Episode #36 – Coming Soon!
Welcome to our new video series. Inside this training area, I am going to share strategies, tactics, stories, secrets, and tips to help you develop yourself into a powerful, skillful, innovative entrepreneur, marketer, and salesperson.
So, let’s dive right in.
Tasos Perte Tzortzis
Episode 01: Educate your customers about the unique advantages and benefits of your products and services
It’s not enough to describe your products and services in a compelling way that propels people to take action. Customers don’t know the unique advantages of YOUR products and services, you need to describe them.
Let’s say you run a fashion store. Don’t just say we have these amazing brands…that offer high-quality clothes, modern and beautiful designs. Say and name all those manufacturers and other brands that you rejected and refused to co-operate with because they did not meet your high-quality standards.
Customers will appreciate it!
Educate your customers about the unique advantages and benefits of your products and services, describe what makes your products different than competing products.
Describe your guarantees, your refund policy, your quality, and lifetime support.
For example; here, on WebMarketSupport, we clearly say…
Customers pay only for results
Don’t take your knowledge about your products and services for granted, customers may not know.
Is your guarantee longer than your competitors’? Say it.
Are you the cheapest restaurant in town? Say it.
Or are you the most expensive restaurant in town with the best and quality food? Say it.
Don’t just say there’s no risk on your part. Describe what exactly happens. For example; you might say…return any defective product and we’ll replace it as soon as possible.
Episode 02: Pay Attention to your customers and their needs
One of the most basic principles in marketing and business is to get customers’ attention.
And sometimes, although we get customers’ attention we may forget another basic principle, and as a result, we lose the customer, probably forever.
But let’s take a look at this from the eyes of the customer.
Let me share a story with you.
I was walking with my wife downtown and we were looking for a place to eat. At some point, I came across a restaurant where he had dinner once. And it was a decent place as far as I remembered.
She agreed and we headed towards the restaurant. It seemed crowded and I could spot only one free table on the outside, on the pavement.
A man came, I remembered him, he was the owner.
He said, we only have one table on the floor, let me show you.
I said, can we take this one outside?
He said, this one is much better, let me walk you.
He had a waiter walking us upstairs.
There, on the floor, the atmosphere was somehow “negative”. Almost no lighting, only 2 tables, a couple eating their lunch, no view, very little space.
Not the best conditions to enjoy a dinner, at least for me and my wife.
We said, no thanks, we’ll go downstairs.
Then, the owner said we can take the table outside.
But when we sat down, I realized that this spot was not better either.
There was a problem.
The table was next to some garbage bins. These huge dirty bins you don’t want to even come close.
Obviously, this was not a spot to place a table for a restaurant.
Anyway, we looked at each other and we agreed to sit down, not to be rude.
We chose the chairs on the inside of the pavement, to stay as far as we can from the bins.
Man, it was stinky!
For the next 10 minutes, no one showed up. No waiter, no owner, no new customer. It was as if time was frozen.
I could see waiters come and go on the inside, the owner doing things and wandering around, looking outside for a bit, but that was it.
No one was coming to lay a cloth on the table or to take our order.
We looked at each other one more time and we decided to leave the place once and for all.
That happened 4-5 years ago. We never returned to this place and whenever we come across it, we always laugh and discuss it.
Remember that day? Of course, I do.
We can learn a lot from this experience.
#1 If you run a restaurant, don’t place tables next to garbage bins, it’s common sense, not rocket science.
#2 Do not configure extra space for just 2 tables and do not decorate it like a prison.
#3 Pay attention to your customers and their needs. Do not ignore them. They won’t come back. They won’t bring their friends. They might discuss your brand negatively with their network.
#4 If you don’t have any space left for new customers to get more business, it’s way better to let them know or to find them a place to eat, even a competing restaurant.
And this last tip is the subject of our next video.
Episode 03: When it’s OK to recommend a competitor
As business owners, we are terrified of the idea that a competitor might steal our customers. Sometimes, we don’t even want to name their brands, and maybe we hate them and we expect to hear bad news for them.
But this way we are doing ourselves a disservice. This is not how you should look at competitors.
I think of competing brands as a healthy sign telling me the market is alive. It’s also a huge opportunity for me to improve as an entrepreneur, innovate, and create better products.
Competition is absolutely normal. Without it, what do we have?
And there are times when it’s OK to recommend competing brands.
As some of you may know, I am also a hotel owner.
And one day, actually, it was late, after midnight, a family arrived at our hotel. Tourists from another country.
They asked for a room but I could not host them. the hotel was full.
I still remember the disappointment on their faces.
It was a high-traffic season and the majority of the hotels were fully booked.
Then, the little boy asked his mum with a complaining tone…
What are we gonna do now? Mum, I’m so tired.
I could not stand looking at them like that so I made up my mind immediately.
I said…would you mind if I try to book a room in another hotel for you?
Really, can you do that? the woman responded.
I said…just give me 2 minutes, please.
I picked up the phone and started calling competing hotels nearby, similar to our family hotel.
In just a few minutes, I had them booked.
They were so happy, relieved, alive again.
They thanked me and left goodbye.
But the next day they came back.
I asked them how they spent their night and if they enjoyed the place.
They were pretty much satisfied and now they wanted to use our outdoor pool and the bar.
I welcomed them and they had fun in our facilities.
What’s even more interesting, the next year they returned as our guests this time. They booked a room 3 months in advance.
When you can’t take more business, it’s way better to let your customers know and that you will do anything you can to satisfy their needs and wants.
Because they will remember you for being kind and helpful. Not just an arrogant and “cold” business owner looking only for money.
Episode 04: Add value and do not give up too early
I was watching the movie “Pinocchio” with Roberto Benigni a few days ago with my kids.
And there’s a very powerful message hidden in the first 2-3 minutes.
The first scene shows Benigni working as a woodcarver named Geppetto.
He is obviously starving.
He steps outside and walks to a tavern, he’s hesitant to enter inside but he finally does.
There are 3 men at a table enjoying their dinner.
The owner welcomes him and asks if he wants something to eat.
Geppetto does not admit that he is hungry and says that he’s just cold and needs to warm up.
He grabs a chair and sits down next to the men’s company. He says…I’ll just sit here, I won’t bother you at all.
Suddenly, he makes some noise while sitting on the chair and says…I almost broke my leg, was not expecting that. Τhis chair can break at any moment.
The owner says it’s OK, this chair won’t break.
Geppetto responds…This is my job, I just need 30 minutes to fix it for you, but it comes at a little cost.
The owner says again, don’t worry, it’s OK.
Geppetto is not giving up. He stares at the table where the 3 men are eating and shakes it with power. The plates and glasses almost fell down. He says…this table is leaning to the right, haven’t you noticed? This one is more complicated, I would need 2 days to fix it but I can. And I’m not saying right now, I can do it tomorrow.
The owner insists. Geppetto, it’s OK, don’t worry.
Geppetto says OK, goodbye guys, see you around.
He pretends he has a problem opening the door and says…this door is wrecked, it will break. When you enter it does not open, when you exit it does not close. Look! Look! I will fix it, I’ll make it like a new one for you.
The owner grabs a plate and says…come here, you don’t need to fix anything for me, sit down.
Geppetto responds…but it will cost you almost nothing.
Sit down, the owner insists and brings a plate full of food for him.
Geppetto says…I can fix it.
Come here, sit down. Eat, this is on me. Otherwise, you’ll bring the whole place down.
Geppetto says… OK Moreno. But the door needs to be fixed.
Moreno says, I know. Here, grab a little bread and cheese as well.
Finally, Geppetto gets to eat.
What can we learn from this scene?
Gepetto is starving and he’s broke. But he’s not asking for charity. He’s proud but he’s also a skilled salesperson and tried to sell his expertise with style.
He tries to add value to the owner. He offers to repair the chair in exchange for a little money or anything else, food in this case. He does not admit it, but he hopes that the owner would exchange food for the chair’s repairing.
