The 3 Unconventional Marketing Ideas I Used To Go From Making $800 A Month To $12K…In Just 6 Months
I took my third shot of overpriced Tequila, bit into the lime, and felt an idea pierce through my skin. And enter my brain.
I knew I had to go through with it.
I was shaking in my boots. And the fear was flowing through my veins, leaving behind a look of uncertainty on my face.
Needless to say, I didn’t know if it would work.
I didn’t even know if I had the courage to execute it.
But this feeling wasn’t new to me.
You see, I’ve lived and died with my ‘weird’ and ‘unconventional’ marketing ideas throughout my entrepreneurial career. Simply because I hate doing the same thing everybody else is doing. This doesn’t let you or your business stand out. Instead, you become a blur in an already blurry picture.
Unconventional ideas, on the other hand, allow you to escape the blur and add a little bit of color to the picture. And this color mixed with a great product (or service) is all you need to turn your business into a success.
With that said, I’m constantly experimenting with new ideas.
Some of my ideas worked.
Others fell flat on their face, making me look like a complete idiot.
But that’s ok.
And that’s because you only need ‘one’ colorful marketing idea to go from making hundreds a month to thousands.
Because marketing is all about:
a. Getting attention (eyeballs)
b. Getting customers
c. Turning customers into repeat customers
The better your marketing, the quicker your business will grow.
But the problem is…
It can be tricky coming up with killer marketing ideas.
And that’s why I’m writing this article.
By reading this article, I hope you’ll be able to start up your own creative engine and get the ball rolling with your own business.
To help you do that, I’ve included three of my most successful ideas below. Alongside the ideas, I also discuss the psychological reasons explaining why these strategies work (and how you can use these same fundamental laws of human nature to make your marketing a huge success).
Here Are The Top 3 Ideas I Used To Take My Marketing Agency From Making $800 To $12K A Month...In Just 6 Months:
1. FedEx, Shock, And Breaking People Out Of Auto-Pilot
If you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business.
For awhile, I struggled to find clients. And that’s because everyone was using the same methods to find clients. From freelance websites to cold email to social media.
This saturated the market.
And I was left, feeling the consequences. Bruised and unmotivated, making just $800/month by using these tactics.
I had to find a better way…
So instead of doing what everyone else was doing, I decided to employ my direct response marketing skills. And write a ‘sales-letter’ pitching my services to the CEO’s of the companies I wanted to work with.
These people were really hard to get into contact with.
In fact, they were bombarded with requests and pitches every minute of the day. And so sending my letter via email just wouldn’t work. Instead, it would get lost in all the noise. And most likely end up in their spam folder.
Not where I wanted to be (obviously).
And so, I needed something that would capture their attention and break them out of auto-pilot. To do this, I needed something bold, exciting and new.
This is where FedEx entered the picture…
I wrote the best sales letter I could (pitching my services), printed it out, packaged it and got FedEx to priority ship it to their office with a tracking number.
Once FedEx confirmed my package was delivered, I knew I had entered my prospective client's world. And they would open the package.
We’re hard wired to open ‘gifts’ or ‘packages’ with our name on them. Maybe its because of Christmas or maybe with all the online shopping we do, we’ve become conditioned to love receiving packages in the mail.
I don’t know the exact reason. But it works.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re a regular Joe or the CEO of a company – packages addressed to you get opened.
And so, I knew my package would get opened.
From then, I only had a few seconds to turn their attention into interest. And that’s exactly what my kick ass sales letter allowed me to do. Once the letter did its job, I followed up with a call, scheduled a meeting, and eventually closed the deal.
All by using the power of FedEx.
While everyone else was searching through freelance websites, looking for jobs paying peanuts - I used this one tactic to go after the big dogs who could afford to pay MUCH more.
And that’s one of the reasons why I able to grow my monthly income…in such little time.
But that wasn’t all there was to it.
And that brings me to the second marketing tactic I employed…
2. Planting Purple Seeds In Competitive Soils
It’s not enough to just shock people. And break them out of auto-pilot.
