Sod surviving, let’s get thriving

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Sod surviving and let’s get thriving is a great idea, but what stops us?

  • Is it the coronavirus?
  • Is it the potential changes to the economy?
  • Is it cut backs?
  • Is it the government?

No, the reason you are not thriving (and I assume that you aren’t, as you are reading this) is far closer to home.

Watch this video and all will be revealed!

Are You Getting Clicked? – Read Steve’s guide on PPC advertising in the recent edition of Better Retailing Magazine

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Do you have PPC working effectively for your business?

PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising can be tricky to get right in order to get the results you need for your business. With so many options and criteria it can be a minefield and often time consuming to implement.

Done correctly, it can be a very cost effective way of reaching the specific market you require and boost your business to the next level!

To find out more, read Steve’s published article in the recent edition of Better Retailing Magazine, to help navigate and explain about PPC advertising – just click the link below.

BRM 34 Spring 2020 PPC_Steve Mills Guide

Google Adwords – Should you be using it?

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Google Adwords

Or PPC Advertising, as it is often known, is a great form of marketing, but one that is easy to get wrong!

But Why?  Why is so much money wasted doing Google Adwords?  The answer is two-fold:

  1. Google Adwords is very, very good and it is also a very, very sophisticated system.  However, being sophisticated means that it is also complex
  2. Therefore, if you attempt to do Google advertising by yourself and without any training, then often you might as well just flush a load of cash down the toilet

Listen to Steve Mills on Business Connections Live

talking about Google Adwords

Tried, tested and proven headline words that work

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Tried, Tested and Proven Headline Formulae

As the old saying goes – “The headline is the advert for the advert” 

And it is also true in terms of the headline being the advert for the email, the blog, the web page, the letter and the landing page.  

Changing, or testing headlines can often play a significant part in changing the results that you get from your marketing and I have known changing a headline to double, or triple response rates.  

In fact, the best change I ever did for a client, was their advertising in a magazine.  They had ran the advert on the back cover of a glossy magazine for six months and got zero enquiries, or sales.  I suggested a new headline and they got their first sales of £2,000,000 worth in one month.  Just by changing the headline.

So, use these headlines with thought and try to work out how you can double your conversion rates using one of the headlines below!

One way to use these headline formulae is to simply copy and paste them, filling in the blanks to match your circumstances. 

That’s okay if you’re just getting started. But a better and more powerful way is to print them and then study them. Read through each one, pausing to consider why the headline works. 

When you do this you will begin to truly synthesise the fundamentals of writing great headlines. If you do this, you will find yourself accessing the file less and less for inspiration. 

Also, make it a part of your process to copy and paste good headlines into your file. You’ll start to build up a headline file full of inspiration for the next time you need to kick start your writing for a social media update, blog post title or sales letter headline. 

Become a student of great headline formulas and all aspects of your digital marketing, including social media marketing, will improve.

I hope this helps you.

Steve Mills

Social Proof headlines

One of the keys to success in business is social proof.  Just ask Apple.  Everyone wants the latest iPhone.  Why? Because everyone else has got one and without one they will miss out.

  1. Here is a method that is helping ______ to become the most ________________
  2. Only _______________
  3. Sexy people ____________________
  4. Why I __________________ and maybe you should too
  5. Do ____________ like __________
  6. The ____________ idea that every leading _______________ is talking about 
  7. Join 1,000‘s of business owners that ______________________
  8. Own a _____________ like ____________
  9. How 98% of people lose _________ in [time period]
  10. Be like [world class example] and you too can [desired result] 
  11. Steve Mills – The Prudent Marketer, reveals ways to create _______________
  12. Why 440,000,000 people are using _________________ 
  13. A simple way to __________ that works for all ________________
  14. How to win friends and influence people
  15. Some people_______________, others ____________________, a few ______________

Away from motivation headlines

We all have the 200 million-year-old brain which is geared up over to protect us and to keep us safe and therefore advertising, marketing, sales and headlines needs to include ‘away from motivation’ headlines.

