A cheeky way to create content on the fly

Watch this.

If you’re ever pressed for time or short on ideas, here’s an easy way to drum up great content lickety-split.

What is it?

You simply quote an expert in your niche or industry and add your comments.

On that note, here’s something CBC Radio Host Terry O’Reilly wrote in Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence which I think sums up the power of email marketing quite nicely:

“A well-timed nudge is a sophisticated aspect of marketing that is usually the exclusive domain of big advertisers.  But small to medium marketers can also take advantage of nudges if you recalibrate your thinking to look for opportunities.  There are endless reasons people don’t buy an item, even though they are teetering on the edge of making a purchase.  Often, I’ve said if the dealership had just called me one more time, I would have bought that car.  Or if a store had thrown in the speaker wire for free, I would have bought that stereo.  Or if the salesperson had spent five more minutes with me, I would have bought two shirts instead of one.”

OR [my words now]…

What if the restaurant, spa, yoga studio, chiropractor, or real estate agent had followed up with me in a format I find both useful and enjoyable – that I had chosen to receive – and enticed me to do business with them more often, when the time is right for me?  If I liked the place would it make me a more active, loyal, and engaged customer?

You betcha.

There’s simply no better way to do this than with the “drip marketing” of monthly, weekly, or daily emails.

Did you catch what I just did there?

Hehe.

Cheeky indeed.

Here’s the best part…

Not only are you providing valuable insight, but your reader’s brain unconsciously registers the idea as coming from you.  In that sense, as long as you give credit you can legally and ethically borrow this great mind’s credibility while riding shotgun on his/her illustrious coattails.

Good tip.

Use it.

If you’d like done-for-you emails that nudge your prospects and customers to do a lot more business with you, get your stress-free brainstorm call to find out if you’re a fit:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Happy Quoting,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a. The Muscle @Marketing Muscle

Fitness Oscar Winners (Best Food, Best Exercise…)

Well I’m no Lady Gaga…

And I don’t have a Green Book.

But I do have many books.

In one of them I read you might like an email I wrote six years ago with my votes for the best of the best in fitness.

This has yet to be proven though, so let’s test my hypothesis…

*****************************

The Oscars are today, and even though I’m allergic to award shows, I do love to dish out recognition…

…When it’s deserved.

So I’ll start with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Have you heard of this guy?

Fauja Sing, the world’s oldest marathoner, is retiring at the age of, get this, 101!

He’s completed eight marathons since 2000.  I’d say that pretty much eliminates any excuse from anyone aged less than, say, a hundred?

Best Exercise goes to ‘the king of exercises’, the barbell squat. There’s not an inch of your body that’s not fully engaged in a properly executed squat.  And because you’re moving your body through space, it invokes a fear factor that juices up the neuro-muscular activation, leading to faster results.

Dr. Fat Loss says ‘chain yourself to the squat rack and call me in the morning’.

Best Supporting Exercise goes to the plank, a lifesaver for me since I injured a disc in my low back while training for my school bus pull in Dundas Square, back in ’09.

It’ll turn your core into a solid brick wall, ensuring you have the support you need to let a Jeep drive over you (should that be how you choose to utilize your new found powers).

Nevertheless, a pillar-like core is useful in any type of motion or lifting.

Best Food goes to…

…Well, anything that has one ingredient only.

An apple is its own ingredient, a tomato is its own ingredient, organic, free-run eggs are their own ingredients.

See what I’m getting at?

Generally speaking, the longer the list of ingredients, the more likely it’s hurting your health, and making you fat. Whole foods, on the hand, are not trying to be anything, they’re just being themselves. And I respect that.

Best Supporting Food goes to my Cinch shakes and bars.

They fill the gaps between meals, taste delicious, fuel my energy, and they’re almost impossibly low glycemic index, which keeps my body in the fat-burning zone.

I’m quite happy about that.

Hit ‘reply’ if you’d like me to send you a sample.

Best Cheat FoodCheesecake.

Just ’cause.

Damn I love cheesecake.

