The Danger of Novelty (and the Most Disturbing Marketing Trends I'm Seeing This Year That You Need to Avoid)Mindset Add comments
Let's talk about some shiny brand new stuff. Some of you are already excited, right? You don't know if I'm talking about hip new social media site, the latest WordPress plugin or the next edition iPhone, but you're ready for it! Screw that old stuff, it never worked, I want something new!
The reason the old stuff didn't work is because you either didn't apply it or you were eager to throw it all out in favor for the latest and greatest thing.
You'd be surprised how many people don't get this. Especially the ones who respond to something like this with, "I've heard of that... that's Bright Shiny Object Syndrome." Ok, you memorized the words but did you actually implement? Do you actually connect the phrases, facts, and figures you memorized (not sure why'd you do all that) to the actions you actually take or don't take? (Don't answer that.)
When Lance and I check in on the support desk for Backup Creator, you would be SHOCKED at how many people are moving their sites from one web host or another (sometimes the same people every month) because this other web host is 1 dollar a month cheaper or has a 1 month trial or has some new feature that I know I won't use but I think I might need.
It's fine if you've already done that, but I've caught you red-handed and it's time to stop.
The way I've always done business is... I try a few things out, repeat what does work and I don't repeat what DOESN'T work.
Direct response style sales letters, 1-hour webinars, 4-week webinar classes, emailing every day, those are all things that MAKE ME MONEY. I know everyone thinks they're special and that they're the one to business where sales letters don't apply or webinars don't apply – and yet, if you look up your most successful competitors, they're probably doing those things.
Danger #1: Google+ Hangouts on Air
Whether you do or you don't have a product or course yet, but you have a niche, you have a skill, and you have something to say, condense your "greatest hits" down to a 45 minute presentation (preferably with a live demo or magic trick) in there, mail every day for 5 days about it, do whatever you can to get 1000 people to view the special link to your live webinar presentation.
1000 eyeballs means you'll get about 500 people to register, and 166 people to show up. If you're "on a budget" so to speak, then register for GoToWebinar's 30-day trial or go with the lowest price packaged so that 66 out of your 166 people will actually be locked out of your webinar and you'll present to your 100 best people. Record it with Camtasia (also has a free trial) and post it online, email for that one for at least once a day for 5 days after you run it. Promote either your existing course or book, or promise the course you're about to create, at the end of that presentation.
Running a webinar usually means that you're 100% live on the spot, people can see your screen (so you should show a PowerPoint presentation and flip to your browser or to whatever you're showing on your screen) and speak your voice out live. Answering questions doesn't matter as much as you think it does. Running a "Q&A" session at the end is a really bad idea, makes your presentation way too long and gives people lots of reasons NOT to buy.
If you've heard of Google+ (Google's social network) they have added a feature called "Google+ Hangouts" for video conferencing, and "Google+ Hangouts on Air" where people can VIEW that video conference.
The problem with Hangouts:
- It shows up in a browser tab (instead of an actual program like GoToWebinar) so people can easily close it – even on accident
- It either shows your screen in a really tiny window (so no one can see what's going on)...
- OR most people opt for the web camera option, so I can see you drinking your bottle of water, I can see the stuff on your bookshelf behind you, I can see your bad lighting, I can see the reflection in your glasses and all your facial expressions, it's way less professional and way more distracting than a PowerPoint presentation
The best reasons I've heard for running a Hangout instead of a webinar have been:
- It's free (you don't have 100 bucks a month to spare to grow your business?)
- The recording appears on YouTube instantly (you can't click the "Record" button on Camtasia?)
- I can show my face to you (I actually don't want to see your face)
- I can have multiple speakers on my Hangout (so you want a messy recording you can't control?)
The problem with running webinars for longer than an hour, running so-called "Q&A sessions", going for 4 or 5 hours, showing your face or answering every possible question under the sun, is that you're either talking to people who have no intention of buying (they're trying to squeeze all the information out of you in pieces) or you're talking to the people who can't buy it and are looking to justify a reason to NOT buy it. They'll keep asking until you give them the reason.
That's why I don't like Google Hangouts and you should instead run a real business, sign up for that GoToWebinar account and PITCH a real product instead of being a chicken. (Sorry if that seems harsh.)
Danger #2: Automated Webinars
The average marketer doesn't do webinars. Of those marketers that run webinars, I would say they run one webinar per YEAR on average. Why? It's awkward, they dread everything leading up to it, they dread running it, they don't want to go through that hell again. (Until a year later and they want money and forget how much they suffered through it.)
Condense your webinar down to 1 hour and find a way to have fun doing it, run at least 5 webinars per year (instead of just once per year) to work up that webinar muscle.
I see people hesitate with their webinars because they want to make sure they can "play that evergreen webinar 3 times a day afterwards."
They want to present once, record that webinar presentation, then put it online using a special service so someone sees a page that says... free training on this subject, coming up at this date and time, register here. That person enters their name and email address, then it says ome come back at this date and time to watch the live webinar.
The problem is the webinar isn't actually live, you're not on there at all, it's just a special video player that only streams the video once per day.
I know some people swear by automated webinars, but I don't use them and I don't suggest you use them either. Don't even get near it.
Why? Because you're LYING on an automated webinar. If someone registers and comes back at that special date and time, watches your stream and you claim to be live, you're actually lying to your webinar attendees.
I've heard some really bad advice about automated webinars including:
- Record about 10 minutes before the webinar starts so it looks like you're getting ready (what???)
- Make sure you play special sounds at the end of your call so it sounds like sales are coming in, or call your office phone from your cell phone so it sounds like people are calling to place their orders (your merchant account wouldn't like to hear that you do that)
- Use a countdown timer in your auto-webinar to "trick" people into thinking your offer is about to expire! (that can't be legal)
And you might say... but Robert, that's why I run automated webinars and I let them know it's automated. In that case, just put a video on a web page! When I tried out fake webinars a few times, here were my numbers:
- 50% of people opted in
- 33% of people actually came back to the webinar at the right time
- 6% of those people stayed till the end
When you combine those numbers, we're talking about 1% even looking at that offer. You send 1000 clicks to that fake webinar, 990 dropped off after jumping through all your hoops. If you convert at 10% at $100, then congratulations, you just made one sale.
Compare that to a video on a web page. My webinar replays tend to convert at 2 to 3 percent. I don't track how long people stay on the videos but I know that, because there's no opt-in, 100% of the people who click get to the web page (instead of 50%). 100% of people start watching the video (instead of 33% of 50%).
If you're interesting, it won't matter if you're showing it on a video or a webinar replay. But if you're uninteresting, an auto-webinar isn't going to save you! No one cares how beautiful the soufflé is, if the appetizer is turds in a blanket.
Danger #3: Busybody Marketing
There's nothing wrong with getting traffic. There's nothing wrong with getting your name out there. There's nothing wrong with presenting an offer and making sales.
Do you see some marketers who seem to be everywhere? You ask what's the best WordPress plugin for this, they're there. Ask on a forum the best way to do this thing, that person's there. It's almost like you're following you around the internet!
That's how they make sales. Spend most of their day on Facebook closing one-on-one. I have no problem hopping on Facebook every now and then to help out, but it's time consuming and I tend to get in a lot of fights. I also feel bad about being a broken record and promoting myself in someone else's group or thread.
But it doesn't stop after the sale. The current "trend" is to add a private Facebook Group as a bonus to a product or member's area. You buy that course about YouTube traffic, they link you to a Facebook group where you can ask any question about YouTube traffic at any time, or show your videos and get advice.
Sounds good... but the PROBLEM is that these groups are full of questions that are already answered in the product. Instead of saying... go to module 1 or page 12, they keep re-teaching the course over and over, one person at a time.
Once again, I have NO ISSUE answering questions, but if it takes that much time, and it's already covered, why repeat myself?
- Instead of Google Hangouts, run a 1-hour pitch webinar using GoToWebinar.
- Instead of automated webinars, place a video on a web page... we have a plugin called Paper Template for that.
- Instead of being a busybody marketer, make a product based on the activities YOU perform, that YOU reference, so that others will as well.
Can you please comment below, not just about your thoughts about Google+ Hangouts, fake webinars, and busybody marketers (whether you agree with me or not), but also... how do YOU PERSONALLY avoid shiny object syndrome? I look forward to seeing your comments below.