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Category: Viral Marketing

How To Sell Better: Pork, Beans and Madmen.

I’d like to start off this post with a creepy old-timey Ad of a demon child peering into your soul…Let’s learn some selling!

In the early 1900’s during the Madmen era of the Madison Avenue Ad agencies where chain-smoking, busty secretaries, and scotch abounded,

There was an Ad war going on.

The battle was over the canned beans market. Advertisers were duking it out to conquer America’s kitchen cabinets where only one canned-bean could reign over the nation’s pantry.

Amidst clacking typewriters, and second-hand smoke, one Chicago-based ad firm who represented Van Camp’s Beans, brought in the Rain-man of Advertising to settle this game of aprons once and for all.

That man was Claude Hopkins.

He was the most sought after hired gun of his time –and would be– in any time he was in. He was also about as far from the Don Draper archetype as one could be.

He describes his initial thoughts and strategy…

“Van Camp’s pork and beans offered no unique arguments. They were like other pork and beans. When we met in factory and served half a dozen brands, not a man present could decide which was Van Camp’s

…But

We told facts that which no one else ever told.

We told of vine-ripened tomatoes, Livingston Stone tomatoes –All of our competitors used them.

We told how we analyzed every lot of beans –As every canner must.

We told of our ovens where beans are baked for hours at 245 degrees. –That is regular canning practice.

We told how we boiled beans in soft water to eliminate the lime which made skins tough. Our rivals did that also.

We told why  beans baked in home ovens fermented and were hard to digest….

We told the same story that any rival could have told but all others thought the story was to commonplace.”

So, if all the other competitors *could* have told this story, why didn’t they?

Claude Hopkins sums it up with the following quote:

“The Majority of advertising, even today, is based on the plea,

“Buy My Brand.”

That Plea never appealed to anybody, and it never will. They [say] in effect,

“Give me the money you give to others.”

They offer no value. They solve no problems. Rather, they boast and brag that whatever they are trying to sell is “the original” “genuine” “most advanced” which is basically roundabout ways of saying buy my brand.

Sage wisdom permeates the writing of Claude Hopkins on the subject of advertising and selling. He had a keen understanding of human nature that allowed him to do so well. He simply knew how to give people what they wanted in an ethical way.

“A man not willing to bid for patronage on an altruistic basis has no place in advertising or selling”

He argued that if all you’re doing is trying to gain selfish advantage for yourself than you can count on sucking in the marketplace.

Cool beans.

The Myth of The “Million Dollar Idea”

I recently wrote an article for  a  fitness column. It was  titled: A little known secret to Weight Loss

The essence of it was to stop making things so complicated. Don’t get so caught up in what you “should” be doing to get fit. Do whatever you enjoy enough to do long term. Don’t get caught up in opinions about how imperfect your given circumstances are, just move. Pick one thing and do it consistently. Do that, and losing weight and getting fit is pretty damn effortless.

I could have changed the entire topic to business by switching a few words and it would of been just as true.

A little know secret to Business and Entrepreneurship

Stop making things so complicated. Don’t get so caught up in what you “should” be doing. Do whatever you enjoy enough to do long term. Don’t get caught up in opinions about how imperfect your given circumstances are, just move. Pick one thing and do it consistently. Do that, and business and making money is pretty damn effortless.

“The Money Making Idea”

This is what I used to think I needed to become an entrepreneur. That one idea that would make me millions. When I was in business school everyone loved to talk about business and entrepreneurship in sexy esoteric terms that most of them didn’t really even understand.

Throw words around like “start-up” and “venture capital”, and “IPO” and you can play with the cool kids.

“Ya bro…me and my other bros are working on an idea for a tech “start-up” We’re seeking venture capital probably from a VC firm in Silicon Valley. When we pull the trigger on our IPO i’ll let you know. It’s gonna be fuckin epic.”

This is precisely why no one actually starts a business because we think every business has to follow the Harvard Dormroom-Social-network business model in order to actually do something.

You don’t.

You can’t just as easily buy a beat-up old van. Throw some cleaning supplies in there and start cleaning carpets. Do it better than the way the current players are doing it. Add some novel way of doing business for your customers that hasn’t been done before. You know, innovate. Give people an irresistible offer to try you out. Add mechanisms for repeat business and incentives for people to talk about and refer you.

Do this for a while and then find a college student to help you part-time. As you build clientele, hire him full-time while you work on building the business exclusively. Buy another van in another town. Repeat the process and before long you are the kingpin of carpet cleaning.

