4 Step Formula to Building a HUGE Instagram Following From Scratch

Instagram

People, in particular model friends, are always coming to me asking how to build a huge Instagram following so they can use it to create other opportunities and maybe make a living as an influencer.

Although we at Richucation haven’t been working much on building our following because when we did the research our target customers mostly aren’t on or active on Instagram we’ve helped friends and clients add tens of thousands of followers to their pages relatively quickly and easily growing from nothing to 5 and 6 figure followings and growing their followers by 30% per month even when they are in the 5 figure level.

There’s a ton of crap advice out there so after the latest request to share with someone how to do it this morning I figured I’d write a post and talk about what no one else is talking about.

You don’t have to be an Instagram expert to understand how to build a following if you understand the marketing fundamentals.

So even if you don’t necessarily want to build a huge following this article is going to take you through some really common mistakes we see lots working with clients who are struggling with their marketing.

As you’ll see there’s two sides and people most consistently screw up the one side so we’ll focus mostly there.

At the end of this you’ll be able to build a following of 10s to 100s of thousands of followers you can monetize and have the skills to do it over and over again.

If you do this well and if you learn the process well you can make A LOT of money using these skills and leveraging your following.


Contents:

Why Build a Huge Following

Why Learn Marketing

Two Sides of Building Any Following

Understanding Instagram as a Platform

Dispelling Hashtag BS and Giving You the Real Goods

Post Frequency

Post Timing

5 Ways to Get Noticed

Being Findable

The Real Way to Grow

Looking Beyond This One Channel

What’s Next?


Why Build a Huge Following

A year or two ago Selena Gomez was getting paid $500k per sponsored post!

Kylie Jenner sold something like $421 million in make-up in big part through her social media following.

You likely won’t achieve those kind of results but being able to put out a post and either make a ton of money or get a ton of traffic to a site is powerful.

Add to this the ability to secure investment deals in companies, travel for free, and much more and there’s a huge obvious pay off to having a big following.

What most people seem not to realize is building an Instagram following is just like any other marketing in fact it’s just another channel.

If you’re smart you’ll focus more on learning marketing and use Instagram as one channel as opposed to focusing on Instagram itself.

Why? Because what’s popular might change but your marketing skills and ability to make money off them will not.

Why Learn Marketing

Let’s start by not confusing marketing with what we call Profitable Marketing and hence our Marketing ROI training because the difference between marketing that produces ROI and regular marketing is HUGE!

So let’s ask why learn profitable marketing?

In the world today what are some huge worries?

Automation, artificial intelligence, global competition are all eroding traditional jobs.

Self driving cars will probably eliminate 4% or more of the workforce.

It’s uncertain times where we don’t know if many of the normal jobs today like law, accounting, etc. will exist in 30 or 40 years.

This is partially because many things are becoming abundant and hence so cheap they aren’t worth paying much for.

But do you know what there will always be a demand for and scarcity of?

People’s attention!

Every business needs customers to survive and thrive and getting customers is first predicated on getting people’s attention but people’s attention is limited you can really only focus on a very limited amount of things at once so those who have the ability to get and hold people’s attention will have the power long term.

This is an incredibly unusual skillset because in most fields if you have the ability to make a lot of money (a top athlete, top actor, musician, author, etc.) the chances of failure where you get nothing or close to nothing are very high. It’s a winner takes all game.

By contrast traditional bastions of employment where you’re fairly likely to do ok like being a doctor, nurse, teacher, welder, carpenter, accountant, computer technician, etc. while they might provide you with a stable income don’t provide you with an opportunity to make millions.

Marketing is different it’s easy to make a solid 5 to low 6 figures by being decent at marketing in fact you don’t even have to be that good. You can get a job at an agency and earn a normal salary.

But if you’ve amazing at marketing it’s a field that scales meaning you can impact massive numbers of people with the same time input and as a result it’s one of the few skills where you can make millions if you’re good.

Better still it’s not a winner takes all game where only the top of the top are making those numbers we’ve got dozens of clients all over the world making millions of dollars through their marketing skills and a lot more making mid to high 6 figures mostly in their 20s and 30s though some older.

So marketing is perhaps the most valuable skill you can learn but most marketing is utter non-sense because it misses the most important part the ratio between input and outputs so what follows and in fact all our training isn’t about vanity creating awareness, looking good, etc. it’s about producing results with low input that people are then willing to pay you A LOT for.

With that in mind let’s get into the meat of how marketing works and how it applies to building a huge Instagram following fairly quickly.

Two Sides of Building any Following

Building any following has two sides. Most of what you’ll read out there focuses on one side and frankly falls flat because without the other you’ve got nothing.

Still the first does matter and we’ll start by describing it then spend the majority of this article explaining how to do the other well since that’s where most people go wrong.freq

Ask most people how to build an Instagram or social media following and what types of things will they tell you?

  • Post regularly
  • Get good photos
  • Engage with your audience

Mostly this is nonsense social media posting and success is more about quality than quantity with some rare exceptions we’ll describe later.

The people with the biggest followings don’t post more and don’t engage more.

What they do have though is people WANT to follow them so they are interested in what they are posting.

Sometimes this is because of who they are in the case of celebrities, sometimes it’s because of the content itself as in the case of photographers and sometimes it’s because they are getting something out of the content as in the case of say bloggers reporting on make-up or video games or whatever.

The point is although having great content people actually like and want to follow isn’t as important as the second side it is important and you’ll magnify your results by achieving this.

So what’s the second side?

Having people actually SEE that content!

The value of every post is directly proportional to how many people see it and the biggest problem most people encounter in building a social media following isn’t what they are posting it’s not being seen.

The equation for number of followers is simple: how many people see your posts multiplied by the percentage of those people who wants to follow you.

As you might imagine if you can get seen by enough people you don’t need really amazing content.

I once coached someone on building a following and they came to me saying “oh if I was a hot girl I’d get lots of followers easily”. So I’d show him feeds of random hot girls and ask “how many followers do you think she has?” When he guessed something high I’d show him they had only a few hundred or a couple thousand to prove the content even though you think it is compelling isn’t what gives you a big following.

More than anything what gives you a big following is getting seen A LOT by a lot of people.

This is why virtually anyone in tabloids tends to have a big following not because what they post is great but because they get seen a lot.

As a result what we’ll spend the rest of this article covering is how to get your posts seen on Instagram.

This same principle applies to any form of social media:

  • Youtube
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Blogs
  • Etc.

Your number of followers is determined by the number of people who see what you post multiplied by the percentage of them who want to follow you based on those posts.

No matter how good or compelling your content is if you can’t get it in front of people 100% multiplied by zero is still zero.

Whereas if you get seen a lot at least SOMEONE is going to want to follow you.

You should work on improving both. When we’ve worked with people to build their followings having them get professional photos or at least great quality photos has definitely boosted their traction but it’s all predicated on getting that attention.

What’s different between social media platforms isn’t this formula, it’s simply how the platform works to get seen and that’s what we’ll cover next.

Understanding Instagram as a Platform

So the formula is the same in any social media platform for building a following and in fact in all marketing period it’s impressions multiplied by conversion rates.

But when you’re communicating with people through a platform it’s important to understand that platform, how it works, the frame of mind people are in and therefore how to optimize for it.

For example, when doing Facebook advertising you’re best not to sell directly because it’s not a shopping platform.

On the flip side on Amazon it is a shopping platform, people are there to buy so you should sell directly.

Google depends on the keyword.

Let’s talk about characteristics of Instagram as a platform though and you can then apply the same concept to analyze other platforms.

Characteristics of Instagram:

  • Not a sharing platform – this is different from Facebook or Pinterest, which are very much about sharing. On Instagram they make it hard to share posts broadly. You can send them on an individual basis to friends but it’s not an easy repost to your wall like Facebook.

  • Not a search platform – this is different from Youtube, which is highly search oriented. On Youtube optimizing your videos for search will help you a lot because that’s the primary way people engage with the platform. Instagram although it has a search is fairly limited. You can take advantage of this limited search as we’ll discuss below but people tend to interact with it by scrolling through their feed and the feeds of others rather than searching.

  • Discovery – Instagram is a discovery platform where you primarily uncover new feeds by scrolling through your feed and see feeds tagged by others or going through the Discovery feed or explore feed or whatever they call it. This is going to be very important later on when we’re looking for exposure.

  • Post notifications – it’s also worth noting that a big part of Instagram relies on post notification, which is a comparatively small portion of some other platforms.

  • Story – Instagram of course has stories and these are increasingly the way in which people follow the people or pages they are interested in.

  • Hashtags – these are also a popular, though arguably dying part of Instagram, which is another way it’s different from Facebook where hashtags aren’t particularly popular or useful.

Having recognized these core components let’s explore how to use them.

Dispelling Hashtag BS and Giving You the Real Goods

Alright so the first way people discuss getting seen and pretty much one of only two valid ways preached in most of the information you’ll find out there is through hashtags.

Most of the info on hashtags is utter non-sense as you’ll see.

Now, is it worth using hashtags?

Kylie Jenner famously said she doesn’t use hashtags but of course has one of the largest followings in the world. This should tell you a little about how necessary they are but then again you’re not Kylie Jenner or if Kylie Jenner is reading this please repost our article for your fans!

How do hashtags matter?

Hashtags are a way to get found because someone can click on that hashtag and see other posts also tagged with the same hashtag.

Likewise, someone can search for a hashtag and scroll through photos tagged accordingly.

What’s the problem?

It’s two-fold, first, people don’t tend to scroll through hashtags much. It’s just not how average people interact with the platform on a regular basis.

Yes, some people do it some and so using the right hashtags can get you extra exposure but it’s not a great way.

