On Focus, Efficiency, Learning and Art. Oh Yeah, and Smart Questions

Just had a Skype call with a subscriber, an artist/writer/translator in The Netherlands.

She’s a clever cookie.

But she’s also a fine example of that weird ‘sales are evil’ mindset.

And yet, over the last few months I’ve been observing her progress, and I must say she’s doing very interesting things.

She’s learning a lot about marketing, and she’s figuring out how to do it in her own way, without feeling sleazy.

Implementing lessons, putting her name out.

Even writing calls to action.

And, she’s getting in more clients for her translation business.

Continue Reading

Never Take Advice From These People

That client I mentioned yesterday, who decided to remove the copy and call to action from his landing page?

He told me that he had asked a number of people for feedback, and they said the new version of the page was clear enough.

The problem is: he asked the wrong people.

Here’s the deal.

We all need feedback – it’s important, healthy, necessary.

But it’s incredibly important to choose who you ask.

Continue Reading

In a Dip, Struggling, Feeling Gloomy? Get Out of it Right NOW

Here’s a little trick you can do that will instantly improve your mood. Guaranteed.

Not necessarily fix your entire mood and cure a depression, but if you’re feeling low, you absolutely want to do this.

Trust me.
Continue Reading

Man I Love Eating This Pudding (Proof of Sale Inside)

Life can be amazing.

That article the other day, about not rushing your prospects?

Funny effect it had…

Last summer, an artist named Jimmy mailed me from Ireland.

Continue Reading

BIG Words: Moral and Ethical Duties and Such…

There are people out there who need you.

Really need you.

 

So if you have something for sale that can truly solve problems, I consider it your moral and ethical duty to make that known to those people who have the problems you can solve.

 

You are able to help others?

Then dude and/or chica, get off your couch, and get yourself in front of others please, quick-smart. Seriously.

Continue Reading

Can I Slam You With a Claudio? Also: My Pet Caveman

 

Right, back to business.

Because if my friend Claudio would be able to speak right now, he’d scold me, and very harshly so.

 

“I have run this bar for 20 years, Martin.

20 years, and I’ve never, ever, had a day off.

I’m here each night.

Never a holiday.

Because if I don’t show up, people find a closed door and I wouldn’t even *have* a business.

And you, Martin, you close shop just because I’m in hospital?

Continue Reading

Why Being Cheeky Gets You More Sales

You know what works for getting sales?
Being cheeky.
I discovered this years ago when I was still a tailor, completely by accident.
Here’s what happened.
I was in a fancy hotel room. On the bed, my suitcase, fabric samples, button cards, measuring tape, pins needles, chalk.
Here was a traveling tailor, ready to take your order for a $4000 suit, sir.

But I wasn’t taking any orders. Nothing was coming in.
No calls, no emails.

This was the third hotel in my tour, and I was about to cancel the fourth hotel

Clearly, there was something wrong with my strategy.
My girlfriend asked: “Did you write a blog post today?”
I was in a a strange mood.
So I said ‘Oh screw it’, got to writing and started:

“You deserve one of my suits.
I mean it: they’re that good.”

Then I went on to explain why.
Finished, proofed, published.

Within  an hour there was an email from one of my subscribers:

“Martin, I’m a bank director in London, and I want a suit. When can you visit the City?”

Now, to write something so cheeky, you have to be brazen. A bit nuts helps, too.
But you don’t have to be as weird as me – it’s not about arrogance, shock effect or tooting your own horn.
The reason cheekiness works – if used well – is that it shows confidence.

And confidence sells.

I once replied to a famous internet marketer: “Cool email, I almost bought your product.”
His reply included: “That’s alright, I’ll hook you some time in the future.”
You’d think the arrogance would turn me away, but the opposite happened:
It gave me more respect for the guy. It showed me he truly believes in what he does.
And in the end I did become his client.

When you write emails, use confidence. Simply state what you do, what benefits it brings, and what price goes with that.

Don’t be shy, don’t marginalize yourself, and certainly don’t apologize for charging money

And yes, be bold, brazen, cheeky or unabashed. All of it, if that’s your style.

Sounds difficult?
It can be.
That’s why having a writing coach – or mentor – is such a fantastic way to become a better writer.
And that’s why the best decision you could make this year, would probably be to get some serious writing training.

It’s not cheap, it’s not easy, but it will make you a much better writer, real fast.
That is, provided you can handle detailed feedback.
And, only if you actually put it to use.

But if you do?
Then you’ll soon be running your own, successful email marketing campaigns.
And that means fans, high open rates, brand ambassadors – and yep, more sales. Mucho more sales, if you do it right.

There’s no smarter marketing than email marketing.
Let me show you how: http://www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-copywriting-critiques/

Have a great weekend,

 

Martin

Please Don't Make Me Think About Sex

Last week I turned down a very handsome gig.
A lady in the U.S., who runs a web shop with adult toys.
You know: vibrators, lotions, sexy underwear… that sort of thing.
She needed a whole bunch of copy strategic consulting

Her email was great: clearly a smart person, sympathetic and respectful – by all means the perfect client.
I looked at her site, and was pleasantly surprised.
It was stylish, tasteful and not crass in any way.

