Charlie Cook's MArketing for Success Insider's Club

Marketing Plans

4 Steps to Winning Gold With Your Marketing Plan

By Tracy DeYoung   |   August 7, 2012

Do you have visions of being the market leader in your industry? Can you picture a giant leaderboard with you and all of your competitor’s names on it, and your name is in the top slot? You take the gold – and the clients, and the profits!

With the summer Olympics buzz in London,  the idea of earning a gold medal is forefront in most major newscasts… Read More »

6 Steps To A Better Selling Brand

By Charlie Cook   |   April 29, 2012

How you dress affects how people see you. The same is true with your brand.

Your company name, how you talk about your business and what you share determines whether your prospects want to do business with you. Start with these 6 steps to shape your brand and attract more buyers. Read More »

Catch and Release Marketing

By Colleen Kilpatrick   |   September 4, 2010

I was sitting in my client’s office last week listening to him describe all the creative and costly ways he finds new customers, then lament his failure to retain those customers.

Later, as I drove away from his office, my mind drifted back 20 years to a fishing trip and the marketing lesson I learned while on it.

It was the summer of my junior year in college. I was working as a bartender on an island dotted with hundreds of fishing ponds. One day, a friend asked me to go fishing with him. Always game for a new adventure, I agreed. Read More »

What Makes Your Prospects Buy…

By Charlie Cook   |   March 24, 2010

“I hate sales pitches!” You may have felt this way yourself or heard others say it. If it’s such a common response, what’s the best way to organize your small business marketing plan to attract new clients and customers?

While getting all aspects of your marketing right can be complicated, the simple truth is that you can attract many more clients and be far more successful by doing just one thing. Read More »

How to Get a Testimonial

By Rick Frishman   |   March 22, 2010

Get in the habit of asking every client or customer for letters of praise.

-Ask them to state how great your work was and how much they enjoyed working with you. You’ll be surprised how highly they extol you and how wonderfully they express it.
-Ask for endorsements during the first thirty to sixty days or as soon as short-term projects are complete. Read More »

What Your Barber Knows About Marketing

By Jeffrey Mayer   |   December 6, 2009

Sometimes you need to look at your business from a different direction and perspective. To see where you are going with it.

* Where have you positioned yourself in the marketplace?
* How can you increase revenues and profits?
* What can be done to cut costs?
* How do you find new customers? Read More »

The #1 Recession Mistake That Kills Profits

By Charlie Cook   |   September 11, 2009

So now, according to the experts, it’s official we are in a recession. What are you doing to prosper in this tough economy?

What are you doing to guarantee that you can continue to see your income grow and you’re not stuck in the same place years from now? Read More »

How To Find Hidden Profits In Your Small Business

By Charlie Cook   |   September 8, 2009

Want more clients and bigger profits?

Did you know that most smart business owners, despite working dawn to dusk could be making 2-4 times as much just by making a few simple changes to either their business model, their pricing strategies or their marketing? Read More »

What Do I Do Now For My Small Business Marketing

By Charlie Cook   |   July 21, 2009

“What do I do now?”

Is that a question you’ve asked yourself recently about your small business marketing plan?

For most entrepreneurs and small business owners, the past 18 months have been tough. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how great your products and services are, in the midst of a recession it can be easy to get bogged down and watch while your profits plummet.

Most summers for the last 50 plus years, I’ve spent a week or more on the coast of Maine. And much of that time has been spent in boats: rowboats, canoes, kayaks, sailboats and small motorboats.

When the sun shines and the sky is blue, it’s easy to go for a picnic or motor across to the nearest store to pick up groceries. But when the Maine fog rolls in and blankets the bay, it’s easy to get disoriented and lost.

The current recession is just like a big, damp, cold fog bank for most small business marketing plans. It’s disorienting and many people are panicking and losing sales and money.

What can you do?

Discover what works even in a recession

Years ago, I discovered that with a few simple skills I could navigate through the thickest fog and magically get where I wanted to go, most of the time, much to the surprise of my friends. Now with a GPS it’s so easy anyone can do it.

The same is true with your small business marketing plan. Once you know how to stay focused and navigate through this recession you’ll amaze yourself as you see profits pouring in.

Use the following five steps:

1.  Begin with an urgent and compelling goal.
Pick a goal that’s vital to the success of your small business marketing plan. It could be lead generation, referrals, increasing repeat sales, customer retention, etc.  But whatever you pick, it should be so important that it motivates you to follow through.

2.  Pick something you can accomplish within a few weeks, a month at most.
If your goal is to write a book, identify a short-term sub goal, such as completing the first chapter.

Or if you want to get referrals, you could start by writing the sequence of questions you’d use to get existing clients to tell you how much they love your products or services and than to get them to give you 1-2 names of people they’ll help you contact.

