Category Archives for "Entrepreneurship"

Who is Joseph Sugarman?

joe sugarman copywriter

Who is Joseph Sugarman?

Considered one of the best copywriters of all time, Joe Sugarman is

Well, he’s considered one of the best copywriters of all time. He’s up there with David Ogilvy, Eugene Schwartz, and John Caples. He’s the real deal.

And he happened to write a book on copywriting that has become a classic. It’s easily one of the top 5 books on copywriting.

In Advertising Secrets of the Written Word, he breaks down his approach to copy so that you can replicate it. Within the book, he includes 17 axioms of copywriting. To write copy as persuasive as Sugarman’s, this is where you want to start.

I’ve gone ahead and copied each of his axioms here.

So if you want to write better copy that gets you more customers, I’d staple these to the wall behind your desk:

1. Copywriting is a mental process the successful execution of which reflects the sum total of all your experiences, your specific knowledge and your ability to mentally process that information and transfer it onto a sheet of paper for the purpose of selling a product or service.

This is Sugarman’s definition of copywriting. Basically, it’s the process of putting your knowledge and experience in writing in order to sell a product or service.

2. All the elements in an advertisement are primarily designed to do one thing and one thing only: get you to read the first sentence of the copy.

Your entire ad is designed to do one thing: get people to read the first sentence. This is why people include giant, bold headlines. If you can’t get people to start reading your ad, you’ll never persuade them to buy from you. Never design an ad that distracts people from reading the first sentence.

3. The sole purpose of the first sentence in an advertisement is to get you to read the second sentence of the copy.

There’s a lot of formulas out there on how to write headlines and start your copy. But at the end of the day, all it really needs to do is to get people to keep reading. Grab people’s attention with the first sentence and set the stage so that they’ll want to keep reading.

4. Your ad layout and the first few paragraphs of your ad must create the buying environment most conducive to the sale of your product or service.

As you get people to start reading your copy, the next goal is to create what Sugarman calls a “buying environment.” This includes the copy, the layout, design, everything in your ad. The rest of these axioms will help you create that buying environment.

5. Get the reader to say yes and harmonize with your accurate and truthful statements while reading the copy.

As people read your copy, they should say yes to each of your statements. All of your claims should resonate deeply with them. The goal is to write from their point of view so that they get the feeling that you know exactly what they’re going through. This is only possible when you put in the time to deeply understand your customers. The easiest way to do this is by talking to them in person and asking them about their problems.

6. Your readers should be so compelled to read your copy that they cannot stop reading until they read all of it as if sliding down a slippery slope.

Your copy needs to be so compelling that people can’t stop reading. Do this by leading with a personal story, give hints about what’s coming later, or not completing answering a question. Give people a reason to want to keep reading.

7. When trying to solve problems, don’t assume constraints that aren’t really there.

When writing copy, none of us know what will truly work. The only way to find the best solution is to try different approaches. So experiment with your copy and make sure you can measure it to see which versions work the best.

8. Keep the copy interesting and the reader interested through the power of curiosity.

By building curiosity in your copy, you’ll easily get people to keep reading. Sugarman relies heavily on curiosity to keep people reading and it can be a very powerful tool. But make sure you’re using curiosity to attract the right kind of customers for your business. Using massive amounts of curiosity will get you plenty of attention but it won’t do you any good if it doesn’t produce valuable customers.

9. Never sell a product or service, sell a concept.

The benefit of the product is far more important than the product itself. So pay close attention to your positioning and unique selling proposition.

10. The incubation process is the power of your subconscious mind to use all your knowledge and experience to solve a specific problem, and its efficiency is dictated by time, creative orientation, environment and ego.

After you’ve put together all of your notes and done your customer research, take a break. This will give your subconscious time to work through the problem and come up with the best approach for your copy. When you’re ready to start writing, let the copy pour out of you. Don’t worry about grammar or anything else. Your job is to get everything that’s in your head on paper. Editing comes later.

11. Copy should be long enough to cause the reader to take the action that you request.

If you need long copy in order to sell effectively, use long copy. Some products don’t need long copy like a bottle of Coca-Cola. All people need to know is where they can get it, that it’s cold, and the price. But other products will need to take people through an entire sales process before anyone will be willing to buy. Use as much copy as you need in order to make the sale.

