Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Boring v Compelling - which ads are yours?

Can a compellingly written ad be more profitable than a boring, plain Jane type ad? 

Well, you don't need a side-by-side example to give you the answer, or do you?

Just look all around you and you'll find all the clues you need.

What do you with a boring tv programme? 

What happens if you read an article that drones on and on?

What do you do if you hear a speech full of um and ah monotony?

In almost all cases, you'd switch off, switch over, switch to something else that gives you a little more life.

Same too with ads and marketing communications.

Most ads ape and follow what's currently out there in the marketplace.

It's a continual cycle of the bland following the bland, the dumb following the dumb, the foolish following the foolish.

And it's generally not the fault of the business person because they've not received the right information, the right education, the right models of excellence. 

And why is that?

Because such information is rare and limited. (And because most marketing professionals are consumed by their own egotistical importance or are simply flat out incompetent, getting real valuable insight and information, is exceedingly rare) 

In fact, let's actually see a demonstration. A demonstration of what compelling copy looks like, and... what boring, non compelling copy looks like. 

And so imagine this was your business we're putting up on the hotseat here. (In fact, you could say this IS your business we're putting up on the hotseat here because your business communications are also either generally compelling, or... non compelling.)

Here's a typical, standard, off-the shelf type advertisement for a business:

Buy from us
We've been in business for x years.
We pride ourselves on our service, quality and reliability
No job too small or too big.
Your satisfaction is what drives us
We are very price competitive
No one does it like us

Slot in any kind of business or service and you'll understand why there's universal blandness and madness when it comes to promoting a business --  everyone is saying the same thing, the same way. And probably, getting the same kind of results. 

Does that kind of copy, that kind of static communication get the pulse racing, the glands excited, the heart and mind all joyful and engaged?

I don't think so.

So what happens when you choose to give life, dimension, embellishment to your ads and promotions - what kind of impact can you get? 

Let's see.

What if you owned an Internet Education marketing business where your services are centered around social media, PPC, SEO -- what would make an enticing, compelling ad? 

The headline would be imperative to get the prospect reading the next piece in the ad.

Because SEO, Social Media, PPC is somewhat a mystery, a minefield, an area most business people are scared of, frightened they'll get taken to the cleaners with. And so highlighting that fact in the opening headline will cause attention.

"Don't pay for SEO or Social Media marketing, Only pay for Results"
The ad can go on to say something like --

"It's an SEO and Social Media minefield out there. Who can you trust? How do you know you'll get the right kind of help? You won't really know the answer to that until after you've put your money down and by that time, it could be too late. You could've been taken to the cleaners already. We don't want to focus on your money. We want you to get comfortable with us. We want you to first get a hold of our copy of our special report that'll tell you why you don't want to pay for Social Media Marketing or SEO, and why you should pay for results instead. We'll show you the 7 key elements of a Social Media and SEO marketing plan and we'll show you how everything slots together. We'll show you how to turn your Social Media marketing into tangible results you can count. We'll show you the good, the bad and the ugly of SEO and Social Media marketing. If you like what you've read and you feel that we've helped shed a bright light for you on this mysterious world of Social Media and SEO marketing and you'd like us to arrange a no cost consultation where we'll walk you through the possibilities that exist for your business, then we'd love that opportunity"

Now what you'll see here in this ad is there's pure service. There's information and help on offer.

There's practical information and insight that helps a prospect move their mind towards wanting to find out more.

While most SEO and Social Media concerns are after the sealing the contract and not nearly interested enough in informing and educating the prospective customer, when it comes to making a decision in whom to go with for services, there's more likelihood the entity that educates, informs, gives service before asking for any money to exchange hands, will win the customer game.

What if your services or products were written and communicated in the same way as you've just seen (the second version), what kind of difference, what kind of impact would it make in the number of clients you secure and, in their cumulative total customer value?

Put pen to paper to it because that's the only way you can get a clear answer.