3.  Pick something you can measure.
Improving customer service is a nice idea, but you need a specific sub goal you can measure. Increasing repeat sales this month would be a good measureable goal.

4.  Make sure the larger goal and the sub-goal you have picked is one that everyone on your team can commit to.
If half your team doesn’t agree that it’s urgent, it won’t happen.

If everyone can agree, for example, that they’ll focus on adding one more sales partner each month, it’s more likely to happen.

5.  Pick a goal you can accomplish with the people and resources you have.
That way you’re not dependent on additional funds or new resources.

That’s it. Now get started.

Pick an urgent small business marketing goal, stay focused and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Anyone with motivation and determination can bring in more sales this way.


P.S. Remember, that to change the behavior of your prospects, to get more people buying, you first need to change your own behavior.

P.P.S. Ready to stop struggling and start profiting from your small business marketing plan in this recession?

Get a team of experts working for you

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Is It A Business Or A Hobby?

By Charlie Cook   |   June 30, 2009

“Can I make this business profitable?” Jim from Kansas City, Kansas asked me a few weeks ago.

Jim installs glass into existing steel or fiberglass front doors, bringing much needed light into homes and increasing their resale value. He has a steady stream of customers and has increased his customer base each of the 8 years he’s been in business.

Yet he was just breaking even before the recession and is now losing money.

What’s the problem?

Any small business marketing that is built around selling just one product or service is going to struggle. In Jim’s case, his only opportunity to resell to past customers is when — or if— they move into a new home. He has to find a new customer to make almost every sale.


Finding new prospects and converting them to customers is the hardest part of growing your business.

Once you have a satisfied customer you can sell to them again and again. To run a profitable business, you want to offer a number of related products or services or a service or product that people need more than one time.

Once you have a satisfied customer, you can sell to them again and again. It’s ten times easier to sell an existing customer than to start from scratch with a new one.

Discover the easiest way to attract a steady stream of profits >>

I asked my barber what his life would be like if he had to find sixteen new customers every day. He looked at me as if I were crazy. He only needs to attract new customers periodically when an existing customer moves away or goes bald.

Jim simply does not have a profitable business model. Instead of using each sale to a new customer to generate additional sales, he’s stuck on a permanent treadmill, constantly needing to find new customers and trying to close the next first sale.

Is It A Hobby?
If you only have one product or service to sell and it’s not something people need over and over, you don’t have a business, you have a hobby. There is no way to grow your business and your income. You’ll always be struggling to make a profit.

Ready to stop working so hard, and make more with less effort? >>

To be profitable, you need to attract first time customers and then sell them multiple products and services or help them buy again and again.

Here’s the sequence that generates profits:

1.    Attract prospects to your mailing list
2.    First time sale
3.    Up-sell or cross-sell a higher price point product,
4.    Sign them up for an on-going service and help them
5.    Create customers for life (well at least for a year at a time).

Of course there are many variations, but the goal is the same; leverage the first sale into additional revenue so you maximize the value of each customer.

That’s what my trainer did when he signed me for an annual season pass to the gym. That’s what my HVAC company did when they signed us up for an annual maintenance contract.

That’s what the phone company does too. They get you in the funnel with an incredible deal on a cell phone and then sign you up for a two-year contract.

WalMart uses the same strategy. They put the lowest, practically free item at the end of the aisle to get you in to the store. Most people buy a higher priced more feature-laden version, and pick up a handful of other items while they are in the store.

Without a marketing funnel, a way of up-selling or cross-selling – you’ll be permanently frustrated and perpetually broke.

Want to stop being frustrated and start making more with your small business marketing? Start here >>

Is there anything Jim can do to turn his “hobby” into a business?

Absolutely.  Jim could expand the services and products he offers to meet more of his customers’ needs. He could offer replacement windows and window washing, for example, and have sales partnerships with people who clean carpets, refinish floors, and do home renovations.

By offering just a few of these related services he could easily double his income within a month or two and have a wildly profitable business. But he didn’t want to change his business model. Last I heard he was headed for bankruptcy instead.

If you just want to be busy, get a hobby.

If you want to make money, your business model needs to systematically help first time customers buy from you again and again so that you make more with less effort. It’s not complicated, and you can easily increase your income by 50% or more within weeks.

– Charlie

P.S. Tired of just being busy? Want to find how to find out the proven formula for attracting clients and profits?

Use this small business marketing blueprint to get the profits you want >>

P.P.S. I’ve known people who worked 50 to 80 hours a week just to make ends meet, when they had an untapped goldmine in their hands. Find out how easy it is to get all the business you want and see your income grow.

Get started >>

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