Free Webinar: The Contrarian Introvert Approach to Getting More Leads & Making More Sales

Click here for details …

What you’ll get out of this free webinar

Hello, my name is James Burchill and for three decades I’ve been helping business streamline their management, marketing and sales processes.

Along the way I’ve learned quite a bit about “what do small businesses want?” and in this FREE PRESENTATION I’m going to share with you some important information that shows you why your b2b sales aren’t what you want, how to generate more leads, how to address price objections, how to close more sales and how you can do all this without working harder.

I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. It’s simply because most small businesses suffer from proximity blindness which means an outside consultant (like me) can easily see the problems and the solutions.

I’m also a data and systems researcher and have a background in psychology which means I dig into problems and look for causes beyond the not-so-obvious. In this free presentation I’m going to share with you some of my analysis, research and conclusions – it’s eye opening stuff!

Armed with this information you’ll immediately start to see what I see when looking at sub-optimal sales and marketing processes. Then I’ll show you a series of simple steps you can take to fix the flaws so that by the time the presentation ends (it’ll likely last 45-60 minutes depending on Q&A) you’ll have actionable steps you can take to level up your business!

And yes, I will be recording this presentation so if you can’t attend live (you can ask questions) you can always watch later. Either way, you’ll need to opt-in for details.

Stay frosty my friend,

James Burchill

My 60 Second Email Rules

People are busy … and bombarded with email daily. If you want your email messages opened, read and replied to … QUICKLY then I suggest you begin following my 60 second rules for email.

Smartphone internet connection 261706Target 1 minute (or less) reading time.

That’s about 200 words – max.

Use a descriptive subject

Use short sentences.

Avoid commas (where possible)

Use simple/basic language.

Use MAX 3 bullets

When writing numbers use digits (1,2..etc)

Get to the point: quickly.

Follow this basic structure:

Continue reading “My 60 Second Email Rules”

Why You Should Ignore a Publishers Offer for FREE Advert Design

Person woman hat 24884I visited with a client today and during the conversation it became apparent they were having issues with their advertising – print advertising to be precise. They showed me the original advert and told me it cost them a little more than $1,700 to place the ad.

When I asked them who created the concept, the copy and the design – the client smiled and said … Continue reading “Why You Should Ignore a Publishers Offer for FREE Advert Design”

This Is How Your Prospect Reads Your Advertising

Every sPerson books cute 261895mall business needs to market themselves and part of marketing is advertising. The trouble is most SMB’s don’t quite understand the importance of the elements that make up a good advert. Today I’m going to show you how your prospect reads yours!

It is important to understand that your prospect will not simply read your advertisement or letter. At first, they will only scan it. In direct mail or brochures, you have about eleven seconds before being dismissed. People read your ‘message’ in the following order: Continue reading “This Is How Your Prospect Reads Your Advertising”

The King of Bahrain Exercise

Luxury castle palace 68389Whenever I do a consultation with a small business owner who is thinking small – and most of us fall prey to this tendency from time to time – I offer them …

The King of Bahrain Exercise

Here’s how it goes. Suppose you are a massage therapist or a human rights consultant. Imagine you have a good friend and client named Sandy who is going out with a guy from the Middle East.

One day you get a call from a man who is an emissary from the King of Bahrain. It turns out your friend Sandy raved about you to her boyfriend, and he went back to Bahrain and spoke to the King.

For some crazy reason the King wants to experience the benefits you offer, but with a twist. His emissary speaks as follows: Continue reading “The King of Bahrain Exercise”

12 Reasons Why You Should Use PPC Advertising

What Is PPC?

Pay-Per-Click is a form of Internet advertising where you pay when someone clicks on one of your ads. Placement of your advert is determined by your bid price and relevancy. If you bid the most you can gain the top spot, alternatively if your advert proves more relevant than others, you are rewarded with improved positioning for less bid fees.

