Shit Happened. So What’s Next?

Shit will happen all the time. You know that. I know that. We all know that. Last week I lost my phone (RIP Arc S) and my wallet. That’s shitty thing happened to me.

That’s life.

Sometimes we doesn’t get the hand that we want and sometimes people do screw us. There are people out there that will steal things from you and will do nasty thing on you.

That’s life.

We are not prophet. We can’t predict future. We can plan but we are not the governor of fate. We will get screwed – and we don’t know how we are going to get screwed.

So shit happened.

What do we do?

We move on.

We do things that we think we should do. Don’t allow ourselves to weep too much. Don’t allow ourselves to feel sorry too much. Too much of anything is disastrous to our body. Too much food, too much ice cream, too much ice cream. It’s all dangerous.

How do we move on?

We do things. Mop the floor. Wash your car. Write. Plan how to live your life so well that people get jealous of you.

Do something.

Use the negative energy for positive things.

And of course, at one time in a day, reflect on the shitty things that happened to you. How does it happen? Why does it happen? Who make it happen? How can you prevent it from happening? And so on.

Know your time to be productive. And time to be reactive. Learn to know yourself. As I try to learn to know about myself.

The Importance of Split Testing and Getting into Your Prospect’s Mind

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
— Colin Powell

What I’m going to tell here hasn’t been talked much about in internet marketing world. And it still is one of the best kept technique of making more money of the gurus. I wonder why that is. One of the reasons why I make my clients a lot of money is that I know what variables (perubahan) that I should make in order to make my clients more money. You see, making money can be simple, if you study hard enough.

You see there are four places where a small changes can lead to a big improvement dalam kadar tukar pembaca kepada pembeli (conversion rate). Before I explained what that four are, I want to explain to you how important is the concept I am going to talk about.

Let’s say there are two apples in front of you. Both have the same quality. But one is green apple and another is red apple. You choose green apple. And what I want to question you now is: if there are 100 people waiting in line to get their apple, which one do you think will be chosen more?

Red or green?

Answer: you can guess, but your chance is just 50% correct.

If you just have a tool, a tool that could measure other people impulses’… you would be better off in predicting which one is more desirable than the other. And that’s what Google Website Optimizer does.

It is used to split test your ads and see which one is more desirable for people. What would they would choose? Would they choose your original (control) ad… or would they choose your new ad? Your market will decide which one is better. You only have the right to think which one will perform better… but you don’t have the right to dictate to others which one they should prefer.

And guess what: if you are copywriter, you have higher chances of failing to see which one would perform better more than a normal person is. Why?

Because you are so trained in this art and science of copywriting, you will start asking yourself – does this follow the rules of copywriting? Does this seduce, amplify the desire of the people? And when you start asking this kind of question, well, you tend to forget it’s not about how you think of the ad, but what your audience think of the ad.

The best bet for you to see if that ad is a winner or not is this: you need to be in your prospect’s shoes. Really. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck in “does this have all the persuasion power necessary to sell”. I made a video that explains how important split testing is and I hope you will find it beneficial. All comments, feedbacks are welcomed.

P.S About the four areas of improvement where you can see huge improvement in conversion rate, I will write it soon.

What is The Right Marketing Question?

Right now I’m thinking about asking question to people with the intention of figuring out what they really want… or need… or why they buy. Anything with objective.

I mean, most people asked the wrong question. And therefore get the wrong answer. They interpret based on the incorrect information which in turn will cause mistake in the way they market their product. What I mean is people don’t buy a product, they buy for a reason that they only know. We cant say we know all bout them. But seriously… no one knew what is going on in people’s head unless they tell us.

The problem is: people often lie.

You know, when we ask people “why do you buy this”, I don’t think we get the answer we NEED to market the product. We only get answer that they are willing to tell. I mean, will people say I buy this product because I am desperate to solve (problem)? May be they will tell you in round about way about the truth and they long about something. Maybe they are hooked to it. We don’t know because we don’t really know them.

