When it comes to getting rich, most people pour their time, energy, and money into the wrong areas.

Instead of focusing on the actions that are most likely to help them become wealthy, they end up unfortunately wasting their time and energy – and chances are, if you haven’t been as successful as you want in life yet, you’ve done this too.

Maybe you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule before – it’s the principle that states that 80% of your success is determined by only 20% of your actions. If you think about most areas of your life, this is probably true – some things are just more impactful than others.

Watch the video below — a sneak peek of my free webinar — to learn:

  • 00:20 — How I used to believe all parts of my business were equal and that each part deserved equal amounts of time, money, and effort.
  • 00:41 — Why that belief left me constantly broke and struggling to make ends meet.
  • 00:53 — How there are only three major parts to any business and what they are.
  • 01:18 — The real secret to business success and how it will have the single biggest impact on your financial life, and…
  • 02:17 — Why you should focus most of your business time, energy, money and learning (80%) in this one particular area.

 

What you will discover in the video may sound counterintuitive. It’s not common knowledge or common sense — but it does work in the real world. I’ve seen it time and time again with my students.

And if you liked this video, join us for my free training, The 500 Million Dollar Secret, and you’ll learn how to approach this one area of business in a whole new way… and reach the success you’ve always dreamed of.

Most people don't focus on this area of business and that’s why most people are working too hard AND earning too little. You may be one of them.

That can end quickly if you join Harv on his free web class where you’ll learn several reasons why this may be happening to you and how to turn it around so…

You can actually work less but earn more!

Click here to register for the class and select a date and time that works best for you. See you there!

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Where do you put the majority of your focus in your business or career? Leave a comment below.

For Your Freedom,

“Can you hear me now? Good!”

I’m a marketing fanatic as many of you know, so I try to appreciate great ideas communicated brilliantly when I see it. Verizon’s cell phone television ad campaign articulated and took advantage of a simple but powerful truth— with other cell phone carriers, lots of people were experiencing the frustration of dropped calls in the middle of important conversations.

You’ll never have to worry about that with us, Verizon basically said, with commercial after commercial of the same Verizon field test guy in the most remote areas of the country still being heard, still good.

The number of Verizon subscribers jumped from 32.2 million at the start of that campaign in January 2002 to 43.8 million in two years. They also poured billions into their network infrastructure; continually investing in what they said they would deliver on—fewer dropped calls anywhere.

I’m not a Verizon spokesman or advocate, I just use the example to illustrate the power of a simple message communicated to the tune of more customers, and more money. The money is in the message. Marketing and promotion is how you get customers to your business, and customers are how you get more money.

This is exactly the problem most businesses have, though—communicating clearly and concisely what they do and how it benefits their potential customers. It’s one thing for you to know what you do, who you help and how they benefit, but it’s quite another thing for other people to know the same thing.

One of the most essential skills you can have is the ability to articulate what you do in a powerful and concise way. Clarity leads to power, for both you and your customers. It empowers them to understand exactly what you can do for them and why they should buy from you. The reason most people fail in business is that they have a very poor message.

Your message has to cut through like a knife to the core. You have to be very selective and specific about what you say. You might have lots of different things to offer, but you can’t put them all in a 30-second sound bite. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Keep it simple. Less is more. You want to leave people saying, “That sounds interesting.”

What’s your “thumbprint”? What’s unique about you? Why should someone do business with you versus the person next door?

If you don’t have this, you are chopping your income in half. As soon as you have a strong sound bite, and deliver on your promise, you can double your income.

The only way you'll ever know what works is to try something out and see if it works. You always test first, and then you sprint out of the gate when you have a winning proposition.

How about you? Have you experienced a difference in success when you changed your persona—your “calling card” so to speak—as you sold yourself or a product? What was it that specifically made a difference? Was it how you perceived yourself or how others perceived you? Let us know in the comments below!

