Category Archives: Marketing

Product Creation, Marketing, Promotion And Sales

Last night was the 50th Super Bowl where the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10. It was a mild upset because all year long Carolina had pretty much been the premiere team while Denver kind of shocked the world by beating the 2nd best team in the league thanks to their great defense. It wasn’t close to a pretty game but winning beats pretty any day.

Clothes Sale

David Tan via Compfight

Since my rooting interest most years, including this one, was fairly minimal (I have my annual pizza bet with my friend Scott; this year I lost… heck!), it means I’m always more interested in the commercials than anything else. As usual, there were some hits and some misses; also as usual, there were a few commercials that garnered both like and dislike, depending on the person in the audience.
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Promoting Ourselves On Social Media – Take Two, Twitter

Two weeks ago on my business blog I wrote a post saying that I don’t fully give everything away when I’m writing my blog posts. I give away a lot of information, that’s for sure. What I don’t give away is a lot of implementation techniques. I also give advice that’s at a surface level; after all, every person and situation is different, so I can only give global information. For more specific help, I have to be contacted; that’s what a consultant does after all.

Emerging Media - Twitter Bird
mkhmarketing via Compfight

In last week’s post talking about how we all need to promote ourselves on social media, I mentioned that I would be giving a more detailed account of some of the things I’ve been doing lately that seem to be helping me get over the hump as far as being better known. In this post, I’m going to be giving a lot of detailed information away, as opposed to what I mentioned above. You might ask me why; don’t bother because I’m about to tell you.

I’m not going to lie to you. Doing what I’ve been doing is going to take a lot of work and a lot of time. If you’re efficient, it won’t take as much time, but it’s still going to take a significant bit of your time in general. Also, you can’t do all of it at once, although some of it you can.

I’m going to cover Twitter today, part of which I’ve mentioned before as it pertains to Twitter and Tweeten (it used to be Tweetdeck but it’s no longer a standalone product like Tweeten is), but I’m going further now than I was. At a later date, probably next week, I’m going to cover LinkedIn and Facebook and how they relate to some of my blogs; how’s that for a full cross promotion?

Let’s get started with Twitter. I’m not going to repeat what I wrote in that previous article about it, so if you want more details, the cost to you is going to be a little bit of effort in going back and reading it; while you’re there, think about commenting on it as well. πŸ™‚ I will start off by saying that I’m still using that process; I’ve just expanded it a lot.

Back then I had a list of 20 posts from this blog and 20 posts from my business blog. At this juncture, I’ve expanded that a lot… I mean a lot! lol In my Word file I’m up to 9 pages of links that include articles from those two blogs, my other blogs, and interviews I’ve conducted that are on my YouTube page. I only go back as far as the blogs will accept comments; that means this blog only goes back 1,000 days, but the business blog will accept comments going back 5 years. That’s to limit spammers, who love putting things on older posts (suckers lol).

But wait; there’s more (a homage to products bought on late night TV) lol. I have a second file that’s about 8 pages long of quotes from the early years of my business blog (which I’ve been writing for 10 years) that are geared towards topics I cover there that will help me reach an audience I’m looking to touch base with. Many of them have hashtags related to the topic, some don’t, but overall they’re another important asset I use.

Twitter addict at Web 2.0 Expo 2009 - 001
Steve Rhodes via Compfight

If you’ve read the other article, you understand the need for the blog posts so let me explain the quotes. A lot of people love inspirational quotes. If you go to Twitter you see them all over the place. However, a lot of people not only are automating the process, but they’re all posting quotes by other people, famous people whether you know them or not. Almost no one is posting their own original quotes, and I think they’re missing out on a major opportunity. Not that I don’t also share some of those things (I’ll be coming back to this), but I also share a healthy dose of me; turns out I’m pretty quotable when I look back. πŸ™‚

The first thing I do is decide the starting time for my daily posts. I start them a different time every day of the week… well, Monday and Thursday start at the same time, as do the posts on Saturday and Sunday, but otherwise I diversify the time. Trust me, the only people who are going to notice it are those who read this post; go ahead, share it and I’ll bet a lot of people still won’t notice it.

