Never start with a blank screen or a blank sheet of paper when you are writing. You’ll end up working harder and achieving less than if you start with a template and finish with a checklist to make sure you’ve hit all the important points.
~ John Carlton paraphrased by Debra Hilton
What do the Cold War, the GFC, Elections, Google, and Covid-19 Have in Common?
They’re all recurring events in one form or another… and they’re all sources of fear, disruption, and challenge for business-as-usual.
Think about the recurrence of the following events:
- Escalating Global Tensions (World Wars, Regional Wars, Civil Wars, Cold War Stand-Offs, Trade Wars etc);
- Financial Crises (Stock Market Collapses, DotCom Bubble, GFC, Real Estate Crash etc.)
- Health Crises (Spanish Flu, HIV, Ebola, SARS, MERS, Foot-and Mouth, Covid-19 etc)
- Emergent Technology (Personal Computers, Internet, Email, Video Conferencing, DNA sequencing etc)
- Elections – or lack thereof (Federal, State, Global Powers etc.)
Elections are the only segment that are predictably timed – but the recurrence of other groups is equally certain… And this means that your business can prepare for them and respond quickly.
How Can that Help You Market More Effectively and Consistently?
If you think about it, your business offers effective solutions to a particular suite of problems no matter what the season, economy, or holiday may be and your prospects (and clients) have similar needs and short memories… so building a bank of assets that you can pull out and tweak at will makes sense.
Boardroom is an American direct mail company and one branch of their business is dedicated to selling health books. They are one of the largest direct mail companies in the US and send out millions of pieces of direct mail each year. Over the years they have built an enormous library of magalogs, sales catalogues, sales letters and postcards to sell their products.
Over the past few months they shifted their planned promotions a little to meet the current climate and updated/promoted several older books that focus on boosting both healthy and compromised immune systems. They were able to do this because, in addition to the resources themselves, they have an asset bank of past mailings. Many of them went out almost unaltered (much to the pleasure of the copywriters who received royalties on work created 2-5-10 or more years ago).
They were able to react quickly because they didn’t need to create everything from scratch… And they already knew that they had marketing materials that were effective.
What About You?
Do you have an asset bank that you can draw on?
If you’ve been around for any length of time, you probably do, but you may not have thought about it in that way.
Your assets aren’t just for physical mailings. They include your:
- Social media posts,
- Emails to your list,
- Lead Magnets,
- And at least another 57 varieties of unique assets you probably have in your filing cabinet or on your hard drive/cloud server.
After your mailing list, your asset bank is your business’s best friend!
What Kind of Assets will Keep Working for You?
I’m a big believer in building things once and using them over and over where possible and I encourage my clients to do the same, especially for major campaigns and product/service course promotions.
I’m impressed with the resources that many people have built (and continue to build) over the past few months. However, I know that a lot of their effort will be wasted. I’ve been talking to people who spent the first few weeks of this crisis in denial, trying to play catch-up and telling them to jump to stage 2 of their response plan.
One of them has done just that with great success. Once they’d realised that they’d missed the crest of the crisis wave they pulled out their GFC Stage 2 Assets and deployed those aggressively. Their clients look at them as being forward thinkers who can be trusted and they’re getting new business opportunities left, right, and centre.
In this context your assets include:
- Past client data (this is a great time to reactivate lost clients, especially those who bought during previous crises);
- Messaging (your Core Message Guide should include crisis pain points that you can meet, and questions that you are being asked)
- Emails, letters, and anything else created during similar periods of turmoil.
- Lead Magnets (when people are looking for answers they prefer downloads to transient blogs);
- How-To information (courses, coaching, consulting etc) at various price points
- Track record and proof of concept.
All of these can be combined with your electronic and physical sales assets to spread a message of hope and confidence.
Where is Your Book?
One of the most effective assets you can create for your business is a book or ebook that creates prospective clients who have already made up their mind to buy from you!
So why not a book that addresses each of those separately?
Ahh… it takes too long to write it yourself, and it’s too expensive to get someone else to write it for you.
What if you could build an outline that enabled you to finish your book faster?
What if you knew for sure that it would shorten your sales cycle and bring more buyers who had already decided to buy from you into your orbit?
Come along to my webinar on “Outlining Your Authority Book” this coming Monday June 1st, 2020 at 4pm and discover how to structure and outline your book with confidence and speed so that you can complete books that resonate with your audience and address their specific needs.