Pick the Winner
How to use Website Optimizer
(Editors note: This piece was written in 2005 and is still applicable today.)
If you get a hold of Robert Cialdini’s book INFLUENCE there’s a whole chapter where you can read all about it.
Cialdini is pronounced “Chal-DEE-nee”. His book is available on Amazon for a few bucks.
INFLUENCE was written in 1984 and it’s based on some little known, but amazing discoveries Cialdini uncovered that were hidden away in the field of social psychology.
Very simply, social psychology is the science of how people behave when they’re in groups.
Fact: When people are in groups and interacting with other people, they behave very differently than when they’re alone.
There’s lots for us marketers to learn from the scientists who study social psychology and Cialdini’s easy-to-read book is a super survey of all the key ideas as they apply to marketing.
But a word of caution…
One of the examples Cialdini uses to explain the power of social proof is the infamous Jonestown Massacre of 1978.
That’s when over 700 people apparently committed mass suicide by drinking poisoned Kool Aid at the command of a madman named Jim Jones.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase “drinking the Kool Aid” that’s where it comes from.
It means any time people mindlessly follow a stupid and/or destructive path because they’ve been tricked into it by fraudulent social proof.
Internet scam artists are masters of manipulating people with the power of social proof.
Here’s how it works…
A guru appears out of nowhere, there’s hundreds (maybe thousands) of posts about how great he is, a big buzz gets created, and people stampede to buy the product which – more often then not – turns out to be total crap.
Where did all the positive posts come from if the product isn’t very good?
From affiliate re-sellers who didn’t care whether the product was any good or not. They just wanted a product they could sell fast and easy.
Now let me ask you a question…
Does that sound like a good foundation for building a business?
Let me define what “building a business” means…
* It means making some money today and more money tomorrow.
* It means creating something that produces ever-growing income
* It means creating something that you can be proud of and that other people of quality want to get involved in
Hit-and-run marketing based on bogus social proof scams is not business building.
It’s true that in the business opportunity field (which includes Internet marketing), the marketplace is so big and dynamic – and hungry – that you can make ‘fast money’ with junk promotional techniques, but
look at the track record of the guys who follow this path…
They have one big ‘hit’ and then people wise up and you never hear from them again.
Or, if they do stick around, they limp along with ever-diminishing reputations.
One way these guys hang on is by banding together and agreeing to endorse each other’s products, no matter how bad, bogus or full
of BS they are.
It’s the Jonestown version of Social Proof.
Is there a legitimate way to use Social Proof?
And you don’t need to enter the ‘inner circle’ of Internet BS artists to find out what it is.
Step One: Find a marketplace that needs something new and positive in it
Step Two: Create or source a product that truly meets that need
Step Three: Tell your story through all the usual advertising and promotional methods
Step Four: Collect legitimate testimonials from happy customers and share them with prospects.
Step Five: Approach and enroll other ethical marketers in your niche to help you sell your worthwhile product to their customers.
This method lets you harness the power of social proof and create a massive ‘buzz’ – but it does it the right way.
Here’s the weird thing:
It doesn’t take any more time of effort to do it the right way.
All these ‘rich jerks’ with their bogus social proof scams actually make LESS money than the people who play it straight.
Let me give you just one example…
In 1998, two college kids decided to do something about the terrible state of Internet search engines.
Instead of being happy with ‘good enough,’ they burned some midnight oil to create a product that actually did what it was supposed to do.
At first, no one cared about what they were doing.
Internet ‘hot shots’ told them they were wasting their time. “Good enough is good enough.”
But they persisted.
They launched their superior product, people loved it, they told their friends, and finally the experts got on board
Today their ‘little’ company which was started in a dorm room with borrowed computers is now the most highly valued media company on earth.
You may have heard of it: Google.
Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were just declared by Forbes Magazine the 16th richest people in the world each. Just seven years after opening their doors.
Was it worth it to them to take a little extra time to do it the right way?
You tell me.
In everything in life, there’s a high road and a low road.
