1. An explosive marketing strategy. Did you see the newspaper photo online over the weekend from the grocery store that had been picked clean by panicked shoppers before the big snowstorm?
Too many businesses are like that. They depend on ONE marketing method to get new customers and when that method stops working, they have to start over from scratch. They're as empty-handed as a supermarket whose aisles were ransacked by paying customers hoarding food.
On the other hand, businesses with an explosive marketing strategy expect what other businesses would whine about: failure. They know nothing lasts forever, so there's a plan B, a plan C, a plan D, and a quick and sure way to come up with plans E, F, and G when those become necessary.
Recently entire businesses closed down because the FTC frowned on testimonials and undisclosed affiliate relationships, followed by Visa and MasterCard frowning on shady free trials that turn into expensive continuity programs.
A more flexible and reality-based explosive marketing strategy would have prevented those businesses from closing.
One of my coaching clients was planning a big promotion recently. Part of his promotion included a free trial on a continuity program.
The new marketplace conditions didn't phase him. Using an explosive marketing strategy, he simply shifted gears by adjusting his offer. He continued on with his plan... and proceeded to make more money in a day than most businesses will make all year.
2. An explosive sales message. Are you telling your customers what you need to tell them, or what they want to hear? Believe it or not, there's a big difference.
Many businesses couldn't sell clean, sparkling water to a man dying of thirst with pockets full of money. The reason? They are so stuck on a sales message that doesn't work that nothing short of a miracle (or a better sales message) could help them.
Just as bad is an anti-sales attitude by people at the top in charge of decisions. You can throw cold water on the bottom line by making it hard for salespeople to do their jobs, or for products to be shipped and delivered after orders are written.
I talked to someone last week who told me top management at the small company where he worked was actively blocking fast fulfillment to customers by saving a few pennies here and there. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!
But I also talked to a coaching client last week who is getting a growing number of hot leads in a very tough business and is increasing marketing spending with a sales message that puts him at the edge of his comfort zone.
As we talked about it, he realized the sales message, while edgy, was perfectly ethical and in fact contained the same words he'd use to advise a good friend who was thinking about buying what he sells.
And guess what? He's on an explosive growth path at a time when many of his competitors will be closing shop.
3. An explosive scaling strategy. Growing fast is a challenge for a number of reasons. The biggest problem I have seen with most businesses is lack of clear communication and lack of systems.
The more excuses and complaints you hear from people who are supposed to be responsible and in charge, the more you know there's a scaling problem. The old cliche "the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" is perfect shorthand -- pardon the expression -- for what's underneath scaling problems.
You can have great marketing and great sales and the business can fall apart because you can't process the orders and keep customers happy. It doesn't matter whether you have a shoe store at a shopping mall or a digital information business on the Web.
Businesses that want explosive growth work hard on fine-tuning their scaling strategy until problems are solved, new problems are anticipated, and customers are taken care of. My most successful coaching clients are more concerned about these issues than about their profit numbers.
Which is understandable, because they are very profitable. What sets them apart from businesses teetering on the brink is that explosive businesses know exactly where the profits come from, and they go to great lengths not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
4. An explosive Web strategy. I've been online a long time. Ten years ago I edited a paid subscription newsletter called "What's Working Online," and as I look back, I'm surprised we had anything to write about.
Back in the day, most Web companies were doing the digital equivalent of throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what would stick.
These days, people know what will stick. One of my partners, a brilliant marketer who specializes in Jeff Walker-style launches, turned me onto a book by Gary Vaynerchuk called Crush It! Gary and his dad Sasha run a $60 million a year wine business online using an explosive Web strategy.
I had a conversation last week with a very successful client who has a Web based business. He's ready to embrace a more explosive Web strategy, but he's not totally comfortable with social media and online video.
He's got a big shift to make and I'm ready to guide him through it. He's not wild about the idea of making the shift but I have worked with him for almost a decade and I know he'll do what it takes to make the changes necessary to get what he wants.
5. An unforgettable marketplace identity. Watching halftime with a friend yesterday during the Superbowl, I found myself embarrassed for the first time ever to be a baby-boomer.
The Who were playing onstage in the middle of the world's most-watched football field (at that moment). The word "geezer" kept crawling across my mind, and it wasn't in a warm, cuddly way, either.
But as they sang, "Who... are... you? Who-who... are you?" I realized this was Paradise Regained for explosive marketing. My football-watching buddy, a musician, reminisced how The Who were the coolest band around forty years ago.
If you're an American of my generation, you might not remember Thunderclap Newman or The Buckinghams or The Cyrkle or Gerry and the Pacemakers particularly well.
But how could you forget The Who? Even if they weren't on TV yesterday, their name and their music will be indelibly etched into my memory for decades to come.
So... explosive growth? What does this have to do with that?
As the Cameron Crowe teenage character says at the end of the movie "Almost Famous,":
"To begin with... everything."My explosive growth clients aren't afraid to make some waves to make a point and claim some territory in the mindscape of the market. They are able to answer The Who's question in a way that resonates meaningfully with the marketplace.
And people remember them. Not just when they want to buy something. They remember them when they are talking to others. They remember the good, the bad, the quotable.
And when you combine an unforgettable marketplace identity with an explosive marketing strategy, an explosive sales strategy, an explosive scaling strategy and an explosive Web strategy, you get... Explosive Business Growth.
6. How you can get explosive business growth. There are two ways: The hard way and the fast way.
The hard way is to take my formula, freely offered in this blog post, and figure out (in your spare time) how to apply it to your business. Get all five factors right, and you are headed to seven-figure land. Or, if you're already at seven, you're on the Eight-Figure Express.
The fast way is to apply for Explosive Business Coaching. I have three slots open and while I currently have three prospects, not everybody makes the cut. You have to be willing to do what it takes and you need to be able to afford it.
If you are excited by the prospect of getting this coaching and accelerating your business growth, send me an email. Answer these four questions:
1. Where is your business now?
2. Where do you want it to be?
3. What's the most exciting thing to you about Explosive Business Growth?
4. How would you rate yourself on implementation and follow-through?
I like answers which are specific, vivid, and colorful -- and show a great deal of seriousness and commitment. Numbers are good. And playful humor is certainly welcome as part of the mix.
You can send your answers to this special email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're ready, I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
Publisher, World Copywriting Newsletter