The reason Monday and Thursday started at the same time came about because I was writing two posts a week for this blog; since I’m not doing that anymore I could have changed the time up, but I’m leaving it alone for now because it makes programming everything else mentally easier to do. Tweeten is my platform of choice, but I’m assuming you can do the same on whatever you’re using.

This part is manual but it needs to be. If I write a new post, it’s the one that gets posted first every morning. Those are scheduled to automatically go out when published, since I write them ahead of time so I can plug them into their slot. There are 5 days and I have 5 blogs, so each blog has its day. If I don’t write a new post for any particular blog I pop something else in there.

I schedule blog posts initially with two hour periods of separation. The reason I do that is because every new post gets shared the first week at least 5 times (if I like it); sometimes more often. Well, almost every post; the one I wrote on September 11th this year was shared 3 times on that date and hasn’t been shared again. It was for a specific date and reason; those posts and sales posts follow a different standard.

The reason I space posts out 2 hours apart is because it gives me the opportunity to plug these posts into those other slots, since I’m usually scheduling everything 2 weeks in advance. Since this blog starts on Monday, it’ll get posted 5 more times during the week, including later on Monday night. If I really like it, I’ll pop it into a slot during the weekend also, and possibly a couple of times the next week. Otherwise, I don’t have an extended schedule for the new posts; I just plug them in when I feel like it.

twitt
Xiumeteo via Compfight

I use a manual process is because Twitter won’t accept the same post more than once in a 24-hour period if it’s identically written. I also don’t put hashtags on the original posting of it; it would make my titles look messy. So, it gives me the opportunity to add the hashtag later on and either move it around if I need to or just make sure the posts are scheduled further apart than 24 hours. For instance, after I’ve written this post, I’ll be able to go ahead & paste it 5 other times into Tweeten for the week and be done with it, since I’ve already scheduled the other blog posts for the next two weeks; whew!

By having a file of older posts with the hashtags already in place, it makes the process of putting them in Tweeten move pretty fast. Popping those links in takes me between 30 – 45 minutes. The only slowdown is if I select a day where I want to revisit some of the newer posts, which I don’t have on the file because some of those I want to highlight more than what I have in my file. The file always goes in order based on which blog I’m sharing. The two most voluminous come from this blog and my business blog; that would figure since they have the most posts.

Now, you could just do that and stop there… but I don’t. I mentioned my quotes file previously. Now it’s time to schedule some of my quotes into Tweeten. I’ve also added some of my favorite quotes from other famous people and, well, characters from entertainment I like. Most of those quotes are those others aren’t using all that often so, in a way, I’m keeping up with my originality goal while giving some people names they might recognize like Dumbledore, Captain Picard and Yoda; y’all know them right? πŸ™‚

These quotes I only schedule 4 times a day except for Mondays. I space them out 4 hours apart, but I also schedule them 30 minutes after a blog post. Let’s use Thursday as an example. The first post will go out at 9:45 and the first quote will go out at 10:15. Then there will be a quote at 2:15, 6:15 and 10:15. I never post anything during the times I know I’ll be trying to sleep, but since I stay up late, often I’ll post something live if I’m on Twitter at that time. I schedule those out two weeks in advance as well.

That might take me anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes because every once in a while, for some of my shorter quotes, I’ll go through my archives and add an image to the quote. If you have at least 22 characters left, you can add an image. If you have enough characters left and you want to add a topic specific hashtag, do it. That’s how you’ll best reach the audience you’re gearing something to.

Whew, that’s a lot of work isn’t it? Sorry kids but we’re not done; not even close! This is where many people mess up, but I’m not going to let you do it. If I did, then I’d be contributing to the noise I see on Twitter and I’d hate myself. Remember, even if it’s supposed to be about you, it’s not ALL supposed to be about you.