To Your Success,

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Beyond the funhouse mirrors of what people think it means to run a successful business, at the end of the day there’s a science to it, like most everything else.

The definition of a scientific formula is something that has been developed, tested, then tested again and again by geniuses compared to most of us. The benefit we get is those formulas can now be used successfully by just about anybody who applies them. We’re surrounded by formulas that we can simply follow. It may have taken them years to develop, but now we can use them with just a little effort.

There are formulas for business success. Some of them need to be applied before you invest your first dollar into any enterprise. The businesses that fail are the ones that fail to specialize, differentiate, and segment their core customers.

Specialization means you specialize in a particular product or service; a particular market area; a particular industry or geographical area. You target this like a marksman. What do you specialize in? What is your focus?

The next part of successful marketing is differentiation. Every act of professional selling is differentiation; that is, identifying your area of excellence. Specialization focuses on who you’re targeting and what the product is going to be. Differentiation takes it a step further—how are you going to deliver that product and/or service differently than the other businesses your customers could be going to? What are you going to be excellent at? What is it about your product or service that makes it better or superior to anything or anyone else?

If you want to earn the highest possible income, it’s worth taking a week, a month, a year—as long as it takes—to excel in a particular area because that’s where all the money is. Real money is not for the average, the mediocre, the well meaning or the hopeful. It’s for people who are really good at what they do.

Segmentation is deciding who your best customers are based on what you sell, what you specialize in, what you’re already good, and who can most benefit the fastest from what it is you sell. These are the customers that are the easiest to sell to. You focus single-mindedly on them. You identify the 20% of customers who can account for 80% of your sales.

Wave a magic wand and imagine your perfect customer. As silly as it may sound, it is actually the most appropriate analogy to make. Your perfect customer is literally on the verge of buying, all you have to do is meet them, and they’ll take it right out of your hand. Who is that person?

Now by the time they are arriving at your door, you already know what they need because you’ve focused on your specialization, differentiation, and segmentation. You begin talking about your product or service, showing them that all things considered yours is the best choice. You answer their objections or hesitations, close the sale, and get re-sales and referrals from them. Marketing Success 101.

You do this prospecting so you don’t spend a single minute talking with people who are not good prospects. Your job is to identify the people who are most likely to buy, and then connect with them immediately with a benefit that they want now. All you have to do is prove that you can deliver.

Jumping Over a Challenge to Achieve Success

When you’re my age and you bring up entertainers who have been doing their thing for decades, you run the risk of dating yourself. But I think it’s safe to say even younger people are familiar with the late comedian George Carlin. He and a Pacifica radio station single-handedly changed Federal Communication Commission policies by letting us know what the seven filthiest words are in the English language.

There is no beating the comic genius of Carlin, but I can take a different track and offer some of the best words we can use to communicate powerfully and effectively, especially when you’re trying to influence someone positively.

These are things that we sort of already know intuitively: when engaging in conversation with friends or strangers alike, you want them to feel like you know where they’re coming from, even if you disagree with them. You want them to feel understood.

Hence, two of the four best words we can use when communicating: I understand.

If you can get into the habit of responding to every communication with the first two words being ‘I understand,’ generally you will disarm 80% of any negative or resistant energy right there and then. Even if you don’t understand, you say, “Can you clarify that for me just a little bit more?” It’s all about listening, yes? Make them feel heard and understood. Once you’re past that stage, work on the convincing part next.

What else have we instinctively learned about what to say? Well, what don’t you want to say after you’ve repeated back what the other person said yet you don’t agree with it? The dreaded ‘but.’ What usually happens when you say, “Yeah, I see what you’re saying, but …” You know. The other person gets that impatient or irritated look, like you just negated everything they were talking about even though you almost had them convinced that you knew where they were coming from.

The answer is as simple as replacing ‘but’ with ‘and.’ “Yeah, I hear what you’re saying, and here’s something else I was thinking about in addition to that.” It’s as easy as that.

