Friday, December 31, 2010

New marketing campaign? Ready for battle? - NOTE

Here are some of the core challenges I mentioned in the earlier post
  • Negative past experiences
  • Conflicting interest
  • Not 100% ready to play
  • Negative influences
  • Knowledge and experience gap
  • Uncertain outcome
  • Risk taking mode not fully activated yet
  • Opposing forces
If you want to win with such a challenge you need a few things:
  • Accept to play the game!
  • Be super focused on your target!
  • Experience and learn!
  • See it as a fun game, an exciting challenge to conquer!
  • Invest your time and energy into it!
  • Kill your doubts!
See? Lots of winning mind sets that can help you win!

New traffic building campaign - Ready to go? - Is anything still holding me back? - NOTE

The main limiting factor right now for the jealousy for men program is ONLY traffic building.

The sales page is right, it converts really well.

Now, before launching this new traffic building campaign, I feel that something might still be missing...

Here are some open questions:

First one is that this is going to be one month of focus.

With the same energy, there are quite a few other projects I could focus on

The second big question is that my energy might not be 100% free and still invested or going in other directions that take way part of my energy.

In other terms, there might be some lack of focus and synergy in my whole system.

I want to check this further to analyze REALLY what is going on.

The first doubt that comes to mind has to do with traffic building versus simply creating quality content.

For instance, when I create videos, that's simply creating content and eventually some of these videos direct some traffic to my site.

The question is: should I rather focus exclusively on adding value and let the destiny lines follow their course.

Would that be enough?

Well, in the past, I know that simply creating quality content did NOT generate enough income for me.

If it wasn't for promotional campaigns I made, the audience that looks for my products would never have found me.

When you look at it from a certain perspective, you can think that it's a pity to have to put energy into these promotional steps rather than being able to sit back and wait for people to find my products.

Well, that's the fundamental dilemma that everyone faces in the business world.

Those who don't like marketing would rather put all their energy in creating products.

Same for artists for instance.

For those who like marketing, it's a whole different story because they see it as a creative act by itself.

It's powerful!

It's like a game in rel life!

It is a challenge and it IS exciting.

And... It is a law of life!

40000 years ago, hunting for your prey so that you can eat was a real tough challenge!

In some situations, finding food was easy but very often it required incredible skills, focus, will power, determination, perseverance.

So, the question is: why is life like that?

Why have we evolved as a human race where this competition to "stay alive" is one of the underlying dynamics of life?

Because life IS a training ground!

And when you compete for survival, it triggers resources in you that you didn't even know you had!

It is a way of expanding your consciousness as a human, expanding your skills and abilities.

We can call this the competitive path.

It is a path of mastery!

So, this is what goes on in the business world.

It is like a huge game, highly competitive, in which to succeed, you have to tap into your profound potential as human being.

So, here you have it!

This is why it is EXACTLY the way it is.

Rather than trying to reject these rules, embrace them!

The only way to win is to play the game!

-----------------------

Whaaaaa! I like that! Quite a discovery!

Now, the next question is: from a synergetic point of view, is anything holding me back?

If yes, what?

What could that be?

Yes, I do feel that right now, my mind is not 100% on this flowing with its full power and inspiration.

Why?

First past experiences! Some of my past marketing experiences were challenging. It has to do with having high expectation and not totally breaking through.

Second element: not being 100% aligned with that energy. A part of me is not embracing the rules at 100% or not fully in the game yet.

Third element, possible conflicting interests... For instance, I could put my energy into researching certain topics or publishing more of my books on amazon, travel projects, or a few other possible directions...

In other terms, my mind is invested in other projects.

This means that my energy and my mind are divided.

There could be some subtle influences adding resistance as well.

This means that in my social and professional network there can be energies holding me back.

Another one that plays a role is the lack of experience, skills or knowledge.

This means that there are many aspects of the process which are somehow unclear.

One more... Uncertain outcome. This means that I could be investing a lot energy for very little results.

This last one is basically responding to the law of least energy. I want to save my energy, time and resources and invest them in what has the greatest chances of success.

It's logical, right? I simply want to protect myself from hitting dead ends.

Another one is that in my activities, I can retreat within less challenging lines of action. This means staying within my comfort zone and use my preserving energy rather than my conquering power.

So, this would be comfort versus risk taking!

Another one just came to my mind: opposing forces!

Basically you have whole systems in place which are aimed at either opposing you or openly making you fail.

For instance, again, imagine yourself 40000 years ago trying to hunt a mammoth with your friends.

This mammoth has been given a survival instinct to defend its life. It will fight and try to kill you!

Nowadays, you have the same type of systems in place in the business world.

For instance if you try to rank higher in google using SEO, google is determined to make you fail by not letting you manipulate the results of a search engine.

In the same line, there is competition with other people or businesses trying to do what you do.

So here it is: opposing forces

So, to summarize, here are these sources of resistance:
  • Negative past experiences
  • Conflicting interest
  • Not 100% ready to play
  • Negative influences
  • Knowledge and experience gap
  • Uncertain outcome
  • Risk taking mode not fully activated yet
  • Opposing forces

So, these are 7 core sources of resistance I can identify so far.

One core idea is that for this process to be fun + energetic + successful I must align myself, optimize the way I go for this challenge and make sure that EVERYTHING is in place for a frictionless, fluid experience!

That's the goal!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My marketing dilemma right now...

Here is the dilemma and I need an answer or direction on that one.

Here it goes:

I feel that creating a new video campaign on the jealousy for men program could be useful.

The core channel is youtube but could post to other videos sites and podcast.

the dilemma is this one:

  • I can either create promotional videos on this topic with links to my program
  • I can create videos and offer only short 1 min samples to the public
  • I can create full 2 to 10 min clips without holding back ANY info
Now, with the two first options, people feel the promotional nature of these videos. Basically, it is an ad.

With the second option, it's high quality content and might naturally be more appreciated than promotional content.

