Who else has the “Curse of Knowledge”? Your knowledge makes you a master at what you do… but can you communicate your message to your most likely buyers? Your knowledge may be getting in the way. Discover how to think like your potential buyers and create rapport with your Key Message.

What Would YOU Do If You Knew You Could Not FAIL?

Twelve years ago I gave away my TV and never bought another.  When people ask me WHY? I have a ready answer –

“I don’t want to live my life watching people pretending to live theirs.”

We all live on borrowed time.

If you’re a business owner who wants to grow profitably – this video puts your numbered days into a tangible grasp…

  • 2676 days of your life watching TV?
  • 1099 days spent commuting?
  • and at least 3202 days used up for earning a living… well spent, I hope?

What do you really want to achieve next?

New report coming soon to help you get there – 52 Keys To Business Growth. You’ll soon be able to receive one key in your inbox each week. If you truly want to ramp up your progress, get all 52 Keys at once – coming soon.


Debra-Sue Cope Meets Emmitt Smith: 10 Entrepreneurial Truths

As seen on Newswire

Debra-Sue Cope Asks Entrepreneurs:

“Who transcends the game of football through character, performance, and humility?”

Answer: Emmitt Smith, the only running back to ever win the NFL MVP award, the NFL rushing crown, and the Super Bowl MVP award – all in the same season!

Debra-Sue Cope presents Emmitt Smiths 10 Success Truths as told at the 2014 GKIC SuperConference for Entrepreneurs

Emmitt Smiths Reveals 10 Entrepreneurial Success Truths At GKIC SuperConference

“I promised my dad when I was 8 yrs old that I would play for the Dallas Cowboys. When I got a call from them as the first-round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft, I felt like I was fulfilling my promise and my dream.

When Dallas played Buffalo in the Super Bowl, I knew I had arrived.”

Keynote Speaker At the GKIC SuperConference for Entrepreneurs, Emmitt Smith – three-time NFL Super Bowl Champion – reveals 10 Truths of Success and inspires 732 small business owners to get their GAME ON!

If you missed the event, no worries. Here are Emmitt’s Top 10 Small Business Insider Truths for entrepreneurs who courageously pursue their own dreams:

1. Find Your Place In The World
You must have a reason to get up every morning and love what you’re doing. Keep your goals bigger than the opportunity. And be ready for what’s next.

Never be satisfied with anything. Nothing. Whatever success you ever have – enjoy it for 24 hours and get back on the saddle again.

2. Write Down Your Goals
What you seek is only a dream until you write it down, and then it becomes a goal. That’s when you can execute against your game plan and the journey begins.

3. Deal With Change
Change is a word that we all must deal with. Change scares people to death.

When I started with University of Florida we played against Alabama. I made 2 touchdowns and we won. Then I got the call from Dallas – should I stay and finish school or leave? I had to make a business decision.

When you want something, you must prepare for the test. I chose to leave school to embark on an opportunity I’d wanted since childhood – the opportunity to go pro.

4. Avoid Negativity
Your attitude determines you altitude. My #1 method to stay positive and overcome obstacles is first to get down on my knees and pray about it. Then I go to what I call my “library of life” – I ask myself, have I gone thru this before, or seen someone go through it?

When you are faced with a challenge, think humm,

“I’ve been here done that, and this is how I overcame it.”

Then ask yourself,

“Does that apply to this situation?”

5. Build On Your Accomplishments
Know what you’ve accomplished already and build on that. Look at your body of work and assess where you are in your ‘library of life”. I learn tools and techniques to help me persevere and try to use them every time.

6. Step Outside Of Your Zone
Dancing with the Stars in 2006 was WAY out of my comfort zone. It was never a goal or a dream – not even on the radar. It took a mind shift to do it. My pedigree with sports prepared me. With Cheryl Burke as my dance partner, we won!

7. Plan For Adversity
Adversity will come your way. To pursue your dreams you have to overcome your fears. There will be tough challenges – you got to get out there and do it again.

8. Learn From Others’ Mistakes
Memorize the mistakes of others and don’t do the same thing. They are showing you what not to do so you will know what to do.

9. Acknowledge Those Who Help You
No one becomes successful alone. You can overcome your own fears through the help of others. Remember that and keep your humility. I was Rookie of the year in 1990, and lead the league in ‘91 and ’92. But I kept my humility. That is the one thing that keeps you hungry. It gives you something to look forward to.

Once you get to #1, how do you stay #1? You put people in front of you.

10. Stay Balanced
With a family of 5, published author, speaker and owner of a construction company, here’s how I keep it all balanced:

I’m home for dinner, and Saturdays I’m all theirs. Every Friday night is date night with my wife. We go out and do normal things. I access my celebrity side only when I need it. Otherwise I’m just like you. Humility is part of my life.

As a father, I make sure I give each child one-on-one time and stay involved with their sports. Between acting as their father and their coach, I remain on the father side.

What I tell my children:

Love your work and be passionate about it. Then life becomes fun. You’ll never work a day in your life. Get a great education and be productive citizens. You have to earn your way through life. My success is mine, it doesn’t make you successful – You make you successful.

Then I’ve done my job as a father.

Coming Soon: 52 Business Growth Strategies – one in your inbox each week, absolutely FREE – How to build your brand without paying for it.

How To Create Great Content

Create video and create a buzz. If I can do it… anyone can!

If you know that “Content is King” on the internet, you may be wondering how to create great content that helps your most likely clients to find you and leads them to do business with you. Discover your Key Message that draws your Key Clients to YOU – and turn that content into powerful messages online and offline with traditional marketing methods.

