Polite Canadian protests politely

A while back, one Canuck subscriber wriggled free of the bonds of decorum long enough to question my muscular ways:

“I noticed you go for a lot of US content, popular references, etc. but I’m in Thornhill [an area just North of Toronto].  Wouldn’t it make more sense to segment US vs. Canada so it feels more personal to me?”

Well spotted my warmth-deficient friend.

Here’s what that’s all ‘a-boot’.

Most of my clients and subscribers (about 70%) are US based.

Setting aside that to segment peeps by their IP address would be so highly impractical that it would scarcely be worth the time and aggravation…and the fact that the only folks still left on the planet that don’t understand what a broadcast email is are sequestered in remote tribes in Madagascar…

‘Tis a worthy intention to keep the feel personal.

To that end:

Always write to your main buyer.

Look, most businesses have a variety of buyers, it’s true.  But there usually is one main type of buyer.  And it’s a common mistake to try appeal to your various market segments by using general language.  Yes, you want it to resonate…with your most rabid customers.

They’re the target.

It’s one reason why I do a “customer prototype” with every new client and drill down on how old they are, their level of education, their gender, etc.  If most of the buyers are women, I’ll write in a way women would relate to – even if men buy too.  Or if I know my audience is older, I’ll avoid colloquialisms or popular references that might leave them scratching their heads and slow the momentum of our sales message.

And what if some buyers that don’t fall into this esteemed category?

If they’re otherwise qualified and interested in your offers I can assure you they’re not getting much acid reflux over it.

But thereby your main crowd…

Your lowest hanging fruit…

Your base

…Is engaged.

There’s a lot more to this, but for now, thus is my muscular answer.

Take it for what it is.

Great news for those of you who have been asking:

I have an opening for a new client next month.  If you’re interested in my help with a website critique, some web copy, or an email campaign, no need to cross the border.  Simply visit this convenient link instead to see my calendar and schedule a time to talk:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

However, you can’t afford to drag your heels on this as I expect that spot to fill up quickly.

Until next time…

Happy Personalizing,

Conor Kelly

Never show a prospect your naked rear end

There’s a small Catholic Church in Murtosa in Northern Portugal.

What’s interesting about it is it’s the only Catholic Church where it’s acceptable to drop your trousers so everyone can see your naked rear end.  The reason?  The local saint, St. Gonacalo has a reputation for curing hemorrhoids.  All you have to do is show up at the church, show his statue where it hurts, say a prayer and according to the locals, the pain disappears.

Now I’m not saying it doesn’t work.

But it strikes me as being eeeeerily similar to the kind of blind faith many businesses display in their marketing.  Often, their copy is based on uninformed guesses made while drunk on personal projections and everything the owner wants to say vs. what their market needs to hear.

Again, it’s not that it never turns out ok.

Just keep in mind that getting inside your market’s head to a point where it’s downright creepy is much more profitable than playing the marketing version of pin the tail on the donkey, which is what you’d be doing in the first scenario.

If you want my help with your marketing plan for world domination in 2020 (you do have a plan, don’t you?)…or in profitably profiling your prospect…make the neither long nor perilous journey via the link below to be notified when a client spot opens up:

Instantly add yourself to The Muscle’s waiting list.

Best part?

You get to keep your clothes on.

(Although I mostly do consultations over the phone, so really…clothing optional.)

Happy 2020,

Conor Kelly

P.S. I’m so sorry.

I’ve neglected you.  Truth be told, my schedule is almost always full, so I haven’t kept up the muscular writings as well as I should.

No excuses.

And, no more…

I have some new additions to my vaunted “weapons of mass persuasion” planned for 2020 that – if put to acceptable use – will indeed help you grow your sales and profits.  I’m eager to share these with you.  Stay tuned.

I’ll also be letting you in on some things that have been inspiring me lately.

What can I say…

I’m just a really inspirational guy. 😉

2020 – here we come.

Andale!

 

 

Good copy pumps up The Muscle’s already insanely jacked baby finger

Meet Manfred Hoeberl.

