to make the key pages on your website more effective at getting email subscribers? You might want to jump straight into my Build Your Own Client Winning Website course. Right now it's on special offer for just $47 here (less than half price).

Want a Guide to My Best Performing Optin Page with a Breakdown of the Key Elements?

To help you build your own high converting optin page I've put my best performing design along with a breakdown of all the key elements of it into a PDF you can download. You can get a free copy below:

Download My Best Optin Page Design

PS The Email Marketing System I recommend and use myself is Active Campaign.

** The link to Thrive Leads/Landing Pages on this post is an affiliate link. That means I get paid a commission if anyone buys through the link. Obviously though, these are tools I use myself personally and thoroughly recommend. **

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The 9 Biggest Web Design Mistakes That Will Lose You Clients https://www.ianbrodie.com/9-biggest-web-design-mistakes/ Mon, 12 Sep 2016 16:38:25 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12460 Ever been impressed with someone when you meet face to face, see them speak, or talk over the phone; only to visit their website and feel let down by their online presence? Wonder if that might be happening when people first visit your site? It probably is if you're making some of these big web design mistakes. Your website is the hub of your online marketing activity, and it's your clients' window in to your world. An effective “Client Winning Website” can have a big impact on your ability to attract and win clients. A bad one can put them […]

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Ever been impressed with someone when you meet face to face, see them speak, or talk over the phone; only to visit their website and feel let down by their online presence?

Wonder if that might be happening when people first visit your site? It probably is if you're making some of these big web design mistakes.

Your website is the hub of your online marketing activity, and it's your clients' window in to your world. An effective “Client Winning Website” can have a big impact on your ability to attract and win clients. A bad one can put them off completely.

Problems SolutionsAnd it's not just the obvious things that can hurt you. Some of the most beautiful, professional looking websites can have huge problems when it comes to their effectiveness at getting you clients.

In this post we're going take a look at what, right now, are the biggest problems with most professional service websites and more importantly, what you can do to fix them.

Exclusive Bonus: Click here to download a convenient PDF version of this article, along with a checklist for reviewing your site (click to download).

But a couple of health warnings before we start.

Firstly, there are always exceptions to every rule. I'm going to give you general guidelines that work for most sites. But no doubt there will be sites that make many of these mistakes and succeed anyway. That doesn't mean you should try to emulate them. Avoiding these 9 mistakes will maximise your chances of success.

Secondly, I promise you that I make at least a few of these mistakes myself in various places on my site. No one's perfect!

Mistake #1: No Call To Action

Ask most people what the goal of their website or a particular page on it is and you'll usually get a generic answer like “to help me get clients” or “to showcase my services”.

And while, long term, you absolutely are looking for your website to help you get clients, if you want it to be effective in that job, you need to get a lot more specific.

In particular, you need to think about what action you want your web visitors to take as a result of coming to your site or any particular page on it.

Visitors to any page on your site follow a predictable 3-step process:
3 Steps

Step 1: Orientation

The minute a visitor first lands on a page in your site their first, subconscious, thought is “am I in the right place?”

They make an instant snap decision based on the initial look and feel of your site as to whether:

  1. This is a safe place to be.
  2. It's where they thought they'd end up when they clicked the link to your site.
  3. It feels like they'll be able to achieve the task they came to do when they clicked.

According to studies done by Gitte Lindgaard, Gary Fernandes, Cathy Dudek & J. Brown and confirmed by research from Google, your first impression of a website is made in less than 50 milliseconds.

DangerYour subconscious brain is getting signals from the look and feel of the site, and whether it meets what you were expecting when you clicked. After that initial “gut feel” impression, you then look a little more closely to confirm your suspicions.

If the site looks dodgy, unprofessional, difficult to use, or you can't quickly see the answer to what you came to the site looking for, you'll hit that back button pretty sharpish.

If it all checks out, you'll move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Task Completion

People don't come to your site for the good of their health, they come for a reason.

Maybe it's to read a blog post they saw shared on social media. Maybe it's to check out your services to see if you do what they're looking for.

Whatever it is, your visitors need to be able to achieve what they came for quickly and easily, otherwise they'll abandon the site and look elsewhere.

So the first job of every page on your site is to make it easy for your visitors to do what they came for. That means clear, simple navigation and a match between the content on the page and what they were expecting.

I can't tell you the number of times I've seen Google Adwords ads promoting a particular product or service but when you click on the ad it goes to the home page or other generic landing page and you have to search around frantically to find what you came for. That's just throwing away money and in 2016 it's inexcusable.

Once they've done the task they came for, they move on to Step 3.

Step 3: Next Action

Once they've completed the task they came for your visitors are relatively open to what to do next. If the content on your page delivered on what they were looking for they'll be willing to be led by you to what action they should now take.

This is where your Call To Action is crucial.

You've gone to all the effort of getting them to your website. You've provided valuable content for them that enables them to complete the task they came for. Now it's your turn to get what you want.

So what is it?

Sign UpFrankly, many people just haven't thought about it in depth and that's reflected in their website. It ends up meeting the needs of their visitors, but not their needs.

Your Call To Action should take your visitors (or at least those of them who are ideal clients for you) on the next step to becoming a client.

That doesn't mean you immediately shove a buy button or “contact me” form under their noses. They're probably not going to be ready for that yet.

You need to choose a Call To Action that's appropriate for the stage of relationship you have and that feels like a logical next step for your visitor given what they came for.

So if they came to read a blog post on teamwork, signing up to get a free teamwork best practices checklist and your regular emails on leadership and teambuilding would seem like a good thing to do.

If they came to read the details of your services, contacting you to ask a question might be a reasonable thing to do too.

So for the key pages on your site, craft calls to action for each page that achieve your goal of taking your visitors one step further to becoming clients and seem to them like something they would want to do and benefit from.

For most occasions, that's going to be an offer to get regular, valuable emails from you. That'll allow you to keep in touch proactively and build credibility and trust until they're ready to buy. Other options could be to join an online group or forum you run, to share a post or follow you on social media, or to contact you via a form on your site.

For educational content like blog posts you can use a generic call to action to sign up for your emails with an attractive free “lead magnet” (report, video, checklist, template or other useful resource). But you'll get even better results if for your most popular content you craft a specific lead magnet and call to action for that particular piece of content to increase it's appeal to visitors.

For example, if you're a sales trainer you might have a general lead magnet like a report on the 5 biggest sales mistakes most organisation make. However if you have a really popular blog post on effective sales meetings, you'll get more signups and more satisfied visitors with a tailored lead magnet like a checklist for the perfect sales meeting. Your visitors came to the blog post specifically to learn about improving sales meetings, so they're more likely to sign up for something that's also specifically about sales meetings.

On my site, my main lead magnet is my 21 Word Email That Can Get You More Clients which I offer on my home page and underneath most blog posts. But I also have other more specific lead magnets like a Relationship Toolkit, a “Mindreading Template”, Lead Magnet Workbook and other reports specific to particular high traffic blog posts.

A Selection of My Current Lead Magnets

My Lead Magnets

In addition, thanks to a clever piece of technology from Thrive Leads, I show a different call to action on my home page depending on whether someone is already a subscriber or not. Non-subscribers see an offer for my 21 Word Email whereas existing subscribers get offered a free webinar on winning more clients that takes them even deeper.

Mistake #2: No Prioritisation of Goals

So far we've been talking as if each page on your site only has one goal (which you then turn into a Call To Action). And while that's true for many pages on your site it's not true for your Home Page.

Your home page is the workhorse of your site. It gets the most visitors, and they come for the biggest variety of reasons. Some might be coming to get useful information. Others might want to find out more about you. If you have a podcast, a book or a video show, they might be coming to see that.

Because of the different visitors and the different reasons they're coming, you're going to have multiple goals and multiple calls to action on your home page. That's just natural.

But a HUGE mistake to make is not to prioritise them.

You can see this on many websites: they try to cram as much as possible onto the home page to give their visitors every possible option. Unfortunately, this just leads to a confusing experience for your visitors and none of your goals being met.

Instead, you need to prioritise. Figure out what your number one priority is for your home page based on what you'd like the ideal clients most likely to visit that page to do. Then figure out your number two priority, then your number three, etc.

Then dedicate screen space to those priorities in accordance with their importance.

Chris Ducker's Layered DesignA great way to do this is to use a “Layered Design”. This is where you have a long, scrolling home page with visually demarcated sections, each dedicated to one specific priority. Your number one priority appears front and centre on the home page as the top layer with just enough of the next layer showing that people know they can scroll down if what you're offering first isn't for them. Layer two is your second priority, layer three is your third etc.

Structuring your website like this means that your number one priority goal/call to action gets the most attention. But people looking for something else can find the right call to action for them just by scrolling.

Chris Ducker's website is a great example of this technique in action.

If you look at the screenshot over on the right you can see the multiple layers. The top section is his #1 priority: getting you to sign up for his Youpreneur Launchpad.His #2 priority is to promote his membership community. #3 is his book, #4 is his podcast, then comes his blog and then his speaking services.

Structuring his site like this means people keen to find out about his speaking services or podcast can do so with a quick scroll. But everyone's attention is initially pointed towards what he most wants you to do: sign up for his lead magnet and regular emails.

Exclusive Bonus: Click here to download a convenient PDF version of this article, along with a checklist for reviewing your site (click to download).

Mistake #3: No Valuable Content

I'm sure you've seen a boatload of “brochure” websites with little more than a home page, a services page, about me and a contact page.

You can succeed with this sort of site. If you're just starting out it'll be tough enough for you to get a decent brochure site up and running quickly let alone fill it with brilliant content.

But over time, if you want to establish yourself as an authority in your field, or simply build credibility for when potential clients check you out, then you will need valuable content on your site.

And note, I said valuable content, not just content.

As I said in No One Needs Your Crappy Content far to much of what passes for content on professional service websites is simply common knowledge regurgitated. You don't become seen as an expert just by writing blog posts or doing videos or podcasts or webinars.

Lightbulb MomentYou become seen as an expert because the content you share is new, original, insightful and useful.

Far too many people are teaching others to become seen as experts in their field by telling them to write blog posts, do videos, podcasts and tons of other content without focusing on the quality and value of the content produced.

There are hundreds of thousands of business books written every year, but very few of their authors are every recognised as experts. There are literally millions of blog posts, podcasts and videos being made with even fewer of their creators ever making more than a tiny impression on their audiences.

Go for quality over quantity. Make sure you have valuable content, not just content.

It's the value your potential clients get from your content that will give them the confidence to hire you, not the amount of it you produce.

Mistake #4: No Personality

This is especially important if you're a small business or solo professional where you are your differentiation. It's also true for larger firms (but much harder to do – that's why it's so important for small firms to get it right, it's one of your few chances to stand out against bigger competitors).

In a service business, your clients aren't hiring faceless minions to work with them, they're hiring talented people. And they know, even if only subconsciously, that if their work with you is going to be a success then they'll need to “click” with you.

Yet so many people make it almost impossible for potential clients to judge this from their website. They remove all traces of personality and try to make their bright solo business look like a dreary beige corporate.

Often they don't even have a picture of them or any details of who they are despite the fact that one of the biggest hiring criteria clients will use is whether they feel they'll get along with you.

Now, I know this can be daunting and you worry that you might put people off by being open about who you are. But they're going to find out anyway. Better to put them off through your website than waste time meeting them just to find out you're not a great fit.

And I know we're taught to be client focused, not “me” focused. But on most websites the second or third most visited page after the home page is your “About Me” page. Clients aren't visiting that just to read about your corporate vision or that you've worked with dozens of blue chip organisations. They want to get a sense of the people they'll be working with.

Of course, you should talk about yourself in terms of things your potential clients would be interested in. If you tell them about your background, make sure it's something they can empathise with and tells them you've been through the things they're going through and will understand them. Mention the result you've got for yourself and the clients you've worked with to build your credibility. But include personal things too.

Derek HalpernShow them you're human. try a bit of humour. Many people contacting me mention my favourite football team as an icebreaker to make that connection easier and more casual. And they can only do that because I mention it on my site.

Personally, I base my About Me page on a template I discussed with Derek Halpern many years ago.

Derek's “trick” for About Me pages is to start off talking about the site first and especially the value the visitor can get from it. That then leads to a call to action to sign up for regular updates, before moving on to the about me section itself. That makes the page more client focused, and progresses potential clients quickly into your marketing system.

And your personality isn't just about your About Me page. It's about the way you write your blog, the way you appear and sound in videos and podcasts. Whether you use the same stock images as everyone else on your site, or something a little bit different and more personal to you.

Mistake #5: It Doesn't Work on Mobile

The technical guys call this being “mobile responsive” (well, close enough).

A recent Adobe Digital Index Survey found that 92% of respondents consider their smartphone to be their primary device. And Forrester report that over 50% of searches now happen on mobile.

Website Desktop VisitsHaving said that, while most people spend more time on mobile devices than desktops/laptops, they're mainly using email, messaging and social media. When it comes to website visits, according to Adobe Analytics, about 60-70% are made on desktops in most sectors (this aligns with my own experience for my site).

The implication of that is that right now, desktop is still the most important device for your website to work well on.

But if 30-40% of your traffic is coming from mobile (especially if you get a lot of visits from social media) then you absolutely need your website to work well on mobile devices too – you can't ignore it. Especially since Google penalises sites that aren't mobile responsive in the search results from a mobile search.

ianbrodie.com on mobileYou can see how your site looks on mobile to Google using webmaster tools here. And there are a variety of mobile simulators like this one. But at the end of the day the only surefire way to know is to use your site on real mobile devices.

At minimum, your site should be viewable on mobile without everything appearing shrunk and unreadable. Most modern responsive website themes can just about handle that.

But you also need to think about things like popups (which are hugely painful when they appear on mobile and often don't display properly so can't be closed), buttons (which might need to be made bigger and more spaced apart), form fields (lots of typing on a mobile device is painful so consider removing form fields) and images (which might need to be removed altogether if they take up too much space).

Mistake #6: A Site That's Impossible to Read for Anyone over 40

Can't Read!I don't know about you, but my eyesight's not what it was.

Actually, I probably do know about you. Starting at around age 40, most of us begin to struggle to focus close up due to a phenomenon known as Presbyobia: a natural hardening of our eye lenses and loss of flexibility in the muscle fibres around them.

Typically, websites are designed and developed by younger folks (using giant screens) who have no such problems. But your clients will usually be rather older, especially the more affluent ones and more senior staff members in client organisations. They'll struggle to read badly designed websites, especially on mobile devices.

Some keys to making your website easy to read:

  1. Use a large font size. Much larger than you'd think (and way larger than your teenage web designer would use). A 16px font size viewed on a screen at normal reading distance works out at approximately the same size as the text in a printed book or magazine. But most websites use 14px text or smaller.
  2. Keep each line of text ideally between 45-75 characters. The Baymard Institute showed that much shorter line lengths result in the eye travelling back to the start of the line too often, breaking the rhythm of reading. And longer line lengths result in the reader losing track and focus on which line they're reading.
  3. Use whitespace, bulleted lists, subheadings and images to break up large blocks of text. And ideally write in short sentences and short paragraphs. Not only is a large section of pure text more difficult to read, it also looks like it's more difficult to read and puts readers off.
  4. Make sure there's enough contrast between your background colour and your text colour. Blue on black is clearly a mistake, but even professional web designers frequently use difficult-to-read combinations like light grey on white. It turns out that since they know what's written on the page, they don't really read it when reviewing and don't realise how difficult it can be.
Exclusive Bonus: Click here to download a convenient PDF version of this article, along with a checklist for reviewing your site (click to download).

Mistake #7: A Sloooow Loading Website

Speed matters.

According to Amazon, every 1 second delay in loading a page decreases sales by 7%. And according to Google in their Site performance for Webmasters video, “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.”

A slow site also has a small, but noticeable impact on your rankings in the search engine results.

Pingdom Speed TestI have to admit, my site suffers from this right now. I'm currently trying out a variety of tracking and split testing tools and it's taking its toll on the load speed of my site. At the end of the testing though I'll be removing unnecessary scripts to speed up the site.

Optimising your site for speed can get quite technical. But some simple things you can do are:

  1. Compress images before using them on your site. Resize images to be the size you need them before uploading (rather than uploading a huge image and getting your site to resize it on the fly) and remember to switch on compression when saving an image from your graphics tool (or use online tools like tinypng.com or compressjpg.com.
  2. Remove unused or little-used plugins from your website – these take time to load even if you're not using them.
  3. Use a high performance web host – this can make a huge difference. Personally I recommend Lightningbase and use it for this site. It has super high performance at a price way lower than many big name hosts that don't perform anywhere near as well. I switched over to Lightningbase after reading Review Signal's in-depth performance testing of WordPress hosts a few years ago. Here's their latest analysis and recommendations (scroll down for the non-geeky recommendations).
  4. Use caching tools like the W3 Total Cache Plugin for WordPress and Cloudflare.

You can use tools like Pingdom to get an analysis of your site's performance and recommendations on how to improve it.

Mistake #8: No Easy Way of Contacting You

Confused ContactThis is an extension of missing calls to action from Mistake #1, but very specifically it relates to how easy it is for your web visitors to get in touch with you.

How many websites have you seen where the phone number of the business is hidden away on an obscure corner of a little-used page?

That's fine if, like me, you run an online business and don't actually get clients from conversations with people. But for a professional service business, clients will want to speak to someone before they hire you. And usually that will mean a phone call. So get that phone number at the top of every page! Don't make your potential clients hunt round to find it. At best you'll annoy them. At worst, they'll give up and go to someone else's site.

And make sure you give people clear instructions on what will happen if they contact you. Far too many website contact forms are “bare bones”. Just a Contact Us title and a form.

What will happen next? Will someone call me? Who will it be? How long will it take? What kind of questions can I ask?

If you're in a rush and a contact form gives no indication of the turnaround time for contact requests then you just won't bother – even if the business could easily have responded in time. If you're worried about being called by salespeople then you'll steer clear of forms that ask for your details but don't reassure you that there'll be no sales call. And if it's not quite clear what sort of questions you can ask via the form you might well think that a technical question or feedback or anything out of the ordinary won't be responded to. So you won't bother asking.

Another option for your site is to use a chat box for people to contact you, especially on your sales, services or products pages because that's where they're most likely to have questions.

Mistake #9: Not Using Dedicated Landing Pages

All the mistakes we’ve talked about so far relate to your home page and the main pages on your website that visitors might get to through the normal navigation or perhaps from a google search or link on social media.

In these situations, you don’t really have control over which page your visitors go to. But often you do have control and can send visitors exactly where you want them to go. For example in links from paid advertising on Google or Facebook, in links from external content you produce (like guest blog posts, your social media profiles and content, links from youtube videos etc.).

A huge mistake many people make is to waste this level of control. They send visitors from their bio in guest blog posts to their home page rather than a dedicated “landing page” created specifically to welcome those visitors and convert them into email subscribers.

Or worse, they pay for traffic from Google Adwords or Facebook Ads and then send those visitors to their home page: the most generic page on their site.

Your home page and standard website pages need to cater for lots of different types of visitors. A landing page doesn’t: it can be laser targeted on exactly the type of visitor you’re sending to it and engineered to maximise the chances of them taking the action you want.

Ian's Optin PageAs an example, the typical email sign up rate on a blog post is about 1-3%. if you have a great home page focused on getting email signups then you might get a 10% optin rate there. But right now my main dedicated landing page that I send Facebook ad traffic to has an optin rate of 58%, and the page I send traffic from referrals from partners to has a 77% optin rate.

That’s a huge difference.

Of course, part of the reason it’s higher is that the traffic is high quality and pre-qualified to want to sign up. But a lot of the reason is that the landing page has been carefully designed to motivate people to sign up.

It has a strong headline and clear call to action. There’s social proof and testimonials. There are no prominent menus, distractions or other links away from the page. And the button to sign up is highly visible.

You can build Landing Pages like this using tools like Thrive Landing Pages and Leadpages. Leadpages tends to be more template driven, faster to get pages up and running, but more expensive and less flexible. Thrive Landing Pages is dirt cheap, very flexible, but with fewer built in templates to choose from.

Whichever route you go down, make sure you’re using dedicated landing pages.

Which of These 9 Mistakes Are You Making on Your Site?

More importantly, what are you going to do about it?

Here’s a quick action plan to eradicate the worst of these mistakes from your site and get a lot more leads and clients as a result:

  1. Review the main pages on your site using the “9 mistakes checklist” you can download below.
    Make sure you review your home page, about me page, contact me page, services page, and your main (most visited) blog posts. Check your landing pages against the key points in mistake #9.
  2. Where you spot a mistake note down what the mistake is and what the recommended solution is. When your review is complete, look at your notes and highlight the mistakes that seem to have the biggest impact – e.g. it’s an area of the site that gets a lot of visitors and you’re a long way from the recommended practice.
  3. Prioritise the areas to focus on first: those with the biggest impact that wouldn’t require huge changes to your site to fix.
  4. Set target dates to get these top issue fixed. Address them one at a time.
  5. Get going!

Want a Copy of This Article in PDF Format Along With My Web Design Mistakes Checklist?

For easy reference I've put this article into a PDF you can download, along with a checklist you can use to review your web site to identify improvements you need to make. You can download a free copy below:

Download the 9 Mistakes PDF and Checklist

** The links to Thrive Leads/Landing Pages on this post are affiliate links. That means I get paid a commission if anyone buys through these links. Obviously though, these are tools I use myself personally and thoroughly recommend. **

The post The 9 Biggest Web Design Mistakes That Will Lose You Clients appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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7 Powerful Curiosity Building Strategies To Get Your Audience To Take Action https://www.ianbrodie.com/7-powerful-curiosity-building-strategies/ Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:27:54 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12442 Last week I had a bit of a brain freeze and forgot to send out the email notifying everyone of the new 5 Minute Marketing Tip video. Oops! But it gave me the chance to try a little experiment the next day. One of the key methods to increase the open rates of your emails, clicks through to your articles and reading past the headline on your sales pages is to build curiosity. Remember Gary Bencivenga's formula: Interest = Benefits x Curiosity. So I tested a straightforward subject line of “Get more engagement and interest from your customers and prospects” […]

The post 7 Powerful Curiosity Building Strategies To Get Your Audience To Take Action appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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Last week I had a bit of a brain freeze and forgot to send out the email notifying everyone of the new 5 Minute Marketing Tip video.

Oops! But it gave me the chance to try a little experiment the next day.

One of the key methods to increase the open rates of your emails, clicks through to your articles and reading past the headline on your sales pages is to build curiosity. Remember Gary Bencivenga's formula: Interest = Benefits x Curiosity.

So I tested a straightforward subject line of “Get more engagement and interest from your customers and prospects” against a pure curiosity subject line of “Sorry – meant to send this yesterday :(“. Other than subject lines the emails were identical.

The aim of the first subject line is to get people to open the email because they know the benefit they'll get from it. The aim of the second subject line is to get people to open the email to find out what on earth I meant to send them yesterday, and perhaps why I didn't.

The results: the email with the plain subject line had an open rate of 32.3%, the email with the curiosity based subject line had an open rate of 36.7%. That's a 13% increase at 99.9% significance.

But more importantly the click through rate to the video was 5.4% for the plain subject line and 6.5% for the curiosity based subject line (a 21% increase with 95% significance). That indicates that not only did more people open the email to find out what I'd meant to send them, that increased number of opens didn't fizzle out when it came to taking action, they were motivated enough to click through to the video.

Now you can't make a mistake with every email or article and use a “sorry” type subject line or headline every time. It would wear pretty thin (not to mention being a bit dishonest if you were deliberately making mistakes).

But luckily there are many ways to harness curiosity in your emails, articles, sales pages and other marketing. And in this week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip video I share 7 powerful strategies you can use to harness curiosity.

Use them wisely young Padawan :)


If you want to get notified of these videos the minute they appear on Youtube, click the link below to subscribe to the More Clients TV channel:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome, welcome to another Five Minute Marketing Tip. Last week I had a bit of a brain freeze, and after recording my Five Minute Marketing Tip video, sharing on social media, [inaudible 00:00:09] to my website, et cetera, I forgot to send out the email with the link to the video in. When I remembered on the Wednesday, I decided to run a little bit of an experiment. I sent out two identical versions of the email with slightly different headlines to a random selection of subscribers, and I got some very interesting results.

One email I sent out with a typical headline that was “Get More Engagement and Interest From Your Customers and Prospects”, which kind of says what was going on in the video, and the other one said, “Sorry, Meant to Send This to You Yesterday”, and the results in terms of open rates was that the normal one, the “Get More Interest and Engagement”, got a 32.3% open rate, but the “Sorry, Meant to Send This to You Yesterday” one got a 36.7% open rate. That's 13% higher at a 99.9% level of confidence, so a much better result from the pure curiosity-based subject line.

Of course opens are great, but did people actually click? Did people get curious, open the email, and then go, “Oh, no, I'm not interested.” When in fact the reverse, in the first standard subject line, 5.4% of people click through to watch the video, in the second one, the curiosity-based one, 6.5% of people clicked through to watch the video. That's 21% higher and with a 95% confidence level. It just goes to show that curiosity really does work when it comes to people wanting to open and read your emails, for subject lines for articles, people wanting to read that, for headlines on adverts, curiosity works.

Now in this case you can't make a mistake every week. I wouldn't recommend deliberately making mistakes just to send out mistake-based subject lines in emails or headlines for articles. Eventually, even if it was genuine, people would get a bit tired of the same, “Oops, sorry, I made a mistake, have a look at this instead.” In today's Five Minute Marketing video I have got seven techniques for you, seven different techniques, different ways that you can use curiosity to get more people to take action on your emails, on your articles, on any of your marketing. I'll see you after the swoosh.

Hi, welcome back. Seven different ways of using curiosity to get more people to take action on your emails, your articles, and all your marketing. The first is an expansion of the “Sorry, Meant to Send This Yesterday”, and it's the use of what I guess you could call hyper-casual language. “Sorry, Meant to Send This to You Yesterday” doesn't sound like a proper subject line for an email. It sounds like something you'd quickly rattle off if you were sending it to a friend, and then the friend wonders, “What on earth did he mean to send to me yesterday?”

Other examples of that are headlines like, “Oops,” or “Sorry,” or the famous “Hey!” With an exclamation mark that Obama first used in his re-election campaign, worked really well for him, and since then pretty much every online marketer has used some variation of it. Really casual language that doesn't sound like it's an official business email can often work and people are curious to what on earth is inside with such a casual tone to

The second example is the use of schadenfreude. Schadenfreude is of course the morbid interest that people have in other people's misfortune. If you wrote a subject line of, “My Big Disaster”. One that's worked really well for me over the years is, “My WORST Sales Meeting Ever” with the word “worst” in capital letters. In fact I've done a couple, I think I did “My WORST Email Ever” as well was another one I did. Those always work really well for me, because people are really interested and curious to find out what it was, something bad that happened to someone else.

Third example is the use of curiosity adjectives, adjectives like “strange”, “unusual”, “surprising”, or even “secrets”, or “Five Strange Techniques for Improving Your Marketing,” for example. In that case, people are opening it because they're wondering what these strange techniques are. You're actually making them curious with the use of that adjective. Probably don't over-use the word “secret” because it's been used so many times, but “strange”, “unusual”, “surprising”. I guess the classic example of that, not quite in an adjective but the same principle is Mark McCormack favorite book, “What They Didn't Teach Me at Harvard Business School”, or maybe it's called, “What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School”. You're wondering, this famous, successful businessperson what did he learn that they don't teach at Harvard?

Another useful technique is the use of demonstratives. Demonstratives are the words “this”, “that”, “these”, and “those”. They are very specific, but they don't tell you what they're being specific about. What I mean by that is the classic advert, “Do You Make These Mistakes in English?” Is much better and more effective than “Do You Make Mistakes in English?” “Do You Make Mistakes in English?” Your mental answer is yes or no, probably yes, but “Do You Make These Mistakes in English?” You're then curious to wonder what “these mistakes” are. They're implying some specific mistakes that you might be making, but they don't tell you what those are, so you have to read on, read the advert in that case, to find out what those specific mistakes are. The use of “these”, “this”, “that”, and “those” can invoke curiosity because people want to find out what those things are. “Don't Make This Simple Mistake”, “Get More Clients With This Simple Technique”, that's much better than just, “Get More Clients”, for example.

You can also do things with links to famous people. I think I had an email called “What Jeremy Clarkson Taught Me About Marketing”. You could do, “George Clooney's Marketing Tips” or something like that, and people are wondering, “What on earth could I learn about marketing from George Clooney?” It's the juxtaposition of the topic they might be interested in with a surprising but well-known person who might be able to teach them something about it. It makes them curious as to what they could learn from George Clooney or the Dalai Lama or whatever about this specific thing, and there has to be a contrast there. It can't be someone obvious. It shouldn't be “Winston Churchill's Leadership Secrets” because everyone knows Winston Churchill was a great leader. “Peewee Herman's Leadership Secrets”, then you're curious to what on earth those might be.

Linked to that is a completely offbeat subject line. Good one that worked really well for me over the years was, “Dripping Blood, Sponges, and Something You Might Be Missing”. The end result, people read, “Dripping Blood, Sponges, what on earth is he talking about?” They're curious to read to find out what on earth that strange subject line means, so if the subject line sounds like nonsense, it's really weird, but obviously makes sense when they read the article, then that can be a good one.

Finally, the use of numbers. The use of numbers works because when you say something like, “Five Marketing Tips Stolen From My Local Coffee Shop”, people wonder what those five techniques are . if you were just to say, “Marketing Techniques From My Local Coffee Shop” they would kind of think, “Well, I know some marketing techniques, I'm probably okay,” but when you say “five”, or if you give a very large number, much bigger than the number of marketing techniques that they probably know, or whatever techniques it might be, then they're going to get curious to know what those particular techniques are.

Other ones that have worked for me are simple things like, “The Top Three Mistakes People Make With Sales”. That's not quite the exact title, but implying it's the top three, people want to know what the top three are. This very video itself, I'm planning on the subject line being something like “Seven Curiosity-Based Techniques to Get People to Take Action”. Hopefully you'll read that, you'll think, “Well, I do want to get people to take action. I know some curiosity-based techniques, but I don't know seven. I wonder what the other ones are? I wonder what the seven that Ian thinks are important are?” It invokes curiosity.

That's it, those are seven techniques for invoking curiosity, building curiosity, and therefore getting people to take interest in what it is you have to say and then to take action afterwards just like they did for my mistake and “sorry” type email last week. Do try and roll those into your marketing. Don't overuse them, don't use the same technique again and again, because it becomes a bit monotonous and people become a bit blind to it. Mix and match. That's why I've given you seven techniques. You don't have to use them every email, but throw them into the mix every few emails, every few subject lines on a blog post, every few headlines on a sales page or piece of marketing, and they will work really well because curiosity drives people into the body of the article or the email, gets them engaged, and that's the first step to them taking action.

