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How To Go To Market With An Online Business

Published February 27, 2019 in Guides - 0 Comments
go to market

This is a long and thorough guide on how to go to market with an online business from A to Z, catered specifically to internet marketers interested in affiliate marketing and network marketing.

Because this is quite a long guide (over 8,000 words), I have created jump links for you below for easier navigation if you would prefer to skip farther down the page to the topic of your choice.

Once you click on a jump link, simply click on the back button in your browser to return to the top of the page.

Finally, if you have not signed up for the members portion of Earning Ability yet, please do so here if making actual money online is something that interests you.

Here are the contents of this guide:

Chapter 1: Preparing Yourself Mentally for Going to Market

are you prepared?

Marketing is about getting customers for your business. If you don’t know how to get customers, then you don’t have security or stability in your business — it’s that simple.

Most people won’t go out and get customers for their business: Most businesses die — their founders losing precious money, time and energy.

If you ask them why their businesses failed, you will consistently hear a common theme: “I didn’t have enough customers.”

Chapter 1.1: What Is Marketing?

what is marketing

Definitions of marketing terms:


Finding where new customers are located and getting in front of them with your marketing message.


Proactively finding people yourself, one to one, asking questions about their needs, and getting them to tell you what you need to do to get them to buy, then closing.


Whenever a customer takes an action (clicking on an ad, subscribing, completing a survey, buying, taking an upsell, etc.).

Upselling & Remarketing

the real money is not in getting the customer in the first place, it’s in getting existing customers to buy MORE stuff from you.

It’s 3-10x less expensive to sell something to an existing customer than it is to go out and get a new customer. Find out the additional needs of your customers after they buy your product.

Chapter 1.2: Getting Your Mind in the Market First

how to adopt the right marketing mindset to be successful

Commit yourself to learning and mastering marketing. It’s the most important thing you can do for the success of your business and financial future.

Business success is completely different from job success. People bring mindsets from previous experiences and apply them to new experiences.

We tend to bring a “job mindset” with us as we build our businesses. Job success is about reactively doing work, and business success is about proactively getting customers.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to succeed? The willingness to do whatever it takes is crucial to
succeeding in marketing. You’ll often have to step outside your comfort zone to have marketing success.

You will have to face and overcome your fears of embarrassment, rejection and “pushing” people. This isn’t about doing anything unethical. Rather, it is about breaking through your fears.

Why learn “Marketing Mindsets?” How you think about an area of business or success determines how will you approach it.

If you have the wrong ideas about Marketing, or the wrong expectations, you are certain to make serious mistakes.

Marketing Mindset #1

Marketing is the KEY money-maker in your business. Most activities inside a business cost money, instead of make money.

Of the things that do make money, marketing makes the most money. It re-prioritizes what you need to do every day.

Marketing Mindset #2

Marketing is not something you do once — it’s an ongoing PROCESS.

Marketing Mindset #3

Marketing begins with understanding the needs and wants of your customer.

It doesn’t begin with advertising, putting up a website, etc. It begins with delving deep into the minds of your customer.

Marketing Mindset #4

Customers hate to be sold — but they LOVE to buy. Instead of convincing, give them what they need to convince themselves to buy.

Allow your customers the pleasure of finding a solution to their problem… so they can love to buy.

Marketing Mindset #5

Marketing is about triggering ACTION. Marketing is “customer-getting.”

Human beings don’t make most decisions consciously, although it appears to the decider that they are. Appeal to the inner animal and chimpanzee so they have what they need to make the decision.

Don’t cross your own ethical boundaries. Only use these tools when it’s in the best interest of your prospects to do so.

Marketing Mindset #6

Everything is a test. EVERYTHING.

We like to think that what we’re doing is going to work, for sure. This causes us to continue unsuccessful marketing efforts, and compound our failure rather than compound our success.

If you take the mindset that everything is a test, you carefully watch what you do to see if it’s working. You have the expectation that many things won’t work.