Compellingly written ads will always out-trump and out-money the boring or the hype filled variations. 

Test it. 

07903 905 802 / raja.hireker@gmail.com

Monday, 1 August 2016

Fixing Nike's latest (foolish) Magista print Ad

Here's an ad:

See if you can spot the foolishness in it;

Let me help.

Let's read the copy.

Play fast, think fast

For total ball control, Nike's Magista boots are made for creative playmaking containing revolutionary 3-d texture, a lockdown fit and a 360 degrees rotational traction pattern.

Now of course, Nike and any other company selling a commodity, need fresh energy driven into their selling copy. (And of course, have it be truthful at the same time.)

So when you read the main copy - containing revolutionary 3-d texture, a lockdown fit and a 360 degrees rotational traction pattern - it makes you think firstly, what jargon filled gobbledygook, and secondly... it makes you can't this same gobbledegook be applied to any of Nike's football boots, no matter how far back you go?

Revolutionary 3-d texture - what exactly is revolutionary about it? (And if you care to know what the word revolutionary means in a product, innovation context, you'll find -  causing or relating to a great or complete change. Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary) Oh dear, I don't think the Magista's revolutionary 3-d texture is going to fit into Merriam-Webster's dictionary. Nike have their own interpretation of what they mean by revolutionary.

A lockdown fit -Whatever that means. Would not a simple explanation about it be useful and helpful? Would not a simple description of the benefits of the lockdown fit, be useful?

And here's a phrase that'll help expand the features (and yes, believe it or not, Nike have hired ad people who do not know how to promote benefits. They'd rather be content with promoting jargon filled features of the product)... and... that seemingly magic, features-to-benefit phrase is...

means that you can      

So let's see that magical pithy phrase, in action

Nike's Magista's revolutionary 3-d texture means that you can get a closer than ever control of the ball, almost velcro-like grip so you can keep the ball on your feet for longer, so giving you more time to create those unplayable moves that'll leave your opponents wide-eyed and red faced.

See how that works?

It's not a revolutionary or secret filled piece of knowledge.

Yet, to the Nike creatives who worked on the ad above, it obviously is a piece of secret, revolutionary insight. Either that, or the Ad Pros couldn't give a damn about this proven knowledge and decide that they'd rather invest Nike's money on their own whims and nonsense.

And that's just it - most create such advertising foolishness because... their own money is not on the line.

If you want advertising that works, do the opposite of what doesn't.

And oh, the think fast element of Nike's strap line, needs rethinking.


Because most on the pitch (no matter what level) think fast and because of that...make wrong, rash or sloppy decisions. 

(See the part I wrote above. It's the little piece right after the velcro-type grip and the benefit that gives you. And there's nothing about playing fast, thinking fast. I'm not however going to explain how to adopt that for Nike because they're paying their ad agency people to have the brains to do that, correct?).  

Monday, 27 June 2016

How to fix false business doom and gloom given out by the misery bucket brigade

Anyone can paint a bleak picture about anyone, about any situation, about any event or occurrence.

It seems to be in our collective DNA - to point and blame and take the victim route.

And guess what, the misery bucket brigade, the doom and gloom merchants are mostly business owners and entrepreneurs themselves.

There's generally no outside help needed. (Although there are ample sources ready, willing and desperate to give us their dire predictions, which are generally founded on nothing else but fear and emotion) 

Let me prove that.

Why do 80% of all small businesses go belly up after 5 years?

It's because those who aren't doing that well are huddling together with other members of that 80% club where sharing stories of doom and gloom with each other and of how they're going down, is the daily conversation.

Not a pretty place to be.

But it's not for all who choose to attend. (Note the word choose)

There's a better, happier, more enjoyable solution. 

First and foremost - get in with a different, happening, more productive and happy oriented crowd! (Seek, and you'll find)

Seems obvious, doesn't it - if the environment you're in isn't helping you, get out. If the people and groups you continually listen to to get your info from, aren't helping you in a productive and practical way, then find and alternative. 

