Thursday, May 31, 2018

The “Secret” to Paid Traffic? There is no secret!

I got started in the world of online marketing first as a funnel builder. I was in Russell Brunson’s “Ignite” coaching program and he was coaching me towards building my “off grid living” funnel. His advice was to find a funnel that was currently working and then hack it. At the time, Survival Life was absolutely killing it in the off grid, prepper, survival market. So that’s what I did. I opted into Survival Life’s funnel with their “Free plus Shipping” credit card knife, and then I bought all of their upsells: the German-steel blade knife, their solar battery charger… even their monthly continuity program (this is where they make their money!).
I built the funnel, and paid for some ads on Facebook ($10/day) and do you know what happened? NOTHING! Absolutely nothing. Now, by  “nothing” I mean I got no opt-ins and thus no sales. The page got some decent traffic… It’s been years now but if I remember correctly I was paying less than 50 cents per website click. I put $100 on that campaign without a single opt-in or dime to show in return. My goal was to turn this funnel into a 6-figure funnel and I certainly wasn’t off to a blazing start! So I contacted Christian, the Ignite coach, and he went into my account and “fixed” my funnel for me. I spent another $100 on paid traffic, but the results didn’t change. No opt-ins. No sales. But I was continuing to work with John Parkes, Russell’s “Facebook guy”, and this campaign saw, even more, traffic because I was paying less than 30 cents per click to my funnel. And this is where you need to watch it when hiring somebody to manage your Facebook ads account. I could probably impress a bunch of potential clients if I told them I could get them 3 unique visitors to their website for less than a dollar. Because that really is pretty cool…
But what if I told them that regardless of how much ad spend they gave me, and regardless of how cheap I could get their paid traffic, that they’d never make a single sale? Well, hopefully, they’d be smart enough to hire somebody else. Somebody who could actually bring them ROI with their ad spends. This was my own funnel, my own account and my own money I was spending though. I needed to get results and after paying for a $10,000 USD (I’m Canadian, so this was a big hit) coaching program, I couldn’t afford to hire any staff. So I Voxered Russell, showed him what we had done and he made some recommendations for improvement. Now we’re getting somewhere!!!! If I do exactly what Russell Brunson recommends, how could I fail?
“With great ease”, that’s how… Another $100 spent and another big donut scored on my end. I went back to Voxer with Russell. He knew how tight I was strapped for cash and he was as frustrated as I was. So in the last effort “Hail Mary”, Russell Brunson himself offered to build my funnel for me! You can’t imagine my sigh of relief. I had gone from my goal of creating a 6-figure funnel, to begging and pleading with the universe to allow me to make a single figure (< $10) from this funnel. But if Russell was going to use his magic to build my funnel, then all my problems were over.

Or so I thought…

At this point, I had become a Facebook master. John Parkes couldn’t believe my Relevancy Scores or my costs per click. I think John may have even told Russell that I was better at paid traffic than he was! So paid traffic wasn’t a problem. But once again, sales and opt-ins certainly were. After another $100 in ad spend, once again we were completely shut out. That’s pretty much when Russell stopped returning my Voxers. We had “hacked” a funnel that we knew was successful. We were driving highly targeted paid traffic to the funnel for mere pennies. But the opt-ins and sales never materialized.

What else could we do?

I certainly didn’t have any ideas for my off grid funnel, but word had got out that I had some chops when it came to Facebook advertising. I was hired by a boot camp gym in Chino Hills, California. So I flew out there to see what they were all about and figure out what I could do for them. I certainly looked at what their competition was doing. And I definitely looked at their websites and funnels. But instead of looking at them and figuring out how I could copy, model, or hack them, I looked at them from the perspective of their avatar. This is what I now call my “Empathic Marketing Strategy” (or EMS which fits in nicely with my Marketing Medic brand). Instead of modeling what others are doing, I look at their funnels from the perspective of my client avatar. The other gyms liked using images of super ripped, hardcore women, in super tight, form-fitting clothes, glistening with sweat. I gotta admit, these were sexy images and as a dude, I certainly appreciated them!
But my client avatar is a middle class, middle aged mother, who is 40 – 100lbs overweight. If I was a woman like that, what confidence would I have that I would ever look like that 22-year-old, supermodel, hottie in the ad? There is absolutely no way a body like that is ever in her future again. So how would she feel entering a gym where she has to look in the big wall mirror standing beside a woman like that? Our client avatar already feels bad about themselves to some degree. How is forcing them to compare themselves to the world’s most perfect body going to help that? So when I created their funnel, I didn’t use any super sexy, black and white, stock photos. I used images of real women from the gym. Images of women who were still overweight, but sweaty and smiling.

