Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Early To Rise - Six Messages You Never Want to Send

(By John Forde)

Does your marketing copy send prospects a message you never meant to send? Let me clarify...
In selling -- particularly in face-to-face sales -- there's a lot of talk about body language and how it can mean all the world to a sale.

A chin rub means one thing. Steepled hands, another.

Crossed arms, something else yet again.

Bottom line: In the face-to-face setting, different gestures can betray messages you don't intend to send, but send anyway.

We, of course, are marketers and copyWRITERS.

Hence, not too much selling face-to-face. And not much opportunity to read the body language of our prospects. Once on the page... well, there it is.

Still, there are different things copywriters do that can also send accidental messages. And if you're not careful, these little slips can derail the message of your whole campaign.

For instance...


Your testimonials are eloquent and effusive. ("I'm entranced by your product. I laughed, I cried. Sublime, utterly sublime.")

To convey a personal touch, or perhaps protect your customers' privacy, the names underneath your testimonials are signed only with a first name. ("Loved It, Chuck")

And the photos are gauzy professional shots, with people wearing pressed T-shirts and laughing like God just showed up at their picnic.

What You MEAN to Say:

"Our customers are smart. They're good looking.

They're overjoyed. And we're on a first-name basis with them (not to mention discreet)."

What It ACTUALLY Sounds Like:

"We couldn't really get good testimonials. So we wrote our own. Chuck is my cousin in Des Moines."

A Better Approach:

Give full names whenever you can. Used real photos of customers, even the ugly ones. And most of the time, resist the temptation to edit away poor writing in testimonial quotes.


You start your sales letter, "Dear Reader, let's be honest..." or pepper paragraphs with "To tell the truth" and "I really mean that." In your guarantee, you write, "You can trust me... I'm a gentleman."

What You Mean to Say:

"I mean what I say. And when I make a promise, you can bet I'll stand by it. I'm not like that other guy who sold you the bike with square wheels."

What It Actually Sounds Like:

"I'm worried you think I'm like that guy who sold you a bike with square wheels. My pitch sounds deceptive, so I subconsciously want to reassure you that it isn't. You do trust me, don't you?"

A Better Approach:

Root out whatever it is in your pitch or product that makes you leery. Good products make it easy to write truthfully and confidently. Whatever you do, cut the weasel warm-ups and just make the promises.


Your words are hefty and profound. You've never seen four syllables you didn't love. Not to mention what you'll do given five minutes in a dark room with a word processor and witty puns and word play.

What You Mean to Say:

"Aren't I smart?"

What It Actually Sounds Like:

"Aren't I pretentious?"

A Better Approach:

You've heard it often. But not often enough. Always, always use simple words. You're trying to call attention to the ideas, not to the words you've used to express them. Big difference.


Your newest promo is printed on silk paper. With hand-etched four-color graphics. You've hired Japanese geisha girls to fold the letters and Peruvian mountain cats to lick each envelope closed. No expense was spared.

What You Mean to Say:

"I care about you, which is why I care about how this promo looks. If it looks professional, we'll look professional to you too. Or at least we'll look pretty damn hip."

What It Actually Sounds Like:

"I care more about how you'll think of me and my promo than I care about how what I'm selling can serve your interests. Look at me, look at me, look at me!"

A Better Approach:

Okay. First off, sometimes elegant DOES work. It depends on what you're selling. Membership in an exclusive club might call for high-ticket design. But imagine if you're writing a donation letter for a non-profit... or a pamphlet to sell a low-budget vacation to college students. Sometimes LESS really is more.


"XYZ's Water-Matic might make a better cup of tea," says your pitch letter, "of course, there's no guarantee." The rest of the copy is littered with "coulds"... "cans"... and "shoulds."

What You Mean to Say:

"We don't over-promise to our customers. We're conservative, not rash like those hucksters down the road."

What It Actually Sounds Like:

"I'm not sure we can deliver on what I'm saying. And I don't want to look stupid if we fail. So I'm not going to commit to any of the promises you're reading here. In fact, don't call. I'm just going to go sit in the corner now and shiver."

A Better Approach:

True again, sometimes you have to be conditional in your speech. Lawyers recommend it. Nervous CEOs prefer it. But those reasons aside, wherever you can, use as many bold and confident words as you can. ("XYZ product tested as tops on the tea-maker market, 9 years in a row.") Write confidently and with conviction. It can only improve your results.


Your copy bubbles over with enthusiasm and lots of really, really... really... awesome adjectives.