How To Build Ranking In A Competitive Local Niche

Did you know… 590 people search for Translation Services Chicago EVERY MONTH!!

That’s a lucrative niche, worth coming up organically in the search engines.

Here’s a video that is starting to come up in the rankings for my client who does language translations in Chicago:

SEO For Local Niches

Please watch… and help us get Google to notice.

Do this: Watch it to the end, then if you like it, give a thumbs up and a comment.



Will keep you posted on when we start to dominate on the keywords… translation services Chicago!

Join A Community Of Goal Setters

Hey Friends,

Check out this unbelievably helpful resource: Goal Setting Community

…Discover, set, and track your goals, while you enjoy the support of a community of likeminded individuals.  Get clear and stay accountable.

The site provides 4 areas for goal setting: body, mind, heart, spirit.  You can create any categories you like, set tasks, and track your results.

My 3 areas for goal setting are money, relationships, and health. What are yours?

Try it out and let me know how this works for you.

Do You Really Need A Core Story?

The core story, the brainchild of Chet Holmes, is a persusasive  idea… a way to initiate a relationship with a potential client… someone in your target audience, perhaps an “ideal client”. Chet Holmes uses a well-known sales process to create a marketing and sales concept that has some adherents.

Here’s the basic process: First you identify the pain of the prospect, then you agitate it with some third-party secondary data, then you tell them “it doesn’t have to be this way”. Next you describe the solution and identify what to look for in a provider. FINALLY, and no sooner, you talk about your company specifically.  It’s an old formula embedded in an extensive powerpoint presentation. It has some utility.

First of all, with all good marketing, it’s important to create a message that taps into the fears and challenges your propects face. This shows you understand them. You can also point to dangers they may not know about, or feel but don’t see the extent of the problem.  The message you are giving them might be — “Do something now, before you have bigger problems.”  Or your message could be — “No wonder you’re worried, look at how things have gotten worse over time.”

Pain is a great motivator. Pain backed by third party researched can be very convincing.  As long as you’re sticking to the truth, you will create a sense of urgency that will work in your favor when the time comes to ask for the sale.

Another strength of Chet Holmes’ core story concept is the excellent sales strategy of overcoming objections in advance–before your prospect has a chance to raise them. Again, this makes the close much easier when the time comes to ask for the sale. Every potential new client has certain criteria that must be met before they will buy. These are known as their “buying criteria”.  These buying criteria may be fully conscious or below the radar. In either case, they can get in the way when you are moving toward a “yes.” Best to catch the internal dialogue and address it, change their thinking early on, and set the buying criteria in your favor.

The core story makes use of these well-know sales techniques to create a presentation you can use to condition your potential client’s thought process to do business with you. Your prospect wants to make a good buying decision. You are initiating the relationship, building rapport, and educating them with need-to-know information.  It’s like leading horses to water… and making sure they’re plenty thirsty so they’ll drink from your trough.

Now for the core story concept downside–once you get your core story, assuming it’s the RIGHT core story to connect your target audience with your product or service, how will you USE it?

I managed and wrote core story projects for Empire Research Group, Inc., the core story team for Chet Holmes International, for the better part of 4 years. And when the story was right, and most importantly, the company had the skill to use it, the results were good, occasionally transforming. It could change the sales and marketing dynamic for the client.

But there’s the rub. The majority of the business people I worked with–CEOs, Presidents, Marketing Managers, etc…  didn’t know how to use it. Unless they were already skilled at presenting, or had the momentum and intiative to use their story in their marketing communications, they got little or no return from the exercise. At best, they learned to look at their business and prospects in a new light. However, the story itself would often never leave the digital file.

I return to the question in the title–Do you really need a core story? A more pertinent question is… once you get your core story, will you use it?

As soon as I no longer played on the Empire Research Group team, I was free to tackle this question head on for my clients. To find out the similarities and differences between a core story and a Key Message, stay tuned.  It’s the subject of my next post.

Until then, follow the tried and true formula–connect with your most likely buyers by tapping into the dialogue that’s already going on in their minds. Overcome objections in advance, educate them, create urgency… and back up what you are saying with some real research.

If you follow this well-known sales process, getting new clients to sign on the bottom line will be much easier.

How you can turn your business into a money magnet with Adam Urbanski

Our guest today will teach you how simple marketing strategies can make you millions of dollars per year in additional profits creating and selling information products online, and even more money by attracting more clients to your coaching and consulting businesses.

A mentor to people who really want to grow their business, Adam makes complex marketing ideas simple and implementable. But most importantly Adam is here today to teach you how YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Pay close attention—these excerpts from a sixty minute interview with Adam will show you proven strategies of how to turn your passion and your know how into a never ending stream of passive income!

Debra-Sue: Adam, I’m so excited to have you as my guest today. I’m really looking forward to learning from you over the next hour. Welcome to the call.

Adam: Wherever you’re starting from, there’s a lot you can learn from this discussion. By succeeding with my own businesses I have come to understand the “psychology of business”—what it takes to get people to get things done.

Most people don’t know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Failure gives the false belief that marketing doesn’t work.

Implementation is in the hands of the receiver.  If you put these ideas on the shelf—nothing happens.  Implementation really can be quite challenging. You may discover your understanding of these ideas are very  limited.  There’s a difference between knowledge from book leaning and wisdom, which comes from experience.

“Knowledge—knowing about something. Wisdom—knowing by doing.”

It becomes obvious who has the book knowledge and who knows from doing.

Most ads are placed by big companies that have huge budgets.  They don’t work for smaller companies that most don’t recognize.

