Sep
06

Aloha from Hawaii – and some great marketing ideas from the beach

A while back I spent some time in Hawaii and absolutely had a blast!

First thing that strikes me about Hawaii… WHAT RECESSION?

The place is packed with people and everyone is carrying Gucci, Prada, Tiffany’s or Prada bags.

… If money is tight out there… you would never know it here.

A good lesson in itself… go where the money is.

Besides some great cold beers and Mai Tais on the beach, I have also met some great people and witnessed some brilliant marketing in action.

Being pitched on every street corner to listen to a timeshare presentation is not my idea of good marketing…

…but Tom Stokes has a BRILLIANT marketing system in place.

After just being pitched on yet another timeshare, we saw a roof top patio bar to escape to… and we ran as fast as we could (with a mob of pitch men running behind us with their “free lunch” brochures in their hands).

We walk up to the entrance of the bar and are quickly informed that Tom is buying us our first beer.

“Who is Tom?” I asked.

“Tom Stokes buys the first 100 people through the door a beer” the doorman says.

Just then Tom walks up and hands me his business card and asks me (as part of his beer buying practice) to check out his website and podcast. Then he sends us on our way to the table (without a time share pitch – YES!)

We sit down and I pull out the iphone to check out his site – and I fall in love with his marketing idea.

Video podcasts and surf updates (and some “bad jokes”, as he fondly says)… and a great model for generating web traffic… and money.

So, like any marketer SHOULD do… I call Tom over to chat…

Not just to get him to buy me another beer (but he did)…Troy White Hawaii Marketing Secrets from The Beach Bum Himself

…but to also find out how this idea works out for him.

Tom is from Columbus, Ohio and was born and raised as a swimmer.  He loved to surf and saw his future in surf videos… until he discover all the bull that comes with major production movies.  Politics not his thing, he continues to look for new ways to market his videos and passion.

Along comes iTunes…

As soon as Itunes announced you could do video podcasting, Tom KNEW this was it.

So he starts creating his video casts and posting them on iTunes. And gets busy with some Guerilla marketing to get people to his site.

… He posts on forums.

… Becomes a regular in the chat rooms.

… goes to parties and starts giving away free beer (more to meet the girls, but it also helped his business).

Next thing you know he has 8,000 (!) subscribers to his podcasts.

But, he (as any good marketer would) wants more… more…more.

So he considers doing some offline advertising.

But realizes that the $750 advertisement may not get him the kind of results that he wants, and he thinks “what else could I do with $750 that WOULD get me the results.”

“The free beer idea got me the babes…

maybe it can make me some bucks!”

So, he concocts a plan… a devious one at that.

First, he finds some sponsors to help him out.

Then, he finds a wicked rock and roll/blues band to help out, then he recruits the local micro-brewery… last, he finds one of the best roof-top bars around Waikiki beach.

The rest is history…

…every Tuesday at 5pm you can join Tom at the Tiki bar (no called Tika Tuesdays) for free beer and music.

He is a great guy and a brilliant marketer…

…and now has 135,000 subscribers!

He even has multiple kinds of business cards designed to use for different types of people, personalities and moods.

He drives a massive amount of traffic to his site on a regular basis, has incredible word of mouth (look at me doing this – I am willing to bet that he gets a lot of attention from all over the world).

And he meets some incredible people that travel from every country in the world to finally meet Tom in person (after they have watched his videos casts for years).

As we wrapped up our chat he was headed over to another table to meet 5 guys who traveled from Germany to talk to Tom.

He makes his money from donations, from people buying ad space on his site, and from his soon-to-be-announced new business idea.

A fabulous idea and marketing model.

One we should all find ways to use.

Speaking of, here are a number of marketing opportunities for you…

Tom created his own theme day that has built him a sizeable following.  But, you don’t have to create your own theme idea, here are a bunch for you:

September 25th… National one-hit-wonder day, it is also the anniversary of the IQ test being devised in 1905

September 27th… Ancestor appreciation day

September 28th… Ask a stupid question day, and is also National Love Note day (write a love note to your customers that day).  For those in the make money field – it is also the anniversary of the day John D Rockefeller became the world’s first billionaire in 1916

October 5th … national story telling day

October 10th … (besides being my twin daughters 12th birthday)… is World mental health day (coincidence?)