We pretty much will tell you hashtags are useful to get you to 1000 followers and beyond that simply don’t make enough difference to be worth much effort.

Why is this?

Because most hashtags tend to get buried really fast and therefore your posts won’t tend to get seen anyway.

This brings us to the non-sense about hashtags.

I read all kinds of bad advice online about what hashtags you should choose and it is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the analytics.

What am I talking about?

People tend to use hashtags based on what tags are popular.

This is a mistake.

Why?

Because there’s a difference between what’s popular for people to POST and what it’s popular for them to SEARCH for.

Here’s an example.

Millions of people use #love it’s probably one of the most popular hashtags going.

However, how many people actually go searching for #love?

A lot less.

It gets worse.

The most popular hashtags have a lot of posts, which means your posts are likely to get buried really fast and are unlikely to be seen by anyway.

So, what are the best hashtags?

You want hashtags with enough interest that people are probably looking for them (sadly I haven’t been able to find any analytics on what people are searching for) and usually specific enough that people might be searching for it.

For example, if there’s some music festival or something someone might search for hashtags about it. Or some hotel or city or site they might look for hashtags about it because this is practical much different than some random #highfive, which people are far less likely to search for.

On the flip side you want a low enough number of uses of the hashtag that your post won’t get buried too fast.

We generally found in our tests you want hashtags with 10s of thousands or 100s of thousands of posts no more and usually not much less.

For example, in our tests we found #elonmusk worked extremely well because a niche group of people are very passionate about Elon but there are relatively few posts about him so if you post there’s a good chance your post will be visible for days rather than fractions of a second like it will be if you post say #love.

This is also where posting very often is helpful in creating more visibility because your post show up repeatedly under the hashtags in question after the others have been buried.

Location tags it should be noted function essentially the same as hashtags.

In theory having more tags is better you need to be careful as Instagram has begun adjusting their algorithms to penalize those who are perceived as spamming.

The added benefit of tags is they seem to play a role in what shows up on the discovery feed as it attempts to show users content similar to other content they like and follow.

Post Frequency

How often should you post?

Most posts is better within reason as each post gives you added exposure if done correctly in fact in very small pages with followings under 1000 we’ve found you can’t post too often.

However, this quickly exhausts itself as you’ll see later there’s a much more important factor than post frequency and you’re generally best tapering off to around 1-3 posts per day for optimal results but only so long as you can maintain post quality.

While building aim to post at least once per day and more when you’re first building up your base of 1000 or so followers.

Where you’ll post more frequently is in the story.

It’s important to realize aside from the discovery feed, which won’t likely give you a lot of exposure but is based a lot on location so bear that in mind as well as common friends, likes, tags, etc. your story will generally NOT help you to build a following. What it will do is keep your audience engaged, which is important to long term monetization.

Post Timing

When should you post?

This depends on your audience.

You want to post when your audience is awake and on their phones for the following reason.

Instagram is going to prioritize what content gets seen and this is based in large part on how the first people who see your posts respond to them. If there’s a great response Instagram will assume it’s good content and give you better or more prioritized distribution, which has a feedback magnification effect.

You can get apps to tell you based on other of your posts what the best times to post are for your audience.

5 Ways to Get Noticed

Alright, those are some really foundational basics but they don’t get you far. What we’ve described so far will get you a few hundred to maybe a thousand followers but beyond this becomes fairly difficult.

The next strategy is useful to get you to maybe 10, 000 but not much further efficiently.

This is a very accessible method for most people though far from the best method, which we’ll discuss soon.

What does this involve?

Well if you want people to see you on Instagram you’ve basically got three ways of doing it:

  1. Being discovered – hashtags are one of these ways and we’ll discuss some others shortly
  2. Being known – for example a celebrity known from some other platform and as a result will seek you out
  3. Getting noticed

What does getting noticed mean?

The easiest way to describe this is you show up in their notification feed.

When you end up in someone’s notification feed especially if you’ve got a good profile photo they’ll often go check to see who you are and then have a chance of following you.

In Instagram there are five actions you can take, which will cause the person to get a notification and therefore possible look at you:

  • Following them
  • Liking their post
  • Commenting on their post
  • Messaging them
  • Tagging them

Each of these actions will trigger a notification.

It’s worth noting this strategy works best on people with fewer followers though tagging them in your photos or your story often works for people with larger followings as it tends to be the most likely to get noticed.

So, for example to grow your followers you might do the following:

  1. Identify someone whose followers are likely to also like you because they are similar or complimentary – for example models might look at the followers of other models or photographers. Various types of photographers might look at other photographers or travel pages depending on the particular focus of the photography.

  2. Go through their followers one by one like a few of their photos (triggering a notification that you’ve liked their photo if they have notifications turned on), comment on a photo or two, and follow them.

  3. Each of those three actions will trigger separate notifications. Since they’ve seen a fair amount of activity they are more likely to check out your feed and maybe follow you.

  4. Unfollow them a few days or so later unless you actually really like their feed

Richucation Bonus Tip - Don't simply choose all followers of a page similar to you randomly.  Instead where possible focus on users who have been active recently.  Do this by visit a recent post of a feed similar to yours, look at who has liked that photo, then go through the process above of liking, following, and commenting.

Do not use and take advantage of the hashtag #follow4follow and variants because these are worthless followers.

You can pay for bots to automate this process. As of the time of this writing our favourite is Instazood.

This method will result in you following a lot of people but get you a decent number of followers over time though you can’t overdo it or Instagram will block you.

Being Findable

This brings us to the subject of being findable, which we’ve already covered a little.

You can get a reasonable amount of exposure by showing up the discovery feed of a lot of people especially if you’ve got good content.

How do you do this?

Well part of it is simply being relevant in other words similar to other content the person is following, has liked, etc.

This is where proper tags and hashtags can be a factor.

Another factor though is engagement.

Instagram is more likely to promote content that’s trending, hence having two things:

  1. Great content
  2. Legitimate followers who are actually engaged with you

Two ways you can help with engagement are to encourage people to turn on post notifications for your page and also to hint at your posts in your story without fully revealing them. Models might do this by putting “new post” in their story but covering or blurring out part of the image so the users have to go check it out and when they do possibly liking it.

Richucation Bonus Tip - Instagram will especially promote content where there's been engagement from popular pages (as of the time of this writing especially pages with over 10,000 followers) so when possible get yourself some followers and friends with last followings to like and comment on your recent posts.

Obviously, you could coordinate an effort to gain more engagement on posts if you’ve got a group of people or series of pages working together.

Once again, nothing replaces good relevant content in achieving this goal.

The Real Way to Grow

All of the above are great ways to get you started, things you can do on your own to grow enough of an audience to be perceived as having credibility.

What follows now is the single most important factor in growing a following fast.

What is it?

Having other people with followings tag you in their posts.

Consider for example that many of the models Dan Bilzerian hangs out with have huge followings of several hundred thousand.

Usually, their following grew dramatically after they spent time with him and he tagged them in his posts or story because it attracts a lot of attention.

Think of it this way say you like a person’s posts, comment on a few and follow them thereby getting some attention. You can do that for how many people per hour?

Let’s go extreme you can do it for about 400 people per day before Instagram shuts you down (this is subject to change as well so might decrease).

Of those people a bunch won’t even see you and of those who see you most won’t follow you so you’ll pick up maybe 10-40 new followers per day using that method if your feed is compelling and relevant.

The point is your maximum exposure is 400 per day.

You could use hashtags really effectively and with each post get in front of another few hundred people most of whom won’t check out your feed and fewer still will follow you.

In short, you might add a few followers per post that way so it will take a hundred posts to add maybe a couple hundred followers depending how well you optimize, how good your content is and how relevant your tags are.

Worse, these strategies are likely to take a considerable amount of your time.

Now imagine someone with a following of 100,000 real followers posts about and tags you.

Even if you assume only 20% of their audience sees the post that’s still 20,000 people you got in front of with virtually no effort on your part at all.

Of course, not all of them will follow to see who you are and fewer still will follow you but if your feed is attractive and relevant you could easily pick up several hundred followers each time this happens.

Now, multiply the process by 10 for someone with a million followers.

Now, assume instead of one person posting about you or tagging you there are dozens or hundreds.

So, the question becomes HOW do you get people to post about and tag you?

Great question and there are several methods you can use:

  1. Submission directories – some sites post relevant content of other pages that’s where they get their content from they are curators rather than creators so you can submit content to them, tag them in your posts, etc. Again, better content really helps you here. If you’ve got great original content people will sometimes do it simply discover you and do it because they like your work.

  2. Collaborations – lots of ways this might work out. For example, if you’re a photographer rather than doing photography alone go out with other photographers or other people in general and agree to tag each other. If you’re doing photoshoots with people get the hair people, the make-up people, the models, etc. all to agree to post the images and tag each other as it creates a real win-win all around as everyone benefits from the added exposure (this taps into one of our methods for How to Market if You Have Little or No Money).

    You could agree to mutual what are called “shout for shout” where you each promote each other for mutual benefit and exposure. This is why building up a base of followers from the beginning first through your friends then through hashtag posting strategies and getting noticed strategies are helpful because no one wants to do a shout for shout arrangement with someone with a hundred followers but if you’ve got a few thousand you can start by doing this mutually with pages with a few thousand to a few tens of thousands of followers and then as your following grows you can upgrade who you do this with.

    This has become much more popular to do in your story where it doesn’t stick there but still gets each other some exposure.

    You can also do this by going out with friends who have big followings and mutually tag each other or at least get them to tag you and if there’s some reason to be curious about you people are likely to check you out and maybe follow you.

