The Ultimate Marketing Strategy Checklist Your Small Business Needs To Make Money

This is the last post from my marketing series. I’ve summarized all the points I made across the board. Enjoy!

Guerrilla Marketing, 4th editionTake heart that every change can represent money in your life if you learn about it and do something about it.” – Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerilla Marketing

 

1appGiven the right circumstances, fire has a voracious appetite. It will eat up just about anything you put in front of it – if it’s hot enough. However, the point isn’t about the temperature, it’s the way it devours. At times, its power can be nearly unstoppable.

 

2firHave you ever felt that way? Not necessarily unstoppable, but a feeling of never giving up? You press on – you never give up, there’s always this hunger. Sometimes that feeling is strong, sometimes that feeling grows dull, but it’s an ever-present reality in your life – your online business life. It’s comparable to a fire that consistently burns – sometimes it rages, sometimes it’s mere embers, but it’s always “alit”.

 

3cashPersonally, I’ve always had that burn. It’s like a particular drive. To get where? That elusive place called, success? What is success? It seems to me that the definition for that term is different for everybody. For you that’s reading this, the chances I would imagine are creating for yourself an online business that provides you with a constant inflow of residual income, am I right?

 

4sqGoing back to square one, that’s what this blog is all about. It’s about creating an online business that does exactly that. What this blog isn’t about is dreaming up what exact business you are looking to grow. For example: computer programing, accounting, software/app creating, makeup tips, music videos, acting/modeling, the list goes on and on and on. You are the one that knows yourself best, you know what it is that makes you happy, what your passion is, what your “product” is.

 

5goalMy goal is to move you onwards and upwards once you are in that place of knowing what it is you are going to do. In my mind, the directives are somewhat generic across the board. Have a website? Check. Twitter account? Check, check. Facebook? Done.

 

So, if you are an FPI business owner, this blog caters to the next step. What do you do after you have all your social media in place.

 

6searNow that we’ve got that established, I first have to mention this; even today, for the most part, after all my years of Internet experience, I still see a constant search, a constant hunger for *instant cash*. People (myself included, I won’t lie) have this dream that they will stumble onto a platform that will turn their laptop into a virtual ATM. How do I know? The two biggest keywords on Internet search engines is…. Guess what?

 

MAKE

 

MONEY

 

1dreamFor most of us, we have a dream. Our ultimate goal and desire is to wake up to a cash machine sitting at our dining room table, or wherever our laptop might be sitting. There are those who believe that it can happen, and there are those who don’t believe it can happen. For those who do believe and actually know how it can be done, will charge you for this knowledge. For those who don’t believe that it can happen just aren’t open minded enough (or at the very least, haven’t found the right avenue).

 

Can it happen? Will it happen? My answer is why couldn’t it happen?

 

Why not?

 

1keyThis is what I think: it can happen. Here’s what you probably don’t want to hear: but it does take work. And how hard and how fast is up to you. But, here’s the KEY: if you have the right tools, it can be faster rather than slower.

 

So, what kind of work, you ask?

 

1sellI don’t know. Keystrokes? Phone calls? You have a product, right? The goal is to sell that product. You will NOT get money any other way. People have to buy something from you in order for you to get paid. Do you know of any business in this world that does not operate in this way? Whether it’s:

 

  • your time (viewing ads, assisting others, reading articles, etc.),
  • your information (what you know, what you’ve experienced, what you’ve done, etc.), or
  • your product (clothing, makeup, tools, accessories, specialty/novelty product, etc.)

 

2loveYou won’t make money any other way. Period. Craft your online business based on what you love to do. Sell a product you love. And whatever you do, don’t stop. It’s not hard to stoke the fires of perseverance and motivation, a term I’ve lovingly coined, “moti-verance” (if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me mention it). You stay at it, you search out and devour all the information you can and you study the people that have gone on before you in your field.

 

2checkJust don’t do all of that on the Internet alone. Go to your local library. Please, please, please trust me on this one. And then when you’re done with that, print this out and check off each one – one by one and see if this doesn’t completely jump-start your online career.

 

From Part 1:

The sole purpose of this blog is to equip you with the knowledge and give you the tools you will need to grow your business. This post is about one of the many facets out there working to propel your ideas and products out into the social world. It’s called, marketing.” – Joy @ Glowbees

 

  • Pin down 5 professionals heroes in your field through magazines, books and blogs.

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

___________________________________________

 

  • Stimulating the juices that water the super-fruit of your creative imagination.

Your top three methods:

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Coloring a picture in a quiet place – don’t knock this one! It works!

 

  • Utilize these two points above to create something addictive about your online business that has the potential to go viral.

What is it?____________________________________________________

 

∇      Carve time out of your week to spend at least two hours at your local library reading quietly off in a corner somewhere.

 

∇      You have a notepad you’ve purchased that you now carry with you everywhere.

 

∇      Promoted three of your professional heroes via an email message using a sample message I’ve shared.

