How I Stopped Wasting Time on Cheap Marketing and Tripled My Business With This One Experiment

In the last two decades, we’ve watched society transform with the evolution of technology and access to information. Transportation, communication, commerce, food, business, education…every industry has evolved more rapidly than ever before.

A generation ago, words like “startup” or “solopreneur” weren’t even part of our vocabulary. The majority of entrepreneurs or small business owners were local businesses, often with brick-and-mortar locations. The rest of the workforce worked in jobs that often provided healthcare benefits, pension plans and steady employment for decades. People worked and planned for retirement, with two weeks of vacation days allotted each year.

If you launch a business now, you can apply and receive a business license, put up a website and get business cards printed in a day.

While it’s easier than ever to start a business, the number of small businesses that fail remains dismal: according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% fail in their first year, and about 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year.

When it’s so quick and easy to start a business, when it’s no longer so expensive to manufacture prototypes to test ideas, when connecting with people is instantaneous, when you can learn anything whenever you want, wouldn’t you think people would have better success with business?

If time, money, connecting and education aren’t the problem, what else could it be?

I think the problem is that, even though things in the world around us are improving, something inside of us is not: our communication skills.

Communication, more than just speaking to one another, is defined as “the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings.”

With so much communication happening around us in every moment, it seems to me that the amount of information that we receive, understand and respond to without distraction is decreasing.

If you’ve started a business in the last 10 or 15 years, you’ve no doubt been inspired by the opportunities to reach your market cheaper, faster and easier than ever before. But if you find yourself surprised that it hasn’t happened as easily as you thought, you’re not alone.

I’ve been working in online marketing since 2008, and have personally worked with hundreds of hopeful entrepreneurs ready to make it big by attracting customers through blogging, Google and Facebook ads, email newsletters, membership sites, social media, YouTube, etc. These are all viable strategies, and they continue to evolve with opportunities.

But, again, with these fantastic tools at your fingertips, none will do you any good if you aren’t great at communication.

The inspiring thing about this is that communication skills are something you can improve — without risk, and inexpensively! What have you got to lose by investing a couple months studying how to be a better communicator? It’s an opportunity with virtually no downside and exponential upsides.

What if you started by experimenting with new strategies for connecting with people for one week? And when you do connect, what if you tried a new approach to communicating?

For example, let’s say you’ve launched your own business and have grown enough that you’re overwhelmed. You need help. But maybe you can’t afford a local employee yet. Or maybe you aren’t comfortable hiring someone and becoming a boss. Maybe you’re not sure exactly what to have them do yet. So you keep doing it all yourself, knowing you’re at your limit but not being able to move past it.

Now you decide to take this as an experiment with improving communication skills, because you have nothing to lose. What if you listed a few basic tasks that you could outsource, and connected with a local college to find an intern to work with?

You could approach it as an opportunity for you both to learn from one another, gain experience and build a greater system as a result. Starting with a few hours a week, it could fit your budget and be easier to adjust to delegating. You could create a 3-month internship to start, taking the pressure off of both of you to be perfect. The intern’s enthusiasm and fresh ideas could inspire you, and you’d end up with expanded communication skills as you mentor them and organize your business tasks.

Let’s take another example. Let’s say you have a product or service that you think is valuable but you can’t seem to get traction finding new customers. You try Google and Facebook ads, you put up signs…nothing seems to bring in new business. But you know that once you talk with someone, you can interest them. How can you get the phone to ring?

You decide to experiment with improving your communication skills, because you have nothing to lose. What if you tried connecting with new people by starting a YouTube channel where you taught about your area of expertise? By sharing information, you’d attract people interested in your market. You could offer product reviews, suggestions and tips, tutorials, case studies, interviews with experts, etc. With the approach of offering education and value, you’d learn to share your product or service ideas in a new context. Your communication would be received differently than it would as a sales pitch from an ad.

In a world where connecting and doing business in the world outside of us is easier than ever before, perhaps the greatest opportunities lie in shifting what’s inside of us.

In the few moments it would take you to make a social media post for your business or order a new run of business cards, could you experiment with communicating in another way?

Could you mail a card with a clip of an intriguing article to a favorite client? Could you make a 60-second video on your phone asking a new prospect about their goals and how you could help them with it? Could you plan a small dinner party with two colleagues you think should meet each other?

Improving your communication skills is an investment with the potential for massive ROI — in your business and your life.

How to Tap Into the Desire Of Your Customer

Putting up your website, setting up social media profiles and driving traffic to your site are all topics we’ve chatted about here on the blog over the past couple years.

When you have the website, you have the social media pages and you are getting traffic…how do you turn the traffic into customers?

By having what they want?

Sure. Yes, that’s an awesome start.

But maybe they don’t know that they want what you have. Maybe you have a self-help course, and what they think they want is dating advice.

Or maybe you’re offering search engine optimization services and they don’t know what “SEO” is.

Or perhaps you’re offering the same thing that 100,000+ other people are offering, like weight loss or money-making advice.