  3. Pay for it – you can spend money for people to do shout outs for your page, mention you in their story, tag you, etc. This of course allows you to get in front of hundreds of thousands of people even when you’ve only got a small following. Of course, if you have friends who have big followings they might do this for you as a favor so never be afraid to ask.

By FAR this is the best, fastest, easiest way to grow your following on Instagram and can take you from close to nothing up to hundreds of thousands maybe even to the low millions though usually to get much beyond a million requires something extra, which is what we’ll talk about now.

Looking Beyond This One Channel

The people who get the most followers by far don’t get them purely on Instagram and this comes into a big part of the formula for being a large and successful social media influencer, which is being multi-channel.

It starts like this.

Your followers on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. will often follow you over onto Instagram and vice versa.

In fact, if you’re going to build Snapchat because it’s not as much of a discovery platform often the best thing to do is to build a following on Instagram and then promote to those followers to follow you on Snapchat.

The best people at building followings are all doing it multi-channel.

If you’ve got a website or blog people will follow you from there and vice versa.

That’s just the start though, that’s internal media.

Then you get external media, which means other sites and publications can pick you up.

Dan Bilzerian radically grew his following when Buzzfeed did some article on him referring to him as something like The Playboy Instagram King, which went viral and caused millions of people who wouldn’t have otherwise heard of him to begin following him.

Generally, there are a lot of external media sources in some way related to your area and the more of them you can hit the better.

This is where having good content is priceless because it makes other external publications more interested in featuring you especially if you’ve got very interesting engaging content.

Keep in mind media outlets are always looking for stories, for engaging content and done well this could be you.

This process is NOT easy.

Getting publicity is a project and expertise all unto itself but the more you grow the more viable it is and the more worthwhile it is to grow to the next level.

Take what you build and leverage it for more and more exposure. A following especially an active engaged one is increasingly valuable and gives you incredible options in life.

What’s Next?

Hopefully, this article has shown you how to deconstruct some simple marketing to take the mystery out of it and helped you with practical actionable tips.

If you’d like more like this please check out our other articles, download our free content and consider engaging with us in one of the following ways:

  1. Take one of our training programs – if this is a simple free article you can imagine what kind of value we pack into a few week or few month extensive training program on subjects like Profitable Marketing, Getting Deals, Leveraging Team, Growing Impact, etc.

  2. Have us consult with you in a Rapid ROI Strategy session to get results toward your financial and business goals quickly. These are perfect for people who don’t necessarily need extensive training but have a quick question or challenge to solve that would be very valuable and give them a big edge.

  3. Apply to have us work with you in helping you build your wealth, your business, your marketing directing you on exactly what to do, tweaking your process to get the fastest results possible. We do this especially in helping you to Build a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine. You can also request similar assistance with other areas.
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6 Ways to Market Your Business, Product, or Service With Little or No Money

Marketing With No Money

We all wish we could have huge exposure for our business, product, service, cause.

Very few of us have it.

You might have found yourself saying, “if only I had a huge Instagram or twitter following I could blast my message out to millions of people in an instant at no cost”. (Of course, you could always build such a following.)

Or thinking, “if only I could afford a huge ad budget like Coca-Cola I could get the exposure of Superbowl half-time ads and people would know about and flock to my product”.

But of course, at millions of dollars per minute that advertising is out of reach for most people.

So today we’re going to explore the reality of being in an early stage business…having limited resources in particular limited financial resources and what you can do in this situation that will get you big budget results with only a small investment.


Contents:

1 - Best for Early Stage Businesses & High Value Long Term Clients

2 – Best Way for Artists, Authors, Musicians, Models, and Also Great For Short Term Promotion

3 – Hardest Way But Great If You Get Lucky

4 – Good if Your System is in Place

5 – A Solution that Buys You Time

6 – The Best Way for Most Businesses


Background – The 6 Resources & The Dreamlife Ratio

We’re going to discuss ways to market with little or no money. It’s important to recognize something though…

There is ALWAYS an exchange.

You won’t get away from exchanging something in trade for customers or exposure. What you can do is exchange something you do have in place for money.

In other words, the way we grow our wealth is to exchange what we do have and isn’t as valuable to us for what we don’t have and want.

At Richucation we discovered there are 6 types of resources so by understanding those you can get a long way towards not having to spend money while marketing extremely successfully.

The other thing we can do aside from trading something other than money for exposure and customers is to be more efficient about what we exchange.

Get more out for what we are putting in, which is the essence of our Deal ROI training.

In particular we talk about the Dreamlife Ratio and Factors of Disproportionate Influence to get massive results with minimal output.

These are big parts of what makes Richucation different and helps us to get really rapid highly effective results consistently when others struggle or fail.

Ready?

Let’s go get exposure, customers, profits on a tiny budget maybe even no money at all!


1 – Best for Early Stage Businesses & High Value Long Term Clients

The first way to market without spending money should be fairly obvious, it’s what most small business owners and entrepreneurs do, it’s continuing to do this that keeps them small, at least in most cases.

What is it?

It’s trading your time instead of trading your money.

This is the hustle.

It’s going knocking on doors.

It’s making phone calls.

It’s attending networking events.

It’s making social media posts.

You should NOT do this as you grow. This sort of behavior will keep you small. If you try to do this in stage 3 business you’ll never get to stage 4 because stage 3 is about building a profitable sales and marketing machine where business can come in the door every day consistently without YOU needing to be out getting it.

For an understanding of each of the 5 natural stages businesses grow through, which stage you’re in and what you should do to grow quickly to the next level ​enter your name and email below:

​The 5 Stages of Business that Will Make Your Business Grow Bigger, Faster, Easier

5 Stages of Business

Trading your time is a fantastic way to go at stage 1 and somewhat in stage 2 because you want to get to know your customers.

It puts you belly to belly in conversations with real buyers and potential buyers so you can adjust your product or service, figure out what the market wants, learn how they communicate and consequently what to put into your advertising and messaging to move them to buy.

This is also useful at the start of stage 3 where you might be employing sales people because you learn to systemize what you’re doing and teach it to your sales team so they can replicate it.

There’s one other case where this can be useful…

If each customer is EXTREMELY valuable and long term.

What do I mean by this? If a customer is worth a million dollars to you, it’s going to be a long-term relationship and the value of the customer will grow with time it’s worth it to invest your own time and there isn’t substantial value in having someone else doing it or building a complex system.

This is best illustrated by a real like case study:


Case Study – Warren Buffett Turns 13 Clients Into $80 billion

Although he’s actually not a bad salesman, Warren Buffett only ever really got 13 customers and those 13 customers have led to his deca-billion-dollar fortune.

Sure, along his journey he had to sell his professors, he’s built a team he needs to communicate with and engage, and of course he’s done various deals to buy companies over time but the only people ever to really give HIM money in his investing business were the investors in his first partnerships (officially 7 partnership arguably with 13 “customers” though some of these customers were small families).

Back in 1956 Buffett was working for his mentor Ben Graham who ran a famous investing partnership. But Graham decided to retire and close the partnership down so Buffett moved back home to Omaha.

There he started Buffett Associates Ltd. with 6 family members as partners. Over the next few years he adds a few other partnerships through a few other investors initially recommended by Ben Graham and through his social circles as well as asking one doctor who was a client to bring together some other doctors for an investment.

After this he never ended up needing more customers.

Why?

Because he could compound their money. In his business each of those customers was worth a fair amount to him If he did well (and of course he did) but more importantly the more he grew their money the more valuable they became to him.

If you’ve got customers who are extremely valuable and long term like this, it’s not so necessary to ever move away from direct personal sales.


Richucation Personal Marketing Tip

A lot of small business entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing because they are trading their time for money it is free. This isn’t true, your time has value often more valuable than money, which is why as you grow you want to get away from it and rely on a sales force or advertising.

When you realize you’re investing your time and your time has value it makes sense to also consider how efficiently and effectively you’re spending that time. In other words, it costs you to do bad marketing using your time.

To help address this apply the same principles of marketing you use in any other situation:

  1. Target the right people – most networking is ineffective because you’re not talking to the right people
  2. Communicate a compelling offer – WHAT you’re selling matters and will make a huge difference in your success as will what messaging you wrap it in
  3. Master communicating the way your customers buy – know the difference between a poor sales person and a great sales person? It’s all in how they communicate so if you’re going to be in front of people it makes sense to learn to communicate with them effectively so you’re making the most of your time and theirs


2 – Best Way for Artists, Authors, Musicians, Models, and Also Great For Short Term Promotion

Unless each customer is REALLY valuable you’ll never do particularly well marketing by using your time, you simply can’t talk to enough people at once (public speaking helps but then you’ve got to fill the room and how do you do that? It brings you back to this same problem and also our next method).

Some of the strategies we’ll discuss later work best for most businesses both mid and long term but not for all.

The classic examples are how do you succeed in marketing yourself if you’re a musician or author where each customer will spend maybe $20 with you?

It turns out this method works really well for a lot of other businesses though especially if you’re doing a short-term promotion.

In fact, when I used to be in the event business we found this was the most effective method to fill rooms and led to some incredible marketing successes for us when others said it was impossible.

So, what is this magic?

Instead of trading money you trade relationships by getting others to promote you.

You can achieve this in a few different ways.

The easiest where possible especially for artists, authors, musicians, etc. is to collaborate with others who have a similar market.

For example, you say how the musical artist Pitbull exploded doing “featuring” songs with a whole host of other artists essentially combining the audiences and giving exposure they might not have otherwise.

How does this work? Well, you’ve got an audience even if it’s small. These are the people you know and who know you, these are your Facebook friends and any customers or fans you get. As you grow you’ll of course grow these numbers.

Others have the same. Your objective is to say “let’s collaborate, both promote this to our audience and therefore get double or triple the exposure we would normally”.

