IN THIS ISSUE
How To Raise
prices without angering customers
How To Add
$50 in profit to any
promotions in 10 minutes
I learned from my SPAM folder today
How To Make
a killing from free
Game changer in the Private Label Rights space.
The Warlord Entrepreneur
Life Is Just Long Enough
Dear Valued Subscriber,
Welcome to another edition of "Skills for Freedom" Newsletter.
As a species, we seek to increase our longevity, we hope to become immortal through our children or through a legacy.
Some of us spend a lifetime in pursuit of goals and riches at the expense of the reason we’re here in the first place: to live!
None of us are put on this earth to be a leader or a celebrity, that might be the outcome, but it is not the fundamental goal: we arrive here to live. To live every moment and experience as much as we can in the time we have available to us. And yet from the moment we become aware of ourselves here, we start watching a clock, and timing everything; judging our worth and successes based on time spent or dollars earned.
Time management and a bank balance are simply a scorecard, and the greatest way for you to achieve the successes you want in that regard is to stop watching then and instead live. Make your business something that fills your working hours with joy and elation. None of us are here to do tasks that we hate, we’re here to live for ourselves, it’s the only thing we owe.
The moral here is that in life as well as in our businesses, we shouldn’t waste time. Our lives are for living, and our businesses should be in support of that goal. To live is supposed to be a great adventure. It’s not about what we’re going to leave behind or about being remembered. It’s about the relationships and experiences we have along the way, and there is always enough time for those, just choose to experience it that way.
I am sure that you will find immense value in this edition of "Skills For Freedom" Newsletter.
If you think that others can benefit from "Skills For Freedom" Newsletter, please send them to skillsforfreedom.com. It's free for anyone to join.
News, Tips, Tools & Trends
Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2021
Post-coronavirus, 78% of consumers will want brands to help them with their daily lives.
Messaging will need to be more "meme"-friendly, as 55% of 13- to 35-year-olds are sending memes every week.
Podcasts are making a return, as 55% of Americans now listen to podcasts.
Nostalgia marketing will continue to rise, with an 88% mention increase during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Your consumers will continue to be more socially engaged and socially conscious. READ MORE
SEO: Exact Keywords Are Losing Importance
Conventional SEO wisdom says to not only scatter keywords across your website, but to also match them as closely as possible to what the user is actually searching for.
These are called “exact match keywords” and they appear to be losing relevance, thanks to “BERT”.
BERT stands for Bidiretional Encoder Representations from Transformers; Google’s update to help computers comprehend language more like humans do.
It analyzes what someone types into the search bar and tries to connect it with relevant content. And it’s doing a much better job of it, meaning you may no longer need to stuff your articles with exact match keywords, but instead focus on great content. READ MORE
Google Web Stories Plugin Now Available For WordPress
Google Web Stories is a free open-source system that converts content into bite-size, easy-to-digest formats for mobile devices.
If you're wondering what this looks like, think Instagram, Facebook, and most recently LinkedIn. Stories were originally made famous by Instagram and were later adopted by other social media platforms.
Google Web Stories essentially provides a similar format to those social stories features — a mix of images, video, text and animations to create a more immersive storytelling experience without requiring too much effort from the end user. See plugin here.
…and that’s not all…
Google Web Stories Plugin Launches Its First Big Update
Google is rolling out the first major update to its Web Stories plugin for WordPress which comes with three useful new features.
Google’s Web Stories for WordPress version 1.1 gives site owners the ability to:
Add GIFs to Web Stories via integration with Tenor.
Create Web Stories with a greater variety of typography options.
Add captions to Web Stories with video content.
Can You Really Triple Your Sales By Writing The Sales Copy FIRST?
Four times out of Five, the answer is a resounding YES. Maybe you’ve heard this advice before. Maybe it sounded crazier than clown college to you. But… it works.
It doesn’t matter if you’re creating a lead magnet, a paid product, a video to share with your list or whatever.
When you create the sales copy first, you think bigger.
You get more creative.
You find solutions you didn’t know you had.
You’re more excited about your product idea, and the excitement shows in your writing.
You’re shaping a better product than if you had created the product first.
You’ll have the best product possible because you sold it first.
But what if you write bullet points or sales points and then realize you can’t fulfill them?
Simply remove that portion of the sales letter. You will need to revise and tighten up your letter when the product is done. But 90% of your letter will likely already be finished.
And here’s one of the best benefits of all – you don’t have to write the sales letter after the product is finished. Many marketers find they have just enough enthusiasm to get through the product creation and have none left for the letter.
But by writing the sales copy first, you don’t have to worry about that.
I learned this technique a long time ago, and every time I remember to do it, I not only have a better product created with a lot more enthusiasm – I also make a ton more sales.
Why You Can Break ‘Unbreakable’ Rules
I just read an article over at Hubspot that touts the ‘10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint’ as created by Guy Kawasaki.
I want to state up front that I have nothing against Guy. I’ve read his books and he gives great advice on many topics.
But I suspect that one day Guy needed something to write about and was fresh out of ideas.
That’s when he decided to share his own 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint with readers, and now it’s gospel among speakers and video creators.
It’s also, in my opinion, not true.
The rule says that you must never use more than 10 slides in a presentation, you must never go over 20 minutes and you must never use fonts smaller than 30 point.
Even if you don’t do power point presentations or make slideshow videos, you can tell at one glance this rule is wrong. The clue is a certain phrase that appears not just once, but three times. Go back now and see if you can spot it…
“You must never.”
You must never this and you must never that and it’s all rubbish.
Very few rules apply all of the time. In fact, the only hard and fast rule I can think of right now is that if you want to keep living, you have to keep breathing. But I can even think of an exception to that rule, too.
And yet I see new marketers make this mistake time and time again. Their favorite expert-guru type says they MUST do this and this and this without deviation, and the new marketer will struggle to follow those rules until they collapse in frustration.
