Video and other notes at http://helpershelpout.com/5
Sacha: Hi. I'm Sacha Chua. This is Helpers Help Out. It is 10 o'clock on January 10, 2014. In today's show, we're going to be focusing on making your listings better.
This is a show about Google Helpouts, which is an online platform for helping people out, in case you haven't come across this yet. In case you're joining this because you're a provider on Google Helpouts, you'll find plenty of tips here.
Our guest today is Ramon Williamson, whom you might recognize from the previous show. He’s going to be sharing a lot of great tips on making your listings better. Before we dive into it, I'm just going to share some quick tips from the community. Before Ramon shares his other tips, let me share some of the tips we've gotten from the community so far.
Ramon has a lot of other listing tips available in the community, so I'll post those in the show notes as well.
But here we have him, so you can ask him live by going to the Q&A link at Helpershelpout.com/live. You can submit a question there.
We're going to do a very quick focused brain dump from Ramon and then we'll open up the general question and answer. Depending on how many people are here, we might just open it up to a regular Hangout so you can come in and ask your questions directly.
Okay, that was a very, very quick brain dump for me, and let's turn it over to Ramon who will tell us a little bit more about himself. In case you haven't caught Helpers Help Out session four--if you didn't catch him in #4, he gets to reintroduce himself in #5, and then we dive into the meat of it. All right, take it away.
Ramon: Well Sacha, I'm excited to be here and to be a part of Helpers Help Out. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to share again that we are really on the leading edge of one of the most exciting opportunities available today: the larger advise and teach online revolution that's literally changing the level of access to people all over the world have to information, and ideas, and guidance that can change their lives.
Helpouts is a unique platform that allows us to reach out and connect with people all over the world. It's been really amazing to me to connect with people from Australia, to the UK, to a fireman this afternoon in Orlando who has a non-profit organization helping to give young people scholarships who want to go into some form of public service. It's been a unique opportunity that I've been very much appreciative of.
I'll give you a thumbnail of my background. I got started in business very early in my life and had a little success and people wanted to hear about it. It was in that that I've discovered my love for sharing ideas that matter for people who care in a way that would inspire and unlock them in their life.
I found that that was my calling, my ability to speak and to share words that would help inspire people. From there I got involved in helping to launch the Life Coaching Movement in 1986. In 1994, I took my business online and have largely earned the bulk of my income, with the exception of my public speaking income, from the Internet since that time. It has allowed me to live from wherever I want and to travel all over the world. It's something that I want for everyone.
So I'm excited about the opportunity that Helpouts gives because it does provide the opportunity to take something you know that you are good at, that you love, that you're passionate about, and be able to reach out and connect that information, and that insight, and that expertise with people all over the world to help make their lives better.
Again, I'm delighted to be here, Sacha, and I look forward to our conversation tonight.
Sacha: With all those years of experience, chances are marketing was a huge part of that. Also with Google Helpouts, again, doing the marketing, figuring out what to write in your listing, what to write in your title and all of that are certainly key to getting people to click on your listing and book it. What are some tips you might share? Or also, what are some of the mistakes that you've commonly seen?
Ramon: Sacha, that's a really interesting question. For the vast majority of people who inspire for living, marketing is not exactly their favorite word because most of us operate from the mindset that if we're good at what we do, then people will hire us. It's that “build it and they'll come” notion. Anyone who has been at this for any amount of time understands that it's simply not the case.
One of my early mentors said something that profoundly shifted my focus early in my work. He said, “You're not in the life coaching business, or the advice business, or the authoring business, or the teach online business. You're in fact in the business of marketing whatever it is that you do.”
It's important to have that mindset and to approach it – and before I go further, let me define the concept of marketing and what may be a more accessible or useful way.
I believe that marketing is simply a conversation that you're having in the marketplace that creates value for others. I'll borrow from what Tim Sanders talks about in his book, “Love is the Killer App.” He talks about this notion of being a love cat. Being a love cat is all about sharing your knowledge, your network and what I'll refer to as your compassion to create value for other people. Marketing is simply about finding the conversation that you add value to in the marketplace and then entering that conversation in a value-added way.
The thing about conversations is that conversations are human. To enter the conversation, you’ve got to enter as a human, not as a marketer with a pitch for your products and services. You're listening. You're listening for the frustrations, the challenges, the problems. I believe that all effective service providers at any level become really good at what another mentor called the master skill of all marketing success. That is empathy. The ability to enter another person's world and to see it from their perspective. It's the number one most important skill when it comes to attracting the kind and the quality of clients that you want to work in your life.
