Lynn Swayze

Lynn Swayze

Lynn Swayze is a Direct Response Copywriter, fiction author, and NLP Master-in-training who uses empathy, visualization, and time-tested persuasion techniques to write better copy. She writes copy for consultants, course creators, alternative health supplements, mindset coaches, and IT companies. She can be hired for landing pages, funnel copy, webinars, VSLs, and story-based email series. Send an email to copywriter@lynnswayze.com to discuss your next marketing project and how Lynn can help.

Articles by Lynn SwayzeMarketing Funnels

Lead Magnets 101: What they are, how they benefit you, and 18 different types to grow your business

views
153

This is part 2 of an ongoing series called “Marketing 101”. In this series, we’ll discuss common direct response marketing lingo and break it down so it actually makes sense. In today’s article we’ll discuss “lead magnets”, or the basics of using a free “lead magnet” in your marketing funnel. 

What is a Lead Magnet

If you’re here, it’s likely you’ve heard of the term “lead magnet” and and to know more. You may know it’s needed, but what is it,  exactly? 

According to MarketingTerms.com, a lead magnet is: “A specific deliverable that is offered to prospects in return for contact information, typically to join an email list.” 

More specifically, they go on to say that: “To be a lead magnet, an offer must be specific and short-term in nature. A lead magnet can be though of as something that “sits on the other side of” an opt in form, just waiting to be triggered. This is the opposite of vague promises to join a newsletter and receive unspecified content at an unspecified time.” 

As a direct response marketer, one of the main tools in the toolbox is a lead magnet. It’s often one of the first marketing assets I build with clients or the first set of assets I recommend. That’s because lead magnets are so useful for identifying your ideal prospect, attracting him/her to your business, and nurturing them until they purchase from you. 

Benefits of a Lead Magnet

As mentioned, lead magnets are immensely valuable in growing your list of qualified prospects for your business. But that’s not the only benefit of going through the lead magnet building process. Here are a few more benefits of creating lead magnets for your business:

  • Helps you define the wants, needs, desires, and “psychographics” of your ideal prospect
  • Helps you identify where your ideal prospects “hangs out”, so you can reach them
  • Generates a value-first asset your sales people can use to generate interest (such as on LinkedIn)
  • Targets a specific portion of the population who has the problem you solve
  • Gives you an “open door” to nurture the prospect via email, mail, or phone, because the prospect as specifically requested to hear from you
  • “Proves” that you know what you’re doing as a consultant or information marketer by providing proof of your value up front
  • Grows your email or mailing list of highly qualified prospects
  • Contributes to you earning more revenue in your business
  • Serves as the start of your multi-step marketing funnel

With these benefits, it seems silly to avoid using lead magnets to grow your small business.

Lead Magnet Examples

Lead magnets are everywhere. To prove it, let’s look at a few examples so you can learn how to spot them “in the wild” for yourself. 

Ecommerce

Here’s an ecommerce example from a retailer selling a unique “gap-free” shirt for women:

A lead magnet example from the-shirt.com

The lead magnet here is the free coupon, which I can only claim when I exchange it for my email address. In ecommerce, lead magnets tend to come in the form of coupons, giveaways, and free samples. 

Note: Paid samples (such as miniature perfume sets for $10) are an example of a tripwire offer.

Lawyer / Legal Firm

Here’s another lead magnet, this time from a lawyer.

And another legal example of a lead magnet at play.

Executive Placement Firm

Lead magnets exist in all industries, especially B2B. I’ve written white papers for executive placement firms and have found that their preferred lead magnet is the white paper or special report. Here’s an example of a special report (“guide”) from Parker-Lynch.

Copywriter

Here ‘s an example of a copywriter using a lead magnet. (For some reason, finding copywriting lead magnet examples was difficult.) Here’s one from copywriter Abbey Woodcock.

Marketing Agency

Here are a few of the lead magnets we’re using as of the time of this writing. You’ll notice that each is designed to solve a specific problem or answer a specific question or provide a specific set of information. And each requires exchanging information (e.g., an email address) to get the resource.

Each of the lead magnets posted above lead to an opt-in form, which puts the prospect on an email list or into a prospect database. From there, prospects should be followed up with by email, if not also by mail and phone. Of course, reports, e-books, and white papers aren’t the only type of lead magnet. There are at least 18 different types to choose from.

18 Types of Lead Magnets

There are at least eighteen different types of lead magnets you as a business owner can test to grow your database of warm, qualified leads.

Ebook

An ebook is a digital version of a printed book, oftentimes created to be digital-only. Ebooks serve to make great front-end lead generators, because they offer significant value to prospects who want to learn more while also positioning the author as an “expert”. Make sure you follow up with prospects who download or purchase your ebook.

Print Book

Print books are another, more traditional type of lead magnet. Print books work well with the “free + shipping” funnel model. As with the ebook, make sure you follow up by mail and email with your prospects.

Special Report or Guide

A special report is a written lead magnet which is information yet sales-focused. For example, a copywriter might publish a lead magnet addressing the “5 Myths of Email Marketing”. This guide should reframe a prospect’s understanding of a situation, and then “sell” the prospect on the solution. Special reports are written in both the B2B and B2C space, however are not as respected in some circles as the white paper is.

White Paper

A white paper is a written lead magnet most often used in the B2B space. A white paper is generally 7 to 20 pages in length and features a set structure, such as executive summary, problem statement, solution statement, body, conclusion, and call to action. White papers are generally “information first”, rather than sales-focused. White papers should be as impartial as possible and cite references. White papers work well as front-end lead generation tools. 

Webinar

A webinar is a type of video-based sales presentation that generally lasts between 45 and 90 minutes. According to Digital Marketer, webinars are “middle of funnel” lead nurturing tools, rather than “top of funnel” front-end lead generation tools. Webinars are also often delivered automatically as an “evergreen” webinar.

Masterclass

A masterclass is a type of webinar, often longer in length, such as a “3 hour masterclass” that teaches a process more in-depth. Often, the masterclass has less sales elements than a traditional webinar. I’ve seen Masterclass funnels used effectively as part of LinkedIn prospecting. 

Shock and Awe Package

A “shock and awe package” is something I first learned about from Dan Kennedy of “GKIC” fame. A “shock and awe” package is a direct mail package you send to prospects when they requires more information from you – such a s a report plus a book, newsletter, and special report. Or some other group of gifts that pique their interest and encourage them to respond. 

Quiz or Survey

The survey/quiz is more popular than ever thanks to Ryan Levesque’s popular “Ask Method” program.  His method,

“[T]urns passive readers into active participants – and is a powerful way to get your prospective customers to provide information so you can:
1. Pre-qualify every user who takes your quiz as a lead based on how they answer.
2. Ask certain questions to find out key buying signals.
3. Put each lead into special buckets and receive custom messages.

https://www.riddle.com/blog/ryan-levesque-ask-method-quiz-creator/

Surveys are a great way to encourage engagement while also getting valuable information from your prospects you can use to group your prospects. That way, you can create targeted messaging and offers that will appeal specifically to the different segments.

Checklist

love checklists as lead magnets. They’re easy to consume, provide actionable value, and encourage implementation of information. They’re also very easy to create. Checklists are useful for consultants and best placed as a CTA to blog posts or as a giveaway in a webinar. Here’s an example from the Indiana Direct Response Marketing site and from LynnSwayze.com:

Cheat Sheet / Infographic

If you can’t figure out what to offer at the end of a blog post to transform it into a mini-funnel, you can always create cheat sheets and infographics of the content. This gives people an opportunity to download and save the information in a usable format. Obviously, make sure there’s a call to action to take the next step and follow up with prospects several times by email.  Here’s a great example from Pat Flynn:

Audio Interview

One of the less commonly used lead magnets (at least anymore) is an audio download. I’ve seen audio downloads (or CDs, or MP3s, or transcripts) most often in the form of an interview. So a consultant will interview another expert (ideally, one the prospect respects) and offers it as a lead magnet in exchange for opting in to an email list. 