The goal of these videos is clear: demonstrate my expertise on this topic and position myself in my audience's mind.

My question is: which of these 3 options should I choose?

There can be of course be more options as well, like interviews, life sessions, success stories, personal stories, etc.

I need answers on that and a clear vision on how to do this.

Again, I need to position myself as a top expert on this topic in my audience's mind. I am already an expert on this topic but my audience doesn't know that yet.

What's the best way to transmit that message? What's the best strategy? What's the best tactic?

CREATE AN OFFER THAT MATCHES THE DEMAND! - NOTE

That's the conclusion to what I unveiled about coaching today and some gaps on my site and offers.

In probably 95% of the products or services offered out there, the offer DOES NOT match the demand!

Update on the strategic ideas that came up in the last week...

Realized that from all possible traffic building and exposure strategies, a new youtube campaign scores the highest

http://selling.vitalcoaching.com/2010/12/traffic-building-last-few-years-results.html

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CREATE AN OFFER THAT MATCHES THE DEMAND

Realized that when someone is looking for a solution, let's say on jealousy or any other coaching topic, finding help and an offer which matches the needs is VERY difficult. Most services are overpriced for the general public + offers are not clear or difficult to access or understand - Right now, the demand does NOT match the offer in most cases...

http://selling.vitalcoaching.com/2010/12/auto-feed-back-on-offers-on-my-site.html

http://selling.vitalcoaching.com/2010/12/whats-wrong-with-coaching-landscape.html

Tips for writing an appealing BIO - NOTE

Found that one! A few useful tips...
----------------

The Author Bio is an Important (and Often Overlooked) Marketing Tool

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Sep 27, 2010 11:25:56 AM

The author biography is oftentimes the last item we think about as self-published authors. As a result, we may even consider it to be the least important part of our marketing strategy. It's fluff, words to fill in space, right? No, not by a long shot. In many ways, it can be as important as your one-sentence pitch, and it is a key component for you to build your personal brand.

I've developed a few author bios as my career and experience progressed. And looking over them with a critical eye, my very first bio was my most successful. It was short out of necessity, because I didn't bring a lot to the table in the way of credentials. It was for my first book and all I had going for me at the time was that my family claimed to really like it. I knew enough to know that wasn't a great selling point. I sat down and wrote bio after bio trying to make myself sound a lot more important than I really was. The harder I tried, the less authentic the bio read. After literally hours of trying and failing, I set the project aside and walked through my house, trying to figure out who I was. I patted my dog for inspiration. I made sure that cats had food. I flipped through the mail and rolled my eyes at a mortgage statement. I stared at my wedding picture on the mantel, and that's when it hit me. This is who I am. I'm just a regular guy who wants you to read my book. So, I wrote the following bio:

R.W. Ridley lives in Charleston, SC with his beautiful wife, a hyperactive dog, three arrogant cats, and one ugly mortgage.

That was it. I added it to the back cover, and didn't give it another thought. An odd thing started happening. I got e-mails from people telling me they loved my bio. I'd show the book to people at book fairs and signing events, and they'd flip the book over, read the bio, and laugh. They'd walk off with a copy of the book based on the bio. The book has now been on the market for five years, and I still get remarks about the bio. This one was even posted in a recent review:

For that ugly mortgage
Haven't read it yet, but the "ugly mortgage" comment gave me a giggle

I changed my bio for later books because I felt it needed to include information about awards I had won and other books I had published, but I've never received a single comment about those. Credentials are important and include them whenever possible, especially if you're writing as an expert on the topic of the book, but don't use that as an excuse not to connect with your readers.

What's the lesson? Write the bio in third person, but take the opportunity to let it reflect your personality. And by all means, keep it short.

Think you've mastered the art of the author bio? Share it in the comments!


-Richard
Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

Link to original article

Monday, December 27, 2010

The point is to create a marketing machine that really works! - NOTE

yes, create a system that really works and brings you an ongoing flow of exposure.

This is REALLY the type of system you have to focus on.

New Youtube video campaign? - NOTE

I believe I could spend a whole month buzzing about this topic to get way more exposure.

In fact, I would already be there if that was my only topic - I would have developed a presence and greater expertize on this topic.

-----------

core questions

  • Offer just a 1 min sample or offer the complete video?
  • Offer a promotional content or offer the strategy?
  • Post only to youtube or to all video sites?
  • Brand with the vitalcoaching.com logo on video?
  • Reinvent my looks and way I present myself?
  • Video titles - key phrase or ebook chapter?
  • Video style, raw? Moving? alive? or static chat?
  • Interview guys or record coaching session samples?
  • Record video success stories?
  • publish the videos as MP3 on a jealousy podcast too?
  • More?
----------

on the offer 1 min sample or full video, the like/dislike ratings could go down - because people don't engage in discussion as much, it will trigger less exposure.

because it is openly commercial, people with favorite it less or post them on their facebook less as well.

Of course, if the aim is non commercial, people WILL share on facebook and other platforms because they don't see a money making scheme.

The key element here is REAL value!

-----------

The main real core question is: what is the content of the video?

Is it disclosing all the real advices, in other terms, giving everything away? or is it to create a commercial set of videos?

Or what else?


----------


concerning the title of the video, that's of course essential as some keywords are searched a lot and others not at all...

using the key phrases is not logical because it is not the content but will most probably drive more traffic when the key words are in it.

Using the real topic for the video makes more sense for the viewer but might not bring the same amount of traffic.


Traffic building - Last few years results - What worked and how much it worked

On the example of jealousy for men:

the SEO pages = optimized pages that i created some years ago.

Alltogether, these pages got around 6000 hits - at a relatively low conversion rate of 0.5%-0.2% this means an estimated sales of: 12 to 30 sales - that's like $200-$600 in the last 3 years.

so, for this SEO page campaign success: 5%

Note as well that these strategies did work way better 3-5 years ago - today, traffic to these SEO pages has massively dropped

--------------

Adwords for this campaign


success: 50%


Lots of sales but ROI not too high

------------

Youtube videos

1200 visits to main jealousy page - that's with about 10 videos

this number could be much higher up to 4000 visits as many hist are direct which means that visitors might have typed directly the URL after hearing it in one of my videos.