In the mid-nineties, Manfred was one of the top strongmen on the circuit, and a contender for the title of World’s Strongest Man.  He was Austrian (form the same town as Arnie in fact), six foot five, and 325 pounds of solid muscle – not an ounce of fat.

At the time he was said to possess the largest muscular arms in the world at twenty six inches in circumference!

Dayum.

For my dineros, Manfred’s best feature was his interviews.

About half of them sounded like they were taken verbatim from an SNL Hans and Franz sketch.  On one notable occasion, in ’93, Ol’ Manny was having a hard time recovering from a vehicle pull, and the show’s coverage took a statement from an onsite doctor, who described his condition as a symptom of *sheer size*.

Hehe.

Then, cameras panned to a hunched over and out of breath Manfred who commented (remember, same Arnie accent)…“I’m suffering from …the buildup of lactic acid…in my huuuge mah-scles.”

Don’t think Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey could have scripted it any better.

And they had some zingers…

“I’ve got more mah-scle in my baby finga then you have in your whole bah-dy.”

“Better not open your belt, you might cause a flaaabalanche.”

Anyway, the point of such ramblings?

One of their best (and most apt) slogans is hear me now, believe me late-ah.

In it is contained the essence of what I call *coachability*.  Unless you’re coachable, you’re not a candidate for transformation – business, or otherwise.

Being coachable is suspending disbelief, doubt, or judgement long enough to implement what your coach or consultant recommends, and find out for yourself if it’s on point.  Listen now, believe when you’ve done it…and experienced the RESULTS.

Anytime I find myself resisting coaching/mentoring/professional advice, I ask (1) how much do I trust the source of the information, and (2) am I being coachable?  If the person is good to listen to on the subject in question (i.e. has a proven track record), I think ‘what have I got to lose’ and give it a whirl.  This built in truth meter has allowed me to make leaps that would never have occurred otherwise.

A great mentor once told me, “Success is easy. Find someone who’s already successful at what you want to do, and learn from them.”

The Muscle likes.

Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Chew on that one a bit more as you steady yourself to pounce on those 2020 big goals.

And if you’d like my help with any copywriting of email campaigns or sales pages (or critiquing thereof), lather yourself in baby oil and pump your way to my muscular waiting list to be notified as soon as a spot opens up:

Instantly join The Muscle’s waiting list by clicking here.

I’ll give you fair warning:

I might not have the accent, but I am prone to obsessive flexing.

Happy Hearing and Delayed Believing,

Conor Kelly


Straight “turkey talk” about using guarantees in your advertising

Happy Thanksgiving!

(If you’re south of the border.)

And if you’re not already half-comatose from choking mass quantities of turkey down your gullet, here’s a bit of sloggin’ for your noggin.

I was recently asked by a client about guarantees.

And whether it makes sense to have a specific guarantee of ROI.

My dubious response?

Perhaps.

Few things:

First, if you’re selling to a warm list of people who know you (or have already bought from you in some way) it might make sense not to have a guarantee at all.  Depending on how it’s done, a guarantee can even sully your positioning with that customer.  I’ve also found existing customers are less likely to care or otherwise be swayed by a guarantee.

That said, I’m a believer in guarantees when appealing to a mass market or new peeps.

It could be a conditional guarantee like I had in the personal training biz.

E.g. If you can honestly say you followed the program, and you’re still not happy with the results, you’re entitled to a full refund.  I call it the “ice cream and beer” clause.  In other words, don’t presume you’re going to work out with me all week, then lapse into utter gluttony on the weekends and still lose fat.

That’s why I like conditional guarantees for coaching.

They help set up expectations on both sides.

In this case, I did not guarantee a specific result.  Because, as I’d explain, every ‘body’ is different.  I didn’t really test this, but my hunch is qualifying it in that way made it more believable.  Good customers know “results may vary”.  So I wasn’t saying anything they hadn’t already accepted that might cause them to raise an eyebrow.

Next there’s the unconditional money-back guarantee.

E.g. If you’re not thrilled for ANY reason, I’ll refund you no questions asked.

What I tell business owners who bristle at this is: let’s say you’ve got a customer who’s angry or dissatisfied for whatever reason, you’re probably going to give them their money back anyway.  Might as well get credit for being a swell human being, and float it out there up front.

Few will invoke it.

(Assuming your product is good.)

And often, this is a form of proof in that it demonstrates CONFIDENCE in what you’re selling.

Finally, I find it’s best to tailor the guarantee to the offer.

In some cases, if what you’re selling is highly valuable to your market, over-selling the guarantee comes across as suspicious and needy, and could hurt sales.  Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how to know when that’s the case.  You’ve got to feel it.  Or at least think deeply about it.

(What’d I tell ya?  More sloggin’…)

Ergo…thus…therefore…in conclusion…in Memoriam (wait…) to make what could indeed have been a short story unreasonably long, what I’m saying in answer to “should you use a specific guarantee” is, again, depends on your offer.

If you’d like some help with the subtleties of this…

In creating offers, sales letters, and email campaigns….

You can’t hire me right now.

(I’m all booked up at the moment.)

But if you want to be one of the first to be notified when a spot opens up, click the link below and you’ll instantly be added to my distinguished and servile list of “clients-in-waiting”:

Click here to add yourself to The Muscle’s waiting list.

In the meantime, I’ve put together a brief consumer awareness guide I call How To Hire A Copywriter which shows you exactly what to look for to find the right copywriter for your business – even another, less muscular copywriter than me.

If you’d like a free digital copy, send me an email at conor@conorkelly.com, and I’ll get it to you post haste.

Alright, that’s enough shenanigans for today.

Until next time…

Happy Guaranteeing,

Conor Kelly

What an epic marketing fail looks like

Take a minute and look at the picture below.

IMG_1702

Now let me ask you a question:

If you needed teeth whitening, would you call?

Let’s pause and come back to that in a sec.

This was planted in the grass next to the road, en route to picking up my kid from school.  And each time I walked by I had to shake my head a little.  To be fair, I don’t know what kind of response this got.  But If I had to put my shekels on it, there were few, if any calls.

Ok, back to my question.

To call, or to walk on by?

What say you?

Seems a bit sketchy, don’t it?

For starters, it’s a low price from what I know of these sorts of procedures.  That in and of itself can inspire skepticism.  Something to think about when pricing yourself.  Next, it tells you nothing about WHO you are trusting with your precious pearly not-so-whites.

The fail?

Not leading with PROOF.

(a.k.a. Credibility.)

Gary Bencivenga, often referred to as The Greatest Living Copywriter says this:

“Join proof to your promise in your headline.”

In other words, give ‘em your qualifications up front.

Tooth whitening is often done in dentists’ offices.  Is this a dentist’s ad?  Who knows.  But if it is, simply adding the dentist’s name and logo would likely get a bump in response.  And while we’re on that subject, dentists, doctors, and chiropractors have got this down.  They give you their calling card before even their name.

It’s two little letters.

D and R.

Lot of marketing juice packed into that 7.6% of the alphabet.

Yet, so many businesses I encounter are guilty of skirting, hiding, or treating their best features like they belong in the fine print.

(There are reasons for that other than ignorance.  Topic for later.)

To combat this scourge, there’s a technique I use with my copywriting clients that I hardly see anyone else using.

And, to be honest, it’s a bit uncomfortable for some.

Yet this one simple “trick” (that takes less than 10 minutes) can work magic for your conversions if used correctly.

AND can prevent prospects from merely moseying on by your ad without giving it a second glance.

Unfortunately, I reserve such secrets for my clients.

And, you can’t hire me right now.

(All booked up for the next few months.)

But if you’d like, click the link below to instantly add your lovely self to The Muscle’s waiting list and be one of the first to be notified as soon as a spot opens up:

Click here to add your name to the list.

Until then…

When it comes to marketing and sales…

Remember:

Be thee not stingy with the tooting of thy own righteous horn.

Happy Proving,

Conor Kelly

A hideously profitable Halloween tip

Behold:

The Muscle’s House Of Email Horrors

Inspired by the great Ben Settle, I penned charming Halloween themed emails for each of my clients that exposed several of their market’s “monsters” to being staked, burned or exorcised…with my client cast as the Van Helsing of their industry.

