Today, I spoke to Peggy McColl, who is a New York Times Best Selling Author, speaker, mentor and an expert in the area of goal achievement. Her latest book is called Viral Explosions. In this interview, Peggy tells you how to stand out online, how to create a viral buzz to get people talking about you, the differences between online and offline marketing, and more.
There is a lot of clutter on the internet right now. Is it possible to stand out? How?
I agree with you… there IS a lot of clutter on the internet. I believe the internet provides all of us with a tremendous opportunity and at the same time, it creates a big challenge (because of the clutter). Yes, it is possible to stand out but it does take discipline and effort.
To stand out you need to understand two things:
If you do not have a presence online you will need to build it by getting help and support from others who are also online. Create an offering; i.e. give something of value away to your audience (“audience” is another word for prospective customers) and let others (who do have a following) know that you have something of value. Ask others to let their followers/readers/subscribers know about what you have to offer. Create something so valuable that others will want it AND they’ll want to share it with others.
Do the research to find folks who have a following (small, medium size and big). Ask other list owners, bloggers, tweeters, facebook friends to tell others about you and your offering. Find a way for people to see you everywhere. I would suggest you reach out to thousands of list owners, bloggers, tweeters, facebook friends and not expect that reaching out to a few will make much difference. If you want to be noticed and stand out, you will need to create a presence where people will “see you” everywhere.
To create a viral buzz around your products, you need to understand what makes things go “viral”. People make things go viral; therefore you need to appeal to people’s emotions. You can help influence people’s emotions and the sharing of a message by creating promotional pieces (emails, website copy, videos, tweets, facebook posts) utilizing one or a combination of the following in your copy:
- Unbelievable: your message contains something that is shocking and unexpected in a good or a bad way
- Create curiosity: it gets people thinking and talking and perhaps even wanting more (Curiosity is a big motivated for people – don’t underestimate it)
- Brilliantly created: your message is clever and intelligently presented (it may not be “new” but you’ve found a way to share something with others in a unique way)
- Humor: it makes people smile or laugh
- Provides a mind-blowing offer: the offer is so attractive it literally causes people to share it with others. (As a part of my most recent book launch, I gave away 150 other gifts to people who purchased Viral Explosions off this website. http://viralexplosions.com/book/)
- Controversial: it’s different from what the masses are saying and/or thinking
- Unusual: it is unusual, strange, interesting and creative and fascinates people
- Deeply needed: it is something people are hungry for. It solves a very common problem easily, quickly and better than anyone else (or gives the impression it does)
- Adds value: it is a resource that helps people’s lives and it clearly demonstrates the value
- Important: Of course, it is imperative that anyone who is marketing online follow the FTC guidelines and communicates ethically, legally and honestly.
People need to know that there are a lot of similarities but there are some critical differences. For example, when you are attempting to promote or sell anything online, you have only a few seconds to grab people’s attention, keep it and get them to take action. When an email lands in someone’s inbox, there is a fraction of a section that occurs between the recipient deciding to either read it or delete it. The subject line in an email is THE most important line. If the subject line does not get the recipient to open the email, it is ineffective. Online marketing means that you have to communicate your message clearly, quickly, persuasively, (appropriately and following the FTC guidelines of course) and be clear on the “call to action” (the call to action is the action you would like the recipient to take – i.e. go to a particular website or sign up for something or tell a friend.)
Online marketing allows us to operate a business without a physical storefront of building. Small businesses are popping up everywhere. Solopreneurs are able to work from the comfort of their own home and, in some cases, build a team and have their team members work from the comfort of their homes too. You no longer need to employ a large staff when you can outsource certain jobs to experts who live in other parts of the world. I’ve done business with people I’ve never met.
Great question Dan. People need to realize that there is always work involved in anything. Sure, you’ll see books and other programs telling you that you can make a fortune in real estate but you need to know the ins and outs of this type of investment strategy PLUS you need to do the research. I would suggest that if your objective is to make money online to build a business, expand a business or subsidize an income, you should enter into a business that you are passionate about. If you deeply care about what you are doing, you will more likely have the extra energy to pursue it when you meet challenges or roadblocks. I would suggest you find role models, mentors, teachers, guides… people who have created success and are willing to share it with you.
Take a look at results. Results always speak for themselves. For example, one of the things that I do is mentor authors. I teach/guide authors to create best-sellers for their books. I have credibility because, in addition to creating best-seller status for my own books, I’ve helped MANY other authors create best seller status for their books too. I have earned the reputation, but it wasn’t an overnight success. It took many months and a lot of work (no blood, but definitely some sweat and a few tears). I learned what to do to effectively market books online and I’ve learned what not to do. Each one of those is important (what to do and what not to do). One more thing (and this may seem utterly ridiculous)…I also suggest that when you are researching online money making opportunities, that you let your “gut” be your guide. Our instincts are a great guide and I know my instincts have always been right (well, maybe not always but most of the time).
How have you built your own personal brand?
Following what I preach. I started out with 3000 self-published hard cover books sitting in my dining room and a lot of debt. I was unemployed at the time and had exactly ZERO dollars coming in for revenue. I was a single mom and had responsibilities to not only care for my young son, but to provide for my household. I was desperate. I wasn’t motivated because I wanted to make money… I was motivated because I wanted to get my message out to the world. I knew the money would come. I started marketing online when I had a website but no subscribers/no followers.
I did my research to find out who was reaching my audience. I made a spreadsheet of hundreds and hundreds of websites who were in the genre of self help/inspiration/motivation and any other category that was relevant. I reached out to complete strangers and I asked them to help me spread my message. I prepared a special offer and gave away some extra value by way of “bonus gifts” for anyone who invested in one copy of my book. Within a 48 hour period I had generated tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. Within a couple of weeks people would email me and said “What else do you have?”… I found that fascinating and realized that people are hungry. People are hungry for more. People want to be fed and I can do help them in greater ways online. I created an e-course (a course that was delivered over the internet ) and again, it allowed me to stay home with my son and offer my services, generate revenue and help people in the world.Within a short period of time, my reputation was built. It wasn’t built ONLY because I was asking others to help me spread the word about my products and/or services.
My reputation was built because I was delivering value. People will talk. Your customers will talk to other prospective customers. My customers started to tell other customers about my products and services. It is like a circle (but not a vicious one)… it is a wonderful circle of being of service and receiving great value. When you give out great value, you will receive great value back (that usually comes in the form of remuneration – assuming you are selling something). When I wake up in the morning I have a question that I ask myself each day, which is: “How may I be of service today? How many I serve the world with something of value?”
And, I created a personal mission statement that says: TO MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF MILLIONS OF OTHERS.
This personal mission statement is a part of who I am, and I didn’t make it to be arrogant or egotistical. I created this statement because I take my work very seriously and I love helping others help others. Many of the Experts in the world have contacted me and asked me to help them…to help them create a presence or expand their presence online. I feel blessed to do what I do because every part of it is delivering service that is of value to others.
Peggy McColl specializes in two areas of expertise. She is a New York Times Best Selling Author and an internationally recognized Speaker/Author/Mentor and an expert in the area of goal achievement. She is also a Speaker/ Author/Mentor and an expert in helping Authors, Entrepreneurs & Experts create valuable products; build their brand worldwide; make money online and create international “best sellers”! Her latest book is called Viral Explosions. Her innovative and laser-focused work has been endorsed by some of the most renowned experts in the personal development field, including Neale Donald Walsch, Bob Proctor, Jack Canfield, Jim Rohn, Mark Victor Hansen, Caroline Myss, Gregg Braden, Debbie Ford, and many others. Her intensive classes, speaking engagements, goal achievement seminars, and best-selling books have inspired individuals, professional athletes, authors and organizations to reach their maximum potential. Peggy is the President and Founder of Dynamic Destinies, Inc., an organization that trains individuals, authors, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and employees in some of the most compelling and strategic goal-setting technologies of our times.