+=+=+=+= SIM's INSIDER REPORT =+=+=+=+
November 5, 2002
SIM's INSIDER REPORT is a free biweekly newsletter dedicated to helping readers succeed online while saving both time and money with cutting-edge tools, tips and strategies for internet marketing, online advertising and website promotion.
IN THIS ISSUE
==> Tip of the Week
==> Tips, Tools & Resources
==> Affiliate Spotlight
==> SIM's Weekly Reports
==> Feedback & Contributions
==> Food for Thought
We've got lots of new tools and reports for you this week - so many in fact that I've had to place a few on the SIM website.
These are parts 2 & 3 in the series on cascading style sheets by Will Bontrager. Part 2 is titled "Learning More" and will show you how to embed a style sheet directly into your web page. It will also show you how to define custom styles, styles not associated with any particular HTML tags.
Go here==> http://startupinternetmarketing.com/ezines/css2.html
Part 3 is titled "Colorful Forms" and in it you'll learn how to spruce up your forms and how to make them stand out from the crowd plus a whole lot more...
Go here==> http://startupinternetmarketing.com/ezines/css3.html
This week's Tip of the Week comes to us compliments of Bob McElwain and is titled "Your USP: The Make-Break Point."
Identifying your Unique Selling Proposition and effectively utilizing it is probably the MOST critical component of your online marketing strategy. Bob discusses a number of aspects for consideration when creating your own. Don't miss it.
Your comments are always welcome.
SIM'S TIP OF THE WEEK
YOUR USP: THE MAKE-BREAK POINT
Your USP (Universal Selling Proposition) will make or break your business. Let me put this differently. With a great USP, success is nearly assured. Without one, you will be at best, just an also-ran, someone struggling to remain in the race.
You need a USP for the business itself, and one for each product being sold. If you are selling products produced by others, the sales literature available may already include a great USP. If it does not, however, one needs to be created.
There is lots of debate about what a great USP is. I have no intention of seeking to end it. But I must point out lots of people have it wrong.
Differences Of Opinion About The USP
Some believe it is a statement that explains how your company or product differs from others. Something that makes it unique, and thus better.
Since all is about selling benefits, some believe the USP is a statement about the greatest benefit offered by your company or product. A benefit that sets you apart from others. One others can not claim.
I don't agree with either or related views.
To side step debate as possible, let's ignore the marketing strategies used offline. Let's focus on those that work online. This allows me to state without reservation that such positions won't work on a website.
The Key Is To Focus On Behavior
Your visitors don't give a hoot about you, your product, or how hard you have worked to make it available. The simple fact is, they don't think about you at all. They have only one question when they hit your site: What's in this for me? You have only seconds in which to provide an appropriate answer.
Talk of you, your company, or your product, regardless of uniqueness, will only bring a click on the Back button. Soul-searched words about the benefits your company or product offers will also bring immediate exit.
What's required is a USP that provides your Perfect Customer with a PERCEIVED benefit that sets you apart from and above others. Note it matters not at all whether this benefit is your strongest, best, or whatever. It doesn't even matter if it's so. It only matters that your Perfect Customer perceives it as such.
Further, to the degree possible, you want your Perfect Customer to grasp this in a glance, even to shout out loud, "Hey! This is it. This is what I need!"
USPs And The Big Boys
For examples of great USPs that have proved to be winners, check out some books on marketing. Here's one: Coca Cola - The original.
Pepsi has been trying to beat this for some time. And they have put millions and millions of dollars into the effort. But Coca Cola remains the first and original cola, a position that can not be taken from them. (It is unlikely a new Web Business can establish such a position.)
The story of the ferocious marketing efforts of these two competitors makes fascinating reading. For example, Coca Cola has tried a number of alternatives to, "The original." Pepsi seemed to have a winner in, "For the new generation." But they, too, have been experimenting. And both continue to spend great gobs of money in hopes of gaining an edge over the other.
Years back, Avis strongly challenged Hertz in car rentals with, "We're second, so we try harder." This captures attention. While many cheer the underdog, most go for the favorite when they reach for their wallet. But this worked for Avis. That they tried harder implied to many that Avis would thus make life easier for them.
Over many years this proved to be an extremely effective position. As in the cola battle, Avis came off this now and then to an alternative, only to watch sales plummet. They recovered quickly with a return to this position.