The Google guys took the high road and it made all the difference in the world to them – and to the millions of people who’ve benefited from their truly excellent product.
You’ve got the very same choice.
You can chase fads cooked up by ‘rich jerks’ or you can get a solid education in the Internet business and learn how to bring real value to people and create real wealth for yourself in an honorable way.
‘Honor’ may not be a world that’s valued much in today’s society, but if you’ve read this far, I have a hunch it still means something to you.
If you’d like to learn a method that may not get you ‘rich qwick’ but will help you get rich SOLID, check out the System approach to Internet marketing.
Some comments from System 2009 Grads
“Three weeks ago I was let go as VP of marketing from a company in Chicago that I had been with for over 12 years.
Until I attended your seminar this past weekend I was confused and unclear about my future career path. The System has given me an incredible amount of information, knowledge and hope that I did not have.
The speakers, especially yourself, were tremendous and I am currently pouring through over 20 pages of notes as I explore which of the many exciting opportunities appeals to me the most.
Your seminar was a godsend and I’m now more excited than ever about my future.”
(Returning for his second System this year, System 2010)
“I thoroughly enjoyed System 2009. It was one of the most useful and informative seminars I have attended in 25 years in business.
I have attended many business-building seminars over the years. Internet marketing, and now what Kim shared regarding mobile, is truly useful and thought-provoking.
I have so many ideas, tools, and action items right now that it is hard to know where to begin.
We are an IT integrator here in New York (we provide computer and network support to businesses throughout the Northeast), and I will be using your concepts to help our clients build their businesses and increase lead generation.
I also joined the System Club this weekend.
I spent two years trying to make money online before I came to a System Seminar.
At the System, it was all about teaching and learning from each other. Coming from a technical background, it was a great opportunity to learn and network with people who have far more business experience than me.
At the System, there was no hype, just real business people helping each other earn more money using the Internet.”
– Andy Greene
“The System was great, I met many new friends, learned a lot and reinforced the idea that I had to get into the Internet as a professional. Thank you for having this Seminar.
It took me 10 years to find this seminar and I only found it because a friend and fellow martial artist sent me an email recommending it, his name is Lloyd Irvin.
FYI, I was one of the first Internet Researchers in the US Department of Labor and the Government as an intern in 1996, after getting out of the Military. I realized during the system seminar that I had had a computer job in 1977 when I graduated from high school and was in awe of the big computer room with tape drives and scan cards. I read the computer printouts to find numbers and match them for the Basic Education Opportunity Grant program, now known as the PELL grant program. I went into the Military and was in a different job field, but was taking classes and wondering about how to capitalize on the Internet.
Your Seminar has shown me many different paths to focus on now.
Have a great year and hope to see you at the next System seminar. I will come shake your hand and hopefully tell you my new story of how I am making it on the Internet.”
– Jim Chandler
“I enjoyed the seminar more than any of the others I’ve attended. The difference was the quality of the faculty and most importantly the encouraging atmosphere you promote at the event.
I received welcome suggestions and ideas from the faculty and attendees and began taking action as soon as I returned home late after an evening of travel.”
– Lanay Stockstill
“Thank YOU for putting on The System. I learned some new stuff, got some old lessons reinforced, made some great contacts and renewed some wonderful friendships.
But my biggest learning of all was that I already know enough to succeed beyond my wildest dreams. Now, I actually BELIEVE I can do it.
It might sound a bit lame, or like I’m putting down The System, but no…The System is the only place I could have figured that out and gotten the self confidence I need.
Thank YOU Ken!”
– Richard Mouser
(Returning for his fifth System this year, System 2010)
“Thank you again for an excellent, educational and wonderfully insightful weekend! I’ve already put some of Ben’s tools in place on my site, I’m reviewing my PPC campaigns as we speak and I’m revisiting my customer profiles to better optimize their experience. Lots of fun!
One of the things which really separate the System from other conferences I’ve attended is the collaborative and friendly tone you set for everybody. It makes for such a wonderful experience to be able to, for example, sit down with someone like James Martell, and ask him questions in between sessions. The experts are wonderful, the content is second to none and spirit of the weekend make it beneficial for everybody!”
