Friday, February 26, 2010

Stop! Your Video Needs a Script!

Good morning and I hope this newsletter finds you well. It's
been an insane week with a variety of new projects crossing my
desk: ebook covers, sales letters, email series, coaching, web
site designs, one sheets and scripts. I do love my job! Always
challenging and always something different.

Several video sales tools have crossed my desk promising to help
sell more products, memberships, and to generate more leads for
me. Are you using video on your web sites? Is it helping you to
stimulate lead generation and sales?

Sometimes we tend to focus on the latest fad to help give our
sales a shot in the arm, but we need to remember that while video
is very compelling, bad video is not.

Over the past few years, as the use of video has become more
prevalent, it's been interesting to note that most videos look
rather amateurish. People just turn their cameras on and start
rambling as if every visitor to their site is just going to hang
on every word and be moved to action.

It doesn't work that way.

I love it when I see a young teen talking about how he is going to
show me ways to make $2.0 mm a year, or a retired person in their
70's constantly checking their camera to see if it is recording.
Someone should create a web site for bad videos and let people
watch and rank them. This would be a highly trafficked site and
perfect for major advertisers.

Loo, take it from someone who executive produced videos for TV Guide
Channel for three years. Unless you are VERY experienced in front
of the camera and a natural salesman, you are not going to be
very compelling on video.

That's not to say that some of these new video tools like Easy
Video Producer or others are not good services, but they are only
as good as the person using them.

The best web sites have the most compelling sales letter.

Copy is still King.

Now just because you use video, doesn't mean you no longer have
to worry about sales copy.

Your sales letter becomes your script.

Let me say that again:

Your sales letter becomes your script.

If you are not a gifted sales copywriter, then your rambling on
video is going to be ineffective. You need a written script to
work from.

Let me help you. For $1,000.00 I will write a sales letter for
your product or service that will set the right tone, help you to
explain your product or service's features -- advantages - and
benefits, and compel your visitors to take action.

Of course, you still need to rehearse and feel natural before
you shoot your final video, but at least you'll be able to stop
rambling and start selling.

Drop me a line at to discuss your project.

All my best,


Schneiderman Marketing, LLC, 1811 South Baltimore, Suite 203, Tulsa, OK 74119, United States

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What Makes a Good Product?

Good day, my friend, and I trust all is well on your side of the screen. In my last newsletter, I shared some advice about a formulaic approach for monetizing your knowledge or experience. Most subscribers want to know what makes a good product. This is not an easy question to answer because it involves many different elements, not all of which you have control over.

First and foremost, it is important to make sure that your product is needed by others. The old saying goes, "Find a need and fill it!"

Many people wanting to get in on the Internet market craze simply get an idea for a product, create it, and then find no one wants to really buy it. That's because they never did any upfront competitive analysis. They never asked their potential audience if they wanted or needed their product.

This isn't to say that the occasional good idea can't be successful, but it helps if you do your homework first. It saves a lot of heartache, time and expense.

But let's say your product is needed by people. How many people? If only a small number of people express interest in your product is that bad? Not necessarily. If you develop a high-end home study course that sells for $997.00 and only 10 people buy it, that's pretty good money, right? However, if only a few people want to buy your $19.97 ebook, then that's probably not worth your time to write it, right? So everything is relative to your selling price, right?


Because a $19.97 ebook can be given away for free to build a HUGE marketing list for your next product! So you can take a lemon that isn't selling and breathe new life and vitality into it by giving it away for free in exchange for a name and email address. Many gurus have built large lists this way.

When it comes to creating your own product, the key thing you can control and have to be mindful of is the quality of the product. Does it truly fill a need? Is it presented well? Is it written well and easy to follow? Does it fulfill all of its marketing promises? Is it well packaged? Well supported? Does it over-deliver? These are the elements that are critical for success.

I think back to early ebook successes like Ken Evoy's Make Your Site Sell or Marlon Sanders' Amazing Formula. These ebooks sold incredibly well and still sell well some 10 years later. Why? Because they are well written, provide information about things people want and need, the authors have developed great reputations, and the they are affordable.

So quality and price and size of audience are inter-related. You must be mindful of all three of these things.

I've made some mistakes in the past when it comes to product development.

I've created products that solved problems for ME, but very few other people had the same problem so the products didn't sell well.

I've created products that seemed too much like other people's products to the point where the differences and value were difficult to distinguish.

I've created products that seemed like really good ideas only to have them become a total flop. They sounded good when I first thought of them, but something happened along the way which transformed them into a dud!

Now the good part about developing and selling an Internet product is that the cost is usually rather low. If you do it wisely, you can usually outsource the development of a software tool for between $500.00 - $1,000.00 depending upon what's called for. If you design and write your own site, cover and sales letter, then your only real cost is buying a domain and hosting it for around $25.00. What other business can you start for such a low price?

Of course, you want to position yourself for success.

So you need to do the best job you can, and if you can't do it all, you need to turn to someone who can help you. Someone who can design a better product shot (ebook cover, software box, etc.), someone who can write killer sales copy, and design a site that is visually compelling. Then your costs go up, don't they?