That's it, see you next week.

The post 7 Powerful Curiosity Building Strategies To Get Your Audience To Take Action appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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How To Get Your Customers & Prospects More Engaged & Interested https://www.ianbrodie.com/customers-prospects-engaged-interested/ Tue, 16 Aug 2016 16:16:48 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12436 Wouldn't it be great if we could get our customers and prospects (or our employees too) as engaged and interested in our business as they are when they're watching sport? In this video I explore how we can learn from what makes people so engaged when they support a team or individual in sport, and how we can apply those same things to our own business. If you want to get notified of these videos the minute they appear on Youtube, click the link below to subscribe to the More Clients TV channel: Video Transcript Hi, it's Ian. I'm back […]

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Wouldn't it be great if we could get our customers and prospects (or our employees too) as engaged and interested in our business as they are when they're watching sport?

In this video I explore how we can learn from what makes people so engaged when they support a team or individual in sport, and how we can apply those same things to our own business.


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Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian. I'm back from holiday and raring to go with another five-minute marketing tip. We've got the Olympics going on right now. Have you ever noticed just how much emotion, how much interest and engagement that sport tends to produce? Imagine if you could harness anywhere near that level of interest and engagement in your business from your customers, your prospects, and your employees, you would have incredible success. I'd like you to think about why it is that people get so interested, so engaged in sport, and then when we come back after the swoosh we'll talk about how you can apply that to your business. See you then.

Hi, welcome back. Some of the reasons that people get engaged and really interested and emotional about sport, are simply because of the spectacle, because of the unpredictability, I guess the joy of watching such great world class performances. But if we're honest, I think most of us will admit that we're more engaged and more interested in sport when we have some skin in the game ourselves, if we have a team or an individual that we're actively supporting in that competition rather than just watching the spectacle itself. The question is, what makes you support one team or one individual over another?

Well, often it's history. It's that it's your local hometown team that you grew up supporting, and that's then ingrained in you. Even long periods of time can pass. I left the North East of England 30 years ago, but I still support Newcastle United. I guess for me, it's a connection with my roots and with my family who all support the same team. Other reasons why we might support one team over another could be if they embody some of the things that we value. You might be watching the FA Cup Final for example, there could be two teams that you don't normally support playing in it, but you pick one team over another because they represent … well, they're really hard working and you appreciate that, or they're full of flair and creativity, or very sportsmanlike, or they work well as a team.

Often we'll click with a particular aspect of one team or an individual, and because it represents, or they represent some of the values that we like to think that we represent as well. Other times we might support an individual or a team just because they are really really good. We all I'm sure, cheered home Usain Bolt in the 100 meters simply because he's such a brilliant athlete. Of course it helps that he's running against a perceived villain in terms of Justin Gaitlin, an ex-drugs cheat. When there's a common enemy, a villain, that tends to make you support the other person. Also, we tend to like to support underdogs, which I guess Bolt was four years ago at the London Olympics, where he's just recovering from injury. Never really done a good time that year, it made his victory in the 100 meters even sweeter.

We like to see people overcome adversity too. People who've had a real struggle to get to where they have in sport. Like Mo Farah in the 10,000 meters this year, who actually falls down in the race, but still recovers to win. Other reasons we might support someone are simply that we like them. They're nice people. If you think of all those reasons, and I'm sure there are more as well, as to why people support particular teams or individuals and get so emotional and so engaged in a sport, you can try to apply those same things to your own business. For example, how can you be seen by your customers and prospects as their hometown team?

Well, it's unlikely to be just based on geography. For example, if you do consulting or some kind of service for small retail businesses, how can you be seen as representing them, of being the champion of small town businesses, or women in business, or something that's a core part of the identity of your ideal clients? Can you be seen to champion some of the things they value? Can you really stand up for ethics in business, for fair trading, for teamwork and creativity? If you can be seen to visibly stand for something that they value, again they're much more likely to support you.

Can you be the underdog somehow? Have you got a backstory that positions you as the underdog? Is there a common enemy? Can you position yourself as fighting against big business or bureaucracy or mediocrity in your particular industry? That again could help them support you. There are lots of ways you can look for. If you think about those different factors that you saw made people support sports teams, there's often at least one or two of those factors that apply to your business as well. You can then work those into your marketing. You can include them in your bio for example, on your website.

In many ways my hometown team is the team of people who are not naturals at marketing and sales, but still have to do it anyway. A lot of my clients and potential clients empathize with that perspective because that's the same position that they're in. I always try and include something about not being a natural salesperson in my bio, whether that's on my website or how people introduce me when I appear on a podcast or write an article for someone. More importantly, I include aspects of that in a lot of the stories I tell when I'm giving tips.

If I'm giving a sales tip, I won't just give a bog-standard sales tip that's in all the books. What I'll do, is I'll specifically focus on a sales tip that I found to be really useful as someone who wasn't a natural salesperson. I'll very often tell the story of how I first learned it, and how uncomfortable I was in sales situations. Again, it's building that empathy, it's helping people cheer me on because they feel that I'm a bit like them. I'm part of their hometown team. Again, you could do it with all those other aspects of being the underdog, fighting against adversity, representing something that they value, fighting against a common enemy.

Take those factors, think through what it is that would get your potential clients to cheer you on, to be a supporter of you because of those factors that are analogous with sport, and then build them into your marketing both in terms of your bios, the obvious one, but also in the stories you tell, the way you explain things, the tips that you give. Always relate them back, or whenever you can relate them back, to some of those factors. If you can just get a little bit of that emotion, that engagement, that support that sports teams or individuals in sports get, you will have huge success.

See you next week.

The post How To Get Your Customers & Prospects More Engaged & Interested appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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How To Get Your Website Visitors To Do What You Want https://www.ianbrodie.com/get-website-visitors-want/ Wed, 27 Jul 2016 00:42:01 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12396 There are tons of articles and videos out there on how to get loads of visitors to your website. Not so many on how to get them to do what you want once they're there. Time for a remedy! Watch this video for a simple but effective strategy for getting your website visitors to do what you want without any funny business or new age psychobabble :) If you want to get notified of these videos the minute they appear on Youtube, click the link below to subscribe to the More Clients TV channel: Video Transcript Hi, it's Ian here. […]

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There are tons of articles and videos out there on how to get loads of visitors to your website.

Not so many on how to get them to do what you want once they're there.

Time for a remedy! Watch this video for a simple but effective strategy for getting your website visitors to do what you want without any funny business or new age psychobabble :)


If you want to get notified of these videos the minute they appear on Youtube, click the link below to subscribe to the More Clients TV channel:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. This week's Five Minute Marketing Tip is about how to get visitors to your website to do what you want without any tricky stuff or New Age psychobabble. Before we do that, if you are not a subscriber already, then just click on the little MTV for More Clients TV button over on the bottom right of the screen to subscribe, and then whenever there's a new video published you'll get a notification from YouTube. Right, that's it, let's get down to the video, see you after the swoosh.

Hi, it's Ian here. How do you get visitors to your website or particular pages on your website to do what you want? Well, the answer is it's the same way as you get anyone to do what you want normally, and that is to show them that doing what you want gets them what they want. Just to explain that in a little bit more depth and show you how it'll apply to your website, in order to get this to work you need to know three things.

Obviously the first thing you need to know is, what do you want them to do? That has to be a realistic goal. Obviously I'd love all of the visitors to the website who don't even know me to suddenly whip out their credit cards and pay me a ton of money. That's probably not going to happen, but a more realistic goal is that maybe they will sign up to get regular emails from me where I can send them useful information, or maybe if they've looked at certain pages on my website, they might be willing to contact me to ask me a question or to talk about working with me. You need a realistic goal for what you want them to do, and you need to be clear about that for the specific page we're talking about.

The second thing you need to know is, what does your ideal client who's visiting that page, forget the other people, you only care about your ideal client who's visiting that page. What do they want from that page? What did they come for? For example, if you're talking about a blog post and it's someone who's clicked on a link in social media, then obviously they're probably coming to get the information that was in the headline that they clicked on in social media. They want to find that on the blog post.

If it's someone who's maybe met you face-to-face and they're looking at your About Me page, they're probably looking to find out if you're the sort of person that does the things they need and would be the sort of person they would want to work with. That's what their goal is, usually it's to find out something useful from your website.

The trick is, as I said earlier, is to show them that doing what you want them to do helps them achieve what they want to do, or in actual fact when it comes to your website, the key thing really, the best way of phrasing that is to say, you position what you want them to do as the logical next step from what they did, what they wanted to do.

If someone came to read a blog post, let's say they came to get information on the five mistakes that businesses make when trying to build teams, then if you want to be able to position signing up for your emails for example as the logical next step for that, maybe what you would do is you would offer them a free report on seven strategies for building effective teams, then they can see that, “I read that article. Oh yeah, that's a great article. That does show me the five mistakes that people make when trying to build teams. Oh, I can get a report on the seven critical success factors for successful teams? That sounds like something I would want, because my goal, obviously the reason I'm there, is to find out the mistakes people make building teams. If I'm offered a report on successful team building, then I'm probably going to say yes.”

That's usually the simplest case, someone reading a blog post. If you can position signing up for your emails, if that's what you want them to do, as giving them the next level of information kind of one step up from what they got in the blog post, that's a nice logical next step, very easy for people to take.

Now, if they came to your About Me page for example, maybe the next step you want them to take is to contact you to talk about working together. How do you get people to contact you and to be ready to take your next step? How do you get them to see that as the logical next step from reading about you? Well, you have to understand in that case, in addition to why they came to your website, you have to understand, what would they need to know and feel based on what they've read to be comfortable taking the next step?

If someone was going to take that next step of contacting you to talk about working together, what would they need to know and feel to be comfortable? Well, maybe they would need to know that you really understand their situation. Maybe they need to feel comfortable that you've worked with people just like them. Maybe they need to know you've been through a similar situation to them so you've got a lot of empathy for them. Maybe they need to know you've got great results for people like them. Maybe they need to know that you'd be fun to work with, you're nice, or maybe they need to know you'd be tough to work with and you'd really keep their nose to the grindstone and keep them working. It really depends on the sort of work you do and the sort of ideal client you're looking for.

If you make a list of those factors that they would need to know and feel to be comfortable making an inquiry about working with you, the key thing then is you have to build them into that page. In your About Me page, if you decide that they need to know and feel that you understand their situation, you've been through it yourself, you've worked with people just like them, you've got great results for those people, and you're a kind of fun person to work with, get those on your About Me page. Of course, most About Me pages don't have anything of the sort. It's usually full of people showing off about how great they are.

What you could do, for example in that case, is in your little bio about your history, talk about some of the challenges you'd faced that are like the challenges that your ideal clients normally hire you to solve. Talk about some of your clients. Progress from, “Yeah, I went through these challenges myself and that's why I started teaching other people how to address them. For example … ” Then give a couple of quotes or a couple of testimonials from people who are like your ideal clients talking about the results they've got.

Share a little bit of a personal story, show your lighter side to show that you'd be a kind of fun person to work with. Maybe even have a video of you chatting to someone or talking to a client or something like that, again so they get a sense of what it would be like to work with you. All of those then begin to tick off those factors that they need to be comfortable with before they'd be ready to make an inquiry. That sets them up so that you have a button at the bottom of the About Me page that then says, “Click here to contact me for an initial free discussion about working together,” or whatever it might be. Again, most people miss that off their About Me page. The page just ends, client doesn't really know what to do. Guide them. Give them a button to take them to the logical next step.

Really, that's just the secret of getting people to do what you want them to do. Give them what they came for on your web page, and then position what you want them to do as the logical next step. The way to do that is to think through, what would they need to know and feel to be ready to take that next step? Could be something simple like signing up for your emails after reading a blog post, in which case the transition is fairly easy. You just show them that they're going to get more useful information in the area they came for. Could be more complicated like contacting you, in which case you need to think through for your specific clients, what would they need to see on that page to make them comfortable contacting you? For them to see that it's the logical continuation of what they've been finding out before? Then get that information on the page. Embed that in what you talk about on the page.

That's it for now. Hopefully you can use that little persuasion process on any page that's important to you on your website. See you next week.

The post How To Get Your Website Visitors To Do What You Want appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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Why Informally Written Emails Work Better: Some Hard Data https://www.ianbrodie.com/informally-written-emails-work-better/ Sat, 23 Jul 2016 00:48:09 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12374 If you've read Email Persuasion you'll know that I recommend writing your emails in an informal style: as if you were chatting to a good business friend over coffee. Every now and then I get asked “why?” Especially given that the dominant style of writing business emails is much more “professional” (ie stiff and formal). My recommendation comes mostly from personal experience. I started getting better results (more interactions and more sales) the more I wrote informally. And partly because writing informally is a generally accepted best practice for sales letters. But honestly, I wasn't quite sure that was enough. […]

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If you've read Email Persuasion you'll know that I recommend writing your emails in an informal style: as if you were chatting to a good business friend over coffee.

Every now and then I get asked “why?” Especially given that the dominant style of writing business emails is much more “professional” (ie stiff and formal).

My recommendation comes mostly from personal experience. I started getting better results (more interactions and more sales) the more I wrote informally. And partly because writing informally is a generally accepted best practice for sales letters.

But honestly, I wasn't quite sure that was enough. I wanted some real, solid evidence that writing informally worked.

Strangely enough, there seems to have been very little testing done on informal vs formal writing in the marketing world. It's just kind of accepted wisdom that informal works best.

But there has been quite a bit of testing done in other fields, notably in online learning.

In a meta analysis published in Teacher Magazine in 2015, Professors Paul Ginns, Herbert Marsh and Andrew Martin analysed multiple studies looking at the impact of formal vs informal communication on the effectiveness of online learning.

The studies they looked at covered four primary aspects of informal vs formal communication:

  • The use of first/second person vs third person language – ie talking about I/we and you.
  • Adding sentences which directly address the reader – for example “Let me tell you what happens when lightning forms…”.
  • The use of polite requests rather than direct commands (e.g. “Why don't we save the factory now?” vs “Save the factory now”) – just like we would do if we were speaking to a friend face to face.
  • Making the author's view and personality more visible.

The results?

Students who studied from more conversational instructions rated them as more friendly and less difficult. And when there was a more personal and conversational style in the writing, students remembered the material better and were able to transfer that knowledge to new problems.

In other words, when it comes to online learning: informal wins.

Why does an informal, conversational style work?

Some of the earliest researchers in the field, Richard Mayer and Ruth Clark, hypothesised that it's because from an early age we're socialised to pay attention to conversations.

Conversations are where the most important information in our life comes from. And woe betide us if we don't pay attention when our parents are talking to us (frankly, I think this socialisation continues well into adulthood – I know I'm in big trouble if I don't pay attention when Kathy tells me something ;) )

So when we read material written in conversational style that mentions I and you, that talks to us directly, and that makes the human being doing the communication very real and personal; we pay attention just the same as if we were having a face to face conversation.

In online learning, attention results in understanding.

In email marketing, attention results in taking action.

That's why you should write informally and conversationally in your emails.

The post Why Informally Written Emails Work Better: Some Hard Data appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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How To Build Strong Business Relationships Through Email Marketing https://www.ianbrodie.com/business-relationships-email-marketing/ Mon, 18 Jul 2016 22:59:17 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12354 Lots of people claim you can't build strong relationships online. Absolute tosh. Some of the very best business relationships I have started off and progressed significantly before we ever spoke or met face to face. Now, of course, relationship building online isn't easy, especially if you're trying to do it through a “mass” medium like email marketing. But it can be done. Here are some strategies for building strong relationships online that you can put into place immediately. Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them: Video Transcript Hi it's […]

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Lots of people claim you can't build strong relationships online.

Absolute tosh.

Some of the very best business relationships I have started off and progressed significantly before we ever spoke or met face to face.

Now, of course, relationship building online isn't easy, especially if you're trying to do it through a “mass” medium like email marketing. But it can be done. Here are some strategies for building strong relationships online that you can put into place immediately.


Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi it's Ian here. Welcome to another 5 minute marketing tip. I often hear people saying that you can't build business relationships online. Or, what they actually say is you can't build real relationships online. Absolute tosh. Some of the best and strongest business relationships I have started and progressed significantly online long before we ever spoke on the phone or met face to face. Having said that, it's not easy and relationship building online is a bit different to relationship building face to face. In particular, when you are trying to build relationships through something like email marketing. In today's video, I'm going to show you how to accelerate relationship building through email marketing. See you after the swoosh.

Hi, welcome back. When it comes to business relationships, there are really 2 sides or 2 angles on strong business relationships. One angle is credibility, so before anyone's going to do business with you or buy from you, they have to know that you know your stuff, particularly if you're in a service type business where the delivery of the service or the product, if it's an information product depends on your expertise or your knowledge. They have to know that you have the right capabilities, the right credibility, the right skills, the right competency and expertise.

Now, that's actually relatively easy to do online. If you're sending someone an email once a week, 2 or 3 times a week, with useful valuable information in it, then that's going to build your credibility fairly quickly. In fact, for me it's often easier to build credibility like that online than it is offline where often you have more limited spaces of time. Meet someone for a little bit of chit chat before a networking meeting once a month. Very difficult to get across your credibility there, much easier through regular email marketing.

The other side to any business relationship is the more personal side. Before someone's going to hire you as a coach, they're going to need to know that they'll get on with you personally. You're the sort of person they'll feel comfortable sharing their challenges, their problems, their inner thoughts with. Before they hire you as a consultant, they have to know that you'll be able to work with them and their team effectively in partnership. Before they'll hire you as a trainer, they have to know that you'll be able to feel confident, that you'll be able to stand up in front of a room of them and their team, and deliver that training course and it'll work. You'll click.

In fact, any service or personal relationship in this business obviously needs a personal relationship. That is harder to build online. When you're face to face, you obviously get a chance to interact. They can look in the whites of your eyes. There are all those subtle kind of clues going on that makes it easier to build relationships face to face. However you can do it through email marketing and other online techniques. Here are some tips for how to do it.

The first is the style of your emails. This is where a lot of people go wrong. When normal people in business get emails from their friends and their colleagues and the people that they know well, those emails tend to be written in a fairly casual style. As if you were writing friend to friend. The emails that you get in business that are more formal tend to be from people they don't know so well. It might be the bank. It might be someone trying to sue them, or whatever it might be, but formal emails equals people I don't know well. Informal casual emails equals people I know well.

If you're doing email marketing and you're writing in a stiff formal style, it's automatically positioning you as someone they don't know well. Someone they don't have a personal relationship with. On the other hand, if you're writing in a more casual informal style, as if you were chatting to them over a coffee or a beer, then it psychologically just positions you as someone they know well, because those are the styles of emails they get from people they know well.

The 2nd thing you can do to build a relationship faster through email is use different medium. Yes, send emails with text, but also include an occasional picture with you in it, or you doing something in it. Maybe even smiling or doing something silly. Link to a video or an audio of you online. One of the reasons I do these 5 minute marketing tips is when you get to see me on video, it helps to build a stronger personal relationships, makes people more likely to hire me. Break the format every now and then, and use video or audio. By changing that medium, you've got multiple modalities coming at people in terms of communication and it helps them feel as if they know you better.

3rd, is in the content that you use. Don't make all your content in all your emails where you're sending useful information all dry and factual and statistical try and use stories, ideally stories about you or maybe when you're working with clients. Ideally, be brave enough to have some self disclosure, and share some stories of things that didn't go brilliantly. Share some of your failures and what you learned from them. Those help to build a closer personal relationship when you open up and admit things like that because the people who open up and admit things are friends. They're our colleagues. They're the people who we know these sorts of things about. We tend to feel closer to people if we feel they're being open and honest with us. If you're open and honest and you share some of those stories and those examples in your emails, people will feel they know you more.

Final one, interaction. Now this is a huge advantage we in smaller business have, especially when we are trying to win larger value clients. If you're Amazon for example the last thing you want when you're sending out emails to people is for people to reply and expect a personal response. For a $5 eBook on Kindle, it's just not worth the time of someone to type a response to them personally.

But if you're selling $2000 worth of coaching, $20,000 of consulting or whatever, it absolutely is worth your while to reply to people personally, because those personal replies where they reply back to you and then you get discussing lead to stronger relationship building. Deliberately try and provoke personal responses. That can be as simple as when people sign up for your emails just saying “Hey, did you get the report?” if they reply and say yes, then you start a conversation. Thanks very much. Try and look at this, etc. it can be asking them a question. What's your biggest challenge with x right now? Or just asking for their feedback. You write a story or an article in your email, and say what do you think? What have your experiences been in this area?

Now, it'll only be a small percentage of people who actually respond to you, but when you get the discussion going, that leads to a much stronger relationship. Of course then you can being to see maybe this is going quite well. Do you fancy getting on a phone call and chatting about it? Talk over what your needs are in this area. Etc. try and do what I call breaking the automation, or breaking the sequence. Use your automated emails to trigger more personal, tailored interactions by asking questions and provoking people to respond. That's it for this week, see you next.

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Content Marketing: What Should I Write About? https://www.ianbrodie.com/what-write-about/ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 00:49:12 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12331 One big, important question when it comes to content marketing is “what should I write about?” (or make videos about, do podcasts about, etc). You want to create content that's valuable to your potential clients, and is valuable to you by bringing them closer to becoming a client. In this video I reveal four criteria I use when thinking about what to focus my content on. You can use the same criteria yourself to ensure the effectiveness of your content. Watch this week's video to see the criteria: Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on […]

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One big, important question when it comes to content marketing is “what should I write about?” (or make videos about, do podcasts about, etc).

You want to create content that's valuable to your potential clients, and is valuable to you by bringing them closer to becoming a client.

In this video I reveal four criteria I use when thinking about what to focus my content on. You can use the same criteria yourself to ensure the effectiveness of your content.

Watch this week's video to see the criteria:


Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Here's the video on How To Create 100 Ideas For Blog Posts.

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another 5 Minute Marketing Tip. A couple of weeks ago I did a really popular video on how to come up with a hundred ideas for content, blog posts you could do, or podcasts, or videos. Now, if you haven't watched that particular video, there's a link to it below, you can go and click on it and see how to generate those hundred ideas.

Now, that video took as its starting point the fact that you already had a topic or an area in mind you wanted to create content about. Now, this video, we're going to notch it up a level and talk about how to decide what areas, what topics, to focus on, what's going to bring the most value to you or your client, so, what should you be writing about? I'll see you after the swoosh.

Hi, welcome back. What area should you be writing about or creating videos about or podcasts about, that's going to bring the most value to your clients and to you? Well, there are really four criteria I'd like to use when I'm reviewing what it is I should be writing about:

The first of those criteria is the simplest one. You have to write or create content about stuff that your clients really care about. I know that sounds obvious, but what I … I think it's a little bit more detailed than most people go into. Most people write about things that their clients have problems with, or aspirations, or goals, but it's not enough for something just to be a problem that your client has. It has to be one of their top one, two, or three problems, because if it's not, if it's problem number seven or problem number fifteen on their big agenda, they might decide that they want to get around to it someday, but they're not going to be immediately grabbed by it, so if you post it on Facebook or LinkedIn, and it whizzes past in their status updates, they're not going to notice it. It's going to pass them by if it's not one of their top three priorities. If it is one of their top three priorities, they're constantly worried about it or thinking about it, then it's going to jump out at them, they're going to click on it, and they're going to go and read it, or they're going to be searching on Google for it, and they're going to go and find it, so it has to be one of the top three priorities.

Now, the next criteria is that whatever you write about has to be new to your clients. What I mean by that is that there are many topics you could be writing about that are kind of tried and true, wisdom, timeless wisdom, things that are right, but that your clients already know, it's just that they're not doing it, or they haven't done it well. Those are not great topics to write about unless you put a new twist on them. Now, it might be that they really need to improve in that area, but the truth is that as human beings, as consumers of information we're constantly on the lookout for novelty, for new things. It's kind of hard-wired into us, since we are on the kind of savanna plains looking out for leopards appearing from behind the foliage, so if you're not creating stuff that's new, people just aren't going to pay attention.

They're going to look at it, then they'll see the title, and they're going to think, “Oh, yeah, I already know that.” “Oh, I've read something on that before. I'll move on to the next thing,” so you need to create something that's novel and new. Now, if you are writing about something that your client … That is kind of well known but your clients aren't doing, then the way to make that new isn't to write about that topic per se, it's to write about why they're not implementing it, why they're not getting results with it, why they have problems with it. That is new information for them; but generally if you want to create new information, it's a good idea to use your own personal experience. That could be the stuff you're doing with your clients, obviously get permission from your clients to share their experiences, the things you've done with them.

That will be new to your clients, because, obviously new to your potential clients, because it's stuff they want to see, because it's private stuff you've done with your current clients, or it could be stuff you've done yourself in your own business, or from your own experience. Again, that'll be new to them, because you haven't shared that before. Personally, I do a lot of that. I share the kind of experiments and the trials I run with my marketing, and then I show people what worked for me, and what didn't work for me, and that's always really interesting, always gets a great response, or if you are gathering publicly available information, don't just regurgitate it. Compile the biggest reference guide there's been, and reinterpret or look at it, analyze the results in a different way that's never been done before, so make sure whatever you're writing about is new information for people. Otherwise, they just won't be interested. Thirdly, make sure you care about it, and you're interested in it, so just as important as your clients being interested in it, you've got to be interested in it.

I don't know if you've ever been kind of trying to write an article, or something like that, and your writing just kind of peters out. Usually, that's because you're not interested enough in the topic to keep it going. If you're really enthusiastic about the topic, you do more research, you'll be really energetic, you really want to get that thing out. If it peters out, it's usually because you're not interested enough, so make sure you're writing about topics that you really care about, and that passion will shine through in your writing as well and make it a more interesting read. Finally, make sure you're writing about topics that move your clients' thinking forward. What I mean by that is, if typically your client … Typically clients fit into one of three categories. Often, they have a general problem they're thinking about, they know their leadership isn't great, but they don't know exactly what's wrong with it.

They have a general problem like that where they don't know exactly what the issue is, then your writing, your blog post, your videos, should help them diagnose specifically what's wrong, so that moves them forward from a general feeling that something's wrong towards, “You know what? I know what it is.” Now, if they already know what it is, they know what the problem is, then your writing, your content should help them move forward to identifying some of the solutions they could use, and again, that moves them forward. If they already know what some of the solutions are, but they're not quite sure who to go with, who should help them, what solution to choose, then your writing should give them the criteria they can use to choose a solution or choose a provider to go with to help them solve the problem. Again, that moves them forward.

In each of the cases, it moves the client forward so they're getting value from it, but it also moves them closer to working with you, because if they've got a general feeling about a problem, but they don't know specifically what it is, they're not going to be able to work with you to help them solve that problem, because then it's just too general, it's just all up in the air, and they won't be ready to move forward. If they're not sure what criteria to use to decide on a provider to help them, then you giving them the criteria, again, helps them get them ready to buy, and ideally, of course, those criteria are ones that you're going to meet really well, so it helps move them towards working with you. Those are the four big criteria. Make sure your clients really care about it, it's one of their top one, two, or three priorities. Make sure it's new information for your clients. Don't just regurgitate old stuff. Put a new twist on it.

Thirdly, make sure you care about it, and you're interested in it, and fourthly, make sure the topic you write about moves your clients' thinking forwards, both to help them and to move them closer to working with you. That's it for this week. See you next.

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The Truth About Content Marketing https://www.ianbrodie.com/truth-about-content-marketing/ Sun, 10 Jul 2016 00:44:16 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12277 It's difficult to move these days without hearing that “content marketing” is the future of marketing. If not the present or even the past. It's somewhat trickier to pin down exactly what content marketing actually is. The problem with most definitions of content marketing is that they confuse and blur rather than clarify. They talk about how content marketing is all about “creating and distributing valuable and relevant information” as if somehow in the past all you needed to do was send useless irrelevant information to customers and they'd bite your hands off to buy your products. Creating valuable, interesting […]

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It's difficult to move these days without hearing that “content marketing” is the future of marketing. If not the present or even the past.

It's somewhat trickier to pin down exactly what content marketing actually is.

The problem with most definitions of content marketing is that they confuse and blur rather than clarify. They talk about how content marketing is all about “creating and distributing valuable and relevant information” as if somehow in the past all you needed to do was send useless irrelevant information to customers and they'd bite your hands off to buy your products.

Creating valuable, interesting material that your customers and potential customers want to receive is good marketing. It's not specific to content marketing.


The real difference between content marketing and other forms of marketing is that the value of content marketing is in information and education. That's why you pay attention to a content marketing piece. Whereas the value of more traditional forms of marketing is usually in the entertainment they provide. You watch TV ads because they're funny or intriguing. You look at the ads in fashion magazines because they're interesting pictures of fashion, just like much of the rest of the content of the magazine.

Looked at in that light we can see that content marketing has been around for as long as we've been marketing. Think back to David Ogilvy's wonderful “House Ads” in the 60s and 70s for example: full page in-depth guides to launching products or writing adverts that displayed his agency's expertise and got the phones ringing with requests for more information. Or the magalogs inside Sunday supplements that educated you on current trends in investing before offering a subscription to their magazines. Or the “Perspectives” articles Bruce Henderson started mailing to potential clients in 1964 to open their eyes to new ideas in strategy and which had established the Boston Consulting Group as the leading Strategy Consultants in the US within a decade.

These "House Ads" from Ogilvy & Mather from the 60s/70s Are Early Examples Of Valuable Content Being Used to Drive Sales

The difference today is simply in emphasis. The dominant media historically have been entertainment focused and so most adverts tended to follow suit. Today, customers surfing the web are looking just as much for information and education as they are for entertainment, so marketing has mirrored this with increasing amounts of information and education being provided to attract and build a relationship with potential customers.

And, of course, the truth is that great entertainment-based marketing also includes elements of education (otherwise customers won't know enough about the product to buy) and great education-based marketing also includes elements of entertainment (otherwise customers won't be interested enough to hear the message).

Definitions of content marketing also often mistakenly claim that content marketing “isn't about selling, it's about providing valuable information so that customers ultimately reward us with their business and their loyalty”. Again, there's confusion here between “selling”, which is simply the exchange of money for goods and “crass, pushy selling”.

If the goal of content marketing is to get customers to buy then it absolutely is about selling. It's just doing it in a different way. The crucial difference is actually timing.

