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Marketing Top Tip Battle!

Help me to help you .. NOT

I'm going to be honest and splay myself out for you here, so get ready.

I just received an email entitled "help me to help you".

Now, respect to the person who wrote that email title, let's assume they know exactly what they are doing and they are getting top quality results.

But it annoyed me.

I think it might be a male thing.

Did you used to watch Top Gear on TV? Did you see Ellen MacArthur win the "star in a reasonably priced car" feature?

So the idea is, they have a racetrack and a former racing driver (who they call The Stig) coaches various celebrities how to drive fastest around it, then they go for it and over the series they maintain a leader board of the fastest celebrities.

Ellen MacArthur wanted more goes around the track because she felt she could do it better. They didn't let her, because she'd won. She was top of the list.

Here's my theory why.

Let's start with the fact that I'm a feminist, have been since about 1974 or so.

This is me watching me, being aware of my male behaviour. No science involved.

Here we go.

I think, when guys sit with The Stig, what's going on in the back of their head is "I'll listen, I'll take on board what I think is right, and I'll add a little salt of my own because if I do it exactly as The Stig says and I win, it will effectively be like The Stig won. I will have won an obedience contest. Whereas if I add my own angle on what The Stig says, then it will be me who won it."

I think what Ellen MacArthur did was listen hard, learn from the best, and do exactly what she learned.

I think guys have that 'fault'. I certainly do. It's why I work for myself, I want to plough my own furrow and do my own thing.

That's not to say I don't learn from the best, I am actually quite known for going on the forums of digital marketing training courses to argue for doing exactly what the tutor says, otherwise what did you pay for? For not adding our own salt.

But I'm very aware of the desire to, and I'm calling it male. Male ego, if you like.

So that headline, "help me to help you" irritated me.

Instantly, it makes me smaller. It subjugates me, and I didn't ask for it, it invaded my email inbox and called me small. Seems a bit rude if you ask me.

I would rather think of experts as a power tool, as a resource that I can call on.

This person was selling a system for getting on top of ones personal finances. So I might have responded (if I had the need) to something more like "Use me to get your finances straight". That leaves me in the driving seat.

Like I say, I may be wrong, it might just be me, but it's certainly worth a test.


Copywriting checklist

There are people who want to wrestle creatively with problems. Those who are organised. People-connectors, and goal-driven prioritisers. Like a teacher planning a class, you might have to connect with all these personalities, so try to include as many of these as you can in your copy:

* A full explanation of clear actions and steps. How will you solve their problems and how will they learn by doing?

* Background theory.

* Why your product is better at solving the reader's problem than anything else out there.

* Testimonials

* How you will provide personal attention and interaction.

* How many people the user will be able to help and interact with after buying/consuming the product.

* A way for those who just want to get on to read the main points and take action, esp. if you can provide a chart or diagram >

Come back another time for the ability to vote and make your own marketing planner.

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Who is A Million Tweaks?

John Allsopp

Hi, I'm John Allsopp and I founded A Million Tweaks in 2009 to do just what it says, continually improve marketing systems.

Nowadays I'm still just as hungry to learn the latest and most effective marketing techniques in what is an incredibly fast moving world. Basically I buy all the training courses so you don't have to.

Actually that's not an insignificant thing. Back in the day I got a first in my degree (Internet Computing) because I did the work, obviously, but also because I studied well and that means taking information from different sources and mixing things up to find the truth in the middle, and I still do that today. I remember waking up one Sunday, switching on the wooden, push button TV we had next to the bed and Tony Buzan came on with his mind maps .. it's still how I study now.

There used to be a very popular service that read all the business books and summarised them for busy executives. I'm not sure if that's still going, but this service is like a modern equivalent, except we'll actually do the work for you too if you like.

In marketing, however, there is an absolute truth: the result. It's often more effort to talk about marketing improvements than to enact them. Don't talk: test. If it works it works. So A Million Tweaks is about making small, low risk changes every day and iterating our way to your fame and fortune.

Anyway, I was supposed to be introducing myself in this box. I live in Scarborough with my partner (who has ME/CFS). I'm 6'6" tall which I think makes me an observer. I drum in a ska band (come see us it's a great night) :-)

If you want to get in touch there's 07762 941921 but best for me is email john@johnallsopp.co.uk or hook up with me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Even better, fill out the form on this page and let's get talking about how we can apply some of these marketing improvements to your business, it's no good left stuck in my head now, is it?