Next, it’s time to go through my Twitter lists to see what’s going on and what people are sharing. I have 4 specific lists: Friends of Mine; People I Want To Follow; Syracuse Folks; #Leadership.

The first is a listing of my online friends whose posts I want to share on Twitter more often than others. I don’t share everything, and, so you know, if I’m sharing a link I always go and look at the post to see if I think it’s fine before I share it; my reputations on the line after all. I always start there, and it’s not an overly large list of folks.

What are you doing?
fave πŸ™‚ via Compfight

The second is the most transient list I have. There are a few people who will always be on that list, but it’s the list I use to alternate people in and out of that, for the most part, I’m connected to on Twitter. Sometimes there’s something I’m not connected to that’s not local that I’ll put in there for a while, just to see what type of thing they’re posting. If I like it, they stay; if not, I remove them and put someone else in. The one permanent person in that list that I’m not connected to is Neil deGrasse Tyson. If you don’t know who he is… why not?!?!? Go look him up; I consider him the smartest and most eclectic person in the world today. However, this is the 3rd list I look at.

The second list I look at is third in the line, that being my local Syracuse peeps. This includes friends of mine who may have moved out of the area but I met them here. It’s a bigger list than the other two, but they don’t post a lot of stuff for the most part, and usually by 11PM they’ve stopped posting for the night; wusses. lol

The last of my created lists is my #Leadership list. Every post that’s on Twitter that uses that hashtag shows up here. This gives me a rotating list of people, most of whom I don’t know, who are posting things I like to see. If I like it, I’ll share it.

The last list I look at is that all encompassing list of everyone I’m connected to. At this juncture that’s about 1,150 people; whew! And yet, it’s not as daunting as you might think it is; I’ll tell you why based on the next step.

I do a couple of things with these lists. First, I open up a Notepad document. For the first 3 lists I mentioned I go back over a 24-hour period and look at everything that’s in those lists. Since they’re not voluminous, it doesn’t take as long as you might think. For the leadership and home columns (the column where everyone I’m connected to is called Home; not sure if I called it that or not lol). I only go back 30 minutes. Trust me, there’s so much content that 30 minutes is plenty to look through for both of them.

Tweeten allows me to use the mouse to copy whatever’s in the box for those people and paste it into Notepad. I mentioned earlier that if there’s a link to a post I open it up and look at it. The secondary reason for doing that is some folks paste without having the links shrink, and copying doesn’t retrieve the entire link. So, if I like it and want to share it, I have to copy the link from the browser and replace the truncated link that showed up in Notepad. I accumulate all links I want to share this way.

The second thing I do is just go ahead and share some of those links while I’m looking at them. I do this for a lot of the local links so those folks will see that I’ve shared them during the night; it seems to make them happy when they wake up. lol If I share them once, I don’t share them again. By copying and pasting later I get to control what they look like, but if I share them immediately they’re formatted differently. Thus, if they’re retweets and I want to give those folks credit, I have to type in their Twitter handles if it’s live, but if I copy it then I get their Twitter handles on the file.

How I schedule these depends on how many I get. This is the one area where I might have to revisit the columns at least one more time during the week. I’ll post at least one of these once an hour, and at an “off-time”. Every post of mine is scripted based on either ending in “0” or “5”. The others can be at any time of the day, at long as I’m awake, but the caveat is that there has to be at least 10 minutes of separation, more if I can get it. This regulation doesn’t apply to anything I’m sharing while live, but if scheduled I stick to this rule. Because of the live sharing, I end up somewhere close to a 50-50 split; that’s pretty fair.

Picture 86
Are you tired yet?

If during a period where I’m scanning the columns I end up with a lot to share, then I schedule way out. If not, I’ll revisit that again during the week, possibly a couple of times, and plug them in. Because I know what my general posting schedule every other day, I can actually post some of these in before it’s time to post my blog articles if need be.

Yet, I’m still not done; what else is there?