But the ones that do work get used over and over again, and become winning (and very profitable) formulas.

Marketing Mindset #7

Run your marketing like a business. Running something like a business is about taking it seriously, measuring it, and making sure it actually works.

Most people run their marketing by intuition, not like a business.

Marketing Mindset #8

Understand your prospective customer better than they understand themselves. This is about diving deep into their desires, fears, fantasies, etc. Learn the words they use to describe their situation.

When you understand them better than they understand themselves, you’ll be able to develop deep and long-lasting relationships with them and offer them many products.

Marketing Mindset #9

Successful marketing is ultimately a successful marketing system and sequence.

You want to build a marketing system, so a customer can come to you and get a consistent experience of learning about your services, why they need to purchase from you, the upsells you offer, etc.

Marketing Mindset #10

The success of your marketing is in proportion to the perceived value that you create for customers. It’s not enough to have a product and say, “Come and buy my product.”

What customers need in order to make a decision is massive value. You need to translate the value of what you’re offering. You need to connect the dots and show them exactly how you’ll solve their problem.

Marketing Mindset #11

“I am now a Marketer, not just a business owner.” When people ask you what you do, answer “I’m a marketer, and I own a business.”

Marketing Mindset #12

Find customers where they are, not where you want them to be — and don’t expect them to find you. Find them physically and psychologically.

Behave in a way that makes them comfortable with you because you’re meeting them where THEY are. Expecting people to find us is left over from the job mindset.

Chapter 2: Creating Customers Using Human Psychology

human psychology

Human psychology isn’t rational. From the inside it usually appears that our thinking, decisions and actions are “rational.”

From the outside it usually appears that our thinking, decisions and actions are “irrational.” Humans do things for their reasons, not your reasons — and rarely are these reasons “rational.”

We humans have 3 brains in 1: reptile, mammal, and thinker.

The challenge? Our 3 brains aren’t very well integrated — and the older brains (the reptile and mammal brains) seem to rule the newer (the thinker brain).

We humans are built and wired for a time that is long gone. The modern environment has changed dramatically from our “original environment.”

We have become “homo technoligus” living inside the self-built “human zoo.” But don’t forget — our wiring hasn’t changed! It’s still built for the outside world.

We don’t make decisions logically, we make decisions unconsciously. The process of making a decision appears to be “retinal” — so we assume that it is.

It now appears that most decisions aren’t made consciously. Instead, decisions are made on an unconscious level — then “rationalized” with the conscious mind (through a process called confabulation).

Chapter 2.1: Overcoming Your Prospects’ Analysis Paralysis

analysis paralysis

We are completely overwhelmed by communications and choices. We live in the world’s first over-communicated society.

The level of choice we have is literally immobilizing us. The average person has essentially no hope of silencing the increasing noise.

We are twice as motivated to avoid pain as we are to get pleasure. Tests have shown that we humans will pay twice as much to avoid pain as to get pleasure.

The “problem/fear/pain” aspect of what you sell is likely TWICE as important as the pleasure aspect.

Our psychology is rooted in our past. Great progress has been made “decoding” human psychology and behavior over the past decades.

The more we look for “evolutionary” drivers of our psychological mechanisms, the more we find them. If you look behind most thoughts, feelings, and actions, you’ll find survival, sex and status.

When we have a need, our entire thinking & deciding process changes. A person who is experiencing a need, a craving, a desire, a fear becomes a “different animal” — so to speak.

When under the influence of a need, we become single-minded in our quest to satisfy it. Especially when it’s about survival, sex, or status.

We humans are very bad at figuring out how much things are worth. Money, value, and prices are very confusing to humans.

We are constantly looking for cues, criteria, and comparisons to understand how much products and services are “worth.”

All of this adds up to prospective customers who need CLARITY. You cannot hope to cut through this inner and outer noise without FOCUS.

You must know what you’re offering, who it’s for, and what the benefit is to them — then present it to the IRRATIONAL human mind. If you don’t, you might as well not even start.