Is it worth it, you ask?

It depends. If you have a quality product that a large group of people really needs, and it is priced to sell, you might be able to attract the attention of Internet marketing gurus and joint venture experts and get your product promoted to millions of people. The odds of your recouping your investment and making a bundle of quick cash go up sharply when you are well positioned like this.

But it's not easy. The guys with the big lists who do the JV deals get besieged by guys wanting to do deals, and most of the products are not quality products, and that ruins it for the rest of us.

So where does leave you?

First, ask yourself what need you are trying to fill.

If there's a need still there after you do your competitive analysis, then create the best possible product you can. Keep the quality high. Send review copies out to key people to determine interest in helping you promote it. Do your due diligence and JV with people you can trust and who have high integrity and large mailing lists.

Make sure your site sells -- killer cover, graphics and sales copy are a MUST. If you need help, call me or email me at

Follow the formula. It can work. But it starts with a quality product.

Keep thinking about it.

Until next time


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Saturday, February 20, 2010

350 Social Media Strategies -- Why You Need Them!

Hi there. Hope all is well. I'm sitting here in my home office
working my butt off when I should be doing something fun, but
duty calls. Besides my son in at a sleepover and my wife and
daughter are busy picking up this year's Girl Scout cookie
delivery! Yeah! Can't wait for those Thin Mints! Mmmm.

Of course, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so I have
surfed YouTube and discovered something called the Annoying
Orange. Oh my. If you have not seen this yet, go search for it. I
died when I watched them. Very simple scripts and animation, but
very funny. These videos are attracting a huge following, much
like Charlie the Unicorn videos which my kids introduced me to
last year.

There are tons of very low budget videos which are busy making
their creators tons of money. My kids are big iCarly fans. The
program is about high school kids with their own TV show on the
web. It sparked a young man to create his own series of YouTube
videos based on a character he calls "Fred". Fred speaks with a high,
sped up voice much like Alvin from the Chipmunks. It is stupid
but high school kids love it and think it is hilarious stuff.

Good for Fred. His videos gets millions of hits and have enabled
him to build a huge mailing list and following. Now he has his
own site selling his products, and he has sponsorships and big
contracts. His college education is paid for, but I bet he almost
has enough money to retire and he's still a teenager.

I'm telling you social media is IT.

It's funny how many people don't get the social media thing.
Many people think connecting with hundreds of old school friends
on FaceBook is social media. No. That's called wasting time.

Social media means using the Internet to connect to people with
common interests in what you know, what you like, what you do.
There are tons of different services out there and knowing how to
milk each respective service is the key to achieving any level of

If you want more visibility for your product, your service, your
company or even to build a stronger personal brand then social
media is critical to your success.

Still don't believe me?

Search for "Steven Schneiderman" on Google. Go ahead, I'll wait.

OK, what did you see listed in the #2 position under my own
corporate web site? You should see my listing.
What's LinkedIn? It's a social media site for professionals to
connect to one another. Launched about 5 years ago, it has become
the de facto way to reconnect, get testimonials, find work, and
build relationships.

But you need to know how to use LinkedIn to maximize your
visibility and your desired results.

Well, I found a collection of 7 easy-to-read and succinct reports
that tell you most of what you need to know about the top 7
social media sites including LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter,
StumbleUpon, Yahoo Answers, Digg and Squidoo.

Best of all they are only $9.97 for all 7 reports. That's 350
eye-opening, practical social media strategies for only $9.97.

Get started right now while the price stays low:

All my best,


P.S.: Know someone who could use this info? Please click the
link below to forward this newsletter to them:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentines Lessons and Hope

Greetings and I hope things are going well for you on the other
side of the screen. February has been busier than expected with
lots of new opportunities despite a constantly floundering
economy. We've just gotten past the last few snow storms, and
Frank, my friend and chief meteorologist at Channel 8 KTUL
informs us we could still get another 10 inches of snow before
winter is over. If you've been hit by multiple snow storms like
us, then I know you must ready for Spring, too. I'm just counting
the days ...

Valentines Day was really nice this year. My wife, Amy, bought
me a wonderful massage and then cooked a lobster feast for our
dinner. Wow! I am so undeserving. It was sensational. We gave our
son, Christian, a $50 gift card to Walmart and he was so excited.
He has had his eyes set on a new series of Bionicle toys --
they're kind of the new Lego toy.

Anyway, I promised to take Christian to the store after church
on Sunday to go shopping for toys, and he quickly found what he
wanted and filled the cart up with toys. But as we started to
pass the jewelry counter, he asked if he could put his toys back
and buy my wife a sterling silver heart pendant instead. I tried
to talk him out of it since we had already given her presents,
but there was no talking him out of it. He rushed back to the toy
department with toys in hands, and came back empty handed ready
to use all of his gift money for Mommy.

He proudly carried the gift home and dramatically presented it
to my wife. She was overwhelmed and Christian was so proud to
share his love and give such a gift. Kind of brought home the
whole reason for Valentines for us as a family. We're blessed in
so many ways I can hardly count them all.

