This lesson is about action. The action that you need to happen at every step along the prospect’s journey to becoming your client. And then there’s action content, that’s specifically designed get someone off the fence now rather than later.
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Lesson 8: How to Get People to Work With You
Voiceover: Welcome to “Get More Clients With Smarter Email Marketing”, a free audio course presented by Unemployable with Brian Clark. For the full experience, head over to Unemployable.com and sign up for the Unemployable email newsletter, the week’s top resources for independent businesspeople, personally handcrafted by serial entrepreneur and content marketing pioneer, Brian Clark. That’s Unemployable.com.
Brian Clark: Hey there, everyone. Welcome back to the free course that teaches you how to use email marketing to get more clients. We are on lesson eight, how to get people to work with you. That’s pretty much the essence of it, right? If we could skip all the rest of that stuff and just get people to call us, email us, and hire us, then that’s what we want. But stick with me, we have to do the entire process. This is the final A of the 6A framework, it’s all about action.
Now, think with me for a second. You know how good it feels when someone contacts you and wants to hire you? It’s still a bit of a rush, no matter how long you’ve been in business. At least it was that way for me. I always loved that moment when someone contacted me. I didn’t knock on a door. I didn’t cold call anyone. They contacted me and said, “You’re the choice for me,” or “I have one question before I hire you.” That opportunity is golden.
On the other hand, the feeling you get when you do a bunch of work at marketing — like I’m trying to convince you to do — and no one raises their hand and says, “Yes, please. Help me.” Well, that doesn’t feel good at all. Or maybe just not enough people are working with you or you go through cycles of feast and famine because you don’t have a regular prospecting system that works while you sleep and while you’re busy serving current clients. That’s what we’re trying to implement here.
Essentially, the difference between the two scenarios is simple: it’s action. And that’s what this lesson is all about. There are two components to action: action that happens in every piece of content you create and every step along the prospect’s journey to becoming your client, and then there’s action content that’s specifically designed to get someone off the fence now rather than later.
Use Your Content to Inspire Action
Let’s look at the first scenario. At every step of this process you are asking for action — or you should be. If you’re not asking, that’s the problem. Think about it. Let’s say you have a piece of valuable content at the top of the funnel to attract and you’re using Facebook ads in order to distribute that content. Your ad has to be designed to get people to click or nothing happens, right? A lot of that has to do with your headline, which is a part of the content itself, but it also has to do with the call to action you have in the ad itself. Let’s say you’re sending them to an article … No, let’s say we’ve gone way over-deliver and we are offering a free report that doesn’t require an email registration. You’re effectively asking someone to click a button and download, but you still have to sell them on the action and then you have to have a call to action that gets them to download the report.
At the end of the report, after you’ve delivered exceptional value — it essentially works as a sales letter for the free course that you’re offering that does require registration and an email address. So they’re on a landing page. Again, it’s free, but you’ve got to sell the free. This is copywriting — we’re going to talk about that, but you have to bring them down to a point of action to register and give you that good email address that’s going to form the beginning of your relationship with that person. Now they’ve signed up and you’re dripping out your course over however many days or weeks it’s going to take place.
Each email message that you send has one purpose — get them into that member area taking the course, consuming the content, and basically absorbing your authority and affinity. In the SaaS world — Software as a Service — the more you can get someone who is considering buying into the interface itself in the admin area, the more likely they are to buy. This is true with this approach as well. If you can get them back in there, they’re more likely to become a client of yours.
Finish With a Strong Call to Action
Finally, we’re at the point that we’re talking about now, which is you have to have calls to action that ask people to literally contact you — call you, email you, whatever the case may be. They’re probably going to have a question or two. They may have their mind made up. But this is what the term “inbound marketing” is all about. It’s really about content.
Before either of those terms came into being, I was doing both with my previous service businesses. It’s all about getting action, because there is no way I was ever going to cold call someone, knock on doors, or go to networking functions. I’m sorry, I’m just not wired that way. But this way is a much better way. It comes down, again, to something in the world of copywriting we call “a call to action.”
