Big changes are happening online.
Marketing and sales strategies that worked like gangbusters just a few years ago (and in some cases, a few months ago) just aren’t cutting it anymore.
The numbers are NOT what they used to be and entrepreneurs are feeling the pinch.
Fewer people are clicking on ads and opting in for free lead magnets. Webinar registrations and show up rates are at an all-time low. Fewer people are opening and reading emails. Million-dollar launches have become increasingly rare.
Here’s what’s going on…
As the online industry matures and consumers get more sophisticated and savvy, the demand for top-notch products and services has escalated.
These days, everyone has a built-in radar that effectively picks up on the “3Fs” online — Fraud, Fake, False.
And the truth is it’s a lot harder for most people to make it online right now than it was just a few years ago.
But for entrepreneurs (like you and me!) who are ready and willing to push the boundaries and explore innovative marketing ideas and strategies…
This is the perfect time to grow your business.
When so many other big names in the industry are experiencing a major downturn in sales and profits, I’m happy to report that Live Your Message is going from strength to strength.
We had our most profitable year ever in 2018 and we’re on track to beat our own record in 2019 🙂
A big reason for our continued growth is that we don’t rely on old, outdated strategies — we are constantly innovating and implementing fresh, new ways to meet (and exceed) customer expectations.
I know lots of new entrepreneurs and more than a few seasoned pros would like to know what’s working in sales and marketing right now…
… so I’ve compiled a list of innovative sales and marketing methods that I love and that have generated awesome results for Live Your Message.
Here they are in no particular order:
UNDERGROUND STRATEGY #1: CTA-Free Content
If the online business world had a Holy Grail the almighty CTA would be it!
A Call to Action (otherwise known as a CTA in marketing circles) — things like “buy now,” “click here,” and “share this” — lets your prospects know exactly what you’d like them to do next after they read your posts, sales pages, emails and everything else.
Most sales and marketing gurus insist it’s best practice to include a CTA for every single piece of content you put out there.
But that’s yesterday’s news.
Right now, creating CTA-free content can potentially transform your business.
For instance, if you’re a copywriter, you could write a CTA-free blog post on how to craft attention-grabbing headlines. Or if you’re a photographer, you could share a CTA-free video on how to use a phone camera to capture gorgeous photos for Instagram.
Here’s what happens when you choose to ditch traditional CTAs in some of your content so people get to experience you and your brand with no strings attached:
- You’ll build an awesome reputation. Your audience will love that you’re sharing great content without asking for anything in return.
- You’ll build a “retargeting” list of people who’ve shown interest in your message and your content that you can later advertise to.
- You’ll send the message that you trust your products, services and brand to do the talking for you. You know people will come back to find you — even when there’s no CTA — because you’re putting high-value content out there.
CTA-free content shows your audience you’re happy to share your expertise at no cost to them, which makes this strategy a major trust-building asset.
UNDERGROUND STRATEGY #2: The “No-Safety-Net” Launch
Smart, successful entrepreneurs (people like Jeff Walker and Susan Garrett) have started using “Live Launches” to consistently bring in millions in sales.
Rather than just sharing all pre-recorded videos and webinars, the Live Launch — or what I like to call the “No-Safety-Net” Launch — features (you guessed it) LIVE webinars, Facebook Lives, Zoom trainings or other content that’s delivered in real time.
Live Launches are a HUGE hit with most audiences because it’s absolutely authentic, real and raw.
Here’s the thing…
People are fed up with empty promises and false guarantees in emails and blog posts, and on landing pages and on sales pages.
They’re craving REAL.
A Live Launch lets your audience feel your energy and experience your teaching style — unedited and unproduced.
There’s no safety net so people know you know your stuff when you teach and answer questions in real time.
This creates deep trust in your expertise so when it’s time to click on that buy button for your product, program or service…
They don’t think twice.
UNDERGROUND STRATEGY #3: The Netflix Launch
This is a series of pre-recorded, high production “webisodes” or teachings and trainings that lead up to your offer.
Think Netflix for entrepreneurs. 🙂
In 2018, James Wedmore shared an 8-webisode series — a stylish fusion of marketing and entertainment — that could be binge-watched on demand, Netflix-style.
He called it Bizflix and people went crazy for it, including me!
