My Thoughts On List Building…

There are 2 main schools of thought on building marketing lists in my opinion…

1)  Traditional, two-step “Give me yours and I’ll give you mine” style.  Online, this usually involves a squeeze page where someone has to submit their email address to gain access to a valuable piece of content (if your content isn’t valuable, you lose all trust and credibility here).

2)  A more viral, “I’ll give you a piece of valuable content that you can share and form an opinion on FIRST, and THEN you can decide if you buy from me.” Here, your content allows the visitor to decide if they want to take the next step with you, then you focus on your “buyer’s” list and serving it, instead of both an email list AND buyer’s list.

Interesting to think about both methodologies.

In my opinion, I will be personally shifting towards #2 thanks to the influence of David Meerman Scott , other influences I’ve tested, and my personal business direction.

—>  If you go to http://josephratliff.com right now, you can begin to see it in action (although the viral ebook isn’t yet there yet, I’m offering a sample of this blog as a download currently).

I feel (my personal opinion), that with the current way people are searching for information, and a sort of “numbness” to free in exchange for personal information marketing pieces…I would rather focus on building a list of buyers of my upcoming print book and products AFTER they’ve made a decision based on freely available content first.

My theory is, (actually proven by other marketers like David), that this “buyers list” will be more responsive because they have enough of a sample of content to make a decision to trust me first.

And that my friends, is where the gold is…in developing a solid relationship with people on your buyer’s list.

Rules? What Rules?

I’m actually quite surprised at the number of people who learn a concept, then don’t expand on that concept in other ways that no one else does.

Example…

CPA marketing. Many people know it as putting up a website, driving traffic to it, getting people to take a simple action online…then possibly getting paid.

So who said you can’t do it offline?

Help an offline business owner “drive traffic” to their place of business, having people fill out a form, and for every form someone fills out (for a contest, prize, whatever)…you get paid. You can count those, so “tracking programs” and such won’t rob you of commissions (not saying they do all the time).*

*unless the business owner is a crook, but that rarely happens.

You’ll educate the business owner on the value of having a customer list in some cases (which could result in a consulting fee for you)…and they’ll thank you for showing them a new revenue stream.

Now, before you light up your email program to tell me how simple this sounds, I didn’t reveal every single detail, because I want to challenge you to expand on this idea (and others) for yourself.

(I know, I know, work a little…)

You could make up some excuses why this won’t work…that you have to talk to business owners about business…how you don’t want to “sell” anything (which you won’t be doing if you talk to a business owner AS a business owner yourself instead of selling)…etc…etc…

If you have come up with “reasons” why this won’t work…you’re right…it won’t. If you can see past those and make it work, you’ll realize that your local business market is pretty much untapped for this sort of thing (and even if it isn’t there’s plenty of room for you and competition).

So what’s with the title to this post?

I wanted to help you understand that so long as what you’re doing isn’t illegal, immoral, or unethical (like violating terms, etc…)…then you’re pretty much free to conduct business in creative ways.

Nobody said affiliate marketing was an “online only” activity, did they? 

5 Reasons Your Internet Business WILL Fail This Year (and a free download)…

Does Your Marketing Copy Talk?

A big problem I see with many marketing materials on the web is what I call “flowing” copy. Now, I understand that copywriting is a very deep subject, and no one is a flawless or perfect writer…but your marketing copy has to talk.

What do I mean by this?

Well, an exercise you can do right now will tell you the answer. In fact, you should do this exercise every time you write marketing copy for any of your sites…before you put that site out on the web.

“Marketing Copy Exercise”

Step 1 – Finish writing your copy to what you determine is the “final draft” (it won’t be once you finish the exercise). Then move on to the next step.

Step 2 – Before you put out the final draft, read your copy out loud to yourself (or someone else is even better)…all the way through…and see where you naturally pause. Then move to the next step.

Step 3 – Read it out loud from beginning to end again (to yourself or another person). Get a “feel” this time for where your copy “feels” wrong or awkward…your gut will tell you.

Step 4 – Read it out loud one more time, but this time stop at each point where it “feels” wrong…and re-write that part of your letter until you can say that part of your letter smoothly.

Step 5 – Repeat step 4 until you have reached the last part of your copy…and “smoothed out” the rough spots. Then re-read it one last time to ensure you got them all.

That’s it. By doing this, you are allowing your brain to associate with your copy directly and after you complete this process your copy will start to sound like you’re “talking on paper”…which is one step closer to a winning marketing letter or piece.

Don’t skip any of the steps above.

They look very similar in nature…but there is a reason I separated this process out for you.

Once you have written a few marketing pieces this way…you will start to naturally write how you speak…and that will make it easier for you to generate results online. It’s only one step to an entire copywriting process…but it’s a critical one.

What Business Are You In?

Ahhh yes, the ultimate question.

Some would say… “I’m in the __________ (niche here) business.”

Wrong.

Still others would say… “I’m in the marketing business.” (betcha didn’t expect that one huh?)

Wrong again.

I would challenge that you’re in the business of serving people.

Your niche is the industry in which you choose to serve people

Your marketing are the methods and media you choose to use and invite people into your business of serving people.

I can feel it…I can hear those email programs or the clicking of the keys in the comment box below getting ready for a debate…

Bring it on. 🙂

Are You Preparing For Success, Or Just Preparing?

“Joe, I’ve gotta do this, this, and this first before I can do what you recommended to make obscene profits.”

Love the excuses…but this one is a business killer.

Please allow me to explain…

Sometimes, it seems as though people want to stay stuck in “preparing” mode because it’s more comfortable and less uncertain.

Instead, if you find yourself “preparing everything” to succeed sometime…try this…

Just do the thing you think you’re preparing for.

More often than not, all the preparation you think you had to do isn’t necessary…because as humans we try to eliminate all possibilities for failure (preconceived or otherwise).

Now I’m not saying a certain measure of preparation isn’t necessary at all, for example, certain legal preparations are a good idea (discuss those with an attorney, I’m not one, and that’s NOT legal advice).

What I am saying is if it seems you’re “stuck” preparing, and keep coming up with “this and that” which you feel you “have to do before” you move forward…you should examine whether or not you’re really needing more preparation…or just to kick yourself in the ass and get outside of your comfort zone.

Most of the time, you’ll probably find you’re just trying to stay comfortable…and staying comfortable isn’t how fortunes and freedom are created.

Get outside your comfort zone right now…and stay out!

Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Isnt it time you cut the bullshit and started to succeed?

Isn't it time you cut the bullshit and started to succeed?