I posted 10 jealousy for men videos - alltogether these videos got around 40000 views on youtube.

so, we get 1 to 3 sales / video posted and or 1 sale for 1000-4000 video views

I know that when you look at it that way, the conversion rate is not high but it does make sense overall.

Estimation is that right now - the conversion rate from youtube source could be really high.1-3% so that could be 12-30 sales

Success for this campaign: maybe 50%

But with LOTS of room for easily improve that result

This means that this strategy is actually one of the most effective so far.

What is missing with that campaign? well, it is hat with only 10 videos and very little buzz, I am not positioning myself as an expert.

the videos are ok, but perform only at 20%-50%

The positioning of my expertise could be way higher.

The reason this is not having an impact is because I did create the videos 3 years ago - nothing since then

Not much, right?

VERY LITTLE BUZZ!

In fact, I am non existent on this topic online.

The ones who hear about me are only a few

-----------------

what's interesting is that from all these traffic building strategies, the one that stands out and has lots of room for improvement is the youtube videos.

What's interesting is that it's not a SEO strategy, it is a positioning strategy.

The goal is to establish my expertise in this specific topic.

How good have I been so far with that one?

probably 20%

This means that I used only a VERY SMALL fraction of the space that is offered to me.

------------------

for a key phrase like "coping with jealousy" my videos take 70% of the listings in the video results on google

but, I don't appear in the general search results.

In the "news" results, there is simply nothing! when you search for "coping with jealousy" with the brackets.

Checking this further in books, I don't appear there but could if I my book gets indexed on amazon.

The point is that in all these places, for all these keywords, there is LOTS of space to effectively position myself as a top expert on this topic.

---------------

What results can be expected?

With these stats, here is what can be expected:

Suppose that I create one video/day for 30 days.

That's 30 videos.

with the stats I checked earlier, that would mean 30-90 sales

The income resulting from these sales could double with coaching.

So, here it is!

Now, suppose that the same effort is repeated over and over again, here you have it, exposure and expansion.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Traffic building - what's the best strategy - NOTE

here are the strategies that I used in the past:

  • Adwords - pay per click
  • Yahoo ads - pay per click
  • SEO - optimized pages
  • SEO - targeted websites + optimized pages
  • SEO - optimized blog posts
  • Content creation - not optimized
All these strategies worked to a certain extend for a while.

The adwords era lasted for about 3 years I think.

It was extremely successful in the early stages

SEO pages was successful as well for a while - right now it's not longer the case - I haven't focused on my optimized pages for a while because the core elements now are external factors.

With hundreds of possible optimized pages to market - hundred of keywords - It's just too time consuming and there isn't an easy to use strategy that will create a break through.

----------

Same story with optimized websites.

At their peak, these websites were bringing alltogether a few hundreds visitors/month.

That's after months of effort and publishing hundred of optimized pages.

In that case the strategy just paid for hosting price. I estimate that all this effort resulted in maybe 10 sales/year max.

Not much! - that's like less than 1% of the total sales volume coming from the pages on the website.

Sure, it did create some buzz and backlinks but simply maintaining the websites, updating, paying for hosting and domain names was a lot for insignificant results.

So, I dropped these sites and redirect now all my efforts to my site.

---------------

Optimized blog posts

That's a solid strategy that did work well 2 years ago.

I managed to boost traffic significantly.

The reason i did not follow up is because the blogging services I was using could have labelled my actions as search engine spam - I got some warning signs from wordpress for instance.

his is still an option I can consider in the future...

-----------

Just to make it clear, I didn't engage in these traffic building tactics lightly.

At the peak of my Adwords campaigns, I had 80 campaigns running, advertising more than 10 different products on my side with close to 100000 keyphrases.

---------

same story with SEO pages - I created around 1000 optimized pages to draw traffic

Same again with targeted websites - I got 12 targeted domain names - created 50-200 optimized pages per domain.

In theory, these strategies should work and I was already imagining the flow of traffic landing on these pages.

Practically, the results were only a small fraction of what they could have been.

I was expecting results 100x higher.

By the way, i did my research and implemented all the SEO elements in the pages are built.

The in site elements were fine - what was missing in that case were the offsite elements with tons of links pointing to my thousands of optimized pages.

Building credibility with backlings for a few pages can work if you have 5 or 10 pages you want to promote.

Doing that for thousands of pages is close to impossible because the process has to look organic to search engines. In practicality I think it's very easy for search engines to recognize when these backlinks are not the result of an organic process, in other terms they are a promotional campaign.

search engines will naturally penalize that because they are at war with people trying to manipulate search results.

Of course they are.

SEO is not outlaw of course but search engines simply don't want you to be able to manipulate results for you to score high.

There is a small window there of course and SEO strategies can still be successful of course.

---------

what about creating rich content and hoping for the best?

Well, doing that on the site is not the best way to go...

For instance, I have now 4000 pages of content on the site - that respresents 1000 page views/day - 1 page is viewed 0.25 times/day on average

I have 400 videos on youtube with 1800 video views/day - 1 video is viewed on average 4.5 times.

That's like 18x more views for the content I put on youtube compared to the one on my site.

same story for MP3s on my Itunes channels.

They are accessed as well much more than web pages.

So, the answer is yes!

Right now, simply creating video content is an effective way to gain exposure.

If I compare all the SEO strategies with my video creation and positing strategies, video worked WAY better than all these strategies.

On top of that, this quality content gives credibility and ads value to the net.

Creating a video is rewarding and fun.

Trying to implement SEO strategies is interesting as well, but it tends to clutter the net and my activity.