October 11th… National coming out day, as well as National It’s My Party Day

Success in marketing is about taking new ideas (or proven ones) and finding innovative ways to turn them into wealth.

It is also about sticking to your guns and persisting until you find the breakthrough concept.

Right now the media would love you to fall into their trap and think everyone is stopping their shopping.

Not true.

Like I said, here in Hawaii, the money is flowing right alongside the Lava Flow drink I plan on having later.

Find a few ways to make these lessons work for your business …

Mahalo,

Troy

PS: If you want to live the life of a beach bum (with or without a beach) and personally work with me, for a piddly $25 (includes your website, training, and $500 worth of my own products), then watch this training video first, then sign up here to begin our training and sparring sessions.

Aug
27

Trailer park success… and fly-by-night tenants

Fellow business builder,

Today, I want to share 2 dramatically different small business stories.

First, a local disaster.

There is a little strip mall by my house.  On the end of the mall is a small bay that continues to struggle.

The last attempt is “Food 123” which you can see here…

They spend $15,000 on the renovations of the inside and kitchen.  They were excited about opening day.

And they were destined to fail.

Opening day came, and went. And they closed their doors for good.  These morons thought they would make enough money day one to float them through their big grand opening.

  • · They had no marketing in place.
  • · The name of their restaurant… sucked.
  • · They had no differentiation (crappy deep fried foods is all they offered)
  • · And they did NOTHING to get people in the door (in their business, all they had to do was create a powerful offer for the local neighborhood.  That would have given them a decent start on day 1… they didn’t even do that).
  • · They honestly thought that by opening their doors they would be swamped with people, cash in hand.
  • · To top it off… they blew all their money on renovations, saving nothing for getting people in the door.

When they didn’t make their millions day one, they had no choice but to pull a midnight move and disappear.

It reminds me a LOT of people online these days.

They think they need a fancy flash website.  So they spend $10,000 with some “creative design team” and get a wiz bang site that says nothing useful.

They get all the nice business cards and letterhead.

They hire a copywriter, thinking that a great sales letter is all they need.

Then they are shocked to learn that a website does not magically draw people to the site.  They can’t understand why they aren’t making a mint with their creative web design.

They blame the economy.

They blame the competition.

Never once do they blame themselves for not having a plan of attack on HOW they will get actual prospects to their site to buy.

In contrast to the morons with Food 123 (what a great name… hey?), here is a story I am very familiar with.  One that WAS thought through properly.

This is the start of a long weekend here, and I am heading out of town with the kids to a secret location 90 minutes northeast of where I live.

Ok, it ain’t that much of a secret… I am heading to the campground that I grew up in.

You could kinda say…

“My name is Troy, and I grew up in a trailer park”…Tall Timber RV Park, Sundre Alberta

…and it would be factually accurate.

When I was 8 yrs old, my folks, along with 2 other couples, bought 60 acres of land in Sundre, Alberta.  Their plan was to build a quality campground with 400+ sites in an area that did not have campgrounds like this.  There were a couple run down “shanty town” type of parks… but nothing that anyone was really proud to call their “home-a-way-from-home”.

Every single chance we had, we were up in Sundre working on the campground, which was named “Tall Timber Leisure Park”.

Weekends during school.

Entire summers during time off.  Every chance we had, we were out there working on building that park up the way it was envisioned.

They made me do every grunt job possible out there…

…mowing miles and miles of grass every time I was there

…picking up rocks and clearing trees for new campsites

…building picnic tables

…climbing in sewer tanks (still have nightmares about that one)

…installing power lines, sewer lines and water

…picking up garbage

…painting

…building playgrounds

… and so on.

A great place to learn the value of hard work, as I saw that place come together bit by bit and morph itself into the premier “leisure park”.

With over 385 permanent sites (rented by the year) and another 100+ overnight sites, it quickly became “the place” for bringing your family and having a good time.