– Colm Moran
“May I take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation for this year’s System Seminar. Quality of Presenters: Triple A, Quality of my fellow Attendees: Triple A. Atmosphere of generosity, friendliness, positive reinforcement: Overwhelming.”
– Peter Ekstrom
“Thank you for the wonderful System Seminar just concluded in Chicago. My sisters and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
Ken is a true visionary and those of us who are System club members are fortunate that he is there for us to share in his sage advice and guidance as it pertains to Internet marketing and in general to the world we live in.”
– Fergus Coyle
“Thanks for the outstanding seminar. As a beginner coming out of a “bricks
and mortar” business (Insurance Agency), I looked at (and purchased) many
other programs and training opportunities… and your program stands above and beyond all I’ve seen. I appreciate all you do and look forward your future offerings.”
– Phil Oliver
“The System Seminar was a once in a lifetime opportunity that has empowered me to stop and act on my life goals. One of which has everything to do with helping Bayside generate a sustainable source of income.
It was invigorating to learn from all the people I met how they are making their dreams a REALITY. I have been retraining myself on my perception about money, to recognize that it’s out there and attainable through hard work and focus.
My mother immigrated to San Diego from a poor rural town in Mexico. She came to the U.S. not knowing a word of English and raised my two younger sisters and me as a single mother. I was accepted into the private University of San Diego on a partial scholarship and student loans. I graduated in 2005 and volunteered in an orphanage with children with developmental disabilities in Nicaragua for two years. I have returned to work in my community where I originally started four years ago.
The System Seminar opened my eyes and has given me a new sense of direction.”
– Adriana Gallardo
“The System Seminar 2009 in Chicago was a life-changing event for me, and served to focus me on exactly what I need to do and in what order to get bust making money on the internet. It was everything it was promised to be and so much more. The networking alone was worth the cost!”
– Jim McCorkle
“Because of attending the System Seminar 2009,
(1) We learned that we really can’t afford NOT to be modifying the way we do business to connect with and build the trust and relationship with, our prospects and clients.
We have chosen this path because The System Seminar speakers (every one of them) couldn’t stress enough the importance of seriously focusing on connecting with prospects 7 times with a clear Call to ACTION and connecting with clients twice per week in a highly focused manner which can’t be done effectively without automation.
(2) We are revamping our website, investing another $2-3k to create the really focused funnels designed to grab attention, and convert as Sean DSouza, Jon Keel, and you , Ken McCarthy, explained in great detail why and how to do.
(3) In addition we have initiated the article writing, natural SEO, that James Martell has recommended.
Being an engineer at heart (and not the marketing person I learned I now must become); I started by going back to basics of checking our measurements and metrics in Google analytics which I hadn’t done in 3 months since launching our newest programs just 3 months ago.
I got even better metrics using 5 other internet tracking tools I just learned about at the System Seminar that are all free!
I and my assistant started all 3 initiatives within one week of attending the System Seminar solely because each presenter made it clear that business owners need to “get on the boat” or drown in mediocrity. They had nothing to gain by it, no sales pitch to buy stuff, just detailed answers to the question of how did you do it? How can I do it too?
The energy, reality of success, and the complete honesty of the attendees, along with the humbleness of the inspiring speakers made every moment from 7am to 11pm for 3 days straight (way outside the seminar official hours) worth far more than the investment.
I have every confidence the things we are implementing right now, literally this week, based on what I learned at the System Seminar; will turn the profits, stream line the business processes, and catapult our services to the heights that other System graduates have gotten to. I will keep you posted as we move to warp speed.
Ps: It’s day 6 after the System Seminar and over 1000 contacts have been converted, my first email series has been written, ready for tagging and list segmentation, and the website has a much more compelling landing page ready to be published.
Thank you for jolting me into action.”
– Patrice Barber
“Before I came to the System Seminar, I didn’t know internet marketing existed.