Obviously, you’ve got to do this with people or businesses you actually respect and believe your audience would like, which there’s a good chance of if they are similar to you.

You’ll notice this is very reminiscent of one of the main strategies in the Formula for Building a HUGE Instagram Following.

Also note, you don’t have to collaborate with those who are the same as you they could be complimentary.

For example, if you had a business offering cleaning services you might pair up with a furniture business or a realtor.

The ideal is to find collaborations you can do over and over again or with multiple people in the same space rather than exclusive cross promotion because each person or business has a new audience and you can expand your audience rapidly through collaborations.

It’s not always practical to do a swap though so in those cases where a swap or joint promotion isn’t possible you can lean on relationships.

This is where you call up an influencer you know and say something to the effect “I need your help, could you please…” and state your ask. It might be asking them to bring out multiple people they know for an event you’re hosting, sending a promotional email, doing a social media post, inviting their friends, etc.

How do you get 50 people to attend an event?

Easy you get 7 people who know, like, and trust you with whom you’ve got relationship capital to each commit to bringing 7 people to help you out.

The downside of this strategy is you can’t do it repeatedly as an ongoing method of marketing as you’ll burn out those relationships but for an occasional promotion or launch it’s fantastic.

How do you find these people? Try our climbing the ladder networking method.


Case Study – Mint.com 1 million users in 6 months

Noah Kagan joined the Mint.com team with the goal of heading up their marketing and getting them I believe it was 500,000 users in a year.

How did he do it?

Aside from a few other strategies he started building relationships with personal finance blogs and other related publications with followings.

Rather than reaching out to them and asking for exposure (don’t do that, it doesn’t work well when you haven’t built relationships capital), he reached out to share with them how cool the product was they were developing (this was during prelaunch) and get feedback.

Over several months they built a relationship and excitement over the product as the bloggers, media people, etc. developed a relationship with the brand and the product in testing and providing feedback.

When it finally came time to launch he had relationships with these people, they knew and liked the product and he was able to ask, “would you mind writing an article about it?”

Of course, at this stage they were happy to and the exposure resulted in double the number of users targeted in half the time.

You can do the same in your business building and leveraging relationships as a principle method of marketing.


Richucation Relationship Marketing Tip

When you do this make sure you turn this exposure into an audience and an asset so you can reuse it again and again without relying on the collaborations.

How do you do this?

Collect emails, gain social media followers, build brand recognition and spot influencers among them to invest time in building personal relationships with.

For example, if you got 7 each of whom brought 7 identify more (say another 7) from among the 50 to invest time with building personal relationships over the next while to grow your network of champions.


3 – Hardest Way But Great If You Get Lucky

This next method isn’t exactly a direct trade but can be a skill you learn so let’s call it a means of using your expertise.

More than anything else on this list it’s very hard to predict and to achieve success you’ve got to be willing to try a lot of things and pay attention to what works.

In fact it’s so random we don’t recommend you rely on it instead we recommend you use it as fuel to boost another solid strategy.

What is this method?

Virality.

What is virality?

It’s when people start sharing what you’ve got and spreading the message on their own because they like it.

You’re probably familiar with viral videos but it could be viral images, articles, videos, events, etc.

There’s plenty of tenants to achieving virality and we devote an entire section of the 7 sections in our Marketing ROI program to covering how to create viral spread.

For now, the easiest thing to understand is:

  • You want to make it easy to share
  • You want to make it stand out so it’s got novelty
  • You want to focus more on it spreading fast than it spreading a lot

This is where producing content often comes in.

Keep in mind though not all content platforms are viral for example, Instagram isn’t a particularly viral platform whereas Facebook is. If you want to be viral you need to make it accessible on viral platforms and encourage continuation of this.

There’s a bunch of tricks you can use depending on the field you’re in.


Case Study – Old Spice guy commercial gets 55 million Youtube views

In 2010 Old Spice was a lagging brand being dominated by Dove and Axe so they wanted a way to stand out and create buzz.

To do so they created a now famous commercial titled “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”.

It spawned a viral session. To date the Youtube video has been viewed 55 million times, but this just scratches the surface.

The campaign spawned follow up engagement with audiences called Questions and Responses. One of the Questions videos alone has been viewed 25 million times.

The campaign has gone on to serve as a case study for viral marketing worldwide.

Another notable example from a smaller company is for the product Poo-Pouri whose viral videos launched them to prominence. One video along has been watched over 40 million times.

Consider how much advertising would need to be spent to get that much exposure.


Richucation Virality Tip

Achieving virality isn’t purely random, nor is it purely audience driven.

Generally, you’ll find virality is something that builds onto an existing campaign and requires a certain critical mass.

In other words, you don’t simple produce an image or video and have it go viral in most cases. You usually need to put enough marketing behind it or enough exposure through one place or another to get enough people sharing it to kick off the craze.

Since it’s so hard to predict what will work (you might say funny but lots of funny videos don’t go viral and a bunch of videos that aren’t funny do) so the key lies in following the approach of the site Upworthy.

Create a bunch of different options you think will be good, then test them and refine building on what works cutting off the losers and feeding and refining the ones with the best response.

For more information check out our program on Marketing ROI.


4 – Good if Your System is in Place

What small business owners often dream about is performance-based marketing or sales.

What do I mean?

Hiring commission only sales people, getting affiliates paid based on client acquisition to promote your product or service, etc.

In my experience usually, this is short sighted and normally doesn’t work very well for them for two key reasons:

  1. It’s hard to get people to work for you or promote you on a performance only basis
  2. When they are working performance only your ability to manage and optimize their process goes down

It makes sense it’s hard to get people because the best people are getting offers for performance plus extras.

Small business owners often think “if they are good and can deliver results they should be willing to work just for commission or performance fees” but this ignores the reality of the market where the best people are in high demand and so to sweeten the pot others are offering them upfront fees plus performance bonuses.

Put yourself in their shoes if you were being offers $100k+ commission or just commissions, which would you choose as a top sales person?

The result is often it’s very hard to recruit people (sometimes meaning it would have been easier simply to focus that time on getting customers then investing what you made off those customers into hiring someone good not performance only) and the people you do recruit are far from the best.

Since they aren’t the best it becomes more necessary to help them succeed by directing their efforts and guiding their process to actually get results.

The problem here is when you’re paying someone you can tell them what to do, when you’re not paying them it becomes much more difficult to do so.

What’s the solution to all of this?

Small business entrepreneurs often see hiring commission only sales people and affiliates as a solution to not knowing how to market and sell.

The exact opposite is true.

The best sales people and best affiliates want to market and sell where they can make a lot of money.

For them to make the most money means your part of the process they don’t control needs to be tight otherwise you might persuade them to promote or sell for you but you’ll burn the relationships and your reputation when they don’t get the results they want.

In other words if you want affiliates to send you leads you need to be able to close them and make them worth a lot.

If you want sales people to work on commission only you need an amazing system to deliver them lots of quality leads and help them turn those leads into loyal buyers.

This is where most small business entrepreneurs go wrong, they want to abdicate responsibility for the marketing process because they aren’t good at it but no one will do it for you.

Your job is to build a system that works then recruit others to work and compliment the system.

This process of making your overall campaign and pipeline tight is what we teach in detail in our Campaign ROI program where we walk you through step by step how to build campaigns that make money where you can invest a dollar and get two dollars back.

Or in our Built With You and Built For You Profitable Sales and Marketing Machine programs where we actually get involved hands on in helping you we do the same thing but to an even higher degree.

Build a Profitable Sales and Marketing Machine for your business where you can invest a dollar and get two dollars up and scale it but also where you don’t have to be involved at all in the marketing and selling so you’re free to enjoy the lifestyle you wanted when you became an entrepreneur or focus your time on actually growing the business to stages 4 and 5 where you make massive profits and leave a lasting impact.


Case Study – Legacy vs Jablonski

We’ve got a lot of clients who use these strategies successfully so we’re going to contrast a case where it was done right with another company in our social circle we didn’t work with who did it wrong.

The first was a pure sales organization called Legacy Enterprises, which specialized in customer acquisition mostly for large brands.

They worked on a very hard type of sales called canvasing where their agents went door to door selling services like cable TV, cable internet, gas and power services, bottled water, payment processing both to businesses and consumers.

Now, just imagine how hard this process is to walk into a business or home for the first time having never met the person and walk out with a sale.

Think how easily a sales person could get demoralized and want to quit.

Now add to this the fact that when the founder of the company started he couldn’t afford to pay people full time wages and as a result needed to resort to hiring people commission only.

If you were a sales person, just spent a day walking door to door getting rejected and not made a single dollar how would you feel? How long would you last?

However, amazingly, not only did sales people last some of them became career types and the company grew to $1.4 million within just a few short years.

How?

First, they had a process for sales that worked to produce consistent results. Anyone could learn the process and get results.

Second, they installed great management and training systems including shadowing, being paired with someone getting results to learn in the field, role playing, sales drills, etc. to make sure every new hire learned the system and could get results quickly.

Third, they implemented a regular rhythm of daily and weekly activities to keep everyone on track, motivated, aligned and most importantly accountable to doing the activities and following the system to get them results.

Compare this to how to do it badly – Jablonski.

In this case the owner who was a skillful though unreliable sales person himself hired a team of former sales colleagues on commission only, great job step one.

However, he didn’t have a predictable system that worked instead relying on his own skills and knowledge to randomly pick up sales here and there. There was no system for getting new qualified leads and no system for turning those leads into buyers.

He proceeded to provide virtually no training, no role playing, no drilling, essentially leaving the sales people to their own devices trying to pick up and close business.

Finally, he failed to hold them accountable to regular metrics, activities, and systems that worked.

