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Archive | June, 2019

The Word of Mouth “Secret” to Advertising

One of the biggest expenses for some businesses is advertising. Think about the auto repair shop, the kitchen cabinet maker, the plumber, etc. They can spend a small fortune each month running ads that might not even pay off. After all, what’s the reaction of most people to advertising? It’s disbelief. “Sure they say they’re great, but… They all say that!”

The Secret to Word of Mouth Advertising

But what if you could show offline clients how to get all of their business from referrals, thereby saving the money they spend on advertising? What would that be worth to them? Frankly, it should be worth about 2-3 months of their current advertising budget, paid directly to you.

This won’t work for all businesses, so use your best judgement on which businesses to work with using this strategy. While every business will be different, you can quickly learn the basics on how to set up a referral system that brings in as much if not more business than their current advertising.

Let’s use an automotive repair shop for our example. First, what do most people think of when considering auto repair places? The shops are dirty, the mechanics try to take advantage of customers by doing work that doesn’t need to be done, they take too long to make repairs, you have to arrange for transportation while you don’t have your car, their waiting room is depressing, etc.

We want to change all of those things. Cleaning the shop up won’t cost a thing beyond labor and it can make a tremendous difference in how people perceive the shop when they arrive. If the outside of the shop needs a new coat of paint, some flowers planted in the bed out front or a fresh sign, it should be seen to. This alone can bring more business in off the street.

Next, unless the mechanics are really good at explaining what needs to be done to the mechanically illiterate, there should be a liaison between the mechanics and customers. This liaison will show the customer what the problem is, what might have caused it, why it needs to be fixed and what it will cost. A clear, thorough explanation without technical mumbo-jumbo can go a long way to putting the customer at ease and making them feel they’re not being taken advantage of.

If the work is going to take longer than, say, 90 minutes, the auto shop either provides a loaner car or offers to drive the customer to their home or place of work, picking them up when the car is ready. How many auto places do this? Almost none. Imagine the word of mouth this alone can create.

If the customer opts to wait for the car, they’re shown into a waiting room that looks more like a living room than a nasty waiting room. The chairs are plush and comfortable, there’s flat surfaces if they want to work on a laptop or do anything at a desk, and instead of the usual daytime television, there’s a DVD playing of a truly funny and non-offensive comedian. Who doesn’t feel better after laughing? Plus there’s beverages – not just coffee – and maybe even some bagels, fruit or danish.

After the repair is made, the car is washed and cleaned. The bigger the repair, the better the washing and cleaning. This could range from a quick exterior wash to a full wash and wax outside, vacuuming and wipe down inside. An alternative would be to set up an affiliation with a nearby car wash, getting car wash tokens in bulk at a discount. Then for every $x amount of money spent, the customer gets a token. If the amount is $50, then on a $300 repair job the customer would get 6 tokens which could be used for 6 car washes. This is hugely unexpected by the customer and something they’re likely to brag about to others for weeks.

If the customer doesn’t receive car wash tokens, she should be given something. It could be as simple as homemade looking cookies for the road or a cup of good coffee to go. As the customer is paying her bill and receiving her tokens, she gets a very brief questionnaire about her experience. The final question is, “Can we use your comments for marketing purposes?” Thanks to the law of reciprocity and the small gift she received, she’s almost certainly going to say ‘yes.’ These comments can be put on the business’ website, and after several months should number in the hundreds. If they ever do more advertising, all they’ll need is a list of these comments along with their hours and location to create a very effective ad.

The customer gets an actual thank you card in the mail within 2 days of her experience at the shop. On the card is a photo of the shop with all the employees out front, holding a giant blank sign. Only the sign isn’t blank, it only appears that way when the photo is taken. Before sending it out, “THANK YOU customer name!” is hand written onto that blank sign. If they have the technology they can do this in Photoshop, but hand writing it in is fine. In the card is a very warm thank you along with 2-3 magnets containing the business’ details and the suggestion she give one or two to friends.

Finally, 3 to 6 days later the customer gets a follow up phone call, inquiring if the car is still running fine and making sure everything is alright. If there should be any problem, being this proactive will keep the business in good favor with the customer. And if everything is fine, it leaves the customer with a very warm, cared-about feeling that they simply don’t get with the typical auto mechanic.

