Rank #1: #144: How to Prepare, Plan & Execute a Profitable 5-Day Challenge
Have you been seeing the ultra-successful challenges that many smart marketers have been implementing in their business? Are you curious about how it all works?
Then this powerhouse mini-training is for you.
Online challenges are a fantastic tool for building your email list. However, there’s actually an incredible benefit that most marketers hosting challenges don’t take advantage of.
My guest today is revealing his action-packed plan that shows you how you can actually make money from your first challenge — in addition to growing your email list.
Zach Spuckler is no ordinary business guy. He’s 22 years old and already an online business expert with a long list of tried and true success stories to show for it, including a $22K+ 5-Day Challenge strategy he is sharing on my podcast today.
Like anything, when it comes to Challenges, you need a system. A plan that will get you started.
That is what I’m giving you today. A detailed, exact plan for conquering your first challenge. You can use this plan again and again.
Zach is also giving you a free resource guide where you will find all the specifics of his well-executed challenge so that you can take action immediately. Listen now.
Add depth to your 2017 online business plan by not only hosting a challenge, but conquering it! Get started here.
Rank #2: #149: Your 90-Day Pre-Launch Blueprint
Here’s the truth: Planning your pre-launch is JUST as important as preparing your actual launch strategy.
And the right pre-launch ramp-up will help you set the stage for a successful launch.
While there are many ways to execute a pre-launch strategy, sometimes it’s nice when you can cut through all of the noise and follow a single, no-nonsense, proven blueprint that’ll get you where you want to go.
That’s what I have for you today: A 90-day pre-launch roadmap that you can follow to create the momentum you need for an effective launch.
Today’s plan is broken up into three months of specific strategies that build on each other.
There are three key concepts:
- CREATE and post original content weekly
- CONNECT with your audience with a Facebook community
- COMMIT with a 21-day Challenge
I also have a comprehensive guide to the 3 Cs to help you execute your plan. You can get that here.
EPISODE FREEBIEGet Amy's 90-Day Pre-Launch Blueprint
Over the next 90 days of this plan you will learn:
- How to get into the habit of creating consistent content every week (and how to get the most leads out of that content!)
- The best place to set up your opt-in
- How to segment your audience
- How to run a Facebook group that truly engages and conditions your audience to hear from you
Rank #3: GDPR For Entrepreneurs: What You Need to Know with Bobby Klinck
If you have an online business or an email list that you communicate with, you’ve probably heard the rumblings around the internet about the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (let’s just call it GDPR, shall we?). This new regulation goes into effect May 25, 2018 and in an effort to understand what it is, what it means to online marketers, and what we need to take action on, I’ve invited Bobby Klinck, an intellectual property attorney, to help us navigate all things GDPR. Bobby is not only an attorney, but he is an entrepreneur himself, so he really has his finger on the pulse of what online entrepreneurs need to do to protect themselves.
Let’s dive in and figure this all out!What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for “The General Data Protection Regulation” a privacy law from the European Union that goes into effect May 25, 2018. Even though it’s a European Union law, all online entrepreneurs need to be paying attention because the GDPR will mean major changes for the way we operate.What activities are covered by the GDPR?
- The GDPR applies to the processing of personal data.
- Processing is a fancy word for, “doing anything with data”. You should assume it covers everything you do with all of the data you collect from individuals from collection to deletion (and at every point in between).
- Only applies to personal data which is anything that is associated with, or related to, someone who is identified or who you can identify.
- Identified includes: names, email addresses, physical addresses, and most people agree it includes IP addresses and other info collected automatically (usually collected by Google Analytics).
- Also includes any type of processing and information that you’re adding to your contact database. This could be information that you collect automatically, through an opt-in or any other collection method. (ex: surveys, quizzes, etc.), or through tagging or segmenting in your CRM database. These activities are included because you are effectively “monitoring” what people are doing.
- The GDPR will apply to any relationship or transaction (commercial or free) where one of more of the parties is in the EU. It is not based on citizenship, it’s based on where they are when you are interacting with them.
- If you are an online entrepreneur or marketer based in the European Union, you must comply with the GDPR across your entire business. The means that if you are collecting data from someone in the US, you still have to comply.
- If you are an online entrepreneur or marketer based outside of the EU, you must comply with the GDPR when we are interacting with or collecting data from people in the EU.
- This is where things get complicated! There are some instances where it doesn’t apply if you’re outside the EU .
- A non-EU entrepreneur has to comply when processing of people in the EU.
- But ONLY if the processing is related to:
- Offering products or services to people in the EU (paid AND free) - that means a lead magnet counts!
- Monitoring the behavior of people in the EU (as mentioned earlier)
- Here’s where the GREY ZONE enters in: People are not sure how the territorial limits will apply. Questions you may be asking:
- What about people who don’t knowingly collect information?
- Ex: Facebook Ads: Bobby focuses on people only in the US. He’s not actively trying to attract people in the EU. But when he looks at his list, about 5% are in the EU. He’s not going to refuse doing business with this 5%, so he will have to comply with GDPR when he’s interacting and handling data with this 5% from the EU.
- What about adding a disclaimer that says you only sell to people in the US?
- Unfortunately, there are not crystal clear answers to these questions, but let’s dig into the language and details and see how this pertains to you.
#1: Data shall be processed “lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent manner.”
- You have to be upfront about what you are collecting the data for.
#2: Data shall be “collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes.”
- You can’t collect data without explaining how you are using it, and those purposes have to be legit.
#3: Data processing shall be “limited to what is necessary” for the purpose.
- You can’t collect all kinds of data on a person if all you need is an email address (like for a lead magnet). You may only collect the minimum amount of data for the purpose you are collecting it for. Once you have collected the necessary data, you can only use it for its intended purpose. (We’ll get into how this affects list-building later in the post).
#4: Data shall be accurate, kept up to date, and corrected.
- Doesn’t really apply to us. This is more for the Google and Facebooks of the world.
#5: Data shall be kept so it identifies a person “no longer than is necessary.”
- You should not keep data about people forever if there is no reason to keep it.
#6: Data shall be “processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security.”
- You have to take reasonable steps to protect the data. We should all already be using SSL certificates and other ways to actually make sure that we’re protecting the data, (Data should be stored behind a secure wall (password collected).
The only lawful basis for adding someone to your marketing email list under the GDPR would be consent, and the GDPR requires that consent be freely given, specific, and unambiguous.
This new standard means we can't automatically add everyone who grabs one of our lead magnets to our general marketing email list.
- We must get a separate consent to add them to our marketing list.
- You can't require them to give this consent as a condition for getting your freebie.
- You have to sell prospects on the benefits of your list to get them to voluntarily sign up (not just as a requirement to get your lead magnet, freebie, or webinar registration).
The new consent standard applies to your EXISTING list. If you can’t show that you have the right kind of consent from people who are already on your list and to whom the GDPR applies, then you cannot email them any longer beginning May 25, 2018
IMPORTANT: Because consent must be specific and unambiguous, someone downloading a lead magnet from you does not equate to consent to be added to your general email list.