12. Every communication should be a personal one, from the writer to the recipient, regardless of the medium used.

Your copy should be in the first-person. We don’t connect with amorphous “brands.” We connect with people. Make your copy personal so that readers feel like it was written directly to them from someone else.

13. The ideas presented in your copy should flow in a logical fashion, anticipating your prospect’s questions and answering them as if the questions were asked face-to-face.

Each new claim should logically flow from the previous one. If you jump around between all sorts of different ideas, people will get confused and feel like you’re trying to trick them. Keep it simple by moving people from one step to the next.

14. In the editing process, you refine your copy to express what you want to express with the fewest words.

The most important role of editing is to remove unnecessary words. This makes your copy more persuasive and easier to read. A lot of people skip this step and end up with rambling copy that doesn’t get great results. The best copy has been edited and refined countless times.

15. The more the mind must work to reach the conclusion successfully, the more positive, enjoyable or stimulating the experience.

You can’t just grab people’s attention, throw out some basic copy, and hope for the best. You need to engage people and get them to form their conclusions with you. If copy is too obvious, people will feel dumb or bored. Then you lose them. Build some intrigue into your copy.

16. Selling a cure is a lot easier than selling a preventative, unless the preventative is perceived as a cure or curative aspects of the preventative are emphasized.

People don’t care about prevention. They’re not willing to spend money to prevent a problem they don’t have yet. Cures on the other hand sell VERY well. Even if you have a preventative service or product, you want to position it as a cure instead of a prevention.

17. Telling a story can effectively sell your product, create the environment or get the reader well into your copy as you create an emotional bonding with your prospect.

People love stories. It’s the single best way to communicate a message and persuade people. Whenever you get stuck and don’t know what to do with your copy, start with a story.

There you have it.

The 17 copywriting axioms of Joseph Sugarman.

If you want to dive into all this and get better at copywriting (one of the most important skills in business), I highly recommend picking up Sugarman’s book.

The hardback version of Advertising Secrets of the Written Word can be pretty hard to get your hands on (copies usually sell between $50 and $300). But the publisher just released a Kindle version for $10.

5 Things Roger Bannister Can Teach You About Achievement

Roger Bannister

It was on May 6, 1954, when a 25-year-old medical student in London made history.

On that day, Roger worked his usual shift at St. Mary’s Hospital, then took an early afternoon train to Oxford. He ate his lunch, then met up with track teammates Christopher Chataway and Chris Brasher. The three of them were members of an amateur all-star team, and they were preparing to run against Oxford University.

Who is Roger Bannister?

Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister, CH, CBE was a British middle-distance athlete, doctor and academic, who ran the first sub-four-minute mile. In the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Bannister set a British record in the 1500 metres and finished fourth. Wikipedia

Born: March 23, 1929 (age 88), London Borough of Harrow, United Kingdom
Death: March 4, 2018 (age 88)
Height: 6′ 2″

Education: Imperial College London, Merton College, Oxford, Exeter College, Oxford, University of Oxford

 

Breaking The 4 Minute Mile

Around 1,200 people showed up to the track to watch the days event. The day did not have the optimal conditions for a record-setting day, but that didn’t stop Roger from making history. That day, the crowd witnessed history being made.

No one had ever run a 4-minute mile, and it was thought to be impossible.

However, with Bannister’s explosive kick, Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes. It was even recorded at 3:59.4, becoming the first man to ever break the barrier that seemed impossible prior to that moment.

Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile on May 6, 1954. Credit: Associated Press

For some people, running a mile is one of those tasks that we reflect back on and we think about the old days in high school, where we had to run the mile for physical education class… others remember the days they played sports and remember running around the track, trying to beat their own personal best.

When Roger broke the 4 minute mile, everything changed.

Here’s a video of the Four Minute Mile

Roger was able to achieve this monumental feat with the help of fellow-runners Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher as pacemakers.

Let’s now talk about 7 Things Roger Bannister Can Teach You About Achievement

5) Anything is possible.

Prior to Roger Bannister running a mile in less than 4 minutes, no one had done it. But it was said to have been possible.

The “four-minute barrier” has since been broken by many male athletes, and is now the standard of all male professional middle distance runners. In the last 50 years the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13

4) Working with other’s is essential.

During the video you watched above, Roger said “we seemed to be going so slowly. Impatiently I shouted faster… but Brasher kept his head and didn’t change the pace.

Without having Brasher alongside Bannister, there’s a chance that he would have burned out sooner in the race. The same is true with yourself, it’s often other people (our teams or mastermind groups) that help us stay on track.

