The Secret To Every Successful Internet Business
It has nothing to do with the latest, greatest marketing technique… or a special new piece of technology. Nope. In fact, it has been around for thousands of years. Can you guess what is?
If you said it’s your story, then you’re absolutely right. Nearly every successful business has one… and every business that stands above their competition DOES have one.
Sometimes the customer comes up with the story themselves based on how they view the company… but smart companies are the ones that go right ahead and tell the consumers what it is.
If you’re a little confused on exactly what I mean by a story, then listen up: Stories are everywhere. They are how your customer or prospect thinks about your business.
Whether your product is thought of as “exotic,” “folksy,” “trustworthy,” or whatever positive emotion you want to associate with your product.
Now, before we get any further, we need to dispel a possible misconception. By story I don’t mean “image.” It is much deeper than that. It is an experience that prompts your customers to purchase.
An image, on the other hand, is much too simplistic. It does not create the opportunity for your customers to relate and bond with you.
Adversely, a powerful story allows you to gain an amazing power. One to sneak right past your customers’ defenses, which have been built-up against anyone who might be trying to sell them something.
More than that… the right story is what will make your sales go crazy for years to come, mainly because it is the single most powerful tool of influence.
Think about this… people don’t have to admit they were wrong to agree with the lesson taught in a story. And that means, the right story can allow nearly any pre-existing belief customers might have to be wiped clean. Pretty powerful, huh? With that said, let’s look at an example:
Example # 1 – Wal-Mart
Love or hate ‘em Wal-Mart is an excellent example of having a story. Why? Because people have two different stories for Wal-Mart. The first one built the empire. The more recent story, threatens to damage their bottom line.
Wal-Mart has grown to its massive size and crushed the competition because people see them as the “ultimate store”. A place in small towns where everyone can gather… and where all the family shopping can be done. It fits the top wants of millions of consumers.
The story that built the empire is the one Wal-Mart tells its customers: “Get your needs satisfied quicker, easier, and cheaper, while going to the friendly family store.” They even have senior citizens welcome you inside the door.
Now here’s the story some folks believe, the one that threatens to damage the bottom line…
Wal-Mart is a big, heartless corporation. This is because of the aggressive tactics they use to keep the prices low. And of course, this story is what people have arrived at without influence from the company.
What you should take away from this is simply that your business might have two stories… the one you want your customers to know and the one they come up with on their own.
If you don’t even tell them a story, your customers and prospects will most likely develop their own. Possibly negative, possibly positive… it all depends on the individual.
However, when you are able to formulate a successful story (and subsequently tell it), you will automatically gain an instant connection with your customers. That in turn will create a non-stop stream of sales allowing you to out-distance your competition.
Example # 2 – Google
How did they come to dominate a large majority of search traffic, especially when there was so much competition in the early days of the Web?
Well, you guessed it. They told a story. They became known as, “The customer friendly place to get superior search results.” In other words, they were doing everything possible to give the searcher the best possible results.
And it didn’t matter if they really provided the best results, this was what they told the searcher… and in the early days of the Web, relevance was what they demanded most.
Now, you might be thinking Google doesn’t have much of a story. You’re right. You don’t have to overcomplicate this. It just needs to be enough to create belief in your customers’ mind of your superiority. It’s why they should care what type of search engine they use or what superstore they go to.
So how do you create a compelling story for your business? One that is even more compelling than any corporate business might be daring enough to try?
Well, I’ve summed up the process in 3 quick and easy steps:
Uncover your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
What is special or unique about your business? What advantages do you offer that your competition does not? Do you:
1 Wrap gifts?
2 Offer lower prices?
3 Give faster delivery?
4 Have superior features?
5 Have more experience?
6 Have a better track-record?
7 Provide more to choose from?
8 Offer better technical support?
9 Personalize the product or service?
10 Offer more extensive customer service?
11 Have higher customer satisfaction rates?
Essentially, you are uncovering the logical reasons someone should do business with you rather than the competition. Once you have made a list of your advantages, your Unique Selling Proposition will begin to emerge.
Your object is to choose the single biggest advantage over your competitors. Here are some examples:
1 Video store claiming, “The Movie You Want Is Always In Stock” or “No More Late Fees”
Do you see how powerful those are? They both address frustrations the consumer has when doing business with the competition. It answers the question of why the consumer should do business with this video store versus others.
2 Affiliate marketer claiming, “Detailed and Honest Reviews of Dog Training Products.”
3 Search engine optimization expert selling their services by saying, “Search Engine Optimization Expert Gets Top Rankings For Key Terms Using Proven Bag of Little-Known Tricks Reserved Only for Clients.”
In this case, it doesn’t even have to be unique. All search engine optimization experts have a proven bag of tricks they offer to their clients. This is still a Unique Selling Proposition because it highlights advantages others do not.
A famous example of this being done is associated with the legendary copywriter Claude Hopkins and his work with Schlitz Beer about 70 years ago.
He highlighted the fact that the beer is produced in amazingly hygienic and pure conditions. Although others had the same process, nobody talked about it in detail.
This gave a huge boost in Schlitz beer sales and decimated the competition. Quite simply, the idea that others had less hygienic conditions was forever ingrained in the consumers’ mind.
As you can see, uncovering the USP can give you a powerful advantage. However, a USP alone is not always going to cream your competition.
Even in the Schlitz beer example, it is a total story of purity about the beer that ultimately ended up selling it. The USP of how the beer is created is only a feature in that story.