  1. Do you recognise the early warning signs of _________? 
  2. If you don’t take action now, you’ll ______________
  3. The biggest lie in ________________ is _______________
  4. These shocking mistakes are killing your business 
  5. Don’t try _________________ without training first ______________
  6. Lack of action may be causing you to lose out on _________________ 
  7. At last, the secret to __________________ is revealed 
  8. Why you shouldn’t do _______________ that does not work
  9. Why some businesses fail and some succeed
  10. Do not spend another penny until you train yourself to do it properly 
  11. The ugly truth about ____________________ 
  12. What your accountant won’t tell you and how it can save you a fortune 
  13. What everybody ought to know about _______________
  14. Your __________ doesn’t want you to read this __________ 
  15. The sooner you know __________ the better
  16. Why your website does not work and what to do about it

Towards motivation, headlines

These headlines are benefit-driven and they focus on what you will gain if you buy this product or services.  They are used often in marketing.  

However, beware!  Humans will do more to ‘move away from’ than they will ‘towards’.  

  1. Where more clients are and how to win them 
  2. How to __________________ in ____ time, without ________________
  3. Discover the lead generation secret of______________
  4. I wake up every morning to ______________.  So that _____________ and as a result of that _____________
  5. In 12 months our goal is to add __________________ to our clients ____________
  6. Sell your way to doubling your profit by _______________
  7. Are you someone who wants to create leads on LinkedIn?  If so_____________
  8. Stop wasting money on marketing and start _________________
  9. You too can win £80,000+ in 12 months with ___________________
  10. How to become __________ when you ________________
  11. There’s big money in them there hills 
  12. Little known ways to ________________
  13. Massive action produces massive results
  14. How to turn ____________ into £80,000 per year, per person
  15. How to build a ____________ you can be proud of
  16. Get more ___________ without risk
  17. Get rid of __________________ once and for all
  18. Improve/increase your ____________ in three months
  19. Imagine _______________ and loving every minute of it 
  20. Here’s a quick way to ___________________
  21. Get __________ without losing ___________
  22. The lazy person’s way to ________________
  23. How to make people line up and beg to _______________ 
  24. How to get more __________ out of _____________________
  25. How to __________ when you’re not __________
  26. How to _________________
  27. No _____________, just ___________ every day 
  28. Never suffer from not _____________ from your __________ again 
  29. The quickest and easiest way to improve your ___________ 
  30. If you can take action you can improve your _________________ 
  31. How you can improve your _____________ almost instantly
  32. Where  to get a better _____________ is and how to get it 
  33. Discover the ___________ secret 
  34. Improve your way to a better _____________ 
  35. To people that want a better _____________ but can’t get started 
  36. Stop wasting money on ______________ that does not work 
  37. You too can get a better _________ in a week with ________________
  38. How to become more __________ when you don’t have a big marketing budget
  39. There are big bucks in ____________ 
  40. Little known ways to use _______________
  41. How to turn poor ___________ results into bottom line profit 
  42. How to build a _____________ you can be proud of 
  43. Get more _______________ without more cost
  44. Get rid of _______________ once and for all
  45. Improve/Increase your _____________ and profit in 12 months
  46. Here’s a quick way to improve your ______________
  47. Get a better ROI without losing __________
  48. How to make people line up and beg to _____________
  49. How to get ____________ out of ____________
  50. How to ____________ when you’re not _____________
  51. Never suffer from __________ again
  52. The quickest and easiest way to _____________
  53. If you can __________ then you can ______________
  54. How you can __________ almost instantly
  55. How to become ____________ when you ______________
  56. How to use _______________ to create £100,000 in new business in 12 months
  57. How to turn your ___________ into ________________
  58. See how easily you can _____________ your ________________
  59. Now you can have _______________ without _________________
  60. How to take the headache out of ____________
  61. X questions answered about [blank]
  62. Give me 3 months and I’ll give you ____________
  63. Answered: Your most burning questions about ____________
  64. Take X minutes to get started with ___________ – you’ll be happy you did! 
  65. Who else wants _____________? 
  66. How to fast-track your ______________
  67. How 99% of people got _____________ without _______________

Questioning Headlines

Questions are great.  We all like to answer questions.