Creating 100 videos over a period of 3 months is the equivalent to launching a new Blogging SEO campaign for instance.

The key questions are: 
  • Where do I want to put my energy?
  • What's the most exciting and rewarding action?
  • What ads the most value to my audience?
  • How do I contribute best to the well being and progress on this planet?

Image or not on jealousy for men cover? - NOTE

Just published that one on amazon and wonder if it works better with image on the cover or just with text.

that's the first question.

The second question is the title:

  • Jealousy - How to deal with it - For men
  • Master your jealousy
  • Master your jealousy before it destroys your relationship
  • Master your jealousy before it destroys your relationship - Key Tactics To Tackle Your Unwanted Jealousy, Insecurities And Controlling Patterns
Right now, my choice went for the most detailed title on the book cover - I get the impression that offering all the information straight away on the cover makes it super specific.

Question to be followed...

Still high conversion rates on jealousy for men program - NOTE

I was checking the stats again and get a 3% conversion rate on the jealousy for men program.

That's very high! In fact the highest I got so far when checking.

Right now, the limiting factor is traffic to that page.

I can work on the page itself but it is basically pointless!

The program works!

It works EXACTLY the way it is right now.

Nothing needs to be changed!

All the page needs is more traffic!

That's all!

--------------

While other programs might have a lower conversion rate 0.3% - 1% depending on the program, the point is that they still do work the way they worked when I first started.

Yes, conversion rates did drop a bit for some programs BUT they still work!

People still buy them.

So, especially for the jealousy for men program and for the other ones as well, traffic is what's the most needed!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Power to evolve and innovate - NOTE

This is like the top skill I need to increase right now.

With any business, it is way more than simply creating a product letting it sit there for years without innovating anything.

Look at cars.

every few years, you need to renew the brand with new designs and features.

If you don't do it, the brand dies out!

It's ESSENTIAL to understand this principle!

Any business must evolve and innovate.

It's either that or slowly die.

Of course, there are some exceptions.

If you create salt, the product can basically stay the same for years. Not much room for innovation there except maybe packaging design or production process for instance.

The point is that having that specific skill to look at the past and NOT try to recreate it is what keeps your businesses going.

You can't simply look at the online marketing landscape and try to go back to using the old traffic building or marketing methods that worked 5 years ago.

You need to go with the flow and INNOVATE!

If you don't, you are done!

2 core limiting factors - conversion rate + traffic - NOTE

That's obvious of course but I want to say something more about this.

On the jealousy for men, I can see a conversion rate which is pretty high 2-3%

but page traffic is only 630 page views for 3 months.

So, in that case, the core limiting factor is not the conversion rate, it is traffic.

In all cases, traffic is ALWAYS a limiting factor because even with a conversion rate of 0.1%, lots of traffic would still mean lots of sales.

But of course, working on both conversions and traffic side by side is essential.

Anyways... that's just a quick observation on that. Sometimes, it's pretty pointless to fine tune the conversion rate from 1% to 2% if there is very little traffic coming in....

It's essential to be smart with where you put your effort and energy if you don't want to miss the point

Does giving away free content create a surge of traffic? - NOTE

Here is a possible business model that I have been testing:

I offered the totality of the content on dating for women in free access.

Now, that's lots of videos and audios + a few ebooks + dozens of articles. The possible idea with that is because women are able to access that free content many more visits to the site will result.

Now, here is the strange thing:

the page access for the program of dating for women gets 100 views/month!

The page access for jealousy for women gets about the same and it's a sales page.

the dating for women videos access page gets even way less than that.

Of course, the overall traffic to these pages in free access is still probably 10 to 20 x more than the jealousy for women program but it is still not much!

Free access does NOT mean that people are rushing grabbing the content.

I believe that because it's free, the perceived value does drop instantly.

+ all the power sales structure is dissolved as well.

So, there is less intensity and way less challenge.

That's on the site.

Now of course, THAT specific content (dating success for women) gets lots of traffic on youtube and on the podcasts.

This is where 95% of the audience is for this material. Only 5% is actually viewing the content on my site.

This is essential because if I was offering for instance, break up for men in free access, the result would be the same.

I don't think there would be a huge surge in traffic. Maybe it would increase for a while like double and of course, the content would be viewed.

However, it is putting the break up videos on youtube or the audios on the podcast that would generate way more traffic.

for the break up videos, we are talking about an extra 20 videos for youtube

for the break up audios, that's way more, around 60 audios.

that's the same for other programs like jealousy for men or women and break up for women.

Now, giving away is great but what's the business model if this was done?

what would be the increase in traffic?

well, altogether that would be an extra 100 videos posted.

right now  have 400 videos with 1800 views/day so that's around 450 views/100 videos/day

an extra 100 videos posted on youtube would mean more or less that: an extra 450 views/day and maybe same or more with podcasts.

sure, that's more exposure but would it fundamentally change the results I get and my activity?

Would it suddenly increase coaching sign ups?

My experience is that it doesn't really.

If it did, I would have dozens of women signing up for coaching with me because of all the free content which is already online.

It is NOT what happens.

So, the outcome from such a freeing of my content is predictable because I already tested that with other programs.

Sure, break up and jealousy programs are more targeted and there is a small chance that results would be different but chances are really very slim.

My guess is that an extra 1000 video and audio access will happen and that this won't result in coaching sign ups.

Sure, people will enjoy the content but there is no solid funnel here to create a connection with my audience after they access my material.

Why is that?

Because the price tag of coaching and the various challenges people face when wanting to sign up makes coaching a relatively challenging product to sell.

Most of those who sign up for coaching bought a program before, so they already know me.

It could be the same of course with people accessing my break up or jealousy videos.

anyway...I am not shutting down that door...  still keep this as a question mark because I don't know for sure...

Auto feed back on offers on my site - NOTE

Let's take the example of a jealous guy who wants to tackle his possessive behaviors.

Here is what happens to such guy.