Or maybe you have a very traditional product that can be purchased from multiple websites…so why exactly would they purchase from you vs. the other guy?

This is when the message you put on your website, social media updates, emails and other marketing materials needs to go beyond simply featuring what you have.

It needs to tap into the desire of your customer.

Tapping Into Desires and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

If you’re going to inspire someone into action (like calling you or buying from you), you have to go beyond showcasing your logo and what you’re selling. People don’t take action until they turn a need into an actual want or desire.

You have to get into the mind of your customer, and consider their needs and desires. When you speak to those desires, you’re speaking to the outcome that they want to get by interacting with you. You’ll skyrocket the perceived value of your offer when your prospect thinks you really *get* their desires.

What kind of desires might you speak to?

1. Feeling safe and secure
2. Making, saving or having more money
3. Feeling sexy or attractive
4. Finding sex and love
5. Self expression
6. Pain relief/better health/more energy
7. Better lifestyle/more happiness
8. Fame/recognition/acknowledgement
9. Self-improvement or (spiritual) growth
10. Having an impact and making a difference

These desires correlate to the universal human needs that psychologist Abraham Maslow identified in his famous Hierarchy of Needs.

Every human has these desires on some level, some stronger than others. They change as we get certain needs met throughout our life. But most of our actions, urges and purchases come from a desire to fulfill one of these needs.

How might your message change if you know people are buying your product due to a need to feel sexy and attractive? For example, maybe you’re not just selling all-natural skin care products made from essential oils. Maybe you’re selling youth and vibrant, luscious skin that makes a person look 10 years younger. The way they get that desire met is with your all-natural skin care product.

Or maybe your customer has a need to feel safe and secure because he’s using a reliable product that will last and won’t break. He knows it will help him do a better job in his own business, and that makes him feel secure. So perhaps you shift your messaging to showcase the feeling of security. You advertise that your product is the most reliable because yours comes with a 3-year guarantee when your competitor only offers a 6-month guarantee.

It’s interesting to shift around and look at things from the perspective of your customer like this. It can open up new ideas for what to say on your homepage, or what case studies and stories you share in your newsletters.

Love to hear your insights or ideas from this. Leave a comment and share if your brain lightbulb is blinking on!

I know you’re brilliant,

Chelsea

The Tech Diva

How to Use “Motivators” To Sell Better

Whether you’re writing copy for your website, emails for your mailing list, or drafting a message for a video on your homepage, you’re selling. You’re selling your products, services or your idea.

If you’re selling, do you know why people are buying from you?

Different people buy for different reasons. If I am buying a car, I may be buying for reliable transportation to get me where I want to go. But if I’m buying a Porsche, then I’m buying more than transportation–I’m buying status and prestige as well.

Before you create your message for your site, video, emails, cold calls, etc., it’s a good idea to review the reason why people might want to buy what you’re offering.

To help, I’ve compiled a checklist of “motivators”: these are reasons why people make purchases. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it will help as you are thinking about who you’re selling to and why you’re selling to them.

Consider how these reasons to buy might apply to your audience:

  • to be liked
  • to be appreciated
  • to look good
  • to be right
  • to feel important
  • to feel stylish
  • to make money
  • to save time
  • to save money
  • to make life or work easier
  • to be secure
  • to fit in
  • to be unique/distinct
  • to be sexy
  • to be happy
  • to feel good
  • to relax
  • to get away
  • to be attractive
  • to have fun
  • to be healthy
  • to gain knowledge or experience
  • to satisfy curiosity
  • because it’s convenient
  • out of greed
  • out of guilt
  • out of fear
  • out of insecurity

 

Think about the things you buy and why you buy them.

We buy fresh vegetables to be healthy or to lose weight. We want to be healthy to live longer. We want to lose weight to look and feel good. 

We buy perfume to smell good. We want to smell good to attract the opposite sex and enhance our appearance.

We buy insurance to be secure. We buy fuzzy slippers to be comfortable. We buy a gold-plated money clip to be distinct and feel important.

Once you understand what makes your audience buy things, you know how to sell.

With Tech Diva Media, these past couple months I’ve shifted gears from promoting designing/building websites to consulting and project management. One thing that seems to be consistent with Tech Diva Media clients is looking for someone to “simplify” online marketing and direct them to the most effective strategies for their particular market. Hence, I’m starting to add the tagline “Online Marketing Simplified” to the Tech Diva videos and blog. 

If I want to drive Tech Diva Media further, I know I need to focus more specifically on the buying motivators of my audience.

It’s not how effectively you sell it – it’s how you make it effective. 🙂

 

 

How to Search Online For the Words of Your Customer

Watch “How to Search Online for the Words of Your Customer” on YouTube

The most successful copywriters and marketers use the specific language of their customer to describe their products and services.

For example, when Eben Pagan (one of the most successful online marketers today) created a self-confidence ebook and training products for men, he understood that men weren’t going to be looking for “self confidence” products…but they would be looking for how to get more dates and have success with women. So he build his marketing around dating, naming his program and products “Double Your Dating”.