  1. What if ______________
  2. If you could ______________, then ______________
  3. If we could explain how to _____________, what would that mean to you/your business?
  4. Can you imagine _____________?
  5. Can you ___________?
  6. Would you like to _____________?
  7. Is being ____________ important to your business?
  8. If we showed you how to ______________, what would that be worth to you?

Want to know more about improving your sales and marketing results, then get in touch.

Are you making HAMBURGERS?

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Are you making and selling Hamburgers?

I was driving down to one of my clients one morning last summer, on a lovely summer’s day, listening to Michael Gerber on my PodCast.  

I have a rule that if I am in the car on a work day, that is work time, so I must use this time to improve my knowledge in some way (you should try this it is a great way of learning about running a successful business).

Gerber is the author of the E-Myth and one of the world’s leading experts on small business.  

To be honest, I was only half listening, when suddenly he said something that made me ‘prick my ears up’.

He started talking about how McDonalds first started.  Ray Crock walked into the McDonald brother’s restaurant when it was a small local restaurant to sell them a milk machine.  Ray noticed that the McDonald brothers had a fantastic business and so he approached the brothers asking to buy the franchise rites to McDonalds and as they say the rest is history.

History shows that Ray Crock bought the opportunity to franchise McDonalds for next to nothing, because that was what the McDonald brothers thought it was worth.  They had tried to franchise the business, but let’s face it.  In those days who would buy a franchise Burger Bar?  The brothers believed that if someone wanted to be in the Burger Bar business they could just go ahead and start their own.  The reason the McDonald brothers did not value their business was that they believed that they didn’t have the time to franchise it, as they worked every hour there making hamburgers.  

This reminds me of what many business owners keep saying to me.  They are too busy making hamburgers, or completing accounts, or repairing locks, or cleaning ovens, or designing websites, or whatever it is that the business does.

If you think about it, most people reading this article went into business X years ago and they went into business doing the work of the business.  

If they had worked really hard and long hours where do you think they would be now?  You are correct, still working very hard!  

However, all successful businesses people go into business to run a business that completes accounts, or repairs locks, or cleans ovens, or designs websites, or whatever it is that the business does and they bring in experts to manage the other two departments in their business and they are:

  1. Finance
  2. Marketing and sales

And sales and marketing for these successful business owners is exactly what we do. 

My questions for you at this time are:

  1. What does your business need to do, look like and be in order for it to give you the life you want?
  2. What does it need to turnover in order to employ someone to do some of the work?
  3. What is your business going to be like when it is completed?
  4. Are you going you do anything as a result of reading this article and are you going to optimise your true marketing results?

If so, contact Steve Mills at

Prospecting for GOLD

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Prospecting for GOLD

Prospecting for sales is similar to prospecting for gold.  Think of the people you know, your LinkedIn contacts, the people on your email database and your prospects as gold, and treat them as you would a gold mine.

Post a claim and work it constantly. Because if you neglect it, will find someone else claiming your fortunes. Worse yet, your position in your market can sit vacated, unattended, and ignored.

The fact that you are not working your gold mine effectively does not mean it is less valuable; it just means that the gold is harder to get, but you aren’t tapping into its immense potential.

This has never been more true than during the new COVID economy. 

Pick up your phone and start getting in touch with friends, family, relatives, and past employers and take a genuine interest in them. Find out what they are doing; ask about their lives, their careers, and their families.

People love to talk about themselves, and they really love it when others take interest in them. Let them know what you are doing when it comes up, but understand that this is not a sales call.  You are simply keeping in touch with them.  In effect, with someone with whom you have been out of touch.

Make it clear that the intention of your call is to catch up with them and not to sell your products or services.

During all economies but especially during contractions, contacts and relationships are everything and you must prospect harder for sales

Have you ever heard the saying “You are short on people, not short on money”.  The people you know either have the money you want or know people who doIt is those people who want and need your service.

So the more people you speak to, the better chance you have of discovering and selling to those people.

Want more great tips on how to generate lots of leads and turn those leads into sales?  Click here

You’ll not only get access to my best sales, marketing and business course, you’ll find details of my classic How to win business on LinkedIn Course that will give you a better understanding of how to create sales for yourself in this tough economy.

Referral RESULTS System

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Referral System

As the ‘good book’ says “ask and you shall receive”

In sales, it is often said ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’.  I would also add – “If you don’t ask for the sale, or for a referral, people can’t say yes”.  

In a world of technology and digital marketing, one of the most powerful marketing opportunities is referral marketing or ‘word of mouth’ as it is often known.

However, most businesses do very little to actively work on their referral marketing and rather rely on doing a good job and ‘hoping’ people will recommend them.  This results in a general lack of referrals and sales.


In this document, we provide our clients with four systems for winning business from referral marketing

They are:

  1. Turn satisfied customers into raving fans
  2. The referral RESULTS System
  3. Bribery
  4. The written word

Before that let’s discuss your target market

Who could refer business to you?  The truth is – anyone!  However, there are people who are more likely to do so.  These people include:

  • Current, or past clients
  • Prospects you did not convert
  • Networking contacts
  • Family and friends
  • Suppliers
  • Staff
  • Friends of friends, customers, prospects, and your prospects contacts
  • Etc

The truth about referral

The truth about referrals are…

You are sitting on a ‘pot of gold’.  A massive amount of CASH that all you need to do to get it is to ASK FOR IT.

Let’s look at the numbers.  In this example, we just consider your current clients (but the same idea applies to everyone).  

Let’s assume that you have 100 clients (just so we can talk percentage).  Out of those 100 clients, 2% of them would not give you a referral (no one is perfect and let’s assume something went wrong with these two clients).  Out of the remaining 98%, a full 20% have referred someone to you over the past year.  

That leaves 78 people who would recommend you, but they just haven’t.  Why?

  • They are not focussed on recommending you
  • They did not think you were looking for referrals (you always appeared to be very busy)
  • They are busy and have not given it any thought.

So you now have 78 prospects who could refer you to the people that they know.  Not only that but of the 20% who have already referred you, could you ask them for another referral?


Let’s look at the numbers

Let’s say you turn over £1,000,000.  Currently, £200,000 comes from referrals from 20% of clients who refer you now.  So that’s an average of £10,000 per referral.  Let’s say you implemented a referral system in your business that managed to get a referral from 50% of people.  Some of those people may give you lots referrals whilst others don’t give you any.  

However, with these sorts of referrals, you would increase your turnover by £300,000 to £1,300,000pa.  Not a bad ROI for NO marketing cost!

You then implement one, or all of the four ideas discussed

Turn satisfied clients into RAVING FANS

Why do people give you referrals?  Because they are delighted with the products and/or services you provide.  

So the questions are – How can you turn satisfied clients into Raving Fans?  Raving Fans are not just satisfied with the service, or products you provide, but rather they:

  • Love what you do, or your products
  • You love working with them
  • They buy from you again and again and would not buy from anyone else
  • Recommend you on a regular basis.

All that said – All you need to do now is to work out what you need to do in your company to turn satisfied customers into Raving Fans.  Obviously, I don’t know all your businesses and so I can’t tell you what you need to do in order to achieve this.  However, I can tell you that one of the units in my consultancy service called RESULTS is all about creating Raving Fans.  Take a look at 

Having said that.  Here is a list of the type of things you might want to focus on.

  • Your new client induction process
  • The look and feel of your building, shop, office and the people that work for you
  • Your user surveys
  • Doing something that none of your competition does

The RESULTS Referral System

The results referral system is the most powerful system there is for winning more referrals.  The system basically involves ASKING.  

As the good book says – ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE.  AS many sales training courses state – IF YOU DON’T ASK, PEOPLE CAN’T SAY YES!

The question is how do you ask?  Do you say – “Do you know anyone else who would be interested in the services we provide?  If you do, then you are doing exactly the same thing as most people who ask for referrals.  This way of doing it produced average results.  

If you want above-average results, then learn, understand and use the system below:

Q1 – How long have you been in business?

Q2 – So I suppose in the time you have probably met a lot of other business people, haven’t you?

Notice the words “haven’t you” at the end.  This is called a “yes tag” because it encourages a “yes” answer.

Q3 – From what you have said during our meeting you are very pleased with the service we have provided for you.  Is that correct?

