You Need to Do This to Jumpstart Your Marketing

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I. WAS. STRUGGLING!

I knew what to do, but I just wasn’t doing it.

And everyone was frustrated!

It was Monday, June 5th, 2017 and the Nashville Predators were playing in the Stanley Cup Finals.

I was grilling out next to the pool, we had the TV on the patio table, and I got the bright idea to build a small fire so the kids could make s'mores.

I really didn’t have a plan to build the fire and just tried to wing it.

BAD IDEA!

Growing up in rural Tennessee, I have built a fire or two.  

You need some kindling wood (light brush and sticks), build them into a pyramid, and use newspaper as a catalyst to get the fire started.

Once it gets going, you begin adding larger pieces of wood.

But I was impatient.

I wanted my big fire right now!

So, I just slapped together some sticks and a couple of big pieces of wood.  

I didn’t put the catalyst first.  

So, I didn’t get a fire.

And the kids ate cold s’mores:(

This brings me to you.

Do you have a catalyst for your business?

Most of the people I work with get most of their sales from referrals or word of mouth.  

However, they would like to increase their business.

They need a catalyst!

Check out what David Kottler, insurance agent, is doing for a catalyst to gain traction with his referral partners.

He hosts this video on his website and emails them to his referral partners.  Granted, the video doesn’t necessarily get a sale on its own (although it has a few times), however, it gets the fire going.

If you don’t believe me, check out his own words.

“Charles' work was awesome. It captured what I wanted to communicate in a clear, humorous manner, and has resulted in several advisors calling me to have me work with them. Everyone loved it!”

David used an animated video that told his referral partner’s story as his catalyst.  

Obviously, I’m partial to animated video, but with good reason.

  • Americans perform 4x as many video views as they do Google searches.

  • Video results have a 41% higher click through than plain text results.

  • 80% of consumers remember a video ad they viewed in the previous 30 days

Whatever the case, you need a catalyst of some form or fashion.

So again...do you have a catalyst for your business?

If not, you may have a smoldering fire of cold sales...and cold s’mores:(

To make sure you are consistent with video, download this FREE Video Marketing Made Simple Checklist.

Would you rather spend time working on your business and not playing the role of video expert too?  Yeah you are!

CLICK BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DONE-FOR-YOU VERSION OF VIDEO CONTENT.

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2 Simple and Creative Ways to Win Clients in a Ruthless Market

I was stunned to see this.

He had been trying for a couple of years, with little luck.

But now he was a pro.

My four-year old, Lane, has learned to be quite the little swimmer.

We have a pool and we wanted to make sure that our kids had the best lessons possible.

We have always sent them to Carolyn Sweetman, aka The Swim Nazi (yes, I know that name is politically incorrect, but that’s what everyone has called her for 40+ years) at Bubbles and Roll.

It’s basically survival training that leads into proper swimming technique.

You know those videos you’ve seen on Facebook, where some crazy person is tossing a baby in a pool.  It’s kinda like that.  

My two girls are older and have finished their swim lessons.

I wasn’t quite sure my little buddy would ever finish, though.

He never cried or seem discouraged.  

He didn’t really seem to get it either, but he kept doing what he was told to do.  After all, he had seen his sisters have success.

And this year he finally got it!

He went from bobbing around on the pool steps to jumping off the diving board, floating on his back, then swimming to the ladder.

His persistence paid off!

Now to you.

Do you persist with your marketing efforts, even when you don’t get immediate results or do you run back to your comfort zone (aka the swimming pool steps)?

What I often see happen is, we keep up an old marketing technique that hasn’t worked for years, but we are comfortable with it.

  • That social media campaign we keep recycling
  • That generic e-newsletter we outsourced
  • That networking group that feels more like a social club

And I also see people scared to try something new and essentially sabotage it out of the gate with unrealistic expectations.

  • We give up on a new email marketing campaign because it doesn’t generate at least 3 new sales every time.
  • We give up on that Facebook ad campaign because we didn’t get 100 new likes
  • We give up on video because I put it one on my website and didn’t immediately rise to the first page of Google within a week.

We simply sit on the pool steps because we jumped from the diving board one time and didn’t have immediate success.

If you want NEW RESULTS you will have to DO SOMETHING NEW and do it CONSISTENTLY!!!

And this isn’t just for independent hipsters.

Check out Harry Looknanan, Jr.   He works for one of the largest banks in the U.S. and he stepped out of his comfort zone and had a few videos created to set himself apart from his competition.

Also, Jeannie Gregory has one of the top insurance agencies for one of the largest insurance carriers in the U.S. and she doesn’t settle for “the way she has always done it.”  

She is creating content and regularly sharing it with customers and potential customers.

You are tired of being on the pool steps, especially since you know you are a better “swimmer” than your competition.

Don’t let them swim laps around you!

If you want NEW RESULTS you will have to DO SOMETHING NEW and do it CONSISTENTLY!!!
 

To make sure you are consistent with video, download this FREE Video Marketing Made Simple Checklist.

Would you rather spend time working on your business and not playing the role of video expert too?  Yeah you are!

CLICK BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE

DONE-FOR-YOU VERSION OF VIDEO CONTENT.

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I Learned About The Best Niche From This Stupid Mistake

I was stumbling around confused and too afraid to go home.

I knew if I didn’t get this right, there would be hell to pay!

I was in Publix with a scribbled list of ingredients for a mango salsa recipe.

I had everything I needed.  Everything that is, but one last item.  

I scribbled it in a hurry and I couldn’t figure out what it was.  

