Which One Would You Choose?

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April 15, 2014 | Posted in Marketing Tips | By

Happy Tax Day!

Here’s a fun fact I bet you didn’t know:

In 2009, the IRS reported receiving 131,543,000 individual income tax returns. If each return were processed at the rate of one per minute (and that’s fast!), it would take more than 250 years for one person to do the job.

Interesting, eh? :)

I hope you’ve received help with your taxes – you know, from a Certified Tax Professional or CPA. But, let’s just say you did not yet and you’re looking for someone qualified and you type into Google, “Tax Preparation Services.” You click on the top two sites: (Two actual examples, by the way.)

The first site reads, “LA Tax Preparation Services. Knowledgeable About Federal, State County and City Tax Agencies. In Business for More than 10 Years. Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff. High-Quality Services. Call to schedule an appointment. (323)123-4567(323)123-4567

The second site says, “Free Consumers Guide Reveals: What Every California Resident Needs To Know Before You Ever Hire a Local Tax Preparer.”

Copy below it reads, “In this Free Guide, you will discover:

  • The Five Most Costly Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Tax Preparer
  • Four Myths and Errors that Cause Taxpayers Thousands of Dollars Each and Every Year and How to Avoid Them
  • Six Critical Characteristics You Should Demand From Your Tax Preparer
  • Five Simple Steps to Finding the Right Tax Professional For Your Unique Situations
  • The Three Different Types of Taxpayers: Which One are You?

Which one would you choose?

I think it’s obvious, but let’s just say why. Although the first example answers the call, “LA Tax Preparation Services”, and albeit done very poorly, it is trying to sell you on why should hire them on why they are the best Tax Preparer for your needs.

However, in the second example, it is educating you first. “…Before You Ever Hire a Local Tax Preparer”, you must know these things. This one says, “I’m looking out for you. Don’t get scammed. Don’t trust your taxes to just anybody.”

Does that make sense.

That’s the difference between ordinary businesses who don’t understand the power of lead generation – of the ‘Like, Know, and Trust’ Factor – and an extraordinary business of showing up like no one else.

This is the power of The Consumer Awareness Guide.

Click here to read more about The Power of a Well-Constructed Consumers Guide for your business.

Have a FANtastic rest of your day.

Dedicated to helping you multiply your income (and help you show up like no one else!),

‘No BS’ Craig

P.S. There’s a special Tax Day offer for you once you click on the link – but it’s only good until tonight at Midnight. So, if the above examples made sense to you, take action and let’s get started right away. If you think you’re already showing up like no one else, “good for you!” If not, what the heck are you waiting for?

Click here to read more about The Power of a Well-Constructed Consumers Guide for your business.

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Brochures don’t work like this does…

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April 14, 2014 | Posted in Marketing Tips | By

I get asked all the time – in fact, just over the weekend at Mini-me’s Track & Field event in Sherman Oaks:

“What’s the difference between a Consumer Awareness Guide and a brochure?”

There are many types of businesses that offer a brochure. You see in most publications and any classification, the ads generally will tell people to call for a free brochure. They all look alike. What this session talks about is a consumer awareness guide. If someone actually has in their ad to call for a free Consumer Awareness Guide, it differentiates them from everybody else.

The mere name “A Consumer’s Guide to _______” is different. It speaks to consumers and seems almost official. And instead of it sounding sales-like, it tells prospective clients something educational–you’re giving them information.

Why Brochures Don’t Work

The first thing is that they immediately yell out THIS IS A SALES MESSAGE. When someone thinks you’re trying to sell them something they’re much less receptive. Even if you have exactly what a prospect needs, if they think you’re a salesperson it will be difficult to get through to them. A brochure is immediately recognized as a sales message. It’s fancy, but it’s boring.

Also with brochures you can’t cheaply and easily change your messages. Fancy four-color brochures are usually very expensive. And normally you have to get at least 1,000 or so printed at once in order to even get a good cost. But then you have your money tied up in inventory. Things can change quickly in business. With a Consumer Guide, you can make those changes easily. Maybe you decide to offer a new service or discontinue a particular service. Or say you have a company brochure and you’ve got your whole staff listed on it. Then you decide to let someone go, and now you have a warehouse full with 10,000 brochures that are pretty obsolete.

You can’t change them easily without losing a lot of information.

Instead, have a printed device that you can easily change and that you can print in small quantities so that you don’t tie up a lot of money. Then you can redo it and update it whenever you need to. So that’s one benefit.

Another disadvantage of brochures is that you can’t cheaply test them.

Remember, you should always test, test, test everything that you do because then you know if it works or not. That’s the great thing about this type of marketing–everything can be tested without spending a lot of money. If you just go out and spend money on brochures you have to get a lot printed at once and then if it doesn’t work you’ve wasted a lot of money. If your letter or your consumer guide didn’t work as well as you like you can easily improve it. There’s no waste.

Consumers Guides and letters and Free Reports always get a better response.

The reason is that they look and feel personal. People think of Consumer Guides as personal and from an authoritative source, and they think of brochures as sales. They think of Consumer Guides as educational and brochures just giving a little bit of information about the company but really trying to sell them something.

Click here to read more about The Power of a Well-Constructed Consumers Guide for your business.

Dedicated to helping you multiply your income in 2014 (and beyond!),

“No BS’ Craig

P.S.  If you think a Consumers Guide doesn’t apply to your business, just change “Consumers guide” with “<insert your target market> guide”.  For example, you might use “The Homeowners Guide to….”, or “The Pasadena Restaurant Owners Guide to….”, or “The Amateur Photographer’s Guide to….”, or “The Stay-at-Home Father’s Guide to….”. See how we adapt? It’s easy.

Click here to read more about The Power of a Well-Constructed Consumers Guide for your business.