When the first attempt fails, he’s not giving up. He offers to fix the table.
When the 2nd attempt fails, he does the same. He offers to fix the door.
He tries again and again. This is key.
He finally gets what he wants in the first place.
When you are selling something, for example, your expertise, try to add value like Geppetto. Do it in an entertaining way so they engage with your message.
And do not give up too early. You’ll never know!
Episode 05: How to sell your ideas effectively example
The female protagonist starts sharing her story. She is a robber and wanted for murder. She was hiding for days and finally, she decided to step out and make a phone call to her mother, to say goodbye as she now has plans to work in a Chinese ship as a cook and leave the country.
She is using a public phone on the street.
Her mother is very happy that she called, she heard the news on TV and asks if she is going to see her again.
The female named Tokyo, says that she is going to see her again. She will buy her a ticket to come to visit her in the near future.
But her mother is afraid that her daughter will end up dead.
Then, Tokyo decides to meet her mother before she leaves the country.
She hangs up the phone and starts walking.
But she is approached by a man driving a car that asks if he can chat with her for a minute.
She refuses his offer and keeps on walking.
The man insists and says…”Cooking in a Chinese ship has only one advantage, you don’t have to wash the dishes”.
Tokyo believes she’s in danger because this man was spying on her.
She approaches his vehicle and suddenly enters inside and points a gun to the man.
She asks…”Who are you? a policeman? what do you want?”
The man named “Professor” says…”Wait, wait, I want to help you, you’re going to the slaughterhouse, there’s a squad waiting for you, there’s a car outside your mother’s house for six days”.
Tokyo responds…”Why would I believe you?”
Professor shows Tokyo some photographs he took with his camera, showing the cops monitoring her mother’s house.
He continues…”I came here to help you and propose you a business, a robbery, a singular one, I’m looking for people that don’t have much to lose, what do you think? It’s about €2.4B.”
Tokyo thinks about it. No one has ever done such a job, not here, neither in New York, nor in London, nor in Monte Carlo.
And she agrees!
What can we learn from this scene?
The professor is trying to sell his idea, to recruit Tokyo for the robbery he’s planning. He knows that Tokyo is a perfect match for his product, the robbery.
Tokyo is an ideal customer.
He spies on his prospect and does his research. He collects data, valuable information that he may use during his proposal, his pitch.
He is waiting for a chance and when Tokyo steps out of her hideout and uses the public phone to discuss with her mother, he is close and listens carefully.
Then he makes his move, he believes this is the perfect moment for his pitch.
When Tokyo rejects his first attempt, he does not give up. He insists.
He then shares the data he collected, the facts, and makes an irresistible offer that Tokyo has a very hard time refusing.
This is a compelling sales pitch.
The salesperson targets an ideal prospect that is very interested in his product, at the right time, with an offer that is a no-brainer.
The salesperson explains to the prospect that what she’s going to do won’t get her far. The job in the Chinese ship gets her only a salary. It’s not a quality product.
He also helps the prospect avoid a huge trap by sharing valuable data, that can’t be questioned, the facts, the photographs. The 2nd product that the prospect is thinking of buying, visiting her mother in this case, is even worse than the first one.
He then makes an offer, his product (the robbery) is going to help the prospect experience something she never had. A chance to become a millionaire in an instant. He clearly demonstrates the benefits of his product that comes almost at no cost. The prospect only has to invest in time and effort.
The salesperson is not selling anything to her, he’s helping her.
When we’re selling a product, we need to be prepared for a battle. We perform research and target an ideal prospect that we know is interested in our product. Of course, we can sell using cold methods, but a hot prospect has higher chances of converting than a cold contact.
We wait for the perfect moment to make our presentation.
We showcase data, facts, we explain the benefits of the product, we compare it to other inferior products that cost a fortune and are dangerous, and demonstrate that our product costs almost nothing, because of its huge perceived value and the beautiful outcome for the prospect in the case they trust us with their business.
So, in essence, we are helping the prospect make a well-informed decision and choose the very best product for their situation.
Episode 06: Everything starts with research
Every marketing approach, methodology, and strategy that brings results starts with research. Whether you want to start a new business, scale an existing one, expand upon new audiences, create new products or improve your current product line, research is the ultimate weapon.
- The market: groups of people, demographics and psychographics, keywords, the industry as a whole
- The business itself
What we accomplish with research:
- A deeper understanding of people’s needs, wants, problems, aspirations, and goals
- Picking up the language people use
- We discover new needs in the marketplace and untapped opportunities we can capitalize on.
- By understanding our customers’ needs better, we are able to improve our product line’s quality
- We come up with new ideas for product development to satisfy new needs and capitalize on untapped opportunities. This way, we serve the market better and we become an authority brand in the marketplace
- People’s needs always change over time. When we study keywords and research the market frequently, we stay updated and we are aware of those changes.
- When we examine the trends, we are able to spot ‘hot’ sub-niches and sub-markets. We may use this information, to enter these new markets dynamically.
- Discover unsatisfied groups of people
- We can target specific groups of people and refine our messaging by region or geographical location, age, status, gender, interests and hobbies, and so many other variables and parameters.
- We can present our products and services differently to certain groups and we can test and measure the results in order to improve our messaging even further.
- We gain insights into the competition, analyze competitive products and how they are different from ours, how they position themselves in the market
- We analyze the business itself and exploit assets that we can use, our current and past customers, past marketing campaigns
- We set the basis for every other marketing channel we use: content marketing, SEO, direct response marketing, copywriting, lead generation, email marketing, paid advertising, sales funnels, video marketing, social media, influencer outreach, local marketing, outbound marketing, partnerships, and so on.
Nurture your existing customers
Episode 07: Nurture your existing customers
It costs around 5 times more to gain a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Sounds scary, isn’t it? It shouldn’t be. This is good news.
Customer retention and loyalty are critical to every business. Our current customer list is the most valuable asset we have.
In the previous episode, we discussed the importance of research. We analyzed that we need to research the market, the competition, and the business itself by exploiting all the assets a business has in its position.
One of those assets is our current customers.
Our goal with marketing is to target potential customers, nurture them into a brand’s ethics and values, convert them into paying customers, and then delight them and retain them for as long as we can.
Think of the most successful brands in history, they are not necessarily experts in acquiring new customers all the time, they are experts in retaining them for a lifetime.
Acquiring new customers is not an easy task. It takes effort, resources, consistency, and money to persuade people into doing business with us. Marketing, advertising, sales, product development and improvement, innovation, customer service, and the list goes on.
Existing customers are more receptive to a brand’s new offers and products. They already trusted us with their hard-earned money.
And when I work with a new brand, I always investigate and exploit its current assets.
Unfortunately, not all business owners are willing to consider evaluating their current customer list. Others are afraid they will lose the customer forever, others think it’s an aggressive and pushing method, others don’t really understand the power behind the numbers.
But if you don’t work your current customer list, it’s a dead list, the customer is already lost.
So how can we re-enable our customers to do business with us again? Let’s see some examples.
#1 If you are a service-based business, contact your customers with a brand new service package. Offer them exclusive discounts, extra services, and added guarantees on a monthly or yearly subscription and make it crystal clear that the new subscription service is only available to your best customers. It’s not a service available to anyone else.
#2 If you run a local store and you don’t know your customers by name, add an exclusive club card service so they can collect points that they can redeem for products in the future.
#3 In our hotel, it’s our policy, to offer discounts to all existing customers when they visit us again. It doesn’t matter how many nights they’re gonna stay. They get the discount, over and over again. That’s why they visit us again and again.
If an existing customer books a room for a relative or friend, they get the same discount as well.
#4 If you sell goods and products, announce special, or flash sales, and limited availability offers to your existing customers ahead of time. Be very specific on how the new products or offers can help your customers and improve their lives.