 

 

From Part 2:

1st

 

Success in the new era of business is driven by your ability to stand out and be truly remarkable. That requires an ability to tap into creativity, break the mold, introduce disruptive change, and dislodge the status quo.” – Josh Linkner, Disciplined Dreaming

 

  • Establishing what it means to be an FPI businessperson. Making sure you are fully integrated on each of the following:

 

o   Your own interactive web site                                                                                   ∇

o   Your business blog                                                                                                          ∇

o   A business page on Facebook                                                                                       ∇

o   Profile completed on LinkedIn                                                                                    ∇

o   Profile on Pinterest                                                                                                         ∇

o   Profile on Google+                                                                                                          ∇

o   A Twitter account                                                                                                            ∇

o   Accounts on the following news sites:

  • Tumblr                                                                                                                       ∇
  • Reddit                                                                                                                        ∇
  • StumbleUpon                                                                                                           ∇
  • Disqus                                                                                                                        ∇
  • Digg                                                                                                                            ∇

 

∇      Created a digital-free zone somewhere in your office.

 

∇      Knowing the combined top 3 creative methods your professional heroes share. Be brief, but not enough to lose specificity!

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

 

∇      A controversial and opposing viewpoint to your business’ mission statement. As an example, I sell women’s clothing. My angle is modesty, which can in itself be a controversial subject.

 

o   ___________________________________________________

 

Two ways you will use this to your advantage:

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

 

1talk

 

People won’t talk about you if you don’t give them something to say. Anything that catches attention is a topic. Anything that catches attention and then gets talked about is a fantastic topic.” Andy Sernovitz’s book, Word of Mouth Marketing

 

∇    Completed a brief email interview with one of your professional heroes and then wrote a blog article about it bring exposure to them and to your business.

 

∇    Outsourced through an online hiring platform to promote your blog or business (this is an excellent time-freeing objective – it brings exposure to your business while you sleep, or play, or go out to eat).

 

∇    Created a colorful chart/diagram concerning your business containing everything that you know that others would find useful. The link to your web site is listed at the bottom for exposure. You have shared this on all your social platforms (for online viewing: an example can be found HERE).

 

∇    You have a give-away item that your clients eagerly anticipate receiving. Your logo and web site information is on this product (remember the Microsoft MVP program!).

 

∇    You are currently co-partnered with a charity that is dear to your heart.

 

From a word of mouth perspective, charities are especially powerful because they come with their own built-in network of talkers. When you connect with any nonprofit, from a national organization to a single, small youth group, everyone in that group has a reason to talk about you. They are organized, involved, and have ready-to-go communication channels.” Andy Sernovitz’s book, Word of Mouth Marketing

∇    Three words: YOUTUBE VIDEO CONTEST.

 

 

From Part 3:

 

untitled

Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks)

[This] …is not about broadcasting your message and getting the largest reach and frequency – it’s about tapping into the conversation, listening, engaging, and empowering. The loudest, biggest spenders don’t win anymore. The smartest, most flexible listeners do.” Dave Kerpen, Likeable Social Media

 

 

∇    Three methods from Part 3 you are currently incorporating one a week to get more “Likes” on your Facebook business page:

 

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

 

 

♣    TWITTER – Check when completed

 

∇    Your business hosted a live chat (and continues to on a regular basis)

∇    Holds a monthly (or less) contest

∇    Incorporates a semi-annual (or more often) giveaway

∇    Post brain games, riddles and funny jokes at least 3 times (or more) a week

 

 

∇    Established a private, closed group on LinkedIn with professionals in your field for the sole purpose of gaining knowledge, learning methods of promotion (for them), asking questions, creating a dialogue and gaining recommendations (this group is not to gain clients – I repeat, not to gain clients! It is to NETWORK).

 

∇    Established an open group of people you know in real life on Facebook for the purpose of support, encouragement, and ideas. These people are positive, upbeat and share similar business goals.

 

∇    You are incorporating at least two methods from Part 3 that enable you to be more likeable, transparent and personable within your business. These two methods are:

 

o   ___________________________________________________

o   ___________________________________________________

 

∇    You are continually in the process of writing small, brief, yet concise reports on trending heroes in your field at least once every two weeks using the methods listed in Part 3. You are learning:

 

o   How your goals and paths are similar

o   What you wish to emulate in their business life

o   What value you can bring to their table

 

 

From Part 4:

 

1mar

 

My goal with this whole series is to put marketing tools in your arsenal from every possible angle by acquiring the latest and greatest, yet critical information which will in turn, procure a wealth of tips & tricks every small business owner should have that leads to relationships, fans, sales, profits and success! – Joy @ Glowbees

 

Part 4 was about utilizing all the tools that I’ve written about in your off-line business life (no social media). You should have in place the following:

 

∇    An ultra-sleek, curiosity-inspiring bumper decal on the back of your car that includes your web address or logo.

 

∇    Brochures and 3×5 cards that you distribute everywhere you go that have a pretty person on them, are in color, give the people who see them complete simplicity in being more involved with your business (via TXT is a plus) (don’t forget that there are approx. 30 ideas for places to place them at in the post).

 

∇    You are set up on an online platform that allows you to receive texts through a “shortcode”. You are incorporating this into every possible marketing strategy that you use in order to make it easier for your viewing audience to:

o   receive something from you, i.e., newsletters, products, giveaways

o   ‘Like’ you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter/Pinterest, or

o   view your site, blog, & profiles.