At least, it wasn’t enough for me.
And that’s because our attention is fleeting.
Sure, the FedEx strategy got their attention, but attention alone wouldn’t get them to open up their check book and write me a nice looking check.
I needed to plant purple seeds.
Most businesses plant regular seeds.
They follow a regular process. They do regular things. They think regular thoughts. And they get regular results.
I wasn't seeking regular results. I wanted extraordinary results.
Only purple seeds would allow me to get these results.
What’s a purple seed?
A purple seed is anything that makes your prospect think any one of the following three thoughts:
1. Your product is world-class (and it’ll actually do what you say it will)
2. Your product is really different from everything else they’ve tried
3. Your product is a prize to be won (not everyone can have it)
Activate any one of these three thoughts in your prospects mind. And you will have it made.
Activate all three…and you will be rolling in money.
Here’s the marketing strategy I used to activate ALL three of these thoughts:
I call it…
Flipping the script and making my prospects do my job for me.
Sounds bizarre? It’s really not.
Let me explain…
First, I planted my purple seed.
I did this by creating the perfect sales letter for each potential client – the sales letter had only two objectives:
1. Make my services look bad ass (I had a pretty strong track record with marketing…and had a lot of ‘results’ to show off so this was pretty easy to do)
2. Make the sales letter look different than anything else they’d ever read (I wrote it, tested, and made changes until I knew I had a winner)
This ticked off the first two requirements for planting a purple seed.
My sales letter made me look world-class. And it also made me look different than everything else they’d ever dealt with.
Was this enough?
This is where most businesses stop. I knew I had to go the extra mile.
I had to position my services as a prize to be won.
But there was a problem…
Client services are a tricky business.
And the client usually has all the power during the sales process.
They set the time for the meeting, they interview you, they give you the run around, they tell you no every chance they get, and they make the final decision regarding whether or not they want to work with you.
What this ends up doing is…
Killing your leverage.
Once you lose your leverage, you lose your ability to look and feel like a purple seed. You become just another person selling just another service. And this kills all attraction for your product offerings. Do this and no one will buy from you or want you.
Sad? I know.
But I flipped the script and kept my leverage by:
Controlling the entire process.
I set the time for the meeting, I interviewed the client (asking questions such as…why should I choose to work with you…instead of XX company), I gave them the run around (and played hard to get), I told them no every chance I got (and even offered to refer to them to my competitors), and I clearly stated I would make the final decision regarding whether or not I thought we would make a good fit (and I did this with complete honestly…because I actually meant everything I said).
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Were prospective clients taken by complete shock?
Was I scared to do it?
In fact, I was sweating in my socks every minute, scared they were going to tell me to buzz off and hang up.
But what did this end up accomplishing?
It taught my prospective clients that I wouldn’t work with just anybody. And, more importantly, it also taught them they needed me more than I needed them.
In other words, it positioned my services as a prize to be won.
And this did wonders for my business.
I went from chasing clients to having clients chase me.
And I did this simply by leveraging certain fundamental laws of human behavior.
(I’ll get to those laws in just a bit. You may not think they apply to your business, but keep reading and I’ll show you exactly how you can use these same laws to dramatically increase your sales…whether you’re running an affiliate niche site or you have an e-commerce business).
3. Turning Customers Into Conspirators With Just One Card
This last strategy was used to tackle the issue of generating repeat business.
From my past business failures, I knew asking for the referral was a smart decision…problem was it didn’t always work.
I needed something better so…
After I generated ACTUAL results (in the form of cold hard cash) for my clients, I sent them a card.
On the card was my name, a brief description of my services, and my phone number.
In addition to the card, I enclosed a note that said…
“You won’t find me on the internet…on social media…or anywhere else (this was entirely true at the time). And that’s on purpose. I don’t work with anybody new unless a client I respect vouches for them. You have now earned my complete trust (again…I’m positioning myself as the prize here) and that's why I’m giving you full access to this card. If you need any marketing services – call my personal number any time (24/7) and I’ll make you a priority and instantly take out any ‘marketing fires’ you may have.
Also enclosed are three more cards – I trust you to give these cards only to people you know would benefit tremendously from the same kind of results I generated for your business. Please don’t hand these out to just anybody. These are the only three cards I’ll ever send you. So please, give them with care. Thank you.”
Simple and to the point.
Yet this one tactic made my referrals go through the roof.
And here’s why:
This ‘tactic’ positioned me from being just another Joe Blow to being their “secret marketing specialist” who could deliver results, anytime.
In short, this one card put a competitive advantage directly in their pocket.
And that’s because they had exclusive access to me (access no one else could get).
This made them feel unique and special (something every single human being has a deep craving for).
Once I did this, I started receiving calls every time my clients had marketing problems to solve. And I also started receiving a bunch of calls from unknown companies…saying so and so told them about me…and they were wondering if I could take them on.
It worked like magic.
And it got me to the point where I had to start turning down clients because I had too much work on my plate. In other words, I had met my goals. And that’s how I went from making hundreds a month to thousands (now I’m taking a break from that entire world…and just focusing on CL ;).
Good stuff, isn’t it?
Now That I’ve Revealed My Three Strategies, You May Be Thinking…
“Hey Tej…that’s all great and well, but I’m not running a marketing service company. I’m building authority sites…or I have an e-commerce business – how can I use these strategies for MY business…and will they even work in MY industry?”
Here’s my answer:
These strategies won’t work in your business.
At least…not in the way you think.
But quite frankly, that doesn’t matter. At all.
The strategies themselves aren’t important here…you know what’s important? The underlying reasons explaining why these strategies work.
And that’s what I want to talk about now (and how you can use these underlying reasons in your own business…and increase profits as a result).
Here’s A Brief Run Down Of Psychology (And The Underlying Reasons Explaining Why The Above Strategies Work) And How You Can Use These Same Laws Of Human Nature To Create A Kick Ass Marketing Strategy Of Your Own:
I’ve been studying psychology and consumer behavior FOR YEARS.
And only after a bunch of horrendous business failures…did I figure out why some marketing strategies work. And why others fail.
In short, marketing strategies stand a greater chance of taking your business to the next level if they incorporate psychology into the mix.
So if you want to create a killer marketing strategy, make sure to use some (or all) of the fundamental laws of human nature below:
Fundamental Law 1: People Want What They Can’t Have
This is a fundamental law of human nature.
Tell someone they can’t have something. And they will want it even more.
I used this law during all my sales calls (without knowing it).
How did I do it?
By playing hard to get (showing them I wouldn’t work with just anybody – this was entirely true), positioning myself and my services as being out of reach for the company, telling them no and by offering to refer them to my competition (again…I did this with 100% authenticity, I was completely genuine and honest).
You think this would repel potential business, right?
I thought so too, but it actually made them want to work with me even more. And that’s because it goes back to wanting things we can’t have.
We all behave according to this law.
Make it work for you and your business.
It doesn’t matter what you’re selling – don’t be so quick to give your products or services to anyone and everyone.
Set some standards (and actually refuse to sell to anyone who doesn’t meet your requirements).
It’s important to note that you have to do this genuinely. If you approach it like a tactic, it’s not going to work.
Be genuine. And stick to the standards you create.
For example, Tung does an exceptional job doing this when it comes to his AMZ Affiliate Bootcamp. You’ll notice he’s honest and up front about his standards. He doesn’t want anybody and everybody to purchase his product. In fact, he clearly states who should and who shouldn’t buy his product directly on the sales page.
You need to do the same.
So ask yourself…
How can you make it a challenge to get what you have?
Brainstorm some fun and creative ideas. If you make your audience feel as if they can’t have your products or services…they’ll want them even more…and your sales will jump through the roof.
Fundamental Law 2: People Are Drawn To High Value (Prizes)
I once read a story about the world’s greatest violin player (at least I think he was a violin player)...