Here’s 12 Reasons Why You Should Use PPC Advertising

  1. Quick Results, usually within minutes.
  2. PPC advertising is targeted with measurable results.
  3. You only incur a fee when a your advert is clicked.
  4. Organic search takes time, PPC provides you with instant traffic.
  5. It is the quickest and most effective way of promoting your website products and services online.
  6. Organic search results are “art” and science, with PPC the results are guaranteed.
  7. Testing is a breeze. You can try different keywords, titles and descriptions.
  8. It’s cost effective, you determine your spending budget.
  9. Adverts can be scheduled for certain display times.
  10. The domino effect often occurs and your PPC advert may show up on other sites.
  11. PPC provides geographic targeting – you pick where your ad shows.
  12. You can increase or decrease your traffic very easily.

That’s the good news… And here’s the “bad” news…

PPC requires some technical know-how to setup your account. There are many PPC companies to choose from. You’ll need to conduct some in-depth keyword and key phrase analysis to determine what people want. You’ll need to be skilled in the art of writing advertising copy – and more over, you’ll need to know how to write PPC Adverts… they’re a special breed unto themselves.

And last, but by no means least… this is not a ’set and forget’ system. You will need to allocate a certain amount of time each week to review the logs, track the reports, tune the adverts, create more adverts, keep up-to-date on the trends and adjust all of these things accordingly.

Now you know why people outsource…

Here’s a closing thought for you:

Traditional advertising is a gamble (a wise gamble when done properly mind you, but a gamble none the less) PPC is a sure thing – totally trackable, totally predictable, and 100% guaranteed.

Ancient Memes and the Keys to Social Media Success

What makes for a social media success? What critical elements must be in place for the site to come alive? Today I am exploring some ideas I’ve been considering and I’d really appreciate your feedback in the comments below.

Please note, the following thoughts have never been committed to print before and have only been edited lightly – I didn’t want to crush the creative spark that often shows up in such things. So without further ado, here they are:

— Is Technology Key?

The first thing I’m asked about Social Media usually relates to the technology. I ‘get’ this, I understand we think the tool is what makes the solution. It is, and it isn’t. Consider this, if technical wizardry was responsible for social success then why do nerd and geeks seem to have the worst social-life in school? It’s true the nerds built the web and Internet infrastructure, but it was the rest of the world that made it social.

— The Engagement Factor

The site needs to engage the visitor. Actually with the advent of social media sites, we should stop calling people ‘browsers’ or ‘visitors’ because they’re now active participants in the web experience. Social media sites are interactive and include blogs, voting mechanisms, posting features for text, video and audio, message boards, forums, chat groups, and site-wide private messaging to name some common features.

Remember, the key here is not technology, but how the tool is used by the site members. “The best tool is often not the most advanced or cleverest tool. The best tool is the tool that is understood and gets used daily.” This is why email is still the #1 web application.

— Mass and Momentum

There are many “social ghost towns” littering the web, why is this? Each is likely different, however I have noted the successful sites are like engines: they need a spark – an injection of energy – to get them started.

This initial injection of energy is required to create momentum and gain the first critical members which in turn attracts more members and keeps the system growing. It snowballs, and like a snowball it’s fragile and prone to crumbling in the early stages of that fateful first roll.

Ironically, the tool that allows us to forge out and create our own online communities doesn’t allow us to break the laws of human nature. These communities still need to render qualities that ‘real world’ environments provide – if only in a psychological aspect.

Review history, it has the answers to the fate of little communities; they got swept away by marauders and ultimately rolled into bigger cities. Sound familiar?

— Ancient Memes and Mind Viruses

But is that all a successful social media site needs? A group of people and some cool technology – NO. The most important factor is much older and far simpler and lies buried deep within our primitive nature. Success is locked up in something called a meme, or if you prefer a more dramatic image, a “mind virus.”

Richard Dawkins introduced the concept of the “meme” and “memetics” in his book ‘The Selfish Gene’ referring to the imitative process whereby humans transmit ideas, values, beliefs, and practices to each other. The memes that catch on are conditioned by repetition and continued by subsequent generations.

Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches.  Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by a process similar to how an infection spreads – ergo a mind virus.

But why did I mention ancient memes? Simply because I believe the most successful social sites leverage our oldest most ancient memes as well as our newest, and this allows us to embrace these base natures in a socially acceptable and even productive fashion. Consider how many social sites pander to aspects of our natures that as children we were discouraged from participating in: gossiping, time-wasting, forming cliques and more.

I’m not saying social sites succeed because we want to express our darker nature, but those sites that have gained the most momentum have done so by allowing us free rein over our basic human nature.

Something to consider isn’t it?

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Is Your Website a Beautiful “Hotel Nowhere?”

Lately it seems I’ve been explaining to more and more people about Internet Marketing. You see, for some reason, folks think that IM (Internet Marketing) is really all about putting up a great looking website. It’s not – it’s so much more than that.

In fact, although a website is a crucial piece in the online marketing puzzle, you can still beat the best-looking website with great online marketing. And what still surprises me is after all the education, all the articles, all the proof, people still think, “If you build it (better) they will come!”

Sorry to disappoint folks – but that’s a dangerous assumption.

— Just Do It Over

For instance, I was just speaking with a prospective client; they were explaining to me their newly developed site was not working for them as they had hoped. During their explanation, they told me they had a ‘solution’ for their problem – they were going to replace all or part of the site with Flash elements.

I politely explained to them Flash wasn’t necessarily going to solve their problem and what they had on their hands was a beautiful ‘Hotel Nowhere’ website, lost in the Internet Wilderness. A ‘do over’ wasn’t going to solve their problems. Permit me to explain my analogy – I think you’ll like it.

— Hotel Nowhere 101

A Hotel Nowhere website is beautifully designed one, it may have some Flash animation, perhaps some cool rollover images, maybe even active menu buttons that pop up and disappear as you move across them. It’s likely to have shading and other graphical elements that are visually appealing. And it’s probably got some words written on it too…but they’re secondary to the ‘look.’

The #1 problem with these types of websites (and some are not as bad as the image I painted above) is that they all suffer the same affliction…

They’ve been built in the middle of the Internet Wilderness!

Now let’s think about this for a moment. What good does it do to knock down your nice shiny new ‘Hotel Nowhere’ website and build another one in the same spot if no one knew about the last one?

If your Hotel Nowhere website is ‘out there’, how do you expect people to find you? A real hotel needs roads leading up to the hotel, it has tour guides, maps, TV shows promoting vacations at the resort, radio adverts telling people about the next special, advertising in the nearby towns, agents and reps out there talking it up and generally promoting it and creating buzz.

In other words, your ‘Hotel Nowhere’ (your website) needs to be promoted and connected to the rest of the world AFTER it’s been built. Simply knocking it down and building another is a waste of time!

— Going from Room to Room

If we continue the Hotel analogy, you need to know your lobby is your main page (usually index.html or default.html) and it’s where guests arrive once they’ve been brought to your hotel. By the way, the bus or coach analogy is a good one for search engines – think traffic and you’ll start to see the imagery.

So you have people in your lobby. If you expect them to stay you’d better give them a darn good reason to ‘stick’ around. And if you want them to explore your hotel you need to give them a map. Oh yes, and more importantly, you will need to ensure that they can get from room (page) to room.

It sounds goofy, but many sites are built with no ‘doors’. A door is a link between pages. I know, you think that I’m wrong – sure You can click on the button and be taken to a page. But did I tell you that search engines are visually impaired?

They don’t see the picture buttons or the image maps like you do; they look for text so they can ‘read’ it. If your doors are not described via text links too, you can expect a lobby full of visitors for about 2 seconds before they get back on the bus and leave.