My testimonial video was the same. I found women from the gym who had achieved results from the workouts but still had a long way to go. The women shared their insecurities and dreams and explained the support and the family-like environment at the gym. My testimonial videos focused on the emotions of the gym members, not on the classes, the features, or even the results. I created a no-risk offer that was attractive to their avatar and then coached my clients on how to nurture the environment I was “selling” in my funnel.

What did my "Paid Traffic" Facebook ad look like?

It was simply a super scaled down version of the funnel. So there were no surprises when our avatar moved from our ad to our funnel. And it worked! When the dust cleared, we brought in an estimated $10,360 in revenue on our $300 ($10/day) ad spend. We ran this campaign for over a year, with only seasonal fluctuations. At the beginning of the year and in the early summer, we paid as low as 11 cents per ad click. Just before Christmas and in the heart of the summer, our costs increased to around 40 cents per click. But again, you shouldn’t focus on the cost per click. Think back to my off grid funnel, those numbers are meaningless.
Again, in the new year and early summer, we paid between $10 - $13 for a $49 opt-in. That’s up to a 5:1 Return on Investment on the front end offer alone. In the summer, we paid up to $30 for an opt-in. But even with that, we’re still not too far away from a 2:1 ROI. In a perfect “funnel” world, the Gold Standard should simply be to have a 1:1 ROI on the front end. If you get a dollar out for every dollar you put in, that means you have FREE TRAFFIC, as much as you want! Invest $10, earn $10. Invest a million dollars, earn a million dollars. No net income is made, but your list of clients that you can sell more stuff to is as big as you want it to be. This gym was doing a little better than a 70% conversion on their $600 follow up offer. So do the math there… If we spent $300 in July (a super slow month) and pay $30 for an opt-in, that means that we enroll one new client every 3 days at $49. That’s 10 new clients or $490 in revenue (already $190 in the black). But if we convert 70% of these people (7 out of the 10), that’s an additional $4200, for a total of $4690 earned on a $300 ad spend, or a 15:1 ROI. If you gave me $15 for every dollar I gave you…. I’d do that with paid traffic all day long! In the peak season, our numbers were almost 3x as good.
Okay, but what’s the moral of this story? Why did this funnel work and the off grid one fail so miserably? Basically, by “hacking” Survival Life, I wasn’t offering anything to my avatar that was different from the Survival Life offer. Essentially I was giving my avatar the choice between shopping with a name brand (Survival Life) or a generic, small-time, nobody. Who has more credibility head-to-head, me or Survival Life?

Of course, they do! No contest.

If I wanted to succeed in the off grid sector, I shouldn’t have cloned what the big guys were doing, I should have done what I could to stand out and be different. Offer something unique. I should have more personally addressed the pain points, wants and desires of my avatar. That’s what I did with the family owned bootcamp gym. I didn’t clone the Orangetheory campaign and offer. There is no way I could have beaten them at their own game. But by offering a different approach, something unique, I was able to attract the attention of my avatar.

So what does all of this have to do with paid traffic???

It all goes back to how you measure success. Success is measured by sales and not clicks. So successful paid traffic starts with a successful funnel. In that you need to identify your avatar. Not their age or where they live. But how they feel. What problems they have. What solutions they are searching for. Then you create an offer that provides them with a solution to their pain. The tricky part here is what makes your offer stand out. Why should they go with your solution when they can probably get another solution for cheaper or from somebody with more credibility? You need to create something unique. Something that can only be attained from you. From there you need to address their false or limiting beliefs. Identify all the reasons your avatar wouldn’t purchase from you and address those beliefs straight up.

Once you have a funnel that employs an Empathic Marketing Strategy, you simply take your offer and your curiosity based unique mechanism and create your ad. Target your avatar’s demographics and interests and speak to them using the language they want to hear. If you do the work identifying the pains, needs, wants and desires of your avatar and then create an offer that is supported by your own unique mechanism, then converting traffic is the easy part.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Marketing Medic's alias is The Mad Trapper! [Mike's "rap" video]

Long before I became the Marketing Medic I was known as "the Mad Trapper"

In 2003 I founded the Mad Trapper Trail and Snowshoe Series. 