The GDPR also prohibits you to ask for consent to add them to the email list. Getting consent for multiple things or in the course of some other transaction is going to be hard. You likely need stand alone consent.
According to the GDPR, you also can’t add a checkbox and prohibit the delivery of the lead magnet if they don’t click the box.
You may not require someone to consent to be added to your email list to get access to your lead magnet. (Someone giving you their email address and you promising them a freebie is a contract under the law and adding them to your email list is not “necessary” as stated in the 6 principles above.)
Ultimately, to be added to your email list, a prospect must specifically and affirmatively agree to be added to your list. And you may not require that they join your list to receive a freebie, attend a webinar, etc. Instead, we have to sell prospects on the value of being added to our list.
The new consent standard applies to your EXISTING list. Come May 25, you cannot email your existing contacts who signed up through a lead magnet.Can I send a nurture sequence after someone opts in for my lead magnet under GDPR?
It’s not crystal clear, but there’s a good argument for allowing you to send a nurture sequence after someone downloads your lead magnet.
This would be called expanded processing and that is when you take an action after the initial action.
Factors to consider when deciding whether it’s ok, or not, to do expanded processing:
- The link between the purposes of collection and the purposes for the expanded processing
- Context in which the data was collected
- Nature of the personal data (we’re not really collecting sensitive information for a lead magnet)
- Consequences of expanded processing (the consequence might be getting a few emails from you)
- Existence of appropriate safeguards (these should be in place no matter what)
It’s two-pronged: Between now and May 25, you need to build goodwill with your list and run campaigns to get GDPR-compliant consents.
For non-EU entrepreneurs: Start by segmenting your list into two parts: 1) Non-EU subscribers 2) Subscribers from EU and any unknowns (treat them as if they are in the EU) Many of the email service providers have this functionality or are currently rolling it out.
Why should I segment?:
- You are going to re-engage with the subscribers from your EU (and those who are unknown) segmented portion of your list before May 25. The results of your re-engagement campaign won’t be great. You want to figure out how you can keep people on your list without getting a new consent.
- For the non-EU list, you can continue communicating with them just like you have been.
- If you have people that opted in cleanly to your newsletter, you can probably put them in the “ok” category. These people have given you consent to receive your marketing emails.
How do I run a re-engagement campaign?:
- BEFORE you send the consent emails, first deliver extra value consistently.
- Send an extra email a week.
- THEN send emails asking for consent. Only to those who you have to send to!
- Make sure that you have a system set up so that when someone does consent, you are taking them off this special “EU-non consent” list and moving them on to a “EU confirmed consent” list.
- You want to send multiple “consent” emails and make them enticing. Pay close attention to the subject lines! Catchy or blatant subject lines might work well. The challenge is to get people to open the emails.
- The only goal of the re-engagement campaign is to convince people to give you GDPR-compliant consent.
- That might be by clicking a link in an email or signing up via an opt-in page. It depends on what your email service provider allows.
Anyone who doesn't give the necessary consent by May 24, should be deleted from your list. Remember, even storing or deleting their info is "processing," so this work needs to be done before May 25, 2018.
Summary of Bobby’s Suggestions to Preserve Your Existing List and Get GDPR Compliant
Step #1: Build goodwill by delivering amazing value to your list between now and then. I'm talking about going above and beyond the normal value that I'm sure you deliver. Make your content SO good, no one will want to miss the awesomeness.
Step #2: Create your list of targets from whom you need new consents. For entrepreneurs in the EU, this will be your whole list. For entrepreneurs outside the EU, this will be everyone in the EU and anyone whose location is unknown.
Step #3: Run a re-engagement campaign to the list of people who need to provide fresh consent. Sell them on the benefits and do this in your own style. Good copywriting is still key here! You know your audience. You'll want to plan for a series of emails with increasingly dire (and interesting) subject lines to make sure people don't miss them.
Finally, anyone who doesn't give the necessary consent by May 24, should be axed from your list. Remember even storing or deleting their info is "processing," so this work needs to be done before May 25.
For online entrepreneurs, the main impact of GDPR will be in how we build our email list, so let’s take a list on what list-building will look like going forward.
IMPORTANT: Gone are the days of offering a lead magnet and adding everyone who claims the lead magnet to our marketing email lists.What do I need to do moving forward in my list building efforts to be compliant with GDPR?
Because you have to get stand alone consent to add someone to our list, you either have to go back to the old “join my newsletter” model or use lead magnets and get consent somewhere along the funnel.
- There’s no question that this consent would be sufficient, assuming you disclose what you will include.
- But this method never really worked from a marketing standpoint... and there’s no reason to think that it will work now.
- The “join my newsletter” approach is especially bad for non -EU entrepreneurs who can use segmenting as part of their strategy.
- You can use lead magnets to get their name and email and then try to sell them on joining your list at some point in your funnel that you are allowed to have without getting further consent.
- There are four touchpoints to consider: 1) Opt-in Page (checkbox or drop-down menu) 2) Sandwich Page (like a one-click upsell page) 3) Delivery Email Itself 4) In the Lead Magnet
Let’s break down all 4 options:
- Opt-in Page:
- You can add a voluntary checkbox/dropdown menu on your opt-in page.
- This would clearly be consent if you do it right.
- It must be voluntary and it cannot be the default. You can’t force them to agree and you can’t have the agreement as the default.
- If you are going to do this, try to use a drop-down menu vs a checkbox. That way they have to choose “Yes or No” - so they have to make a choice and you are not forcing the “Yes.” With a checkbox for “Yes”, they can easily miss it and skip it all together (since it can’t be forced!).
- Sandwich Page:
- Include a one-click upsell page between opt-in and thank you page that asks them to subscribe.
- “Hey! One more thing before we finish.” - It’s essentially a sales page for your newsletter.
- This gives you the chance to sell the benefits of being on your list.
- They are presented with this option all on its own, so it’s compliant.
- Delivery Email:
- You deliver the email as usual that gives them the lead magnet as promised.
- Include language in the email to sell them on joining your list and include a call to action (example below).
- Depending on how your system works, either send them to a separate opt-in or use click to segment the list.
- In the Lead Magnet:
- Add a paragraph at the end of your lead magnets selling them on your list with a clickable link.
- This is sufficient consent and it gives them a reminder if they look back at your lead magnet later.
- Don’t seek consent until after the point that you can segment between EU and non-EU prospective leads. This likely means using only the delivery email and in the lead magnet itself.
- **If your email service provider is able to show different pages based on somebody’s IP address/country, then do this at the front end (and outlined above). So you would show an alternative page for all outside of the US and don’t bother those in the US.
- Under the GDPR, you are required to inform people of certain information and you have to give them information to get informed consent.
- CA law requires you to disclose certain information.
- There are hefty fines under GDPR and CA law, so get a policy in place.
- The relevant contact information.
- What information you collect and the basis for collecting it.
- What you do with the data (including who else gets access).
- The visitors rights under the GDPR.