Most people aren’t prospects because they’re not motivated. It’s virtually impossible to sell products to people who have no motivation.

You dramatically increase your chances of success if you’re selling to motivated people who have a need.

Chapter 2.2: Features, Advantages & Benefits vs. Results, Solutions & Relief


People don’t buy products or services — they buy results, benefits, and solutions.

Most business owners think they’re selling a “product” or “service.” Most customers think they’re buying a solution, a result, or avoidance of pain.

Most people sell features, not benefits. What is the relief your customer gets with your solution?

Losing 20 pounds is a result, and that’s great, but the next level is to talk about the ultimate solution, for example, the relief from feeling unattractive.

Stop selling logic — instead offer results, solutions, and relief. Ultimately customers don’t care about you, your products, your “quality” — or anything else.

When they do pay attention to these things, it’s only to increase chances of getting results, solutions, and relief. Stop trying to logically convince — instead, focus on results, solutions, and relief.

Remember our 3 brains & our irrational decisions. The reason why we focus NOT on logic, but instead on results, solutions and relief, is because people are driven by their motivational systems.

And these systems are based on ancient brain systems that drive us to survive, stay safe, find security, find love, express ourselves and actualize.

3 important rules of thumb when targeting your audience:

  • Look for customers who are motivated.
  • Look for customers who are looking for you.
  • Look for customers who have few perceived options.

In order to make this mental shift, we must practice it. We are so used to thinking “from our own perspective” that we don’t adapt quickly to thinking like a customer.

In order to make it natural and automatic to think like a customer, you must imagine that you ARE a customer.

Start by “forgetting” about yourself and your product, then close your eyes and imagine that you’re one of your own CUSTOMERS.

Marketing is entering a conversation that the prospect is already having inside their own mind.

How to know you’ve made the big mental shift: the way to know that you’ve made the mental shift to thinking like a customer is simple:

  • When you say or write down customer needs while speaking in the first person
  • You use phrases that start with, “I want” and not phrases that start with “My Customer Wants”

Chapter 3: Creating Your Ideal Customer Profile Using Empathy

empathy map

The place to start when marketing is customer NEEDS.

Start by identifying customer needs, then build your marketing around them. Don’t make the mistake of starting with what YOU think is great about what you do.

Customer needs are often hidden — so you must DIG.

We humans like to assume that we “get” others — and we know what they’re thinking. Turns out that we’re not as good at this as we think.

There’s real money on the line here, so it’s time to get serious.

The price of a mistake when identifying customer needs is high — and the reward great. The probability of successfully identifying customer needs is low — unless you talk to them one-on-one.

You’re looking for emotional needs that are going unmet.

As you research and consider customer needs, pay special attention to those that are going unmet. A need that isn’t met is far more powerful than a need that is being met.

If you want to “get it right,” you must talk to customers.

The fastest way to discover needs that you can fulfill with your marketing is to ASK. You’ll learn more by talking to a prospective customer for 15 minutes then you will by “thinking about it” all day long.

Invest a lot of your time and energy into talking to customers. Do this every day. It’ll pay off. Ask them for their fears and frustrations, wants and aspirations, etc.

Chapter 3.1: The Basic “Irrational” Human Needs That Drive Us

maslow's hierarchy of needs

Maclean’s 3 brains: survival, reproduction, and status.

Maslow’s hierarchy: there are two types of needs — deficiency and being.

The deficiency needs MUST get fulfilled. It’s not optional. We’ll do anything to get those needs met.

When we meet a deficiency need, then the next deficiency need up the ladder emerges. (From survival, to safety, to security, to love, to self-expression.)

Our customers are mostly driven by deficiency needs. They don’t appear to be optional to the average human.

The Customer Avatar

If you combined all of your customers into one customer, what would they be like?

What are the commonalities of all your customers? Who are they? How old are they? Are they male or female?

List the commonalities. As you “build out” your customer avatar, continue to find the “particular commonalities” that make your customers uniquely similar.