I try to share those blessings with as many people as possible,
and one way I do this is to provide some free coaching for local
companies. This past week I had the good fortune of meeting two
women who work together in a business that has not been doing
very well for a long time. We spent two hours talking about the
ups and downs and the present state of the economy. I gave them
some advice that I hope will point them down a more profitable
road, but something occurred to me which I feel compelled to
share with you, my loyal reader.

I believe that entrepreneurs can become addicted to their
companies and live in denial over their failures just to keep the
doors open. This isn't so for all business owners, but some
founders have so much of their personal lives and spirit tied up
in their company that they fail to see the forest for the trees.
They fail to see that if they have not been able to make a living
after 7 years that it's probably time to close up shop and find
something else to do.

The key in these instances is to step out of denial and look at
the lessons learned -- and the minor successes -- and then try to
figure out how to do it better the next time around. Don't focus
on the past failures. Focus on the future with Hope in your heart

Hope in a floundering economy is a challenge. So many people are
losing their jobs and then go numb. They are like deer in
headlights, watching the car, getting hit, and then laying there,
waiting to die. It doesn't have to be like this. There is Hope.

I don't pretend to have all the answers, and what works for me,
may not work for you, but here is my advice should you find
yourself in an awkward financial position.

Determine where your expertise lies. What subject do you know
better than the majority of the people around you? This could be
knowledge derived through a formal education or lifetime
experience. It could be knowledge that has been passed down
through your family or a mentor.

Start writing a book.

When the book is done, record an audio version.

When the audio is done, create a video series.

Start a blog to establish yourself as a subject matter expert.

Start social networking, connecting to others, and participating
in forum and other online discussions related to your area of

Invest the time to become a recognized authority.

Establish a squeeze page and a micro site.

When people enter their name and email address into your squeeze
page, add them to a mailing list and start sending them follow-up
related information.

Promote your stuff: ebook, audio, video, membership site.

And never stop.

You can make a living this way. Especially if your product is
good and you can attract affiliates to promote your product. It
may not be the living you envisioned, but it will help keep a
roof over your head, food in your belly and gas in your car.

For some this approach seems daunting. I can help. For others,
it will become a path for financial success. The late Corey Rudl
was just out of college when he started selling his ebook about
buying the car you always wanted. He sold tons of ebooks and made
7 figures and built a marketing empire. It can be done.

But it starts with Hope.

All my best,


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Web Site Ranking and Design Tips

Greetings and I hope this fine Tuesday morning finds you poised
and ready for a great February. The snow's still hanging around
but gradually melting, and the weather is not supposed to get
warmer for a few more weeks. We've discovered our 10 year old son
is allergic to every kind of grass and tree on the planet, dust
mites and soy. The latter is a bummer because the only way he
eats his veggies is if we let him drown them in soy sauce. Ah
well ...

My project white board is full of activity which is unusual for
this early in the year, but I'm keeping busy. I don't know about
your business, but for me it pays to have a loss leader, a
low-cost service that attracts lots of leads and opens up the
discussion for higher-billing services.

That's what product image design does for me. People come to me
for ebook covers and related product images, and then we start
discussing micro site design, sales letters, email series and
press releases.

Another way to attract business is to offer a free consultation.
I've been doing that for 25 years. I think it's important,
though, to put a price on your time so prospects understand they
are actually receiving something of value as opposed to zero

So I let prospects know that I normally charge $200.00/hour but
that the first 1-2 hours is on the house. This helps set the tone
and value for my services as well as sets my financial
expectations should we progress beyond the initial free consult.

Folks frequently ask me how do I find new business and how much
time do I spend prospecting for new clients. The answer may
surprise you: maybe 10-20% of my time is spent prospecting for
new business. Why so low? The majority of my business now comes
through referrals, word of mouth, and through my "net".

By "net" I refer to my network of 100+ web site domains. Early
on I started collecting domain names based upon my areas of work
experience and subject matter expertise. Then, over time, I
populated these sites with some basic content. This includes
articles, product reviews and recommendations, and some
promotional material. Many of the sites are cross-linked to each
other. This net helps capture a variety of leads each week.

For instance, when someone needs an ebook cover designed, they
may search for "ebook cover artist" and when they do, I am #1 on
Google. How did I achieve that? I chose a domain that very
explicitly describes my service: In fact,
if you perform this search yourself, you will find I have five of
the ten listings on that page. If you search for "ebook covers",
I am #2 under my domain

So one way you may be able to generate more traffic and leads is
to choose explicitly word domain names. Secure a few variations
and either fill them with some basic content or redirect all of
them to your main web site.

I tend to use longish sales letters with lots of examples of my
best work, and then add a squeeze page lead capture form at the
bottom of the page. If you have not tried this approach I
recommend using a template like this one:

While on the topic of web sites, is yours looking kind of drab
lately? If you have not updated your site's look and feel in a
while but don't want to spend a lot of money and want to
do-it-yourself, then you might consider adding a splash of
abstract graphics to the page background, your header image or
your product images. You would be surprised by the difference
these subtle changes can make. See examples of what I am talking
about here:

Hope these marketing tips help you out.

Until next time,


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