It’s same with the Cola thing. The New Coke thing. People rebelled because they know its new and well, they think they like the old better although the truth is they can’t tell the differences between the old and the new one … in a blind test Coke did, the consumer prefer New COKE better. Interesting isn’t it? The way how mind works. Fool them and they won’t know, and tell them that you fooled them and they get angry at you.

Funny… but that’s the truth. I don’t think we can profit a lot without asking the right question. Like asking a girl. They won’t tell you directly most of the time what they want from you but if you knew “the way…” they will tell you INDIRECTLY about what you want to know… and what they really, really want.

Heh, funny little world isn’t it?

Therefore we must ask the right question. The RIGHT QUESTION. You have to first understand how human mind works. I don’t think I really understand how mind works but we primarily think in “primate” brain. Our emotional brain. You can tell people something that is good for them but they are not necessarily will do it.

I mean… look: no matter how good something is, they won’t give a damn UNLESS they have an interest in it. I mean like a good feeling or something that they appreciates. A connection between that task and themselves. That’s what happened. Really, you won’t care if shit happens to the world unless you care about the world. Most people don’t do an thing because they don’t care enough!

Do something or make them care. That’s the key to marketing.

So what this has to do with asking the right question. We are marketers so asking the right question means we know wat we need to know to do the right thing. I hope you will ask the right question to your prospect.

Do you have a good story to do your marketing?

A good story makes people want to read and hurting when reading it. For example you can take a manga written and illustrated by Seo Kouji. The first manga I read authored by him is Kimi no Iru Machi (A Town Where You Live).

In that story the boy met a beautiful yet clumsy girl who came all the way to Hiroshima from Tokyo for one reason: she wants to live a new life. The story starts to get interesting when it was told that her family is a problematic family and she actually met the boy when both of them were young.

Now, I rarely read manga that can be put under romance category but this one stroke my heart. I clicked from one page to another at OneManga and anxiously waiting for new chapter to be published(right now it stopped at chapter 81).

Now, what this has to do with marketing and copywriting? A lot in fact. If you study every successful branding and positioning, you will realize that the fact that they are successful because they tells a good story in their campaigns.

You probably have heard these companies:

Coca Cola.

All of them have something to tell. From the clubs they sponsored (Nike), to how awesome is to use their product (Coca Cola), and you’ll be able to save nature by buying their products (Crocodile).

People loved good story. Every great movie has a great story to tell. At least they tell it in a way that people remember. From explosions every two minutes… or a heavy dialogue with quotes from famous people every now and then… they always have something that hook people in to make them sit in front of the TV and make you and me watch them.

Yes, good story is probably the most underutilized way to market your product. Fortunately, not many people out there knew how to utilize story to their advantage. Now is your turn to make your story into a successful marketing campaign.

Here are few key questions you can ask yourself to start using story in your campaign:

How does my company make this product?
How can I tell it in a way people will want to know more?
What is the process used and can be told to people without damaging us?
What is a common thing everyone in the market do that they don’t tell others?

Above questions are just some of the ways you can use to discover your story. If you need help to implement your story in your marketing efforts, do tell me.

– Abdul Rahman

Do you have an asset?

If you have something that you can sell to others, you can call it asset. It can be in physical form or in a form of service. Like me, I can do a little bit of programming, know how to write promotion that sells inside out, know how to use internet to make money and know how to sell thousands of ringgits of products.

This is my asset. I also have at least four websites on copywriting and marketing and with those four, I could leverage on my skill to generate even more money. It is important for you to use your asset to make money. You can start with nothing but most people don’t start with “nothing” they have experiences which can be turned into info products (an asset) and this is what you should be looking for.

Start listing down every kind of experiences, knowledge so that you know what you are standing at right now. You might be standing right on top of a goldmine called experience and there might be people out there searching for it but you don’t know that fact. If you are thirty plus years old, you probably know more about life than me. You can use that knowledge to create a self-help product.

You can also use knowledge in your career to create a product since most people are looking for a way to solve their problems. Try to think of a way you can use your knowledge in your field to create something you can sell. It can be in info product or it can be in consultation. Making money is simple but not easy. Remember that and do your best. Remember Thomas Edison: he failed 10 thousand times before making a light bulb.

