Ever since I read Sonia Simone’s Is Your Tribe Holding Your Down? post on Copyblogger, I have been fascinated to learn more about the “third way” marketing approach which takes all the good “tribe building” skills which Sonia says the Cool Kids have (many of whom are broke) and the “actually make money from your business” knowledge known by internet marketers (many of whom are rich but can verge on morally corrupt).
As I move forward marketing new programs and services in my own business, one thing has become clear to me: it is incredibly difficult to strike a perfect balance between sharing information openly, without a tremendous amount of hype, and at the same time, using ethical means of persuasion that help people make a decision to buy.
In my moments of agony, as I imagine all the terrible things that will happen to me if I use a red headline in a sales letter, a quiet voice persists: By doing the same things you have always done, you will never experience true growth. Not only financial growth, but personal growth.
I think we are at a very interesting time in small business history where we have both an urgent need to implement business models that work (due to the economy) and an intense aversion for palm tree/fast cars/get-rich-quick sales letters that promise instant fortune with little effort.
When I attended South by Southwest Interactive Festival this year, I spent time with both Naomi Dunford of Ittybiz (who was one of a fabulous band of roommates) and Sonia Simone of Remarkable Communications and Copyblogger. I came away from a series of conversations with them convinced that if any two people could figure out an intelligent path through the “poetry vs. cold commerce” chaos of online marketing that they could. Naomi makes me laugh so hard my sides hurt. And she is brutally pragmatic and honest about small business, which I appreciate very much. Sonia has an amazing way of wading into the snake-laden pits of hardcore internet marketing and bringing back gems of useful information.
So I was happy to hear that they created a new program called Marketing for Nice People that is basically small little tweaks which, when implemented, can double your business.
This resonates with me because I have experienced it in my own business.
As a small example, when I used to offer only an hourly rate for coaching, I would have to talk to quite a few qualified prospects to get someone to commit to signing up. As soon as I switched to coaching packages (bundles of hours), my conversion rate improved dramatically. Not because I changed my approach to coaching, or implemented a magic technique, but rather because I made it easier for my prospects to buy what I was selling.
So if you relate to their target market description which is:
You’re far enough along in your business that you’ve already done a lot of work. But it’s not quite there yet.
You’re seeing a response, but it wasn’t the response you were hoping for. You need to do better. You’re pretty sure you can do better. But you’re not sure exactly, um, how.
Here is what is covered, directly from their sales letter:
Get more people in the door
More traffic, more eyeballs, more attention. You can do everything else perfectly, but if no one shows up to see what you’ve got, nothing else works. That’s why this is Week 1 in the course. (Remember, you don’t need a FLOOD of new traffic. You just need to take things from, say, 100 new visitors a week to 112. Sound workable?)
Turn more prospects into paying customers
If a million people visit your site and none of them buy, that’s not really any fun at all. This class will be very nuts and bolts. Conversion’s one of the most important things you can learn, and fortunately it’s also one of the most straightforward.
So let’s say you’re converting 10% of visitors into buyers. We just need to bump that to 11 or 12%. Not scary.
Make more money per sale
So your average sale right now is $20. Think you could increase that to $23? Yeah, so do we. We’ll give some specific strategies.
Throw less time away
This one gets a little scary, but we’ve got you covered. Trust us, this is not about becoming some kind of freakish productivity superman. This is about, if you have 4 decent hours of work in you a day, maybe nudging that to 4 1/2.
Or even better, getting 4 1/2 hours’ worth of work, without spending any more time.
After the sale
Tons of opportunity here. The only hard part will be limiting your repeat and referral business to just a 12.5% increase. I’m not even kidding.
Creating more love
A better bond with your customers, a stronger relationship, the kind of crazed loyalty that means your people won’t even think of wandering off.
It can be tricky to measure, but it’s not hard to do. (And doing business this way is about a zillion times more fun.) Tons of ideas for how you can be a hero to your customers without exhausting yourself or cutting your prices to Wal*Mart levels.
Personally, I am totally excited that they have put this program together. I trust them. I need to learn all about tweaking so I can be of better service to my clients who are launching businesses, but who don’t want to feel like sleazeballs.
If this sounds good to you, you don’t have a lot of time to dilly-dolly. The program closes at the end of the day tomorrow (Tuesday, May 26), or as soon as they reach 500 registrants, whichever comes first.
Learn more about the program here*:
Here is what I think about investing money in an educational program: when you give someone your money, make sure you can get it back, many times over. This is what is referred to as return on investment, or value proposition. Information products such as these only work when you actually listen to the information and apply it. I think they have designed a program that will really make a difference for the right business owner.
*I used an affiliate link since Naomi told me she would physically twist my ears if I didn’t start to use them with people I trust. Joking aside, I feel great about recommending Naomi and Sonia.
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Aw, big smooch to Marcia for the kind words.
We discovered something really neat with this course. When you define your market as “nice people,” that’s who you get as customers! Wish we could say we planned it that way, but it was a happy discovery.
.-= Sonia Simone´s last blog ..Pink Hair Blogging =-.
