Category Archives: Advertising

Recession Rescue — Lessons Learned from Dan Kennedy

In the book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” after Earth is blown up, Arthur (the main character) is presented with a small computer (not unlike an iPhone I’d imagine) with these words on the front — “Don’t panic.” Arthur finds this oddly comforting, even though Earth is gone and he is on a spaceship with a guy he really didn’t get along with too well when they were both on Earth.

Although no one said those words, that was the underlying theme of this past Dan Kennedy/Bill Glazer Superconference. Don’t panic. Yes we’re in a recession. Yes the government is doing crazy things. Yes we have pirates and pig flu and everything else. But you shouldn’t be panicking because it’s very possible for us to not just survive but thrive. (Hey, if Arthur can keep from panicking after watching the end of the world, we should have no problems.)

So what can we do? In a word — lots. Here are 3 things to get you started:

1. Don’t allow what’s going on to paralyze you. Over and over again we kept hearing stories about business owners who have just stopped doing anything. Whether it’s from fear or because they believe it’s not going to make a difference so why bother or they think this is smart to hunker down and do nothing while they wait things out, the end result is they’re frozen. And because they’re frozen, their businesses are dying.

Now is not the time to be doing nothing. Now is the time to be doing something. Lots of things. Like marketing. Lots of marketing. In fact, this is an excellent time to be marketing because your competition is probably panicking and frozen and hiding in a closet somewhere, so you have the chance to not only solidify YOUR position but take customers away from your competition.

2. Work harder. Ivanka Trump came and spoke to us, and the biggest thing I took from her is she works 16-hour days. Yes she’s rich. Yes she has a trust fund. Yes she’s in the family business. And she works her little tush off.

Now, I’m not necessarily advocating ignoring your family and your health and everything else and just focusing on your business. What I AM saying is if your business isn’t where you want it to be, rather than shutting down or doing less, try doing more. Whether that looks like hiring someone to do a marketing campaign for you or you get some systems in place to free up your time so you can focus on other things or you roll up your sleeves and do things you wouldn’t normally do, you might need to do more right now rather then less.

3. Fix any fundamental flaws. Dan said what’s really happening right now is the recession is exposing flaws in businesses that were always there, it’s just before the businesses were making money despite those flaws. So, again, don’t panic, don’t shut down, and look at this as an opportunity. You’re able to fix problems in your business so when we do come out of the recession, your business will be that much stronger.

And the most important thing to remember — don’t panic. You CAN not only survive this but thrive.

Why radio advertising could be the best thing you ever did for your business

In the marketing world, radio has earned the reputation of being the odd step-cousin. You know the one. No one knows quite what to do with him. Especially at family gatherings when everyone tries hard to avoid sitting with him. (After all, who knows WHAT he’ll start talking about.)

Much of that reputation comes from radio being tough to track. On one hand, radio does work. Businesses do notice an increase in sales when they add radio to the mix. However, radio doesn’t test well. In surveys and other tracking methods, radio tends to be the one with the dismal scores.

A good friend of mine, who’s also a marketing consultant but before that she sold radio for many years, has a theory about that. She says Continue reading

Advertising on a budget — Part 2: Thinking small

This is the second article of a three-part series. I’m illustrating the marketing challenges of a small business, Here’s where you can find “Part 1: Using print to drive traffic online.”

Our goal was to both build the PWC brand and drive traffic to the Web site. Advertising regularly was essential. Yet it was also essential to keep our costs down. So we leveraged our monthly newspaper advertising to stretch our marketing dollar as far as we could.

How did we do that? We “thought small.”

We bought one inch by two column inch ads (a column inch in this particular publication is approximately 1.88 inches). The ads were one inch high and almost 4 inches long.

To reflect the small ad, the copy also had to be short and sweet. Like so: Everything you need to say “I do.”

Just the name of the business and the slogan.

We put the name in large type and made the tagline much smaller.

Did it work? Continue reading

Advertising on a budget — Part 1: Using print to drive traffic online

This is the first article of a three-part series. I decided to try something a little different and illustrate the marketing challenges of a small business. I’m using one of my clients,

PWC is an online resource guide for couples planning their weddings. Along with a ton of information for brides and grooms, the site includes a resource guide where local businesses can advertise their products and services.

We launched PWC in November 2001. Like many start-up businesses, PWC didn’t have much money for marketing. Yet we had two major challenges (three counting the limited budget): Continue reading

What is marketing?

When most people think of marketing, they think of advertising. That’s not exactly true.