#5 If you sell a luxury or high-ticket offer don’t avoid revealing the actual price but at the same time focus on the features, benefits, and supreme quality. Analyze the production, inspection, and perfection and the time it takes that ultimately guarantees the best product for only a handful of selected clients.
#6 No matter your business or the kind of product you sell, ask for customer feedback and take action. Collect valuable data to improve your current product line and to create new products that the market needs right now.
The importance of following up
Episode 08: The importance of following up
We live in a world full of distractions, a multi-dimensional environment where speed, information overload, and anxiety prevail. That’s why business owners should always follow up on their prospects and customers.
We spend an enormous amount of time, resources, and money to research the market, develop superior products that improve people’s lives and provide excellent customer service.
We spend money on ads to drive traffic to our properties and landing pages so we can show people our amazing offers and serve them.
But we often forget something extremely important. Following up. We need to follow up with prospects and customers on everything we do.
Someone signs up to your email list. What would you do? You send a welcoming email, right? And then, you follow up with a series of emails nurturing them into your brand’s ethics and vision.
You want to get in touch in order to build trust, rapport, and meaningful relationships.
Let’s say you created an information product and you drive traffic to a webinar page. The webinar starts in 3 days, and some people will register.
So what would you do? Are you waiting till the webinar starts? No.
You follow up.
Because people forget, they are busy, they get distracted, something gets in the way. They receive invitations to other events and they are not showing up at your event.
It’s one thing to get people to register and another thing to actually get them to show up.
You follow up with emails and videos reminding them how excited you are about the event and you try to increase their curiosity.
How often do you get in contact?
And during the webinar day, you send reminders, a few hours before, 30 minutes before, and when you go live.
People will appreciate it because they might have forgotten about it and the majority don’t have time to read all their emails. Some will unsubscribe, yes, but that is a good thing. It keeps your list hyper-targeted.
Let’s say you are a service provider, a consultant. You work with clients directly and you help them improve in their area of interest.
They paid for your services, you helped them, so now what?
You follow up.
You ask them if they are satisfied, if they have questions or if they need assistance.
Offer them a bonus session for free, do whatever it takes to show how much you care and that you want to see them succeed.
Following up does not always mean trying to push your offers. It’s also about caring.
You run a restaurant and most of the time you don’t know your customers by name. In fact, you don’t know anything about them.
How do you follow up with strangers?
Just before they leave, you or someone else approaches them and asks if they enjoyed their dinner and if there was anything wrong that they want to see fixed.
You hand over a flyer of your next live music event with discount coupons or you offer a meal for two for free. They will bring their friends too.
Plus, you are getting valuable feedback to improve your service.
You are a salesperson and you make phone calls to prospects.
Some of them will hang up immediately, some will discuss with you for a while and some will show interest.
You ignore the 1st group and you follow up with the rest 2 groups.
By following up, you are not necessarily pushing them. You ask questions to know more about them and how you can help them. You ask their opinion and what they want to see changed. You begin a conversation.
You become trustworthy. They take you seriously. It shows your devotion and that you believe in your product or service.
Some might get annoyed but these are not your ideal clients, anyway.
Remember this, if you don’t follow up, your competitors will, and they will get your prospects’ business.
Whether you run an offline or online business, you need to be creative. One of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur.
Following up helps you and the customer.
If you don’t follow up, you are actually doing a disservice both to you and the customer.
Testing (part 1)
Episode 09: Testing (Part 1)
The power of “testing” and what it can do for any business. This is going to be a long series, it’s all about testing, and testing applies to everything on marketing. So, this is a huge topic, we’ll go very deep.
So, I had a project. I was working with a client.
He had a landing page, where he was driving traffic, and he had an image. It was an image for a webinar.
We were driving traffic with Google Bing, and Facebook, for this specific campaign, and it was not converting so well.
So, I decided to change something. We changed the headlines, the descriptions, all this stuff…we had some success with some changes.
We left the better converting elements on the page, but I was expecting something more.
So, at some point, I…changed the image on the page.
I changed the image and BOOM.
The conversions went through the roof, as they say, we had almost, double the conversion rates. We went from 5 something percent to 11 or 12%. I think.
Double and more.
2X the conversion rates just because I changed the image.
What image was that?
What was the content of the page?
What was the webinar about?
I won’t reveal it of course.
I will leave that hanging.
That’s it for now.
Refine your messaging
Episode 10: Refine your messaging
Different groups of people respond differently to advertisements and they value different things. We can’t target the whole population with the same message.
Even if our product or service helps various segments of the market, we need to present it differently every time for maximum results.
Let’s give an example: your company produces and sells printers. And let’s say you want to advertise one particular printer.
The same printer will be used by different groups of people that respond to advertisements differently and they value different things.
And now let’s say that you want to advertise this printer to a teenager; you may focus on features or benefits like the speed of the machine and how easy it is to make copies or scan the documents. And if you want to advertise the same printer to elderly people you may want to focus on other things like that is a machine with low noise, it won’t bother you, the design, the prestige, you want to focus on other things for different groups of people.
And yes, we will need to create multiple advertisements for different groups of people, we may use different copy, different headlines, different images, different landing pages, and so on.
Always remember, everything starts with research, and we also underlined the importance of testing so you should be testing everything when it comes to advertising. Improving, refining, scaling, optimizing, your campaigns.
That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed today’s video.
Your target audience
Episode 11: Your target audience
As we mentioned in previous episodes, everything starts with research.
We research the market, the competition, and the business itself.
Your target audience is part of the market and consists of people interested in your offerings, solutions, products, and services. These are your potential customers.
Reaching out to your target audience should be your #1 goal.
It doesn’t matter if you create the best products or offer the best services in the world. Unless someone is interested in your offerings, listens, watches, and reads what you do, say, produce, and write, you can’t expect to be successful in the highly competitive marketplace.
If you are not targeting the right kind of people that actually need your solutions and offers you will be wasting time, energy, resources, and money.
We can’t target the whole population. We can’t sell everything to everyone.
Here are some of the questions you should be answering regarding your potential customers before you create any marketing campaign:
What problems and difficulties do they face in their daily lives? What are their goals? What are their ambitions, aspirations, needs, and wants?
What makes those types of people happy? what makes them sad?
What makes them scared? What are they afraid of losing?
What makes them relieved?
How can we make their lives better? How can we make their lives easier?
What are they looking for related to our products and services?
What problems are they trying to solve?
How your target group of people discovers products in your niche and industry? Where do they hang out (online and offline)? Are they members of special groups, networks, forums, and communities? Who do they follow? Who are they influenced by?
You need to conduct market research and take a look at your competition. You need to research for ‘Keywords’ they use when they are searching for products, services, and solutions related to your brand.
When you know who you are targeting and what they are looking for, it’s easier to use a language they understand and get their attention.
An example from the tourism industry
Episode 12: An example from the tourism industry
Today I’m at the beach, a place that this time of the year should have been crowded but the situation here is disappointing, to say the least. Only a few people, the beach is empty.
2021 is a better year than 2020 but still, this is not what it was used to be.
So the tourism industry got hit very hard and there are so many businesses that suffer right now, bars, restaurants, hotels, and even transportation.
So what can we do to help those businesses that are in this position right now? What can we do to help them survive this economic crisis?
So what can you do as an owner of such a business that suffers right now in the tourism industry?
Are you going to stand still and wait for things to get better or is there anything you can do?
Of course, you will need to act fast.
There are strategies that you can use and follow to increase your business even during those hard times.
And one of those ways is through partnerships and joint ventures.
What we did for a bar like this, a beach bar.
We made a deal, we contacted some magazines and we made an exclusive deal for their subscribers. We could organize an event for the subscribers of the magazine and the beach bar owner would treat those people as VIP at the event.
And it was a win-win-win scenario for everyone. For people that came at the event, for the magazine, and for the beach bar owner.
And at a time that they had not so much foot traffic, they made a good deal and this event helped their business get some cash that was necessary for the business at this time.
So, you can think of ways think of other companies that can help you in your cause.