Include only those commonalities that have meaning and value — discard irrelevant information.

You will create a very specific, interesting, unique person to speak to. Give them a name. See them as a real person.

Now you can create messages that talk to all your prospects, but give them each the feeling that you’ve created your messages and products just for that one individual person.

If it’s not specific enough, it won’t give them that feeling. You won’t turn them off, but you won’t turn them on either.

The “Voice” of Your Customer

Different people have different ways of communicating with each other and use different languages.

“Computer geeks” communicate differently from “fashionistas,” who communicate differently from”car guys.” What’s the voice of YOUR customer?

Your Avatar’s Unique Language

At the “ground level” your Customers are using specific words and phrases that have unique value to them in the context of their distinct needs.

Pay attention, listen carefully and reflect regularly to pin-point these “power words” and phrases to use when creating your marketing.

Create a Dialogue with Your Customer Avatar

As you develop your marketing campaigns, initiate and develop a “mental dialogue” with your customer avatar.

Mentally connect with them on a human level, and talk to them like you would talk to a friend.

Chapter 4: Branding vs. Direct Response Marketing

branding vs. direct response

There are two basic approaches to marketing: branding and response (or “direct response”) marketing.

Branding is about getting people to “remember your name.” Response is about getting people to take ACTION and BUY.

The reason it’s called “direct response marketing” is because it’s based on two key ideas that are very powerful together.

The first is marketing DIRECTLY to prospective customers & the second is asking for a RESPONSE. Branding is “indirect” in that its intention isn’t to generate action NOW.

Conversion, Not Continuation

In professional sales, a “continuation” is when you set-up a follow-up, but don’t actually make a sale.

In marketing (and sales), a “conversion” is when your prospective customer takes action — ideally buying what you’re offering. Aim for conversion, not continuation.

Branding is very, very appealing to “marketing chickens.” Most people default to branding or “getting their name out” because it’s the easy road.

You never have to face direct rejection if you never ask for a sale…which makes branding a very appealing route for most business owners.

You can always blame someone else when you don’t take personal responsibility for sales.

Response marketing has its root in direct, face-to-face selling. The best way to think about a good direct response marketing piece is to think of it like a real salesperson — only multiplied and automated.

The techniques of direct response have been tried, tested and refined over 100+ years. It’s now considered a “science” by the pros.

In-person sales is the greatest “paid research” you can ever do. Most people are afraid of selling their products and services “face-to-face.” In fact, it’s the best possible research you can do for your business.

You’ll never learn information and acquire knowledge you can use in your marketing that’s more specific or more powerful than when you SELL.

Do what big, successful companies DID — not what they do now. Don’t imitate the big companies — or assume that what they do will work for you.

If you want to imitate them, go back to when they began and do what they DID… and not what they’re doing NOW!

Chapter 4.1: Your First Marketing Should Be in the Spirit of Direct Sales

direct sales

Don’t aspire to have people “know your name” or “be famous.” Instead, aspire to have people who have a need come to you to buy what you’re selling.

Instead of trying to become a “famous brand,” work to sell your product to one person at a time… then replicate this direct response system to grow.

And what they did when they started was usually SALES. Sales has gotten a “bad name” over the past several decades.

Professional selling looks nothing like the manipulative hustling that we associate with the “used car salesman.”

Professional selling is about discovering and developing needs, then matching needs to solutions.

Professional salespeople see the sales conversation as research into the prospective customer’s needs.

It’s easy to forget that most people have no clue…

Most people who are experiencing a need have very little education about their problem — and therefore have very little education about how to solve it successfully.

Even with access to so much information, most people are still in “quiet desperation.”

Educate as you market and sell your products and services. Education can be used successfully to both help people solve their problems and to help people SEE their problems.

Educating also helps build credibility and trust, which are essential for customer ACTION.

Content Marketing

A new form of marketing has evolved with the mainstream adoption of the internet. This is called “content marketing” — which is basically creating content that attracts prospective customers.

