Sections From: 101+ No B.S. Secrets to Getting Massive Amounts of Free Advertising, Publicity and Promotion For Your Product, Service, Business, Web Site, MLM or Book! By Mike Van Norden and Ron Ruiz
This is part three of a collection of sections from my best-selling e-book that I wrote with Ron Ruiz. It was written in 2002, so some of the sections may mention outdated topics, but there’s still a ton of good sales and marketing advice throughout. I hope you are able to take some of these ideas and use them in your business to grow and prosper. Enjoy!
Didn’t read part one? Read part one here!
Didn’t read part two? Read part two here!
It’s Not Just PR…It’s Marketing!
Are YOU Ready for FREE Advertising & Publicity?
OK, here’s why I ask you this question.
I constantly get emails from people wanting me to help them in their quest for FREE Publicity.
You must understand that getting FREE Publicity is only the first step, in what should be a systematic process of customer acquisition.
Think about it… what good does it do you to get a press release printed, or an interview on the radio if you DON’T capture that customer, or potential customers information!
You’re wasting your time if you don’t!
Example: You’ve just written and submitted a press release to the media. Your intent is to drive them to your web site, so they get more information about your product or service. Wouldn’t it be “smart” to capture their email address by offering a FREE report about your product or service! This tip alone could be worth a “fortune” to you in future sales of your product!
Why You MUST Follow-Up With Your Customers and Leads!
Did you know that the average consumer needs to hear a commercial 17 TIMES before making a “buying” decision?
Yet, so many adroit marketers miss the boat when it comes to follow-up. Even I have been guilty of not following up with leads or staying in instant contact with my customers. It is SO critical that you keep in contact with your customers, and follow up with your leads.
For instance, if you’re capturing people’s email addresses when they visit your web site, what are you planning to do with those emails?
Keep in mind, these are people that have raised their hand, and expressed an interest in your product or service. For you NOT to follow up on those leads via email would
be a CRIME!
You could send them weekly or monthly tips about their particular interest. You could have a free recorded message for people who are not on the web, and offer them a free report by snail mail, etc.
The bottom line is to always give your customers/leads every available option to get information from you.
Remember, don’t think that just because you’ve emailed or snail mailed them once or twice, that they’re not interested in what you have to offer. Keep in mind that people are very busy, and they’re NOT sitting around the house waiting for something from you!
This is why follow-up is SO critical.
If you’ve already had some success in getting publicity, that’s great! But in reality, that’s just the beginning of the cycle.
Let me explain.
A Ph.D. came to me about 4 years ago as a referral from a friend of mine. He wanted help in promoting his product, but was clueless about PR/marketing etc.
He had been doing public seminars on parenting issues for years, and had been in front of “thousands” of parents and teachers.
I asked him how many names he currently had in his database. I almost fainted when he gave me his answer.
His answer was NONE!
Now, here’s a very intelligent man, who you would think would know better.
Question: What good did all that PR, and all those speeches get this Ph.D. Answer: EXPOSURE! Now, I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to go to the bank and
Here’s what you need to consider when you’re getting PR for your product or service.
How Many Ways Can I Capture People’s Information for Future Solicitations?
You may want to put this rhyme on your refrigerator and review it every morning. Here’s a few ways I’ve helped my clients “capture” information in the past, and it will give you a jump-start.
1. If you’re holding a seminar, have them fill out an enrollment form upon entering the room. Have someone at the door to pass out the forms. Do NOT leave it up to the attendees to do. In other words, don’t do what one of my clients did, and just have the forms sitting on a table at the back of the room. Hand it to them!
2. Offer a FREE Special Report on your topic of expertise for their name and phone number. This is effective for speakers who are told they can’t sell products at the back of the room at seminars. But how can a company say no to giving out a FREE Special Report. They can’t, and YOU get all their information for future mailings.
3. If you’re on a radio or TV show, give out your Web address with the intent of ‘capturing’ their e-mail address. You MUST have an opt-in feature on your Web site. You would not believe how many people DO NOT capture e-mail addresses.
This ONE tip is worth 10x the cost of this ebook!
Here’s a true example of how powerful this technique can be. A client of mine was featured on Fox News Channel a few months ago. He only had 4 minutes on air. He ‘plugged’ the Web site at the end of the show, and I captured 700 opt-in emails. We’ve made several thousand dollars from that list of e-mails. Not bad, huh!
4. Give out an 800# for information, but make sure you’re prepared with the right message to capture their name and phone number. Here’s what I do, and it works ‘Wonders.”
If you can’t afford to hire a good telemarketing room, (which are almost non-existent), here’s an example of a message you can use:
“Thank you and congratulations for calling xyz company. Congratulations, because you’re one of the first 50 callers, and you’re now eligible for a 50% discount on our abc product. Due to the overwhelming response to this promotion, all of our customer service specialists are busy taking orders at this time. So, instead of wasting your time keeping you on hold, we’ve arranged for this special voice mail system so you won’t miss out on your 50% off discount. So please leave your name, address, and phone number at the tone, and one of our friendly specialists will return your call within one hour. Thank you for calling, and have a GREAT day!”