What You Mean to Say:

"I LOVE my product! It's the absolute BEST on the market. You couldn't find a BETTER product than mine even with a JILLION bloodhounds sniffin' the trail!"

What It Actually Sounds Like:

"I'm not sure WHY my product is good! I'm not even sure IF my product is good! I just want you to BUY my product -- is that so wrong?"

A Better Approach:

It's not your exuberance that's at fault. It's the lack of substance. Add case studies and stats to back up your claims. Plus customer stories and testimonials and a track record. The fluff will fade away.

The point is clear.

Be careful HOW you say what you want to say. Be especially on your guard when you're subconsciously writing copy under one of these two conditions:

(a) you're trying to hide your own opinion from the reader, or
(b) you're trying to get the reader to think something about YOU, as well as the product, that might not be true or easy to believe.

In both scenarios, you're writing lines fraught with hidden meaning. Usually, the meaning you were trying to suppress. This is when your guard is dropped. This is when you'll make the mistakes that undermine your message.

And that's not good.

Be aware of them, root them out, avoid them altogether. The more simple and direct your message, the more successful you'll be, in the end.

P.S. To get more of John Forde's wisdom and insights into copywriting (and much more), sign up for his free e-letter, Copywriter's Roundtable. If you sign up today, you'll get $78 worth of free gifts -- including John's special "Power Brainstorming Toolkit" and his e-book "15 Deadly Copy Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid"... plus a third secret bonus. For details, see John's sign-up page at http://copywritersroundtable.com/.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Early To Rise - Respect at Work: If You Want It... Be Prepared to Give It!

(By Peter Fogel)

Remember the Tom Cruise movie Jerry McGuire? One of the great taglines in that film -- besides "You had me at hello" -- was when one of Jerry's clients kept saying, "Show me the money!"

But what did he do for that money?

He complained. That's right! All he did was bitch and moan about his teammates, his leaky roof, and other personal and financial problems.

Meanwhile, his coach thought he was too small for a wide receiver, and no one could stand his egotistical attitude when he was out on the field, blaming others for his poor performance during games.

He was excellent at the "blame game." If he missed the ball, it was because another player threw it wrong or because his fellow players and fans weren't giving him "love." So let me be so blunt as to ask:

Are You a Prima Donna?

Does this sound like anyone you know? Most every industry and company has its prima donnas. Don't take this the wrong way, but are you that person for your company?
Do you constantly gripe about your duties? Your hours? Your low pay?

"Why don't I move to India? On what they are paying me here, I could live like a king there."

Do you turn red in the face when someone else gets a promotion?

"Frank? FRANK GOT MORE MONEY for doing what?! I was hired two days before he was, for crying out loud!"

Be honest. All of us at, one time or another, have come unglued when things didn't go our way at the office. (It is, in fact, a good thing to vent on occasion.)

In my former life, before I reinvented myself, I LIVED to complain.

But you know what? In the long run, it never made me happier -- and it certainly NEVER got me what I wanted (more opportunities to advance, more money, etc.). It all boils down to this:

If you want to reinvent yourself in the workplace, you have to have respect for your company, your boss, your co-workers, and your job.

Never let on that you do NOT like what you are doing or that performing certain tasks are beneath you.

Common sense dictates that you should always be a team player.

That being said, people still shoot themselves in the foot when their bosses make requests of them.

According to Karen Burn, author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, there are seven things you should never say at work:

1. "This is easy! Anyone could do it!" A statement like this could be taken the wrong way. Perhaps your boss had the responsibility to do the exact same task before he was promoted. See where I am going with this? If it's easy, just say, "Hey, no problem. I'll get on it right now!"

2. "That's not my job." That might have gotten a big laugh for Freddie Prinze on the old "Chico and the Man" show. But it won't cut in today's workplace. If you don't understand why you've been asked to do a certain task, do a little investigating to find out why your boss wants you to do it. Chances are, he has a good reason.

3. "It's not my fault." If there's a problem, fix it -- no matter whose fault it is. If you did, in fact, screw up... own up to it and then come up with a solution as quickly as you can.

4. "It's not my problem." If a crisis is brewing, pitch in and help. If you don't have anything constructive to say, silence is golden at a time like this.

5. "I can only do one thing at a time." Yes, sometimes we all get overwhelmed at work -- so learn to multi-task. Snapping that you "can't handle the pressure" says to all within earshot that you can't handle your job.

6. "It can't be done." I worked for a company where the IT guy was like Scotty in Star Trek, always lamenting, "It just can't be done." Maybe what he was asked to do really couldn't be done... or maybe this guy just didn't want to be bothered. But one thing's for sure: He hardly ever came up with a solution to a problem.