With who can you partner to create something for everyone, so you can earn some money, and your partner, and of course, you have to think of your people and the people of your partner.
There are things you can do, so have your eyes open and always try to innovate.
Partnerships as the ultimate weapon in business
Episode 13: Partnerships as the ultimate weapon in business
So, I hear a lot from business people and entrepreneurs that they have problems with the economy, all these downturns, the pandemic, all these bad things that are happening in our world right now and because of the costs of advertising that are rising and due to other facts and its…I admit it, it’s harder than ever before to acquire customers.
Many companies have problems in this area.
So whenever you think of these bad things that are happening you can think of how you can grow your company and how you can take advantage of partnerships.
And why partnerships?
Because when you are able to partner up with a company that is established in a market and exists, they have their own clients, they have a presence, they have traffic on the website, people know about them and they buy products from them.
If you can take advantage of their assets, all that they have…and you can somehow partner up with these companies, you help your business grow, even during these very hard times.
And let me give you an example…
We had a client, it was a travel agency, they were booking hotels and trips for customers. And they wanted to enter a specific country, in an area that they had never been active in before, so we made a deal.
We made a deal with a music production company, and we organized an event where they would create something very unique, like a festival with music, with music producers, and music people and their customers, their fanbase.
So, there were a lot of people, there were over 5,000 people.
And we also made a deal with another company in another country and it was a hotel and other local businesses and we made deals for this travel agency.
So, they would give a discount on a special trip and people would have the chance to attend this music event and travel to this hotel, these beautiful locations, and other local businesses, restaurants and local stores and shops.
And the travel agency would a discount off their trip tickets, the music production company would get a percentage of these profits, there were music producers that made money, the hotels, the local stores, and people enjoyed VIP treatment at the event and in other locations, so they had a special experience and a discount, and the travel agency took advantage of other company’s customers, the hotel also took advantage of these customers and it was a win-win-win scenario for everyone.
So, next time you think that the economy is bad or these things are happening think of ways that you can partner up with other companies, companies that are not competitive to your company.
A partnerhsip example
Episode 14: A partnership example
In the previous episode, we discussed the tremendous power of partnerships and what they can do for any business in any industry.
Partnerships are becoming extremely important in 2021 and beyond due to the rise of advertising costs and the vast plethora of marketing messages that people are bombarded with on a daily basis.
In that episode, I described how we helped a travel agency by partnering up with some companies.
And today I want to discuss another case. This time, we helped a lighting director.
Our client, the lighting director, was operating in the local market for years but when he moved to another country, he had to start all over again. He had no connections and he could not make any deal with local companies.
When I researched his case, I had an idea…the lighting director would approach a few selected local companies with a unique proposal. He would be offering his service for one event for free. The idea was to build brand awareness, showcase expertise instantly, and make connections at the event for the future.
The client was not very excited about this plan, not at all. He did not like the idea of his team working for free with the hope of making valuable connections for the unknown future.
But I analyzed his position. He had experience in the field but he was working in another country, his prospects could not easily verify his expertise. He had no friends, no connections, and time was passing by. No company was willing to hire an “unknown” lighting director for their event even if his pricing was competitive.
He had to demonstrate his expertise.
Long story short…the client agreed to do it.
He made a deal to present his work for 2 hours at a local “youth festival”. His team had an excellent performance that night and he booked a couple of important deals on the spot. He made connections, he was able to enter this hostile new market elegantly.
When it’s hard to enter a new market dynamically, think of ways you can partner up with other companies to showcase your expertise for free in exchange for popularity. You won’t regret it!
Information as a currency
Episode 15: Information as a currency
So what is information when you are a business owner? It should be your currency!
When I expanded my business online, I realized that information was the most valuable asset.
People are looking for information online for everything.
And marketing professionals use any kind of information to their own advantage.
We use information to create ads, get people’s attention, help businesses sell more, we create a cycle of exchange.
Information is being exchanged for everything and especially for money and information products are being developed to help businesses grow.
Information is helpful, solves problems, releases from pain, fixes something broken, transfers knowledge and wisdom, elevates status, is the fuel that keeps the market going.
Now let’s get to the juice.
The information industry, in which the main currency is information, is an industry that is growing exponentially even during those unprecedented times.
It’s an industry that attracts more and more people that want to become entrepreneurs. Because they know that information is being exchanged for everything.
It’s an industry I am so proud I am part of because I help consumers and brands at the same time.
In another episode, we’re going to be discussing information products.
Episode 16: Information products
In the previous episode, we discussed how information is being used as a currency in the digital world.
Information is a tool in the hands of business owners, marketing, and sales professionals, and can be used to attract traffic, generate leads, and produce sales.
Brands use information products to enhance their product line, attract, engage, educate, nurture, and retain a targeted audience.
The goal is to build awareness, trust, credibility, and authority and drive customer action by adding value at every stage of the buyer’s journey and convert strangers into prospects, customers, loyal fans, advocates, and promoters of a brand.
And as we mentioned earlier, we develop information products to address the needs of consumers, educate, entertain, help certain groups of people, solve specific problems, release from pain, fix something broken, transfer knowledge and wisdom, elevate status, and much much more.
So what kind of information products should you be developing for your brand?
Information can be used in various formats as a product:
eBooks, audiobooks, whitepapers, reports, research, case studies, online memberships & subscriptions, courses, lessons, training, email newsletters, eMagazines, online events (webinars, virtual conferences, bootcamps, training workshops), visual products like infographics, charts, in video format (tutorials, presentations, recordings), audio (podcasts, interviews), magazines, journals, newspapers, live in-person events (seminars, workshops & presentations, conferences, masterminds), and so much more.
Information products are easily developed and cost almost nothing compared to physical products.
Beyond the benefits mentioned above, information products are the key to enter dynamically an industry that is only growing even those tough times.
The self-education industry or the knowledge industry as we call it.
This industry is full of consumers hungry for specialized knowledge.
Degrees and credentials are not so important as they used to be.
And this is what makes the knowledge industry so appealing for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Thousands of ordinary people have the chance to transfer their knowledge, experiences, skills, passions, or even better, report on other people’s skills and knowledge to help other people and get paid for doing so.
And if you want to learn more about this amazing industry, check out our blog section.
There’s a 1-day event happening tomorrow, an immersion workshop all about the self-education industry.
Episode 17: Emotional motivators
As we mentioned in previous episodes, everything starts with research.
We research the market, the competition, and the business itself.
Your target audience is part of the market and consists of people interested in your offerings, solutions, products, and services. These are your potential customers.
Reaching out to your target audience should be your #1 goal.
Now that you know your target audience it’s time to connect with them emotionally through your brand’s messages.
People buy based on emotional triggers. Then, they justify their buying decisions with logic.
Your copywriting should make customers feel something and take action.
Strong Emotional Motivators
#1 Aspiration & Hope: people have dreams and hopes for the future. They want to become better versions of themselves. Life has the potential to change. Help them get there.
#2 Curiosity: there’s a gap between what people know and what they want to know. When we trigger curiosity people become active and they won’t stop until they satisfy this desire. Tease them with your messages.
#3 Shame & guilt: both are negative emotions and apparently not exactly the same. In marketing, we manipulate these emotions into a positive outcome for our customers. “Stop overeating, it makes you feel ashamed. Our gym will help you get healthy in 30 days or less”.
#4 Fear: people are afraid of missing out on something great. We can create fear-based advertisements but we have to be careful. We should not go too far.
In order to subtly create fear, we can use loss aversion. People prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains. It’s better not to lose $10 than to find $10. “Save up to 45% with our special discount coupon and save up to $100. The discount coupon expires at midnight.”
#5 Pain: people want to solve their problems and no one wants to feel pain. Exploit your products’ benefits and address your customers’ pain points. Show them how your products will help them feel relieved.
#6 Belonging: humans are social. They feel the need to belong somewhere: a group, a community, a club. This way, they can deal with unpleasant situations more effectively and win over their common enemies. Make them feel part of your family.