People make the mistake of copying wrong approaches at the wrong time. They see the surface of the strategy. They don’t see how it makes money and helps them to grow.

As an analogy, you can’t build a car just by looking at a picture of a car. A replica doest work, it doesn’t go. That’s because they don’t see the engine that makes it work.

When it doesn’t work, they get discouraged. They wait for the phone to ring.  It never rings. They did everything they saw out there and it didn’t work. It fails to deliver the results they wanted. They become disenchanted and frustrated, and come to the false conclusion it doesn’t work.

There are a few basic steps every company had to be involved in:

  • Understand your market.
  • Generate leads.
  • Build interest.
  • Convert to first time buyers.
  • Retain customers.

Every step offers countless tactics that can be deployed. The point is, as humans, we all are driven by caveman/woman brain. We all are motivated by the same psychological triggers. First, know what sort of triggers would work best with your audience? Only then do you choose the tactics.

Debra-Sue: How do we communicate value to our potential customers?

Adam: 99.9% of businesses start building their business from the wrong end— they always focus on what they can provide. All successful businesses start from the perspective of the audience. What is their problem they are trying to solve? How can we address that problem?

If you have a hamburger stand, what you need is a crowd of hungry people.

WIIFM—what‘s in it for me? If a business doesn’t send that message on that frequency, potential customers won’t respond.

What’s most important is not that they understand what you do but that they feel understood. They do business with you because they feel understood. They don’t look for your product or you, they look for solutions to their problems.

What are they looking for?  They are looking for solution to their problems.

For instance, if you are a chiropractor, advertise the solution to their back pain, not your chiropractor services. Clients want the result, not how you will do this. They want to know you understand them and can speak to their concerns. Sell your solution, not your product or service.

Communicate you understand their problem and you will solve their problem. People look for solutions of the problems and will buy from you if they feel understood.

Debra-Sue: How do you get this message out in front of your potential buyers?

Adam: There’s a difference between strategy and tactics.

Strategy: your overall plan and the business model. How will you generate leads? What are you selling? How will you convert a prospect into a customer? How will you serve them? How will the money be made?

Tactics: the specific steps to implement the strategy. The tactic you select will depend on your audience—how do they buy now? How are they receiving messages right now? Use that modality.

You always want to look for the easiest and quickest way to reach your market. Many people focus on support tools and crutches—we can have an amazing business without the crutches. You must consider where your audience is and the most effective way to get your message out.

Debra-Sue: Please explain the importance of creating an opt-in page, or squeeze page, for email capture.

Adam: Direct response is not new.  You must put something in front of your customers that grabs their attention, builds their interest and causes them to immediately take action.  Offer info about the customer’s problem, how it can be solved, how to get FREE information about how to solve it, and how to request that information.

As markets become more decentralized and competitive, businesses are look for ways to get customers’ contact information. A branding site is about your company. It has too many links. You can’t predict where the customer will go and what link they will click on. You’ve lost control.

Instead, give them a clear path to walk on with no other options. One is a choice, two is a dilemma, three is a nightmare. Opt in or leave:  A single choice. “If you are serious about solving that problem then give us your contact information.” This method allows people to select themselves as a potential client and deselect themselves if they are not.

“Yes—I want to lean about this solution. I will opt in.”

A fancy website will never be as effective as a single page with an option to opt in. This page takes minutes and only a few dollars to create.

The key is the wording on the page—let them know that you understand them and you have something to offer them.

Debra-Sue: With the economy so uncertain, what is the #1 recommendation you can make to business owners?

Adam: This question always makes me chuckle.  The answer is the same as always—focus your efforts on attracting leads, gaining interest, and turning them into clients.

You must optimize, then automate. There are many options, some with immediate results, some take time to develop. Focus on generating leads. 80% lead generation efforts for new companies.  Established businesses can work their way down to about 20%

Convert leads:  Find out how to maximize potential clients into actual clients, someone who buys. Once that first purchase happens, how can you insure you transform this customer into a lifetime relationship? This is key to established businesses being successful. Focus on keeping the customer. If you want to expand the profitability of a single customer, you can develop alliances with people who offer products and services that are complementary to what you provide.

When money is tighter, be smarter about testing and tracking results to make sure every dollar you put out there works for you and is not wasted.

Debra-Sue: Thank you, Adam. This has been very informative. You can propel a business into a whole new category if they listen to what you say and act on it.  How can they find out more about you?

Adam: Go to www.themarketingmentors.com. You’ll see the strategic marketing plan that goes into much greater depth: How to think strategically about your business and what tactics to implement.

It’s so important to learn what the marketing message is and the key psychological triggers to connect with their audience and motivate them to take action.

The only thing that will change the future for the better are the choices we make and the actions we take today. I know this information will be of value to anyone wanting to overcome obstacles and succeed massively in the coming year.

What’s the No. 1 best way to build an online business and get traffic to your website?

askthewebchikExcerpts from an interview with Jody Jelas, the WebChik, on January 31, 2010.

Good evening everyone. This is Debra-Sue Cope, with Key Market Research, helping business owners build bridges between their Key Buyers and their Key Business.

Today we have an exceptional quest who has helped many entrepreneurs and business owners create websites that attract more leads and convert them to highly paying clients.

Let me introduce to you the website design expert Jody Jelas, the WebChik. She’ll be showing you what makes a great website GREAT and how to get a website online in less than 10 days with only $1 deposit. Her offer comes with a satisfaction guarantee: You don’t pay for your website until it’s complete and you are 110% happy with it!

