Writing tip: Vision

Good morning to you, my friend.
Yes, it is your ink-stained editor back to nudge you into writing better.
Today we’re going to talk about vision.

Lloyd Huntington offered me an editing job because we shared a vision. I accepted his offer for the same reason.
Lloyd was editor of a morning and an afternoon newspaper.
This was back when people got most news from newspapers.

Amazingly, the two newspapers were not alike. The morning paper was authoritarian.It was a newspaper of wide influence in the state capital. It held its readers at arm’s length and told them what they needed to know.
The news it offered was important to influential people.
The afternoon newspaper was different.

It was lively, warm and told stories.
Lloyd had asked me what I thought of the two newspapers’ editing strategies.

Well, I said, if you want the truth, I said. Lloyd assured me that he did. Well, I said, if I could only read one, I would prefer the afternoon paper.
It was not only informative but entertaining.
I thought busy readers had short attention spans.
But they would read an interesting newspaper that seemed to care about them.

Lloyd’s face lit up like it was Christmas morning.
We talked for more than an hour about now dull newspapers could be enlivened.
We even talked about such basics s using “you” and “yours” in articles.
We talked about how to embrace readers.
How to show you cared about their concerns.
How to make sense for them of a complicated world.

Lloyd said the publisher didn’t care what he did with the afternoon newspaper.
The publisher was more concerned about the morning newspaper.
He wanted it to thunder.
He wanted it to be respected, even feared at the statehouse.
That was where the politicians divvied up the taxpayers’ money.

I had hoped Lloyd would offer me a job on the afternoon newspaper.
That was the kind of journalism I loved.

Of course, he didn’t. He wanted me on the morning newspaper as a co-conspirator. He wanted me to help warm up the morning newspaper and infuse it with stories.
Like thieves in the night, we set out to warm it up.
We would do as much as the publisher would let us get away with.

Lloyd had infused me with a sense of mission like no other editor had before.
That sense of mission and purpose has gone with my wife and me all these years.

We brought it into newsrooms where we have worked.
We brought it to editors and reporters it has been our privilege to coach.
I hope you are fortunate to work with editors like Lloyd.
Editors who come down off their lofty pedestals and tell it like it is.
If you don’t, I encourage you to find one.

Attract more prospects, more income

Lead magnets can change how you do business and produce more income. It will attract more prospects to your sales funnel faster then you ever dreamed. Lead magnets make an offer to get them to give you names and e-mail addresses. Your lead magnet is the 1st thing a visitor to your site sees.

It is where you show visitors how you can ease their pain, solve their problems or help fulfill their dreams.You can change your lead magnets to test which ones attract the prospects you want. The more relevant you make them, the more prospects you will attract and you will  increase your conversions, too.

You can have different lead magnets, depending on where you place your offer. If you target working mothers, then your lead magnet might offer a free e-book on how to manage their time. If you help clients make more money, your lead magnet offers them tactics and strategies to increase their incomes.

Changing your lead magnet to target a specific target group makes your opt-in offers flexible. It gives visitors an immediate gift as a reward for visiting your site.

We share such strategies in our $20 “Million Dollar Strategies of Maverick Entrepreneurs.” For a complimentary $10 copy, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: What motivates your customers

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

The power of relentless rehearsal

When our friend Michael Aun won the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking he had rehearsed his speech to family, friends and his dog,

Author Rick Houcek has given more than 690 live, paid speeches and workshops worldwide. He’s never walked on stage without rehearsing in his hotel room, in the cab, in the empty auditorium the day before. He walks the stage, checks lines of sight from every seat, practices projecting his voice to the back row.

Is he nervous? Never. He’s juiced.

Actors trudge through weeks of rehearsals. They don’t read the script once and wing it. They rehearse relentlessly. 

Singers and dancers do, the same.

Professional athletes hold 5 full days of live practices before games.

The U.S. military special forces are the best in the world due to endless, rigorous, daily training they endure to be ready.

Top salespeople script their pitch, then practice at home, in their cars, in waiting rooms before entering a prospect’s office.

Olympic athletes train for 4 years to be ready for their one moment of glory in some events lasting only a few seconds.

We share such field-tested strategies in our digital book, “Uncover Your Inner Sales Genius”. For  $10 copy for only $1.99, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Next: Attract your  ideal prospects

How to get high email open rates

Have you heard marketers or bloggers brag about the high number of addresses on their email lists? I heard a blogger claim more than 5 million. It makes me wonder how many actually open his emails and what it costs him to mail to thousands of addresses that don’t open his messages.

A good open rate for your emails is only 15%. In other words, 85% of the people you email don’t bother opening them.

This should be a concern. The more email addresses on your list, the more Constant Contact, Mail Chimp or whatever service you use will cost. You’re paying to mail to people who don’t want your email.

To keep our open rates high, our tech whiz Katie Ritchie segments and prunes our lists to keep our costs down and avoid emailing to those who don’t open them.

The more dead weight Katie deletes, the higher open rate we get because we reach those who want our information.

Our news web site has almost 20,000 visits a day. Our Writing Tips have a super high 45% open rate because readers specifically asked to receive those emails.

That’s the special sauce for open rates. Delete the non-opening addresses.

We share such field-tested strategies in our 60-minute CD “Why Advertising Fails & What You Can Do About It.” For details, email JerryBellune@yahoo.com.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

3 ways to make a great 1st impression

Good morning, fellow entrepreneurs.

MaryEllen Tribby believes in making a great impression with 3 strategies.

1. Be generous. When you help others, “getting” will follow. It will come in unexpected ways. No one likes a person with a “taker” mentality. When you are generous, people will notice and respect you. We like to do business with those who we respect, trust and like. Help them feel the same way about you. Act as a host at events you attend by connecting others. This can be as simple as introducing people to each other or as elaborate as sharing a testimonial about someone. 

2. Be Happy Harry or Harriet. Put on a happy face at the door and smile. This is your time to shine. People will look forward to seeing you if you are energetic, positive and outgoing. They enjoy doing business with people they like. Remind yourself of everything you are grateful for just before entering an event or meeting a prospect. 

3. Connect. Don’t Sell. Connecting is about building relationships with people who will be happy to tell others about who you are and what you do. Find out what they do and its value to their customers before you share what you do. And follow up with a hand-written appreciation note. 

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

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Harness the power of word-of-mouth

A couple of our friends were discussing a German restaurant 45 minutes from our town. My wife and I miss German food since the only place in town that served it closed. Of course, I was interested.

I mentioned it to my doctor, a fellow schnitzel lover. Her story was different. 

On her only visit, the wait staff was not only inattentive but rude. And it took 3 hours for their meals to arrive.

Now if you were me, who would you believe, the good reviews or the bad? For a 90-minute round-trip drive, would you take such a chance? Not me. I mentally crossed the place off my must-do list. 

A woman I do business with occasionally advertises with us – when she has something special she wants to sell. I asked her once why she did not benefit from a more consistent advertising campaign.

“I rely on word-of-mouth advertising,” she told me. I didn’t argue with or try to enlighten her. She is a strong-willed person who will not listen to reason.

But she could enhance her advertising with testimonials from customers who love and appreciate what she does for them.

You do use testimonials, don’t you?

We share such field-tested strategies in our 3-CD “Make Yourself a STAR (Someone They Always Remember)” self-study course. 

Details at JerryBellune@yahoo.com

Next: 3 ways to connect with prospects

Get your prospects to open their wallets

Does your advertising really work?

It may but the $5,000 question is, does it gain the results that you want?

Our friend Ruth King had a client who hated his advertising. He was spending money on something that he despised …even though it was producing results.

Ruth told him: You are NOT the audience for the advertising. Ask your girlfriend whether she likes it. She is the type of person we are trying to attract.

“But I hate it,” he said again.

Ruth asked, “Is it producing results?”

“Yes,” he conceded.

“Then your opinion doesn’t count. Your customers’ opinions count.”

Tough lesson for him to swallow. The ads were working. He just didn’t like them.

Customers vote with their wallets. If they respond to your advertising, it is immaterial whether you like the ads or not.

The next time you plan an advertising message, give it to a few friends who are like your target audience. Ask them whether they would do what the ad requests – go to a website, call a phone number, etc.

If they like it, then do it. The rest of your target audience is likely to respond, too. If they like it, then do it. The rest of your target audience is likely to respond too.

Remember: It doesn’t matter what you think about your marketing and advertising – it matters what your customers think. They will vote with their phone calls, emails, and pocketbooks.

For more brilliance like this, sign up for Ruth’s complimentary newsletter at rking@profitabilityrevolution.com

We share such ideas in “Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.” 

For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-359-7633.

Next: Think small for bigger profits

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Ignore your balance sheet at your own risk

Do you only check your profit and loss statements? Your balance sheet tells you much more than your profit and loss statement, says our friend Ruth King. It actually tells you how profitable your company is.

Your balance sheet shows your current assets divided by current liabilities.

Current assets are cash, accounts receivable, inventory and prepaid expenses.

Current liabilities are accounts payable, taxes payable, deferred maintenance revenue and current part of long term debt.

Increasing current ratio means increasing profitability. Decreasing ratio, most of the time, means decreasing profitability.

Your balance sheet also tells you if:

  • You may be running out of cash
  • You have a collection problem
  • You are taking on too much debt or too much inventory.

Your balance sheet is your weather vane. It gives warning signs of impending problems so that you can take care of them before they become major crises.

If you want more information on how to understand your balance sheet, order Ruth’s book, The Courage to be Profitable: Get and Stay Profitable in Less than 30 Minutes a Month. It’s available on Amazon, on Audible, or if you want an autographed copy, call her at 770-729-0258.

Sign up for Ruth’s complimentary newsletter at rking@profitabilityrevolution.com

We share such ideas in Maverick Entrepreneurs’ Million Dollar Strategies.

For a $20 personally autographed copy, contact us at 803-331-6695.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.

Turn antagonistic foes into ardent fans

A business friend occasionally calls to invites me to lunch – and I know why. 

Across the table he says, “You know I never call you unless I want something.”

He tells me what it is he needs and, since he knows I can do it, I oblige him. It makes me feel good that he turned to me and that I could do a favor for someone I like.

Most of us believe that the way to win friends is to do them a favor. Ben Franklin found the opposite works even better.

If you are a Ben Franklin fan, you undoubtedly know this story. It is a good reminder of a strategy he discovered and you can use on those who may demean you.

Franklin had incurred the ill will of a wealthy man. The man berated Franklin to others and questioned his competence.

Franklin knew the man had a prized collection of books and wrote him asking to borrow a book he knew the man owned.

This gained the man’s attention. If Ben knew about this book, he must be smarter than he had thought. He loaned Franklin his book, Franklin read it and returned it with a thank you note a few days later.

Surprisingly, the man became one of his champions and extolled his virtues.

Do you have a detractor or seek a relationship with someone? Ask for a favor.

Copyright 2020, The Bellune Co., Inc.