 

∇    You are working on an ad project that you will place in a regional edition of an upscale magazine. The ad will be for your business or an eBook (see below) that you have written by doing the following:

o   creating the design and layout of the ad

o   considering the possibility of partnering with another business to cut costs (called fusion marketing)

o   ordering reprints of the ad for mere cents that you will:

o  place in mailers,

o  create a poster for,

o  have framed,

o  all with the words: “As seen in…”

∇    You have or are creating an eBook full of free information that you will give to anyone who wishes to download it complete with your web address listed in the footer of every page. Ways to get content are listed in the post.

 

∇    You currently have in place a reminder system for follow-up with clients after every sale (30 days, 90 days and one year).

 

∇    Every week you mail out at least 2 personal notes using the highest quality materials to potential clients or those on your mailing list that have not purchased from you yet. This note is to introduce yourself and give them an opportunity to receive something from you for free (through contest, promotion, giveaways deal, or eBook).

 

____________________________

 

I really had a great time blogging about all of the methods that have worked for me in my business. I truly hope that as you incorporate them in your own marketing strategies that they will kick-start your online business career selling whatever you are passionate about. And one day, your laptop will be your virtual ATM. Who’s to say that one day you won’t see this:

 

3payrecd

 

2groI’ve created something I wish I would have had five years ago. I believe that this is a pretty good break-down list of everything you should be working towards for your business, so print this out and keep it handy by your desk. For me, I use Excel in the form of this list. In one column I have all my ideas. Then, in approx. 1 to 2 weeks, I check back in and place in the column next to it what happened to that idea. I post updates, if you will in the next cell over. That way, I can see laterally what is working, what’s on hold, what’s not working, what I’m waiting on, etc. etc. And every 1 to 2 weeks I have a new column and I just keep following it over. At the bottom of my most current column I place new ideas, so it’s basically always growing, but never to the point that I can’t see what I’ve already done. It’s a nice system for me and it works.

 

Well, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my posts. And, if you have any questions or responses to these strategies and methods, I’d love to hear them!

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Joy

Unbelievably New & Easy Marketing Tips & Tricks – Without Using Social Media – Say What?! Part 4 of 4

Let’s Pretend Social Media Doesn’t Exist… Just For A Bit. How Would That Impact How You Do Business? Time To Pluck That Creative Super-Fruit!

4

1clockWow! We are at Part 4, already? Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess. And, I hope you had fun! It’s unfortunate that right now, I’m just realizing that this marketing series has throwing a crap-ton of information at you… And, it’s just now that I’ve decided that after this post I’m going to break everything down in a “summary post” for you with an easy to do list complete with a timeline of where you should be and where you should be going.

 

2overBefore we start, I first want to throw out there that my intention isn’t to overwhelm anybody. And, now that this marketing series is almost over I realize that I’ve pretty much thrown just about every marketing tactic there is, out there, at you, a little willy nilly. Kinda cool… kinda not cool. But, don’t think that you’ve wasted your time here with each post- NO! Although the break-down summary post coming after this one is going to be brief– it still won’t contain the necessary information that I’ve previously posted; so trust me, it was worth your while to read each post in this series. The purpose of a Part 5, if you will, is to just give you an ‘at-a-glance’ list to make sure you’re on track. It will be something you can print out and check off as you go and if you need to refer back to the post in detail- that will be just fine!

 

3moneyMy goal with this whole series is to put marketing tools in your arsenal from every possible angle by acquiring the latest and greatest, yet critical information which will in turn, procure a wealth of tips & tricks every small business owner should have that leads to relationships, fans, sales, profits and success!

 

4billySo, since we’ve covered a lot of ground digital wise, I’m going to go the route of old-school- by getting off social media for a bit. To do that, let’s pretend we live in the 1800’s and there’s no such thing as the Internet. Think of like this by repeating the next sentence: this is ground zero, here people (say that with a Western-Cowboy accent and the transformation will be complete!) and we are going to lay the ground-work for the basics… BUT not just any old basics- we are going totally to the NEXT LEVEL on this.

 

5futureThis will be the absolute latest and newest methods on the market to date. It’s nearly April, 2014 and I have yet to see this some of this information across the net (some of it, but not all). How do I know? Because I’ve been researching it myself and have come up empty handed (and I don’t know if that’s good or bad yet)! I’ve decided that I’m simply going to tackle it myself and become the ultimate, virtual pioneer in non-Internet marketing. This is going to include, A) what needs to be on your brochures, post cards, mailers, etc. (tactics not really done in small time business YET), B) making it EASY for your client to see you and then tap in, C) using the newest (FREE) technology for broadcasting your company, D) using amazing audio combined with flashy packaging to “wow” your potentials, and so much more! So, hold on to your cowboy hats!

4000478-515030-decorative-elements-border-and-page-rules

11suitDid you know you’ve been on a journey? Someone has snuck into your house and packed your bag whether you liked it or not- well… actually, you really want to go, you just didn’t know how badly until now.