This has been just one example – how you set up a referral program will vary according to the type of business you’re working with. You probably noticed that nowhere in this sequence did we actually ask the customer for referrals. Typically the best way to get great word-of-mouth advertising isn’t to ask for it – it’s to give the customer such an amazing experience, they just have to brag to others about it.

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Ways to Train Your Brain for Success – Get Smart

Popular thought says there’s something about turning 40 that makes one think, “Holy ^%!*, I could actually get old one day.” Then 50 starts approaching at warp light speed, and some start to think whole new thoughts, like, “Where did I put my keys?” And, “What did I come into this room for?” And “What was I going to write in my blog post? Wait, what’s my password? Never mind the password, what’s my domain again?”

Get Smart - Train Your Brain for Success

If you can’t relate yet, good for you, and I hope you never do! In fact, this article is meant to inspire you to avoid such mental collapse.

No matter what your age, you can benefit from a better brain. And I don’t mean trading your brain in for a new one, although that could be awesome. I mean growing your own brain so that it functions better, makes new connections and thinks up creative new ideas constantly. Just like there’s weight training and cardio for the body, certainly there must be ways to improve how your brain functions so that everyday tasks like running your online business and finding new ways to make it profitable become like child’s play. At least, that’s what I was hoping to find.

So I started doing some research into the brain and how it works and what a person can do to improve it. And you know what? You about have to be a brain scientist to understand all that stuff. So I took a shortcut – I bought a book by a brain researcher with 20+ years of experience in actively building or growing his own brain. The book is called Whole Brain Power, and the exercises he recommends are not at all what I was expecting.

First discovery I made – the brain actually does grow from nurturing and training it. Second discovery – left handed people have more brain mass and a more flexible brain structure than right handed people. You might be wondering how they know that: UCLA did a study of 70 pairs of identical twins where one twin was right handed, the other left handed, with an average age of 70. The lefties almost invariably had better brains.

Put these two pieces of information together, along with a lot of scientific data I won’t get into, and you find that by using your non-dominant hand to do things like write and play sports, you are actually growing your brain. Plus memorization can work wonders, too.

Here’s a tangible example of brain growth: London’s famous black-cab cabbie drivers must store a mental map of London, including 25,000 street names and the locations of all major tourist attractions. It takes 3 years of intensive study to pass the test, and three-quarters of the applicants drop out. When they studied the brains of these cabbies, they found their hippo-campus had grown. In fact, the longer they spent on the job, the bigger their brains. This and other studies prove you can physically improve your brain if you work at it.

Doing these exercises have side benefits as well. Within 3 to 4 weeks of consistent training you’ll notice you’re more alert, you have greater focus and your attention span improves. Work will become easier, you’ll write blog posts faster, and you’ll begin seeing possibilities in your business that were all but invisible to you before. Plus your memory will get better, you’ll experience more energy, your chance of getting Alzheimer’s decreases and other benefits as well.

So what are the prescribed exercises for growing your brain? I’ll go over some of them briefly.

For purposes of explanation, I’m going to assume you’re right handed. If you’re left handed, just reverse what I say.

Anything that you normally do with your right hand like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, eating with a fork, etc., try doing with your left hand every day.

Write with your left hand. Get a notebook and write something on the right page with your right hand. Then write that same thing on the left page with your left hand. Your right hand (left brain) is actually training your left hand (right brain) using this method. If you like, use mirror writing when writing with your left hand. That is, write from right to left in such a way that the writing is legible when viewed in a mirror. Leonardo Da Vinci did this and he was no intellectual slouch.

By the way, it’s no coincidence that Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth where all ambidextrous.

Memorize and recite things forwards and backwards. For example, learn to say the alphabet as fast backwards as you do forwards. Memorize states or countries in reverse alphabetical order. Memorize long poems, speeches or soliloquies. While you’re at it, learn a new language. And memorize number sequences such as the powers of 2 all the way up to 30 or beyond (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384 etc.)