Now what’s that last ‘nice’ word? It’s something that helps us identify with others while still also distinguishing our point of view, without making the other person feel like they’re being distinguished away from you. So instead of saying, “You have a ways to go,” you say ‘we.’

“You know, sometimes we as people have a tendency to make snap judgments even though we don’t have all the facts just yet.” That’s a nice way of telling someone they’re being short-sighted or pig-headed without making them feel bad about it. That’s a great tool in leadership or for anyone who displays openness to being educated.

The beauty of this exercise is that you don’t have to take mine or anyone’s word for it. Experiment with these four words consciously for the next week or so. Notice any differences in how people in your life react to you? Are you able to bring your perspective to others more effectively, or outright convince other people toward your point of view? Can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!

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A lot of people lower their expectations for fear of disappointment, yes? After all, if you don’t expect much, the worst that can happen is you won’t be too disillusioned when things don’t turn out the way you expect them to, and the best that can happen is you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

What if we were to apply that principle to business? There’s this so-called “conventional wisdom”: Under-promise and over-deliver. If your customer or client doesn’t expect much because you weren’t trying to sell them the moon, then they can only be satisfied with whatever you deliver that was expected, if not pleasantly surprised that you gave them more. That seems reasonable, right?

Wrong! When it comes to marketing your product or service, if you under-promise there won’t be anybody to deliver to! Who’d be interested? No one wants to hear, “What I have to offer is okay.” They want to hear, “This’ll knock your socks off!”

I’ve heard the typical response more times than I can count. ‘Well I don’t want to promise something I can’t deliver.’ Who said anything about over-promising? We’re talking about making a big promise. And when you do it, then yeah, it’d be a great idea to keep it, so make sure it’s something you can indeed deliver.

But people understate themselves because they don’t want to appear cocky, or conceded, or because they want to be “realistic.” A lot of the time, it’s just the usual suspect at play—fear. When you make a big promise, the pressure is on to come up with the goods at the highest level.

If you put a big promise out there, it’s going to put the pressure on you in a positive way to be your best.

Today’s reality is that consumers and the marketplace are changing at lightning speed. It doesn’t take much for a prospect’s attention to go elsewhere. If you don’t tell customers why they should buy from you, but your competitors do … then guess who gets the customers?

You start by examining why you’re starting your business to begin with (Focus!). What was missing in that market that you promised to fix? What’s your product or service’s single most important attribute? What makes it unique? What emotions do you want your customers to feel when they use your product?

We have to start with expecting more from ourselves. We can do more, be more, achieve more, even if we haven’t got all the answers now. We may have let someone or ourselves down at some point before. It’s okay. We know better now, yes?

iStock_000003049742XSmall fineOnce you know who your market is and what you want to tell them, now you have to know how you’re going to reach them in a way that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

There are dozens of different ways to market and promote a product or service. Everything from advertising on radio and television, print, magazines, newspapers of course; and email is great today if you know what you’re doing.

But of all the mediums that are available today, I believe there are two that are the most effective for the least amount of money.

The first one is referral marketing. That’s right, just what it sounds like: people telling other people. Word of mouth is not only extremely inexpensive, but the best part about it is it’s the most credible!

The second one is absolutely critical here: endorsed mailing or joint venture endorsed mailing. Bulk junk mail can cost a freaking fortune to mail out. Instead you partner with someone else who is interested or believes in your product or service. You give them a deal on that product or service, but also use their mailing lists to sell your product or service to their mailing lists with their endorsed approval. That’s not the only way but it just gives you an idea.

The people on the list have already given their interests or trust to your partner, now you have a wider field of people who may trust you too, which for me on one occasion turned out to be a 4% increase in response rates, 20 times more than my original mailing without the joint venture.

Next, I am going to suggest that instead of doing single step marketing you do multi-step marketing! What’s the difference? Single means trying to get them to buy from you on the first date. ‘Multi’ means trying to get them to test you out with very little risk and after they like you going for more. So I believe in not only getting them in the door but doing so in massive quantities.