3) Relax

During the race, a voice yelled out “Relax” to Bannister. He obeyed and is glad that he did. Most of the  times we get caught up in what we’re doing and we forget to relax.

It often takes a short period of reflection to see that it’s the moment when you relax that the magic tends to happen. That’s why breakthroughs often happen when you’re out and about, or in the shower. Your body and mind are in the relaxing state and that allows you to creatively come up with solutions to problems and to remain in the moment.

The most important thing I did during my cage free shark dive was to remain relaxed throughout the process. Freaking out does no good.

2) Know the end goal

By knowing what you ultimately want, you are able to break it down into manageable chunks. Instead of trying to just run a 4 minute mile with no other plans, Roger had his teammates helping with setting the pace, he knew what time he needed to run each quarter mile, and then he simply worked the plan.

1) POUNCE when the time is right.

Somehow to do it, I had to run the last lap in 59 seconds. Chataway led around the next bend and then I pounced past him at the beginning of the back straight, 300 yards from the finish.

You will know when the time is right for you to pounce and to take massive action. However, you need to actually do it when its time to do it. Don’t wait for anyone or anything. You know when the time is right, so its up to you to do it.

How To Find Your Dream Customers

Ever wondered how to find your dream customers?

It’s a pretty common issue that people have when growing their business. There’s actually 3 simple steps that you should be following anytime you start a new project.

  1. Who is your target market?
    One common issue that people experience is that they aren’t sure of their target market. It’s a generalization instead of a specific. For the longest time, it would be “my target market is women from ages 25 to 54”. Sure, that’s a good start…But you want to be even more specific. What are their interests? Are they married? Do they have kids? What jobs do they have? What problems do they have?

    Asking yourself these questions will significantly improve your overall marketing.

  2. Where is your target market hanging out?
    Your target market is actually real people! Crazy, right? Well, where do these people hang out? What kind of behaviors do they have?Are they spending time on Facebook groups? What about browsing Instagram? Or maybe they are on email lists you can do solo ads through? Or possibly watching YouTube videos?

    It’s your knowledge of the people in your market that makes the technology useful. You need to find where your target market is hanging out, and then start spending time there…

  3. How can you get a customer to leave what they’re doing and come check out your page?
    When your target market is hanging out online, they’re doing stuff they enjoy doing. Maybe it’s watching cat videos, maybe it’s reading forums about how to play the violin. It’s up to YOU to find out where the people are, and then find out a way to get them to visit your page.Think about the National Enquirer magazines that are in grocery stores. You’re doing what you are doing… buying groceries, yet there they are… right next to the lane, teasing you… piquing your curiosity. Grabbing your attention from what you were doing, and bringing it to what they have to share.

    That is exactly what you want to do. You want to find unique angles to grab the attention of your target market. You need to focus on creative ways to do this.

    Watch the video to learn How To Find Your Dream Customers

I recommend the book, DotComSecrets in the video as a way to shortcut this process.

Click here to get a copy, or click the link below:

Basic Rules for Building an Online Business That Actually Makes Money

building an online business empire

Rules for Building an Online Business

There’s a new kind of entrepreneurship that has been created with the rise of the Internet and social media. Superstar entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Peter Thiel all got their start by building an online business.

An online business is different from a traditional business in that it allows the entrepreneur to run the business from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a laptop and wifi. Over the last 6 years I’ve lived in various countries at the beaches of central America, the Caribbean and even spent time in Southeast Asia.

Starting a profitable online business is much easier said than done though.

Every time you log onto your Facebook account, or you’re watching YouTube videos, you’ll hear from these “gurus” or “experts” who talk about how they made 7-figures in a year. It’s honestly annoying seeing most of these people who are selling this information, because they overhype what an online business actually is.

The good news is that 2.5 BILLION people log onto the Internet. That’s BILLION… yep, with a B.

That means that the opportunity to build an online business is terrific, but that of course doesn’t come at its cost.

Questions like these are probably on the top of your head…
– Who should you learn from?
– Is guru X a spammer?
– Can I make money from Instagram?

All of these questions are pretty common, so if you find yourself asking them… you’re doing a wise thing in asking questions.

Instead of me preaching to you about how I’m a guru, I’m going to simply give you some basic rules that my team and I follow to grow our business. You can make up your mind whether or not you want to listen and implement based on other research I imagine you have already done.

