4 Free Ways To Sell Services In A Down Economy

If you’d like to know a few low cost or even free ways to market your services in a down economy, then here are four methods that I used starting around the time of the financial crisis of 2008 to build a multiple six-figure personal training business from scratch, in just a couple of years.

1. Public Speaking.

Public speaking has long been my go-to. First of all, it’s a “no-brainer” to get speaking opportunities by offering to teach something valuable to groups at no charge. I went to many local companies, community groups, and business networking meetings to present and they were almost always very receptive to the idea.

Not only that, but speaking in front of a room instantly gives you an air of authority. This is known as the “podium effect” in marketing circles. Even if you’re brand new in your industry, simply being willing to stand up and talk makes you come across as an expert and a leader. The key to making this all work for your business is to combine valuable tips with lots of stories. I always tried to give 3 or 4 tips in 30-40 minutes, and for each tip I’d walk them through a “case study” of one of my training clients.

PRO TIP: Always end every talk by offering them a valuable free gift in exchange for an email address (and possibly more contact info). A free consultation or a free report should do the trick. This will let you do the most important part of the sales process which is: follow up! More on that below.

2. Content Marketing.

Content marketing includes things like blogging, article marketing, YouTube videos, Instagram, email, podcasts, etc.  The idea is to routinely pump out great content which demonstrates your knowledge and the kind of value you provide for your clients – the more, the better.

You want to use all these formats to drive traffic back to your main website, where, hopefully, you have a way of capturing visitors’ contact info.

My advice is to focus on whatever format makes you feel most motivated. That way you’ll be more likely to stay consistent with it. If you enjoy talking and presenting, do video. If you’re more of an introvert, writing, and to a lesser extent audio (e.g. having a podcast) might be more your bag. In either case, it’s not hard to take that content and repurpose it across many channels and on all your social media (if you’re on those sites; this part in NOT required, contrary to what people will tell you).

3. Join Ventures.

At the highest level, you want to find someone who already has your clients and make a deal with them. Here’s an example. Around the time I was building my business, I had a colleague who sold in-home personal training. His stroke of genius was approaching home fitness equipment stores and adding value for them by letting them offer certain purchasers his free home training instruction.

His team would then convert a lot of those trial sessions to paying clients, and he built a sizeable business rather quickly off the backs of just two of these relationships.

Another way is to get together with other non-competitive but complementary services to cross-refer and cross-promote. As a personal trainer I was in a good position to refer to chiropractors, and over the years I’ve sent a couple of them quite a few new patients. This ideally would be a two-way street, if there’s enough trust between you.

To put this strategy on steroids, add other health providers to the mix as well. Imagine a dietician, a massage therapist, a chiropractor, and a personal trainer all cross-promoting to each other’s clients. This is standard in the direct response industry. But a lot of service providers don’t think this way. They’re costing themselves sales. Organizations like BNI are built on this principle and some of those groups are very productive. The problem is when the businesses serve different types of customers it makes mutual referrals a lot less natural.

4. Email Marketing.

Alright, here’s where it all comes together. In my way of doing things, all roads should lead to your email list. I built a list of 2,500 subscribers in a couple of years using the free methods listed above. And I’d keep in touch with tips, stories, and event invitations once per week. This is the persistent follow up I hinted at above. Don’t spurn this part!

There’s an art and a science to effective email marketing, but the idea is to combine content with promotion. Share a tip, reveal a common mistake they may be making, then link it back to how you can help them and don’t forget to include an offer for them to contact you! Keep the dialogue focused on your prospects’ problems more than the features of your service. And make it entertaining. The easiest way to do this is just to tell lots of stories.

There you have it. You don’t need a big marketing budget to make money. In fact, if anything I’ve found the leads that come to you via these methods are higher quality. There’s some leg work required with each of them, to be sure. But if you want to build a business that will provide you with freedom and feed you for years to come, get over it – and get out there!

P.S. Get your FREE copy of my book “Stealth Email Secrets: The Simplest System Ever Created For Writing High-Converting, Cash-Producing Emails On Command” and more free marketing tips by joining my email list here: http://conorkelly.com .

How to persuade even the poutiest arm-crossing skeptic

More proof of my muscular email ways today, this time from chiropractor to elite athletes, Dr. Kevin Arnold:

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“I liked Conor Kelly’s writing a lot.  It led to appointment bookings and sales of orthopedic pillows fast!  It contained relevant, accurate content that educated my patients and strengthened their relationship with the Clinic.

Conor is a knowledgeable and supportive professional.  He quickly identified my needs and was responsive to them.

The bottom line:  Conor’s marketing services helped me to engage my current patients and resulted in more appointment bookings and health product sales.  I would highly recommend him.”

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To Kevin’s point about fast “back end” sales of orthopedic pillows…

This is one of the facts of email marketing I’ve long appreciated.  Many businesses have plenty of emails in their database that they seldom, if ever, use.  But here’s the 411: once you get your subscribers on board as far as hearing from you and reading your emails, you can more or less sell them anything.  Then, your “problem” becomes finding new things they want to buy.

