10 Client Challenge

Is it possible to make a comfortable side income with just ten customers?  Yes.  The business model is similar to the one used by cell phone companies (or any utility company for that matter).

For the moment, let’s focus on cell phone companies.  Their product fills a basic human need to communicate.  The prices they charge depend on the specific needs of the customer.  Businesses, of course, pay more than the average consumer.  In other words, the greater the need for the service, the higher and more complex the rate structure.

Now, let’s apply the same concept to a copywriter who produces copy for a monthly newsletter for several clients.  The monthly charge to the client is $400 or $4,800 a year.  Now, let’s say the copywriter has ten regular clients for a gross cash flow of $48,000 a year.  Not a lot of money,  but enough to live comfortably after all the necessary taxes and expenses are met.

The cash flow from the newsletter project creates a baseline, which will give the copywriter a certain degree of leverage when it comes to taking on one-off projects.  S/he can ask for and get premium rates because of the additional time the one-off projects will require.

There is a third option.  The cash flow from the ten clients can create the means to start a subscription newsletter on a subject that is a passion of the copywriter.  Travel, food, collecting, antiques, the quality of beer or wine?  Al most anything is possible.

As subscription project, in fact, is how a copywriter can earn six figures.  Own the product and market it to a like-minded group of subscribers.  A subscription price of $600/Year for 400 subscribers can produce a nice, six figure cash flow, and can be life changing.  All from ten clients.

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

So What!

Those are two words I use to challenge a marketing idea.  If I can read the copy and say “So What~” there is no connection to the needs and interests of the market.  No positive responses, no sales.

In order to get past the so what’s, the product needs a Unique Sales Proposition that convinces the target market they NEED the product or service.  Why?  Because the product adds value to the quality of their lives.  It solves a burning problem.  It creates a sense of health and well-being.  It makes them feel that the world is a safer, more loving place.

Not long ago I was watching two guests at the front desk of a hotel.  The first was shopping price and debated with the front desk agent over pennies.  The guest wanted a room, but didn’t need it, since there were several other options, some with lower prices.  Eventually, the guest left.

The second guest had just ended a day of hiking in the Olympic Forrest and was dead-dog tired and needed a place to sleep and recover.  She did not debate the price and, in fact, willing paid it.  I’m sure if the desk agent told her the night would cost her $1,000, she wouldn’t even blink.

When customers perceive that (your) product is the first, best option, they will pay whatever it takes to make that purchase (within reason, don’t get greedy).  When the need is ongoing, so is their willingness to buy month after month, year after year.

I’m reminded of the line in The Godfather.  “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”  Debate and points of negotiation disappear.  Accepting the God Fathers offer placed the product he was selling in a Unique Selling Proposition.  He believed in the value of his product and wanted the buyer to agree unconditionally.  So what becomes an unconditional YESS

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Systematic Marketing

A few weeks ago I was asked to develop a marketing plan for an independent hotel.  They told me they had a 15,000-name email list and wanted a campaign that would bring in business.  Their expectations were quite high and a bit naieve.

The challenge for this type of marketing technique is attrition.  Out of 15,000 emails sent out, the average return might be one-percent or 150 initial buyers and, perhaps, 450 in the after-market.  The remainder of the list may or may not respond over the course of time.

A second challenge is knowing who is responding to the email release and, more important, separating their names into a specialized buyers list, which would be surveyed and the information used to improve the future response to a marketing campaign.

My suggestion was more focused and systematic.  I suggested segmenting the list by the dates the guests came to visit.  Those who came around Thanksgiving or Christmas would likely come again around that time.  Guests who came from Canada around the time the Blue Jays were playing the Mariners would make the trip again and again.

Once these lists were separated, then a highly focused marketing campaign would be created to encourage them to visit again.  As the guests responded, the list would be segmented again, separating those who made reservations from those who didn’t.  After several campaigns using these techniques the goal is to establish a powerful, positive relationship with a group of loyal guests who will come time after time.

So far, the hotel management is not open to making this kind of commitment.  Building this marketing process requires considerable resources and expense.  Maybe next year. 

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Year-Round Art Sales

During my college days I worked local art shows.  The artists spent the summer moving from one art show to another throughout the Northwest.  For some it was a part-time experience for extra income and the opportunity to travel.  Others were full-time, who took on commissions during the shows so they could continue to work through the winter months.

One artist in particular came to mind the other day because of how he marketed his toys.  Kids loved them and he was able to sell out his inventory by the end of the season.  What made his marketing interesting was how he kept in touch with his customers with a monthly postcard abd newsletter.

Starting in mid-October, he sent out an invitation to buy Christmas-oriented toys to his most loyal customers.  Keep in mind this was during the 1970s, before the convenience of an internet site and email distribution, so his marketing techniques were expensive.  The sales he realized, however, off-set the expense nicely.

He would also send out birthday cards, anniversary cards and congratulation letters for kids who graduated high school or college.

Over the course of time, he developed a mailing list of well over 5,000 loyal customers who kept him busy throughout the year.

Over the course of the art show season I worked with hundreds of artists.  Only a handful did any kind of year-long marketing.

Ongoing marketing is the keystone to success for artists and anyone who owns a micro=business.  It’s all about connections that lead to ongoing sales.

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC