direct response marketing

90 Days to $1 Million - How Walter Bergeron Transformed His Business With Autopilot Marketing

Automated marketing transforms business in 90 days
Automated marketing transforms business in 90 days

What if you could add $1,000,000 to your business in the next 90 days? Most business owners over estimate what they can accomplish in a month...but they dramatically underestimate what can be accomplished in 90 days.

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In this episode of the Small Business Marketing Show, I talk to Walter Bergeron, author of The Million Dollar Total Business Transformation. Walter describes how he used autopilot marketing systems to add $1,000,000 in revenue in just 90 days.

To get it done, Walter had to overcome the biggest obstacles that I see entrepreneurs face...

  • Finding the time to work on marketing (you'll love Walter's surprising solution to this...)
  • Getting hung up in the search for perfection...when on simple mantra will make you much more money and save you hours of stress.
  • Working sequentially instead of focusing on parallel implementation.

Listen to the interview to learn exactly how Walter overcame these challenges and how a massive marketing burst can change your business in the next 90 days.

To learn more about Walter and get a copy of his book click here.

To get more Small Business Marketing Show Episodes, subscribe on iTunes.

The salesman who couldn't speak

The year was 2002 and I was about to make the worst investment of my business career.

I was running a growing business and we were looking to make ourselves a household name within the land development industry. So on a Thursday morning I'm sitting in the lobby of an ad agency in Ft. Lauderdale.

Within 90 minutes I will have heard the "pitch" that would cost me $50,000.

And I bought it hook, line and "stinker"!

Our ad agency had convinced me to run 13 full page ads in the biggest business magazine in Florida.

The ads were a thing of beauty. Seriously. They looked good.

They used an impressive picture of Florida from space, our brand spanking new logo looked smashing in the lower right corner.

And you could't miss our tag line. Right there front and center.

Our phone number proceeded by the most frequently used words in advertising--"Call us"--near the bottom.

It really was something to behold…the culmination of our corporate transformation from a small time "mom & pop" shop to an industry leader.

So the first ad ran and we waited for the phone to ring.

…and waited

…and waited

And after the 13th ad came and went, we still waited.

I had just hired a $50,000 salesman who couldn't speak.

That's exactly what an ad, a website, a brochure without copy is…a salesman who can't speak.

I learned one of the most profitable lessons of my career in the 90 minutes I spent in that ad agency "pitch"…

Pictures don't sell. WORDS DO!

The irony is that I sat through a 90-minute pitch that was nothing but words and facts designed to get me to act. Funny, the ad agency used thousands of words to sell an ad that contained less than 20 words TOTAL.

Do you have any salesmen who can't talk?

I can help you fix that problem.

Steve Gordon

P.S. You have the opportunity to benefit from all the high tuition I've paid to the "School of Hard Knocks" but you have to apply.

Underground New Zealand Web Expert Answers the Question "How to Promote My Website to Generate Leads?"

Late Sunday night I held a secret call with an underground web expert from New Zealand. On the call I got him to answer the question many of you have asked..."How to promote my website to generate leads?"

You can hear the complete interview on this episode of the Small Business Marketing Show.

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My guest is D. Bnonn Tennant. Bnonn is a clever copywriter and marketer...infact he brings together three essential skills (and few possess all three)...

  1. He's an expert web designer (and understands how to design a website to SELL).
  2. He's a skilled copywriter (I've got a few of his pieces in my own swipe file).
  3. He understands direct response marketing...that special form of marketing that designed to make you money (not just get your name out there).

On the call he shares his five part framework for analyzing the effectiveness of your website.

Your website wants you to listen to this interview!

Or, better yet...subscribe on iTunes.

Links mentioned on the call:

Bnonn's Free Course: attentionthievery.com

The Shirtsleeve Marketing Communique': shirtsleevesmarketing.com

 

Inbound vs Outbound MarketingWho wins in a knife fight?

Lots of talk these days about inbound vs outbound marketing.

If you're part of the inbound marketing crowd, you peer over your latte with disdain for outbound marketers with their plaid jackets and offers of goods for sale.

If you're in the outbound tribe, you think…

"Those fools!"

"Relying on the all powerful Google to send you leads. Just wait until the next Purple Petunia update…your site will go from Page 1 to Page 342."

Here's the problem with this debate…

At the center is the word "OR."

This inbound vs. outbound choice is a false one.

The best inbound marketers are blogging and doing social media and generally getting themselves found.

Then they're using outbound emails and offline marketing to drive sales.

The top outbound marketers are driving web traffic and social media engagement using offline media--direct mail, TV, radio and print.