#7 Urgency: one of the most powerful motivators. Even when customers know they need your products won’t take action immediately unless there is a: deadline, limited time offer, bonuses that go away in 3 days, etc.
There are way more emotional motivators we can use in our marketing messages.
Ideal partnerships for startups
Episode 18: Ideal partnerships for startups
We discussed in previous episodes the tremendous power of partnerships and that is especially true for startups.
Because when you are a startup business, you need to enter the market dynamically and the best way to do that is to partner up with another established brand so you can get access to their customers, use their assets, to speed up your results.
Let’s say you are a software startup company.
What do you do?
You want to get your software to the hands of as many people as possible in the shortest period of time.
You partner up with another established brand, you give access to your software for their customers.
Let’s say a beta group, a small group of people to test your software, they will give you feedback to improve your software, they will get discounts, and you will enter the market dynamically, you will collect feedback, you will collect testimonials that your software works and that it brings results, it does what it says it does, so everybody wins.
And this kind of beta group works really well on anything you do in any industry, for example, we are a startup in the marketing services industry.
WebMarketSupport is a startup and we want to prove that our marketing services can bring results for other businesses so we are going to be working with a small group of people, a beta group, we will apply our marketing methodology to their businesses so we can collect testimonials that we can bring results for other businesses.
And, of course, then we will take it further, we will form a partnership with an established brand so we can create a win-win-win scenario for everyone, our partner, our agency, and the final consumers.
Turning assets into income
Episode 19: Turning assets into income
So, I was discussing with a friend the other day and he was thinking of selling a part of his property because his family got in serious trouble lately and he was left unemployed so things were tough for him and…
He was thinking of selling a part of his property to get some cash so he’ll be able to buy apartments for rent, to rent those apartments to other people to create some kind of passive income.
And I believe it’s a great idea because when you own a property that does not produce any income for you and you are in a bad situation in uncertain times, you need to use your assets, your property.
And if you be in a position to sell a part of your property to create passive income it’s always a good idea because passive income gives you momentum, gives you fresh air, and you get cash every month, you have something to wait for. It’s an operation, an investment.
So think of ways that you can use and maximize your assets to create income for you, we want as many income streams as we can, this is the general rule for success in business and in life also.
A quote by Blair Warren
Episode 20: A quote by Blair Warren
In a previous episode, we discussed that you need to get your customers’ attention and in another one, we discussed the tremendous power of emotional motivators that you can use in your messaging to get your target audience’s attention.
And today I want to discuss a quote by Blair Warren and it’s this:
People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.
Warren had been studying persuasion for years and this sentence contains 5 of the most important insights he learned by studying and applying principles of persuasion.
Warren describes these insights as “very simple” but at the same time frighteningly powerful.
These insights had been used by madmen, leaders, politicians, marketers, salesmen, seducers, evangelists, and entertainers all over the world and he says…
These are the tools for anyone that must connect with others and more importantly make these connections pay off.
So let’s examine these 5 insights separately and the first one is encouraging people’s dreams.
People have dreams and hopes for the future, and if you encourage their dreams in your messaging, you’ll be well on your way to success to create a movement, a movement-based business, a business that is followed by passionate fans all over the world that promote your brand willingly on their own.
The 2nd insight: justifying their failures.
Accepting responsibility is essential to gain control of our own lives and reassuring others that they are not responsible for their failures is essential to gaining influence over them.
This is what politicians do, and you need to show compassion and empathy in your messaging, you need to clearly express that you understand, feel people’s pain and that they did what they could, and that they are not responsible for their failures and there is a solution to their problems.
Allaying their fears.
When we are afraid we can’t concentrate on anything else.
When you try to approach people that are afraid don’t just tell them how to feel because they won’t feel that way, it’s not enough. Don’t just tell them “don’t be afraid”. Because this won’t stop them from being afraid.
You need to work with them until the fear goes away, to provide evidence and facts, tell stories, offer your support, calm them down until the fear goes away.
And this is where marketing research is so important because by performing research you’ll be able to understand people’s fears and then you’ll be able to take advantage of that in your messaging to approach them.
Confirm people’s suspicions.
One of our favorite things to say is “I knew it”. When someone confirms something that we suspect, we feel a sense of superiority and we are attracted to the person who made it clear to us.
This is what Hitler did when he confirmed the suspicions of Germans about the cause of their troubles and this is what cults do, they confirm the suspicions of their prospective members by telling them that their families are out there to sabotage them.
And Warren highlights that is a simple thing to do, to confirm the suspicions of those who are desperate to believe them.
Help them throw rocks at their enemies.
Nothing bonds like having a common enemy. And all people have enemies. It has been said that everyone you meet is engaged in a great struggle. The thing they are struggling with is their enemy and it can be an individual, a group, a problem, a setback, a rival philosophy or religion, it does not matter.
When you join people in their fight, you become more than friends, you become partners.
These are the 5 insights described by Blair Warren in his “One sentence persuasion course”. You can use them to draw people into your business world but use them wisely because they are extremely powerful.
An offer above the fold on your website
Episode 21: An offer above the fold on your website
We discussed how to identify and reach your target audience. We discussed how to refine your messaging in order to get people’s attention effectively, and we discussed the famous quote by Blair Warren.
And today I want to discuss a very important, critical element that you must include on your website in order to get people’s attention immediately.
When people visit your website, your homepage, you have an opportunity to connect with them.
On average, you have 5 seconds to help your customers understand what your website is all about and to catch their attention.
Now you know who your potential customers are, how to trigger their emotions effectively, and now you need to use clear language they can understand immediately. We need to use simple words, not fancy words. Don’t use business jargon. Don’t assume that people understand your industry’s specific vocabulary.
Remember, people don’t like to get confused.
Now, we need to create an irresistible offer above the fold on our website. Above the fold is the part of the website that visitors see before they scroll down. It’s a critical element, it’s an important element because it’s the first impression, it’s the storefront of our business.
This offer should be irresistible and should reflect our company’s identity, what we do, why we do what we do, and how our products and services will make the lives of our customers better.
Promise to solve a problem, help your customers visualize the beautiful outcome of doing business with you.
What’s in it for them?
What is the benefit for your customers?
The offer is not about you, it’s about the customer.
OK, so let’s see some examples.
I visited the website “Mr and Mrs Smith”, the travel club for hotel lovers. Helping you find and book the world’s best boutique and luxury hotels.
This is an irresistible offer, they use a clear, easy-to-understand language, we know exactly what this website is all about in just a few seconds.
I visited the website of Wistia. The video host with the most. See measurable results from your videos (and podcasts, too) with our complete hosting platform for marketers. Try for free, explore our plans.
Another good example of an irresistible offer above the fold.
Good with kitchen. Now, I don’t agree with the logo been placed on the right-hand side of the website, but let’s see the offer. Kristen Ciccolini – holistic nutritionist: Empowering people to align with their cycles, break free from the diet mentality, and manage health through evidence-based nutrition and mindfulness practices. Work with me.
Another good example.
Moz – there’s a smarter way to do SEO. SEO software and data to help you increase traffic, rankings, and visibility in search results. Try Moz Pro free, plus get a complimentary walkthrough with an SEO specialist.
And let’s see another example.
WebMarketSupport – marketing strategies and services. We help startups and aspiring entrepreneurs to grow and thrive by expanding their customer base all over the world through our revolutionary model called “7 Ideals”. Free demo, services.
These are all good examples of irresistible offers above the fold that you can use to draw people and get their attention as soon as possible.
Express empathy and authority
Episode 22: Express empathy and authority
We discussed how to identify and reach your target audience. We discussed how to refine your messaging in order to get people’s attention effectively, the famous quote by Blair Warren, and how to create an irresistible offer on your website.
Now that you are driving people into your world, you need to gain their trust so they can do business with you.
How do you gain trust?
Empathy and authority.