Free Sample

Free samples are another example of a lead magnet. Free samples are most commonly used in ecommerce businesses to boost retail sales. For best results, follow up with prospects after they’ve tried the sample you send them. 

Free Trial 

Yes, the “free trial” IS an example of a lead magnet. Free trials are used to sell SAAS subscriptions, membership sites, magazine subscriptions, and membership programs to generate more sales and identify potential buyers. Trial lengths last anywhere from a certain number of sessions to weeks and often require registration or an exchange of information, including credit card information.   

Email Mini-Course

This lead magnet type combines the educational value of a course with emails, giving you a foot in the door in people’s inboxes. For best results, keep the course at less than 5 lessons and deliver them anywhere from once a day to once a week, and feature a call to action at the end which sells your core product or service. Here’s an example of a mini course based on email marketing from https://ariel-lim.com/ .

Example from https://ariel-lim.com/ 

Free Newsletter

An uncommon yet effective lead magnet is the free newsletter. This can be mailed to prospects for less than $10/year and work well to generate leads and referrals. Or you can offer a paid newsletter, as we have. To learn more about newsletters and how to write effective print newsletters, check out Shaun Buck’s “Newsletter Pro” book.

Catalog or Price Guide

Another type of lead magnet is the catalog or price guide. Catalogs can be printed or digital, however usually require the prospect to exchange their personal information in exchange for the catalog. B2B businesses would benefit from a price guide, especially if many prospects call asking for a quote. This allows you to build a database of qualified leads your sales team can then follow up on. When you build these, make sure you have special offers and a call to action built in. 

Coupon

As you saw above with the-shirt.com, a coupon is another great lead magnet idea, especially if you’re in the e-commerce and retail space. You can either offer a specific percentage off or a specific dollar amount. Some utilize an app that “randomizes” the special offer, which adds a touch of “gamification” to the whole process.

Case Study

The final type of lead magnet you can try is a downloadable case study. A “case study” is basically a long client testimonial written in a story-based format. To do it well, you’ll want to highlight your clients’ struggles before working with you, their experience working with you during their project, and then their after results. Use images, quotes, and quantifiable data when possible. Here’s an example of a downloadable case study from PAYJO.

How to Position a Lead Magnet

If you download my Lead Magnet Checklist, you’ll see a section which asks you about the positioning of our lead magnet. The positioning is simply how you approach the lead magnet and the qualities the lead magnet has. 

A great lead magnet, at least in my mind,  has the following characteristics: 

  • It solves a single, specific problem the prospect has
  • It provides a single, specific solution to the problem
  • It contains a benefit-driven title (obviously, indicating the problem previously mentioned)
  • It looks professionally produced, so as to be more trusted and respected by your ideal prospect
  • It has a built-in consumption mechanism, that lets prospects immediately implement what they’re learning from you
  • It has a call to action to the next step or upsell 
  • It logically correlates with your core offer

When I see lead magnets fail, they either miss one of these core components OR they lack fully optimized lead magnet marketing assets, which you’ll see in the next section.

Lead Magnet Marketing Assets

When I work with clients, they’re often surprised I can come in and rattle of 5, 10, or even 20 copywriting assets which need to be built for a marketing campaign. I want to reveal those assets right now, so you’ll never be surprised when a marketing consultant does this for you. 

A good lead magnet campaign contains all of the following marketing assets:

  • An Advertising Mechanism (FB Ads, email to your list, banner ad, etc)
  • An Ordering Mechanism (lead magnet opt-in page, squeeze page, form, etc)
  • A Delivery Mechanism (e.g., download page, download email)
  • Stick Letter to Frame the Delivery (lift note, download email)
  • Ongoing Marketing (follow-up emails, letters, messages)
  • Retargeting Mechanism for those who don’t opt in (retargeting ads, etc)
  • Follow-up Tripwire or Core Offer (upsell offer, call to action)
  • Ongoing Marketing for different offers (keep marketing!)

If you’re looking for a way to get more sales and grow your business, or if current marketing efforts are growing stale, then it’s probably time to try a new lead magnet. If you already have a written lead magnet, try a different modality (such as video or audio). Or if you have a video lead magnet, try adding in something written. And if you want help, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Lynn’s “Lead Magnet Checklist”

Checklist

I’ve created a FREE lead magnet checklist to help you make sure you have all the pieces required to create an irresistible lead magnet to grow your email list and provide value to prospects.

It’s yours FREE – simply sign up here to claim your copy.

Articles by Lynn SwayzeMarketing Funnels

The "Tripwire Offer": What it is, why it matters, and is it right for you

views
203

This is part 1 of an ongoing series called “Marketing 101”. In this series, we’ll discuss common direct response marketing lingo and break it down so it actually makes sense. In today’s article we’ll discuss “tripwire offers 101”, or the basics of using a tripwire offer in your marketing funnel.

The Birth of the Tripwire

The term “tripwire” appears to have originated with Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer. I have to admit, I am not at all in love with the negative terminology that seems rampant in online marketing these days. “Tripwire” seems negative. I prefer the original term, front-end offer, which you’ll hear from me most often when I talk about “top of funnel (TOFU)” campaigns.

(Some also like to use the term “welcome mat”.)

What is a Tripwire Offer?

A “tripwire offer” (aka, a front-end offer) is a lower-cost entry offer which is presented to prospects early in the marketing campaign. Note that I say “lower cost” very deliberately, because low cost compared to a $199 core offer is chump change compared to the low cost alternative to a $10,000 core offer. (And by core offer, I mean the main product or service you’re selling.)

In the days of direct mail, this was the offer presented on first mailing. In online marketing, this is a chunk of your core offer broken down into a piece that’s easily consumable for the prospect yet costs something more than free

I’ve seen tripwires (or “front end offers”) as:

  • $1, $3.95, $9.95, or even $19 trial of a software or membership
  • $27 Execution Plan (see below!)
  • $497 Webinar “Masterclass” (the full product was $15,000!)
  • $7 Book (or “Free + Shipping”)
  • 7 books for $1, 10 CDs for $1, etc. 
  • $99 “Special Report” 
  • $37 annual newsletter
  • Buy 1, Get 1 Free Product Offer on something small 

These examples should be enough to grease the wheels of your imagination about what’s possible for your business. Now let’s look at a few examples of front-end marketing offers.  

What are Tripwire Marketing Examples?

I’m glad you asked! Below is a direct response publisher, Nutrition and Healing, offers a newsletter + FREE BOOK as their front-end “tripwire” offer, which you’ll see below:

I highlighted the second option because, as you’ll see, the first option isn’t really an option when you consider that their target demographic is over 55. So this is technically a “tripwire” offer at a mere $37 per year. 

Here’s another example, this time from Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer:

I highlighted the low cost, here $27. Their goal is to get you to join their core offer, Digital Marketer Lab, so they’re making that look appealing by placing the “free trial” against the “$27 Execution Plan”. Either way, someone new to Digital Marketer may try the low commitment $27 plan as a way to test the value of the products offered. 

Here’s another, this time by “RightMixMarketing” in their sidebar. It leads to their $19.99 blogging course, on sale for just $10.

Hopefully, you’ll see now that a “tripwire offer” has the following characteristics:

  1. It appears early in the marketing cycle. 
  2. Is low cost compared to the core offer, but NOT free.
  3. Gives prospects a “taste” of what working with you is like. 
  4. Is easy to purchase (requires no application or sales call).
  5. Is highly benefit-driven and designed to solve a single problem
  6. Is easy and quick to consume by the prospect.
  7. Is often “DIY” instead of “DWY” or “DFY”. 

The Tripwire Offer Controversy

There’s some debate as to whether a low cost tripwire offer is even needed. Some high ticket marketers insist the only way to sell is to start with the big core offer and then downsell until someone buys, rather than start with the low cost and work upwards. 

