Wednesday, August 4, 2010
When asked if he could write an effective direct mail package on a complex electronic control system, a well-known direct response copywriter replied, “No problem. It doesn’t matter what the product is. You are selling to people. And people are pretty much the same.”
Yes, there are similarities. But there are also differences in selling to business and professional buyers vs. the general public. In fact, here are six key factors that set business-to-business marketing apart from consumer marketing:
1. The business buyer wants to buy. Most consumer advertising offers people products they might enjoy but don’t really need. How many subscription promotions, for example, sell publications that the reader truly could not live without? If we subscribe, we do so for pleasure – not because the information offered is essential to our day-to-day activity.
But in business-to-business marketing, the situation is different. The business buyer wants to buy. Indeed, all business enterprises must routinely buy products and services that help them stay profitable, competitive, and successful. The proof of this is the existence of the purchasing agent, whose sole function is to purchase things.
2. The business buyer is sophisticated. Business-to-business copy talks to a sophisticated audience. Your typical reader has a high interest in – and understanding of – your product (or at least of the problem it solves).
Importantly, the reader usually knows more about the product and its use than you do. It would be folly, for example, to believe that a few days spent reading about mainframe computers will educate you to the level of your target prospect – a systems analyst with six or seven years experience. (This realization makes business-to-business writers somewhat more humble than their consumer counterparts.)
The sophistication of the reader requires the business-to-business copywriter to do a tremendous amount of research and digging into the market, the product, and its application. The business audience does not respond well to slogans or oversimplification.
(see the rest of the story at:
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Financial Advisor Netzone
He is just entering his 30's and already Robert Sofia is considered one of the brightest stars in the financial services industry.
Author of the popular business book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Success in Your 20's and 30's, Robert has already developed a stellar reputation as a marketing expert.
Best of all, Robert understands the ins and outs of the compliance process like few others I have met before.
That's why I asked him to come on July 29th and show off his brand new marketing strategies for captive agents, registered reps, and financial advisors.
If you have ever felt thwarted by your compliance department..
you need to attend this special presentation.
Thursday, July 29th at 11AM Pacific, 1PM Central, 2PM Eastern
PS: Every ATTENDEE will receive a copy of Robert's latest white paper on how to improve client interaction.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Financial Advisor Netzone
OK, I admit it...
I love new and shiny things...emerging ideas and technologies and well...
But, even with my penchant for climbing on before the band wagon is even built, I had a hard time seeing how social media could ever be truly useful as a marketing tool.
It was hard for me to see beyond the silly videos, inane commentary, and gossip and realize that there were ways to monetize this phenomenon.
One of the ways I have recently discovered is what I feel will eventually be the downfall of Google's pay per click empire: Facebook ads.
If you have a Facebook account, I am sure you have noticed these tiny little ads running down the sides of the page. They don't look like much, I know, but they are already generating thousands of leads and millions of dollars for those who have put some effort into "cracking the code."
Dozens of so-called "Facebook ad gurus" have popped up now, with all the attendant hype and cheesy promises. So far, only two of them have struck me as having anything worth promoting:
Dean de Lisle and PERRY MARSHALL.
Many of you have attended Dean's classes and you know he is a master of the technical side of social media, showing you HOW to actually put together great profiles and pages.
Perry is a well-known pay per click marketer, lead generation specialist, and someone who is actively involved in cracking the Facebook ads code.
PerryMarshall knows that writing a good ad isn't enough to generate leads with Facebook- you MUST have something to GIVE your audience and someplace to TAKE them. It's a lot different from the typical benefits-driven advertising that most of us do.
If you have any interest in using the internet to generate leads, then you should do two things:
1. Take the free Facebook quiz. Your score will let you know whether or not using Facebook ads
will work for you. https://m171.infusionsoft.com/go/fbquiz/tdeleeuw/
2. Sign up for Perry's free 5 session "white paper" course. You'll discover that writing white
papers still works as a lead generation tool... if you do it the right way.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
If you’re not polarizing, you’re not monetizing.
If you're making people react, you're not making a difference.
If everybody loves what you’re doing, you’re doing something wrong.
THAT’S YOUR CHALLENGE: Create something worth being criticized.
Otherwise you’re boring.
Just another slice of average cut from the mediocre multitude.
Otherwise you’re ignored.
Just another non-entity in the infinite grey mass of blah blah blah.
Otherwise you’re forgotten.
Just another flash-in-the-pan, all-shtick-no-substance, one-trick-pony.
AND THE TRUTH IS: Criticism isn’t something you draw – it’s something you earn.
If you want to create something worth being criticized, consider these ideas:
1. Change your reactions to criticism. In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield suggests that we recognize criticism (especially the envy-driven variety) for what it really is: Supreme compliment.
“The critic hates most what he wishes he would have done himself he had the guts.”
Lesson learned: Next time someone attacks you, smile. Even if you do so internally. Know that you’ve done your job and that it’s probably got nothing to do with you. In fact, consider keeping Criticism Log. Document daily victories of being hated – even in minor moments – as reminders that you haven’t lost your edge. What’s your definition of (and relationship with) criticism?