Because of the time I’ve spaced out, it allows for new content I might create independent of the blog posts. For instance, if I’ve posted an article on LinkedIn, I schedule that. If I create a new video, that gets scheduled. I advertise my products, mainly my two books at least 3 times a week for each of them. I pop my Facebook business page link in there every once in a while. I also pop in articles for two other sites I write for, my accountant and my consultant’s group. I don’t write weekly for them, so they’re easier to plug in later on. Finally, if I get ambitious and have more than one post on a blog in a week, I’ll still have lots of space left to pop those links in.

All of this sounds like it takes up a lot of time doesn’t it? Well… it does and it doesn’t. Usually I can knock it off within a couple of hours in one shot or I can break it up over a couple of days on a weekend. Because I schedule two weeks in advance, it gives me the free time I need during the weeks to do other stuff like writing blog posts, marketing my business, creating other stuff, etc. Frankly, by planning I save tons of time while getting my name out there… and it’s all free! πŸ™‚

One last thing; what, you thought it was over? Well, this part isn’t anything you can plan in advance, yet it needs to be part of what you do. You have to interact with people who interact with you. So, anytime someone shares any of my stuff, I thank them. If they make a comment I comment back, sometimes engaging in longer conversations. After all, Twitter really is about engagement, and when other people see that you’ll talk to them they’ll be more willing to talk to you. If they’ll talk to you, they’ll follow you… most of the time anyway. πŸ™‚ By the way, this is my favorite part of using Twitter, and why it’s my favorite social media platform.

I know the question you’re asking me now, and I’m ready to answer it; what’s my ROI, or return on investment?

I haven’t made much money yet; we’ll get that out of the way. I have sold a couple of my books by doing this, especially my latest book Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy, because some folks get intrigued by all the stuff I’m posting, go take a look, and decide to give it a shot. Now if I can only get more than one person to admit that they’ve read the whole thing I’ll be even happier. lol

However, I get a lot of people sharing both my articles and my quotes. I’ve increased traffic on my sites, though not dramatically. I’ve had a lot more people follow me there and I’ve had a few people who’ve connected with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and have gone to see some of my videos. I’ve also had a lot of people adding me to their lists, which is pretty cool as it means they’ll at least see my stuff moreso than if I was just in the general population there.

That’s about as comprehensive as it gets. Yes, it’s work intensive, but it can be a major benefit if you’re ready to do the work. That part is up to you; however, if you actually read all of this I’m going to ask you to retweet it for me so it’s not just me doing it. After all, I didn’t write this particularly epic post to read it on my own. πŸ™‚

If you think I’ve left anything out, or you have any questions, please feel free to comment. Now I’m tired so I’m going to bed. lol
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

Promoting Ourselves, Our Content, Our Videos… Everything!

You know, I’m good at giving advice. Sometimes people don’t take it. Sometimes they do, and when they do, things always seem to work out well for them. Not that I’m perfect or a know-it-all, but I’m pretty good at analyzing other people’s habits and troubles and helping to find a solution that helps. After all, I am a consultant. lol

me as Peanuts character
Kind of me lol

Often, people follow my advice… after someone else tells them what I’ve told them. I’ve recommended to some people to start blogs. I’ve recommended to some people that they should be doing videos. I’ve recommended to some people that they should be doing interviews, even podcasts. Eventually they all do it… after someone else tells them after I’ve said it.

I don’t get mad; I figure I’m more the visionary, the one who knows what could come, and maybe I’m so far ahead of the curve that it doesn’t make sense… until it does. It’s like what I say about motivation and motivational material. It’s all pretty good, but sometimes a person isn’t ready for it at that moment. But when they’re ready to consume it… it can be life changing for the good.

Why the preamble? I figured that I’d boost myself up before I break myself down. Because, when all is said and done, there’s a lot of things that I’ve written on this blog that, for one reason or another, I haven’t always done on my own. Thus, I might be holding myself back from some of my long term goals… actually, forget the “might”; I am.

This is a cautionary tale that’s also an open admission. Come along for the ride.

