Get an Unfair Advantage

Your value proposition is the only reason people choose you. When it's strong, it gives you an almost unfair advantage...

Below are the latest articles on marketing strategy fundamentals...

Information products: Are you responsible for your customers’ results?

Even great information products don't create great results for everyone. Who's responsible for that?

Even great information products don’t create great results for everyone. Who’s responsible for that?

“If you sell information products, are you responsible for your customers’ results?”

Often people look at this very simplistically and blame the sellers of information products for all kinds of unethical things.

The lack of clarity on what you’re responsible for also makes people accidentally create misleading marketing and unhappy customers, so they’re to blame in part, too.

When you know the things you have to consider, you can make promises in your marketing without worrying about what people might misunderstand.

And at the same time, you can make sure you get almost no refund requests.

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How NOT to Submit a Guest Post

submit-guest-post

So, you want to submit a guest post to a big blog? If you make any of these mistakes, you won’t even hear back from them.

It’s not all that hard to submit a guest post—and get it accepted—even to one of the best guest blogging sites around.

You really only need to get three things right. Even in my in-depth training (Rapid List Building with Guest Blogging) the part dedicated to how to get your posts accepted is the shortest.

But some people just mess up their initial pitch. Badly.

If you want to avoid making mistakes and increase your chances of guest blogging success, let’s take a look at the five most critical—and sometimes entertaining—guest post pitch blunders.

Lots of people complain it’s hard to get guest posts published on the big sites. Sure, there’s plenty of competition. But if you make any of these mistakes after reading this, you can only blame yourself.

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7 Common Marketing Lies and How to Spot Lying Marketers

Marketing Lies

Marketing lies are typical especially among marketing “gurus,” but there are plenty of lying marketers in all industries. Can you spot the common marketing lies?

Marketing, to many people, automatically means manipulation, lying, and corporate greed.

“Ethical marketing” might as well be a joke.

And marketing “gurus,” in particular, are suspected of habitually using marketing lies to manipulate potential customers. But it’s not just the marketing gurus under suspicion; it’s anyone who tries to sell something.

To be clear, not all marketers lie. Some marketers just prefer to try and make a quick buck rather than stick to rigorous ethical standards.

And because of those—often very well known—individuals, people sometimes tell me point blank that they don’t believe what I say.

They might send me an email that goes something like this: “I need help with my marketing strategy. And what you said on your sales page about marketing coaching sounds exactly like what I need. But how do I know I can trust you? I’ve paid other marketing professionals before who promised me the moon and delivered nothing of any real value.”

The comments are frustrating; someone takes the time to tell me that he or she doesn’t believe what I say (or write) because “marketing professionals lie and mislead.”

Lying is always a choice. Doing it in the context of marketing doesn’t change what it is.

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3 Email Marketing Strategies and How to Make Them Work

email marketing strategies

You need to know the 3 most important email marketing strategies if you want to make email marketing work.

Email marketing is usually claimed to be an incredibly effective marketing tactic. And it can be.

But a lot of people don’t seem to get the promised results. Instead, their subscribers demand more and more free content, reply with critical comments when they aren’t pleased, and unsubscribe in hoards the moment they see a link to a sales page.

Don’t blame the tactic—learn to use it.

If you don’t know how to use different email marketing strategies, you can’t expect good results. And if you only know how to use one of them, your results won’t be as good as they could.

Typically you should use three different email marketing strategies. You can emphasize some more than others, but you shouldn’t just stubbornly stick to one strategy.

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How to Use Your Value Proposition in Marketing Even if You Sell Something Mundane (Example)

Differentiate your business by using your value proposition in marketing

Something has to make you a different and better option than your competitors. That’s what your value proposition does. But you need to make people understand it.

Using your value proposition in marketing might seem like an unnecessary hassle because if you’re anything like all the other business owners on the planet, you just know that people should buy your products and services.

But do other people feel the same way?

You can spend all the time and focus you can muster to bombard people with your marketing messages, but as long as your marketing doesn’t give people great reasons to take action, your results will be modest at best. In other words, you need to make people understand and believe your value proposition with your marketing.

Very few companies use their value propositions in marketing effectively. Instead, they fill their messaging with marketing bladiblaa, which doesn’t have any real impact on anyone.

Some companies seem to have it easy; their products and services are clearly unique, so standing out from competition is simple. But even if you’re selling something as simple and mundane as wallets, you need a strong value proposition.

And you need to use the ideas in your value proposition in marketing. If you don’t, you’re wasting your time and money.

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Marketing Bladiblaa—How Most Companies Waste Their Marketing and How You Can Save Your Business

Your marketing should have a strong impact on your ideal customers—they shouldn't be able to just it pass by.

Your marketing should have a strong impact on your ideal customers—they shouldn’t be able to pass it by.