— Going from Hotel Nowhere to Hotel Somewhere

Building the site should be the second phase of the project – the first phase should have been creating the architectural Internet Marketing plan. However, this is often not the case and the I.M Architect (consultant) is usually ONLY called once the client realizes they have a ‘Hotel Nowhere’ website on their hands!

The good news is that even if you have done things ‘backwards,’ it can be remedied quite easily, and a good I.M Architect (consultant) can work with your designer and other web resources directing them accordingly for proper changes.

In addition, a good I.M Architect will also help you develop other strategies and tactics for connecting your website to the rest of the world and into your overall Internet Marketing plan. Then, and only then, will you start to significant differences. Your once Nowhere website will have become a found Somewhere site.

Online There’s a Sucker Born Every Second

The great P.T Barnum once said “There’s a sucker born every minute” and with the advent of the Internet those same snake oil salesmen, con artists and charlatans are back – this time with the power of technology to ‘prove’ their rakish claims. So now (paraphrasing P.T) ‘There’s a sucker born every second…online!”

For instance, if I gave you the very best oil paint, the best brushes and the best canvas do you believe you could be Picasso or Van Gogh? Of course not – they had great creative skill learned patiently over their lives. In fact, if memory serves, Van Gogh couldn’t even afford the best tools and yet was still able to produce beautiful (if somewhat strange) artwork – now that’s skill.

I’m sure you’d agree the tools do not make the master. Yet every day on the Internet we are bombarded with claims of push-button success – mastery at the push of a button. Admittedly the allure of this dream is tempting, who wouldn’t hope for such a thing, but we need to temper our fantastic wishes with a healthy dose of skepticism.

We give too much ‘authority’ to technology – probably because many of us simply don’t understand the details. Some newer technology is so fantastic it almost seems like magic. However, I can assure you after more than two decades of working with computers there is no magic.

But what has that got to do with online and Internet Marketing – a great deal actually. A computer is a finite state machine; this means that the rules of its operation are fixed – even if obscure. It simply cannot deviate from the rules encoded within it.

So I ask you, do you really think someone ‘out there’ has cracked the code required to express a sunrise, or write real heartfelt poetry? What about defining the rules for creating a news story, or a love story?  And just in case you think they have – remember this – once defined, the rules are finite. Imagine the same sunrise every day… how boring!

Now I agree and accept we can define basic templates and to some degree there is ‘filler’ content that we can auto generate – but the real meat of any story, any copy, and any creative piece needs a person to inject it with life. Computerized language parsing is one thing, but true creative expression – now that’s an art form beyond the scope of a PC.

So why am I telling you all this, because it was only yesterday I received yet another ‘exciting new offer’ for some silver bullet claiming to put my online promotional efforts into the stratosphere through automated content creation and syndication. Knowing that quality content creation is king, and being a curious sort I followed the link – plus it always pays to keep an eye out for good examples of marketing.

Anyway, what I found (and I won’t name the product) is a well packaged and well presented idea…with one hell of a big hole in it – it downplayed the importance of the quality content creation aspect. It minimized the absolute requirement for creative skill and allowed the prospect to believe that the tools would make the master – “Just push this button and out pops a masterfully written article for syndication…” Hmmm.

This tool will syndicate your content to a myriad of possible publication venues (which is fantastic.) It will help you learn with resources and support (which is wonderful)…but what it cannot do, what it could never do – is overnight make you into something that you are not. Learning any skill takes time, ability and patience (and for each person it’s unique.)

So the next time you are offered a ‘cure-all’ for your online Internet Marketing success which includes automatic content creation, remember this: GIGO – “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” And using technology to publish garbage more effectively doesn’t improve its quality – it’s still garbage, there’s just more of it!

And lastly, Marketing 101 tells us to aim for uniqueness and differentiate ourselves from the pack. Does a rules-based auto-created piece of content sound like it will make us different from all the others doing precisely the same thing?

That’s my 2 cents worth for the day

PS. I ghostwrite and copywrite for a limited number of select clients. If you’d like to get in touch we can see if there’s a good fit.