The Three Month Vacation Podcast: Online Small Business|Marketing Strategy Plan| Sean D'Souza | Psychotactics

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Why do others seem more talented than we are? Is talent innate? Is it just practice? Or is there something else. Incredibly the key to talent is in the way you define talent. Change the definition and you see it in a whole new light. In Part 1 of this episode on talent, you'll see how mere definitions change the way you see the world of talent (and how it can get you talented faster than before).

Direct download: 149-ReRun_5-The_Talent_Journey_and_How_to_Get_There.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm +12

Envy isn't something we talk about, or even to admit to openly. And yet it's the one thing that all of us feel. We feel that others are going places and doing more than us. We even feel we need their spot and somehow that spot belongs to us. So how do we overcome this intense envy before it kills us? Find out how even the superstars of the world have to deal with envy. Yes, even people who seemingly have unimaginable wealth and success.

Direct download: 148-ReRun_4-How_To_Deal_With_Envy_In_Business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm +12

The leap may seem physical, but it's mostly mental. In your head you don't know if it's the right time to jump into being an entrepreneur. What about the mortgage, the family and the bills? And how do you deal with the fear? How do you stay steadfast to your vision? And what about focus? These are the questions that spin in your head over and over again. This episode isn't an answer to your question. No one can answer the questions, but you. However, it helps you understand how to keep true to your vision, how to keep your focus in a distracted world. And then, how to take that leap.

Direct download: 147-ReRun-3-How_To_Make_the_Leap_from_a_Job_into_Entrepreneurship.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm +12

Trying to come up with a suitable name for your book or info-product seems like a nightmare. What if you're wrong? What if the name isn't well received? However, there's a way to make your book really stand out. And guess what? It's not the title that matters. It's the sub-title. Find out why we've been tackling things the wrong way and how to get a superb name for your book or information product/course before the day is done.

Direct download: 146-ReRun-2-How_To_Name_Your_Information_Product.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm +12

Most of us know of the concept of the "guardian angel". They come into our lives and they take care of us. The "kicking angel" is quite different. The angel shows up just to push us over the edge and then he/she disappears from our lives. How do we know when we're being kicked? And what "kicks" do we pay attention to and what do we ignore?

Direct download: 145-ReRun-1-Why_Kicking_Angels_Help_Create_Momentum_in_Business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm +12

Can you really double your sales of a product you've created a while ago? And why are satellite products so very useful to clients and profitable to your info-product business? In this episode we look at info-products as we'd look at a piece of software like Photoshop. Find out the magic that already exists within your info-product and why you don't have to keep crazily searching for newer clients all the time.


It might seem that a client is extremely important when creating an information product. After all, you're getting them to tell you exactly what she needs. However, more often than not, this method is a recipe for disaster. Even so, the client is extremely useful in another phase. So when do you include the client? And when do you leave her out? Let's find out in this two part series on info-product creation.


When you create your business, product  or service uniqueness, do you need to test it?

Incredible as it seems there's little point in doing any testing at all.

In this episode you'll find out why testing is practically impossible and how instead of wasting time on research, you should follow three steps to make sure your uniqueness occupies a permanent part of your client's brain.

In this episode Sean talks about

Step 1: You have to consistently get the word out.
Step 2: You have to state the position of the competition.
Step 3: You have to state your own position.

Read it online: How to Effectively Test Your Uniqueness

==========

When you have settled on your uniqueness, how can you test it?

What is likely to happen to a woman's bikini, when she's surfing?
“If you're a woman, surfing with a bikini was slightly out of the question.You'd be out in the waves, walk out of the water and literally you've lost your bottoms,” said the business owner, Anna Jerstrom. So Jerstrom decided to create sexy, bright bikinis. And the uniqueness? Bikinis that stay on, no matter how rough the surf. And with this single-minded pursuit, investment banker, Anna Jerstrom started a business called Calavera.

Wouldn't she need to test the uniqueness before she began?

In almost every case, testing a uniqueness is completely unnecessary. One of the biggest reasons why you shouldn't be bothered with testing a uniqueness is because you're unlikely to have any competition.

Let's take the uniqueness of Calavera, for example. Why did Jerstrom start the company? Surely she should have been able to find some bikinis that didn't slide off in the surf. Even with the power of the Internet at her disposal, she was still running into dead ends. It means that there will be hundreds, if not thousands of customers who are also finding it hard to get a decent product.

That line of thought may not sound reasonable to you, but let's look at the alternative, shall we?

Let's say you decide to sell a product. Maybe it's an information product that's based on presentations. When you look on Amazon.com, you're likely to find at least 5,000 books on presentations. Do you really want to go through every sales page trying to find out what's unique about the presentation product?