According to Todd Brown of Marketing Funnel Automation, a tripwire gets the buyer psychology all wrong, at least if you’re in information marketing. He says, 

“…most of the highly successful internet marketers start with a high-priced offer. Something in the range of $200 to $500. What this does is it gets the “cream of the top”, so to speak. There is a certain percentage of people who are going to take advantage of the higher offer like that.Then we create a frame of value around the product for those who don’t jump in right away.”

– Todd Brown, “Why you DON’T want to start your funnel with a tripwire”

He explains that the best course of action is to start with the $200, $500, or $1000 offer, because the best prospects will bite right away. Then, he says that those who don’t bite will take payment options. Those who don’t take that offer might take a streamlined version of the product for a lowered price. And those who still say no might invest in a tripwire offer. He believes this approach better anchors your “value” in the mind of the prospect than a traditional “moving up the ladder” marketing funnel approach. 

One point to keep in mind is that not all businesses would benefit from a tripwire. High ticket consulting businesses, such as those in the Information Technology space, likely can’t offer a tripwire. 

Or can they

An example of using a tripwire in this space could be a paid evaluation or consultation. Or perhaps a training for their team. Either way, these options are likely to cost less than the hundreds of thousands some IT projects cost. 

In the e-commerce space, tripwires which work well are free gifts, such as a sample set of perfumes. I’ve even seen “matchbooks” of lipstick samples as a tripwire offer!  

What Happens if There Isn’t a Tripwire Offer in a Marketing Funnel?

Look, I’m not going to claim that the sky’s going to fall if you don’t include a tripwire offer in your marketing. However, not including a tripwire offer where one would be beneficial will, at the very least, cause you to leave money on the table. 

That’s because you always want to have an offer for everyone. Not everyone will buy at your highest tier; nor will everyone buy at your lowest tier. Allow your clients to choose the level of quality, service, and DIY they prefer at the price point they can afford. Not giving these options may mean that you’re turning away paying clients who would invest if only you gave them the opportunity! 

How to Create a Tripwire Offer Funnel

By now, you should already have some idea of what to create for your tripwire offer. If not, here are some front-end marketing offers you can swipe today:

  1. Ebook or Book
  2. Webinar or “Masterclass” 
  3. Cheatsheet, Checklist, or Workshop 
  4. Low-cost Trial (e.g., $1) 
  5. Miniature Course
  6. Short Consultation Call
  7. Free Product or “Buy one, et one free”
  8. Product Sample for low price 

Pick a tripwire type and then ask yourself, “Which urgent problem am I hoping to solve with this tripwire?” 

In one of the examples above, it’s finding natural cures to difficult health problems. In another, it was how to grow a business using a blog. Pick a problem your clients ask to solve most often. 

Then, ask yourself, “What is the most powerful benefit of consuming and implementing this tripwire?”

Now you know what to create, which problem to solve, and the big idea of your opt-in marketing copy. Go at it! 

Note that you’ll need to create all of the following to successfully launch your tripwire:

  • Image of the Tripwire (I like to make 3D images)
  • Tripwire Offer Squeeze Page
  • The Tripwire (Marketing Asset) itself
  • Purchase ability (e.g., button which goes to a cart)
  • Delivery Mechanism (e.g., email delivery, course login)
  • Follow-up Sequence and Offer (e.g., core offer)

And of course, if you want help with this, you’re more than welcome to get my help on your next marketing campaign.

How Much to Charge for a Tripwire

Traditionally tripwires cost less than $50. That being said, I’ve seen them cost as little as $1 and as much as $99. The choice is  up to you, and I urge you to test your price as much as you test everything else in your marketing. 

Tripwires can be useful tools to grow your list and add revenue to your business. Many entrepreneurs use them to give prospects an opportunity to “test drive” before purchasing a bigger product. If your business supports it, then you would do well to test tripwires. I wonder who you’ll prove right – Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer or Todd Brown of Marketing Funnel Automation? 

Would you like to discover even more ways to optimize your marketing using proven direct response strategies? You can with our FREE white paper. Claim your copy today.

Feel free to leave your “tripwire” opinions below. What did we get right? What did we get wrong? Let us know in the comments below!

Articles by Lynn SwayzeCopywritingMarketing Funnels

Direct Response Marketing: Advantages and Disadvantages

views
189

Could direct response marketing be the answer to your business growth problems? In part 2 of the “Ultimate Guide to Direct Response” series, we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of direct response marketing for small businesses. Click here for Part 1.

Direct response marketing is the success secret fueling almost every successful speaker, coach, “guru”, and businessman today who makes his living selling directly to consumers. Tony Robbins? He’s a direct response marketer. Brian Tracy? Also direct response marketer. Timothy Ferris? You guessed it – he’s a direct response man. For centuries, brands have relied on direct response marketing and direct response copywriting to fuel the business.

While I could go on and on about the advantages of direct response marketing, that wouldn’t help you — the business owner — gauge its true worth to you to test. That’s why in this post I’ll break down the honest advantages and disadvantages of using direct response marketing strategies. 

Let’s start with the disadvantages first. 

The Disadvantages of Direct Response Marketing

There are a few disadvantages to direct response marketing. These disadvantages fall under four categories: effort, efficiency, expense, and ego. 

Effort

One reason many entrepreneurs do not undertake direct response marketing is that there is a great deal of effort required to do it right. A good direct response copywriter will ask to research for weeks, if not months, before beginning marketing creation. That’s because in order to do the job right and get stellar results, the marketer has to crack open the buyer’s mind and pull out the juicy desires, objections, and emotions. Only then can effective marketing be written. 

Another source of effort? The tracking. Direct response marketing insists on being accountable, and accountability requires diligent tracking. Direct response marketers track the cost per lead, the open rates, the click through rates, the response rates, and many other metrics in between. Planning the data collection, managing the data, and then reviewing the data takes time away from other operations tasks. 

Efficiency

The next “problem” with direct response marketing is the speed of execution. A full direct response marketing plan may have over 150 separate marketing assets. If you want to just “wing it” and run with whatever comes into your head, then direct response marketing methods are going to feel a bit disappointing. (Mostly because tracking marketing which fails kind of sucks.)

Expense

Another complaint of direct response marketing? It’s expensive! Compared to the cost of simply slapping up a website and posting on Facebook a few times a week, direct response can feel expensive at first. For example, Facebook ads will run you at least $10 per day, if not hundreds. Same for Google pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. And direct mail will cost at least $1 per name once you count printing and postage costs. And none of that includes the cost of the copywriter tasked with writing your converting direct response campaign. 

Ego

Another problem with direct response? It doesn’t care about your ego. Many businesses want to run pretty yet narcissistic marketing messages like “We’ve been in business for 34 years” or other trite messaging. This type of messaging doesn’t actually work, yet it feels good to run it. Businesses with a lot of ego tend to pick more “branding” oriented marketing methods, which cater to feeling good and not rocking the buyer emotion boat. 

The Advantages of Direct Response Marketing

Now, it’s time to look at the advantages of direct response marketing. There are quite a few, otherwise we wouldn’t be in the business of direct response here at Indiana Direct Response Marketing (IDRM). They are accountable, effective, and long-lasting. 

Accountable

First and foremost, direct response marketing is, if nothing else, accountable. Direct response marketers insist on marketing  campaigns and copy being held to the standard of DATA. Not gut feelings, not whims, not trends, but quantifiable and irrefutable data. How do we know if a big idea or an approach will work? We test! How do we know if a new approach will beat the existing control? We test! We test and measure until your marketing is optimized for response and effectiveness. And at the end of the day, we tie results to the long-term revenue you gain. Period.

Effective

This extreme focus on accountability and results generally means that what is done is actually effective and moving the needle and keeping you in the black. A direct response marketer is a bit like a salesman: a salesperson who can’t close eventually finds himself out of work. The same is true of us: if we can consistently generate leads and revenues for our clients, then we work. If we can’t, we have to hang up our hat. It’s just that simple. 