Finally, there’s a saying: ‘The headaches are in the front end but the money is in the back end’. The most expensive part of any business is getting the customer in the first place. But isn’t that your biggest asset? It’s your current customers!

Once they are in, they know you and they like you. It’s easy to sell to them and offer them more. Your own customer database is the most efficient and effective arena. That is your business. You’re going to make way more money on the back end of what you offer people you already have than the front end of people you’re still trying to get in. Good or good?

Now it’s your turn! What are two or three things you can offer on the front end of a business that are low risk in time and money, and completely outrageous—where people go ‘Is this for real? Wow! I’ve got to try this out!’  Share your thoughts below.

So you’ve found your small pond, your niche—or “nitch.” You’ve identified how you’re going to be that unique fish, how your colors and your dorsal fin designs and fish eyes are going to hypnotize everybody else in the pool. Awesome!
But you have to be responsible enough to know that just because you stand out somehow doesn’t mean you’re going to stand out the right way. The right way is attracting the right people, and the right people are the ones that you’ve identified as those whose need you can serve with your product or service with the least amount of convincing.
What are their characteristics? The marketing term is demographics: age, sex, ethnicity, geography, education, marital status, kids, no kids, income—those are the main pieces. But there are also more psychological traits—what your market likes, dislikes, considers most important, their lifestyle preferences, etc.
Once you know who you’re talking to, what’s your message? What is it that you want to tell them? You must answer the two key questions that they’re always asking: Why should I buy this, and why should I buy this from you?
Your message of who you are, what you do, and why those in that market should buy from you over everyone else must be very direct, definite, and sharp so that it can cut through all the clutter in the mind of the customer. That’s where you have to stand out!
One of the ways to stand out is to have a “nitch” as I like to call it (because it rhymes with what? Rich!) or uniqueness about you: your unique selling proposition or ‘USP’. One of the biggest mistakes between a person who is a so-so marketer and a person who’s a fantastic marketer is that the fantastic marketer works with a single USP, not ten! The ten of them can be part of your features and benefits.
But of all of those USPs there’s only going to be one thing that you want sharp as a knife to get right through and say, ‘This is why you deal with me. This is what we do that nobody else does’. To create the very best USP you need to know that target customer and create it according to them. What do your specific customers want? What would really serve them?
Take a look at your thumb. Go on, nobody’s looking, don’t worry. Nobody has a thumb print like that. It’s absolutely true, yes? That’s what your business has got to look like.
Some people put their USP in their tag line. It’s a good idea. Your USP must be customer oriented; of benefit specifically to your target group. Now do you understand why it’s so important to know who that target group is? And why I go on and on about marketing, and why you love it? 
Now it’s your turn! Give me your feedback on unique selling propositions and marketing thumbprints. Who do you think executes the most effective USPs in the market today? What makes them so good? What are your thoughts or experiences on advertising and marketing?
Look for more marketing tips next week.

So you’ve found your small pond, your niche—or “nitch.”

Great!

You’ve identified how you’re going to be that unique fish, how your colors and your dorsal fin designs and fish eyes are going to hypnotize everybody else in the pool.

Awesome!

But you have to be responsible enough to know that just because you stand out with your marketing somehow doesn’t mean you’re going to stand out the right way.


The Right Way Is Attracting The Right People

And the right people are the ones that you’ve identified as:

People whose need you can serve with your product or service with the least amount of convincing.

What are their characteristics?

The marketing term is demographics — Age, sex, ethnicity, geography, education, marital status, kids, no kids, income, etc.

But there are also more psychological traits —What your market likes, dislikes, considers most important, their lifestyle preferences, etc.

Once you know who you’re talking to, define what your message is. What is it that you want to tell them? You must answer the two key questions that they’re always asking:

  1. Why should I buy this, and…
  2. Why should I buy this from you?

Your message of who you are, what you do, and why those in that market should buy from you over everyone else must be very direct, definite, and sharp so that it can cut through all the clutter in the mind of the customer.