Empathy is simply stepping into the shoes of the other person. It is the primary foundation, understanding, and practice of everyone who is effective in the marketplace. Because when you can see it differently, you can act on it differently. You can speak about it. You begin to speak in their words, and in their language, and in things that resonate with them, versus things that are about saying how good you are.
We've all had that experience where we meet people and they are the only person they talk about. You don't want to be that person in the marketplace. I believe that when people step in the marketplace, they're looking for three fundamental things. They're looking for leadership, which is direction, they're looking for relationship, which is confidence.
When a person is in a relationship with you, they're learning from you and with you. They have greater confidence to take action on things that they might not take action on if they were left to themselves. This is really one of the hidden benefits and power of Helpouts because you get to establish that relationship with the person.
It was interesting, a couple of days ago, a person wrote in a review is that he felt like we were simply sitting down, and having coffee, and talking about his goals. I think ultimately, that's what you're going for. You're not just going for that in your Helpouts, but you're also going for that in your marketing.
If I could underline anything twice and give it an exclamation point and put it in big broad neon colors, it's being human in your marketing. It's learning to market what it is you have without the hype. Having a human voice in the marketplace that says, “I understand what you're dealing with. I understand what you're going through. I figured out something that can help you and here it is. Here is a starting point for you that can make a difference in your life.”
I know I've touched on a number of things there but I want to recap and highlight a couple of things that I think are important. Number one is the master skill. First of all, you're not in the – and you fill in the blank with whatever business it is that you think you're in – you're in the business of marketing that thing. What that means is listening for and entering the conversation in the marketplace that you add value to, and doing it in a human way with empathy and understanding from their perspective what's really going on, from their perspective what they're looking to buy, or learn, or gain in the conversation with you.
Once you do that, you can be heard in the marketplace and you can cultivate that relationship. They're really looking for three things. They're looking for leadership which is direction, they're looking for relationship with someone that's going to unlock the confidence in them so they take more and better action in whatever area it is of their life. And the third thing that they're ultimately looking for is creativity. I define that as solutions that they can use in their lives to make a difference in some way.
For example, creativity is simply helping them to see their situation differently, to see the opportunity versus the obstacle, to see what can be done versus what can't be done.
I'm actually re-reading a section of a book called “The 4-hour Chef.” A lot of people completely missed the value of this book because they thought it was a cookbook. I had to do a double-take on it because at first, when I looked at this, “I don't want to learn how to be a cook.” But hidden in the book is something, a process of meta-learning that covers four distinctive areas and what he walks about is how to learn anything quickly. Well, if you flip that concept around, it's also how to teach anything quickly. What he says there is that the number one step to learning anything quickly is to deconstruct it, to break it down into a bunch of little steps and then to select the steps that are the 20% that's 80% of the result. I'm butchering the concept here.
It's DISS-something and I can't remember all of the acronym stuff. But what I do know is this, you can flip that concept around and use it to teach anything more effectively and to have a much more effective conversations with people for example in the Helpout. Because before you help out, what you got to do with your topic is deconstruct it. You’ve got to break it down into all of the little micro steps and then what you got to figure out is of the hundred things that you could talk to a person about, what are the twenty things out of the hundred, the 80-20 rule that's going to give them the greatest benefit, the greatest value, the greatest acceleration, the greatest sense of accomplishment. And you want to remove those things that are potentially obstacles that stop them from getting the quick wins that allow them to keep progressing in the conversation with you.
I don't want to go too deep into this but what I want you to do is I want you to find that book. In fact if you search “4-hour chef meta-learning”, there's probably a PDF out there somewhere that has the information in it and you don't have to wave through the... Tim, he's like an author gone wild. His last book was like 400 pages.
Sacha: It's a good book. I've read it. I'm familiar with it. I second that recommendation. I want to break in here and say, that's a lot to ask for your listing to deliver. You've got to think about the skill that you want to teach, you’ve got to break it down to the key skills, the 20% that's actually going to deliver the most value, and then you're going to craft this highly-specific listing that gets people past that first obstacle. That's a lot of work.
Ramon: Well, it's actually easy when you are living from and you're teaching your passion. I think one of the most important things for people in this business...
And by the way, Sacha, this is why I'm just absolutely in love with you because you see how you just took that big combobulation of whatever it is I said, and it's like I'm trying to keep my eyes off of the screen. It's like you're lasering this. And this note-taking thing... It would be really great if one of you would move here with me in my town and I could just hire you to be on my team, and you could just walk around doing this. I think I'd be a lot more effective as a coach and adviser. If I could just break it down and simplify it.
Sacha: Perhaps, but we're going to bring it back to listing tips though. We're going to keep this focus on the people who need it.