It sounds very noble and valiant and epic, right? Well, to your business, it is. You need to tell your prospect exactly what to do, how to do it, and that you want them to do it right now. It really comes down to two fundamental rules for call to actions. The first one is, “Be specific.” Tell people exactly what they need to do. Now, there was a legendary guy in the world of copywriting named Gary Halbert and he was so ridiculously specific that it became kind of his thing when it came to call to actions.
Here’s an example — this is direct marketing stuff — his copy would end with something like, “Call this 800-number. You’ll talk with a woman named Robin in a blue sweater who will ask you, ‘Would you like the large size or the jumbo?’ Tell her you want the jumbo. She’ll ask you for your mailing address where you can receive packages and you’ll give it to her.” Now do you have to go to those links? No, I don’t think so, but it’s a good way to think about it because confusion eliminates action. Ambiguity eliminates action. You want to be very specific about what it takes to do the next thing.
The second rule is “Be simple.” Now, you’ll hear often that you should use short sentences, short words, and simple phrasing — anything you can do to get your message across in a way that is most likely to be understood. This is not because your prospects are dumb, and don’t ever think that way. What they are is distracted. The different ‘D’ word. They’re not paying attention 100% at any time.
This has been true for hundreds of years of marketing and advertising and sales, but think about it today. These people are going in 50 different directions. That doesn’t mean they’re not interested — you’ve got them interested — it means that you have to be very specific. You have to be very clear and simple when you’re telling them what to do next in order to get the thing that they’re after, the benefit.
Calls to action start universally, in my opinion, with an action verb — or you’re not really getting it done. I want to make it clear that the end call to action … For example, you’ll see buttons in emails and on sites that tell you to do the thing. “Subscribe,” which is terrible. “Submit,” which is worse. We don’t want to do those things. But you get my gist. The call to action actually begins before you get to the button. It’s giving you the impetus to do it now. Don’t think a button is all you have to do, like you can just abruptly move from one mode of communication into a button that is a call to action.
The call action is set up beforehand telling people why it’s advantageous to take action, why they should do it now, and how to do it. Then you get down to the button, or just text, whatever the case may be, and that’s when you want to focus on an action verb like get. “Get started today.” Grab, download, join, claim, click. Don’t let anyone tell you that “Click here” doesn’t work, just don’t use “Click here” by itself. “Click here to … ” what? Specificity. “Click here to claim your free course.” “Click here to download your free report. No email address required.” Get me? Okay, how about find? “Find out more.” Discover, continue — always start with an action verb.
Create Scarcity to Drive Interest
All right, that’s basically the essence of calls to action. Those are in play at every step of the process. Now let’s talk about scarcity, that one element of influence that we haven’t really touched on too much because it hasn’t been at play. So far, we’ve been giving away the farm. We’ve been gaining reciprocity, building authority, affinity, commitment, and consistency. Very powerful stuff.
I’ll tell you, it’s just the most mind-boggling aspect of the last, I’d say, 18 years of my life watching human behavior. People are motivated — they want to hear about gain. They want to hear about benefits. They are motivated more by loss than by gain. It’s maddening, and it’s just the way we are. I’m no different. You’re no different. And your prospects are no different. Take something away from someone or tell them they’re about to lose out on something and they’ll jump all over something they knew they wanted to do anyway but they just weren’t pulling the trigger. That’s why scarcity comes into play with action.
Getting someone to take action is almost always a function of avoiding loss instead of gaining. That’s not always true. For example, if we do some sort of promotion in my company for one of our software products, our themes, hosting, whatever the case may be, there are a lot of people that will sign up on day one. They’re like, “Hey, this is a great beneficial situation for me and I want it.” Yet, two to three times more people will sign up on the last day when we take it away. Why would that be? It’s the same benefit. Human beings are just this way, we are.
Again, you can ignore this aspect of what I’m trying to teach you and you will get clients from what we’ve worked on so far, but you won’t get as many. I need you to think in terms of scarcity in the way you position yourself and then also in terms of content that you can produce when the opportunity arises. First, let’s talk about positioning yourself.
