The Free Sample Mentality

The Free Sample Mentality

(You all know how this free sample stuff works…at the store they give you free samples and then, if you like it, they ask if you want to buy some, and they have a little cooler right there, so that they can hand you a box of the stuff to buy on the way out).

I’ll never forget when I was living on a shoestring 15 years ago, and my friend Tawana took me and some friends to Sam’s Club after church. I insisted that I was too hungry to go without stopping for lunch first. The only problem was, I had no lunch money.
“Look”, I told her, “let me go home first and eat”.

“Nah,,,you won’t need to buy anything”.

Now, this girl was bold. Because when I got to Sam’s club, I saw her leave us, the group, with our carts, and go back FIVE TIMES to the hot wings sample counter to get all of us free samples. I’m not kidding.

Then, she proceeded to bring me a tray of seafood puff pastries that were just about the most heavenly hors d’ourves I had ever eaten.  After I squealed in delight, I kid you not, she very disarmingly crooned another plate of this stuff from the sample guy. “Yea, my friend says these are the best she’s ever eaten, and she hasn’t had lunch yet…” Then she asked for a box of them, and we walked away with some samples and some boxes of them which we put in our carts.

I think you know what happened next. In between bites of six different appetizers now turned entrees (due to the volume of plates I was juggling), I informed her, under my breath, that there was NO WAY I could buy those appetizers she’d just placed in my shopping cart. She just dimpled, nodded, and continued her round of sample schmoozing.

And on the way out of Sam’s club, she deposited five boxes of various frozen foods into a stray cooler.

No way would she ever buy… she was far too good at fringing the fields.

 

In case you don’t know it yet, “fringing the fields” is an Old Testament term used to describe the Almighty’s righteous welfare system. Landowners were commanded to leave the corners of their fields unharvested so that the poor could discreetly come and pick some of the harvest, without disturbing the peace of the owner or trespassing on the field. It would be today’s equivalent of a homeless person reaching up and snapping off an apple from a tree overhanging the sidewalk.

And it was expected. When you give away free information, you can expect that there are going to be people who snatch up your free information in the hopes of getting a real education. You can’t be sure that all of your customers are going to buy, just because you gift them with free samples. Many will, because it’s going to be far more convenient to have your latest tutorial on their hard drive, than to pour over 100 free emails every week.

But a lot of very new marketers won’t be able to afford anything. Or, they believe that if they just dig long enough, they will find their information for free, somewhere on the internet. And, they probably will. They will be a nomad, going from free sample to free sample, looking for a snippet here and there. Will it be enough to get them a lucrative online business? Maybe, if they don’t starve while searching.

Some prospects don’t have a choice; I always tell people, if you can’t afford a real internet marketing education, don’t waste your time getting free “information samples”. Get a job at McDonalds, and save up to buy at least one comprehensive, internet marketing training course.

Am I recommending mine? Not necessarily. You need to find a program or system that meets your needs.

That you can afford.

And that you can trust.

Evaluating the Content of your Post’s Feedback

 

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“They Like me, they Like me not”

Reader, have you ever been sad because you went to your blog post and it didn’t have any “likes” on it? Don’t be discouraged…a lot of people who check out your posts may indeed be impressed with the quality of your post, even if they don’t hit that like button. So how do you know if your reader actually likes your post? Well, if your post:

Answers their question, speaks to their problem, or scratches their “itch”, then you can be sure your reader does appreciate your post. If you put up enough posts that speak to them on a deeper level, then they probably will return, and eventually “like” your blog.

But even if they don’t hit that like button, it’s really no big deal. Here’s why; your goal as a blogger, whether you sell or don’t sell on your site, should be to connect with your reader. If you want your reader to keep returning to your chatty blog, you have the same goal as someone who wants the reader to click the “buy” button…you both want reader engagement.

Another thing you want to keep in mind is, your blog is as unique as you are.  The chances of everyone in the world liking your blog are slim, if you have a blog as unique as you. That’s because, in reality, there is no such thing as “normal”. The trick to getting followers, is to speak to “your normal”, that is, the group of people who are just like you.

If your goal is to get as many “likes” as you can, then you may be tempted to blog about items that are too generic to find you any real following of readers who are your kind of “normal”.

In my e-course “How to Sell Anything Online”, I have a special section all about this. I talk in great detail about how to connect with your reader in a way that builds rapport with them, and keeps them coming back. If you feel your blog could use some better reader engagement, then claim it here

 

Content marketing and the reptilian brain.

Content marketing and the reptilian brain.

“I know it’s only rock and roll but I like it. I know it’s only rock and roll but I like it, like it, yes I do.”

Okay, do I sound two years old here? Read it again. This, readers, is the million dollar song. People from all over the world flock to hear singers from the group, “The Rolling Stones” sing this song.

Was it the lyrics that made this a classic? No way. It’s the ear candy. Without the background music and the muscicians, this song would be annoying to everyone.

It’s the same way with your website.

What eactly IS content?

Alot of marketers think that they can’t add content to their website unless they are writers who post 250 words in every article they add to their blog. But that’s not true! Other things count as content, not just writing. That’s because your content is so much more than just the words you write.