They work better together.

If I'm designing the ideal strategy for a company it's outbound marketing (probably direct mail or paid search) for quick results…

Combined with a strategically planned blog to begin building an inbound stream of leads (this takes time).

Studies show that inbound leads generally cost less to acquire.

That's great.

But you NEVER want to be reliant on one or just a few sources of leads.

ANY lead acquired at break even or at a profit is a good lead.

Happy hunting!

Steve Gordon

P.S. Looking for a clear path to generate leads consistently? Let's talk.

Google's Secret Marketing Strategy

In this episode of the Small Business Marketing Clinic we reveal Google's secret marketing strategy to attract new small business customers...AND I'll share the #1 thing Google is doing wrong and how to avoid this mistake in your own marketing.

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How to Sell More By Doing Less

The #1 reason small businesses stay small is that they don't figure out how to move beyond 1-on-1 selling. 1-on-1 selling is time consuming...it is labor intensive...and it doesn't scale well in traditional business models.

So the only way to grow the business is to work more...

See more people...

Make more calls...

...and you, Mr. Small Business owner only have 24-hours to cram more selling into.

It's a tough problem. And the worst part is that staying trapped in the 1-on-1 selling model keeps more business owners from realizing the the "promise" of entrepreneurship which is freedom. Freedom of time and freedom of income.

That's why we go into business. We want to set our own hours and make money so we can have more freedom to do the things we love in life. No one starts a business by saying...

"I'd really like to work from 4:30am to 10:00pm 6 days a week, miss my kids plays and grow an ulcer as I figure out how to pay my staff this week."

No...we all start believing that this is the answer...the secret passage to the life of freedom we're meant to live.

But most don't get there, because the model they use to grow the business doesn't scale beyond the 24-hours they can personally invest in the business each day.

So...how you you get past this barrier? Marketing!

Marketing...specifically, direct response marketing paired with an autopilot marketing system that delivers new leads and qualifies them for you...that's the only silver bullet I've ever found to get you out of jail and into the life of freedom you want.

On this Small Business Marketing Clinic call I share the story of the first time I experienced direct response marketing and you won't believe the business it came from.

Listen now or subscribe on iTunes:

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Small Business Marketing Clinic - June 29, 2012 - The Ultimate Marketing Strategy

In this call I share the ultimate small business marketing strategy...

Listen online:

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How to Get More Clients on A Low Budget

Well, the response to my email asking you to send in your marketing questions was huge...I'll be sifting through the emails for a few more days. One thing is clear...a whole lot of you out there in Internetland want to know how to get more clients with little or no marketing moola.

That's a tough problem....you know the old adage "it takes money to make money."

Thankfully, I've got just the plan for you!

It will take SOME money...but you can start with as little as $100 bucks (that's less than the price of a baked potato at Ruth's Chris).

The answer to this vexing marketing problem is direct response, lead generation marketing.

It works like this...

- You have important information to share with a potential client. Information that will help them make a buying decision.

- You package your knowledge in an e-book, CD, DVD, report...

- You use inexpensive ads to get interested prospects to call you (remember you're the expert who's publishing important information).

- Prospects ask for your informational "bait" (Cool...we just generated a lead)

- You keep in touch until they're ready to buy

Here's what you need to make it happen...

1. A free information piece that answers your prospects' most asked questions.

2. A direct response ad (in print, on radio, TV, PPC, direct mail, email, social media...) to get your prospects to request #1.

3. A follow-up marketing system to educate (entertain) and convert leads into clients.

Put all three together and you've got a dirt cheap, client getting autopilot.

Simple.

Want one for yourself?

I'll be releasing the next issue of Clients on Autopilot on the 1st of the month...and this one's all about building direct response, lead generation systems.

To test drive the current issue and get on-board click here.

The Scariest Thing in Your Business

The scariest number in your business...**one** (of anything)

One largest customer...if any ONE client is more than 20% of your revenue...you're just asking to suffer. One day, that client will leave...and you could experience a B.E.E. (Business Ending Event). One supplier (of anything)...if you've got just one source of anything you need to make your operation run...sooner or later they'll screw up but you'll be the one with egg on your face.

One product or service to sell...yes this is scary (think CPA's and tax preparers under Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan) but it's more foolish. Your clients have more than one need. If you're not giving them "what's next", you're leaving big money on the table.

One key employee, with your business in her head...can hit the door or get hit by a bus. Either way, your business, your income and a portion of your wealth leave with her. Have a backup.

One key system...computers are great, but they break, get viruses, files get deleted...stuff happens. (It's happened to me in the last 12 months...but...heeding my own advice I had a backup...lost less than 24 hours of time...and no data).

