I’m charged up and ready to go…
More details to come, but I’m sick of being my own worst enemy in business, and so there are some things changing around here.
Note: Right now, there’s no danger to Breakthrough Marketing Secrets. You’re still going to keep getting the best dang FREE email newsletter that’s probably more valuable than a good 96% of PAID newsletters out there.
I deliver more useful, actionable content in a week than most so-called “gurus” deliver in a month — or even a year. And you’re getting it gratis. Free. With my compliments.
You should be ashamed you’re taking so much value for so little. You should be sending me money, just to say thanks.
But I’m getting off track. So I’ll conclude this intro by saying that I’m putting in place a layer of protection and support to regain some lost momentum, and start creating something much, much bigger. It’s going to be one heck of a ride!
That said, it’s Monday. Which means it’s time to dig in the ol’ mailbox, and answer YOUR questions!
Today’s comes from a copywriter who has had some success, and wants more. (Which applies to just about any copywriter who has ever had any success, ever.)
And he’s asking the right questions to get it.
Because this question — accidental as it may be that it showed up today — actually sets up a whole week of content I’m going to write on selling and positioning yourself for making more — a lot more.
Let’s dive in…
I like your emails! As someone trying to kick up my copy career to new heights in 2016 your email is inspirational and thought-provoking.
I think the primary consideration right now for me is positioning.
You’ve talked a little about it and I look forward to more.
If you want to rise above mediocrity and start to really achieve success as a copywriter or consultant, this is THE question to ask!
Okay, so I know it wasn’t phrased as a question. But still, it’s THE question! 🙂
Here’s a really funny fact about positioning…
And it’s one of those things that I probably shouldn’t tell you — because I make most of my income by creating sales messages that go into media…
If your positioning is right in the eyes of your market, you don’t need a sales letter, VSL, or any other piece of sales copy to sell your services…
When your reputation precedes you, they will buy with almost ZERO actual “selling” copy, collateral, literature, etc. required.
And in fact, before I had positioning to sell my copywriting services, I wrote a sales letter for myself.
It was actually really good — and when I look back today, at that original sales letter, there was some amazing foreshadowing of where my career would end up going.
And yet, when I used that sales letter to sell my services, handed in-person to qualified clients, but had no real positioning in the market…
That was at the 2009 AWAI Bootcamp. And even though I was able to launch my business out of conversations I had there, I can’t trace ANY business back to the sales letter I used.
Yet, in the same environment, six years later (last fall), with positioning I was able to close $85,000 worth of deals, and that’s before royalties.
When it comes to copywriting, consulting, or other businesses where you’re selling YOU, positioning in the mind of your prospect will make you far more than sales materials ever will.
Is there a context for sales letters, etc.? Absolutely. When it comes to SCALABLE product/service delivery that doesn’t require YOU, in person, for every sale, copy is still king. Positioning will bolster your cause, though you’ll still need copy in some kind of media. But when you’re selling your time, one-on-one, positioning always wins.
The #1 secret to more effective positioning…
There is, in selling, a HUGE difference between a NOVICE and an EXPERT.
This applies in copywriting, as well as any other kind of selling. And it especially applies when it comes to the advanced selling involved in positioning.
A NOVICE spends their time and energy trying to sell the product or service. They look at the features, the benefits, and all that jazz. They figure that’s what the person is actually buying. And on a superficial level, that’s the result of effective selling — the exchange of money for goods or services.
And yet, an EXPERT knows selling is far more than that. Selling isn’t just getting someone to give you a set amount of money in exchange for a product or service.
Selling is about CONVERSION, in the religious sense of the word. At least, good selling is.
It’s about getting them to buy in to your vision of their brighter future, that they will get as a result of buying your product or service.
It’s about getting them to believe in what it is that you can offer to them.
It’s about getting them to FOLLOW YOU.
That last point is the most important.
Effective positioning — and thus, sales — doesn’t come out of what you do. It doesn’t happen because of the product or service that you offer.
Yes — those are important. And if you have a bad offer, your #1 goal needs to be to get it fixed, immediately.
And in fact that can take you from NOBODY to NOVICE-level professional in a New York Minute.
But it’s about what comes next that’s rally important.
Because it’s not what you do that REALLY matters…
It’s WHO YOU ARE.
Conversion happens because your prospect decides that their life will be better when they follow YOU.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re selling information products or industrial widgets.
If your prospect has a CONVERSION such that they want to FOLLOW YOU, they will buy whatever product or service it is that you offer.
This is why Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy, and others have taught that we are NOT in the copywriting business, not in the consulting business, not in the fill-in-the-blank business…
We are in the “self-aggrandizement” business.
The better you are at putting YOU out there in a way that’s appealing to your target prospect, the easier and more automatic any other sales attempt will become.
Now, here’s a handful of positioning strategies that will make them want to buy YOU!
The secret of CONFIDENCE…
There is very little your prospect can do — no matter what it is you offer — to ensure that you will get them their desired results, BEFORE they make the purchasing decision.
Short of not asking them to buy until after you’ve delivered the service, and making it contingent on their success, they don’t know that buying you will get them the result.
(Side note: this would be a not very bright strategy. There’s a lot of things BOTH of you could do to screw it up. And if anything happens to screw up the results, you get the blame and you don’t get the money. Unless you want to die broke, you have to get the “pay the bills” portion of your fee just for doing what you do, NOT the results.)
