Cirque du Soleil don’t ALWAYS innovate.

Cirque du Soleil broke the rules of circus.

Their choreography, their costumes, their lighting, music, themes, action, experience… all new. All innovative. Different.

But when it comes to marketing… they buy ads. They promote corporate tickets. They put up posters.

Their marketing is just like everyone else’s.

If your marketing plan suits you and works, it doesn’t matter a tin fart whether it’s a plain plan. A prosaic plan. Even a boring plan.

Cirque du Soleil reinvented the circus. They didn’t need to reinvent ways to tell people about it.

And neither do you.

Have you felt the pressure to create and Interesting Marketing Plan? Tell us in the comments!

photo by: Focka

Possibly the most insane thing anyone has ever said to me, ever.

Everyone in their twenties has a friend like this. Let’s call him G.

He was an old school mate of The Dude’s, a triple-threat geek, and let’s say he had some… issues. He was that friend you tell stories about years later: “Do you remember that time G accused me of cheating at UNO?”

(True story.)

G was exasperated by many things.

One of them was my approach to Tekken. Since this was back in my nascent days of transitioning from gamer girlfriend to gamer, I was not very good at Tekken. I certainly wasn’t much good at it compared to G, who played all the time.

So I did what many a game-playing n00b has done, and tried out the classic Frantic Button Mashing Technique. Mostly, this lead to my defeat: I certainly had no capacity to remember which button would block my opponent’s attacks.

But sometimes, I would pull out some epic up-down-up-down-A-B-A-B combo that would eviscerate my opponent.

And that’s when G said it.

One of the first things I did when we got settled in the new house (and had a firm date for the Internet to get turned on) was to buy the latest World of Warcraft expansion pack.

And one of the very first things I did when the modem lights started announcing the connection was live was to install it.

I logged in with audible squealing and an enthusiastic welcome back from the guild of folks I used to raid with three times a week. “Welcome back,” they said. “You better level up your character fast so you can raid with us again.”

G got exasperated with The Dude, too.

The Dude was playing Gran Turismo, with his best epic-hairpin-at-the-end-of-a-straight screechy turny sound effects.

He was upgrading his car when G had something to say. “You shouldn’t use the Supra, you should use the Nissan Skyline. It’s a better car.”

“But I like the Supra. And I just won.”

“You would have won faster with the Skyline.”

And then he said it.

I finally got a nice long uninterrupted stretch of time to play WoW in. I logged in, all ready to complete quests, kill monsters, and upgrade all my gear. Level 90, here I come!

Then I found the pet battles. This is a new feature, and is essentially Pokémon as imagined by Tolkien on acid. We’ve been able to collect pets in the game since the beginning, and I’ve collected Many Of Them, but this is the first time it’s been possible to make them fight, and actively collect new pets.

I promptly abandoned my epic world-saving quests in favour of beating up squirrels with a floating skull.

Many hours later The Dude caught up with me and made fun of me. “Collecting all the Pokeymans, huh. Aren’t you supposed to be saving the world?”

I laughed, ignored him, and went back to trying to catch a rare Small Frog.

I liked playing with G’s Warhammer 40K army.

I liked the stories about Space Marines and cryogenic Emperors and blood for the Blood God.

But I wouldn’t actually play the game, which was much more math than I was willing to enjoy. Instead I’d paint my one Chaos Warrior and call him Goatdude, and tell stories about him and his friends.

You could see G thinking it.

Yesterday, we were talking about WoW and The Dude said, “I’m glad you’re enjoying the game so much. I’m not going to say what G would say.”

“What would that have been?”

“You’re having fun wrong!”

We laughed together. Yep, that’s exactly what he would have said.

That poor, miserable, son of a bitch.

It’s not just early-twenties Friends With Issues that have this problem.

I’ve seen business owners throw the same you’re-doing-it-WRONG tantrum when their buyers find uses for their work they never expected, and when the buyers themselves are people they don’t expect.

Sometimes, this anger is justified: I know I’d be pissed and taking major action if a group of neo-Nazis decided to buy my products.

But most often it makes as much sense as G, and his belief that we were having fun wrong.

Are there ever times when you should insist that people are doing it wrong? Tell me in the comments.

photo by: Rad Jose

Gratitude: it’s what’s for business.

Everything’s going to be different, I thought.

We’d spent nearly four months apart. We’d both grown and improved. We were ready to live together again, and to do it on a whole new level. We knew ourselves better, and what we wanted.

So what I meant was Everything’s going to be better.

And it wasn’t. Of course.

He still forgets his shirts in the bathroom. He still leaves the room as soon as a conversation gets tense. He still smokes.

All I could see were the failures, the flaws, the fuck-ups. I was miserable, and angry about being miserable, and guilty about being angry.

And then my coach Leela made me do one thing differently. She suggested I say, “Thank you” every time he did something right. Anything right.

“Thank you for doing the dishes. Thank you for noticing I was tired and telling me to have a nap already, you wouldn’t have done that before. (And I wouldn’t have listened.) Thank you for smoking that electronic cigarette instead of the other kind. Thank you for asking for my help, that was awesome. Thank you for cooking dinner. Thank you for telling me that you need a couple of days to think about how we’re going to handle the chores from now on. Thank you for watering the plants. Thank you for remembering to put my headset on the hook, even if you didn’t remember to wind the cord. Thank you for kissing my shoulder.”

Suddenly we were happy. Pleasing each other. Laughing and loving each other as we completed boring just-moved-house chores.