 


How did this all begin? To be 100% completely, bald-faced honest, it started out by me doing a search on the mathematical formula for business success. Like the movie Moneyball, I figured that that there has to be some type of formula for success.

 

Again, to be honest, I’m still trying to find it. To the right is the book the movie is based off of —–>>>>>>

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
by Michael Lewis

 

11recordDon’t you get tired of reading the same things over and over and over, feeling like a record spinning into nowhere, just going around and around and around? Don’t you want to move up to the next level by doing something totally revolutionary when it comes to social media and even doing something revolutionary that doesn’t include the Internet?

 

Listen, your business ventures will never be like every Disney movie ever made that incorporates some type of magic to get the story across. But, you’ll have to incorporate something like it;

 

…the magic of your creativity

(once again)

 

Only this time, you’ll use your creativity combined with my creativity (and the fruit of my research and ‘know-how’).
Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition

As you better know by now, making consistent money on the Web means excelling in three areas: building your online mailing list, converting prospects into customers and customers into repeat customers, and automating the process through sequential autoresponders and online payment systems to free up your time for other activities.”
– Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerilla Marketing

 

So, without further ado, here’s THE LIST; your comprehensive, numbered, all-in-one place for marketing your business off-line. Let’s get to it!

 

11bump1. THE WHAT: Bumper decals for your car- not stickers via Cafepress in YOUR design that A) you will use yourself, and B) give away to customers who just bought from you, friends and family. And, not like this, by the way:

<<<<<<<——————

 

11carTHE WHY: If you are like most people, you drive A LOT. As an example, I put nearly 200 miles on my car yesterday alone. How many pairs of eyes do you think were on me the entire time I was driving? Probably lots- if not hundreds. The goal is to get “brand visibility”. Your brand is what you are aiming at establishing. It needs to be seen, it needs to be recognized, it needs to become part of a movement. Think that’s too big of a thought or dream? Then, you need to broaden your horizons! Why? Because ANYTHING is possible! Plus, it has an additional two-fold perk: gives you incentive to keep your car clean and keeps you cognizant of being a better driver!

 

11duckTHE HOW: Design it in a graphics program like Inkscape (you can download this fantastic program for FREE – I love it and use it nearly every day). It should be done in white. It should be simple. Above all- should BE COOL! It must be “shareable” and people should want to share it (by putting it on their car). Think about that white duck head sticker people put on their cars, you know the one I’m talking about. You’ll want to use some words though, possible your web address, or business name at least. Possibly a slogan? Invitation to join your exclusive club?

 

THE BENNIES: Great local visibility for your business garnering potential traffic to your site leading to sales, and also aids in establishing your brand.

 

Here’s an example from my own decal:

 BUMPER

 

If you would like me to design one for you, I can, for FREE. Well, not entirely free, but almost. All I ask is that you refer whoever asks about your decal to my blog, that’s it!

BUMPER2

 

 

22shutter2. THE WHAT: Brochures & 3×5 Cards – that you design via Shutterfly. They must include the image of a person (pretty girls get more attention – sorry, but true), be colorful, great typeset, AND the information you put on them must make it easy for your customer to get to you. See the *** below. 

22shareTHE WHY: If done right, you’ll get lots of eyes. If they’re shareable, they’ll get passed on. If you include the right information on them, they’ll stick around awhile. There is very little cost to this one, but the return can be high.

22matTHE HOW: You will physically place these in various areas and/or mail to your potentials and/or already established customers. Ideas for where to place: subways, schools, senior centers, college dorms, fraternities, churches, local community club centers, apartments, grocery stores, malls, car washes, condo party centers, hotels, military cafeterias, counters of public places, meeting convention centers, libraries, chambers of commerce, medical offices, roller rinks, waiting rooms at auto centers, party stores, company bulletin boards, tourist information centers, rest stops, banks, factories, beauty salons, bookstores, laundry mats. Can you think of more places?

22txtTHE CUTTING EDGE: Have you ever seen this, “TXT the word LOVE to 12345 and receive a free X”?? When a person texts something to a 5 or 6-digit number, those digits are called, “shortcodes”.

To get a “shortcode” to use as a marketing method, you have to buy one and it can cost you hundreds if not a thousand dollars a month (don’t believe me, just Google search it).

Here’s the catch that I discovered for small businesses: You can have one FOR FREE; totally legit, totally legal, no strings.

But, the way that I aim to use it is for people to text ME in order for them to get discounts, coupons, gifts, etc with my company. It doesn’t cost me to do that and it doesn’t cost my customer *depending* on their service carrier.

00easyYour goal is to create a system that makes it EASY for your clients, fans, potentials and other businesses to notice you and get something from you. Think about it, how many people do you know that dang-near live 100% of their lives on their phones? Mobile tech is NOW. If you don’t have a web site that can be read on an iPhone… well, you’re behind the times, my friend!

People will do something if A) it’s easy, and B) if something is in it for them. You’re going to do that with your brochures, flyers and 3×5 mailing cards.

00logoThe site that I use is at TextLocal (and no, I’m not being paid by them, really) and you can get a code that your clients and fans can use to simply txt whatever message you want to the 5-digit code they give you.