Choose, differently. 

And what else, what else can you do to fix business? 

Do an audit. Do an inventory check. 

How? What on?

To begin with;

  • Look at the ROI and performance levels on all your marketing activities, top to bottom - for example: sales presentations, the choice of target market, headlines, offers, risk reversal, guarantees, prospecting methods, referral systems, frequency of communications..- discard that what doesn't bring you a +ve ROI, and continually refine and make better the areas of marketing that are going well. (If there's a good residual back end amount that you'll get even if the front end investment seems low on the ROI front, there's no reason to stop that process)
  • Look at all your various processes, procedures and systems inside your business and see what can be made to perform better, more effectively, more efficiently, more profitably, all across the board.
  • Look at your human capital - is each person part of your team performing to the highest levels of effectiveness they can? Are those in charge of sales and marketing trained in consultative selling? Are office staff able to type faster, read and retain information faster, have more efficient time management skills.
  • What about your products and services - are there markets and niches you've not ventured into? Can your products or services be packaged differently? Can a premium based version be assembled/created to tap into the higher/highest end of  the market? 
  • Look at all your business and professional, relationships. Look at the groups and associations you belong to. Then look to see where referrals, recommendations, connections, reciprocal relationships can be created.     
You can start with the above.

And that's all that might be needed to create more business to happen because when compounded, all the above measures will create an avalanche of profitable activity.    

Don't believe the misery gang who paint the bleakest of pictures when anything unwanted happens to topple the current way things are.

You can fix business to be better than it has ever been for you. You just need the right information and the right help and instruction to implement the new ways you're now going to do things in your business. 

And here's the biggest business advantage you can have - when all others in your marketplace are suffering through their own mismanaged thoughts and grotesque imaginations about what the present and future holds for them, you can bet they're in a victim mindset, looking to blame others for their misery. And that's when you take ownership and show your customers and clients how flexible, agile and incredibly passionate you are about serving them through your products and services.

And they'll love you for that. 

Business doesn't have to be doom and gloom. 

It never is.

All that's doom and gloom are the miserable, victimised thoughts put out by those who refuse to think in up-lifting, action-oriented, productive and profitable ways.

And yes, what's always missing from that kind of mind, are the necessary actions to help fix what needs fixing, solve what needs solving.

And the longer you leave it, the longer you're in the same environment, inside the same de-energising conversations, inside the same the crippling thoughts of doom and gloom -- then the more the chance you'll stay rooted there because doom and gloom merchants are everywhere, insistent in dragging your mind and your business down with them.

Yet only you can turn things around for you by making the right kind of decisions that help and support you.   

www.RajaHireker.com / raja.hireker@gmail.com 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Scrap the Elvis-look-a-like marketing

The mad lookalike Elvis leaped on the judges table and started gyrating his hips and voice - just like Elvis.

Or so he thought.

It was only when the Britain's Got Talent Judges - led by Simon Cowell, told the fellow to politely get the hell off the stage, did the Elvis non look-a-like and non sound a-like, know to hit the road, Jack.

That's the problem trying to ape and mimic someone else - unless you get it ditto awesome, is that you'll be in for both ridicule and... a severe pasting. 

Not only that; you'll have given up all that was personal and unique to you and your business - your own identity and uniqueness.

And yet, on that same show, another contestant applied his Elvis spin, and his Michael Jackson spin, and his Justin Beiber spin and guess what... not only did his performance have the judges thrilled that they came to work that day, but the audience were left breathless and in awe at what they'd seen - they literally had their breath, taken away by what they'd seen.

And yes, I did, too.

One fellow got the boot for trying too hard to be a copy cat authentic... who won over, no-one. (Read that again)

And the other, found a way to create a unique identity by reinventing the existing authentic.... and had all on their feet in one collective applause (Read THAT one again... multiple times)  

Most marketing - most communications - most copywriting is...for most businesses in most industries in most countries -- are nothing but copycat versions of mediocrity.