Jody Jelas – author of the WebChik blog and founder of Big Fish Website Design – has been helping people make money online for over 12 years. Jody and her team were responsible for putting together my Key Market Research website.

Her team of designers, programmers, and marketing experts work together to create beautiful websites that really work!  What Jody enjoys most is seeing her clients online business ideas come to life and start making them money!

Before we get started, Jody, let me say that working with you has been incredibly easy and pleasant. The best part, in addition to the great web design, is that you truly bring with you a business perspective.  You’ve understood that what I want to do is to use my website to attract new clients and build my business. You’ve shown me great ways to get traffic to my site and most importantly, how to monetize my site. Unlike web designers I’ve used in the past, I haven’t had to explain that to you. You understand my purpose behind my site and have helped me to move forward on that goal.  Thank you Jody, I’m delighted with the work you did for me.

Jody: Excellent. Thank you, Debra-Sue.  Thank you for having me on this call!

Debra-Sue: Here’s our first question: What’s the #1 best way to build an online business and get traffic to your website?

Jody: I seriously believe in giving people more than they expect.  To increase value and going the extra mile for them.  One way to do that is to give regular advice and tips to show you really DO know what you’re talking about. The most cost effective way to do this is with a blog.

If you can consistently blog—and I recommend 2 or 3 times a week—you can create a following of subscribers who come again and again to your site.  The more you blog the better, but it’s also important to do it consistently. The more you blog the better for you with the search engines plus you give more value to your customers.

Debra-Sue: That’s great to know. Can you give me the 3 most important things to keep in mind when getting a new website?

Let me give you an example of how my blog has worked for me, not to brag, but to show you the value of blogging. I started with having absolutely no one—I didn’t even have a list.  By week 8 I had over 200 people regularly visiting my blog. Many of them have become clients.

There’s a book I highly recommend for people.  It’s about building your brand, blogging, and turning your passions into profits: Gary Vaynerchuck’s Crush It! It’s all about how to make money on line with your passion.  If you go to my website, www.bigfish.com and the resources page, you can get it there.

You also can download from my Big Fish website the “ 7 things you need to know before you spend a dime on a website” Free Report. I’ll give you one here: Start with the end in mind. You have to know your big picture and develop your brand.

Debra-Sue: How do you determine who is your target audience and what to write about?

Jody: There’s where your services would come into it.  You can help them with your company, Key Market Research, to find their niche and how to market to those people.  What do you recommend to your clients about finding their niche?

Debra-Sue: It’s not effective to try to be “all things to all people”.  First you must decide who to market to.  One of the best ways to determine this is to start with potential buyers you have an infinity with.  Who do you already do business with? Who do you know well?  You can add more niches later, but this is the best way to get started—start with the people you know the most about and like working with.

The second thing you must do is to overcome your “curse of knowledge.” What do I mean by that? You know so much about your topic that you have probably forgotten what it’s like to be a beginner.  You must think like they think and write in the most accessible way.  You must speak in their language about what is important to them.

There are so many ways to find out what’s on their mind and dialogue with them–surveys, other blogs….  With so much information available, it’s a great time to have a blog. To find out more and to sign up for a live interactive webinar, go to http://www.yourkeymessage.net and pick the day and time that’s best for you.

Jody: That’s going to be a huge help for my clients.

Debra-Sue: Thank you!  Here’s your next question.  Social Media like Facebook and Twitter can be overwhelming. Do we need them if we’re not actively on them?

Jody: We build all our websites with wordpress.com as a base.  We add modules and customize it for you.  As you blog it automatically updates your Facebook, twitter and any other social network sites you use. You won’t have to spend your time keeping your social media updated. Every time you put it out there they will want to read your latest post.  It grows all the time, doesn’t it?

Debra-Sue: Yes—it’s the greatest thing in the world to be seen and heard.  It’s really fun—I had no idea what I was missing before I began blogging.

Jody: You must go to pingfm, set up an account, and automate your website with a pingfm account. All this sounds very complicated but after working with you for a few weeks it will be all set up and updating automatically.

Debra-Sue: It’s so simple and easy.  I’m delighted you’ve gotten me started.

Jody: If you ever get overwhelmed you can go to www.Bigfish.com and visit the “how to library.” We have a library of how to videos on how to do just about anything on your site.  You can request a “how to video” if you get stuck on something that I don’t have a video on.  That’s one way we add value to our clients.

Debra-Sue: How do people get a website that is a reasonable price that they can update themselves really easily?

Jody: We designed our offer based on what people have been complaining about with web designers. They “take too long and charge too much”.

When someone contract with us for a website, we begin working right away. To get a website it’s only $497.  It used to be thousands of dollars to get a website, but now because of technology, we can create it for just a few hundred. As long as they can come up with their content, we can upload it for them.

Debra-Sue: I’d like to take a minute to talk about what’s working today from a marketing standpoint.  Today, we must create a dialogue with our prospects and customers.  A blog site connected to online social networking is excellent for that.  By offering valuable, sought-after free information you can capture emails, invoke reciprocity, and build credibility.

The second thing to have is a landing page/sales page which asks your potential clients to take a particular action.

With the economy the way it is, what people want most is the knowledge to make their best possible decision.  This kind of marketing is called education-based marketing.  Jody, what you are doing is exactly in line with what I help people create—a client-focused, education-based Key Message that provides rich content for a website.

Jody: It’s all about giving value, more than is expected.  It’s like the movie “pay it forward”—people who are your right target audience will move toward you.  I teach trust marketing and using the law of attraction instead of chasing people who may not be interested in what you have.