Best Kids Song…’The Animal Sounds Song’. Granted this has nothing to do with fitness, it’s just cute how, at 3.5 months, Olivia’s face lights up whenever we play it. How often is that? Let’s just say we’ve contributed our quota of the 62 million views it’s got YouTube.

Finally, what awards show would complete without red carpet fashions?

In theory, Jeff and I are shoe-ins for Best Dressed, ’cause that’s just how we roll. But in reality, we can’t hold a candle to Raya on her best day.

(Note to self: make sure Raya reads this.)

Plug these winners into your day to day routine.

Who knows, by next year you could be nominated for Best Transformation.

To Your Success,

Conor Kelly

ConorKelly.com

Drug dealing for fun and profit

True story:

My subject line today was the original title of Tim Ferris’ famous book, The Four Hour Work Week.

Not surprisingly, the publisher said “no way”.

So Tim took it to the court of public opinion.

He used Google Adwords to split test book titles, and thus landed on the phrase that would ultimately brand the book’s cover.

And, sho ‘nuff, the book was a runaway best-seller.

Similarly, here’s a little-known way to probe and uncover your customers’ most fervent appetites.

Watch your open rates.

I don’t mean obsess over them, like some folks do.

I’m well aware there are those who would cast doubt on the accuracy of open rates (Android phones have HTML turned off by default, they say).

And your open rates will vary with the tides.  If you add a lot of new subscribers, or start emailing more frequently, they’ll most likely go down.

I don’t care about all that.

I do think they’re useful as a relative measurement.

Other things being equal, when a subject line gets a higher-than-usual number of opens, there’s something to it.  It may even be the smoke that hints at a wildfire of hot, flaming desire in your market.  Not only can you reuse or recycle it, but it can help inform other marketing decisions as well.

Allow me to demonstrate.

I had a client in the women’s fitness niche who told me her highest ever open rate was for Do You Want to Look like a Fitness Model?

So I said, “Run it again”.

And guess what?

Same result.

Sky-high opens.

In theory, what could she do with said knowledge?

Just off the top of my head (and this all should be tested)…

*Add “Look like a fitness model” as a slogan to her business cards

*Use that same question on flyers, postcards, and in other print advertising

*Test variations of the same in her Facebook or Google ads

*Say these words when talking to prospects on the phone or when meeting people face to face at a luncheon

*Take it a step further and create an 8-week program called Look Like A Fitness Model and sell it to her subscriber list

*And more

The point is open rates can be valuable intel.

When you know the words that make your market’s eyes light up and their mouths water, your messaging becomes tighter and more impactful.  You’ve got the right “drug” to get ‘em hooked on you.

This all can sound a little complicated if you’re new to it.

Would you like me to handle this “marketing stuff” for you?

Book your stress-free brainstorm call to see if you’re a fit:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Discover your fun and profit (although perhaps not your 4-hour work week)….

Happy Drug Dealing,

Conor Kelly
“The Muscle” @ Marketing Muscle

16 Things everybody should know about email marketing

I was recently interviewed for a podcast.

The interviewer was the lovely Corine La Font of Between The Lines.

(Who was also a tad sweet on The Muscle I might add).

The topic was “How To Build An Audience Using Simple Emails”, and once the little red light flashed “recording”, the value bombs began to drop.

Peep the highlights:

*Why the old marketing adage “the money’s in the list” is only half true (6:33)

*Is email dead? (7:54)

*Email is more personal than social media (12:40)

*The #1 reason to build a responsive email list (13:30)

*How to have more loyal subscribers and customers (15:15)

*Why “unsubscribes” are GOOD (16:24)

*The truth about the best frequency for emails and why you should never worry about “bothering” people (20:55)

*A simple way to segment your subscribers (22:43)

*What metrics actually matter to your success (25:55)

*A sneaky way to use subject lines to identify new marketing and product avenues (27:08)

*How we made a health clinic an additional 14K in the first month (30:16)

*How I use email to grow my business (31:21)

*The power of “soft” offers in every email (32:24)

*Why Marvel movies do better at the box office than DC Comics movies, and how you can use their secret sauce to grow your business (34:00)

*How in 15 minutes and with 6 simple questions you can discover a new way to make a lot more profit in your business (36:07)

*Keys to success (38:16)

Enjoy them a la carte or watch the full interview here:

 

 

Happy emailing,

Conor Kelly

P.S.  Want me to take care of all of this “marketing stuff” for you?  Get your stress-free brainstorm call to find out all that is possible for your biz by booking here:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Why I drink breastfeeding tea

This week:

In honour of Valentine’s Day and women everywhere…

A story so estrogen-filled it should come with an image of Trump’s head at the center of red ‘no’ sign.