  • Makes a search
  • Finds my site
  • Lands on the jealousy for men page ( I am not going to focus on the sales page itself right now, but more on the overall process a guy goes through when looking for help on this topic)
  • He likes the product and buys it
  • He starts reading and learning more about jealousy dynamics
  • He watches some videos
  • Listens to some audios
  • By now, he starts getting a clearer picture but the skills are not yet mastered
  • He then decides to get some help or not but is confronted with trust issues about the method. In fact he is absolutely not sure whether the method will work for him.
  • The next question that bothers him is that there is no clear idea of what it will take to solve that... How many coaching sessions? For how long? That's a BIG problem!
That's a key challenge in the therapy and coaching field.

If you go to therapy, most of the times, it's "Sit here... Start talking..."

There is a lack of clarity with time frame and budget.

This means that people are asked to buy something having absolutely NO idea of how long it will take + what it's finally going to cost!

Those 2 missing elements are a HUGE gap in my offer right now.

----------------

Something else which is a big issue right now is that my offers sounds like: "Want some coaching?"

It's NOT specific enough for people to understand what it will do for them.

It's NOT specific enough for them to be able to trust, understand the process and engage into it fully.

----------------

My coaching offer right now is "One size fits all" which has its advantages because it is simple...

But even though I can deliver results on a vast variety of topics, people might find it challenging to see how it works and the exact results they will get.

---------------

So, here is what comes up...

The business model I use seems to be effective but the overall system could be optimized to match the EXACT needs of my audience

What's wrong with the coaching landscape today? - NOTE

The core element that comes to mind is OVERPRICING!

Basically the offer and demand don't match.

that could be one.

The second element is that it takes ages for someone to find the right help!

The challenge you face could have an easy solution if you know where to find that specific help.

For instance, if you need to give a speech and you want to train your delivery with a presentation coach, that's a simple obvious need, right?

I tried just that one and here is what happens:

  • made a search on google for "presentation skills"
  • found a video on youtube in top results
  • watch the video
  • see a link in the info for the video
  • click on the link
  • arrive on an expired domain.
okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay????

By now, I already spent 10 min on this, got a couple of tips from the video but I am still a loooooooooooooooong way from being ready for my presentation.

I still didn't train my skills and am still searching.

Even if I find something interesting, the skill we are talking about - In that case presentation skills - takes time to train.

I believe that in just 2 x 1 hour a 15 min speech can be immensely perfected!

But! You need to find the right person to teach you how to do that!

Someone who will be clear and direct enough to teach you how to behave on stage, what to say and how to say it.

You need a skilled person to help you with that!

You need someone who is a top expert in that skill + is affordable + is reachable.

It is hard as well to train that skill if you are not in person...

ok, tried again to search further.
  • clicked on another link
  • arrived on a site with a few tips
  • see an ad for another site
  • click on it
  • arrive on that other site which looks promising
  • the site is a bit messy
  • after clicking and surfing around, I can see how challenging it is to even understand what they offer and for what price
  • then in a LONG page of explanations, I finally find a price
  • 3 hours training for 600 pounds! whouhouuuuuuuu! 600 pounds = $900
  • So, that's $300/hour!
Then I have to find out how to buy, schedule, are they available in my city, etc.

By now, I am already on the edge of giving up on that skill for various reasons...

First, the price!

Then the challenge to set it up.

It's true, I could kick in with my conquering drive and get it one with it...

BUT, they certainly DON'T make it easy for me!

The prices are not obvious and info is not very intuitively presented!

It's really challenging.

Here is what I would like if I was using their services:
  • Pricing: $90 for about 2 hours training.
  • An easy way to test the system before I sign up? not really needed if the price is affordable
  • A video of the coach I will be working on - I need to know that this person is an EXPERT and that we will easily connect - As well that they are not on an upsell journey and that my success is their priority. In other terms, I want to see they care and that they can take me from where I am to where I want to be - This video is a bit of my test drive.
  • I need to be sure that what I need will be covered with that budget + within that time frame and that the coach won't waste my time
For such a price, i don't need more hesitation. I would be happy to test their system with that specific speech I want to give and get back to them for more in the future if needed.

I want as well that the coach you helps me is an excellent role model, stable, strong, clean, and healthy.

I would rather see a casual and trendy look rather than a corporate set up.

I would like to do that in a room with a stage and tools set up exactly the way they would be for my presentation.

In other terms, the location for the training must be right.

How many sites actually give me what I want?

Even if I was researching for a couple of hours, I believe that I would maybe find 1 or 2 offers that could come close to what I want. I believe that 90% of sites would not deliver what I want in that form.

So, here is a demand on mys side.

Here are people who are skilled in what I need.

But we do have a SERIOUS problem here because what I want and what is offered does NOT match.

I don't think that this is an isolated case!

I believe that this is the norm in this type of services.

In other areas like:
  • session with a personal trainer
  • visit to doctor
  • visit to vet
  • visit to shop to buy a product
  • Etc.
In all these cases, it does work and the offer and delivery process are streamlined.

With the example that I just took (presentation skills) it' a whole different story!

Most of the times, it's really the corporate aura surrounding that kind of services.

They are actually geared towards a VERY corporate audience and it does not LOOK cool.

The general public NEEDS these skills too!
  • Selling presentation for small business owners
  • Job interview skills
  • Presentation skills for students.
  • Etc.
There is a demand for this but the offer is INEXISTENT.

---------------

So let's check this on my own site and see how I perform on these selling points...

check the next post for that


Identify and respond to a need by creating the EXACT product matching the demand! - NOTE

In fact, this is the EXACT way to go and succeed.

Instead of creating something and hoping that it will sell, identify a need and create a product that matches that need.

This requires some solid research and that's exactly what you want to focus on.

I know that this can sound like such an obvious basic concept and guess what?

Probably 80% of those who start something online get that one wrong.

They first start with their own need to share something.

That's THE MISTAKE.