What are you working at?

Good evening reader. As of now, it’s 11:09 PM, January 11. What I am writing to you today concerns about business and system.

Do you have a system working for your business?

If yes, are you part of the system, or are you detached from it? I don’t think there’s any way for you to be detached, other than appointing someone as a CEO and you be the chairman.

But what if you are small business, when your business has a momentum going on, do you have a set of strategies available for you to use to exploit that? And how that fits in the big picture?

Something for you to think about.

Gary Halbert’s Sales Letter: How To Make ALL The Money You Want

Below is a sales letter written by Gary Halbert and man, this one pulls a lot of responses. If I’m not mistaken, this one returns $41 for every $1 spent on this sales letter.

[Prehead] “The few minutes you take to listen to the enclosed free tape will
be the most important of your life – from a financial point-of-
view – because it reveals…

[Headline] “How To Make ALL The Money
You Want Making Simple, High-
Profit Trades Every Single Day The
Market Is Open… Guaranteed!

[Subhead] “Now, at last, you can beat the market every single day it is open – in good times or bad – right from the comfort of your own home. And most days, using the amazing ‘Early Morning Secret’, you can make several hundred of several thousand dollars the first 45 minutess the market is open… with almost ZERO RISK… and then… go play a round or two of golf, go fishing, spend time with family or friends… or… whatever you feel like doing!”

[Subhead] (Note: This trading system even works on the worst trading days imaginable… such as… September 17, 2001, when the market reopened after the horrible terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. That day, the Dow Jones Industrial Index had its worst point drop in its 105-year history… 684.81 points to be exact. But, you still could’ve made plenty of highly-profitable trades that day… if… you knew what to look for. Hard to believe? Maybe so. But it’s true! Please take a few minutes to read this letter, and let me explain why…)

From: Scott L. Haines
Ocala, FL
Friday, 9:37 a.m.
December 28, 2001

Dear Friend,

I’ll bet you remember exactly where you were when you first heard the news about the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Nearly everyone does. And nearly everyone (especially investors) remembers how this disaster shut down all the major stock exchanges in the United States for nearly an entire week.

When the market reopened on Monday, September 17th, it experienced the largest point drop in history. The Dow dropped 684.81 points for a percentage loss of 7.13% in just one trading day. The Transportation Index did even worse. It dropped 404.81 points for a one-day percentage loss of 15.12%. The NASDAQ fell 115.82 for a one-day percentage loss of 6.83%.

All in all, it was one of the worst days in the history of the stock market.

[Subhead]But Here Is Something Almost
Nobody Bothered To Notice…

On the very same day, on the NYSE, 1144 stocks advanced in price and 63 of those stocks actually went up to new highs!

On the NASDAQ, 1409 stocks advanced in price and 35 of those stocks skyrocketed to new highs!

On the AMEX, 285 stocks increased in price with 12 of them hitting new highs!
This means that… on one of the worst days in the history of the major markets, a total of 2838 stocks actually advanced in price… and… a total of 110 of those stocks went up in value to a price higher than they had ever sold for before.

[Subhead]How About A 165.3% Gain
In Just That One Day?

That’s what a company called InVision Technologies (INVN) experienced. And what about a company called Viisage Technology (VISG)? It went up that day 142.2%! Or ICTS International (ICTS) which skyrocketed 113.3%! Or Avistar Communications (AVSR) which made a gain of 100.1%!

Aside from those triple digit gainers there were many stocks that made double digit percentage gains like American Science and Engineering (ASE) up 97.6%… or… Vicon Industries (VII) up 83.7%… or Hi-Shear Technology (HSR) up 76%… or Identix (IDNX) up 71.4%… or… Olympic Cascade Financial (OLY) up 52.2%!

Enough. I think I’ve made my point… which is…

[Subhead]If You Know How To Pick The
Righ Stocks… You Can Still
Make Dozens Of Highly-Profitable
Trades… Even If… The Rest
Of The Market Is Falling Apart!