Ramon: You said something really powerful there which prompted me. At the foundation of what it is you're doing, and the advice, and the authoring, and to teach online, and the inspire for living business, is you're really speaking out of your passion. It's something that you're fascinated with. It's something that you are obsessed with.
I find that our mess is our message and that often it's out of your own life and passion, and struggles that you gain ideas, and insight, and wisdom that you can share with others. What happens is if you never go through anything in your life with your topic, if you don't get in the kitchen and actually burn water, then you don't actually ever get to the 20% that really helps people. I think that process is more natural than something is tedious, and hard, and difficult. My experience is that your best stuff... I'll give you an example:
One of the very first Helpouts that I put up was the Helpout about how to write a winning speech in 20 minutes or less. I have never taught on that before. I've never brought it up. I don't think I've ever even talked to a client about that in the past. But as I was thinking about and asking the question – this is really what I think the first question that you've got to ask with your Helpouts – is, “What have I been able to accomplish? What's my glory story? What's the one little thing that I can teach someone about my topic that will allow them to get an immediate result?”
You want the intersection of that with the thing that is the frustration, the pain, the difficulty that people in your market are always talking about. So there are lots of people out there that teach you how to talk better from the stage or how to overcome fear.
But there was actually a situation where I was speaking at an event and the meeting planner came up to me about 30 minutes before the luncheon presentation. He said, “Hey, would you do the luncheon speech? Our speaker can't show up.” And it put me in a situation where I had to write the speech fast. I never thought about that as a skill or something that somebody might want to learn.
But when I got out of being focused on me and what I might want to say in terms of Helpout, and I started looking at it from the perspective of my audience, all of the sudden I saw this whole list of things that I took for granted, that I thought, “Everybody knows that.” No, everybody doesn't know it. If you will start there and teach those things and have conversations about those things in the context of your Helpouts, it will be huge.
If you think about this almost like a Venn diagram or an overlapping diagram, there's something in your market that people are frustrated with, that they're talking about that's a hot topic. Then there's something that you have figured out where you have a result somehow and it overlaps. That overlap is the sweet spot for your Helpout, for your video course, for your coaching, your consulting, ultimately that you're offering in your business, it's the intersection between those two things that's your sweet spot. Then it's about languaging that which is what tonight is really about in such a way that the person immediately grasp for the benefit and doesn't get distracted by anything else.
I'm going to take a deep breath right now and say, Sacha, am I making any sense? Are we on point and are we ready to go or dig into the nitty-gritty of Helpout copywriting, and making your descriptions, and titles, and all that stuff sell?
Sacha: For sure. What I'm hearing is the process of making your listing better starts long before you make the listing. You start with filling out what it is you can combine in terms of your passion and other people's pain. Then, when you figure that out, you make it super specific so people can recognize themselves in it, and they recognize also that you can help them with whatever it is they're struggling with. That's when your listing is going to take off.
Because once you internalize this, it moves from your head trying to figure out how to convince someone, to speaking from your heart, where it's a kind of compassionate copywriting. It's like you speak clearly and compellingly, not because you're trying to manipulate them, but because you know this is a real problem, it's a big frustration, it's going to cost them hours and hours of time in some cases. You've got something really simple that you figured out that solves the problem. Why wouldn't you do everything in your power to communicate the importance and the value of that as a human being?
Let me say one other thing about empathy. You want to use the dinner table filter. Imagine you're at a dinner table with your best clients and customers and you're having a conversation about their problems. You wouldn't turn to them and say, “Sign up for this Helpout because it's the greatest thing in the world. It's going to make you a million dollars overnight. You're going to be famous, you're going to be all over the world. It's going to solve all of your problems, and it's also good for acne.”
No. You wouldn't say that. You would say, “Hey, I really understand what you're going through and here is the real problem you're facing. I figured out something that really solves the problem. I boiled it down to three simple things that we can talk about in a Helpout that will really work for you.
I think another mistake that people are making with Helpouts is they're making them to open-ended and generic. It's like what happens is you blend together with everybody.
Now let's get into the nitty-gritty. Sacha, you said it right. It begins long before you actually put your Helpout together. But let's start from the top to the bottom of the Helpout experience. You know you go on the page and it says, “Set up a new Helpout.” Or, “Start a new Helpout” or whatever the language is. I just know it's the green button. Just look for it.
Sacha: “Create a new listing”. Here you go.
Ramon: Exactly. Add a new listing.