Oh, and the wife said, "Make sure you get it!!!"

Cucumbers? Carrots?  Cotton balls?

None of those made sense!

Finally, a very helpful produce guy, Joe, saw I was in distress and came to my rescue.

I showed him my list and he agreed.  Cotton balls would taste terrible.

He then whipped open his flip phone (this was a few years ago) and made a call.

I sat there patiently.  Well, I was patiently eavesdropping.  

He was asking his wife what they put in their mango salsa.

He smiled and turned to me and said, “Cilantro.  It’s cilantro!”

Joe and I exchanged an awkward high five, I grabbed my cilantro, and I was on my way.

If you are not familiar with Publix, then you are deprived.

It is a grocery store that is well lit, stocked perfectly, and has lots of helpful employees.

Their prices are a little higher than average, but they are well worth it!

Their niche is the overall experience.

Conversely, there is another grocery store around the corner. 

It’s Aldi.

And Aldi is no Publix. 

At Aldi, you have to put a quarter into your cart and return it to get your quarter back, the shelves are not quite as perfectly stocked, but all three employees are helpful:). 

Aldi has decent groceries with fewer frills and their prices are lower.

Their niche is simplicity.

Both are good grocery stores with two very different niches.

So which are you, Publix or Aldi?

There is no right or wrong answer.

Unless you say that you are a mixture of both.

That is the wrong answer.

That’s not a niche.

That’s the same thing everyone says, especially your competitor.

It’s time to take a stand.

And taking a stand will let you STAND OUT!

  • If you are truly the expert display it.
  • If you really serve a special market, make sure everyone knows about it.
  • If you are the most convenient, fastest, or most accurate, hang your hat on it.

Check out how Mark Jost from Fairway Mortgage is telling customers about his niche and standing out from the crowd.  

  1. Email follow up - He’s sharing it with his referral partners
  2. Email marketing - He’s using it in his email follow up to potential clients and this always separates him from the other possible mortgage folks.

In a recent survey 80% of consumers replied they remembered a video ad they viewed in the previous 30 days (Delivra)

Mark Jost - Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation - “The video creations have been a great tool for me to use to reach out to potential clients. I will use these services again and again.”

Another example is Sandi Sagaser from Inspired Homes.  She discusses her niche with smart storytelling to educate her potential clients about the home buying and selling process.  
 
By the way, she LEGITIMATELY excels in educating and communicating with her clients.

  1. Website – You’ll find video on every page of Inspired Home’s website. It keeps the lead on the page longer and is more engaging.

  2. Email follow up – Most agents follow up once if they are lucky. Inspired Homes uses an automated email follow up with video. This sets them apart from every other real estate agency in their area.

  3. Presentations – Each time an agent from Inspired has an appointment, they show one of their videos that are appropriate for that particular lead, i.e. if the lead is fickle on pricing, they show their "Pricing Your House to Sell” video.

  4. Social media – Sandi shares her videos frequently.  Also, 80% of internet users will click on video or images in their search results before clicking on anything else

Sandi Sagaser - Inspired Homes - “The animated videos Charles has produced for me have been a huge win for our team and for our clients. They love the videos and I love working with Charles!”

It’s time to take a stand.

And taking a stand will let you STAND OUT!

Otherwise, you will fade into obscurity…

Also, I will admit that video is not the only way to stand out and show your niche.  

However, video does makeup 70% of online traffic and that number is GROWING, not decreasing.

You better jump on this, before your competition does.

Download this Video Marketing Made Simple Checklist, to make sure you have everything you need!

You want to connect with your customer and tell them why you are different.

Videos let you cut through the clutter and increase your sales.

Let's work together today.

p.s. It's easy too!

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How to Almost GUARANTEE an ROI With Your VIDEO

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Recently, I had a financial advisor tell me he didn’t believe in marketing.  
 
Really, he did.
 
Like it was freaking make-believe!
 
You know, Bigfoot, leprechauns, and marketing.  
 
In that order.
 
Ironically, that’s like people who don’t believe in the stock market.
 
Really, there are people like that too.
 
They say, “But you could lose everything.  What if the market goes down?!”
 
They even have a story of a friend that lost everything in the Dotcom/9/11/Housing bubble crisis.  
 
What they mean to say is that friend didn’t have much to begin with and then sold once the market went down.
 
Bad investors pull money out of the market every time there is a downturn and buy every time the market goes up.  
 
This means they are buying high and selling low.  
 
It is an emotional decision.  
 
It is also a bad decision.
 
However, good investors leave their money in the market for long periods of time, knowing that the market fluctuates.  
 
They still diversify and rebalance, but they stick with their investments.
 
Many busy professionals are quick to be like an emotional investor.  
 
Every time a marketing campaign hits a small obstacle they quit.  

For example, open rates didn’t beat last month’s email marketing or we didn’t get as many likes as last time, so this whole marketing thing must not be working.  
 
Then they quit.  
 
This also leads to poor sales results.  
 
Buying high and selling low.
 
The goal is to create a marketing strategy that is built for the long haul.
 
Your marketing efforts need to realize their compound interest.
 
Take this example from Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect.
 
If you could have $.01 that doubled every day for a month or $3,000,000 which would take?
 
Naturally, our lizard brain wants to guaranteed cash right away.
 
But check out the results of the compounding penny. 

Trust me.  You want the penny. 
 
Now look are your marketing.
 
Are you letting it compound?
 