Remember when I told you how I was practicing law basically just to pay the bills, keep the dying business afloat, and I was super picky about who I worked with? I had people begging to work with me because of that. It’s scarcity. Basically I’m saying, “Hey, I’m busy. I’ve got a lot going on. You may not be the right fit.” People are like, “Well, damn right I’m the right fit,” and they’re trying to win me as opposed to me trying to win in this.
When I started the real estate business I was taking everyone who came across the door, and that led to some problems for me. As I expanded the business, I let other realtors basically take the leads that I wasn’t interested in, which is better than a lot of brokerages, frankly. I moved upstream and started working with another broker that handled the actual legwork and we started selling apartment complexes to investors. That was a way in that industry where the commission is basically fixed and paid by the seller to go upstream.
I didn’t handle all of that as well as I would’ve liked to, which I’ve alluded to. What can I say? I’m really good at marketing, not as … You get it. I corrected that. But what a nice position to be in, for yourself, perhaps, at one point to become the rainmaker and to perhaps have others do the work. Always keep that in mind.
Let’s talk a little bit about scarcity content. The easiest example of this that you’ll recognize if you’ve ever seen or heard an ad or a mortgage broker is they’re always talking about, “Rates are historically low. Come call us and save money.” But the rush they really get is when they say, “Rates are about to go up.” I saw this during my time in the real estate industry. It was always a great way to get people to take action.
Now, this is going to be specific to your own industry. It will be news-driven. David Meerman Scott created the term “newsjacking.” It’s essentially finding a — tasteful, let me interject that — way to take news that’s happening and use it to your benefit to attract clients. It’s got to be news where something is changing, where people will lose something if they don’t decide to do whatever their goal is right now.
Sometimes the scarcity is on the other side of the fence. For example, if someone tells an employee of theirs that they have to have a new website by September 15 then they’re just motivated. They’re going to find the right person. They’re going to pull the trigger. Other people know that they need a new website and yet they’re just putting it off because they don’t want to deal with it. When you think about it that way, that’s exactly the objection that you have to overcome.
How do you get them to do that in the sense that they’re hesitant to do it? That’s exactly what the education you’re providing is supposed to do, but you need to be able to find that element of loss and be constantly tuned in to the environment. My final words on scarcity will be this: don’t do fake scarcity. If you are going to only take two clients this week because that’s the offer you send out, then that’s what you do. Don’t lie. You know that, but if someone finds out that you are lying or you’re creating a fake scarcity situation, you’re going to lose all that authority and affinity really quick.
Utilize Positioning to Make Yourself More Attractive
However, from a positioning standpoint, raising your prices, going out of your comfort zone and saying, “All right. I’ve been this much lately and I’m going to raise my prices to this, but if you sign up with me this week then you get my old rate. And let’s face it, I can only handle three clients.” You’re going to get three clients. You’re going to have 10 to choose from, and that’s the position you want to be in. Don’t undervalue yourself. Don’t advertise yourself like a convenience store, “Hey, I’m open 24/7.” No, your time is valuable, your skills are valuable, and that’s how you position yourself to make people feel like they’re going to lose out if they don’t work today.
Okay, that is action. That is all of the 6A framework. I want to do a couple extra episodes. This was originally supposed to be the end of it, but I want to talk a little bit about copywriting for the actual messages that you send out. And I’m going to talk, as promised, a little bit about technology. Obviously the Rainmaker Platform can handle all of this for you, and I would love for you to join us on the platform — that’s at RainmakerPlatform.com — but if not, I’m going to give you alternatives. This is not an all or nothing deal, anyway that you can benefit from this, I want to help.
If you benefited from this course and you can head over to iTunes and leave a review for me — it’s Unemployable.com/iTunes — I’d really appreciate it, I really would. All right. That is it. I will see you in a little bit. We’ve got a couple more episodes to go that’ll just really tie this all together for you and hopefully put you on the path to doing smarter email marketing. In the meantime, whatever it is that you do, keep going.