Never mind that the expert-guru works in internet marketing and the new marketer works in hobbies. Never mind that the expert-guru has a following of 100,000 with huge name recognition while the new marketer has neither. Never mind that the expert-guru has a staff of 5 with 20 outsourcers at his beck and call while the new marketer is trying to do it all herself.
Almost no rule applies all of the time. While it makes perfect sense to follow the guidance of someone wiser and more seasoned than you, it makes equal sense to adapt their advice to your situation, to your niche and to your audience.
There will be times when you need more than 10 slides, when your talk might be a lot longer than 20 minutes (especially if you are teaching) and when your font might not be 30 point.
And that, my friend, is okay.
One last thing… when you become a big shot in your niche, or if you already are a big shot, please do everyone a favor and teach others not to work in absolutes and to instead think for themselves.
And the next time you catch me saying “you must” do anything, be kind. I make this dumb mistake myself from time to time, but I’m working on removing words like ‘must,’ ‘should’ and ‘never’ from my vocabulary.
How to Up Your Facebook Marketing Game Using Facebook Groups
Most of us have come to realize in order to succeed on Facebook you’ll most likely need to pay-to-play, especially with organic reach percentages so low.
But there is another workaround if you aren’t ready to fork out the big bucks for that extra post reach...
Brands can use Facebook Groups to ensure their most important content is actually seen by their target demographic and as another way to communicate with potential and existing customers.
Instagram Releases Range of New Updates in Bid to Outshine Rival App TikTok
Instagram is making several changes to its app, the largest of which places renewed focus on its fast-growing rival TikTok.
Instagram will now feature its Reels video function directly at the bottom of its app, a key piece of real estate.
Reels videos are Instagram’s answer to TikTok’s own videos and originally launched in July. Placing them within their own tab in such a prominent place underlines Instagram’s determination to edge into TikTok’s space.
THE BIG SECTION
Are you ready for our big section? Articles, case study, audio interview, quotes, and more that will develop the skills that you need to be a successful web entrepreneur! Hope you enjoy!
How to Raise Prices Without Angering Customers
And How to Lower Prices Without Previous Customers Throwing a Fit
Heck, they might even demand a refund of the price difference. I’m pretty sure he imagined that every one of his customers was sitting at the computer just waiting for the price to drop so they could complain.
News flash - They weren’t.
And I’ve known plenty of marketers who wouldn’t raise their prices. Again, they were afraid of angering customers and losing business.
But Dan Kennedy’s first advice to almost every business owner is to immediately raise their prices. Most of his clients balk at this and some are so opposed they even throw a fit. But Dan wears them down until they acquiesce, and guess what happens? The sky doesn’t fall down, customers don’t disappear and the business starts making a whole lot more money.
I once knew a marketer who wouldn’t lower his prices no matter what. He lived in constant terror that old customers would be mad that the course they bought last month or last year for $197 now cost $97.
As marketers we bring our own psychological ‘money baggage’ to the business. All those things we were told as kids about money can still cause us problems, and it’s usually our business that pays the price.
Next time you want to raise or lower your prices, you might refer to this list to find a way that makes both you and your customers comfortable with the process.
1 - Timing. If you want to permanently raise prices, first make sure that your customers are happy with your product or service. Use the good feedback, reviews and testimonials when you explain your new pricing.
2 - Sound the Alarm. Before you raise your prices across the board, consider telling EVERYONE that it’s going to happen. While some marketers prefer to make as little noise about price increases as possible, other marketers take advantage of the situation by telling the world that if they want the lower price, NOW is the time to jump in.
3 - Add or Subtract Something. You can justify raising or lowering your price by adding or subtracting something from your offer. Maybe you add another product – such as an older course you stopped selling - to the mix to justify an increased price.
4 - Bundle. Offer discounts if they purchase more than one item.
5 - Play with Numbers. Let’s say you sell a tangible product. You offer 10 units of product for $100 but you want to raise the price to $115. Add two more, different-sized packages such as a 5 pack for $75 and a 3 pack for $50. This makes the 10 pack look like a good deal, even at the higher price.
6 - Add fees. This only works with some product categories, such as gym memberships, mortgages, cars and so forth. But it can be possible to add in a ‘fee’ for signing up. You can call it an administration fee, set up fee or whatever you choose. If fees are standard in your industry, then it’s certainly an option.I’m not fond of fees, but they can be especially effective as incentives when you offer to waive the fee if they join today. It’s like having a sale without having a sale, if you know what I mean. Yes, that is a gray area, but something to think about.
7 - Improve the Offer. Do you want to sell your $197 course for $297? Update it and add some new content, making the old version looks obsolete. Let the buyers of the old version know they can upgrade to the new version for whatever fee you choose (in this case, $0 to $100).
8 - Change Sizes. If your product’s size can be adjusted – more or less of a product or service – then you can change the price accordingly.
9 - Schedule Price Increases. If you schedule your price increases in advance – such as every January or July – and you let customers know about your schedule, they won’t be surprised or upset.
10 - Target a Different Demographic. If you find you need to significantly raise your prices, consider targeting a different customer base altogether. For example, maybe you’re helping yoga instructors with their marketing and you realize they don’t make much money and thus can’t pay you much money. Switch to plumbers, dentists, chiropractors or lawyers and you can likely double or triple your prices without doing any extra work.
Last thoughts - If you’re raising your prices, it’s best to plan ahead. It doesn’t turn out well if you tell your customers you’re going to raise prices just once this year only to discover you have to do it a second time before the year is over.If you lower prices, such as when you have a sale, then there might be a previous buyer or two who notices and sends you a disgruntled email. Write back and offer them a free electronic product of their choice. It costs you nothing and they will be thrilled.
