If you're like so many conscious/heart-centered entrepreneurs, a lot of traditional copywriting probably makes you pretty uncomfortable. (Copywriting is writing promotional materials, nothing to do with protecting your intellectual property.)
... a simple process that any company can use to break through the noise. It doesn't matter whether you're the owner of a retail shop, financial advisor, swimming pool manufacturer or an inventor with an ingenious product - this powerful strategy will work for you.
Tim Harris, owner of Tim's Place, is the country's only restaurant owner with Down's Syndrome,. The joy he gets from serving people good food carries over into his diner's most famous export: hugs!
What are the advantages of making a Will? What might it cost? Can it be changed if my circumstance change?
In a conversation with someone last week, the topic of a "flagship product" came up and I realized that I had never really talked about this before in More Clients.
What's a flagship product?
A flagship product is a product or service that you and your business becomes identified with. It's something that communicates a concept or a solution that people automatically and favorably associate with you.
What a flagship product does is give you and your business instant credibility. When people purchase your flagship product, they are more likely to buy other products and services from you.
A flagship product should have the following characteristics:
1. It provides a unique solution or approach to a problem and is seen as new and memorable.
2. It is the starting point for all of your other spinoff products or services.
3. It is branded in a distinctive way with a name and identity that is unlike other products or services.
What are some examples of flagship products by InfoGurus? Here are a few that immediately spring to mind:
Guerrilla Marketing - This book, by Jay Conrad Levinson, written in the 80's, has spawned a whole series of Guerrilla Marketing books and seminars. It's become a household name amongst small business owners.
Make Your Site Sell - An e-book launched in 2000 by Ken Evoy that established him as one of the preeminent Internet Gurus and was the genesis of several other e-books and online products.
The Millionaire Mind - Harv Eker's free three-day workshop on changing your mindset about money. Tens of thousands have attended and it's been a launching pad for his other programs.
The Wizard of Ads - The brilliant compilation of eZine articles was the first of three books in the series by Roy Williams, and the foundation for his 3-day Wizard Academy in Austin, Texas.
The InfoGuru Marketing Manual - The starting point for most of the customers and clients of Action Plan Marketing. Most people who take my workshops or Marketing Action Groups get this first.
Most of these are marketing-oriented examples off the top of my head, as that's the world I'm most familiar with. But if you look at your particular field, there are usually a few InfoGurus who are well known for some kind of flagship product.
I had been in business for 15 years before I launched my manual. Others take longer, some shorter. But however long it takes, it's a worthwhile goal to aspire to. It will give you leverage you can get no other way.
Your flagship product may be a book, an e-book, a workshop or training program. But it really has to be at the heart of the work you do and must have some passion behind it.
I once worked with a woman who had spent a year writing a book but who really didn't want to work with clients in that area. In other words, her flagship sank! There was nowhere she could sail it to leverage her own business.
Coming up with a new concept takes some time and creativity, but it's certainly worth the effort. Coining the word "InfoGuru" seemed like a gamble at the time (one of those titles that came to me in the shower) but I think it's better than many books or e-books that are completely generic and therefore unmemorable.
Not only has the manual served my business well in terms of being a foundation for all my products and programs, it has earned me substantial income over the past five years. A flagship product can create real marketing momentum.
Oh, here's another one:
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray. This wildly successful book on relationships was the first of many other Mars-Venus Books. In fact, every book John now writes contains that flagship identity. I'm waiting for "Marketing Secrets of Mars and Venus." I'll get that one!
What's your flagship product going to be?
The More Clients Bottom Line: The time to start working on a flagship product or service is NOW! It will make a huge long-term impact on your business. Find a way of developing something that stands out from everything else and you're on your way.
Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
Helping Independent Professionals Attract More Clients
What attracts consumers to your brand and turns them into loyal customers are the unique qualities your products and services have to offer. You provide something that no one else does or in a way that no one else does. Otherwise, why would you be in business?
Your Brand Is Not a Cliché
Your products or services are unique, so make your marketing as unique. Don't package your marketing messages in clichés or overused phrasing that has lost its real meaning. It's not enough to say that your brand is "the best widget maker around." You have to dig deeper than that and get to the core of why your brand makes the best widgets. That why is what consumers are interested in and what will keep them coming back to your brand time and again.
Find Your Brand's Standout Power
Because you spend every day with your brand, it may not be obvious to you exactly what makes your brand so great. You just know it is!
Here are some questions to help you brainstorm what gives your brand its standout power:
- How are you making life easier for your customers?
- What follow-up or customer service do you provide?
- Why do you stand above your competitors? Why would customers choose you?
- What proof do you have that your brand is standout? Customer ratings or testimonials?
- What stories can you tell about how your brand has worked for others?
Don't just ask yourself and your staff. Ask your customers! They can be the best resources for true insight into your brand. Send out surveys to your current base and see what they have to say. A lot of times companies are taken aback by the critiques and praises they get. You can use this data to mold not only your website language and images, but also your ads and the way you sell to you people. Remember to look for common themes within the surveys to address the biggest pros or cons of your business. Don't try to fix it all at once.
Remember: in creating your brand's promise for marketing messaging, don't just describe what your brand does. Describe what your customers get every time they choose your brand. Highlight the value you will bring to them with every interaction with your business. Remind them of this every time you get off the phone with them, obviously in a non cliché way, and your call backs or order times will improve.
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Who are you?
If someone wants to know who you are, they type your name into Google.
Before the meeting, you have been googled.
Before the interview, you have been googled.
Before the pitch, you have been googled.
What is Google saying about you?
What did you give Google to say about you?
It's an interesting exercise to Google oneself ... interesting and sometimes surprising!!
Right there is a little window into how people might be seeing you.
That is the story people are seeing and reading about you - your personal brand story, your business brand story.
Did Google put it there? No. But Google chose which parts of it to put in front of searchers as the first thing they saw.
Did other people put it there? Yes. Your clients comment on your business and connect with you. Your friends comment on you and connect with you. You listed yourself on other websites, and commented or interacted there.
So to some extent, this is happening without you.
Consider, though ...
You gave your clients something to comment on. What was that?
You connected with them. What impression did that give?
You gave your friends something to comment on. What was that?
You connected with them. What impression did that give?
You associated yourself with other websites. What impression does that give?
My mother said to me often and often, "Put your words on the palm of your hand before you say them."
She probably said that as I grew into a teenager with attitude, and not much thought for what I said, or what the consequences might be.
Everything communicates, especially words, but actions too.
So everything we do on the internet communicates something and it's not always what we might expect.
Google, and the internet as a whole, gives us an unparalleled opportunity to communicate, to share and to build a brand, and there is nothing so challenging, nor so rewarding as to to watch that brand build and grow.
Author: Bronwyn Ritchie.
If you would like help telling your story on-line, please contact me. I have a "Connecting the Dots" programme that helps my clients find the story they need to tell.