2. Assess the risk. There is an inverse relationship between your willingness to risk and the likelihood of criticism. For example, one of the questions I ask myself every morning as I sit down to work is, “What do I risk is presenting this material?”
If the answer is “not much” or “nothing,” I either rework it – or don’t publish it at all. It’s simply not daring enough. Too much ink, not enough blood. And whether you’re a writer or not, the challenge is the same: Create a filter for your own work that reinforces the importance of risk. You might ask, “Who will this idea piss off?” or “How much hatemail will this garner?”
Otherwise you’re just wasting your time. Otherwise you’re just winking in the dark. How do you assess the risk of what you release to the world?
3. Disturb people. The word “disturb” comes from the Latin emotere – the same derivative as the word “emotion.” That’s all you’re doing when you’re being a disturbance: Evoking emotion. Interrupting the quiet. Unsettling the peace. Upsetting the mental landscape. Could be positive or negative or neutral. Doesn’t matter.
The point is: You can’t go down in history if you’re not willing to shake things up in the present. Therefore: Learn to be constructively challenging – but without being ignorantly defiant. Learn to be delightfully disturbing – but without being painfully annoying.
After all, grinding the gears just because you love the sound doesn’t help anyone. And doing something just for the sake of being criticized isn’t worth being criticized for. Are your monkey wrenches well intentioned?
4. Wage an ongoing war against mediocrity. People who maintain a constant posture of challenging the process don’t just get noticed – they get nailed to crosses. Which, if you have thick enough skin – and perhaps some snacks to hold you over until the cavalry comes (no pun intended) – isn’t as bad as it sounds.
(rest of the story at:http://www.hellomynameisblog.com/2010/06/how-to-create-something-worth-being.html)
Don't miss Scott Ginsberg's webinar on June 24th:
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Posted By Chad Bockius
Last month, Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker and associates gave their annual insights on Internet trends. In short, social networks continue to grow leaps and bound, and we haven’t seen anything yet.
Online users want to get information on their own terms. In the past, that meant email – consumers set their email preferences and institutions respected those preferences. Today’s social network users, however, create their own experiences via their networks, many preferring to communicate over Facebook or Twitter rather than email.
The stats are mind-boggling. Social network users surpassed the number of email users in July 2009 – 820 million social network users compared to 800 million email users. This massive growth, combined with changes in how people connect and interact will move the communication hub from your inbox to your “wall”.
(see the rest of the story here:http://blog.socialware.com/2010/05/18/the-slow-death-of-email-see-you-on-facebook/?utm_campaign=Marketo-MaryMeekerStudy&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExisitingLeads)
Monday, May 17, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
by David Foster-Hubze
With the extensive growth of the Internet comes the corresponding explosion of social networking sites. Netizens or those people who involve themselves actively in online social groups, would be most familiar with websites such as
These are sites where people usually share viewpoints, information, opinions and other things that interest them. With these activities, they have transformed the internet from being a simple venue for static information to a dynamic social forum and resource.
But what is it that makes these websites so popular not only among the younger set but with practically all ages, social and geographical groups? Is it because people find like-minded individuals and universally-beneficial information?
Some say that it is because these social networking sites are venues where people “congregate” which means they are intrinsically social. However, this doesn’t fully describe their status since they are more than just sites where people go to for information about other people. They are sites where everyone can share almost all personal issues, their viewpoints, opinions, beliefs and get back the same and more from others. They connect people by any common ground that they find themselves grouped together on.
Social networking sites work because those who participate in them find people with the same passion about certain things in life. Any one purpose will suffice although with these sites, it is easy to formulate and identify one and get people to notice.
People give their attention to those ideas that they find doable within their sphere of influence. And if they find it online on a social networking site, then it can only be for the good of all. It is also not unusual for these online relationships to be transformed into offline connections which continue to prosper and benefit each one.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Financial Advisor Netzone
As you can imagine , I hear from advisors and agents every day...
and they are all wondering the same thing:
"How can I generate my own leads and wean myself off those frustrating, expensive "store bought" leads?"
It's the BIG QUESTION on everyone's mind, along with "How can I be super lazy and still make a fortune?" (when I find an answer to that one, I will be sure and let you know...)
Here are a few ways I have found that rich advisors and agents can go from being beggars to being hot commodities, and telling lead companies "SAYONARA."
1. Don't be afraid to try something NEW.
Change can be OH SO SCARY, I know. But if what worked in the past isn't cutting it anymore... why cling to it? That's just NUTS! The good news is that you don't have to play Lone Ranger. It's pretty easy, and I think, necessary to assemble a peer group and get their creative ideas, criticisms, and feedback.
Stop being afraid someone will steal your idea and get advice from someone who is more successful than you. Remember: the idea is just the vehicle: YOU are the real client attractor, so don't worry about your competition. Do things that show off YOU and YOUR strengths and you will make everyone forget those other guys and gals.
