The estimated reading time for this post is 9 minutes
In This Post We’re Going To Discuss The Worst Longterm Marketing Strategy Ever…
(That Many Entrepreneurs Make) And What To Do Instead…
… but first, let me ask you a question.
Have you every purchased a course at full price and then found out that the same course is now being given away for free?
Or the course you paid full price for is now a free bonus for another product… or its 90% off?
How Did That Make You Feel?
You probably felt duped. I don’t think they realize the effect it has on their long term positioning in the market… … or how it makes their customers feel.
I don’t see it as their fault either as that’s what the majority is doing, so it appears to make sense. I think they may be clouding their mind with short term $ dollar signs… instead of thinking long term positioning
This also devalues your brand.
Always Think About Longterm Positioning
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Now if the goal for someone is to be seen as a discount brand, or a “buy when it’s on sale type company,” then it’s the best marketing strategy ever.
I personally like to focus on building solid businesses and a long term brand that is positioned properly in the market.
I remember a few years back before Borders Books went out of business, I noticed a trend in their marketing that seemed… well, other than the best ever.
Let Me Explain…
I went to Borders to look for a new marketing book. I think it was “The 22 Immutable Laws Of Branding” by Al Ries… and after I purchased the book, they asked me for my email address to send me updates & offers…
So I accepted. Then from what I remember… about a day or 2 later I received a coupon via email that offered me 20% off my next book. It was one of those “online print and bring into the store” type coupons.
So I did that and got another marketing book the next week at 20% off. Then a couple days later…
I Received Another Coupon Offering Me 30% Off My Next Book…
… so I used that coupon as well and got yet another marketing book.
(I obviously love marketing books :).
Then a few days after that, I got another coupon for 30% off my next book. I didn’t get another book that time, because I was still ready the other 3 books. However, I noticed a trend happening and sure enough every couple weeks or so…
… I received another 30% off coupon via email.
And in a very short time, (about 1 month) the late…
“Borders Books” Trained Me To ONLY Buy A Book When I Got A 30% Off Coupon.
Why would I pay full price knowing that I’d be getting a coupon I could go use any day now?
Well I wouldn’t, unless I really needed a particular book right away… then I would… however you get the point.
See what’s happening here…
I knew that if I waited a week or so… I would get another coupon… and therefore from that point forward I never purchased another full price book again from Borders Books.
“They” trained me to only purchase at a considerable discount.
You Do NOT Want That To Happen To Your Tribe Or Your Bank Account.
Just because you see the big box retailers offering these huge “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” or “Whatever” type sales… this doesn’t mean that you… … as a solopreneur or small business owner need to follow the herd.
In fact, it’s probably best that you do the opposite of what everybody else is doing.
“Whatever the great majority is doing, under any given circumstance, if you were do the exactly the opposite, you will probably never make another mistake as long as you live.”
~ Earl Nightingale
“Success lies in the opposite direction of the natural flow.”
~ Jim Rohn
Sure you’ll probably make some sales (Maybe a ton of sales) and get some new customers in the short term…as well as a potentially quick cash infusion… however this is…
NOT A Sustainable Long Term Strategy For Your Business.
It boils down to this. If your company finds the position in the prospects mind of being a discount brand, it will be virtually impossible to change it, ever.
Once you discount a flagship product or course etc, the word gets out quick… and it will start an uphill battle from that point forward to sell the product at the normal full price it deserves.
What To Do Instead?
- Instead of discounting your online e-course or coaching programs etc… offer a special bonus for all those who buy before the offer ends.
Your bonus should be something awesome thats not on the market and offers great value.
I.E. Your Course or Coaching program is the same price as always, but everyone who buys within this time gets ______ software ($97 Value) free.
If you are a Health Coach you could add 2 live Google Hangout trainings for course graduation and they can ask you any question during the Hangout.
Or if you’re a developer of WordPress plugins and your plugin is an email pop up box… you could offer them fill in the blank email templates so they can get started right away maximizing their new list building plugin.