With any marketing you can either aim to get a customer to take action now (traditionally known as direct response advertising) or you can aim to make an impression on the customer so that they take action later (when they're browsing the supermarket aisles, or when they need a new car for example. This is traditionally known as image or brand advertising).

By pigeonholing content marketing as only being about customers taking action later (by rewarding you with their business in exchange for all the great information you've given them), content marketers are missing out on the huge opportunities of using valuable content to get customers to take action now.

And far too many content marketers seem to take a “build it and they will come” approach. They assume that if they produce great content then eventually buyers will reward them for it. But that approach is as erroneous as brand marketers thinking that if they produce a highly creative and entertaining advert then customers will reward them by eventually buying the product.

Customers don't buy things to reward you. They buy things because they believe they have a need, and they believe that your product or service is the best one to meet that need.

If your marketing, be it information or entertainment based, isn't working on those beliefs about need and about how well your product meets the need, then customers simply aren't going to buy it.

So to recap:

Firstly, the real difference between content marketing and other forms isn't some fuzzy notion about value – that's what differentiates good marketing from bad marketing. The difference is that content marketing aims to provide value primarily through information and education, other forms of marketing provide their value primarily through entertainment.

Secondly, content marketing absolutely is about selling. If it wasn't it would just be content, not content marketing.

That sale can either be in the future: in which case the focus of your content will often be about shedding light on the problem or opportunity your potential customer has and educating them on that. And then building credibility and trust through your content so that you're the natural choice when they're ready to buy.

Or it could be in the present: in which case the focus of your content will be more about how your product solves the problem or enables the opportunity your potential customer now knows they have.

To overlook either of these timeframes is short-sighted and will lose you business.

Now don't get me wrong: content marketing of one sort or another is at the core of how I run my business. And I'll be writing further in the next few weeks on the content marketing strategies that actually work to win you clients.

But please, let's not play the “content marketing good, other marketing bad” game by having such a fluffy definition of content marketing that all good marketing fits within it.

Let's be clear about what content marketing really is. Let's realise it's been around for a long, long time, and that it can be bad as well as good.

Now let's figure out how to do good content marketing, rather than just assuming that all content marketing is somehow good.

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“I really have to apologise” said my brother… https://www.ianbrodie.com/apologise-brother/ Wed, 06 Jul 2016 14:50:44 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12243 I got a call from my brother Michael last week that began with the words “I really have to apologise”. He'd just been digging around in our parents' loft and had found an old school essay book of his from when he was 13 and was rather embarrassed about the contents. Essay number one was about him. Number two was about me… “His hobbies include being lazy, being even lazier, sitting around doing nothing, sitting around watching the television…” “Ian hates any strenuous work and has an allergy to hard work, homework, and any other work you could care to […]

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I got a call from my brother Michael last week that began with the words “I really have to apologise”.

He'd just been digging around in our parents' loft and had found an old school essay book of his from when he was 13 and was rather embarrassed about the contents.

Essay number one was about him. Number two was about me…

“His hobbies include being lazy, being even lazier, sitting around doing nothing, sitting around watching the television…”

“Ian hates any strenuous work and has an allergy to hard work, homework, and any other work you could care to think of”.

Turns out there's not much difference between 16-year old me and 49-year old me then :)

Michael's apology wasn't necessary. He wasn't far from the truth.


And, frankly, it amazes me when I read the exploits of people we're supposed to see as role models these days. It's like there's a cult of overwork in the Entrepreneurial world.

Every day I see Facebook posts from people telling me how they've got up at 4am or 5am and how they've been “hustling” and “crushing it” before the rest of the world got up.

You see so-called inspirational memes with quotes about how sacrificing your life to make it big is what entrepreneurs are all about.

Not me.

I may not quite be as lazy as Michael made out 33 years ago. But I absolutely don't believe you need to work like a madman to succeed in business.

Sure, there will always be temporary blips where you need to work super hard.

But what is being an entrepreneur for if it's not to enjoy life on your terms?

I gave up the big salary and jet-setting lifestyle so I could spend more time with my family and enjoy life more. I'm not going to sacrifice that so I can make macho posts on Facebook about how hard I'm working.

As I've shown in my last two marketing videos, if you're smart about it you can fit your marketing into a day a week. In some ways it forces you to be better at marketing too: you can't rely on brute force and ignorance to make an impact.

So if, like me, you look at these folks talking about their hustle and how hard they work and all the sacrifices they make and wonder what planet they're on sometimes, just realise that you're not alone :)

“Hustle” isn't the only way. Slow, steady and relaxed works too. And you'll have more of a smile on your face at the end of it!

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4 Tips For Super-Efficient Marketing https://www.ianbrodie.com/4-tips-super-efficient-marketing/ Mon, 04 Jul 2016 23:52:35 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12231 So, if you've followed last week's video you'll now have your perfect marketing week planned. But how do you turn that plan into a reality? And in particular, how do you make sure you can fit all the marketing you need to do into that one day a week you have for it? Watch this week's video to find out… Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them: Video Transcript Hi it's Ian and welcome to another five minute marketing tip. This is tip number 52. We've done a whole […]

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So, if you've followed last week's video you'll now have your perfect marketing week planned.

But how do you turn that plan into a reality? And in particular, how do you make sure you can fit all the marketing you need to do into that one day a week you have for it?

Watch this week's video to find out…


Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi it's Ian and welcome to another five minute marketing tip. This is tip number 52. We've done a whole year's worth of five minute marketing tips. Just like last week, this week's tip is about how to fit marketing into a really busy schedule. If you're a solo business or a small business and you have to do your marketing while doing the rest of the work in your business too, then this tip is for you. See you after the swoosh.

Hi welcome back. Last week we looked at planning the perfect marketing week. Spreading your time across the week to balance out across activities of regeneration, nurturing relationships with potential clients and strengthening your relationships with your existing clients. How do you get the most from those activities? Particularly the lead generation, the big strategies you're putting in play to get new prospects and then clients. I've got four tips for you this week. Each of which could make a big difference for you in getting more from your time.

The first is that you will do marketing more efficiently, faster and more effectively if you are focused on a market or a segment of the market that you understand like the back of your hand. What I mean by that is, if you have a really deep understanding of your ideal clients in that market, you understand their goals, their aspirations, their problems, their challenges, where they're trying to get to then it will become much easier for you to create the right marketing messages, to create the right marketing collateral that will really resonate and will have the biggest impact. You'll be able to do it quickly because you won't have to be spending all your time thinking, “What are they interested in? What do they care about?” You will just know because you understand them at a really deep level.

There are generally for most people two markets where that's the case that you're naturally the most inclined to understand at a deep level. The first is any market that you've worked in for a considerable amount of time. I was a consultant for 13 years before I went solo. About 8 of those years I worked in the pharmaceutical sector. When I set up on my own, one of the areas I could've focused on was the pharmaceutical sector because I really understood that business. It would've been very easy for me to understand the problems, challenges, goals, aspirations and to come up with good marketing in a short space of time because of that deep understanding.

The other type of market that most of us have that most of us understand at a deep level is ourselves. What I mean by that is, the more you are like your ideal clients, the easier it is to put yourself in their shoes and to understand what they care about, what they need, what they're looking for. In my case, I'd been obviously a consultant for 12-13 years working for a larger company and then a smaller company. Then had a few years on my own as a consultant. Eventually it kind of dawned on me that the market I understood the best was coaches, trainers, people who did what I did and who weren't naturals at marketing and selling. Just in the same way that I wasn't a natural at marketing and selling. That eventually became my market. It becomes much easier for me to understand the right messages to use, the right marketing, approaches, where people hang out because my clients, my ideal clients, are very much like me. Not like me in every way. I'm quite technologically capable example where some of my clients aren't, but there are many things I have in common with them. It gives me a great deal of empathy with them and it just becomes easier.

If you can focus on a market segment that you really understand, either because you spent a long time working there or because they're a lot like you, things become a lot quicker and more efficient. In particular, if you spot a market segment that looks really attractive, it looks really profitable, could be loads of opportunity in there, but you don't really have much experience and the people in that segment are not like you, I would think twice about it. It might look really attractive but that's probably because you don't really understand it. By the time you get in there, you realize that the grass seemed to be greener on the other side but in fact it isn't. It will take you so long to get to understand them. Your natural reactions won't be the right one. Your marketing won't be as effective and it'll take you much longer to do. Focus on markets and segments you really understand at a deep level.

Next thing, focus on one primary marketing approach. That could be doing presentations and seminars. That could be working the referral network, it could be blogging, it could be doing webinars. Pick one approach. I know that goes against accepted marketing wisdom. The accepted wisdom is you need three, four, five different approaches in case one of them stops working, two of them stop working. That's advice for full-time marketing professionals to spend their entire week doing marketing. For those of us that only have one day a week to spend on marketing, we can't afford to spend all our time doing four or five different activities and never getting good at any of them because we don't spend much time on each but much better off, perhaps taking a bit of a risk and taking a punt on one marketing strategy that we can get really good at and get really effective at.

I would advise if you can do that, one main strategy and I have a couple of backup ones you do a little bit. Rather than completely all of one, do one main one, a couple of backup ones. For me, for example, the last five or six years my main marketing strategy has been email marketing. I write two to four emails a week to my subscribers. That's the way I nurture relationships and turn people into paying clients. The other couple of strategies I've had over the last couple of years have been these weekly videos which work pretty well to get people to know me, to get a deeper relationship, and to attract potential clients because people come to the website to watch the videos and Facebook advertising. I've got reasonably good at Facebook advertising and I can use that to generate new leads to get people to signup to get my regular emails. Those are my three. Main one, email marketing. Two minor ones, Facebook advertising and video marketing.

For you, pick something that you can really do. I guess that's the third big tip. Pick the primary approach to be one that you enjoy and that you're good at. I know that sounds obvious but I can't tell you the number of people who've sparked someone else being really successful with Facebook advertising for example. So they try it even though they're not very technical and they don't like all the work behind the scenes, etc, etc. They see that one of their colleagues is having great success with networking so they think they'll go off and do lots of networking because that's bound to work. Even though they hate networking, they're not very good at it, they don't like meeting new people, etc, etc. Find something that works for you and you enjoy and stick to that.

The one caveat I have with that is make sure that one of the three things you have, either one of the two minors or the primary thing, involves writing. I say that because writing is an absolutely core communication skill. If you can write well, then you can blogs, you can write emails, you can write scripts for videos, you can scripts for podcasts, you can write webinars, you can create presentations. Writing is such a ubiquitous skill. It is a skill worth everyone developing.

I know you might be sitting there thinking, “Well I'm no good at writing.” Well that's just not true. Writing is just at its essence, good communication. You might as well say, “I'm no good at talking” as “I'm no good at writing.” It's just that you haven't practiced writing. It's just good communication. I have clients that when we started working together said they're absolutely hopeless at writing. They couldn't possibly write a regular blog. Now one of them, for example, is being commissioned to write a book. You know who you are! It is possible to learn the skills of writing. It is so ubiquitous a skill, it's well worth it being one of your two minors or your one major in some format.

Final strategy, reuse, reuse, reuse. Reuse could be reusing ideas. Make sure you have a really strong, core set of ideas that you share about your particular topic. This isn't the first video or blog post or personal training that I've done about getting more marketing done more efficiently. I've done in-depth training for my Momentum Club members. I've written a blog post about the topic. I've written a whole ton of blog posts about becoming seen as an authority in your market. I've written a ton of blog posts and articles and videos about nurturing relationships with potential clients. I've done a ton of stuff on giving value in advance to potential clients. If you've got a handful of those core topics, you can keep coming back to them time and time again from different angles. As long as they're really strong topics that they're talking about in multiple different ways. Have a core set of ideas and topics in your field that you keep coming back to. You build a name and a reputation for those core topics.

The other form of reuse is to take your existing material you've already produced and reuse that. You write a blog post, you can record that and turn it into a podcast. If you do a video like this, you can get a transcript done and that becomes a blog post. I use rev.com. Fantastic service. One dollar per minute per transcription, usually turned around in a couple of hours. I stick the transcripts below all these videos, but you could equally turn a podcast or a video into a blog post. Try and reuse as much material as you can. Maybe you can take some of your blog posts and turn them into a presentation that you deliver live. Maybe you can take a whole bunch of them and turn them into a kind of collected articles book. Lots of different ways you can reuse material and it just saves you so much time if you're able to take something that you've used with one audience in one format and use it with a different audience or the same audience in a different format.

Those are the four big tips. Focus on a market or a segment that you really understand so you don't waste time trying to get the messages that you know you're going to use with them. You know that intuitively. Secondly, pick one big primary marketing approach that you're good at and you can get good at and maybe a couple of minor approaches. Make sure that approach is something you enjoy and that you're good at. Finally, reuse as much as you can both your ideas and your material. That's it for this week. That was number 52. Looking forward to another year of marketing tips. Cheers.

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Planning The Perfect Marketing Week https://www.ianbrodie.com/planning-perfect-marketing-week/ Wed, 29 Jun 2016 06:56:55 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=12095 All the great marketing strategies, tactics and technologies in the world count for nothing if you don't get your marketing done. In this week's video I focus on a much-overlooked aspect of marketing: how to plan your activities every week. Do this right and your marketing will get prioritised and you'll make great progress. Do it wrong and you'll end up in a vicious circle of underachievemnt. Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them: Here's the link to Dan Ariely's video on how your calendar is messing up your […]

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All the great marketing strategies, tactics and technologies in the world count for nothing if you don't get your marketing done.

In this week's video I focus on a much-overlooked aspect of marketing: how to plan your activities every week.

Do this right and your marketing will get prioritised and you'll make great progress. Do it wrong and you'll end up in a vicious circle of underachievemnt.


Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Here's the link to Dan Ariely's video on how your calendar is messing up your priorities.

In outline, here's the Perfect Marketing Week system I recommend:

  1. Step 1: Make sure you put your key marketing projects and activities on your calendar. If you don't, they'll get pushed out by emergencies, ad hoc requests phone calls, emails, and other less important tasks that need doing now. Planning important projects into your calendar keeps them safe.
  2. Step 2: Make sure you spend at least 20% of your time (1 day per week) on marketing and sales activities. Spend any less and you won't be doing enough to drive the growth of your business. If you're a startup or looking to grow fast then increase this to 40% or more. And if your business model is to be seen as an authority or expert in your field and earn much higher fees than average, then you'll need to spend more time on marketing and thought leadership to build the authority to earn more per day in your remaining time. Finally, if you run a leveraged business where delivery is online or done by others then you'll want to spend more time on marketing yourself.
  3. Step 3: Split your marketing time across the week so that you have at least one big slug of time dedicated to marketing so you can get “in flow”. My preference is one half day per week plus an hour a day on the remaining days. Ideally do your marketing in the morning before you get worn out by client work.
  4. Step 4: Spend about 20-30% of your time on deepening your relationships with your existing clients, 20-30% of your time nurturing relationships with prospects and ex clients, and 40-50% of your time on lead generation. You'll usually be able to fit one big activity: writing an article, going to a networking event or doing a webinar into your week alongside the smaller tasks. Spend the remaining 10% of your time at the start of the week reviewing what went well and what didn't in the previous week, and then planning your activities for the upcoming week and crucially, writing them in to you calendar and committing to doing them.

Video Transcript

Hi. It's Ian. Welcome to another five-minute marketing tip. This is tip number fifty one. That's almost a year of five-minute marketing tips we've been through together, you and I. To celebrate, this and the fifty second five-minute marketing tip are going to be all about a really important area that I think is often overlooked. It's about getting your marketing done. You can have all the great marketing techniques and strategies, and online technologies in the world, but if you never managed to get any marketing done or any sales work done, then you are not going to get any results. In this week's video, I am going to show you how to plan the perfect marketing week. I will see you after the swoosh.

Hi. Welcome back. We are going to be talking about planning the perfect marketing week. Planning is vital. Dan Ariely really has a lovely video about what he calls the tyranny of the calendar, because when we put things into our calendars, they become sacrosanct. We always try and make the commitments we put in our calendars. When loads of ad hoc and other things come in like emails, phone calls, somebody pops into the office, you have an emergency from a client, then you push the other things aside, the things that aren't in your calendar or that are just on a to do list. The stuff on your calendar, stays there. The problem with that is, most of the time, the only things we put in our calendar are meetings. Meetings which might not be very important, end up being sacrosanct. Big, important things like writing that article, doing that presentation, doing the re-vamp and working with your web designer on that, big specific projects that aren't tied to a specific time, get pushed out of the way because they are not in your calendar.

The solution to that is to make sure all your key marketing activities, and frankly, your other activities as well that you want to make sure happen, are in your calendar. Even if you are not meeting with anyone, put that activity in your calendar, schedule it, and make sure you do it. The very fact that it goes in your calendar, and you are being constantly reminded of it, because you print it out or it's own Outlook or whatever, means you are that much more likely to do it.

Knowing that we are going to put things in our calendar, how much time should you spend on marketing? I found a good rule of thumb that works for most people, is about twenty percent of your time, or one day a week. I know some people who spend more, some people who spend less. Often, the people who spend less time on their marketing struggle to win enough new business.

If you are in start-up mode, or you are trying to rapidly grow your business, you probably want to spend more time on marketing. You are going to have that time available, because if you are in start-up mode, you haven't got all the clients you are looking for yet. Maybe you are up to forty percent of your time on marketing. If you are in a kind of authority business, where you are a real expert and leader in your field, again, you might want to spend more time on marketing where marketing includes creating thought leadership material, going out and promoting, PR, presenting, being on TV. What you are doing there is you are investing more time in your marketing to get a higher fee rate during the remaining days of the week that you are actually charging to clients, and that equation can work really well for you. The other time you might want to spend more time on your marketing is where you are in a really leveraged business. Either like me, most of your material, your stuff is delivered online, or if you've got other staff that deliver that for you, then you can spend more of your time on marketing. That's a good leverage use of your time.

If you find that you can't afford to spend twenty percent of your time on marketing, you need to be billing five days, four and a half days a week. You've got a problem. You've got a problem with your fee rate. That's unsustainable. You are putting yourself into a vicious circle where you are not charging a lot, so you have to work five days a week in order to earn the money that you need, which means you don't have any time for marketing, which means you don't have any time to do the marketing that is going to earn you the higher fee rates that mean you don't have to work five days a week to earn the basic living that you need. You need to break out of that cycle either by just working harder for awhile, over weekends, in the evenings, taking a hit on your income for a while, but you need to get your marketing done to push your fee rate up, and get into a more sustainable model where you are doing twenty percent of your time on marketing.

How do you split that twenty percent of your time during the week? It's roughly a day. You could do one full day, and a little trickle on the other days. You could split it evenly. I find what works best is do half a day dedicated to marketing, one day a week, and for the remaining four days, do an hour a day on each of those four days. That works really well, I find, for a couple of reasons. One is you get a chance to build up a head of steam in that half day. I'm sure you've seen it before, where you work on something, you just get into it, and then if you are disturbed and have to go off and do something else, you've spent most of your time in warm up mode as opposed to doing. If you really get into the flow because you have a half day going, whether that's … it's especially important if you are writing, trying to be creative, make a presentation. It also applies if you get onto a roll with making phone calls, doing emails and stuff like that. Getting in the flow, getting on a roll really works, so dedicate half a day to do that. I also like spending an hour a day for the remaining days, because it means I'm doing something to build my business every day of the week. It's a really good habit to get into.

However you split your time, I would always advise trying to do your marketing at the start of the day. The reason I say that is, the minute you start going through emails and processing requests from clients, dealing with emergencies, et cetera your brain begins to get more and more wore out. If you try and do your marketing at the end of the day, your brain will be too tired to do it well. Try and do your marketing in the morning.

Finally, what do you split in terms of activities? I recommend that you spend twenty to thirty percent of your marketing time on marketing to existing clients. Of course, in the remaining three days, four days a week, you will be working with those existing clients, so you will already be building relationships and keeping in touch with them because of the work you are doing. This twenty percent of the time … Twenty percent of eight hours works out to about an hour and a half a week. This time is not related to a project, but it's enhancing so if I'm getting more new relationships within a client organization, building and strengthening your relationships with existing clients, finding some great stuff and material you can send them, maybe taking them out for a coffee, asking about their business, their social life, et cetera, building that personal relationship. That is going to turn into repeat business. It is going to turn into extension business, where you go elsewhere in the organization. It's going to turn into referrals to other people outside their organization. Make sure you are spending at least an hour and a half a week on extending your relationships, building and strengthening your relationships with your existing clients, not related to the work you are doing with them.

Then, I recommend you spend twenty to thirty percent of your time, an hour and a half a week, on the same types of activities, nurture activities, but with prospects. These are people you have met. You have got a fledgling relationship with, but they have not turned into clients yet, or they were clients once, but they are not now, and you are trying to resurrect that relationship and build it for the future, when they do need someone. Same sorts of activities. Build value by sending them useful material, inviting them to useful events, introduce them to useful people, build a personal relationship, grab a coffee, ask them questions, find out how they are. An hour and a half a week is time enough to have a coffee with one new prospect every week and send a couple of emails and make a couple of phone calls to keep in touch with a wider range of people.

That leaves you about forty, fifty percent of your time to spend on lead generation. These are very often the big projects that you are going to be working on. Usually you can fit in one big task every week. That might be writing an article. It might be working on a presentation. It might be delivering a presentation. It might be going to a networking event. It might be running a webinar. Usually, in any week, in that half day, usually you can do one big task. If you do that one big task, it is going to help you make real strong progress towards getting more leads and feeding that nurture of prospects, and then feeding that nurture of clients on an ongoing basis. Make sure you are dedicating that time to lead generation using all the different tools and techniques that I've been teaching you over the last year or so.

Finally, what do you then do. You've split your time in terms of how many days a week, how you are spending your time across the week, how much time you are spending on different activities. The extra thing you need to do is if you add up that twenty to thirty percent, maybe forty to fifty percent, you've usually got, in any given week, about five to ten percent free in that marketing time. Spend that planning and reviewing. I always advise at the start of every week, sit down, review what you did the previous week. Tick off those tasks. Look at what worked for you marketing wise, what didn't work for you marketing wise, take that into account going forwards, and then plan your week.

I always go off to a coffee shop, sit down, it's nice and pleasurable, have a lovely coffee, plan out my week. You are just using a paper diary initially and then a paper planner originally, notebook and then transfer it to my electronic calendar. All those things I'm thinking of, my one big task for the week, the keep in touch activities for existing clients and for prospects. Put those into your calendar, going right back to what we said at the start, so those activities are planned, and they don't get pushed aside by the inevitable emergencies, requests from clients, emails, phone calls coming in and you make sure your key marketing activities actually get done. It's only when you do your key marketing activities that you actually get results from them.

Okay, that's it for this week. Another tip on getting more marketing done, next week. See you there.

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Want To Be A Thought Leader? Don’t Do This! https://www.ianbrodie.com/thought-leader-mistake/ Mon, 20 Jun 2016 21:14:22 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11932 I saw a presentation recently about “how to be a thought leader”. Like all presentations there were some thing I liked, and some things I didn't. But there was one thing that got me really worked up: advice that I hear repeated again and again that I think is misguided and will take you down the wrong path if you want to be a though leader. In this week's video I highlight the big mistake that often gets recommended, and more importantly, tell you what to do instead if you want to become a real thought leader.   Find this […]

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I saw a presentation recently about “how to be a thought leader”. Like all presentations there were some thing I liked, and some things I didn't. But there was one thing that got me really worked up: advice that I hear repeated again and again that I think is misguided and will take you down the wrong path if you want to be a though leader.

In this week's video I highlight the big mistake that often gets recommended, and more importantly, tell you what to do instead if you want to become a real thought leader.

 
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Video Transcript

Hi it's Ian again. Welcome to these Five Minute Marketing Tips. I was in a talk recently about how to become a thought leader. Like all talks of that nature, there were some things in the talk that I liked and some things in the talk that I didn't like, but there was one thing that really made me angry. Now, being very polite, I didn't stick my hand up or interrupt or anything. I just scribbled frantically in my notebook, making notes about what I would say differently. I think what was being advised is a huge mistake, and I want to tell you what you should do instead if you want to be a successful thought leader, because I hear that advice repeated a lot. I'll see you after the break.

Hi it's Ian. Welcome back. I know some people don't like the phrase “thought leader” or “thought leadership”, but irrespective of what you think about the words, I think we can all agree that being seen as a leading expert in your field is a good thing. It gives you access to more clients, better fees, and more interesting and exciting work. When it comes to being seen as a thought leader, one of the pieces of advice that I hear time and time again, and I heard at this talk I was at recently, is that to become a thought leader you have to focus on the pain points of your ideal clients and provide solutions, solve problems.

I disagree with that. I think if all you do is solve problems, then you're a “thought follower”, not a “thought leader”. If you look at your bookshelf, at all the real thought leaders, the leading experts in any field, they're not problem solvers. If you look at the field of strategy, people like Michael Porter, C.K. Prahalad, Chan Kim, they didn't just solve problems. They created new ideas, new concepts, new ways of thinking and looking at strategy that no one had seen before that helped companies completely transform and look at things in different ways and radically change and grow and improve, not just solve problems.

When Bob Waterman and Tom Peters wrote the first real big management bestseller, it wasn't “In Search of Solutions”, it was “In Search of Excellence”. When Jim Collins wrote his book it wasn't “Problem to Solved”, it was “Good to Great” because they expressed ambition. They took people's thinking beyond just sticking plasters and solving the little problems that were there towards really big new ideas and concepts that really made a difference.

I know we can play around with semantics and frame any new great big thing as a solution to a problem. The iPhone was a solution to the problem of, “I don't have a great smartphone that's easy to use,” but that's not the way that the people who came up with these ideas actually thought about it. Tom Peters and Michael Porter didn't sit there thinking, “What problem can I solve?” They looked bigger, they thought big and creatively.

Of course you start off, and it can be really helpful to you and help inspire you, to really understand the pain points and the problems of your ideal clients. That can trigger your thinking about the big idea you're coming up with, but you don't just put sticking plasters over it. For example, when Michael Hammer and James Champy did Reengineering the Corporation, massive big change to the way business was done in the '90s, what they noticed was that organizations, the dominant model of organizations at the time was functional silos. The problem they saw with functional silos was that it created all sorts of difficulties in communicating across the boundaries of those functional silos and decision making across those functional silos and the speed of doing things across those functional silos.

They didn't just solve the problem by creating a faster way of communicating and a better way of making decisions across functional silos. They obliterated the functional silos and told organizations to focus on business processes instead. It's not just about solving problems, it's about being much more ambitious, aiming for something bigger, a completely new idea, a new framework, a new concept, changing the thinking of your clients, giving them something new they've never seen before. That's what really makes a thought leader, not just solving their existing problems.

Solving problems, I think, is a commodity, but coming up with great brilliant new ideas and concepts, that's thought leadership. Rant over, but I do advise you when you're thinking of positioning yourself as an expert, whenever you're creating content for your website or trying to write, think beyond just solving problems. Think of what great new ideas and concepts and frameworks that you can share with your clients that's what makes you a real thought leader. Cheers.

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No One Needs Your Crappy Content https://www.ianbrodie.com/crappy-content/ Mon, 20 Jun 2016 08:49:59 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11925 These days I get increasingly frustrated at the growing wave of advice for professionals saying you need to become seen as an expert in your field. Of course, I'm part of that wave too. It's not that there's anything wrong with becoming seen as an expert. That's a good thing (though it's far from the only way to succeed, and it's not suited to everyone). What gets me worked up is that all the advice on how to do it seems to be missing the point about what it really takes to become seen as an expert. I've read article […]

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These days I get increasingly frustrated at the growing wave of advice for professionals saying you need to become seen as an expert in your field.

Of course, I'm part of that wave too.

It's not that there's anything wrong with becoming seen as an expert. That's a good thing (though it's far from the only way to succeed, and it's not suited to everyone).

What gets me worked up is that all the advice on how to do it seems to be missing the point about what it really takes to become seen as an expert.


I've read article after article and a bunch of books which all essentially say “write articles, publish a book, do videos, webinars, podcasts”.

And yes, if you want to be seen as an expert you absolutely have to get your message out to people.

But the problem is that literally millions of people are out there writing articles, publishing books, doing videos, webinars and podcasts.

And almost none of them are seen as experts in their field.

I'll say that again. Almost none of them are seen as experts in their field.

The point isn't that you publish. That's a given.

The point is that you have to have something new to say. Something that resonates with your target audience. Something insightful that gives them a new perspective and helps them do something they couldn't before. Something that simplifies the complex or clears up the fog.

We don't see Seth Godin as an expert because he's written lots of books. It's because his books have great ideas in them.

We don't see Michael Porter as a leader in the field of strategy because he wrote a couple of books. Lord knows how many wannabe strategy experts have written a couple of books. We see Porter as a leader because his 5 Forces and Value Chain models brought new insights and a new way of thinking when they were published. And they've become staples of pretty much every strategy analysis ever since.

So of course, you need to know the mechanics of how to get published, to write blog posts, to do podcasts and videos in just the same way that a great vineyard needs to know how to get its wine out to its customers. But it's not the distribution system that makes a wine or an expert great. It's what's in the bottle or article or video or book.

Far too much of what passes for content marketing is simply common knowledge regurgitated.


‘Far too much of what passes for content marketing is simply common knowledge regurgitated'
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No one needs another “7 tips for growing your social media following” article, unless those 7 tips are new and different for your audience.

If you want to become known as an expert, your most important task is to create ideas and insights that are both valuable to your clients and genuinely different to what everyone else is saying. Focus on that first, then worry about how to get it out to the world.

Focus on that and you'll be doing both yourself and your audience a favour.

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Get Your Website Priorities Right! https://www.ianbrodie.com/get-website-priorities-right/ Tue, 14 Jun 2016 00:36:29 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11829 I have a quick question for you this week: What's the #1 (realistic) thing you want your website visitors to do? Have a think about it, then watch this week's 5 minute marketing tip to see why it's so important to get your priorities right on your website.   Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them: Video Transcript Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another 5 minute marketing tip. This week's tip is all about your website, and I have a question for you. What is the number one […]

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I have a quick question for you this week:

What's the #1 (realistic) thing you want your website visitors to do?

Have a think about it, then watch this week's 5 minute marketing tip to see why it's so important to get your priorities right on your website.


 
Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another 5 minute marketing tip. This week's tip is all about your website, and I have a question for you. What is the number one thing you would like visitors to your website to do, realistically? Probably the number one thing you'd like them to do is to whip out that credit card and pay you a whole load of money. That's probably not going to happen the first time they visit. For first time visitors, what is a realistic thing that you would most like them to do? We'll come back and talk about it after this break.

