Marketing Rules That Took Me Years to Learn
I’m going to share 10 marketing rules that took me over ten years to learn with you, so that you don’t have to discover them the hard way like I did. When you embrace and internalize marketing rules learned over time, your reputation and your streams of online income will soar.
1: Sell it First, Build it Second
New and old marketers alike waste time and energy building products that no one wants to buy. These marketers think they know what their audience wants, and they have visions of massive sales of the ultimate product.
But the audience never asked for it. You can avoid wasted time and rejection by selling your new product before you ever build it.
Let’s say you want to create a course. The usual route is to spend two solid weeks building the course and getting it ready to put out into the world.
Whoops – no sales.
Instead, you outline not just one, but 5 different courses. You build a sales page for each, you send traffic to each of the 5, and here’s what happens:
• Course 1: No sales
• Course 2: 3 Sales
• Course 3: No Sales
• Course 4: 1 Sale
• Course 5: 12 Sales
Now, tell me which course you’re going to create? You can refund the sales for Courses 2 and 4, letting the buyers know you may do this in the future and thanking them profusely. You might also mention Course 5, which will go live in 10 days.
You get busy and you build the course. You use feedback from your first customers to improve it and make it even better. You refine the sales page and begin sending massive traffic to it, making massive sales. Success!
Had you simply created Course #1, you would have wasted your time. If you had gone through the list and created each course in turn, you would’ve found some success with Course #2 and perhaps never moved on to Course #5. Or if you had persevered, it would have taken you 5 courses to get to the true blockbuster that makes the sales that pays for your new house.
Sell your thing (product, course, program, etc) first and be ready to build it fast if it turns out to be a winner. This applies not just to courses you will create, but also books, SaaS (software as a Service) products, subscriptions and membership sites, and any other product you want to make.
2: Get Rid of Conversion Distractions
Your page has a goal – what is it? To get the reader to subscribe? Click a link? Buy a product? Join you on social media? You’ve got to keep them on your page long enough to accomplish the task you set out for them.
If you want to get their email address, then the only option you give them is to fill out the form. You don’t place your social media icons on the page, or a link to your blog, or a promotion for your product.Give them one option – the option you choose – and then don’t give them anything else to do except that one option.
3: Make Each Sentence Count
People get distracted easily. If you have an ambiguous sentence, a repetitive paragraph, a boring description or anything else that is difficult to slog through, you’ll lose your reader.
The purpose of each sentence is to get them to read the next sentence. And while you cannot please all the people all the time, neither can you keep the attention of everyone all the time, but you can try.
The secret weapon to keeping people reading is editing. Massive editing. If it’s boring, fix it or remove it. If it’s confusing, rewrite it. If you need help, get a professional. One professional sales copy writer or editor can make you a lot of money if used correctly. One more thing… when you first start out, you might be in love with what you’re written. Get over it.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your writing is remove a portion of it so that the rest of it can shine. We’ve all been there. Now, I can’t even remember the parts of the sales letter for my newest course on email marketing that I deleted because it just wasn’t right for that product.
4: Use REAL Scarcity
“THIS SALE ENDS IN 5 MINUTES!” Yeah. Right.
Scarcity is an awesome selling tool if you don’t abuse it. People are savvy. They know when you’re high pressuring them and they don’t like it. What you want is real scarcity, such as these examples:
- “Bonus: Free one-on-one consulting for the first 22 buyers. I simply
don’t have time to handle more than that.”
- “Sale ends Sunday night at 9pm. No exceptions. Do not email me Monday morning and ask for the sales price because you won’t get it.”
- “Only 5 days left in 2023 to make your tax-deductible donation.”
- “Delay and you will miss what might be the best investment opportunity of the decade.”
- “If you want to enjoy this benefit 5 days from now, then you’ll have to act immediately.”
What I’m sharing here will make a difference!
5: Sell Happy Products, Too
As marketers we’re taught to focus on the customers’ pain and provide a solution to that pain. But do you know what else sells?
People buy things to fix their problems, but they also buy stuff that makes them happy. As my mentor, Brendon Burchard likes to say… “Bring the joy!” Check out all of Brendon’s books… His “High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way” is my favorite and his most popular title.
6: Don’t Stop Building with Your Marketing
You’ve got one product sold through one channel to one group of customers. That’s not a business; that’s a start. Keep going by adding new products, advertising in new places, targeting new customers and more.
Amazon started as an online bookseller. I sold a textbook from a class in Film Studies I had taken at my local community college through this platform in 2006. Then they added CD’s and movies. Then they added more and more products as well as more and more services. These days it can feel like they’ve taken over the retail world.
You don’t have to be another Amazon, but you do need to keep growing your business if you want to dominate your niche and achieve long term success.
7: Fail Often and Broadcast It
Show me someone who hasn’t failed and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t accomplishing anything. When you fail, go ahead and broadcast it to your audience.
“You’re not going to believe the bone-headed thing I just did.”
Tell them the story to let them know you are human, you are vulnerable and like everyone else, you are learning. People can relate to problems. Show that you can laugh at yourself, and your audience will become loyal followers.
Then go out and try something else. The more you do, the more successes (and failures) you will have. And remember, if you take a running leap at your next goal and you fall a little short, that’s not failure – it’s progress and you’ll know that the marketing rules learned over time are making a difference for your business.
8: Make a Few Enemies
Have you ever noticed how Pepsi takes shots at Coca-Cola with their marketing? They don’t care what Coke thinks, they care about creating a tribe with their customers. Nothing unites people faster than a common enemy, and that enemy doesn’t even have to be another person or product.
It could be a cause such as hunger, poverty, climate change, mistreatment of animals, etc. Choose something to be for… and against. Take a firm stance on something that reflects your customers’ values and your core ideals. There are just two things you really must remain totally neutral about in your marketing, and that’s politics and religion. Unless you write a religious newsletter or you’re shilling for a political party, stay far away from these topics. These marketing rules make sense.
I know of one marketer who routinely insults half the population of the U.S. because she believes a certain ex-president is beyond reproach and everyone in the other political party are demonic. While this marketer makes a comfortable living, I’m guessing her income would be two to three times as much if she didn’t alienate such a large number of people. Following these marketing rules will make all the difference.
9: Shake It Up As an Online Marketer
If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, you know that after a while thing can become stale. There are no more surprises and while you love your partner, you’re more bored than excited by the ongoing relationship. The same thing happens between marketers and their customers.
Try changing things up by using a different spokesperson for your brand. For example, instead of the emails coming from you this week, what if they came from your assistant, your employee or even your dog?
Write your next emails from an entirely different perspective to recapture your followers’ attention and create excitement with something new.
10: Become a Cheerleader
Send out a message every now and then that sells your subscribers on themselves. Tell them why they are awesome, that you believe in them, that they can do this next big thing they are attempting, or even that you love them.
Sending out these little love letters for no reason other than to bolster your subscribers’ outlook on the day and on themselves will go a long way towards relationship building.
And you will love some of the responses you get, such as, “Thanks, I really needed to hear this today!” Sending out little ‘love letters’ to your subscribers will remind them that you are more than your products or your brand – you’re human. These marketing rules learned over time are sure to make a difference for you and your business success.
I’m bestselling Wall Street Journal and USA Today author, marketing strategist, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and I would love to connect further with you to help you to achieve your goals. If you are interested in learning how to optimize the syndication of your content, please take a look at my popular Syndication Optimization training course and consider coming aboard to increase your visibility, credibility, and profitability.
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