So, if they don’t know that they’re going to get the results before hand, what do they need in its place to make the buying decision?
They need complete confidence that you will get them the outcome they want. They need to believe it. They need to feel like they’re making the right decision.
Which means a few things…
First, have a process to deliver what you say you’re going to deliver. This adds confidence.
Second, have a track record. Other people like your prospects who’ve gotten the results your prospects want significantly boosts confidence.
Third — and most importantly — ooze confidence yourself. If you are not confident that you’re going to deliver, you certainly can’t expect your prospect to be. So… What do you need to do to define the result your prospect wants, and figure out how to do that well enough that you’ll have complete confidence in presenting it to your prospect?
Confidence is infectious — figure out how to infect your prospect.
Be an interesting character…
There’s a ton that goes into this, and far too little room here.
People want to be around interesting people. We all think we are deadly boring, and we crave intrigue.
Make yourself interesting and intriguing (and it takes less than you might expect), and you will naturally attract more prospects to you.
My biggest recommendation here is to start to study character crafting, as taught to fiction writers. The good news is, in a business context you’re not required to create a James Bond or a Frank Underwood or a Dexter or whoever. You simply need to create someone who is a bit larger than life, and interesting in a way that makes your prospects want to keep paying attention.
Trump is a good model — whether or not you like his politics.
He’s bold, he’s brash, and he stands for things. Great characters stand for things. He has flaws — very visible, very public flaws. Great characters have flaws.
He has a distinct voice, set of accomplishments, and vision. Great characters have these things.
Look past your politics, and look at him for that.
Bernie Sanders also has an interesting character. He thrives on the underdog. He wouldn’t be doing nearly as well if he were the assumed nominee, because his followers have converted “The Bern” because they resonate with his underdog message. Without that, he’s a cranky old white guy with extremely liberal views.
Again, put your politics aside (and don’t assume I’m including mine — I’m an equal-opportunity political hater) and pay attention to the character they’ve crafted and are using to try get CONVERTS to vote for them.
It’s all about CHARACTER.
Here are a couple tactical positioning strategies…
These may be bad news or good news, depending on who you are and how you feel.
You need to do things to be in front of your target market on a very regular basis.
This means you need to publish (aka write) and speak. You need to be in media.
Publishing can take a lot of forms…
A daily email like this one is good. A paid print newsletter is even better. Books are great — self-published are highly effective, traditionally published are marginally better with some audiences (though a self-published that looks like it’s traditionally done is usually just fine). Being involved in niche media like magazines and trade publications is smart.
Speaking opportunities are equally diverse today…
There’s the traditional speaking route of doing seminars, workshops, trade shows, and so on — which continues to be smart, especially if they are a gathering place for all your best prospects. Also, you can create or piggy-back on other media in which you “speak.” Podcasts are smart. YouTube videos. Webinars and teleseminars. The list goes on.
In general, the more you’re seen, heard, and read (or even just seen to be present), the better your positioning becomes.
Whether you’re talking about a book, a speaking gig, or whatever other media… The assumption is, “If she’s there, she deserves to be there…”
That’s not necessarily true, by the way. But it’s an unconscious assumption that will help your positioning with your market.
Finally, the most powerful positioning strategy out there…
I’m actually going to dedicate an entire issue to this later this week. And so I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here.
My recommendation is to be UN-available.
Going back to comparing the NOVICE and the EXPERT.
NOVICES are available to their prospects and customers, at all times. They pick up the phone on the first ring, answer the email within minutes, and do everything in their power to be as available as possible.
This is low-fee positioning. It’s not conscious. It’s unconscious. It communicates to your prospect that your time is not in demand. That you’re not busy. And thus, that others don’t want you. Which leads to the next thought that if you’re not in demand, there’s probably a reason, so they shouldn’t want you, either.
Compare that to the EXPERT. You can’t get to the EXPERT. They’re unavailable. They don’t pick up the phone. They don’t answer random correspondence. They’re hard to get. There’s often a gatekeeper. And if they decide they want to talk to you, you’re going to have to schedule something — you certainly can’t get to them at any random hour.
What this conveys — on a subconscious level — is that this person is IN DEMAND and worth getting to, if you can.
Now, this happens whether the true expert wants it or not. DEMAND for their time and attention tilts so heavily in their favor that they have to put these mechanisms in place to protect their sanity.
And yet, it’s a “chicken and egg” issue. You can argue all day which comes first. But if you want to be in demand, acting like you already are can be surprisingly powerful to fostering that. And so, for positioning, it’s a very, very smart thing to do.
Borrowing language from Dan Kennedy, this is called “Takeaway Selling,” and I wanted to get my thoughts out on it later this week, so watch out for that.
If you enjoyed today’s issue…
Remember that Breakthrough Marketing Secrets is one of those rare cases where you’re getting far, far, far more than you pay for. And if you feel like the value imbalance has tilted far too much in your favor — me giving you so much that you feel a deep need to discharge your mounting obligation — you can do so here.
And if you simply want to suck all the super-powerful EXPERT-level selling strategies and tactics out of my brain that you can… Read every email this week very carefully.
I have personal reasons I need to get some of my most powerful selling strategies out of my head, so I’ll be writing about them all week. You are the accidental benefactor of me needing to complete this selfish act.
You lucky dog.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,