See, this is entrepreneurship. It’s this same bootstrapping ingenuity that this country has been founded on. Pick a trade and hang a sign out on the door. It’s not sexy like making an app or another god-forsaken social network but it is the best way I know of to control your own destiny and bring value to the world.

I think its a shame that in my business school (and I assume most others) no body paid any attention to this variety of entrepreneurship.  It’s all about tech. And that leaves about 95% of us with nothing to offer.

Screw that. Right now you have a an idea, a better way of doing things. Grab a napkin and write your business plan on it. And as the sage business guru Perry Marshall says, make just one dollar and figure out the rest as you go.

 

You Change 2 Things, You Change Everything

2495412867_292e9af449Everyone, if they took the time to look at their circumstances in the context of where they want to go, would realize one very critical thing:

There’s 1, maybe 2 things, that if I learned, would change everything.

For me, as an entrepreneur seeking to grow thriving businesses, both online and brick-and-mortor, I knew those two skills would be Marketing, and Internet Literacy.

When I say marketing, I mean the ability to construct carefully executed marketing campaigns across many advertising mediums for many industries for the sole purpose of getting customers in the door or in front of my product/service. This also includes the capacity to test and measure the effectiveness (ROI) of such campaigns in such a way that every marketing dollar be maximized and there is no “shot-in-the-dark-fingers-crossed” dollars wasted.

Internet literacy is the ability to command and orchestrate the vast resources available on the internet to execute and advance the ideas/causes/products for which I care about immediately without having to sit paralyzed by the sheer volume of information. Such things include running adwords campaigns, constructing websites, use of social media, driving traffic, blogging, etc.

These two skills allow me to immediately put ideas I have into action. I can no longer rationalize putting my ideas off  for some future date.

I feel strongly that these 2 skills are the critical 2 for most people striving to create a life less ordinary.

Artists, musicians, hobbyists, anyone with the desire to create something.

So, What Forte(s) would catalyze your ascent to remarkability?

image by Professor Bop

Copy Sells, But Whose Buying? My Landing Page Site Copy

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image by rick

Copy.

As a fitness entrepreneur, the way I see it there’s 2 routes.

The: Hype, Feed off Fear and Emotions, Pseudo Sense of Urgency & Scarcity Hard-sell Approach

Exhibit 1.

“ONE TIME OFFER!! Expires in 40 seconds!! Only 7 No, 3 Spots Left! Act  Now or You’re a Total Effing Loser! Buy now. . .Loser!”

Couple that with questionable testimonials and scantily-clad hard-body pictures and you got yourself an italian suit- pinky ring Landing page

Or…

The Let-me-level-with-you, speak you language, meet your needs, educate you, so you can buy or not buy freely makes no diff to me, high-road approach.

I’ve seen great examples here, here, and here

The former approach is one of manipulation and it is the way internet marketers are told their Copy should be. I remember studying some internet courses encouraging one to make hollow “review” websites for the purpose of coming off un-biased, when really its a cloaked attempt to push one’s own product. Not only is it biased, it’s flat-out deceiving.

This is why so many people are apprehensive to buy off the net. They don’t want to be scammed. It’s hard to find people we can trust here on the Internets. What a tangled web such conniving internet marketers weave.

This is Changing though. Web 2.0 is increasing the level of transparency and quality is rising above the dross like smoke from a flame.

The way I see it, the better what ever it is you are selling/providing is, the less need there is to use black-hat tactics to get bought.

I must begin at the beginning….

Welcome,

Hi. My names Ricky.

I’m an Entrepreneur (ultra-novice), a Elite Fitness Coach, Internet marketer, and aspiring do0gooder. This is my new site. Here I plan to do many things.

I’m an entrepreneur in fitness and web marketing. But i’m also very very new. Graduated a couple months ago so my idea is to profile, in real time, the beginning, middle, and unforeseen future of my career as an entreprepreneur.

The first of which will be the chronicles of starting a gym in a small town using little more than…

Social Media and Sweat Equity

Here you will see, as it happens, experiments in the marketing, growing, and sustaining of my business Heyday Elite Fitness

The trials and tribulations will be laid out before you so that you can learn from me, and I, you.

I’m also very much into living an etch-a-sketch life. Drawing life out by your own terms. If you mess up, shake it off and try again. I will be showing you how mine pans out here 🙂 Lets Get Started.

Ready…Break.

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image by deliriousfish

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