You see, I like to consider myself a content producer. Back in the day, I used to write 5 days a week on this blog. At that time I only had 2 blogs, and on the other one I wrote 3 times a week. Even now, I have 5 blogs, I’ve written two actual books, and I do a lot of writing for others. I’m hoping to make more money writing for others… but that’s another thing entirely.

What I’ve always been hesitant to do a lot of is marketing and promoting. It felt a bit self serving, even though I want more people to visit my blogs, read my articles, and possibly hire me for all sorts of things. I did mention I’m a consultant; yet, even there I’ve always been a pretty reluctant marketer and promoter.

Earlier this year, I shared the results of a short personal study on traffic, which was the result of planning my Twitter posts and writing articles on LinkedIn. I also talked about the disappointment of trying to get things going on both Facebook and Google Plus.

While a part of that was good, it wasn’t close to enough. I’ve had to start thinking about shifting a part of what it is I do, and some of that has come from my conversations with my friend Yasmin Shiraz. Over the course of the last few months, she’s been working hard as getting more traffic to her sites while promoting her latest book and a film project at the same time. I’m tired just hearing about all the things she’s been doing.

However, a big part of it all has been putting into place some suggestions I’ve made. After all, I’m the guy who wrote a post about driving more visitors to one’s blog, and those same tactics can be applied to websites, YouTube, etc.

Hello Kitty Yahtzee
Scorpions and Centaurs
via Compfight

That’s been working out great for her. At the same time, it’s gotten me to think more about some of the things I do… or don’t do. It’s pretty illuminating stuff, that’s for sure.

She’s in media, and she knows the value of promotion. I’ve written about promotion and done a bit of it, but I knew I needed to step it up… a lot. I also needed to do it better and smarter, and get more attention to my newer content at the same time. You know, striking the iron while it’s hot.

So, I’ve already made some changes, and I’m going to be making more. I don’t expect anyone to follow what I’m doing because our overall goals are going to be different. After all, I’m trying to become more influential in many different realms. With a name like Mitch Mitchell, I have to jump over the former drummer for Jimi Hendrix and try to out-swim a reporter for the Dallas – Fort Worth newspaper for attention, and probably a thousand other Mitch Mitchell’s who came later to the internet party. lol

What are those changes? Well, I think I’ll talk more about the rest of it next week, but the first change is that, unless I’m paid, I’m going to cut back to one article a week on all of my blogs. Since I have 5 blogs, that should make them all easier to write consistently on, and if I have the article go live on different days, it’ll make them all easier to promote. After all, I’m the guy who told folks what the secret to success was… which I’m not going to say again, so you’ll have to check out the post I just linked to and possibly the video that’s there. πŸ™‚

The one thing that’s not going to change is what this blog is mainly about… well, actually, since it’s about whatever I want it to be about that’s not much of a change overall. lol I talk about blogging, social media and writing most of the time, and marketing is a big part of social media for a lot of people. If it’s not… y’all are either doing it wrong or you’re just writing to be writing, which I’ve been accused of often.

It’s never been true… I’ve always said that I write for myself first and hope that people will enjoy it. After all, if I won’t like it & read it myself why should I expect anyone else would?

So, come back next week for the next round of information. It could be valuable advice and, like I began this article, it seems that when people follow my advice they do very well. It’s time I did the same for myself. πŸ˜‰
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

Can You Make Money Marketing A Product You Didn’t Create?

There’s a lot of people who are in agreement that creating your own products should be something most of us look to do if we want to make money online. There’s also a lot of reality that says there might be products that don’t sell as well online as others might.

propag170
Luiz Fernando Reis
via Compfight

For about 2 months I was marketing my latest book on leadership here and on my business site, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google Plus and on LinkedIn. I still market it in a small way with each article I put on LinkedIn.

I’ve made some sales, but nothing like I had hoped. Truthfully, I didn’t expect I’d have great sales, but I thought I might sell more than I did. However, I recognize that leadership is a tough sell to people who don’t see themselves as leaders. Even if it’s more of a book that leads with stories that have recommendations towards leadership, it’s not the type of book the masses will go for.