That’s where you have to stand out!

One of the ways to stand out is to have a “nitch” as I like to call it (because it rhymes with what? Rich!) or in other words, your specific uniqueness about you and/or your product:

Your unique selling proposition, or USP.


Your USP Is Your Marketing Thumbprint

Take a look at your thumb. Go on, nobody’s looking, don’t worry. Nobody has a thumb print like that. It’s absolutely true, yes?

That’s what your business has got to look like.

A fantastic marketer works with a single USP — a single thumbprint — that targets a specific need you can serve with your product. 

Not several USPs. Just one. The others can just be part of your features and benefits.

Your one USP has got to be specific, relevant, and as sharp as a knife to fully communicate:

“This is why you deal with me. And this is what we do that nobody else does.”

To create the very best USP you need to know that target customer and create it according to them.

What do your specific customers want? What would really serve them? Your USP must be customer oriented — of benefit specifically to your target group.

Now you understand why it’s so important to know who your target demographic is and why I go on and on about marketing, and why you should love it too 🙂

And now you also understand that attracting the right people to your business AND getting them to buy will ultimately determine your success, mediocrity or failure.

So because this information is SO important, I created this free web class, The 500 Million Dollar Secret, to elaborate on this lesson more and show you how to approach your marketing in a simple way that will make you rich.

I know for some people marketing can be intimidating – whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned business owner. But it doesn’t have to be.

Click here to register for the class and select a date and time that works best for you. See you there!

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Now it’s your turn! Give me your feedback on unique selling propositions and marketing thumbprints. Who do you think executes the most effective USPs in the market today? What makes them so good? What are your thoughts or experiences on advertising and marketing?

For Your Freedom,

We can take that existential question, “Who are we and what the heck are we doing here,” apply it to business, and call it marketing. What am I all about, and who would or should care?
File this entry into the “I already know that” bin. Isn’t that the case with a lot of the things we say we know? “Oh, I already know how important marketing is.” The only distinction is between those who know and those who put that knowledge to use consistently and effectively.
So even though I can sound like a coo-coo clock sometimes, I do it on purpose because there are certain areas of business that you must, must, MUST get right or else stay broke. One of those areas is marketing.
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve heard it. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve looked at it.
You need to relook at it, tighten it, tighten it again, and tighten it some more. The more you can tighten that marketing down the better off you are. Sometimes you find out different things as you proceed.
So what does that mean, ‘your market’? Back to basics: your market is who is ‘most likely’—very important words—to buy your product or service.
One of the biggest mistakes most people make is trying to be all things to all people. And they end up being no-thing to no one. When I was doing private consultations for many years, I would say that was 80% of my clients’ biggest problems—trying to be too much to too many different people. That’s a hard way to do business.
Why? It’s far too expensive to try and reach masses. Your message is watered down dramatically and never lands. It’s really hard to focus in and stay tight. This is where self-awareness comes in handy. Our ego mind says more is better, but that’s not true.
Less is better! Tighter is better! More focused is better!
Our marketing methods are going to focus in on two arenas: Who it is that you’re selling to and what’s your product? What it is that you do specifically for those people? How are you perceived? Are you perceived as the specialist for a certain group? If you’re not, you’re fighting a very tough uphill and expensive battle.
The key is to be a big fish in a small pond. The idea is to identify your specific market, your primary or your best prospects. The more you can define the people who buy, the more you know about them, the better you can find them and the better you can serve them. Marketing is all about finding those people and letting them know how you are going to serve them.
So here’s one to internalize as sincerely and with as much energy as you can: ‘If you can’t define them you can’t find them.
Now it’s your turn! In this community, knowledge is power, so what’s your marketing experience? What are some important lessons learned or issues that you’ve come across? I’d love to hear from you!
Next week we’ll highlight some more important features of marketing.