Even if what you're asked to do seems impossible, search for ways to make it happen... and then boldly go where no man has gone before. (No more Star Trek references, I promise!)

7. "I am way overqualified for this job." Hey, maybe you are. Good for you. But the fact is, this is the job you have. You agreed to take it on. And while you may now regret that decision, it's still your job. Complaining that you're too good for it only makes you look bad. And guess what? You're not going to make your boss think, "Oh, this is a superior person. I need to promote him." Nope. He'll think, "What a jerk!"

It's easy to come up with excuses for why you are not moving up the food chain at your job.

But no one is going to promote you to get you to do what you are supposed to be doing in the first place. It makes no sense to think you should wait until you get a raise... and then become a top performer.

In other words, if want to be a superstar, start acting like one!

Peter "The Reinvention Guy" Fogel delivers presentations on humor, reinvention, copywriting, and marketing to corporations and associations across America. He helps entreprenuers reinvent themselves and unleash their "inner public speaker" for higher visibility and bigger profits.
To sign up for his 4-in-1 Total Success Reinvention Package, visit http://www.reinventyourselfnow.com.
And to sign up for his FREE 7 Days to More Effective Public Speaking e-course, please go to http://www.publicspeaklikeapro.com/public-speaking-secrets.html.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Medical Journals - Spontaneous Remission from Disease Through Epigenetics

(By the Underground Health Reporter)

Did You Know that spontaneous remission from disease (including cancer) is now possible through the science of epigenetics?

A new field of science called epigenetics has changed the way we think about our genes. The prefix "epi" literally means "above," as in above the genes, in the same way that epidermis means the layer above the skin.

Ever since Darwin released his scientific literature titled "On the Origin of Species" 150 years ago, science and medicine have been grounded in the belief that we are "programmed" by our DNA and that our genes cannot be changed.

But new discoveries have found a major flaw in what was once considered dogmatic principle. Dr. Bruce Lipton, a world-renowned leader in cellular biology and quantum physics research, proved that our environment -- not our DNA -- shapes the development of our cells.

Dr. Lipton discovered that we have "epigenes" that attach to our cells and have control over and above the regular genes (DNA) inside our cells. These epigenes change how our genes are expressed, which then changes our cells.

Dr. Lipton's experiments revealed that DNA responds to signals from outside the cells. Electromagnetic signals that are produced by our senses, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions as we experience the world send "messages" that reach the cells. As we constantly adjust to our environment in our mind, so do our cells.

These discoveries are being hailed worldwide as a major breakthrough that proves that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking. These findings fundamentally alter our understanding of life. Since we can change our cells by changing our minds, we absolutely can change our biology ... and our lives.

Though our DNA is still considered the "blueprint" that we start with, it can be altered throughout our lives by epigenetics. Think of your genes as the hardware and your epigenes as the software that tells the genes what to do.

Being able to change our genes offers a life-changing opportunity to the human race when applying epigenetics to the treatment of disease. No longer do we have to be a "victim" of inheriting or developing abnormal genes because now, we can change them to eradicate disease and pass on normal genes to the next generation.

In one of Dr. Lipton's most important experiments, he proved that when he took a "sick" cancer cell from a "sick" body, and transferred it to a healthy environment, the cell recovered quickly and behaved normally.

While working at Stanford University's School of Medicine between 1987 and 1992, he found that changing the environment of cells made certain genes "turn on or off." This then altered the cell's composition, its health, and the traits determined by that cell. These new constructions spread as the cell divided.

From his most recent work with cancer, Dr. Lipton has confirmed that, "Genes are not controlling the life of your cells, your mind is. The mind and the beliefs that it holds -- not defective genes -- create a ripple effect that 'turns on or off' cancer cells."

Randy Jirtle, a geneticist in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Duke University, further explains that, "as our genes change, cells can become abnormal, triggering diseases like cancer. It's scary to think that a few changed genes can kill you. But it's also good news because we've traditionally viewed cancer as a disease solely stemming from broken genes. It's a lot harder to fix damaged genes than to rearrange your epigenetics."

Through epigenetics, you can "rewrite" your genetic expression through your mind. You could have normal genes, for instance, and then express genes like cancer and other diseases. Or if you had mutated (diseased) genes, you can rewrite their expression to normal.

Disease treatment through epigenetics changes the structure of the cancer cell by rewriting the genes to act like normal human cells. In ongoing epigenetic trials, half the patients are in complete remission.