Rather than describing what you’re offering in your own words, by understanding how your customer talks about the problem, your marketing will be 1000 times more effective. When you figure out what your customer says they are looking to achieve and position your product or service as a means to achieve it, you’re on your way to success. This video shows you websites you can use to search blogs, forums and discussion boards to search what people are saying about your chosen topic.

Here are the sites mentioned in the video:

http://www.boardtracker.com/
http://answers.yahoo.com/
http://omgili.com/
http://blogsearch.google.com/
http://www.samepoint.com/
http://alltop.com/

 

 

Flaunt Your Schtick

I’m writing from Silicon Valley, visiting the area and touring San Francisco for the first time. So exciting to finally see the buildings that are the headquarters of Google, Facebook, eBay, etc.

Being surrounded by some of the best in business online today, I look at what has each of them thrive. Part if it is timing, part of it is holding a vision and having a system for realizing it, and part of it is having a “schtick”.

What’s a schtick?

When I think of a schtick, I think of a unique behavior, process or trait that one uses to get a result. In business, why is it key to have a schtick? It’s what has you stand out among competitors. Just doing great business like your competitor is not enough. You have to have a leverage point, or position, that makes you unique.

Is it that you offer a cool bonus with your product? Do you offer free shipping? Do you follow up with a phone consultation?

If you don’t have anything, can you look at something your competitor doesn’t emphasize and pick that as your schticking point?

How might you relate your schtick to the driving motivator of your customer?

If your customer wants your product to be able to do something better, can you offer a bonus  revolving around the thing they want to do better?

Maybe you are selling video editing services and you know your customer primarily uses videos to market their businesses on YouTube. Why not offer an ebook on tips for marketing effectively on YouTube?

Or maybe you have a weight loss program and are targeting college kids that put on the “freshman fifteen”. What is it that the college kids want to lose weight for? Getting a date? How about a bonus interview series on dating tips and building confidence?

Having an awesome product is definitely cool. But it’s not enough when you’re competing against a market of other options. Finding a “schtick” to set you apart–and then going the extra mile to cater to your customer’s motivations–is the key to capturing their attention.

Schtick to it,
Chelsea

PS. If you have a website that needs some sprucing, an online marketing campaign that needs some life or want to create something new and juicy, email me to schedule a 30-minute consultation. We’ll look at where you’re at, where you want to go and the steps needed to get you there.

I’m Sorry, Did I Miss Your Call?

The Call to Action

Last week, one of my friends was complimenting me on my emails. He mentioned that he was enjoying the information and my writing style. And, he pointed out, they’ve been missing one core, extremely critical thing: a call to action.

Doh! How could I be missing THAT, of all things?

So, what is the “call to action”?

This is the very next step you want your prospective customer to take. This is your clear direction to them so they know exactly how to proceed. By being clear, it actually can feel more trustworthy. Why? Because there’s no guessing required, no ambiguity. Interestingly enough, we often feel “safer” when we don’t have to think…when we are led to what’s next.

Of course, when you lead to what’s next, it’s assuming you’ve created trust or interest prior to the call to action. Then being guided to the next step feels obvious and clear.

This is one of the KEY components that I see missing on websites or other marketing materials. This is what makes the difference between the salesman that makes a sale and the one that doesn’t. The former asked for it and directed clearly how to get it.

Now, on your website, you may not be ready to ask the prospective customer for a sale yet. But there’s something that you want your prospect to do next.

Do you want the person to switch to your brand, send for a free report, call you, or click inside to learn more?

Find out the next step you want them to take, and then tell them to do that.

You might also incentivise them with a special offer, a toll-free number, a free report or sample and other such devices to increase the likelihood of response.

Make it easy for the person to take action. Display your contact information prominently. Make your email a clickable link. Put your phone number on each page.

Also, be sure to make it easy to take that step. Make the button you want them to click very obvious. Make sure there’s only ONE thing you are directing them to–not four or five things. When you have multiple things you are directing to do, it can create subtle friction. There’s ambiguity. Your prospect may not be clear as to which direction will offer the most value for her time, so she chooses neither and clicks off your website.

If you have an autoresponder email in place for people that submit their email to you, be clear in the email what you want the reader to do next. Watch a video, check out a specific page on your site, or call you, for example. If appropriate, drive them to respond NOW by making a time-limited offer, or only a certain number of seats available, or a bonus for the first 100 replies.

So in the spirit of taking my own medicine, here’s what to do next:

1. Look at your website, or any of your marketing materials. Is it obvious what to do, click or where to go next? Is there ONE clear action to take or multiple?

2. Consider examples of sites that offer a singular action to take. One of the most popular websites in the world, for instance: Google.com. The focus is on the search box and nothing else. It’s clear what to do and where to do that to get what you want. Another favorite example is Double Your Dating: http://www.doubleyourdating.com. It’s clear what to do to get to the next step.

3. Call or email me to review your site for suggestions on how to make the call to action clear without being distasteful. I can offer you feedback in a message or 15-minute call, with options for incorporating it.

Having clear direction is sexy. It makes it easier for your prospect and benefits you at the same time.