Integrity
Write
Loading...
Jon Brosio

Jon Brosio

1 year ago

You can learn more about marketing from these 8 copywriting frameworks than from a college education.

More on Marketing

Rachel Greenberg

Rachel Greenberg

1 year ago

6 Causes Your Sales Pitch Is Unintentionally Repulsing Customers

Skip this if you don't want to discover why your lively, no-brainer pitch isn't making $10k a month.

Photo by Chase Chappell on Unsplash

You don't want to be repulsive as an entrepreneur or anyone else. Making friends, influencing people, and converting strangers into customers will be difficult if your words evoke disgust, distrust, or disrespect. You may be one of many entrepreneurs who do this obliviously and involuntarily.

I've had to master selling my skills to recruiters (to land 6-figure jobs on Wall Street), selling companies to buyers in M&A transactions, and selling my own companies' products to strangers-turned-customers. I probably committed every cardinal sin of sales repulsion before realizing it was me or my poor salesmanship strategy.

If you're launching a new business, frustrated by low conversion rates, or just curious if you're repelling customers, read on to identify (and avoid) the 6 fatal errors that can kill any sales pitch.

1. The first indication

So many people fumble before they even speak because they assume their role is to convince the buyer. In other words, they expect to pressure, arm-twist, and combat objections until they convert the buyer. Actuality, the approach stinks of disgust, and emotionally-aware buyers would feel "gross" immediately.

Instead of trying to persuade a customer to buy, ask questions that will lead them to do so on their own. When a customer discovers your product or service on their own, they need less outside persuasion. Why not position your offer in a way that leads customers to sell themselves on it?

2. A flawless performance

Are you memorizing a sales script, tweaking video testimonials, and expunging historical blemishes before hitting "publish" on your new campaign? If so, you may be hurting your conversion rate.

Perfection may be a step too far and cause prospects to mistrust your sincerity. Become a great conversationalist to boost your sales. Seriously. Being charismatic is hard without being genuine and showing a little vulnerability.

People like vulnerability, even if it dents your perfect facade. Show the customer's stuttering testimonial. Open up about your or your company's past mistakes (and how you've since improved). Make your sales pitch a two-way conversation. Let the customer talk about themselves to build rapport. Real people sell, not canned scripts and movie-trailer testimonials.

If marketing or sales calls feel like a performance, you may be doing something wrong or leaving money on the table.

3. Your greatest phobia

Three minutes into prospect talks, I'd start sweating. I was talking 100 miles per hour, covering as many bases as possible to avoid the ones I feared. I knew my then-offering was inadequate and my firm had fears I hadn't addressed. So I word-vomited facts, features, and everything else to avoid the customer's concerns.

Do my prospects know I'm insecure? Maybe not, but it added an unnecessary and unhelpful layer of paranoia that kept me stressed, rushed, and on edge instead of connecting with the prospect. Skirting around a company, product, or service's flaws or objections is a poor, temporary, lazy (and cowardly) decision.

How can you project confidence and trust if you're afraid? Before you make another sales call, face your shortcomings, weak points, and objections. Your company won't be everyone's cup of tea, but you should have answers to every question or objection. You should be your business's top spokesperson and defender.

4. The unintentional apologies

Have you ever begged for a sale? I'm going to say no, however you may be unknowingly emitting sorry, inferior, insecure energy.

Young founders, first-time entrepreneurs, and those with severe imposter syndrome may elevate their target customer. This is common when trying to get first customers for obvious reasons.

  • Since you're truly new at this, you naturally lack experience.

  • You don't have the self-confidence boost of thousands or hundreds of closed deals or satisfied client results to remind you that your good or service is worthwhile.

  • Getting those initial few clients seems like the most difficult task, as if doing so will decide the fate of your company as a whole (it probably won't, and you shouldn't actually place that much emphasis on any one transaction).

Customers can smell fear, insecurity, and anxiety just like they can smell B.S. If you believe your product or service improves clients' lives, selling it should feel like a benevolent act of service, not a sleazy money-grab. If you're a sincere entrepreneur, prospects will believe your proposition; if you're apprehensive, they'll notice.