It ran successfully for 25 years that way, then in 1999 or so, they sold individual lots off as private parcels

They are out of it now, and have a condo board that runs everything.  They kept their 60 foot mobile out there, and me and the kids love going out there for the weekends.  Hang out at the river. Go swimming (it has an indoor swimming pool and hot tub).  Sometimes I sneak off for a round of golf.  Sometimes when I am on a serious deadline, I will pack up the laptop and head out to the trailer for some serious focus time.

The reason I bring this up?

Because they invested a small fortune building that place from the ground up.

They had a vision in mind on what type of campground it would be. They knew it was targeted at families, not baseball teams and young teenagers on a mission to get as drunk as possible.

They had lots of rules in place on how you had to act in the campground, if you wanted to stay.

They were priced at a premium. And they hired tyrants as managers for the place to keep everyone in line.

They worked their asses off for decades… and it paid off in the end.

They didn’t build it, and expect people to come.

They built it, and worked their tails off getting people out there to try it out.  Then to get them to commit for a year. Knowing full well that one year would mean the next year, the next, and so on. Many seasonal campers stayed there for 25 years, then ended up buying the lots once they privatized it.

The Food 123 business built it and expected a flood of traffic the first day.  My folks knew better.  They knew they were in it for the long haul and had to actually work to build it. They did. They cashed out. Food 123 owners are on the run with a multi-year lease in place and lawyers on their tail.

Do not fall for the get rich overnight crap out there.

It takes a lot of work, persistence, investment and tears to start and build a successful business.

But, the fact remains… ANYONE can do it if they set their mind to it.

As long as they are willing to hang in there through thick and through thin.

The economy is in the toilet now… and some people are struggling.  Some people are thriving too.

Those in a tough spot now, need remember the Tall Timber story – 30 years of days, nights and weekends. And they cashed out to enjoy what most entrepreneurs dream of… financial independence and retirement on your own terms.

No reliance on the government, or some pension plan.

But with your own money that you earned in your own business.  And THAT does not happen overnight with little thought to the future.

Think it through, have a big vision of where you are going with it, and be prepared to stick to it until you get there.  It won’t go perfectly smooth.  You will have awful weeks, months, even years.

But it will pay off if you persist.

 

If you don’t have a marketing plan of attack in place

– NOW is the time to do it.

 

2012 is almost three quarters done… are you 75% through your goals for the year?

If not, get a plan of attack in place and GET BUSY.

It won’t be magically drawn to you while you sit on your couch meditating.  YOU have to go out and MAKE IT HAPPEN.

That is the only way you can guarantee your success.

Have a great week.

Thanks again.

To your success,

Troy White

 PS: I just put up a new video for you about marketing, and making money with a website.

https://marketingbeachbum.com/welcome-to-the-wild-and-wacky-world-of-marketing-beach-bums/

It’s only 4 minutes, but it reveals some of the insider things I am doing right now to market online, and it shares a very exciting way to promote yourself, while learning an INVALUABLE skill.

Have a look and the video and let me know your thoughts.

Either reply to this post, email me at [email protected] or call me at 403-259-4566.

Aug
24

The pitfalls of a bad name… and the profit of a great entrepreneur

A while back, I spoke at a 3 day small business conference in Cochrane, Alberta.  A hop, skip and a jump from Calgary where I live, the 45 minute drives takes you into this incredible little mountain resort town called Canmore.canmore alberta business entrepreneur

The host of the event took out the speakers for dinner on Friday night to this place she had been raving about.

The Trough is an eclectic upstart that has figured this service business out.  I realize last week I wrote about Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant lessons, but this weekend was a sign that the owner has maybe been watching some of the Kitchen Nightmare shows and learned a thing or three.

Considering they just opened last year, their 2 recent awards as one of the top 10 new restaurants in Canada shows how good of a start they got off to.

When you first walk in, it is nothing to oooh and ahhhh about – but that very quickly changes.

It’s unassuming as you enter (classy – but not over the top or trying too hard to be something it’s not)… and quite cozy on the inside (seating ~50 max).

The quirky guy who greeted us was the owner – and he was a master at schmoozing. 

He remembered Cidnee’s name and treated her like a celebrity when we walked through the doors (seriously, people in the restaurant must have wondered who this lady was, with all the coddling going on).