Let's just start from the top. The first questions you've got to ask yourself is, what is the specific goal of this Helpout? The reason I brought out that stuff about meta-learning and completely spun it around from a process of teaching something faster, is because when I talk about deconstructing or breaking the steps down, what empathy allows you to do is to think about what are the two or three things that if the person learns that, they're going to make the greatest progress in the shortest period of time?
A lot of those things are really, really simple. They're little micro-things versus big things. What I suggest you do is just answer the question, “What's my specific goal in this Helpout?” Just make a list of all of those things.
Then what you want to ask yourself is: what keeps coming up? What's the thing that people talk about all the time? What's the thing you're frustrated with all the time? Then, you want to match those two up. Is there a science to this? No. It's empathy. It's getting a feeling. You know the things that people keep bringing up. You know the things that people keep talking about, you see the things that keep posting in forums, you see the things that they're buying from other people.
What I want to say here is: the title is the last thing to write. This is the thing about sequence in that meta-learning formula. Tim said something in the book. He said, “The people who get the greatest results in anything generally approach it in terms of the order of what they do really different. That becomes the secret for them that allows them to accelerate or get a much better result than anybody else.”
Because everybody else, I can guarantee you, when they go to set up a Helpout, I can tell you 99% of the people type in a title first. That's where they start and that's not the place to start. The place to start is in the actual description. When you think about the description, what you want to do is ask yourself. “What is the primary specific goal or benefit that I can deliver...” what I often call your big authentic promise, “...that I can deliver in the Helpout itself?” and you want to put that in the first sentence.
Now you can evolve this a bit over time. What I suggest you do now is just make it raw. Just say exactly what it is, be very specific, don't try to get fancy with it, put it in the first sentence because the whole purpose of that first sentence is to prompt the person to click to open that Helpout. Because remember, the way people see Helpouts is not the way you see them right here on the page now. The way they see them is a little box on the page that has a title, has a picture to their left, and then has about the first sentence and-a-half, depending on how long your sentences are. That's what's actually showing.
What you want to do, your goal of that first sentence, just like the goal of the title, is to get them to read the rest of it. The goal of that first sentence is to get them to click into that Helpout and actually go further. Sacha's actually showing you here on the page now. You see that title, you see that picture to the left.
Pictures are very important. They are worth 100,000 words in some cases. I'm going to give you a little secret about picture that's really, really important. Again, that first sentence or two you see there, the whole goal of that is to get them to click that title, to click on into that Helpout and say, “Hey, what is this about? What's going on here?” The clearer you are in that first sentence, the better off you're going to be.
Forget about trying to be fancy now. Forget about being a copywriter. Forget about being a marketer. Imagine you're sitting at the dinner table, and everybody's on the chatter, and you whisper that first sentence. How many people look your way? That's how you know you've got it. Not that you're screaming. That's what most people try to do in marketing. They scream, hoping that if they just scream loud enough and long enough, somebody's going to pay attention to it. Well, nobody is going to pay attention to you. In fact if you start screaming today in the Internet, you're going to get ignored.
There's a book that I got from my clients. “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”.
Sacha: Yes, Gary V.
Ramon: Not my favorite title in the whole world but the subtitle tells the tale. How to tell your story in a noisy social world? We're trying to get heard. The good examples in that book, it kind of makes sense to big company people, but the mindset is the thing to get, and there's also some really valuable stuff in there on Twitter. That's just a resource. I want to give you a reading list, because the reason I always bring up books is because you can capture 10 years of understanding and insight from a person's life in two or three hours.
Sacha: I agree.
Ramon: Books are very, very powerful to accelerate you.
Sacha: We have a question from [inaudible] Johnson: what your definition of empathy would be? What will people keep in mind as they're trying to write empathetic first sentences?
Ramon: Let me take that notion of empathy just a step further and tell you what I actually do. This is not something I have taught outside my private clients and members, but I'm going to give you a real peek at to what I really do because it really works if you'll invest the extra time.
First of all, a working definition of empathy is to enter another person's world, to step into their shoes, to move outside of yourself and being concerned about you making money, and about you getting people in your Helpout, and about you, and why you are the person to work with. Get in their shoes, and see, and feel, and experience it from their perspective. What are their fears? What are their concerns? What are the questions that they are asking themselves? Did they ask other people? Did they ask their peers? What are they paying attention to? What are they noticing?
The only way that you really grasp this is talking to a lot of your prospective clients. This is why, by the way, going to events is so powerful, because people lie online. They don't tell you what's really going on. Even if you do a survey, most of the people lie. But when they're sitting around a dinner table at a conference, they tell the truth, and if they happen to drink, they tell the whole truth and they tell it on everybody.