Long-Lasting

Finally, because direct response marketing is based on data and must actually generate more leads and more revenue for the business, then it often happens that a business will finally create a marketing asset (such as a webinar, direct mail series, or sales page) which lasts for a bit of time. Unlike social media, which must always be new and fresh, direct response marketing funnels could last years. In the early part of the century, there were newspaper ads which lasted decades. Which means that paying for direct response copywriting once could mean years of profit at no extra cost.

At IDRM, we believe the benefits of direct response outweigh the costs. However, only you can decide for yourself. To discover more profit-boosting tips, download our “5 Strategies” white paper today. 

What do you think? Did I miss an advantage or disadvantage? Let me know in the comments below. 

Articles by Lynn SwayzeMarketing Funnels

Three Ways to Exponentially Grow Your Business

views
136

I first learned about the energy-saving power of levers when I worked as a crew member at Trader Joe’s.

Part of the job required lifting heavy “lugs” (or crates) of frozen food from the backroom freezer to the freezer area, and then take them back once the public-facing freezer had been stocked. It was heavy, heavy work I was ill-prepared to do well. Most of that wasn’t my fault, honestly, given that I’m a mere 4’10.5″ in height – smaller than most 12 year-olds. 

Thank heavens I had a tool to help make the job easier.

You see, every crew member had training on how to use a mover’s dolly to carry heavy items – boxes, frozen lugs, and more – easily and safely. Many of these stacks weighed several times more than me, yet I was able to carry them around the store with relative ease thanks to this ingenious tool.

Fortunately, you can apply that same effort-saving power to your marketing.

Unfortunately, so many business owners think that in order to make more money, they need to increase their number of clients dramatically. While this is one way to grow a business, it’s not the only way

According to Richard Johnson of the “Hidden Marketing Assets (HMA)” Program (of which I am a paid member), there are three ways to grow your business. These three ways act like levers on your business growth, allowing you to exponentially increase your business revenue without doing a large amount of work. (Note that Richard claims learned these three “growth mechanisms” from the great Jay Abraham, of whom he was a protege… which means you can bet that they work!) 

So what are these three levers? They are to increase the number of leads your business has, increase the conversion rate of leads to clients, and increase the average value of each client.

The resulting formula looks like this:

What this formula means for you is that your current revenue is a mix of the number of leads you have, your conversion rate, and your average customer value. Increasing any one of these just a little could increase your business by 10%… 25%… even 33% in a very short period of time. Let’s see how that looks in more detail.

More Leads

The first growth lever is to increase the number of leads your business sees. Whether you’re tracking it or not, your business has a certain number of prospects already in your database and adds a certain number each and every month. (Even if that number is, currently, zero.) This number is your starting point. 

For the sake of easy math, let’s keep the example simple. Let’s say you’re running a basic consulting business serving beginning entrepreneurs. You add 150 new prospects to your database per month and close 5 of those thanks to your steady 3.3% conversion rate. Each of those new clients is worth $1,000 in revenue per month to you. The result is a $60,000 in new business per year.

All else staying the same, let’s say you’re able to maintain your current conversion rate and average value while you increase your number of new leads per month thanks to a new white paper campaign. This time, you get 250 new leads per month, convert 3.3% at $1,000 each. The result of this change gives you 8 clients per month and $96,000 in business per year. 

Easy enough, right? Let’s look at the next lever, your conversion rate.

Higher Conversion Rate

The second growth lever in your business is your conversion rate. So let’s say that you start with that original consulting business serving beginning entrepreneurs. You pull in 150 new prospects to your database per month and close 5 of those thanks to your steady 3.3% conversion rate. Each of those new clients is worth $1,000 in revenue per month to you. The result is a $60,000 in new business per year.

Now let’s say that you increased your conversion rates. Say you tried a new email sequence that did a better job of indoctrinating. Or perhaps your sales team followed up a few more times. Whatever it is, let’s say that you were able to bump up the conversions of prospects to clients to 7%, giving you 10 sales instead of 5. And at $1,000 each, that’s $5,000 more in your pocket every month than you had before.

But what if you increased both the number of leads and the conversion rate? So now you have 250 leads converting at the more effective 7%… giving you 17 sales at $1,000 each, or $17,000 per month (that’s $204,000 annually compared to your previous $60,000). 

Now, let’s crank that ratchet even more

Increased Value Per Client

The final lever you can pull is the value per client. Let’s say that you have the original 150 leads and 3.3% conversion rate, for a total of 5 sales per month at $1,000 per new client. Let’s say that now, instead of getting $1,000 per client, you increase the value you deliver so that you can raise the price per client to $1,500. With everything else the same, you now earn $30,000 more per year than you did before.

But what if you changed all three? So now you have the increased 250 leads per month, becoming clients at the new 7% conversion rate, for $1,500 per new client. The result of these three minor tweaks is a cool $25,500 per month, an over 400% increase. All by making small shifts in key areas of your business.

That’s the power of the three growth levers at play in your business. And this is just a drop in the bucket compared to what you can do if you really know how to optimize leads, conversion rates, and average customer value. 

And as long as you remember that growth can often come from small changes made at regular intervals, rather than big leaps all at once, you’ll do well. This is a core tenant of direct response marketing, and one you would do well to add to your mindset like a feather in your cap.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer you a free worksheet: “Business Growth Optimization”. In it, you’ll get spaces for calculating the effects growth in each of these three areas could have on your business. You’ll also get some tips for increasing each of the three. It’s yours free- simply click here to request your copy.

Articles by Lynn SwayzeMarketing Funnels

Direct Response Marketing 101

views
167

“What is Direct Response Marketing?”

Given that I run a business called, “Indiana Direct Response Marketing”, I figure that it’s high time we actually define what in the heck direct response marketing actually is.

I live and breathe direct response marketing. It works, it holds everyone accountable, and it actually recoups the investment when done right. Which is why I’m such a big believer in and advocate for direct response marketing strategies and tactics.

So the question is – what is direct response marketing?

Here’s a video by David Ogilvy which I love:




… On second thought, perhaps it’s best to start by explaining what direct response isn’t. Because like it or not, all marketing is not direct response marketing. That doesn’t mean that all marketing is bad, it simply means that not all marketing shares the same goals or success metrics.

What is Indirect Marketing?

Logically, the opposite of direct response marketing would be “indirect response marketing.” That’s marketing that doesn’t directly ask for the response or action of the consumer and which doesn’t have a way to track campaign metrics to sales results.

I’m talking things like….

  • Website redesign
  • Educational emails that don’t ask for action
  • Brochures and “brand” marketing
  • Advertisements with no specific call to action

Here, I am reminded of the time I once spoke with an SEO expert.

It was in 2017-ish and I lived in Bloomington, Indiana. The guy seemed bright and friendly, and obviously knew his stuff when it came to search engine optimization.

Buuuuuuut when I asked him about tying results to marketing spend, he froze like a deer in headlights. He seemed generally perplexed that anyone could tie marketing spend to revenues, much less that someone (e.g., me) would make an entire business out of it.

Let’s just say that the conversation kind of ended after that.

Unfortunately, there are many entrepreneurs who spend a lot of money to not see results out of their marketing investment. More than a few well-meaning business owners have been swindled out of thousands of dollars only to get a few hundred “likes” and a couple thousand “views”… when they could have used that money to create real, measurable, and accountable results.

Sometimes, indirect marketing is used to bolster the image of a company. For example, the Super Bowl Ads you see every year are a great example. Companies will spend millions upon millions of dollars to air a short commercial…

… and have no way to directly tie that exorbitant ad spend to increased revenues.

Another example is advertising which doesn’t immediately ask for action. Billboards with a generic URL or phone number is one common example of this lack of immediacy.

To recap, we can say that indirect marketing :

  • Is not easily tied to the sales cycle
  • Does not ask for a response immediately
  • Does not have a “Call to Action”
  • Is more concerned about overall image/reputation
  • Cannot be expected to have an ROI

Here are some types of marketing which aren’t direct response, at least not by themselves. (I’ll share in a moment how to tie direct response elements into almost all of these.)