So we sit down and are handed these paper menus – again, unassuming and nothing to be impressed over.  The choices looking divine – but we didn’t have time to even look at the menu much before the free appetizer samplers started appearing at our tables.

The brochette – to die for (the breading was not your typical slices, they looked like half a golf ball and were stuffed with the tastiest ingredients I had ever had in brochette).

NOW I was starting to see what people loved about this place.

Then they brought the free ice wine samples for everyone – again, a very nice touch and very well chosen.

Next, another free pork wrapped appetizer that melted in your mouth… this was a very nice way to start our experience.

Then he educated us all about their incredible wine selection… and did he ever know his stuff.

Side note (and a lesson in itself):   He told us of the young Wine Master he gets his wines from in Calgary.    For $5,000 you can go to his wine store and he will reserve your own wine storage box.  Throughout the year he will keep it stocked with his best wine choices that suit your tastes.  Anytime you want, you can come in and pick out as many of the bottles chosen for you.  He even has one customer with a $250,000 wine “box”. There is always someone out there looking for the best of the best and is willing to pay for it.

The menu was equally diverse, ranging from jerk carpaccio and chicken tikka to braised lamb shank with mashed peas. I personally had the tenderloin – yum

Everything about the experience was top notch.

From the food and wine selection, the appetizers (which we ordered nearly one of everything for the group), to the main course and desert – every little detail was focused on the customer experience and getting us to tell others about this wonderful little find.

As we were wrapping up desert (4 and a half hours later) – Cidnee got the final surprise of the night… the bill for everything.

Nice touch: on top of the bill for the night was a stack of business cards so we could all tell our friends and family (which I am gladly doing here).

When it was handed to her at first she had a weird look on her face.  We all thought it was much higher than expected… not expecting it was the opposite.

Seriously, for an experience like this for 8 people it would usually be a fairly pricey dinner.

Not this time.

Cidnee looked puzzled that is was so low, even checking the bill to make sure that everything was added in.

Imagine that… your customers thinking the experience was worth TWICE what it cost them…

actually trying to find ways to pay you more!

Even with the mandatory 18% gratuity added in – the bill was a pleasant surprise.

We all left there happy, a little tipsy from the incredible wine, and raving about what we just experienced.

Now,  I have thought a lot about this night as there were some incredible lessons here for every business:

  • · Work real hard at building word of mouth marketing systems.  Between the 8 of us there, I would bet we each tell 50 people about the experience at The Trough – 400 people will know about it from one single dinner.
  • · Offering high end experiences is not about the flash, glitz or glamour.  This was very unassuming inside and out – it was everything in between that really mattered to us (the food, drinks and services was as good as it gets). Deliver top notch quality where it really matters.
  • · Personalized attention to each and every customer that walks through your door (or buys your products)
  • · Be odd.   Find something you can do to stand out from all the others they could be buying from.  In this case it was the owner.  He was very friendly, but seemed quite quirky in a number of ways – even the way he dressed was somewhat different.
  • · Give them samples and freebies.  Let people try out small samples of your most popular offerings… they WILL order more.
  • · The packaging and presentation of the actual product or service is critical – pay close attention to this.
  • · Just when they think you have already over-delivered – throw in another freebie or two (like the desert samples we got).
  • · Build the experience up so they honestly think it was worth at least twice as much as what they paid.  I will always remember this place – and the look on Cidnee’s face when she realized how much lower it was than expected.
  • · Give them a GOOD story to tell others!  Like I said, this little dinner party of 8 will undoubtedly tell 400 others.
  • · Always be thinking about how you can HELP THEM tell your story.  The stack of business cards was a simple little add-on I rarely see used.
  • · I didn’t like the name – it sounded like a buffet style restaurant – but everything else was exceptional.  If there would be one thing I would recommend they change, it’d be the name.  Then again, maybe that is why this restaurant is doing so well – it, again, is quite odd in a number of ways.
  • · Limit how many you can serve if you are delivering high end experiences.
  • · Last, reward the people that help you deliver. Near the end of the night, the staff was getting a little antsy that we were still there, so the owner gave them each a single glass of their incredible ice wine (which sold for $10 a glass).  The staff was happy to enjoy their refreshments while we got ready to go.