Hi, welcome back. If you struggled with that question, if you struggled to immediately answer, what's the number one goal you have for your website visitors realistically? Then you're not alone. A lot of people really struggle with that question. That's why a lot of websites are very wishy-washy. They're filled with all sorts of different things. No clear priorities, and so, when people do visit the website they're not really clear what they can do, what they should do, why they should do it. Your first goal for any website especially the homepage is to be really clear on what the most wanted thing you want your visitors to do that's realistic for them to do. What is realistic?

In my case, for example, most of my first time, my new visitors to my website either come from Google, or they come from social media. They come looking for useful information about marketing and getting more clients. I think it's perfectly realistic to think that some of them might be willing to sign up for my regular emails, and get my twenty-one word email report. Those are some tips on getting more clients. That's what they came for. It's a free thing that'll help them do that. Not all of them will do that by any stretch of the imagination. Many of them might want to read a blog post first, find out more about me, watch some more of my videos, et cetera before they'd be willing to do that. A significant number would be happy to sign up and so, I'm going to make them that offer. If they sign up that's great for me because I can then continue to nurture the relationship, build credibility and trust by email.

If you don't do so much online marketing and you, do a lot of face-to-face marketing. You do presentations and seminars. You do face-to-face networking. Then it could well be that most of the people who come to your website have actually already met you. They've seen you speak in person. They may be met you at an event. Maybe someone has recommended you to them. If that's the case, maybe it's realistic that you can ask them and they'll agree to apply for some kind of strategy session or free initial consultation with you. You'd have to make it really clear what the benefits would be of that strategy session, what they would get from it, the outcomes, the wonderful clear clarity they'd get, the barriers they'd understand, all that kind of stuff. I think it's reasonably realistic that they might want to do that. That's a really great outcome for you because usually in our kinds of businesses having free initial consultations and strategy sessions leads to clients.

If you're a software business, maybe it's realistic to think that they might be willing to sign up for a fourteen day free trial of your software tool. There are lots of realistic things you can think of that your visitors to your website might be prepared to do depending on where they've come from, whether they're completely new, whether they've seen you before et cetera. Have a think about that. Think what is the number on thing I want my website visitors to do, especially my new ones that's realistic and I could expect a reasonable number of them to do. Then take a look at your website. Is that number one thing the biggest focus of your website? If you wanted people to sign up to get emails from you, when they go to your website on your homepage, is that the first thing they see? Something offering them to sign up for your emails and offering a free lead magnet or something like that. If you want them to do a strategy session with you, is that the number one they see when they first come to your website.

In most cases, it's not. In most cases, there's a big discrepancy with what you really want people to do and it's realistic to expect them to do and what they actually see when they go to your website. Very often you want them to sign up for emails the most. Where's the email sign up form? Oh, you kind of have to scroll down about three pages before you ever see it. The tops filled with some wishy-washy stuff about how wonderful your business is and how great it would be to work with you et cetera, et cetera. They're not going to sign up on the dotted line there and then. You're probably much better off getting them to sign up for emails, getting them to apply for a strategy session et cetera, et cetera.

I would recommend that the thing you try and get them to do is a positive action that allows you to follow up. If the thing you want them to do most is to find out more about your business, okay. That's okay, but the truth is they'll find out more about your business, and then they'll be off going to someone else's website finding out about them, and they'll probably never come back because they haven't bookmarked your website. Much better of you get them to take some positive action like signing up for your emails, applying for a strategy session, taking a free trial of your software product or tool, joining your community on Facebook or LinkedIn, even just filling in your contact form. Anything that then allows you to proactively follow up with them so you can keep the relationship going, and keep building it, keep building credibility and trust until they're ready to buy is a good action to go for. Make sure that is prioritized on your homepage rather than anything else that's all about making your business look good et cetera.

That's my tip for this week. Make sure, A, you know what your priorities are for your website and what you most want people to do, and B, make sure that's the biggest thing they see when they come to your homepage. The other things the second priority, third priority, et cetera, you can have lower down the homepage, but make sure front, square, and center when they first arrive is that number one priority that you want them to do. Cheers.

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How I Got Out Of Gmail’s “Promotions Tab Jail” (And The Tools & Techniques You Can Use If You’re In There Too) https://www.ianbrodie.com/gmail-promotions-tab-jail/ Mon, 13 Jun 2016 15:17:50 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11806 A couple of weeks ago I woke up to a nightmare scenario for any email marketer. As I do most days, I tapped away to write an email I thought would be useful, interesting and fun for my subscribers. Job done, I shot off a test email to myself to make sure the links were all working. 5 minutes later, it hadn't arrived in my inbox. Another 10 minutes and it still wasn’t there. I sent another one. Still nothing. Then I spotted a notification that there were new emails in my Gmail promotions tab. Surely not? Surely my own […]

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A couple of weeks ago I woke up to a nightmare scenario for any email marketer.

As I do most days, I tapped away to write an email I thought would be useful, interesting and fun for my subscribers. Job done, I shot off a test email to myself to make sure the links were all working.

5 minutes later, it hadn't arrived in my inbox. Another 10 minutes and it still wasn’t there. I sent another one.

Still nothing.

Then I spotted a notification that there were new emails in my Gmail promotions tab.

Surely not? Surely my own emails that I read on a regular basis aren't going into my promotions tab?

But yes, they were.

According to Email Deliverability expert Chris Lang, you get an 8-10% increase in opens and clicks simply by being in the primary tab rather than the promotions tab on Gmail.

That's a huge difference. And it's a direct hit on your revenue if email is a key part of your marketing.

Lang estimates that Gmail runs about 40% of the world's email behind the scenes. In my case, since my clients tend to be smaller businesses it's probably higher.

So ending up in the promotions tab is bad, bad news.

So why was I in there and more importantly: what could I do to get out? I started looking around for answers.

There are four potential reasons why your emails might suddenly start going into the promotions tab (actually, the truth is it doesn't happen suddenly – you just notice it suddenly. Since every email users experience is different, the chances are that you've been drifting into more and more people's promotions tabs over time and now finally it's happened in a way that's made it visible to you).

The first potential reason is a Gmail algorithm change. These happen al the time. Just like with its search results, Google is constantly tweaking the algorithm for where it places emails in the inbox to try to improve the experience of it's users.

Generally, Gmail does a great job. I rarely get any spam.

But the decision on what to classify as promotional and what should go in the primary inbox is less clear cut. My emails are gently promotional, but contain a lot of value (at least I think so!).

Gmail has definitely been tightening its algorithm recently, and that might explain the change. But it doesn't help me get out of the promotions tab.

The second reason you might end up in the promotions tab or spam folder is because of the system you're using to send your emails.

The servers and domain your emails are sent from build up a “reputation” over time with email services like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo and others. If your email service is known for sending lots of spam or promotional emails generally, then that will damage your inbox placement.

This is the first reason many people jump to when they first have problems. They assume it must be a “deliverability issue” with their email provider (after all, they're probably not doing anything different themselves).

But the truth is that this is rarely an issue. All the big email marketing providers work on a regular basis to maintain their reputations with email services. They all have temporary blips, of course. But they simply wouldn't be around for a long time if they had consistent deliverability issues.

One quick way of testing out your email service provider is to check senderscore.org from Return Path.

You can put in the IP address of the servers your email is being sent from (look in the source of the email – for example by using “Show original” in Gmail). You'll see something like this which is from one of my test email addresses:

Gmail IP Address in original

You can then put that IP address into senderscore.org to see the “reputation” of the server. It shows you an overall reputation figure – (ideally you want to be in the 90s) and it also highlights if there have been lots of recent spam reports and other factors for those servers.

Here's an example report:

senderscore

The figures are just an indication and they show just one of very many factors that influence inbox placement. But if your email provider's score is below 80 I'd contact them to ask what they're doing about it.

In my case, the sender score of my Active Campaign server at the time was 97 – so it clearly wasn't that.

The third factor that can influence your inbox placement is, of course, the content of your email.

Gmail (and the other email providers) are trying to show the most relevant emails to their users. And one way they can look for relevance is by the content of the emails. At a simplistic level, there are words and phrases that indicate an email is spam (hopefully you won't be using any dodgy phrases about cheap watches and male enhancement pills!). But they also look for words that indicate promotional (but non-spam) content.

To some degree, you cant avoid this. Legally you're required to have an unsubscribe link in your emails, and the email services can use that to know that this is bulk email (along with the fact that it probably hits the inbox of hundreds or thousands of their users simultaneously). Emails with lots of images, or images and little text, or that talk about sales, discounts and ask you to “act now” will tend to be promotional ones, so the systems can pick up on that too.

So one thing you can do to try to help is to vary the content of your emails. Try not to use more than one image. Don't use words or phrases that are overly promotional (save those for the landing page you send people to). Have a decent amount of text in your emails (for example, most of the time I tend to have the content of my regular tips in the email itself rather than just doing a link to a blog post). Use your personal name rather than a generic business name as your From email address/name – and keep it consistent over time, don’t vary it. And don't put tons of links to all your social media profiles in your email. Keep it simple.

You can test the placement of your emails by setting up test email addresses on gmail, hotmail, outlook.com and other common email services and sending to them and tweaking your emails if needed before sending out to your full list.

An even better way of doing it is to use a service like G-Lock Apps. If you register for their service they'll give you a list of email addresses you can send to and they'll then monitor the inbox placement of emails you send and report it to you.

gmail-promotions-tab

It will also give you a summary of your server's sender reputation (using senderscore.org) and the results of passing your email through various spam filters (Postini, used by Gmail, Barracuda, used by many corporate systems and Spam Assassin. it even shows you what Spam Assassin tests you passed/failed so you can adjust your email if needed).

G-Lock Apps Summary

In my case, my content passed all the spam filters, it wasn’t too short and it didn't have any overly-promotional messages in it.

But just like when I sent the test email to myself G-Lock Apps were reporting that my email was going to the Promotions tab.

So that leaves the fourth potential reason: your “user engagement”.

“Engagement” is one of those generic phrases that gets thrown about a lot. But in essence, what it means is that the big email systems monitor how much the people who receive your emails interact with them. Do they open them? Do they spend time reading them? Do they scroll down? Do they ever reply to them? Do they file them away in a folder for safekeeping? Do they add you to their contacts list? Do they drag your emails into their primary inbox tab?

Or do your emails just sit their unopened and unloved?

Each of the different email providers has their own metrics and ways of judging whether your emails are being engaged with. No one outside of those vendors knows exactly what they look for, but representatives from AOL, Comcast, Gmail and Outlook.com gave a decent overall picture at the Email Evolution conference last year.

The general message is that if, overall, your emails aren't being opened and read, then it's going to be harder for you to get in the primary inbox in future.

And “overall” means system-wide. If a lot of Gmail users don't read your emails, then it's likely that your emails will go to the promotions tab or even spam folder for all (or at least most) Gmail users – even if some of them do open and read your emails regularly. When Gmail is deciding where to place your email it looks at the previous level of engagement of that specific user with your emails AND your average engagement across all Gmail users you sent to.

So what can you do to increase your engagement score?

Well, firstly you can encourage your new subscribers to “whitelist” your emails on their system and to drag any they find in the promotions tab or spam folder to their primary inbox. The more that do that initially, the more likely you are to end up in the primary tab.

Chris Lang has a free “whitelist instruction generator” tool you can use for free here. And there's a case study about it here.

Secondly you can make your emails more “engaging”. Great subject lines that combine benefits with curiosity will get people to open your emails.

Great content will get people to spend time reading and scrolling your emails.

Asking interesting questions will get people to reply to you.

All of this increases what the email systems see as engagement.

Thirdly, you can practice good “list hygiene”. If your subscriber haven't opened or clicked any of your emails in a while, email then to ask if they're OK (I do this after 30 days and I get a lot of wonderful, genuine interactions as a result). If they still haven't opened or clicked anything after another 30-60 days, consider decreasing the frequency of your emails to them. That means that overall, your average engagement will be much higher because you're emailing the less engaged less frequently.

Note, for most people I don't recommend completely deleting contacts if they don't seem to be engaging. Firstly, open rates aren't that accurate so there could be some people who are opening and reading (though not clicking) your emails that show up on your email system's stats as not opening your emails.

Secondly, in the sort of businesses many of us are in, the buying cycle can be very long. I've had many customers who have been quiet for years because the timing just isn't right for them, then all of a sudden something has become an issue, they start reading the emails again, and then they buy something.

That happens far too often for me to just delete their emails if they don't take action for 60 days. So decreasing the frequency for non-responders gets me the best of both worlds. High average engagement so that my emails get good placement, but still sending emails to everyone who signed up ready for when they “wake up”.

Finally, you can run periodic “drag me out of promotions” campaigns – and that's what I did in this case.

I selected the segment of my mail email list whose email address was at gmail.com (this isn't all the Gmail addresses on your list – for example mine is at ianbrodie.com but uses Gmail behind the scenes. Nonetheless, it's enough to “move the needle”).

Then I simple emailed them a request to move my email into their primary inbox if they found it in the promotions tab. And because I don't like to ask for favours without doing something good in return, I included a link to get a free download of one of my very best reports on becoming seen as an Authority in your field.

I got lots of people clicking to download the report. A good number thanking me for I. And a good number emailing me back to say either they'd moved me to the primary tab or that, for them, I was already there.

But the big question: did enough people drag me out of promotions to ensure that next time I emailed, most people would get the email delivered to their primary tab.

The answer?

Gmail Primary

Thankfully, for now at least, I'm out of Gmail Promotions Tab Jail!
 
Of course, I'll need to keep monitoring it, keep my emails high quality, keep asking people to whitelist me when they sign up.

And you can do the same. If you stay out of the promotions tab it'll make a big difference to how many people open and read your emails and ultimately, to how many people buy from you.

The post How I Got Out Of Gmail’s “Promotions Tab Jail” (And The Tools & Techniques You Can Use If You’re In There Too) appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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[Podcast] Stefan Drew on How He Built a Successful Platform Without Email Marketing https://www.ianbrodie.com/podcast-stefan-drew-built-successful-platform-without-email-marketing/ Tue, 07 Jun 2016 22:08:06 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11800 It pains me to say this, but email marketing is not the only answer :) OK, all joking aside, what is vital for any business is to build a platform: a way of regularly communicating and keeping top of mind with your ideal clients. Email marketing is a particularly powerful way of doing that. But it's not the only way. In this podcast Stefan Drew explains how he built a successful platform for his consultancy in the education sector without using email marketing. You'll see that the same principles that normally apply to email marketing can also be applied to […]

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It pains me to say this, but email marketing is not the only answer :)

OK, all joking aside, what is vital for any business is to build a platform: a way of regularly communicating and keeping top of mind with your ideal clients.

Email marketing is a particularly powerful way of doing that. But it's not the only way.

In this podcast Stefan Drew explains how he built a successful platform for his consultancy in the education sector without using email marketing.

You'll see that the same principles that normally apply to email marketing can also be applied to other media to build that personal connection with potential clients that leads to a steady stream of work.

Stefan and I also discuss how he's managed to get so much good PR for his business and clients including regular slots on radio and in the press (including a time when he temporarily became a reporter on the collapse of the Berlin wall!).

More importantly he gives his tips for how you can break in to getting media appearances on a regular basis.

You can find out more about Stefan and his business here:

>> Stefan Drew's Site <<

Subscribe To The More Clients Podcast

The post [Podcast] Stefan Drew on How He Built a Successful Platform Without Email Marketing appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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It pains me to say this, but email marketing is not the only answer :) OK, all joking aside, what is vital for any business is to build a platform: a way of regularly communicating and keeping top of mind with your ideal clients. It pains me to say this, but email marketing is not the only answer :) OK, all joking aside, what is vital for any business is to build a platform: a way of regularly communicating and keeping top of mind with your ideal clients. Email marketing is a particularly powerful way of doing that. But it's not the only way. In this podcast Stefan Drew explains how he built a successful platform for his consultancy in the education sector without using email marketing. You'll see that the same principles that normally apply to email marketing can also be applied to […] IanBrodie clean 32:47
3 Powerful Techniques For Reconnecting With Old Contacts https://www.ianbrodie.com/3-powerful-techniques-reconnecting-old-contacts/ Mon, 06 Jun 2016 22:52:03 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11796 In last week's video I talked about the psychology of reconnecting with some of your best old contacts that you've slipped out of touch with, and I gave you a simple strategy for reconnecting based on using LinkedIn and getting in touch by sharing valuable content. In this weeks video I share 2 powerful techniques that can work just as well, or even better, for reconnecting and adding value at the same time. Watch this week's 5 minute marketing tip to find out what they are and how to use them.   Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More […]

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In last week's video I talked about the psychology of reconnecting with some of your best old contacts that you've slipped out of touch with, and I gave you a simple strategy for reconnecting based on using LinkedIn and getting in touch by sharing valuable content.

In this weeks video I share 2 powerful techniques that can work just as well, or even better, for reconnecting and adding value at the same time.
Watch this week's 5 minute marketing tip to find out what they are and how to use them.


 
Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another Five Minute Marketing Tip. On last weeks tip I talked about the vital topic of getting back in touch with some of your best contacts that you've dropped out of touch with. We talked about the psychology of getting back in touch and I gave you a simple technique to reconnect with people using LinkedIn and connecting by adding value by sending them to a useful piece of content.

Now in this weeks tip I'm going to give you three more ways of getting back in touch that are equally, if not more effective, so I'll see you after this swoosh.

Hi, welcome back, so last weeks tip was all about getting back in touch and I showed you a way of getting back in touch that added value by sharing a piece of content that you've either created yourself or you found. I'm going to give you three more ways of getting back in touch. Each of those also gets back in touch by adding value and you always want to make sure that when you're getting back in touch with contacts who you've got out of connection with that you want to be trying to add value as you get back in touch rather than asking for a favor.

The first way of adding value when you get back in touch is to invite them to an event or something you're going to that you think they will find valuable too. Now the best way of doing this is whenever you get invited to an event yourself, so that could be a conference, it could be a networking event, any kind of thing where you're going to go out, leave the office and go and do something that you might find useful, think about who from your current contact base you could invite to that as a “nurturing the relationship” type activity, and then go back to your contacts that you'd like to get back in touch with and think of who of those folks you think would appreciate going to that event as well. That works really well from a couple of perspectives.

One is they don't even have to come along to the event to appreciate the thought of you inviting them and that means you've got back in touch. The invitation itself gets you back in touch, they might turn it down but they'll be appreciative of the invite and you can then follow up by asking what they're doing now, how things are going, etc., so you've got the conversation going. The second good thing that happens is if you do come along to the event then both of you are outside the normal work environments, you haven't got all the day to day pressures going on so you can grab a coffee or you can sit and chat, stand and chat at a networking event, go off and grab lunch together if it's a conference or whatever. You get a nice piece of time with them to reestablish that relationship away from the pressures of day to day work.

Now the second method is really a step up from the invitation method, it's a way of going overboard to get back in touch with people and that's to organize your own event. I don't mean a conference of course or anything like that, what I mean though is if there are half a dozen or more of your contacts who used to work together or be in some kind of social gathering together or whatever, people who used to know each other and you've all dropped out of touch then you can arrange a get together, a reunion. That reunion could be just drinks in a pub, it could be going out for a meal together, it could be as much as inviting them over to your house for a dinner party type environment.

Either way you are inviting the gang to get back together, you're really adding value because not only are they getting back in touch with you but they're also getting back in touch with all those other useful conducts that they've dropped out of touch with. As the host of course, you then have the opportunity to interact with everyone before the event, as you sort out the invitations at the event to make reintroduction's. There's always a topic of conversation because you're the host and after the event to follow up, see where the things went well, is there anyone that they think you should invite to the next event, etc., etc. It gives you loads of opportunities to get back in touch and you're adding a whole load of value because not only are they reconnecting with you, they're reconnecting with all these other good contacts that they've dropped out of touch with themselves.

The final method for getting back in touch is something I first heard of from James Altucher so if you have not read any of Altucher's books I would particularly recommend his first one, his first big one anyway, Choose Yourself. So do yourself a favor go off and grab that on Amazon. In there you'll find something he calls his daily practice and one element of his daily practice is to exercise your creativity muscle by everyday sitting and writing 10 ideas about something. Those 10 ideas could be 10 ideas for a blog post, or 10 ideas about how to get to work more quickly, 10 ideas for improving my relationship with my children. Of course one thing you can do 10 ideas for is 10 ideas that would be useful to a specific person.

If you're thinking of getting back in touch with someone go and look at their LinkedIn profile, their website, what they're doing in the news, etc., and then brainstorm for yourself 10 ideas that would be valuable and useful to them. You might look at their website and think actually can make some improvements here, or they might write a blog and you can think 10 ideas for great articles for you to write for your blog, or you could look at their business as a whole and you can see that they're expanding geographically and you can do 10 ideas for places for you to go and expand that would be really useful for you. Come up with the ideas, put some thoughts, some research into it, really follow it up, make a good job of it and then make the introduction by giving those 10 ideas.

Apart from the fact that it'll help exercise your creativity muscle and help you be more creative in future, it will also be adding value on that connection. Now if you think it's going to feel a bit weird reconnecting with someone and saying hey, here are 10 ideas for you. Firstly make sure they're not criticisms, they are positively framed ideas. Secondly if it still feels a bit weird saying hey, you can use a phrasing like hey, haven't spoken for a while, it was great when we worked together back in Italy all those years ago, I've been reconnecting with some of my old contacts recently and, as an exercise for myself to help get my creativity juices flowing, I've been thinking of 10 ideas that I think could help each of them in their businesses. The 10 things I came up with for you are bam, bam, bam, hope you find them useful and you give those ideas to them with no thought of how those ideas would pay back or anything, they're there to be really useful to them, but that can really work.

If you read Altucher's book you'll see that when he was trying to get going in business he wrote to hundreds of people trying to beg favors, get to meet them, have a coffee with them and got absolutely nowhere, not a single response. Then he used this 10 idea approach and out of the 10 people he sent 10 ideas to three of them followed up and that got him a gig writing financial articles, which turned into his next business, it got him a gig creating financial software for a big investor, etc., etc. It really does work, people appreciate the thought that you're thinking of ideas to help them and if those ideas are good it builds your credibility and it can trigger all sorts of thoughts with them.

It feels a little bit brief to do it I have to admit, it feels like you're pushing your ideas on them but if you phrase it correctly and gently when you're connecting with them and as I said, you can even say I'm going through an exercise of creating ideas for people when I reconnect with them then it can work and it doesn't feel quite so embarrassing. Eventually people will get used to you sending them 10 ideas if it's something you do on a regular basis.

That's it for this week, hope you found those three ways of reconnecting useful, I'll see you next week.

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[Podcast] Mike Kerrison on How He Built His Consulting Business https://www.ianbrodie.com/mike-kerrison-consulting-business/ Tue, 31 May 2016 21:08:47 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11775 I‘ve got a fantastic podcast episode for you today. In the podcast I interview Mike Kerrison about how he built his hugely successful consulting business After launching 3 multi-million dollar technology firms, Mike left the corporate world to join the ranks of solo consultants. In the last 15 years of running his consulting business he's facilitated over 200 strategic planning sessions for Fortune 500 companies to small entrepreneurial growth firms. His programs have reached over 400,000 people and he has graduated over 10,000 sales and management professionals from his Breakaway Schools But like most new consultants, he had to start […]

The post [Podcast] Mike Kerrison on How He Built His Consulting Business appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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I‘ve got a fantastic podcast episode for you today.

In the podcast I interview Mike Kerrison about how he built his hugely successful consulting business

After launching 3 multi-million dollar technology firms, Mike left the corporate world to join the ranks of solo consultants. In the last 15 years of running his consulting business he's facilitated over 200 strategic planning sessions for Fortune 500 companies to small entrepreneurial growth firms. His programs have reached over 400,000 people and he has graduated over 10,000 sales and management professionals from his Breakaway Schools

But like most new consultants, he had to start from scratch and build his reputation and client base. He also had to learn new ways of marketing, delivering his services, and teaming up with others to deliver projects too big for just one person.

In this interview Mike shares the details of just how he did that. He'll tell you what types of marketing worked for him, how he found partners to work with, how he got his first few clients, and how he got more leverage in his business.

Whether you're a consultant, a coach, a trainer or any service business owner you'll get great insights into how to successfully start and then grow your business

You can find out more about Mike and how he does what he does at his site here:

>> Mike Kerrison's Site <<

Subscribe To The More Clients Podcast

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I‘ve got a fantastic podcast episode for you today. In the podcast I interview Mike Kerrison about how he built his hugely successful consulting business After launching 3 multi-million dollar technology firms, I‘ve got a fantastic podcast episode for you today. In the podcast I interview Mike Kerrison about how he built his hugely successful consulting business After launching 3 multi-million dollar technology firms, Mike left the corporate world to join the ranks of solo consultants. In the last 15 years of running his consulting business he's facilitated over 200 strategic planning sessions for Fortune 500 companies to small entrepreneurial growth firms. His programs have reached over 400,000 people and he has graduated over 10,000 sales and management professionals from his Breakaway Schools But like most new consultants, he had to start […] IanBrodie clean 41:31
How To (Painlessly) Reconnect With Old Contacts https://www.ianbrodie.com/painlessly-reconnect-old-contacts/ Mon, 30 May 2016 16:45:08 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11768 In our last few videos we've looked at generating new leads – new initial contacts with people you don't know. But what about all those contacts, Linkedin connection and business cards of people you met, but didn't properly follow up with? How to you reconnect with your old contacts in a way that's painless for you and them, and generates real leads fro your business? Watch this week's 5 minute marketing tip to find out.   Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them: Video Transcript Hi. It's Ian here. […]

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In our last few videos we've looked at generating new leads – new initial contacts with people you don't know.

But what about all those contacts, Linkedin connection and business cards of people you met, but didn't properly follow up with? How to you reconnect with your old contacts in a way that's painless for you and them, and generates real leads fro your business?

Watch this week's 5 minute marketing tip to find out.


 
Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi. It's Ian here. Welcome to another five-minute marketing tip. We're continuing on our theme of lead generation, and this week's tip is being prompted by this email I got sent by Lauren, who replied to my video from last week and said, “Thanks very much, Ian. Perhaps your next piece could be, what to do with hundreds of leads, business cards, and Linked-in connections we've allowed to go cold.” That's a really great thought, because many of us do have tons and tons of connections that we've generated as leads in the past, but aren't really doing us any good, because we've let them go cold. I'm going to go through how to warm up and reconnect with some of your old contacts and your old leads after this swoosh.

Hi, welcome back. If you're anything like most people, you've probably collected over the years, a whole bunch of contacts, people you've worked with, had meetings with, talked about working together, all sorts of connections that you've then let go cold. Don't feel too bad about it. Everybody does it, but it can be great if you can reconnect with those people, and then keep them warm in the future. A couple of tips on doing that.

The first is, try not to let them go cold, in the first place. Don't lose touch. Secret to that is to prioritize. You're never going to be able to keep in touch on a regular basis, with 500 different people. If you try, you won't be able to keep in touch with any of them. Focus down, and prioritize. Look at say, 50 people. With 50 people, all you have to do is send out two communications every business day for about a month, and you're back in touch with 50 people on a monthly, regular basis. That's sustainable, and you can keep that going. Prioritize, and try and keep in touch on a regular basis.

If you have lost touch, and you want to reconnect, but you don't want to get all embarrassed, and you're worried about what might happen if you try and reconnect with them, a couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly, stop worrying about it so much. Relax a little bit. What's the worst that could happen? Many of us worry that, “Oh, no, I might damage my relationship, if I try and get back in touch with them.” You know what? If you're not in regular contact with someone, you don't really have a relationship with them. Over time, that relationship is decaying, and decaying, and decaying. If you just don't get back in touch with them, there is no relationship to lose. What's the worst that can happen? You get back in touch, and someone either ignores you, or even gets upset, you're no worse off than you are now, so it's worth doing.

On the positive side, you can spin it around a little bit and think about what would happen if someone who you had worked with before, who did a great job for you, you got on well with, got back in touch, after you hadn't spoken to them for a couple of years? Would you be ultra-suspicious and not want to speak to them? No, chances are, you wouldn't be. Chances are, you'd really appreciate the chance to get back in touch, swap emails with them, maybe grab a coffee or whatever it is. It's probably going to be just like that for you, when you get back in touch with people. Certainly, for the vast majority of people. As I say, relax a little bit. Probably nothing that could happen on the down side, and the up side is really quite good.

How do you go about getting back in touch? The first thing is, there's an easy route in, if you're not connected with them on Linked In. If you're not connected with someone on Linked In, an easy way of getting back in touch, is to offer to connect with them on Linked In. Don't do the automated thing, where you press it, and it just says, “I would like to make you part of my network.” Go to their profile, and hit the down-arrow on the “connect” button there, and that will allow you to send a personalized message. Then say something like, “Hi,” whatever-their-name-is. “Just trying to re-establish connection with friends and colleagues who I've lost touch with. I hope to speak with you soon.” Something like that. It's really simple. Nobody's going to turn that message down. They might ignore you. Nobody's going to get upset about it, though. Chances are, most people will reconnect. They'll recognize your name, and they'll get back in touch.

That's where Step 2 comes in, which is really vital. This is a step you jump straight to, if you're already connected on Linked In, or you go to, after they accept your Linked In connection request. That's to follow up, by adding value. If someone has accepted your Linked In connection request, or you're already connected, and you want to get back in touch, go and look at their Linked In profile. Go and look at what's happening to their company in the news. Go and look at what's happening to them in the news, if they're reasonably high-profile. See what they might be doing on Twitter, etc. Find out, and also remember from your previous experiences, what's interesting to them? What do they care about? Make a few little notes on that.

If you've got a CRM system, or something Contactually, do it on there. If not, use a piece of paper. Use a notebook. Make a few notes on what you think they're interested in and they care about. That might range from business topics you know they care about, to, you look on their Linked In profile and you notice they've worked in Valencia for the last year, and you worked there for a little bit, or whatever. Something you think would be interesting, to get back in touch with them, and talk about. You're reconnecting and adding value. The next message you send them, is going to be something useful or interesting. It might be a question. If you spot on their profile, “I noticed you worked in Valencia. I worked there for six months. Found it really great. What did you think?” You're engaging with them on a personal level there.

If you know they happen to be interested in a certain business topic, and you've written an article about it or you spot an article somewhere on the web, or go and look for a useful article somewhere on the web, or a TED Talk, or whatever it might be, send them a link to that. “Thought you might find this useful,” type of message. Reconnect by adding value, either in a personal level, by spotting and picking up something they're interested in that's not business related, or a more business-oriented thing, where you send them a link to an article or some useful piece of content.