THE SCARIEST ONE OF ALL...

ONLY one way to get new clients...

Do you remember the days of broadcast fax? You know, you'd come to work in the morning and there'd be 17 faxes selling something, waiting for you. Businesses...BIG Businesses...were built using broadcast fax.

Then one day the FCC said "Hey, stop doing that!" And those businesses (that had just the one way of making sales) went away.

Ditto for telemarketing (the do-not-call-list), Infomercials (they're back now, but went away in the 80's)...

If you get all of your business from _______________ (fill in the blank...word of mouth, referrals, direct mail, the Interwebs, etc.) you're at risk.

You may not even know it...success "lulls" you to sleep...until the monster is upon you!

The only protection from this MOST HIDEOUS BUSINESS KILLING MONSTER is building an army of client getting robots to protect your business.

Ready to build your army? Now's your chance...the next Clients on Autopilot Monthly Briefing launches tomorrow to subscribers ONLY.

Not a subscriber yet...not to worry...you can still get in, until Midnight (Eastern) tonight.

Click here to get this blowout briefing!

Steve Gordon

P.S I credit Dan Kennedy for teaching me this truth first...but I needed to take extra credit in the school of hard knocks before I "got it." My education was EXPENSIVE...you can get yours the easy way. Click here to subscribe.

Offline Marketing is Dead

Yes, you heard it here first. Offline marketing is dead, gone, sayonara! If you don't have 4372 Facebook fans by noon tomorrow...you're toast.

In fact, you might as well just fold up shop right now.

At least that's what the "image ad agencies" and "social media marketing" guru's want you to believe.

They're running about town telling you that the "old media" doesn't work...and the new media is the only place you'll ever find success again.

The problem...

It's hard to find a real small business that's making more than 50% of it's money from social media and online marketing.

They are out there...and I'll bet you a Benjamin that the social media "gurus" that read this will be sending me all the examples post-haste!

That's what makes it so confusing...a small minority of companies are doing OK with the new media.

But if you look at the biggest, baddest online, e-commerce companies, they're all doing offline marketing. And they're doing MORE than ever.

Amazon, the company that practically invented e-commerce, uses boring ol' direct mail..and lots of it!

GoDaddy, the web-hosting/domain selling jack of all Internet trades bought (more than one) Super Bowl commercial...you know on that thing in the living room...a TV.

Yet, I've seen more small business owners get stressed out and lose sleep because they just don't know what to do with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp, FourSquare, Angie's List, Craig's List, Ebay, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, banner ad networks, local directories...the list goes on.

The sad truth is that some offline media (like direct mail) is working as well, if not better than ever, because so many businesses have abandoned it.

The inbox is full of competition, but the mailbox is empty.

Well targeted, multi-step, direct response campaigns are working better than ever...for the intelligent few who are willing to go with what works instead of the "guru's" fad of the day.

P.S. If you're tired of trying to figure out all this new media marketing stuff check out the Clients on Autopilot Monthly Briefing.

Each month you get specific plans you can implement to attract clients...on autopilot. Click here for a free trial issue.

Your Social Media Marketing Questions Answered

Social media, social media, social media... Its all the buzz with the kids these days, and whenever I give a speech or a seminar I get peppered with questions about it...so lets do some QA today.

QUESTION: Whats the best social media for business?

STEVE: Email. (and you're thinking What?) Yes, email is the original social media and still the king of the hill.

The Direct Marketing Association says email marketing puts $43 in your bank for every $1 you spend (the numbers have been in that ballpark for years and aren't going away anytime soon).

If you don't have an email marketing program in place you're nuts.

Onward...

QUESTION: What should I post to my Facebook and Twitter feeds?

STEVE: They say variety is the spice of life...post solid information that educates your prospects and clients (and moves them to the next step in the sales process). Mix it up with other useful and interesting stuff from other sources.

Next question...

QUESTION: How do you keep up with it all?

STEVE: Automate it! Use tools like HootSuite, Bufferapp.com and Sendible to schedule a batch of posts all at once.

One more...

QUESTION: Steve, is anyone making real money or getting quality leads from social media?

We have a sharp one here...

STEVE: A few are...but most businesses have been lured into the promise of social media (to get customers for free) and been slapped up-side the head with reality...its takes work (a lot of work) to turn a social media friend into a client.

Good old fashioned direct response marketing (online and offline) is still the best, most effective and most profitable way to attract clients. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Steve

P.S. Learn the 9 reasons I love direct response marketing and get 31 ideas to market your business inside my free e-book 7 Deadly Marketing Sins That Will Kill Your Business Click here to download.