Searching for a Niche Group - Magnifying Glass

We can take that existential question, “Who are we and what the heck are we doing here,” apply it to business, and call it marketing. What am I all about, and who would or should care?

File this entry into the “I already know that” bin. Isn’t that the case with a lot of the things we say we know? “Oh, I already know how important marketing is.” The only distinction is between those who know and those who put that knowledge to use consistently and effectively.

So even though I can sound like a coo-coo clock sometimes, I do it on purpose because there are certain areas of business that you must, must, MUST get right or else stay broke. One of those areas is marketing.

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve heard it. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve looked at it.

You need to relook at it, tighten it, tighten it again, and tighten it some more. The more you can tighten that marketing down the better off you are. Sometimes you find out different things as you proceed.

So what does that mean, ‘your market’? Back to basics: your market is who is ‘most likely’—very important words—to buy your product or service.

One of the biggest mistakes most people make is trying to be all things to all people. And they end up being no-thing to no one. When I was doing private consultations for many years, I would say that was 80% of my clients’ biggest problems—trying to be too much to too many different people. That’s a hard way to do business.

Why? It’s far too expensive to try and reach masses. Your message is watered down dramatically and never lands. It’s really hard to focus in and stay tight. This is where self-awareness comes in handy. Our ego mind says more is better, but that’s not true.

Less is better! Tighter is better! More focused is better!

Our marketing methods are going to focus in on two arenas: Who it is that you’re selling to and what’s your product? What it is that you do specifically for those people? How are you perceived? Are you perceived as the specialist for a certain group? If you’re not, you’re fighting a very tough uphill and expensive battle.

The key is to be a big fish in a small pond. The idea is to identify your specific market, your primary or your best prospects. The more you can define the people who buy, the more you know about them, the better you can find them and the better you can serve them. Marketing is all about finding those people and letting them know how you are going to serve them.

So here’s one to internalize as sincerely and with as much energy as you can: ‘If you can’t define them you can’t find them.

Now it’s your turn! In this community, knowledge is power, so what’s your marketing experience? What are some important lessons learned or issues that you’ve come across? I’d love to hear from you!

Next week we’ll highlight some more important features of marketing.

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There are so many sayings we say—most of the time without thinking about it—that make absolutely no sense. Yet we say them out of habit and routine, not realizing just how silly we sound.

For example: “Harv, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” Well, what the hell’s the point in having the cake then?

Or how about this one: “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” Well, isn’t that exactly what the Trojans should’ve done?

The point here is that success building requires a lot of deprogramming from so many common beliefs and assumptions we’ve come to take for granted as true, even though a lot of the time it’s the exact opposite. We learned last week that a viable way to jumpstart an enterprise is to buy your product by selling it first.

Let’s take a look at another Rule of Opposites: Put all your eggs in one basket.

Most people will tell you otherwise. Why? Because if you put all of your eggs in one basket and something happens—like dropping it—you’ll lose everything. But I have a solution for that; take bloody good care of that basket!

We already know that no one’s reaching the next level without taking risks, yes? But the way we’ve come to think about our eggs and baskets is fear-based; fear of losing.

This truth is already established—if you want to be rich, you’ve got to be great at something. And to be great at something, you’ve got to focus on that something. For goodness sakes that’s where you put all of your eggs!

Rich people are focused. Poor people scatter their energies. Everything is one thing. It’s hard enough to make it in one business let alone divvying it up into dozens of different places!

‘But Harv—I’m constantly coming across great opportunities!’ This brings me to another Rule of Opposites:

Opportunities can be obstacles!

Opportunities can be obstacles if they take your focus away from what’s in front of you right now. That takes your time because you entertain them, maybe do some research and find out a bit more, and there you go again.

If you’ve got something semi-decent growing, put the blinders on and go for it. Not one person ever got wealthy to begin with in more than one business at a time. One business. One basket.