How to Make a Killing With Your Free Blogposts And Articles
I’m constantly amazed at how marketers seem to think free content and paid content are two entirely different things. That fact is, your most successful blog posts and newsletter articles can make you more money than many of the products you’ve promoted.
The key is to pay attention to how your content is received.
Look back at your posts from the past year and see which ones gained the most attention. Which ones did people comment on and forward to others the most?
A little 200-word article that gets great feedback is trying to tell you that you’ve struck gold. You might choose to expand that article into a full-blown product and sell it or use it as a lead magnet.
Take your most successful free reports and turn them into paid coaching programs.
Answer a customer’s question and then send that answer out to your list and see what happens. Do you get a lot of response? Bam! There’s another product waiting to be made.
The point is to monitor the reception you receive on every piece of content you create, whether they’re posts, recordings, videos, launches, emails, reports or whatever. If you’re not sure how something is being received, ask your readers what they thought of it.
Take the most popular topics and expand them or repurpose them into something else. You don’t have to continually come up with new ideas. Instead, figure out which ideas are working and then get most out of those.
And you can also purposely float your idea for a new product by creating a mini-version of it as a post and then seeing how people respond. Do you have 10 ideas for products? Create 10 posts, see which one is the most popular and start working on that product right away.
Why is it when we want to be at our most creative and innovative, we resort to using the most worn-out cliché at our disposal?
“We need to think outside the box on this one!”
First of all, that ‘box’ is there for a reason. It gives us boundaries and guidelines on what we want to accomplish.
For example, if say I want you to write an article on new ways small businesses can use social media, I’ve just given you a ‘box’.
But if I tell you to get to work but give you no idea what to do, you’re going to be totally and utterly lost.
Second, if we want to be more creative, let’s start by abolishing the “think outside the box” phrase and make a pact, just between you and me. From this point forward, if you or I say or write ‘th*nk o*ts*d* th* b*x’, we owe $5 to our favorite charity payable immediately.
Now then, what can we say when we want to express our desire to think differently, get off the beaten track, search for an innovative approach, break new ground and take an imaginative leap?
Seriously, I’m asking you for your help on this one. Even the phrases I used in the previous paragraph sound worn out and tired.
I did have one thought, but if you’re a Star Wars fan then you might not like it.
For whatever reason, people seem to either gravitate towards Star Wars or Star Trek. I’m told Star Wars is for dreamers and Star Trek is for science geeks. This might be wrong, but I can see some truth to it.
Here’s what I do know: In the very first Star Trek series during the opening credits, we hear Captain Kirk saying…
“Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before.”
What do you think?
Can we boldly go where no one has gone before?
It sure beats the heck out of thinking outside some stupid, cliché box.
Whoops! That’s $5 I owe… now where did I put that wallet ??
One Simple Story Can Make You A Million Dollars
We talk a lot about story telling in marketing, but what’s the meaning of it all?
With one simple story – the right story – you can turn an unsuccessful business into a success, and a successful business into a behemoth of customers and sales.
Stories are 22 times more memorable than fact and figures alone.
And our neural activity increases five times when listening to a story.
Storytelling lights up the sensory cortex in the brain, allowing the listener to feel, hear, taste and even smell the story.
And because consumer attention is the ultimate commodity, it’s more important than ever to tell the right story.
Since the best stories are often not your own, Land Rover tells their customers’ stories. They find people who depend upon the Land Rover vehicle – such as a team of local transport drivers in the Himalayas – and share their remarkable stories.
IKEA uses puns and humor while sharing stories of how their products improve the private lives of their customers. They shared funny stories of how their products are used in the bedrooms and bathrooms of customers with tremendous success.
Sanlam Bank educated South Africans on the importance of saving money by filming the trials and tribulations of a young professional who got paid only in rand coins. These coins are worth about 7 cents in US dollars or .34 pounds sterling. Combining the story telling with valuable personal finance advice earned the video series 900,000 South African views on YouTube and generated 74 million media impressions.
Here’s how to get into the right mindset to uncover your own story. And guess what? It’s in the form of a story…
This guy is walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, “Hey you, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole, can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a friend walks by. “Hey Joe, it’s me, can you help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole.
Our guys says, “Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here!”
The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out.”
Be the friend to your customers. Jump in the hole with them. Let them know that you’ve been in that hole before, but you know the way out.
Tell them your story, show them how it parallels their own story, and then show them the solution.
How to Add $500 in Profit to Any Promotion in Just 10 Minutes
The $500 figure is arbitrary. Depending on the size of the promotion, you could gain an extra $100 to $2000 or a whole lot more.
Here’s how it works -
Anytime you promote a product, whether that product is yours or an affiliate product, consider adding a one-time deal for your own personal email support for an additional fee.
For example, you’re selling a $47 product that teaches buyers how to train their horse. You offer your own personal email support for a fixed length of time to answer any questions they have that are directly related to implementing the information in the product.
The biggest obstacle many people face when learning something new is putting it into action. Having someone they can lean on for guidance can be tremendously helpful both from a psychological as well as a practical viewpoint.
Things to know -
1 - You most likely won’t be overwhelmed by questions because only 10 – 15% of people who pay for your support option will use it. People have the best of intentions to use the products they buy, but as you know yourself, people get busy and things get set aside.
2 - You’ll be getting paid for something you probably already do, especially on your own products. If people already email you with questions about how to implement information you teach, the difference now is they will be paying you for your answers.
3 - Many of the questions will be the same. This is helpful for you in two ways – first, you get to discover what’s missing in the product. For example, if you forgot to include how people will take payments in the system you teach, you’ll know to add it to your course. If it’s an affiliate product, you’ll find the holes and have the option to either create a bonus that covers the missing areas, or even create your own, more comprehensive course.
Second, it’s helpful that people tend to ask the same questions because then you can write the answers once and copy and paste them each time the question is asked. Or you might create an FAQ to send out, or even create an FAQ page you can refer people to. This will greatly cut down on the number of questions you receive.