If you want to sell products off your blog and your own products aren’t getting it done, the next best thing to do is to try to market products made by someone else. However, that comes with its own set of issues.

Who remembers Clickbank? When I was first into blogging that was the big platform all the bloggers were talking about as a place to make money selling either your own product or products of someone else, since there were a lot of things there. I remember going through a large part of the database and having all sorts of problems finding things I thought I could talk about.

One in particular I bought first, liked it, learned something from me, and decided to turn around and market it off this blog for a few years. I wrote a couple of specific blog posts promoting it, and the guy who put it together was a major name in internet marketing at the time. I thought it would be pure gold.

I didn’t sell a single book. That was a shocker to me, but it was also a reality check of sorts. Since I was getting more traffic back then than I do now, it told me that either I was a lousy copywriter or that just because you like something and write about it doesn’t mean you’ll get people to buy it.

I’ve learned a lot about sales though, even if I’m not great at it. Most sales coaches and trainers will say that you have to find a pain point and, if it’s big enough and you can sell a solution, it makes things much easier for you. Notice I didn’t say easy; I said easier.

The one product I sold the most of out of all these years via this blog is called Mailwasher, a product I still use and love. I sold 3 of those because of the post I just linked to because of the pain point of being able to see and eliminate mail you know is spam while it’s still on the server, which protects you from opening up potentially dangerous email on your computer. If you visit that blog and click on the underlined word, you can still check out the product and buy it… as I’m still an affiliate. πŸ˜‰

Best of Events 2011
eveosblog.de via Compfight

The thing is, I wrote that post in 2009; this is 2015! I haven’t tried marketing much of anything that I didn’t create in years from this blog or any other blog of mine. Truthfully, putting up a banner ad isn’t really marketing if you don’t talk about it or promote it anywhere; it’s just an ad sitting there taking up space. Am I right?

I’ve written some posts about products or books and added a link to it… only to have just that one post out there and never talk about it again. Heck, it wasn’t even until this year that I thought about marketing my blog posts more often in social media, which is a major shame.

So, I figure it’s time to give it another shot, just to see what might happen. I’ve already got a product in mind that I’m going to take a shot at marketing. It’s something I use that’s helped me in more ways than I can imagine, and it took care of my pain point.

First, I’m going to set up a page where people can look at the product, along with having a lot of different choices for it. Second, I’m going to write a blog post about it, extolling its virtues as much as possible. Third, once that post is written I’m going to put it out there quite a few times to make sure as many people as possible see it. Fourth, I’m also going to push the specific link to the product page, since it’ll be on a different website than this blog, to try to drive traffic there as well.

Can you make money from a product you didn’t create? Maybe yes, maybe no. In this case I’m not looking to get rich, but I am looking to make a statement. By the way, since the product also has a relation to health (no, I’m not mentioning it just yet), I’ll probably write about it on my medical blog; might as well expand the market even further right? πŸ™‚

Let’s see what happens. I’ll either have that article up next Monday or Thursday; depends on what else comes up. For some reason I find myself pretty busy over the last few days; let’s see if prosperity is ready to come my way via those laws of attraction I wrote about on Monday.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Mitch Mitchell

7 Definite Rules Of Marketing Online And Offline

Let me say up front that I’m not the best marketer in the world. I know all the rules, I’ve read the books, I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’ve written a lot of posts on this blog on the topic (145 so far, not counting this one).

TC08

buyalex via Compfight

What’s my issue? Sometimes you know stuff but for whatever reason you just can’t or won’t do it. Maybe it’s hard, physically and mentally. Maybe you don’t have enough confidence. Maybe you feel beaten down because so far all your efforts seem to be failing you. It could be a heck of a lot of things.

If you’re working for yourself like I do, if you’re not giving it your all, waiting for others to do work for you, it can make you feel like you’re not in control of what you might get coming back your way.

