Page 1 of 212

The Big! Long! Scary! Sales Page Questionnaire

One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make is being feature focused rather than benefits focused.

When you read most startup web sites or marketing materials, the focus is on features, not benefits.

Those companies all fail the “What’s in it for me?” test for the customer.

Customers are actually not very interested in your product or service features. What they are very interested in is what benefits does your product or feature have for them, directly and specifically.

If you are struggling to conceptualize or articulate your product or service’s answer to the “What’s in it for me?” test, try this excellent questionnaire, courtesy  of Naomi Dunford from the ittybiz blog.

================================================
The Big! Long! Scary! Sales Page Questionnaire
================================================

The secret of a successful sales page is focusing more on the
customer’s needs than the product itself.  You want your customer
to say to themselves that YOU really understand what they’re going
through, and that because of that they can be confident your
product can help them.

The more detail you have on your ideal customers and their needs,
the easier it will to create copy that makes them click that “buy”
button.

IMPORTANT! Try to answer all of the questions that you can, even if
they’re hard to answer in your specific situation. If something
really doesn’t apply to you, you can skip it. But try, though.

» » » Click here to read the rest of this post « « «

Marketing in 123 Words

It is marketing’s job to create and sustain the perception of need.

There are three stages of customer perception of need:

  1. Nice to have
  2. Want to have
  3. Need to have

Moving customers from 1 to 2 and then from 2 to 3 requires significant investments of time, energy and resources.

If you start with customers who already believe they need what you are selling, you have a much more efficient, scalable sales model.

If you have to drag customers from nice to want to need, it is a very slow, painful and expensive process.

Even worse, it takes a lot of time.

Time is the most precious resource.

You must create a marketing message that engenders a perception of need.

Sales

“Nothing happens until somebody sells something” – Zig Ziglar

It’s a fundamental rule of business that sales drive everything. If you don’t have any sales, then you don’t have a business—pure and simple. You might have a charity or a hobby, but if you don’t have sales that drive sustainable profitability, you don’t have a business.

“Sales” is what happens when a customer’s perceived needs match your value proposition.

Your value proposition is more than just the specific product and/or service and its price that most people consider when they think about sales.

Your value proposition includes:

  • Brand
  • Time
  • Benefits
  • Features
  • Capabilities
  • Price

Of all of these factors, your brand carries the heaviest load. It stands for your reliability, trustworthiness, and, very importantly, aspirational value. For instance, what’s the difference between a Timex and a Rolex? Both tell time. Only one tells an aspirational story.

» » » Click here to read the rest of this post « « «

Getting Wedding Photography Customers with a Limited Marketing Budget

Getting customers for wedding photography when I have no money for advertising/promotion.

Answer:

This answer is in two parts. Doug provides overall business recommendations and Stephanie provides specific marketing ideas and tactics.

Doug’s answer:

Full disclosure: My first real job was as a commercial photographer when I was 16. I didn’t shoot weddings, although I helped out on a few and did a few for friends. We both still shoot, albeit as non-pros.

For the purposes of this discussion I will assume you’ve got all the gear you need or can rent it for the gig if you don’t. I will also assume that you’ve got all the required technical skills to produce top quality images suitable for this market.

Shooting is a creative medium and wedding photography is both ultimately exclusive and a complete commodity. The people selling high-end wedding photography have developed a brand and market position that enables a high price point and exclusivity. At the other end of the spectrum there are people getting married every single weekend who can’t afford a shooter and instead rely on friends and family.

In that paragraph is contained one possible path for you.

» » » Click here to read the rest of this post « « «

The Evolution of Marketing – A Lot Like Photography

I was explaining to a network contact how the evolution of marketing is a bit like the evolution of photography when it dawned on me that it might be of value to my readers. So, here goes.

There was a time when only someone who really understood the fundamentals of photography (lighting, F-stop, shutter speed, exposure, ISO, etc.) could create a great picture AND get it published. Then, along came cameras outfitted with “automatic” mode and soon digital cameras that enabled one to see, immediately, whether or not the shot they had just taken was any good. No good? Make adjustments and take it again. This new offering was followed by a proliferation of online photo sites where most anyone can now publish any, and every, shot they take.

How is this like marketing? I’m glad you asked.

» » » Click here to read the rest of this post « « «

“The Show’s Over, Now What” Part 2: A Post-Event Checklist

 

Post-Event Checklist:

Overall Event Goals-Did we reach, exceed or miss our goals?