Clients don't care about doing such extensive research either. They just want to show up to your business whether online or offline, and they want you to explicitly tell them why you are different from the rest of the competition. Whether you have a product, training or a service, your uniqueness doesn't need testing, simply because it's impossible to do a test.

But there's another good reason why you shouldn't bother to test

The biggest reason why you should just go ahead and run your uniqueness is because the competition is lazy or confused, or both. Most companies are clearly at sea when asked what makes them unique. If you have a uniqueness factor in place, that puts you way ahead of your competitors. However, there's also another reason why you can go ahead quite happily.

Even if your competition has a uniqueness, it's not much use unless they use it on a frequent basis

A uniqueness itself is not enough for clients to remember what is being said. Volvo is known for their safe cars because they ran endless ads about safety. Dominos made a billion dollars selling pizza because of their “30 minutes or it's free” slogan. Think for a second about your competitors right now. Can you quickly bring up their uniqueness?

It's not enough to have a uniqueness, you have to do so much more

In fact you have to take three steps to make sure the uniqueness does its job properly.

Step 1: You have to consistently get the word out.
Step 2: You have to state the position of the competition.
Step 3: You have to state your own position.


Let's go through the steps—To Getting Your Uniqueness Recognised

Step 1: Get the word out

This means a uniqueness can't just sit around. It has to be repeated in some form or the other, over and over again. If you've listened to the “Three Month Vacation” podcast, for example, when I talk about 5000bc, I will repeat the same thing almost ad nauseam. I will say, “5000bc is a place where introverts meet because they feel safe”.

The same message will be sent out in articles, in books—in just about every medium possible. And the message never changes much, if at all. Keeping that message consistent is what is critical. If you keep changing the message simply because you're bored of it, you've lost more than half the uniqueness battle. You want to make sure you get the uniqueness as simple as possible and then continue to mention it everywhere.

When you consider that you may have more than one product or service, you have to pick your battles

For instance, the uniqueness of Psychotactics is “tiny increments”. But often the overall company uniqueness is of little value to the client, because they are more focused on the product or service, instead. However, at Psychotactics, we have many products, so I pick the uniqueness depending on the medium.

On the podcast, I will consistently end with the uniqueness of 5000bc

However, while I'm explaining something in the podcast or in an article, I will make sure to talk about the uniqueness of Psychotactics courses and how they're not just information, but about skill (see, I did it again). You don't want to bring up the uniqueness of every single product or service. You want to make sure you have a few entry points.

For us at Psychotactics, those entry points that need to be stressed are The Brain Audit, 5000bc and the courses. It's not like the rest of the products and services don't matter. They do, but the uniqueness of those products and services are on the sales page or sales pitch itself.

It's important to have your doorways

Just rattling off a dozen uniquenesses for a dozen products doesn't get any message across to clients. Pick two or three of your services or products—or if you like, the uniqueness of your company. And then keep hammering them home in pre-selected areas of your marketing.

But that's only the first part of making sure your uniqueness is heard. To make sure you get the point across, you have to state the position of the competition.

Step 2: Stating the position of the competition

Ever noticed how shiny Harley Davidson bikes tend to be? The reason for their shiny nature is probably the diligence of the bike owner, but equally, it's how the bike has been positioned in the Harley owner's mind. Harley owners have been known to truck their bikes across and then ride them locally.

After all, the bikes have to be in pristine condition at all times. The BMW bike owners, on the other hand, seem to favour the dust and dirt, pushing their bikes across all sorts of punishing conditions.

Even if the above description of BMW vs. Harley is not 100% accurate, it demonstrates the difference

And uniqueness is a point of difference. To make sure you get the point of difference across, you need to have the competition clearly in your sights. If you have a million-dollar promotion budget, you can continue to mention your slogan, but if you're a small business, you tend to get very few chances. Which is why it's important to bring the competition when you're describing your own point of uniqueness.

So first, you have to pick your “enemy.”

The enemy may not be a company. It could be a way of doing things. So when I say, “other courses give you a money back guarantee, but no guarantee of skill”, I'm not taking on anyone in particular. I'm simply taking on an aspect of online courses. If you were to say, “other yoga classes have a lot of yoga routines, but don't necessarily pay attention to what can injure you long after you've left the yoga class.” Or to take a third example involving microphones: Other microphones pick up unwanted noise and reflections, in a bad-sounding, untreated room.”

Once you've defined the enemy's characteristics you know what you're battling against

No doubt the enemy will have many flaws, but your job is to pick one. Uniqueness is about “one thing”, and the moment you pick the opponent's flaw, you can easily position yourself against them. Which takes us to the third step, doesn't it?

Step 3: You have to state your own position

Your position is the exact opposite of the flaw you've picked.
If they work too slowly, you work quickly.
If they give you 200 pages of information, you give only the ten pages needed.
If they sell ripe bananas, you sell them green, so they don't ripen too quickly.