- Create a standalone page on your website that includes the policy.
- Put links to that page in your footer navigation on your website (and on opt-in pages, sales pages, LeadPages, webinar registration pages, etc.)
- Put a link anywhere that you ask for consent or collect data.
Check out Bobby’s Free GDPR Training: I’m breaking my rules a bit here because you all know I’ve had a policy for the last year or so of not sending podcast traffic to someone else’s sign up page - I’ve talked about that strategy on my show before. HOWEVER, this information is important and I want you to protect yourself. So I’m making an exception. I want to encourage you to check out Bobby’s FREE mini-training all about the GDPR. The goal of his mini training is not only to make sure that you, as an online entrepreneur, understand the legal requirements but also to give you the tools and practical advice you need to thrive in a GDPR world.
THANK YOU, Bobby, for your time and generosity in helping us understand GDPR. I truly feel I now have what it takes to move forward and implement to get compliant before the deadline! -- Amy
Rank #4: #2: How to Create and Market Your Content on a Shoestring Budget
The focus of today's podcast episode is content marketing, and specifically how to do it on a shoestring budget. Let's face it; we all need to create content consistently but we all love to save money, right?
Because we're all so busy, consistently creating content is a challenge and is often an afterthought -- something we'll do when we "have more time." However, in the same way that paying bills and answering email is a priority in order to keep your business alive, so is content marketing. Few people survive in today's fierce online world if they don't continually produce unique content!In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:
- The answer to the question, "What is content?" I provide a quick list to remind you of how many opportunities you have to create content.
- The most important question you need to ask yourself regarding your content. The answer to this question will help you create content that engages and interests your audience. I also talk about the importance of solving problems and providing information that will enable your audience to take action and implement what they learn.
- How to brainstorm ideas for content. I cover 3 tips for coming up with stellar content ideas that fit your ideal audience.
- How to repurpose your best content. Brainstorming is important, but you may have already created a lot of content that you can repurpose. In this segment of the podcast I give you ideas for ways you can repurpose your existing content and provide examples of how I use this strategy myself.
- How to get inspired by mixing things up. I share one of my best sources of inspiration; it drives my husband crazy, but it's one of my favorite ways to get fresh content ideas!
- How to become a ninja outsourcer. I cover 3 main roles you need to have in place when it comes to content creation. I provide tips for finding great people who will treat your business as if it's their own; content marketing is a direct reflection of your brand, so it's worth investing in the relationships you have with your contractors. I also talk about the importance of staying involved in the process and how to communicate your needs and expectations without micromanaging.
- How to optimize your content calendar. To get the most from your calendar, it needs to be extremely easy to use and easy to access. I explain how and why I use Google calendar for my content calendar.
- The importance of creating content with the big picture in mind. My tip here is something that most people don't teach. (Hint: less just might mean more for you!)
- I share some tactical content creation tips including how to capture and keep track of ideas for future content. I talk about mistakes I made early on and what I did to improve my process for organizing my content creation ideas so that I can find them when I'm ready to use them.
- The importance of responsive design.
- I wrap up this episode by sharing my motto, "Give more than you ever expect to receive." Tony Robbins put it perfectly: "If you can make it your goal to always find a way to add more value to people's lives than anyone else, then you'll never have to worry about success."
Rank #5: #195: The 6 Pillars of My Content Creation Process
Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
- You KNOW you have to create “quality content” for your different outcomes—but how do you make sure that it is relevant and compelling, and the entire process doesn’t feel completely overwhelming
- Today I’m taking the overwhelm out of getting out weekly material plus creating content inside of your programs and promotions plus everything else you’ve got to think about by breaking down every single part of the content-creating process for you.
- Introducing: My six pillars of content creation process and how they help me stay focused with every content piece I produce.
When you start categorizing your content and just hone in on one or two things (versus the 30 things on your project plan!), you can do them much more effectively. With these pillars, I want you to know exactly what you’re focusing on for where you are in your business. No more second-guessing on what kind of content you need to engage your tribe, or build up to a promotion. I’ve put it all out there so you can take immediate action.
Check out these highlights:
- How I create so much content in my business [00:38]
- The type of content that brings in my ideal customer avatars like bees to honey. [6:48]
- To freebie or not to freebie? (Or: How to know if my content will work best with a freebie?) [9:07]
- Content for the masses vs. content for your Tribe. [13:34]
- Who is social media content really for? [16:50]
- When to focus most of your content creation time into your free promo content. [19:33]
- The key lesson for creating paid course content. [25:10]
- The right time for paid bonus content. [27:45]
- Why I’m including paid relationship content in my six pillars (and what that even means!). [31:40]
Here's the '6 Pillars SlideShare' I promised in this episode: www.amyporterfield.com/6pillars
Rank #6: #89: How to Fascinate Your Audience
I've got a question for you. Ready?
What do Apple, Lululemon and Morton's Salt all share in common?
Take a minute to ponder each brand. What imagery does it conjure up? More importantly, what feelings do those images create inside you?
When I think of Apple products, I think of elegant, simple design and the feeling of effortlessly getting stuff done. Lululemon brings back that sensation of looking amazing when I'm working out (even if my workout itself feels less than amazing). And Morton Salt? I think of my mom's kitchen cupboard, which feels warm and nostalgic and makes me want to go bake cookies.
Here's the answer to the quiz: all three of those brands share the power of fascination.
Fascination, as my podcast guest Sally Hogshead defines it, means an intense focus.
"When you’re fascinated by a person or a brand, you’re completely consumed in that moment. It’s that feeling you have when you’re working on a project and you’re totally in the flow. You feel creative, you feel confident, you feel focused and energized by what you’re doing. Or when you’re out at drinks with a friend—the time flies by, and you seem to be building epiphanies together in your conversation."
Click here to listen to the full episode with Sally.
For years, Sally's day job was helping big name brands like Nike and BMW find the perfect words to describe themselves. The first half of that search was understanding what they offered to their customer base that nobody else did; the second half was knowing how to capitalize on that uniqueness and capture it in language.
At a certain point, Sally realized that nobody had really brought that idea over from products to people. Business owners were all about finding the right words to get customers fascinated with their products, but they weren't finding the right words to help people understand who they are and how they add value.
These days, she parlays her understanding of what works in advertising world into a training to help entrepreneurs understand how people perceive them through their communication.EPISODE FREEBIE Get Your Free Fascination Advantage Assessment (Use Promo Code: AMY)
So here's a followup question:
What makes YOU fascinating?
And before you mumble "I'm not that fascinating, Amy" I'm going to stop you right there with what Sally told me:
"You don’t learn how to be fascinating; you unlearn boring. You’ve already been fascinating your entire life. It’s just a question of being able to identify what makes you fascinating."
Lucky for you (and me), we don't have to guess what makes us fascinating to your audience. Sally has created a totally unique assessment to help you "unlearn boring." Where most personality quizzes will tell you how you view the world, this one will tell you how other people view you.
And once you know have that information, you can use it to position yourself in a way that makes your audience fall head over heels in love with you.