Approach every sale as if you're fine with or without it. This has improved my salesmanship, marketing skills, and mental health. When you put pressure on yourself to close a sale or convince a difficult prospect "or else" (your company will fail, your rent will be late, your electricity will be cut), you emit desperation and lower the quality of your pitch. There's no point.

5. The endless promises

We've all read a million times how to answer or disprove prospects' arguments and add extra incentives to speed or secure the close. Some objections shouldn't be refuted. What if I told you not to offer certain incentives, bonuses, and promises? What if I told you to walk away from some prospects, even if it means losing your sales goal?

If you market to enough people, make enough sales calls, or grow enough companies, you'll encounter prospects who can't be satisfied. These prospects have endless questions, concerns, and requests for more, more, more that you'll never satisfy. These people are a distraction, a resource drain, and a test of your ability to cut losses before they erode your sanity and profit margin.

To appease or convert these insatiably needy, greedy Nellies into customers, you may agree with or acquiesce to every request and demand — even if you can't follow through. Once you overpromise and answer every hole they poke, their trust in you may wane quickly.

Telling a prospect what you can't do takes courage and integrity. If you're honest, upfront, and willing to admit when a product or service isn't right for the customer, you'll gain respect and positive customer experiences. Sometimes honesty is the most refreshing pitch and the deal-closer.

6. No matter what

Have you ever said, "I'll do anything to close this sale"? If so, you've probably already been disqualified. If a prospective customer haggles over a price, requests a discount, or continues to wear you down after you've made three concessions too many, you have a metal hook in your mouth, not them, and it may not end well. Why?

If you're so willing to cut a deal that you cut prices, comp services, extend payment plans, waive fees, etc., you betray your own confidence that your product or service was worth the stated price. They wonder if anyone is paying those prices, if you've ever had a customer (who wasn't a blood relative), and if you're legitimate or worth your rates.

Once a prospect senses that you'll do whatever it takes to get them to buy, their suspicions rise and they wonder why.

  • Why are you cutting pricing if something is wrong with you or your service?

  • Why are you so desperate for their sale?

  • Why aren't more customers waiting in line to pay your pricing, and if they aren't, what on earth are they doing there?

That's what a prospect thinks when you reveal your lack of conviction, desperation, and willingness to give up control. Some prospects will exploit it to drain you dry, while others will be too frightened to buy from you even if you paid them.

Walking down a two-way street. Be casual.

If we track each act of repulsion to an uneasiness, fear, misperception, or impulse, it's evident that these sales and marketing disasters were forced communications. Stiff, imbalanced, divisive, combative, bravado-filled, and desperate. They were unnatural and accepted a power struggle between two sparring, suspicious, unequal warriors, rather than a harmonious oneness of two natural, but opposite parties shaking hands.

Sales should be natural, harmonious. Sales should feel good for both parties, not like one party is having their arm twisted.

You may be doing sales wrong if it feels repulsive, icky, or degrading. If you're thinking cringe-worthy thoughts about yourself, your product, service, or sales pitch, imagine what you're projecting to prospects. Don't make it unpleasant, repulsive, or cringeworthy.

Karo Wanner

Karo Wanner

1 year ago

This is how I started my Twitter account.

My 12-day results look good.

Twitter seemed for old people and politicians.

I thought the platform would die soon like Facebook.

The platform's growth stalled around 300m users between 2015 and 2019.

In 2020, Twitter grew and now has almost 400m users.

Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi built a business on Twitter while I was away, despite its low popularity.

When I read about the success of Twitter users in the past 2 years, I created an account and a 3-month strategy.

I'll see if it's worth starting Twitter in 2022.

Late or perfect? I'll update you. Track my Twitter growth. You can find me here.

My Twitter Strategy

My Twitter goal is to build a community and recruit members for Mindful Monday.

I believe mindfulness is the only way to solve problems like poverty, inequality, and the climate crisis.

The power of mindfulness is my mission.

Mindful Monday is your weekly reminder to live in the present moment. I send mindfulness tips every Monday.

My Twitter profile promotes Mindful Monday and encourages people to join.

What I paid attention to:

  • I designed a brand-appropriate header to promote Mindful Monday.

  • Choose a profile picture. People want to know who you are.