With the Calavera bikinis, Anna Jerstrom's enemy was “the terribly fitting bikinis”, and her position was “bikinis that stay on, no matter how rough the surf.” You can pick up anything off your desk and ask yourself why you use that particular product. And the same goes for any service as well. Or company for that matter.

When I give a presentation, for example, I want to stand out from the rest of the presenters, so I talk about how businesses make a gazillion dollars, but we make more than enough, and we take three months off every year, not working, but completely on vacation. When you state the competitor's position and contrast it with yours, you can see the lights going off in the prospect's brain.

Which brings us to that testing bit again: how do you know if your uniqueness is truly unique?

It's the nodding of the head. When you state your uniqueness, the clients tend to see the difference between your competitor and you. And you get this smile, this slight nod of the head. You know you've struck a chord with the client. Oh, and there's the echo.

When you ask the client what you do, they should be able to echo your words perfectly

Listen for the echo. Are they missing out important bits? If they are, your uniqueness may not be as simple as you think and you'll need to edit it a bit. If they're totally off tangent, then you haven't made your point as precise as it could be. If you run into your client a month or six months from now and they can echo your uniqueness perfectly, then you've got a uniqueness that has resonated with them, and it's truly a point of difference.

Finally, a lot of uniqueness comes about when you're not expecting it

That line about how our courses are different from every other online course wasn't something I figured out while sitting down and going through this exercise. I probably said it in response to a question on an interview or when trying to explain what makes our courses different. Over times, I made sure to bring it up often so that it got a bit of an edge.

A lot of your uniqueness is going to pop up when you least expect it, so make sure you write it down when you hear yourself saying something interesting about your product or service. Nonetheless, as a starting point, defining the enemy is a very crucial exercise. It's only when you define the enemy that you can clarify your own position in a memorable manner.

To get your uniqueness really charging down the road you need to consider all three points:

Step 1: You have to consistently get the word out.
Step 2: You have to state the position of the competition.
Step 3: You have to state your own position.

And that's how the uniqueness fits—just like a Calavera bikini.

Oh, one more thing: Calavera closed down its business in 2017. They decided they wanted to do something different and after a good five years of running the business, they decided to shut shop.

P.S. What would it be like to stand out from the competition in a way that customers choose you over everyone else?

And what if you were to raise your prices, and they still kept coming? Have you ever wondered what it might feel like to not be me-too?
Here are six goodies on uniqueness
Free Goodie No. 1: Uniqueness: Why We Get It Wrong
Free Goodie No .2: Getting to Uniqueness Part One and Two
Free Goodie No. 3: Uniqueness: The Importance of the Mundane and the Seemingly Uninteresting.
Free Goodie No. 4: Uniqueness mistakes and how to avoid them-video
Free Goodie No. 5: Uniqueness: The Difference (and Resemblance) Between Uniqueness and the Other Red Bags
Free Goodie No. 6: Uniqueness: Do You Need To Carve Out a Uniqueness For ‘Every’ Product or Service?
Get the goodies here: How to get to your uniqueness

Direct download: 142-Do_You_Need_To_Test_Your_Uniqueness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30pm +12

How do you position your products and services?

Finding your uniqueness is incredibly difficult, yet some companies do it consistently well. How do you learn from their ability to position their products and services?

Also, do you really need a uniqueness for every business product and service? The answer is “yes” and this episode will reveal why that's the case.

============

In this episode Sean talks about

Part 1: How do you go about finding uniqueness for your business/product/service?
Part 2: Do different products/services need their own uniquenesses?
Part 3: When you have settled on your uniqueness, how can you test it?

 

Read in online: How To Quickly Create Your Uniqueness

============

A patch of grass, is a patch of grass, is a patch of grass, right?

Take for instance the patch of grass near the volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania

Every year around February, the wildebeest calves are born, all at the same time. If you look at where the calves seem to graze, it's on one patch of grass—while completely ignoring the rest of the think.

This particular grass, which stretches for miles, has nine times the phosphorus and five times the calcium as the next patch. The enriched grass nourishes the young calves and gets them healthy for the great migration that is to follow. In other words, you could easily call this grass unique, right?

In business we rarely have this luxury of inbuilt uniqueness

Instead we have to go out and find our uniqueness, or create one. And this is where we seem to run into a lot of trouble. When we look at our products or services, they seem remarkably similar to what the competition is offering.

We too could do with a bit of phosphorus and calcium in our offerings, we believe. Contrary to what we think, we all have an incredibly powerful ability to distinguish ourselves from any competitors.