4 - This does not undermine the pricing of your personal coaching. Think of answering questions about a particular product as being an FAQ, not a coach.
Your answers will be shorter and more direct, and they generally won’t be tailored to the person asking the question since you don’t know their situation. You’re giving bite-sized answers, not in-depth personally-tailored step-by-step coaching. For that they need to upgrade to your much more expensive coaching program.
5 - You’ll set a time limit, and if you want, an email limit. You’ll answer their questions for a set period of time, such as 30, 45 or 60 days. You’re not offering email support for the rest of their lives. Emailed questions are only taken if they are directly related to the product. And if you want, you can limit the number of emails they send to you to one per day. This last one sounds unnecessary and usually it is, but one time someone decided to write to me 4 and 5 times per day. Ever since then, I place the one email a day limit in my offers. You can also limit the number of questions per email to 1 or 2.
6 - If you’re selling an affiliate product, you’ll need to be familiar with the contents of that product and how to implement what it teaches.
7 - You don’t need to be an expert. The questions are coming by email, which means you can take time to look up anything that you don’t already know. If the answer isn’t in the product, use your friend Google to find it. And if the question is beyond the scope of the product, recommend another product to fill their need. For example, if they’re asking how to get traffic but that’s not covered in the product, suggest your own traffic course or one that you are promoting. If you’re giving them an affiliate link, say so.
Bonus - You’ll build rapport with the people who send you questions. Plus, you’ll demonstrate your ability and willingness to help them, too. When you follow up with these folks and offer your coaching program, you’ll find that some of them are not only receptive but also eager to grab the opportunity to join your expensive program to receive even more help.
I’ve probably made this sound harder than it is. Realize that most people who buy the upgrade don’t use it, and those who do use it will email you 2 to 5 times with questions.
It’s actually an incredibly easy way to make extra money when promoting anything, and it’s an awesome stepping stone to your high level coaching as well.
Case Study: Simple Newsletter Yields $140,000 in 6 Months
Because competition is a real factor here, I’m not allowed to reveal the exact niche for this case study.
Luckily, this method will work in any niche where you can save people money on something they’re already buying. And it will work in a lot of other niches, too, but for now let’s talk about the whole money saving deal.
For purposes of discussion, I’m going to change the niche to air travel, and we’ll assume it’s not during a pandemic.
This person – we’ll call him Vinnie – set up an information email list giving away free info on cheap flights. Again, I’ve changed the niche, but let’s roll with it.
When airlines get cancellations, make mistakes and so forth, they sometimes offer crazy good deals just to get the seats filled. Vinnie keeps tabs of these offers and sends his list info that can save them a lot of money on their airline tickets.
But here’s where it gets good: While anyone can subscribe for free, he also has a paid version. The cost is low, about $40 for 3 months or $90 for a year. The savings on just one deal alone can be several hundred dollars, making it an easy sale to air travelers.
The difference between free and paid subscriptions is the free subscribers only get about one third of the deals in their inbox.
Paid subscribers get ALL the deals.
Here’s what’s great about this business model:
• The content writes itself. All you would be doing is passing along the info that your readers want. Essentially it might sound something like, “Delta is offering 2 for 1 discounts for the next 24 hours for transatlantic flights. Here’s the link to their site.”
• Readers can easily afford the subscription price. If they have the money for plane tickets, they can afford a $90 subscription.
• Getting just one deal a year more than pays for the subscription. People who continue to fly do not unsubscribe.
• Paid members get an ego bump because they have ‘inside knowledge’ they can brag about to others. “My guy saved me $400 on my ticket.”
• It’s easy to get new subscribers. Since he has a free version and because people want to save money, his conversion rate on his squeeze page is extremely high.
• Once free subscribers see how valuable the info is and realize they are missing two-thirds of it, upgrading is an easy sell.
He made $140,000 in just the first six months alone. He wouldn’t tell me how much he’s made since, but I do know he bought an expensive new house and he’s hired 3 people to handle most of the business for him.
One more thing: Once he realized how big this was going to become (and please remember, I have not revealed his true niche) he decided to bring on affiliates with a referral program. This made things explode and kept his competition to a minimum.
Here’s what you can do: Be on the lookout for any niche where people need quick, up to date info on something. It might not just be about saving money on a particular item. Maybe they need the latest news or methods in their niche such as investing and so forth.
When you find a good possibility, verify that people are paying money in the niche. Obviously, people pay for airline tickets so that would be easy. And some niches will surprise you. I’ve heard of a guy who is making a killing writing a monthly newsletter about collecting arrowheads. He works maybe 5 to 10 hours a month and pulls in $10,000 in monthly subscriptions in his one man operation.
Create a free version of your newsletter, find where your audience hangs out and get them signed up.
Show them why it’s to their benefit to become an insider and upgrade to the paid version.
Learn your numbers and start advertising to scale the entire operation up. Vinnie advertises online and in publications.
Remember to sell your readers other stuff, too. If your niche is golf tips, sell them golf equipment and golf packages. If your niche is dog training, sell them high end dog food and so forth.
This is so simple, you can get started almost immediately, just as soon as you have your profitable niche.
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10 Things I Learned From My Spam Folder Today
On a whim I opened my spam folder today to see if I’ve been missing anything.
The answer is I’ve missed a LOT. Here are some of the highlights…
1: Text to speech videos are annoying.
Not all spam is spam. Sometimes someone you recognize turns up in your spam folder. On this email I clicked the link to the video he recommended about “What So-in-so taught Such-in-such About Success.
The video was only 2 1/2 minutes long but I couldn’t make it past the first 30 seconds. Stock photography slides and text to speech software made it unbearable to watch. If he had used a real voice to narrate the video, I likely would have stayed to the end.