  • I added my name as I do on Medium, Instagram, and emails. To stand out and be easily recognized, add an emoji if appropriate. Add what you want to be known for, such as Health Coach, Writer, or Newsletter.

  • People follow successful, trustworthy people. Describe any results you have. This could be views, followers, subscribers, or major news outlets. Create!

  • Tell readers what they'll get by following you. Can you help?

  • Add CTA to your profile. Your Twitter account's purpose. Give instructions. I placed my sign-up link next to the CTA to promote Mindful Monday. Josh Spector recommended this. (Thanks! Bonus tip: If you don't want the category to show in your profile, e.g. Entrepreneur, go to edit profile, edit professional profile, and choose 'Other'

Here's my Twitter:

I'm no expert, but I tried. Please share any additional Twitter tips and suggestions in the comments.

To hide your Revue newsletter subscriber count:

Join Revue. Select 'Hide Subscriber Count' in Account settings > Settings > Subscriber Count. Voila!

How frequently should you tweet?

1 to 20 Tweets per day, but consistency is key.

Stick to a daily tweet limit. Start with less and be consistent than the opposite.

I tweet 3 times per day. That's my comfort zone. Larger accounts tweet 5–7 times daily.

Do what works for you and that is the right amount.

Twitter is a long-term game, so plan your tweets for a year.

How to Batch Your Tweets?

Sunday batchs.

Sunday evenings take me 1.5 hours to create all my tweets for the week.

Use a word document and write down your posts. Podcasts, books, my own articles inspire me.

When I have a good idea or see a catchy Tweet, I take a screenshot.

To not copy but adapt.

Two pillars support my content:

  1. (90% ~ 29 tweets per week) Inspirational quotes, mindfulness tips, zen stories, mistakes, myths, book recommendations, etc.

  2. (10% 2 tweets per week) I share how I grow Mindful Monday with readers. This pillar promotes MM and behind-the-scenes content.

Second, I schedule all my Tweets using TweetDeck. I tweet at 7 a.m., 5 p.m., and 6 p.m.

Include Twitter Threads in your content strategy

Tweets are blog posts. In your first tweet, you include a headline, then tweet your content.

That’s how you create a series of connected Tweets.

What’s the point? You have more room to convince your reader you're an expert.

Add a call-to-action to your thread.

  • Follow for more like this

  • Newsletter signup (share your link)

  • Ask for retweet

One thread per week is my goal. 

I'll schedule threads with Typefully. In the free version, you can schedule one Tweet, but that's fine.

Pin a thread to the top of your profile if it leads to your newsletter. So new readers see your highest-converting content first.

Tweet Medium posts

I also tweet Medium articles.

I schedule 1 weekly repost for 5 weeks after each publication. I share the same article daily for 5 weeks.

Every time I tweet, I include a different article quote, so even if the link is the same, the quote adds value.

Engage Other Experts

When you first create your account, few people will see it. Normal.

If you comment on other industry accounts, you can reach their large audience.

First, you need 50 to 100 followers. Here's my beginner tip.

15 minutes a day or when I have downtime, I comment on bigger accounts in my niche.

My 12-Day Results

Now let's look at the first data.

I had 32 followers on March 29. 12 followers in 11 days. I have 52 now.

Not huge, but growing rapidly.

Let's examine impressions/views.

As a newbie, I gained 4,300 impressions/views in 12 days. On Medium, I got fewer views.

The 1,6k impressions per day spike comes from a larger account I mentioned the day before. First, I was shocked to see the spike and unsure of its origin.

These results are promising given the effort required to be consistent on Twitter.

Let's see how my journey progresses. I'll keep you posted.

Tweeters, Does this content strategy make sense? What's wrong? Comment below.

Let's support each other on Twitter. Here's me.

Which Twitter strategy works for you in 2022?


This post is a summary. Read the full article here

Victoria Kurichenko

Victoria Kurichenko

1 year ago

My Blog Is in Google's Top 10—Here's How to Compete

"Competition" is beautiful and hateful.

Some people bury their dreams because they are afraid of competition. Others challenge themselves, shaping our world.

Competition is normal.

It spurs innovation and progress.

I wish more people agreed.