Sales

Yes-final numbers:

What contributed to the success?

What else can we do to further improve our numbers at future events?

No-final numbers:

What contributed to the shortcoming*?

How will we make improvements before our next event?

» » » Click here to read the rest of this post « « «

“The Show’s Over, Now What?” Part 1: Time to Reflect

When we last left our marketing heroes and heroines they were wrapping up activities at their latest trade show. Now they’re back home and ready to capitalize on all they’ve done, created, learned, collected and committed to. So, where does one begin?

 

Brand-Building

Let’s start with the primary mission of any marketing effort: building one’s brand. By setting goals around one’s branding efforts prior to participating in events, it’s possible to track the effectiveness of one’s efforts, to see what worked and what didn’t. So, what were your branding goals? Did you set up metrics by which you would be able to measure success or failure? How did you do? What could you have done better and what will you attempt to do next time? How did your event efforts tie into your overall marketing strategy?

Perhaps you announced a contest prior to the event. If so, what was the impact? How many participants did you have? How many of them are new followers or customers vs. previously loyal followers or customers? How many people did the newbies or loyalists tell, and how many of those became followers or customers? Were you able to convert the new followers into buyers as a result of the contest? What have you put in place to track the new leads and their sources from future programs? What’s your process for welcoming additional newbies and converting them? What’s your process for staying in touch with your current and future followers and/or customers, those you worked so diligently to attract? How will you encourage and assist them in spreading the word about your amazing offering? How will you track the success of such efforts?

» » » Click here to read the rest of this post « « «

Step Right Up – It’s Show Time!

Picture this: you approach the trade show booth of a company you’ve never heard of. The design is amazing, the color combinations are fabulous and the collection is unique. You’re intrigued and can’t wait to learn about this newcomer. Just as you step onto their carpeting, you’re stopped dead in your tracks – a stack of half empty pizza boxes, a pile of napkins and sweating drink cups are occupying a table situated smack dab in the middle of the booth. What’s your first impression?

No, this is not a made-up scenario. This is an actual experience I had at a recent trade show.

Now, I’m sure someone out there is responding with, “Well, the staff needs to eat.” I agree. But, your booth is not the place for chowing down!

As a former corporate event manager and owner of an event management company I might be just a bit more critical than most attendees, but I can assure you the scene I encountered shouted, “Unprofessional!” to most everyone who visited that booth. And, it was enough to turn me away, without having learned about the company or its products.

As a result of my experience, and because I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt to those who might be new to exhibiting, I want to share my “rules of engagement” when exhibiting at trade shows, conferences and other events where you are competing for attendees’ valuable dollars.

» » » Click here to read the rest of this post « « «

Social Marketing: The Be All, End All?

By now most everyone has heard of social marketing, right? And, you have most likely been told by more than one well-meaning individual that you MUST be participating, right? In fact, if you have read any consumer, business or industry press articles, or blogs, you KNOW that you MUST participate, right?

Well, I’m here to debunk the advice. Or, at the very least, to offer a more skeptical view of its value.

Now, before you dismiss me as out-of-the-loop on modern marketing, I should state that I agree that there’s value in social marketing. Participating in social marketing enables companies to communicate, in a two-way fashion, with its customers; to monitor customers’ behavior and expose needs and desires; it provides a means for monitoring and resolving customer service issues; and, it can be a valuable means by which companies can build their brand, among other benefits. But, it is not THE be-all, end-all it’s purported to be. And, it’s not free! Yes, you heard correctly, it’s NOT free!

» » » Click here to read the rest of this post « « «

Have You Been Branded?

Branding: Perception is Reality in the Mind of the Consumer

What exactly is a brand? That’s a question that’s likely to receive as many answers as there are marketers in the world.

Wikipedia defines a brand as follows:

The identity of a specific product, service or business. A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan. A brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company and how it relates to key constituencies: customers, staff, partners, investors, etc.

Ask a rancher and you’ll likely hear a brand described as the unique marking livestock is given that enables each rancher to identify his/her animals.

I contend that a brand is every touch point your business has with every person inside and outside of your company, and the perceptions and expectations each of these people maintains about your business, products and/or services, and people. If your company consists of only you and your personal output, then your brand is YOU.

» » » Click here to read the rest of this post « « «

Page 1 of 212