I took Naomi and Sonia’s Marketing For Nice People class, in fact today was the last day. I’ve been in marketing for 25 years and I still learned priceless little nuggets — there’s something about seeing things through someone else’s lens that makes you hear it differently, or at least find out that what you’re doing isn’t so crazy after all. Continuous learning from whip smart people is something I’m committed to FOREVER — I’ll take incremental improvement any day.
And this point you made is true for every one of us: “By doing the same things you have always done, you will never experience true growth. Not only financial growth, but personal growth.” The tools/techniques/strategies you use today in your business are not the ones you need to spur you on to growth, or you would have already had it.
Fantastic, practical, eminently implementable and fun course with dynamite study materials. If you didn’t sign up, you really missed out. Maybe you can get in next time they offer it.
Great post Pam.
.-= Marcia Hoeck´s last blog ..You Have to Be Crazy =-.
Not to be snarky, but an increase in conversion rate from 10% to 11% is a ten-percent increase. Progressive incremental improvements do lead to exponentially better results. This methodology is a mainstream technique considered to be a best practice by consulting giants like Accenture. What Naomi and Sonia have done is tailor it for small businesses at a zillionth of the price.
Hmmmm….the premise sounds great but the results they are promising seem a bit underwhelming. So I will take this coures and rather than converting 10% buyers on my own, I will convert 11%? Ahem, am I missing something? I appreciate their not trying to raise expectations but at the same time, it’s hard to get my adrenaline pumping over the extra 1% I might earn.
I don’t know if you checked out the full sales letter about the program, but they talk about doing little, incremental tweaks which don’t just return little, incremental amounts of income, they can actually double it. I encourage you to check more with them to get the details, but knowing that they promise you can make back 10 times the cost of the class as a guarantee means they aren’t messing around. If the program isn’t a fit, no problem. Where I land is that I know that they will deliver the goods, since they are very committed to value. Thanks for your comment!
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I feel like the title of your post infers that “most” marketers are mean people…and if that is what you were going for I don’t agree with you…
I would like to understand your thoughts about “most” marketers.
What do you really think about them?
Are they evil?
Are they greedy?
Are they disconnected with reality and only think about themselves?
This statement in your post…
“As I move forward marketing new programs and services in my own business, one thing has become clear to me: it is incredibly difficult to strike a perfect balance between sharing information openly, without a tremendous amount of hype, and at the same time, using ethical means of persuasion that help people make a decision to buy.”
First, why do you think it is really difficult?
Second, when you say “using ethical means of persuasion” are you inferring that “most” marketers are using dirty tactics to get people to buy their stuff so they stay in business?
I believe that with the birth of social media when you blend and mold old school “ethical 100% transparent” marketing with these new tools, things become 100x better.
I believe they get better because not only do you build rapport with people using the powerful “social media” medium, but when you do put a program together and sell it with a long form sales letter, because you have built the trust and rapport with your audience or “tribe” using the technology, there is a higher likelihood that you will close more sales, make your customers happy and deliver great value in the end.
People buy people…not products or promises. If they know they can trust everything you are putting out, a long form sales letter can be a good thing because it explains clearly to them who you are, what you are offering, and how you are going to be helping them along the way.
Because you have made yourself 100% transparent in the social media medium, I will take your words more seriously compared to a sales letter that I landed on after clicking a google adwords ad.
…I believe the key in any marketing is following the rule of, “Do what you say you are going to do…” and “Under-Promise and Over-Deliver.”
What are your thoughts?
I look forward to your reply!
Thanks for stopping by.
My title refers to the name of Naomi and Sonia’s program, which is “Marketing for Nice People.” It is not a judgment on marketing, or marketers in general.
If you know them, you will realize that they joke around a lot, and the name of their program is an example of being a bit tongue in cheek. I think that they both love marketing. What they know is that many people in small business are tired of the formulaic, pressure-filled marketing that is often the norm in online businesses. People are looking for a way to express themselves authentically, AND sell effectively.
Personally, I see marketing as a way to build a good, trusting relationship with people who I see as a good fit for my products and services. I love to market, connect, present, share and support. That part comes really easy to me and I really enjoy it.
What I have found challenging is in some of the specific formats for copywriting and sales letters. Getting the right blend of good information and persuasion to take action is not always easy. Maybe I am just hyper-sensitive. But I find a lot of other people face similar challenges, and for this reason, Naomi and Sonia’s information may really help.
I love your thought: “…I believe the key in any marketing is following the rule of, “Do what you say you are going to do…” and “Under-Promise and Over-Deliver.”
That feels great, and that is my goal with everyone I work with.
I don’t believe that “difficult” is bad. That is probably from my martial arts background. I do everything I can to get in a positive zone, remove negative thoughts that create bad feelings, and all the other “non-struggle” related concepts. That said, learning to do something really, really well takes time and effort. It is not easy or formulaic, otherwise everyone would do it naturally and flawlessly. I like to challenge myself to grow, and to make good results great results.
Thanks for your questions! Please come back soon. 🙂
All the best,
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