As a marketer, content writer, and solopreneur, my readers often ask:

"I want to create a niche website, but I have no ideas. Everything's done"

"Is a website worthwhile?"

I can't count how many times I said, "Yes, it makes sense, and you can succeed in a competitive market."

I encourage and share examples, but it's not enough to overcome competition anxiety.

I launched an SEO writing website for content creators a year ago, knowing it wouldn't beat Ahrefs, Semrush, Backlinko, etc.

Not needed.

Many of my website's pages rank highly on Google.

Everyone can eat the pie.

In a competitive niche, I took a different approach.

Look farther

When chatting with bloggers that want a website, I discovered something fascinating.

They want to launch a website but have no ideas. As a next step, they start listing the interests they believe they should work on, like wellness, lifestyle, investments, etc. I could keep going.

Too many generalists who claim to know everything confuse many.

Generalists aren't trusted.

We want someone to fix our problems immediately.

I don't think broad-spectrum experts are undervalued. People have many demands that go beyond generalists' work. Narrow-niche experts can help.

I've done SEO for three years. I learned from experts and courses. I couldn't find a comprehensive SEO writing resource.

I read tons of articles before realizing that wasn't it. I took courses that covered SEO basics eventually.

I had a demand for learning SEO writing, but there was no solution on the market. My website fills this micro-niche.

Have you ever had trouble online?

Professional courses too general, boring, etc.?

You've bought off-topic books, right?

You're not alone.

Niche ideas!

Big players often disregard new opportunities. Too small. Individual content creators can succeed here.

In a competitive market:

  • Never choose wide subjects

  • Think about issues you can relate to and have direct experience with.

  • Be a consumer to discover both the positive and negative aspects of a good or service.

  • Merchandise your annoyances.

  • Consider ways to transform your frustrations into opportunities.

The right niche is half-success. Here is what else I did to hit the Google front page with my website.

An innovative method for choosing subjects

Why publish on social media and websites?

Want likes, shares, followers, or fame?

Some people do it for fun. No judgment.

I bet you want more.

You want to make decent money from blogging.

Writing about random topics, even if they are related to your niche, won’t help you attract an audience from organic search. I'm a marketer and writer.

I worked at companies with dead blogs because they posted for themselves, not readers. They did not follow SEO writing rules; that’s why most of their content flopped.

I learned these hard lessons and grew my website from 0 to 3,000+ visitors per month while working on it a few hours a week only. Evidence:

I choose website topics using these criteria:

- Business potential. The information should benefit my audience and generate revenue. There would be no use in having it otherwise.

My topics should help me:

Attract organic search traffic with my "fluff-free" content -> Subscribers > SEO ebook sales.

Simple and effective.

- traffic on search engines. The number of monthly searches reveals how popular my topic is all across the world. If I find that no one is interested in my suggested topic, I don't write a blog article.

- Competition. Every search term is up against rivals. Some are more popular (thus competitive) since more websites target them in organic search. A new website won't score highly for keywords that are too competitive. On the other side, keywords with moderate to light competition can help you rank higher on Google more quickly.

- Search purpose. The "why" underlying users' search requests is revealed. I analyze search intent to understand what users need when they plug various queries in the search bar and what content can perfectly meet their needs.

My specialty website produces money, ranks well, and attracts the target audience because I handpick high-traffic themes.

Following these guidelines, even a new website can stand out.

I wrote a 50-page SEO writing guide where I detailed topic selection and share my front-page Google strategy.

My guide can help you run a successful niche website.

In summary

You're not late to the niche-website party.

The Internet offers many untapped opportunities.

We need new solutions and are willing to listen.

There are unexplored niches in any topic.

Don't fight giants. They have their piece of the pie. They might overlook new opportunities while trying to keep that piece of the pie. You should act now.

You might also like

CyberPunkMetalHead

CyberPunkMetalHead

1 year ago

Why Bitcoin NFTs Are Incomprehensible yet Likely Here to Stay

I'm trying to understand why Bitcoin NFTs aren't ready.

Ordinals, a new Bitcoin protocol, has been controversial. NFTs can be added to Bitcoin transactions using the protocol. They are not tokens or fungible. Bitcoin NFTs are transaction metadata. Yes. They're not owned.