2.WOW is the new YAWN
You used to be told to "WOW" your prospects and clients. Bad news: WOW is no longer enough. You have to go way beyond wow and touch, touch, and touch again, and never allow a good lead to fall through the cracks. Email is still useful, and now there is ENHANCED email with bells, whistles and sounc. Try your hand at video email or "voiceover visuals" and you will see your response and retention rates skyrocket.
3. Automate, Delegate, or Die
Top advisors always do what's "closest to cash" and leave the little stuff to their assistants. If you spend half your day chasing down policies, entering in data, or doing other routine tasks instead of loving your clients, you are hurting your bottom line. Hire an assistant, even if you have to hire a virtual one, or find ways to AUTOMATE routine tasks.
4. For Goodness Sake- STAY CONNECTED
You know you need to reach out and touch your database OFTEN in order to get and keep clients and get referrals. But do you DO IT?
Rich advisors DO... and they reap the benefits.
Top advisors tell me they do a minimum of 15 touches per year for their top clients (some do 2-3 touches per MONTH!) Again, automation plays a key role in doing this successfully and without stress. A system such as Send Out Cards can help as do things like auto responders, surveys, "lumpy" mail, gifts and premiums, and other value items.
5. Stop Slacking and Build Your Referral Business.
Take some time and PLAN OUT the steps you need to take to get more referrals. Getting referrals should be a process, not an afterthought.
You need to perfect the ways in which you get referrals: build templates that make it easy and fast to gather referrals. You can produce materials, such as booklets, reports, and videos that have information your clients can USE and for which they will THANK YOU. (refer you to a friend.) You can have quarterly or yearly EVENTS and have your clients bring a friend or co-worker. Whatever you do- be CONSISTENT if you want to see real results
6. Hang Around with Winners
Misery loves company, I know. However, "networking" with a bunch of your peers who are as broke (or broker) than you is not conducive to learning the art of success. I am guessing that when Donald Trump wanted a breakthrough in his business, he chose to be mentored and inspired by SUCCESSFUL people, and avoided all the wannabes. Choose the company you keep carefully and their good stuff is sure to rub off on you.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone
Facebook used to be one of my favorite time-sinks.
I avoided household chores by looking for old high school friends, watching silly videos (even posting a few myself) and generally just wasting tons of time.
Then I realized...
This thing COULD eventually become a source of leads for my business.
Facebook truly is the 800 pound gorilla of social media- with over 400 million members and nearly half of those using it on a regular basis.
It is just too big to ignore as a serious source of qualified business leads.
But Facebook is FRUSTRATING. Partly due to the inherent resistance of social media community people to anything even remotely posing as advertising. (They don't want ads and they don't want to pay to use it...so how are these sites supposed to be profitable?)
Also frustrating was the fact that Facebook didn't let you have capture forms or customized pages on it- even on the "fan pages." (So, how were you supposed to gather data in order to contact leads?)
However... An advisor in Southern California turned me on to something called Hubze which promised to turn Facebook upside down and make FAN pages pay off in a big way.
At first, I hesitated to join the beta test. (another gimmick?)
Then, I started to see the potential of this brand new technology to make social media easier and more profitable.
As of this post, HUBZE hasn't even been released to the general public... But I think it is going to be big.
I invite you to try it out before all the other people weigh down the bandwagon.
Here is the link to my personal invitation:
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Financial Advisor Netzone
Nearly 20 million people a year join Facebook "fan pages."
So, it's a pretty safe bet that your competition has one...
and if you don't- you are missing out on a great, free opportunity to use Facebook the right way to attract prospects.
In this two day, low-cost web class series beginning on April 22, leading social media authority Dean de Lisle will show you in real time how to build and optimize a fan page, one of the few avenues of legitimate advertising available on Facebook.
Businesses who learn to use Fan pages are seeing dramatic results in the number of online relationships they are able to create.
Going beyond the social media hype, Dean will teach you:
*All the fundamentals of setting up a business site
*What you NEED before you post any content
*How to post contents for RESULTS
*How to get your business site "FOUND"
*How to create a Social Media Plan
*How to convert online leads to offline sales...
and a lot more!
So, if you have ever thought that Facebook can't possibly be of any use beyond posting goofy videos or streams of consciousness... then this class will show you otherwise.
Included with the two-day registration are full recordings, all materials, and a bonus "Fan Pack" filled with over $100 in marketing tools.
Go here to register:
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Find out more about the April class here:
Here are the links for the Facebook webinar with Dean de Lisle, along with a
bonus "Social Media Basics" webinar. Also, the powerpoints are available to
Please download within the next couple of days to ensure the links remain good. COPY AND PASTE THE ENTIRE LINK into your browser if the hot link does not work for you.
Here is the link for Webinar RECORDING How to Promote your Business The Right
Way using Facebook _ 2010 Edition.wmv:
Here is the link for BONUS WEBINAR RECORDING Social Media Basics.wmv:
Here is the link for Forward Progress - How to Build the Optimal Fan Page SLIDES
Here is the link for Social Media strategybrett.ppt: SLIDES
Here is the link for slidesforwebinars.ppt: (SLIDES WITH FUTURE WEBINAR SCHED.)
The archived Facebook webinar can be seen "on demand" without download at: