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Be Brave and Do Information Interviews

Information interviews are one of the true secrets of successfully entering a new market.

And fortunately for you, your contemporaries are just too darn afraid to ask for them.

Someone who's experienced in the field you want to get into will know things. They'll have an idea of what the pain points are.

Not every time—occasionally you'll run into a member of that target market who simply doesn't know how to articulate the common problems of the niche...

...but you'll still have a friendly conversation, and I'll bet they introduce you to one or two other people who do know.

What you're looking for are the key words and phrases that declare, "Yes! I am a member here! I know what you're struggling with."

For me, they stand out immediately. As soon as I've heard them, I recognize them.

And after 20+ years in the professional working world, even I have to go back to the drawing board and do some information interviews every few years or so.

I'm not exempt.

information interviews two women chatting discussion

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels

Information Interviews Help You Learn FAST

All that learning I did to this point means little in the context of the new target market.

I am not my customer.

What I believe is important is not what they believe is important.

You'll see people try to jumpstart this step by using an online survey.

I don't believe that's anywhere near as valuable as a one-on-one conversation. In person if you can, by video or a phone call if you can't. I've used Zoom, Whatsapp and the old fashioned phone.

If you can, record the conversation. Make sure you get the interviewee's permission first.

Now the key thing here is having the guts to ask.

It really does not take much.

Just ask if they'll meet with you for 20 minutes. You want to hear from them about their experience in the field.

I've had people offer to do this without me asking them.

Why?

Because some people enjoy sharing. Others like to show off what they know. Sometimes it's a combination.

Sure, you'll get an individual who's "too busy." I still get that today. But it's one person in a hundred I ask (no kidding.) It's a little shocking for a moment, but then I laugh and look at the 25 other people who've already agreed to meet with me.

You don't need 25.

Four or five would be a great start.

But imagine if you did meet 25 members of that target market. Imagine if you met with them over a week or two. How much would you pick up about that market?

And really, really fast.

So be brave. Have the guts to ask. You only need to be brave for a minute.

The payoff is amazing.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist. To book a consultation with Jason, click here. <<

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Reframing: A Lesson In Meaning

Reframing is the process of repositioning an idea, often one normally considered a negative, in the prospect's mind.

Finding clear examples can be difficult, however. Other than the bog standard Ronald Reagan "I will not make age an issue of this campaign...I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience" instance, copywriters and sales pros alike can struggle to grasp how reframing might work in their circumstances.

Reframing Clorox TV Commercial Knows What Clean Smells Like

Reframing In A Television Advertisement

Last night I got excited about a TV commercial.

Yes, it was a rare occasion that I was watching television. So in a sense every commercial is interesting to me, because I see few of them.

A “mom” was walking between store aisles of cleaning products. “I know what 'clean' smells like,” she said. "Bleach."

She then continued to caution against nice-smelling but implied ineffective competitors...and to promote the cleaner brand she was being the spokesperson for: one which contained bleach.

And I thought, “Wow!”

She just reframed (well, the script writers did, and good for them) the awful smell of bleach as a huge benefit. 'This is how you tell the cleaning product works. Those without this smell are risky at best and will leave your family in danger of germs.' This logic was far better than that employed in most commercials, and I took instant notice.

How To Use Reframing Effectively

If you've been scratching your head for an example of how to reframe something that is normally thought of as a negative into a huge positive, here it is:

As you would expect, since the advertisement is effective and speaks directly to a specific target market, it has upset some other people. That is a sign of a good ad.

You can read more of the "horrified" reactions here.

As far as I'm concerned, it's simply an example of effective reframing. The off-putting odor of bleach has been reframed as a blunt indicator of cleaning effectiveness. As the viewer, you are free to agree or disagree as to whether that message works on you—but it certainly works as the commercial has been airing for a year now judging from the comment dates.

How could you apply reframing like this in your own marketing? What does your target market fear or desire, and how can a feature be reframed to appeal to that emotion?

>> Jason Kanigan is a conversion strategist. Book a call with Jason to discuss your situation using this link. <<

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First Marketing Piece [Business Newbie Guide Part 3]

First Marketing Piece

First Marketing PieceFirst marketing piece: how do you write it? This is a big question for most business creators.

And what do they do? Rush out and make a brochure. Whether it is online or on paper, this brochure typically talks about features and benefits of getting the product or service the new business offers.

This is a mistake.

It's also why most brochures are as boring as dirt. "We are these people. This is what we do. It comes in yellow and green. Blah blah blah."

Customers are not attracted by nor do they buy because of these things.

And have you noticed how they are all self-centered? "Me Me Me." That's what the baby business is saying. Even though the most basic marketer knows they ought to be focused on the customer, they default to "Me Me Me" as soon as they have to write a brochure.

How To Make Your First Marketing Piece be Customer-Centered

Instead, imagine a first marketing piece that lets prospective customers know that you understand their situation?

That there are problems, and symptoms of problems, that are resulting in the very uncomfortable situation they find themselves in at this moment--which is precisely why they are looking for a way out?

A common example is: if you were having a heart attack, and a doctor was available to help you immediately, how much would you pay that doctor for their attention?

The answer is: anything.

Use Pain Points for the Copy of Your First Marketing Piece

This is the kind of situation we are looking for, and want to talk about in your first marketing piece. What situation are they in right now...what problem or symptom of a problem are they experiencing...that shows they are in a situation they absolutely cannot remain in?

Near-Future Pain is the biggest motivator of change.

Someone who sees a big problem coming up in the very short term, or that is already upon them, is instantly ready to get the help they need to get away from that problem.

Have your marketing collateral speak to that.

You conducted information interviews and found pain points. Now is the time to write your first marketing piece using the exact words and phrases your niche did to tell you their pain points.

For sales training, mine are...

"If you are:

* frustrated that price keeps coming up as the number one objection from prospects

* concerned that your revenue is up one month and down the next like a yo-yo

* upset because either you or your sales staff are unwilling or unable to make prospecting calls consistently and effectively

we should speak."

This is how to get a conversation started with a highly interested prospect.

The pain point resonates with them. They understand that YOU understand their situation...and because you are speaking so specifically, you stand out well past any competitors--who are going on and on in that boring way about their features and benefits.

Here's a video I made about today's post:

It's too early to talk about results.

Stick with the symptoms and problems for starters.

If you can't start the conversation effectively, you don't get anything else.

Use the pain points to get In.

Part Four: Where to Market

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