This is an amazing technique. I’ve been using this in my telemarketing room for 5 years, and over 90% of people will leave you that information, or at least a phone number to call them back. Do you see the psychology behind this message? I’ll get into that in another issue on ‘copywriting.’
How can they NOT leave their information?
So, hopefully this gives you some insight into how ‘critical’ it is to learn how to market yourself and your product, and the VALUE of each customer.
Targeting Your Specific Market
I see it again and again, where people will send out thousands of faxes, or direct mail pieces, without ‘targeting’ their market. It’s the old theory that if you throw enough mud against the wall, some of it will stick. This is a very “costly” assumption in today’s market.
Here are 2 steps to avoid wasting thousands of dollars on non-qualified prospects and media.
Target your media: let’s say your product is a product that focuses on weight loss, relationships, crafts, shopping, etc. These are primarily female oriented topics. Instead of wasting your money sending faxes, press releases, direct mail etc., to all media sources, you need to focus on niche or female dominated publications, radio stations, and
For instance, if you want to do radio interviews, fax your press release to Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Hits radio, or New Adult Contemporary stations. Those are the top 3 formats for female listeners.
For print media releases, target the same type of publications for women. Examples would be Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Crafts magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, etc.
It sounds simple, but so many people forget the basics, and targeting could make or break your media campaign.
Target your prospects: I’ll never forget the day that I got a mail piece from Century 21. They were offering to come out and appraise my Home for its value in the marketplace. But, there was one BIG problem. I lived in an apartment at that time! Now, here’s a company with millions of dollars to spend on targeting their market, and even they don’t get it.
This is how bad most people, especially large companies are in regards to this targeting issue.
You and I don’t have the luxury of wasting money like that. Here the questions to ask yourself:
❑ Who is your prospect?
❑ How old are they?
❑ Are they male or female?
❑ What are their hobbies?
❑ What is their income?
❑ Do they have children?
❑ How old are the children?
❑ Do they live in a home or apartment?
All of these could be critical elements for your mailing campaign to be a success.
You MUST get as specific as possible to get your desired results. Don’t think that saving a little money on list rental to ignore the specifics will help you. It will only hurt you in the long run.
Make sure when purchasing your mailing list, that you know the answer to all of these questions about your target consumer.
Remember, it’s NOT response percentages. . . it’s DOLLARS!
Let’s say it cost you $400.00 to mail 1,000 press releases to the media.
Out of those 1,000 press releases sent, you get ONE interview, write-up, mention, etc.
Let’s assume that ONE mention in the media leads to $401.00 in sales of your product.
Some of you reading this might consider that press release a ‘loser’, because out of 1,000 press releases sent, you only got ONE mention in the media.
But the truth is, you’ve got a ‘winner’, because not only did you get your investment back in the mailing, but you’ve got a customer for LIFE!
I see so many people ‘give up’ on sending press releases, only because they’re looking at response percentages instead of revenue earned from the campaign.
Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test other press releases against that release, but your next step should be to send out another round of press releases in a few weeks.
Remember, you only want to test ONE element of your press release at a time, so you’ll be able to gauge what particular change made the difference.
Remember, it’s NOT response percentages that fatten your bank account…it’s DOLLARS!
5 Fatal Mistakes of Publicity and Marketing to avoid like the Plague!
1. The “Shiny Widget Syndrome.”
This syndrome consists of an acute ‘passion’ or ‘love’ for your Widget. You sleep with it, carry it with you everywhere you go, brag to your friends and family about how wonderful it is, and your spouse sometimes takes a back seat to this widget.
There’s only one problem.
The market doesn’t need or more importantly want your Widget! Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be passionate about your product, book, service, web site, etc. What I am saying, is that it’s ‘dangerous’ to become emotionally involved with a product that’s not viable.
Let me explain.
It happens to me on a quite frequent basis. People shoving the next great Widget in my face for promotion to the market. I mean, take a look around, how many people are clamoring to get your Widget?
It’s a pretty good indication that if you have to give them away, or they’re gathering dust in your garage, you need to change your plans.
Now, I’m not saying that the reason it’s just sitting in your garage is because no one wants it. It could be failed marketing strategies, that is the primary reason.
But if consumers are not showing much interest in your product, you may want to rethink your strategy or find a product the market wants and needs.
Whatever you do, don’t just listen to your friends and family. They’ll tell you what you WANT to hear about your Widget, not what you NEED to hear from the actual consumer.
2. The “Everyone Wants It Syndrome.”
No, Everyone Doesn’t…and if they do, you can bet there is some serious competition out there spending “millions” to bring it to the masses.
For instance, weight loss products. Every supplement company seems to have the latest, greatest weight loss potions, programs, machines, etc. to sell to the consumer.
Now, there are people making millions with these products. I currently have two clients that are making a ‘very’ good living in that industry. BUT, I have driven into their heads the awesome power known as continuity.
