Monthly Archives: January 2010

Do you have a question on product launches?

Are you planning on doing a product launch in 2010? I’d love to get your biggest question about how to create and/or execute a successful product launch. Here’s the link to give me your question:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VT2QGQX

I’m going to be hosting a preview call on Feb. 18 where I’ll be answering all your questions about product launches. Stay tuned for more details!

Do those long-copy sales letters actually work?

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This is one of those questions I get ALL the time.

“I never read those long-copy sales letters. They can’t possibly work, can they?”

“MY target market doesn’t read those long-copy sales letters, they want shorter letters.”

“I can’t imagine anyone reading that much.”

And so on.

Okay, before I get around to answering the question, let me quickly explain what a long-copy sales letter is. It’s those sales letters that are dotted across the web where you have to scroll down and down and down before you finally find the price.

Yeah. You know the ones.

So do they work? Yes they do — IF they’re done right.

Here’s the thing. The reason they work is NOT because they’re long. Length doesn’t equal sales. What DOES equal sales is if you properly answer all of your ideal client’s questions and objections and demonstrate your product/service/program will solve your ideal client’s problems.

And all that takes words. How many words depends on how expensive an investment your solution is.

Think of a conversation. Let’s say it takes you 30 minutes to have a sales call with a prospect. Well, if you take that call and transcribe it, it’s going to be around 10 pages long depending on how fast you talk. And that’s just one person.

Now you have a call with another person selling the same program. That person asks different questions, but it’s still 30 minutes. Now you have 20 pages worth of transcripts.

Are you starting to see how the long-copy sales letter gets so long?

Granted you’re probably not going to hear completely different questions time after time. But you can see how the pages will start to add up. (The reality is, a sales letter is actually much shorter than any of your one-on-one sales calls.)

Okay, so now you understand how these letters get so long. But what about the whole “you-don’t-read-them-or-your-ideal-clients-don’t-read-them?” Well, I have 2 reasons why that happens:

1. You’re not the ideal client. I don’t care how great or how poor the sales letter is, if you’re not the ideal client, you’re going to have very little interest in reading the letter. (And here’s the kicker — reading is a hypnotic activity, which means you don’t remember when you ARE reading but you DO remember when you don’t finish something. So you’re going to remember all those half-read sales letters much more clearly than the ones you actually finish.)

2. The sales letter is poorly written. This is probably even more common than the first one. Look, you can’t bore anyone into buying anything. And there are a lot of people who don’t understand the long-copy sales letter, so they simply throw a lot of words on the page and hope for the best. That is NOT how to write a sales letter. You need to connect with your ideal client and do it in such a way that they feel compelled to keep reading. A whole bunch of words ain’t going to make the sale (especially a whole bunch of boring words that don’t inspire anyone to do anything).

Bottom line — studies have shown over and over again that long-copy sales letters sell more then shorter sales letter. (Just as long as they’re well written.) So, even if you don’t completely understand it, don’t worry about it. Give your ideal clients what they want to make a decision to invest with you — a well-written, interesting long-copy sales letter.

Is it possible to sell without being sales-y?

The short answer? Yes and no.

Now before you click away and say “boy that wasn’t helpful” let me explain what I meant.

Yes you CAN sell without feeling inauthentic or hype-y or like you need to take a shower. I regularly create copy that does this for myself and my clients. The trick is to connect with your ideal clients on a deep level (more on that in a moment).

But why I said no is because you STILL have to ask for the sale. There’s really no way to get around that. And depending on how sensitive you are, asking for the sale might still feel very uncomfortable for you.

Now, back to connecting to your ideal clients on a deep level. I’m going to be going into this topic in much more detail during Leesa Barnes’ Last Ever Social Media Telesummit (check out http://www.michelepw.com/sms2010 for more info) but let me give you a tip here to get you started.

Answer this question — in your ideal client’s words (not YOUR words, that’s the key here) — “what’s keeping your ideal client up at night and why?”

You may want to take some time and journal about it to really capture what your ideal client is thinking and feeling.

And if you want to learn more about this, make sure you check out Leesa Barnes’ Last Ever Social Media Summit — http://www.michelepw.com/sms2010. It’s starting this coming week. Would love to see you there!

Business Success — Are You Playing to Win or Playing Not to Lose?

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You may have heard the phrase “playing to win or playing not to lose.” And while it sounds good to say “you’re playing to win” in your business, what exactly does that really mean?

