SBX 25: How To Make Your Business Standout From The Crowd

How To Make Your Business Standout From The Crowd

You’re rocking out.  Building your business.  Dreaming.  Planning.  Dreaming some more.  And then it happens.  You discover another business doing what you’re doing.  Competition happens, sure.  But THIS other business is further along than you.  Has more customers than you.  And may even look better than you.  What’s going to make you different?

Or maybe it’s an your website… which looks like everybody else’s, reads like everybody else’s, is ineffective like everybody else’s.  What’s one simple change you can make that’ll change everything?

Maybe you just want to stick out to your customers more.  Or increase conversion of your opt-in pages.  Maybe raise your closing percentage or your average customer lifetime value.  Do a better job sharing your company history.  What’s one simple communication you can add to your arsenal to accomplish these things?

ANSWER:  (In case you missed all the hyperlinks above)

You need a sales hook, aka a way to tell your story in 60 seconds or less.  A good sales hook will make you special, memorable, and authoritative.  In this episode of SBX, we are joined by the great Kevin Rogers (seasoned comedian and master copywriter) to share his formula for crafting sales hooks that… well, SELL!

Whether you’re an online or offline business, seasoned veteran or wannabe start-up, sooner or later every USP (unique selling proposition – the thing that makes you different)  is commoditized.  Business owners always point to their product as the driver of their success or failure.  And while product is important, it’s you and your story that can never truly be copied outright.  It’s your story that will build affinity, create an environment ripe for selling, and turn your marketing from a “have to do” into an authentic “love to do.”

“We all surf the web the same way, with our index finger-of-death hovering over the mouse, eager to click away from a bad mistake.  People are begging for you to screw it up so they can move on and go somewhere else.” — Kevin Rogers —

In this episode, you will learn how to package your story in a way that makes you feel awesome… and helps others to know, like, and trust you.  If you’ve been listening to the SMALL BUSINESS EXPRESS for any length of time?

SBX 25 takes the game to a whole new level.  Be ready.

… .. .

(This is Mike writing.  On a personal note, Kevin is one of my favorite people I’ve met in this space.  I feel privileged to know him and can’t wait to spend more time with him.  I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did.)

(And also?  April 11th was/is Gary’s birthday.  Give him some love with one click.  I love that guy.  Best partner ever… even though I’ve never met him.)

Listen and Learn…

  • How the art of stand-up comedy is completely parallel to marketing your small business.
  • Why stories sell so well (archaeological proof from the caveman days?  Yes.)
  • What Sunday dinner with your in-laws can teach you about building a loyal customer base.
  • The challenge that online and offline business owners have opening up and being themselves (and how to overcome it).
  • Never practice an elevator pitch again.  Instead focus on building your tribe by being known, liked, and trusted (KLT).
  • The step-by-step I S D R formula: how comics use it, how it translates to business owners, and a fool-proof joke that Mike laughs obnoxiously at.
  • How to apply the hook to different businesses, different industries, and different circumstances.
  • The advantage that small business owners have over big corporations (somewhere around the 38 minute mark.  LOVE this.)
  • A simple and easy way for customers to provide you powerful and authentic testimonials (and YES, they do need a little help.  Most people aren’t naturally good at this.)


Action Steps from this episode:

  1. Have the Courage to Tell Your Story in a Vulnerable Way.  Getting personal with your customers is the fastest way to make your business stand-out.  When customers can see themselves in your story, it creates an “us versus the world” scenario.  Kevin makes a key point here: nowadays we’re all running life-style businesses, which means we are allowed to be real, genuine, authentic, and transparent in a way that big corporations cannot.  Telling your story doesn’t mean telling people everything about yourself.  It means proving to your tribe that you understand them.

  2. Write Your Hook Using Kevin’s ISDR Method.  This is the ultimate story formula.  Listen to the podcast for exact details or simply download Kevin’s ebook / pick up the Kindle version.  The formula is simple on the surface but deserves way more explanation than a 4 sentence summary.  If you’re going to write your story, your hook, or your (gasp) elevator pitch without a proven formula?  Be careful that you don’t do what everybody else does and drown people in irrelevant dribble.

  3. Massage Your Hook and Inject it Into Your Marketing Funnel.  You won’t write the perfect hook on the first draft.  Work on it, sleep on it, share it with experts, and find ways to implement it into your sales and marketing.  Great places include any-and-all about pages, testimonials, sales pitches/sales pages, and injected casually into your customer conversations.  Listen to the show to hear some of Kevin’s favorite phrases that you can implement/borrow/steal.  As he wisely advises at the end of the episode: give yourself permission to be an expert.  Frame your story in a way that proves you are as magnificent as you really are.