It’s a much easier way to work because the work comes to you—self-selected people who want your unique offering.  When you do take time with a client, they are well informed, primed and ready to go.

Debra-Sue: How can they get started with you?

Jody: We begin with a web consultation with me or one of my team.  We ask questions to find out more about your business and where you want to go.  When you choose a package all you pay is the $1.00 deposit.  It’s not until day 7 that you get charged for website, when your website is about done.

Debra-Sue: That’s right, my site took only 5 days before it was up and running. Working with you has not only been a pleasure, it has expanded my ideas about how to grow my business online.

Jody: I find out what people’s passions are and how to monetize online.

Debra-Sue: That kind of entrepreneurship is exactly what we need to jump start this economy—a positive can-do attitude that looks past the obstacles to the vast opportunities available online.

Thank you so much Jody, it has been a pleasure.  One more time, how can people get in touch with you?

Jody: They can go to www.BigFish.com where they will find FREE helpful information on how to get started.

Debra-Sue: Any business owner who wants a powerful online presence that attracts leads, builds relationships, and converts them to highly paying clients, would do well to contact you without delay, Jody.

Thank you and good evening.

Does marketing during a recession pay off?

Excerpts from a recent interview with Joy Gendusa, CEO of PostcardMania.

Joy-headshot-2-08Who is Joy Gendusa?

Using a powerful, simple, extremely cost effective way of communicating with customers has earned Joy Gendusa Inc. Magazine’s recognition as the nation’s fastest growing direct mail postcard-marketing Last year’s revenues were close to $19 million. Gendusa began in 1998 with zero investment capital. Today, her Clearwater, FL firm called PostcardMania, employs over 150 people and prints 4 million postcards representing 37,000-plus customers in over 350 industries each week.

Debra-Sue:  Thank you for being on this call. What got you started with PostcardMania?

Joy: When I was marketing another business I’d started, I ordered some postcards and was unhappy with the product that I received. I knew I could improve their product, and make it available to the business community as a whole.  I said, “I can do this… I can do it better.”  So I started a postcard printing company that evolved into a direct mail marketing company offering a better price, better quality, and better service to businesses.

Debra-Sue:  That’s the true start of a successful business! You were dissatisfied with a service you were receiving—you saw a pain and turned it into an opportunity… Over the years, what has made you so successful?

Joy: A lot of work and a lot of learning. My best business quality is persistence. Perseverance despite setbacks.  A lot of small business owners are gone after the first 3 years because they get discouraged.

Debra-Sue:  Have you seen a lot of your customers growing past that three year mark?

Joy: Absolutely—for example, one business went on to become one of the 500 fastest growing businesses in the country. It made the Inc. 500 list, after doing business with us for about 6 years.

If you look at the whole cycle of what people are doing, some people might call you right away. Others, if they think they might need the offer on the postcard, will stick it on the ‘fridge.  Others might throw it away, but the next time they receive a card from you, if you’re doing it right, they may be ready. People’s lives change every 6 months.  You have to repeatedly market to them until they are ready.

Marketing is a continuous activity—it’s  not a one shot deal.  One card to one list one time won’t change anything. It won’t give any long term growth to your company. Someone who doesn’t need your product or service now may need it later. One marketing contact will make a spike but will not build a long term relationship.

Debra-Sue:  As you and I both know, it’s not just the frequency, which matters, it’s also the message.  Do you have any advice for people to help them create effective postcards?

Joy: We like to educate all of our customers, so we’ve simplified creating effective postcards into ’10 Must Have Ingredients’:

  1. A clear, bold headline
  2. A graphic that supports the message
  3. Colors that pop, with good contrast
  4. Sub-headlines that lead to text
  5. Benefits, benefits, benefits
  6. The offer
  7. Your company name and logo
  8. Call to action
  9. Contact information
  10. Return address

Your mailing list: If you know who your target market is, we can sell you a list for that audience specifically. If not, we can find out what are the common denominators of most of your clients. We will target those who are most likely to buy from you because they are already buying from you. You can do several campaigns to the different people in your data base because you can’t always tell who will respond to which offer.

When you market, you must look at the return on investment rather than the initial cost.

One area where businesses tend to fall short is they fail to nurture relationships and educate their customers.  You must look at the lifetime value of a customer.  Make sure you follow up with them!

Debra-Sue: Does marketing during a recession pay off?

Joy:  Yes, even better than usual.  Many business owners are fearful and are cutting back on their marketing to wait for better times. That’s why when you market now, you get more impact, because your marketing message is not competing with so many others.

The way our economy is now, we need small businesses to do well and hire people.

This interview goes on to explore the following more deeply:

  • Why marketing works BETTER during a recession and how you can gain market share right now
  • Your role as a small business owner in jumpstarting the economy
  • How you can prosper by driving your likely customers to a specially crafted free report
  • How to create website landing pages that increase your conversion rate
  • What are the main ingredients of a successful website?
  • How to learn about your competitors and find out what they are doing
  • Should you follow the “big guys” or be original?
  • The credibility factor not available on-line
  • Why marketing with postcards works and how to make them work for you
  • A special offer to make your marketing more effective…
  • And much more…

To get your recording of this interview, for the next two weeks without charge, send an email to: Debra-Sue@KeyMarketResearch.net.  Because it’s a large audio file, the recording will be emailed to you through YouSendIt. Look for your link in an email from them!

