February 19, 2009

Three Internet Marketing Lessons from Paul Tobey That Work Offline

You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. --- Zig Ziglar

To help you boost your revenue, I attend various free seminars to
  • see if you would benefit from them
  • detect ways to make your own seminars better
I went to Internet Marketing Intensive in Oakville, a four hour primer by Paul Tobey. The goal? To get registrants for a three-day course. Fortunately, Paul presented useful ideas and spent mere minutes promoting his course. Much better than the drawn-out, pressured sales pitches at the Real Estate and Wealth Expo. Naturally, you left feeling there's more to learn and that he could teach you.

Since few advisors have a web presence, I'll skip the intriguing tips on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to share ideas you can use offline.

The Three Lessons
  1. The money's in the list
  2. Proof convinces
  3. Strangers critique well
The Value Of A List
Virtually every attendee came via an email list. I was through the Streetsmart Marketer, which Paul recently bought from Michael Hepworth, who now works on alternative fuels. Using email lists means that no money was spent on advertising. Yet the room was filled close to capacity.

To create a list, you need to offer visitors something they value. To keep subscribers (what Seth Godin might call a tribe), you need to send useful information on a regular basis without sales pitches. That's been my goal with blogging: sharing the best of what I know for free. You can easily achieve similar results.

Proof Convinces
Never make your claim bigger than your proof --- Paul Tobey
In many free seminars, we're told to trust the presenter based on what the presenter tells us. Hardly objective. Paul proved that he can create webpages that make the first page of Google search results. Examples (at the time of writing)
  • business networking techniques: #6 on google.com and #3 on google.ca
  • top Internet website ranking: #3 on google.com and #2 on google.ca
That convinced me to register. To my pleasant surprise --- and without conscious effort --- I'm #1 already with "marketing actuary" on google.com (out of 1,190,000 results), yahoo.com, dogpile.com and even cuil.com.

In financial services, proof proves elusive. Clients take longer to be convinced and fewer get convinced. High rankings in search engine results does boost your credibility.

Since people buy according to their own schedules, we need ways to stay in contact until they're ready.

Strangers Critique Well
As an exercise, we had five minutes to create headlines that would intrigue a reader who knows nothing about your product. Here are mine
  1. Revealing Tax Saving Strategies Approved By The Taxman
  2. How Do The Unique Tax Advantages Of Insurance Help You?
  3. Improved Tax Strategies For The Wealthy
  4. What Five Insured Strategies Do The Wealthy Use?
  5. Why Accountants Approve 10/8 Leveraging Strategies
My partner, from the exotic world of cold-pressed chocolate, preferred #4, followed by #1. He found #5 had too much jargon and the others weren't very interesting. How refreshing to get different perspectives.

While I can't gauge the value of the 3-day seminar, the primer delivered more content than expected. Even ideas that work offline.


No comments:

Post a Comment