"When you can identify how other people see you at your best, it becomes really easy for them to see why they should hire you, champion you, promote you. In business, the key—especially if you’re trying to grow a business online—is for you to have a very clear idea of the areas in which you can confidently deliver. And don’t try to be exceptional at the rest."
If you act quickly, you can get Sally's assessment for free! She's made a limited number of these super-valuable freebies available to the Online Marketing Made Easy community, so opt in now to get yours. And make sure to listen to the full podcast episode to get all of Sally's amazing insights on how to find what makes you fascinating.
Important Note: When you get your custom report, be sure to read the words that Sally uses to describe you. She’s one of the world’s most award winning copywriters, and your report is almost like a pre-written piece of marketing about YOU.
This is a free gift to our community, so share away! Post the code on Facebook and Twitter to get a fascinating conversation going. Describe your results and then ask them to share theirs too. Or you can get a group of friends and do your profiles together, and talk about how you apply your advantages in social media.
This can be a fantastic date night with your significant other. You can take the free assessment in about 3 minutes, and then then show each other your Fascination profiles. It’s measuring how other people see you at your BEST. So your results explain a lot about how you fascinate each other!EPISODE FREEBIE Get Your Free Fascination Advantage Assessment (Use Promo Code: AMY)
Rank #7: #99: How to Create a List Building Blitz Campaign
Over the last few years, I've noticed that one of the big reasons my students struggle with list building is that they lack consistent original content in their marketing strategy.
It's an easy trap to fall into. After all, creating content takes time, effort and creativity.
You might even be thinking "Amy, all my focus is going into creating my product for sale. How am I supposed to come up with fresh original content every week?"
Well, good news--this episode is all about helping you create just one piece of amazing content each month.
You heard right. Each. Month.
When you have that one piece of amazing epic content, you can spin it out into every marketing channel in your toolbox with the overall goal of building your list.Content Comes in Three Stages
I think there’s a lot of confusion out there around content. It seems simple, but when I sat down and started mapping what successful content looks like in different contexts, I'll admit that even I got confused!
So I checked in with a good friend from my corporate job days. She’s the best at dissecting content and explaining where it shines the brightest. And what she showed me is that there are three main stages of content:
- Free lead magnet
- Just plain free (not even for an opt-in)
Notice I said "stages." All three of these types of content are related to each other--which means every time you create one kind of content, the other two are super easy to create out of it. Click here to find out how you can use the main themes within your paid product to create epic content that builds your list!Easy Strategies for Getting More Mileage Out of Your Epic Content
Now, like I said earlier, the "meat" of the strategy we’re diving into in this episode is getting deliberate about your content creation so you can extend it across all your marketing channels. When you really get intentional with your content (and create it with your email list in mind), you're all to get huge mileage out of one piece.
After all, we take our content creation seriously. So why not put a bigger focus on getting it in front of more people while we’re creating it?
In this episode, I'm going to walk you through three roadmaps for extending one piece of epic content into every major marketing platform you use.
To make it extremely easy for you, I've put together some free worksheets that show how to break up your content into different platforms within each roadmap. Click here to get them now!EPISODE FREEBIE Get Your Free Cheat Sheet: "The List Builders Blitz Campaign"
To get the most out of today's topic, you'll really want to listen to the whole episode. But I'll outline the roadmaps for you here:
Strategy 1: Start by writing an epic blog post that includes an epic upgrade (something your readers can take more action on to get more value).
From there, you'll move to emailing your list, creating videos, doing a Periscope, and more. Click here to get all the steps now!
Strategy 2: Start by creating an epic podcast episode with an upgrade.
From the podcast, you'll create a blog post. Not just show notes, but something that brings immense value even to people that may not have heard your podcast. Next you'll email your list, create a video, and more. Click here to get all the steps.
Strategy 3: Start by creating an epic video.
The first thing you'll need to know is how to provide the content upgrade in your video...click here to find out! Next, you'll take the audio from your video to create a podcast, use the audio to create a blog post...the list goes on.
Find out the details on each of these strategies, including what constitutes an "epic" piece of content and what to put in the initial content versus what to put in the freebie, by listening to the whole episode. Click here to listen now!The End Goal = Your Email List
Now, this whole strategy takes a little thought and effort to execute properly. That's why you won’t be using this strategy with every single piece of new content you create. Like I said, I’m suggesting you be selective with this concept and put it to work about once a month. That gives you lots of room to pace each appearance of the content within your various marketing channels (and to repost it at least once) without making it seem like overload.
Bottom line, the mindset around your campaign should always be about building your email list by getting people to your freebie. When you're creating core quality content with your email list in mind, it uplevels everywhere that content appears.
Rank #8: #31: How to Launch a Product Online with Jeff Walker
On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I dive into launching your programs, your products, your services online. The great thing is that I dove into this extremely important conversation with the pioneer of all online marketing launches, Jeff Walker. Jeff is known for a system he created called The Product Launch Formula and is truly one of the top internet marketing experts and leaders.
He tells a great story of how he got started, and to get the full scoop, you’ll need to listen to the interview because I wouldn’t be able to do his story justice, so for now I’ll just say that before he started his first online business, he had never ran a business before. He had absolutely zero sales training and no marketing skills.
He jokes that he was always the kid that couldn't sell more than one bag of donuts for the Boy Scouts fundraiser every year and that one bag was usually purchased by his parents. So as you can see, sales and marketing didn't necessarily run in his blood from day one. He was an average guy who made an extraordinary impact on many people's lives and continues to do so through his teachings. That's why I am honored to have Jeff on the show today.
Before you listen to the interview, I want to share one more thing with you and that is that Jeff just wrote a book called, Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love And Live The Life Of Your Dreams, and for a very limited time, you have an opportunity to get the book for free -- you just have to pay for shipping and handling -- and in addition to the free book, he’s throwing in a bunch of free bonuses. To get the free book and bonuses, go to amyporterfield.com/launch.In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:
How I met Jeff and how my life changed as a result of meeting him
Tony Robbins’ response to the information Jeff shared with him
Jeff’s failure in the corporate world, and his stint as a stay-at-home dad
The day Jeff's wife's cry for help shook him to his core
The amazing story of how Jeff went from being unemployed and desperate to making a million dollars in less than an hour
Success stories from those who started small and grew big
How dropping hints can build anticipation before a launch
The launch that brought Jeff’s wife home
How Jeff figured out how launches work for many different types of industries
How to know what your customers need from you
Jeff's view on your email list
The decision I personally made that totally changed my business
And so much more!