Joy Gendusa bookA special offer from Postcard Mania: Watch what Marketing Mania does to keep in touch with their prospects and clients… and how many times on average you need market to someone before they do business with you.  To follow the experts, visit: www.postcardmania.com/marketingoffers

Download the first three chapters of Joy’s book “The Ultimate Postcard Marketing Success Manual” here: http://www.postcardmarketingsuccessmanual.com

Is Business an Art Form? Is an Entrepreneur an Artist?

sun tzu 4Sun Tzu, the acknowledged ancient master of strategy and author of the classic Art of War, would definitely say “Yes”! He outlined five strategic arts that can be applied to any situation to create mutually beneficial solutions—possibility, timing, leverage, mastery, and leadership.

Do the right thing, and then do things right.

Doing the right thing means choosing a goal that matters, a goal that makes a positive difference in the world, and then achieving that goal with impeccable leadership. When you do the right thing, you want to make a difference in the world, not just make a buck. By doing the right thing, you gain peace of mind.

Doing things right means knowing how to get to where you want to go-fast! Doing things right means being ready for the future, leveraging everything in your environment, and being ready to act at even the smallest window of opportunity. Doing things right leads to success and profitability.

The first strategic art is POSSIBILITY. To be able to see creative possibility, the entrepreneur must be open and clear in mind and heart. To unlock the gates of creativity and possibility, join me in my personal explorations over the next 12 weeks as I take the journey in Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY.

By joining me you can begin your own journey of exploration! A $2,400 value, for my fans, it’s FREE! To begin, click HERE

Do you have a 2010 Marketing Plan?

If your current marketing strategy is creating more stress than sales, it really isn’t your fault. Considering all the misinformation and untested methods circulating around, it’s a wonder more business owners haven’t given up on their marketing efforts. Over the past 7 years, I’ve seen business owners repeat the same mistakes…

  • Sinking hard earned cash into untested methodsmoney fire
  • Trying to send the same message to a broad market
  • Slashing marketing budgets when sales slow
  • Looking to your competitors for marketing ideas
  • Overlooking opportunities for repeat business
  • Forgetting to regularly stay in touch with current customers

Unfortunately, today’s economic situation magnifies these mistakes. The good news? Attracting new customers is easier and more affordable now because so few companies consistently market – if at all. But I know you’re too busy meeting your client’s needs to spend time developing and testing a marketing strategy. That’s why I designed the Ultimate Key Message Marketing Plan to help you attract highly desirable leads, convert them to paying customers, and boost your business.

question_iconA living, breathing marketing plan is the shameless secret to successfully growing your business–

IF you can answer these 3 key questions:

Who is your niche audience?

What do they want?

How will you tell them you have what they want?

To get answers to these questions–and start the year off with the right focus–let’s sail through the step-by-step process to create your…

Ultimate Key Message Marketing Plan

Just some of what you will gain:

  • Clarify your vision and mission: “What difference will you make?”
  • Identify and understand your Key Buyers: “Who are your most likely buyers and what do they truly want?”
  • Define your unique, undeniable benefit: “What are your biggest opportunities and challenges?”
  • Overcome objections in advance: “Set the buying criteria”
  • Gain insights about your competitors
  • Choose topics and timing for your follow-up frequency campaigns for prospects, new clients, and current clients
  • Create your strategic plan to attract and engage more clients, increase sales, and build loyalty
  • And much more…

What you will receive:1311527517_9a7fb91501

  • Key Message Market Plan: A personalized plan for growing your business, including a recorded, interactive presentation of your plan and a written document with your objectives, strategies, and tactics explained.
  • Key Message Coaching: 2 one-hour coaching sessions to support the launch of your Marketing Plan, also recorded.
  • Bonus Special Reports: Training on the Power of Key Message Marketing, How to Get Persuasive Testimonials, 51 Ways to Attract Clients Like Crazy Without Sounding ‘Salesy’, 7 Marketing Myths, Quarterly Intentions Workbook, an example of a successful Key Message, and more.

Don’t delay… To encourage you to start the year off right, as a bonus I will add two additional 1-hour coaching sessions to keep you accountable and help you implement your plan.

To see if this is right for you, request your 15-Minute Marketing Make-Over… Tell me what you want to accomplish this year and how you plan to do it… I will give you insight and strategies on how to get there…

To find out more, send an email to Debra-Sue@KeyMarketResearch.net or call me directly at 303-570-4206.

P.S. The 2 one-hour additional coaching sessions are offered through the month of January ONLY!

Your Key Message gives you the advantage

MARKETING MYTH #7:  “The best time to deliver my marketing message is when I first meet with my potential buyers.”KMR fittest


The most effective time to deliver your marketing message is when your prospect first thinks about his problem and wants to know what solutions are available.  You will have a significant advantage over your competitors when you provide prospects with a specially crafted communication that addresses their problems, overcomes their objections in advance, and tells them what to look for in a provider.

That is called “setting the buying criteria”. It’s invaluable. This kind of communication positions you as the expert, builds rapport, and invokes reciprocity. If you give them something of value BEFORE you ask for the sale, they will be more inclined to give you their business.

How can you deliver this message in advance?

With an e-book or e-newsletter, a Internet seminar (Webinar), a YouTube video… today’s technology make this infinitely doable and extremely low cost.  The strategy is to get your marketing message into their hands, provide “need-to-know” information, and establish yourself as the leading authority–before your key buyers calls other providers.

Are you suffering from the “curse of knowledge’?

MARKETING MYTH #6:  “My prospects know what I offer and how I can serve them.”


If you believe prospects know your services and the benefits of those services, you are mostly likely suffering from the “curse of knowledge.” Your expertise in what you do makes you an EXCELLENT provider—but perhaps a LOUSY marketer.  You are losing clients to providers who make their offering relevant and crystal clear.