2: You Can Buy an Award from a Well-Known Magazine
I am soooo tempted to tell you the name of this business magazine, but let’s just say that you almost certainly have heard of it. In this email they are giving helpful instructions on how to apply for their Best in Business Awards.
You can choose from 37 (yes, THIRTY-SEVEN) different industry categories in 3 different company stage categories and 3 different company size categories. You can apply to as many categories as you like, and each application costs you just $345 dollars. Oh yes, and they will be choosing multiple winners in each category, so your odds of winning something are pretty good. In fact, I suspect EVERYONE wins.
I took a look at the application – at 3 pages long it’s not exactly extensive or comprehensive. Something tells me they are far more interested in collecting application fees than finding the Best Businesses. And yet any company that buys wins one of these awards will be able to flaunt it for recognition, brand exposure and credibility purposes.
Yes, I know this has probably been happening for decades and maybe I’ve been a little naïve, but somehow I’ve thought these awards were supposed to MEAN something.
3: I Won a Free Lottery Ticket
4: Some Marketers Think I Don’t Have a Life
I’ve noticed that some (many?) marketers vastly overestimate my attention span, free time and interest in watching their sales video. I’m reminded of a Mark Twain quote: “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one.”
Marketers: take the time to remove the drivel and fluff and sharpen your message into something I WANT to watch or read. Please.
Here’s the email that caught my attention: “We’re about to start the LIVE training where you’ll see first-hand how you can tap into email lists of 150 MILLION consumers and target any offer you wish.”
Yes, I know it sounds too good to be true, but I was curious, so I clicked the link.
What I found was a headline and a recorded presentation 2 hours and 40 minutes long. Nothing else. No bullet points to entice me to watch the confounded video. No copy to tell me why I need or want to invest nearly 3 hours watching this behemoth. Just a counter telling me I had 7 days, 10 hours and 51 minutes to… do something. I’m not sure what.
If you want me to watch your sales video then you’d better give me some great reasons WHY I want to watch it. Tell me what I’m going to learn in the video, what benefits I’m going to get even if I don’t take your offer, and yes, tell me there will be an offer, too. Even though I already know that, I like you to come clean about it up front because then I can start to believe the other things you’ve told me, too.
And another thing – I GUARANTEE that no recorded sales video needs to be 2 hours and 40 minutes long. Cut the beginning introductory B.S., get right into the meat, give me 3 to 10 awesome how-to’s that I can immediately use and then make your offer. Tell me up front what I’ll discover in your video, make it enticing, keep the video to 60 minutes or less and I promise that unless my house is on fire, I’ll watch it.
5: Turning Affirmations into Questions can Speed Your Success
This is something I already knew but I appreciate the reminder.
When you say, “I am thin and healthy,” your mind naturally argues with your affirmations like this: “That’s a lie! I’m fat and sick and I know it!”
Instead of making statements, ask yourself questions such as, “Why is it so easy for me to be thin and healthy?”
When you ask the question, your mind works with you to find the answers. “Because I eat small portions and I take walks every day!”
6: Bootcamps Are Still Awesomely Profitable
Okay, I’ll admit up front that this email was poorly written but it still got the message across.
Essentially a big name – a VERY big name – in marketing was giving a bootcamp that was starting TODAY.
The big name would kick off the event and then hand it over to others to perform the actual teaching. Smart. His name sells the event but he’s no longer having to do the work himself.
Attendees would not only learn what they need to do to vastly improve their marketing systems; they would also be DOING the work during the virtual bootcamp.
This is awesome for a couple of reasons. First, the attendees will immediately have something to show for their money, making it much easier to upsell them to something higher priced later.
Second, you don’t need nearly as much content for your bootcamp. If half of your time is spent letting the participants do work, that’s time when you don’t have to be teaching.
I suspect their goal here is to give a taste of their big and expensive marketing/coaching program to their best prospects – people who have already spent $197 for this bootcamp. I’ll bet they close 30-50% of them on upgrading (just an educated guess).
The first bonus takes no extra work for them because it’s recordings of the live event. The second bonus is a monthly live Q and A, the perfect place to gently upsell those who didn’t buy into the expensive program at the end of bootcamp.
Please notice what happened here: Reading a single email in my spam folder reminded me (and maybe you, too) of an entire business model that is super easy to implement and highly profitable, too.
7: This Marketing Guru’s Email Account Got Hijacked
I can’t name names here, but a certain marketer’s account apparently got hijacked. (Either that or he’s entered the sex trade industry.)
While his emails used to be all about getting traffic, making online sales and so forth, now his emails are offering me dates, sex and… well, you can use your imagination for the rest.
The thing is, this didn’t go on for just a day or two. It continued for two WEEKS.
I cannot imagine the damage this has done to his brand. Personally, I can tell you that while his emails used to land in my inbox with no problem, they are now all in my spam folder, even though he has gone back to talking about internet marketing.
Folks, you might want to protect your email accounts like your business depends on it.
Because it does.
8: I Won More Lottery Tickets
In fact, I won over a dozen lottery tickets in the last 5 days alone.
I had no idea I’m so lucky!
Good thing I checked my spam folder.
9: Completely Over the Top (Sometimes) Works
Marketing messages aren’t about what we want to tell our prospects, but rather what our prospects want to hear from us.
In the interest of always learning, I subscribe to lists outside of my own interests and online marketing. Because what’s working in, say, dating (I’m happily married to the love of my life) might also work in another niche.
This email in my spam folder is selling a program to single women who want to find love. To me it’s completely over the top and borderline ridiculous, but I know it’s probably working because I get emails with this sort of language all the time.
I’ll paste a portion of it here:
“I'm about to show you a DANGEROUS text that you really only want to send to guy...
...if you are READY for him to fall head over heels for you like love-sick, high school crush.