From then on, just keep going at it. Do that thing where you can keep in touch with 50 people by just doing two a day, every month. Remember, if you're going to be looking up someone's profile, finding out what's interesting to them, sending them something of value. You can't do that for 500 people. You can only do it for 50 people. Once you get into the swing of it, maybe you can increase that to 100 people. If it takes you a bit more time, maybe it's 25 people. Either of those is a good number to be following up with, re-establishing relationships with, and then building relationships with on a monthly basis. Remember, try and add value all the time. Try and do something interesting and useful to them.

Eventually, based on how the relationship goes, maybe you then suggest a phone call, or grabbing a coffee if they're nearby, or something like that, and enhance the relationship by making it more personal, essentially. Judge it as things go, based on their reaction. If you send them something useful, and they reply to you, and they say, “Oh, that was really great. Thank you very much,” and you get chatting, great. Maybe you offer to have a phone call or a coffee. If you send them something useful, and then the next month, you send them something useful, and they never respond, maybe take them out of your 50 for nurturing relationships with them. Pull someone else in, because they're clearly not that interested in maintaining the relationship with you.

That's it. First tip, don't lose touch. Second tip, relax. What's the worst that could happen? Chances are, they really are going to be pleased to hear from you. Third tip, re-connect quickly using Linked In, and then do something that adds value, and start repeating that on a regular basis. That's it for this week. See you, next.

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Quickly Engage Your Leads To Accelerate Their Path To Becoming Clients https://www.ianbrodie.com/engage-accelerate-clients/ Tue, 24 May 2016 14:39:48 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11727 Sooooo – you've got a method for generating leads (see last week's video for how). You've “connected” with them. What now? You've got to make a great first impression if you want them to quickly progress to becoming clients. And that means three things: building credibility, building a relationship, and building action. Find out how in this week's video:   Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them: Video Transcript Hi. It's Ian, here. It is finally summertime here in the UK. Hence, the casual attire. In today's 5-minute marketing […]

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Sooooo – you've got a method for generating leads (see last week's video for how). You've “connected” with them. What now?

You've got to make a great first impression if you want them to quickly progress to becoming clients.

And that means three things: building credibility, building a relationship, and building action. Find out how in this week's video:


 
Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on YouTube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi. It's Ian, here. It is finally summertime here in the UK. Hence, the casual attire. In today's 5-minute marketing tip, we're going to talk about how to quickly engage with your new leads, so you can get them progressing to being a client as fast as possible. See you after the break.

Hi. Welcome back. In the last few 5-minute marketing tips, we've been looking at the Ace Framework for lead generation, get the attention of your ideal clients, connect with them. That would be, they sign up for emails, or you get their business card. You connect with them on Linked In. Then the final step, which we're going to cover today, engaging with them. That initial engagement is absolutely vital, when you've just connected with someone, because first impressions count.

Unfortunately, what most of us do, we meet someone at a networking event. We say, “It was great to meet you. Have a great time,” and then we do absolutely nothing. We don't do any follow-up. Easier in email marketing. It's pre-programmed, but often in the face-to-face world, we don't do anything. What should we do? There are really, three things you want to achieve with your initial engagement with people, once you've first connected with them, and this is true, whether it's online using email marketing, or whether it's offline, where you're personally nurturing relationships.

The three things you want to do are firstly, you want to build credibility. In some ways, that's the easiest thing to do. If someone's going to hire you, you want them to see you as an expert in your field, so you want to build credibility. An easy way to do that after you've first connected with them, is to send them something useful. An article you've written, a video you've made, something on your website that will be really helpful to them. If you've met them face-to-face, you can offer to send them a copy of your lead magnet. If they've already downloaded your lead magnet through email marketing, make sure they've read it, and send them a reminder of that, and then send them a bonus piece of content that really further builds your credibility in the area you could be working with them on.

Secondly, you want to personally connect with them. You want to build a relationship. Good way of doing that is to ask them a question, and then spark a discussion based on that. In the face-to-face world, for example, if you met someone at a networking event and you send them an email the very next day, and you've maybe linked them to something useful, a couple of days later, a week later, ask them a question. Maybe look at their linked-in profile. You spot they have worked in Portugal. You worked there for a couple of years. Send them a question. “Hey, I noticed you worked in Lisbon. I thought it was brilliant when I worked there. I had a great time. What were your favourite places to go and eat?”, or whatever it might be. You're beginning to spark up a conversation that makes you a human being in their eyes, that they know, rather than just someone they've connected with on Linked In, or met once at a networking event.

Through email marketing, a really good way of doing it is an email [inaudible 00:02:43], ask people what their biggest challenge is. Whatever your field is, send them a short email saying, “Hey, I'm really interested in knowing, what's your biggest challenge in the area of …” In my case, I might say, getting more clients. Yours, it might be teamwork or leadership, or whatever it is you do. Then I follow that with, “I've worked with literally hundreds of consultants over the years, so chances are, I might have some ideas that might be able to help you. Happy to send them to you.” Something like that. Ask them a question.

The key point is, not just the content that comes from the question, but the fact you're interacting with them. You're able to answer them. Remember, even though you might be marketing to them online using email marketing, the more you can talk to them and interact with them personally, the more likely they are to buy. Most of us are looking for people to become clients, rather than to buy lots of little seven-dollar eBooks. Even then, most of us aren't having tens-of-thousands of customers all at once. We've got enough time to interact and build a relationship with people, that some of the big businesses don't have.

Finally, you want people to take action. Now you've already done a little bit of that by sending those useful content, because they'll have clicked through to get it, or by asking them the question, because they'll have replied to that. Think about, in some of your emails or some of your other personal things you do to nurture a relationship, how you can get that person used to taking action. Maybe you can just ask them for a small favor, to do a survey, or like a blog post you've written, or something like that. What you're doing is really conditioning them to expect that when they get an email or any communication from you, they do something about it.

That way, what's happening is, over time, and usually a very short space of time, you've gone from someone they don't know, to someone who A: They think is very credible and knows what they're talking about. B: They have a bit of a fledgling relationship with you. You're not just an email address they don't know, or someone they met months ago at a networking venue. Someone they've interacted with. Finally, you're someone who when they get a communication from you, they expect to do something with it, and they get value from doing something with it. If you do that, you've really accelerated on the route to having them be a client.

Before someone is going to be a client, you have to build credibility with them. They have to trust you. You have to have some kind of relationship, and they have to take action, to buy from you. Those are the three things you want to start doing early, in your initial engagement with them, so that they can do more of it later. You don't want to wait a year, and then suddenly start building credibility, start building a relationship, and start getting them to take action then. You want to start straight away. Get your relationship off on the right foot.

That's it for this week. See you next week, hopefully after we've had a wonderful sunny week. Cheers.

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The Best Methods For Lead Generation https://www.ianbrodie.com/best-methods-lead-generation/ Wed, 18 May 2016 18:59:41 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11698 Last week we looked at the “ACE Formula” with the three key steps for successful lead generation: Get the Attention of your ideal clients Connect with them so you can follow up Engage with them to initiate that follow up and start building credibility and trust quickly This week we look at the best methods for that first step: getting the attention of your ideal clients. No one method works best for everyone, so in this week's video I show you how to decide what will work best for you and your clients… You can watch the video and get […]

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Last week we looked at the “ACE Formula” with the three key steps for successful lead generation:

  • Get the Attention of your ideal clients
  • Connect with them so you can follow up
  • Engage with them to initiate that follow up and start building credibility and trust quickly

This week we look at the best methods for that first step: getting the attention of your ideal clients.

No one method works best for everyone, so in this week's video I show you how to decide what will work best for you and your clients…

You can watch the video and get the checklist and workbook on creating a Perfect Lead Magnet here:

»» The 7 Characteristics of a Perfect Lead Magnet ««

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Video Transcript

It's Ian. Welcome to another five minute marketing tip. This week's tip is about the best methods for lead generation so I'll see you after this short swoosh.

Hi. Welcome back. Last week's video we talked about the ACE framework for lead generation. The 3 big steps of getting the attention of your ideal clients, connecting with them, and then engaging with them. So what are the best methods for that first step of getting the attention of your ideal clients? The first thing to say is you can't demand attention. You need to earn attention. You need to be or you need to have something that's attention worthy. For most of us, that's going to be our lead magnet. Our free thing that we give away that's really valuable to our ideal clients that's going to encourage them to connect with us. If you haven't already got a really powerful and effective lead magnet, go back and watch the video I did on the perfect lead magnet a couple of weeks ago. Go through the checklist, the workbook, and create that lead magnet for your business. Because if you haven't got a lead magnet, everything is going to be so much harder. There should be a link to that video below this one here.

Once you have that really great lead magnet in operation, you then need a method – a tactic – to get it and get yourself in front of your ideal clients to get their attention. There's no one size fits all kind of method that works for everyone. If there was, everyone would be using it and then it wouldn't be very effective because everyone would be using it. You have to understand a variety of different factors that's going to find the right method for you and your client.

The first thing to bear in mind is that the type of business you're in. What I mean by that is you may be in the sort of business where you only really need a handful, 2 or 3 maybe 4 or 5, really big high value clients in any given year. You may be in the sort of business where you need 20, 30, 50, 100 or so customers and clients on-the-go every year. You need many, many more needs. One would be, for example, a consultant working with corporates on big projects. Another might be someone like me who has online training products and a lot of customers for those or someone who does group coaching, for example. Those are very different situations.

In the former case where you only need a small number of clients at any given time, you only need a small number of leads but you need to put a lot of effort into nurturing those leads so you need a lead generation method that's going to be really deep and build a lot of trust. You're looking at stuff like referrals, doing presentations and seminars at events that they run. You're probably going to be using multiple lead generation methods to get into the one client to combat different people within that organization.

On the other hand, if you need lots of leads, then you need a method that can consistently, reliably deliver you those leads at a relatively low cost to you in terms of time and money because each individual client it isn't worth a kind of fortune to you. When it comes to generating those leads reliably and consistently, my advice is to firstly to go through the most direct method.

I remember a few years meeting up with a guy who was a consultant. Kind of health and safety type stuff for larger organizations. He was trying to get leads by going to those local business breakfast meetings where lots of small businesses meet. Kind of plumbers and accountants and stuff like that. Of course there was no one from those corporates he was targeting actually at those events. He bought into the idea that the people promoting the event were telling him that you never know how big the network of the other people at the event is which is true to some extent but it's a lot easier to go to events where corporate people are actually there if you want to meet corporate people. Take a direct route and go to the places where your clients that you're targeting actually hang out.

Online, may will be someone shows you that Instagram is the latest, best method for generating leads and here are a thousand I generated for 50 pence last week but if your clients don't use Instagram, then that method is going to be no good to you whatsoever. A couple of factors you need to weigh up when you are doing those sort of thinking about what the right lead generation method for me is. Firstly, it needs to be a method that's going to reach your clients where they are. It has to be on a medium that they use. If they're in business, obviously they're going to be using LinkedIn. If it's online pretty much everyone is on Facebook. They may not be using it for business but even people in corporate use Facebook. They're reachable through Facebook advertising.

Other methods kind of then depends. You have to look into what the reach of that particular channel is. You also have to take into account your own skills and your own assets. If you figure out your ideal clients go to these events where people do presentations, then presentations might be a good way of reaching them. If you absolutely hate presentations and you rather die than getting up on stage, it's probably not going to be a great method for you. Certainly not in the short-term until you overcome that fear and learn how to do it.

You need to find something that works for you and your skills but also your assets. Some people are short of time but have plenty of money to spend. If that's the case, frankly paid advertising is usually the best, easiest method. By that, I mean pay-per-click advertising or advertising on Facebook, on LinkedIn in a pinch, on Google. Not as good as it used to be. Much more expensive than it used to be but Facebook ads can reach pretty much anyone if you target based on interest, based on kind of looking a custom audience you might've uploaded of your best email subscribers. You can then send them straight to a landing page. Get them to sign up for emails, et cetera, et cetera by offering them your lead magnet. That kind of paid advertising works really well and is definitely something you should consider if you have a budget but you're short of time.

On the other hand, if you're in the reverse situation and you haven't got much money but you've got time, then you should consider essentially partnering. By partnering I mean writing guest blog posts for other people. In certain niches that can bring you plenty of traffic to your landing pages. Participating or running summit. This is something that's been working really well over the last couple of years I've found. I've participated in a few summits and it's brought me many hundred new subscribers. What I've done is I have done a short interview or a presentation that's been part of an online summit. People from all the contributors have been invited to that summit and then when they watch my presentation or listen to my interview, at the end I make an offer for a free lead magnet type thing. A free report or something useful. They come to my website and they sign up. I did a recent summit. I think I got about 300 or something new subscribers for the cost of having an interview with me recorded for about an hour.

A step up from that if you've got more time is to actually run your own summit. Get various non-competing experts in the field that you work in together. Interview them or get them to do presentations, et cetera. Organize that summit and obviously as the organizer of that summit, whenever anyone signs up for that summit, they then go on to your email list and you send them the information about the summit and then you need to disclose that upfront and then you'll send them your emails related to that topic that the summit is on on an ongoing basis. Running a summit can be a really good way of generating lots of leads but time consuming.

Other good ways of doing it joint venture webinars, for example, again where you do a webinar for someone else's audience. They do a webinar for your audience. Both of you generate lots of lead through that from people who sign up for the webinars. That partnering methodology, in its various forms, works well when you've got time but not much money. The paid advertising method, I find, it's the one I use the most works best when you got you're short of time but you've got the money to spend on those ads and you get them to work well at a reasonable cost. Remember what I said in my email from yesterday about figuring out your customer value, your client value, and the value of a lead to you. Once you know what that is, it can give you the confidence to invest in paid advertising.

Those are what I would look for in a lead generation method. Understand the kind of business I'm in, as to whether I'm going to go down that doing things more in-person route or doing things more as a kind of conveyor belt and doing them online depending on whether I need a small number of high value clients or a large number of normal clients. Based on that, find the media where my clients are hanging out that they use. If I've got money but not time, probably some kind of form of paid advertising. If I've got time but not money, then some form of partnering with others and putting the effort in to things like a summit or a webinar, et cetera, where we do things jointly and people sign up for through that.

That's it for this week. Hope that was useful. See you soon.

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The ACE Formula For Effective Lead Generation https://www.ianbrodie.com/ace-lead-generation/ Tue, 10 May 2016 10:43:18 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11596 The next few 5 Minute Marketing Tips are going to be about Lead Generation: the vital marketing step of making first contact with potential clients. In this week's video I reveal the “ACE Formula” for effective lead generation and show you the three key steps needed to generate the right, high quality leads for your business. Find out about the ACE Formula and how to apply it in this week's video… Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them: Video Transcript Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another five minute […]

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The next few 5 Minute Marketing Tips are going to be about Lead Generation: the vital marketing step of making first contact with potential clients.

In this week's video I reveal the “ACE Formula” for effective lead generation and show you the three key steps needed to generate the right, high quality leads for your business.

Find out about the ACE Formula and how to apply it in this week's video…

Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another five minute marketing tip. In this week's tip, and for the next few weeks, we are going to be concentrating on lead generation. In other words, that vital first contact with potential clients. Today I am going to share with you the ACE framework for generating leads and then I'm going to expand on that in future videos and blog posts and e-mails. I'll see you after the break.

Hi, welcome back. First of all, what do we mean by a lead? For me, the best definition of a lead is initial contact with a potential client in a way that you can follow up on. All three elements there are important.

Firstly, it's initial contact. Buying an e-mail list or a list of mailing addresses is not getting leads because those people have never met you. They have never had any contact with you. They are highly unlikely to turn into anything, so don't count them as leads yet.

Second thing is that they need to be potential clients. It's no good getting loads of visitors to your website or going out to networking events and meeting a whole bunch of people if none of them can become real clients for you.

The third thing is vital too. Again, it's often overlooked. You have to connect with them in a way that allows you to followup. Again, it's no use in meeting with people face to face if you don't get their business card and permission to have a followup phone call or an e-mail with them. It's no good getting people to come to your website if they don't sign up for your e-mails or some other mechanism where you can get back in touch with them afterwards and followup. As I'm sure you know, 95% of the time people coming to your website or you initially meet them, they won't be ready to buy then and there so you need to be following up. You need to be having multiple interactions with them and building credibility and trust all the time. A lead is really only a lead if you are able to follow up, if you have permission to follow up. That followup, these days if it's online, it could be, it has always traditionally been, signing up for your e-mails but these days it could also be signing up and joining a group that you have on Facebook or LinkedIn or it could even be that they come to your website and they get pixeled so you can re-target them with Facebook advertising or Google AdWords advertising. Whatever it is, you need a way of following up.

I mentioned the ACE method, and many thanks to my good friend Lee Duncan for coming up with the acronym. ACE stands for first getting the attention of a potential client, secondly connecting with them and thirdly engaging with them. Let's go through all those case steps.

Firstly, you've got to get the attention of your potential clients, whether you are in the face-to-face world or whether you are online. People are not generally looking out to connect with you to become leads so you need to get their attention. One way of getting people's attention is to shout, but typically shouting, either in the form of advertising that just is big and bold and tries to grab people's attention and doesn't have any value or you throw a bunch of spam at them in groups and stuff like that, that typically doesn't work. You get people's attention but it doesn't turn into anything productive afterwards. When they realize you have nothing of value to add, their attention turns elsewhere.

The best way to get people's attention is through value and it's taking advantage of something known by psychologists as the cocktail party effect. The cocktail party effect is basically that if you are in a kind of crowded room and there are lots of conversations going on, one of our abilities as human beings is to really zone in and tune in to specific conversations and filter out all the rest. Typically, we zoom in on the ones that we find interesting. That might be because we hear our name being mentioned or the conversation is something, a particularly juicy piece of gossip or it's a topic we are really interested in. We find our ears tuned into that conversation and ignoring all the other conversations going on around us.

The same thing happens with your marketing and with your advertising. If you are able to hone in on the things that your ideal clients really care about, so their problems, their challenges, their goals, their aspirations, what they want to achieve, what they are frightened of, things that they really care about, if you are using blog posts or Facebook adverts, if you're doing presentations on that topic, if when you introduce yourself when you're networking you're immediately talking about the kind of challenges you help people with and that's one of the ones they have, then they will pay attention. You will get their attention. You're always on safe ground if you're in their world talking about the things that they care about. That's really what I advise you to think about over the next couple of days. We're going to be talking about some tactics for getting people's attention but the main thing to think about is what's your strategy. In other words, what are you going to create of value that really addresses a big important issue that your ideal clients care about. If you can do that, the tactics are much less important, whether you use Facebook ads or blog posts or you do presentations or whatever. It's much less important than having something of interested and value to people that is going to get their attention.

The second step is to connect. Connecting is that step of getting their e-mail address if they are signing up, getting their business card if you're meeting them face-to-face, getting them to join a Facebook group or a LinkedIn book if that's the way you're going to be interacting with them. That's vitally important because unless they do that you can't followup.

An overlooked step is to engage straightaway afterwards. It's great that they sign up for your e-mails, it's great that you get their business card if you met face-to-face, it's great that they've joined your Facebook group, but if they're not really wowed by the initial e-mails you send them when they signed up, if you get their business card but then you don't followup, you don't call or e-mail them afterwards for weeks, if they join your Facebook group but there's no interaction with them at all, then in the Facebook group they become lurkers. In the real world they just drift away and don't become active contacts and they kind of forget about you. On your e-mail list, they gradually pay less and less attention and they unsubscribe. You've got to engage with them early on by you're sharing valuable information, really interacting with them, asking questions, especially true if you're in the service business where you need to build significant credibility and trust in a personal relationship before they'll be ready to buy. You need to engage with them early on. Start as you mean to continue, get early engagement and you can grow from there. Don't let that initial contact drift away.

We'll be talking about all of those three phases as we go through the next few blog posts and e-mails and videos I'm going to send, starting with different ways, different tactics, of getting people's attention. I'll see you there.

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The “Secret Sauce” That Makes Differentiation Pay https://www.ianbrodie.com/secret-sauce-makes-differentiation-pay/ Tue, 03 May 2016 00:35:34 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11513 We all know that we need to differentiate ourselves. To stand out from the crowd. be seen as an expert or authority. Specialise. Do something different. Otherwise, our potential clients don't have any reason to pick us over our competitors or to pay us premium rates. That's why so much of marketing focused on proving to potential clients that you're different. But there's an additional factor you need to show. Something often overlooked, but without which all your differentiation means nothing. Find out what it is and how to apply it in this week's video… Find this video helpful? Subscribe […]

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We all know that we need to differentiate ourselves. To stand out from the crowd. be seen as an expert or authority. Specialise. Do something different.

Otherwise, our potential clients don't have any reason to pick us over our competitors or to pay us premium rates.

That's why so much of marketing focused on proving to potential clients that you're different.

But there's an additional factor you need to show. Something often overlooked, but without which all your differentiation means nothing.

Find out what it is and how to apply it in this week's video…

Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them:

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Video Transcript

Hi. It's Ian here. In today's five minute marketing tip we're going to look at the flip side of differentiation.

We all know that we have to stand out from the crowd, differentiate ourselves, be a specialist, be seen as an authority, an expert, someone different and standing above from our competitors. Otherwise, there's no reason for potential clients to choose us instead of them or to pay premium prices but without this one thing that I'm going to talk about after the break, all that differentiation comes to nothing. I'll explain what it is after this word from our sponsors.

Hi, welcome back. Okay, they weren't sponsors. It was just a little banner thing.

We all know, as I said, that we need in one way or another to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. That can be because we specialize or we're seen as an authority or an expert. We do something inherently different to those competitors, or better than those competitors that gives our potential clients a good reason to choose us or to pay premium prices to work with us but all that relies on the fact that our potential clients will value our differentiation. They will see that whatever it is we're different and better at will result in better end results, better outcomes for them and that's not always the case. In fact, it's very true that in corporate organizations for example, the whole role of procurement, and purchasing, and buyers in those organizations is to try to commoditize you as a supplier, to try and find ways of looking at all suppliers the same so they can trade one off against the other, get a better deal, swap in a preferred supplier that they're used to working with rather than you who they're not, et cetera, et cetera. Your differentiation is only valuable if clients see that it really helps them get a much better end result.

I'll give you an example. When I was working for a big consulting firm, I was the account manager for a big global pharmaceutical company, and we pitched for a job doing a big lean manufacturing project. Our positioning was that we were specialists in lean manufacturing in the pharmaceutical sector because we did a ton of work in the pharmaceutical sector. We did a lot of lean manufacturing and other supply chain work there so we positioned ourselves as having that expertise which very few other companies did. We lost out to a generalist lean manufacturing firm despite all that positioning, despite all that differentiation because essentially at the end of the day, the client decided that for them, expertise in lean manufacturing was important but being a specialist in lean manufacturing for the pharmaceutical sector wasn't. In fact, they saw value in bringing outside expertise from outside the sector in. If a client doesn't see your differentiation as valuable to them, in this particular circumstance, then you're not going to win. They're not going to want to hire you.

How do you make sure that your client sees your differentiation as valuable? The first step is not to persuade them, it's to find clients in the first place who already believe that your type of differentiation is valuable. Now sometimes you can see that in advance. You can see it on their website, in their annual report, you can see that they value specialists in certain areas. Most of the time it's not possible to see whether they'll value your type of expertise or differentiation from the outside. What you have to do is have a very healthy pipeline.

If you've got enough leads, enough contacts with potential clients coming in, then when you have your initial discussions with them, your initial interactions, then you can whether they'll value your differentiation or not from the way they react when you talk to them. When you talk about what you do that's different, you can see whether they value it and then you just focus your efforts on the ones that do. That's why it's so important to have a really healthy pipeline because if your pipeline of new leads and new potential clients is restricted to just a few then you've just got to go with what's in that pipeline. You'll find yourself working with and pitching for business with people who don't value you, they don't value how you're different, they're not willing to pay extra for it and they just view you as a commodity.

The first step is to have a really healthy pipeline so you can pick and choose and focus on the people who value the way you're different. The second thing is to make sure that the client who kind of understands that differentiation is important, really sees the value of it. Just as … Whenever you're marketing and selling I'm sure you have lots of case studies, stories, examples, reference studies that show how you are different. You've got stories about the things you've done that are different, that prove your differentiation. You also need case studies, examples, stories, research that show that that differentiation is valuable. Stories about how because, and it doesn't have to be about you, how because a client chose a specialist in this particular area they got a better result. Studies that show that clients that choose a specialist, or an expert in a particular area, or whatever way you're different, get better results. You need really strong evidence that going with a specialist, or an expert, or someone who's different in this particular way, like you are, gets better results. Then you can move on to showing that you're the right expert, the right specialist, the right person with that difference to fill that slot.

It's kind of like a two step selling process. Step one, sell them on the idea that the differentiation is valuable. Step two, show that you're the person with that differentiation. In some ways that's a better way of selling than trying to bundle them together and convince them that you're the right person first because they're kind of skeptical because it's in your interest to show them that you're the right person. If first you start talking about whether or not they need a specialist, or an expert, or someone who's different in a particular area, irrespective of whether it's you, it kind of feels more objective and they can agree or disagree with that statement about whether they need an expert, a specialist, or someone who's different first. Then once you've established that there's kind of no going back. Then it's all just about whether you are the right person to fill that slot. Then the discussion becomes easier.

Those are the two things to do. One is have a really healthy pipeline so you can choose people who are inherently more inclined to value the ways that you're different and better. Secondly, make sure you're really communicating with people about the importance and the value of that difference, irrespective of whether that difference comes from you, but talk about the value of the difference before you talk about whether you're the right person to give that difference.

That's it for this week. See you next.

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How To Turn New Subscribers Into Warm Relationships https://www.ianbrodie.com/new-subscribers-warm-relationships/ Mon, 25 Apr 2016 23:12:56 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11351 So now you've got a bunch of new email subscribers you're all set, right? Not quite. There's no point in getting a ton of email subscribers if you don't build a strong relationship with them, and if they never turn into paying customers or clients. And one of the most important time periods where you have the biggest opportunity to do that is when they've just subscribed. First impressions count! In this week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip Video I show you how to turn new subscribers into warm relationships, and the best 3 options for what to do with your […]

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So now you've got a bunch of new email subscribers you're all set, right?

Not quite.

There's no point in getting a ton of email subscribers if you don't build a strong relationship with them, and if they never turn into paying customers or clients. And one of the most important time periods where you have the biggest opportunity to do that is when they've just subscribed.

First impressions count!

In this week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip Video I show you how to turn new subscribers into warm relationships, and the best 3 options for what to do with your “thank you” pages and initial welcome emails.
 

Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another five minute marketing tip. It's tip number 42. Who would have believed it eh? In this week's tip, we are going to look at how you can use your thank you page, the page that new email subscribers get taken to when they have subscribed and your welcome emails, the initial sequence of emails they get when they first subscribe, how you can use those to turn cold new subscribers into warm prospects, warm relationships. See you after the break.

Hi. Welcome back. First impressions count, and that's just as true online when people subscribe for your emails as it is when you meet people face to face. You want to make a great first impression when people first subscribe to your emails. There is something I would like to start off with before we jump into the details of what you should be doing. It's something I call the paradox of readiness to buy. You probably already by now that when you first come into contact with people, it could be face to face, it could be a website. It's also true for when people sign up to your emails that the vast majority of people you come into contact with are not ready to buy when you first contact them. When people first sign up for your emails, it may be 2% of people are ready to buy, maybe 5%, maybe 10%, but the majority are not ready to buy. They are interested in your lead magnet. They've got a problem they need solving, but they are not thinking about immediately hiring you or buying a product from you.

Let's say for the purposes of this example that 5% people are ready to buy when they first sign up. That means that 95% are not ready to buy. Roughly 20 times as many people are not ready to buy when they first sign up as are ready buy. The implication of that is you've got to nurture your relationships with those 95%. Nobody really can afford to throw away those 95% of people who could be great clients, people who are ready to buy because they were interested enough to sign up for your lead magnet and your emails, they are just not ready right now either because the timing is not right, not a big enough of a problem for them yet. You haven't built up enough credibility and trust. They may not be interested that particular offer, but they could be interested in something else. You can't afford to throw away that 95%. You have to nurture and build your relationship with them.

You can't just fill the first few emails with sales pitches just for the 5% because 20 times as many aren't ready right now. You'll really put them off and lose any chance of selling to them in the future. On the other hand, and here is where the paradox comes in, most people know that they need to build relationships for the future with the vast majority of people that aren't ready to buy. If you think about it on a week by week basis, let's say that 95% of people it took them about two years to get ready to buy. I don't mean everyone takes two years, I mean they are split out over those two years. Two years is 104 weeks. Roughly, it's just under 1% a week of that 95% will become ready to buy if they become ready evenly over that two years.

That means although 95%, 20 times as many people, aren't ready to buy as the people that are ready to buy when they first sign up, if you look at it on a week by week basis, the 5% of people that who are ready to buy in week one, that's over five times as many as the less than 1% of people who are ready to buy in any other given other week in the next couple of years. Overall, more people are not ready to buy, but on a week by week basis, that very first week where you send your welcome emails is the time at which the most people at any given time are ready to buy. That's an opportunity you can't afford to give up. That means you've really got to balance two things in your thank you page and your welcome emails. You've got to have emails that are great and help the people that are ready to buy, the 5%, make that decision and buy from you – as many as you can.

You also need for those promotional messages not to put off the 95% who aren't ready to buy. You need to nurture over a longer time period. When people first sign up, I find there are three things, especially for people that are consultants, coaches, etc, I find there are three options to use on the thank you page and then then in the followup emails. The first thing is that if you have a low-cost product that you can offer to people, then offer than on your thank you page. Don't waste your thank you page real estate by just saying, “Thanks for signing up. Great to have you on board.” Offer a low-cost product. Tell them you your lead magnet in the email will be with you shortly, but then offer them this low-cost product. Don't offer them a really high-cost product because even the people that are ready to buy are not going to be ready to buy a really expensive product or a really expensive service because they don't really know you. They've only just signed up.

A decent percentage of them will be ready to buy a low-cost product when they first sign up, called a trip wire. Of course, once they have bought a low-cost product from you, and they get great value from that, they results from that, they are much more likely to buy your higher-cost products and services in the future. The second thing you can offer them is a free strategy session or free initial consultation. That's particularly appropriate if you haven't got any product you can sell. You deliver services, coaching, consulting, that sort of stuff. Why not on your thank you page have some text or video telling them what they would get from a free initial consultation or free strategy session with you. Not many people will say yes to that because they would have to spend 40 minutes or an hour with you, and they don't really know you yet.