Yet, the moment we decide to work on our uniqueness, we paint ourselves into a corner

We don't know if we're supposed to find a uniqueness or create one. The pressure builds until we convince ourselves that the exercise of uniqueness is much too tedious, and it's better to use our energy in other areas of marketing and sales. Even as we're veering away from uniqueness, we realise that we pick products and services precisely for their uniqueness. Running away from the issue isn't going to help us move ahead. We have to turn and face it head on.

And here's how you do it. Let's cover three elements:

How do you go about finding uniqueness for your business/product/service?
Do different products/services need their own uniquenesses?
When you have settled on your uniqueness, how can you test it?


Element 1: How do you go about finding uniqueness for your business/product/service?

Back in 2003, we started a little membership site called 5000bc.

It wasn't meant to be a membership site, but so many clients wanted to discuss business issues that it made sense to have a site. At first, it had almost no content, and I spent a good few weeks putting in a dozen articles or so. It was the early 2000's, remember? I was able to get in touch with almost anyone on e-mail and get their permission to use their content. So I contacted billionaire, Mark Cuban, best-selling author and speaker, Wayne Dyer and other such personalities. And so, 5000bc began on its journey.

But 5000bc had no clearly-defined uniqueness

When you're starting out a business, it's hard just to figure out what you're doing. You're trying so hard to find yourself that finding the uniqueness for a product or service seems implausible, if not impossible. Nonetheless, over the years, as 5000bc grew, we went through the process of interior design. We'd add something here, something there and soon it became quite distinct in itself. Even so, we couldn't figure out what was unique.

This is the part where you turn to the outside world

We sent out a bunch of e-mails to clients and time, and time again they'd come up with the same response. They'd say something like this—and this is an actual quote: My favourite part about 5000bc is the character of the community. From knowing that you will personally answer my questions to knowing I can post my own answers without getting ridiculed is really nice.

I'm just getting started, but once my business is rolling, I will certainly pay it back to the community. I've never seen anyone put anyone else down in the Cave.

But then they might add something like this

I also like the depth of content. Before I came to 5000bc, I was very confused about the direction I want to go in for starting my business.  Ever since joining 5000bc, and reading the content I've been getting a lot of clarity and confidence.  I'm no longer running in circles, but moving towards my goals.  I really appreciated the members sharing tips and comments on my post about “getting rid of negative thoughts”.

I also like that people hold you accountable to what you have entered in Taking Action Forum.

See the problem yet?

In that answer, there are several points, and seemingly none of them co-relate with each other. Let's go over them in bullet form:
– The character of the community (you can ask questions without getting ridiculed.
– The depth of the content that gives me confidence and clarity.
– Being held accountable.

But if a single e-mail gets three points, we already have three tangents, don't we?

If we were to poll everyone the list would be pretty exhaustive. We'd get a list that's akin to this:
– Kind, helpful community
– Restricted membership
– The philosophy ensures helpfulness

– Vanishing reports on various topics that may not be found elsewhere.
– The critique lounge
– The common language of The Brain Audit.

– The that me, Sean, is always around sometimes 15-20 times a day.
– That a question asked by clients may end up with a series of articles written especially for that client.

The list goes on and on and the longer the list, the bigger the uniqueness headache

Which is when you randomly pick one element from the list. In the case of 5000bc, enough clients mentioned that they sign up for a membership site and the owners of the site are never around. They just dump information but aren't around to clarify any queries and any such clarification has to be done at an additional price. We took that information—the fact that I'm around and answer the questions—as the uniqueness.

If that seemed like a logical uniqueness, it's not

The Vanishing Reports, for one, are extremely well-regarded. Clients consistently like the Vanishing Reports because they consider them to be yummy bites of knowledge, focused on a single topic. As a result, they don't overwhelm you, and as a member, you get it free of cost, until they disappear. Or you could take the fact that the philosophy of the community ensures that there's no trolling, no pitching of their own business, and introverts—especially introverts—feel very safe when asking questions.

Any of the elements in the list above could easily become the unique factor of 5000bc. And yet, the way to go about choosing a uniqueness is to only pick one—any one. And once you've picked you to need to elaborate why that uniqueness is so vital. It's the elaboration that makes it unique, not necessarily the element itself. Without the elaboration, nothing is unique, or rather everything is unique.

I call this concept the “Attenborough Effect.”

The “Attenborough Effect.”

A forest contains thousands of species of plants, animals and insects. To try and cover them all is plainly a waste of time. Which is why naturalist and TV presenter, David Attenborough, does something dramatic. In one particular video, he falls to the floor and focuses on a single plant: the Venus Fly Trap. The act of dropping to the forest floor is a moment of pure drama, but that's not what you should be getting your attention. Instead, notice that he's ignored all the rest of the plants, animals and insects.

All of them, but the Venus Fly Trap.