But, how in the world can anyone (especially given today’s economic turmoil) pick winning stocks day after day? Is there any way… for real… to beat today’s stock market? YES! And, get this…

[Subhead]It’s Easy!

I know that’s hard to believe… but please… listen up for just a moment.
Late in 1999, I received an invitation to attend a $3,995 per person seminar by one of my mentors, marketing genius Gary Halbert. It was being held at the Airport Hilton in Phoenix on the 10th, 11th and 12th of December. Gary hadn’t done a seminar in years, so I was anxious to go. As soon as I finished reading the letter, I called and immediately signed up.

After all, Gary is world famous for his nearly $7,000 per person Key West College of Millionaires seminars. So at $3,995, this new seminar seemed like a bargain. Not necessarily cheap… but bargain. Anyway, the main reason I signed up and went was because Gary promised to reveal all of the marketing and advertising secrets he has used and accumulated over the last 30 plus years to make untold millions and millions of dollars.

(Will continue tomorrow)

Copywriting, Sheep, Lilac and Dragon

If you are wondering why today’s post has sheep, lilac and dragon in it, let me tell you about the challenge James Chartrand gave in his guest post at Copyblogger.

He tells the reader to write about copywriting and connects it with these three words: sheep, lilac and dragon. One paragraph for each word.

That’s why I came up with this post. Now, please enjoy my attempt to connect these words with copywriting.

Sheep – Everyone thinks of something. The problem is everything think their own way. Is there anyone who think exactly the same thing? For instance, is there any people in this world who have exactly the same thought? Not a chance. However, there are set of rules that we can follow — because people are like a sheep. They follow certain rules, and human are no exception to that rule. One thing that we can remember about people is that they move towards one thing and that is – their self-interest.

Lilac – You might ask, what lilac has to do with copywriting? Well, there are a lot of things that I can associate Lilac with copywriting. Lilac, as you know, is a purple-coloured flower that is very beautiful and many people loved them. So does copywriting. Copywriting is beautiful and seducing, and made people want to know that art. So it’s the same with lilac. We love both of them — and they are something we cherish in our lives.

Dragon – Dragon spits fire, and copywriting spits fire of desire into people’s heart. Did you realize that copywriting make a spark of desire into a burning lust for a product? From just, “I want to know more about the product”, copywriting made the reader to be someone who said, “hey! This is the product I need” even though at first he’s the most sceptical person in this world.

So that’s it! I hope you enjoy my 30 minute attempt (with 15 minutes of procrastination and idling around the work desk) trying to come up with an idea to connect those words with copywriting.

Few Things I Learned About Copywriting

I forget when I became a copywriter. To be exact, I became a copywriter by chance. I don’t choose it. It choses me.

At first, I only thought copywriting as a way for me to make money but later, I found out that there are many things you can learn with copywriting. I for example, learned that we need to empathize with others or else, they will leave us.

I also learned that we as a copywriter must first understand people, before they understand us. By leading them from our understanding, we make them realize that we are offering to them is the best for them at the moment and they should be willing (or even glad) that we are giving them the opportunity.

However, it is easier said than done. I have seen, edited, written so many sales letters that the line between good or bad has been blurred. I mean, right now I am having an even harder time to choose which one of my works is the best.

Yes, I do know the data speaks the truth, but the same formula won’t work twice. Or it might work only for that niche.

In seeking the Truth in copywriting, I see that human is something that… in conflict. We have mind and heart, but we always conflict with each other. Some people would love to spend their time doing works that doesn’t benefit them in any way (materially) but would spend thousands of dollars doing things that will satisfy their inner self.

And then we have another type of person who would do everything to be practical, or pragmatic. It seems good choice… until we say how extreme they are in their way of living.

Not all of course. Most people are in the middle. I, too, could be considered to be in the middle.

Not a bad thing though.

To become a copywriter is to be someone who understands others. To try to understand human nature even though it’s hard since we are clouded with our own prejudice.

To become a copywriter means to open our eyes and see the world as-is, and use that as a tool for world domination.