It is perhaps a bit risky for them. They might worry that they might get sold to. A certain percentage will say yes, and that could turn into a very high value sale if the strategy session goes well, you build a strong enough relationship. Third option is to offer a webinar. This can be the best option. It's a lot more work. It means that once a week or once every couple of weeks you have to deliver a live webinar, or you have to prerecord and set up an automated webinar. When people first sign up on the thank you page you can offer them a webinar on the same topic but going further than they signed up for with the lead magnet. The people that are ready to buy will want to sign up for that because they will get even more in the area that they were really interested in. Many of the people who aren't quite ready to buy but are close will also sign up for that. They will see the value they will get from that.

You then deliver the webinar. You give them an hour of great value, and you build a lot of credibility in that webinar, you build trust and a relationship because they can hear you speaking, maybe even see you live. That means that at the end of the webinar after an hour, the people who were ready to buy already will definitely be ready to buy and be willing to buy a higher priced product than the lower cost one you might have sold them originally. Also, some of the people who weren't quite ready will have gone over the edge, and they will be ready to buy. You will have a lot more hot prospects as it were, and by the end of that webinar you can then offer them a medium-priced product or you can offer them a strategy session or free initial consultation. You will get a lot more of those than you would than if you offered them cold because you have now built that relationship, you've built credibility and trust.

Your thank you page can either offer a low-cost product, free strategy session, or a free webinar which then builds further trust and credibility and offers a medium-priced product or a free initial consultation. In your emails that follow that up, a couple of things you need to do. One is your first followup email, you must check to make sure they have downloaded your lead magnet, the free thing you offered when they signed up. You will be staggered if you looked at your stats of how many people will sign up for your free thing and then just not download it. Of course, if they don't download it, they don't go through it, they are not getting the value from it. You've missed out, and they've missed out on the value. You've missed out on the opportunity to really build a strong relationship with them.

You will want to send out an email to them the next day. Did you manage to download the report? If so, email back and tell him yes. If not, you can get it from here. Try to make sure they actually do download the thing they signed up for. From then on, I would repeat the offer for whatever it is your offered on the thank you page, a webinar, free strategy session, or a low-cost product. Because the people that are ready to buy will be the most interested in that are really just the 5%, I would wrap that offer in at least one content-rich email where you give them another great tip in the area of the lead magnet and logically leading onto the offer, be that a webinar, strategy session, or low-cost product. Give them a tip in that area, and at the end of that tip, say, “By the way, if you would like to take this further and get blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” You make the product offer or the webinar offer etc.

You can also do another last chance one, put a time limit on it. Give them 4 or 5 days from when they first signed up and certainly I do. I send a last chance, hate to nag, but if you want to take advantage of this offer, x, y, zed, you go here to get it. By then, by giving the lead magnet, the great tip, the checking up of the lead magnet, you should have given them enough value already that you could get away with a little slight nag in an email just to say that the offer is running out. From there, of course, you just continue to do your normal newslettery-type emails where you are adding value. You are giving them great material. Of course, you are linking them to your offers as well. You are linking them to either products or services, strategy sessions, webinars that are going to lead to that.

As much as you can, deliver value in an email and then make an offer, rather than just being a pitchy email. That way, you'll both maximize the opportunity with the 5% that are ready to buy, but still strengthen your relationship for the future with the 95% who aren't ready yet, so they will become clients in the future. That's it for this week. See you soon.

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How To Use Landing Pages To Get More Email Subscribers https://www.ianbrodie.com/landing-pages/ Tue, 19 Apr 2016 08:06:49 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11223 Whenever you can direct traffic to where you need it (for example from Facebook, Linkedin or Google Ads or from your bio on guest blog posts or social media properties) you should be sending it to dedicated landing pages whose purpose is to get visitors to subscribe to get your Lead Magnet and regular emails. What makes an effective Landing Page? It really depends on who is visiting that page, where they're coming from, and what their intention is when they visit. There's a big difference in the sort of landing page that works well for visitors coming from a […]

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Whenever you can direct traffic to where you need it (for example from Facebook, Linkedin or Google Ads or from your bio on guest blog posts or social media properties) you should be sending it to dedicated landing pages whose purpose is to get visitors to subscribe to get your Lead Magnet and regular emails.

What makes an effective Landing Page?

It really depends on who is visiting that page, where they're coming from, and what their intention is when they visit. There's a big difference in the sort of landing page that works well for visitors coming from a paid ad who already know what to expect from the ad itself, to visitors from a bio link on social media who are largely coming from curiosity to find out more about you.

I show you how to tweak your Landing Pages to meet the needs and expectations of different types of visitor.
 


The two tools I use most for Landing Pages are:
1. Leadpages. I probably use Leadpages for 90% of my Landing Pages. For me, speed is vital, and there's no quicker way of getting a Landing Page up and running quickly than to use one of Leadpages' high performing templates.
2. Thrive Landing Pages. If I want to tailor the Landing Page significantly (usually I don't) then I'll use Thrive Landing Pages and its visual drag and drop editor to get the Landing Page looking exactly how I want it.

*Those links to Leadpages and Thrive Landing Pages are affiliate links. There are other products you can use, but these are the ones I use myself. If you eventually buy a product from them I'll get a commission. Consider it the online equivalent of buying me a beer :)

 
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Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another five minute marketing tip. This week's tip is all about how to get more e-mail subscribers using landing pages. I'm going to talk about landing pages in a slightly different way than you may have seen before. See you after this break.

Hi, welcome back. OK: the basics of landing pages first. A landing page is simply a page dedicated to getting someone to subscribe, to get your lead magnet, and your regular e-mails. Sometimes called a ‘squeeze' page or an ‘opt-in' page. Obviously the first rule of landing pages is use them where you can direct traffic to where you want. From paid adverts, from guest blog posts, the kind of bio at the bottom, from bios in social media, send people to dedicated landing pages because obviously when you've got a landing page who's sole purpose is to get someone to sign up, you're going to get more people to sign up than if you just send them to your home page where they can easily get distracted by all the blog posts, the social media icons, everything else going on.

Use dedicated landing pages. Sounds obvious. There are still lots of people who send paid traffic to their home page and places like that. Now, when it comes to looking at landing pages, a big mistake people often make is they try and look at the landing page in isolation to get a best practice landing page. There's really no such thing in isolation. You often see people go onto marketing forums and say, “Oh can you please review my landing page?” People will give them all sorts of feedback, well meaning, but often wrong because the thing you need to know about any page is, who is visiting that page? Where are they coming from and what are they thinking when they visit?

Because different sorts of visitors with different things going on in their mind with different intentions on coming to the landing page need different things when they get there. Just to use the two extreme examples. One example is someone coming to the landing page, for example from a paid advert, already having decided yes, I want what it is they have to offer. The other example is someone visiting that landing page more out of curiosity. Maybe from your bio in social media.

Let's look at those two different examples and how you have to adjust your landing pages accordingly. If someone is clicking on an advert, like a Facebook ad, a Google ad, or a LinkedIn ad, then usually in the advert itself you've sold what it is you are offering, your lead magnet and your e-mail. You might say like mine do, “Get your free copy of the 21 word e-mail that could get you more clients”. If someone clicks on that ad, they probably want the 21 word e-mail that can get them more clients. I don't need to keep selling it so much on the landing page. I might need to tip them over the edge a little bit to saying yes, and providing their e-mail address, but I don't need to have lots of bullets and lots of details about why the 21 word e-mail is great because the advert covered all that.

In a way it's a bit like the salesman face to face who gets the sale, but then continues talking and talks himself out of the sale. If you put too much on the landing page then if someone's already decided and they waste their time reading it and scanning it all and they forget what they're there for. You actually lower your opt-in rate. For a landing page where people are coming from paid traffic or from a bio at the end of a blog post where you get a chance to say, “To get a free copy of Ian's X, Y, and Z go here”, you get a chance to sell what it is they're coming for. The chances are that the people going to that landing page already want or are close to already wanting what it is you have to offer. Keep the landing page simple. Just a simple picture of what it is you have to offer for example and a simple headline.

Now the headline can be something as easy as, get the 21 word e-mail that gets you more clients. Now in that case, the benefit of what I'm offering is in the title of the lead magnet, so that's an ideal case. I don't even need to say much more than that because people can see the benefit of it. If the benefit isn't in the title of your lead magnet, so let's say you wrote a report about reducing energy costs, you call the energy blueprint for example, then in the headline you might need to add a few more words that sell the benefit of what's in the report.

You might say, “Cut your energy bills by up to 37% using these five simple shortcuts. Call on the energy blueprint,” or something like that. The headline itself sells the benefit of signing up either in the name of the lead magnet or in the headline. You've got a picture of the lead magnet. You've got a box where people can sign up, get free access, something like that. That's really all you need when you're coming from paid traffic, where people have already decided they want it. Whenever I've tested more complex landing pages with testimonials, with bullets justifying, saying how great the lead magnet is and all the benefits you're going to get from it, that's actually lowered conversions.

Now it's a different story if people are coming more out of curiosity. If you've got a link to a landing page in your Twitter bio for example, then in the bio link you don't really have a chance to say what people will get when they go there. Usually, they're clicking out of curiosity. That's often the case with these social media profiles. People are clicking that link out of curiosity.

Now, if that's the case and you want them to sign up for your free lead magnet, you're going to have to sell it a bit more because they're not coming knowing what it is and knowing that they want it. Usually what you need there, same picture of the lead magnet, same headline. Maybe a picture of yourself you can use if you're trying to introduce them to you and make them feel a bit more comfortable. Certainly a picture of the lead magnet. The headline as we said before that says what the benefit of the lead magnet is, but then you need some bullet points with some more specifics of what they get in the lead magnet and the benefit of those specifics.

I think when I was using the five simple tweaks report, some of my bullets were things like, learn the Dropbox technique for instantly increasing the number of referrals you get. Dropbox technique, a bit of curiosity. What is the Dropbox technique, benefit, the increasing the number of referrals that you'll get. Ideally, add either some testimonials from people who've read the lead magnet, used it, and got good results from it, seeing what the results are, or maybe even some icons of different media where you've appeared or other people's hired you, just as a bit of social proof.

Again, that's probably about it. It's more, it's the picture, it's the headline as before, plus it's also bullets with the what's in the lead magnet, what they'll be getting, and the benefits of what they'll be getting, plus testimonials and/or social proof. Then that's it really. Keep that lead magnet simple and that's what we use. Keep that landing page simple. That's a landing page for people who aren't necessarily sure what they're getting when they go. For your profiles from social media, for paid ads, for links at the bottom of guest blog posts, even simpler just the picture and the headline, I've found always works best for me. Of course, the button or the form to sign up. That's it. See you next week.

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How To Get More Email Subscribers From Your Website https://www.ianbrodie.com/email-subscribers-website/ Mon, 11 Apr 2016 23:24:10 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11208 For my latest in-depth article on how to get more email subscribers from your website, click here. Most people don't get anywhere near the number of email subscribers that they could from their website. In fact on most sites there's huge, untapped potential to get more subscribers from your existing traffic without needing any more visitors to your site. In this week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip I share my 5 favourite (and pretty simple) strategies for getting more email subscribers from your site.   In the video I mention three tools you can use to get more subscribers: 1. The […]

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For my latest in-depth article on how to get more email subscribers from your website, click here.

Most people don't get anywhere near the number of email subscribers that they could from their website. In fact on most sites there's huge, untapped potential to get more subscribers from your existing traffic without needing any more visitors to your site.

In this week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip I share my 5 favourite (and pretty simple) strategies for getting more email subscribers from your site.
 


In the video I mention three tools you can use to get more subscribers:
1. The Plugmatter Feature Box Plugin.
2. Sumo for Welcome Mats, popups and other optin forms.
3. Thrive Leads for Scroll Mat, popups, and other forms – with the intelligence not to show them (or to show alternatives) for existing subscribers.

Personally, Thrive Leads is what I use. if you're an existing subscriber you'll notice that instead of optin forms, you'll often see a promotion of Momentum Club. That's the Thrive Leads “Smartlink” technology at work. It also has the best integration with my preferred Email marketing service, Active Campaign.

My Active Campaign Review is here by the way.

*Those links to Thrive Leads and Active Campaign are affiliate links. There are other tools that can do the job too, but these are the ones I use myself. If you eventually buy a product from them I'll get a commission. Consider it the online equivalent of buying me a beer :)

 
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Video Transcript

Hi it's Ian here. Welcome to another 5 Minute Marketing Tip. In last week's tip I showed you how to use a lead magnet to get more email subscribers. In this week's tip we're going to look at how to use your website, your main site or blog, to get more of those subscribers. I'll see you after this break.

Hi. Welcome back. There are two ways you can get people to sign up using your lead magnet or subscription form. One is to have dedicated landing pages. That's where you direct traffic from paid advertising, or links from guest blog posts, et cetera, to a specific page with the sole purpose of getting people to sign up for your emails and your lead magnet. We'll cover that next week. The other side is on your website where people are already coming; they're visiting blog posts, they're coming to look at your website generally, and you want to get them to sign up there. That's what we're going to focus on this week.

Now the main mistake people make on their main website or blog, when it comes to getting people to sign up for emails, is they're just not overt enough about it. They just don't make it obvious enough and easy enough for people to sign up. What I mean by that is by and large when people are coming to your main website or your blog, they're not coming with the intention of signing up to get your emails. That may be what you want them to do, but that's not why they're coming; they've maybe searched on Google for something, they've seen a link to a blog post on social media, they've maybe seen you present or they've met you face to face and they're just checking your website.

That's why they're coming. Since they're not coming to sign up for emails, they're not on the lookout for a subscription form. If you just have one subscription form in the sidebar of your blog, chances are they probably won't notice it. You have to be much more overt than that. You need to give them every opportunity to spot your sign up forms, and to sign up and to get them down that path of getting regular emails from you so you can build credibility and trust over time.

So five ways you can do that; five of the ways I think work the best. The first is to have a big sign up form on your homepage. By the way, if you are already a subscriber you probably won't see a lot of these forms on my site, because once you've subscribed they kind of disappear. That's part of the Thrive Leads technology I use. If you're not a subscriber or use a different browser then you will see this.

On my homepage I have a big splash across the top with a picture of me when I was speaking at an event last year, and there's a big sign up box there. That's normally knows as a feature box. There are plenty of WordPress themes, for example, that include a feature box where you can put a big obvious sign up box. If people come to your homepage, they're kind of curious about you. If they've gone to a blog post first and then they've clicked to go to your homepage to see what else you've got, that's a great time to offer them your lead magnet and to get them to sign up for emails from you. If it's built into your theme that's great. If it's not there's a plugin called the P”lugMatter Feature Box Plugin” that you can get that will create a feature box at the top of your homepage for you.

Another similar method is to use a welcome mat or a scroll mat. That's where the very first time someone visits your site, either to the homepage or blog posts or wherever, they see what they came for, so they see the blog post or they see the homepage, but then that scrolls down and they get presented with a big, full-screen opt-in form. That technology was created by Sumome – now known as just Sumo, they called it a welcome mat, you can now get it in Thrive Leads. In terms of a scroll mat, works really well. For some reason, seeing the thing you came for first and then having it scroll down so you can just scroll back down to get it doesn't seem to annoy people as much as a popup does. That might change in future. Who knows? But right now people tend not to find that particularly annoying, and it works really well to capture email addresses. Have a look at using a welcome mat or a scroll mat; you can use Sumo or Thrive Leads to do that.

Now popups as well work. They work in very similar ways; people come to your website, a popup appears, captures people's attention, they have to either fill in their details or close it to see what they came for. With a popup you are trading the benefit of capturing email addresses with the risk of annoying people. At minimum what you should do is make sure if you are going to use a popup, it doesn't show for people who are existing subscribers … Or if people have clicked to close it, it shouldn't show again for, let's say, another thirty days so you're not annoying people that way. One of the reasons I use Thrive Leads is it has this great feature that not only does it not show things like popups for people who subscribe through the popup, or through Thrive Leads, it also has technology where you can mark all your existing subscribers not to see those popups.

If you are going to use a popup what I prefer, rather than interrupting people when they first arrive at your site, is to use exit intent popups. The popup doesn't appear when they first arrive. It appears when they move their mouse towards the back button or some navigation bar, it'll pop up there. It doesn't stop them what they want to do. They can still navigate away, but it does catch their attention and it often directs them towards, “Ooh, yeah. That looks interesting. I'll do that.” Again, it's catching their attention when they hadn't noticed the signup box before, and so with their attention they're then motivated to go off and get your lead magnet. So I prefer to use those exit-intent popups because they're not quite as annoying as a normal popup that stops you when you're first trying to get hold of something.

Now the fourth method I would recommend is the use of a content upgrade. Now a content upgrade is where you produce an addon to an existing blog post. You may have noticed last week, when I did my video on lead magnets, that underneath the video was a special sign up box where you could get my checklist for the perfect lead magnet and a workbook to help you create it. That's known as a content upgrade because it upgrades the content in the blog post, and you have to sign up to get it. Typically you get a very high sign up rate for content upgrades because, obviously, it's highly relevant to the thing people have just been reading.

Last week I got, I think it was a twenty percent signup rate for people who came to that particular video, and then signed up to get the checklist and the workbook. Obviously, some of those were existing subscribers who just got it because they didn't have it before. On average I usually find you get about a ten percent opt-in rate from a content upgrade, but that's obviously much, much higher than the normal one to two percent you tend to get on most blog posts.

It is extra work though. You have to produce the thing itself that people get from a content upgrade. In my case I just reused something I'd already created for Momentum Club that sat behind some video training I'd done. In other cases you can take the blog post, put it in a PDF, add a couple of extra points in there. There's still extra work to create the opt-in forms, the follow-up emails, and all that kind of stuff. What to I would do is I would look at your Google Analytics data to see which of your blog posts get a lot of traffic, especially if they don't have a really high opt-in rate on that particular blog post, then use a content upgrade there. No point in going to all the effort of creating a content upgrade for a blog post that doesn't really get much traffic in the first place.

Finally, the fifth thing I'd recommend is putting opt-in forms wherever people are showing more interest. What I mean by that is I have an opt-in form at the end of all my blog posts. I think if people are interested enough to read right to the bottom of a blog post, and some of my blog posts are quite long, they're showing interest. Why not just offer them the natural continuation? “Would you like to get more great content like this? Then sign up for my emails.”

If someone goes to my “About Me” page to find out more about me, then I think, “Well they're showing enough interest. Why not offer them to get the very best of my material via email by putting an opt-in form there?” I have a couple of collections of some of my best blog posts on the marketing mindset, on online marketing, et cetera. On the menus for those where it lists all the blog posts you can go and read, I have an opt-in form where they can get some of my best material. In each of those cases people have indicated an extra special interest in what I have to offer, so I put the opt-in form there because I've already got their attention. They're beginning to look for things. They're not just casually browsing and looking into the stuff, they're actively looking around for interesting material so that's where I put the opt-in forms.

Those are the big five I would use: Big box on the homepage; a welcome mat or a scroll mat; an exit-intent popup; content upgrades, if you can on the high traffic blog posts; and extra opt-in forms wherever people have shown interest in what you have. The one place I wouldn't put them is on my contact forms, where I've got a “buy” button for someone to buy something, or my services pages, because the most important thing you want them to do there is to contact you or buy whatever it is you have to offer. Don't put them there when they've show interest, but put them everywhere else, like your “About Me” page or collections of blog posts, stuff like that.

That's it for this week. See you next week when we look at landing pages.

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The 7 Characteristics of a Perfect Lead Magnet https://www.ianbrodie.com/perfect-lead-magnet/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/perfect-lead-magnet/#respond Wed, 06 Apr 2016 02:26:30 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11055 The first question I almost always get asked about Email Marketing is “how do I get more subscribers?”. And the best place to start when it comes to getting more targeted, high value email subscribers is with a “lead magnet”. Some kind of report, checklist, template, “swipe file”, video or other free resource that will motivate your ideal clients to sign up for your regular emails. But what makes a good lead magnet? Watch the video to find out…   Exclusive Bonus: my free “Lead Magnet Workbook” with the Perfect Lead Magnet checklist and guide to creating your Lead Magnet […]

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The first question I almost always get asked about Email Marketing is “how do I get more subscribers?”.

And the best place to start when it comes to getting more targeted, high value email subscribers is with a “lead magnet”. Some kind of report, checklist, template, “swipe file”, video or other free resource that will motivate your ideal clients to sign up for your regular emails.

But what makes a good lead magnet? Watch the video to find out…
 

Exclusive Bonus: Click here to download my free “Lead Magnet Workbook” with the Perfect Lead Magnet checklist and guide to creating your Lead Magnet quickly and easily. (click to download).

Video Transcript

Welcome back to another five minute marketing tip. For the next few weeks I'm going to be looking at email marketing and, in particular, the first question I usually get asked about email marketing which is, “How do I get more email subscribers?” In the next few five minute marketing tips we're going to be looking at some best practices for getting more targeted ideal clients as your email subscribers. This first video is going to be about seven characteristics of the perfect lead magnet. In other words, an incentive you offer to people to subscribe to get your emails. See you after the break.

Welcome back. These days, it's no longer good enough just to throw a form on your website saying sign up for my newsletter and expect that you'll get a ton of subscribers. Unless you're already famous and you're Tom Peters or Richard Branson or someone like that. The only people you'll get signing up are the people who are already your fans, who already love you and want everything that you're going to produce. What you really want is people signing up who you can then build a relationship with, so people who don't know yet you can build a relationship with so that they do love you and they do want to buy from you.

A great way of doing that is to have some kind of incentive. A lead magnet, a report, a video, a checklist, some kind of copy and paste template that they really will want to get and so they sign up to get it and to get your emails at the same time. Now, in my experience with lead magnets, I've found there are seven characteristics of really effective lead magnets. I'm going to go through them with you one by one.

The first characteristic, and I hope this goes without saying, is that your lead magnet has to be of real value to your ideal clients. I'm sure you've been through this situation where you've seen something that looks really good, you've downloaded it, you've looked at it and you've thought, “Uh … Now that wasn't what I was expecting,” and it's not really been particularly valuable to you. Now, in that case the person who used that lead magnet may have got your email address but of course they've lost your trust and you don't want to do that. You want your lead magnet to not only help you get the email address of someone so you can follow-up with them, but also to build your credibility and trust and to give them a real wow factor so they're looking forward to hearing from you.

Giving real value means your lead magnet needs to solve a problem that your ideal client has or help them achieve a goal. Give them some real results quickly. My best lead magnet has always been my “21 word email that can get you more clients” because that does indeed help people get more calls and meetings with potential clients. Now, if you're in one of those fields where it takes a really long time to get end results then either you can focus on interim results so they can see some movement in the right direction or as long as you're giving them new insight and new ideas and a new perspective on their problem or their challenge or their goal, as long as they're reading it and going, “Oh yeah, that all seems much clearer to me now, that's great.” As long as they feel they've got value from it then you're good to go. Always sanity check any lead magnet you produce with examples of your ideal client to see that they really do get value from it.

The second thing you need, the second characteristic is that that value has to be obvious to your ideal client in advance of them actually using the lead magnet. Of course, most of the people that are going to come across your lead magnet are going to be casually browsing the web, looking at social media, maybe Googling. If they come across your lead magnet it needs to instantly grab their attention and divert them away from what they were doing to go and get your lead magnet. It has to be obvious to them what the value is going to be without them having to read paragraphs of text or multiple bullet points, et cetera. Ideally, the value would be obvious just from the name of the lead magnet itself. That's why my lead magnet has quite a long name, “The 21 Word Email That Can Get You More Clients”. It's obvious from that that it's short, it's easy to use, and it's got good end results, it can get you more clients.

The third thing is that your lead magnet, the value it gets, has to deal with a top of mind problem for your ideal client. Your lead magnet might solve a problem for your ideal client but if it's their number five problem or their number eight problem or their 12th priority, then again, when they're casually surfing the web or looking around for things it's not going to click. If it's not something they're thinking about all the time they're not even going to notice your lead magnet, it's not going to stand out. It has to be dealing the number one, number two, number three priority or problem that they have. It has to be really obvious to them.

Fourthly, it needs to give them new information about that problem or that goal. If someone downloads your lead magnet and it's the same old information they've seen on 100 blogs, you've got to have a vision to be a great leader, work smarter not harder, all that kind of stuff. If it's something they've seen a million times before they're not going to be impressed, it's not going to build credibility and they're going to feel let down. You need your lead magnet to be something new. Specifically focus it on all the things you could write your lead magnet about as it relates to problems that you can solve for your clients. Do something that's unexpected, that's surprising, that you do that other people don't do.

Now, if the real value you give your clients is you help them achieve things that's kind of accepted wisdom, it's already known, they just need to get on and do it and they're not doing it right now, then the best way of doing a lead magnet isn't just to tell them the stuff they already know but they're not doing, it's to show them now they can achieve what they know they should be doing but they're not right now. It's to put a different spin on it, to get them to actually take action. Make sure you're giving them something different that they can't get from other sources.

Number five, is that your lead magnet needs to build your credibility, not someone else's. What I mean by that is if you're using case studies or examples to help prove your point, to give more depth for the lead magnet. Make sure that your case studies and examples are from your clients so that someone reading the lead magnet is going to think not only, “Oh, that's a great idea,” but also, “Oh, they've done this. They've actually done this in the real world. Therefore, they're going to be a good person to want to work with to help achieve it for me.” If it's obvious that you've got a good idea there but you've just searched the web and copied and pasted from someone else's website and someone else's examples are commonly used examples, then it's not going to build as much credibility for you as if you're using your own or your client's examples.

Number six, choose the format dependent on the type of client you're going for. The most common format for a lead magnet is for when you're going for lots of people signing up and you're aiming for an audience that's browsing the web, looking at social media, doing searches, maybe coming from Facebook or Google Ads, and you want a large number of them. In that case, you're kind of interrupting what they're doing, they're in browsing mode so they need instant gratification. It can't be an 84 page War and Peace type tome. It needs to be something that's short and punchy and gives them value very quickly. The best things for that are check lists, they're templates, they're things they can copy and paste. My 21 Word Email is kind of like a hybrid between a copy and paste template of 21 words and a very short report that goes behind it that shows you how to use it. It's something they can get value from and consume very quickly.

Now, on the other hand, if you're going for a small number of, let's say, really high value corporate clients and you're not finding them because they're browsing the web. You're maybe writing to them directly or getting an introduction or a referral to them. Then, in that case it needs to be something more substantial to really build your credibility with them. Now we're talking about a much more in depth report, a benchmarking study, maybe even a copy of your book, but something substantial to build your credibility. Choose the format you use depending on the type of client you're going after.

Number seven, your lead magnet needs to logically lead to engaging with you more deeply. If someone goes through your lead magnet and it solves a problem for them, that problem should be the first step in their overall journey and you're the person who can help them best with the rest of the journey, either from a product they can buy from you, they're engaging more with your emails and your blog posts or maybe they could call you and talk about working together to solve the rest of those problems. Ideally, the problem you solve and what you show them in the lead magnet also opens their eyes to the other things they need to do to achieve their final goal, their final destination. That lead magnet itself really should be the first step in their journey, and the rest of the journey is the thing they do with you.

Okay, so that's it for now. Those are the seven characteristics of the ideal or the perfect lead magnet. Now, if you're a member of Momentum Club you'll recognize those because they're part of the training, The Master Class videos I've done on creating a lead magnet really quickly. With it goes this workbook. Now, if you're not a member of Momentum Club and you want a copy of the workbook you can sign up for that below. It's got the check list and then it's got a whole series of detailed instructions on how to go about building a lead magnet that meets those criteria very quickly. You can download that and get going with it. That's it for this week. See you next week with more tips on building your list, getting more of your ideal clients as email subscribers. See you then.

Want a Copy of My Lead Magnet Workbook and Checklist?

I've created a checklist and workbook to create your perfect Lead Magnet. You can download a free copy below:

Download The Lead Magnet Workbook

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How To Beat Much Bigger Competitors https://www.ianbrodie.com/beat-much-bigger-competitors/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/beat-much-bigger-competitors/#respond Wed, 30 Mar 2016 00:51:39 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=11030 In today's 5 Minute Marketing Tip I'm going to show you a vital strategy to help you beat much bigger competitors – especially when it comes to winning large bids and landing corporate clients.     Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them: Video Transcript Hi, it's Ian here, I've got a really quick tip for you today, and it is about how you can win work against much bigger competitors especially if you're pitching for big projects or looking to win business with large corporate clients. I'll explain […]

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In today's 5 Minute Marketing Tip I'm going to show you a vital strategy to help you beat much bigger competitors – especially when it comes to winning large bids and landing corporate clients.
 


 
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Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here, I've got a really quick tip for you today, and it is about how you can win work against much bigger competitors especially if you're pitching for big projects or looking to win business with large corporate clients. I'll explain how after the break.

Hi, welcome back. So, back in 1838 in his massive book on military strategy on war, Carl von Clausewitz explained that victory in battle isn't just due to the overall number of soldiers or resources you have, it's due to your concentration of forces. In other words, you might have a smaller army, but if you use them well, if you concentrate those forces on specific points, you can win. Napoleon was really one of his models for that. For example, Napoleon managed to defeat the combined Sardinian and Austrian armies despite having almost half the resources they had. He did it by attacking the Sardinian army first and defeating them then recovering and then moving on to attack the Austrian army rather than trying to take them all at once. In other words, he concentrated his forces to where they where stronger and he was able to win and he kept going like that.

You can do the same in your marketing, really. You might feel overwhelmed, you might think, “Gosh, my competitor has 10 people working on bids against me or 20 or 50 or 100 or however big they are.” The thing to remember is, they are always dividing their forces. So, those 10 people who you might be facing as competitors are usually trying to win 20 or 30 clients. Now sure, if you also try and try and bid for those 20 or 30 projects with big clients, then, compared to their resources, you are going to have much less. You are going to just put in a very basic proposal and hope that somehow the client figures out that you are better than these other big competitor or maybe you are cheaper etcetera.

You shouldn't do that, instead what you should do is concentrate your forces. Instead of going for the 10 or 20, go for 1 or 2. Now, if you go to win 1 or 2 projects, 1 or 2 clients, then, you yourself will have more resources because you concentrated yourself, rather than the 2 or 3 junior consultants working 20% of their time and the 5% of the time of the partner having oversight on the bid that the bigger firms would inevitably put on it. That means you can do more research. You can better understand your target client. You can understand what the goals or objective are, you can position what it is you have to offer in terms of that much better than your competitors. You can spend more time with them, you can add more value in the meetings you have with that potential client, you can meet more decision makers in the client organization. All because you are concentrating your effort on winning 1 or 2 projects rather than spreading yourself thinly and trying to win 10 or 20 which you probably couldn't have managed resource wise anyway in terms of delivery.