Dropping hints about something to come is a great way to build anticipation before a launch
Successful product launches aren’t magic, but are based on how the mind works, and pull people in
Done right, people will eagerly anticipate your next move and look forward to everything you do
There are 3 core sequences in a launch:
Pre Pre- Launch, when you agitate the market and get people interested
Pre-Launch, when you build value through videos, blog post, and social media
Open Cart, when you actually start taking orders
It’s important to find out what people’s hot buttons are and then create products that meet those needs
There are three types of launches that part of the Product Launch Formula:
Seed launches, when you start with no product (and in some cases no list) and you get paid before you even create the product
Internal launches, where you do a launch just to your list
JV launches, which are more complex and therefore should not be your first launch
You must focus on building assets in your business, and the most important asset you can build is your email list
Rank #9: #65: Selling Yourself--The Art of a Winning 'About Page' with Melissa Cassera
For busy entrepreneurs, the About page of a website is one of the easiest to put off. You might throw a few vital details up there, like your name (always a good place to start) and your credentials, and promise yourself to fill it out later. Maybe you even go back and try adding some details that paint a fuller picture of you as a person.
But for many, no matter how hard they work on it, their About page just falls flat. It feels fake, like you’re pretending to be someone you’re not. And that makes sense—we’re all taught never to brag about ourselves…so it feels pretty strange to suddenly write a whole page about why your customers should think you’re so great!
That’s why I’m so happy to introduce you to Melissa Cassera. She’s a publicity expert (as well as a screenwriter and an actress), and if you read her own About page, you can see that she is an expert on how to write about yourself in a way that comes out warm, genuine and authentically irresistible.Why Is An About Page Important?
Melissa compares the About page to the gown a Hollywood actress wears on the “red carpet.” It’s the way to show off both your importance and your individuality at once, impressing people and engaging them at the same time. The About page is where you give people just enough information about you to want to know more.
In other words, you don’t want to give away the whole story on your About page—it’s their intro to all the excitement that awaits if they choose to work with you. For the reader, it should feel like they’ve met you in person, looked you in the eye and shaken your hand.
So how do you convey that feeling in words?Think About How You Serve the World
Rather than begin by talking about what you do, begin your About page with a line or two about why you do it. This should be the element that guides you through the writing process for your About page. If you get stuck or are wondering if you are including the right kinds of details, ask yourself if what you’ve written paints a picture of the world/society/lifestyle/change that you are trying to build with what you do.
Hear more of Melissa's tips on how to make your About page shine. Listen to the full interview here.Make Your Credentials Fun
It’s important to list the things that give your business credibility—an advanced degree, an impressive title or certification, a number of years in your field or successful working relationships with noteworthy people. But rather than just list them, Melissa advises having fun with them! Try translating your credentials into an analogy that helps your audience understand what that kind of cred means in your industry. (“I attended the Harvard of health coaching schools” is a good example.)
By listing your credentials this way, you can use your bragging rights to gain your readers’ trust and build engagement.EPISODE FREEBIE Get Melissa's Guide: "Craft A Crazy-Impressive About Page"
Would it surprise you to learn that the part of your About page that really sells you is the part where you talk about something besides work? This, Melissa says, is what really seals the emotional connection with people and allows them to get to know you on a more personal level. Not only that, but this section is what sets you apart from your competition. Nobody else has the same story, the same style, the same lovable quirks and personal motivations that you have.
As Melissa says in her "Better Bio Challenge" blog post,
"Personal details aren’t 'frivolous' — they anchor you in the reader’s mind and showcase the 'person' behind the 'business.' Try to include at least ONE little detail about your passions, guilty pleasures + personal life, in your bio — and you’ll sparkle off the page, every time."Counterbalance Your Accomplishments
If your About page starts feeling a little self-indulgent, Melissa says an easy way to lighten it up is to “show your brushstrokes.” After mentioning the glowing review of your program on the Today Show, drop in a reference to that one time you tried to teach a college class and sat on a whoopee cushion. Details like this help keep you human to your readers, and show them that you’re the same as them—just a little farther along in the journey toward success.
Get Melissa's Mad Libs-style template for creating an irresistible About page. Click here to download it instantly!Offer Fun Facts
Like the “non-professional life” part of your About page, this part is meant to connect with your ideal audience in a way that nothing else can. Tell a few “secrets” about yourself—that you cover your eyes during the scary parts of movies, that puppy videos make you cry, that your favorite place to work is in your kids’ treehouse.
Be forewarned—this will turn off some people. But they are the right people for you to turn off. At the end of the day, Melissa says, your About page is not meant to engage every single person out there.
“Your bio or About Page is only intended to turn on your ideal customers and it should be repelling the people that you want to turn off.”Create an “Action Step”
By now, your audience has fallen head over heels in love with you…so what’s the next step? Where does the relationship go from here? Melissa says this is the moment to offer them a concrete action step. Offer a free opt-in gift, list links to your five most popular blog posts, tell them to contact you to set up a consultation. Whatever your specific action step is, make it simple and immediate for them to make the next move.
Get more of Melissa's suggestions for making your About page actionable. Click here to hear the full interview.
The Bottom Line: What Is Fame For?
Melissa has a stellar blog post called “Four Questions to Help You Identify What's Not Working in Your Biz...And Make It Better.” In it, she offers this really thought-provoking quotation:
“Getting famous is not all it’s cracked up to be and getting featured in the media doesn’t always lead to sales, either.”
It’s not enough to have people think you’re “fabulous.” Better sales come from a real relationship with your clients, and the About page is all about relationship building. So while a clear action step is a great way to end your About page, leave the sales messages to your sales page and emails. Focus your About page on building trust and rapport with your target audience, and they will search for ways to work with you.
Rank #10: #140: How to Create a 5-Day Social Media Video Series for Rapid List Growth
Today we’re talking about doing LIVE with purpose—specifically Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat and Instagram Stories.
In fact, my guest, Nicole Walters, a sought-after online influencer, left her corporate job (she even gave her resignation live on Periscope!) to help entrepreneurs learn how their small wins can lead to big results. She is here diving into her 5-step process for creating a multi-day video series that will help you rapidly grow your email list.
Regardless of your platform, this step-by-step process for creating your own video series will work for you.
Despite the amazing results you can get from video, some entrepreneurs (new and experienced alike) let their fears and anxieties psyche them out of using it. If you’re ready to focus on building your list, this is where you want to be focusing.
- What should your video series be about? We’ll cover that.
- How long should each video be? Yep, that one too.
- How do you grow your email list with each video? Check!
- and so much more
After listening, you will understand how to do social video the right way while building up your email list.
In addition to the 5 steps, this episode gives you best practices for using live video. I’m talking crucial dos and don’ts that are truly valuable for newbies and experts alike. In fact there’s one mistake that so many of us make. After hearing what it is and how to avoid it, you won’t make the same mistake!
This episode might be the most fun I’ve had all year! Send your fears and nerves packing and create videos with confidence and conviction now! Get started here!
Rank #11: #203: How To Get Noticed Online When You’re Just Starting Out
Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
- I’ve been an online marketing entrepreneur for a long time now. I’ve worked with thousands of students and have gotten pretty darn good at finding patterns. Specifically, patterns in limiting beliefs and mindset blocks that often stop promising entrepreneurs in their tracks.
- One common struggle I’ve uncovered A LOT is the fight to stand out when the online world has become so saturated. And here’s the thing—it is tough to stand out. I’m not going to sugar coat it. It can be incredibly frustrating.