But the point that I'm really getting at is you want to listen and give up an attachment to what you think it should be. The authors tell me all the time, “I know what my market wants. I know what I want. So, I know what they will want.” I'm like, “No, no, no.” It's okay if they validate what you think is true but you got to go and hear it from them. Get in their shoes, listen from their perspective.
Then, here's the key. What you want to do is you want to create a personal profile or persona of each of your three ideals clients. What you want to do is go on to Google Images and find a picture of someone that would look like your ideal client. These could be real people, the best clients that you've worked with, or it could be somebody that you imagine you want to work with.
What you want to do is you want to create a sheet and list all the things. What do they care about? What's their background? What's their skill level? What are the challenges and problems they face? You want to get to know those people like they're family. It takes time to do that. But when I'm writing anything, I've got those three pictures out in front of me, taped to my iMac and when I'm doing copywriting, I'm looking into the eyes of those people.
I don't know who those people are by the way. It would be weird if I met them on the street. It's like, “I've been looking at you for a year.”
Sacha: Yes, that's on the creepy side.
Ramon: Yes, it is a little creepy but it works.
Sacha: Yes, for sure. I use that too for presentations.
Ramon: What you want to do is you want to get clear in mind who you're writing to. Because if you're just writing out into the universe or speaking out into the universe in the thin air, you're going to tend to have to resort back to hypey-type of stuff. Hopefully that's helpful when I talk about this empathy. It's like say it the way your client says it, not the way you say it or your ideal client. Use their language. Sometimes their language ain't pretty.
It's just like if you go to the south where I grew up, everybody says “ain't.” You can't go around saying, “isn't it?” Because they immediately know you ain't from here. There's a complete disconnect. It's the same way in terms of your clients, in terms of what you write and what you speak in the marketplace.
I think we've gotten as far as this first sentence. What's the next sentence? If we were to break it down into paint by numbers--and by no means is this some end-all formula--but I want to just simplify this to make it so simple-easy that you at least get something going and make it work for you...
The first sentence is, “What's the primary benefit? The goal? The purpose of this? The outcome of this Helpout?” from their perspective. Then what I recommend that you do is add some sort of sentence that says, “Why this matters.”
This is a little bit of a deeper concept but I'll sum it up like this. You always want to give a reason why in whatever you say that is benefit-oriented. The reason is because the way the brain processes things verbally and also written especially, is the brain processes it emotionally? How does this make me feel first? Then if it's a buying decision, the brain processes from the standpoint of the logical reason why this makes sense.
You want to learn to write to both parts of the brain. You lead with a benefit-specific sentence, and then why this is important.
If somebody is on with us live, if they can give us an example of just a topic – just have them, Sacha, type in a topic and then I can customize what I'm saying to that topic, I think it will make a lot more sense to people.
Sacha: Could be. If you've got topic suggestions folks, please put them in the Q&A. You can get to the Q&A from Helpershelpout.com/live. I see a couple of people have found it before.
While we're waiting for other people to come in with their suggestions, we can always pick on the people who have already submitted things to Helpouts. Go crazy. What are some of the ways to make this more approachable?
Ramon: Let's just pick something. I'm going to pick something that I don't really know anything about so that...
Sacha: We can pick education - careers. You'll probably a lot of things that are related to you.
Ramon: Okay. Bring that up. I'll just grab something in it. Okay, French. Learn French conversation the easy way.
I flunked French. I took French in high school. I flunked it straight out. So I know what the issue is. “You didn't teach me French words to say to my girlfriend that I could say to her that day. You completely lost me.”
The first sentence of this Helpout in my humble opinion ought to be, “Imagine the look on her face when you speak to the waiter in French and order your meal.” I would say something like that. Because the benefit is, I'm going to teach you some stuff real quick that's useful now. You could say it just like I just said it but you could say it a little more eloquently.
I've been doing this for years, and years, and years, so I naturally have instantly go to a stronger way to say it. However, I would open this up with, “You're going to learn something and be able to show off real fast.” Emotionally what I want.
Sacha: That's a great impressive connection because you're also showing off to someone you care about.
Well [inaudible]’s got a customer frustration. It sounds like it will be an interesting challenge. She says, “I keep killing my plants. What am I doing wrong?” If your customer is feeling that frustration, how would you pitch it?
You could say something like, “Finally, the Helpout for the 99.9% for us who don't have a green thumb.”
Sacha: Could be.
Ramon: That's a way that it could be a question mark in your first sentence. “Finally, the Helpout for the 99.4% of us who don't have a green thumb.”
You got to speak the language of your customers. Using the language that she used, “Did you kill a plant this week?” That's a fairly emotional concept. I'm giving you the softer one first if you noticed. Then if you really want to go hard, “Did you kill a plant this week? I'm on the crusade to stop the unethical killing of plants.”