Don't start from your own need! Start from an audiences need.

I know, sometimes those 2 ways of looking at it totally overlap.

But so often, what a potential audience actually want can actually be so incredibly different than products offered out there.

Right business model + packaging - NOTE

You have dozens of possible business models for any product online.

Most probably only one of these models will work really well for you, while a couple might still work but underperform and dozens others not work at all...

I am at a cross point right now because the business models I have been using are partly collapsing due to various changes in the internet landscape.

So, I am actively exploring new ideas.

here are some of the traditional models used online:

  • Free content - Financed by adverting (portals like Ivillage, Men's health, ask men, etc.)
  • Ads only sites (adsense abuse)
  • Free features + user generated content - Financed by advertising (Youtube and Facebook model)
  • Charities
  • Online shop (amazon)
  • Digital products - (My model for ebooks and programs)
  • Free content with up sell option (my model for free content + coaching on my site)
  • Free content offered in video sites (My videos on youtube)
  • Free membership
  • Paid membership - life time or one time payment (My model for programs and access everything)
  • Paid membership (recurring payment)
  • Content in exchange of email address - forces opt in - squeeze pages with upsell
  • Services for fee (My model for coaching)
  • sell products on big shopping portals (like amazon)
  • sell products in auctions (ebay)
  • Create an online shop on the site rather than only 25% shop and 75% free access
  • Etc, etc, etc.
You have dozens of models with possible subtle variations.

Something that you need to include in these models are traffic building strategies, marketing strategies or exposure strategies.

A perfect business model won't work if there is no traffic or exposure to whatever is offered.

Another ESSENTIAL element is of course the packaging, format and pricing of what you offer.

For some products, a set of articles might be appropriate. or you might need videos. + for what price???

ALL these choices and options give you TONS of different models.

To be successful, you need to identify EXACTLY the one that will work for you.

You might have some room for variation but I believe not much!

So, you better get it right or you might totally miss the point.

So here you have it.

If something in your approach is not working, identify the business model you are using and what is missing in that picture.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Sales elements = turn offs?

I believe they are unless you are marketing a marketing product to marketers in which case it will usually be well received.

Now, for the common audience and especially in the field I am in, I feel that people are tired of these marketing structures, the long testimonials and sales letters, the calls for actions, the cheap graphics, the fancy price tags + a whole bunch of marketing strategies that are on the edge of ethical.

I noticed in my last efforts that ABSOLUTE simplicity works really well.

No need to dilute the message behind fancy graphics.

Give it to me raw - that's what I feel people want more and more!

Traffic building and exposure - NOTE

To anyone trying to develop anything online, you have to realize that this is the number one limiting factor and maybe the most challenging to achieve!

You have tons of interesting content and products online that get zero results because no one knows about them.

many people will have an idea, develop a website, create their product and then, start thinking about traffic.

BIG MISTAKE!

In fact, any online enterprise should almost start with traffic building ideas or make sure that your idea is so incredible that people will refer you straight away.

Traffic and exposure is one of the core challenges when starting anything online.

Unlimited coaching! - another few essential elements - NOTE

the first and second offer I sent work!

DEFINITELY!

It was a real success.

Now here are a few elements that made it a success!

---------------

First, it was a networking step. 5000 people on list. same message to everyone.

I sent a few individual messages but no response on that level! That's a bit surprising because these were targeted messages to people I coached before.

So, network message to a list!

That's what worked!

--------------

Second essential element

This was a list of people who know me already - a few of them had already bought a product or some coaching before.

-------------

Third essential element

Limited time offer and limited spots - I do believe that if this was a permanent offer without urgency element to it, it would not have taken off.

------------

Fourth essential element

A solid discount and no brainer in the way it is present. One simple choice. an unbeatable price. a super simple sign up process. perfect packaging.


------------

Fifth essential element

I send the first message to my audience and as well to my facebook social network + posted it on another list.

I believe that 100% of my responses came from MY lists, not my social networks. In other terms, advertising this specific offer on facebook and other list did not trigger a significant response.

So, you need a space to advertise this material. your social networks might give you some limited response but they are NOT the answer.


------------


Sixth essential element

The sales email I sent was VERY simple - plain text with a long link - Nothing fancy!

Same for the sign up page!

No graphics. no fancy sales letter. no video. no success stories. NONE of these usual sales elements.

Just a simple message with a call for action.

------------

now, here are some things I tried along the same line that didn't work:

-----------

Posting and ad on the site. Same offer. side ad or more invasive ad. creates no response!

Conclusion: same offer presented to a totally different audience creates a radically different result! I mean RADICALLY different - success rate goes from 100% to 0% just like that! STUNNING!

-----------

Price shift!

I tried with another price $299 for 3 months - response again dropped!


Conclusions from my website's last year of activity - NOTE

Here are a few things

Redesign is a big success

it is simple but the way the content is organized now + the navigation is really fantastic I think.

Basically, people can easily find their way around.

The way the content is presented is EXTREMELY consistent.

Programs are clear.

It is uncluttered from ads and distractions.

In other terms, as a resource, it works great!

------------------

Engaging the audience?

That's something I am no longer actively trying to do except in a few sales pages I have left. There are no whistles or flashy designs.

Why? because all of these are actually distractions.

I decided to simply present the content AS IS and let people RELAX with their experience.

In the feed back I got in the past, people mentioned that a lot: they don't want to be aggressed when entering a site!

They want to relax.

Right now, the site is delivering lots of quality content.

Time on page and on site has been consistent.

The reason why traffic is dropping is simply because pages naturally progressively drop in search engines... It's a natural process.

--------------

Engaging audience with newsletter sign up, forums, community?

Well, it is very clear, when people want community, 95% of them already go to selected sites. These are facebook, youtube and twitter.

You have a few forums that are still active out there but board discussions don't really take off any more.

------------

More social media?

That's another myth! On small sites, people don't engage in conversations, chat or contribution.

