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The 3 Forces That Will Pre-Sell Your Products for You Learn how to use media, marketing and PR to make your target audience aware of your business so they'll want to buy from you.

By Dan S. Kennedy

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The following excerpt is from Dan S. Kennedy's book No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

The more you establish yourself as a noted and reputable expert before you attempt a direct sale of your product or service, the more chance you have at making that sale. You're creating the kind of invaluable and positive buzz that makes your well-to-do prospects:

  • Aware of who you are,
  • Aware of what you do, and
  • Aware that you're very good at what you do.

When you put the Business Trifecta® to work for you, you can create excitement about yourself and your business. More importantly, you can pre-sell yourself to the affluent audience—the Business Trifecta® does all the heavy-lifting for you.

Before we discuss how the Trifecta works, we'll reveal the three different "legs" of the Business Trifecta®, then discuss how to make this threesome work together in the most powerful way possible.

Business Trifecta® Leg #1: Media.

When most people think of media, they most often think of TV, radio, newspapers, and the internet. In reality, that's only one category of media—mass media. Mass media is about numbers. That means these kinds of platforms want to attract the most users, so they must produce content that's genuine and interesting to the most people (or at least the most people in their target audience), or they lose money.

Because mass media has no other visible agenda than to entertain and inform the most people, it automatically brings two things to the table—awareness and credibility. If there's a positive story about you on CNN, for instance, people see it and think more of you because of it.

The other type of media is direct media. This is generally a targeted informational sales tool that takes the form of a CD, DVD, newsletter, direct-mail piece, sales letter, website copy, etc. A business creates this kind of media usually for the sole purpose of selling a product or service. The huge advantage to direct media lies in the fact that because you're paying for the creation of the direct media, you completely control the message and the content. This is vitally important because you can portray your business in its best light.

Most people are anxious to have access to both kinds of media in order to raise their business profile. There are three different methods of doing this:

1. You can appear in media naturally. Let's say you're a high-profile plastic surgeon and your local TV station is doing a story on more and more residents getting "work done." They call your office, arrange an interview, and use clips of that interview in their final report. Well, congratulations! You just received great free advertising simply because you were the right person in the right place at the right time. More importantly, because you were chosen as an expert by a third party (the local news), your credibility was given a significant boost.

2. You can buy media access. Maybe you want enough time to fully demonstrate your product or service—so you buy some half-hour blocks of time on local TV and produce your own infomercial to run during those times. Or you buy an ad in the local paper or city magazine, or put a radio commercial on the community airwaves. Advertising is the conventional approach to buying media access by businesses, though it lacks the credibility of naturally appearing on mass media through a respected third party's invitation.

3. You can create your own media. Entrepreneurs often create their own direct media in lieu of either spending on or waiting for mass media exposure. This is generally in the form of direct media (i.e., CD, DVD, newsletter, a documentary film, etc.).

The advantage of creating your own media is the control of the finished product. You carefully script what you want to say, target the exact market you want to reach, and present the story in the exact type of media your market is most attracted to. This type of media done right and continuously can create a very lasting relationship with the market you're trying to reach. Created media can also be sold if you provide enough real content to your target market. For instance, a real estate agent could write a book on buying and selling luxury homes. That book could then be sold on Amazon and serves as an indirect promotion for the agent—and, in this case, also targets the affluent segment of potential clients, as it focuses on luxury homes.

Business Trifecta® Leg #2: PR.

Public relations is all about creating awareness and third-party endorsement when it's picked up by outside media. The awareness comes primarily from press releases and media appearances. If your press release hits at the right time or falls into the right hands, it could land you a story in the newspaper, in a magazine, on the radio or TV, or online. It can also get you invited on radio and TV interview shows to talk about what you're selling. Or, if it's an online press release, it could drive more traffic to your website.

Business Trifecta® Leg #3: Marketing.

The final leg of our trifecta is marketing—everything you do to make everyone aware of what you do, what you sell, and what you can do for them. And we mean everything. All of the media and PR we just discussed can be part of a marketing plan. The most important word in that last sentence is "plan." Marketing is most effective when you coordinate all the different ways you promote your business so that a) your marketing messaging is consistent and b) you're able to successfully deliver that message to a substantial segment of your target group. Ideally, that plan should make prospects want to buy from you or, at the very least, give you a long, hard look.

The secret formula for media success

How you put all three of the Business Trifecta® elements together is critically important when it comes to marketing to the affluent. Because they have a greater amount of sales resistance than other segments of the population, using only one element of the Trifecta is generally not enough to make a sale. You need to put all three together in the right mix.

Which brings us to the magic ingredient of our secret formula ... melding media.

While mass media delivers a higher degree of awareness and credibility, if there isn't a direct solicitation involved with a mass media appearance, it doesn't generate any real revenue. On the other hand, direct media traditionally doesn't always have the same level of credibility as mass media because you're producing it yourself. And if you're distributing the media through traditional marketing means, such as direct mail or email, to the affluent consumer, it will may be perceived as an advertisement, no matter what the content happens to be.

That's why it's best to meld both kinds of media—mass media and direct media—into one marketing system. Here's how to do it: Create direct media that looks like mass media, and then place that direct media on a mass media outlet.

For example, we've created interview shows built under various business umbrellas—such as The Brian Tracy Show (hosted by legendary business coach Brian Tracy) and The New Masters of Real Estate. Our clients are interviewed on these shows, which are produced at the same quality level as other shows of their kinds. We then place these programs on a variety of mass media outlets—ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates as well as such cable channels as CNN and Fox News—where they appear to be mass media shows.

This approach allows you to get the benefits of both kinds of media. You can completely control the message, but you'll also get the huge boost in credibility and awareness that mass media can deliver. Not only that, but you can use your mass media appearances in your marketing and PR efforts to get yourself even more positive attention. Then, when you approach an affluent prospect, and your materials feature the logos of all the prominent media outlets you've appeared on, the prospect is going to regard you a lot more seriously than they would otherwise. You're suddenly elevated in their eyes to a national expert—which makes selling a great deal easier. That mass media "stamp of approval" can mean the world to a potential customer.

When you successfully combine media, marketing, and PR, you can reach your intended affluent audience—and bring about guaranteed business growth and increased revenues.

Dan S. Kennedy

Author, Strategic Advisor, Consultant, and Business Coach

DAN S. KENNEDY is a strategic advisor, consultant, business coach, and author of the popular No B.S. book series. He directly influences more than one million business owners annually. 

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