Sacha: You can play around it for sure.
Sacha: Well, you're getting a, “Love it!” from [inaudible]. All right.
Ramon: You got to play around with that. Again, it's the dinner table rule. That's something you would say at a dinner table. Like, “Okay, how many of you killed a plant this month?” Or this week or whatever. But the next sentence, I want to make sure that people really get what I'm saying when I say you want to give the next sentence the need to say why this is important.
It might be something like, “Everyone agrees that having green plants in your home make you happier, healthier and nicer. People who don't have plants are just mean.” And say, “I'm just saying. In this Helpout, I'm going to share with you my three-step vibrant plant formula, guaranteed to give even the most hardened plant killer the skills they need to be healthy” and all that kind of stuff.
But my point is, you see that second sentence? That's what I just wanted to illustrate. It's what that second sentence is. It's like, “More and more people are using Google+ and Gmail. In this Helpout, I'm going to show you the five steps to set it up right and take control of your email box once and for all.” I'm thinking about Brett. He's one of our fellow helpers that I helped early on with his listing.
But that second sentence needs to do that. Is that clear to everybody?
Sacha: It's got the one-two punch, you make that emotional connection first and then you back it up with stuff that they can use to tell themselves, “Yes, there's a reason why I'm signing up for this. There's a reason why it's worth however much I'm charging for it.”
Ramon: And then go, “In this Helpout, we are going to...” not, “I'm going to tell you.” “We are going to”. That's really important language because it's involvement. It's already getting them involved.
Again, this is a finer concept but it's very powerful and I can tell it to you simply by using the phrase, “In this Helpout, we are going to...” “In this Helpout, together we'll tackle the toughest...” I'm just giving you phrases that you can just copy, and swipe, and deploy into your listing immediately.
Sacha: For sure. That sounds great.
Ramon: “In this Helpout, you'll discover.” If you don't want to use, “We'll do this...” or so. “You'll discover.” Talk in terms of “you”. Use “you” more than “I”.
A lot of Helpouts, you look at it, they're talking about it themselves. “I'm this.” Nobody cares. They only care about the problem and the frustration that they're having and they can only hear it in their language. When you speak in their language, it's like they know you, they like you, “Oh, finally somebody gets it.”
Then once you do that in this Helpout, go directly to, “Frequently asked questions we can discuss:” or, “Here are some topics we can cover depending on your goals.” Put them in charge of the Helpout. It's not like you're teaching them something. Put them in charge by suggesting, “Frequently asked questions we can discuss.” Put them in charge by saying, “Common topics and problems that we can cover or that we can resolve.”
Then, that's where you put your bullet points. What I suggest there is you can put like active statements like, “Setting up your WordPress blogs in three clicks without needing to know programming” or something like that. It's like “setting up”, “getting started”. It's like that active phrase or have it as a question, “How do I?” Because that's the question that people ask. They ask questions like, “How do I?” “What's the best way to?”
You come up with those questions, again from the person's perspective, put those questions in there. Not the question as, “How do you?” No. When I say, “How do I?” “How to” such and such. You put those questions in there and then after that section of bullet points – you want to have maybe four or five bullet points. You don't want to have like a ton of bullet points.
You're just prompting them as to how they can come to it. They feel confident, “Oh, I could get all of this from this Helpout.” That's what it's subconsciously saying in their mind. They said, “Wow, I can get all of this.” Some Helpout, they're generic and they're wide-open.
What you've got to do is help the person. This is like a big, big thing that I'm going to say here and I'm queuing it up this way because I want you to pay attention to what I'm about to say. You've got to teach people to consume your Helpout. You've got to teach them to be ready when they come to the Helpout to get the maximum value and benefit from the Helpout. Having those questions is one of the way to do that. Having those active statements, those -ing, starting, eliminating, making – having those statements in those bullet points is teaching the person how to consume it and how to get value out of the Helpout.
So automatically now, they see the Helpout is much more valuable coming to it because they say, “Wow, I can get all of this stuff.” Versus people like, “Just ask me a question.” Well, you're assuming that the person knows what the questions are. They don't. That's why they're coming to you. A part of leadership is teaching them the questions to ask that they don't know to ask.
Like this is a little bit of an advanced concept and I'm going to throw it out there anyway because I know that there are people here of all different levels. One of the numerous things that you got to do in your market to get heard and to stand out is to define what the real problem is.