Just one TEXT and even a guy who blew you off before can become obsessed and won't have the willpower to stop himself from chasing you.
==>Discover it HERE
The text might appear a little silly at first...
But the reason it works is it pumps up a man's adrenaline, urging him to keep chasing you over and over.
This will even work when he is currently obsessing over another woman...
Because it immediately awakens a fresh enthusiasm of DEEP LOVE for you that'll make him completely forget other women.
And every bone in his body will be aching to earn your heart in ways you've only see in movies.
If you haven't seen this yet then this is going to be a game changer for your relationship.
==>Dangerous Text - Are You Sure You Want Him To Chase You This Hard?
Putting aside the… ugh… language of the email, the basic message is this is texting program is so incredibly effective that we need to warn you it might be TOO effective.
Imagine you’re selling a traffic program – “This program is so effective we have to warn you that your site might crash and customers who desperately want to buy your product might email you night and day until you sell it to them.”
If you’re selling a weight loss program – “We cannot warn you enough that this program is so effective, if you do not stay within the limits prescribed then you will lose weight TOO FAST and no one will recognize who you are and security guards at your job may arrest you for impersonating, well… you.”
If you’re selling a gardening vegetable fertilizer – “Warning!! This is the one product that will pump up your pumpkins to the size of a house and make your neighbors get a restraining order on the 30 foot tall sunflowers blacking out their view of the sky.”
Ha! I love that last one.
10: How to Bring Everyone Back to You
An email from a favorite source - James Altucher - landed in my spam folder. In it he gives 11 pieces of advice, and here’s my favorite:
Make Everyone Else Look Good
I had a professor once who said he didn’t care if anyone knew who he was. I didn’t understand.
He said, “If my students become famous, then I’ve done a good job.”
Make your boss look good. Make your spouse look good. Give all credit to your employees.
If you are always the source of “credit” then everyone will come back to the source.
Strong people don’t put others down. They lift them up.
And that’s awesome advice I’m going to carry with me and use.
And now you know what I learned from snooping in my spam folder today. Have you checked yours lately?
Publishing Your First Kindle Book in 30 Days or Less
We've covered how to write your first Kindle book in 30 days or less, as well as how to publish your book.
Believe it or not, that covers only half of your job as a Kindle author.
If you want to sell a hundreds or even thousands of copies of your book each and every month, you'll also need to pay attention to marketing.
It's easy to think that marketing your book is something you don't need to be concerned about until after your book is finished. But the smart author knows she needs to keep her marketing hat on throughout the entire book writing and publishing process.
Let's get started…
Is Your Book Sellable?
Before you write your first word, ask yourself if your idea is sellable. It's got to be something people want to buy or your time will be wasted.
Will your book fit into two categories on Amazon?
One is good but two is better because Amazon you get to choose two when you upload it to Kindle. If you can answer yes, then your book probably will sell because it fits into categories where people are actively searching for books.
What are the top 100 books in each of those two categories?
Find out what's being published and what is selling well. You might want to adjust your book according to the results. For example, if there is already a best-selling book that seems nearly identical to the book you want to write, you might find a different tactic, angle or even target a different audience to make your book stand out.
Are there social media groups on your topic?
If so, this is a built-in tribe where you can find out what people want to know, as well as reaching out when your book is published.
Are there many other books on your topic area?
If there are, then this is a topic people are interested in and you know there is a market. If there aren't, do some research to find out if there is an untapped market or simply no interest.
List Building For Authors
If you thought writing books was great way to avoid list building, think again. A list can be your most powerful tool for getting reviews and launching new books.
• With a list, you control the message. Social media sites can delete groups or posts, not show your posts to others, and essentially leave you with no control over who sees your message. With your own list, you control your message.
• You can sell to your buyers over and over again, following up each time you're getting ready to publish.
• You can keep track of leads, customers and reviewers. You can segment your lists based on which book they bought or which niche they are interested in, as well as who left a review.
• Writing books is one thing. Selling books is another. An author who plans to sell large numbers of books is encouraged to build and maintain her own lists.
Use a mailing list software service to manage your lists, such as Get Response, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact or Aweber.
Bribing your audience
To build your list it might not be enough to say, "Here's where you sign up to get the latest updates on my new books." If readers truly adore your writing, this can work. But for those who only like your writing, I would suggest offering them an ethical bribe to join your list.
This 'bribe' is simply something you give for free in exchange for their email address. If your book is non-fiction, then your bribe could be:
• Checklists directly pertaining to your book
• Flowcharts to teach a process
• Resource guide of products, websites or research you recommend
• Quick start guide to help them get a head start on achieving their goal
• Audio interview of yourself or an expert on the topic
Anything of value and highly desired that you can send electronically will entice your book buyers to join your list.
Using your next book as your bribe
You could even offer to send them your next book for free if they join your list. Why would you do this? It's a great way to get lots of testimonials quickly and start showing Amazon that there is interest in your book.
If your book happens to be fiction, you might offer a free sneak peek at your next book, or a list of character profiles to help your readers keep the characters straight. You could offer a 'secret' chapter you omitted from the book, or even a map of the world you've created in the novel.
Book Reviews Are Not Optional
Book reviews can make or break your book. What do you think is easier to sell… a book with zero reviews, or one with 500 reviews? People want to see what others say about your book or at least know that your book is selling.
If you already have a list, then this is the place to start. Ask your readers to review your next book in exchange for getting it for free.
But how do you get reviews if you don't have a list yet?
The first step is to find reviewers.
• Topic-based Facebook Groups are a good place to start. Look for existing groups on your topic that you can join and participate in. Be there for several weeks (if possible) before asking for reviews.
• Other social media groups, depending on your topic.
• Bloggers and hobbyists in your niche. When you're an unknown author, the trick is to approach bloggers with small to medium-sized audiences. Once you've established a name for yourself, then you can approach the big bloggers and experts in your niche.