The secret to beating your much larger competitors is to concentrate your effort and try and win a smaller number of projects. They obviously have to be big projects if you win them. Try and win a smaller number, but put much more effort into winning each individual one. That's worked wonders for me in the past, it's worked wonders for a number of my clients, it can work wonders for you, cheers.

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Be More Liked & Trusted By Harnessing The Propinquity Effect https://www.ianbrodie.com/propinquity-effect/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/propinquity-effect/#comments Tue, 22 Mar 2016 00:35:30 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10989 The “Propinquity Effect” is a fancy name for a simple, yet powerful principle first observed by MIT researchers Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter and Kurt Back in 1950. The Effect tells you the most powerful factor in building friendship, liking and trust. And in this week's video I explain how you can use it as a budding authority to be more liked and trusted by your audience.   Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them: Video Transcript Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another 5 Minute Marketing tip. This week's […]

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The “Propinquity Effect” is a fancy name for a simple, yet powerful principle first observed by MIT researchers Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter and Kurt Back in 1950.

The Effect tells you the most powerful factor in building friendship, liking and trust.

And in this week's video I explain how you can use it as a budding authority to be more liked and trusted by your audience.
 


Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them:

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Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another 5 Minute Marketing tip. This week's tip is about the Propinquity Effect and how you can use that to become more liked and more trusted by your audience. I'll cut though the jargon and explain what it is and how to use it after the break.

Hi, welcome back! If you want to be seen as an authority, one important component is that your audience, the people you're trying to be seen as an authority to, actually like you and trust you because if they don't like you and trust you it's quite unlikely that they'll actually listen to you and believe in your expertise.

Now, one way of accomplishing that in addition to many of the other things I've talked about over recent weeks, is what's known as the Propinquity Effect. Now, the Propinquity Effect was first observed by Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter and Kurt Back back in 1950 at MIT in what came to be known as the Westgate studies. In those studies they basically observed friendship patterns in a small two-story apartment block. What they found was that the most important thing in determining who became friends with whom wasn't anything to do with whether you had a family, your age, your sex, what you're interested in, it was simply how close you were, how close you lived to that other person. People were much more likely to become friends with people on the same floor than they were with even very similar people on a different floor. The only people who were friends with people on multiple floors were the people who lived next to the stairwells.

That's because if you're living on a floor you're much likely to interact, meet, and bump into people on that same floor. If you live next to the stairwell you're likely to meet other people on different floors as they go up and down the stairs.

Its been studied in more detail since and it turns out that the key determining factor is the frequency and regularity of meeting someone, of interacting with them that's much more important than the depth of any interactions you might have or anything else that you might have in common. In fact, you've probably seen this in your own life! Very many of us have quite a strong and long-lasting friendships with people who we accidentally were sat next to in school or we happened to work in the same office as them at work, or we happened to share a flat with them at university. We often have very little else in common but because we're continually interacting over that time period we build close friendship. In fact, you can see it in the world of entertainment too. On TV, the very highest paid entertainers are usually the ones who come very frequently into our living room on TV, the ones with the very regular shows so Oprah, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, Seinfeld, Raymond, all the kind of shows that are regularly on TV, week-in week-out, or, in some cases, day-in, day-out. We see that person on a regular basis, we feel like we feel like we know them, we like them, and we essentially see them as friends or family members.

Now, when it comes to building authority, the same thing is true. While, of course, as I've covered in previous videos, it's absolutely vital to have your own unique content and ideas that you share with people. It's important to have a unique persona. One important part of building authority so that people like you and trust you is simply to show up regularly. Rather than, perhaps, writing a brilliant report, publicizing that, going on a big speaking tour, and then doing nothing else for a couple of years, it's much more effective to just regularly communicate with people all the time. That could be a regular email, a regular video show like this, a regular podcast, a regular blog, a regular webinar, anything as long as you are interacting and communicating with your audience on a regular basis, a frequent basis.

The Propinquity Effect will mean that people come to like you and trust you through that, simply because of the frequency of interaction. So when you are thinking “how do I become seen as an authority?” That's one of the key things you have to factor in.

“What am I going to use? What's the method I'm going to use to get regularly in front of my target audience?” I would advise focusing on one first and it's nice if you can cover every media and be everywhere all at once, but for most of us, we really, initially at least, don't have the bandwidth to be able to do that. It's important to focus down on one method that's going to get us in front of our audience on a regular basis.

I started off with email. Once I got email “sussed”, I moved on to using video like this. It may be that once the videos have been going over for a year or so, maybe I move on to a podcast as well. You can add media over time once you're in control of that first or that second media that you're communicating with people on, but get one sorted first. Get in front of people, adding value, saying useful, valuable things on a regular basis and people will come to like you more. They'll come to trust you more and it will build your authority.

See you next week!

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Boost Your Credibility With A Powerful Origin Story https://www.ianbrodie.com/origin-story/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/origin-story/#comments Mon, 14 Mar 2016 23:21:42 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10967 Ever read a comic book or watched a superhero film? One thing you'll have noticed in every one is that the hero always has an “origin story” – the way they got their superpowers. A powerful origin story makes the hero more credible and believable. Spiderman can climb walls and shoot webs because he was bitten by a radioactive spider. Superman can fly because he comes from a planet with a red sun. Batman is driven to fight crime because his parents were gunned down in front of him as a child. As an expert in your field, you have […]

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Ever read a comic book or watched a superhero film?

One thing you'll have noticed in every one is that the hero always has an “origin story” – the way they got their superpowers.

A powerful origin story makes the hero more credible and believable. Spiderman can climb walls and shoot webs because he was bitten by a radioactive spider. Superman can fly because he comes from a planet with a red sun. Batman is driven to fight crime because his parents were gunned down in front of him as a child.

As an expert in your field, you have “superpowers” too. Clients hire you because you can do things that others can't. And just like with a hero, having a clear origin story of how you acquired your powers can make you more credible and believable.

In this week's video I share a number of effective models that you can build your origin story from depending on your own specific experiences.
 


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Video Transcript

Hi it's Ian here. Welcome to another five minute marketing tip. As you can see the great beard experiment is still going. We're twenty six days in and it's still growing. But more seriously today's five minute marketing tip is for you if you want to be seen as an authority or an expert in your field. It's a technique that will help boost your credibility and your believability as an expert by having a really clear origin story. I'll explain why and how to do it after the break.

Hi! Welcome back. If you've ever read any superhero comics or watched any of the films recently you'll know that they take great pains to always explain to you how that hero got their powers, their origin story. For some reason we find it just that bit more believable that Spiderman can climb walls and shoot webbing out of his fingers because he was bitten by a radioactive spider. We find it a bit more believable that Superman could fly and has amazingly strong because he come from a planet with a red sun. We find it believable that Dr. Strange knows all this weird magic because he trained with the Ancient One in the mountains of Tibet. Having an origin story helps people believe why you have amazing powers.

If you think about it as an expert in your field you have amazing powers too. The reason people hire you is because you can do things that other people can't do. Now usually that's to do with your knowledge and your experience but it's still super powers. If you can have an origin story so rather than your about me page or your introduction being a random collection of fact, if there can be a clear narrative there that explains how you got the powers that you have then people are inclined to believe it a bit more and trust in your skills and capabilities a bit more.

I'll explain how with a couple of examples. What I'm going to give you is a handful of different types of origin story that you can think about and think whether your experience fits into that particular model or you can come up with your own models. It's nice to have either one or a combination of a couple of models that makes it really clear why you have the abilities you have.

The simplest ones and one of the ones that used the most is the “I've been there and done it myself” model. If you're teaching something as a consultant, a coach, a trainer etcetera and you've done that thing for yourself, then you're more believable. For example if you wanted to learn how to become an entrepreneur and you got the chance of being trained by Richard Branson for example that would be very believable and credible because Branson has been a very very successful entrepreneur for a long period of time so you would assume that he would be able to teach you how to do it. Now most of us unfortunately haven't got forty years of experience of doing something, if you have that's great and you can use that. If you haven't you have to look at a different model.

Another good model you can use is the researcher model. Now this is something I hinted at a couple of videos ago when I talked about doing research projects. If you look at someone like Jim Collins for examples the author of Good to Great and Built to Last. He's a high paid consultant to senior executives in corporate organizations showing them how to make their business more effective, to grow, to be more profitable but Collins is never run a major corporation himself what he has done is he studied a whole load of them to understand what makes them successful and some less successful. That gives him the credibility to advice corporate executives. Similarly with Neil Rackham in the field of sales. Neil has never been a sales person for a very long period of time himself. He was a psychology researcher but what he has done he sat in unfortunately for him on more sales meetings than pretty much anyone else in the world, studied them, analyzed them, seen what works and doesn't work. Therefore you can trust his judgement and his training and his teaching on that topic. That's the researcher model.

Another model that works really well is the previous life model. That's where something you did in a previous life that isn't directly the same as what you're teaching now actually lends credibility to it. Some of you may know Joe Navarro for example. Joe is a real well known expert in the field of body language and he trains businesses in body language. He's previous life was one of the founding members of the behavioral analysis unit in the FBI. He did that for twenty, thirty years or whatever. His credibility today in teaching business people how to understand and analyze and look at body language isn't based on having done it in business, it's based on having done it in the FBI. People assumptions is well if he did it in the FBI he must be really good at it so easily good enough to teach in business.

Similar example of that would be in the area of media training a lot of the people who do media training where they teach business people how to be able to handle tricky questions from the media, how to be interviewed, how to appear on TV or radio etcetera are people who were journalist or TV presenters themselves before because who better to show you how to answer tricky questions from journalist and presenters than someone who was a journalist or presenter who used to ask those tricky questions in the past. Similarly I have a friend who's an ex-comedian who teaches people presentation skills today. Again the logic that people have is well he can stand up in front of a room full of drunken people in a comedy club and get his message across to them than surely he can teach me to get my message across to other business people. Your previous life even though it wasn't exactly the same as what you're doing today gives you credibility because there is a common theme often what you used to do is a more extreme version of what you're teaching people to do today.

Another good model is the power behind the throne model. That's where you haven't necessarily done something yourself but you've taught others, you've helped others, you've done something behind the scenes where you've got other people to do what you're now teaching people to do. A good example of that is Mitch Russo. Mitch is a fellow speaker of mine at the Authority Super Summit that's coming up soon and Mitch appeared on my podcast a little way back. One of the things that Mitch has done in his career is he was head of operations for a business that Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes had where he took that business from being very small scaled it and grew it very fast to being a big successful business. It wasn't his business, he did for someone else.

Now particularly in the area of done for you service that's good positioning. The ability to do it for someone else because you look at Mitch and think you know what he managed to grow Tony Robins' business really successfully maybe he can grow my business really successfully. In some ways that's better positioning than doing it for yourself because if someone does it for themselves you might doubt whether they can do it for anyone else maybe if it's tied up with their own personality and their own particular skills but if you've done it for somebody else then people will logically think you can do it for them.

Now the final model is a model I really like. It's based on the been there and done it myself model but it's for those of us who maybe don't have forty years of experience in a particular area but still have some skills we want to help people with and it's the Trailblazer model. The Trailblazer model is where you're two or three steps ahead of people and you're very open about that. You don't say, “I've got fifty years of experience in this area. I'm a real world leading expert.” You say what, “I'm currently experimenting, trying things out in this area and I think you might be able to learn from me and my experiences and I'm going to report my results and tell you what's happening.”

It's particularly good where the field you work in, the field you're an expert is changing rapidly, is very new. Good example of that today would be someone like Jon Loomer the Facebook advertising expert. No one can say they've got forty years in Facebook advertising because it wasn't around more than a few years ago. What Jon does is whenever Facebook introduced new advertising he quickly takes those features, test them out in his own business, see what works and sees what doesn't work, documents that and then teaches it to people in his Power Hitters Club and documents it on his blog. He's able to say to people, “I've been running a test on this new Facebook feature for the last three weeks, here are the results I've got. Here's what seems to work. Here's how I recommend that you should do it.” He's only a few weeks or months head. Now as long as you're open and honest about that I think that can be a really powerful origin story because people feel empathy with it.

The truth is when I first started out in business I probably didn't want to learn much from Richard Branson. He may have been a really successful entrepreneur but in my mind he was so far ahead of me and it was so long ago when he first set up that I would probably doubt that he would understand the pain and the struggles that I was going through. I would probably more likely want to learn from someone who's been successful but had done to more recently and was maybe just a couple of years ahead of me. Then they could still remember the problems that they were where I am so that I'm more likely to learn from them. I feel a greater degree of empathy for them, I know they're on the same path and the same journey as me.

You don't have to be a grizzled fifty year veteran in any particular area in order to be able to give valuable expert advice you can just be the two, three, four, five further steps on the journey. As long as your honest and open about it and say, “Look I'm here I could teach you how to get to here if that's where you want to go. You can share in my journey.” I think that's a really powerful model, people buy into that. Often the most successful superheroes in terms of their popularity aren't the ones who are perfect like Superman, they're the ones who are human like us, like Spiderman and Batman. That may well be a model, the Trailblazer model, that can work really well for you. Either way which ever model you use any of the ones I've shown you or a model you come up with yourself make sure it's very clear to people why you have the powers that you have, how you acquired them, what credibility you have with those powers and that will make you much more believable as an authority or an expert. See you next week.

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How To Build Authority Using Video https://www.ianbrodie.com/authority-video/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/authority-video/#comments Wed, 09 Mar 2016 01:21:32 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10918 A special 5 Minute marketing Tip for you this week, and another in my series of tips on how to build authority in your field. This video is an interview with Steve Washer. Steve's both a personal friend, and a real expert in building authority using video. In the video I ask him what the best ways are of using video to build authority, and how to get started if you've not done video before or are in the early stages with it. If video is on your agenda, this is well worth watching.   Find this video helpful? Subscribe […]

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A special 5 Minute marketing Tip for you this week, and another in my series of tips on how to build authority in your field.

This video is an interview with Steve Washer. Steve's both a personal friend, and a real expert in building authority using video.

In the video I ask him what the best ways are of using video to build authority, and how to get started if you've not done video before or are in the early stages with it.

If video is on your agenda, this is well worth watching.
 


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Video Transcript

Ian Brodie: Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another Five Minute Marketing Tip. Today's tip is very special because with me is Steve Washer. Steve is the author of The Video Brain, the creator of Visibleauthority.com, and Steve is an expert on building authority through video. In particular, he shows people how to stand in their own authority and how to build expertise and demonstrate expertise to attract the clients that are meant to be yours. Welcome to the show, Steve.

Steve Washer: Thank you, Ian. It's great to be with you.

Ian Brodie: Excellent. Today we're obviously going to talk about building authority through the use of video. First question is the obvious one. Why is video effective at building authority?

Steve Washer: I know we only have five minutes, so I'll try to be brief, because on that question alone we could go for half an hour on. First of all, video is one of the more dense mediums, and because of that, it's almost like you've got layers of authority to deal with with video. There is the outermost layer which is the tip or the value that you're bringing. There's another layer underneath which is kind of an authenticity that has to do with who you are and how you come across.

There's yet another layer that's underneath that, though, and that's the layer where you are actually able to stand in who you really are. Most of us have that trained out of us from the time we're very young. We're taught to color between the lines, to live in a little box and to do as we're told, and we may protest against that, but we just do what we're told any way.

To be on video, you have to be a little bit of a rebel, and you have to be willing to say what is your truth because there's no point in not doing it, and this is why so many people don't do video because they're a little bit frightened of that idea. I hate to be so frank with this, but that's kind of what it's all about. If you are, it may not be that, but it probably is that. If you're willing to just take a risk and put yourself on video, what you will find is that it is impossible, absolutely impossible to come at this from a place of neediness, because when you get on video and you're talking to your audience, you are in a giving mode. It's impossible to be both in a giving mode and in a neediness mode at the same time, so video is good for you, it's good for your audience, and it's probably good for the whole world. When you can stand in your authority to do that, you might even change the world.

Ian Brodie: Ooh. Very good. I guess there's a degree to which as you're saying about this authenticity and this you coming through, in a way you kind of can't avoid it on video. We were talking earlier before we started recording this about … obviously I use e-mail, I use Blog Post quite a lot, but there's some degree to which someone else could be writing those for me. I know, I'm hoping people don't believe that. Of course, you're trying to get your personality through and get a genuine you through all your communications, but on video, it becomes very obvious. I mean, it has to be you. You shine through whether you want to or not, I think.

Steve Washer: Well, you can shine through whether you want to or not. I mean, something of you will shine through, but there's another sense in which video is authentic, and that is that the technology itself can be authentic. It's why we use a Logitech C920 instead of the webcam that comes with our computer. We want those pictures to appear good enough that whatever our message actually is can get across.

Ian Brodie: Okay.

Steve Washer: If we don't have a decent mike, if we don't have decent lighting, if we don't have a decent message, that's just not going to come across. Yes, you will come across, but will your best you come across is the message.

Ian Brodie: Part of the thing about video is making sure the technology doesn't get in the way.

Steve Washer: Right.

Ian Brodie: The technology kind of isn't the thing, but it can get in the way and you have sound that no one wants to listen to, where people can't hear you, then that's going to be a problem.

Steve Washer: Exactly.

Ian Brodie: Okay. If video is really good at building authority, what are some of the best ways of using video for example?

Steve Washer: Yeah, great question. I think some of the best ways of using video are kind of the way that you're using it actually, and that is to provide some value to your wider world. If you're in business and you have a client business, you want to have a certain number of clients at a time, you want a certain number of clients in the waiting room, and you want to have a certain number of clients on their way to the waiting room because you can't handle everyone at once. Coming up with some content that you can deliver on a consistent basis I think is key to being able to stand in your authority and deliver something of value.

That consistency, by the way, is incredibly important because you want to be the kind of person who delivers something week after week, or maybe it's biweekly or maybe it's monthly, or even less frequent than that, but it is on a consistent basis. When you do that, people come to know you and like you, and trust you even more. In fact, that's where a lot of trust comes from is that consistent basis. Quality on a consistent basis is probably the highest use of video you can even use, and I would put that even over sales videos, by the way.

Ian Brodie: Yeah, because I guess if you've done that and your audience is already on your side, it doesn't take, you don't have to have the world's greatest sales video or sales pitch for people to be ready to by. They're already ready before they ever go and press the button.

Steve Washer: They're primed. You're just giving them an opportunity in another video by saying, okay, it's time now, and this is the thing and go see if this is right for you.

Ian Brodie: It is a bit like in the entertainment world, that kind of, the highest paid entertainers and most successful entertainers are the ones with the shows that happen every week or happen on a regular basis. The Oprahs, the Jay Lenos, etc., who are constantly in your living room. They become part of the furniture almost if you tune into their show. You're used to them. They feel like a friend, as opposed to the people who maybe are brilliant performers, but you only see once a year. You don't build that sort of relationship with them.

Steve Washer: Right. You want a Cheers relationship. Come to the place where everybody knows your name.

Ian Brodie: Oh, you take me back there (laughs). If someone like a consultant or a coach is just getting started with video, so they haven't necessarily got a whole bunch of fancy equipment like you might have or even I have these days, what are the first steps? What are the basics to get going with video?

Steve Washer: Forget about the equipment. It's not about the equipment at all, okay? It's about who you are. There is a part of you that is an authority at something, and you know what that is, but maybe you've not really wanted to put it out there for fear of being like, oh, I'm just too big for my britches or whatever, but you can do this without being a braggadocio about it. You don't have to be loud. You don't have be obnoxious. If you are the authority, then you're almost obligated to come out there and say that. First you start with that, and then you can stand in front of the camera, or as we're doing now, sit in front of the camera, which I don't normally recommend, because you have more energy when you're standing.

Ian Brodie: True.

Steve Washer: That's what they say. Stand and deliver. Then you can stand in front of the camera and you can even in sixty seconds or two minutes, or in your case, the Five Minute Marketing Tip, you can deliver something of tremendous value, because you're not teaching someone how to do something to the nth detail. You're demonstrating your expertise, and you're teaching them why it would be a good idea to learn more about you and work with you. You can do that with a webcam. You can do that with a C920. You can do that with a twenty-five dollar microphone that you got off of Ebay or something. The technology is not the thing. It's what you do with it.

Ian Brodie: As long as the technology is not so bad that you're all grainy and they can't hear you, etc., as long as it's half decent.

Steve Washer: Yeah. Today's technology is awesome. Anything that is made today you're going to be able to use, just like you and I I think are using the same webcam right now, the Logitech C920. Just using like cams, just regular lighting in my office, which I kind of set up like track lighting, I'm just using regular old track lighting. You're using better lights than I am right now, and I'm using a decent microphone because I had this left over from something else I was doing. Then it's just a matter of setting up the background. Anyone can do that. If you can't do it, ask your wife to do it. You can get that done. A lot of us are just kind of like naturally messy, but even the slightest little thing in the background can cause a distraction. I like your background. It's nice and spare, and it just says, it's not cluttered. There's no other messages competing with the message that you want to get across.

Ian Brodie: You know, that was one of the things that made it easier for me to do video on a more regular basis was just having … we just decorated the office, and it had been the kids' play area beforehand and there was the odd bit of wallpaper and stuff that was from then, and we just decorated the office, made it look nice, and now I can just switch on the camera and I know that the background is not going to kind of embarrass me as it were. Obviously if I zoomed out, you'd see the bookcase and the things lying on the floor and stuff like that, but on that one area, I can just press the button and go.

Steve Washer: Right, right. Yeah, that's what it all about. It's all about making a little system for yourself so that you can get content out on a regular basis.

Ian Brodie: Excellent. That's brilliant. Hey Steve, if people want to find out more about building visible authority, where should they go to?

Steve Washer: How about Visibleauthority.com?

Ian Brodie: Nice domain name.

Steve Washer: Yeah.

Ian Brodie: Well done. Well done.

Steve Washer: When they go there, the very first thing they'll see is something that they might enjoy which is called the First Twenty Seconds. How to sound like a pro when you start your video even if you've never done a video before. It's a really nice piece. It's absolutely free. I encourage everyone who's thinking about video to get it because if you can start off well, then you can finish well.

Ian Brodie: Indeed, indeed. That gets you going. Brilliant. Hey Steve, thank you so much for doing this. I very much appreciate it. I'm sure we'll speak again soon. Cheers.

Steve Washer: My pleasure, Ian. See ya.

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Authority From Scratch: How To Become Seen As A Leading Expert, Even If You’re Starting From Nothing https://www.ianbrodie.com/authority-from-scratch/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/authority-from-scratch/#respond Tue, 01 Mar 2016 02:06:52 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10791   World's longest title. Bold claim :) In March I'm going to be focusing my 5 Minute Marketing videos, blog posts and emails on Authority Marketing: Strategies for becoming seen as a leading expert in your field. In today's video I give my tips and experience on a really tough but highly relevant question: “How do you become seen as an authority if you're starting from scratch, without a best-selling book, popular blog or top-ranked podcast?”. I give my view on what I would do to build Authority From Scratch in today's video…     Find this video helpful? Subscribe […]

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World's longest title. Bold claim :)

In March I'm going to be focusing my 5 Minute Marketing videos, blog posts and emails on Authority Marketing: Strategies for becoming seen as a leading expert in your field.

In today's video I give my tips and experience on a really tough but highly relevant question: “How do you become seen as an authority if you're starting from scratch, without a best-selling book, popular blog or top-ranked podcast?”.

I give my view on what I would do to build Authority From Scratch in today's video…
 


 
Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi – Ian here, welcome to another five minute marketing tip.

March is Authority Month here on the More Clients Blog. I'm going to be doing these five minute marketing tip videos in March and my blog posts and e-mails about the subject of how to become seen as an authority, as a leading expert in your field. I'm doing that for two reasons. One is that it's a topic I get asked about a lot with a lot of feedback saying that everyone realises that it's really a very effective strategy to become seen as a leader, a leading expert in your field, but it's also very difficult, so I'm going to be giving my best tips and ideas and experiences on how you can do that.

The other reason is that starting on March 22nd, I'm going to be a speaker at the Authority Super Summit. It's a three day nonstop event with a whole bunch of speakers broadcasting about becoming seen as an authority from a variety of different perspectives. Some of the speakers I know personally, others I've heard of but don't know personally, others I've not even heard of. All the topics look really interesting though. I don't quite know when in that three day period my talk is going to be, but it's going to be on seven recipes for becoming seen as an authority in your field, and all the tips in the videos and the ideas in March are going to be leading up to that. You can sign up for the event below. I'm sure it's going to be great. Sign up for that, and you get registered. It's completely free.

This week's tip though is about how to become seen as an authority if you are starting from scratch. If you haven't got any pre-established relationships, you haven't got a really popular blog or best selling book, etc., etc., how do you quickly become seen as an authority? I'll share my experiences and what I recommend after this break.

Hi, welcome back. If you want to become seen as an authority, as a leading expert in your field, but you're essentially starting from scratch, what's the best way of going about it? Well if you don't have a pre-existing book that's a best seller or a popular podcast or a blog with loads of visitors, then I would go back to first principles, and for me the key principles are that being an authority really means that you have some valuable, useful insight that your clients, your potential clients are really interested in hearing about that they can't hear from anyone else. That is essentially what makes you an authority. They come to you to get that valuable information or skill that they can't get from anywhere else.

Now typically, clients are interested in three things in my experience. One is what are their competitors doing so some kind of benchmarking; secondly, what are their clients doing; and thirdly, what are the big industry trends in their particular sector that might affect them. What I would do if I wanted to become seen as an authority really fast is I would do a research project. I would pick a hot topic that relates to one of those areas for my clients, what their competitors are doing, what their clients are doing, or big industry trends in their particular field, and I would start doing research into that. By research, I mean I would use my existing network, now recognizing that may not be very big, but I would try and contact potential clients or their clients, whoever is appropriate for the research, and offer to interview them as part of the research study. Now in return, they would get early access to the results, more in-depth access to the results, in return for participating in the research. I'd then interview them probably for about an hour, ask them some in-depth questions about that particular area.

Now I find that it is much easier to get clients or their clients or anyone to take part in a research study than it is if you're trying to sell them something, because a, you're not trying to sell them something, and b, it's quite flattering to be asked for your opinion to take part in a research study. Not everyone is going to say yes, but a number will, and once you've got a few, you've got the ball rolling. You can ask them for introductions to others. You can go to industry associations. You can go to LinkedIn groups where these people hang out and maybe do phone interviews with them. It should be possible relatively quickly to do about a dozen or so interviews with people in that particular field that will give you real insight into an important problem, challenge, area, trend, hot topic that your clients really care about because it's to do with their competitors, their clients, or their industry trends.

Once you have got that information, you've now got hold of some unique material that no one else has because you did the research yourself that's of value and of interest to your potential clients that you can share with them, so you by default become the authority in that particular area because you have the information and the insight that no one else has. Now it's not easy. I said it was quick, but not easy. Obviously you've got to get on the phone, get on e-mail, ask for favors in order to get the interviews in the first place. You've got to do the interviews. They're going to take you an hour each plus any travel time. You've then got to do the hard work of analyzing the interviews and drawing out the insights, and then you've got to write it up, so it is hard work, but it can really set you apart. The fact it's hard work is good actually because very few people are prepared to do it. If you do it, you'll really stand out.

Once you've done it, you of course are going to present it back to the people who helped you out with the study. That's great for relationship building in the first place, and it could turn some of them into actual clients, but then you also go out to other people in that sector and share the results. You write it up on your blog. You do guest articles on other blogs. You do a webinar on the topic. You offer to do presentations to industry associations or groups of potential clients. You do a podcast based on it. You make videos. It might turn into a book if you continue the research. There's all sorts of things you can do with it to promote that expertise and knowledge that you now have that's unique to you and is highly valuable to potential clients, but it all starts off with doing that research to get that knowledge in the first place. That's the way I would go, hard work as I say, but really can pay off. Give it a go. See you next time.

Here's the link to the Authority Super Summit again:

Authority Super Summit
 
Attendance at the summit is completely free – but you will be offered the chance to buy the recordings if you can't make all the presentations live (since it's going out for 3 days non-stop I'd say that's highly likely). I'll get paid a commission if you buy any of the recordings.

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How Value Trumps Relationships (When it comes to Winning New Clients) https://www.ianbrodie.com/value-trumps-relationships/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/value-trumps-relationships/#comments Mon, 22 Feb 2016 22:28:07 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10781 We all know that relationships are vital when clients come to choose a supplier to work with. That's why it makes sense to make building relationships a core part of your marketing. But if you're trying to win a new client who already has an existing supplier they may have been working with for years, then unless that supplier messes up, you'll find it incredibly difficult to “out-relationship” them. Instead, you're better off focusing on trying to “out-value” them. I explain why and how in this 5 minute marketing tip video…   Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More […]

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We all know that relationships are vital when clients come to choose a supplier to work with. That's why it makes sense to make building relationships a core part of your marketing.

But if you're trying to win a new client who already has an existing supplier they may have been working with for years, then unless that supplier messes up, you'll find it incredibly difficult to “out-relationship” them.

Instead, you're better off focusing on trying to “out-value” them. I explain why and how in this 5 minute marketing tip video…
 


Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them:

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Video Transcript

Hi there. Welcome to another 5 minute marketing tip. This one is about how value trumps relationships, particularly when you're trying to win a new client.

We all know how important relationships are when clients are looking to hire someone, but if you are trying to win a new client and they have an existing supplier … and I get asked an awful lot of questions about how do I break into a client when they've already got a good existing supplier… the problem is you can never out-relationship the existing supplier who has worked with that client for a year, two years, five years, maybe even more. But what you can do is out-value them. I'll show you how, after the break.

Hi, welcome back. When clients are looking to hire people to work for them, they're looking for two factors, by and large. One is value; can this person do the job I need them to do and how great a job will they do? The second is relationship; can I work with this person? Will we get on well? Will the relationship gel enough so that the value will come through. Obviously you need a minimum on both levels, but then after that it's kind of client preference as to how much relationship they care about, how much value they care about, but most clients care about both factors.

If you are trying to break into a client where they have an existing relationship with someone that's usually quite strong, unless they mess it up, obviously. If they mess it up it's going to be down here, but usually the relationship is pretty strong. So it's going to be very, very difficult for you to build up your relationship with a client in a short space of time so that you've got a better relationship than the existing supplier. What you usually can do though, if you are smart and you work hard, is build value up so you're perceived as being higher value than the existing supplier.