When we visit a business property we expect that they understand our problems and desires and to have our questions answered.
So imagine this scene…you visit a doctor because of back pain and he stares at you without knowing what questions to ask and without telling you what to do. How would you feel? Disappointed, right?
Show your customers that you care about their situation and that you are competent. Show them that you know how they feel and how you are the go-to brand for their case.
Your brand should be leading, your brand should express authority so people will follow.
Use testimonials, statistics, numbers, facts, guarantees, awards, images and videos of happy people using your products and services. If you are a B2B company display logos of your clients on your homepage.
There are more ways to gain trust in the marketplace and become extremely competent but that is subject for another discussion.
Inspire and drive people to take action
Episode 23: Inspire and drive people to take action
We discussed how to identify and reach your target audience. We discussed how to refine your messaging in order to get people’s attention effectively, the famous quote by Blair Warren, and how to create an irresistible offer on your website. We also discussed how to gain people’s trust so they’ll want to do business with you.
Now you’ve reached a point where you’ve done all the hard work but still, a big percentage of people won’t take action unless you inspire them to do so.
Many business owners complain that they can’t ask their customers to buy their products.
This is a subject for another discussion but for now have in mind, that selling is actually serving.
You’ve done all the work to identify your target audience, understand their needs, get their attention, gain their trust, and now it’s time to inspire your customers to take the next step you want them to take whether it is a purchase, filling up a form, closing an appointment, booking a phone call, downloading files, a free consultation session, a giveaway, anything at all.
Most people won’t move forward unless you clearly show them the next step.
Not every customer will take action immediately and that’s OK. And not every customer will know what to do when they visit your website or landing page unless you tell them.
We use call-to-action buttons on our websites, landing pages, and paid advertisements on social media, search engines, and other properties.
It’s what we want our customers to do. It’s the next step we want them to take.
CTA buttons should stand out from the rest of the design elements on a page. We need contrast in color and to repeat them often.
Place these buttons everywhere. Especially on the homepage and on landing pages, we need customers to move forward with their decisions.
Don’t worry that you will cross the line. It’s better to have them rather than waiting for people to take action on their own.
We also use call-to-action copy, words. We suggest what step people should take next if they want to achieve the results they want.
Your copywriting should inspire people and drive them to take action.
Help your customers to make a well-informed decision throughout your copy and answer as many objections and questions as you can.
We’ll dive deeper into this topic in upcoming videos, but for now, remember, drive people to take action and do that in all your marketing communications.
Gain leads with pop-up messages
Episode 24: Gain leads with pop-up messages
We discussed how to identify and reach your target audience. We discussed how to refine your messaging in order to get people’s attention effectively, the famous quote by Blair Warren, and how to create an irresistible offer on your website. We also discussed how to gain people’s trust so they’ll want to do business with you.
But I get asked questions like…how can we increase the chances of getting people’s attention on our websites? is there something we can do beyond copywriting? How can we take advantage of our current traffic?
I have very good news. There’s a way to get people’s attention, in fact, this is a way to get your message in front of them no matter what they do and read on your site.
And that is by using pop-up messages. Those annoying sometimes messages that cover your screen and you can’t help but read them. You can choose to close the message but it gets your attention.
That’s all we ever need.
As a marketer, I’m constantly testing various methods to gain leads and drive people into my world.
Out of all the lead generation tactics I tried, one stands out, pop-up messages.
Other methods work too, like forms, fly-in messages, below posts ads, locked content, widgets, and so on.
But none of these methods bring results like pop-up messages. Pop-ups outperform
Now, have in mind, that what you offer is more important. If people are not interested in your offer, getting people’s attention won’t make a big difference, but that is the point anyway, to get their attention.
Let me show you some examples.
Here I am, on my website. I am using Bloom, this is the lead generation plugin that comes with my theme, and that is Divi by Elegant Themes.
And these are the lead generation options. You can create a pop-up message, a fly-in, below post, inline, locked content, and widgets.
These are some of the messages I have created lately, and here in the conversion rate column, you can see the percentage.
The first two are not pop-up messages, the third one is a pop-up message. As you can see, 1.3%.
Anything that is above 1% is a pop-up message. As you can see, pop-up messages outperform the other types of forms or lead generation methods.
And how this works; when people visit your website, you can decide when you want to display your message. For example, I set a delay in seconds, after 60 seconds the pop-up message will be triggered and you can set where you want it to be displayed, on which pages, and then I drive people to a thank you page.
And there, on the thank you page, beyond the free offer that I’m offering with the pop-up message, I can make an upsell, I can offer something premium to people that just registered with their email addresses on the thank you page.
It’s optional, but you can do that too.
And then you need to build trust with these people, to connect with them, and eventually, turn them into paying customers.
Offer something valuable in exchange for their email address. An offer they can’t refuse or at least they would have a very hard time refusing. Offer something great, don’t worry that you are giving away too much.
What can you offer?
eBooks, other free downloads and digital goodies, templates, cheat sheets, checklists, access to exclusive content, discounts, announce live events, webinars, presentations, free training, and so on.
When you gain leads it’s time to engage with them, add value to their lives, and build trust.
We’ll dive deeper into this topic in upcoming videos, but for now, remember, make an irresistible offer, enable pop-up messages on specific pages on your site, follow up with leads and build relationships, automate some parts of your business as you are moving forward.
Episode 25: Decisions
Management involves making decisions, of small or large economic importance.
Decisions in a company are made by all employees, regardless of hierarchy.
Production and consumption mean problems, solutions, and decisions.
Most problems are common, they recur almost daily, and so we can solve them quite easily.
Our experience is enough to lead to instant, almost automatic decisions.
But there are also difficult problems, old ones that reappear or even new ones.
Here you need thought, mental exercise, spiritual and mental effort.
All decisions made are based on intuition, luck, research, or a combination of those three.
The experience of the past, which is an accumulated store of knowledge, inevitably affects the way a decision is made.
Now, if the decisions we made after a thorough investigation turned out to be the worst afterward, then in the future the investigation will be met with skepticism.
Investigation and research are values with which modern marketing functions.
But researching before deciding does not always equal success.
There were countless cases where even giant multinational companies failed miserably.
However, for marketing decision-makers, research becomes a necessity for the following reasons:
- The adoption of the marketing ideology presupposes the complete knowledge of the needs of the customers. The acquisition of this knowledge is made possible with the help of research
- Implementing the marketing ideology, through the marketing mix, requires a lot of resources. The research helps both in the most economical use of the resources, as well as in the continuous self-control, in order to determine the course of the implementation
- For marketing, changes in the environment and their impact on business are a given. Research helps to closely monitor environmental changes and, when necessary, guides the process of self-adaptation
Nothing stays the same, the needs of the customers’ change, the environment changes, the world, the economy, and so on.
In marketing, we can’t just rely on our experience, we need to constantly monitor the marketplace and perform research before we make decisions that could affect our business.
Build your own platform
Episode 26: Build your own platform
The main goal when doing business online is to build your own platform. When we say “platform”, we don’t just mean a website.
A platform is where you build a community and assets.
It’s OK to build a social following and engage with your fans on any platform. You can build groups, business pages, chats, host your own rooms on social audio platforms, release podcast episodes, create videos for your channel, and publish content there on a daily basis.
But the thing is that you don’t own these platforms.
And what happens if they decide to close your account for any reason?
They can and they do that all the time.
For example, a couple of years ago, I had my Pinterest account closed for a week or so due to an algorithm check. It was a mistake and they opened my account again but what if they did not?
It’s their platform and they can do anything they want.
That’s why you need to build your own platform and assets.
One of those assets and the most important is your email list.
This is a list of people that gave you permission to communicate with them.
It’s a list that you own and control.
It’s your people, your tribe, your community.
It’s an asset that you can use to sell your products and services. You can partner up with other brands and run cross-promotions as well.
You can do whatever you want with this list and no one can take it away from you.