And ironically, everything was better.

This doesn’t just work for arguments about toenails.

It’s so easy to see only the negative in our biz: the overdue invoice, the nit-picky review, the overflowing inbox.

Do it too much and everything becomes negative. You can actually get to the point where you’re pissed that someone paid you money, because they didn’t pay enough to cover this week’s projections. (“Wow. Thanks. A hundred dollars. That’s a big help.”)

I say “Thank you”, out loud, every time someone pays me money. And I realise that it would, maybe, be a really neat idea if I said it to them, too.

It’s not just good for your soul and alla dat, it’s also really good marketing.

How could you improve your biz with gratitude? Try it out, then tell us about it in the comments!

photo by: lilivanili

The Sales Page Clinic

We got the house.

The house I liked most, the one with a chook pen and vegie garden and frog pond. The one near the river. The one with wandering ducks and no through roads. I haven’t even seen the place – The Dude has been valiantly doing all the legwork – but I am already in love with it.

We move in one week from now. Cue the joyous chaos.

I am proud.

In the last few months I have made enough money to keep myself alive AND save up enough to pay four weeks bond and two weeks rent, AND to pay the fuel for The Dude to drive 800km to come get me and all my stuff AND for us to drive back, AND to hire a truck to move all our possessions from storage into this shiny new house, AND to turn on the lights and internet. Thousands of dollars in six weeks, hallelujah!

But there were some unexpected hitches: from the technical (upgrading my wireless internet connection) to the personal (travelling north to my uncle’s funeral). Due to those expenses, and a few more, The Dude and I no longer have enough cash to move house elegantly: to stop on the drive back and eat a leisurely pub lunch, to fill up our empty pantry with bulk staples, to replace the microwave and desk that were too craptacular to put into storage.

And most importantly, to have a bit of security blanket left over in case something happens. Because it always does, right?

Thus:

  1. I need to make a few hundred dollars in the next week.
  2. I need to do this by solving a problem for you.
  3. And I know about one issue that’s come up a half-dozen times in recent client sessions.

See if it resonates for you.

You have an offering you love, and a sales page that doesn’t do it justice.

You have a sales page that doesn’t work.

It just… misses.

When you tell the right people about the work one-on-one, or show them a sample, they get wildly excited. “Wow, that’s amazing! Why haven’t you told me about it before?” And you admit, Well, actually, I think you read this sales page a month ago, but you’ve forgotten all about it.

The sales page doesn’t… quite… feel good. Feel like you wrote it. It doesn’t have any edge, any oomph, any GUTS. It’s pastel watercolours when you wanted neon tattoo.

You suspect that you aren’t promoting this offering as much as you should, because you can’t proudly point to the sales page and say, “Hey! Here it is! Check out all my majesty!”

You make few sales, or no sales at all. Financially this is woeful, but more than that is the missed opportunity. The work is wonderful, you know it’s wonderful, but you obviously aren’t communicating its wonderfulness. So many people could benefit from your offering, but it’s not reaching them. It’s so freaking frustrating!

You wish you had a sales page that is as amazing as the offering it promotes.

Good news, chickadee!

You already have everything you need to write a gobsmackingly uplifting and effective sales page.

You have:

  • an amazingtacular offering
  • big-time enthusiasm for the work you do
  • your own dee-lighful voice and style
  • the capacity to Make Shit Happen

The bones are all there, darlingheart.

Together, we’ll strip back your sales page, find those beautiful bones, and polish the everliving fuck out of them.

Enter… the Sales Page Clinic!

One glorious live experience, featuring amazing participants with less-than-amazingpants sales pages.

You can attend and write a gazillion underlined notes as you watch.
You can watch (or rewatch) the recording later, in your own time.
And, if you are brave, you can volunteer your sales page to be dissected, stripped back, and TRANSFORMED.

Together, live on the webinar, we will suss out what is ailing your sales page, and what needs to happen to make it sing.

Potential issues we might fix:

  • The Airy-Fairies
  • The Process Infatuation
  • The Invisible Audience
  • The Offroader
  • The Price Is Not Actually Right
  • The What’s All This, Then?
  • The Suit Possession
  • The Chiaroscuro
  • The Garage Sale Schemozzle
  • The Putt-Putt
  • The Bang and Whisper
  • The Banquet Imbalance

What are all of these fascinating issues? You’ll have to join us to find out!

How to join us

The Sales Page Clinic will be held as a live webinar, with the recording available to all participants afterward.

The date will be on Saturday the 13th of October at 8am Brisbane time. (That’s 5PM on Friday the 12th of October in US Central time, and 11PM on the 12th in London time.)

The cost is $50.

Ready to rock your sales page? Click the link and get started!

CLICK HERE TO ROCK OUT YOUR SALES PAGE.

How many sales pages we get through and how long we’ll go for will be determined by how many people sign up. The maximum will be eight sales pages in two hours, ’cause my brain will fall out after that.

If we have more than ten participants I will a) cheer and b) try to choose participants who are representative, so that even if you aren’t featured you will learn squoodles. If that happens, priority will definitely be given to the first people to sign up.

(So you should click that link right now, is what I’m saying.)

If we have more than twenty participants I will a) cheer more and b) run an extra session along the same principles. That’s enough time for me to lay out pretty much everything I know on what makes sales pages joyous, ick-free, and effective.

Sick of so-so sales pages? Sign up now!

And wish me luck for the house-moving. I’ll send photos of the ducks.

Rock on,
Catherine

photo by: Alex E. Proimos