  • A single video only resting on your site will not compound.  That’s just a savings account.
  • A couple of videos, regularly posted to social media, added to email marketing and email follow ups will compound.  That’s more like a mutual fund.
  • Oh, and try a little SEO and show the video during presentations.  You are getting into strong diversification and rebalancing territory there.:)
  • You WILL GET A SOLID ROI if you actually use your video regularly.

 Check out Lifelong Wealth Advisors (great name, by the way) marketing investment.


So the big questions are: 

  • Are you investing in your marketing?  
  • Are you letting it compound?  
  • Have you even made the initial investment?

By the way, that financial advisor is at the same place in revenue as he has been for the last 10 years.  
 

That’s not a very good investment.

p.s.

If you already have video that sitting in your "savings account", check out these links to start "investing" in your video (not my links, and I will soon be making my own, but these will work for now.)

p.p.s.

No video yet? Are you a DIYer that wants to make your own?

GET A FREE COPY OF THE HOW TO CREATE VIDEOS THAT INCREASE "HOT" LEADS GUIDE

p.p.p.s. (not sure that's a thing though)

Would you rather spend time working on your business and not playing the role of video expert too?  Yeah you are!

CLICK BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE

DONE-FOR-YOU VERSION OF VIDEO CONTENT.

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One SIMPLE WAY Your I.T. BUSINESS Can Get the EDGE In a COMPETITIVE MARKET

Not that long ago, I had a conversation with a business owner that needed some serious I.T. Services.  

They were growing quite a bit and had a patchwork system.  

She asked me if I could recommend any I.T. Businesses.

I recommended two.  

We’ll call them ABC I.T. and XYZ I.T.

She went with XYZ I.T.

Why?

ABC I.T. told her, “We provide on-site and remote desktop and mobile support.  We also offer cloud services, firewall, content filtering, and network support.  Lastly our managed I.T. services are 24/7.  Once you combine that with our 20 years of experience, we are the best choice.”

 XYZ I.T. told her, “We recently worked with a business that was very similar to yours.  They were growing and needed someone else to take care of their I.T. stuff, so they didn’t have to.  Within a week, we had them right where they wanted to be, so now they don’t have to worry at all!”

ABC I.T. presented with a confusing jargon.  Not confusing to them, but confusing to the customer. 

XYZ I.T. shared a story with a happy ending.

So often we hear about the importance of selling with a story. 

Stories sell 118% better than facts!  

The I.T. industry is more crowded than ever.

To stand out in a crowd, you don’t need to tell your potential customers the same exact thing your competition is telling them.  

You need to be relatable, personable, and tell them a story.

By the way, that is their story, not yours.  To them, your story is boring.  But not their story.  It’s fascinating.

Check out these stories that PCS Inc. created using animated video.

Here is their Explainer Video, making Jake, the owner of a local business the hero:

They let Audrey focus on her business and not I.T.:

And now Joe, the “I.T. Guy” at his business has less worry: 

 And yes, I’m partial to animated videos:)  But, animated videos work well because:

  • They can tell a compelling story in 90 seconds or less
  • They take very little time on your behalf
  • They are cost-effective
  • They are different and memorable

Now is the perfect time to stand out in a crowd, by making some animated videos that will let you stand out from a crowd, engage your soon-to-be client, and tell a story.

Get a FREE copy of the How to Create Videos That Increase "Hot" Leads Guide

Click below for the done-for-you version of video content.

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3 Ways You are Destroying Your Marketing

In 2000, I heard about this cool new diet called the Atkins Diet.  

Supposedly you could eat all the meat and green stuff you wanted and lose weight.

You had me at meat!

I didn’t really need to shed a lot of pounds, but I was always looking to get in good shape and stay there.

In one week I had lost 8 lbs!  Unfortunately, the following week I gained 10 lbs:(

Quite honestly, I didn’t really understand how this diet worked.

Over the years I tried a few other fads, but I always had unrealistic expectations and never quite stuck with them long enough.

A few years ago my wife and I watched “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. This is a documentary about all the bad stuff we put in our bodies and how one gentleman got better by juicing.

And then an idea went off like a light bulb overhead.  Or in my case a dimly lit fluorescent bulb, but a bulb nonetheless.  

Eat healthy food and exercise consistently!  Why didn’t someone just say that before?:)

My wife got even better results by going to Boot Camp workouts.  Boot Camp is like CrossFit’s little brother.  After having three kids, she decided she didn’t like what she saw in the mirror, so she did something about it.

Now she’s ripped!

This all reminds me of your marketing.

You’ve probably tiptoed around different marketing efforts.

You’re not necessarily “out of shape” in the marketing department, but want to get in great shape and stay there.

Unfortunately, you are destroying your marketing efforts like I was my health, for the same reasons.

1.  You jump into a marketing campaign without understanding it

(Related: The Silly Mistake That FINANCIAL ADVISORS Make With VIDEO)

Someone promised you unlimited leads, as long as you followed their simple 128 step program. 

Sounded good in the webinar.  Now you have this massive new task list that you’re sure a NASA scientist couldn’t understand.

You need to at least have a basic level understanding of the marketing you are using or you will not stick with it.

2.  You have unrealistic expectations

(Related: INSURANCE AGENTS can easily do this to increase RENEWALS and LEADS)

For example, if you are a financial advisor and you go in with the expectation that a single piece of marketing, used once or twice, will result in 2-3 new sales, you will almost always be disappointed.  

Let’s say a new client is valued at  $3K/year and you want 3 new customers from doing a $799 video you are really looking for a 1,000% return on investment!!! 

That may be a little unrealistic, especially when your goal is to get an 8-12% ROI for your own clients in the stock market:)

You need to expect that your ROI may take longer than you want, but if you stick with it, you can get steady stock market-like results.

3.  You don’t stick with the program

(Related: MORTGAGE BROKERS are using ANIMATED VIDEO to STAND OUT)

If you are easily discouraged at the first bump in the road, i.e. “that last LinkedIn article didn’t get as many likes, so LinkedIn must not be working anymore” you can derail all the good work you have been doing.

You need to know that one bad outing shouldn’t make you quit.

Bonus - If you want to get great results with your marketing like my wife did with Boot Camp, video is your tool.

Now like Boot Camp, you do it just once and expect to be ripped. 

You will need a couple of videos and use them regularly.

Your videos can be used with:

  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Presentations
  • Email Follow-up
  • Websites

If you decide to not to get with the program of developing good marketing habits and sticking with them, your business could soon be “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”!

 Get a FREE copy of the How to Create Videos That Increase "Hot" Leads Guide

Or have someone do it for you, so you can spend more time running your business:)

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The SIMPLE SECRET that helps ATTORNEYS increase REVENUE

Running a law firm has become more competitive than ever.

TV, billboards, and the radio are full of law firms that “fight” for you.  

It seems to be harder than ever to stand out in a noisy crowd.

The days of simply having a yellow page ad are over.

You can’t really outspend the big firms and you can’t spend all of your time playing “marketer”.

However, there is one surefire way to show potential clients you are different.

STORYTELLING!

Take Pixar movies for example.  

I have noticed a very familiar theme throughout all of them.  

The main character always has a problem, they are helped by an advisor with a solution, and there is a happy ending.  

The roles are interchangeable with talking cars, toy cowboys, or a clown fish.

Speaking of clown fish, take Finding Nemo for example:

  • The Main Character - Marlin (Nemo’s dad)
  • The Problem - Nemo was captured by scuba divers, so Marlin has to find Nemo
  • The Advisor - Dory, the helpful new friend
  • The Solution - Dory helps Marlin swim to Australia through the East Australian Current to find Nemo
  • The Results - Marlin and Nemo are reunited with the help of Dory and they all live happily ever after.  Or at least until the sequel.

This story is very similar to the way you help your client.  They have a problem, you help them with a solution, and there is a happy ending.  

Stories connect and sell.   

By the way, stories sell 118% better than facts!  

I’ve noticed several highly skilled law offices have videos that talk all about themselves.

They have:

  • Years of experience
  • A dedicated team
  • Good track record
  • To “fight” for you!

All good things by the way.

The issue?  

Most of those things are not client centered.  The client wants an awesome attorney in their corner, however, they are focused on their problems, and want to know that you understand them.

Stating facts, especially facts about yourself, doesn’t assure them of much.

Telling them a story where they are the hero, reassures them that you understand what they are going through and makes them comfortable with you!

Check out how The Collier Firm is using a video to tell their customer’s story.

  • The Main Character - Jason and Amy
  • The Problem - They were in an accident, Jason was seriously injured, and Amy was overwhelmed
  • The Advisor - The Collier Firm
  • The Solution - Winston Collier listened to Jason and Amy, cared about their needs, and kept them informed throughout the process
  • The Results - They got them the money they needed to get through this difficult time and Jason is on the road to recovery

Check out what Winston Collier has to say about it too.
(This is not for self-promotion, but to drive the point about storytelling.  Well, that and maybe a little self-promotion:)

Winston Collier.jpg

"Charles created a video for my firm that very powerfully tells a story surrounding the services that my firm offers to possible clients. I was able to run it on a loop inside waiting areas of local businesses. I have had a wonderful response to these videos and would recommend Charles to anyone that needs help telling their business' story to prospective clients and customers."

 

He has a strategy for using this video and is getting business as a result.

So think about your firm.

  • Does your website tell a story?
  • Does your marketing tell a story?
  • Does the video you use tell a story?  If it does, whose story is it; yours or your customer’s story? And by the way, 70% of online traffic is video!

If the answer is no, then it is time to tell a story that connects with your customer and gives them a happy ending.

Get a FREE copy of the How to Create Videos That Increase "Hot" Leads Guide

Or have someone do it for you, so you can spend more time running your business:)

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MORTGAGE BROKERS are using ANIMATED VIDEO to STAND OUT

I started making videos for busy professionals a couple of years ago.  

I had a lot of experience in writing articles for the local newspapers and for my blog.

My initial hope was to just write website content and do some email marketing.  
 
After an experiment or two, I quickly realized that turning the blogs into videos was the way to go.  
 
Why?
 
Well, it works!   

Videos do the following:

  • Pre-sell customers and provide warm leads
  • Build authority
  • Are very versatile
  • Are fun and engaging
  • Stand out from your competition

(Related: How to Create Videos That Increase "Hot" Leads Guide)
 
For example, check out the video Mark Jost created to stand out in a very crowded market.

You will notice that he didn’t tell you about every type of loan he has ever done and he didn’t try to target everyone possible.

He picked a specific product and targeted a referral source.

And the videos can be used with:

  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing
  • Presentations
  • Email Follow-up
  • Websites

Here is another great example.

Jeff Stine from Acopia has also picked a specific loan and told a story.

Sure, he offers other loans that really anyone can use, however, Jeff knows that you can’t tell everyone that you are all things, to all people.  That’s what the competition does:)

Lastly, Accurate Mortgage has a new app and they are using video to promote it.