In the health industry you had the ever-present Sugar-Feeding Succubus.

“This seductive creature derails even the most disciplined eater with the constant contribution of cakes, candies, and other sugary menaces to the office environment. Trouble is, as soon as you trap one, another one springs up in its place.”

In the fitness niche,

We featured the terrifying CrossFit Kobold.

“This awful demon is very aggressive and is part of a bizarre cult.  Beware, he uses strange expressions like ‘brah’ and ‘swole’ a lot, so you may not understand him.”

Computers?

We warned of the encroaching Hacking Hellhounds.

“These vicious dogs are dripping with blood and foaming at the mouth, looking for their next victim.  They worm their way into your computer by infecting it with their virus-ridden bite…then they steal or corrupt your data!  No fair!”

Heck, we even dropped “supply chain monsters” on electric utilities across America.

Check out the Phantom Supplier:

“This apparition only looks reliable.  In reality, it’s almost never there when you need it.  It’s called a phantom because when you question it, almost all of its credibility disappears behind a white sheet of excuses.”

Some other faves included…

*The Creature From The Couch Lagoon (Health)

*Fake Virus-Alert Vampire (Computers)

*The Zumba Zombie (Fitness)

*The Misinformation Mummy (Chiropractic)

Two things:

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is about constantly finding new and engaging ways to get your point across.

Boredom is death to a sale.

Second, while in this case we’re dramatizing and having a little fun, each one of these monsters is a real problem my clients’ respective markets have.  When you’re focused on your prospect’s problems, you can do almost everything else wrong, and you still won’t lose them.  Add to the mix teasing your solution like the reader’s stuffing dollar bills in your g-string…

And you’ve got yourself a recipe for profits that are just plain spooky.

Well, that does it for this particularly creepy foray into the blogosphere.

I’m not currently taking on new clients (all booked up for now).

But if you’d like, click the link below to add your name to The Muscle’s wicked waiting list, and you’ll be one of the first to be notified when ghoulish spot opens up:

Add your name to the list.

Happy Halloween!

Conor “Hellspawn” Kelly

“The internet RUINED my business!”

Few years ago when I was in the in the Google Ads for attorneys niche, one personal injury attorney opened up during his consultation:

“I was doing a million a year up until 2009.  Then, my business took a major dip.  I’m down 40%, and it’s all because of this internet thing.  Having my picture on the back of the phone book isn’t doing squat for me anymore.”

No big mystery there.

That’s because it’s not 1995.

(Somewhere, a millennial was heard to say, “Tell me more of this phone book you speak of”.)

Believe it or not, in that particular niche I heard this A LOT.  So many competent 45-65 year old lawyers are mystified by Google’s new world order.  They sit around the clubhouse sipping Rob Roy’s and reminisce about the ‘good old days’ before the internet.

Let’s face it…

The times, they are a changing.

These were highly successful professionals whose businesses tanked because they didn’t change with them.

To my point:

If your ads/emails/sales pages aren’t converting like they used to, there’s a reason.  Copy that worked 10 years ago might not have the same appeal today.  Heck, ads that crushed in 2018 might not make the grade in 2020.  In today’s click-baited, hyper-marketed, content-cluttered climate, your prospect is looking for reasons to quickly dismiss your offers.

This is a physiological response.

It’s the brain’s way of filtering out overload.

So if it’s not framed as new or unique in some way…well…

Next.

That’s where Yours Muscularly comes in.

What I do as a copywriter is tirelessly research everything about your product, put in into a stew, and let it boil until what emerges is both true AND fascinating – to paraphrase the original Mad Man and advertising legend David Ogilvie – so your offers get read and (hopefully) acted upon.

Unfortunately, you can’t hire me right now.

I’m all booked up for the next couple of months.

However, if you’d like to be one of the first to be notified when a spot opens up, enter your email at the top right to join my mailing list.

Bottom line, don’t hate the internet.

Instead, when the time comes…

Let’s have a Rob Roy, and chat about how you can use it to grow your business.

Happy Modernizing,

Conor Kelly