For example: You are having a promotional sale on your products. So, you create a flyer and distribute it around town. On that flyer you type:

Text the words, “SIGN ME UP!” to 54445 and receive a 20% off coupon on your next shopping trip with us!

 

01buildThe result is you can have your fan base text you to do ANYTHING YOU WANT THEM TO DO. What I’ve typed here is just a simple foundation. It is up to you to build on that foundation by using your own creativity- I know you can do it! Just put some thought into it and then think about this: by having them txt you, you can then move them to go various places.

 

Here are some simple and easy ideas for what they can get when they text you:

            • Signing them up for your newsletter
            • Giving them coupons for a purchase
            • Sending them a free gift
            • Ask them to visit your web site to be entered into a contest
            • Direct them to ‘Like’ you on Facebook for exclusive deals
            • Send them a link to follow you on Twitter
            • And, more! The possibilities are endless!

 

 

02save3. THE WHAT: Magazine Ads – By advertising your free eBook OR simply advertising your business. But, in order for people to respond to your ad, there has to be something they can get. Can you craft it around saving money, or making money? Maybe joining an exclusive club? That is what motivates people usually- money, deals and exclusivity. 

02bookFor an e-Book:

People, however, will always treasure and pass on information that is relevant and helps them with some aspect of their life.” – Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerilla Marketing

02book2Do a book report by checking out books from the library, magazine articles from the web (cite all articles you use), public domain, hire writers for very low cost. Be sure to write out a mission statement about your company and place your web address on every footer in small print. Make a snazzy cover page. The goal is to bring people to your site. Make it relevant, informative, free and useful. Take a month to do this, follow this timeline:

        • Week 1: Write your mission statement that includes what your mission is, what your company is about and what problems you solve. Utilize Dreamstime and Fotolia (they are the most cost effective stock agencies that I’ve found) to come up with ideas for a cover page. Find the best illustration that you can buy. Add your own personal text to the image.
        • Week 2: Get your content by checking out three books. Write 5 loaded paragraphs using information from the books. Incorporate stock images from Dreamstime as they high quality and FREE (people LOVE graphics!).
        • Week 3: Create more content via the web. Find three great web articles and PRINT THEM OUT to read at home. Get off the internet and concentrate on the articles themselves. Grab the best and most informative lines regarding your subject. Add your own ideas.
        • Week 4: Either hire out freelance writers for a few dollars (ask me how HERE if you have any troubles) or scour the public domain for information you can use. At this point, you should have plenty of good content.

 

downloadOnce you have that, save it all together with your website address in the footer as a .PDF file that people can download. You can then send it manually by email upon request or set up an automatic file downloading app on your web site. Instructions on how to do that can be found HERE.

 

To advertise your business:

Guerrilla Marketing, 4th editionA properly produced magazine ad, preferably of the full-page variety, gives a small business more credibility than any other mass-marketing medium.” – Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing

Your best bet according to Jay, is to buy remnant space for a lower price in a regional edition of an upscale magazine (an example would be TIME Magazine), or partner with another business to split the cost. To find regional editions and prices for advertising click HERE. You’ll need to get familiar with the Standard Rate and Data Service, Inc. which is published monthly for ad rates.

01asinOnce you have an ad run, you can buy reprints available at a fraction of a cent each. Here’s why this is a phenomenal method for your business:

You will not necessarily gain consumer confidence from a single exposure to your magazine ad. But if you run the ad once, you can use the reprints of that ad forever.  One highly successful company ran a single regional ad in a single issue of Time magazine, then used reprints of the ad in its window and on its counter for nearly thirty-five years afterward. Reprints were also sent in direct mailings. His mailing in 2006 could even run a reporting that stated, “As seen in Time magazine.” – heavy duty name dropping from an ad run once in 1973. That’s getting mileage out of magazine advertising! – Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing

 

 

00loyalty4. THE WHAT: Earnings for sharing – In some places you will see this frowned upon because people believe that you are “buying” your customer’s loyalty, but I disagree. This is how I see it: If you like the brand, like the goods, are already a fan and you’re going to share about your excellent experience anyhow (because people will ask you), why not get perks in the process that’s already going to happen?

00coffeeTHE HOW: By sharing with their friend and family base what they got from you is the goal. How this goal is achieved is by giving them incentive to do so. Now how you do that is up to you; it can be through gift certificates, entries into a contest, a free gift… actually the possibilities are endless! You can choose what you want to give in order for them to share what they’ve received from you. For example, have them take a picture of themselves with your product to share with their friends (including a hashtag of your company name) and how ever many “shares” they get are entries into a contest for a $10 gift certificate to their favorite coffee joint!

00benniesTHE BENNIES: If you are creative enough with this one, the rate of exponential growth could happen. One friend shares, then three of them share, on and on it goes. It’s more visibility for a small cost.

00guft5. THE WHAT: Your free gift included with every sale – Could be a:

          • mini-catalog (that you will ask for them to be passed on and shared. You’ll want to include somewhere that most of your customers pass them on to save on recycling, etc. (this is a persuasion tactic that is widely known in which if “most other people are doing it” they will be influenced to do it also). Check out this article, “Mini Catalogs Catching On as Economy and Culture Change” as soon as you have the chance.
          • Coupons in the form of a snazzy envelope complete with ribbon.
          • Free gift that your customer can actually use that includes your business logo on it.