This is what I call the Attenborough Effect and it's also the lesson as to how you need to choose your own uniqueness

Your current business may do many things well, but trying to cover your own “forest floor” is a waste of time. Clients can't pay attention to many points at the same time. Even two points are far too many as you noticed when we used the 5000bc example. You couldn't have “helpful community” and “Vanishing Reports” at the same time.

A choice has to be made and while it may appear to you like the choice was very precise, it only seems that way because of the way in which it is presented. Walking around in the forest, the Venus Fly Trap may never get your attention, but by focusing the camera on one—to the exclusion of everything else—is how uniqueness is created.

However, all of this assumes that you already have a business, a product or service

And that's a dangerous assumption to make for a specific reason. All of us, without exception, will have new products or services in future. And as we'll learn in the second section of this piece, every one of the products or services will need their own uniqueness. So how are we to create a uniqueness when we don't have the luxury of hindsight? The way forward is to create your uniqueness. The question that arises is “how do you do that?” How do you pick your uniqueness?

The answer lies in a concept we've covered many times before called a “superpower”

Let's say you're conducting a workshop to learn how to acquire “X-Ray vision”. When the clients walk into the room, what are they expecting to learn? And when they leave? The obvious answer is “X-Ray vision”, isn't it? Let's assume 5000bc didn't have Vanishing Reports. Wait, we're not assuming, are we, because 5000bc didn't have Vanishing Reports.

When we started out, we looked at other websites and there was no concept like Vanishing Reports. So we just invented it. However, let's say everyone suddenly decides to create Vanishing Reports. What are you going to do in such a situation?

You add a little bit of extra description to your offering.

Maybe your vanishing reports are “just 10 pages long.”
Maybe they're 50 pages, in-depth reports.
Maybe they're full of cartoons which are fun to read.
Maybe the report is not just a report but a stage by stage how-to document.

You see what's happening here?

You're deciding in advance what superpower you want to bestow upon your client. You are deciding you want to give them X-Ray vision, or vanishing reports, or specially organised groups. You can simply decide what you want to focus on and then go right ahead and invent your uniqueness. Every feature you see in a new phone model, new software, new product or service is merely an invention.

When sitting down to create your product or service, you will need to do some brainstorming

What features and benefits will it have? And the moment you make the list, you have a choice. Simply pick something that's interesting and elaborate upon it. If you've noticed, that's the second time, or possibly the third that the term “elaborate” has been brought up. We'll cover more about “elaboration” and what to elaborate as we work our way through this piece.

For now, either pick something like David Attenborough, or invent something you'd like to see in your product or service. And that will get the ball rolling. That is your first step on the road to creating uniqueness for your products and services.

Element 2: Does Every Product or Service Need Its Own Uniqueness?

When you look at any family on the planet, what you're actually seeing is an example of products and services

Let's take the eldest child. And let's suggest his uniqueness is that he's calm. Let's paint the second child as having a wild nature. The third may well have an inquisitive nature. If the family were to extend almost endlessly, every child in that family would have a different character, attribute or what we'd call uniqueness.

Therefore something similar applies to your family of products and services too. Yes, your company may have a unique character, but it's equally important for every product or service to have a uniqueness as well.

Let’s take an example. Let’s examine The Brain Audit, for instance.

Did The Brain Audit always have a uniqueness?

No, it didn’t. When we started, we had no uniqueness at all. Luckily we got over 800 testimonials, and that became the uniqueness. Now admittedly, once you have 800 testimonials, your product should stand out quite a bit, shouldn't it? And yes, the product will stand out, provided the format doesn't change in any way.

But The Brain Audit went from Version 1.0 to 2.0—and then to Version 3.2

And this is where the problem lies. If a customer has bought Version 1.0, why bother buying Version 2.0? Or for that matter Version 3.2.? And what if we were to bring out Version 4.0?

It's where uniqueness comes waltzing right through the door.  Many, if not most of our clients have bought several versions of The Brain Audit. And the reason is simple: They can see why version differs from the next. And this difference is simply a factor of uniqueness.

When you define the uniqueness, you automatically get clients interested. And not just existing customers, but new ones as well.

It’s more than likely that the new clients haven't run into The Brain Audit

So for them the uniqueness is pitched against other books of a similar nature. Why should they spend their hard-earned money on this product vs. some other marketing-based product?

And that’s not all…

Let’s say we did put out a version of The Brain Audit on Amazon.com. And that price is just $9.99. And the product on the Psychotactics website is $119. What causes the client to buy the $119 version? Once again we have the uniqueness come into play. If a client gets a lot more on our website vs. what’s available on Amazon. Then there’s a point of difference.