In January, the Ordinals protocol allowed data like photos to be directly encoded onto sats, the smallest units of Bitcoin worth 0.00000001 BTC, on the Bitcoin blockchain. Ordinals does not need a sidechain or token like other techniques. The Ordinals protocol has encoded JPEG photos, digital art, new profile picture (PFP) projects, and even 1993 DOOM onto the Bitcoin network.

Ordinals inscriptions are permanent digital artifacts preserved on the Bitcoin blockchain. It differs from Ethereum, Solana, and Stacks NFT technologies that allow smart contract creators to change information. Ordinals store the whole image or content on the blockchain, not just a link to an external server, unlike centralized databases, which can change the linked image, description, category, or contract identifier.

So far, more than 50,000 ordinals have been produced on the Bitcoin blockchain, and some of them have already been sold for astronomical amounts. The Ethereum-based CryptoPunks NFT collection spawned Ordinal Punk. Inscription 620 sold for 9.5 BTC, or $218,000, the most.

Segwit and Taproot, two important Bitcoin blockchain updates, enabled this. These protocols store transaction metadata, unlike Ethereum, where the NFT is the token. Bitcoin's NFT is a sat's transaction details.

What effects do ordinary values and NFTs have on the Bitcoin blockchain?

Ordinals will likely have long-term effects on the Bitcoin Ecosystem since they store, transact, and compute more data.

Charges Ordinals introduce scalability challenges. The Bitcoin network has limited transaction throughput and increased fees during peak demand. NFTs could make network transactions harder and more expensive. Ordinals currently occupy over 50% of block space, according to Glassnode.

One of the protocols that supported Ordinals Taproot has also seen a huge uptick:

Taproot use increases block size and transaction costs.

This could cause network congestion but also support more L2s with Ordinals-specific use cases. Dune info here.

Storage Needs The Bitcoin blockchain would need to store more data to store NFT data directly. Since ordinals were introduced, blocksize has tripled from 0.7mb to over 2.2mb, which could increase storage costs and make it harder for nodes to join the network.

Use Case Diversity On the other hand, NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain could broaden Bitcoin's use cases beyond storage and payment. This could expand Bitcoin's user base. This is two-sided. Bitcoin was designed to be trustless, decentralized, peer-to-peer money.

Chain to permanently store NFTs as ordinals will change everything.

Popularity rise This new use case will boost Bitcoin appeal, according to some. This argument fails since Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency. Popularity doesn't require a new use case. Cryptocurrency adoption boosts Bitcoin. It need not compete with Ethereum or provide extra benefits to crypto investors. If there was a need for another chain that supports NFTs (there isn't), why would anyone choose the slowest and most expensive network? It appears contradictory and unproductive.

Nonetheless, holding an NFT on the Bitcoin blockchain is more secure than any other blockchain, but this has little utility.

Bitcoin NFTs are undoubtedly controversial. NFTs are strange and perhaps harmful to Bitcoin's mission. If Bitcoin NFTs are here to stay, I hope a sidechain or rollup solution will take over and leave the base chain alone.

Nojus Tumenas

Nojus Tumenas

1 year ago

NASA: Strange Betelgeuse Explosion Just Took Place

Orion's red supergiant Betelgeuse erupted. This is astronomers' most magnificent occurrence.

Betelgeuse, a supergiant star in Orion, garnered attention in 2019 for its peculiar appearance. It continued to dim in 2020.

The star was previously thought to explode as a supernova. Studying the event has revealed what happened to Betelgeuse since it happened.

Astronomers saw that the star released a large amount of material, causing it to lose a section of its surface.

They have never seen anything like this and are unsure what caused the star to release so much material.

According to Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics astrophysicist Andrea Dupre, astronomers' data reveals an unexplained mystery.

They say it's a new technique to examine star evolution. The James Webb telescope revealed the star's surface features.

Corona flares are stellar mass ejections. These eruptions change the Sun's outer atmosphere.

This could affect power grids and satellite communications if it hits Earth.

Betelgeuse's flare ejected four times more material than the Sun's corona flare.

Astronomers have monitored star rhythms for 50 years. They've seen its dimming and brightening cycle start, stop, and repeat.

Monitoring Betelgeuse's pulse revealed the eruption's power.