00rememberTHE WHY: Once you have included some type of gift with your sale, the most crucial point to remember is: follow up afterwards – most business owners are unaware of how crucial follow-up is after the sale and that at 30 days, 90 days and at one year contact must be made. So, HOW do you remember this? At the point of sale, you create a calendar appointment on your Outlook (or other date setting platform) with reminders at those date points. On top of those reminders are WHAT you will send: email, mailer, small gift, fancy envelope celebrating your one year anniversary (with a coupon). Make it easy for them to recommend three friends to you based on your awesome ‘keeping in touch’ strategy.

THE HOW: You can create a catalog pretty much through any online publishing platform. The key is to make sure you have *awesome* graphics either through a stock agency (you can get images for FREE through the ones I mentioned above) and that it’s clean, easy to read, and fun. Create it in Adobe or graphics program like Inkscape (super-spectacular program that you can download HERE for free. I use this program nearly every day!)

00couponCoupons can be made on stationary that you choose, or visit your favorite craft store and browse the Scrapbooking aisle. Free gifts are up to you. Just put yourself in the shoes of your customer, what would you like to receive as a gift from a company you purchase from?

00env6. THE WHAT: Cold-call mailers – These are actual mailings that you will send to as many people as you can- friends, family, clients, potential clients, anyone that has shown interest in your company (or not), etc. But, these just aren’t any old mailers, these are reeeeeal personal. You will do something reeeeallllly different. So different, yet so old school. You will actually write in your own handwriting (the best that you can do) the addresses. To be completely real, it’s so RARE nowadays that people will actually be intrigued. The goal is to invite them to your site or blog.

THE WHY: Think about it, besides your grandma, when was the last time you received an actual envelope in the mail that was written by hand?

00paperTHE HOW: You’re going to need extra-special envelopes. I was even toying with the idea of possible small boxes, but I realize that that may be too difficult and get too costly. Some type of foil-type paper for the envelope would be creative, better yet, grab some decorative paper (they run a few cents per sheet) from your local craft store to make envelopes.

THE BENNIES: This may seem like a stretch, and possibly too time consuming to do. But, don’t chuck this one out the window. Why? You *need* to be more personable with your fan base. That’s a big reason why people even do business with a company. It’s the relatability, the personal touches, it’s “knowing” a person, a face, anything. It’s making someone feel special! And, what makes someone feel special more than a handwritten note?

00qualityThis task doesn’t have to be in the hundreds; it’s not about quantity, but quality. Pick 5 people you can send something to and make it a goal to do so in the next two weeks. Think about what you can send them that you know they will respond to.

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I hope that you have enjoyed the latest post in this series. I realize that it is a lot to take in… But it’s all possible to do. It’s easy, but does take time. I hope that you will at least implement three of them.

In closing, like I mentioned above, I’m going to summarize this all in a final Part5, so stay tuned!

Till next time!

9 Tips to Becoming a Jedi Master of Persuasion – Scientifically Proven to Drastically Improve Sales and Influence

chairCome on in.

Shut the door behind you and walk carefully to my beautiful, soft and plush chaise lounge. Lie down on that gorgeous ox blood velvet.

Cross your legs if you want to.

Now that you’re relaxed, concentrate on the ticking of the metronome that beats in time to the rhythmic sound of my voice. You’re getting sleepy.

Soon, you will do everything that I tell you to do…

pendulum3… 2… 1… zzzzzzzzzz…

Is this what comes to your mind when you think of someone who might have the power of persuasion over you? The kind of nightmare where honesty and integrity somehow watch from the sidelines as a dark and sinister snake oil salesman takes your sweet little ol’ grandmammie for everything she’s got?

Why is that?

I know that is what I have always tended to think- like there must be some sort of voo-doo involved when it comes to influencing people. Does Tony Robbins come to mind? I’ve always wondered about that guy (just kidding, Tony).

It turns out there’s really no “magic” about it; but, more like actual science. Studies upon studies have been performed proving that certain persuasive techniques are and can be valid, but should only to be used in ethical ways.

Ethical, you say?

Yes, ethical. Why? Because when these tools are used in dishonest ways or by artificially importing the principals of social influence into situations in which they don’t naturally exist- any short-term gains will almost invariably be following by long-term losses. Or, in other words- IT’S NOT WORTH IT. All dishonesty is uncovered eventually and the results can be disastrous for you, your reputation, your finances, or worse. So, just don’t do it, okay?good

Besides, why do something dumb and wrong, when you can just as easily do what’s right and help other people?  Not only that, some of the studies that I’m going to post about are not only scientifically rigorous, but also fun! I like fun. But, I had to bring up the ethics warning for a reason. That reason being: people can be influenced. And, there are some really nasty people out there. People who will take advantage of other people and that’s NOT what I am about, nor would I ever DREAM of promoting dishonest or disgusting behavior. This post is about utilizing persuasion tools that benefit both parties- tips and tricks that grow a business AND help other people.