The results?

This whole team of sales people collectively failed to achieve more than three sales resulting in barely more than $20k in revenue, they earned almost nothing in commissions, became discouraged and quit ruining his relationship and trust with them.

Make sure if you’re going to go down the performance based compensation road you adequately support those performance based sales people and marketers to get results. Your job is to make them successful and this means refining everything in your control to a finely oiled machine.

For more details regarding how to do this please check out our Campaign ROI program and Built With You Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine program.

Richucation Performance Sellers Tip

It’s important to understand what the people you’re hiring have expertise in and therefore how to compliment them. Affiliates typically are great at lead generation but not conversions. Sales people are typically good at closing but not generating leads.

So often entrepreneurs haven’t taken the time to deconstruct their sales problem to see where it’s weak and then build a solution accordingly. In our experience the first problem of small business owners is getting in front of enough qualified people. Without understanding how to do this they resort to hiring sales people thinking “they will bring sales” but this is rarely true and normally the result is a loss of $10k+ in wages not to mention time, training, management, etc.

Deconstruct your weaknesses then address solving them systematically. Check out the Free Goal Achievement Structure training we put together to help with this.


5 – A Solution that Buys You Time

The next method is what’s used commonly in Silicon Valley and venture backed start-ups.

This isn’t a magical solution long term but what it does is buys you time, which as a small business entrepreneur, solopreneur, etc. going it alone you don’t have because you simply don’t have the money, you need to generate and live off revenue.

What is this mystery method?

It’s to raise capital from external sources in order to be able to afford marketing, which doesn’t have to pay off for quite some time.

This allows you to go through a learning curve.

It allows you to pay for customers now and make up for it over months or years on their lifetime value.

Let me repeat this is NOT a great long term solution in fact this solution is only worthwhile if you eventually figure out some other way, generally the method we’ll talk about in #6. However, it’s often what’s needed for small businesses to gain some ground.

What’s the big problem with this?

Raising money is a form of marketing in and of itself and can be as challenging as getting customers for your product or service.

It’s also limited by the fact that you can only raise so much money based on the valuation of the company whereas you can theoretically get unlimited customers making marketing a far better source of capital long term.

To learn some tips for raising capital check out our article on How to Raise Money For Your Business or Project.


Case Study – Facebook

When it started Facebook wasn’t making any money they were simply spending money. They were however growing their user base very rapidly through viral growth.

To pay for servers, to continue development, to continue to eat they needed money. Where would that money come from?

They could go sell advertising but they weren’t set up to do so and they weren’t sure how doing so would affect their platform.

It wouldn’t have simply been a challenge of getting the customers, they didn’t have a technology platform within their system to easily process those and finding advertising customers would have been a distraction away from their core focus, which was continuing to expand a platform of users that was growing extremely rapidly organically.

So, they turned to outside investors. Some top venture capitalists such as Paypal’s Peter Thiel provided early stage funding and brought credibility to win over the big VC firms and pave the way ultimately not just for a better team but also for a future IPO.

At the time it made sense to invest because the company was growing fast even though profits hadn’t showed up yet. Thiel and others knew getting users organically and virally at little to no cost was one of the greatest challenges, which over time could be worth a lot so they took a bet. Turns out it was a good one as they made billions.

Richucation Capital Raising Tip

Entrepreneurs often naively look at raising capital as a way to mask a poor business then wonder why they are struggling to raise capital.

It’s important to understand raising capital isn’t a substitute for the underlying fundamentals The Formula of successful entrepreneurship and successful business. It is an enhancement to run the business better.

If you never learn to nail the fundamentals the capital will dry up in time.

The best way to be able to raise capital therefore is to have nailed one or multiple of the other methods outlined here so the investors can see they are investing into something high yield.

If putting their money in results in huge outsized growth it will reward them and they’ll put in more “what gets rewarded gets repeated”. If their money gets spent with nothing much to show for it that gravy train will end really fast.

This bring us to our last and most important method.


6 – The Best Way for Most Businesses

For most small businesses marketing is an expense.

In many large institutions repeat business pays for an ongoing marketing budget without concrete accountability for the results.

But if you want to grow a small business there is one way that’s by far the best way and everything else is gravy.

This is to earn a positive return on your marketing dollars by turning the advertising or sales spend into profit.

What do I mean?

The way the best businesses, the fastest growing businesses on the planet grow and the way you should too is to build a system, a machine where you can spend a dollar and get at least a dollar but ideally two or more dollars back almost immediately.

How does this work?

Say you pay a sales person $3000 for a month. They go make some calls and this results in acquiring a couple new customers each of which pay you $5000 so you made $10,000 in revenue. Say your cost of goods sold is $5000 so you made $5000 in gross profit. You had to pay the sales person $3000 so that’s your cost of sales and you’re left with $2000.

What just happened?

First, you got your $3000 back so you can pay the sales person again the next month. If they have a solid system, they can repeat the process again each month and you never have to take a dollar out of your pocket to pay them.

Additionally, you made an extra $2000, which you can reinvest into growing the business. After two months of this you’ll have $4000 so you can use it to hire another sales person now you’ve got two, which with a good system can each generate $10,000 so you’re up to $20,000 and so on.

Notice, you didn’t need more than a few thousand dollars to start, which you got back within 30 days so you didn’t need a big budget to market. In many cases you need a lot less than this to get started (see the case study below).

THIS is how businesses are ultimately built.

You can download the formula and levers used to make this happen for free by entering your name and email address in the box below:

​The 6 Levers to Make Your Marketing Profitable

Now, of course, this is easier said than done. As we mentioned above most small businesses hiring their first sales person far from making money on them actually lose money and don’t get results. Hence because of their lack of confidence in their system or lack of a system at all they are afraid to spend money on the person or advertising.

This is such a big problem it represents the key inflection point in a business moving from Stage 3 to Stage 4 in business growth.

It is the #1 predictor of how much money you’ll make as a small business entrepreneur.

So what’s the solution?

You need to build a system not reliant on any one person you hire where to the extent the system is used it spits out profit. We call this a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine because it works you don’t and it works profitably spitting out profit each month so you can focus on growing the business and actually enjoy the life you wanted when you became an entrepreneur.

So if that sounds good to you we’ve made it one of our core focuses at Richucation to help entrepreneurs precisely with breaking through this challenge because it’s made the biggest difference for us not only in business and wealth but also in lifestyle.

Check out our Campaign ROI program, which walks you through step by step the process of predictably turning your marketing dollars into profit using a proven template for getting consistent results regardless of business or industry.

Or if you’d like more direct assistance where we actually work with you directly step by step to build out a profitable sales and marketing machine in your business you can apply to work with us to see if there’s a fit.


Case Study – Augesir Recruiting

When I started my second business I had no idea how to market and sell I only knew it was important. I hated sales and I sucked at it. I tried all the things described above networking, selling on my own, getting referrals, etc.

I got some business from this but it was unpredictable one month we’d get a great new client and make some money the next month or two we’d make nothing.

It was stressful, I couldn’t predict my income, which made budgeting hard. I tried different sales model, different products and customers but I didn’t have the skills.

Everything changed when I nailed down by accident what to sell and who to sell it to. Then in a very short time I was able to hire someone just part time at first because I had almost no money. They worked for me 10 hours per week doing sales. It cost me $120/week and made me $3000 that first month.

Taking this success, I was able to triple the number of hours I paid the sales person for and grew the income to $9000/mo.

The best part? I wasn’t doing the sales, which I hated myself. I spent about 2 hours per week managing the sales people and was able to focus on what I enjoyed.

You might say the key was hiring someone, that helped but I’d hired someone before and lost thousands of dollars.

The key was figuring out who to market to and how to market to them, then hiring someone to work the system for me, focusing on coaching them to do well rather than doing it myself, controlling my risk through a small test then scaling up when it worked.

Richucation Profitable Marketing Tip

If you want a profitable sales and marketing system it helps to understand the steps involved in going from a cold market to making money. Often people think “I’m not getting sales” but the question is “why?”

By laying out a flow of the steps that need to happen to get new business you can work on what’s weak and address it.

Are you getting in front of the right people?

Heck do you know who the right people are?

How are you capturing and qualifying them?

Are the people you’re getting in front of converting?

Are they spending enough money with you to be worth the effort?

Are you reaching them inexpensively enough or do you need to find ways to drive down the costs?

Here’s the formula – you need a list of people to reach ideally high value customers.

You need a way to convert them from a cold audience into leads.

You need a way to get them to buy.

You need to make sure they spend enough money with you.

Then you systemize the process, you apply people, templates, technology and automation to remove yourself from the process and scale up.

Which of these is a breakdown for you in your business?


Next Steps

Hopefully the above has been helpful for you.

If it has I’d invite you to work with us.

If you’ve enjoyed this information please share it with us or reinforce your learning by teaching them what you learned (write a social media post about it, call a friend and summarize it for them, write an email to someone explaining how they can benefit). This will go a long way towards reinforcing what you’ve learned and help someone else in the process.

Learn more about learning faster in Mastery ROI.


,

Turn An Ice-Cold Audience Into Blazing Hot Leads

Audience bored and then engaged

Have you ever run an ad and gotten no response?

The first time I ever ran an ad I was in high school, it was in the classifieds section of the regional newspaper for my computer business. I was so excited, I put pricing sheets next to each phone in my parents’ house so when someone called I’d be ready to quote them and make the sale.

I got a grand total of one call, zero sales. It was disappointing and I lost money.

For many people advertising is an expense when it should be an investment. The difference is often the message/offer and the funnel process you’ve got to warm them up and turn them into a buyer (our Campaign ROI program deals specifically with how to avoid this and actually make money from your advertising).