So, don’t get too excited if your FB page has tens of thousands of followers. It adds trust and authority but it does not translate into money and assets.
You need to turn those followers into email subscribers.
Whatever you do on other platforms, try to redirect traffic back to your platform.
This way, you’ll be able to engage with your audience on a deeper level and nurture them to your brand’s vision more effectively.
We need social proof but we need independence as well.
Lead generation for offline businesses
Episode 27: Lead generation for offline businesses
Just because your business is offline, that does not mean you can’t use the internet and online marketing strategies to communicate with prospects and clients.
The vast majority of store owners have no idea who their customers are. They offer their services and sell their products to people passing by, to strangers.
But the thing is, how do you collect email addresses or contact details in your store, office, or facilities from your existing customers? And how do you generate leads offline to start sending foot traffic to your location?
Let’s examine the first case, collecting data from existing customers.
For some businesses collecting existing customers’ contact details is easy.
If you sell equipment, electrics and electronics, or if you are a doctor, gym owner, or a service provider with an office, your customers will share their details during the checkout process.
But what happens when you run a restaurant, a cafe, a bar, a theater, a bakery?
You need to be creative here and take advantage of your facilities to inspire and motivate people to share their data.
Let’s give an example:
You run a restaurant. People visit your place and enjoy your meals.
Create a member’s card with special prizes, discounts coupons, and other perks.
Create a special webpage where people can become members, give feedback, make complaints, and communicate with your business. Organize events and other special treats with exclusive services and discounts for members.
How do you let people know about this webpage?
Create a questionnaire that people can fill out before they leave the restaurant. You will be collecting valuable feedback about your services and you may entice some of them to share their data by offering them an overview of your members-only services that they can access by visiting your easy-memorable URL.
Place the URL everywhere in your restaurant.
Build a Facebook group or page where you’ll be interacting with people to answer questions, make announcements, offer your food and diet advice, share recipes, and so much more.
Let people know about your FB page when they visit your restaurant.
What are we trying to do here? Drive people online so we can deploy amazing marketing strategies and communicate with them on an ongoing basis.
When you have online traffic, it’s way easier to collect email addresses.
You can take it one step further and create a blog where you’ll be showcasing your expertise, photos of your beautiful events, news about the industry, and on and on.
You can take it 2 and 3 steps further by creating a podcast show, video channel, and more.
Now, let’s examine the 2nd case, generating leads offline to start sending foot traffic to your location.
You can use direct mail (old-school but very effective if done right), create print ads, cold calling, organize events, guerrilla marketing tactics.
We have a whole guide with guerrilla marketing strategies and tactics to give you a ton of ideas you can implement to send unlimited traffic to your locations.
Running an offline business is only half the battle. To gain exposure and authority and to be able to generate hot leads, you need an online presence and to communicate with your existing customers frequently.
How often you should communicate with prospects and clients
Episode 28: How often you should communicate with prospects and clients
Every industry and business is different and every prospect and client is different. We can’t give a one-size-fits-all answer here.
But the thing is…we need to communicate with prospects and clients frequently. That’s what I recommended in the previous episode.
People forget, new companies enter the marketplace, new technologies are being evolved, people’s needs change, nothing stays the same, that’s why brands need to keep on advertising and branding.
Whatever channel you are using, you need to be consistent and communicate with prospects and clients, be present, be a leader, but at the same time, you need to be careful not to cross the line.
How often you should be communicating depends on what you have to say (offer, new product, plain information, updates), who you are saying it to (prospect, a new customer, best client, past client), and the situation.
Now, this is very important…don’t just communicate for the sake of sending out something, do that when you really have a message to share.
For example, you may send email newsletters even daily when you have something to say, but when you do a product launch or you organize an event, you should be sending emails and reminders more often. Sometimes we send 5 emails per day just to make sure people register for the event or that they visit our landing page, and there are brands that send even more emails, and so on.
If you are making phone calls, you want to communicate with them so that they don’t forget you exist, but also you should not harass them.
Give people time to absorb your new information and follow up to collect feedback and get answers.
Don’t forget your existing customers, marketing doesn’t stop when a sale is made.
Use both offline and online channels and media.
For example, a birthday or Christmas card to a client can make a huge difference.
You need to find the balance. Don’t offend, don’t upset, but also get your message out there.
Selling is serving and you should remind that yourself daily. If you can’t sell your product, you can’t change people’s lives.
If prospects unsubscribe or disappear because you’ve communicated too much, don’t worry, it’s a good thing. It keeps your audience responsive and receptive.
Marketing is all about attracting those we want and repelling those we don’t want.
The importance of marketing
Episode 29: The importance of marketing
So why marketing? what is marketing?
Marketing is the art and science of drawing attention to a company’s products and services and it incorporates researching, advertising, sales, branding, public relations, product design and distribution, and more.
It’s about interacting and engaging with the marketplace, nurturing prospects, converting them into paying customers by providing solutions to their problems, needs, and wants, and turning them into repeated buyers, advocates, and promoters of a brand.
In his book “Stealth Marketing”, Jay Abraham, one of the world’s most impactful marketing strategists and business innovators, says…
Marketing is the mainspring of any business. Is the science of getting people to come and try your product or service, getting them to come back again and again, and getting them to purchase more when they do come back. To put it bluntly, marketing can make the difference between the life and death of your business. Yet, is one of the least understood and most underutilized facets of business today.
In an article, I’ve identified 70+ reasons why marketing is so important and I want to emphasize a few of the reasons here to help you understand that marketing is not only about promoting and selling, it’s way more than that.
By doing marketing brands are able to identify people’s needs, problems,, wants, frustrations, and aspirations.
They discover hidden opportunities in the marketplace.
They build brand awareness, trust, credibility, authority, and community.
They develop close relationships with consumers, influencers, and other companies.
They educate their prospects and customers and help them envision a better future for themselves.
They multiply results, minimize costs, increase conversions and revenue, improve product quality, drive business growth, and so much more.
All of these things are great and marketing can help your brand grow and thrive.
But there is one thing that is even more important than marketing and this is the subject of our next episode.
What is even more important than marketing
Episode 30: What is even more important than marketing
In the previous episode, we discussed how important marketing is for any business and that it can literally mean the difference between the life and death of a business.
Marketing can’t do miracles on its own.
But what do I mean by that?
If we try to sell a product, service, or offer people don’t really want, no matter how hard we try, how aggressive our marketing campaigns are, and how many endorsements and testimonials we present, we are doomed to fail.
We need to create products and services that serve our target audience, not products that serve our business.
We need to be focused on the end consumer.
That’s why we need to solve people’s problems, add value to their lives, and meet their needs with our products.
People don’t really need beautiful products that can’t solve their problems or frustrations. They don’t need shiny objects. They need products that fulfill their promises. They need services that can make their lives better and help them save money, time, and resources.
We need to create valuable products that serve our customers and irresistible offers and packages that add enormous value to their lives.
This is the first and most important step in business and this is when marketing can do miracles.
Throughout history, there had been examples where even giant and well-established brands failed to deliver a good user experience and all their marketing efforts flopped.
We need to keep the end consumer at the heart of our product design and development process and create bonds of trust.
Because all customer relationships are built on trust.
So, in essence, we need to create products that deliver massive value and actually help people move forward.
When we design and offer these kinds of products, suddenly our product becomes our marketing.
This is the base, this is where we should start.
And this goes back to what we shared in episode #6. Everything starts with research.
Your target audience and their needs.
It’s not about us, the brand, it’s about them and what we do to help them.
Even giant companies fail – an example
Episode 31: Even giant companies fail – an example
In the previous episode, we discussed how important is to focus on the end consumers and their needs before we develop any product.
And we underlined that throughout history, there had been examples where even giant and well-established brands failed to deliver a good user experience and all their marketing efforts flopped.
One of these examples is Google Glass, a wearable tech device that pulled of the market in 2012.
The Bentley University sheds some light on the case with an article.
