POP for the SHOP!

Posted by alisonhaugan on May 19, 2017

There are 5 major components to good advertising copy – and by “good”, I mean that which “pops” — commands attention and leads to buyers of your product or service. Here they are — in order of sequence, if you expect to succeed:

• Command Attention
• Showcase Benefits of Products/Services
• Prove the Benefits
• Persuade People to Embrace the Benefits
• Call to Action

Advertising is sales in print. So, it’s important to think about the unique benefits your products/services offer and showcase them in a persuasive way. Emphasize results, not features.
Let’s take a minute to talk about each of these components:

1. Command Attention: This is usually accomplished with an effective headline. You need an attention-grabber that makes people want to know more about your products/services. The best headlines give a clear, vivid portrayal of the benefits or show how a problem can be avoided with your offering. In a nutshell, the headline is the advertisement for the advertisement.

2. Showcase Benefits: How will your product or service solve or prevent a problem? Showcase that! Your potential buyers want to know what’s in it for them. Include useful, factual and clear information to show precisely what the benefits are, and how they are going to help the customer.

3. Offer Proof: Very simply, offer information that establishes credibility and past performance.

4. Persuade: Add compelling reasons for your potential customers to purchase your products/services. Create a sense of urgency or scarcity to compel the buyers to act sooner than later — preferably now — and that leads us to the last component.

5. Call to Action: Compel your potential customers to DO something. Check out your website, sign up for your newsletter, purchase your products, contact you about services … something. Offer something for free — like report or a booklet; sample; product; bonus; demo; consult; or limited time price, as examples. There are many ways to get potential customers excited about ordering and help them feel like they are getting an amazing deal!

Good advertisements include all of these components and won’t be as effective without them. You can think through any one of these components, and then figure out how to best place them together for the most effective outcome. However if you think you need some assistance, we can help! Try our FREE test drive to learn how to put together great advertisements from some of the best in the business.

Relationship + Recognition = Retention

Posted by alisonhaugan on April 20, 2017

When it comes to generating new business, there’s one source that is so obvious, yet it is often so overlooked. Consider this: many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, but they don’t realize that the ‘gold’ they are mining for already exists in their database — their current and former customers! These are people you already know to be good sales potential, because they’ve already bought from you!

Want to see a drastic improvement in your sales and brand position? Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers. We’re talking about customer retention here!

Here are a few key elements you can use to retain your current customers and they embody two key elements: relationships and recognition. Here are some examples:

1. Build relationships: Don’t just make a transaction with a customer! Communicate with them. Connect with them. Be interested in them and educate them about your business and offers. This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, webinars, in person – or drone if you have to!

2. Post-Purchase Assurance: Follow up with your customers! They need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. Something as simple as a Thank You note or email with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.

3. Special Offers, Recognition & Guarantees: Don’t just “sell” to your customers — recognize them! Always offer your existing customers the best deals and guarantees you have. You could have a preferred pricing option for them, or perhaps some kind of club or VIP offers to reward loyal customers. Perhaps you have a customer of the month that get’s recognized on your website or newsletter. Whatever you choose, the goal is to make them feel appreciated and special.

4. Integrity: This should go without saying, but – using good business practices that embody integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of “fake news”, empty promises and other business and marketing landmines out there, so the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you, and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

In conclusion, stop focusing all your precious time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside! As marketing guru, Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every ways possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Remember, our FREE test drive can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you establish stronger relationships with your customers so they will not only increase their loyalty to you, they’ll spread the word about how great you are, and you know what that means — more sales!

Power in Promotion, Not Passivity

Posted by alisonhaugan on April 9, 2017

Are you waiting to be discovered or “saved”? Well if you are — stop it now. Prince Charming isn’t headed on his horse to save you, and Simon Cowell is not seeking you out to make you the next American Idol superstar. Oh, you’re not a singer? That’s OK — it applies to business too. Time to realize that the power for your success lies in learning the skill of promotion, not passivity. That’s right — shame-free, guiltless promotion.

Success all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics – and personal styles – to get your name out there. Look at politicians and entertainers — (think Donald Trump or The Kardashians)! Those two certainly have their own style and brand. When your livelihood, mission or brand is your name, it’s no time to be shy! Celebrities know this. Many of us need to embrace this philosophy as well if we expect to be seen and heard through all the “noise” in the marketplace.

Feeling a little uncomfortable about promoting yourself? Well, here’s the truth — we all self promote. We just do it in different ways and with different styles — and the style I want to promote is the one that embodies class, the knowledge to back up what you are talking about, and being memorable.

Let’s say you go to a networking event. You walk up and introduce yourself to someone. You’ve just promoted yourself. If all you do is talk “AT” the person and shove your card in their face, bragging about your latest deal and not engaging with them, then you’re style will come off as obnoxious and full of .. well…you know. However, perhaps in the course of your interaction with the person, you see someone else who might be a benefit to the person you are talking with. You invite him/her over, make the introduction for the two of them, and you’ve now promoted two others with you. Do you think they will remember you? Of course they will, and you’ll come off looking like a class act!

Natural self-promoters are the latter, and there are three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.

  1. The first trait has to do with strategic positioning. In order to achieve your success goals, it’s important to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. The following should be a consistent question in your mind: “Who can I meet today who will move me closer to my goals?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

Also consider:

Who can help me meet my goals?

Is it a prospective customer/client? A contact from one of my colleagues? An association with key members who may become prospects?

Don’t settle for what just “shows up” or what’s “easy”. Success is usually on the other side of your comfort zone! Reach out beyond your comfort zone and you’ll likely find a wealth of new connections that can bring you great success.

  1. The second trait has to do with “Style”. This doesn’t mean that you have to dress in thousand dollar suits or drive luxury cars (though demonstrating that you attend to your presence and take pride in looking your best can be an important factor). J The kind of style I’m talking about here is how you differentiate yourself from your competition. What makes you memorable with customers?

If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! However, it also means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.

There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:

  • Business cards
  • Company message
  • Your picture
  • Your wording

Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)

I’m sure you get the idea. There are lots of little things you can do to uplevel your presence and become more memorable, including considering (and perhaps modifying) how you sound on the phone and how you greet people at meetings or other events. How compelling is your 30-second elevator introduction?

  1. The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need and in as many different ways as they can until they get a response.

Also you have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition goes hand in hand with positioning. Once you determine the best people to network with for your goals, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.