I filmed a commercial once.
Had a producer, director, full cast, rented two locations for the set, even paid to have a rare monkey on hand.
It turned out horrible.
"We're not going to actually release this to the public are we," asked one team member after watching the finished spot.
Nope. We didn't.
Despite the time and money invested, we shelved the whole project.
The commercial seemed like a good idea at first. Even while we were filming it. But, when the dust settled, we were out of our league.
Would I take another crack at doing a commercial?
Maybe. At some point.
Why? Cause I know most of the crazy marketing ideas my team comes up with won't work.
And, that's normal. It's typical. It's part of the direct response business.
Even for my biggest client, the Agora Companies, their failure rate on campaigns is like 80%. Meaning, eight out of ten campaign ideas they come up with don't work out of the gate. They need to be optimized and worked-on. Often, even, scrapped.
You need to have proper expectations for your campaigns. It's foolish to expect most of your ideas to be home runs.
They won't be. Most of your marketing ideas won't work.
Fortunately, you can become extraordinarily wealthy from only one or two winners out of every ten marketing ideas you develop.
Remember that the next time you launch a new promotion and it doesn't immediately fly.
With that, let's get to this week's goodies...
MY FAVS THIS WEEK
- The Key to Stress-Free Productivity: Better Verbs
Do you use a To Do or Daily Task list?
If so, how you write your tasks matters. Your tasks should begin with a verb, an action.
But, according to research, you need to be careful with what verbs you choose when writing your tasks.
Some verbs can spur you on to action; others can leave you feeling overwhelmed with the thought of even beginning a task.
- Elon Musk asks this question at every interview to spot a liar—why science says it actually works
Building a rock-solid team is a critical part of growing a thriving business.
So when a bad hire slips through the interview cracks... it hurts.
Anything which helps reduce the number of hiring mistakes you make is valuable. So I appreciate the approach Elon takes to expose folks lying about their experience during a job interview.
- Creative burnout: when the creativity tap runs dry
Compelling ideas should be at the root of all you do with your marketing.
But, it's no secret... coming-up with a steady stream of solid ideas ain't easy. It's taxing.
So, it's not at all uncommon to hit creative roadblocks. To reach a point where you feel tapped, empty of ideas.
If you're dealing with this right now, this is a good little article which can help.
ODDITY FROM MY LIBRARY
I read Youtility years ago. And enjoyed it a lot. In fact, I'd say it's one of my favorite books on content marketing.
It's based around the principle of offering real, legitimate utility through your content. Not just the perception of utility or value.
Meaning: creating content which actually... really... helps your audience. Content which doesn't just feel valuable, but is valuable.
Fortunately, creating this type of content... and engineering it in a way which leads to more sales... is more of a science than an art. So, it's a learnable skill, a replicatable approach.
Youtility gives you a nice foundation on how to do it.
WHAT I'M TELLIN' MY TEAM
This week on our internal Team Marketing Training...
I shared 8 tips with the team for editing copy and content to make it more readable, more concise, and more enjoyable to consume.
And while it may not seem it, this is important stuff. Because every marketing activity has its foundation in something written.
Ads, videos, webinars, salesletters, video sales letters... they all begin with something written.
And how well your stuff is written obviously has an impact on how well it converts for you. Not too mention, whether it communicates the correct idea or not...
Below are a few of the tips I shared with the team:
1. Good copy is verb-driven. And good verbs are visual, action verbs.
2. Avoid abstractions and abstract nouns. Use nouns which can be sensed: seen, felt, tasted, heard, etc.
3. Cut unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. Only use them when they add more information for the prospect.
TEAM TAKEAWAYS IN THREE BULLETS:
- Clarity when writing trumps creativity. The most important thing is not how fancy our writing or copy may be, but how well we communicate our point. So, we need to favor clear, simple writing over all else.
- Clear writing begins with clear thinking. Until we're clear on our idea and desired impact, we shouldn't begin writing. Jumbled writing and copy is almost always a symptom of jumbled thinking.
- We should run our writing and copy through the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test. It's one of the most valuable things we can do. Our aim, a grade of seven or less. The lower our score, the more readable our copy is. And readable copy tends to produce much greater conversions.
This question was posted inside the MFA Nation Facebook Group...
Below is my response:
NOTE: If you're not in the MFA Nation Facebook Group with us yet, you're missing out.
This may sound cheesy, but...
Do you know your Love Language?
If not, you should fill out this short questionnaire to find out.
And, while this may seem like an odd recommendation, if you have a team, you should ask them to fill it out as well.
Based on the best-selling book by Dr. Gary Chapman, your Love Language describes the primary way you feel appreciated and cared about by others.
It mainly applies to personal relationships. But, I believe, it also has application with your professional relationships. Specifically, with your team.
It can be a valuable thing to know which of your team members prefer, for example, Words of Affirmation or Receiving Gifts.
Some may be moved by a compliment or public praise, but not a bonus or celebratory gift. Others may be the opposite.
Knowing their Love Language gives you insight into how to best make them feel appreciated and valued.
(For what it's worth, my primary Love Language is Words of Affirmation. So feel free to compliment me often, publicly, and with extravagant language. 😊)
PIC OF THE WEEK
I can't tell in this pic if I'm looking at a book... or my belly.
Regardless, I'm relaxing in my favorite location for our winter family getaway -- a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia.
As a Jersey boy, now living in South Florida, there's just something soothing to me about time in the woods... in the cold weather... with nobody for miles.
These winter getaways are usually a time of reflection and annual planning for me, along with lots of hot cocoa and game play with Kellie and the girls.
Not too mention, lots of quality time and precious memories made.
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