Why? because there isn't enough momentum on these sites.

so, not manifested on my site yet.


------------

Drop down menus

Another element that I experimented with but that I eventually dropped because of technicalities.

------------

Trouble free membership system

so far the system has been a big success - some extra features could be there but it does what it's supposed to and has been a  positive shift to an online member area that really works and that gives clients a good sense of control over their member area

------------


Etc.

Basically, lots of good stuff on the site.

Simplicity, easiness of use.

Good vibes!

what's happening online today - unused websites - unused domain names - NOTE

We entered in a new era in the way people use the net.

What it means for the old ways is that lots of websites are abandoned both by their owners and by the audience.

I don't know how many times I think of a fantastic domain name, check it and see it parked somewhere.

People did buy them, might have used them for a while or had an idea in the back of their heads but maybe it never took off.

Now, these domains and great potentials are simply asleep... Nothing is done with them.

unlimited coaching offer on site - one week after start - results - NOTE

It does NOT generate a response!

There are many reason for that again and one of them is the fact that maybe visitors miss information from me, that they don't feel the urgency, that the step is too far or that they don't see the value of it.

There is as well a logic behind that.

First it is that the offer is coaching in general, not coaching for a specific topic people can recognize.

So, it is not targeted coaching.

Another one is the fact that when I coach one on one, I help one person.

When I post a video, I help hundreds.

Once the session is finished, the results are intangible and the content is not recorded or available for others to access.

And that's a loss, really!

For the same effort, I can record a video or audio that will be accessed by hundreds of people or I can help just one person.

The amount of energy and investment is very similar.

radical shift! - NOTE

Of course sales are decreasing

traffic to site is decreasing too

sign ups for coaching decrease too

it's a natural part of the process.

the reason why traffic is decreasing to site is because I am basically posting very little new content.

also, strategies like SEO pages and ads went down a lot.

This means that there has been a progressive drop in sales for the last let's say 3 to 4 years.

As I might have mentioned earlier, while one on one coaching should in theory work, it is of course a product which is way harder to sell.

First pricing, second commitment from those who sign up and third relationship needs to be built up.

So, what I am saying is that right now, most of what used to work 4 years ago no longer works and the site and my activity needs a refreshing boost of new ideas.

These ideas could be ANYTHING!

The point is that the business model I have been using in the past and has been successful now for about 7 years is now coming to an end and a new radical shift needs to take place.

Here are the things I tried in the last year:

  • Redesign site + ad new features - shift to wordpress platform
  • Start printing paperbacks from my material
  • Offer unlimited coaching packages

All these strategies work to a certain extent and give me some limited amount of success but something is still missing in that picture.

What else?

That's what I am in the process of unveiling right now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Imagination - Creative power - Ideas - NOTE

If you simply do what others do, you won't succeed!

You need drive! Creativity! Imagination!

You need to come with new ideas! Lots of them!

You need practical ideas!

Things that can actually be manifested!

So, those who are good at this, the successful innovators and entrepreneurs master that skill!

It is the ability to pick up ideas and bring them into reality!

This creative innovative power is what makes you successful with anything you do.

That's the skill you want to develop and train!

That's the skill you want right now!

INNOVATIVE CREATIVE SKILL!

Now. if you miss it, how do you manifest it?

How exactly do you trigger that skill and build it up like a muscle?

Is it even something you can develop?

Of course it is!

You simply need to identify the training approaches that work.

I believe there is a system to train the innovative mind.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What people feel when they see an ad? - NOTE

Here is something that is happening right now online!

Ads suck!

When people see them they run away!

A lot of an internet user's behavior is a a permanent battle to avoid the ads.

People want information delivered to them!

They way to be entertained and inspired!

They want to be thrilled and excited.

Here is what happens when people see an add:

They are turned off!

They get an instant negative emotional reaction.

They develop ad blindness!

Here is what I feel:

In terms of marketing strategy, advertising kills the relationship with your audience!

It is really that simple!

It creates a reaction in the surfer's mind that says:

"I need to protect myself from that because their agenda is to get my money in whatever way they can"

"They are trying to seduce me with their message and if I do what they ask me to do, I will lose money and end up with stuff I don't need"

The self talk a person has which is associated with advertising is bad! Really bad!

The emotional response is 95% negative.

Then, there is a tiny bit of curiosity.

And when curiosity wakes up, most people will try to kick that curiosity out!

They will fight that emotion because they don't want to be seduced by an ad!

They know the advertisers are trying to put a message in their minds and they fight with that specific force.

In other terms, it's a conflicting battle!

It's a battle of energy between the advertiser and the prospect.

That's the type of reaction that happens in 95% of the cases.

Advertising misses the point in most cases!

So, the question is: if advertising the way it was done doesn't work, what does?

Right now, I have a website and people come to it for information!

They get something from it!

It's a directory of resources that is 95% free and open to everyone.

It does exactly what it is supposed to do.

it could do more of the same?

Absolutely!

There could be more info on any topic!

And it would not fundamentally change what the site does.

There are MANY things that can be perfected.

The thing though is that it won't radically change the response I get.

What I need now is a NEW way of communicating with my audience that will create connection!

I am looking for NEW ideas, new formats and new ways of helping, connecting with and reaching my audience.

Realize that the past model has been like this:

From the website owners, it goes often like this:

"Let's get people to visit the site and offer them content - while they watch this content, let's get them distracted by ads so that they lose track on what they try to do and check the ads we offer"

For the surfer's perspective, it sounds like:

"Let's check this info and be blind to anything that is not info. I know that these guys will try to sell me something and the only way to stay on top is to REFUSE to play and waste my time! I need to PROTECT myself against these messages and go straight to the only thing I want: the piece of info I am looking for"

That's a selling strategy which DOES NOT work anymore!

It is OUTDATED!

In that model, you have 2 agendas which are VERY different!

The audience and the business - 2 agendas that don't match.