(Fun fact: a woman’s body does pump out more estrogen when she’s nursing because it boosts the immunity of both mother and baby during this crucial first stage of nurture.  But I digress.)

When I was in Bulgaria last summer I wanted to stock up on herbal teas.

Bulgaria boasts a broad menu of healthful herbs sourced from the mountains.

The resulting teas are both delicious and great for you.

On this particular day I was in an apteka (which is a pharmacy, but most of them carry supplements, herbs and teas as well).  One tea in particular listed herbs I thought I would like, but I was unfamiliar with the Bulgarian term karmachki.

I was going to ask but there was lady playing fifty million questions with the pharmacist, so I eventually lost patience, paid for my tea, and left.  A bit later I picked up the box only to discover there was an English translation on the other side which read…

BREASTFEEDING TEA.

Ahhhh…

Karmachki are breastfeeding women.

That makes sense.

Oh well, it still has good ingredients I reasoned, and put it in my suitcase.

I hadn’t touched it since then for the mostly irrational fear that it would turn me into a eunuch.

(Although if it promotes prolactin release, as is my guess, that’s bad for testosterone.  Hiking prolactin is one of the mechanisms by which some anti-anxiety drugs whack your t-levels.  Another aside.)

That’s until last Saturday.

With no other tea in the house, and badly wanting a tea…I cracked.

With quite a flavorful outcome I might add.

Besides that, it did make me feel motherly which was nice.

And I skipped right past the whole sore nipples thing.

Good day all around.

Those “lost in translation” moments will happen any time you try to learn something new.  Accept it.

Give yourself permission to be a beginner.

In any case, things will either go well…

OR you’ll get a good story out of it.

🙂

Happy Translating,

Conor Kelly

 

Use this Marvel Superhero secret sauce to Thanos your competition

“Hear me and rejoice.  You have had the privilege of being saved by The Great Titan.  You may think this is suffering.  No.  It is salvation.  Smile, for even in death you have become children of Thanos.” – Ebony Maw in Avengers: Infinity War

A few months ago, I took my daughter to see Aquaman.

I love superhero movies.

But lately I’ve felt a clear preference for ones produced by Marvel (e.g. The Avengers, Thor, Ironman, Black Panther) vs. the other of the big two comic book legacies: DC Comics.

Aquaman is a DC Comics character.

The movie was OK, but I kept thinking, “why is this just not as good as a Marvel movie?”

Fast-forward a few days.  We hit the play button on Avengers: Infinity War which had recently come on Netflix.  I knew the second I heard the first few lines of script what the difference is…

WRITING.

Marvel has superior writing.

(Quoted above are those opening sentences, which in the scene are pronounced magnanimously by the sorcerer Ebony Maw, as he steps over bodies in the wake of Thanos’ attack.)

It’s not even that DC’s writing is bad.  It’s not.  But Marvel’s writers have that slight edge that, when repeated throughout the film delivers a better experience.  The jokes are just that little bit funnier.   The story lines, just that little bit more imaginative.  The dialogue, just that little bit cleverer.

These are big, blockbuster movies.

And even though, in my opinion, anyone who enters the theater is under an implied contract to suspend disbelief, the challenge for the writers (especially over several movies) is to keep one-upping themselves without it getting too…well, wacky.

One way Marvel’s writers get around this is by poking fun at the genre, as seen in this brief exchange:

Dr. Strange: “If Thanos gets his hands on all six Infinity Stones he’ll be able to wipe out life on a scale hitherto undreamt of.”

