Sometimes progress just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be is it?
We still remember watching the Jetson’s cartoons back 25 years ago and we were convinced we’d all be relaxing with cocktails as our automatic flying hover craft wisked us off to our destination.
Instead we’re all busy trying to figure out how to type long email responses with our thumbs on tiny keyboards making spelling mistakes with every third word.
We’re not sure if we’re moving forward or backwards.
Everything is so complex … we’re often petrified to plug in any new Apple iPhone/iAnything device into our laptops for fear that our entire iTunes music directory will be gobbled up and spit out into software wasteland never to be heard from again.
This technology stuff is complicated and that’s coming from two ex-software guys.
And sometimes in our quest to help Real Estate Investors, Business Owners, and would be entrepreneurs we may be guilty of over complicating how easy effective marketing really is.
Although it’s sexy to talk about Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and Viral Videos … truth is … for our own business the basic three steps of:
Market, Message and Media have allowed us to build an eight figure business from scratch. We learned this from marketing legend Dan Kennedy and it’s served us extremely well.
So let’s go back to the very powerful basics of direct response marketing and explain how we were able to harness it’s power to go from zero to eight figures.
Step Numero Uno: Selecting a MARKET
No matter what business you are in … selling to consumers (B2C) or selling to other businesses (B2B) you want to give serious consideration to choosing the market that you are selling to.
For example, we chose to start a business focused on the “real estate investor market” because we felt that particular market was big enough to support the size of business that we wanted to create (seven figures).
We didn’t have to “sell” the idea that real estate investing was good … there were a whole lot of people who were already interested in it, and were looking for some help getting started.
Every BBQ or dinner party we had ever attended often ended up with a conversation around real estate investing.
The market existed and it was, and still is, large.
If we had selected “organic food for sea horses” as our market there likely wouldn’t be enough demand – no matter how good our product – to create the size of business that would produce enough revenue for us to be satisfied.
This just happened to us again the other day…
A real estate investor booked an appointment with us to demonstrate their “real estate investing super-duper-whiz-bang-cash-flow-projecting spreadsheet” that they want to sell to RSIC members from the stage at a Member Event.
Aside from us not being interested in that … our bigger question to them is always this, “At $50 per license for your spreadsheet how many of these do you think you can sell every month consistently?”
The size of the revenue from the market they’re choosing is too small to create the monthly profits they’re looking for.
Selecting a market that is big enough to support your goals is so fundamental to a businesses that we can’t stress it enough.
If you’re playing in a sandbox that is too small you’ll never build the monster castle you want.
Years ago in my software sales life the sales force was verticalized into: eCommerce, Manufacturing, Wholesale/Distribution, Service, General Business and on and on.
Each sales team was focused on it’s vertical, and sales awards were handed out based on gross sales.
Well, it quickly became apparent that the market for the software in the Manufacturing companies was tiny comparted to the market for the exact same software in the eCommerce vertical.
The eCommerce guys were hitting home runs while the Manufacturing guys, just as talented, suffered.
A bad market can often lead to bad results … no matter how talented you are.
Step Number Two: Selecting a MESSAGE
Once you’ve picked a market you need to craft a message.
Your message should be a simple headline focused on your prospect, not you or your business.
The headline is followed by a story, some quick bullet points, some sort of bait and then, response instructions.
If you can add on a guarantee and some client/user testimonials even better.
Those two sentences above are worth tens of thousands of dollars to you – we suggest a quick re-read of them.
If you run a service business your “bait” may be a “super cool gift with appointment”, or having a “theme weekend at your place of business”.
We know a dentist who routinely gets the local Fire Chief out to his practice and advertises a “new families welcome weekend: have your kids take their picture with a real life hero!”
After each picture the families are instructed to pic up the colour print outs by the appointment desk.
Guess what happens at the appointment desk?
They book new business.
The standard way to book new business is to send out flyers with bright shiny teeth on them and the office phone number.
It may say “look how many services we offer, look where we are located, look at us”.
If the message said, “Our unique teeth whitening is so powerful we can make Paris Hilton’s teeth even whiter than they already are and that’s no small feat!”
I may stop long enough to read their marketing.
We know another dentist who teaches his peers how to do their marketing.
A teleseminar explaining how he has one of the highest volume practices in the U.S.A. in the middle of a small mid-west town.
The New York City dentist is interested in how a small town boy is kicking his butt and will sign-up for that.
What will be your “offer” to your market?
Step Number Three: Selecting the MEDIA
Here’s the advice we get all the time from professional advertising and branding reps…
“Hey guys, you should just throw up some facebook posts. Maybe send out some tweets, some blog posts and oh yeah, why don’t you buy some ads in this great magazine.”
It makes us want to scream.
Most people, even the professionals, confuse MEDIA with MARKETING.
If you haven’t done step number one and step number two properly, then step number three is a waste of your time and your money.
We are not slamming social media but when we measure our results we clearly see business coming from Direct Mail, Google Adwords, Article Based Website, Fax Blasts, Teleseminars, Email Lists, Advetorials in Newspapers, Online Classified Ads and surprise surprise … even tiny offline Classified Ads.
Once you have crafted your message and place it into forms of media that your prospect reads you will get the phone to ring, the website to be visited, the bait to be eaten.
Once your prospect is on your email list, your mailing list, your phone list a series of follow-up messages that remind them you’re around is all you need to convert leads to sales.
Social media, from our experience, is best used to build your brand, your personality AFTER you have captured someone’s attention with your marketing offer.
Just yesterday, we had someone sign-up as a Rock Star Inner Circle member after reading our emails for THREE YEARS!
Had we stopped putting our “MESSAGE” into our “EMAIL MEDIA” we would have never converted him.
Please don’t underestimate the value of these three steps because of how simple they may sound.
Market – Message – Media
These are things that create solid foundations.
These are the strategies that are allowing both of us to travel to Europe for a month again this year to our very own condo paid for in full – a personal dream accomplished.
The power of these steps is what’s allowing us to Live Life on Our Terms and they can do the same for you.