Starting this month, I’ve given myself a marketing challenge. The goal is to write and market a book on the
subject of self-hypnosis as a self-directed, self-managed tool for self-education
(learning about yourself from the inside out, so to speak.)
I chose hypnosis as the subject of the book for several
- I studied the subject with the late Charles Tebbetts at his hypnotherapy school in Edmonds, Washington.
- At one time I was a registered hypnotherapist in the state of Washington. I never practiced because, at the time, I had other professional priorities.
- I have used self-hypnosis techniques to manage my Vietnam-era PTSD and stress.
- I have also used self-hypnosis as a tool to learn new skills through imagery and imagination.
The book is titled “Self-Hypnosis, A Personal
Journey.” Each chapter will discuss a
different technique and, perhaps, a little life philosophy. Along the way I will also share why I chose
self-hypnosis as my form of therapy.
Are the techniques and ideas in the book for
everyone? No, of course not. Something I share, however, no matter how
insignificant it may appear, may just change someone’s life.
Over the next few weeks, I will share some of the
ideas in the book through these columns as a way of promoting the book and
testing various ways of putting ideas across.
As the book nears completion, I will share my marketing plan and start
selling the book.
2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC
There can be two hotels side-by-side
with exactly the same amenities. The
assumption is they are after the same market.
Not so. Each of the properties
will have guests who prefer one over the other and for strictly personal
reasons. Neither property is competing
with the other.
I bring this up because a former client
of mine insisted on tracking the rates and sales data of a hotel down the
street from his. He wanted to be sure
his rates were just $20 above theirs so he can compete. Lots of time and resources waisted. He was walking over dollars to get to pennies
and then wondering why he was having cash flow challenges. Besides, how that other hotel did business
and priced their product was none of his business.
The most successful people I’ve known
over my life have “played in their own sandbox.” They were aware of their competition, but
focused their attention on what they needed to do and in what order to build
and sustain their business. They
developed loyalty programs, better customer service and highly focused,
effective marketing plans. They even
created special sales events for their “A-List” customers.
They avoided the “my way or the
highway” business model because they understood that, without the good will and
support of their loyal customers they would not have become multi-millionaires.
There is no secret, here. Just know your customer and sell them what
they want in a way that is comfortable and appealing. Make it easy to buy the most important
product a company can sell – TRUST. Trust
evolves into loyalty and, in some cases, a lifetime commitment.
When trust is broken, customers go
elsewhere taking their money with them.
Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC
I have been told by several
professional copywriters that it isn’t necessary to be a really good writer to
be an effective direct marketing copywriter.
That’s because the first rule of effective copywriting is Connect
With the Market.
In other words, talk like they
talk, and think like they think.
Every profession has its own
definitions of the same word.. A pan for
a cook is something where food is cooked, but a pan for a TV or movie producer
is a horizontal or vertical movement of a camera. A pot for a broadcaster is a means of
controlling audio, but pot can also be something someone smokes.
Get it? The actual definition of a word depends on
Using a word in the wrong context
can be offensive, especially when the goal is to sell product and, depending on
the market, it doesn’t take much to close a door to opportunity.
The best copywriters know their
audience, who they are, how they think, how much they will pay for a product,
and how often they will come back. Each
advertising campaign is tailored to their interests, temperament, economic
status and so on.
Effective copy motivates the
reader/listener/viewer to take action that results in a sale. Make a phone call, go to a website, attend a
seminar and, most important of all, make a purchase.
The keystone is trust. People like to buy, but they don’t like to be
sold the product. They do want to trust
that the product will do what they expect – add value to their lives by solving
a problem or meeting a specific need.
Effective copywriting makes a
promise. Its up to the product to follow
through and build trust that the promise will be met day after day, year after
Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC
One of the tricks I was taught as a radio DJ (a
short-lived career) was to imagine I was talking to one person, a good friend,
one who thinks I’m funny and will laugh at my horrible jokes. My imaginary friend would also listen
intently to the commercials I read and would rush out to buy – even at three in
the morning, even though the store is closed.
Entertainers who are able to maintain life-long
careers use the same trick. They create
a character that is easy to relate to, even as it evolves over the course of
their career. The character, and the
audience they attract have interests that are similar enough to sustain a
long-term relationship because there is a high level of trust.
Highly successful copywriters use the same trick as well. They research the product, what it does, its benefits,
etc., in detail. Then they create a
profile of the ideal customer, who they are, their economic status, life goals,
etc., in equal detail.
Here is where the fun starts. Each individual represents three hundred
other people, including friends, family and colleagues. Those three hundred people equal three
hundred more for a total of ninety thousand potential buyers. That is a huge potential group of potential buyers
that represent a kind of word of mouth
Connecting with that massive network begins with one
person who, when they like the product, will contact everyone they know to promote
the value of the product. Even though social
media can make this process even more dynamic, the principle is the same.
Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC,
One of the best ways to prove the
value of your copywriting skills is to produce your own products and sell
them. They can be workshops, seminars,
writing classes, books, newsletters, or subscription blog posts or any
combination. You can even focus on one
or two that best suit your personality.
What’s the point? Sales!
The best credential is proof that your copy produces results.
If a potential client wants
samples of your work, sell them a book or get them to subscribe to a paid
I got this idea from my wife. At one time she was in the gift industry and
would have vendors request samples of the products she represented. Buying the samples and sending them out was
expensive, especially when the result was “thank you no.”
She finally decided to charge for
the samples. She would still get the
“thank you no”, but she had a little extra cash for her effort AND made it
clear that she took the value of her products seriously.
This may seem counter intuitive,
but writing and preparing samples takes time, energy and effort. That effort is worth something to a
Will some potential clients
balk? Yes, no doubt.
However, selling them something
that other people have also purchased, established a solid credential difficult
to ignore. Even if the number is
relatively small (just a hundred copies or so), you have provided proof of the
value of your writing. (Of course, if
you can show proof of a few thousand sales, even better.)
Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC
Hotels are a quirky business. During the spring and summer, they can make
tons of money because people are travelling, going to graduations, having weddings
and even coming back to the old home town for the Fourth of July.
From mid-November to mid-March, most years, not much
happens. The doors are kept open in case
a guest happens to wander in and needs something. (I’m exaggerating, of course, but not by
One of the suggestions I made to the owner of a
local, independent hotel, was a daily blog post and weekly newsletter that
would promote the hotel, the events in the community and become an additional
source of revenue that could compensate for the loss of revenue during the slow
It didn’t seem to matter where I put the additional
revenue reference in the presentation.
It always got missed. I think it
had to do with the perceived cost of managing the project and the various
databases that confused the owners.
From a revenue point of view, however, I estimated
that an annual subscription base of about three-thousand individuals and
businesses might bring in an additional (and consistent) $450,000 to $720,000 a
year, depending on the price of the subscription.
This extra cash flow would make it easier to manage
the hotel throughout the year and could connect the hotel to the community in a
way that was positive and rewarding for everyone involved.
Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co.,