Why?

They want to connect with their customer and tell them why they are different.

Videos let you cut through the clutter and increase your sales.

You need to create your own content, in your own voice, and it needs to be about the customer!

Curious how they did it?  CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW!

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The INNOVATIVE way to INCREASE LEADS in a COMPETITIVE MARKET

It’s funny how Amazon has taken over my front porch.

There is a brown box out there.  

Every. Freaking. Day!

Things I used to buy in person are now purchased online.

Take my shoes for instance.

At one point I had a relationship with the familiar faces at Marti and Liz’s Shoes.  I would come in every year or so and buy a new pair of black Bostonians.

Now, with just a few clicks of the mouse, the Bostonians arrive on the front porch in two days.

Buying shoes is a commodity.

The same is happening everywhere.

Instead of spending an hour wandering around Kroger, we use ClickList and purchase the items online and just pick the groceries up at Kroger.

You may have noticed that this is happening in your industry, too.

Financial Advisors
Robo-advisors and index funds are becoming increasingly popular.

Insurance
Buying insurance online is easier than ever.  Geico, Esurance, and brokers like Zander have cut into your profits.

Mortgage
Rocket Mortgage and Quicken are just a couple examples of the latest way people are getting mortgages.

Real Estate Agents
Flat fee MLS is encroaching on the territory of real estate agents.

Accountants
TurboTax, accounting software, and a global workforce that charge a fraction of what you do are replacing some of the tasks that CPAs used to take for granted.

Banking
People are not coming into the branches anymore.  In fact, online banking makes the customer believe they don’t need you at all.


Right or wrong, your industry has become a commodity.  

However, you ARE NOT A COMMODITY.

You are unique.

Like Liam Neeson in "Taken", you have skills.

Skills you have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make working with you a dream for people like your clients.

  • You know the in’s and out’s of the process
  • You are a trusted advisor
  • You always do your homework and give your client the right path for the right reasons
  • You stay on top of changes in the market and are proactive

There are a thousand pitfalls that occur along the way for the customer and they need someone with your skills and experience to help them navigate the process.

So what should you do?

I know what your competition is doing.  

Whining and complaining:(  

They are saying how unfair it is and how the customer is making a terrible mistake. 

They are missing the opportunity.  The opportunity to stand out in a crowd.

Your potential customers WANTS someone to tell them what to do and why.  They are more overwhelmed with life than ever, and they would love to work with someone like YOU!

But there’s a problem.  

They don’t know you exist or they got busy and forget about you.

Sure you get some good referrals and have a couple of marketing tools you use.

But to the customer, you look just like everyone else in your industry.  

In fact, you may be using the same language on your website, have the same headshot, and display the same accomplishments as everyone else.

You need to show them why you are unique and how you solve their problem in such a way that makes you indispensable!  

So where should you start?

Take a look at some of the examples below for an idea.

Financial Advisors
Will a robo-advisor or index fund get to know you and your personal goals like this financial advisor?

Insurance
Will Geico work with you to control your premiums like this insurance agent?

Mortgage
Will the online guys be able to connect with the customer and still be high tech?

Real Estate Agents
Will a flat fee agent help walk you through the overwhelming process of selling a house (and will they get you as much money?)

Accountants
Will that fancy new software know how new laws affect your business?

Banking
Will that online bank be able to keep you informed like a local banker?

And yes, I’m partial to animated video, but there is a good reason for that.

  • Animated videos can easily pass compliance when done correctly
  • They stand out from your competition
  • Americans perform 4 times as many video views as they do Google searches.      
  • Adding video to your email campaigns can increase click rates by 300% (Wistia)
  • Videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. (Psychology Today)

Be like Liam Neeson.

Take control of the situation and show your customer that you are not a commodity!
 

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INSURANCE AGENTS can easily do this to increase RENEWALS and LEADS

After our last move to our current house, I decided not to turn the cable on.

I just got a digital antenna and a Roku box.  

Once we had Netflix and a legal way to get ESPN, I realized we were fine without cable.

My wife said we were saving $100/month. 

But then it hit me.

I wasn’t really saving $100/month….I had been losing $100/month for several years!!! 

I had known about these options earlier, however, I simply neglected to anything about it.  

Did you know that you are also writing a check every month?

A BIG CHECK!

Allow me a very simple (and yes, generic) example:

Currently, you have 1,000 customers and each has multiple policies making that customer worth $500 each year.

You should be retaining 87% of them, but you only retain 82%.  

That 5% is worth $25,000 each year.

That essentially means you are writing a $25,000 check each year!

Not to mention, the leads that are slipping through your fingers (yes, another simple, yet effective example.)

Right now you are closing 4 leads each week and you know you should be getting 5

One extra customer each week is another $25,000 each year.

That’s another $25,000 check you are writing!

And the kicker?

It would not be that difficult to keep that $50,000 in your pocket.  

In fact, it might take about as much effort as it did for me to get rid of cable:)

You just have to do something about it!

So, what is the number one reason customers will not renew and leads will not buy?

Competition?
Economy?
Aliens?

Nope.

You just haven’t given them a reason to care enough to do anything about it.

Which is really ironic, because that’s also the same reason you are writing that $50,000 check each year.

The more times your customer hears from you throughout the year the less likely they will be to leave.

And no, the aggressive cross-selling promotion that fills their mailbox doesn’t count.

You need fun content that is truly yours, solves their problems, and lets you stand out in a crowd.

Also, the more times you creatively follow up with a lead, the more likely they are to become a customer.

