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Can Any Small Business Make You Rich? Paperback – March 25, 2008
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The truth is though, while there is quite a bit of folksy salesmanship going on in his ads, that's precisely what appealed to me. And having read this book, I can see that my instincts were correct: as ultra-basic as some of the information in this book is, it all rings true. Sometimes the best advice is the simplest advice.
I wanted to read the book because I'm a fairly well-known nonfiction writer The NEW Joy of Digital Photography (Lark Photography Book)and yet I've never felt like I'm earning the living I should be earning--so I read everything I can about marketing to try and improve that position. And this book helped a lot in that search. The advice is at times a bit too simplistic, a bit out-of-date and it was obviously written--or at least, begun--before the Internet became the leading tool of his marketing and deals a lot with local newspaper advertising. (If you own a local business and your main source of advertising is the local paper, just stop right now and buy this book--it's well worth it.) Nonetheless, all of the information in this book can be applied to Internet marketing with a little creative thought.
Much of the book is devoted to writing ads that draw customers and to identifying WHO you want to do business with. That is extremely useful information, even at this very basic level. When I bought the book I decided to read it with an open mind. It's only a few hundred pages long and I always figure if you get one tidbit of info that makes or saves you money, it's a worthwhile read. I got much more than that. I found that the book made me re-examine how I approach my writing business and my marketing efforts and that alone is worth the price of the book. Among the concepts he discusses is the idea of "joining the conversation" that is already going on in your customers' heads--great advice.
One of the more useful tips I got from this book was his advice on building email lists. It has inspired me to devote serious energy to doing just that. In fact, I hope that one day Mike will sit down and write a book that is entirely about email and Internet marketing. He has a genuine instinct for what makes marketing work and his advice, while at times sounding simplistic to the nth degree, is kind of like getting business advice from an uncle that owns a successful hardware store down the block who wants to share that advice with you.
If you're brave enough to admit that this poor ol' dirt farmer from Ohio might be able to help you grow your business with horse sense and you're willing to read this book with an open mind, its wisdom might surprise you.
Mike is as down to earth and basic as a guy can be, with a major skill in being able to explain complex things in a simple and highly understandable way. Mike has also been intensely studying and experimenting with copy writing and marketing since he lucked up many, many years ago and wrote an ad that pulled like crazy without knowing why.
I had to laugh, because I wrote an "accidental ad" like that years ago but wasn't paying enough attention to go and figure out WHY it worked. I also didn't run that ad nearly enough because I was focused on economizing without understanding the lifetime value of a customer in the way it's explained here. BIG mistake.
This is not just theory here folks, what's in this book is hands-on experience with the real life stories of what worked, what didn't and why.
I must admit, I was enjoying the book, even before I realized I was getting instruction on marketing. Michael has a very conversational style of writing that makes the time go by faster.
And there are several gems in this book;
He talks about getting a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and gies an example of how this idea improves your business. He gives a complete case history of how he would redo a local ice cream parlor...and the ideas are rock solid.
He shows vivid examples (from his own experience) of advertising done right. He shows how to segment your list, appeal to your best cusomer, and make your ads really pay.
A great value in a marketing book, by someone who walks his talk.
What is the lifetime value of a customer, and why can you afford to spend money to get and keep that customer? Does your business have a Unique Selling Proposition, something that completely sets you apart from your competition and gives potential customers a powerful reason to do business with you for the very first time? He gives a vivid example of what he means with Pinky's Hamburger Joint, which only exists in his mind. Nonetheless, if you could, you would rush right over to spend some money at this joint! He effectively demonstrates a compelling marketing plan and a unique selling proposition for Pinky's.
"You are one sales letter from making more money that you can sensibly spend in a life-time." All you need is one good letter and you just keep mailing that letter over and over again, a letter that is "vending machine predictable." This book tells how to write powerful and super-effective advertising copy that really works. Mike McGroarty himself runs ads that are "vending machine predictable." He says, "My ads appear, prospective customers see my ads, respond, and give me money. It doesn't get any better than that."
This book is easy to read and understand. I highly recommend it for every small business owner or anyone thinking about starting a small business.