I want this post to be fun. And, I think it’s going to be! Learning all that I did made me involuntarily do a few things; some of them being, but not limited to, my eyes popping out with near disbelief (in some cases), I said, “Hm” (a lot), and believe it or not, I even chortled a few times.


There are 50 scientifically proven ways to be more persuasive documented in Noah Goldstein’s, Steve Martin’s and Robert Cialdini’s awesomely crafted and compiled book that shows us detailed studies uncovering a series of hidden rules for moving people in your direction (and beyond!).

I can’t reveal all fifty of them as much as I would like, however I can share with you my very own top ten. I was blown away by all of them and I wish I could talk about each one, but time does not allow it. For now, it will just be a few. And, I promise you’ll like them.

The first one, I don’t plan on personally using, but it’s so… out there, I couldn’t not post it and thought it deserved first prize. So, without further ado, here are my favorite top 10 tips to becoming a Jedi Master of persuasion:

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1.   To become more persuasive with any audience you may be standing in front of, first slip them 1,3,7-trimethylxanthin, a perfectly legal drug.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s not. It’s true. And… I’m going to save explaining this one in detail or last (just to keep you reading). Stay with me till the end and I’ll explain.

gas2

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2.   How a simple question can significantly increase support for you and your ideas.

a-surveyLet’s say you’re thinking about doing a charity run for our favorite nonprofit organization, but you don’t want to sign up unless you are fairly certain you’ll get a lot of donations. Asking family, friends, coworkers whether they think they’ll donate will not only give you an idea of their initial support for your undertaking, but will also increase the likelihood they will donate should you decide to join the run.

To rephrase it another way, let’s say you are a small business owner and you want to know how likely any particular people would be willing to purchase from your store. You might ask them through whatever medium, i.e., phone, email, in person FIRST how likely they would be to purchase something from our shop. If they say that, yes, they would be inclined to do so; it increases the likelihood that they will purchase something from you in the future.

For more information on this particular research click HERE.

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3.   Discovering THE ONE WORD that you can start using today to increase your persuasiveness by more than fifty percent.

machineBehavioral scientist Ellen Langer and her colleagues decided to put the persuasive power of this word to the test. In one study, Langer arranged for a stranger to approach someone waiting in line to use a photocopier and simply ask, “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” Faced with this direct request to cut ahead in the line, 60 percent of the people were willing to agree to allow the stranger to go ahead of them. However when the stranger made the request with a reason (“May I use the Xerox machine, _____________ I’m in a rush?”), almost everyone (94%) complied. This kind of boost may not seem very surprising. After all, providing a solid reason for the request justifies the asking to jump ahead. Where the study gets more interesting is when the experiment goes on with the stranger using this word along with an excuse that is completely meaningless. Guess what? It generated nearly the same elevated levels of compliance!

What’s the word? Because.

The word gets its persuasive power from the continually reinforced association over the course of our lives between because and the good rationales that typically follow.

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4.   Life is like a box of… crayons?

crayonsResearchers Elizabeth Miller and Barbara Kahn noticed an aspect of crayons and countless other products, and sought to better understand how kinds of differences in product names influence consumer preferences. Ambiguous names, such as ‘millennium orange’ (versus green, blue, red or plain ol’ orange) prompt consumers to try to discover, in the absence of any meaningful information, what the makers of the product were trying to convey with that name. This also leads consumers to think about the positive aspects the company is trying to highlight with the name.

Names that fall into the unexpected descriptive category or the ambiguous category create a sense of mystery and intrigue that leads potential customers to consider the positive aspects of your goods and services.

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5.   Avoid driving your cross-cultural influence into the ditch.

globeIt’s weird to think of myself as a woman of international influence, but as an online business owner who works worldwide there are situations in other countries that I’m just plain ignorant about. There’s two terms that I learned through this book and they’re “individualistic” and “collectivistic”. In an experiment by Petia Petrova, students who were native to the United States were the former and students who were Asian international were the latter.

What this means is that when asking an American for a favor, you are likely to be more successful if you point out that it fits with what that person has done before. But when asking a favor of people from more collectivistic countries, the research suggests that you will be more successful if you point out that it fits with what that person’s peer group has done before.

When it comes to advertising, in the U.S., it is a better practice to appeal to a person’s “individuality” and what makes them stand out. Whereas, in collectivistic countries, advertising should appeal to the reader’s sense of responsibility to the group- i.e., “There’s a more exhilarating way to provide for your family.”).

Of course, this all depends on what type of business you run. For me, as a clothing proprietor, I’m not sure how clothing can benefit a whole family, however it has got me thinking about what I can enhance when I market my items and what I may need to change in my advertising strategies to better suit my international audiences. And, that my friends, is something I never thought about before!

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6.   The one small step that can help your influence take one giant leap.

footIn cases in which a business can’t secure even a small initial product purchase, this commitment- and-consistency-based strategy is called, “the foot-in-the-door”. For example, potential clients who are reluctant to use your service may be more include to do so if they’re first asked to take a small step, such as agreeing to an initial ten-minute appointment. Similarly, a marketing research department is more likely to get people to answer a large number of survey questions by first asking them if they’d be will to answer a brief survey.