Types of “Indirect Marketing”

Website Rebranding

Website rebranding is, for whatever reason, one of the first steps businesses make when they want to start marketing. I’m guessing it’s because most believe that a classier website will automatically translate to more sales.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization makes you more “findable” by search engine. This is important, because being found online is everything anymore. If you aren’t online, you don’t exist! Of course, you can get all the traffic you want and still not make the sale. Which is why most businesses try the following…

Content Marketing

Blogging and article writing is often the next thing businesses try. Content marketing uses blog posts to educate and “pre-sell” the prospect. Often, these articles are written around core “seed keywords” businesses want to rank for. Although again, you can have a lot of views and shares and still not grow your database of prospects or buyers.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is another avenue many small businesses take to try to get more sales. Unfortunately, social media marketing can be one of the biggest time wasters out there. That’s because most of the time, it’s not tied to a funnel of any kind.

Email Marketing

Finally, some businesses owners try email marketing. Email marketing is marketing which does most of the selling via email campaigns, either through regular broadcast emails or automated email campaigns. More often than not, small business owners use it as a platform to brag on themselves rather than as a means to sell.

Each of these are good actions to take, but none by themselves qualify as direct response marketing.

To make each of these “direct response marketing”, all you need to do is add a call to action at the end which you can track.

So a blog post would have a call to action to get into the funnel. (Perhaps with a worksheet or checklist of the blog post, for example, available as an opt-in to your email list)

The social media would have a CTA to a front-end offer… and if not, the blog post would have the CTA to the front-end offer. Your site should always have advertisements to take the next step, whether that be book a call, answer a quiz, download a lead magnet, or purchase a relevant tripwire. And for emails, the same thing applies in that you should always be selling the action you want the prospect to take.

As for the website rebrand, the best thing you can do is create a case study for the company which did your branding and then make them point that “success story” back to your site – of course using Google tagging so you can track by referral source. (Ka-ching! Free traffic you can track!)

See how that works?

And when you make everything you do work for you in this way, you can actually track the efficacy of all your marketing efforts. (More on that below.)

The Definition of Direct Response Marketing

In my mind, direct response marketing is the type of marketing which requires immediate action directly from the consumer. Whether that action come in the form of filling out a reply card, calling a specific number, requesting a lead magnet online, or signing up for a special package on the spot, there’s an action the marketing piece requires the consumer to take (or not!). And it’s that action, or lack thereof, which gets tracked.

Direct response marketing is often found in:

  • Email campaigns with a call to action at the end
  • Landing Pages with a front-end lead magnet
  • Marketing funnels with upsells and downsells
  • Direct mail sales letters with a special offer
  • Postcards with a call to action on them
  • LinkedIn messages with a proposed next step
  • Video sales letters (VSLs), webinars, and YouTube videos with a CTA
  • Space ads with a unique number to call

… And much, much more.

As you can see, direct response marketing is found in online platforms and offline platforms. It’s been used for over one hundred years to generate more sales and increased revenues for businesses of all sizes.

Direct response marketing is responsible for creating success for brands and products you may be familiar with, such as:

  • L.L. Bean
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • Harlequin Books
  • Duluth Trading Company
  • “Blue Blocker” Sunglasses

And because the response is immediate and measurable, it’s super attractive to most business owners who need a quick return on investment.

Direct Response Marketing Example

For example, let’s say that between the copywriter, the list rental, the postage, and the production that running a piece of direct mail to a list of 10,000 names cost you $25,000. But let’s say that of those 10,000, a good 100 respond and spend $597 on your offer. Congratulations! You have a 1% response rate and earned a whopping $59,700 for your $25,000 spend, netting you $34,700.

Now let’s say you follow up with those who didn’t spend by sending a series of 5 letters, each one selling the benefits, proof, guarantees, etc. By the end of that sequence (which you already paid for up-front), you’ll have earned another 75 buyers and $44,775 dollars.

Not bad, eh?

And when it’s time to run the campaign with a new list (which you’ll do, because you’re savvy like that), you have three options:

  1. Run the same campaign with a new list.
  2. Split the list in two, with half running the “control” campaign you just ran and half running a new campaign you want to test.
  3. Run a completely new campaign with a new list

Doing this sort of tracking and testing is the hallmark of direct response marketing and direct response advertising. It’s what direct response copywriters (like me) are trained to do!

As you can imagine, we “direct response copywriters” can apply this same testing methodology to all sorts of media:

  • Space ads in magazines or newspapers
  • Display advertising in websites
  • Facebook, Google PPC, LinkedIn, etc ads
  • Marketing Funnels (Clickfunnels, Leadpages, etc)
  • Webinars and VSLs
  • Email campaigns
  • And so many more…

Which is why a good direct response marketer can make you so much more than you ever pay out to them IF you hire the right one and are willing to test, test, and test some more.

How We Do It

There are a few ways direct response copywriters get people to respond to your marketing.

Attention-Grabbing Headlines

In order to grab the reader’s immediate attention, we use headlines that “jolt” and “jar” the reader out of their somnolence and into whatever it is we want them to see. And then we keep them glued until they either opt out of reading more, or end up buying. John Carlton calls it the “greased slide”, and it works well to increase your bottom line.

Laser-Targeted Focus

Direct response works because it’s laser focused. That is, we write copy for a specific avatar with a specific problem that can only be solved with a specific product – yours! It’s this laser targeting in avatar, language, and pain points that makes what we do so successful.

Benefit-Driven, Emotionally-Charged Copy

Another way direct response copywriters get the sale is by using benefit-driven, emotionally charged copy. We understand that people buy on emotion and justify with facts, which is why we use emotional language and reasoning in our marketing messages.

Short-Term Follow-Ups

Campaign success depends on short-term follow-ups requesting immediate action. It’s this measuring of “immediate action” that tells us whether the marketing campaign worked or not!

Long-term Follow-ups

We understand that not everyone is going to buy on the first go-round. Which is why a good direct response copywriter will help you plan a long-term campaign to nurture your prospect and buyer database. That way, you continue to be “top of mind” in the eyes of your prospects.

Want some help?

And if you’d like some help with creating accountable marketing campaigns, simply book a call with my team. We can talk one-on-one about your business and campaigns and see if we can inject a little direct response into it. If not, no worries – the call is free of charge.

Hopefully, this has given you a little bit better idea about what direct response marketing is all about. In Part 2 of the series I’ll share the benefits and drawbacks of direct response marketing.When you’re ready to see how direct response marketing can help you get more leads and increase your conversion rate, then feel free to book a no-cost discovery call with us today.

___________

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Articles by Lynn SwayzeScale Fast

How to Build Congruent Offers that Convert

views
145

It was the summer of 2016 and I was deep in the heart of Texas. My client, a software developer, had hired me to help him revamp his marketing and help him grow his business from a team of one to a team of five.

Like most clients who need marketing help, this client wasn’t quite ready for me.

For starters, he had two separate offers he wanted to sell to two separate and opposing prospects.

For example, he wanted to sell custom applications to startups.

He also wanted to sell custom end-to-end back-end applications for established businesses.

And he also thought that $90 an hour was too much to charge for his services.

AND he wanted to be able to sell all that with a contact form on a website.

Does anyone else see a few glaring problem here?

When I came on, I knew that I couldn’t sell all of that on a single page, let alone with a contact form.

I also knew that my client couldn’t sell all of that, all at once.

And if we tried to brand and market to one avatar – say, the organization who needed custom software, for example – we’d turn away his other avatar, the funded startup.

And don’t get me started on $90/hour!

Phew.

I find that most of the time, entrepreneurs with lead generation problems don’t really have a lead generation problem. They have an offer or an operations  problem.

And fortunately, the offer problem is the easiest to fix, so that’s what we’ll talk about today.

The 10 P’s of a Congruent, Compelling Offer

What I found is that most of the time, when someone has on offer problem, it’s not that they’re necessarily selling the wrong thing, selling it to the wrong person, or pricing it incorrectly.