If your writing is really really poor, immature, or juvenile, then you can do one of two things; you can improve your writing skills (takes time) or you could spice up your space with some eyecandy.  You could draw your own illustrations, or pay someone to do that for you.  You could even hire a photographer. I think I have an even better idea.

Add better photos to your website.

Yep, that’s probably your best first choice for adding non verbal content that isn’t super annoying. So, having a song play automatically on a website, or a pop up form that assaults your readers– that’s not good. However, one super easy addition you can make to your website, if you aren’t much of a writer, is just to put a high quality photo at the top of each post.

How to get good photos on your website

Take them. No, seriously. Maybe you can’t work a camera really well, but you can invest some time in taking better pictures. I rcommend that my students spend one hour per day taking the very best photos that they can for their website. It’s expensive to constantly pay a fee for the pleasure of using a photo that isn’t exclusively yours anyway. Why not take your own?

Go online and find a really cheap camera. Get the very best one you can afford. Practice taking pictures in different lighting. Get a cheap tripod. Snap pictures of people doing very natural things that would resonate with your reader. Just make sure they look natural and not forced or staged.  At the end of the week, you are going to have plenty of pictures to choose from. Every week, put up a quality photo. You are going to learn so much about photography (why do marketers shy away from this?)

Educate yourself. If you keep screwing one thing up, go online and find out the solution. People do take selfies all the time that wind up on the front page of Google. You don’t have to have a huge lens and tons of equipment. Just intentionally invest some serious time this week in working that camera.

Well, I hope this article on Content Marketing has given hope to those of you who aren’t really writers. The truth is, your readers aren’t necessarily looking for a high articulation level in your posts, especially if they aren’t super articulate. Remember, it’s the user experience they are looking for. Even if you aren’t much of a writer, you can still help the overall atmosphere of your blog through the use of soundbites, graphics, and even an invitation for others to particate in polls and surveys. Inviting your readers to comment is also great, as this too counts as content.

Yes, it’s really true, you don’t have to be able to write well in order to write a song. The same is also true of your blog; even if you can’t write well, you can still improve your overall content.

Why your site needs content marketing

Content is the life blood of your site. When you provide content to your customers, you want it to be content that is really relevant to what they are interested in. A lot of people don’t know that if you put a lot of meaty, relevant content on your website, people will stick around longer, even if they have no intention of buying. But here’s the thing– maybe they’ll start thinking about making a purchase. Or maybe not. It might not be the right time. Or they might not be that “into” your product. Or they might find a better deal. But here’s what’s happening==if you scratch an itch they have, if you:

answer a question

solve a problem or

provide any kind of really useful information, they will stay. And the longer your visitor stays, the greater the chance that they will return. And the more they keep coming around and checking you out, the higher the chance is that they will one day buy…but not always. But here’s the deal; sometimes, they will tell someone else about your product. Or they may share your post on their blog. Or provie a link to your article. The truth is, usually, they will buy…eventually. And even if they don’t, their extended stay is helping your rankings (yea, that matters with Google).

So. Don’t be shy… and go ahead and post some great articles on your site. And when YOU are ready, check out my ecourse.

How to sell online using content| Part 2

Yesterday, we talked about Content Marketing. What it is, how it can make you money, and why some people are poor who do it. I left you with this braindead conclusion and that is,

In the world of Content marketing, Content is King.

So what do I mean? Simply that, if you have lousy content, if the content you use is poor content, you won’t do well. Because people won’t click on your webpage for very long. And you’ll get quick exists, resulting in low rankings.

Now, I want to tell you a secret…content is more important and I do mean WAY more important than meta tags, headers, and back links. People don’t believe me when I tell them this, but the truth is (and I’m not lying here), you are going to do far better in your marketing strategy if you have great content that is compelling, then if you have SEO rich content that sounds stupid.

Here’s an example (and I solemnly swear, I’m not doing this for keyword density)

“Content marketing is great because content is a fascinating term in marketing. When you do content marketing you need to make sure that your content marketing has good content, that your marketing has compelling content and that when you market, you have kick @$*s marketing (that’s how most of you say it, no offense….

And what did you just do, marketer?  you sounded…stupid. And insulting. as though none of us can speak english and need to hear the term “content marketing ” like a hundred times already.

And here’s what you don’t know…when you stuff your content like that (yes, it actually is called “keyword stuffing”, when overdone), what you risk is being penalized by the search engines. That’s because, in content marketing, many people have relied on the density of their content’s keyword (which, in this case would be “content marketing”) in order to get great rankings.

Now here’s the kicker…if you just write naturally, and from the heart, you will have all of the keyword density you need, for great content that gets recognized by the search engines.

When you write from the heart, you won’t ever have to use some “keyword density finder” tool for your content, because it will flow.

Now, here’s another point I want to bring up in content marketing: A lot of people could be making really good money and drawing really good traffic, right now, but they don’t know HOW to write naturally.  In my e-series “Content Marketing Made simple” I show you the ins and outs of creating great content.

Claim part one for free:

Editor’s note: This extremely popular series is now part of my Content Marketing Series.

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