For example - most communications are soaked in oodles of the 100 most boring verbs in the English language - repetitively.

Oh, and how interesting, because what do you think the NO.1 most committed marketing sin is, everywhere?

Being boring!

Numero Uno Elvis impersonator above got the boot because of (among many things)... being devastatingly boring and un-unique.  

He came a cropper because of overlumping too many of those desperately dull, dry-as-toast communication moves in his drab repertoire.   

He became a commodity no-one wanted, instantly. 

He had ZERO personal unique narrative. He stood for nothing. He became nothing. He got nothing. (Except, the boot)  

The same kind of marketing and communication strategies are being employed by too many businesses who have brains, but aren't directing them in a way that has their audiences (target market, current customers and clients) to sit up, wag their tails and demand more of that unique style and experience they crave.    

Most are Elvis-ing their communications and service in the same way most do in business. And, they're doing it wastefully and badly.  

What about you, your business?

What's your personal authentic narrative for your business, for your service, for your occupation?

You got your collars up like Elvis and strut around in that white studded leather jacket? Or, you shifting and reinventing and making yourself memorable and unique?

If you intend to sing it like Elvis, collars, jacket and all the trimmings... sorry, this old Hound Dog can't help you.

However, if you want to be the King or (Queen) Creole of the business or industry or business category you play in, then let's see if we can't have your competitors Crying in the Chapel.

It's Now or Never.

Want customised communications specifically for your business? raja.hireker@gmail.com

Saturday, 6 February 2016

If he can sell bottled AIR at £80 a pop, what's possible for you?

You may have seen or heard the recent news about a 27 year old who sells bottled air from Somerset, Wales, Dorset - and - he gets £80 a pop for it

And before you scoff at the absurdity of it all, know this; there's a fat happy market for pure quality air. (No, I didn't know that either)

Those with the money, and a desire for 'premium air' don't mind spending money for a few seconds of sniffing pure quality air.

And that's the key; there's a ready-to-buy market for it.

Sure, you and I may think... who on earth would spend that amount of money on AIR?. 

Well, he ships it over to polluted cities Shanghai and Beijing, where the wealthy elite pay a hefty sum for a few seconds of inhalation - THEY'RE the ones who buy.


And when you break it down, what's being sold here is a story. Nothing else. Leo De Watts is telling his story of bottled water and the benefits and merits of it - and, a certain segment of the world's population have bought the story and so, hand over their money for the results of what the story can do for them.  

Reading that should be nothing but beautiful music to your ears because if someone can package up a story of bottled air and how it'll do the recipient good, then what can we do with your tangible goods and services that'll give the beneficiary a whole lot more value than a few seconds of sniffing the bottled up air of certain places in United Kingdom?

Now here's what's really instructive;

If all Leo De Watts did was to plaster and blast out the following selling message  - "...buy my bottled air at £80 a bottle and I'll ship it to you first class anywhere in the world.." if all he did was scream out his goods - well guess what; no matter how well he tries, he's not going to reach inside the psychological mind of his ideal customer and have them part with their money. He had to first tell the story of how pure their air was in certain parts of UK and how, by inhaling such quality air it'll have wonderful knock on health benefits and will enhance the quality of thinking and the quality of life of those who buy it.

What's your bottled air story... and... does it move enough qualified prospects to want to take you up on your proposition... because that's the ultimate test here, isn't it -- what you say and what's written in your marketing and communication messages - (your bottled air story) and.... the response you get because of it... that's what matters most. 

Now... if you've no real story and you're still getting a good amount of business, imagine what would happen if you created a wonderful story about your products and services and the benefits they provide, and you used that in all your promotional messages and materials, what do you think would happen? Ask Leo De Watts. Ask him what his story of his bottled air has done for him and his business? Ask him about the additional free business and free publicity he's managed to get and... what it has meant to him from a pure profit point of view.