Do hammer drills. To start, get a lightweight (1 pound or so) rubber mallet and using your right hand bounce a tennis ball on it. Bounce once and catch, bounce once and catch. When you get good, bounce twice and catch, then three times, working your way to bouncing 5 times and catching the ball. Now transfer the mallet to your left hand and repeat. Be patient, your brain wants to learn this new skill. Move up to using a golf ball and increase the number of reps. When you can do 100-300 on either hand, place a mallet in both hands and bounce the ball from the right to the left and back again. Once you can do this successfully for 100 reps or more, get a heavier hammer. Sounds crazy, but the benefits – both to the brain and the body – are enormous. Here’s a helpful video on hammer drills:

Avoid passive stress from television and video games. You know how your mom said those things would rot your brain? Turns out she was right.

There’s a lot more, like games you can play and the science behind all of this. I highly recommend you get a copy of the book. It’s called Whole Brain Power: The Fountain of Youth for the Mind and Body by Michael Lavery.

If you’re wondering if all this stuff works, go to chapter 5 and look at the before and after photos of the artwork done by C. Ryan Walsh for the documentary film, Brain Dead: The Resurrection of a Video Game Junkie. In 45 days his artwork went from what I would describe as a 2nd or 3rd grade level to a 12th grade level, assuming the 12th grader had practiced art for 12 years. Absolutely mind boggling.

One last thing – what could you accomplish in your Internet business if you were smarter? If your memory was better? If you were more creative? If you had more energy? If you had more concentration and focus?

What couldn’t you accomplish??

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Columbo – “Detective Style Online Marketing”

At the risk of stating the ridiculously obvious, Internet Marketing is changing. Just because you’re making money today won’t guarantee you’ll still be making money tomorrow. There are the obvious examples: Possum, Penguin, Fred and what not. But then there’s new regulations, new technologies, changing interests and priorities of consumers, more competition (sometimes bad, sometimes good) and so forth.

Become an Internet Marketing Detective

Without a doubt, the money is still there to be made – but you might have to get creative and expand your horizons to find it. And when you do find it, don’t rest on our laurels. Don’t think you can set a funnel up and just ignore it and it will continue to deliver forever. You might wake up in a month or two and be shocked to find your account balance hovering near zero if you do.

That’s why you’ve got to always be on the lookout for great ideas, and even mediocre ideas that are profitable. Make it a daily practice to write down at least 3 or 4 new ideas for making money and growing your business.

What happens if you don’t walk for a week? Your legs atrophy. And your brain works the same way. Either work your brain relentlessly and it will get stronger, or don’t use it and it’ll harden into something useless.

The economy has been having it’s own set of challenges for years and while it’s better now for many people, there are still millions of people who are out of work or not making the money they used to make. So what are they doing? Many are turning to Internet Marketing. You might think this is bad because of increased competition, and it can be. But if you make a list of ideas on how you can capitalize on this, what will you discover?

First, these people will need training on how to do online marketing. That covers an entire realm of possibilities, including step-by-step courses and coaching.

Next, these folks will need help. They’re not going to be experts at everything from building websites to creating products to getting backlinks to designing product covers. So if you’re willing to perform services, there’s money to be made.

Remember the TV detective Columbo? He would be asking the suspect questions, always very polite, very nice, acting like he needed help in figuring out what happened. Only he was smart – he was playing the suspect right until the end. My favorite part is when he would be leaving the room, and the suspect would be breathing a sigh of relief. ‘Whew! Dodged that bullet’ the suspect is thinking. But then Columbo pauses at the door, or even walks out the door and then comes back in, and he puts his hand to his head like he just remembered something, and he says, “Oh, you know, I almost forgot, one more thing…” And then he’d nail the suspect with the real question, the one the suspect just didn’t have a good answer for.

This should be you. You’re a detective, always on the lookout for that “one more thing”that will make your campaign more profitable, that will increase your subscriber rate, that will double your conversions and so forth. Always be searching for the questions your prospects ask that lead to a breakthrough product. Always be asking, asking, asking “What do people want? What problem is keeping them up at night? What would they pay to fix, improve or eliminate?”

Get in the mindset of a detective and you’ll view the world differently. You’ll see things you missed a hundred times before. People will start to think you’re psychic or something. You’re not. You’re just asking questions and paying very close attention to the answers. And you’re using your brain – something a lot of people are too lazy to do.

Bottom line: Things are changing and they’re going to change a whole lot more. Fall asleep at the wheel and your business will crash. Rely on what worked before and you will go broke. Continue to provide the same old products and the same old solutions and you’ll find yourself standing still in the middle of a very fast race.

Be a detective like Columbo and you’ll always get your paydays.

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