Tony Stark: “Did you seriously just say ‘hitherto undreamt of’?”

It lets the tension out of the big scenes and keeps the audience on side with the characters.

Let’s go to the scorecard.

Here’s Marvel vs. DC by the numbers (domestically):

*Average gross revenue per release: $247M to $224M in favor of Marvel (keep in mind Marvel has produced almost double the number of movies DC has.  Thus, higher output AND higher average.)

*Percentage of releases grossing over $200M: %58 to %48, again in favor of Marvel

*Opening weekends: Marvel, 6 of the top 15 (and 3 of the top 6), DC, 5 of the top 15 (highest at #5)

*Critically, Marvel movies tend to have many more favourable reviews than DC movies (with the exception of the three Batman movies directed by Christopher Nolan, those are truly special)

All this is despite DC having, arguably, more iconic characters – Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

Internationally, Marvel is more popular as well.

What does this all mean for you?

Words matter.

If you had even slightly higher-converting words throughout your business (in your email newsletters, in your print ads, on your social media, in selling situations, in the scripts you give your employees – you do give them scripts, don’t you?) not only would you be more popular in your niche, but you’d steal market share faster than a bandit in a Bugatti.

That’s where I come in.

If you’d like to find out how email helps you convert more leads and sell more to your existing customers, go here to request your stress-free brainstorm call:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Wipe out your competition on a scale hitherto undreamt of.

Then, rest and watch the sun rise on a grateful universe.

Happy Thanos’ing,

Conor Kelly

P.S.  If you have an interest in writing and story-telling, I urge you to study what Marvel’s writers do.  I’d start with Thor: Ragnarok, followed by Avengers: Infinity War.

The amazing true story of Whitney Houston’s epic superbowl performance

On Monday it will be 7 years since Whitney Houston’s death.

And since I just watched Whitney, the Kevin MacDonald documentary of her life on Netflix, here’s a story I think you’ll find interesting.

First, a little context.

I was never a fan of her music.

And I’ve never had any particular fondness for the U.S. national anthem either.  When well sung it’s rousing, to be sure.  What I’m less about is its war imagery and vague undertones of neo-imperialism.

That said there’s one clip of Whitney Houston I’ve watched at least 50 times…her singing of The Star Spangled Banner at the 1991 Superbowl.  I think it’s one of the most insane vocal performances mine ears doth heard.

I get chills every time.

I never knew the story behind it, though.

To hear her music manager tell it, they gave her rendition some serious thought.  You see, African Americans have also had an iffy relationship to the anthem because it’s about some of the state organs of violence that – at times – have been targeted toward black people.

The song is typically a waltz performed in 3/4 time.

So what they decided to do was adapt it to 4/4 time.

They reasoned this would give Whitney more space to hold out the big notes.

Plus, all black music is in 4/4.

He redid the arrangements.  Had the orchestra rehearse it.  And they hated it.  Nevertheless, he sent Whitney the recording, “what do you think”?  But never heard back.  It wasn’t until a week before the big game that he saw her and she admitted she hadn’t heard it.

She said, “play it.”

Then leaned back, closed her eyes, and listened intently.

When it was over, all she murmured was, “got it.”

What the world heard that day was the unrehearsed first take. 

 Watch it here:

 

 

 

For anyone who knows anything about music, let alone performing, that is…CRAZY.  It’s genius on another level.  Here she was this young woman with a big voice, on the world’s greatest stage, letting it all hang loose.

Uninhibited.

Free.

Indeed, freedom is ultimately what the lyric is meant to convey.

And it’s what you feel as she sings it.

I don’t think it’s possible to overestimate the power of this moment.  I may not be her #1 fan.  But for that alone, damn if she wasn’t one of the most badass singers to ever walk this planet.

Hats off, Ms. Houston.

R.I.P.

One more thing…

Genius and talent played a role.

But that level of command, both musically and over her performance, would never have happened if her mother Cissy – herself an accomplished vocalist – hadn’t drilled them into her from a young age.

What if she hadn’t?

Happy Inspiration,

Conor Kelly