As one astute sales expert advises, “The general idea is to pave the way for a full-line distribution by starting with a small order… Look at it this way- when a person has signed an order for your merchandise, even though the profit is so small it hardly compensates for the time and effort of making the call, he or she is no longer a prospect- he or she is a customer.”

This one gave me all sorts of ideas. The basis of this is reaching out to just land something small. Then you grow from that. I know that the mainstream thought process is to shoot big- not necessarily. You want to build relationships. Sometimes those take some time. But, the point, is to get out there, start with SOMETHING (no matter how small) and grow from there.

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7.   How offering a “free gift” with a client’s purchase can actually hurt your business.

sadWhen you offer up a gift and actually write out the numerical value of $0.00- it’s not really a message you want to send to prospective customers about the worth of your products. The gift is free; hence, it must not have any value. Of course, as a business owner the gift if not free to you, but it’s how it can be perceived by your audience. And, if it’s worth $0.00, you might be inadvertently driving business away.

So, no longer should your message read, “Receive a free security program.” Instead, it should become, “Receive a $250 security program at no cost to you.”

Personally, I can think of a better rephrasing, but I think you get the idea. Who knew that people actually view a free gift as something of no value?

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8.   Offering your customers too many options can make them frustrated.

angrySheen Iyengar and Mark Lepper examined whether the damaging effect of offering too much by setting up a display at an upscale supermarket in which passersby could sample a variety of jams that were all made by a single manufacturer. Throughout the course of the study, the researchers varied the number of flavors of the jams offered, so that either six or twenty-four flavors were featured at the display at any given time. The results demonstrated a clear and astonishing difference between the two conditions: Only 3 percent of those who approached the extensive-choice display actually purchased any jam. Contrast that with the 30 percent who bought jams when they approached the limited-choice display. When so many choices are made available, consumers often find the decision-making process frustrating, perhaps due to the burden of having to differentiate so many options from one another in a attempt to make the best decision.

A worthwhile exercise would be to review the extent of your product portfolio and ask yourself the following question: where we have customers who may not be clear about their requirements, might the number of choices we offer be causing them to seek other and potentially few alternatives elsewhere?

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9.   Give to others. Not just once, but twice. And never twice at the in the same moment.

giveThis tip is in reference to wait staff- which I’m not currently, but I used to be and boy, golly do I wish I had known this! I’m sure it can be used in principal with anything, but I’m flummoxed at the moment for how it can help me now. I thought it was interesting nonetheless. If you can think of how it relates to business, please feel free to share! I’d love to know because it would make me happy.

One study in a restaurant demonstrates that there are three major factors that help make a gift or favor more persuasive and as a result are more likely to be reciprocated. The first is significance. Giving diners two candies compared to one had the effect of increasing tips from 3.3% to over 14% because two seemed significant, however tips increased to 23% when diners were given candy in a particular way. How it worked was the waiter gave one piece of candy to each person at the table. They then turned away from the table, signaling that they were leaving. However, before exiting the area completely, they turned back toward the diners at the table, reached into a pocket, and placed a second piece of candy on the table for each diner. Through this gesture, it was almost as if they were saying, “…oh, for you nice people, here is an extra candy each.” From 3.3% to 23%!

What can you do to make your appreciation known that is more significant and more thoughtful?

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9.   All right. Here we are. Are you dying to know what that “perfectly legal drug” is? Have you guessed it?

gasIt’s caffeine. You were probably thinking you needed to go into stealth mode with some sort of noxious gas and secretly pump it into the conference room, weren’t you (guilty, here). The object being any presentations you make should be made to people who are most alert and never right after lunch. But even if you can’t choose the time of day to get before some people to market your new product or slam-dunk that deal, having coffee or caffeinated tea on hand should make your audience more receptive to your message (being aware though, that it takes around 40 minutes to take full effect). Of course, as research suggests, this strategy is likely to be effective only if your arguments are genuine, thoughtful, and well-reasoned. If they aren’t, caffeine is likely to have no effect or, worse still, there’s possibility that caffeinated audiences will be more resistant to your poorly reasoned arguments that a noncaffeinated audience.

So, there you have it. Those were my favorite. The great news is that there is SO MUCH MORE than what I’ve listed here- there’s FIFTY scientifically proven ways to be persuasive! Fifty! All backed by research and scientific studies done. You’ll be amazed at even how some types of marketing can actually backfire and influence people to do the opposite of what they’re trying to convey (for example, at the Petrified Forest National Park their posted signs actually increased theft of the petrified wood in the forest)!

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I can’t recommend this book,Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive enough. It has put more tools in my marketing arsenal than I ever dreamed possible. It has helped me reconstruct certain phrases that I thought were increasing traffic when in all reality, was probably driving it away. Truly, it’s been invaluable and I’ve been implementing these strategies from the get-go. There’s even a section is the very back that details actual case studies and feedback from people who have done these techniques in real life (mediation firms, anyone?). I was intrigued and motivated- I wished the book wouldn’t end. It’s an easy read and funny, to boot!

–Joy