- But I’m here to tell you—sometimes it’s not just about the strategies. Sometimes the key to getting noticed is all about...mindset.
- And this all starts with one simple truth about every successful entrepreneur... (2:15)
So, in today’s episode I wanted to make sure you take the time to stop and learn how to shift the way you approach a noisy online world, and in turn, get noticed. Because it’s really the way you think that will ultimately set you apart. Tune in now.
This episode is brought to you by: My incredible, and free masterclass, “The Ultimate List Building Catch-Up Plan,” where you’ll learn my proven 3-stack system for leveraging the most powerful, “what’s working now” list-building strategies. You can sign up here.
Check out these highlights:
- Act like you’ve already nailed it. [5:01]
- How to cultivate a relentless soul. [8:45]
- Just how crowded is the playing field? A few stats. [10:16]
- Why you should dive deep into your DMs. [12:22]
- Are you a flip flopper? It’s time to get honest. [13:06]
- The importance of “closing loops,” especially with your team. [15:23]
- Are you a master at consistency? [16:28]
- Why you should tell true, gritty, messy stories about YOU. [20:36]
Rank #12: #154: 7 Content Creation Ideas to Use When You’re Feeling Uninspired
Don’t you wish for a button you could push to get your creative brain synapses firing when it seems like they’ve gone on vacation?
While we’re waiting on that magic, I’ve got something to bring you back into the light because we’re all human, right? You may be the most creative person EVER, but for whatever reason, there are times when content inspiration is elusive and it is a battle to come up with something new.
This is especially true when you’ve been in the game for a while and feel like you’ve covered every angle of your industry. The good news is there are always more directions you can explore.
Here’s a quick tease of the strategies I talk about on today’s show to help you create new content when you feel less than gung-ho:
- I’ll tell you about how I just dusted off some old content and gave it a new fresh spin (and how you can do the same thing with your own pieces!).
- The sure-fire way I ALWAYS am inspired to create new content (it involves me first and foremost stepping away from my laptop…).
- You’re not alone in creating your content. In fact, you have a HUGE resource for new content that you may not have thought of...
Make sure you stay on until the end when I reveal the process I use to ensure I am always delivering top-notch content. If an idea doesn’t make it past one of these phases, I don’t do it. Period.
And check out my ‘10 Days of Inspiration’ one-pager freebie because, unfortunately, you can’t always wait for inspiration to hit you. You have deadlines. Sometimes, you have to hunt that inspiration thing down yourself. This will help get the ideas flowing, I promise!
Rank #13: #130: How to Sell on a Webinar (Without Being Overly Salesy)
Let’s face it, selling during your webinar can be awkward at first — but it doesn’t have to be.
Today I’m giving you my BEST strategies for eliminating the awkwardness and creating a smooth transition into the sales portion of your webinar.
Before I dive into it though, I want to tell you about my FREE Master Class, “How to Create Your First Wildly Profitable Webinar.”
If you sell info products or programs, digital courses, or coaching and consulting services online, then I bet you’ve considered adding webinars to your marketing strategy.
But as you know, there’s a lot of moving pieces with webinars, including the tech, filling seats, putting together your content, making that transition to selling . . . not to mention getting the courage to actually hit “broadcast.” (It can be scary!)
Webinars can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be. Join me as I walk you through what it takes to create a profitable webinar strategy.
Let’s jump back into today’s topic. You’re the expert, the go-to source on YOUR webinar. And your webinars give you the opportunity to build amazing trust between you and your audience.
Your transition from teaching into selling can become seamless with these strategies. You will never feel like you’re selling again.
Also listen closely for the number one mistake I often see in webinars. And, learn how to avoid this misstep here.
This episode is one of my favorites because I love webinars. AND, because building trust with your audience is so important. If you’re not careful you can break down the trust you’ve built quickly.
Stick with me, and listen in, so that doesn’t happen to you.
I’ll tell you the perfect ratio of content to selling. You’ll also get tips for deciding what to put in your webinar versus what to create and sell inside your course.
I also dive into the mindset and mechanics of creating incredible webinars that will boost your sales.
Rank #14: #74: Write Better Copy: Quick Tips for More Confident Communication
I know I have talked about copy many times. But can you blame me? It’s a hot topic!
Many of you that are growing your business online or have been growing your business for a while now still struggle with copy.
Believe me, I get it. I have definitely struggled for years with writing good copy for my business. And when I finally felt like I got that "copy mojo," things started to become easier in every aspect of my business.
That's why I'm so excited to bring you my guest today -- Nikki Elledge Brown. Along with being a proud military spouse, a mom, and a former park ranger, she's an amazing communicator and businesswoman. Nikki went from teaching communications at college-level to running a business that broke multiple six figures in under 18 months. (Wow, right?)
And the heart of her business is teaching entrepreneurs (like you and me) how to write their own copy, better than ever!
Nikki's approach to copy is putting it into "recipes." Sales pages, blog posts, video scripts, About pages...she breaks them all down into specific, doable steps that make copywriting easier than a "just add water" cake mix!
Today's show is packed with ridiculously simple recipes for every piece of copy you'll ever have to write, along with a few to help with your mindset around copywriting.
- How to write with purpose
- The value of YOUR voice (+ how to use it in your copy)
- Sales page tips (how to make it easy for people to buy from you)
- Sample blog post recipe
- Sample blog VIDEO recipe
- How to write a great headline in under 10 minutes
- What to do when you're not sure what to write about
- How to avoid sharing TMI (too much information)
- How to master your mindset around copywriting
Nikki also put together our freebie today, which is--you guessed it--a "recipe book" of copywriting formulas. Click here to get it now!EPISODE FREEBIE Get Nikki's "A Course About Copy Class Notes"
As I mentioned, Nikki has built a hugely successful business in an amazingly short amount of time on her way with words. She had over 90 new clients sign up with her in her first two months of business!
And in her words, the key to this kind of growth is not just being good at helping others communicate, but being able to communicate her own brand clearly to potential clients.
"You are losing money if you aren’t communicating effectively."
Find out Nikki's recipes for maximizing your revenue potential with easier-than-ever techniques for communicating with your audience. Her free PDF is about to become your copywriting "Joy of Cooking"--an indispensable guide to everything you'll ever need to write for your business. Click here to get it now!
Rank #15: #164: Free Content vs. Paid Content (What’s the Difference?)
Nothing will grow your business faster than sharing your expertise through blogs, podcast episodes, Facebook Live broadcasts, freebies, and more. All of that is content gold that you give away for free.
The key question here is how do you know where to draw the line between free and paid content? AND, is it possible to give away too much for free? I answer those questions and more in this episode of the podcast.
By the end of the show, you’ll know:
- My three core differences between free and paid content
- The key principles I use for free vs. paid content
- Examples of how I do this in my business with my courses, using my podcast, and other kinds of content
And if you are feeling like your creative pipeline is beginning to dry up, you’re really going to enjoy this week’s freebie. It’s my new and improved “10 Free Content Triggers” guide for developing cheat sheets, blueprints, checklists and more. I’ve reworked this into something that’s pretty hot and trust me, you don’t want to miss it.