What problems are on the minds of your key buyers? What pains them? What solution do you provide? What do they want from you… what would make you THEIR IDEAL provider?

Selectively repeat your key benefits when talking with your buyers because people forget most of what they hear the first time they hear it. It takes a while for them to absorb and remember what you want them to know. Unless prospects remember what you say, they won’t likely choose you when they are ready to move forward. Repetition gives you the opportunity to convey your message from two or three different perspectives.

Prospects and clients must know the range of services you provide, otherwise they will look elsewhere.  Suggestion: Write a detailed list of your services and the benefits from the point of view of the buyer. Otherwise, you will lose business to your competitors.

Remember, the goal is to develop a dialogue, person-to-person. Many business owners believe their marketing message must sound “professional”, bordering on “academic” or “intelligent and complex”.

money drainHere again crops up the “curse of knowledge.”  Your potential buyers don’t want to know how smart you are, they want to know you understand them and what you can do for them.  What’s more, in this day and age we all suffer from information overload.

Your message must speak to the gut or it will get lost in the clutter. Every day, your key buyers are exposed to more than 4 hours of interruption media, 17,000 new grocery store products advertised every year, $1000 of direct mail advertisements mailed to your door, multitudinous TV channels, radio bands crowded with stations packed with commercials… Not to mention brand names on clothes, billboards bumper stickers, your local paper… and the INTERNET!

The latest study estimates we are bombarded with 3,200 messages daily!

Complicated, intellectual messages get screened out. Keep your message simple and client-centered because that is the ONLY kind of message your key buyers will notice.

How many marketing channels do you use to attract prospects?

MARKETING MYTH #5:  “My current source of leads will send me all the new clients I want.”

The Truth:

Relying on any ONE source of leads can be fatal. Referrals, on-line search engines, or cold calling—if your main source of leads runs dry, you could be scrambling to find new business… or out of business! Even two or three sources of new leads are not enough.  With today’s technology, you can and must develop multiple point of contact with your key buyers.

Certainly, if your marketing strategy is working right now you are grateful. But if you lean on a few sources of leads, you’re likely to come up short down the road.  Opportunities change, markets shift… what works fabulously today might not work at all tomorrow.speak hear

You must develop a consistent, multi-channel marketing campaign that will attract clients directly to you from many sources so you don’t rely on any one channel.

Exploring, discovering, and launching a client-focused, education-based Key Message that can be adapted to many uses is invaluable.  Think of Your Key Message as an accordian–short and sweet in a tweet, or well laid out in a seminar full of valuable insights your Key Buyers can use right away–that’s the power and flexibility of developing the right educational message.

This may be counter intuitive, but…

MARKETING MYTH #4:  “By lowering my prices, I’ll strengthen my competitive advantage.”

THE TRUTH: You must bring to the marketplace your strengths, not your need. When you lower your prices, you will…

  • undermine your credibility—because potenital buyers will wonder why your services are priced LOWER than your competitors;
  • make less money because you won’t be able to gain enough in volume to make up for the income you’ve lost, especially if your work is time-intensive;
  • attract clients who are price shoppers, who won’t recognize the value you provide, and who will never be loyal to you!man money smile

Instead, be bold… RAISE YOUR PRICES!  You can more easily justify why you charge so much than defend why you charge so little.

You must overcome 4 barriers

MARKETING MYTH #3:  “I’m too busy with clients to waste time interacting with prospects.”


Always look for new ways to get your key buyers to interact with you.  The more prospective buyers talk with you, the more opportunities you have to educate and lead them to see you as the solution to their problems—the path to a happier life.  Your dialogues can take place over the telephone, in your office, with your Webinar, by e-mail—anywhere you can deliver your Key Message.  The method of the meeting doesn’t matter as long as you and your key buyer carry on an engaging dialogue.

noOnce you identify who your Key Buyers are, before they will become your clients, you must overcome these four barriers:

  1. Don’t know you exist
  2. Haven’t gotten to know, like and trust you
  3. Lack of knowledge
  4. Hidden objections

You must precisely and persuasively craft your frequent interactions with them to overcome each of these objections in advance. Your goal over time is to set their buying criteria in your favor.

Who else wants to be all things to all people?

MARKETING MYTH #2: “Marketing doesn’t work as well today as it once did.”

If your marketing isn’t working, it’s likely due to a ineffective and incomplete Marketing Message. Don’t blame “marketing” when it’s really the message that’s lacking. You should develop your marketing message as carefully as you design your products and services.

As you develop your key message, ask yourself these questions:counting-money

“Who are my most likely buyers?”

“What drives them… what do they fear… what do they want most?”

“How can I consistently reach them?”

“How can I most easily and predictably convert them to long-term, highly paying clients and attain my goals for business growth?”

Virtually every top producer has answered these questions. They craft their key message precisely for the specific, targeted buyers who most want what they offer. It’s called niche marketing… Don’t try to be all things to all people. Instead, identify your Key Buyers and capture the dialogue that is already going on in their minds.

7 Marketing Myths Blocking Your ROI

Measure your marketing not by its cost, but by its Return On Investment.

Are you happy with the results of your marketing? 99% of business owners want MORE from their marketing dollars, time, and effort.

If that’s you, stay tuned… Over the next 7 posts I will explore with you 7 myths that stand in your way to getting the return on your marketing you deserve. Let’s start with the marketing myth I hear most frequently:

man wallMARKETING MYTH #1:  “The most important purpose of my marketing is to promote my services.”