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On Effectively Communicating

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October 9, 2013 | Posted in Marketing Tips | By

About a year ago I was speaking at my friend David Fagan‘s live event in Los Angeles. The speaker after me was the one and only, celebrity PR expert and author, Michael Levine.

Michael gave an incredible presentation on, what he calls, “The Three O’s of Super Successful People.” What I was most impressed with was an answer to a question following his talk. The question was, “How did you get your first A-list client.” Michael’s elegant and eloquent answer was simply, “Somehow.”

Michael said, “The great one’s always find a way, somehow.”

Brilliant answer! It affected me profoundly. I thought, “No excuses. Find a way somehow to make it happen.”

After the event, I reached out Michael via Facebook and he “Friended” me. We started a dialogue that went back and forth, back and forth, until one day, Read more →

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The Critical Marketing Triangle

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August 13, 2013 | Posted in Marketing Tips | By

marketing triangleWhen I started out as a struggling consultant, my main problem was that I was communicating the right message to the wrong market — and generally using the wrong medium to get my message across.

One of my early “aha’s” was the necessity for having all three (3) components of the Marketing Triangle in place to effectively communicate my message to the people who most needed to hear it.

“What is the Marketing Triangle?” you ask.

Well, let me put it this way, “business owners are always looking for the Easy Button.”

My mentor Dan Kennedy says, “The best way to productivity and profits is through the fundamentals.”

Imagine, if you will, a triangle… Read more →

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The Fortune is in the Follow Up

May 18, 2013 | Posted in Marketing Tips | By

In 2images001, we were getting ready to sell our small 900 sq/ft house.  To see how much homes were selling for in the area, we attended several open houses in the neighborhood.

At one of the open houses nearby we met a very agressive Realtor. She was also an Interior Design student and used her skills to make the homes she was selling even more attractive by updating the inside and outside of the house for faster selling.

Well, we hired her and low and behold: She sold our house FAST, and we made a lot of money from that sale. Read more →

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Two Sword-In-Stone Secrets to Making More Money

Dan Kennedy

April 29, 2013 | Posted in Marketing Tips | By

Guest Article By Dan S. Kennedy

My newest book, No B.S. Wealth Attraction In The New Economy is all about making yourself magnetic to money, in part via different approaches to marketing. Here’s some insight into that process…

Last year I bought a 1972 AMC Javelin. I already own a ’63 Lincoln Town Car convertible. I don’t have them as investments or to show; just to drive around during the summer. I didn’t need two summer cars. In fact, I had to rent a garage for the second one.  Then this year, I bought Dean Martin’s 1986 Rolls-Royce, which has only 19,000 miles on it and is nearly showroom new. It’s not that I haven’t been affected by the recession and by anticipation of economic damage to come from the  President’s policies (mis-guided or sinister – your choice) and the big tax target he has painted on my chest. Read more →

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The Purpose of a Race is to Win

March 22, 2013 | Posted in Marketing Tips, Rants | By

Mini-me has been running track for the past 3 years. His first year, he could barely make it around the track once. I remember walking across the infield, back and forth, to coach and inspire him to make it all the way around the very first time. First year, no medals in competition.

The second year, he could make it around once, but barely twice. Again, every time at practice he ran around the track, I was in the infield, walking back and forth, side to side, coaching and inspiring him to keep on keepin’ on until he made it.  Second year, no medals for competition.

The third year (last year), he could make it around the track twice, even three times (the 1200 meter). He was slow, but determined to make it every time he raced. I always reminded him before the race, “the purpose of a race is to win.” He chanted it every time he Read more →

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The Huge Mistake

February 8, 2013 | Posted in Marketing Tips | By

Based on a discussion @ Gold/VIP-Millionaires Group 2006

The specifics of the discussion are not important, but here’s what happened: one Member was on the “hot seat”, talking about his business, past, present and future, and at one point, another Member piped up and suggested an idea, quickly, briefly. The Member on the hot seat acknowledged him but brushed it off and continued talking about what he next planned to do. I let it pass at the moment, but thought better of it later, and interrupted our meeting to talk about what had happened.

Unfortunately, the incident is very, very, very common. Even smart and successful businesspeople are too often “knee jerk reaction” quick to judge an idea they read or hear or a suggestion given them as inappropriate to their business. Our focus can be our downfall.  The smarter reaction, in this case, and in many, is to make a written note of the suggestion or idea, make sure you understand it, and if you don’t want to be de-railed, set it aside to think about later. But by all means, return to actually think about it. Read more →

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The Big Mistake

December 26, 2012 | Posted in Marketing Tips, Rants | By

There’s a Mexican restaurant I like to eat at. The margaritas aren’t bad either. :)

The family who owns it is nice. Each time I’ve needed a donation for some volunteer effort I’m part of, they never hesitate to give. They are great people.

Since the recession of 2008, business has declined. Prior to that time the restaurant would be filled with loyal restaurant-goers, Read more →

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Feeling Stuck? Get Smart!

May 9, 2012 | Posted in Marketing Tips | By

NOTE: From the archives of the ‘[Former] Struggling Consultant’s Marketing YOUniquely’ eNewsletter, 7/15/08

One of the reasons I started out struggling as a consultant was that I had no previous knowledge of “how” to be a consultant. Nor, did I truly understand how to market myself as a successful consultant.

After several years of being broke and “trying” to market and promote myself as I thought I should, I decided to become a SERIOUS student of consulting and HOW the highest paid consultants GOT more business and MADE more money.

I did several things to GET SMARTER about consulting and other related subjects. So, if you’re trying to MASTER any topic, consulting or otherwise, here are my “tried and true” lessons about getting smarter in virtually any subject – FAST! Read more →

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