Just like my software developer client who wanted to sell custom development to barely-funded startups

Alone, any of those components is as fine as any other. There’s nothing inherently “bad” about selling a $5 product or targeting newbies…. Or doing the opposite for that matter and charging a $100,000 for a single consultation call.

The problem lies in the alignment of these components.

That is, the problem is that many struggle because they’re targeting the wrong person for the product they’re selling… or pricing it wrong for the person they’re targeting… or positioning wrong to attract the right person. And so on and so forth.

In all, I’ve uncovered ten different components of an offer, all of which must be in sync in order for your marketing to work as well as it can.

Once you get these down, you’ll know exactly what to say in your marketing messages and why some of the marketing you’ve launched previously may not have worked as well as you’d hoped.

The Top 3 P’s in the Marketing Prescription Formula

The top 3 P’s are the most important to get right out the gate. While the other P’s of the Marketing Formula can be off, get these first three wrong and nothing will work as you hope. These three are Problem, Person, and Product.

P#1 – The Problem You Solve

The first P is the Problem. I list it first because it’s the most important… and also the one so rarely ever looked at. The problem is the reason your prospect (or Person) is going to buy at all. Let’s say, for example, that you sell Tylenol. You’re not selling to every man and woman over the age of 18. No, you’re trying to reach those who have a headache. The same holds true for what you sell.

I believe Gary Bencivenga said it best when he said, “Demographics aren’t markets – problems are.”

P#2 – The Person You Reach

The second P is the Person. This Person will have the problem you solve. This person has certain characteristics, of course, but the important bit is that they will resonate with all your other P’s. (Which you’ll learn about if you download the Marketing Formula Worksheet.)

P#3 – The Product You Sell

The third P is the Product. Now, the product is of course what you sell. It’s also the SOLUTION to the Problem You Solve and it’s the solution the Person You Reach would want to buy or be able to buy. Note that the Product isn’t what you want to sell or what others say you should sell, but the very thing which solves the Problem for the Person.

Now here’s the thing: each of these three must be in alignment with each other. If you change one thing – such as the Product You Sell – you have to change the other items to match.

Before you hire a copywriter or marketing consultant, I encourage you to get at least these three items fully fleshed out and in alignment. That way, you give yourself the best chance for your marketing investment to pay off.

And to get all 10 P’s to build your Marketing Prescription Formula, you’ll want to get the 10P Marketing Prescription Worksheet. You can download it HERE.

Articles by Lynn SwayzeCopywriting

How I Build Funnels In Record Time (And How You Can Learn to Do The Same in < 5 Minutes)

views
119

I once worked with an Agora marketer who regularly built 7-figure businesses.
I can’t reveal his name, but let’s just say he’s big news in certain circles.
Anyway, he did something so radically different when he built businesses. Something that I’d long suspected was the right way to do it, but wasn’t sure until I saw him do it again and again to his immeasurable success.
Before I reveal what he did, I want to ask you a simple question:
How are you building your marketing campaigns right now?
If the answer is anything close to, “what’s a marketing campaign” or “I’m not’, then this is a blog post you definitely don’t want to miss.
Here’s how most small business owners build their marketing, if they build real marketing campaigns at all:
First, you either learn about a new marketing tactic from somewhere or you see it being done by a competitor or peer. You then decide to try it out.  Then, you wait a little bit and, seeing no new sales, abandon it for another new idea.
OR, you have some content ideas come to you and you record or launch them… only to abandon consistent content marketing efforts after a while.
OR, you spend a LOT of money on lead generation only to find that no one’s hitting that “Contact Me” form for more information.
OR, you’re launching campaigns but not selling anyone to the next step. So you might have one campaign to get people in the door and one to sell another piece, but nothing consistent that takes people from unaware to sold to the next step up.
Does any of that sound familiar?
It should, because if you’re being honest, one of those aforementioned strategies is the one you’re likely employing right now. I know this because I’ve seen it in the consulting world over and over and over again. I saw it as a copywriter more times than I care to count.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.

What if I told you that you could have a consistent, sales-generating marketing machine running for you 24/7/365, able to consistently give you more sales than you know what to do with? What if I told you that everyone who’s making real money is doing this, and that you don’t need to be a genius to reverse-engineer their methods?
What if I told you that having a “complete” funnel is easier than the marketing gurus out there are leading you to believe?
Hang on to your horses, because that’s exactly what I’m going to show you over the next few minutes of your time. (I promise, it’ll be worth it!)

The Step-By-Step Method for Building Funnels

First I want to share some beliefs I have about marketing and entrepreneurship. They’re fundamental to the way I think and why I advocate the strategies I do, so bear with me for a moment while I share them.

  1. I believe that marketing should be simple. Most people complicate the hell out of something that should be as simple as 2+2 = 4.
  2. I believe that marketing is systematic, not creative. I believe that if something isn’t working now, we’ll eventually find the combination of items that works for you. We don’t need the kisses of muses, we just need data-driven decision making.
  3. I believe that direct response marketing works, both online and off. I believe that an “old-fashioned” funnel, while really unsexy in today’s AI-driven, technology-infused world, still works to generate consistent sales.
    With that out of the way, let’s talk about what I suggest.

When building campaigns, I suggest you lay the whole map out from start to finish.

When I say, “From start”, I mean the front-end of your funnel. When someone first learns about you, how do they get in your world? Who are they? What are they looking for?
That’s the first step in your funnel.
And on the other end, the “finish” of your funnel is the highest tiered product you currently have in your product line. Maybe it’s one-on-one consulting or a complete product package. Whatever it is, that’s the penultimate purchase.
Got that? So you’re moving someone from unaware of you, un-indoctrinated in your worldview, and un-sold on your offer to being your biggest fan, completely indoctrinated in the world-according-to-you, and completely sold on whatever you have to sell.
It’s a big chasm, and in order to cross it we need a bridge.
At step one is your Lead Magnet. This is the free piece of information that targets those who have the Problem You Solve. (One of my “10 P’s”.) Note that in order to qualify as a lead magnet, this content must be exchanged for information about themselves. (Like email.) A book seems to do well here, but there are many options nowadays.
Step 2 is the Tripwire, or the first purchase someone can make. So maybe it’s a $29 guide, or a $199 course, or a $59/month newsletter. Whatever it is, it’s something that gets them to invest in indoctrinating themselves in your worldview.
Step 3 is the next step up. This stage should still be mostly DIY, but should have a higher investment of their time and resources. (Note that I didn’t say yours.) Perhaps it’s a higher tiered course or a seminar ticket. It’s something that brings someone into your world without
Step 4 is even higher up. This is where someone should actually get some of your time, and it should be at an investment actually worth your time. So maybe a strategy session or a consultation call. Whatever it is, it should only be done with those who have gone through the other steps and indoctrinated themselves in your worldview.
Step 5 is the penultimate step and should be the most expensive available. This is where you’d actually offer some of your time, and it should only be with clients who’ve gone through the other steps and who are 100% ready and excited to work with you. You should not have to do much selling at this point, because they’re pursuing you.
Note that you can have as many multiple ladders like this at once. However for most, five steps is enough to develop a “full” funnel and create a good amount of revenue.
Of course, people will stop at different points. And some will take longer or shorter periods of time to move from one step to the next. But what won’t happen is you won’t leave money on the table because you have nothing to sell people on next.
So the natural next question is – What do you do at each step?
This is where the Marketing Trifecta comes in.

The Marketing Trifecta

In the Marketing Trifecta, at least my version anyway, each marketing step has three main components:

Component 1: An Attraction Mechanism

This is the email series, Facebook ad, blog post, etc that gets someone into that step’s mini funnel.

  • Ad Set
  • Blog Post
  • Social Media (Video/Post)

Component 2: An Indoctrination Mechanism

This is the piece of content that indoctrinates them a little bit more and gets them to purchase.

  • Sales Page
  • Email Series
  • Video

Component 3: A Conversion Mechanism

This is the item that they’re purchasing or opting in to.