Now, years later I’ve learned a lot more, we’ve run hundreds of campaigns for my own companies and helped clients with their campaigns for their companies and I understand the process much better.

If you learn to master this process, which very few small business owners do, a big part of the reason so many small businesses fail and the ones who do survive very rarely thrive, you’ll have a skill for life to change your life and the lives of anyone you work with.  (Mastering this skill is the purpose of our Marketing ROI program).


STEP 1 – DON’T​ GO FOR THE SALE

We’re talking about generating leads here not making sales.

Of course, ultimately your goal is to make sales and you’re not going to turn down anyone who wants to buy, but you need to think of this as a relationship building process.

Would you ask a stranger to marry you? More importantly would they be likely to say yes? Of course not, so we’re going to make them want to get to know you, to become familiar with you, to trust you and then not only buy from you but buy again and refer others.

So, if you’re not going for the sale what are you going for? You’re going for a lead.

Going for leads has two objectives:

  1. Allow you to remarket more cheaply because you can target more precisely and communicate for less money
  2. Keep track of who is warm and interested so you can continue to warm them more and take them deeper through the process

A lead might be:

  • Someone whose come into your store
  • Someone whose called your business
  • Someone whose given you their email address or other contact info
  • Someone who attended your seminar
  • Etc.

The point is you’re going to get them to take some smaller action so they are more likely to do so, which is going to build trust in you and allows you to communicate to them more directly at lower cost going forward.


STEP 2 – ALL COMMUNICATION IS PREDICATED ON ATTENTION

If you can’t get someone’s attention it doesn’t matter what you have to say so your first step is to break through the noise, stand out from the crowd and get noticed.

To do this it helps to understand the context they are looking in…what else are they seeing or hearing? What else is drawing their attention away and how can you stand out?

This might mean ranking higher on Google. It might mean getting your ad noticed on Facebook or in a newspaper. It might mean being the subject of conversation.

Here are several points to consider:

  1. The easiest way to get attention is to go where they already have their attention – this is why we use celebrity endorsements or pay to get someone with a following to promote us to their following rather than trying to go after them indirectly
  2. Be different – our brains are filtering machines so we tend to place our attention on that which is different from our surroundings. Usually, this means being loud (not just in terms of sound but could be visual, flair, etc.) Not always though, it’s about contrast in a way that stands out (you can’t get drowned).
  3. Go where there’s less noise – distractions are going to kill marketing effectiveness so ideally find mediums of communication with less competition for audience attention

Download our FREE Finding Your Ideal Customer Action Sheet for ideas.


STEP 3 – COMMUNICATE A BROAD COMPELLING OFFER

So, what do you put in front of your audience?
Three really important considerations:

Make an offer as broad as applicable to your market/service offering

For example, if you offer roofing services don’t target based on shingles at this stage. Instead you might target more broadly based on home renovations or repairs.

You don’t want to go so broad it doesn’t speak to what you’re selling/offering but also want to be broad enough you catch the highest percentage of the audience seeing your marketing.

The reason for this is you’re paying for each impression and you will get the best ROI by maximizing the highest number of them.


Make sure you’re providing an offer

A big problem in a lot of marketing is not making an offer. An offer very simply is “give us x in trade for y”. This might be “come to our store to…” or “call us to…” or “enter your email address to..”

The important point is you’re asking for them to take an action, which makes them stand out from audience members who aren’t interested so you’re able to speak to them personally in the future.

An offer is not a slogan. “Just do it” might be a nice tag line but it’s a horrible lead generation offer.

An offer should answer the question “what am I giving you?” and “what am I asking in return?” the former being more important than the later.

For example, “free video – how to…” answers the question “what am I giving you?” It’s a free video.

Call now for your free video – how to…” answers the question “what am I asking in return?” it’s a call.

The “what am I asking in return?” might be implied by the context. For example on Facebook it might be a link on a link.

Choose an offer that fits your product/industry. It might be a free evaluation, quote, estimate, etc. It might be a piece of educational content. It might be some sort of free trial or experience.


Make sure it’s compelling

A compelling offer has two components and especially at the lead generation stage should include both.

  1. The first is high perceived value.
    Obviously, you want to reduce your costs in what you’re offering but the point is what you’re offering should be something your audience really wants. It’s meaningless to give away something they are indifferent about.
  2. The second is low perceived barrier
    For example, are you asking them to spend a day with you? This is likely too much for an initial ask. It’s easy to make a quick phone call, harder to make an in person visit. This means an in person visit is probably a more qualified lead but they’d also typically need to be further along in the buying process to take this step.

One of the easiest offers you can make is for them to click to read an article or something comparable. It’s fast, it’s accessible and as a result someone who isn’t in the immediate buying cycle will likely do it.

Putting these three components together you want to make a compelling broad but still relevant offer to your audience through whatever marketing communication/message you put out there.

Be sure this is congruent with the medium you’re communicating through both in terms of what you’re offering and what you’re requesting in return.

Download our FREE Trust Pyramid Action sheet to help communicate your offer more effectively.

STEP 4 – CAPTURE THE LEADS

The above is largely wasted if you don’t do something to capture the leads so you can follow-up with them. 
These are all people who have expressed interest through their actions with in you sell. 

On the flip side since you’ve gone really broad with your offer you’re going to get all kinds leads at different stages of the buying cycle and with different preferences and values.

The objective is now to communicate to them over and over to warm them up further and ultimately turn them into first customers then long term advocates.

To learn how to afford to get in front of these people Download our FREE Turning Marketing Into Profit Action Sheet.


What's Next?

This is obviously the tip of the iceberg with plenty more to learn and apply but it's a great place to get started.

If you’d like more like this please check out our other articles, download our free content and consider engaging with us in one of the following ways:

  1. Take one of our training programs – if this is a simple free article you can imagine what kind of value we pack into a few week or few month extensive training program on subjects like Profitable Marketing, Getting Deals, Leveraging Team, Growing Impact, etc.

  2. Have us consult with you in a Rapid ROI Strategy session to get results toward your financial and business goals quickly. These are perfect for people who don’t necessarily need extensive training but have a quick question or challenge to solve that would be very valuable and give them a big edge.

  3. Apply to have us work with you in helping you build your wealth, your business, your marketing directing you on exactly what to do, tweaking your process to get the fastest results possible. We do this especially in helping you to Build a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine. You can also request similar assistance with other areas.



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How To Get A HUGE List of Targeted Prospects

How do you make money?

It’s not a trick question but the simplicity of the answer baffles most people.

When I give talks and pose this question to the audience I get consistent responses:

  • Provide value”
  • Offer a service”
  • Work a job”
  • Get educated”

The truth is you can do all of those things and not make any money. Money comes from only one place. You have to get someone who has money to give it to you. This is the lifeblood of success in your business and in your financial life in general, it’s where it all starts.

So, in achieving a financial goal you’ve got to start with this question of “who” and follow it up with “where”. If I’m going to launch a campaign today to achieve a goal the first thing I start with is thinking of who has the money and the need for what I’m offering.


For you in building a list you should start with two questions:

QUESTION 1 - “WHO ARE MY MOST PROFITABLE MARKET SEGMENTS?”

If you’ve already got customers (people giving you money) you can examine what the best of them have in common. If you don’t then you’re going to speculate.

In sales there’s an expression “you sell to the M.A.N.”, which means someone who has:

  • Money – they can afford/have budget to spend on your products or services
  • Authority – they have the power to make the buying decisions…this isn’t as simple as it sounds because sometimes you’ve got to consider influencers for example a husband and wife in a family
  • Need – don’t get hung up on needs/wants the important thing is they’ve got demand for what you have to offer

When you pay attention to who is most profitable consider three areas:

  1. How much do they spend – this could include a single transaction or take place over multiple transactions. It’s about lifetime value not just one transaction.
  2. How easy is it to get them as a customer – the more you spend getting them as a customer and the more it costs you to maintain them the less worthwhile it becomes.
  3. How many people do they refer to you – a small customer who refers a lot might be worth a lot more than a big customer who refers no one

If you want to get deep into the process we teach the 7Cs of targeting in our training, you can download a FREE Action Sheet here or check out some of our paid programsYour objective is to come up with a particular type of person or ideally certain specific people.


QUESTION 2 - “WHERE DO YOU FIND THEM IN THE GREATEST CONCENTRATION?”

This speaks to groups these people are a part of and how many other people like them are a part of those groups. You pay for each person you contact so you want as many of them as possible to fit your message.

This answers the question of “what list?”

  • One list might be the circulation of a newspaper
  • another might be the listeners of a local radio station
  • another might be the attendees of a conference
  • or the subscribers to the mailing list of a particular author or speaker.

Think about the people you described under “who are my most profitable market segments?”

Now ask yourself who has a list of a lot of those people? More importantly since not everyone on the list will fit this criteria who has the greatest concentration of those people?

Where will you get your list? You’ll go to those people who already have the list (some are known advertisers so no problem, others you’ll need to build a relationship with) and offer to buy, rent or joint venture with them to contact the list.

Final point, it’s not all about who has the most or even who has the greatest concentration.

It’s also about what it will cost you to reach them. An Instagram influencer might charge you $50 whereas a radio station might charge you $5000. Pay attention to the lowest cost per member of your target market.

Finally, different types of communication will have different levels of impact. A phone call generally has better impact than an email and speaking in front of an audience (the list would be conference attendees) has better impact than a booth on a trade show floor. Sometimes you pay a premium per person but it’s worth it because you gain added credibility, clarity, and time with the audience.


What's Next?

​Obviously, this is the tip of the iceberg with plenty more to learn and apply but it's a great place to get started.

