How My Local Record Store Is Failing To Extracting MORE Money From Me

classical rockI caught the vinyl record bug about several months ago.   And my pocketbook shows it.

I’ve probably spent about $5000 on records over the past 6 months.   From classical to rock to electronic.   I like all kinds of different music and decided to graduate from downloading songs from iTunes.

I probably go to my local record store to take a look at the new releases and used vinyl probably 2-3 times a week.  You never know what new release or deals you can get from people who turn in their record collection.

However, somehow, they are failing to extract more money from me in the following fashion:

 1)  They’re Not Sending Me A Physical Newsletter.

Sure, they’re posting new releases on a blog.  But for high-value customers like me who seem to spend more money than the usual patron, a physical newsletter would remind me of good deals, used records that have just arrived into the store, and the latest audio equipment.

 2)  They Don’t Have Me As Part Of A Continuity Program.

Continuity is gold in marketing.   Just as the electric company, your local cable company, and your cellphone provider.   There’s nothing like having income siphoning into your bank account on a regular basis.

They should have me in a special membership where they bill me, say, $100 or so every month.  And, in return, I’ll get 20% off the in-store price for that $100.

I buy about 4-5 records per month from that place anyway.  I would want to join so I can get the 20% off deal, and they get residual income every month they can count on.

There could be other benefits of the membership program.  I don’t go to a lot of their local concerts, but perhaps 20% off concert tickets.  There is one I’m mulling over attending this weekend, and getting 20% off the concert ticket might make me take action.

 3)  They Don’t Have Promotions That Make Me Want To Flock To The Store.

They do have something called “Record Store Day” twice a year, but that’s a national event amongst indie record stores across the country.  The only thing they have is something called “Vinyl Tuesday” where I get $5 off any used vinyl if I buy $25 worth of new vinyl.

Zzzzzzzzz.  Sorry, that’s not going to get me out of bed in the morning.

However, if they had a “Buy 2, Get One Free” deal, then I’ll be all over it.  Give me something cool or irresistible that’ll motivate me to get in my car and schlep downtown to the store!

 4)  They Don’t Recognize Their Top Customers.

With all the money I’ve spent at that place, it would be nice to get a phone call, a handwritten “thank you” card, or entrance into some VIP club that’ll motivate me to keep spending and doing business with them.

Now I know this blog post may seem like I’m “entitled” to special treatment because I frequent this particular record store a lot.

But the truth is this:  any business can benefit by segmenting their customers and treating their best customers like royalty.

They’re the ones that spend the most money with you, so it would behoove you to treat them differently than customers who only have bought from you once or twice.

Just a little more special treatment from this record store would make me think twice about ordering a record from Amazon if I could find it in this store…and, instead, asking the store to special order the record for me.

They better be glad they’re the only decent record store in Boise.  Otherwise, a competitor could easily come down and swoop me away.   And my hopeless and insatiable vinyl habit would be enabled elsewhere.

Conclusion

How are you treating your customers? Do you segment high-value customers from your run-of-the-mill “one-timers?” This is how you “fence in your herd” and prevent other competitors from swooping in…as Dan Kennedy calls it.

 

My #1 Strategy For Getting Copywriting Clients

I want to share with you my #1 method for getting copywriting clients. It’s a method a small number of “newbies” utilize and it could be a gamechanger for you.

Ready?

It’s going to live events.

Now I’m not talking about free events…or events where you can pay a $97 deposit and get your money back 4-5 weeks later. I’m talking about events where you have to pay at least $500 or so to attend.

Here’s why: events are where you get to “press the flesh” and meet people. Most people who go to events are serious about their niche or profession—to the point that they’re willing to invest money and time to grow.

And as a copywriter, these are the best people to do business with. This also applies to any other niche as well.

I’ve probably attended 15 events in my 3 years as a freelance copywriter. And I’ve probably made whatever money I spent on travel/hotel/food/registration at least 10x over and over again. Here are some examples:

  • One client I met at a conference hired me for a retainer that has brought in at least $120,000 worth of copywriting work during the past 2 years.
  • And a chance “run-in” at the elevator in the hotel lobby led to a $12,000 project for one of the largest direct mail publishers in the country.
  • Also, a referral from someone I met at a seminar last year led to a $17,400 copywriting gig I completed in a couple weeks.

I probably credit 90% of my income to meeting people at seminars. Here are several tips that’ll allow you to get the most out of live events.

–Go to events where registration is $500 or above. In general, the more expensive the seminar, the more qualified the prospects. I’m going to a weeklong event in June that cost $10,000, but I know I’ll get that investment back in social capital/clients/networking. I’m not saying free events are a waste of time, as I’ve met several solid clients at free events.

–Don’t go to events just to get work. It’s hard to explain: potential clients can almost smell the desperation when you attend just to get work. Just take it easy and make getting to know people and learning about your niche the #1 goal when going to an event.

–Sit in different areas of the seminar.  It gives you a chance to get to know more people.

–Make it all about the other person. Almost every copywriting gig has come from the other person inquiring what I do for a living. And when I tell them, they tell me, “Hey, I’m looking for a copywriter!” In other words, keep the focus on the other person. Some questions I like to ask is, “What do you do?” and “Is this your first (insert seminar)?” Keep it simple.

–Don’t get dismayed if the other person doesn’t mention that they have work. Remember, you are building relationships. One client I met at the GKIC SuperConference 2 years ago will more than likely hire me for a project in the next month or so. You never know when the work will come.

–Don’t be one of those people that shows up at the seminar to accost participants during breaks—without registering for the seminar yourself. Some people will show up at seminars and hang out in the lobby, outside the ballroom doors, etc. without registering themselves. This makes you look cheap. C’mon, at least buy a ticket to the event!

–Make sure the event attendees consist of your target audience. Most of the copy I write is for small business owners and entrepreneurs. So I make sure the events I attend contains this clientele.

–Don’t badger the “gurus.” They get hounded by everyone and their dog at seminars. Unless you happen to run into them at a networking event, stick with the people who are sitting in the audience. It depends on how accessible the “gurus” or speakers are at certain live events.

Another thing: you don’t have to be a copywriter to benefit from LIVE events. Getting to know people in your industry for networking, sharing resources, and even finding potential business partners happens with lightning speed when you attend live events.

If this was helpful to you, please leave a comment below:

Kevin