Dupre believes the star's convection cells are still amplifying the blast's effects, comparing it to an imbalanced washing machine tub.

The star's outer layer has returned to normal, Hubble data shows. The photosphere slowly rebuilds its springy surface.

Dupre noted the star's unusual behavior. For instance, it’s causing its interior to bounce.

This suggests that the mass ejections that caused the star's surface to lose mass were two separate processes.

Researchers hope to better understand star mass ejection with the James Webb Space Telescope.

mbvissers.eth

mbvissers.eth

1 year ago

Why does every smart contract seem to implement ERC165?

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

ERC165 (or EIP-165) is a standard utilized by various open-source smart contracts like Open Zeppelin or Aavegotchi.

What's it? You must implement? Why do we need it? I'll describe the standard and answer any queries.

What is ERC165

ERC165 detects and publishes smart contract interfaces. Meaning? It standardizes how interfaces are recognized, how to detect if they implement ERC165, and how a contract publishes the interfaces it implements. How does it work?

Why use ERC165? Sometimes it's useful to know which interfaces a contract implements, and which version.

Identifying interfaces

An interface function's selector. This verifies an ABI function. XORing all function selectors defines an interface in this standard. The following code demonstrates.

// SPDX-License-Identifier: UNLICENCED
pragma solidity >=0.8.0 <0.9.0;

interface Solidity101 {
    function hello() external pure;
    function world(int) external pure;
}

contract Selector {
    function calculateSelector() public pure returns (bytes4) {
        Solidity101 i;
        return i.hello.selector ^ i.world.selector;
        // Returns 0xc6be8b58
    }

    function getHelloSelector() public pure returns (bytes4) {
        Solidity101 i;
        return i.hello.selector;
        // Returns 0x19ff1d21
    }

    function getWorldSelector() public pure returns (bytes4) {
        Solidity101 i;
        return i.world.selector;
        // Returns 0xdf419679
    }
}

This code isn't necessary to understand function selectors and how an interface's selector can be determined from the functions it implements.

Run that sample in Remix to see how interface function modifications affect contract function output.

Contracts publish their implemented interfaces.

We can identify interfaces. Now we must disclose the interfaces we're implementing. First, import IERC165 like so.

pragma solidity ^0.4.20;

interface ERC165 {
    /// @notice Query if a contract implements an interface
    /// @param interfaceID The interface identifier, as specified in ERC-165
    /// @dev Interface identification is specified in ERC-165. 
    /// @return `true` if the contract implements `interfaceID` and
    ///  `interfaceID` is not 0xffffffff, `false` otherwise
    function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceID) external view returns (bool);
}

We still need to build this interface in our smart contract. ERC721 from OpenZeppelin is a good example.

// SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT
// OpenZeppelin Contracts (last updated v4.5.0) (token/ERC721/ERC721.sol)

pragma solidity ^0.8.0;

import "./IERC721.sol";
import "./extensions/IERC721Metadata.sol";
import "../../utils/introspection/ERC165.sol";
// ...

contract ERC721 is Context, ERC165, IERC721, IERC721Metadata {
  // ...

  function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceId) public view virtual override(ERC165, IERC165) returns (bool) {
    return
      interfaceId == type(IERC721).interfaceId ||
      interfaceId == type(IERC721Metadata).interfaceId ||
      super.supportsInterface(interfaceId);
  }
  
  // ...
}

I deleted unnecessary code. The smart contract imports ERC165, IERC721 and IERC721Metadata. The is keyword at smart contract declaration implements all three.

Kind (interface).

Note that type(interface).interfaceId returns the same as the interface selector.

We override supportsInterface in the smart contract to return a boolean that checks if interfaceId is the same as one of the implemented contracts.

Super.supportsInterface() calls ERC165 code. Checks if interfaceId is IERC165.

function supportsInterface(bytes4 interfaceId) public view virtual override returns (bool) {
    return interfaceId == type(IERC165).interfaceId;
}

So, if we run supportsInterface with an interfaceId, our contract function returns true if it's implemented and false otherwise. True for IERC721, IERC721Metadata, andIERC165.

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped you understand and use ERC165 and why it's employed.

Have a great day, thanks for reading!