When a thick, luscious layer of uniqueness is applied, price and reluctance retreat quickly

But you can’t just depend on the client to figure all of this out. So you have to clearly define the uniqueness. You have to be able to tell the difference between an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 4s. The Brain Audit Version 2.0 and The Brain Audit Version 3.2. The Amazon offering and the website offering. Because in reality, every product or every offering needs to really stand out from the “hoi-polloi” even if the “hoi-polloi” is just a different version of your very own product or service.

In short, every product and service needs a uniqueness

Just like a family member, every product or service is different. And even if you have the very same product, but in different formats or versions, you're still going to have to differentiate it so that clients know why they should buy one product over the other.

And this takes us to the third point- When you have settled on your uniqueness, how can you test it?

Element 3: When you have settled on your uniqueness, how can you test it?

 

Direct download: 141-How_To_Create_Your_Uniqueness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm +12

Information product sales don't always increase with promotions alone

Often they increase by giving away content that you could easily sell.

But shouldn't you stick to giving away tiny reports? What if you were told to give away a big product instead? Would that reap any rewards?

Find out in this episode on giving as a strategy.

----------------

In this episode Sean talks about

Part 1: Small value giveaway
Part 2: Big value giveaway
Part 3: How to structure the giveaway and how often

Click to read online: https://www.psychotactics.com/giveaways-increase-sales/

----------------

n South Africa, there's a flower that only one insect can access.

Orphium flowers don't contain nectar. Instead, they provide bees with pollen. Yet, not every insect can access the pollen. If you look closely at an orphium flower, you'll find the stamens are twisted and this, in turn, prevents the pollen from being stolen by visiting insects. Only one insect has access to the pollen in the Orphium flower. That insect is the female carpenter bee.

When she approaches the Orphium flower, her flapping wings make a particular buzzing sound. Yet that sound won't make a difference to the flower. The stamens remain locked. At which point the bee changes the beat of her wings creating what we'd call the C note. That simple act gets the flower to seemingly unlock and shower the bee with pollen.

In our business, we often seem to be like the other insects.

We don't appear to be able to hit that C note and unlock greater products sales. Yet just like the wing beat of the carpenter bee, you can achieve a consistent level of success. So what's that note that you have to hit? And how often?

Let's find out:

1) Small value giveaway
2) Big value giveaway
3) How to structure the giveaway and how often

1) Why Small Value Giveaways or Products Work

If you were a rooster, would you be able to crow at any time?

You'd think so, wouldn't you? After all, it seems like roosters cock-a-doodle-doo at any given time. In the journal, Scientific Reports, a study showed that roosters crow in order of seniority. First, the top ranking rooster initiates the crowing, followed by subordinates, all in descending order of social rank.

In fact, when the top ranking rooster is removed from the group, the second-ranking rooster initiates the crowing. At all times the social rank has to be adhered to maintain the hierarchy.

Fortunately, such a hierarchy doesn't have to maintained when trying to increase product sales. You can start off with a small value giveaway.

So what's a small or low-value giveaway?

When you get to the website at Psychotactics.com, you're likely to have run into a giveaway called the “Headline Report”. It's why headlines fail, and how to avoid that failure. To date, over 55,000 copies of that report have been downloaded.

That report isn't a top-ranking, highly complex document. Back in the early 2000s, when we first launched a pre-Psychotactics site, I wrote an article about headlines, which turned out to be very popular.

And by this point you're probably thinking, “Ah, it's a report, there's nothing new about a report.”

You'd be right if you thought that way because the report itself doesn't do much. However, if you take a report that gets a client from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible, then that report becomes pretty magical.

Which is what the Headline Report does. In under 10 minutes and in about as many pages, it takes you from not being very confident with headlines to getting a pretty good understanding of the working and the implementation of the headline.

All over the Psychotactics website there are tiny reports of this nature

They're all small value giveaways, but they do one thing and do it well. They get you from A to B in a big hurry. The hurry part is important because people are swamped with information. If you're able to create change quickly, they're more likely to decide to take the next step and implement what you've shown them.

Once they implement, they're hooked. I remember a client who came to our workshop, spent $3000 for himself and his wife, purely based on the strength of the report.

But it's not just reports that matter; videos or audio can do the same task

Last week I listened to a podcast about a book by Tim Harford. To date, I've read one book and am in the process of going through the other. The podcast isn't high value, is it? It's free, but the same concept of the podcast can be used on your site. The short video, the short audio, the tiny report, even a string of slides that explain a concept. Your starting point should usually be an appetiser, not a full meal.

At Psychotactics we have appetisers all around the place

It might be an excerpt of a book or some reports that are extremely useful. They all serve to get clients to show up, then sign up on a consistent basis. In fact, our goal—and pay close attention—is to have a report that's suited to every type of article. It's a pretty extensive exercise but think about it.