After the very first System, my business jumped 40%. A new world opened up. Ken McCarthy’s profound knowledge of marketing and business is second to none. For over a decade he has predicted major on- and off-line trends.
Best of all, Ken welcomes beginners. He has created an educational series that can take anyone from zero to 6 or 7 figures in a few short years. Ken’s insights about my own expertise and business direction have been invaluable.
I cannot say enough about the genius of the System, except that anyone doing business online needs to get to a System seminar — now!”
– Ann Convery
“I have spent the last three years slowly developing my business while also managing a full-time job and a young child. I learned how to build an SEO-friendly website, was immediately recognized by search engines with the publication of a few press releases, continued to develop SEO from publishing bi-monthly articles, learned about Google Adwords, and launched my business 10 months ago. In the past 10 months, I made $60,000 in sales from my very part-time business.
March 2009 was our first System Seminar, but my husband and I have created a great action plan from what we’ve learned and have reason to believe that we can double, if not triple, earnings this year.
We have already executed several steps on our action plan because baby #2 will be arriving soon and I plan on leaving the full-time job within the next year.”
– Susan Kruger
(Returning for her second System this year, System 2010)
“Thanks Ken for your amazing system. Best investment I’ve made ever.”
– Monica Neave
“I recently purchased The System 2009 DVDs as I could not attend the live training. (I provide SEO consulting and considered myself an intermediate level web marketer). After watching the DVDs, I realized how little I really knew.
I then worked my way backwards ordering your Smart Beginners home study course, then System Secrets and 57 Big Ideas.
Suffice to say that I’ve learned more in the past 4 months reading and watching your material than I have in the past 4 years.
You have completely changed how I think about marketing and I feel like a complete beginner all over again!
You’ve inspired me to research a market that I would like to sell to online. After the market research, I will think about the needs the market has, and then, and only then, develop a product. You’ve changed my thinking completely about how this process should work.
Going back to my current consulting business, your material has inspired me to work harder at serving them and getting the results they are counting on me for. I now see these relationships as long term relationships and I truly want to give my best to these people.
Thank you Ken for all that you’ve done for the web marketing community and thank you for the teachings and inspiration.
I hope I can write you in the near future with my own success story.”
– Adam Killam
(Attending his first System this year, System 2010)
The secrets of online entrepreneurs who make it big
Timothy Seward is my favorite kind of Internet marketing educator.
First, he’s built and run real world businesses.
Second, he’s a true master of his topic. So much so that Google has certified him to teach on their behalf.
Third, he works with a wide variety of real world businesses, improving their conversions and profits, turning struggling businesses into winning ones and good businesses into wildly successful
If you’re using AdWords to drive traffic or even just thinking about it, you MUST listen to this interview.
Straight from Google headquarters
Thanks to our colleague Timothy Seward, Google has “discovered” the System.
Apparently, they liked what they saw last year because they’re coming back again this year.
Trevor Claiborne has the perfect background to advise online entrepreneurs.
He worked for a mobile marketing start up and then joined Google as an
AdWords evangelist helping spread the word about the then-new advertising
vehicle by working closely with the clients of web hosting companies and
members of local chambers of commerce all across the US.
In seven short years, Google has tested its way from being a small, but solid
company to the dominant force on the Internet and one of the most powerful
media and advertising companies on earth.
As a Google insider, Trevor has some unique insights into how they did it
and how the model Google pioneered can be successfully copied by
all businesses, large and small.
If you’re using AdWords as part of your Internet marketing strategy, odds are you either learned it from Perry, from one of his students or from any of the hundreds of people who’ve “borrowed” from his insights and research to create their courses.
But Perry is a lot more than one of the world’s leading AdWords experts. He is a savvy sharp direct marketer who’s at the center of one of the sharpest brain trusts on earth.
On this wild and wooly wide ranging call Perry and I talk about the big
challenges Internet marketers face today, how to overcome them, and – towards the end of the call – a dead simple way to double your income and strengthen your business practically overnight.