It’s been years since I read it. And so I’ll paraphrase what I remember here, but the lesson from this one story completely changed my outlook about marketing and product positioning.
It went something like this…
The world’s greatest violin player would sell out shows every single night. In fact, he was so popular…if you wanted to book him, you’d have to book him YEARS in advance. It was crazy. And he was making money hand over fist.
Needless to say, he was on the top of his game. And everybody loved him. And wanted to hear him play.
Then some researchers had an idea…
They took the world’s greatest violin player. And they placed him in the corner of a busy intersection with an empty hat to collect tips.
As usual, he played. And he played. And he played…the same way he would play on stage.
He made just a few dollars.
And nobody stopped to watch.
So, what happened here?
The world’s greatest violin player still played the same. But he was no longer positioned as the prize. Putting him on the corner of the street cheapened his worth and no one paid him any mind.
The lesson here is clear…
Product positioning is everything.
If your product isn’t positioned as the prize, you won’t get nearly as many sales as you could (now of course this depends on your product…some products aren’t meant to be positioned as prizes (commodities), but if you’re selling something unique – you’d be better off positioning it as the prize).
Sounds simple, right?
Yet most businesses mess this up.
In fact, they cheapen their worth…without even knowing it.
Every time you see a business offering a ‘free consultation’ or ‘cutting prices’ or ‘having a sale’ – they’re cheapening their value. And their product loses the ‘prize’ aspect because it makes potential customers feel as if anybody can have it.
This harms the business in the long run.
Just think about it…
Rolex never has sales.
Lamborghini never has sales.
Think how stupid that would look.
“Get your Lamborghini Aventador - 50% off - one day only!”
Sure it would attract a lot of attention (and make a lot of sales), but it would ruin the brand. And in the long run…no one would want a Lamborghini…because nobody wants what everybody can have.
We want a Lamborghini because it’s the prize.
We want a Rolex because it’s the prize.
How can you make your product or service the prize in the eyes of your customers?
Figure this out and you’ll never again have a problem making money.
Fundamental Law 3: Our Brains Are Filtering Machines…Only New, Interesting Stuff Gets Our Attention (Everything Else Gets Ignored)
Do you know why the FedEx idea worked so well?
It’s because it was new and interesting.
Everyone was used to receiving pitches via email.
No one expected a direct response letter in a FedEx package.
New and interesting things get our attention.
When it comes to your business and generating more traffic, you must always remember this rule and try to make what you have look new, unique, and fascinating (the McDonald's ad above does a great job at this).
What unique, compelling articles can you write that are different from what everyone else is writing?
What can you do with your marketing strategy to make your product offering look new and exciting?
How can you position your product to generate more attention?
Focus on new and interesting.
Ignore everything else…or your prospects will ignore you (and will buy from the competition).
Fundamental Law 4: People Want To Feel Special
Another fundamental law of human nature is:
People want what others can’t have. It makes them feel special.
This is the reason my ‘card’ strategy worked so well.
By clearly stating no one could find me via the internet, social media, or the traditional avenues – I made my customers know they had exclusive access to me.
And this allowed me to become their ‘secret marketing guy.’
How can you put exclusivity into your business?
You may think this is trickier to do with online business, but you’d be wrong. There are tons of ways to do this!
For example, there’s an e-commerce company selling watches called The Fifth. And they do this really well.
Instead of selling their watches every single day – they only sell them five days out of the month.
This makes it exclusive. And they sell out every month.
Figure out how you can do the same with your marketing and you’ll separate yourself from the fierce competition…and stand out…. no matter what business you are in.
I’ve tried and failed with many marketing strategies.
The ones that work are the ones that incorporated human psychology into the mix.
Now that you know my tactics and the underlying reasons explaining why they work – ask yourself:
How can use the above fundamental laws of human nature to generate attention for your business, position your products as the prize, and make your offerings feel more exclusive?
I’d love to hear your answers in the comment section below!