So you’ll have to choose, but then the next question is, ‘How do I choose?’ Look, pick one. It doesn’t matter because it’s the habit that’s the problem. Pick one to focus on. Worse comes to worse, even if you do mediocre with it, you can always let that one go when it’s finally done and get something going that does work—eventually without you. Then you can diversify and add more.

Choose one and get freaking good at it. Got it? I’m not saying you can’t buy real estate on the side. I’m just saying watch out. Every minute you do the other one you are losing time and energy that could have gone into your one basket.

There’re a lot of opportunities within your business. Make sure you’re doing well with one thing. First get rich and then you have the opportunity to go into other things. Get rich first!

Now it’s your turn! Can you identify one new opportunity within your business right now?  Will you take action and explore it ASAP?  Share your thoughts below and let me know if putting “all your eggs in one basket” just might be a lucrative opportunity for you.

Stand OutAs you might have noticed in recent blogs, I’ve been talking about some of the actual aspects of business rather than the mind of the millionaire side. The concepts of both the tactics of business and the psychological prerequisites can’t be summed up in a few pages of blogging.

However, your feedback has been great as usual. I’m thrilled to see some of you exchanging questions and ideas on these really complex subjects, so I thought I’d keep it going by focusing on marketing a little bit more—something that’s so easy to know is a necessary thing to get right, but not always so easy to execute effectively.

Last week we looked at making clear, concise statements in a marketing message. To go into some more detail, there are four basic elements that make a message highly effective: attention, interest, desire, and action. If you cover those four elements, you’ll build success more than most others.

For now let’s focus on interest because gaining a prospective customer’s interest will play a huge part in the other three elements. Interest has to come at the beginning of the message. If you don’t hook them immediately after you’ve got their attention, they’re gone.

So what gets people’s interest? That one’s easy enough: pleasure and pain. No matter what we’re doing in life, it has to do with either finding ways to increase pleasure or avoid pain. These are mind-based motivators with some emotional elements attached as well.

A pleasure-based opening for a marketing message is actually very simple. You’re capturing interest based on a positive benefit. For example: “Get ripped fast!” The message: get in shape. The benefit: it can happen quickly.

You definitely want to point out benefits, but research shows that messages about how to avoid pain have a much more profound effect on sales than the pleasurable benefits of your product or service. Pain-based marketing can triple a business’s income. Pain-based messages identify a problem and then offer remedies. It’s the problem-solution opening.

There are three types of problem-solution openings:

  1. You-based
  2. Me-based
  3. Them- or People-based problem

An example of the You-based opening: Do you have [fill in the blank] problems? What you’re implying in just a few words is that if the prospective customer had been looking, they’d have already found a solution by now. Your solution could be just that more appealing.

The Me-Based opening tells your own story or that of your client’s. Telling the story of how I went from one failed business to another, then becoming a millionaire adds credibility—“I’ve been where you are.”

 

The Them-based problem-solution creates an instant line of connection whereby you ask the prospective customer a question and they can identify with it immediately, kind of like Seinfeld doing a stand-up about common things that everybody can identify with yet may not think about too often. For example: “You know how so many people today are stressed about their retirement savings? Well there's an amazing informational product out there that's helping thousands of people right now…

As an exercise, write five openings for a marketing message: pleasure-based; pain-avoidance-based; You-based; Me-based story; Their problem (“You know how …?”).  One great place to start is with your headlines—because if you can get your reader to notice you via your headline, you’re success rate of capturing their attention to actually read your message skyrockets.

Here’s a great resource to help you become a master at crafting headlines: https://www.copyblogger.com/magnetic-headlines/

Anyone can come up with dozens of these messages, but your challenge is to be more than just interesting. Be absolutely convincing. Be creative, effective, productive, and then be rich!

Tell me your thoughts.  Have you had great success with crafting messages that work?  Let us all know your strategies.  Have you struggled in this area?  Share your challenges here and let our online community support you and give you ideas to move you in the right direction.

 

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