Let me explain what I mean by a ‘continuity’ product.
You MUST have a way to charge your customers each and every month for this type of product.
Do not rely on a one-shot sale in an industry this competitive. You’re much better off finding a product that a “niche” of people crave and desire. For instance, weight
loss for “flight attendants”, for people with busy schedules, and bad food choices.
This is just an example, but you see what I mean by “niche”. Instead of going after “everyone”, you’ve selected a group that would be more responsive to your promotion, and you could command a “premium” for your program/product, because it’s so targeted.
3. The “My Product Is So Great…People Will Come To Me Syndrome.”
NO They Won’t! The old saying about building a ‘better’ mousetrap is pure (BS) Bull-Stuff! You can build better mouse traps until the cows come home, and your rotted and decaying bones will be laying next to a garage full of them when they find you. If you don’t market your product, you’re dead.
This syndrome would take weeks to explain, because it gets into proper marketing of your product, and there’s plenty of great books on that. But, just know that you MUST get the work out to your particular group of consumers who you feel would get the most benefit out of your product. You could then go to publications that YOU subscribe to, or that you know target YOUR market or consumer.
For instance: If you’re into collectibles, find magazines in your niche that sell collectibles. Then you could start out with a small display or classified ad to gauge response to your particular collectible item. Test with small ads first, and if you get a good response, try a larger ad. This is one of many strategies you could employ, but it’s a start.
4. The “I’ll Just Send Out Some Faxes To Media To Get Publicity For My Widget . . . and Just Sit Back and Wait For the Orders to Roll In” Syndrome.
No, They Won’t… Unless You Prepare. Every week, I get so many requests from people to help them get publicity for their product, it’s staggering. After posing a couple of questions to them, they get silent.
❑ Who is your target market?
❑ Do you have a web site designed to capture customer information?
❑ How many interviews have you done?
❑ Do you realize that how you approach print and electronic media are entirely different?
❑ How do you structure your interview to get more time “on air” with the show host?
❑ Do you give out your web site, or do you have a toll free phone number to call, are you doing this interview to generate leads, or make a direct sale from the interview?
❑ Have you checked the demographics of this particular radio station to see if it reaches your target?
❑ How do you build instant rapport with the show host or editor?
❑ On & on & on.
So many people give up on free publicity because they don’t understand the “basics” of how to “maximize” every second of every interview.
One of the biggest mistakes people make, is jumping out into the PR world without a basic foundation being laid.
5. The “I’m Just Happy With The Initial Sale Syndrome.”
No, You Shouldn’t Be! I was listening to an interview with a friend of mine this morning. He was alluding to the fact that he had sold 100,000 copies of his particular book. He was absolutely distraught over the fact that he had NOT built in ANY type of residual sales program.
Imagine for a minute, if just 5% of those initial buyers would have opted for a tape of the month program, a newsletter, another bottle of weight loss supplements or one more tube of glop for their face every month?
It could have made him a small fortune had he known what you know now by reading this Ebook!
It’s staggering how much money people leave on the table because they do NOT have a continuity program in place.
Hopefully this will open your eyes a bit.
What’s newsworthy is what’s going on locally or nationally.
Offer to provide something for your readers that they can use, they can apply and it’s not going to cost them a dime.
Free Advertising for Authors
Because a large share of people reading this ebook have created or would like to create an informational product, I’ve added this special bonus section to help you.
If you are an aspiring author who has already written a book, ebook or some other type of informational product..
I don’t care what it is, you absolutely can get free publicity.
I’ll give you a prime example.
About four years ago, I had an author of a parenting book approach me to help him get some free publicity. But he was thinking small time. At the time this gentleman was doing the PTA meetings. He was doing after school meetings where 50-100 parents would get together. Then he would sell his books on parenting in the back of the room. He was thinking that maybe he could get local publicity, maybe a local radio show.
I told him he needs to think national. Parents aren’t just in Houston, they’re everywhere!
So I put together a press release, and in the course of a month, this gentleman had been on 15-20 radio shows, getting to promote his book.
Later he was written up in many newspapers across the country and even appeared on the Fox News. People were contacting him nationwide to order his materials.
Before this he had been struggling to sell 20 or 30 books, working his rear end off. Now all of a sudden he goes on and does one thirty minute interview and sells several hundred books.
Here’s a guy who was struggling just to sell a few books, doing seminars, not selling very many books: ten here, fifteen there, maybe twenty on a good night and suddenly he’s getting a full page feature article. The client was on cloud nine. This client went on to be featured on both CNN and FOX News channel to promote his parenting system!
Interested in reading more? See Part 4 of my best-selling e-book here!
All contents Copyright (c) 2002. Marketing Edge Publishing/Ruiz and Associates except where indicated otherwise. All rights reserved worldwide. Reprint only with express permission from copyright holder(s). All trademarks are property of their respective owners. All contents provided as is. No express or implied income claims made herein — your business success is always dependent on many factors, including your own abilities.