• Use social media to create a list of book reviewers. This works especially well if you're writing a book series. Post to the appropriate Facebook Groups that you are writing a series of books (if that is true) and you're looking for book reviewers. Let them know you're not selling them, and they will get a free copy of the book in pdf format. Separate your list into three groups, and send Book 1 to Group 1, Book 2 to Group 2 and Book 3 to Group 3. If you have more than 3 books, start over with Group 1. The idea is to not send all the reviewers all the books. This makes your reviewers want the rest of the books in the series, so you're already getting not just reviews but also customers.
• Friends and family. If nothing else, get your friends and family to write legitimate looking reviews for you.
How To Actually GET The Reviews
The first step is to ask. Pretty easy, right?
Next, you send a PDF version of your manuscript. Let them know it's rough and unedited and on its way to the editor. This makes them feel special because they got a copy before it's even ready for public consumption.
Ask for confirmation they received the manuscript and ask them when you can expect the review. You might use this language…
"I don't trust email, so when you get this, please write back and let me know you've got the PDF manuscript. Also, please let me know when this fits into your schedule and when I can look for the review."
It's okay to let them know they don't have to read it word for word. It's fine if they skim it to find the parts that interest them so they can give you feedback and a review.
The idea here is to make it easy for them to create the review while also making them feel as special as possible.
Once you have the date when you can expect their review, mark it on your calendar. Guess what? You won't have it then unless you gently nudge them along the way.
A week prior to the date, send an email that says something like, "Hi Bob, you promised me a review on May 20th. That's a week from now and I'm just checking to see how it's going."
This can be a good time to tell them you'll send them a final copy of the edited book as a thank you, and that you want to feature their review in the front of your book.
You can also email them 3 days prior to the date they set, and again 1 day prior. The idea is to remind them without being pushy, so this takes a little finesse.
And once they send the review, you can stop sending reminders and send a thank you.
When your book is available on Amazon, copy and paste their review into an email with a link to your book's listing. Thank them again in the email, tell them you used their review inside the book and ask them to post their review to the Amazon listing.
Sometimes Amazon won't post a particular review
One note here about reviews: Not all Amazon reviews are approved. If Amazon sees that you are Facebook friends with the reviewer, they will likely not approve it. But if the reviewer purchased a Kindle copy of the book, then Amazon is more likely to approve the review.
This is why you send the reviewers a PDF version of the book. If they want a .mobi version for their Kindle, they'll need to purchase it. You can also set the price to $0 to give your reviewers a chance to 'purchase' a copy for free.
If you do this, let them know in advance when exactly the price will be $0 so they don't miss the window.
Building Your Powerful Community
If you want more than just an email list, I highly recommend you build a Facebook Group.
Create the group around your niche. Or if you're writing fiction, then create it around the fictional world inside your books. Remember this group isn't about you or even your books; it's about your topic.
If you write romance novels in 18th century England, then your FB Group is about the romance of 18th Century England. If your niche is persuasion tactics for sales people, then your FB group is about Sales Persuasion Tactics in general. This makes for a stronger, larger and more engaged community.
Inside this group you'll get ideas for more books, you'll learn about your competition, you'll get stories you can use and you'll be able to promote your own books.
Set rules for your FB Group.
Do not let the spammers take over. Set expectations for behavior and monitor closely. Share resources, ideas, news and anything of interest to the group. Boot out rule breakers and spammers.
Check in daily.
Once the group takes off, you'll notice a handful of people who are more active and engaged than others. Ask them if they want to become admins and oversee activities in the group.
The goal is to build a group that can sustain itself without you having to spend a lot of time in it once it becomes active and engaged.
Writing Your Bio
Shorter is better than longer. I once saw a five-page, single spaced biography at the beginning of a self-published book. Seriously, only your mother will read that.
Refer to yourself in the third person. Instead of, "I earned my degree from Harvard," write, "She earned her degree from Harvard."
If you have credentials, use them. If you've won relevant awards, name them. If you've been featured in media, say so.
Mention any other books you've written.
Make your bio fit your personality. Insert humor, use a few personal details and try not to sound like you're the greatest person ever, even if you suspect that's true.
The Sneaky Opt-in
Amazon lets customers see the first few pages of any Kindle book prior to purchase. That's why we're going to add an ethical bribe to this portion of the book, so that even people who don't buy the book can still join your list.
And of course once they are on your list, you can encourage them to buy not just that book but also all the other books or products you're promoting.
You can use the same ethical bribe in every book, or you can tailor each offer to better correlate with the book's topic.
Be sure to embed and spell out the link. You want to make it super simple for someone who doesn't have a reader that allows direct linking from the page. Embed the link in the text with a command such as [CLICK HERE] to receive this free offer.
In case they can't click a link, give them an easy link to type in such as YourSite.com/Free. You might even use your home page for the opt-in, such as YourSite.com to make it even easier.
Don't forget the call to action.
"Go here to get my free Body Surfing with Penguins video." "Download your free guide to Ukulele Moose Investing here." "Click here to immediately receive Bubba's Sweet Potato Shrimp Recipe."
Are you giving away a video?
Then you might insert a screen shot of the video into your opt-in area. Embed the link to the opt-in page in the picture. You can use the words, "Click Play on Video" if you have the play symbol on the video. The video won't play, but it will then take the prospect to the opt-in page which is one step away from viewing the video.
Don't forget to still include the link written out underneath, in case they cannot click the picture.
Adding More Links
Placing your opt-in link can be just the first of many links you insert into the book. But why add more links? Because…
• The book becomes more interactive and entertaining
• Readers like resources
• Links make it easier for readers to learn more
• Recommending products, services and other books can make you more money
What can you link to?