I’m not convinced marketers have ever known better, but at least now “marketing bladiblaa” plagues most (though not all) businesses.

The average marketing message is: “You should buy what we sell because… well… we’re the best choice. Just take our word on it.”

Whether the marketing message promotes a computer, blender, vacation trip, or car more often than not you won’t feel compelled to act. Neither is any one marketing tactic less prone to turning to bladiblaa; websites, PPC advertising, email marketing, and networking are all equally likely to lack the impact they could have.

Even many actually good reasons to buy your products and services can turn to marketing bladiblaa and lose all persuasive power they could have if you don’t recognize the issues. And then even a great marketing strategy will fail.

The only cure to this ignorance-blessed epidemic is making your marketing efforts focus on a strong value proposition, so they’ll never again wither away uneventfully while your ideal customers pass by.

Here are five signs of marketing bladiblaa and what you should do instead. And an almost hilarious huge-budget example of what marketing bladiblaa looks like.

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Writing Your Own Blog is a Waste of Time (if you want to build an email list)

Blogging is maybe the best way to build an email list. But if you're writing your own blog, you're probably just wasting your time.

Blogging is maybe the best way to build an email list. But if you’re writing your own blog, you’re probably just wasting your time.

Blogging is often mentioned as the best way to build an email list.

People tell you how they’ve risen from being a “nobody” to fame, built a huge email list, and made a fortune with blogging.

And it’s all possible.

But most people don’t “make it”—no matter how great content they publish in their blogs.

That’s because they don’t know how to use it effectively. If you’re smart about how you use blogging to build your email list, you’ll almost certainly get good results.

But as long as you’re writing your own blog, you’re probably just wasting your time…

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List of Guest Blogging Sites (140+ best sites)

Guest blogging let's you reach a huge audience immediately.

Guest blogging lets you reach a huge audience immediately.

Guest blogging can be an extremely consistent and fast way to build your email list and relationships with the people in your market.

Sure, you need to get several things right to get 100+ subscribers from each guest post you write.

But the first step is to find a site that accepts guest posts.

You might have some ideas of sites where you could write, but hopefully you get a few more ideas from this list of guest blogging sites.

This isn’t even trying to be a complete list of sites that accept guest posts. Rather, it’s aiming to be a high-quality list; these are some of the best guest blogging sites you can target.

However, I’m sure I’ve forgotten many.

Getting accepted to some of them might be quite tough. But if you avoid the common mistakes when you pitch your guest post, you have a good chance to get through with a good post.

The sites are categorized to some degree, but they’re not in any particular order within the categories.

The first category is the only one I really know. The other categories aren’t as well curated, so tell me if you spot something weird.

I’ll update the list every now and then. If there’s a site you think I should add to the list (or something I should remove from it), let me know in the comments. Thank you.

And if you’re serious about learning how to write guest posts that grow your list, check out Rapid List Building with Guest Blogging training.

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Example of a Clear, Strong Value Proposition (architect)

Architects don't usually differentiate their services from others. But here's an example of a value proposition that makes one business stand out and attract their ideal clients.

Architects don’t usually differentiate their services from others. But here’s an example of a value proposition that makes one business stand out and attract their ideal clients.

I define value proposition as the collection of the best reasons your target customers have for taking the action you’re asking for.

In other words, it describes why they would want to pay attention to you, join your email list, buy your products, or hire you. Or do anything else you hope for.

The normal definitions reduce the concept or value proposition to something that has little practical value. “Promise of value to be delivered” is something investors and executives consider interesting, but it’s far from what it could be.

Some time ago, I worked with Jeffrey Veffer to create a clear, strong value proposition for his business.

Typically, all his competitors offer essentially the same things. Differences exist, but they’re rarely anything more than differences in style.

Architects, like all creative professionals, often struggle to make their products and services clearly “better” or different than competitors.

But they, too, need to have a good value proposition. Otherwise, they can’t give people good reasons for even paying attention to their work.

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PayPal Steals from Its Customers with Hidden Fees

PayPal is stealing from its customers with hidden fees.

PayPal is stealing from its customers with hidden fees.

PayPal is used by millions. You can pay for pretty much everything from dollhouses and jumping castles to real apartments with it.

And if you run a small business, especially online, you’re going to at least consider using it to process payments because PayPal’s fees seem very reasonable.

It’s easy and free to set up. It works in most countries on this planet (I hear they’re expanding to Mars, too). And it gives you enough options to run a small business.

The transaction fees are also smaller than what you’d pay for similar services with most other companies.

But, if you look closely, and if you tally up the hidden fees, the real PayPal fees aren’t as favorable as they seem on the surface.

Simply put, PayPal steals from its customers.

Edit: PayPal has made some updates to the visuals. My point still stands, though: PayPal doesn’t provide a receipt for the charges—and that amounts to stealing (or maybe it’s “fraud” or some other legal term).

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