Since we have 164 acres of our own land plus access to my neighbour's 150+ acres, plus access to thousands of acres of Crown Land, it only makes sense for me to have my own trails here. I can run on them, bike on them, hike on them, horseback on them, ride my ATV and collect firewood.

We've had a bunch of unique races over the year, but for the past few years we've scaled it down to the following.

Winter: Mad Trapper Snowshoe Series. This is a 3 or 4 race series (depends on how busy I am and what snow conditions are like). This series is sponsored by Atlas Snowshoes, Solefit Orthotics and Bushtukah Great Outdoor Gear. Each race has the option of a 5k or 10k course. Each race concludes indoor with a group social where we dine on some lasagna, casserole or chili my wife Monique has cooked up.

Spring: Sometime near the end of the maple syrup season we have the Pancake Prediction Run. This is an 8km gravel road run where prior to the race, runners will predict their final finish time on "the big board". Running without a watch or timing device, runners are given their final time to post beside their predicted time. The winner is the person who comes closest to guessing his/her actual finish time. Following the race we have a big pancake breakfast, complete with pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and of course, Mad Trapper Homemade Maple Syrup.

Early Summer: In June we host 2 races on the same day:

The NOOTR (Natural Obstacle Off Trail Race). This is a 4k event that runs through the woods staying OFF the trails! In this event I take racers through, up, over and down every obstacle on my property I can find. This includes waist deep swamp crossings, cliff climbs, and canyon stream decents.

Later that afternoon we have the Trail Beer Mile. In this event, racers chug a can of beer, run 400m of single track trail and then repeat (both the beer and the trail) 3 more times for a total of 3 beers chugged and 1600m (one mile) ran.

Both races finish with a beer and BBQ social.

In August we host the women's only  Power in Pink Trail Race and Fun Run. We offer 3k, 5k and 10k options here with the bulk of the proceeds being donated to help a local woman battling cancer. Upon crossing the finish line, racers are presented with a mimosa by a cute boy in a bow tie. Then we carry on to a luncheon with awards and live auction.

Our final race of the season is held in late October and is pretty much just a straight on trail race. This event brags 3k, 5k, 10k, 21k and 50k options. As always, the race concludes with beer, food, prizes and celebrating.

Here is a promotional video I made for the snowshoe race series. I'll share a couple of my other videos in later entries.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Marketing Advice for a Las Vegas Drug Dealer!

In my last blog about the Las Vegas street walkers I explained whey I was in Vegas and what I was doing while I was there.
On my way back to my hotel from speaking with the ladies, a drug dealer said "Coke? Marijuana?"
I barely heard him so it took me a few steps to process. But once I did understand what he said I called back to him.
I think he was excited about making a sale, but what I gave him was even more valuable! MARKETING ADVICE!
Now, please don't misunderstand, I am NOT condoning the use of drugs. I just like seeing in what niches I can apply my Empathic Marketing Strategy.
What Danny (the drug dealer) was doing wrong was he was focused on a Product Aware market, which is the smallest market available to him.
The only  people he would be able to sell his drugs to, using his method, are people actively seeking marijuana or cocaine.

There are 4 levels of awareness:

1) Unaware (that they even have a problem)
2) Problem aware (they know they have a problem but don't realize a solution exists, "that's just life I guess")
3) Solution aware (they know they have a problem and they know they "can" do something about it)
4) Product aware (Apple users are the most "product aware". Apple users will buy a new Apple product before knowing the first thing about it.)

The market is biggest at Level 1 and grows increasingly smaller as you progress through the levels. Level 1 takes the most education to convert a sale. Level 4, requires very little education. Again, think of Apple.
So I told Danny he needs to broaden his market and address the Unaware market. That's where I was!
Like the street walkers, I suggested that he not go for the sale in his first 2 word sentence!
Try and engage people in a dialogue. People in Vegas aren't generally in a rush to get anywhere and should be open to a conversation while standing at an intersection.
In my case, he could have asked what brought me to Vegas and what I was doing that night?
I had tickets to a comedy club. He could have asked if I knew any of the comics performing?I did not.
He could have asked if I knew of a way that would GUARANTEE I loved and laughed super hard at the show.
Since I was problem unaware.... I didn't think there was anything I could do about comics that aren't funny!
But what if I took a couple of drags of marijuana before the show???
What would I find funny then???
Well, probably pretty much everything!
Now, I didn't buy anything from Danny and I don't know what his prices were, but I bet for a $10 per joint or whatever, there are a bunch of people who would have paid to ensure they giggle through the entire comedy show.