• Resources you recommend (these can be affiliate links)
• Products, programs and courses you recommend
• Other people's books
• Your own books
• Any non-Amazon.com affiliate link
• Research, websites referred to in the text, articles, etc.
It's best to use a variety of links and not just affiliate links. Don't think in terms of making money but instead think in terms of enhancing the reader's experience and helping them to reach their goal. The affiliate sales will come naturally if you always put your reader first, and your book won't read like one giant sales smorgasbord.
Where to Place Links
You can link within text, right after your reason for recommending it and the description. "Ralph's Allergy Rumpus Tabs helped me overcome my allergies and it's 100% natural with no chemicals, artificial ingredients or pharmaceuticals. Click here to see what they look like." That entire last sentence can be your link, and after it you can write out the link as well, like this: RalphsAllergy.com
If you have chapter summaries, you can place your links there if you don't want them in the text.
Or you can place them at the end of the book in a big resources section.
The most effective place? Link to something where you mention it and again at the end in a resources section.
A Word About Amazon Links
You can insert Amazon links, but ONLY IF THEY ARE NOT affiliate links.
Sorry for shouting but inserting an Amazon affiliate link inside your book can cause you to lose your account.
You can use straight, normal, non-affiliate links, including links to your own books and your Author Central page on Amazon. Just be sure not to link to these or anything else using your Amazon Associate account.
No Ugly Affiliate Links
Clean up your ugly affiliate links by linking through your website (YourSite.com/FunProduct) or by using a URL shortener such as one of these:
• Pretty Link Plugin for Wordpress
This might be a good time to tell you that Amazon reserves the right to remove any links inside ebooks for any reason. It's generally nothing to worry about, but it is something you can be aware of just in case.
Your Thank You Page
Here's where you tell your readers you love them and appreciate them. The thank you page goes in the back of the book.
Congratulate them on finishing the book, give them your website, let them know how to get in touch with you via email and social media.
Here's how to structure it:
• Start with an acknowledgement. "Thank you so much for reading [name of book], I hope you enjoyed it!
• Reinforce the benefits. "Now that you know how to train your goldfish to walk on a leash and do tricks, you'll be a hit among your friends and a guest on late night talk shows."
• Make it easy to share. "With the links below, you can tell your friends about the book and let them know how to get a free copy of 22 Training Treats Goldfish Love just for joining my announcement list. This will help your friends to train their goldfish, too!"
• Ask for a review. If you don't ask for reviews, you don't get them. Let them know you appreciate the feedback and you want to know how the book helped them. Be sure to give them the link to leave a review.
• Salutation and signature. "I've really enjoyed sharing my passion with you.
Please be sure to check out my other books, too!" - Joe Smith
Under your signature, place your links to:
• Your Amazon Author Page
• Your Website Page listing all your books
• Your Social Media links
• Your Blog
Yes, you can upsell. In fact, upselling is sometimes the entire point of a non-fiction book. Your readers want MORE from you. And unless you're the exception and write a best seller, or you're terrifically prolific with your book writing, then book sales will only earn you enough to supplement your income.
Examples of what non-fiction authors can upsell are:
• More books
• Companion workbooks
• Video training courses
• Additional training in compatible niches
• Speaking gigs
• Personal services
To sell your upsell, you'll want to have:
• A photo of the product you're selling, or a photo of you if you're selling coaching.
• A headline
• A very brief description of the benefits
• Bullet points to tease and entice
• Call to action to go to your URL.
The goal of your upsell inside your book is to get them to the URL. There you will finish the sales process, whether that's to get them to schedule a phone appointment, order a product or whatever it is you want them to do.
Next week we'll finally finish up our Write Your Kindle Book in 30 Days series when we cover:
• How to find the best category for your book's listing
• What price to set for your book
• The steps to take to ensure your success as an authorpreneur
• A 3-step book launch formula that take your book from unknown to bestseller
• The essential elements for your book launch
• What to do on launch day
• How to be a best-selling author
• And more
See you next week!
Steven Alvey. This time we're speaking to someone who is rapidly becoming known as a bit of a game changer in the world of private label rights. In fact, the work he's been doing has already brought him to the attention of two heavyweights of the business world, the legendary Brian Tracy, and also Kevin Harrington, a former shark on US TV's Shark Tank. So this time it's a pleasure to welcome Steven Alvey. READ HERE
It's A Mystery
How often have you heard the phrase: Look before you leap?
It’s a favorite of parents and child minders, whenever they are out and the children are running around jumping over things, and generally being children. As those children grow and attend school they are taught the same principal over again in all things: “Look before you leap”. Be careful. In many ways the formative years of our lives are spent learning how to be restricted.
In adulthood, we are afraid and anxious to make any form of jump at all. We are conditioned to be so afraid of the results of that leap that many of us choose not to leap at all.
Then there are the entrepreneurs, the eCommerce cowboys, those that will walk right up to the edge of the cliff or balance along the edge of the wall, but many won’t take that last piece of courage and just jump over.
That is a skill that’s lost to our early youth and we choose to perpetuate that by teaching it to generation after generation.
But what if instead we could learn from the children’s natural inclinations, and rekindle that courage, that fearlessness: to leap without thinking, just blindly trusting in ourselves that it will all work out right? Just having faith…
Think of what we could accomplish without the fear of failure. What is a failure anyway?
It’s merely a lesson that we have not yet learned how to correct. A child knows nothing of failure, think about your own childhood, if something didn’t work out, did you view it as a failure for yourself or was it an adult telling you it was? To us as children, its merely- Oh well that didn’t work out let’s just try it again slightly differently this time, eventually one of them is going to work.
Children are full of hope and wonder, enthusiasm and innovativeness, its only as adults that these traits are caged. There are still things that we as adults can learn from our children, we just have to choose to see them properly.
Thank you for taking the time to read this episode. I would love to hear what you think about this issue, may email.
Look Before You Leap
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