Tim Ferriss Retrospective [PreneurCast Ep145]

As part of our retrospective series, here is Pete talking with multiple New York Times Best Selling Author, Entrepreneur, Angel Investor and all-round superstar Tim Ferriss. They talk about The 4-Hour Chef book and many other marketing-related topics.

How My Little Geek Used Kickstarter to Market Awesomely Nerdy Books for Kids [Case Study]

aa374eb3d432cb4cd7a591e95c31fdcaMy Little Geek is a series of kids books dreamed up, in 2011, by Sarah and Andrew Spear, a New Zealand husband and wife who wanted something more than the typical educational books for children.

The idea came to the couple when their daughter was two and a half years old, on a day when Sarah, a trained primary school teacher, and Andrew, a website designer, realised that the girl was using the word “delicious” to describe her food.

Feeling that, if their daughter could handle a word like “delicious,” she could probably handle a word like “electromagnetism.” At the time, the only books the couple had access to were the usual, run-of-the-mill ABC books where “A is for apple” and “b is for ball.”

As techies themselves, the Spears felt that it was time to take childhood learning up a notch – to offer something for the budding brains, the aspiring innovators, and all the other “little geeks” of the world.

Since publishing their first book, the pair has gone on to write two more books as well as produce a My Little Geek app. We recently caught up with Sarah to find out how she and Andrew marketed My Little Geek, complete with the behind the scenes details of how the couple used Kickstarter to market their first books, as well as their more recent products.

If you’ve considered launching a product through Kickstarter, Sarah and Andrew’s story is a must-hear, as it provides insights on how marketing outside of Kickstarter is required for a successful campaign. Before you press launch, you simply have to hear what Sarah recently shared with Preneur.

October 2014 Promotional Calendar Ideas [OPT-INS + CONVERSIONS]

octoberWelcome to our second instalment of essays focusing on promotional calendar opportunities for a particular month.

In creating this essay about October’s awesome calendar of events (and, more importantly, the promotional opportunities it presents), we encountered some real gems – and some real head scratchers. In an example of the latter, we’ve learned that 3 October is Virus Appreciation Day. That’s right, as in viruses, like, you know, influenza and ebola. Yikes!

Well, let’s rephrase that. No one is quite sure whether Virus Appreciation Day is meant to in some way celebrate biological viruses or computer viruses. In either case, we’re not taking too much stock in this October calendar event (though some clever promotions do come to mind if you happen to be in either the hand sanitizer or computer repair business).

We also failed to find much love for Moldy Cheese Day (though, if you think about it, isn’t all cheese “moldy?”). Likewise, we aren’t quite sure how to promote around Evaluate Your Life Day (19 October), unless you happen to be a Jedi. Other than these few “bad” examples (which admittedly, aren’t all that bad), October is brimming over with cool holidays and calendar events. In fact, October is so awesome when it comes to promotional opportunities, picking ones to leverage in your monthly marketing strategy is like shooting fish in a barrel.

So for this, our second essay listing promotional ideas for a specific month, we’ve had even more fun than in the first. October of 2014 is loaded with promotional gold, and with a little creativity, you can leverage the popular holidays and events belonging to the month of October can drive customers into your store as well as result in increased conversions (which happen to be two of the 7 Levers of Business, which can help you double your profitability).

Let’s take a look at some of the standout promotional events for October.

Breakthroughs, Triggers, Influence + Tested Methods [Noise Reduction .78]

I know I usually rant and rave about the fact that your portfolio needs to be larger than your library. That you need to be taking action and building a portfolio of results — as opposed to spending all your resources on just learning and creating a dusty bookshelf.

Well, I’ve learnt that no matter how much I preach, sometimes, as they say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

So, in this week’s edition of Noise Reduction, I wanted to share with you a list of what I believe are some of the non-negotiable must-have books in your marketing library.

No matter what I say, you’re most likely going to be buying books and courses anyway… at least make them the right ones.


Robert Greene Retrospective [PreneurCast Ep144]

As part of our retrospective series, here is Pete talking with Robert Greene, author of 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War. The 50th Law and Mastery. They talk about the paths people take to become a master of their chosen field.

Sales Letter Copywriting Cheat Sheet

I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing. The first, of course, is ransom notes.  -Philip Dusenberry

I can still remember the first and most powerful lesson in the science of copywriting I ever learnt. 

I was in Year 10 or 11 of high school (that’s sophomore or junior for our North American friends), and my buddy Martin S. was writing some posters we were going to stick up around campus to get volunteers for a project.

As we were trying to brainstorm what to put on the posters he said, “Well, we want as many people to read this as possible, so why not write ‘FREE BEER?’ It will at least get attention that way.”

Now that powerful lesson wasn’t how to ‘bait and switch’ your audience… it was simply the importance of a captivating headline that gets noticed.