The number one purpose of your marketing is to gain your Key Buyer’s TRUST. We simply don’t do business with people we don’t trust.  By “promoting” your services, you take on the persona of “salesperson” and undermine your credibility.  Selling-based marketing builds walls NOT bridges.

Instead, build rapport and position yourself as the leading authority using Education-Based Marketing.  This allows you to attract new clients, increase referrals, strengthen client loyalty and be seen as the expert—without being ‘salesy’.  Education-Based Marketing gives your Key Buyers what they want—the knowledge to make their best possible decision—and eliminates what they don’t want, a sales pitch.

Your philosophy, not the economy, determines your income

Consumer Confidence Tanks

Consumer Confidence Tanks

No surprise—income is down, unemployment is up, even slippery savings are piling up—people and businesses are holding onto their cash as if we were heading toward the GREAT RECESSION. Or lost in it.

It’s getting tougher just finding a pair of ears willing to listen to you.

What you may need is a powerful way to connect with their fears—and overcome them!

If you’ve been in business for a while, you already know, at least intuitively, the sales process proceeds in 4 steps: Connect, Qualify, Negotiate, Close. When we CONNECT, we build the initial relationship, get to know the person or group, and establish ourselves as someone who is likeable and trustworthy.stepping stones

The QUALIFY step opens the door to talk about the benefits and features of your product and services to see if there’s a good fit right now. You are qualifying them and they are qualifying you. Do you have what they want?

NEGOTIATE gives you the opportunity to talk prices and terms. Of course, the final step is the purpose of the process—to CLOSE the sale and fulfill on your promises. The goal is to move your potential buyer to take the next step, toward the close.

Sound familiar?

The #1 mistake most business seekers make is they skip over the first step and move directly (or too quickly) to talking about themselves, their product, and its features.

Their presentation is all about THEM. Why they are superior, great and wonderful… And, of course, why you should do business with them.


People are hard-wired to think of themselves first. It’s like dating. Your initial emphasis must be focused on their interests and FIRST give them something of value up front. This establishes you as keenly knowledgeable and concerned about them. You invoke the power of reciprocity—long before you begin to “sell”.

How can you do that?

What you may be lacking is a powerful presentation to help you make that initial connection. What should be in that presentation? Ask yourself this question, ‘What is of most interest to them, what fears do they have, what hopes and dreams’… speak to those interests first, the “little voice in their brain” BEFORE you even begin to talk about your P&S.

This approach is called Education-Based Marketing. Perhaps you’ve come across this in your snailmail and inbox. It looks something like this…

WARNING! Do not hire a contractor before you first read this independent research report on the 5 most dangerous trends…

Those free reports are filled with compelling information that you’re genuinely glad to know before you decide to buy.

Let’s face it. You, like everyone else, want to make the best possible buying decisions. You want all the little know facts in advance—before you make your purchase.

What kind of information should go in your free report?

Use this as your pattern: Make a point, tell a story. Make a point, tell a story.

The “point” for a contractor could be data showing that a dangerous number of ex-cons are being hired to come in your home to do the work. Follow this with a story of what happened to so-and-so, with a picture of an innocent child with her mom… and BINGO! You’ve made a startling point that directly relates to the concerns and fears of your potential buyer.

The solution? Choose a contractor that only hires bonded, licensed workers (which just happens to be your company’s certified practice).

A few more facts and stories like that and you will have created a dialogue that makes an indelible connection with your potential buyer. You’ve empowered them to make good choices and established yourself as the undeniable expert. WITHOUT selling.

If you want to explore how POWER PRESENTATIONS can apply to you in your specific market to help you attract and engage more new clients, send me an email or give a call. We’ll take an honest look at how this might make winning more new clients a heck of a lot easier for you. Especially in this unsettling economy…

What’s the single biggest marketing challenge you face?

704765_office_life“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted;
the trouble is…

I don’t know which half!”

~ John Wanamaker

Dear Business Owner,

What entrepreneurs like you tell me again and again is they wish their marketing dollars brought in more business. They know marketing is important, but the results just aren’t showing up.

Sound familiar?

There’s a key mistake 99% of business owners make–they use their marketing money and time to talk about how great their company is and why everyone should do business with them.

Now, let me ask you.  When you want something, do you care how great the provider claims they are? Or do you want to make the best buying decision, based on getting what YOU want at the best possible price?

Do you want to know what makes marketing and advertising work?  It’s the focus on the client that matters.Perception

Let me put your efforts to get clients in a different context.  Remember that first date? It’s a lot easier to get a date when you start the conversation about the other person’s interests, rather than talking about yourself.

Try THAT with your marketing… Find out what interests, fears, hopes your best potential buyers have.  Better yet, get to know the little voice inside their head that keeps talking to them… If you can capture THAT, and speak to it, YOU have an attraction magnet.  It works like gravity.  No one can resist finding out more…

What else do you need to do to make your overtures successful?  You must know and understand the hidden, internal objections they carry around with them.  Things like,

no“You’re too expensive”

“I tried that already, it didn’t work”

“Why should I listen to you?”

Those thoughts are automatic, predictable, a natural barrier that keep them from seeking you out and letting you into their world.

You must overcome those barriers in advance and set their buying criteria in your favor.  In this way, YOU control the lens through which they see you–WAY before you begin to talk about the benefits and features of your products and services.

Third and just as important, they must see you as the expert.  You must become the “go to person” who will meet and exceed their expectations.

Want some help attracting more key buyers to your business?

Send me an email and I’ll send you more details on how to do this, FREE, at no charge to you.


939804_team_work_2You’ll be glad you did!

To your success and well-being,

Debra-Sue Cope
Key Market Research, LLC


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