I've got this Helpout on blogging. It was an early Helpout that I put up. I said, “Oh, I'm going to help people set up a blog.” Thank god that the little Helpout elves didn't approve it because I would have never come up with what I'm now doing. I would have just had a lame, “How to set up a WordPress blog” and with all due respect to those who are setting WordPress blogs, it's great but it's not great for me. That's the thing. It may be beautiful for someone that that's their passion, they eat, live and breath WordPress but I don't. I deleted it.
A couple of days, they denied it and then I said, “Let me fix it.” I said, “Forget it. I'm not passionate about this.” And that's what you need to do to every listing that you're not passionate about. You need to nuke it immediately, just delete.
What I came up with is I said, the real problem with blogging is not technology. That's not the real problem. You can set up a blog anywhere in a second or okay, maybe 30 seconds. But technology is not the problem with blogging. The problem with blogging is blogging. It's coming up with the content, it's staying consistent.
I now have a little Helpout that I'm developing that says, “Okay, I'm going to show you how to come up with your own signature blogging strategy and a little calendar.” Why am I doing that? Because it's the mess that I had to overcome. So I figured out how to find my signature blogging strategy in 2014 and I'm teaching other people how to do it. That's the best Helpout. The best Helpout is an extension of you. It's your glory story made accessible to other people based on what you learned mostly the hard way. That's the stuff to teach.
Again, so many people just leave out. They leave out the beginner's stuff, they leave out that basic stuff and they just missed the boat.
Under the bullet points, put whatever else you want to put there. I've seen a couple of things that were really cool. One person had sent you over to a video where they were like teaching a little bit on the topic. That's good for paid Helpouts, I think, because it complements that little short intro video that you want to put there which you want to be a minute or less, and you can link out to another video but whatever you link out to – here's the biggie – that page needs to validate the decision to schedule the Helpout, not distract them off on the bunny trail that leads them off into who knows where.
If you got a video on YouTube, don't send them to YouTube, put the YouTube video on a page, on your website and put up at the top, “This is especially for people who are considering the such and such Helpout.” Then put a link on that page under the video that takes them back to the Helpout they just came from so that you don't break the mental flow.
That's one of the big mistakes that people are making online. They have the focus, and then they introduce something, they go, “Oh!” They see this, “Oh, let me click at this. Let me click at that.” It's like that shiny object syndrome. A confused mind always says no. Put it in front of you when you're thinking. “A confused mind always says no.”
Like the number one thing missing for example for most marketing is a call to action. Telling a person to do two things or suggesting that they could do two things is not a call to action. You're telling them the one thing. There's one goal in the Helpout, schedule it.
I know people have said, “People are not showing up.” “People don't have the right equipment.” “They're not dialing in from a wireless connection versus...” Any of that, that you want the person to have, put it up in a nice little text file and immediately after the person signs up, send it out to them through the messaging system and put all that stuff in the messaging system.
Sacha: I got my [inaudible] listing.
Ramon: Don't put that stuff in Helpout. Don't put that stuff in the listing because it distracts them.
Anything in the listing has one purpose and if it doesn't contribute to the person clicking that button to schedule, leave it out. You've got to be ruthless about this and it's also why to get somebody to take the second look that really gets this.
One of the things that I've set up specifically for people tonight, I left it free. It's a copywriting Helpout. If you search “copywriting”, it's the only one, it's really the only specific copywriting Helpout in Google Helpouts right now. If you could just search “copywriting” and Ramon Williamson, it will pop up. But it's set for free now and you could use that for me to just go take a look at your specific listing or anything else that you have online such as a webpage that's selling something or even email if you want me to take a look at an email you're planning to send out. But you can go and do that, and I'm going to leave that free.
I'm going to promote it out to my group on a paid basis next week, so I'll leave it open till about Monday night or Tuesday night. You just go in, and go ahead, and schedule, and then when I turn it to paid, it will still be free for you.
We've gone through this. Now let me talk about qualifications because this is where ego just goes wild in the qualification piece. Come up with three bullet points. One of those bullet points needs to say, “Five years of experience in something.”
Another one of those bullet points needs to say, “Author of such and such a book.” By the way, if you don't have a book, there's a Helpout for that. But you need to get a book, or a video course, or a special report, a five-pages on something. Write up five pages and call it a special report. Record two videos and call it a video course but you got to be the author of something because you got to establish credibility. That's what qualifications is for – establishing credibility, not bragging on your thing.
What you’ve got to say is, “What makes me credible?” Here is something else, if you have trained somewhere specific, not you went to such and such college, that means nothing. In fact everybody who hates your college is not going to sign up for your Helpout or anybody that went to another college is not going to sign up for you. I'm just kidding, but it's not going to help you with credibility. But if you went to advanced certificate course in WordPress, or you've been at WordCamp for the last three times and you're doing a WordPress Helpout, absolutely positively that's got to be in there because that's massive credibility, because you know the deal that nobody else knows about WordPress because you got it directly from the “guys.”