Another  important lesson that I continue to reap benefits from which  I learnt in high school was the power of a cheat sheet.

If you’ve been around our little community here for any time, you’d know my mum was a math teacher. And thus, it’s no surprise what subjects I ended up doing a lot in high school (clearly, it wasn’t literature).

Now as handy as it was having a permanent tutor at home to get me ready for tests, the best thing about these advanced math classes was the ability to take a double-sided cheat sheet into exams. For some reason I still can’t quite understand, we were allowed to create two pages with formulas, equations and examples to take in with us and reference during these tests.

It made such a difference to have something to rely back to, ensure you were not missing any steps in a formula, and use as a kind of checklist.

And it’s why I use cheat sheets and checklists in almost every area of my life… and felt a little less weird when I read Atul Gawande’s great book, The Checklist Manifesto.

So combining these two lessons together, I want to share with you a Copywriting Checklist I created a few years back.

It’s the reference sheet I lean on regularly when trying to craft a piece of sales copy.

Does it replace a great copywriting course?

Does Atul’s checklists replace 6 years of medical school? Of course not.

What it does do though is act as a fantastic map to follow when you’re working on your next piece of marketing.

The downloadable two page cheat sheet reads like a sales letter, but is in fact a guide and reference tool to ensure you never miss any of the 11 critical copy tactics or elements.

I hope it helps you, like it does me.

Copywriting, Sales Games + September Marketing Ideas [Noise Reduction .77]

“I’ve always believed writing ads is the second most-profitable form of writing. The first is ransom notes…”
– Phil Dusenberry

Hey Gang,

As you may have seen, we’re having a little sales, influence and copywriting focus here in the Preneur Community at the moment… and that’s spilling over to today’s Noise Reduction below.

Now, have you ever noticed that nearly every week there’s some calendar event going on, be it a local, national or international holiday, an awareness week, a cultural celebration, or a lead-up to a major sporting event? Have you noticed savvy marketers in other businesses and industries seizing upon these calendar events and thought, “Wow, I wish I was that clever?” Well, with a new blog series we’ve started (below), we’ve got your back with a massive swipe file of sales and promotional ideas!

Plus, the podcast will be back real soon with some cool conversations — including one with an absolute direct-response legend and author of the must-read book Triggers, Joe Sugarman.


Low-Hanging Fruit Retrospective [PreneurCast Ep143]

As part of our retrospective series, here is our show about Low-Hanging Fruit – simple marketing and business ideas that everyone can use to improve one or more of the Seven Levers of Business.

September 2014 Promotional Calendar Ideas [CONVERSIONS]

DJI_Dazzle_Sept_september2_cDo you know that 7 – 13 September 2014 is Migraine Awareness Week? Now, before you think of a million and one smarmy responses to that revelation, think about he marketing possibilities for such a week. As a solutions provider to your customers, you could put a clever spin on the oft maligned migraine by positioning your marketing efforts to offer relief for your customers’ headaches.

Okay, so maybe that examples a little too easy, but there’s plenty of merit to the idea. Have you ever noticed that nearly every week there’s some calendar event going on, be it a local, national or international holiday, an awareness week, a cultural celebration, or a lead-up to a major sporting event? Have you etover noticed savvy marketers in other businesses and industries seizing upon these calendar events and thought, “Wow, I wish I was that clever?”

Well, in this essay we’re bringing you good news. You don’t have to be a relentless agricultural almanac subscriber to make the most of all the sweet promotional opportunities offered by the calendar. You just need to know all the events and have a few creative ideas for each month.

And we’ve got you covered on both accounts, with a September calendar of events, plus some examples of promotions used by real-world businesses in the recent past. You can borrow from these examples by adapting them to suit your business, or wiping the slate clean and using the events to create your own original promotions.

In any case, the idea here is to drive traffic into your stores (or to your website) and boost conversions in the process. Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive right in.

Compelling Surveys & Questionnaires, Healthy Passwords & Lead Magnet Examples [Noise Reduction .76]

Hey Gang,

I can’t wait for you all to hear some of the new podcast interviews I’ve been recording this week. As our active PreneurCast listeners would know, Dom and I are taking a short break from publishing new episodes, and rebroadcasting some of the best shows from our 3-year catalogue.

But we’ll be back with all-new shows very shortly, including two I recorded this week: one with the direct-marketing legend behind the BluBlocker Sunglasses, Joe Sugarman, and one with Phil Barham, who is the man responsible for the My Family Sticker phenomenon.

Until then, I hope you’re enjoying reliving some of the best podcasts we’ve done, along with this week’ s Noise Reduction below.


p.s. If you’re interested, one of the projects I’ve been working on during this break just went live over at PonsfordPen.com.au.

Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

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