If you're reading an article on resistance, what would you prefer a report on? Resistance, or overcoming resistance, right? The same concept would apply to any page of your website. Which means that if you bundle up even a few of your best Point A to Point B articles, you should be able to have a few reports ready in a few weeks, at best a few months.

The low-value giveaways don't need to be restricted to just the giveaway on your front page

They can be all sorts of little audios, videos, or any information that is of value to the client. And they cut through the hierarchy. We all believe that clients need to read our book or attend a workshop. No, they don't. They just need a tiny bit of stuff that they can consume.

So why is this consumption bit so very important?

When a client can finish and implement something, they usually come back for more. Which is why it then pays to have not just free, but also low-value products. When you look at Psychotactics, you'll notice that we sell The Brain Audit for $9.99.

There are also other products that have a lower value and are priced at $29 or $39. They're not exactly cheap, but when compared with some of the $3000 products they do come across as lower value. In fact, if you look closer, we even have a button that says, “products under $50”. Clients want to test the waters without too much of a risk. When they find value—and by value I mean they can implement everything smoothly and elegantly—they come back for more.

Nonetheless, free or lower value products are not the only way to go. Which is why you need to have something of high value to give away. Give away? Yes, give away. Let's look at how the high-value products work as well.

2) Let's look at how the high-value products work as well. Big Value Giveaway

Did you know that the modern seat belt was invented by an aviation engineer who worked on ejector seats?

In 1959, it's not like cars didn't have seat belts—they did. But the seat belts were two-point waist restraints, which in car crashes, harmed rather than helped the driver and passengers. Which is when Volvo engineer, Nils Bohlin stepped up to the plate and invented the three-point seat belt—the kind we use today. It was such a remarkable safety feature that Volvo would have made a big pile of money on patents alone.

Instead, Volvo gave it away.

We often believe that we should sell high-value products

However, you may find, as we did, that giving away high-value products can be an incredibly powerful way to build trust and get repeat clients.

On the Psychotactics website is a product called The Brain Alchemy Masterclass which is priced around $2300. The product shows you the core of how to start and build your business, and it's easy enough to get to the sales page and buy the product. Yet, from time to time we give away the product to the entire list.

Another product is the Website Masterclass

This product digs deep into not just websites, but the psychology of what creates “religions” to work. In doing so, it takes you on the magic carpet through the major world religions, Harley Davidson, Football and other such “religions”.

You realise why some marketers never have to put crazy countdown clocks or dump pop-ups on their website. That without any fuss or hoopla you can create a business where clients buy because their trust in you is infinite. Would you hold onto such a product? And yet, a few years ago, we gave it away to those who were members of 5000bc—and no, there was no catch involved.

Giving away a big product seems to be a foolhardy exercise

Why give something away when you can sell it? We've found that giving away a chunk of what we have has been beneficial for our business. At Psychotactics, we have over 20 products, and when we give away big chunks, we've found it builds an enormous amount of goodwill, which, believe it or not, turns to greater sales.

Bear in mind that while this article is clearly suggesting that you should use this giveaway as a strategy, our goal was not originally to garner a greater profit. Our goal was to give back since we'd already received so much. And this goal was stated way back in 2004, when the company was just over a year old. Even so, you'd be happy to know that giving away stuff you can sell, does lead to a substantial growth in profits.

In The Brain Alchemy Masterclass, we cover the early version of The Brain Audit

Yet, the moment clients go through the course, they end up buying the new version of The Brain Audit. And they also buy The Brain Audit workshop. They then join 5000bc, our membership site and end up on online courses.

Consider that a Psychotactics course is quite expensive compared with most marketing courses out there. And if you're doing an online, live, guided course, you are promised skill, but no money back guarantee. So what causes clients to sign up in a tearing hurry? Why do the courses fill up in less than an hour? One of the big reasons is the big giveaway.

But what if you don't have any big products?

No one starts off their business with big products, and yet in time you'll be likely to do a series of videos, or possibly a workshop that you record. Maybe you'll do a bunch of seminars on a particular topic. It's likely you don't have that product in place right now, and even when you get to it, you might not be that keen to give it away.

We had waited at least six years before we gave away our product and another three before we gave away the next. You have to be comfortable with giving away a big chunk of product. Nonetheless, bear in mind that the marketplace gets noisier and crazier by the minute and your best bet is to get clients to trust your work earlier than later. The sooner you can give away a big product, the better. It might even be a good idea to create a big product just to give it away.

If you giveaway big products, will clients ever want to pay?

I have an e-mail software that I use to keep my inbox down to zero. It's called Spark (and it's for the Mac). I've used a lot of software to maintain my inbox because unlike most people; I don't outsource e-mails. And right now Spark does an excellent job. There's just one problem. All the e-mail software I've had before has not been free.