His conversational copywriting, his written copywriting message about bottled water is making him well known and rolling in the money that's...rolling in.  

Some may think Leo De Watts is pulling a fast one, that what he's doing is nothing but a sophisticated scam.

To all of us who cannot see the value in what he's selling, who aren't prospects for what he's promoting, who cannot see the merit in his proposition whatsoever... maybe that's true.

However, the instructional message here is to know that there's a market in the world for almost anything and everything and... that we all buy based on stories, on a message that represents a product, service or idea.

What story do you want to be told about what you sell, ? And, for it to be told in a captivating, engaging and truthfully exciting way?  


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Say nothing, get nothing ( plus...90-page sales letter making money, hand over fist)‏

I thought this was smart.

To put up a single webpage of copy to advertise my writing services with the following headline;

Yes, A Writer With Not Much To Write!

I then went on to say why, if you're looking for a writer, you don't want to be burdened with information overload, and so that's why I'm keeping this short.

All in all, if you were to print the webpage out, it would be less than a single A4 page of copy.  

The result?


I mean, literally - NO THING.

For months.

Deathly silence.

We all experiment.

And that one was bad.... really BAD.

And out of those experiments, we either carry on doing what we think is good (based on ego and wanting to look good) or... we adjust because things aren't working.

Since that time, I've learned that the kind of people I attract and whom I'm interested in working with and sharing my ideas with, are those businesses and entrepreneurs who want solid information... who want to dive deep into something they're interested in... who have an expansive brain and want to go over (re-read) things - once, twice, several times.

You'll rarely get a few lines of copy from me.

Because I've things to say and share.

And... I make sure that what I'm saying has some kind of actionable usefulness to you and... that what I write isn't boring, or a chore for you to read.

Some of my emails have been 3 to 4 solid pages of text.

But I've seen that they're getting opened, read and hopefully for them, has them taking some kind of action based on what's written in the emails. 

For a writer, silence (take that to mean being skimpy with words and explanations) is the kiss of death. (See the stark difference between one ad that has minimal words, and... my Honda CRV ad that's packed to the rafters with interesting, fact based copy) 

For a business, sending out the same kind of communications an audience is used to seeing -- because every other business is sending them the same versions of neutral, plain Jane offers, promotions and information - is pretty much the same as being silent. 

Majority of your audience will glance, dust their hands off together, and pass it by.

Your business can't afford to keep doing that.

"Oh, but I can't write all that copy, no-one's going to read all that... they're going to be bored and turn away from it all... my audience is different"

Of course, we ALL turn away from anything, if it's boring. Short copy. Long copy. Doesn't matter. 

If there's one thing we can't stand, it's being bored to death.

Ed Miliband - ex Labour Party leader, was absolved of all blame for the Labor Party's recent UK election collapse, according to a recent Labour Party investigation into what happened.

Unfortunately for the deluded souls who led that investigation and came to the conclusions they did, Ed Miliband is the most boring politician you could meet - visually, verbally and in all other ways.

Lack of inspiration, lack of leadership, lack of like-ability - he WAS the number one reason Labour failed. Yet, his business (his party) could not see it, still cannot see it.

Many were bored with Miliband's brand of consistent boring-ness.

Want to know about a sales letter that's 90 pages in length that's selling a business product that has tens of thousands of buyers and made the company millions a year... and... it ISN'T boring?

And something else, has genuine, sincere fans of the product because it's turned their lives around?

What you need to know about the letter is it contains everything a person needs to know before making a purchase.

There's no question that's not answered.

There's no lack of proof that'll have you quizzical or befuddled.

And get this, there's NO hard sell going on, though... it sells.

Zen like?


The business has done a MASTERFUL job in selecting and qualifying their particular client and making the best, most irresistible proposition they can.

It's copywriting and sales story creation at its best. And it's really only for serious students of the craft of direct response communications and who are growth obsessed, who'll benefit from looking at it.  