Ready to learn how to differentiate your free and paid content? Get all of the goods here.
Rank #16: #151: 38,000+ Members in 2 Years: Tips to Building a Highly Engaged Facebook Group with Jill & Josh Stanton
Let’s rewind for a sec. Back in episode #146, I dished on Facebook groups. This is one of the bold moves I want you to consider making in 2017, because if you take the time to do it thoughtfully, it could be a tremendous game-changer for your business.
No one knows that more than Jill and Josh Stanton. In just two years the Facebook group they built for their ‘Screw the Nine to Five’ business has skyrocketed from less than 7,000 members to nearly 40,000.
You’re going to hear us talking about a lot of wicked smart strategies they are using to maximize the impact of the group on their business—list-building, selling, cross-promoting, sexy funnels and more.
BUT, pay attention to me here because I don’t want you getting overwhelmed. Keep your eyes on the prize as you listen to the podcast (and lose your mind over all the cool things that Jill shares).
The point of a Facebook group is engagement. The more you do that, by asking questions, listening and showing up in general, the more you’re going to know about what your audience wants and needs.
That’s the magic fairy dust your group will sprinkle so you really can see, hear and feel your audience, as well as show them mad love by delivering content that will make a difference in their lives.
- Cracking the code on how to find out what your group members truly WANT. (Hint: Polls are everything.)
- Using the group to build your email list and cross-promote your other programs. (For example, the Stantons market their membership site inside the group, which serves as an entry point for their sales funnels.)
- Striking a harmonious balance between free content shared in the group with paid content in a membership site or whatever you’re selling.
- Keeping content organized inside of the group.
- Managing the group, especially the bigger it gets. The kind of support needed, as well as how often you need to get involved.
- The role Facebook Live can play in the group. (You’ll love the unique way Jill and Josh are using it OUTSIDE of their group too!)
This episode is LOADED. Listen up.
Oh, and one more very exciting thing. I did my first ever ‘after show’ with Jill and Josh. There was just so much to cover. Download it here and listen to more of our chat on their Facebook group do’s and don’ts, why the group should be about YOU and the value of connecting your members.
EPISODE FREEBIEClick Here to Get the After Show with Jill and Josh Stanton
Rank #17: #113 Part One: The ART of a Brilliant Sales Page
The ultimate outcome of a sales page is to sell. We all know this. But, what you’re really doing is coaching your reader to become your client.
The process for formulating a high-converting sales page is what I’m talking about today.
Your job as a coach/ teacher/ mentor is to not only have your customers’ best interest at heart, but to make your reader feel like they can shape a better version of themselves.
This special sales page formula starts with four questions that you MUST ask yourself before you start writing your sales page copy.
After you ask yourself the four questions, there are then four core points that every sales page must include.
In this episode, I crack the code and examine the art of the creating a brilliant sales page by divulging my 4x4 formula for creating results-driven copy every time. I go right into the strategy behind your sales page and what it is about your potential customers that you should always leverage.
The best way to dive deeper into your readers’ minds is with the “aha” questions. Now, I refer to these particular questions as “aha” because they are the ones that get right to where your readers’ hearts are.
If you know where their hearts are, you can better empower them to take this journey with you.
Remember people buy with their hearts not their minds. So, I provide you a roadmap for understanding your potential customers because a sales page is a different kind of conversation—one that is written from the perspective of the heart.
The good news is you don’t need to take notes today because I’ve taken the roadmap (the four questions and the four core points) and I’ve put them into a one-page cheat sheet for you.EPISODE FREEBIE Get Amy's Free 4x4 Formula for Creating Brilliant Sales Pages
Start learning about the 4x4 formula that will turn your sales page into the foundation of your potential customers’ lifelong success here.
Rank #18: #171: DIYing Your Business: 5 Areas to Focus On When You're Just Starting Out
I love HGTV. It’s easy to get hooked watching JoJo and Chip Gaines on “Fixer Upper” transform an old ranch home into something SPECTACULAR (with shiplap of course!), and I’m always picking up little tips that I can DIY along the way.
Because sometimes DIY is best.
A professional web designer or developer isn't always the answer.
And neither is a seasoned copywriter or Facebook ad consultant.
Here’s the truth: You’re an entrepreneur.
Which means, by nature, you’re a DIYer.
In fact, you probably started your business because you knew you could do something better yourself. You’re likely great at wearing many hats—owner, marketer, writer, developer, etc. AND, you may have to do things yourself for awhile because you don’t have a big team or a big budget (yet!).
I think there are some things you just have to DIY, especially when you’re a rookie entrepreneur. In the long run, your business and your tribe will be better off for it.
BUT, there aren’t enough hours in the day, week or month for you to do every single thing yourself. So these are the five things I believe are crucial for you to take on in the beginning:
- Website (Listen in at 4:40)
- Copywriting (Listen in at 11:05)
- Marketing (Listen in at 16:25)
- Facebook Ad Campaigns (Listen in at 21:16)
- Money (Listen in at 26:55)
None of these might seem like small potatoes—and they’re not—but I’ve got some resources below to help ease the learning curve.
Also, hang out with me until the end and I will answer the question that crosses every entrepreneur’s mind on this topic: How long do I need to keep doing these things myself?
Rank #19: #178: List Building + Social Media (What's Working Now)
Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
- Right at this moment you should be thinking about your list building efforts. I want you borderline obsessed with list-building! This episode is key to your obsession, as today you’re getting every single one of my tested and tried tips and tricks for list building.
- List building starts with a great idea for a lead magnet, and a great idea for a lead magnet always starts with your ideal customer avatar. And there is ONE big question I ask when I'm thinking about my ideal customer avatar. [6:14]
- There’s a new player in the list building game that’s getting off-the-charts results. It’s VIDEO and when done right, it will boost your list growth—it’s all how you use it—and that’s part of today’s episode.
I know I’ve talked about list-building many times before, but here’s the thing: list building—when done right—can dramatically change your business (I should know, since it completely changed mine). So I want you to listen, then take immediate action of one or two of the strategies I mention.
Stay tuned for a NEW, FREE and LIVE webinar with yours truly ;-) This is a training I’m doing by myself, and LIVE: “The Ultimate List-Building Catch-Up Plan.” If you’ve ever felt behind in your list building, I’m going to show you how to get caught up quickly in terms of what to do inside your business to create a list-building foundation that can run on autopilot.
