Why Keep Chasing Profits When You Can “Clone” Those You Already Have?

My favorite strategy is what I call profit cloning vs. profit chasing.

What do I mean by that?

A lot of people spend a tremendous amount of time chasing after the next new tactic, or trend, or technology that they believe is going to be the great answer. But the fact is, a lot of the best ways to increase your profits have already been answered for you. They’re already in what you’re doing, and if you learn to leverage what you’ve already done and your relationships with people and companies, you’ll get so much more mileage with that in your marketing than chasing after the next new thing.

Now that isn’t to say you shouldn’t be looking for new opportunities. You should. But most people spend 80-90% of their time chasing that great answer, where they’d be better off spending that time revisiting things that already worked for them and devoting 10-15% of the time to more experimental marketing methods.

A Simple, Yet Powerful Formula For Success

When I start with a new client, there’s a very simple formula I use. The first thing I ask is: “What has worked best for you in the past 18 months?”

Then we drill down on the answer and look at three different areas:

  • What product or service has sold best?
  • What marketing method has worked best for that product or service?
  • What particular customer or client group, or niche, is most responsive?

If you have a product or service that’s sold really well, upgrade or enhance it. Survey the buyers and ask, “What more would you like to know about that topic?” and then create a second, more advanced version or a new release. You can sell that knowing that you already have a built-in track record with that product.

You can do the same thing by going through your customer base and seeing what segments or niches really stick out. For example: If 25% of the people buying from you are consultants, and another 17% are software companies, those numbers may only come to 42% of customers — but they may account for 80% of your sales. So you can take that same product that worked really well, upgrade it, but make two versions: one for the software market, and one for the consulting market. The content will be about 85% the same, yet you’ll increase your sales by 40-60% or more.

How The Cloning Formula Boosted Sales By 40%

Let me give you a real example of how it works: I have a client who sells a program on day trading stocks. He’s an engineer by trade, and he’s very analytical, great personality, but a bit dry. And he recognizes that.

So we looked at his database of customers and realized that 75% of them were between ages 35 to 60, and he was losing the whole market below that range. What he was doing for the 35 and up crowd was working really well, so we left that alone. But we created a second website, selling the same product but with a much more emotional appeal.

The customers in the age 35-60 range are interested in safe investments that will build their retirement portfolio. But in the younger age range, they like the excitement and risk and thrill of turning over transactions quickly for a fast profit. A much more emotional type of copy is needed for that audience, so we took the same product, renamed it for that market and revised the copy with a high-energy approach tied to their motivations.

Simply by doing that, he’s increased his profits year-in and year-out for the past three years by 40% — and it’s selling the same product. It’s cloning what already was working well, then targeting that other market.

Subject Line Tests Can Work The Same Way

Here’s one more practical example that’s even easier for people who don’t want to create a new product or website.

Let’s say you do a lot of email marketing. Go back and find the three to five emails that worked best for you in the last year. Take those emails, use the exact same body copy, and test them with three or four different subject lines. For example, use one that’s benefit driven, one that promises a solution to a problem, and one that’s quirky. Sometimes, the quirky approach really wins.

I tested subject lines with an email featuring a case study for a French dating service client. The quirky one — “What I Taught the French About Romance” — got the highest open rate by far. Why? Because it came at the topic from an offbeat, sideways angle. Each email had essentially the same body copy, but the different headlines drew in different segments.

Much like cloning your products or services, if you keep the proven copy but change that email subject line, whether it’s on your broadcasts or autoresponder series, you can reach all-new customers and markets.

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