This doesn’t mean you bombard people with sales pitches and junk mail.

They just need a simple reminder that you are here to solve their problem and you can do this regularly in a creative way.

Check out what Jeannie Gregory is doing to retain customers in the face of rising premiums.

Jeannie is staying in front of her current customers more often and in a creative way.  

And check out what the Life Insurance Dr, does to let leads know how he solves their unique problem.

David Kottler immediately stands out in a crowd to potential leads.

So now you have to answer this question.

Do you want to keep writing a $50,000 check every year or do you want to do something fun and keep that extra cash?

You just have to do something about it!

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How You Can Be UNIQUE and Immediately STAND OUT With VIDEO

Recently, my wife (Sarah) and I visited my 8-year daughter’s (Ava) school to do something called “Parent Share”.  

“Parent Share” is when grown ups bore little kids with what they do for a living.

Since Sarah and I are entrepreneurial, we decided to help 140 second graders start a business.

Should be easy, right:)?

We took on about 40 kids at a time, putting 4-5 kids per business.

We had them pick a business, name it, decide what they were going to sell, price items, and even do an organizational chart.

But most importantly, we had them describe why their business was different and why customers would buy from them.

We got some shocking results!

And by shocking, I mean, we had dozens of 7 and 8 year-olds GET IT!

We had a photography business that sold “very expensive photos, but they are all 3D and the customer gets to edit them.”  And there was a candy store that “had the more sugar in their candy, than anyone else!”

Out of 35 business, there were only a couple that were the best or cheapest.  

Oh, and there were none with X number of years of experience, great customer service, or had some complicated sounding certifications.

Why?

Kids know you can’t be the same as everyone else
and expect to STAND OUT among everyone else

Odds are, you are unique and there is a good reason for someone to buy from you instead of your competitor.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to be unique and stand out is with animated video.

  • If you have a specific process that sets you apart from other financial advisors, don’t simply try to describe it in boring text on your site.  Look at what Three Leaf Financial did to describe their unique process.

(Check out - The silly mistake that financial advisors make with video)

  • If you are an insurance agent wanting to increase renewals, don’t wait until it is too late to stand out.  Jeannie Gregory is educating her customers and getting new customers.
  • If you an attorney that wants to stand out in a crowd, the same old “we work for you” commercial will not make that happen.  The Collier Firm chose to tell the story of a potential client, to show how they are unique.

Don’t overcomplicate this.  

Stand out from a crowd and give customers a reason to choose you.

And if you are looking for candy with more sugar, I’ve got the store for you:)

 

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The Silly MISTAKE That Financial Advisors Make with VIDEO

I have discovered that most financial advisors have videos on their site. 

In fact, they have a lot of videos!

This is great news!

Why?

70% of internet traffic is video ( Cisco)
80% of internet users will click on video or images in their search results before clicking on anything else ( webwalkersolutions)

Unfortunately, there is a silly mistake that most financial advisors make with their videos.

They are not using them!

The videos are hidden in some “Resources/Blog/Media/Video” tab in their Nav Bar.

For example:

Or

Or

Also, many of the videos are generic and are the SAME videos that many other advisors have. 

Having the same video that everyone else has and then hiding it may be the same as not having video at all.

Your videos should show your personality, speak to your clients, and be seen!

Check out what Jason LaVigne from Blue Water Financial LLC did to start the process of letting potential clients know they are different.

He uses this video in email follow up, seminars, and on social media.

You should also notice that this is storey based.

Stories help us connect to clients and videos help us tell stories. Yes, I’m partial, but they truly do work.

Many of the financial advisors just spew facts and figures.

Family Wealth Partners wanted to promote an event, so they used this video to do that.

Paul Winkler used the story of Chicken Little to educate his clients and tell them how he was different.

The blog was just one of the many places he used this video.

If you have videos, don’t hide them.

Use them in your blog posts, social media platforms, email marketing, seminars, and throughout your site.

And if you don’t have video…well…

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6 Foolproof Steps to Reach Your Goals - Animated Video

Do you have marketing goals?

You do?  Great!  But just for funsies, watch this cool, animated video, to make sure you actually reach those goals.


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Smart Real Estate Agents are doing this, to increase their clients

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The following is based on a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but mostly the guilty.

I was recently chatting with a friend that was getting ready to list a house and eventually buy another one. 

He asked me if I knew of any good agents. 

I recommended "Agent A" and "Agent B".

He did end up picking "Agent B".

Why?

Agent A said, “Well, I told him about how many houses we sold last year, the number of satisfied clients we had, and what the market statistics were for the last 30 days in his area. I really gave him my best presentation.”
Agent B said, “I had a great chat with your friend. First, I let him tell me all about his hopes and worries. Then I told him a couple of stories of clients (she didn’t disclose the names of those clients) whom I had worked within similar situations and how they were successful. I also mixed in an animated video that told a story. We hit it off and he signed with me right then and there!”


Agent A presented with a canned presentation and facts. 

Agent B listened and shared relatable stories.

So often we hear about the importance of selling with a story. And rightfully so.

Stories sell 118% better than facts! 

For example, if you want to educate your client on pricing their home, you could always tell them the facts:

  • The longer a house is on the market, the less likely it is to sell
  • Homes priced above their value eventually get a lower sales price than when initially priced correctly
  • In a hot market, a reasonably priced home may go for above the sales price
  • Or you could tell them a story.