It only offers a single component to creating an effective story in the consumers’ mind. One that makes them forget about your competition and make them only want to do business with you.
The other component has to do with tapping into your customers’ emotions… the aspect which makes the consumer change their habits and beliefs about the business they like best.
Although the USP works to bring in customers who don’t already have a preference in who they are going to deal with, it is usually not powerful enough to change the buying habits of customers and get them to become loyal to you. This then leads us to…
Come Up With Your “Emotional Lever”
This pulls the customer into your story (I like to use the term “hook” because it attaches and reels your customer into your story).
The difference between a hook and your USP is that the hook is not just an advantage you have over your competition. It relates more to how you are going to attract the attention of your customers and prospects.
Usually, the hook will have the Unique Selling Proposition built-in. It is what grabs the customer and forces their interest into your business, product, or service.
To come up with an effective hook, we first need to consider a few questions. Mind you, these question might seem pointless at first. However, by answering them, you’ll soon reveal a hook that is so powerful it will drive new customers to you in droves day in and day out.
While answering the questions, be aware that you are looking for an interesting little morsel that would grab somebody’s interest even if you’ve never met them before.
You may even want to have somebody else ask you the questions. Then, as soon as they stop and ask you to elaborate on an answer, you can assume you might just have found your particular hook.
1 Is your product or service produced in an exotic location?
2 Have you had an unrelated career before you jumped into your current business?
3 Is there something unusual about somebody with your background working in your business?
4 Have you worked with or met well-recognized figures in your market?
5 Do you have any unusual claims or results?
6 What would you tell a potential client if he or she asked you what your qualifications were? Do you have any case studies or testimonials from clients?
7 Can you make any eye-catching claims based on those qualifications?
Now, once you’ve answered these questions, is there anything that sounds interesting to potential consumers that they would like to hear more about?
Make note of these potential interesting points. Then, all you have to do is look at the examples below to get ideas for creating a hook that will fit your business.
1. Let’s say we produce wine from the countryside of France. Your hook might be, “Discovered! Mouth-Watering Wine Previously Only Enjoyed by a Secluded Group of Villagers… Accidentally Stumbled Upon in the Rural Countryside of France by an Out-Of-Work Traveling American Tourist.”
2. Or you might have an affiliate marketing business and in your previous life you had a 9-5 job as a truck driver. Then your hook might be, “How a 61 Year-Old Retired Truck Driver from Michigan Made a Killing with His Dead-Simple Internet Business!”
3. How about selling “how-to” make-up and hairstyle books for women. The hook might be, “Former Celebrity Hairstylist Reveals Her Most Closely Guarded Beauty Secrets That Transforms Hollywood Stars From Average to Glam!”
4. Moving on to a result based hook. If you have a weight loss product or service, then your hook could be as simple as… “Attention: Working Mom Loses 13 Pounds In Two Weeks!”
If you were in the market for these products, would any of these catch your attention… and make you want to find out more? You bet!
You have brought interest into your business. You have grabbed your customer or prospect with a taste of your killer story.
To gain even further inspiration for coming up with hooks you should pick up a copy of the top selling publications like the National Enquirer and other popular magazines.
No matter what you think of these publications, the hooks of the stories contain powerful interest attracting words and a structure which you can apply to how you describe your business. Now that you’ve got the two vital components – logical and emotional – it’s time to move on.
Combine Your Brainstorming and Tell Your Story
Once you’ve got your Unique Selling Position (your biggest single advantage) and your hook (your connection to an emotional hot-button of the customer), then you are ready to combine them for your business’ story.
Your story will be integrated into your sales message. It is what you want your prospects and customers to think and feel when they “envision” your business.
Every time your prospect comes into contact with your sales process, you want them to hear your story. It could be in your website, in a sales letter you distribute, on the phone with your sales team, in your advertisements, even on your products’ packaging.
So, with that said, let’s put it all together… Let’s say you offer a computer repair service. Your Unique Selling Proposition is that you actually come to the person’s house to fix their problem. They don’t have to travel.
And your hook is, “Get Your Computer Problem Fixed In 1-Hour… Or You Don’t Pay!” (Notice how it taps into people’s emotion of utter frustration when dealing with computers.
They want to feel like they’re going to get a solution… or somebody is going to face consequences. They desire the feeling of security. Now, put it together.
You would then convey the story to your customer of being ultra-customer friendly… the customers’ one-stop shop for computer problems. No more worries, frustrations… only solutions.
See how this works? By adding your Unique Selling Proposition and hook into your sales process (on your website, emails, or other sales interactions), then you are able to easily convey this story in an effective way. The result? Just look at these dominant companies:
1 Toyota (in the American market) – Tells the story of Japanese perfection. Your car is superior because of how it is put together. This is the idea many consumers have, even though many of the manufacturing plants are in the United States.
2 Nike – The shoes your favorite athletes wear. They improve your performance.
And, of course, there’s the companies we’ve previously talked about. They all have stories their customers buy into. Just like all of these business “giants”, you’ll soon begin to develop a cult-like following of loyal customer, people who are glued to your business.
The Secret To Every Successful Internet Business – Conclusion
Hopefully you see how powerful this secret is to building a successful internet business and how you can start to apply this secret.
Sit down, study who is the ideal customer you’re looking for and come up with your company’s unique selling proposition. Once you do that you will have the keys to the kingdom.
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