You have just got your second YES! (It important to get someone saying yes in order to get to the big YES at the end)

Q4 – Like most businesses, we tend to get many of our customers through word of mouth and as you stated we have increased your profit over the past six months by about 40%.  I was wondering who in your opinion would be the top four people for me to contact so that we can benefit them, the way we have benefitted you? 

Note the words “who you know” and not “Do you know anyone”

Q5 – May I ask for your advice?

This question almost always gets a “yes” since people love to be asked for their advice.

Q6 – Which of the people you’re thinking of would you advise me to contact first so that they can benefit in the same way that you have benefited from our service/products?

Q7 – So that it is easier for them to take my call.  It’s OK to use your name, isn’t it?

This is a key question.  Unless you can use their name when you follow up you don’t really have a referral – merely a cold lead.  Notice how the question makes it easier for you to get permission by explaining the benefit to their contact of using their name as a referee – And notice the “yes tag” at the end of the question.


We call this section bribery (slightly tongue in cheek), but this is all about incentivising people for referring business to you.  This can be done either upfront or backend.  In other words, you can advertise this, or you can do it as a thank you.

The first thing to consider is – What are you going to give as your bribe?  You could give a:

  • Voucher
  • Wine
  • Discount
  • Donation

By the way, we give £100 to Cancer Research UK for every referral that we get.  Just a thought!

The key to doing this successfully is giving enough to incentivise someone in order to get them to take action.

The written word

The last of the ways I wanted to include in this document I call ‘the written word’.  The written word involves writing and asking people for referrals.

Before I continue with this section I would like to say that out of the four ideas I have shared in this document this is by far the worst one.  Don’t make the mistake of sending someone a written message instead of calling and asking for a referral.  Asking will outperform writing 10 to 1.

However, it is another opportunity and should be used.

So, the first thing we need to consider is where are you going to write text asking for a referral?  The options include:

  • The footer of your email
  • You social media profiles
  • The PS in a sales letter
  • A referral page on your website
  • Emailing and asking for a referral
  • Etc, etc

The second thing to consider is – What are you going to say?  Here are my thoughts?

Hi _____________,

I don’t know about you, but we win a significant amount of our business from word of mouth or referrals.  In fact, last year we won 48% of our business from referral.

This being the case, I wanted to ask you a question.  Who do you know that wants to grow their business and who might need our help?

As you know we help people in three ways.  

Firstly, we help people who don’t understand modern digital marketing methods to do so.  

Secondly, we work with people who simply don’t have the time to implement their own marketing, or at best do it ‘when business is quiet’.  These people ask us to do the work for them.  

The third group are people who run successful businesses but don’t really do any marketing.  Rather they rely on referrals, networking and repeat business.  These people are often underperforming and they are now ready to leverage their business and to take it to the next level.

To recommend someone to us simply call us on 07977 074497, email us at

Steve Mills, Marketing CONSULTANTSummary

The key factor in any marketing activity is knowing what works and what doesn’t.  Remember, it’s those who keep records that break records.

For details of the many other ‘Stealth Marketing’ approaches you can use to market your business, without your competition knowing, go to 

Lessons from Yoda

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Lessons from the greatest master himself – Yoda…

I love star wars.  I think I have watched a star wars movie over 100 times and it could easily be more like 150 times.

I have to say that one of the greatest things about Star Wars is the lessons we can all learn hidden in it. “Do or do not, there is no try” is one of my favourites.

Want to try to improve your marketing?
Want to try to keep doing your marketing without any training?
Want to try keep selling your products and services whilst never doing any sales training?
Want to try keep going it alone, getting the same crap results?
Want to try to grow your business by just going to networking events?
Good luck trying!!!
Want to do marketing that gets results?  Get in touch!

What Matt Bullard of Ingress Ltd says about Steve

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A personal recommendation from Matt Bullard of Ingress Ltd

How to turn more meetings into salesThrough Steve’s online video sales and marketing courses, I’ve been able to identify and implement the key steps essential to growing and maintaining a sustainable small business.

His insight into Sales and Marketing has played an integral part in helping me achieve many of my business objectives.

I highly recommend speaking to him.

Want to know more?

Take the first step and book on to our free online training.  Click here to take a look