That's unless you have an online shop that already says: BUY.

People know that when they enter a shop, they already engage in a commercial relationship.

They are possible prospects, they know that and accept it.

It works!

Now, when you enter in a library and have someone trying to sell you something, that's where it doesn't match!

Here is another one: telemarketers trying to sell you stuff by calling you.

Why is it annoying? because your phone is a social and practical tool! not a shop!

It invades your space and privacy and the one who market that way try to shift you into shopping mode when you are not.

So, certain environments are appropriate for selling, some other ARE NOT!

Here are more examples: advertising your products on facebook or youtube doesn't work.

It can a bit if you are a company and pay for ad space.

BUT if you start actively selling stuff in your social space, this is it!

probably 95% of people are turned off by it!

You can get a way with doing it a few times but if you repeat that often, you will REALLY irritate your friends!

Same if you go to a social event and try to engage into commercial transactions, actively selling something!

Again... Massive turn off!

Can you see how it works?

So, back to my site:

The site is NOT presented like a shop!

It is a vast set of resources.

It is a space where people can get lots of positive vibes and inspiration for free!

This is why over the years, I simplified the pages and removed distractions to come up with the simplest and most accessible way to be on the site SAFELY and without having to fight with distracting messages.

These are conscious choices I made over the years to actually provide content that everyone can use.

Now, I can either leave the site EXACTLY the way it is now or try to ad new features or elements to it.

That's the open question I have now and need to explore...

By the way, the site represents only 10% of my exposure online.

90% of those who access my material access it through other mediums and sources like online videos or podcasts.

-----------

Back to ads...

The thing is that most people who try to sell something will use ads on their site.

It's so programmed in people's minds that they simply do it when in fact, I believe it REALLY does not work when trying to establish connection!

99.9% of the advertising exposures fail!

In other terms, they DON'T lead a successful transaction or exchange.

It is like bombarding your audience with a message that doesn't work.

Things change!

what worked some years ago might no longer work now.

That's ok!

Adverting on website does not successfully create a relationship with my audience.


The response to ANY THING I advertise with side ads or more invasive ads simply generates an insignificant response!


That's a FACT!

So, the answer is CLEAR!

To create relationship, I need to engage my audience in a VERY different way!

Launched a new $99 Unlimited coaching on the site through a side ad - NOTE

That was a few days ago and so far little response.

This time the ad is on the side, not invasive.

And it has been seen by probably a 1000 people.

Now, this offer is quite incredible in terms of coaching.

It's more generous than anything you can find out there.

So... here is why I feel the response is weak to it.

First, it's an ad!

People online are now trained to resist ads!

It's a matter of survival!

they are bombarded with them and seeing one more triggers an instant emotional reaction.

I feel I need to expand more on that because advertising by itself triggers a very specific emotional response!

I'll start another post on that one to explain this...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Big success with unlimited coaching offer! What next? - NOTE

This has been a VERY big success.

The question now is what next?

There is obviously a demand for what I offered.

The offer is coming to an end for those who signed up first...

What next?

Friday, December 3, 2010

3 months unlimited coaching - $299 offer

2 days after launching - 0% success on that one.

a few assumptions here...

  • Because it's the third similar offer in the last 3 weeks, the dimension of newness is fading away?
  • Emails overload? too many messages coming from me? Triggers resistance?
  • The price tag of $299 is above what people can easily spend or make an easy decision on?
  • The time frame of 3 months is too long? sounds like lots of focus, discipline and hard work?
  • Those who wanted coaching from me already signed up to earlier offers
  • Etc.
These are all assumptions...

I can't say 100% what element is the most limiting in this offer.

It's probably a combination of these 5 elements. I seriously believe that all 5 elements play a role.

I still have 24 hours of testing with this promotion, so the tide can still totally shift today.

Solutions? I'll check what to do about the specific limiting factors I just described.

3 days after unlimited coaching offer on website, still no success

So, that's a SOLID indication that this strategy can't really be transfered from email into website as such.

I'll leave it still another 24 hours till the offer ends and then remove it if there are still no results coming in...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

market to local social networks or not?

sending an invitation to a sign up for coaching to a list of facebook friends?

Is this a good idea or not?

What about a local list?

Does that work?

Well, here are the numbers...

While I can't say for sure, I have the feeling that at least 90% of those who signed up to my "Unlimited coaching - $99" offer came from my list, not a social network, not facebook, not a local list.

The second "make me an offer" promotion was marketed only to my list (around 4000 addresses) same positive results as the first promotion even though I didn't send that one to my social networks.

So, here it goes...

when testing both, I get the strong feeling that marketing a to local social networks is not that effective, unless it really matches the energy and feel of the list.

With the last 2 promotions I didn't send them to social networks...

Honestly, I could force it a bit but feel that for effective marketing, it's better to take different avenues...

"Make me an offer" was in fact as successful as the "unlimited coaching $99" offer

In terms of income that resulted from that offer, it was VERY similar.

The reason why i didn't see it at first is because there were a couple of late sign ups.

The sales process took a bit more negotiation but was still highly successful with 90% of those responding to the ad and making an offer eventually signing up.

So the sales strategy for that one worked REALLY well too.

So, far, that's 2 excellent successes!

New unlimited coaching offer on website

this is a new test I have been running since yesterday - it is the same offer as the first unlimited coaching $99 - q month offer I sent to my list and that got this very good response.

The message was sent to around 4000 addresses and I can say that it got probably a 0.2% conversion rate on the number of emails sent.

I do believe that around 25% of emails were opened, so that's 1000 emails - now this gives us a very different conversion rate of around 1%.

So, with this new offer, I believe that around 100 people are exposed to the ad on the site every day.

After 4 days, that should be around 400 people.

If the conversion rates are similar, this could mean 4 sales.

That's what I need to test in that period of time: does the same ad, directly on the site create a similar response or not... we'll see

I have to wait another 3 days and check results then.