Check out these highlights:
- How to come up with a great idea for a lead magnet. [5:08]
- How to embrace video when it comes to list building. [10:06]
- Confirmation emails—there’s so much more you can do with them! [17:25]
- The right strategy for your nurture sequence. [21:33]
- How calls-to-actions can make all of the difference with your campaigns. [24:45]
- The tools I use (and how I use them) for my own list building. [27:05]
- How and why I link my original free content to my list-building efforts. [40:11]
The Ultimate List Building Catch-Up Plan: My Proven 3-Stack System For Leveraging The Most Powerful, “What’s Working Now” List Building Strategies (without the stress, tech confusion, or crazy overwhelm)
Rank #20: #60: Copywriting Tips to Persuade, Promote and Profit with Ray Edwards
When it comes to communicating the value of a product or service, Ray Edwards is a true legend in the industry. I met him way back in my corporate job days when my boss hired him to work his magic on a new sales letter for a product we were launching. That was when I saw the true power that words can have in generating sales and building a business. Since then, I decided to become a devoted student of copywriting, and a student of Ray’s, in particular.
Fortunately, Ray loves teaching, and he’s very generous with his expertise. You may remember him from way back in Episode 33, but I wanted to have him back to help you dive even deeper into the techniques of writing sales copy that gets results and comes from the heart.What Counts as Copy?
Ray often encounters confusion about what constitutes “copy”…how is it different from simply writing?
"The first level is sales copywriting, which is the copy that is on the sales page—where we ask people to press a button and buy something from us.
"On the other level, though, I believe that all writing is meant to persuade people either that they can do something, or that they should do something."
Basically, if you’re writing something to either empower people so that they feel they can do something, or to persuade them that they ought to do something, you’re writing copy.
…I’d say that applies to just about everything I write for my business, wouldn’t you?
As our freebie for this week, Ray is graciously offering more than 100 email and headline templates that he uses for writing amazing copy every day. Click here to get them now!EPISODE FREEBIE Get 100+ Email and Headline Templates from Ray Edwards
In a perfect world, we could just say “Here’s what I have, it’s good, buy it if you want to,” and all the right people who need our product would click Purchase. But the thing is, we’ve all become really smart, and really skeptical.
Ray points out that even Apple isn’t immune to the need for writing sales copy—they’re just so good at how they present it that we don’t realize we’re consuming their copywriting!
Very few of us like thinking about “sales writing.” It makes us think of smarmy used car salesmen, trying to con hardworking people out of their money. Ray is familiar with this aversion to copywriting, and here’s how he explains the way to avoid sounding “sales-y”:
"I think people get confused about persuasion versus manipulation. I like to define the difference this way: persuasion results in you making a buying decision that you will celebrate later; manipulation leads to you making a buying decision that you will regret later.
"The key to guiding your clients toward a decision they will celebrate is—no surprise—knowing your clients really well! You think of the problem that you’re solving, and you write about it from the perspective of the person who has the problem, and you describe their pain. Someone once said that the more accurately you can describe the pain of the person you’re selling to, the more they feel as though you automatically have the solution to the problem.
"There’s plenty of brain science that tells us that almost all, if not all, of our decisions are made emotionally. All the rationale that we come up with is to support the emotional decision that we’ve already made. If you can just support the emotions that they’re feeling, and you can do it with integrity—you really do have the solution—then you don’t really ever have to sell hard, or even push to sell. You just give the persuasive story of why what you have is going to help them, and they’ll make a buying decision."
Whew. Great stuff, huh?
Get even more of Ray's insights on how genuine, emotionally persuasive copy can make selling a breeze. Click here to listen to the whole episode.
Okay, now let’s get into the nuts and bolts of writing great copy.
Ray has a couple of frameworks that he teaches anyone who is trying to improve their copywriting skills. The first one is called...The "Pastor" Framework
This one gets its name from the original meaning of the word “pastor”—having to do with being a shepherd. (Kind of an old meaning of the word…look it up.) Not only does this word help you remember the purpose of your business—to help and take care of people with what you sell—but it also just happens to be a handy acronym for setting up the points of your sales page.
P — Problem
Recognize the pain that your client is experience. Describe it to them. Empathize.
A — Amplify
Specifically, amplify the consequences of not solving that problem. This is probably one of the biggest secrets of making a sale—that it’s less about telling people how cool your product is, and more about letting them understand the long-term cost of not getting a solution for it.
S — Story
Every solution has a story about how it was discovered. You’ve heard me tell how I discovered the solution to online marketing that became the sales funnel I teach in the Profit Lab. How did you go from being a person with a problem to being an expert with a solution? This is the “meat” of your sales page.
T — Testimonial
You follow up the story of your solution with the stories of people who have used your solution. The more variety your testimonials have, the better—it shows that your solution can work for anybody.
O — Offer
This is where you say, in plain English, what you’re offering to your clients. You want to focus mainly on the benefits, here—less about the deliverable and more about the results of owning that deliverable.
R — Response
Ask people to take action.EPISODE FREEBIE Get 100+ Email and Headline Templates from Ray Edwards
This last piece of the Pastor framework brings up an important point that should be present in your copy:Any Decision Is Better Than No Decision
Ray says that he would always rather have a potential client say “No, that product is not for me” than have them not take action but constantly wondering if maybe they should.
Bad sales copy leaves people with a feeling of burden or pressure, that they should make a decision, but they’re not sure, but they’ve got to decide soon because the window is closing, maybe they should shop around more, etc.
Good sales copy, on the other hand, can be extremely passionate in expressing “I really think this is the right decision for you!” while still showing that you’re only interested in your client making a decision that serves them. And it doesn’t serve them to constantly be on the fence!The "Buyer’s Journey" Framework
You’ve heard of the “hero’s journey,” the kind seen in epic movies or classic novels—this is basically the same, but seen through the lens of copywriting. As a copywriter, you’re leading your reader through this mental journey, step by step.
Step #1: The Existing Situation
You identify the pain that the buyer is in.
Step #2: The Dream Solution
You contrast how the client’s world is right now, and here’s how they wish it could be.
Step #3: Discovering the Trusted Guide
You bring in the reasons why they should trust you to lead them on their quest for this dream solution.
Step #4: Presenting the Unique Solution
You announce that there is a dream solution, and you’ve found it.
Step #5: Describe the Features
This is the more “physical” description—what’s actually contained in this solution.
Step #6: Describe the Benefits
Explain what each of the features does for the person who uses this solution.
Step #7: The Transformative Offer
Tell them what they have to do to access the solution. (Click a button, make a phone call, etc.)
Step #8: Present Proof
Bring in the stories of others that have used this solution.
Step #9: Justify the Value
Acknowledge the cost to your buyer of making this decision, and explain why it's valuable. You can draw comparisons to other similar products out there, to show how yours is more valuable for the cost.
Step #10: Eliminate Fear and Risk
A buyer’s biggest fear is not that you don't have the solution, but that you’ll rip them off. So frame your offer in a way that takes the risk on yourself, and relieves all the buyer’s fear.
Step #11: Offer Bonuses
These should offer value that relates directly to your product, and that enhances or magnifies the benefit of the product.
Step #12: Invite a Decision
Emphasize that you are genuinely interested in your client making a decision that serves them.
Make sure to listen to my full podcast interview with Ray Edwards--we covered so much more than I could fit into this blog post! And don't forget to sign up to receive more than 100 templates for writing your own persuasive headlines and emails. This is the stuff that Ray normally offers only to students of his copywriting course, so you're not going to want to miss it!