Why aren't I leading you to the page and having you go make up your own mind about it?

Because if you're not already putting out the kind of communication and information that your audience and customers love, then this'll be too dramatic a shift for you. (If the letter is of interest to you, get in touch) 

And exactly who'll buy from that sales page?

Those who read it and raise their hands to buy.

The other 99.999% of people on the planet - it won't even reach their eyeballs.

Where are YOU being silent in your communications? 

How OFTEN are you showing up silent and blank, again and again and again?

If you want to fix that, then there are options.

Here's one of them.

-- don't forget - say nothing, you get nothing... say nothing different, you get nothing different. 


Saturday, 23 January 2016

How to Drive More Cash-flow Into Your Business Without Spending Any Additional Money on Advertising

"SPEND SPEND SPEND on more advertising to drive more cashflow into your business!" 


You don't do any of that.

You can drive more cash flow into your business without spending any additional money on advertising.

How is it done?
Stick around, I'll show you how to do it.

1. First way; gather all those names of people who have inquired about your business or service but, haven't yet bought. 

Then, what you do with the names is send those people a communication and ask them what you can do to help them. They raised their hands for a reason in the first place, but it doesn't mean they've had their problem solved. It doesn't mean they're still not interested. It doesn't mean that they've found a provider they're happy with.

You don't know any of that.

Find out. There's plenty of money to be made in those who've enquired but didn't buy.

What else?

2. Those past customers of your who haven't bought in x months or x years. Send them a 'we miss you'... 'we want you back' reactivation letter.
We don't necessarily go back to a place of business, and it's because of a few reasons.

However, if we're contacted or communicated to about a special deal and the communication is sincere and it's respectful and it's from the heart, we'll more than likely check out what's on offer. 

Same is true for your business and services. You've got past clients and customers who haven't been in touch with you because... you've not been in touch. 

Get back in touch. Fast. You'll be surprised at what happens.

3. Done great work for your existing clients or customers? 

Then don't you want the same kind of customers as those, the kind you've already helped and served? 

If you've agreed, then put a formalised, systematised referral system in process. 

There's a ton of money waiting for you inside the relationships associations and connections of your existing customers. Tap it.Work it. You'll get more business.

4. Already spending fixed cost money on advertising and marketing?
Then don't spend anymore. Just fix your current advertising and written communications and you'll get better results.

What should you look for when making those changes? 

Begin with the following;

>>> Does a potential customer know the ad or communication is targeted to them? If not, ensure your target prospect is precisely mentioned in the  pre-headline, headline or sub-headline. 

>>> What's the biggest benefit your customers will get? Specify, demonstrate, put that in your ads.

>>> How stilted, stunted and jargonified are your words in your ads and promotions? Very? Then change them. Use simple clear words and your communications will connect better with your reader and in turn, lead to a better response in terms of sales and profits.

>>> Prospects know explicitly what to do to make an order? If not, spell out the ABC steps. Be clear. Be specific. Be unambiguous. 

5. What other, non-competing business has your specific customer as their customers, also?   

Make a list. Send the owner of the other business a communication about a possible joint venture between you and them where you get to access their existing customer database. 

They've already done the hard work. They've built their business. They've got the customers who are perfect prospects for your products or services - and - for the cost of an email (zero cost) or a letter (very little cost) you'll have the opportunity to access a new pool of customers, a number of whom will turn out to be new paying customers of yours.

Let me repeat again; 

You do NOT need to spend heaps and heaps on getting new customers and spending MORE money to get them. (You will however, find an increasing number of consultants and agencies who'll tell you anything to get you spend spend spend on new advertising... anything.)    

When you begin employing the above, low to zero cost strategies, you'll see how you can grow your business, get more cash flowing in... all with a little bit of action, agility and ingenuity.

And, importantly, you can do it all without you ever needing to break the bank.

Don't simply read about these strategies - employ them - they'll make you money and in turn, I'll get to hear from you.