If you found this article useful and would like more like this please check out our other articles, download our free content and consider engaging with us in one of the following ways:

  1. Take one of our training programs – if this is a simple free article you can imagine what kind of value we pack into a few week or few month extensive training program on subjects like Profitable Marketing, Getting Deals, Leveraging Team, Growing Impact, etc.

  2. Have us consult with you in a Rapid ROI Strategy session to get results toward your financial and business goals quickly. These are perfect for people who don’t necessarily need extensive training but have a quick question or challenge to solve that would be very valuable and give them a big edge.

  3. Apply to have us work with you in helping you build your wealth, your business, your marketing directing you on exactly what to do, tweaking your process to get the fastest results possible. We do this especially in helping you to Build a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine. You can also request similar assistance with other areas.

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How to Charge A LOT More & Increase the Amount Each Customer is Worth

Shopping

Do you know what each customer is worth to you?

One of the biggest mistakes people make is focusing too much on customer acquisition cost and not enough on ​increasing the customer lifetime value.

Although lifetime value is important so is the value per transaction and the short term value so we’re going to show you a bunch of fundamental ways you can radically increase your profit, increase your allowable customer acquisition cost and decrease the number of customers you need to hit your financial goals.

Less customers required of course means less work required and a general improvement in your quality of life not to mention a simpler life.


The First Step is Pretty Underwhelming

The first secret we’ll share isn’t going to surprise you…or maybe it is for its simplicity.

This is a HUGE mistake new business owners in particular and small business owners in general make namely charging too little.

When working with companies, we can very often enter and immediately increase their prices by 10% - 100% without affecting sales much at all and thereby radically increase their profits.

To give you some idea if you had a 50% margin previously and we raised your prices by 10% this is the equivalent of increasing your sales by 20%. If you had 20% margins this is the equivalent of increasing your sales by 50%!

The problem for new business owners and this was true for me as well, is we’re used to thinking in terms of how much we make working a job ie. “someone else would pay me $20/hr. so I should charge slightly more than that”. When in truth, you should probably charge 3 times that much (yes those are real numbers).

To avoid under charging when you’re starting, out my general advice is to charge whatever the market is charging or just slightly under (to capture market share) or over either to capture premium value (where you should normally sit as a small business).

Discover what your competitors are charging and base your prices off of this then modify based on your learning.

Bottom line, the first thing to do is simply to blanket raise your prices and you’ll almost always make more money.

The one exception is on what are called “known value items” where there’s a high degree of price sensitivity on these. It pays to price a little lower as loss leaders to attract customers, in order to get them on your more expensive items where customers pay less attention to price.


Who You Sell to Matters

One of the best ways to increase your transaction size and profit per transaction, as well as lifetime value, is simply to target higher end customers.

Look, if you’re selling accounting services to a business in Serbia you’re going to charge MUCH less than if you’re selling the same services to a business in London England. So go sell to customers who will pay you more!

How do you know who will pay more?

Look for prospective customers who are already paying a lot more for what they are buying. In other words, you’re selling to less price sensitive buyers.

This principle doesn’t just go for where in the world, though this is a valuable part of the equation, it also concerns who will find the most value in what you’re offering. For example, enthusiasts vs a casual audience or a corporate client vs an individual or small business client, etc.

Obviously, they need the money, but they also need the mindset to spend the money.

​Not sure how to find these high value customers?  Download the Finding Your Ideal Customer Action Pack.


Where You Sell Matters

Not as easy as who you sell to, the sales environment makes a BIG difference.

Here’s a story to show the point.

A few years ago I was in Thailand where there’s knock off watches, bags, etc. everywhere.

As an exercise, my brothers and I thought it would be fun to go buy some then research on the internet how to tell the difference between the reals and the fakes.

Later, we decided to visit the stores of the authentic brands to see in person how the knock offs compared.

Many were awful but some looked good, felt good and here’s the thing…most buyers weren’t very sophisticated and couldn’t tell the difference anyway. They bought because of the brand but here’s the interesting thing, how did they know to trust the brand?

When buying the knock offs it would be some street vendors or little garage shacks crammed with merchandise from floor to ceiling in every corner on the side of a narrow street.

The big brands had beautiful stores in high end malls with few items on display surrounded by nice fixtures and well dressed staff.

It occurred to me that some of these street vendors could have been selling the real thing and no one would have believed them. While the big brands could have been selling high quality knock offs and no one would have questioned them.

It’s a powerful lesson about how the buying context affects the perception of value and in this case allows you to charge a lot more.

​The free download Find Your Ideal Customers will help you  determine optimal locations if you're struggling.


What More Can You Sell?

The next most popular way to increase the transaction size and consequently the profit is to ask “what else can I sell them?”

Then add-on, bundle it, whatever to increase the value of the sale.

The classic examples are at McDonald’s “would you like fries with that?” “would you like to make it a combo?” and “would you like to supersize it?”

Why is this so effective?

A big part of what erodes your profits is the customer acquisition cost but once someone is making a purchase you’ve already covered that cost so your margins on everything else you sell them are much higher.

In your business, what can you sell that’s complimentary? An add on? An upsell?

Along these lines can you offer a line of products with higher end versions to charge more?

Could you sell warrantees or some kind of support?

There’s almost always dozens more things you can sell to increase the value of each sale.


Bonus – Bigger Profit Not Bigger Sale

The final thing to do is to provide smaller quantities.

This is a great strategy employed by many successful businesses and billionaires.

Take the amount you were going to put into that container and reduce it thereby dropping your costs. Because the container is the same size, the perceived value remains the same so you sell for the same amount and make more profit.


​What's Next?

There are literally dozens of general strategies to increase the value of each customer and each transaction, which combine into hundreds of permutations for your business.

If you’d like more like this please check out our other articles, download our free content and consider engaging with us in one of the following ways:

  1. Take one of our training programs – if this is a simple free article you can imagine what kind of value we pack into a few week or few month extensive training program on subjects like Profitable Marketing, Getting Deals, Leveraging Team, Growing Impact, etc.

  2. Have us consult with you in a Rapid ROI Strategy session to get results toward your financial and business goals quickly. These are perfect for people who don’t necessarily need extensive training but have a quick question or challenge to solve that would be very valuable and give them a big edge.

  3. Apply to have us work with you in helping you build your wealth, your business, your marketing directing you on exactly what to do, tweaking your process to get the fastest results possible. We do this especially in helping you to Build a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine. You can also request similar assistance with other areas.

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Powerful Communication That Turns Leads Into Loyal Buyers

Powerful Communication

Marketing is all about communication.

  • How do you communicate
  • When do you communicate
  • With whom do you communicate
  • About what do you communicate in order to monetize your product or service and convert it into profit.

The most personal portion of this communication is the actual communication driving them to buy, which we sometimes call sales.

For years I sucked at sales and for years I struggled to get people to buy. Then, I had a few key breakthroughs and eventually discovered the step by step process of buying. This will massively increase your conversion rates.

This is what we call “The Anatomy of a Transaction”. How a transaction naturally takes place mirrors exactly how you should communicate whether in person or through written or visual communication.


  Step 1 – Communicate To Their Demand

Eugene Schwartz one of the greatest copy writers in history pointed out we do not create demand we can only channel it to our product or service.

What is demand? Quite simply it means someone is in one state and they’d like to shift to another. This is what drives their behavior.

If you want a lead or prospect to buy from you the process starts with communicating to them that your product or service (what you are offering for them to buy) will move them from where they are to where they want to go.

This is alarmingly simple at the core. For them to trust you they need to feel understood and feeling understood is going to come from you communicating to them your understanding of where they are and where they want to go.

For example, if I was promoting a recruiting company I might say “stop wasting time on candidates not showing up for interviews and only receive amazing reliable pre-screened applicants who fit exactly what you’re looking for”.

This speaks to a pain or frustration they might have (scheduling interviews and having applicants not show up).

Your initial communication to the prospect should identify where they are at and where they want to go. It should identify the key benefit and/or fear/frustration of your prospect.

Note, some of this communication might be implicit. For example, think about the famous Apple ad for the iPod reading “a thousand songs in your pocket”. The benefit statement in this case implies what you don’t have as well as what you’d like.

Consider the famous offer from Domino’s “Pizza hot and fresh delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free!” We’ve got a strong benefit statement here (implies an after state) along with what your current state is (you’re hungry and want food fast!).

We’ll return to both of those examples soon.

Bottom line in sales we need to first understand what our client’s desired after state is and communicate to them that we’ll provide it for them. When communicating live we can ask probing questions to understand their needs but in advertising we need to have identified this in advance.

Start by either identifying that you will take them where they want to go by labeling where they want to go (not what they are getting but the state they’ll have as a result). You could start with where they are at now for example “suffering from crippling back pain?” but this needs to lead to the after state.

Two powerful questions we often ask ourselves at this stage are “what are they really buying?” and “why are they really buying it?” The first identifies the after state and the second identifies the story going on in their life providing the emotional drive to take action.

To help understand their demand it helps to know their context.  There are 7 strategies we use for identifying our customer's context.


 Step 2 – Crossing the Believability Gap

As soon as you communicate that "I can get you to the state you want to be in” the immediate subconscious question that arises is “how can I believe/trust you?” After all, a lot of people will tell you they can meet your demands in order to get you to give them money but many can’t deliver.

They will not buy if they don’t believe you…if you don’t transfer to them the expectation that they’ll reach the after state.

Somehow through your communication you need to answer this question. This is part of the reason articulating their before state is helpful because it builds some of this trust.

In our training we teach about The Trust Pyramid. To simplify down though the easiest way to build this trust and cross the believability gap is to show rather than tell.

Lots of people will tell others about what they’ll do, their credibility, etc. but none of these make it real for them the same way showing them does.