Overall this was an experience to remember.  We will be back and I will be telling lots of people about this experience.

And I plan on implementing many of their ideas into my (completely unrelated) business.

Hope you do too.

To your success,

Troy White

Sep
21

How Grandpa’s $1,000 bar tab increased prospects by 300%

Who are YOU bribing to get as a customer?

Ethical bribes, but still a bribe.

The hypsters out there will tell you that you don’t need to incent people to buy… they will just be attracted by your positive energy or incredible products and will whip out their credit cards for the pleasure to do business with you.

Realists will show you proof that plan is a sure-fire way to failure.

There was a great article I just read in the Huffington Post about a home owner who got FED UP with their realtor lack of results. Most realtors have that hope, wish and meditate on a sale until it happens BS. That’s why 97% of realtors out there make less than the waitress at your local diner.

…which is exactly the type of realtor this home owner was stuck with.

Since JUNE(!) they have had 3 showings of their home.

Less than one a month. Yikes – that is not how you sell a house.

So instead of listening to the renegade-realtor-who-does-things-oh-so-different, they took things into their own hands.

Right across the street was “Grandpas Bar & Grill” – a favorite watering hole for the neighborhood minglers.

And Grandpas place would be a friendly place to eat and drink for anyone who bought this house for sale.

The frustrated home owner had a brilliant insight and offered out of her own pocket a $1,000 bar tab at Grandpas!

Flipping brilliant.

Did it work?

A 300% increase in showings since her new promotion hit the street!

So it worked – not their wonderfully brilliant realtor just has to do half what they are paid to do…close the deal.

“We live in a place where restaurants and bars come within walking distance so we thought this was a way to cross-promote the neighborhood and our homes.”

How does this relate to you?

I hope you can see where I am going with this… if not, you need more help than I can provide :o)

Here are the lessons to be learned:

* Wishing and praying won’t build your business – YOU have to build your business.

* Look for complimentary businesses, products and services you can bundle in with your own products or services.

* Think outside of the basement here – how often have you seen something like this in your city? I doubt if you have ever seen a $1000 bar tab with home purchase offer before. Why not? It makes sense! Or a $1,000 restaurant gift. Or a $1,0000 maid service. Or a $1,000 credit towards movers. When you are selling a home worth a few hundred thousand dollars, a grand out of your own pocket isn’t going to kill you, or the deal. If you are selling a product or service worth $200 – a $50 gift certificate is worth it (especially when you factor in repeat business from the client once you get them into your marketing funnel – right?)

* The economy is still sluggish and people are not spending like they used to – so you had better think up some very innovative ways to get them to notice you, over the hundreds/thousands of others trying to get inside their wallets also.

* Many realtors are clueless when it comes to marketing your home – so pick and choose wisely. See if you can find one who has at least studied SOME direct marketing. It won’t be easy to find (I’ve looked)…but snag one if you find one.

This was a great example of an average everyday homeowner who got fed up with dismal results and took it into their own hands.

Not only have they tripled their prospects…

…the got MASSIVE media attention from this (Huffington Post, NBC Chicago, Sun Times, to name a few). That alone is worth a fortune for both the home owner and for Grandpa’s bar!

Last – she got over the hoping and praying phase that her realtor would perform for her – and she took ACTION to do it herself.

This is a very recent story, so we will have to wait and see how effective it is… but with 300% more prospects to talk to, odds are VERY good someone will buy soon (and they will have a hell of a good story to tell their friends and family about this home they bought which was in all these newspapers!)

Now get busy.

Troy

PS: We are just getting ready to launch the new and improved Cash Flow Calendar for 2012 – 15 months of done-for-you, pre-written marketing campaigns, and a TON of money making tools that you haven’t seen here before.

Watch for it.

In the meantime, there are a number of solutions here to help you grow your sales if they are slow https://smallbusinesscopywriter.com/on-line-store/

Aug
22

Marketing stickiness

marketing-clutter

Does your marketing look like it's buried in the clutter?