The #1 Reason Ads Fail

A prospect confided in me...

"Business is down Steve, and we're spending more on advertising then ever before. You've seen our TV ads...are they good?"

Well...

No.

I hear this or some variation on it all too often. Then I get a look at the ad (doesn't matter if it's on TV, radio, the Web, magazine, email or Facebook) and the problem is obvious.

There's no clear next step for the prospect (what us marketing geeks refer to as a "call to action").

The ad's got some branding (like a logo), a cute tagline and some pictures that some ad agency creative type thought meant something.

But they forgot the one and only purpose of the ad...to sell something!

Yes, that's right. The One and ONLY purpose of all of your marketing is to make a sale not to...

  • Get the word out
  • Put your name out there
  • Build your brand
  • Create awareness
  • Build buzz

The last time I checked you can't deposit name recognition, brand awareness or buzz in your bank account.

If you don't tell your prospect clearly and specifically what to do next to hire you, your ad won't be with the paper (or pixels) it's printed on.

Go check all of your ads right now...are you missing any calls to action?

Get 'em fixed pronto.

You're probably wasting $$

Got an ad that's not working as well as it should?

Grab one of my 49-point Marketing Audits. I'll review your ad and give you concrete actionable ideas to improve it.

In fact, I'll go through all of your marketing with you and help you identify the gaps where you could do better.

We'll spend about an hour on the phone and I guarantee you'll walk away with at least 3 actionable ideas to improve your marketing and attract more clients.

Now, here's the crazy part...until Wednesday I'm offering these Marketing Audits for half-off my normal fee...just $123.50. (This is only for subscribers to the E-Letter...go here to subscribe)

At the end of the audit, if you don't feel like you got at least 5-times what you pay in value, I'll hand your money back...no questions asked.

Like the lottery, the only way to lose is not to play.

Call my office at 1-877-316-4448 or click here  to schedule your appointment today.

Steve Gordon

Top 10 Ways to Never, Ever Be A "Commodity Business" - Letterman Style

No one should ever have to suffer inside a commodity business..."it just ain't no fun!" Here are the top 10 ways to get out, get happy and get profitable:

#10. Get better marketing. Use direct response, lead generation strategies to get prospects to call YOU for free information...then follow-up forever. (Only 10% of prospects ever get more than 3 follow-ups...there's not much competition after that.)

#9. Be a conduit to important connections/resources/information. Make doing business with you the golden ticket to access all the extra goodness.

#8. Get more referrals. According to best selling author Tom Hopkins referred prospects are 500% more likely to close than cold prospects. And you can bet low price isn't their #1 buying criteria.

#7. Stop selling commodity units and start creating unique packages. Package what you sell with other related products and services that enhance your main product. Bundle them together to force an "apples to oranges" comparison.

#6. Come up with a better guarantee. Strong, creative, comprehensive guarantees are proven to increase sales. And it's often a great (and free) way to stand apart from your competition.

#5. Stop selling to everyone and focus on one specific type of client (at a time). Be the ____________ (what you do) for ____________ (specific type of client).

#4. Raise your prices...and create added value to justify the bump. Sometimes higher prices will drive higher volume. Test to see what combination of price/volume delivers more PROFIT. You don't deposit volume in the bank...you do deposit net profit.

#3. Look at what the competition is doing and do the opposite. Listen to the wisdom of Earl Nightengale in his 1956 recording "The Strangest Secret"...“Look at what the majority of people are doing, and do the exact opposite, and you’ll probably never go wrong for as long as you live.”

#2. Anoint yourself as the expert in your market. Write, speak, blog, email to claim and hold the position of expert and leader. “We all like to buy something from an expert--somebody we like, respect and trust.” - Joe Sugarman (creator and marketer of Blue Blocker sunglasses and countless other successful products.)

And the #1 Way to Never, Ever be a Commodity.........

1. Decide not to.

Yes folks it's just that simple (not necessarily easy...but simple). Make the decision, then do what's necessary to get out of the commodity trap. You deserve better!

Steve Gordon

P.S. Sick of being a commodity? Why haven't you called me? I specialize in getting business owners out of commodity hell.

Call me today to schedule a 49-point Marketing Audit.

In honor of the new, improved E-Letter (click here to subscribe), I'm knocking the price in half...you get a complete marketing checkup and at least 3 actionable ideas to attract more clients for just $123.50. But only until October 5th.

Call me (1-877-316-4448) or go here to get yours.

P.P.S. If you're not thrilled with the ideas and insight you get I'll refund your money, no questions asked. You've got nothing to lose.