In my main profession, that being a health care finance consultant, that happens more often than not. Most of the time I feel like it’s hard to bridge the gap to talk to the people I need to talk to. Yet I know the people who finally break through and talk to these folks don’t have any more skills than I do. For the most part, they don’t have my knowledge in doing what I do. That’s not bragging, it’s truth; there’s not all that many people who know what I know when it comes to my particular set of skills (imagine Liam Neeson saying that lol).

Here’s the thing. I’ve spent the last six months trying to figure out what’s up with my marketing efforts. A couple of weeks ago it finally hit me; at least a portion of it did. So, I spent last week thinking about some things, and this week I started implementing a few of my thoughts. Recognizing that online it’s all about traffic and offline it’s about influence, I’ve picked up on some of what I need to do.

I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve landed a client already; heck, I just started Monday. Well… kind of… as I did sell some copies of my latest book on leadership titled Leadership Is And Isn’t Easy by talking to some people on Twitter; marketing comes in many forms. πŸ™‚

In any case, I came up with 7 definite rules of marketing. I can honestly say that some of these I’ve violated and rectified, some I haven’t violated, and some I’ve actually been pretty good at. Still, there are only 7 things here I want to talk to you about. Let’s see what you think of these:

PDX Love of Portland 48

Parker Knight via Compfight

1. Be clear in what you have to offer

I kept looking at my LinkedIn profile and I knew something was missing. I’d made a lot of changes to it but it just hadn’t come together.

Then I realized what the problem was. I wasn’t fully clear on the main thing I had to offer to my most lucrative clients. It’s something most of them don’t know much about that I do, something called a hospital charge master, which is my specialty. If you’re interesting follow that link back and read a little bit about it.

First I did a little bit of research to support my claim, then I opened my new summary with:

Are you a health care executive? If so, you need to talk to me.

Do you know what a charge master is? Do you know what it’s for?

Based on research it seems unlikely. A charge master is the respiratory system of every hospital in the nation. Without it, you can’t capture charges properly. Without knowing everything that it impacts, you can’t properly budget, nor can you figure out whether your revenue is up to snuff.

I closed with: “If you want to know what you can do to improve your hospital’s revenue and cash position, you want to talk to me.” There’s a lot more on the summary page but as you can see, I wasted no time in first establishing who my best client is, told them what this thing is (which every hospital has), what it’s for and what I can do for them. It’s way better than what I used to have, which I have to admit wasn’t all that strong.

2. No “wussy” words

This is why it wasn’t all that strong. I tend to write in ways that aren’t quite “in your face”; see, even in this sentence I used the word “quite”, which could be considered a bit wussy. In regular conversation that’s not bad; in sales copy it’s the kiss of death.

You can’t say things like “you might succeed with this…” or “it’s possible your business will grow…”. Yet, that’s how a lot of my copy looked. Even on this blog, whenever I’ve talked about certain things I’m trying to sell here I’ve used what I’m calling wussy words.

For instance, many years ago I wrote about a product I still use called Mailwasher, which I still market… barely. In one line I wrote this line: “There are some other categories you can have, but these are the ones I use, and I feel they’re the most important.” In this instance, saying “I feel” is wussy because the categories I highlighted were the most important, and if I’d said it that way, along with being more forceful with some of the other sentences on that post, it would have been convincing enough to sell more of them (this is actually the best selling product I’ve ever had on this blog).

So, when you look at your copy, look for words or phrases that don’t look all that strong and change them up. Don’t lie; just sound more confident.

We Buy Gold

Seth Anderson via Compfight

3. Go ahead and be bold

In my opinion, the first line of my new summary page is pretty bold: “Are you a health care executive? If so, you need to talk to me.” In all my previous copy, I’ve never said anything like that. I was almost apologizing in my initial sales copy, afraid that I was going to hurt someone’s feelings, or put them off.

This time around, I knew I had to reach out to the people I know are the ones that can hire me for the work I want to do. I was also bold in the rest of what I wrote, calling out what I know they don’t know, once again potentially alienating those who might be sensitive. Yet, anyone who’s realistic knows I’m telling the truth, and if they don’t believe me they can call and let me quiz them.