For example:

(Get a FREE copy of the How to Create Videos That Increase "Hot" Leads Guide)

And yes, I’m partial to animated videos:) But, animated videos work well because:

  • They can tell a compelling story in 90 seconds or less
  • They take very little time on your behalf
  • They are cost-effective
  • They are different and memorable

Check out the ways Sandi Sagaser from Inspired Homes uses animated video storytelling to increase the number of clients she gets.

  1. Website – You’ll find video on every page of Inspired Home’s website. It keeps the lead on the page longer and is more engaging.
  2. Email follow up – Most agents follow up once if they are lucky. Inspired Homes uses an automated email follow up with video. This sets them apart from every other real estate agency in their area.
  3. Presentations – Each time an agent from Inspired has an appointment, they show one of their videos that are appropriate for that particular lead, i.e. if the lead is fickle on pricing, they show their "Pricing your house to sell video."
  4. Social media – The easiest way to stand out on social media is with a video. 80% of internet users will click on video or images in their search results before clicking on anything else

Check out some of the other animated video stories that are client specific.

For Buyers:

For Sellers:

How to pick an agent - The Good Agent vs. The Bad Agent:

Tell your potential clients, who you work with - Buyer/Seller Winning Deals:

Now is the perfect time to gear up for a busy spring, by making some animated videos that will let you stand out from a crowd, engage your soon-to-be client, and tell a story!

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One cost efficient way banks can increase leads

I started making videos for busy professionals a few years ago. I had a lot of experience in writing articles for our local newspapers and for my blog.

My initial hope was to just write website content and do some email marketing. 

After an experiment or two, I quickly realized that turning the blogs into animated videos was the way to go. 

Why?

Well, it works!  

  • Animated videos can easily pass compliance when done correctly
  • Stand out from your competition
  • Americans perform 4 times as many video views as they do Google searches.      
  • Adding video to your email campaigns can increase click rates by 300% (Wistia)
  • Videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text. (Psychology Today)

(Related: How to Create Videos That Increase "Hot" Leads Guide)

For example, Decatur County is using video every month in their email marketing.

Check out this one on "Easy ways to improve your credit score."

And "How to avoid NSF and overdraft fees."

You will notice that they do not just advertise how great their bank is and how many different options they have.

They are simply sharing great content that is useful to their customers and anyone else that gets this newsletter.

Marketing is much different than it used to be.

You will not be able to bombard people with features, advantages, and benefits. 

You will have to create your own content, in your own voice, and it needs to be helpful.

Also, animated videos can be done in-house or can be outsourced for much less than other forms of advertising, i.e. billboards, print media, sponsorships, etc.

And you should get started while you still have time.

Very few banks are using video properly and this will be an easy way to stand out in a very crowded market!

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It's time to create your own content

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I remember it like it was yesterday.  

I was seven years old and my dad had fallen asleep watching some awful golf tournament on a Saturday afternoon.  And not just asleep.  The snoring had reached jet engine levels.

And then a commercial asking where’s the beef came on and I thought it would be my chance.

As I snuck up to the TV to switch the channel, my dad said, “Hey, what are you doing...I’m watching Tom Watson on the 18th hole!”

It was like he had a 6th sense that would have never qualified for an M. Night Shyamalan movie.

Fast forward 30+ years.  

My children primarily watch Netflix and PBS, both commercial free-ish.  The first time we really watched a regular cable channel with commercials, they wanted to know where their show went each time a commercial came on.

It’s not that they don’t know about commercials.  They are just numb to a lot of advertising.

Marketing is much different than it used to be.  Being able to rely on interrupting someone’s day to sell them something is no longer a thing.

We have gone from 500 marketing messages a day to 5,000 a day.  

People are smart and ignore the sales pitches.  They research on their own and gravitate toward authentic content that resonates with them.

You will not be able to bombard people with features, advantages, and benefits.  You will have to create your own content, in your own voice, and it needs to be helpful.

Why?

Your own content can express your real voice, brand you as the expert, and resonate with your target customer.

If you are a real estate agent, create a video like the following:

Pricing your house to sell

If you are a financial advisor, create a blog post like the following:

The Sky is Falling!

If you are a banker, use email marketing like the following:

Tips to improve your credit score

You get the idea.

Creating your own content will not immediately create revenue.  But no legit marketing does. There are lot of promises, however, it’s a process.  

And this trend isn’t going to reverse itself anytime soon either, so now is the time to get on board.

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Stop comparing email marketing to email!

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When I started this business, I was more focused on email marketing than video.  

And rightfully so. 

As a busy professional, email marketing is the best bang for your buck. The video you use lets you stand out in a crowd and tell a compelling story.

I’ve since flipped my focus.

Why?

Like the ending of LOST, email marketing is misunderstood.

Most busy professionals only focus on who’s not engaging with their emails instead of the warm leads that are trying to give them money.

Here are few real life examples of this (I’ve changed the names to protect the guilty.)  

  • Bob the Banker - "So, from my emailing, it’s not who did tap in and review….but more of the ones that don’t; and if they move me to spam or block me due to getting emails, not good!"
  • Ira the Insurance Agent - "I know we had a 40.3% open rate and a 18.8% click thru (double and triple the national average by the way), but I think that didn't work very well.  I mean, why didn't everyone open the email?  Some people say they didn't even see it.  Maybe this isn't for us."
  • Fred the Financial Advisor - “We only had 90 people click thru and watch the video...we need more.”  Me - “How many people did you send it to?”  Fred -“Oh….um..not sure.  Corporate sent it for me.”

You can't compare email marketing to email.  
Compare email marketing to marketing!

Would you have this same reaction to these other marketing methods?