USPs For The Rest Of Us
Whether or not you already have a business, nothing matters more than discovering a great USP for both your company and products. Your USP will be your company's greatest asset.
A small business does not have the money to launch large institutional branding campaigns to popularize a USP. However, you can be just as effective as the big boys are in building a great one. Take the time to get this right.
Using Your USP
Incorporate your USP into a small logo and include it on every page of your site. Include it in some way in every communication sent out about your company or product, particularly in sales literature. Use it in a signature file that is automatically appended to every email message sent by your company.
No, you're not going to beat Coca Cola this way. But people will come to associate you and your product with your USP and logo. While not a megabuck branding campaign, this can be remarkably effective.
Tag Lines Are Great
A tag line is a three to five word statement that captures or at least reminds of the essence of your USP. For Avis, "We try harder" works. Staples gets attention with, "Yeah, we've got that." This implies they can fulfill all needs. "The quicker picker upper" suggests Bounty paper towels to many.
Use your tag line wherever you lack the room to state your complete USP. Done properly, a tag line tends to add a aura of superiority, something that can never be claimed directly.
As suggested, a good USP and tag line can mean the difference between success and failure in a small business. And in building these, you are on equal footing with the big boys. So take advantage of this opportunity, and get it right.
. . .
Abstracted from "Your Path To Success" by Bob McElwain http://sitetipsandtricks.com/cgi-bin/prolink/pl.cgi?pathb
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Your unique selling proposition (USP) is your proprietary competitive edge. Think of it as the answer to this question: "Why should I buy from you and not the other guys?"
Every business must have one to succeed. Most businesses don't. Not surprisingly, most businesses fail. Without a USP, you make it hard for people to choose your business over another.
Your USP is right under your nose. All you have to do is take the time to look around your business and find it.
How to Create a USP
Here are four traits about your business you can look at to help you create a unique selling proposition (USP):
SIM's "Tip of the Week" back issues available at... http://www.startupinternetmarketing.com/ezines
TIPS, TOOLS & RESOURCES
W3C's (HTML) Page
Here you'll find everything you ever wanted or needed to know about HTML and then some. They even offer a free HTML validation service as well as CSS validation. http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/
John's Background Page
You will find a large collection of beautiful background images at this site. John has gathered a collection of his favorites and offers them free here... simply right-click on the image of your choice and choose "Save Picture As..." http://www.webmasteroutpost.com/backgrnds/index.html
Seek out duplicate files within a directory. This free applet lets you compare files by name, size, and time, and it also allows you to place duplicate files in list boxes, where they can be easily deleted. http://ftp.pcworld.com/pub/system/file_management/filesearch11.zip
Font Creator v.3.1
This program allows you to create and modify TrueType font files. You can use the fonts in Windows 3.11 and higher. Features include the ability to load and save TTF files and unlimited undo and redo options. This version has added the ability to convert bitmaps (BMP files) to TrueType outlines, thus enabling you to create your own signature, logo, or handwriting.
* For more great tips and tools, visit our website:
FREE 5 DAY INTENSIVE COURSES
*Mastering Search Engine Placement
*Becoming a high-earning affiliate champion
*Creating, producing and selling your very own infoproduct
*Finding the Perfect Price that will maximize your profit
*How to write sales-clinching copy on the Net
Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet
Corey Rudl's marketing course is a no-brainer recommendation that you can comfortably get behind and promote wholeheartedly knowing it has been the #1 best-selling Internet Marketing course online for more than 3 years running.
This was the first investment I made when I came on line 3 years ago. My rationale was to invest in the most successful person I could find and Corey did not let me down.
My association with the Internet Marketing center has been lucrative both in terms of commissions earned and marketing strategies learned.
By signing up with Cory's affiliate program, you earn top payout commissions and get all the tools and support you'll need for promoting this and his other winning programs such as Mailloop, AssocTrac and eBook Pro.
You can get more information on this new release at... http://startupinternetmarketing.com/is and if you want to sign up for the program, you can do so here... http://startupinternetmarketing.com/isaf
Be sure to sign up for Cory's free newsletter while you're there. I guarantee it is one you'll be looking forward to reading each month.
