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

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

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

Disrupting the copywriting guru hype machine

Got this note (unsolicited) from top business coach and client Matt Morse in response to a recent ‘copy critique’ I did for him:

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“I recently attended a 3-day ‘copywriting workshop’ with one of the industry leading copywriters… not long after, I had Conor do one of his signature 30-minute copywriting evaluations for one of our clients and I can tell you with absolute certainty that I received more than 10X the amount of value from Conor’s 30-minute video than I did from 3 full days at the copywriting workshop.”

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Here’s why I believe this is NOT an exaggeration.

First, I’ve sat in seminar rooms like this one that were all sizzle and no steak….

And ridden these gurus’ high-priced hype-train to nowhere.

Second, about ten years back I hired a copywriter/web conversions expert to critique my website.  Unless I’m mistaken, I paid him all of $275USD.  And it was honestly some of the best marketing training I’ve ever received.

Many of its lessons have stuck with me ever since.

One theory I have is this sort of critique is not mere theory.  This is someone picking apart and breaking down the specifics of your ad or offer (even your layout and other visual aspects, all things I cover as well), showing you how it can be better, and providing a detailed explanation for why.  In that sense, it’s more concrete and relevant – and thus easier to apply and remember.

Word to the wise:

This is not always true of course, but most courses or products that deign to promise you can walk in with the proverbial “blank page” and walk out with…

*A business

*A product you can sell

*A sales letter

*An email campaign

*A sales presentation

*Etc.

…Ignore the fact that there is a process to any of the above that usually involves more than a day, a weekend, a few fill-in-the-blanks templates, and goes beyond the limits of a group format.

You may not know this but I’m somewhat of a guru-whisperer.

I’m even able to interpret their mysterious speak.

What they really mean when they promise such things is “you’ll have even more work to do on Monday and will most likely STILL be confused about what to do”.

Alright, that’s enough fun for one day.

My decidedly un-hyped offer:

If you’d like me to perform one of my signature Instant Copy Upgrade reviews on your sales letter, website, or email campaign, let us begin the journey by booking your “no fuss” Free Brainstorm Call here:

http://www.calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

You’ll be getting very specific, very detailed secrets I’ve used to help clients like Matt as much as double their web conversions.

Two things:

1. I make no guarantees about this.

I know my stuff.  You’ll see.  But much of this has to do with the dynamics of your market and your offer, none of which is within my control.

AND

2. If you don’t currently have a list…or buyers…or leads coming in…you’ll learn a lot, but it probably won’t help you much in the short term.  The best candidate for this is someone who is already doing marketing, getting traffic of some kind, and has at least some sales.

With that I bid you…

Forsake the guru hype-train.

Ride The Musclemobile instead.

See you on board.

Happy Discerning,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a. The Muscle

Drink thee of this profitable smoothie

“The more you read, the more you will know.  The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss

I hate to burst your bubble…

But for anyone who thinks losing weight is hard, gaining weight is much harder.

(That’s if you’re trying to add the right kind of weight.)

I don’t care what anybody says, force feeding yourself copious quantities of plain chicken breast and rice seven times a day…sucks.   Back in my strongman days it got to the point where I almost couldn’t stand the sight of food.

I went to all kinds of extremes.

Eating by the clock.

(Instead of when hungry – which I almost never was.)

Calculating calories.  (Not counting; this was before My Fitness Pal and other smart phone apps that make tracking your cals a cinch nowadays…back then I literally used an almanac and a calculator).

Taking digestive enzymes.

Drinking flax seed oil.

I could go on.

As a trainer I’ve also had many clients whose goal was to build muscle.  One point I’d consistently drive home is you have to put in the building blocks.  Your body doesn’t synthesize muscle out of thin air.  Protein and calories are the raw materials it needs.  That’s why you’ve got to have a caloric surplus.

What’s this all have to do with you?

Writing, producing content, copywriting, and finding marketing hooks is the same.  You need an idea surplus.  You’ve got to regularly feed your brain plenty of building blocks from which those are created.

How do you do that?

By reading.  A lot.

I try to make it a point to read at least two hours per day.

If I’m being honest, it usually ends up being closer to one hour.  What do I read?  Primarily, anything having to do with marketing, copywriting, or persuasion.  But I also “supplement” with a variety of subjects from magazine articles (I love The Economist), history books, books on science, biographies, and literature and fiction too.

What this does is give me a vast pool of data, facts, stories and ideas to pull from when in a creative mode.  All these healthy ingredients go into the blender of my subconscious and emerge as a green smoothie of knowledge.  I use this to connect two or more ideas in ways that form “hooks” useful in teaching, influencing, and selling (as I’ve done with the calorie surplus thing here).

What I’ve discovered:

I have two main types of readers.

The first type is interested in getting better at doing email, copywriting, etc. so they can do it themselves.  If that’s you, I just handed you what has been a BIG ingredient in my success (and the success of many others) on a vibranium-plated platter.

The second type is grinning, rubbing their hands together…

…And simply biding their time until they get me to do all this shebang for them.

If you’re the second type, and doing that volume of reading sounds both prohibitive and unappealing – never fear.

I attack such tasks with fanatical zeal so you don’t have to.

Get your vitamin boost and request your Free Brainstorm Call here:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

And if not…

Happy Reading,

Conor Kelly