Continue Reading

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Lies

 

Yesterday I told you about reciprocity and how – if used ethically – it’s a fantastic way to start a conversation with a prospect, and keep it going.

Today, I’m showing you an example of how it should not be used.

 

I’m strolling through the streets of Granada with a friend.

There’s a throng of tourists and locals in the street.

The sun’s out and life is good.

Suddenly there is a middle-aged lady in front of us, dressed in black.

She looks fairly unkempt and has the sly look of a crow in her eyes.

Continue Reading

New Shoes and the Compelling Effect of Reciprocity

I needed new shoes, so last week I drove up to Granada to go find some.
Taught me an important lesson about sales. One that I actually already knew, but it was uncanny to go through the learning experience once again.

I’m not an easy customer: I have size 46 (that’s about size 12 outside of continental Europe) and I’m very particular about what I do and don’t like.
They have to be comfortable, attractive, not flashy, durable, void of fashionable details, fit to go with shorts as well as crease-pressed trousers – not easy.
Oh, and I refuse to wear anything, including shoes, if the brand name is on the outside instead of the inside.

The sizes on display are usually 44 here, so each time I see a pair I like, I ask ‘do you have these in 46?’
And the moment I ask, the assistant runs to the back to grab a pair in my size.
But I don’t want to try them on – I just want to know if they’re available.
Because there are 20 shoe shops in that area, and I want to see them all, before I try any on.
After all, there’s so much choice, at such different price-points. I want to quickly scout shop after shop, see what’s there and at what price, and THEN I go back to the two or three most interesting shops (price/quality/style) to try on the three or four pairs that might be right for me.
But they won’t let me. They HAVE to get me a pair in my size and put it in front of me.
I don’t blame them, mind you: they’re doing their job, which is selling shoes. And the way those folk were doing it that day – I have to admit they all got it right.

Why?
Not just because it’s good customer service – there’s something far more powerful in what they did.
Sure you treat your customer well, and if he indicates he might want to buy, you instantly make it easy for him to do so.
In terms of shoes, that means getting a pair on those feet.

But far more importantly: getting that box in front of me is a way to ‘catch’ me.
We humans are hardwired to return favours. (Bunch of research to back that – Robert Cialdini is a good place to start).
If you do a prospective client a favour – no matter how small, you trigger an ancient psychological reaction.

It’s theorised that this penchant to return favours fostered survival of society, which may or may not be correct.
It’s not as relevant as the fact that the mechanism exists.
Because believe you me: it exists, and it works. Like clockwork.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to buy a pair of shoes just because they brought out my size.
But sales happen in increments, and getting just that little bit of willingness from a customer at the start, means he might just put them on.
After that, the sale depends on how the customer is treated, how the shoes feel and fit, the way they look in the mirror…

But if I don’t put them on, I might be out the door in which case none of that is going to happen.
You GOTTA get a pair on the feet of everyone who walks in the door.
I’m pretty sure that’s how shoe-salesman training works. Can someone check with Al Bundy please? Thanks.

Anyway: If people take an interest in your work and you want them to be your customer, the best thing you could possibly do is do something in their interest.
Not because that means they owe you a purchase – no, it’s just so that they’ll allow you to communicate with them a little longer.
That’s why it’s called Permission Marketing (Never heard of it? Must learn! Google Seth Godin…)
See, in order for someone to buy you need to do your little song & dance, your pitch.
They’re going to have to pay attention for that.
So you need to give them a reason to want to pay out that time and attention.
And doing a favor of some sort is a fantastic way to do it.
I do the same thing in these emails: I provide ideas that may be useful to you. It’s a little favour I do my readers.
Absolutely love writing them too, these daily emails, but that’s beside the point.
I give freely of what I think, and if I’m lucky, some people will find it interesting enough to read the next one, and the next one, and so on.
That means my readers allow me to talk to them, again and again. And as you can see, I do a little pitch at the end.
The people whom the shoe really fits (the folk who actually want to buy copy) at some point will get in touch and ask for a quote.
And thus, business is done.

So, recap: As soon as a buyer as much as looks at you, give them something.
Give what?
It doesn’t matter, as long as you give them a reason to continue listening to you.
A freebie, advice, a sample, some time – anything. But make it worth their time to pay you that attention.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you how the same mechanism is also used on unsuspecting tourists for very odious purposes.
Because tricks like these are powerful and come with responsibility. If you’re an ethical business person, it’s important to know where to draw the line.
But that’s for tomorrow.

Here’s that pitch, by the way: Email marketing is one of the easiest, most cost-effective strategies you can use. Even if your list is small. (You have no IDEA how small my list is – and yet it works).
So, starting in 2014 I have a new offer: Captivating, highly converting emails, written fresh daily, in monthly packages. It’s not cheap (in fact it’s VERY expensive – but it gets you tons of sales.)
I’ll probably only take two or three clients for this service – it might look easy to write these, but actually it takes quite a lot of energy.
Anyway, I’ll put up a salespage for it in a few days. Or after the holidays, I don’t know. I need to go climb a pile of rocks with my yoga instructor now.

Cheers,

Martin

P.S. Some how and why of working with me: http://martinstellar.com/high-conversion-sales-copy/

Menu Title