This is really the ultimate “education marketing” — as it’s typically in the form of an educational tip or video.

But beware of the content trap. Content marketing is also very alluring to those “marketing chickens” who would prefer to avoid any kind of selling or marketing.

But don’t get distracted — the best content marketing uses all of the “power tools” of direct marketing — it doesn’t “skip” them.

Editorial Marketing

A time-tested way to increase attention, interest and response to your marketing is to format it into an “editorial” style or design.

Infomercials, advertorials, megalogs, many blogs, and other formats exemplify this strategy.

Editorial marketing looks like an article in a magazine, a newspaper article, a blog post, etc., and it’s automatically perceived as true.

Designing your marketing like an editorial alone can affect views and engagement by 500% or more. By simply making your marketing look like an editorial, it can significantly increase conversion.

Pay Attention to the Details

It’s not “intuitive” that you can increase your response and your results so dramatically by simply laying out your marketing differently.

Start paying attention to how news sites, blogs, magazines & educational videos design and format their content. Begin using these styles to increase response.

Chapter 5: Leverage Naming for Branding AND Market Positioning

market positioning

Naming = the ultimate leverage: nowhere do you get so much “bang for your buck” than in choosing a name for your business, product, or service.

Create a name that’s impossible for customers to forget. Don’t focus on creating a name that’s “nice” or “easy to remember.” Instead, focus on creating a name that’s impossible to FORGET.

The mind remembers names by SOUND, not by sight. Names are sounds before they are printed words — so focus on the SOUND primarily.

Repetitive sounds and rhythmic sounds win in this domain — so use them.

Avoid “cute” or “funny” names. Spending money is serious business — and most people don’t want to laugh when they’re doing it. Rarely does a cute or funny name work — so avoid them.

Use names that promise results, benefits, and/or solutions if possible. Most people think that a name is something very different from their “other marketing.”

Not so — use everything you’ve learned so far to create a name that promises a BENEFIT.

Rhythm makes names much more “sticky” in the mind. We have a system called the “phonological loop” that acts as an auditory buffer.

Use repetitive and rhythmic sounds to keep your name bouncing around LONGER.

Use and include: alliteration, rhyme, power associations

Favorite name examples: Coca Cola, 3 Day Blinds, YouTube, Bed Bath & Beyond

Chapter 5.1: Positioning — What It Is & What It’s Not

market positioning cars

Positioning is a game that you play in the mind — not a game you play in reality.

You don’t “position” your product by comparing it to other products. You position your product by creating a new MENTAL CATEGORY that it can be first in.

Human minds use categories as “shortcut decision makers.”

The world is complex and full of product options. Most of the product options are not perceived to be significantly different from other available options.

When two options are similar to each other, we consider them to be roughly the “same” option and we “throw one away” to conserve mental space.

It’s no use competing — if you do, you’ve already lost. Competing is a rough game in marketing, and it’s one that is usually LOST when competing with an established competitor.

The reason is that the competitor has already gotten into the mind of your customer. It’s much better to create a new category — that you can be first in — and let others compete.

How to Create a Mental Category

Start with an aspect of your customer’s need that’s critically important to them.

Examples include speed, convenience, specific results, a guarantee — whatever is the key element to your customer.

Base your new mental category on a key need that is currently unmet — that your particular product meets.

How to “Niche” Your Category

Drill down into a need to find the “high emotion value” 20% that is going unmet.

Discover the words, phrases, and specific “emotional hot buttons” that customers use to describe it.

Research to find out the “niche within the niche” that you can own in the mind.

Categories Diverge Just Like Species Diverge

Every business category eventually becomes two categories — or more. Computers became laptops and desktops, cars became compact cars, midsize cars and luxury cars.

Anticipate this process, and split the category yourself… to create a category that you can own.

Big companies lose because instead of creating a new niche and a new business, they try to take the old stuff they used to do and re-label it. Think IBM, Microsoft, Google and Facebook.

Name Your New Category

To get into the mind first, name your new category — so that customers will see you as the INVENTOR of it.