  • Your direct mail will not be responded to, by everyone.
  • Your TV commercial will not be viewed by everyone.
  • Your newspaper ad will not be seen by everyone.
  • Your radio jingle will not be heard by everyone.

Several clients are having a lot of success by sending high quality content directly to their existing and potential customers.

For example:

Julie Yant Marketing & Business Development at P.E.S.T., Inc.

Julie Yant

Marketing & Business Development at P.E.S.T., Inc.

Charles is helping my company receive results with video marketing. His videos are helping with brand awareness, as well as scheduling work, as a direct result of sharing them. I posted our latest video in our monthly newsletter and we not only booked several appointments, but sold a couple of large jobs as a result.

  • Your email marketing will have your personality and be helpful.
  • Your email marketing can be tracked.
  • Your email marketing is very cost effective.
  • Your email marketing will generate warms leads.  Every time!

and

  • There are 3x more email accounts than Twitter and Facebook accounts combined. (Radicati Group)
  • Email is 40x more successful at acquiring new clients than either Facebook or Twitter.  (McKinsey & Company)

Email marketing works and it NEEDS to be part of your 2017 marketing plan! 

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The truth about Christmas!

There are always a lot of Christmas videos this time of year.  But none like this.  This video tells the real story about Christmas!

p.s.
If you are dreading the office holiday party, the Elf on the Shelf, or family, this video is for you!

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You are giving too many options

The other day the kids were at the in-laws and Sarah was having a rare girls night out.  

I had the house to myself!  


I wanted to get a “guy’s” movie on Netflix.  Something with a lot of car chases and shootouts.  

I begin endlessly scrolling through the Netflix screen.  Endlessly.

Fast forward to a few hours later.

Sarah arrives home and I have just started Skyfall.  

“What have you been up to?” Sarah asks.  

I wasn't really sure. 

It appears that I had been scanning Netflix, watching movie trailers, and overthinking my options.  

I had too many movies to choose from and I became overwhelmed.

The same can be true of your business.


Giving your customer too many options is giving them no option at all.


Take this case study for example:
Sheena Iyengar, a professor of business at Columbia University, conducted an interesting study in 1995. She set up a display of 24 samples of jam for customers to taste, and every few hours, she switched to a 6 sample set. The results were astonishing: 60% of customers stopped to try the jams when the selection was large versus 40% when small; and 30% of those that stopped when the selection was small purchased a jam, versus 3% when the selection was large.

A great example of a business that understands this is PCS, an I.T. company in Knoxville, TN.  

Like most I.T. companies, PCS offers over a dozen services.  However, they strategically package their services to make it easy on the customer.

Does this mean you should eliminate all but one of your different products and services?  

Nope.  

  • Do focus on your best one or two options that customers want.
  • Don’t overwhelm people with all of the different things you can do.  
  • Do tell them the specific thing you do that makes their life easier.
  • Don’t give your customers open-ended options.  Give them packages.
If you try to be all things to all people, you run the chance of being nothing to nobody (yes, I know that is a double negative:)

After you have dazzled your new customer with your primary offering, you will begin understanding their other needs.  Then you can begin showing them all of the other cool toys you have!

Oh, I still haven’t watched Skyfall.

Discussion questions:

  • Do you have Netflix?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What is the primary product or service you can/should offer customers?

 

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Why email marketing works

I’m often asked, “why don’t you quit your job?”  

You see, I have a full-time job.  A full-time job that I LOVE.  

My job is to provide training and personal advising to small business owners on how to succeed in their business.  Most of the services I provide are low-cost or FREE.  People like free.

And I’m often asked, “why don’t you start your own business?

Am I too scared?  Does my own advice not work?

Nope.  A lot of folks miss the part about me LOVING my job.  And this whole “Increasing Leads with Video Storytelling” business is working out pretty well too, so I am able to have the best of both worlds.

But I will admit that having a full-time job, a lovely wife and three kids, does not leave me a lot of time to operate my own small business.

That’s why I love email marketing.  

I can set it up to send anytime and check my inbox when I’m not on the clock.

It works on its own when I’m working on my own.
And the best part?  IT WORKS ON ITS OWN!

I get good leads every time I send out my email marketing.  EVERY FREAKING TIME.  

Sometimes, it’s not a lead.  Sometimes, it’s a straight up sale!  

Why?  Isn’t email dead?  Everybody is on Spacepage, Instaface, and Snapgram, (yeah, I’m a heavy LinkedIn user) right? 

  • Well, there are 3x more email accounts than Twitter and Facebook accounts combined. (Radicati Group)
  • And email is 40x more successful at acquiring new clients than either Facebook or Twitter.  (McKinsey & Company)

And yes, adding video to your content gives you another major boost.

  • 70% of internet traffic is now video (Cisco) and 80% of internet users will click on video or images in their search results before clicking on anything else (webwalkersolutions)
  • In fact, adding video to your email campaigns can increase click rates by 300% (Wistia)

This is why you will see video in almost every bit of the email marketing I do. 

It doesn’t just work for me, but also works for other folks too.

I recently created a video about termite control for PEST Inc. and they used it in their last email campaign.

Owner, Julie Yant said,

“I posted our latest termite video in our monthly newsletter and we not only booked several appointments but, sold a couple of large jobs as a result.”

 

There are several right and wrong ways to do email marketing, but the key is just getting started!

Ready to boost your leads with email marketing?  Feel free to email me with any questions at all.  Or if you want it done for you, I can help there too:)

Contact me today!

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