Here’s five simple steps to making money from your idea

1. Focus.

When you see focus, you might immediately think I mean the niche you want to go in… or you might think that this isn’t for you, because you’ve struggled to focus in the past. Don’t worry, I struggled a ton in school with that kind of focusing too. There’s just so much going on and so much to do.

Yes, figuring out a niche is important. Yes, focusing on one thing at a time is important… but this is a little bit different.

This type of focus means to figure out WHO you want to serve, and HOW you will be able to deliver value to that group of people.

 I honestly could stop right there, and you’d have more information than 99% of the gurus will give you, but instead of doing that… I’ll expand on these briefly.

Who?  Who is your target market for the problem you’ll be solving?

Where? Where do they hangout online? Are they reading blogs, are they browsing Facebook? Are they watching YouTube videos?

Bait? What is the thing you can give them to take them away from what they were doing, and over to your “thing”?

Result? What is the result you can give them?

There’s a great book that I highly recommend you get a copy, that explains each of those in greater details. You can actually get it for free, you just gotta cover shipping charges.

Either click here to get a copy, or click the image below.

Here’s a few tips for improving your focus… 

– Unsubscribe from 80% of the newsletters you’re on in your email. You can use the service Unroll.me to do it, they make it simple.
– Instead of learning 100% of your time, spend 80% of your time on creating content and marketing that content to the market you’re serving.
– Limit your social media use to 1 hour a day.
– Focus on one niche to start.

2. Build an audience.

A few years ago, I was preaching how important it was for people to build an audience online… and today still, I do the same. When you have an audience, you can simply find out what they need, and give it to them, thus collecting as much money as you would like (in accordance to how many problems you solve for your audience)

Think about this for just a second… let’s say you have this super sweet product that’s just the coolest thing you’ve ever seen. You know everyone is going to love it, because you do… yet you still don’t have anyone handing over their hard-earned money to purchase your product.

Why is that? Well, one of the biggest reasons is because you don’t have the audience. Picture this for just a second, actually here’s what I want you to see..

This is Cameron Indoor Stadium, where the Duke Blue Devils play basketball.

The picture on the left is an empty stadium, while the one on the right is during a game, when the stadium is jam packed full of crazy fans and you can almost hear how loud it is, just looking at the picture.

Which of these would you rather have when it came to selling your product?

the one on the left where it’s silent… and no one is there? Or the one on the right with emotions running high and thousands of people in an excited state?

I don’t know about you, but i’d much rather hang out and sell to people who are already there (and you know what they are there for!) Can we agree on that?

Many new businesses miss the mark big time with this one. They spend thousands on a website, trying to learn how to do widgets, wingdings and other techno-babble. You might have the greatest website in the world (according to you or your designer), but if no one is seeing it, there’s no chance it’ll ever make money.

… and that whole “if you build it, they will come” thing? That’s only true in the Field of Dreams…

You can however tap into other people’s audiences…

wait, what?!

Yeah, it’s possible to tap into other people’s audiences (if you haven’t built your own yet).

Here’s just a few ways you can build your audience by leveraging other people’s audiences…

– Be a guest on a podcast.
– Guest post on blogs. Find the blogs that your target audience is already spending time reading, and write for them. Do it for free. Remember to put a call-to-action within your blog posts to visit your site for more info.
– Find people in your niche who have big Facebook pages or big Facebook groups, and add value to that person’s life. If you can find a group in you’re niche that is passionate about the subject matter, spend a few hours a week providing value to them… then contact the owner and see if they would be open to you running a Live broadcast to the group, and splitting profits with them.

 

3. Develop a plan to monetize.

Yes, this is the part we’ve all been waiting for… SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!!

You should already know how you are going to monetize your new business, but if you don’t, you need to start thinking about it. Your new website/blog isn’t going to just magically make you money…

Depending on the type of business you are building, you’ll have a variety of different ways for monetizing your content. If you do physical products, you’ll want to have a value ladder of physical products that your ideal customer can buy from you. If you are doing virtual products (information products), then you’ll want to have the same.

Let’s look at a simple little value ladder, just so you have a general idea of what needs to be created (and planned) for you to get the most out of your business.


You can change out the steps of the ladder anyway you want. For example, let’s say the first product (the loss leader) for your business sells for $7. The next step of the ladder would be your first up-sell, which could sell for $27… after that, let’s say you have a $97 product, a $497 product and then a $997 product.