Okay, well first off, let’s define these phrases. To me, playing to win means playing all out. Going for broke. Leaving nothing on the table. You’re putting everything out there to win and holding nothing back.

Playing not to lose means holding something back. Being conservative. Taking some of your chips off the table. Making sure if you don’t win, you minimize your losses.

Now is there a time for each of these? Of course. Playing not to lose makes a lot of sense in certain situations. Vegas for instance. Betting your retirement on a spin of the roulette wheel isn’t real bright. (Even if by some miraculous chance it works, it’s still not too bright.)

And if that’s the way you want to approach your business and your life (playing not to lose) then there’s nothing wrong with it. You can still be successful playing not to lose.

But typically, if that’s your approach, you’re not going to play as big as you could be. And you’re probably not going to make the kind of money you’re capable of.

So how do you know if you’re playing to win or playing not to lose? Well, here are a few signs.

Playing to win in your business:

* You take risks (and a lot of those risks other people just don’t “get”). Maybe you invest in a high end coaching program or mentorship. Maybe you decide to launch a product that looks on the outside to be a bad idea. Maybe you decide to expand and hire a team even though you really can’t afford it right now.

* You take advantage of opportunities even if they don’t appear to be a good idea on the surface.

* You turn down opportunities even if on the surface they look perfect. (Ah, didn’t think I’d say that, did you?)

* You make decisions from the place you want to be, not necessarily the place you’re at now. (Even if that’s a really scary place to be.)

Playing not to lose in your business:

* You make decisions based on what you can afford rather than what you need. Okay, a caveat here. I’m NOT saying you should spend your life savings or go into massive debt with no way of paying it off. What I AM saying is sometimes you have to take a risk. For instance, hiring team members. What happens a lot of time is you need the help desperately but you don’t quite have the cash flow. If you never take that first step and hire someone, even on a small basis, you’ll never free yourself up to start making more money.

* You’re ultra careful about the risks you take (or you don’t take risks at all)

* You probably aren’t marketing as much as you should be because deep down inside, you don’t want your business to grow very big (after all, you’d start to lose control of it if it did grow to big). Or you aren’t marketing as much because what if it doesn’t work? What if you make this big public splash with your marketing and it fails? It’s bad enough it doesn’t work but now everyone will know it.

* You don’t try a lot of new things — speaking, marketing, etc.

Now, I want to be clear. There’s nothing wrong with playing not to lose, but chances are you WILL be playing small. You’re going to miss opportunities to get your message and vision out in a big way. You’re not going to take chances where you might fall on your face (especially if you fall on your face in a public way).

But, if you decide to play to win, the rules change. Sure you might fall flat on your face in a public way. But you also could be growing a business that makes a huge difference in the world (not to mention makes you a handsome income to boot).

Do those sales letters really need to be so long?

Ah, this is THE number 1 question I get asked. “Do you really need all those words on a long sales letter? I never read those long sales letters, do they actually work?

The short answer is “yes.” (See, direct response copywriters CAN be brief.) And no, it’s not because I can charge all sorts of money the longer they get. It’s because yes, long sales letters actually make more sales than shorter ones.

Why do they work? Well, it’s because people have a lot of questions when they’re deciding whether to buy something or not. And if you don’t answer all those questions to their satisfaction they’re not going to plunk down the money.

Think of it this way. You’re on the phone with a prospective client. Let’s say it takes 30 minutes to explain what you’re selling so they feel comfortable enough to buy. Now imagine you’ve transcribed that 30 minute call. That’s at least 20 pages of text. 20 pages. And it’s only for one person. What about the next person? Sure some of the questions will be the same but there will also be different questions.

And, the more expensive product/service you’re selling, the more questions your prospective clients will have. And the longer on the phone you’ll be with them (hence longer copy). That’s why you see more copy for more expensive programs.

So when you look at it that way, sales letters are actually much shorter than you’d expect. You need to answer as many questions and overcome as many objections as possible for as many different prospects as possible. And using a sales letter you can probably do it more efficiently than being on the phone with them.

If you want to learn more about this along with other tips on how to write online copy that sells your brilliance so you make more money with less effort, then you need to join me on January 6. I’m going to be hosting a special Q&A call with my business partner Lisa Cherney, the Juicy Marketing Expert, answering all your questions.  (Just in time to start making money in 2010!) Here’s the link to learn more and reserve your space: http://bigmoneyonlinesecrets.com