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!

 

 

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

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

Canadian Strengthsgiving

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Ten years ago this very day…

Yours Muscularly pulled a 28,000-pound school bus in Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto (like Toronto’s ‘Times Square’) to raise money and awareness for TFSS, an organization dedicated to feeding hungry students in Toronto schools.

At the time I was running a personal training biz.

Some high-school kids found me online and invited to be a part of a presentation on nutrition they we’re doing for their class.

I accepted.

What I wasn’t prepared for was their statistics on malnourished youth, poverty, and hunger in Toronto schools.  I know how important the right nutrition is for health and brain power.  And didn’t think these kids were getting a fair shake.  So I decided to do something about it.

I found the charity and approached them with this crazy idea.

To my surprise, they loved it.

It was going to be ideal as part of Feeding Hungry Students Week, their big fundraiser and publicity push each year, which was about 11 weeks away.

Now I’d done vehicle pulls during my competitive career as a strongman.  But since retiring from the sport five years prior I’d hadn’t approached anything that resembled that level of training.  I was 170 pounds (compared with my competition weight of 220).  I’d have 11 weeks to train for it (I ended up gaining over 20 pounds during that stretch)…all while planning and organizing the event.

What followed was one of the craziest and most rewarding journeys of my life.

(I’ve been thinking I should write a book about it.)

Why do I bring this up?

Well, first it’s my 10-year Strengthaversary.

So it’s been on my mind.

And second, it was perhaps the most successful marketing campaign (and certainly the most successful from a media coverage standpoint) I’ve ever produced.  There wasn’t a single major media outlet in Toronto that didn’t cover it.  I was on TV, Radio, and in newspapers.  Sometimes all three at once…or at least that’s how it felt.  All wearing gear branded to my business, and all referring to me as ‘the owner of Evolution Fitness in Toronto’.  And that night, we we’re on the 6 o’clock news on EVERY channel.

For the charity, the figure was something like $20,000 raised.  Plus, they’d never had that kind of media attention for their programs.  They were thrilled.

Here’s the point:

It was unique hook (with a sensationalist twist).

Even cold-calling the busiest and most jaded editors and producers…with their phones ringing, their inboxes full and deadlines dropping…when I told them what I was up to they’d stop and say:

“I’m listening…”

I might well share a few marketing lessons from this experience over the next little while.

For starters, how can you model this idea for your business?  Let’s consider the possibility that you can’t pull a bus.  Totally ok.  Could you put on your own charity fundraiser and add to it an element of the extraordinary?  Could you make an offer that no one else in your industry is willing to make?  Could you be the ‘whistle-blower’ who calls out the nefarious practices of big companies in your industry?

(That last strategy landed me my first interview on national television when I promised to expose the big gyms dirty, dirty ways.)

Point is:

Yes, you need people to care…

But first you need their attention.

This is a rule not only of marketing, but of all forms of persuasive communication.

Alright, that’s enough for now.

I’m shipping off soon as it’s Thanksgiving Weekend here North of the border.

In honor of that day ten years ago, random acts of kindness, and all things strength and/or marketing I do hereby dub this day Strengthsgiving.  May yours be full of high-quality proteins…

With a delicious side-helping of creamy, fluffy generosity.

Hungry yet?

🙂

Happy Strengthsgiving,

Conor Kelly

P.S.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any footage of the event of I’d share it with you.  I’m working on getting some archival footage from one of the various media outlets.  Stay tuned.

 

Let me show you what my middle finger does

My soon-to-be 7-year-old the other day…

In reference to her cross-country meet – which took place on a very cold, very wet October day here in Toronto – had this to say:

“It was so freezing yesterday…I kept thinking ‘I’ll show this wind my middle finger!’”

I rather like it.

It’s got a certain wisdom and youthful defiance to it.

(Cue the Twisted Sister, “We’re not gonna take it…”)

So I’ve decided I’m going to show more of the things that challenge me a Muscular middle finger.

I invite you to do the same.

It’s simple advice, but it applies almost anywhere.

(Key word: almost.  Use your own discretion on that one.)

Just a little Tuesday inspiration for ya.

And if you have a sales letter that’s not converting…or your emails aren’t getting as many opens and clicks as you’d like…or you’ve got a copywriter who prefers grandstanding on Facebook to turning in projects on time…

Then let’s join forces and show them four middle fingers, way up:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

Happy Defying,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a The Muscle

#1 reason to build an email list so loyal they’ll eat sheep’s testicles for you

I’ll be honest…

Yours Muscularly is of the mind that many small biz owners have been “conned” by social media companies promising the moon.

For most, it’s naught more than time and energy quicksand that sucks in the helpless and spits out their weary remains.

While Facebook claims 2 Billion accounts…a full 25% of those are fake.  Email, on the other hand, boasts a hefty 6.32 Billion active accounts, making it 5x bigger than Facebook.

I could also point out that many people go days without checking their social media, yet the average person checks their email multiple times per day.

If I really wanted to make a statement I could add that 60% of business owners rate email as their most profitable marketing channel, more than all the various social media sites combined.

All that would be 100% true.

But the #1 reason to build a thriving email list?

You OWN your list.

It’s yours.

You can download that sucker and re-upload it somewhere else.  You can communicate with your list in the manner of your choosing.  There’s no one who can tell you otherwise.  And there’s no one who can take your list away from you.

You don’t own your social media followers.

If that’s all you’ve got – you’re one policy update away from dead.

Case in point, five years ago I was getting most of the leads for my personal training biz from Google Adwords.  One fine day, Google up and suspended my account.  In order to reactivate it, I needed to add an asterisk with the words “results may vary” under each of the dozens of REAL before-and-after pics and testimonials displayed on my site.

Not only did this make my site look silly…

It sent my conversion rate spiraling down the drain.

And the leads all but dried up.

De-platforming is happening with frightening regularity.  What’s to stop Instagram from following Google’s lead and saying e.g. “we don’t like weight loss products – too scammy,” then make the rules harder for an entire category of health-related marketers?

An email list – especially a responsive one – is an asset.

Arguably the best asset you can have.

Enter my Evergreen List Builder

I created this custom product a couple of months ago to help my clients with the problem of consistently adding high-quality new leads to your subscriber list.  And it’s quickly become my most popular offering.  It’s not hard to see why.

This is my answer to the moving target that is online marketing.

I’ll be honest, it’s not the fastest way to build your list, but the leads are the highest quality.

Also, because my list builder is centered on free traffic, there’s some sweat equity required on your part.  Such is life.  But if you’re willing to put in a little leg work, the tools I’m going to provide you could be nothing less than a blueprint to double your business this year.

My clients and me are using them to generate 50-200 new subscribers per month, for free.

If you’d like to consistently add top quality leads to your database without dancing to Google’s or Facebook’s ever-changing tune, let’s jump on a stress-free brainstorm call and find out if you qualify:

https://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome/

Happy List-Building,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a The Muscle @ Marketing Muscle