UPDATED Affiliate Masters Course
The Affiliate Masters Course is a fantastic stand-alone information resource. This course REALLY has ALL the info and strategies required to build a profitable affiliate-based e-biz from the ground up.
It's the best product available for affiliates AT ANY PRICE...
and it's free - Click here to download immediately... http://startupinternetmarketing.com/Aff-Masters.zip
* Check out SIM's Top "10" Affiliate Review at
SIM's WEEKLY REPORTS
Erasure: One Step to Better Copy
Achieve Success Through Forming Relationships, Not Just Making Sales
Ad Stories Customers Love
Non-Indented Customized Bullets
How To Send Email With Perl, Part I
FEEDBACK & CONTRIBUTIONS
Let's Get One Thing Straight About Being A Published Author
Just for fun, evaluate the following statement:
"Most people want to write a book and get it published, but that's simply impossible 99% of the time."
Is the above statement true?
Not exactly. What's true is that most people THINK they can't write a book and get it published. And while that's a widely-held belief, just the opposite is true.
In fact, it's easier to write and get published today than ever before - especially thanks to the ebook "revolution." The field of ebooks is literally wide open for all who are interested - including, perhaps, you!
What does it take to write and publish your own ebook?
1) A TOPIC you are interested in that others would also like to know more about.
2) The DESIRE to get the ebook written (note - you can write it yourself, but you don't have to. There are other proven and simple ways to get your ebook written and published for you.)
3) A simple, one-page, "sales letter" WEB SITE to sell the ebook.
Does it take a lot of money or any special aptitudes? Oddly enough, not really. You have to be willing to take action, certainly, and learn as you go, but there are no special educational, financial or talent requirements to become a successful ebook author.
The truth is, it costs very little to get started. You can get a domain registered and online for as little as $9 to start and $6 a month for website hosting.
In fact, there are actually six ways you can create an ebook without ever writing a word of it - so you don't need to be a skilled writer. We'll tell you about one of them, in-depth, right now.
Think of a topic you know something about that you'd like to write an ebook on.
Once you have that topic in mind, then all you need to do is write a list of questions other people would pay to get the answers to... give that list to a friend... have the friend call you on the phone and ask you those questions... record the call... have the recording transcribed... and edit the transcription!
Presto - you've just created a "meaty" ebook fast! (Yes, it really is that simple!)
By the way, if you don't want to transcribe or edit the ebook yourself, you can get both of those things done for you for surprisingly little money... as little as a few hundred dollars, total, in many cases.
That's how we wrote our most recent ebook.
As authors ourselves, we came up with a list of questions, got on the phone, recorded the answers, and had the entire 4 1/2 hour conversation transcribed. Using this phone call - transcription - edit route we created an ebook in about a week. It cost us a total of $163 to produce it. (We hired out the transcription, and did the editing ourselves.)
So far we've spent *zero* money on advertising and, as we write this article today, we've sold over $49,683 worth of that ebook in less than six months!
We're not unique in that way. We know many others who have successfully published ebooks - including another small publisher who has used this exact same method to create dozens of ebooks.
If you can clearly understand a specific problem, want, need or desire of a large enough target audience and then create a publication that helps them get what they want, you stand to make a lot of money and help a great number of people at the same time.
If there ever was a "golden age" of publishing, NOW is the time. The truth of the matter is, today anyone can become a published author with an ebook in less than a couple of weeks. Between us, we have 11 ebooks online and we're making money every day, even as you read this.
You can do the same. Opportunity awaits you right now. It's never been easier to seize the day and go for your dream - become a published author!
. . .
- by Jim Edwards and David Garfinkel
(c) 2002 - All Rights reserved
Jim Edwards and David Garfinkel are co-authors of "eBook Secrets Exposed," the authoritative resource for making a lot of money quickly writing and publishing your own ebook. Guerrilla Marketing series author Jay Conrad Levinson says, "If ever there was a 'must-read' for this century, it's this book." For more information...
Click Here==> http://hop.clickbank.net/?danp16/ebksecrets
If you have a promotion tip to share (or an affiliate program that would be of interest to the rest of us) or if you have a web design tip, or a specific question, please feel free to post all tips, questions, or answers to posted questions here and I will add your email or URL with it. It's FREE promotion!
Send your tips, questions or answers to:
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
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