  • Lead Magnet
  • Webinar
  • Book
  • Course
  • Program

Putting it All Together – the Marketing Asset Tracker

If you’re counting, you can see how creating complete campaigns like this can add up to a lot of copy and design assets. It’s not uncommon to have over 100 individual pieces of copy when we build full funnels like this… not to mention all the associated graphics assets. And that doesn’t include the actual product!
It’s no wonder that when you look at marketing campaigns in this way, as opposed to as a single object, that hiring someone to help you can and should be an expensive proposition. Getting this much marketing to work together in alignment with the others to indoctrinate someone takes a lot of work.
It’s more than just “putting something out there”. It takes knowing the frame of mind someone is in at each stage, what they already know about you and your philosophy, and what they need to know (what Todd Brown calls the “Marketing Thesis”) to move forward and purchase the next step.
This isn’t brain surgery, but it’s also not something you want to leave to Fiverr, either.
Which is why I created a tool I call the “Marketing Asset Tracker” to keep it all organized. When I fill one out for myself and for clients, I will generally write out everything at once, and then methodically build it all.
Here’s a screenshot of what that looks like when I’m managing the funnel building process:

So, everyone knows exactly what we’re building, what the status of it is, and where the draft for that piece of copy is. It’s all in one spreadsheet and ready for collaboration. Plus, it’s in an archive format easy to pass on to the next copywriter who’ll be optimizing the marketing assets.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that each “step” has the following components:

  • Ad Set
  • Sales Page (Or opt-in)
  • Thank You/Confirmation Page
  • Follow-up Sequence
  • Product (internal files for deliverable)

It’s really that easy to start. Of course, I do other things that are unique – such as create Project Codes, organize documents in Google Drive, and all that jazz… but I think you can get the gist with what I’ve shown you here.

Conclusion

REAL business owners know that marketing works best when it systematically takes someone from knowing nothing about you to being a repeat customer. And they know that you can’t wait for inspiration to strike – you just build it, step-by-step.
And now you know the 7-figure marketing secret only practiced by those “in the know”. 🙂

Want to dig deeper into how I plan and create complete marketing funnels with hundreds of pieces of copy? Then you’ll want to download my “Marketing Asset Tracker” Template and Mini Training today.

 

Articles by Lynn SwayzeCopywriting

Fix your Operations, Make More Money?

views
134

When small business owners come to me, they usually cite the same problems: wanting more leads, sales, and revenue. These entrepreneurs claim that if they could only sell a little bit more and get more clients, that their business problems would all be solved. For these entrepreneurs, they believe the lack of clients is the cause of their problems.
And yet when I come onto the scene, I find that the lack of consistent sales is the symptom of a deeper problem, not the cause.
These businesses tend to have other symptoms too:

  • They can’t seem to get marketing launched on time (or at all)
  • They have haphazard marketing efforts, such as starting and stopping social media posts and sending emails erratically
  • They are falling behind on completing current client work while still hoping for (or needing) new client work or sales to fill the revenue gap
  • Clients are consistently not a good fit (personality, readiness, follow-through)

When I first became a copywriter, I ignored these concurrent symptoms and focused on the marketing and copy. I figured, it was someone else’s job to fix the operational problems. And if I got my client a lot of sales, well then great… they could figure out how to fulfill on their own.
But that plan didn’t fly when Mr. Success became one of my clients. Mr. Success, as I call him, was very good at what he did. He had a few famous clients on his roster… the kind of high profile clients most of us would LOVE to be working with. And yet, he could barely remain profitable. Clients resisted paying for his fees and he couldn’t keep up with fulfillment.
So how was it that a consultant with high profile success stories, a number of awards, and regular speaking engagements could have such problems?
The answer, I found, was in what I call the Profit-Operations Factor.

The Profit-Operations Factor

The Profit-Operations Factor says that how profitable you are is directly correlated to how solid your operations foundation is at all three points in your business:

  • The Front-End Lead Generation
  • The Core Work Fulfillment
  • The Back-End Product Development

And each of those areas can cause major profit loss if you can’t complete the work required for each. So, you can have the lead generation down pat, but if you can’t fulfill, you’ll still experience profit loss. Or, you can have the client fulfillment down and not have enough time to get more leads or create more products.
And most small business owners suck at at least one of them, if not all of them, without a solid operations foundation.
Mr. Success, it turns out, sucked at all of it. When I came on to do copy, he changed his campaign multiple times, up to and including changing his business name. And when it came to fulfillment, he didn’t have work systemized enough to consistently churn out work. And when it came to new product development and upsells… he consistently spent time creating products no one wanted to buy, rather than selling what people actually wanted.
His problem wasn’t that he didn’t have good marketing assets or copy. It’s that he didn’t have the operations foundations necessary to stick to a plan and follow-through to completion. It is for this reason that I created the Scale Fast System.
In my Scale Fast System, we tackle all 5 areas of your business:

  • Delegation, or your team structure, cohesion, and role splitting
  • Documentation, or the knowledge management about what you do and how you do it
  • Conversions, or your sales and marketing processes and success
  • Automation, or your ability to systemize and automate parts of work fulfillment
  • Optimization, or consistent process improvement

And we incorporate the mindset and project planning steps you’re likely missing so you actually get projects done, rather than starting and stopping a million projects.
And if Mr. Success was a client today, I wouldn’t have started with the copy. I’d instead have addressed the Visionary Chaos causing him to start and stop projects first, and then I’d address his quarterly planning, and then I’d address the copy.
If you’re thinking about hiring someone for marketing, first ask yourself:
Is this really a marketing problem, or a follow-through problem?
And if it’s the latter, I suggest focusing on building a complete funnel you won’t have to change in six months or a year, rather than worrying about lots of little things which won’t move the needle.

Want to know how I plan and create complete marketing funnels with hundreds of pieces of copy? Then you’ll want to download my “Marketing Asset Tracker” Template and Mini Training today.

The REAL Reason Copywriters Have Books and Courses

views
485

The other day, a copywriting friend of mine declared that he couldn’t possibly write a book.

The reason?
“I just don’t have enough experience!” he complained.
I laughed and explained that not being at the top is the best time to launch an information product.
Listen: the copywriters at the top got there by writing a book, starting a course, or launching some other information marketing product.
The top copywriters… at least the well-known ones… began their major upward swing when they launched marketing.
And that marketing allowed them to get even better gigs, for better pay, with better results.
Few became well-known experts, gained expert results, and then said, “Oh, I should probably teach this to others.”
And among those who did, many became famous AFTER being involved in someone else’s marketing. (A podcast or two, an industry event, a conference, etc.)
So the correlation is still the same.
Let me repeat that:
If you want to join the upper eschelon in your field…
Be it copywriting, dentistry, consulting, or anything else…
Then you want to become a teacher. 
Think about it: let’s say you have a project which needs a copywriter and you need the BEST.
Before you are two very similiar copywriters who specialize in your niche. Both have similar results. The difference is that one of them has trained 5,000 others to do what they do… with similar, stellar results. And as a result, this second person is well-known by many, many people and came highly recommended.
If you need and can afford the best, who do you pick?
The copywriter who spends all his time alone in a bungalow, or the copywriter who’s generous and ultra successful in marketing his own products as well as those of others?
There’s a reason that people with books and courses have full calendars — and a high price list to boot.
THIS is why copywriters have courses and books. (Of course, aside from the fact that books and courses are great marketing tools in and of themselves.)
Books, courses, newsletters, trainings, and other information products set you apart as an authority. An expert.
And experts get to charge more… and receive fewer complaints at the same time.
For the exact same service as people charging 10x less.
Unfair? Absolutely.
Effective? You betcha.
That’s just how it works. Either you complain about it, or you do something about it.
Which is why I’m creating a program which walks you through the 10 (or so) elements needed to build a unique, competition-proof persona and charge what you deserve.
And just like writing a book or creating a course, ALL of them can be done even if you’re “at the bottom”.
If you’re interested in hearing more, click here to be first to know.

_____________________

This post was sent as part of “Lynn Swayze’s Marketing Newsletter”. Sign up to get on the list.

Price to Win: Why Price Objections Are Never About the Price….

views
227

 
 

Have you ever heard the following from a customer…?

I can’t afford this.
Your [product/service] is out of budget.
You are too expensive.
I’m going to go with a cheaper option.
If you’ve seen or heard any of these, then this post is for you.
Here are the sobering, heart-stopping truths about price psychology…

Truth #1: Price issues are never about price.

When I first started freelancing, I had a hard time selling myself. I kept getting caught up in the usual things that tripped me up… namely, I kept focusing on me and my skillsmy experiencemy background.
Thing is… no one cares about that. No one cares about me personally. They don’t care how I do my copywriting, or what I used to train for it, or any of that stuff.
They don’t care about the technology.
They don’t care about the tools you or I use.
They don’t even care about the superiority of a method.

Your customers only care about how wonderful their life will be once their problem is solved.

The only thing your customer wants to be sold on is how great their life will be post-solution. They don’t want to know how you did it, really. Even if they’re buying a how-to guide, they don’t want to hear you talk about how you produced that lead magnet using a voice-to-speech software and then published it via a premier publishing company and then shipped it via Samcart. They don’t even care if it’s 30 pages or 150. They want to know how well whatever it is you’re offering will tie into their results.
There are three things you must prove:

  1. You are trustworthy
  2. You understand their problem exactly
  3. Your service / your product can solve their problem better (read: faster, more ROI, less work) than doing nothing, buying from a competitor, or doing it themselves

So if your entire pitch was about you… 
…how you would technically execute the solution
…your years of experience or certifications
…how much passion you have about the job
Instead of about your prospect’s end result…
…the kind of life he will live using your product or service
…how easy he would solve his problem using your service (as shown through testimonials)
Then you are likely losing sales.
 

Truth #2: There are three reasons people use price as an excuse

There are only three reasons that people have when they use price as an excuse.

Reason 1: They cannot actually afford your service.

Sometimes, people will look into your service because they do have a problem, but they’re still in research mode.
They don’t know anything about you or your price or what you do.
Sometimes they’re just looking.
They may not be ready to buy. So if they say they can’t afford it…maybe they literally cannot afford it.
Or maybe, they’re not your ideal buyer.
If you’ve built out a buyer persona and you’re targeting a specific customer, then your price will fit that buyer persona. By definition, a person who cannot afford your service is not your ideal buyer. Period.
Stay top of mind with this person (through retargeting, lower-price hands off products, and regular email marketing) but DO NOT lower your price because then you’re lowering your value.
They will not value you more because you gave them a discount.
Therefore, do not lower your price to win a sale.
If you really think this project or customer is a good fit, the best thing you can do is to continue to offer proof.
Offer hope that will get them thinking about their life after hiring you. Plant that seed.
Let them see your product as a sure investment in their future.
So let’s say someone cannot afford a product, but you know that they will make the money back quickly. If you can absolutely guarantee that they’ll make money, make sure that you’re reducing their risk so it’s a no-brainer that they will no matter what make that money back very, very quickly. Make sure you’ve highlighted your guarantee. Offer them payment plans.
But don’t ever, ever reduce your value by discounting.

Reason 2:  They do not value your service or the end result.

Some prospects want results without investing anything. They expect the moon but don’t respect your time or expertise.
These prospects haven’t done their research about what you do or how you help.
They don’t know how much work it takes to become an expert in [whatever you do] like you have.
They don’t know (or care) how long it takes you to do what you do.
And they certainly don’t want to invest in their own end result.
So they want to 10X their income but don’t want to put in the 10% it’d take up front?
In my mind I’m pretty sure they don’t want it bad enough.
Let’s take a look at my own story, shall we?
So far I’ve invested $25,000+ in my copywriting training, in website building, books, etc. I want to be a full-time copywriter that makes millions for my clients more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my whole freakin’ life. Is $25K worth the seven figures I’ll make? Hell freakin’ yes.
Your prospects should be the same way. If they want the moon, they better be willing to pay for a rocket ship.
If you see these prospects…RUN.
These types of clients and customers are terrible.
They…

  • Will question you constantly
  • Will redo what you’ve done or disrespect your time and effort
  • Don’t actually know what they’re talking about but will talk down to you anyway
  • Will ask for refunds unnecessarily
  • Will complain constantly about the very things others gush about
  • Won’t recommend you to others or provide a referral

The best thing to do here is not sign them up.
And if you can, figure out what attracted them in the first place and disqualify them faster and earlier in the sales process.

Reason 3: You have not proven how what you do ties into their results and how it’s worth what you charge.

The good thing about reason number three is that it’s in your control. Unlike the other ones which rely on your prospect, this one you can fix.
So if you’ve built a buyer persona and know your prospect well…. You shouldn’t have this problem.
If prospects who have the budget and value the outcome are not choosing you it’s because you haven’t sold yourself well.
What do you do?
 Go back through all of your sales materials, your website, and your proposal and pull out every selfish, I-focused bit. Pull out all the feature-only content and rewrite it so that every “feature” has a so what attached to it.
Because remember, people buy for emotional reasons and justify with logic.
 Honestly, this is why copywriting is so freaking hard and is so expensive. Copywriting which pulls the emotional strings and sells without turning someone off is very, very difficult.

Truth #3: Price is a marketing strategy, so use it like one

Your pricing tells the world more than you think. It tells the world what you think of yourself. And it tells the world who you help.

First, pricing tells the world what you think of yourself

If you believe actual core that what you do is valuable and will benefit your customer then it is your obligation to sell it and if you believe that what you do is valuable and you will charge a price that is commiserate with that value when you charge to low you’re saying that you don’t believe that it’s any good.

Second, your price tells the world what you think of money.

If you’ve never made more than $1000 a month in your entire life, you’re going to feel shame selling a product or service for $1500 or $3000 or $10,000. Have you only made $250,000 as an entrepreneur? You’d likely choke at pitching a $350K project.
Your price reflects your own inner barriers if you let it.
This is why most of the top names in the industry raised prices incrementally….
…and also why each of them will recommend mindset books such as “Think and Grow Rich” and what-not to new followers.
Your mindset is everything.
Pricing fails happen when you get stuck on yourself.
Most people price to please themselves instead of the prospect.
Let’s say you sell to enterprise customers:
Do you think a company like Microsoft or Dell is going to take you seriously when you charge $150 per white paper…. Instead of the $1500-$7000 the industry charges?
Or $15 per hour to consult on business marketing?
The answer, of course, is no.
Your client knows that if you really understood the market….
and really understood the amount of work it took to produce a white paper….
And you really knew what a good white paper could do for a company’s lead generation efforts…
That you’d charge a good rate for it.
While you personally might not be able to afford to hire someone at $3000 to write a lead magnet, it doesn’t mean that your prospect can’t.
By focusing on you and your limitations instead of who your prospect is, what their budget is, and what their expectations are, you are missing out.
Your pricing must reflect the your ideal buyer’s expections.
Note, that you won’t meet everyone’s expectations. You shouldn’t!
Your goal is to sell someone very, very specific buyer a very specific outcome. That outcome… that happiness… has a price tag.
Find it, prove it, and then own it.
Remember, your price is not about you.

Third, your price tells the world who you help.

Let’s go back to the example of Microsoft. If you are a white paper writer, your market is pretty wide. Companies of all sizes need white papers written:

  • Small startups just barely launched
  • Enterprise IT companies who make millions in revenue
  • Software Development firms who’ve been in business for 25 years
  • Etc…

Now, if you price at $10,000 white paper you are essentially saying that you only work with clients who have a big budget and who get big revenue out of the lead magnet that you generate. You’re also saying that you’ll only work with clients who deeply value and need what you produce.
See how that works? It’s not about how hard or easy it is for you to write it. It’s about the results and how your customers perceive you.
Your price should be one way that you disqualify bad leads so you can qualify good ones.
Your price is a marketing strategy. Use it as such.

>