June 2014 Coaches Corner

If You're Not Direct Response, You're Not Marketing

Hitting TargetsEver see a commercial and think, “I wish I could do that for my business?”

You wouldn't be the first. After all, big budget TV commercials are exciting, fun, and often memorable. You leave humming a jingle, or thinking about a punchy one-liner.

However, ads like these cost a lot of money to make. And you know what? It's hard to prove that they're actually improving sales.

Imagine spending 1 million dollars on an ad and not knowing whether it earned you more sales or not. That would be pretty concerning. Especially as an Expertpreneur® running a small business.

Corporations like McDonalds, Pepsi, and GM have huge pocketbooks to reach into and spend money on “branding.” When your budget is limited, you have to get a little more creative.

That's why today I'm showing you the virtues of Direct Response Marketing for your business, and how to get amazing results for a fraction of the cost of those big, flashy ads.

You'll discover the big difference between most TV commercials and Direct Response Marketing…

The stigma scaring companies away from Direct Response…

And a marketing strategy that can work wonders, specifically for an Expertpreneur®.

The Old Adage in Marketing

Marketing isn't fair.

The guy who's willing to spend more often wins. That's the general rule. And, lucky for big corporations, they have the luxury to spend as much as they want.

sellingThat's why they can afford to make those big-budget TV commercials.

The thing is, commercials are more focused on “brand building” than actual “selling.” They encourage you to equate the company brand with your lifestyle. If it doesn't appeal to you, then so be it. There will be someone else who the commercial connects with, more than willing to take your place.

There's no measurement, no worry about results. It's all about getting your brand in front of more people's faces than the other guy.

This requires a huge budget to accomplish. Even if you don't create a commercial, just buying up ad space in newspapers, magazines, etc… would cost you a fortune. And you'd have no idea if they were effective.

Direct Response Marketing (DRM) is exactly the opposite. It's about marketing to a very focused group, and measuring everything to the penny.

When you tighten your focus, your marketing will resonate better. The irony is… the more focused your target market is, the more sales you are likely to get. Because you can get to know the target demographic inside and out – their deepest fears, frustrations, problems, hopes and dreams, where they spend time, what they do…

You'll be able to reach them on a personal level.

The Stigma of Direct Response Marketing

Here's the rub with DRM among non-marketers and “brand” marketers: it has a negative connotation.

It's become associated with aggressive, in your face tactics that push all of your buttons for a sale. Extreme urgency, scarcity, and a huge focus on pain and greed. Clichéd lines like “But wait, there's more…!” and an endless stream of over-hyped promises.

For many, it conjures images of the Sham-Wow guy, or another over-the-top infomercial personality. An excitable guy using any tactic in the book to get you to buy. A wheeler-dealer selling big deals and “wow-factor.”

However, I want you to understand that this image is wildly inaccurate. What you see on TV is referred to as Direct Selling. And while there are similar underlying principles, the execution is different.

The truth about Direct Response Marketing is that everyone who markets uses it. Even if they don't think they are.

If you market to a specific group for immediate sales and do any sort of tracking of your efforts, you are implementing strategies founded by direct marketers. If you study your prospects and craft compelling copy to gain their attention, you are using Direct Response Marketing strategies.

I talked about A.I.D.A. in my blog posts, Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action – the foundation of any good marketing campaign. It's the best way to get your prospects to pay attention and buy from you.

And it was originated by Direct Response marketers.

Unfortunately, many companies refuse to try Direct Response Marketing because they are worried about jeopardizing their brand's integrity. They fear the “hype” will hurt their sales.

Are you familiar with Precious Moments? I grew up with it – in fact, my aunt probably has over 100 of their products. They have a very family-friendly, down-home innocence about their brand. Something you would never associate with “over-hyped selling.”

However, the team they work with decided they needed to revamp their marketing to remain relevant and increase sales. So they incorporated Direct Response strategies into their business.

And you know what? They managed to maintain the integrity of their brand while creating effective Direct Response Marketing campaigns. The offers were never “in your face.” There were no “huge claims.”

But they reached customers through offers sent in the mail, as well as online offers, and were able to track their results. That's the beauty of these techniques – they're flexible. You can work them into your business, no matter what your brand image is.

And by doing so, you'll improve your results and your bottom line.

Selling Through Teaching

selling-trainingOne of the best ways for an Expertpreneur® to market their business is by doing what they do best – educating.

You may notice that my blog posts, newsletters, and magazine are all chock-full of useful, actionable tools for you to implement right away. And if you've ever downloaded any of my free reports, you'd not only get a lot of useful advice there, but also in the follow-up emails I send.

When you focus on education in your marketing, you position yourself as an authority in your industry. People look to you and think “wow, this Expert really knows what they are talking about!”

Making them more inclined to spend money with you when they are ready to take the next step.

Education-based marketing is deeply intertwined with Direct Response Marketing principles. Think about A.I.D.A. again. You gain your prospect's attention by providing useful knowledge related to their problems, fears, frustrations, hopes and desires. And you retain their interest by keeping it consistently relevant to their needs, and not giving too much away.

You then boost their desire by presenting them with the opportunity to learn more from you. And finally, you drive them to action with enticing offers and incredible value.

With all of that effort, your prospect is far more likely to buy, because they already know and trust you. You spend less time proving yourself, and more time providing value and helping clients.

It's a win-win for everyone. Your prospect discovers valuable and actionable tools to improve their life. And you create a strong relationship with a potential client (one who will most likely refer many more clients to you, as well!)

Do Yourself a Favor

If you've ever been intimidated by the idea of Direct Response Marketing, understand that it can only help your business. Not hurt it.

Instead of going with whatever new marketing trends come out, or spending tons of money on pointless mass marketing campaigns, see how you can focus your efforts on executing a few Direct Response campaigns. You'll end up improving your bottom line, while spending a lot less.

And when you start sharing your expertise in easily-digestible bits for your Ideal Clients to consume and implement, you'll see even more progress. Taking you from an Expert with a practice, to a full-fledged Expertpreneur® with an Easy, Simple, and Lucrative business.