The company’s marketing budget would suggest the developers truly did try to make the device into the next hot trend. It was paraded through talk shows, it got a 12-page story in Vogue, models at New York Fashion Week strut down the runway wearing Glass and celebrities like Oprah, Bill Murray, Beyoncé and Jennifer Lawrence were all seen wearing the device at different times.
All this publicity backfired on Google after users found out how bug-ridden and clunky the product really was. Soon Glass became just another joke.
Mark Frydenberg, senior lecturer at the Bentley University mentions…
“Glass showed that there were a variety of solutions that this technology could provide, but Google (intentionally?) didn’t identify the problem beforehand. They wanted to see what people could do with it.”
Long story short, Google built a solution before identifying a problem.
But this failure helped Google discover other breakthrough uses for its wearable device.
As the article suggests…At the very least, the device likely has a solid future in hospitals.
As we discussed in other episodes and articles, successful entrepreneurs are innovators. They develop new products that do not exist in order to improve people’s lives.
So, it’s OK to try to develop new products and even if your product fails, there are always lessons to be learned.
You will get a deeper understanding of what people want and need, and how the market responds.
Business growth failure example
Episode 32: Business growth failure example
We have already discussed that entrepreneurs are innovators, leaders, action-takers, and risk-takers. But we also underlined that successful entrepreneurs take calculated risks.
Today, I want to share a story from my neighborhood.
There is a cafe on one of the main streets in the area. It was opened over 10 years ago. A big place, around 100 tables, 10-12 employees.
Close to this cafe, there is a bakery, a dance school, and a fish market.
On the other side of the road, there was another cafe of the same size. Next to it, a martial arts school, a gym, a butcher shop, and a pharmacy.
So, there were 2 cafes, the competing brands, and all the other stores and shops.
Both cafes were busy and crowded most of the time and I was visiting both of them.
For many years, these 2 cafes were doing just great.
But at some point, one of the cafes was closed. I don’t know the reasons why.
And here’s what happened next.
The owner of the cafe that was still in business was worried that a new cafe would open soon at the same exact spot, on the other side of the road.
And he decided to rent the place himself. Just to make sure no competing cafe would open at the same spot, a cafe of the same size.
He knew that anyone could open a cafe by renting another property in the same area, but none of the other places had the same size as this one.
He also took the risk of building a new business from scratch, he did not just rent the place to keep it from opening.
Eventually, he opened a sports cafe.
So, this entrepreneur was running 2 businesses in the same area, the cafe and the sports cafe on the other side of the road.
But…the sports cafe was not doing well.
Only a few people here and there.
The old cafe was doing still OK.
Then, we got hit by the pandemic and both his businesses were forced to shut down for 2 months or so.
During this period, all the stores and shops in the area, and generally, in my country were suffering.
Long story short, the entrepreneur had to close the sports cafe once and for all.
Unfortunately, he lost a big amount of money in less than 1 year.
What happened to the store that was closed?
Now, it’s run by a bank.
I know all these things because one of my friends was working as a manager at his cafe at that time.
What can we learn from this story?
The entrepreneur acted prematurely. He did not calculate all the risks. He made a big investment in the hope that the new cafe would do OK.
If he had given it a second thought, he would have decided just to rent the store and keep it from opening. He would not invest in a new business venture. He would have lost only the money of the rent, 100 times less than he actually lost.
Do not invest big money just to stop someone from opening a competing shop. in your area. They will find their way if they want to.
Invest in your own business growth.
When you run a local business, competing brands in the same area are not enemies, they can actually turn into allies.
More importantly, I noticed it a hundred times in my country and other countries, competing cafes in the same area is actually a good thing.
In all the areas I’ve visited where there are many cafes, even one next to another, all the cafes are prospering.
Find ways to form a partnership with competing brands instead of sabotaging them.
Invest in your service, your products, your people, your own business.
And last but not least…do not open a business that is very similar to the one you already run in the same area. You are competing yourself.
Episode 33: Multimedia marketing
In episode 26, we analyzed why building your own platform is essential to your business and why you should not depend on any other medium alone.
And today I want to discuss marketing strategy.
In the book “NO-BS guide to direct response social media marketing” by Dan Kennedy and Kim-Walsh Phillips, Dan says…
“What I can tell you with ironclad certainty is that overdependence puts you in peril. The only secure strategy is a multimedia marketing strategy and a multichannel sales strategy”.
Dan wants to emphasize that relying only on social media is a mistake many brands make.
Beyond your own platform, you should be leveraging the power of other media, and social media is just one of them.
This is a golden rule:
You should be broadcasting your messages using a combination of all the available media.
Such as search engines (organically through SEO and paid advertising), other websites and web properties, live chat, podcasts, videos, forums, networks, communities, discussion boards, emails & newsletters, direct mail, TV, newspaper, radio, billboards, mobile, press releases, sponsorships, influencers, events, conferences, and so much more.
Not all these media will work for your business so you need to check them out and then choose the ones that produce the best results wisely.
Why leveraging the power of all these media?
Because your customers are using them and they are being exposed to advertisements on these mediums on a daily basis.
Using a combination of media helps brands reach more customers and prospects, attract investors and joint-venture partners, gain visibility and exposure.
Single-channel marketing strategies and approaches belong to the past.
If you want to gain a competitive advantage, become an authority brand, and thrive in the new era of the digital economy, you should adopt a multimedia marketing strategy alongside your own platform.
Episode 34: Start your day with the toughest tasks
Many business owners that I know complain they don’t have enough time during the day to do all these things they need to do in order to grow their companies.
I always respond with a question like this…
What’s the first thing you do in your day?
And I get responses like these…
I read my emails, I discuss with clients, I assign tasks, I supervise the facilities, I take care of urgent tasks, and on and on.
All these things are great and we all have to complete these tasks but we need a particular order if we want to increase our productivity and find time to complete all the tasks we have.
Productivity is one of the qualities that make successful entrepreneurs.
So how do we start our day?
The first hours of the day are the most important as we are full of energy. This flow of energy slowly starts to fade as time passes by.
So, it’s crucial that you start your day with the toughest task, the one that is of critical importance, the one that will have the biggest impact on your business.
Complete the tasks that need your undistracted attention, those that you can’t outsource or assign.
If you do that. then you’ll be surprised how easier the secondary tasks become.
We’ll be discussing productivity and the other qualities of successful entrepreneurs repeatedly. We have a lot to cover.
Episode 35: Offer vs marketing vs design
Marketing professionals and designers quite often debate whether marketing or design is more important for a product.
Now here’s the thing:
Both are important. But there are more factors to be considered here and we need to examine some possible scenarios.
Let’s imagine this:
You create a new product that is appealing, beautifully packaged, a state-of-the-art end result.
Great, but what happens if you don’t market the product to the right people? It flops. What happens if the product is something people don’t want? It flops. What happens if the after-sales service or customer service is awful? Bad reputation.
Now let’s imagine this:
You create a product with inferior design and you market it to the right people at the right time with the right message. What happens? Some will buy because your marketing is great. Some won’t buy because the design is bad.
Now let’s imagine this:
You create a product after thorough market research, a product that the market needs desperately and you take it one step further and you create an irresistible offer, a package no one can refuse (extended guarantees, discounts, early-bird access), and so on. You market it on a low budget and the design is not supreme. What happens? Most people will buy the offer.
Now, let’s recap.
Everything matters in business. Every department, marketing, sales, product design, customer service, etc.
But everything starts with market research.
What do people want? Give it to them but create an irresistible offer, add urgency, give bonuses, offer guarantees, and you’ll have sales pouring in.
If you create something people don’t want, you will be wasting time, money, and resources.
Even the best marketing and design can’t save a product that is destined to fail.
But there’s one more thing.
If you create a product that the market needs desperately and you market it effectively, without having a superior design, the product will sell.
If you create a product that the market needs and the design is excellent but you don’t market it effectively, the product won’t sell that much.
“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it”
– Estee Lauder
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