Win by creating and promoting the category itself, not just your particular business or product.

Who Was the First?

Who was the first search engine? Who was the first energy drink? Who was the first portable MP3 player?

Most people will say Google and RedBull and iPod — because they were first in the MIND.

It’s better to be first then it is to be better.

Examples of Categories

Health foods = WholeFoods Market.

Online auctions = eBay.

Luxury New York condos = TRUMP.

Social networking = Facebook.

Online videos = YouTube.

Chapter 6: Giving Away Value To Attract Leads


Stair-step marketing is the principle of not asking a woman or man to marry you on the first date.

Therefore, don’t ask someone to buy from you in the headline of your ad. Instead, offer value, information, and solutions.

Your customers are people, and they want a trusted long-term relationship. Too many companies create marketing that feels impersonal, sterile and distant.

People are built to interact with people, not with “corporate entities.” Create a marketing experience that feels like building a relationship with a new friend.

Small action steps lead to big results over the long-term.

As you build your stair-step marketing system, you’ll find that, over the long term, you’ll get very big results when many people are taking small steps since these small steps add up to big results in the long run.

The objective is to optimize the system, not to “get at the golden eggs” by killing the goose and going for a quick “as soon as possible” sell.

Build it and optimize it for one customer. Then attract many. Build your stair-step marketing system for ONE person (your customer avatar).

After you’ve designed a personalized, relationship-oriented experience, then “open up your funnel” to scale up your lead generation.

Chapter 6.1: The Stair-Step Marketing Framework

penrose stairs inception

These five steps are: traffic, subscriber, customer, up-sell, and back-end.

1. Getting Traffic

Run “interruption marketing” ads. Advertise on search engines. Create valuable content, videos, and articles that lead back to your website. Partner with others who have lists.

KEY: always promise results, benefits, and relief.

2. Capturing a Subscriber

“Sweeten the pot” as soon as someone comes to your website — to encourage them to opt in to your email list.

Offer free videos, PDF reports, a free analysis, etc., in return for opting in.

Immediately begin by sending value to communicate that you’re one of the “good guys.”

3. Converting Prospects to Customers

Continue to send valuable tips and informative content that builds credibility, trust and motivation on the part of your prospect.

Include occasional “special offers” to get additional value, bonuses, and promotions. Invite & interact with prospects to take advantage of user-generated content.

4. Up-Selling at the Point of Purchase

The highest probability of getting someone to buy something from you is when they’re already buying something from you — during the purchase.

Make your “up-sell” relevant and valuable to the original purchase — so that it “makes sense.”

Example: offer an advanced version of what they’re already buying.

5. The Back-End of Your Business

Follow up FOREVER now that you have a customer, the name of the game is to KEEP them as a customer.

What if you kept investing in your customers, after they became customers? What if you involved them in your product designs?

The Old Model

“Give away advertisements.” It used to cost a lot to give away almost ANYTHING.

The internet has changed this, by allowing us to distribute documents, audio and video virtually free. Our inner chimp resists giving something away in order to get something in return.

The New Model

Give away something of REAL value. The highest leverage thing you can give away is content that educates your customer.

Free reports, free videos, a free webinar, free consultations — all have high perceived value. What could you create and give away?

The cost of creating and giving away massive value is now $0. Anything you can distribute online can now be given away essentially at no cost.

So what are most businesses doing about this? NOTHING.

Give away more value = attract more customers to your site and list. The more value you give away, the more you attract people to your site, and to your list.

There’s a lesson here: in the future, the game is about who can create the most VALUE.

Create and give away something that’s worth at least $100. Create a set of free content, downloads or videos that are worth at least $100.

Then give it away — to as many people as you possibly can. You must get over your “justice mechanism.”

Chapter 7: How To Market Your Story With Powerful Headlines

what makes a good headline

Your headline is the “ad for the ad.” People skim headlines to decide what to read. If the headline doesn’t grab attention, it’s VERY unlikely that the content will… so people “skip it.”