You can substitute any numbers you want in there, but we’re using these numbers for this specific example… so that you can understand the importance of your monetization strategy.

If you didn’t have this value ladder in place, let’s say someone comes onto your site to purchase something. They see the product and they buy it (for $7) and then they leave.

Cool, you made $7….

But what if AFTER they bought the $7 product, you gave them an opportunity to buy another complementary product for $27. If the product was an appropriate fit, a percentage of people would take that second offer, right?

Well… the same is true all the way up the ladder. There will always be someone who wants to buy the best of the best, the primo offer you sell.

Which would you rather have? A $7 one-time sale? or a possible purchase of $7 + $27…

that’s not counting all the other up-sells you can (and SHOULD) be adding to your monetization strategy.

4. Test, test, test .

At this point, it’s time to send some people through your sales funnel. Let them be kind of beta testers for your new business. They’ll go in there, find what works and doesn’t work… and can report back to you. Give them a discount for being first too. The discount way they’ll feel like they are getting hooked up with being first movers AND they get a deal on it.

They win because of that… and you win because you have a mini-army of people ready to tell you what needs to be fixed.

… after that, testing is still important… one of the most important things you be honest, because things can always be improved later on.

If you have watched the movie, Black Panther, there’s a terrific quote by Shuri, T’Challa (Black Panther main character) his younger sister.

Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.” – Shuri

Once you have your sales funnel and it’s working (generating leads and sales)… you’re going to have a lot of data coming in that you can analyze and make use of. This is where you will find major opportunities for growth in your business.

If you don’t see these, you can schedule a call with me to identify them.

Testing out everything from different headlines on the landing page, to different price points, different color schemes and even minor changes could have a major impact on your business over the long run.

Let me give you one example of how one letter… accidentally put into a headline… bumped response by about 300%.

Pluralizing The Verb In Your Sales FunnelYears ago, there was an advertisement selling cassette tapes. The headline of the ad read, “Put Music In Your Life”.

When the ad was run again, an extra letter was accidentally put into the headline. The extra letter was an ‘S’, making the headline, “Puts Music In Your Life”.

And that one change nearly tripled response.

This is why it’s so important to constantly test things within your sales funnel. Can you picture what it would be like if you tripled your response rates in your business?

You never know until you test. (If you’re a friend of mine, you’ve heard me say this time and time again)

5. Launch and scale.

At this point, you should be launching your business. Even if you think you aren’t ready, you should still launch your business. I’m a huge fan of the “ready, fire, aim” process when it comes to building things.

It’s never going to be perfect, and the best way I’ve found to find errors and room for improvement on things is to simply start it, and let the audience tell me what’s wrong. The majority of the time people are good, and will understand a little error here and there… after all, you aren’t running Apple.

Although even Apple has released things before they are perfect.. the first iPhone that came out didn’t have a “copy & paste” function built into it… did you know that?

Now that you’re ready to go it’s time to just do it. Take action on your idea and turn your dream into a reality.

If you haven’t gotten a copy of the book I recommended before, DotComSecrets, get a free copy by clicking the image below:

 

An Open Letter to Entrepreneurs Having a Tough Time Right Now

entrepreuers

I get it, Entrepreneurship is glorified in the media and we only see the highlights on everyone’s social media posts.

No one shares the raw stuff anymore. The tough side of being an Entrepreneur. The stuff that you don’t want people to see, because it’s not glorious.

But the times you are going through right now? The hardships, the struggles to pay your bills on time, the struggles with seeing your business fail? This is the time that will make or break you. This is the time that you’ll reflect back on and say either “I’m glad I worked through it” or “I wish I would have worked harder.”

So if you’re going through a tough time right now, know that it will be okay.

One thing I did back in 2012 before my business took off, was I wrote myself a note. The note was simple and its something anyone can do.

All it said was “Dear Chris, thank you for pushing forward. For continuing to build your business throughout the good and bad times. Because of what you’ve done, you’ve positively impacted the lives of hundreds of people.” and I signed it “past Chris”

Now that’s not exactly what it said, because I don’t have it with me right now to read and write to you, but you get the idea.

The tough times never last. You will get through them. It’s just a. matter of time.

But, I’ve got faith in you. You’ve got this.

Actually, here’s a video to watch that relates directly to this:

I recorded that video in 2013, and it’s still true today.