The way I see it, I’ve got nothing to lose. Sometimes you have to tell it like it is and weed out those folks who won’t work with you for whatever reason. In a strange way, I owe part of this thinking to a guy named Don Purdum, whom Adrienne Smith introduced on her blog, who on his own blog wrote something to the effect that if you feel you’re someone who wants to try to do something on your own without help then you’re not the type of person he wants for a client. Of course that knocks me out, yet the impact of the statement was a bit inspiring. Saying up front who you want to work with and don’t want to work with is risky, but those who matter will contact you.

4. Market what you know

This one isn’t a problem I have, so I can talk about it without guilt. In different spaces I market different things to the people who check me out. On my business blog I market health care finance and leadership. On this blog I market blogging, social media and writing (and a host of other things, all things I know about). On my finance blog I market budgeting and ways to learn how to save money. On my medical billing site I market myself as an authority on medical billing for both those who do it and those who have to deal with folks in that industry.

I bring this one up because there are a lot of people writing blogs on things they know little about. There are way too many “make money blogging” blogs written by people who’ve never made any money or hardly even tried. On Facebook last week, a friend of mine was talking about some guy who wanted her to ghost-write a book on a subject he knew nothing about so he could market it and himself as an expert.

In my mind that’s deceitful, yet there are a lot of people who recommend that people have products made for them that they can sell, telling them it’s more important to have a product than to know what it does or how it works. Tell me, how ethical does that sound to you?

5. Don’t inflate the truth

This is another one I’ve never had to do because in my main business I’ve actually achieved the numbers I put out, even if they sound extraordinary. For instance, I actually did help a hospital make $730 million in one year, and helped others make hundreds of millions also. I can back that up.

Yet, I know there are people who are inflating their monthly income statements online, or finding ways of fudging how they’re making the money they might be making (for instance, many people who actually make money blogging aren’t actually making money blogging by selling products, but because they started blogging and got people to offer them money for services of some kind).

best dessert in history!

Not only is inflating the truth unethical, depending on how you do it and who you do it for it might be illegal if you’re a United States resident (Read Holly’s post on guidelines for reviewers, then near the bottom check out her links to the laws talking about it in more detail). If it can’t pass muster via an internet search, don’t make the claim.

6. Find ways to offer proof of product or experience

This one can be hard or easy, depending on what it is you’re offering or say you do. If you happened to click on that link above talking about charge masters, you might have seen that it actually leads to a page where those who want to see how I helped that one hospital make $730 million can download a white paper. It was easy enough to put together, and the only thing I can hope for is that someone will understand it all.

For leadership, I’ve now written two books and have a CD set. You see the book at the top left talking about using one’s website as a marketing tool. You also see that free book to the left (that most people don’t pay attention to) about business and blogging; yours truly is in that bad boy, and it’s a free down load.

On this blog and in many other places, I mention that I’ve written somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 article online and offline on a host of topics, and on just two of my blogs I have more than 2,800 articles. That should be proof enough that I can write, and I can, and have, mentioned other areas where I’ve written articles.

If you can show people what you’ve done in any field it’s hard to dispute your assertion that you can, and have done it. Products are a little different, although some affiliate programs you market might have a short term free trial, which is pretty much the same thing.

7. Call to action

I’ve always been bad at call to action writing. Yet, in the example of my LinkedIn page summary’s first and last line, I think I’ve gotten the call to action part down pretty well. I spent time last week and this week working on my health care business profile, which I send to hospitals that allow me to send them more information, trying to get a call to action down better, and I think I’ve succeeded there as well.

On this blog and my main business blog I try to end with calls to action in some fashion, most of the time by asking questions or trying to encourage conversation. That’s quite a different thing than when you’re trying to market services or products, but the overall concept is the same.

That’s what I believe; what about you? If you learned anything from this please share it wherever you hang out in social media, comment on it here, and help me get the word out.

Ah; I think I got the call to action thing down even more. πŸ˜‰
 

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