Lesson #2 Be a Savvy Marketer, Not a Clueless Expert
Perhaps you’re a author, a consultant, or an artist. Maybe you’re just a regular person who wants to help others with the knowledge you possess.
Whoever, whatever you are—do you know the key to making money as an expert in your specific field?
No, it’s not your knowledge, skills, or expertise.
Yes, they are the key to the great work you do. But by themselves, they won’t make you more money.
Simply put, there is no direct relationship between being an expert in something and getting paid for doing it.
Have you guessed? It’s all about your marketing.
That’s why most successful experts, authors, and speakers are marketers first and experts second.
Introduce Your Inner Expert to Your Inner Marketer
Every transaction has a buyer and a seller. Sometimes you play one part, sometimes the other.
But the same rules always apply: you give me what I want, and I give you what you want. The exchange doesn’t always involve money, but that’s the measurement system most of us know best.
The tricky part? Knowing how people will value what you have to sell vs. how they value their money.
It’s all about niches and needs. To profit on the time, money, and work investments that you make, you have got to know what people are looking for.
What is the use of creating a product that no one wants or needs? To find your niche, you must fill a need.
It all comes down to a simple formula: The profitability of your product is a function of your ability to translate the value of what you’re selling into terms your customers and prospects can understand.
To turn a prospect into a customer, you must convince a person to value what you have to sell. To do that, first you must overcome their objections.
Objections are the questions, skepticisms, concerns, insecurities, fears, and confusions that inhibit potential buyers. They are probably asking themselves:
- Will this product do what you promise?
- What are my other options?
- How does it work?
- What if it breaks? How can I get it fixed?
- Why do I need this now?
- What if I can’t afford it?
The marketer’s job is to remove all of those barriers.
You need to get inside the mind of the consumer.
Most experts spend most of their time inside their own heads. So, in addition to your “expert persona”, you must create a “marketing persona”.
You must think and act like a marketer. This is a skill set that you can learn and implement.
In lesson #1, you learned to build your product first, and your marketing second. And that’s the right order. However, your marketing persona should work with your expert persona at every step.
When you’ve got a product that meets a genuine need, then you can work on overcoming objections and turning prospects into customers.
How Marketers Think
Afraid that you might not have an inner marketer? Don’t panic. That’s why you’re in this course.
First, you might want to take a look at this post: 6 Habits of Highly Effective Marketer.
As you have already learned, marketers think in terms of niches and needs. We look for an unmet need in the market and then figure out a way to fill that need by focusing on what buyers desire.
The secret is to figure out what potential customers think they want and how they want to feel.
Feelings have a direct link to our deepest needs, our desires, and our core values.
The problem is, if you ask someone what they want, they probably won’t immediately express those feelings. We all like to say that we want products that are affordable, well designed, with good customer service.
Of course, that doesn’t really explain why someone chooses a specific product or service over another, comparable option.
Best selling products became best sellers because they help customers feel better, not just because they offer attractive features or benefits.
Most people simply don’t know what they want, or at least not why they want it. That’s another facet of the marketer’s job.
For example, nobody wants to diet or exercise. But they do want to lose 20 lbs of fat in 90 days and have a beach body to show off. Why? They want the feeling of confidence that comes with looking good.
But would most people be able to articulate: “I want a weight loss product because I want to have confidence”? Probably not. The feeling is there, but it is abstract. Feelings can be tough to describe.
So marketers take those abstract emotions and concepts and make them more specific. Along the way, they answer practical questions:
- How much? How long does it take?
- What’s included? What’s not included?
Savvy marketers think in specific, tangible terms that tie in with emotions and how people want to feel.
As an expert, you want to help people meet those needs and experience those positive emotions. You won’t be satisfied with making empty promises.
Your marketing persona is part of you, so don’t worry: the skills I am teaching are not all about manipulating people’s feelings or deceiving them.
Good marketing isn’t about trickery, it’s about empathy.
When you’re able to communicate like a marketer, you increase the chance of connecting with your customers and decrease the chance of misunderstanding.
And when you establish that rapport with people, they will learn to love your brand, not just buy your products.
Direct Marketing—The Most Effective Marketing
What do most business failures have in common? They start with over-confidence, and with someone’s failure to question their own assumptions about what works. It can happen to anyone; we all want to believe that we have good instincts.
A good marketer avoids over-confidence. She knows that everything is a test, and that what worked last time may not work next time. She knows that there’s no point in generating leads if you can’t convert them.
The best marketing allows you to measure the effectiveness of your activities—the ones that are making money—and turns them into insights about your prospects and customers.
This is the core of direct response marketing: what gets tracked gets measured.
Insights: data collected in order to measure the effectivenss of your activities. Marketers love insights because they say more about the target than about the product or service. Insights also reveal more about how people want to feel than what they think.
To find and use insights, marketers must learn to 1) measure the right data, and 2) analyze data the right way. As a marketing analyst, this is my first step in validating a hypothesis about what works and what doesn’t in relation to my marketing.
Insights let you change your marketing on the fly, which will help you get more leads and convert more sales. Insights show you what works and what does not.
And when you keep doing the things that work, and stop doing things that don’t….you make more money!
Without a meaningful way to track or measure your efforts, you’re just throwing money away. Unfortunately, that’s what most business owners tend to do when it comes to marketing.
The think they have it down, but in reality, they lack knowledge, action steps, and accountability.
If you work for someone else, then most of the risk falls on them. Hey, they are paying you whether you perform or not.
But when you run your own business, you are responsible for your own paycheck. Suddenly, you understand the need for tangible results, whether it’s about hiring resources or spending money on marketing.
If your marketing is ineffective, you won’t get the customer or make the sale. If you don’t get the sales necessary to keep your business going, your expertise and your products will become irrelevant, regardless of how valuable they could be to your prospects and customers.
Want to learn from past experiences and implement changes to make your efforts as effective as possible? Embrace direct response marketing.
I highly recommend the book Ogilvy on Advertising if you want to learn more from one of the Godfathers of direct marketing.
I love Ogilvy’s great insight on Direct Response marketing. He gives really good examples of his own ads, reflects on what worked and what didn’t, and most important, he offers connections between advertising and human beings.
The book gives a peek behind the curtains on human psychology, the use of effective communication, and a “never stop testing” concept for advertising.
“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.” – David Ogilvy.
The effectiveness of your marketing efforts can only be as good as what was learned from the previous executions.
What Should You Be Tracking?
To get the Insights you will need, use the “Five W’s and One H” technique. In other words, start with “who, what, where, when, why, and how.”
Let’s use e-mail marketing as an example. You decide to use e-mail blasts as part of your arsenal. Here are some questions to consider before you start:
- Why choose e-mail marketing as opposed to all of the other marketing tools out there?
- What is your desired outcome for using e-mail? What is your goal? (Get customers to buy more of the same product? Or new products? Build relationships?)
- Who is going take responsibility? Who will set up, track, and manage your system, or measure the results?
- Where will you start? Where will you get the funds for your system?
- How do you execute the necessary tasks, such as write a newsletter, set up a campaign, or create landing pages? You will need a “how to” strategy for every task involved in running an e-mail marketing system.
Next, you will learn the key mindsets to attract customers and connect immediately with prospects.
Oh, by the way…
If you are just joining us—if you found this page via a weblink or a forward from a friend—this is lesson #2 from a free online course on solid Internet marketing strategies. These lessons are delivered via e-mail. Want to learn how to build a business around what you love and make money doing it?
You can learn more about it HERE