Links and Resources:

  1. Kevin’s blog — so much more than just a pretty-faced copywriter.  Mike even gave him his own folder in his outlook so he can save valuable posts like this one, which is all about doubling your prices using your bat-signal talent.
  2. Kevin’s book with the FULL STORY of the 60 Second Sales Hook.  If you’ve read this far and still haven’t downloaded it (???) then pick up the PDF version here or the Kindle version/Paper version here.  The forumla is so brilliantly simple, see how a dog uses it to generate “sales” (not kidding).
  3. You mean there’s a Facebook page that actually has some type of value??  Kevin’s fan page is a great place to interact directly with him, especially when you’re going through the process of massaging your hook.  (Be sure to tag @Mike Monroe and @Gary Shouldis in your post – we’re fans too!)

  4. The story of Poopourri — see how telling a good story can sell anything.  Even something as commoditized as poop spray.

  5. The story of Dollar Shave Club — This is virtually a case-study of a successful ISDR formula.  Try and spot each piece!

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15 replies
      • Steven Vaughan
        Steven Vaughan says:

        Hi Mike, totally agree, Kevin’s high level of information and copywriting acumen freely shared is an accurate indication of his business ethics. Your observation of Kevin as a perspicacious pachyderm? Res ipsa loquitur! Your SBX is also a fantastic resource, thank you!

  1. Rebecca Gibbs
    Rebecca Gibbs says:

    1. You guys are obsessed with bakeries….particularly cupcakes!
    2. However thought females were the only target market for a bakery is crazy, because I think I hear guys (not just you guys!) talk about bakery treats about as much as women!

    Kevin, I LOVE your joke formula and I think I already have an idea for my bakery! But it won’t be about me being picky. 😛

    Let me give it a try…

    “Hi, I’m Rebecca and I’m an alcoholic…” Oh, wait…let me try that again! (No, I’m not really an alcoholic, but I couldn’t pass on that!)

    On a serious note though, it really gave me ideas so I’m going to write one out. Mine will likely be about making products from scratch. Why? Because most bakeries, when it comes to making cakes and cupcakes, do not make them from scratch. Grocery stores buy frozen cakes to decorate, and many small business bakeries use cake mix. So….I think I will work mine from that angle. 🙂 But I’ll play with it and see!

    Mike, I’m sure you’ll be one of the first people to hear it when I get it finished.

    Ooo, and I have any idea for my other side business too!!! Heck yes, this formula is a keeper!

  2. Tony
    Tony says:

    Just had to share. I have a small painting business (house painter) and went on a sales call today and had the opportunity to try the hook. I decided to try it out on the homeowner and his reaction was remarkable. During our conversation “I told him that I used to be a painter” after which his eyes got big and his eyebrows looked liked the golden arches, then I said “but I had a problem with the quality of what painters were giving” which he relaxed a bit as if he understood, then I said “I consider myself more of a craftsman” and he visibly leaned forward, “so I am a craftsman that paints and I bring that into my business” after which he smiled and nodded. Not sure if I will get the sale or not but he proceeded to bring out his prized pet bird and show me pictures of his dogs. I know, kinda wierd, but in this business that means I am part of the family 🙂

    Great interview, great podcast.

    • Mike Monroe
      Mike Monroe says:

      This made me pump my first. AWESOME STUFF, Tony! As a former in-home salesperson myself, you aren’t kidding… that’s like the holy grail right there.

      Kevin really is something special. Definitely join his list if you haven’t yet. — you’re already WELL on your way, far ahead of your competition.

    • Kevin Rogers
      Kevin Rogers says:

      Tony… you’re my new hero. You took the hook and made it your own, deftly modifying to the scenario the way only a savvy salesman can. I hope you get that sale (for you and the homeowner’s sake), but either way you’re a richer man for sharpening your tools.

      Thanks for sharing this.


    • Gary Shouldis
      Gary Shouldis says:

      Great story Tony, so awesome to see the sales hook executed on the fly like that. It really works…..people want to hear the stories, the person behind the business, that’s what builds customer relationships your competitors can’t touch. Thanks for listening and for sharing, it made our night!

  3. ed
    ed says:

    What happened to you guys. From your last podcast I’m guessing burnout.
    try for less frequent, and replay old podcasts as well as making a best of or 2. To keep in the wings. The other thing is start taking your own advice. You guys are great, I miss your podcasts.

  4. karenbrit
    karenbrit says:

    I am listening to this 2014 podcast in 2016 and you are totally correct, it is as relevant today as it was back then. Thanks for the wonderful information!


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