However, epigenetics works both ways: your thoughts influence genetic expressions that can cure disease or cause disease -- depending on whether you have positive or negative thoughts. And, your positive thoughts and your negative thoughts are equally powerful.

We see this in the "placebo effect." A patient suffering from a disease is given a sugar pill, but they believe the "medicine" will be effective, and therefore, they heal. Likewise, there is the "nocebo effect" which suggests that negative thoughts can not only make you sick, but can even kill you.

What's even more interesting, or disturbing for others, is that the thoughts and beliefs of other people, philosophies, cultures, and religions influence your perceptions, which then become part of your thoughts. Therefore, who and what you surround yourself with can have a direct effect on your health!

Dr. Lipton says that, "you are innately able to heal yourself unless your perception says you can't. Since perception controls biology, then whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."

Monday, November 08, 2010

Medical Journals - Powerful New 3-Minute Exercise Improves Memory and Brain Power

(By Paul Fassa - Natural News)

An unusual exercise to improve mental health and acuity has been going viral on the internet lately. It was featured in a Los Angeles CBS News report that has an MD, a Yale neurobiologist, an occupational therapist, educators, and parents endorsing it.

It is a simple routine, and it has created positive results for learning disabled and autistic children as well as older Alzheimer's victims.

And it's useful for any kind of brain fog or dullness, even emotional instability. It can improve memory and focus, and it's even made some a little smarter. It seems to work for everyone regardless of mental condition.

How to Do This Simple Exercise

  1. With your feet pointing straight ahead, spread them apart about shoulder width.
  2. Grab your right earlobe with the thumb and finger of your left hand.
  3. Cross over your left arm and do the same using your right hand on the left earlobe.
  4. Then squat as fully as you can, breathing in. That's a little counter intuitive, but that's what you do.
  5. Breathe in as you squat.
  6. Then breathe out as you stand.
  7. So the breathing needs to be synchronized with the squats.
  8. Continue this motion repetitively while holding both earlobes for three minutes. That may be too much at first, so start with one minute.
  9. One can go up to five minutes, but three is good enough. This can be done by anyone at any age and should be done on a daily basis until the fog lifts!
How It Works

Los Angeles physician Dr. Eric Robins says that the brain cells and neurons are energized with this simple exercise. He prescribes it to his patients and has had excellent results. One example of his is a youngster doing poorly in school. After being introduced to the exercise, that child went on to become an A student.

According to Yale neurobiologist Dr. Eugenius Ang, the earlobes grabbed are acupuncture points that stimulate neural pathways in the brain. The brain's hemispheres are in opposite sides of the earlobes. Using opposite hands for pinching the earlobes may have something to do with the way our subtle energies are arranged.

Ang showed that the results from EEG (electroencephalography) readings after doing this exercise indicate the right and left hemispheres of the brain had become synchronized. EEG readings measure the neuron firings in the brain via electrodes on the scalp, and are used to determine brain wave normalcies and abnormalities.

As Dr. Ang states, "... in modern terms, the brain is actually lateralized. This is an ideal hemispheric arrangement, which is unusual these days. It is something that pricey brain technology CDs attempt to do by producing subliminal sounds to the brain attached to audible sounds through a headset. Dr. Ang also does this exercise daily.

How It Started

The exercise was introduced by pranic healing Master Koa Chok Sui's book SuperBrain Yoga and taught by him personally on lecture tours. Of course, there are many other aspects of pranic healing that Master Sui taught.

Prana is another word for Chi, the subtle life force energy that surrounds and permeates the body. It is the stuff of acupuncture and Qi (Chi) Gong. In addition to the subtle energy aspects of prana or Chi, it seems that combining a mildly aerobic exercise also helps flood the brain cells with oxygen.

At any rate, it's an easy and inexpensive way to improve memory, mental clarity and focus, as well as assist those with debilitating mental disorders. There are those who call it quackery. But you'd be smart to do it daily!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Early To Rise - Beneath The Mango Tree

(By Charlie Byrne)
- Reproduced from an article entitled: "Fruitful" Marketing Lessons From an Overabundant Tree, first published in Early to Rise on 15 July 2010

My hometown "Paradise by the Sea" of Delray Beach, Florida is not only blessed with miles of gorgeous sandy beaches... lined with dozens of casual, eclectic, and gourmet restaurants... and overflowing with hip clubs and art galleries...

It's also home to a huge number of... drum roll, please.

Mango trees.

I mean, really. It's almost ridiculous!