Also something like this. If you got an award--like Richard Branson's organization named me a “Virgin media pioneer.” It's a little weird because I got four babies. I don't know how I'm a virgin but anyway, I'm a Virgin media pioneer. The fact that Richard Branson – and he didn't even name me that, it's his organization that named me that – Richard Branson probably doesn't even know I've been named a Virgin media pioneer. But regardless, that's a big deal. Some magazine like years ago named me one of the “Top 21 business motivational speakers in America”. Yes, it was years ago but I'm still that and I'm better. I use it. And there was another one like I won this award, “Innovators and Influencers of the Internet.” It's a cool trophy thing that I got. Yes, I'm using it. What do you got that you can use?
Put yourself up for awards. It doesn't matter what it is, but get an award. If you got an award, don't put 20 of them there. I know graphic designers, they have awards from everywhere, but just pick one and put that one award thing.
I've coached a lot of big companies. I don't brag about the celebrities that I coached but that's where I spent a large portion of my coaching work, actually in Hollywood. I want to tell you just a little sidebar note. Everybody brags about their celebrity clients. That's why they only ever have two or three. The reason that I've coached a lot of celebrities, is because no one will ever know that I coached them unless they tell them.
That was one of the things that differentiated me in the marketplace. Celebrities whispered around. In fact US Magazine called me some years ago because MTV approached me about being the coach on a television show that they were doing where I was going to go with this very well-known actor and his family. Bam! US was on me just like flies. They were swarming down on me. “Well, who is the guy? Give me a quote.” I didn't say a word. I got two more clients because of that.
Maybe that's useful to somebody. My point is: decide who you are in your marketplace, stick to it, look for every difference and uniqueness that you bring to it, and leverage all of it because it all matters in building an audience.
What's the next thing? Prices.
Sacha: Actually, I'm going to pause here because we [inaudible] for roughly an hour, so I'm going to be evil, because this session by itself is probably has a lot of different things that people can immediately take back and start working on.
So instead of overwhelming people, I'm going to make them follow up with you if you've got other interesting things that they want to find out about. For example, the title--which is super important and something they want to optimize for sure--will need to be covered in some other episode because you want to make sure people can stay focused. They don't get overwhelmed with all these great ideas. They can go right ahead, get to that stuff. We'll save all of this stuff for another week. Is that okay with you?
Ramon: Yes, absolutely. I just actually looked up at the timing. We must have looked at the clock at the same time. I was actually thinking, wow, I've got like about 45 more minutes of stuff that I could say on that. And I want to make sure that at some point, we get to stuff like this images, that we get to stuff like, what do you actually put in an intro video, because most people are botching that intro video right now.
Doing that free to fee thing that you talked about because actually, I just started experimenting with that. How do you set up a free listing that effortlessly moves them over to a paid listing without you being on the free listing trying to convince them to go over to the paid listing.
Sacha: Fortunately, Helpers Help Out is a weekly show, so people can catch us same time next week, same bat channel. In the mean time, thank you so much, Ramon. Where is the best place that people can contact you, follow up with you, send kudos your way?
Ramon: Absolutely. It would mean a lot to me if you would do two things. Number one, that you would go back to the Helpout discussion and you would post an individual post with the best thing that you learned tonight. Don't just do one post and everybody gang up on that post but I want you to post one thing, an individual post that says, “Hey, this was the thing that I really got out of this that was really helpful to me and I'm actually going to do this. P.S. Google, you need to send Ramon money.” I'm just kidding.
Then the next thing that I want you to do is come over to helpouts.google.com, search Ramon Williamson and Copywriting and go ahead and book that 15-minute, that 30-minute – I forget what I said – and let me get hands on with you in your specific situation and give you some real feedback. Some of that you actually make real progress with this quickly, and I think that's going to be the best way that I can serve you, versus distracting you all.
If you want to PayPal me money right now, you can do that because I really do have four babies and I like to travel a lot. If you want to do that, that's great. However, I think the highest and best way that I can serve you is to help you practice what we're preaching.
Sacha: All right. Fantastic.
Folks, you can check out the show notes which will eventually be at helpershelpout.com/5. I will challenge you to not only share what you learned frcom this but also maybe share before and after of your listing as you improve it while applying his advice. And book his copywriting Helpout! You can find it on helpouts.google.com.
We'll see you next week. Thank you again very much for joining!