So how do we show? We might explain step by step the process so they can see how it works, why it works and that we know what we’re doing.

We might provide testimonials and case studies of how we’ve done it before over and over.

We might give them a free trial or similar direct experience of the product, so they know and believe.

The important thing is don’t tell them about how you can do it show them how you’ll do it.

At this stage a helpful question to ask is “why are they not buying?” as the answer helps us to focus on where to improve. The answer will also inform the next few steps.

To go really deep into understanding how to communicate this trust download The Trust Pyramid Action Sheet now for free.


Step 3 – Negotiating Value

Even if they believe you can deliver doesn’t mean they’ll buy…how come?

Well there’s the question of price for one.

In order for a transaction to happen what they are ​paying needs to be more than what it’s worth to you and what they are getting needs to be more valuable to them than the money they are paying.

As a result, you need to communicate value and negotiate the price.

Note, this process might take place in the aggregate through the market or it might come down to good old fashioned haggling.

This process essentially involves minimizing the price while increasing the value especially from an emotional standpoint. Ironically, although some strategies might include listing a higher price then discounting down, you might also do the opposite and charge more to increase the perceived value.

To do this, you need to really understand the hot buttons of your prospect and communicate to those, while using strategies to minimize the comparative price. Help them to envision how great their life will be with your product and how much worse it is now.

Here you might also utilize risk reversal strategies such as money back guarantees.

This is where you’ll use discounts, package deals, confusion pricing, comparative pricing, payment plans, etc.

Note, you won’t go through this stage suddenly after crossing the believability gap, you’ll be building value throughout the process so when you reach the point that you make an offer “I’ll give you X in exchange for Y” it’s a no brainer.

Of course it helps if it actually is a no brainer.


Step 4 – Be Different in a Better Way

You could do all the above and still not get them to buy how come?

What if there’s someone offering all the rest better than you?

To really win the sale you need to be better than others or at least come across that way in their mind.

A big part of this is yes of course being different, being better. Note being better doesn’t have to mean better in every way, you might offer a lot less in certain respects much like how a car offers a lot less than a plane but might still be a better option for you.

Domino’s did this well with their offer how? By changing the conversation from selling pizza to selling pizza fast and then backing it up with their offer of it being free. This changes the focus.

The other side of being different that’s relatively easy to accomplish is to understand them better and speak to their needs/concerns better than your competitors.

I’ve done this many times in my businesses. 

For example, in international structuring many people help form foreign companies, we’ll talk to them about the complexities of legal tax structuring. When they come wondering about legal tax structuring comparing us to others I talk to them about the complexities of banking and how it all works together.

These are very real challenges and pains they go through that communicate our expertise, set us apart from the competition and communicate a sense of understanding of the customer’s needs to them.

Ideally, you understand your customer better and tailor your service to serve them better so you win in both regards.

One way or another though find something that matters to the customer to talk about and emphasize that you do well that others do not or find some other way to speak to their demand and the process of fulfilling the demand in ways others aren’t and you’ll end up with a lot more sales.

This in a sense answers the question “why us?”

Note, it isn’t always a tangible difference so much as a communication difference show them you’re the experts make them feel it.

Again this differentiation in a better way should be a demonstration that takes place through the entire process.


Step 5 – Taking it Away

And finally, you could go through all those steps and still not make the sale…how come?

They might want it you might be right, it might be the right fit but they might delay and not do it now.

So, to finish off you might need to give them a little push to take action immediately.

In other words, this section answers the question “why now?”

This is sensitive because you don’t want to pressure them come off as salesy and lose the sale.

What you ideally want is for them to want to complete the sale now.

The way this happens is by stressing the pain of not taking action now and of course the joy and benefit of taking action now.

The key word is NOW.

An example is in one of my companies we help clients with tax savings so as part of the analysis we find out how much tax they are paying and point out what each day of not taking action is costing them in additional taxes.

The idea isn’t always to close the deal now sometimes the client isn’t ready and pushing them will just put them off, that’s fine.

In other cases they want to take action but their personality is such they need a bit of a push and assuming the sale is helpful to get them going.

If you’ve done your job and they aren’t ready to buy now they’ll come back when they are and you can schedule some follow up.


Conclusion

That’s it the 5 definitive steps that make up the anatomy of a transaction.

On final thought. If you do this and do it well, not only won’t it come across as salesy, since it’s simply a natural communication process mirroring the buying process, it will also build loyalty and referrals because you’ll have educated the client through the process on your differentiation and built incredible trust.

Go through your own sales process and sales material to see how aligned you are.


What's Next?

If you found this article valuable and​ would like more like this please check out our other articles, download our free content and consider engaging with us in one of the following ways:

  1. Take one of our training programs – if this is a simple free article you can imagine what kind of value we pack into a few week or few month extensive training program on subjects like Profitable Marketing, Getting Deals, Leveraging Team, Growing Impact, etc.

  2. Have us consult with you in a Rapid ROI Strategy session to get results toward your financial and business goals quickly. These are perfect for people who don’t necessarily need extensive training but have a quick question or challenge to solve that would be very valuable and give them a big edge.

  3. Apply to have us work with you in helping you build your wealth, your business, your marketing directing you on exactly what to do, tweaking your process to get the fastest results possible. We do this especially in helping you to Build a Profitable Sales & Marketing Machine. You can also request similar assistance with other areas. 

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Case Study: How We Grew One $2 Million Company 72% Year Over Year in 3.5 Months

A few years back I formed a company with a partner where we’d go into companies, roll up our sleeves and actually do the work of growing them fast in trade for a piece of the upside.

One of our first clients was a trucking company that wasn’t doing badly in fact they were doing well about $2 million/yr. in sales with just under 20% margins but they’d been stuck at that level for a while and were looking to go to the next level.  This is the story of what actions worked and which didn’t, resulting in a 72% year over year growth in 3.5 months…pretty good for any business.

 

Starting Point

Initially the company was primarily relying on owner operators, people who owned their own vehicles and would do the trucking work involved.  These drivers were each paid 80% of the gross earned for each job.  The company owned a few of their own vehicles and had both the cash and cashflow to purchase others if necessary.  Most of the owner operators were Class 1 drivers meaning they could drive larger trucks but a fairly large percentage of the jobs didn’t require larger trucks being direct point A to B trucking within a 6 or so hour radius though some were multi-day trips.

Scalability in terms of trucks and drivers was relatively easy and dispatch could handle considerably more capacity so the primary goal was to increase sales and grow margins.

The industry was full of a fair number of smaller and similar sized competitors with a difficulty etching out a competitive advantage due to the low barrier to entry nature of the work.  The primary defense was the requirement of various safety programs to work for various large and lucrative clients.

 

What Didn’t Work

The owner had previously been sold on a call service to businesses within the surrounding area to generate leads and had this supposed leads list untapped.  We had a sales person call the leads to little success noticing most of them weren’t very targeted and not particularly high value.

One of the administrative operations people wanted to streamline office procedures, buy new equipment, etc.  Although we did replace the office administrator and implement the documentation of various systems, which made life somewhat easier for the owner the cost savings were minimal because the administrator needed to be around regardless so streamlined procedures didn’t reduce working hours.

Part of the graphics team wanted to implement a rebranding effort (new name, logo, and website).  This had relatively little effect in large part because it wasn’t embraced by the owner who wanted to stick to the older brand, which was recognized by existing customers.  Although the branding could have been leveraged to greater effect it’s questionable whether it was or would have ultimately been the driving force in dramatically increasing sales even if it was embraced given the relationship nature of the business.

 

What Got the Results

The real breakthroughs occurred as a result of 4 inter-related changes:

  1. We sat down and identified the 4 most profitable types of customers and created a list of the specific companies that fit within each of those 4 categories to target with direct calls and visits

 

  1. We knew we had to differentiate the question was how? The service itself is pretty commoditized and guarantees only go so far.  Knowing the clients were typically men in remote work areas for weeks at a time we hired hot girls to drive the low end trucks and branded them

 

  1. We applied a visitation rhythm of regular visits and calls (PR trips) where the girls would for example bring donuts by the target customer locations and hand out information

 

  1. By hiring the girls to drive company owned trucks we were able to reduce the cost on those loads from 80% to 65% of gross resulting in a massive boost in margins

 

Even gaining one large customer within the target categories had the potential to significantly boost sales.  Hiring the girls created industry virality where companies we hadn’t even heard of were calling.  The regular rhythm helped encourage repeat business and keep the company top of mind for when services were needed.  Finally, the boost in margins as you can imagine was significant from a profit standpoint.

 

Lessons You Can Learn

Focusing on the right target market is EVERYTHING.  It is by far the largest marketing mistake I see people make and the biggest opportunity for improvement.

All customers have a buying window and go through buying cycles.  If you don’t hit the window at the right time you won’t get the sale because they simply aren’t in the market.  There are things you can do to improve your timing and consequently your efficiency but baring this applying a regular rhythm of follow up is the best thing you can do.

Differentiation is one of the most powerful ways to increase conversions but you need to be able to do it in a compelling way.  If your customers aren’t emotional about how you’re different then you need to look to a different strategy.  This is also where knowing your target customer is very helpful and in this case allowed us to set ourselves apart when others hadn’t previously.  Also note the fundamental service remained the same the differentiator was in the form of the packaging, which is something else you should consider if you can’t improve or differentiate the core offer.

Finally, when it comes to cutting costs not all efficiencies are necessarily better and some carry risks (for example owning too many trucks would have created risks that having owner operators didn’t create) so you need to be sure to measure the net effect of supposed improvements to make sure there will be cost savings and these aren’t counter balanced by increased risk.

If you’re looking for assistance growing your business, please contact us.