While advertising is a part of marketing, that’s all it is. A part. Marketing is much bigger than that.

A better way to think about marketing is anything you do that touches either your customers or potential customers.

Yes, I do mean anything. Whether it’s sending an invoice, handling a complaint call, running a radio ad or sending an e-mail, you’re marketing your business if you’re touching a customer or a potential customer. Continue reading

How to Use a Web Site to Market Yourself as a Writer

In my last column I talked about how the field of marketing is changing. Now more than ever, you need to develop a relationship with your customers.

So where should you start? With your Web site.

What? You say you don’t have a Web site? Well, if you’re serious about selling your books, products or other services, then write down “get myself a Web site” at the top of your to-do list.

Seriously. A Web site is really the foundation of your marketing strategy. Not only can you sell your books from your Web site 24/7, but it’s also where you can start building a relationship with your customers. Continue reading

5 Tips for Writing Articles That Sell

I want to share my secret for attracting tons of traffic, leads and customers to my site.

Ready? It’s writing and submitting articles online.

I can hear all the protesting already. But it’s easy for you, you’re a writer, that’s what you do, etc.

Now there is some truth to that — I am writer so writing articles does come easy for me. However, I also make my living as a writer. That means I do an awful lot of writing each and every day. Trust me — I know all about procrastination when it comes time to writing articles for myself.

But since writing articles is such a powerful method of self-promotion, I’ve taken the time to figure out a few shortcuts. This makes the process less painful so I do get them written on a regular basis. I’m sharing five to help get you started. Continue reading

What Marketing Can’t Do For You

I thought I would clear up some misconceptions about marketing in this two-part series: What Marketing Can Do For You and What Marketing Can’t Do For You. This issue is about what marketing can’t do.

While there’s no question a solid marketing program can increase your business, it can’t fix everything. Below are 5 things marketing can’t do for you: Continue reading

What Marketing Can Do For You

I thought I would clear up some misconceptions about marketing in this two-part series: What Marketing Can Do For You and What Marketing Can’t Do For You. We’ll start with the positive.

Over the years, I’ve had dealings with some business owners who have a rather skewed perception of marketing. They think you throw a few ads out there, get a couple of press releases printed and voila! You’re a big success.

Oh, if it only were that easy. (Although if it were, I probably wouldn’t have a job.)

But there’s no getting around that to have a successful business, you need a solid marketing plan.

So what CAN marketing do for you? Increase your business – no question about it. You need to be marketing if you want to grow your business. Continue reading

Fifteen Tips That Will Help You Become a Networking Success

Whatever kind of writing you do, knowing how to successfully network and meet people is critical to your success. You can leverage networking opportunities to increase readership of your books (people love to know authors and to tell people they personally know the author of the book they’re reading) get clients for a coaching or copywriting business, or line up speaking opportunities.

As writers, though, it’s sometimes difficult to drag ourselves out from behind the computer and actually interact with the human race. Here are fifteen tips to get you started. Continue reading

Promotional basics for your copywriting business

Here are seven tips to help get your copywriting business off the ground.

1. Put together a portfolio. Most people won’t hire you without seeing samples of your work. That said, I’ve found the longer I’ve been in business the less people look at my samples.

When I first started and had hardly any samples, well then, of course everyone wanted to see them. So my portfolio consisted of every little thing I had ever done. Now that I have more samples than I can keep track of, I only bring a handful.

As for why potential clients aren’t asking to see my samples anymore, my guess is what’s probably happened is I’ve changed. My confidence has gone up and clients probably sense that in me, thus they’re also confident I can do the job. Continue reading

Put your best foot forward

You are a professional writer — therefore you need a professional identity or image. And if you also offer marketing consultation, that image becomes even more important (after all, you’re in the business of helping other businesses with their identity, you better have a decent one yourself).

People want to work with successful people. The image you present to the world goes a long way toward establishing that.

Although the following three tips are designed more for copywriters, all writers can benefit from taking a closer look at their professional identity. Continue reading

How Writing Radio Can Help You Become a Better Writer

Knowing how to write, and write well, is a skill that will come in handy in all sorts of situations. And if you combine good writing skills with the persuasive selling tactics found in, say, copywriting, you’ll be that much more ahead of your competition.

Of all the different types of writing I’ve done in my life (and believe me, I’ve tried practically all of them) writing radio has made one of the bigger impacts on my writing style.

Below are three ways writing radio can help strengthen your writing style. (Oh, and these tips will also help you write better radio copy too.) Continue reading