For example, if I wanted to win a really high value client close to me and I was competing against a typical marketing consultancy that's been working with our client for a couple of years, I'm not going to invest my time in out-schmoozing them and trying to build a much stronger relationship. I'm going to build enough of a relationship so that client will be prepared to work with me, but I'm going to focus my efforts on out-valuing the existing supplier. I want to give that potential client so much useful information, so much value, so much insight before they ever get to work with me that they turn to their existing supplier and say, “How come we're getting so much value from this person? We're not getting it from you and we're not even working with that person yet.” That puts them in a very difficult position, it puts me in a really strong position.

How can you add value? Often it comes down to giving value in advance in your content marketing, but I don't mean just writing the typical blog post that just regurgitates the same old points about “work smarter, not harder” or “leadership is all about having a vision”, all the usual stuff you've heard in a hundred other places. It has to be information that that potential client wouldn't have heard from anyone else and especially wouldn't have heard from his current supplier. How do you do that?

Well, for example, you could share ideas that are new, that are unique to you, that they wouldn't have heard from anyone else. You can go more in-depth into a topic: write really long, in-depth articles. You can use more case studies, more examples, give more practical information than they've ever seen before. You can go more specific to their particular industry or sector or problem. If it's a really, really high potential client, you can even do a tailored report just for them: they'll not have seen that from anyone else. You could even just write and do your content in a way that's more entertaining, interesting, funny, or just better presented than anyone else by using video, for example.

All of that stuff they won't be getting from their existing supplier, so when you're competing against that existing supplier you won't be able to out-relationship them, but if you're smart and you work hard, you will be able to out-value them and that can give you the crucial advantage that'll get you in that door with that potential client … get even a small piece of work for them, for example. Then you'll be able to build your relationship further and easier once you're in there working with them. Then you can take over the account.

When it comes to winning new clients, you've got to build your relationship to a certain level, otherwise they won't work with you, but focus on building value. Adding more value, giving them more useful information, more insight than they'll get from anyone else and that's what will oust an incumbent. See you soon.

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How To Avoid The “Hollywood Blockbuster Trap” https://www.ianbrodie.com/hollywood-blockbuster-trap/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/hollywood-blockbuster-trap/#respond Tue, 16 Feb 2016 01:30:12 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10770 There's a trap that very many business owners fall into when they launch new services and products that I like to call the “Hollywood Blockbuster Trap”. It's a problem that the big Hollywood studios have because of the nature of their products, but it's a problem we small business owners shouldn't have. Despite that, huge numbers of businesses run into difficulties because they try to launch products like a Hollywood studio would, with disastrous impact. I reveal what you should be doing instead in this week's video…   Have you launched a “blockbuster” only to find it didn't sell? Or […]

The post How To Avoid The “Hollywood Blockbuster Trap” appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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There's a trap that very many business owners fall into when they launch new services and products that I like to call the “Hollywood Blockbuster Trap”.

It's a problem that the big Hollywood studios have because of the nature of their products, but it's a problem we small business owners shouldn't have. Despite that, huge numbers of businesses run into difficulties because they try to launch products like a Hollywood studio would, with disastrous impact.

I reveal what you should be doing instead in this week's video…
 


Have you launched a “blockbuster” only to find it didn't sell? Or have you had success with more of a “pilot and iterate” approach? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them:

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Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another Five Minute Marketing Tip. We're back after our mid-season break, slightly more tanned, and back with another tip for you. This one is about “How To Avoid the Hollywood Blockbuster Trap”. It's a problem that the big Hollywood movie studios have, it's a problem you shouldn't have but that very many businesses fall into. I'm going to show you what it is and how to avoid it after this break.

Hi, welcome back. Recently, you might have seen that the movie, “Deadpool”, absolutely smashed all the box office records for the opening weekend for an R rated film. I think it's rated 15 over here in the UK because obviously we're more used to hearing swear words :) The movie's been a huge success so far. I think in its first weekend it earned about 250 million dollars on a budget of 58 million dollars. I've been aware of the film for a long, long time because our eldest son, Christopher, who's 19, has been desperate to see it. He's been sending me the trailers as they've come out for the last year, or at least it seems like that.

What I wasn't aware about the film was that the studios themselves had absolutely no confidence in it so they slashed the budget down to $58 million, which is really tiny for an action film. They tried to get the filmmakers to make it into a PG film to get a bigger audience, but they held fast. They tried to get them to make all sorts of changes to the film in order to appeal to a wider audience but the filmmakers stood firm and it's been a huge, huge success.

Now, the lesson from this for me isn't the obvious one of you've got to stick to your guns and your vision no matter what everyone else says. Because, to be honest, I've seen it go the other way lots of times too where people have stuck to their guns and they've been completely wrong. The people giving them advice have been right, telling them it wouldn't had been right, and the people sticking to their guns have lost an absolute fortune.

The problem and the thing to learn is: it's very, very difficult to read the market. The problem with the Hollywood Blockbuster System is you have to spend tens of millions, hundreds of millions of dollars making a film before you get any real feedback from the market as to whether people are willing to watch it. Even the most experienced studio executives, pollsters, et cetera still get it wrong time and time again. Now, a Hollywood studio can live with that because they've got a big portfolio of blockbusters coming out. Most of them don't really succeed. Some fail miserably, some make a little bit of money, and then some knock it out of the park and it makes back all the money that they spent.

Now, as business owners, we just don't have that luxury of having a big, full portfolio of these blockbusters coming out. We need all our products and services to be hits, to be successful for us.

The good news is, we don't have to fall into that blockbuster trap of having to spend a fortune on each product or service we create before we know whether it's going to work or not. We have the chance to test and pilot. My advice, my guidance is whenever you're thinking of introducing a new product or service or modifying something make sure firstly you test in advance. Run surveys, you actually speak to people in your market. You try and find out whether this is really solving an actual problem for them that they'd be willing to pay money to address. You need a problem that's actually causing real impact.

Then, the most important thing is don't launch straight into Blockbuster production spending your millions and then launching it on the public. Test it out first. If you are thinking of doing an online training program, run a pilot first or run a webinar first where you test that content, or do the content as a blog post just to see whether you have lots of visitors. Whether people share it, whether it works well. Offer that thing as a lead magnet. Run Facebook ads to it, see whether people bite on it, and then test it out. If you're thinking of launching a new training program, for example, if you're a trainer who does live programs, try doing any new programs as coaching first, something you don't have to prepare a whole ton of material for. You don't have to get a whole bunch of people in a room together, but offer it to one of your existing clients as coaching.

Now, of course in that case you won't be able to make as much money from just the one off, coaching one person as you would from a fully productised training course. But it gives you immediate feedback as to whether people will be willing to buy this thing. Because if you go to some of your best existing customers and you offer them the coaching or the one off advice or a workshop on a particular topic and no one's willing to buy that, then it means it's not really worth investing in that giant training course you're thinking of producing. If you're going to be doing an online training course, try piloting it first, try doing it as a webinar series, do it live and then record it.

All these are ways of getting feedback from the market as to whether they're going to buy it or not because they put their hard cash down for a pilot, a smaller version of it before you invest in creating the big version of it. Because you don't want to be in that trap where you just have to try and guess what the market wants because it is so difficult to know. All the market research, all your intimacy with the market is great but at the end of the day you never really know whether someone's going to buy something until you ask them to pay some money for it.

Find ways of doing that on a small scale for every new product and services, see whether it flies, see whether people like it. Of course, it gives you a chance to refine and improve it before you launch it big. Don't go down that route of the big, giant, “I'm going to make an absolute fortune”, product launch until you've got some feedback this is going to work.

That's the tip for this week. See you next week.

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How To Find Clients Willing To Pay Premium Prices https://www.ianbrodie.com/premium-prices/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/premium-prices/#comments Tue, 02 Feb 2016 22:07:07 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10761 Being able to charge premium prices for your products and services is a huge advantage. Especially for smaller businesses and individuals where you don't have the scale to make money from a low cost position. But premium pricing is often easier said than done. One big reason is that many businesses go about it the wrong way. They try to take an existing market or client base and persuade it that their products and services are worth paying a premium for. That’s possible, but it’s hard work. A better strategy can be to find a segment or sub-segment of the […]

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Being able to charge premium prices for your products and services is a huge advantage. Especially for smaller businesses and individuals where you don't have the scale to make money from a low cost position.

But premium pricing is often easier said than done. One big reason is that many businesses go about it the wrong way. They try to take an existing market or client base and persuade it that their products and services are worth paying a premium for.

That’s possible, but it’s hard work. A better strategy can be to find a segment or sub-segment of the market that’s inherently more willing to pay premium prices and to focus your products and services and your marketing on what that segment wants and needs, rather than what the general market wants and needs.

How do you find those premium segments?

Watch this week's video to find out…
 


What are your thoughts and experiences with premium pricing? Please do share them in the comments section below the transcript.

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Video Transcript

Hi it's Ian here, welcome to another five minute marketing tip. This weeks tip is about how to find people willing, in fact happy to pay for premium pricing. I'll show you a method for analysing your market, and figuring that out after this break.

Hi welcome back, got an email from Anna this week replying to an email I sent out talking about premium pricing, and how when you're looking for premium pricing usually the best thing to do is not to try to appeal to the whole market and persuade them that they should be paying premium prices for your products and services, it's to identify a sub segment of the market that is willing to pay premium prices and gear up your products and your services and your marketing for them rather than gearing it up for the whole wider market who inevitably isn't, most of them aren't willing to pay premium prices. Anna wrote back and said, “That sounds great in theory, but how would you go about doing that?”

Really it's a two step method for doing that, the first is to brainstorm various different segments and sub segments, so what are the segments there. The second step is to analyze those segments and sub segments and to figure out which ones are the premium priced ones.

In terms of brainstorming there are sub segments within every market, you just have to go through an exercise of kind of thinking they are.

If you do presentation skills training for example, that's a reasonable market, lots of people operate in that market. Most people in that market tend to do presentation skills training for pretty much anyone. You could segment that market down, you can do presentation skills for training for me, or for women. You can do presentation skills training for all the people who maybe want to get their experience across, or younger people who maybe have a credibility issue when presenting. You can do presentation skills training for business people who want to do training seminars and things, you can do it for senior executives who have to present to their investors, you could present, do presentation skills training for students who have to present as part of, you know, presenting a project or a case they've worked on.

You can do presentation skills training for people who have to present very technical material, or people who want to present emotionally to really motivate and move people with their presentations. You can do presentation skills training for people who want to speak on big stages, or people who want to speak at kind of small events and seminars. Or you can do presentation skills training for people who want to present on video, or on webinars, kind of a merging trends these days. There are all sorts of different sub segments that you could focus on.

The question is, which one of those is going to be … which ones of those are going to be premium segments? That's where the second step of the analysis comes in.

Now I'm assuming here that two things are true. One is that whatever sub segments you identify you have a particular skill, or expertise, or experience that makes your services valuable to that sub segment. If you're thinking of presentation skills for executives presenting to investors, if you've got no experience of delivering that service at all then clearly that's not a sub segment you can go into without a lot of preparation, maybe doing some Pro Bono work to get the experience, et cetera.

Assuming you've got the experience and the skills to do it, and I'm also assuming that you're interested in it, that you have a passion and energy about that particular segment otherwise you'll get bored and move on. Assuming that's the case a couple of questions to ask yourself about that sort of segment.

First of all, is it big enough and can I reach it with my marketing? That's a kind of viability question. Most of those types of segments I've talked about so far easily big enough in any market, but if you look at something like the one about presentation skills for senior executives presenting to investors, it's typically only very large companies that do that. That is a limited market, it's big enough in most countries and if you're doing face to face presentation skills training in most big cities it would probably be big enough. You know if you do live somewhere obscure and it's difficult to travel to a big city, that might not be viable for you because it's just not, you know you just can't reach enough of those potential clients.

That aside, and that usually shouldn't be an issue for most sub segments. The big questions about whether the segment is going to be a premium segment, or as follows.

Firstly you have to think does this segment, this sub segment, get tremendous value? Which ones get the most value from my services, from what it is I deliver. I'm not talking in a relative sense, I'm talking in an absolute sense here. You have to be a bit ruthless. For example, students presenting the results of a project they've been working on, that's value to them to get those presentation skills, but students are not a very lucrative segment, they're not kind of flushed with money, as it were. Where as senior executives who have to present to investors, they get a tremendous amount of value from that because you know, it's worth a fortune to them and their businesses for investors in their company to have a good impression of the business. That's a very lucrative segment because it's worth a lot of money to the people who get that training under the assumption it works, and therefore they would be prepared to pay a decent amount of money for it.

The second question to ask yourself is, is it a growing market segment? I like growing segments because although you can make money in pretty much any segment, even if it's kind of flat or in relatively you know, slight decline. In a growing segment there's usually a lot of money sloshing around, usually people are short of times so they want to hire outside help, and usually suppliers who can work with that segment are kind of in short supply because the segment is growing, you need more and more people able to supply it, and that means you can charge premium prices because there simply are less of you able to meet that demand. Is it a growing segment. For example, presentation skills for people needing to present on video or webinar, that's a growing segment because that's an increasing trend. That might be something you would look at if that was your area.

Next question is, is this area close to the jugular? What I mean by that is, is an area of strategic importance to the business or individual. It might be high value financially you think, but most businesses, most people have a few areas of their lives or their business that they really prioritise, and they really invest in the areas I call being close to the jugular. If you're a pharmaceutical company for example, you tend to care most about R&D and sales and marketing. All of the stuff about HR and distribution et cetera, yeah you need to do something there, but your real investments tend to be made in R&D and marketing. If you're doing presentation skills training, presenting RND results, that might be a good one. Or presentation skills for sales people presenting complex technical material to doctors, that would be high value because those are the two areas that are close to the jugular for pharmaceutical companies. Similarly with any business or any individual there are a couple of areas that are really important to them strategically, those will be the ones they'd be willing to invest in.

Finally, do the clients in that particular sub segment recognise that they have a need. Sometimes it's easy for us to think that it's obvious that they need this particular service from us, but do they recognise it themselves? Are they calling out for help in this area. If they're not it's going to be difficult to charge premium pricing because they just don't realise how important the issue is to them. Thought the methodology, brainstorm the difference sub segments, that's relatively easy, just let your brain run a bit free on that, use some of the examples that I gave earlier for inspiration. Then secondly, analyse those segments, make sure it's big enough, make sure probably the most important question, does that sub segment get a tremendous amount of value? Is there a kind of no brainer return of investment from them, for them, in terms of investing your services. Is it a growing sub segment, that's ideal. Is it close to the jugular, is it strategically important to them, and do they recognise that they have a need.

If you get a positive answer to most of those questions then it should be a premium priced segment, and it's well worth going for. See you next week.

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What are your thoughts and experiences with premium pricing? Please do share them in the comments section below.

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The Most Useful Question In Marketing? https://www.ianbrodie.com/most-useful-question/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/most-useful-question/#comments Tue, 26 Jan 2016 23:11:00 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10754 In this week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip I reveal what I think is the most useful question you can ask yourself in marketing. Whenever I've run workshops with clients and we've been trying to figure out how to get more meetings with potential clients or get them to return our calls and emails or buy more of our products and services; asking ourselves this simple question has always helped us come up with a great answer. Try it yourself in today's video…   Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of […]

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In this week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip I reveal what I think is the most useful question you can ask yourself in marketing.

Whenever I've run workshops with clients and we've been trying to figure out how to get more meetings with potential clients or get them to return our calls and emails or buy more of our products and services; asking ourselves this simple question has always helped us come up with a great answer.

Try it yourself in today's video…
 


Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi, it's Ian here. Welcome to another five-minute marketing tip. In this week's tip, I'm going to reveal the most useful question you can ask yourself in marketing. I'll tell you what it is and how to use it after this short break.

Hi, welcome back. Over the years, I have done dozens and dozens and dozens of workshops with clients and other business people where we have asked ourselves questions like, “How can I get more meetings with potential clients? How can I get clients to return my calls and my emails? How can I get them to buy my products and services?”

Like good business people, we've been very goal-focused. We've taken that goal and we've brainstormed lots of different options of how we would achieve that goal. We thought about if I wanted to get a meeting with a potential client, should I call them, email them, use a LinkedIn message, ask for a referral, should I outsource the job to someone else?

The problem with that sort of thinking is that it starts with you. It's very seller-push focused. It starts with you thinking about what you want and how you can get it. Really, you're much better off starting in the mind of your ideal client. Being much more client-pull focused, starting with what they want and how you can position what you have so that they would want it.

So the most useful question that you can ask yourself is, “If I was a potential client, why on earth would I want to …” Then whatever it is you want them to do, “… Right now?”

Let's give an example of that. Let's say you wanted a meeting with potential clients. Instead of thinking, “How can I get a meeting with …” this particular potential client, think, “If I was a potential client, why on earth would I want a meeting with Ian right now?” That really changes your thinking. It gets you away from all the tactics and the stuff you might try to push to get them to have the meeting and gets you thinking, “What would motivate them to really want that meeting?” That's going to have much more impact than any little tactics that you can use. For example, if you were an expense analyst and you help companies reduce their expenses, then you'd be thinking, “Why on earth would a potential client want a meeting with me, an expense analyst, right now?”

If your answer … The key's also in this right now bit, because if your answer is future focused, if your answer is, “Oh well, because I'd be able to tell them about how I could help them reduce their expenses,” that's future-focused. That doesn't happen in the meeting. The value is after the meeting after they've started working with you and that's not going to get you a meeting. You need value in the meeting itself because they could hire you at any point in time. You have to remember that most points in time, your clients are not looking to hire someone. Instead, as an expense analyst, you might think, “Why would they want a meeting with me right now? Well, I could share some useful case studies of how other companies have reduced their expenses and they could learn from that and get some value from the meeting.”

If you're a leadership coach, for example, rather than thinking, “A client will want to have a meeting with me so we could discuss how I might be able to help them improve their leadership in the meeting and I could be a valuable supplier to them in the future,” again that's no value to them in the meeting, it's only valuable to them in the future so it doesn't make them want to have the meeting right now. As a leadership coach, your clients are not sitting there thinking, “I wish I knew a really good leadership coach who could help me”. What they're usually thinking is, “I wish the performance of my team would improve. I wish I was more confident about that presentation I've got to make next week,” etc, etc.

Deal with those immediate problems. Give them value related to those immediate problems in the meeting. You could offer them a meeting to share some benchmarking on what leading-edge companies are doing to improve the performance of their teams. If I'm worried about the performance of my team, that's a meeting I would have to get that useful information in the team. I wouldn't have a meeting to talk to a leadership coach about what their services are. If I was worried about my presentation skills for an upcoming presentation I've got to make, then a meeting offered to me about three key methods for gaining confidence and making your presentation zing when you next deliver it, that would be a meeting I would have to hear about that because I could use it immediately.

That's the key thing. Ask yourself the question, “If I was a potential client, why on earth would I want to …” And then what you want them to do, “…Right now?” If you can answer that clearly and give your client a big reason to do what you want them to do right now, then many, many more of them with do it than if you just start it from your perspective and started thinking about tactics you could use to try and get them to do it. Use that technique. It will really work for you and I'll see you next week.

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[Podcast] James Sale on What Motivates People – and How To Use That in Your Marketing and Sales https://www.ianbrodie.com/james-sale-motivation/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/james-sale-motivation/#respond Thu, 21 Jan 2016 02:03:03 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10744 This is the second of my two part interview with motivation expert James Sale. In this episode James talks about the 9 fundamental motivations that drive behaviour, and how by understanding those we can get better results from our marketing and sales. We cover how to identify the major motivating factors for people you're talking to, how to reflect that when you're selling to them, and how to adapt your marketing to appeal to the major motivation factors of your ideal clients. You can listen to yesterday's podcast where I interview James about his transition from running a 1-1 business […]

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This is the second of my two part interview with motivation expert James Sale.

In this episode James talks about the 9 fundamental motivations that drive behaviour, and how by understanding those we can get better results from our marketing and sales.

We cover how to identify the major motivating factors for people you're talking to, how to reflect that when you're selling to them, and how to adapt your marketing to appeal to the major motivation factors of your ideal clients.

You can listen to yesterday's podcast where I interview James about his transition from running a 1-1 business to a more leveraged business with products and licensees here.

You can find out more about James and his work on motivation here:

Motivational Maps and James Sale

His new book Mapping Motivation is due to be released by Gower on Jan 28th, you can pre-order it here.

Mapping Motivation (UK) and Mapping Motivation (US)

Subscribe To The More Clients Podcast

The post [Podcast] James Sale on What Motivates People – and How To Use That in Your Marketing and Sales appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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https://www.ianbrodie.com/james-sale-motivation/feed/ 0 This is the second of my two part interview with motivation expert James Sale. In this episode James talks about the 9 fundamental motivations that drive behaviour, and how by understanding those we can get better results from our marketing and sales. This is the second of my two part interview with motivation expert James Sale. In this episode James talks about the 9 fundamental motivations that drive behaviour, and how by understanding those we can get better results from our marketing and sales. We cover how to identify the major motivating factors for people you're talking to, how to reflect that when you're selling to them, and how to adapt your marketing to appeal to the major motivation factors of your ideal clients. You can listen to yesterday's podcast where I interview James about his transition from running a 1-1 business […] IanBrodie clean 38:05
[Podcast] James Sale on Transitioning from 1-1 to Leveraged Business https://www.ianbrodie.com/leveraged-business/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/leveraged-business/#comments Wed, 20 Jan 2016 00:16:44 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10738 Today's podcast is the first of a two part interview with motivation expert James Sale. In this episode James talks about how he made the shift in his business from 1-1 work directly with clients to creating products and licensing his methodology to other consultants and trainers who now carry out the client work for him. He talks about the need to professionalise your products when focusing on corporates, and how to make the critical mental switch from doing client work you love to creating products and managing others. If you're considering moving to a more leveraged business model, James […]

The post [Podcast] James Sale on Transitioning from 1-1 to Leveraged Business appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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Today's podcast is the first of a two part interview with motivation expert James Sale.

In this episode James talks about how he made the shift in his business from 1-1 work directly with clients to creating products and licensing his methodology to other consultants and trainers who now carry out the client work for him.

He talks about the need to professionalise your products when focusing on corporates, and how to make the critical mental switch from doing client work you love to creating products and managing others.

If you're considering moving to a more leveraged business model, James has some great nuggets of wisdom to share that will help you make faster progress and avoid the pitfalls.

You can listen to Part 2 of my interview with James where we shift gears and talk about his topic of expertise: motivation, and how we can use an understanding of what makes our clients tick to market and sell better here.

You can find out more about James and his work on motivation here:

Motivational Maps and James Sale

His new book Mapping Motivation is due to be released by Gower on Jan 28th, you can pre-order it here.

Mapping Motivation (UK) and Mapping Motivation (US)

Subscribe To The More Clients Podcast

The post [Podcast] James Sale on Transitioning from 1-1 to Leveraged Business appeared first on Ian Brodie.

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https://www.ianbrodie.com/leveraged-business/feed/ 1 Today's podcast is the first of a two part interview with motivation expert James Sale. In this episode James talks about how he made the shift in his business from 1-1 work directly with clients to creating products and licensing his methodology to ot... Today's podcast is the first of a two part interview with motivation expert James Sale. In this episode James talks about how he made the shift in his business from 1-1 work directly with clients to creating products and licensing his methodology to other consultants and trainers who now carry out the client work for him. He talks about the need to professionalise your products when focusing on corporates, and how to make the critical mental switch from doing client work you love to creating products and managing others. If you're considering moving to a more leveraged business model, James […] IanBrodie clean 40:21
How To Do an Expert Interview to Get High Quality Content Quickly and Easily https://www.ianbrodie.com/expert-interview/ https://www.ianbrodie.com/expert-interview/#respond Tue, 19 Jan 2016 02:03:45 +0000 http://www.ianbrodie.com/?p=10732 Hey there :) In last week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip I showed you how to come up with 100 ideas for content for blog posts, articles, videos and podcasts. In my follow-up emails to my email subscribers I also shared a few of the best methods for creating content quickly and easily. One of those was the “Expert Interview”. I got an email back from Kevin who asked for more details on how to do Expert Interviews. And since they're one of the very best ways to create high value content without needing to do a lot of the work […]

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Hey there :)

In last week's 5 Minute Marketing Tip I showed you how to come up with 100 ideas for content for blog posts, articles, videos and podcasts.

In my follow-up emails to my email subscribers I also shared a few of the best methods for creating content quickly and easily. One of those was the “Expert Interview”.

I got an email back from Kevin who asked for more details on how to do Expert Interviews. And since they're one of the very best ways to create high value content without needing to do a lot of the work yourself, I thought I'd share the tips on this week's video.

So watch the video to find out what Expert Interviews are, how to find the right experts to interview and what questions to ask to get the most from them.
 

A couple of good audio players/podcast services are Libsyn and Blubrry.

I edit my podcasts/audios with Audacity, and then use Auphonic to tidy up the final audio file and add my jingles etc.

Find this video helpful? Subscribe to the More Clients TV channel on youtube to get more of them:

subscribetomctv

Video Transcript

Hi it's Ian here, welcome to another five minute marketing tip. In last week's video, I showed you how to come up with a hundred ideas for content for blog posts, articles, videos and podcasts. Hopefully many of you are underway creating those. I know a lot of people found that a really helpful start from the comments below the video. Now in my follow-up emails that I did to email subscribers only, I shared a couple of really great ways of producing that content very quickly and easily without a lot of effort yourself. One of those ways was the expert interview and I got an email back from Kevin, one of my subscribers, asking for more details about how to do expert interviews. That's what I'm going to cover on this week's five minute marketing tip video. How to do expert interview videos because it really is an excellent way of getting really high quality content for your website without a lot of time and effort spent by you. I'll see you after the break.

Hi, welcome back. So firstly what is an expert interview? An expert interview is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. It's where you interview an expert and use the content on your website. Now typically you do an audio interview so you'll do the interview on Skype or on a teleconference service. You'll record the call and then with minimal editing, because usually it happens all in one take because it doesn't need to be word perfect, you kind of top and tail it. Cut off the hello, how you doing type stuff before you start the interview and cut off the oh was that any good at the end. You've got an interview. Now you can use that interview, some people use it as a podcast obviously but you don't even need to go that far. You can just use it as an audio file with a player on your website. I'll put down some of the technologies underneath the video.

Now expert interviews are great because you get expert input, really great ideas that will be valuable to your audience, your clients and potential clients to share on your website but because it's someone else giving the content, you don't have to do a lot of work yourself. It's really a win-win because it's not a lot of work for the person who you interview as well. It's much easier for them to come on Skype with you for twenty, thirty minutes and answer a bunch of questions than it is for them to sit down and type an article out from scratch. It's really good for them as well because it builds their credibility. They get exposed to a wider audience, gives them a link back to their website and, as I said, it's pretty easy to do. All in all it's a win for both sides.

Who are the sort of people you can interview for your podcast or for just an audio on your website? Anyone who is an expert, whose opinion and ideas would be valuable to your target audience, your clients, potential clients. Think through what might people want to hear, who has useful information about that. That could be another expert in the field a bit like you especially valuable there are people who have just written a book or are launching a new program. Obviously they'll want to get out and promote that book or promote that program so they will be very willing to come on your podcast or record an audio interview with you. I've found that pretty much anyone who is an expert is quite willing to hop on a call for twenty minutes and record an interview. It's not that onerous so people are very happy to do it given that it gives them more publicity, more visitors, more exposure.

Now the other people who it's great to interview are role models for your audience. For example if you teach, I don't know, if you teach bookkeepers how to run a successful business then you might want to interview either your clients or well known bookkeepers, if there are such people who are doing well, for their tips on how they became successful. If you offer services to authors or bookkeepers or retail businesses or whoever it might be, you can run a podcast where you interview successful people in that particular field about how they became successful and their back story etc. They become role models for your audience, the people listening to that podcast. Two different types of people and all you do is, even if you know them already, you can phone them up or shoot off a quick email. Tell them about the podcast or the audio interviews you're going to be doing and asking if they'd like to participate. Most of them will say yes.

What kind of questions can you ask? There are two different sorts of interview. One which you often do if you do that role model interview where you're interviewing lots of the same type of person, so if you're interviewing lots of start-up businesses as to how they succeeded in starting up, you'll probably ask the same questions to each of them. Just think through what would my audience be interested in hearing from these people? You might ask them, usually start off with some kind of question about their back story, how did they get started? How did they particularly get into this field? What made them interested in this field etc? An easy question to get them going and then you ask about what were some of the significant events? What are their biggest learnings from when they started up? If they could go back in time, what would be the biggest thing they would change? What would be their number one piece of advice for the listeners?

Many of the questions that we came up with and the topics we came up with in last week's video for topics you can write articles about, those all work really well. Be sure to at the start, obviously ask them beforehand how they'd like to be introduced, and at the end hand it over to them to give them a little bit of publicity. Say, “If people wanted to find out more about you and what you do, where should they go?” Then it gives them a chance to promote their website. Now the other type of interview is a unique interview where the questions are very specific to the person you're interviewing. That's normally the type you do if you were interviewing someone who has just written a book or has a new program coming out. What you do in that case is you get a copy of the book, you either buy it or often they'll send you a copy free and you skim read it or ideally read it fully.

Go through it and mark out the points that you think would be really interesting to your audience. Then just ask questions that allow the person you're interviewing to elaborate on those particular points and bring those points out. I've done that with a number of my interviews. In fact a really good way of knowing how to do them and what questions to ask is to subscribe to podcasts or to go to websites with these interviews. I've done a number but if you look in your own particular field or the business field generally, you can usually find a bunch of podcasts on ITunes where people do interviews. See what sort of questions they ask, don't use the same questions, but get an idea of the flavor and what questions help bring out the most insight for your audience. Of course the final thing you can do is you can ask the person you're interviewing if there are any particular questions they would like to be asked that will help bring out the best insights and the best information that they've got.

I often do that. If people are interviewing me about email marketing, I've got a set of questions usually about how do I get more subscribers? How do I engage them and get people to open my emails or get people to take action on my emails? Some kind of standard ones that I know will be interesting to any audience. If anyone wants to interview me those are the ones I always suggest as questions. That's basically how to do expert interviews. You find the right people, fairly easy, you ask them and then you send the questions in advance. Ask those sort of questions that you think will bring out the best from them, that will be insightful to your audience. After that all you do, as I said, top and tail the interview. Get rid of the blather at the beginning and the end util you properly start the interview. I use a little service called Auphonic that I upload to and it levels out the volumes, adds my jingle on the front and the back. You're done.

You've got an audio file, you can then upload that to an audio player on your website. As I say I'll mention a couple below. Or you can upload it into ITunes as well as a podcast so all great ways of getting content for your website pretty easily. Really all the content is coming from other people but the more of these experts you interview, the more you become seen as an expert yourself. It really helps to put you as part of that expert community. That's it for now, see you next week.

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