A headline is literally the “ad for the ad” — so focus your attention on making it powerful. Your headline has a big job, so give it all the help you can. Headlines make or break advertisements and marketing pieces.

Headline writers are some of the highest paid writers for magazines, newspapers, etc. You should invest as much time writing headlines, sub-headlines and “bullets” as you invest in writing the actual copy.

Use high emotion value words and phrases. Some words and phrases trigger stronger emotions than others. “Lawyer” triggers stronger emotions than “attorney,” for instance.

What are YOUR high-emotion value terms? What words are your prospects using?

Offer a Promise of a Result, a Benefit, or Relief in Your Headline

People are motivated by results, benefits & relief — so offer these key motivators. Your prospects can’t hear about their wants, fears, desires, and challenges too much.

Your headlines aren’t just the words at the top of a letter, but they’re also the first words in a teleclass, video, etc. Get your best stuff out up front.

Famous headlines that worked:

  • “How To Win Friends & Influence People.”
  • “Do You Make These Mistakes In English?”
  • “How I Improved My Memory In One Evening.”
  • “How A New Discovery Made A Plain Girl Beautiful.”
  • “At 60 Miles An Hour The Loudest Noise In The New Rolls-Royce Comes From The Electric Clock.”

Align and Connect Your Headline to Every Part of Your Marketing

One of the biggest “marketing blunders” that I see is a misalignment of a headline, message, and offer.

Consider what you’re going to ask your customer to do at the end, then “align” your headline with that. Make sure that all parts of your marketing are connected, continuous and congruent.

When in doubt, start with the words “how to.” A tried-and-true formula for great headlines, subheads, and bullets is to start with the simple words “how to.”

Add results, benefits, and relief after “how to” and you’re already writing great headlines.

Re-use your headline powers in your marketing. Headlines are concentrated “marketing power” — focused into a few words.

Re-use this power throughout your marketing in the form of subheads and bullets. Make sure your headlines are inserted every few minutes into your audios and videos as well.

Chapter 7.1: Why Your Story Is One of Your Most Valuable Business Assets

what's your story?

Customers need a way to connect to you and your business, and your story provides it.

The more your story involves elements that your customer has experienced the better. Your story is an asset, so refine it!

Humans understand experiences and information in relationship to stories. It seems that in order to understand something, we must relate it to other things in a story format.

This allows us to see how elements are related to each other and to the whole. Minds think and process in STORY form.

When We Don’t Have a Story Provided, We Create One

We’ve already learned about the phenomenon called “confabulation.” We seem to always be looking for how elements fit together, and trying to create a story that “makes sense.”

Your story should allow your customer to relate to you. The more people have in common, the more they feel like they can “relate” to each other.

In order for your story to help your customer relate to you, it must include elements that they have experienced personally.

Your story should touch on key emotional experiences. These are elements of stories that are most “touching” to people.

Being at a disadvantage, trying and failing, emotional drama, discovering winning formulas, achieving success when the chips were down — these are all very interesting.

Your story should touch on these key elements:

  1. Started in same situation as customer
  2. Tried and failed
  3. Breakthrough: discovered the secret to success
  4. Created a system or product
  5. Others used it and succeeded
  6. Now you can succeed

Chapter 8: Speak TO Customers with Your Sales Copy, Not AT Them

attract more customers with professional copywriting

Copy is about the words you use to communicate in your marketing. The words in your marketing carry the message, the meaning, and the ideas.

If you want to master marketing, practice writing, speaking, and making videos of your copy.

If customers use particular words when they talk about their pain and desires, when we use those same words it’ll make a huge impact.

Use Short Words, Short Sentences, and Short Paragraphs

Short words are understandable by everyone. Short sentences break ideas into bite-size pieces that keep communication clear. Short paragraphs look and “feel” friendly — they don’t intimidate.

Use long, detailed, persuasive copy that tells your whole story. Even though you’re using short words, sentences and paragraphs, you must use long copy to tell your entire story.