Your email list is the gym.

Sending them regular emails is the workout that keeps your back end both full and shapely.

Indeed, another client told me not long after we started his email program last year that he wished he’d done it years ago.

More:

If you go to Page 82 in my book Stealth Email Secrets you can see me break down an email I wrote for Dr. Kevin that reveals little-known secrets for converting even the most ardent of non-believers to your cause.

(Includes a special way of doing testimonials that lets you slip past your prospect’s “sales defenses” undetected.  Am I using this tip here?  Get the book to find out.)

Not to mention (or TO mention) the book shows you seven more ways to write emails that give people almost no choice but to buy from you.  Plus, they’re easy to do and don’t require a lot of time.

Could you use more sales right now?

Grab your copy from Amazon today:

Go here to order Stealth Email Secrets.

Paperback is 40% off at the moment.

(Personally, I’d ALWAYS rather a physical book in my hands.  Guess I’m old-fashioned that way.)

But the party won’t last forever.

In fact, I’m thinking of raising the price again soon.

Might as well learn these skepticism-smashing secrets while the DJ’s still laying down beats:

Go here order Stealth Email Secrets at 40% OFF, and build your shapely back end.

Happy Persuading,

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

Never do this on your website’s pages

Copywriting tip today.

One of the things I’ve been getting a lot of lately is sales page critiques.

In a recent consultation, it came out that one of the owners of the business had some pretty unique experience related to the product they were selling.  In fact, I’d go as far as to say he’s so uniquely qualified to do this sort of thing, that if you were in their market and you knew about him, you’d never consider going anywhere else.

Yet, these credentials were buried at the bottom of the page.

I didn’t even see them at first.

This comes back to what marketing genius and all-time copywriting great Gary Halbert taught about why you must “prepare people to believe”.

You see, we learn that selling is about benefits.

People “buy the hole, not the drill” and all that jazz.  So that’s what many business owners do…throw a bunch of benefits on the page with an order button.

And that can work to some extent.

But without context…your benefits won’t have anywhere near the same ability to tug at your prospect’s wallet.  Per Gary The Great…you’ve got to prepare people to believe your claims.  And until you have their belief, you won’t command their attention.  Your prospect could feel pretty “meh” regarding your offers at that point…a dire situation for any salesperson.

A caveat:

Overdo credibility and it can cost you sales.  There’s a delicate balance to be observed here that the best copywriters know how to push and pull on like a seductive dance.

All that’s to say if you’ve got a sales page you’d like my feedback on, go here to book your Free Brainstorm Call:

http://calendly.com/conorkel/emailincome

I’m currently booking projects three weeks out (so I won’t have time to work on a more detailed critique until at least then)…but if you reply today we can figure out if it’s a fit and get you in the queue.

Yarrrr, that’s all for today.

Powerful lesson she be.

Belief is like oxygen to your copy.

Start with why they should believe you…

And never leave a benefit stranded.

Happy Claiming,

Conor Kelly

a.k.a. The Muscle @ Marketing Muscle

How to stand out in your niche like a fart in a library

True story:

I sometimes do my work at the library.

When I’m not at home, it’s the only place I know I won’t be interrupted.

On this particular day, I had set up in the magazine section.  It was deserted until one fellow showed up and started perusing the rack.

Then, suddenly, he fully (and very audibly) let one rip.

Just like that.

No “excuse me”.

Nothing.

It was only the two of us, and there was no chance I hadn’t heard it, but he simply went on about his business like nothing happened.

Funny.

Anyway, that brings me to today’s marketing tip.

As per my last email, I now offer email copywriting services.

And a very common objection is, “but Muscle, my clients don’t want to hear from me by email.”

Correct.

They don’t want boring, corporate, blatantly self-promotional emails carpet-bombing their already cluttered inbox.

Howevs, if the messages were concise, fun, engaging, and shared valuable info about a subject that concerns them, you bet your bottom dollar they’d look forward to reading them…

AND buying from them.

Let’s take a look at an example.

Now surely ATTORNEYS couldn’t use this type of marketing.

No, no.

Attorneys need to be taken seriously.

Here again, me thinks this is a symptom of what Dan Kennedy calls *marketing incest*: when everyone just looks at what everybody else in their niche is doing, and copies each other.

One voice in a chorus, drowned out by all the other voices.

If, on the other hand (and this is just off the top of my head), a personal injury attorney were to offer something like this, “Consumer Awareness Guide: 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Dealing With Insurance Companies” and follow up with two short emails per week in a conversational tone, sharing recent success stories or safety tips, or tips on how to read the fine print, all the while opening up about personal stuff and building the relationship…

Don’t you think said attorney would stand out?

Like the aforementioned flatulence in an otherwise quiet corner?

And who would the client call?  Mr. Side-of-the-bus-guy, or their old friend Al, whose emails they enjoy?

Hey.

Sometimes what’s inside just gotta come out.

Keep your marketing DNA intact, and get more sales: schedule your email income consultation here:

http://calendly.com/conorkel

Happy…ahem…well, standing out,

Conor Kelly