(Pssst…. we plan on rolling out a Netflix Launch in the next year or so for a new program we’re developing, so keep an eye on your email inbox.)
So, you might be thinking, “Hey Marisa, you just said Live Launches are awesome so how does this fit in?”
Great question and here’s my answer…
Entrepreneurs are unique. So are their audiences.
And there’s no such thing as “one size fits all.”
Make it your goal to know and understand your audience so you can get a sense of what they’re looking for.
The simplest, most effective way to do this? ASK.
Make it a practice to regularly survey your subscribers or kick it old school and actually call past clients or customers.
Ask them what they want and need from you. Find out how they prefer to learn. Aim to get to know your audience and discover how they like to interact and consume your content.
Getting up close and personal will help you design sales and marketing strategies that get people excited, engaged and ready to snap up your products and services as soon as you offer them.
Something else to consider…
Entrepreneurs like James Wedmore, Susan Garrett and Jeff Walker are skilled at playing to their strengths.
Susan and Jeff are both real and super down-to-earth and they love connecting with their audience on live video or in person. James is a filmmaker who knows exactly how to create engaging, pre-recorded videos.
Do what these mega successful entrepreneurs do and play to your strengths.
Think about what you’re good at and what feels good to you… then find a way to make it a big part of your business.
UNDERGROUND STRATEGY #4: Try it Before You Buy It
We see it on sales pages all the time — the money back guarantee. Sometimes it’s a 14-day guarantee, sometimes it’s 30 or even 60 days.
The guarantee (also known as a “risk reversal” in marketing circles) is meant to build trust and eliminate risk at the point of sale.
But today’s audience is smart, sophisticated and yes… skeptical. They’re hard to impress and guarantees aren’t as big of a needle mover for getting the sale as they used to be.
In other words. your money-back guarantee tells people your product is awesome but right now telling isn’t enough.
You need to show them that you know what you’re doing.
And that’s where “try it before you buy it” comes in.
Here’s how it works…
Let’s imagine you’re launching a 4-week program to your tribe and social media audience.
With “try it before you buy it” you’ll offer a couple of lessons for free during your launch.
You can do this by sharing the link to these lessons in your Facebook group and in an email to your subscribers.
This gives your audience a chance to experience your paid content before they spend a dime.
“Try it before you buy it” is a powerful, authentic way to quickly overcome buyer skepticism and demonstrate that your content is extraordinary and will deliver the results you promise it will.
The Era of Authenticity
Right now, we’re smack in the middle of the Era of Authenticity and that’s just as it should be.
As I said, now’s the best time for honest, authentic entrepreneurs to step into the spotlight because when you’re dedicated to offering quality products and services…
When your sales and marketing come from a place of integrity and authenticity…
When you’re ready to do what it takes to establish trust, build genuine relationships and engage with your audience…
You get to win and you get to win BIG 🙂
Here’s something I’d love to know…
Which of the 4 strategies I shared here is your favorite? Which one are you most interested in implementing in your business and why?
Share your thoughts in the comments below. I read and reply every single one!
Love it? Hate it? Let me know...
Marisa, I really want to try to do the “Live Launch” but am scared to death to try it for my first launch. Just don’t have the confidence that I have the infrastructure set-up and in place. We’ve been offering content on our Facebook page http://www.childlearnnature.com for our upcoming Institute at Yosemite in October. My day-to-day work designing has really been eating into my time for getting things organized for the institute. This is an Institute that has been offered “almost annually”, but I need to fill it with 160 early childhood educators looking to transform how they work with children. In past years we have had from 65 (First year) to 180 (2nd year) with the last two years around 110. That difference between 110 and 160 has meant pulling money out of my pocket instead of banking some money to support our other work. Thanks for all your insights!
First, I love ❤️ the name Murgatroyd! Like seriously, as a proud product of the 80’s, it also means my cartoons were late 70’s and early 80’s, and if i didn’t hear “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” At least every day, or every other day, I wasn’t laughing 😂 enough!
Thank you for the time you took to synthesize this article, it’s really great 👍🏼!!
I googled ‘RISK REVERSAL’ as I did not know that was the technical name for reducing buyers reluctance and fear of being duped. And I found this gem 💎 of an article. GREAT JOB AGAIN!
PS I coach Pastors and other sacred space practitioners how to take their gifts online and will definitely refer to this article.