Great Lead Generation Offers Are About Their Problem, Not Your Commitment To Excellence

If your lead generation offer is only about your firm being “best-in-class” and “results-focused,” you’re probably going to lose out to competitors creating content that people actually care about. Their own dramas, problems, challenges and selfish interests. Them, not you.

In other words, your company details are the last piece of the information puzzle, not the first.

John Jantsch from ducttapemarketing.com puts it nicely… Continue reading “Great Lead Generation Offers Are About Their Problem, Not Your Commitment To Excellence”

Give It Away Now – Why Freemium Is The Future for All of Us

willworkforlikes1Freemium is a “business model that works by offering a game, product or service free of charge (such as software, web services or other) while charging a premium for advanced features, functionality, or related products and services.” (Wikipedia)

David Rogers’ article How to Make Piles of Money from Charging Nothing sums the concept up nicely:

“The freemium business model works like this: Everyone gets your product or service for free, forever. But those customers who really like it, and find most value in it, will have a strong temptation to upgrade to a “premium” (paid) service which has lots of additional goodies.  It is, at heart, a strategy of pricing by customer segmentation.  It also requires a lot of insight into your customers and how they use your product.”

Spotify let’s you listen to a certain number of songs for free, with a premium paid option for heavy users. Skype lets you call any computer in the world for free, with a premium paid option for those who want to call a real phone.

But this concept isn’t just limited to software and websites. Freemium is more than just a business model, it’s about the fundamental shift in how buyers expect to interact with and sample products and services. Whether you sell software or consulting or custom kitchens, if you compete with other companies that give away content for free in order to engage an audience, you are officially in the freemium business. Continue reading “Give It Away Now – Why Freemium Is The Future for All of Us”

Engaging Content is More Poetry than Personas

poetry“Excrement! That’s what I think of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard! We’re not laying pipe! We’re talking about poetry. How can you describe poetry like American Bandstand? “I like Byron, I give him a 42 but I can’t dance to it!”

This was English professor John Keating’s (Dead Poets Society) response to J. Evans Pritchard, according to whom the quality of a poem can be accurately measured by first becoming “fluent with rhyme and meter” and then determining a poem’s greatness by answering two questions: “One. How artfully has the objective of the poem been rendered? Two. How important is that objective?” Continue reading “Engaging Content is More Poetry than Personas”

How Silly Do Stock Photos Look on Your Website? This Silly…

iStock-Unfinished-Business-6You know you’re really, really into marketing when seeing cheesy stock photography on a company website actually angers you.

Is it just the laziness of it? Or that the company in question is blowing a chance at actually differentiating themselves as opposed to looking like yet another clip art clone? Is it that the decision makers behind it actually think it makes them look more “professional” and committed-to-excellence? Continue reading “How Silly Do Stock Photos Look on Your Website? This Silly…”

Building Your Own Website? 5 Keys for Creating a Site Your Customers Will Love

buildingyourownwebsite

Building a great website is a lot easier when you approach it from your customer’s perspective. Today’s Marketing Cheat Sheet shows you where to start.

Continue reading “Building Your Own Website? 5 Keys for Creating a Site Your Customers Will Love”

On Being Cheaper

Cheaper is easy in the short term. Easy to advertise, differentiate, compete. “We’re Cheaper!” says the ad, website or proposal.

Cheaper works really well for retail. Walmart was built on it. But retail chains and websites have an advantage that professional services don’t: They can sell in volume.

Sell 2,137,211 doggie chew toys through your blog at a 3% margin, and you’re probably making some money.

Provide legal services, consulting or training at a 3% margin, and you’re making minimum wage. Continue reading “On Being Cheaper”

Death by Dabbling

A marketing plan, like any other strategy in life, delivers 99% of the rewards only after all the real work is put in. Unfortunately, the often overwhelming emotional need to bring in clients now, to make a sale now, to make it all happen now, keeps too many people searching for instant relief.

The easy way. The magic bullet. The shortcut.

So most people dabble.

They start messing around with social media, only to quit when they haven’t built a massive blog, Twitter and Facebook following in two weeks. Continue reading “Death by Dabbling”

Mailing Massively for Maximum Losses

Despite the “Social Media Makes Everything Else Obsolete!!!” chorus from inbound marketing purists, direct mail as a viable lead generation tactic is still alive and well. Sort of…

Despite the “Social Media Makes Everything Else Obsolete!!!” chorus from inbound marketing purists, direct mail as a viable lead generation tactic is still alive and well. Sort of…

Using direct mail effectively does not mean running 1,000 names and addresses through a mail merge and stuffing envelopes until your fingers bleed from paper cuts. That’s no better than randomly picking up the phone and spitting out a memorized, generic pitch before the inevitable hang up. Reaching more people at the expense of quality sacrifices the very advantages that professional services professionals and firms should be capitalizing on:

  1. You don’t have to sell 2,000,000 units a month to be very profitable…2-3 new projects usually does the trick.
  2. You get paid for your expertise and ability to solve a very specific problem. The market for that solution is finite, which makes it easier to target.
  3. The amount of intel available online is staggering, making it easier than ever to know exactly who to reach, exactly what to say to that specific person, and exactly how to position your services.

Continue reading “Mailing Massively for Maximum Losses”

Media Mogul

Go back 20 years or so.

You read an article about how one day you’ll be able to produce your own TV show, magazine column and radio talk show. You can do it cheaply and with no network suits restricting what you can or can’t talk about. In fact, you’ll own the network. You can build an audience your way, over time, and establish an almost insurmountable competitive advantage in your market.

No guarantees of course, but a shot. And all it will take is some effort, creativity and a couple of pieces of equipment.

What type of show would you create? What would you write about every week? What topics could you discuss? What value would you bring to your audience?

Go do that.

“I Don’t Need a Website!”

“I don’t need a website!” This from an angry attorney at a networking function back in 1997, apparently sick to death of everybody in the room buzzing about website this and website that.

“What the %$*@ is a Twitter” This from me at a podcasting seminar in Manhattan in 2009, apparently sick to death of everybody in the room buzzing about Twitter this and Twitter that.

It is frustrating to have the rug pulled out from under you every 18 months, just as you’re starting to wrap your head around the new, new, new, new way to communicate with and reach your market. Even marketing geeks like me aren’t immune. But at the end of the day, we must all do our best to adapt, to evolve, to keep up.

You may never Tweet, Blog, Podcast or create a webinar in your lifetime, and that’s fine. But do it or don’t do it because it makes sense for you, your business and your market.