Imagine that you were face-to-face with your customer. What would you need to tell them so they could make an informed decision?

“Speak-Write” as If You Were Sitting with Your Prospect In-Person

Writing marketing copy is an exercise in imagining that you are talking in person.

Use what’s called “speak-write” — so that your words sound friendly and personal. Speak to one person when you write copy!

Does anyone read, listen to, or watch long copy anymore? When someone sees a 30-page sales letter or a 45-minute video, they might ask “will anyone read that?” or “will anyone watch that?”

While attention spans and copy ARE getting shorter, it’s a bad decision to bet against long copy.

If you had a problem that was really bothering you, you’d definitely read the solution to that problem, no matter how long.

Speak the Language of Real Customers, Not Fantasy Customers

When you interact with your customers, listen to the way they talk.

If you can, adopt their language, their phrases, and their tone — and adapt it to the copy you use in your marketing. The familiarity will build trust and credibility. Don’t try to talk fancy.

Only talk about things that are directly relevant to your prospect. Don’t use hype, fluff or sensationalism — if you can at all help it.

Keep every part of your message focused on something that’s emotionally relevant and MOTIVATING. Keep the “motivator” in your mind as you write your copy — don’t forget it.

Make an outline of questions, answer them, and transcribe it.

  • What benefit will your prospect get from going through your message?
  • What are the fears and frustrations your prospect is going through that you solve?
  • What results, benefits, and relief will your prospect get?
  • How did you discover that the product works?
  • How can they know that it will work?
  • Who is it for, and who is it not for?

Direct response marketing is about ACTION and it’s about RESPONSE. In order to trigger action and response, you must remove all blocks and impediments.

When creating a marketing offer, design it so that it covers all “mental and emotional bases” — and answer all key questions.

Remove Risk to Encourage Action and Even Try to Reverse It

Customers feel that they are taking a big risk. Spending money feels very dangerous, and no one wants to look or feel stupid because they made a dumb decision.

Remove risk as much as possible, even reverse it if you can.

Translate the value of your product and the result it delivers. Humans aren’t very good at comparing and understanding the “real value” of things.

Translate the value of your product and the result it delivers — in terms that your customer can understand.

Summarize the key points of your offer all in one place. After you’ve created a powerful marketing message, it’s important to summarize the massive value of your offer all in one place.

This allows your prospect to see and understand everything they’re getting — and to “get it.” Organize this information in bullet form.

Risk Removal & Reversal: removal = 100% money-back guarantee. Reversal = 100% money-back guarantee + keep product.

Give your risk reversal or guarantee a NAME. Describe your risk removal/reversal in as much detail as possible — to make it perfectly clear, and allow it an opportunity to “land.”

Keep Adding Value, Bonuses and Other Incentives to the Offer

The more value you add and create, the more motivation you build in your prospect.

Continue to stack value, bonuses and other incentives to your offer so it becomes so tempting that your customer can’t resist.

Give specific directions and ask for your customer to buy now. Never assume that your customer will know what to do, or how to buy from you.

Give detailed, specific directions — along with a direct request to BUY NOW. “Just click the button below that says ‘add to cart,’ then complete the one page order form and click on the button that says ‘finish my order.'”

Leave nothing to the imagination — make action steps crystal clear. Look at your purchase process, and try to find ways that a customer could misunderstand it (and trust me, they will).

Eliminate anything that’s ambiguous, confusing, and unclear — to the point where a child would understand it instantly.

The Elements of Your Marketing Work Together to Create Action

Remember: your marketing document, website, letter, video, etc. is presented to a customer as “one thing.” It’s critical that you design and refine your marketing communications for continuity.

Follow this marketing message formula:

  1. Headline that promises a benefit
  2. Set up problem, challenge or opportunity
  3. Story that builds credibility and trust
  4. Introduce solution / result in form of your product
  5. Build value, add bonuses, frame price
  6. Remove risk
  7. Summarize offer
  8. Direct to action now