11  important rules you need to stick to if you want to succeed in your marketing:

1)      The purpose of your marketing is NOT to showcase your brand, your logo, (it does not need

to be for them to buy something, as it can be for them to take some kind of action like visiting a web page to get something for free)

2)      You MUST learn how to create compelling offers that get them to take those actions.

3)      Each of the marketing campaigns you launch will consist of a minimum of 3 steps.  In other words, when communicating with your clients and prospects, you must send at least 3 different pieces to them in order to call it a properly designed campaign (and one that will actually work and help you achieve goal #1 from above)

4)      No more cutesy sayings and vague one-liners that say and do nothing that take you closer to goal #1. Again, a cute radio ad is useless if it doesn’t generate you leads or make you money.

5)      You will learn how to become a more natural writer, and use those skills to further build on goal #1

6)      Your personality in your marketing is your greatest asset. Don’t hide the fact that you are a real live person, like most business owners do. They try and mask the size of their company… pretending to be a big company.  Putting your face and personality front and center in all your marketing will do more for your sales than anything else you do.

7) Effective advertising rarely looks like advertising.

8)      Effective advertising stops your ideal customer in their tracks and literally forces them to start reading your ad.

9)      Effective advertising always has some form of tracking mechanism in place so you know exactly if it is working, or not.

My first few years into copywriting, I had logged 2,000 hours of writing and studying from the masters (I tracked my hours).

Since discovering this thing called copywriting, I have a whole new world in front of me.  I see why most businesses struggle.  I see why people think marketing doesn’t work. I see why most people think advertising is a waste of money. And I see why some companies go on and accomplish amazing things in record time.

I have had the privilege to work with some incredible people, from all over the world. Movie stars. Bestselling authors. Public speakers. Inventors.  Real estate investors and developers.  Information publishers.  All said and done, there are probably 35+ industries I have helped now.  And have made them millions and millions of dollars in short periods of time.

 

Why do I share this with you? Because just 7 years ago I had no idea what marketing was or how it worked.  Today, I am an internationally-known entrepreneur who has helped thousands of people turn their businesses around.  Every week, my articles go out to thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners spanning the globe.  And I absolutely love seeing the look in a client’s eye when they hit their first grand slam in marketing. The pay doesn’t hurt either.

If I can do it, so can you.  I failed English in high school and university.  But I quickly discovered that real marketing doesn’t care about proper grammar.  As you will see in this article, real marketing breaks many of the rules of proper English.

Yet it works… and the results speak for themselves.

 

 

I LOVE your comments… good and bad.  Let me know what I can do to help you grow your business faster and more profitably.

Troy

 

Jun
14

Canada Post’s Secret… Uncovered and Exploited by the USPS

I have long been preaching the power of using direct mail to complement your online marketing efforts.

Why?

Because ‘everyone’ is NOT online.

Because ‘everyone’ do NOT prefer email to print mail.

Because ‘everyone’ is not on Facebook and Twitter.

There is a huge opportunity to leverage the dinosaurs we call our postal service into your marketing.

And the United States Postal System just figured out one of Canada Post’s little secrets.

Yes, for many years now, astute marketers were using Unaddressed Admail in Canada. Direct to the door mail for 11.9 cents per household.

Fantastic for lead generation!

But until recently, the USPS didn’t have a service that would work like Canada Posts Unaddressed Direct Mail tools.

…Until now…


What it means to everyone is that there are now more options south of the 49th parallel.

And it also means it is TIME to get serious about using this tool.

If you need help – let me know.

If you want a webinar around this – let me know.

This is a fantastic tool for geo targeting of your prospects and clients.

Hope you are using it!!

Let me know your thoughts.

(I also have a product called Direct Mail Detox
that you will find helpful for generating QUALIFIED leads)

Troy

PS: I should also share the fact that I have seen some incredible results using this next-to-free direct mail tool. One client in a very competitive, commodity type business used a flier I did up and we used Unaddressed Admail to businesses – and got an incredible 12:1 return on their investment. Another sold a number of high end home products (average price of each piece if $800) for a whopping $300 investment in mailing and postal services.

This is a great way to find leads and make sales. Definitely worth your time to test.