Or a never before released video training free.
Or a new book thats not on the market yet free. A Proof copy.
Or a free 4 week tele-conference training. Then put an end date on the offer as to create some real urgency to get your offer while it’s still around.
I’m Not Talking About False Scarcity BS…
I.E. There’s no limit to ebooks or software really at all, the cost is pretty much $0. And its not true that I only have so many copies of a e-course, because I have unlimited.
(Unless it’s a membership platform where you get charged if you go over a certain amount of users).
So Back To How To Create True Urgency In An Ethical Way…
Just Be Straight Up Honest And Say Something Like:
Hey… this is a digital product you can download to your computer… and we’re not shipping any… so obviously there’s virtually unlimited copies available.
However, I’m going to only offer it for the first 500 people who buy as to reward you for taking action. (You could do something like that. Of course you have to really truly feel this way).
Personally I do. I know how almost anything I’ve ever accomplished was done so by taking action. By moving forward, not staying where I was at.
So how do we bridge that and still use all the essential marketing elements we need to grow our businesses.
The answer is simple, Honesty.
And sharing your unique gifts.
You can be a peaceful Ninja entrepreneur without sacrificing your core values.
Doing Business In Alignment With Your Core Values Is Key To Abundant Happiness.
Do you now how depressed so many people are… that have way more money that they could ever spend? A lot.
A whole lot. You can offer your gift/gifts to the world, help others solve their problems and create abundance for yourself all at the same time… and maintain happiness… all the way through. Not later, but now! It has to be now.
(Selling & marketing in alignment with you core values is key to Now Happiness in business).
There’s no… “as soon as I get this, then I’ll be happy” (that doesn’t work) … after our basic needs and comforts are met… it’s up to us to keep it going.
Ok, So Now You’ve Created Your Special Bonus That Will Be Part Of Your Offer.
- Then email your buyers list and give them the bonus as well. (This is to make sure you don’t upset anyone who already purchased).
- If it’s a new product… you could offer an early adopter price as a pre-sell. Then increase the pricing as the course evolves and has more valuable content.
This will accomplish 2 good things:
- It won’t upset your customers who originally purchased your course or coaching program at full price.
- It will have the same effect as a “Black Friday or “Cyber Monday” or “Whatever” sale without devaluing your brand and upsetting your customers.
Below was a question that came in when I passed this post around to my Mastermind group… so I figured I should address it here as well.
What Should I Do With All The Products That I No Longer Want To Be Selling?
Never offer them again?
Many times people move on and want to sell new stuff – so what’s the best and ethical way to deal with this?
Answer: I suggest NOT having a blowout sale and upsetting all your long term customers that have purchased your other courses and programs.
I would probably handle this by simply retiring the product.
Think about it like this.
When Apple retired the 17 inch Mac book pro… did they make a big announcement and discount it?
From what I recall, they quietly retired the product and didn’t really even mention it at all. They did NOT offer a blowout discount.
I believe it’s for the same reasons I’m making here in this post. Even though it’s on a completely different scale and a gigantic company…
… they still operate by creating a Tribe of loyal and passionate followers and delivering amazing products, value and consistency to keep it going strong.
All in all the main point here is this:
Always Be Thinking Long Term
Before you create an offer ask yourself:
“How Would I Feel If I Was On The Other End.”
“Treat Others As You’d Like To Be Treated” Goes A Long Way.
What are your thoughts?
Before I sign off I’d like to make one more point.
If you’ve been discounting your products and services in this way, don’t feel bad… it’s ok. It’s what almost everyone around you is doing and appears to be a good marketing strategy.
Just Remember “Long Term Positioning” And Move Forward Accordingly.
And just to be clear, this post isn’t to bash anyone…
… my intention is to help people “think outside the marketing box” in hopes they can strengthen their brand positioning in the marketplace so that they can prosper long term and help even more people.
How can you take this information and apply it to your next offer? Let me know in the comments below.
Have an Outstanding Day!