But this blog entry isn't about drug dealing... it's about identifying the level of awareness of your client avatar and educating them to the point that purchasing your product is the only solution to a problem they may have just learned they have!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Marketing Advice for Las Vegas Street Walkers

This past December I had a 2 day layover between rafting the Grand Canyon and heading over to Maui for a group "mastermind".

One of my favourite things to do in Vegas is people. While hanging out at Cabo Wabo, I thought I'd mix that favourite thing with one of my other favourite things, marketing.

As I sat on the railing, watching the Bellagio fountain I also saw 2 scantily dressed women asking passerbys if they'd like to have a picture taken with them.

My Image 
But from my perspective, they were going about it all wrong. They were just asking people "do you want a picture?"

And do you know what people heard?

"Do you want to give me your money?"

They weren't practicing Empathic Marketing at all. They weren't addressing the pain points, needs or desires of their client avatar. In fact they hadn't identified their client avatar at all!

Nobody wants or needs a photo. But how many guys in Vegas would like to show off, or make their buddies back home jealous?

Pretty much all of them!

So if the scantily dressed women could have engaged some testosterone-fueled guys in a conversation... how hard is it for a pretty girl to get a guy to talk to them?

They could have easily explained the benefits of having a photo taken with them placed on their Facebook wall.

I'm confident with a strategy like that, sales would go through the roof.

In the video, I address more of the marketing strategies these young ladies should have used.

Customer Level of Awareness

When addressing prospects it's important to first understand their Level of Awareness when it comes to the problem they are experiencing and the solution your product or service provides.

Is your prospect:

1) Unaware (they don't even realize they are experiencing a problem)
2) Problem aware (they know a problem exists, but they have no idea about potential solutions)
3) Solution aware (they know they have a problem, and they know there are solutions, they just don't know which solution is best)
4) Product aware (Apple users are the most product aware consumers on the planet)

In the video I give more complete examples and ways to utilize your prospect's Level of Awareness in your Empathic Marketing Strategy.

Maybe your product works for everyone, but don't market it that way

I would say that with the majority of clients that I work with, when I ask them who their product or service is best suited for, they say "everybody".

Now, that may be true. But don't market it that way.

This about it, if you were getting married and you found a one-size-fits-all tux, what would your finance say?

Even after you told her how cheap it was... what would she say?

I don't argue that a lot of products and services are suitable for everyone, but what makes it suitable for one person is probably different than what makes it suitable for somebody else.

If you product is used by a male millennial and a female baby-boomer, are they using the product for the same reason.

And even if they are, would they respond to the same marketing message?

The most important thing you can do with your marketing is take the time to really nail down who your client avatar is.

What are their pain points? What is their level of awareness? What solutions are they looking for, if they're even looking? What sort of language should you use when communicating with this demographic.

Without any customers or clients, you don't have a business. You have a hobby.

So when it comes to identifying who your avatar is and what it is they want, don't take any shortcuts.

Marketing On Your Horse Introduction

Welcome to the Marketing Medic, Marketing On Your Horse.

If you haven't figured it out already, I'm not a typical online marketer.

I don't rent mansions, cars and sexy escorts to film my videos in front of.

I don't lead you to believe that all you have to do is "hack" this one funnel that "currently brings in $17,312 per day" and you'll be set for life.

And I certainly don't think you should spend 18 hours per day, 7 days a week hustling and grinding.

Here's what I believe in when it comes to marketing... ethics and integrity.

Owning a business and marketing it, is not easy. There are no "3 secrets" that are going to shortcut you to success.

There is strategy though, and relationship building.

Throught the journey we'll share together on this blog, I'll give you my insight into the Empathic Marketing Strategy that I have used and developed and achieved success with in multiple businesses and adventures.

I'm also going to talk about using your V.E.A.R., your Vision, Energy, Attitude and Resolve to help you not only define but achieve your dreams.

The platform I use for building all of my online campaigns (like this blog) is BuilderAll, so I'll be writing and sharing tips and tricks there.

And lastly, I'll share a bit of insight into what life is like here at The Ark. You'll get to meet Fred and Willy and Diaz and Xena and on and on...

I hope you enjoy what I have to share and can make good use of it.