The trees rise to the sky on practically every street -- in front yards, vacant lots, village parks, and any number of other accessible, public spaces.

Hundreds upon hundreds of mangos hang off every tree. Branches bend down from the weight, putting the succulent fruit within the grasp of any man, woman, or child who cares to enjoy it.
And it was on one of my morning runs last week that I realized there was something terribly wrong with this picture!

All this wonderful fruit right there for the taking, but none of it had been picked! I examined no less than seven trees, and couldn't find a single stem missing its mango.

Why? Why, for example, hadn't I taken one myself?

The answer, of course, was simple. It's the same reason folks don't take the coconuts that are falling off trees all over town.

And the same reason why I never went to the top of the Empire State Building when I worked in New York City... and walked past it every day.

Because I could do it whenever I wanted!

And that's why Delray Beach's overloaded mango trees are an ideal illustration of two closely related marketing principles...

Urgency and Scarcity

In marketing terms, urgency means that the supply of a product is limited by time.

Ever get involved in an eBay auction when the clock was running out? How about getting up at 5:00 a.m. to be one of the first customers in line for a day-after-Thanksgiving "Black Friday" sale? If so, you know the power of urgency.

Scarcity means that the supply of a product is limited by quantity.

Both urgency and scarcity arouse the human desire to want that which we can't have.

Right now in Delray Beach, we have an unlimited supply of mangos, and they're going to be around for a long time. So there's no scarcity... no urgency. As a result, you literally can't give them away.

If you're not tickling your prospects' emotional impulses to buy NOW, I'm willing to bet your products are suffering from a similar fate.

When you apply the principles of scarcity and urgency to bring your marketing alive, your sales can increase dramatically. I've seen it many times -- and I'm talking about increases of 100 percent to 1,000 percent. In fact, this is probably the simplest, cheapest way to multiply your revenues instantly.

Our colleague, "Product Launch" guru Jeff Walker, knows all about it. He's brought in, and helped others bring in, more than $53 million in the past five years in all kinds of markets. Virtually all of Jeff's success is built around the mastery of scarcity and urgency.

According to Jeff, "Scarcity is probably the single biggest mental trigger there is. No matter how many times I've seen it used, it's always breathtaking to see how it moves people to action. I've seen WAY too many people underestimate the power of adding a scarcity component to their marketing. If you fall into that trap, you will be leaving a huge amount of money on the table."
So how can you pick up all that cash you've been leaving on the table?

There are plenty of ways, even if you are selling a product that is in infinite supply -- an e-book, for example:
  1. Urgency: Add a bonus for a limited length of time.
  2. Urgency: Reduce the price for a special holiday sale.
  3. Scarcity: Add a bonus -- but only for the first 150 buyers.
  4. Scarcity plus Urgency: With this "launch and retreat" approach, you sell a specific quantity of the product during a specific period of time, and then take it off the market. ("This Memorial Day weekend only, I'm offering just 100 of these information-packed e-books. Sale ends Midnight Monday or when the 100 are gone -- whichever comes first.")
Taking your product "off the market" at a specified date and time might sound scary. What if a bunch of prospects show up at your website the following week looking to buy what you just stopped selling? Wouldn't you be kicking yourself over that lost opportunity?

Perhaps. But I can pretty much guarantee one thing. The overwhelming number of sales you'll make during a scarcity/urgency campaign will make the number you might lose utterly insignificant. In addition, when you "re-open" your next campaign, you'll already have a certain amount of "pent-up" customer demand providing fuel for your fire.

One Important Caveat to Keep in Mind...

You want to add scarcity and urgency to your marketing, but you want it to be genuine.

As Michael Masterson told me, "There has to be a legitimate reason for the scarcity. If you're faking it, customers will see through it and it loses its power."

He suggested a few ways to "make it real" for them: Explain that you had only 100 of the special reports printed up. (Why not show the actual invoice?) Or that the fire code limits the conference room to 75 people. (Why not take a photo of the actual sign in the room?) If you're selling personal coaching services, explain that you have only so much time. If you're selling an investment advisory service, explain that if too many people get the same recommendation, they can initiate a buying frenzy that artificially pushes up the price.

I'm just touching the surface here -- but you get the idea.

P.S. This article is a follow-up to another previous article entitled "Early To Rise - The Empty Restaurant". The underlying messages in these 2 articles are similar to each other, but it is worthwhile to re-emphasise the concepts once in while again in another interesting setting. The key message behind these articles have really to do more with the fundamental human psyche involved, for all brilliant marketing strategies seek merely to appeal to that human psyche.