It hasn't been expensive, but they've charged me between $20-$40 overall. This one is a pure giveaway. That makes me really nervous because you can't run a business without charging for it. I'm hoping they can take some money off me as soon as possible.

It may sound bizarre to you, but not all clients are not over eager to get free stuff all the time

There are those who will take endlessly, but there are enough clients who want to pay. If you create good info-products, you will always have clients who'll pay good money to get whatever you put out. Take the case of all the free information you see around you on a daily basis. You'll see entire videos on YouTube, or run into books that are priced at a tiny fee, or even free. A book, by the way, is a big info-product. The book or video then directs you to higher priced info-products or consulting.

Which brings up the next question: Should you structure the giveaway? If so, how? And how often should you give something away? Let's find out in the next section.

3) How to structure the giveaway

Have you walked into a store where some of the goods are locked up and not accessible to customers?

Many years ago, we used to do workshops in Campbell, California—primarily it's because that's where Renuka's sister used to live. And while we were in the U.S. it was always a good idea to do some shopping.

On one of the shopping trips, I wanted to buy a rainproof jacket. Not just any old jacket, but something that would keep me super dry on days when it was super-wet. The logical choice for this outdoor gear was REI, the outdoor gear store. And guess where my prized rain jacket was to be found?

Yes, you probably guessed correctly

It was in a glass case, which happened to be locked. The brand I was looking for, Arcteryx, had a high price tag and there it was, sitting where it could be seen, but not touched. And that's approximately how you need to treat your own big value giveaways. It needs to have a barrier between you and the client, wherever possible and there's a good reason why.

The reason? It's easier to sell something expensive than to give it away free of charge

Think about it for a second. Let's say someone drove up to your house, knocked on your door and gave you the keys to a brand new car. What's your reaction? You should be jumping for joy, but this person who just gave you the car is a stranger.

There's absolutely no reason to trust his generosity. Instead of dancing around the room, you're trying to shut the door in his face, aren't you? Without setting up the barrier and anticipation, even a big give-away will fall flat on its face.

At Psychotactics we go through a routine as though we're selling a high-value product

Yes, the product is still free, but that doesn't mean you don't put up the barriers. When we give away a high-value product, we make the client go through a series of actions. This might involve going on a waiting list, then spreading out the sequence of e-mails so that the product is delivered in stages.

And for some giveaways, we've even got members to pitch in and help out with the work. In short, you shouldn't just dole out your high-value product and should take all the care and effort to treat it like a high-end product. It means a lot of work on your part. Lists to set up, e-mails to write—yup, no one said this would be easy. But when you go through the trouble of running a campaign for a “free” product, the client is in a better position to perceive the value.

What you also need to know is that low-value products can have the same intensity of drama

Just because it's not a high-end info-product, doesn't mean you can't roll it out to the sound of drums and bugles. Let's say I were writing a small report on “how to write perfect headlines every time”, there are two options.

You could get the report right away, without any fuss, or you could sign up in anticipation for the information when it is finally released. Which isn't to say that all small value giveaways need to have pomp. Some of them can just be given away, just as you'd do with a YouTube video or an article.

Even so, most of the items on our site have barriers

To get to a specific type of audio or video or report, you have to sign up. This, in turn, enables us to send more goodies to the client or to inform them about related products or services. If you can't get in touch with a client or can't remind them to buy something, there's a likelihood your info-products will sell, but having those contact details and the permission enables you to keep in touch on a fairly constant basis.

Finally, it's the strength of your info-product that really matters

Many clients will use different e-mail addresses and may not see the follow-up e-mails you send. Which is why your info-product itself, whether big or small, has to deliver the goods. It's not always sales, sales and more sales that matter. In many, if not most cases, generosity matters to an even greater extent. Be generous, and kind, and you'll find that clients are very responsive as well.

Oh and be selective in your giving

We give away products from time to time, not all the time. Once or twice a year, or even longer is a good strategy for a large product. For smaller products, it's going to depend on the type of info-product. I'll give away a report at the end of a podcast or maybe something embedded in the middle of an article or right at the end of the article. In short, even when we're giving away something, we're making sure clients invest in reading, watching or listening before finding the treasure.

Giving is a good feeling.

Do it with passion, but also with structure and you'll get rewards.
Best of all, it will lower risk and increase info-product sales. It's a really warm and fuzzy way to run a business, isn't it?

Next Up: Why Free Products Need To Be Better Than Paid Products or Services

Giving away outstanding content is the magic behind what attracts—and keeps clients?When you're giving away bonuses, it's easy to believe you don't need to give away your best product or service. This podcast episode takes an opposite stance. You need to put your best stuff out in front—free. Yes, give away the goodies, no matter whether you're in information products or content marketing; services or running a workshop.

 

Direct download: 140-How_Giveaways_Increase_Sales_of_InfoProducts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:38am +12