Think it’s the lack of advanced techniques that’s been holding you back?
Think your blog isn’t finding readers because you don’t have the coolest plugins? Or that your sales page doesn’t convert because you couldn’t afford the 1,999 Secrets of Ninja Marketing Masters product that got released last month?
Think the secret to successful marketing and running a profitable online business is some piece of Jedi mastery that you would need to study for years to learn?
Not even close.
Most businesses (online and off) just get the basics wrong.
So here’s what works. Get these right and you’ll be ahead of 98% of your competition.
And if you’re just getting started, you’re in luck, because you don’t have a lot of bad habits to unlearn.
Describe benefits, not features
I know you’re rolling your eyes. This gets covered on the first page of Marketing for Blithering Idiots, but we don’t do it.
We get wrapped up in what we do, and we forget to translate that into what our customers get out of it.
The insanely simple and direct way to handle this is just to put a bulleted list on your sales page (or About page or Hire Us page, wherever it’s relevant) under the title:
Here’s What [My Product] Will Do For You
List out the seven most important wonderful things that your customer will experience as a result of doing business with you. Make sure this list can be seen “above the fold” on the screen — in other words, without the viewer needing to scroll.
Benefits are the little black dress of marketing: always appropriate. Try tucking them into your headlines, or writing entire blog posts around key benefits.
Don’t forget that testimonials and case studies are a great way to show benefits rather than just telling people about them.
Make your advertising too valuable to throw away
I got this from copywriting legend Gary Bencivenga, and it’s even more applicable today than it was when he used it. Since he made millions of dollars as one of the most successful copywriters in history, I pay special attention to what he has to say.
Advertising is, almost by definition, junk. Direct mail, infomercials, billboards — we see these as garbage, even though they do sometimes influence us to buy.
Bencivenga instead positioned his direct mail advertising as valuable content. He perfected the art of the “magalog” — a commercial mail piece that looks like a magazine. His magalogs contained valuable stock tips, health information, or expert financial advice.
Many of the products Bencivenga promoted were early versions of information products — specifically, books and newsletters. He didn’t pull the “B” material from those books and newsletters to give away in his marketing. He found the very best tips, the juiciest and most beneficial advice, and sent it to prospects for free.
(What can I say, I only steal from the best.)
Bencivenga’s technique works perfectly with content and email marketing. The more genuine value you create in your marketing materials (which includes your blog, your Twitter stream, and your forum posts), the tighter relationship you build with your customers.
It’s hard to keep your cool when you create a business. You put so much work and care into it, the idea that anyone doesn’t love it as much as you do can be hard to fathom.
You need to get over this.
Most people who see your marketing messages won’t buy from you. But many of those would buy from you, if not for some unanswered question in their minds.
Objections are all the reasons prospects think your product might not be for them.
Objections boil down to fear — fear of feeling dumb, fear of making a mistake, fear of wasting money. Give your copy enough time to address those fears and overcome them.
And one super-secret technique
OK, this one really is a ninja trick. Check out this Copyblogger post on the sneaky, ultra-advanced sales technique that most marketers miss.
But shhhh, don’t tell anyone. Otherwise any newbie could do it.