No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing by Dan Kennedy Summary

A guide to getting leads for your business on social media.

No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing by Dan Kennedy Summary
Source: Dan Kennedy

Key Takeaways

  1. It is still possible to grow an audience on social media for free.
  2. When you become successful at anything, don’t get lazy and stop doing the things that got you success, keep doing them.
  3. Always use sales letters to sell–even if it’s not the norm in your industry. From selling apartment buildings to online courses.
  4. Follow the 10 rules from No B.S. Direct Marketing. They apply to social media marketing.
  5. Don’t try to sell on social media or blog more than 15% of the time. The majority of posts should give value.
  6. Go to to see all of the Facebook ads that companies run. Research 10+ competitors in your niche or market.
  7. Always test if your offer can get sales and has a positive ROI by trying with warm traffic first (your email list or YouTube subscribers). If you don’t have warm traffic, start very slowly with YouTube or Facebook ads ($25/day).
  8. Drive traffic from ads to your “content home,” the place where you post the most content like a blog, YouTube, TikTok, etc. This gives your audience a chance to warm up to you before you try to sell them.
  9. Put a link to your bait everywhere. At the bottom of blog posts, in every bio, etc.
  10. Ask friends and family to give good reviews and testimonials of your products when you launch them.
  11. The business that can spend the most going after its target market wins.
  12. 18% of prospects are ready to buy right now. 82% take more than 3 months to make a buying decision. 61% take more than 1 year to make a buying decision. 44% of salespeople only do 1 follow up call on a lead. You need to do follow ups and stay top-of-mind by posting content regularly.
  13. Write a book. It can be as simple as compiling some blog posts you’ve written together.
  14. You need 2 email lists. One of people who signed up for free. One of people who have made a purchase of $1 or more.
  15. The best new customer is an old customer. The people most likely to buy from you are the people who have already bought from you. Sell them a subscription or a new product.
  16. Try doing a monthly print newsletter. A physical newsletter stands out because most businesses are only doing email. Get leads online and then send them a letter. Make sure the newsletter has an interesting story about you—it should feel like a monthly soap opera.
  17. Go to to see what questions people are asking. Then use these as headlines of blog posts, etc for SEO.
  18. Find a niche in your market and become the best at it. Don’t be a normal marketing agency, specialize in dental copywriting, for instance.
  19. Social media is the biggest ad channel for about 50% of Gen Z and millennials—bigger than traditional media outlets.
  20. Your ideal client is on social media. Even if they’re a C-level executive or if you’re B2B. They’re somewhere, from Facebook and LinkedIn to YouTube and TikTok.
  21. Social media leads are good—even if you sell high-ticket products.
  22. Track your data daily: views, leads, spend, sales. See if you have a positive ROI.
  23. Send daily emails to your email list. Do personalized introductions on your email. You can do this by using the email function on Ghost.
  24. Logos and slogans don’t matter.
  25. Business names matter. Make it clear what you do.
  26. For most small businesses, personal branding is better than corporate branding.
  27. You need a USP: why should a new customer choose you over every other option available?
  28. Pay celebrities or influencers to endorse your products. The biggest news stories of every year are about celebrities like Kim K and Mac Miller.
  29. Do traditional media interviews and put them on your website for credibility. This is building your own mini celebrity status.
  30. Building your audience is the most important thing you can do. It’s even more important than your product, program, or service. It allows you to sell products on day 1 of launch.
  31. You need a professional headshot. Take the picture on a day when you look your best.
  32. You need a professional cover photo.
  33. Ramit Sethi’s IWT website is a perfect example of implementing these principles.
  34. Send 1/2 a day a month to create your content for that month. Write 4 blog posts. You have to play the long game and post for years.
  35. Make a list of your top 10% of customers by profit. What do they have in common? How can you serve them better? Where can you find more people like them?
  36. Figure out the attributes of your best customers (by profit and likability): Sex, age, profession, marital status, sexual orientation, location, native language, education, income, technological expertise, and family composition. Also, media buying habits, interests, frustrations, and other favorite brand pages.
  37. Frequent flyers can be a good target audience because they have the income and ability to travel for work or fun.
  38. Ask your target audience to answer one question: If you had a magic wand, what’s the one thing you would change about X industry? Once you get your info back, write a report. This will give you media coverage and position you as an expert in your industry.
  39. Use Google Surveys and incentivize people with some kind of bait: ebook, report, white paper, etc. Give a 1 week deadline to complete the survey.
  40. Always sell the cure to pain. Make your bait empathetic to their pain. Don’t talk about how great your product is. Talk about how you can end their pain.
  41. Use the insights from surveying and talking to customers in your copywriting. Use the same language that they use.
  42. Your bait is not supposed to be a fully comprehensive guide. It should only give them one step or only give them the framework without details. If you give it all away in the bait they have no need to buy from you. BUT the bait should give real value so that they want more. And plan out the exact next action you want them to take. Should they go from report to video course to newsletter? Or some other product funnel?
  43. Make your bait fun. You could make it a contest. Try to gamify your funnel as much as possible.
  44. Look at the other interests that your target audience has on Facebook.
  45. The 3 line post: (Line 1) Get the reader’s attention by asking a question about the problem you are going to solve for them. (Line 2) Tease that there is a solution to that problem. (Line 3) Give a link to the CTA.
  46. Leverage your other platforms to build a new platform. Ex) Tell people on your email list, YouTube, TikTok, etc to follow your Instagram because you’ll be posting exclusive content on X topic. And you’ll be choosing 5 random commenters to win X prize. You can do this once per quarter.
  47. Dan says Instagram post promotions are a good way to get customers for a low cost. You can limit it to $5 a day. Test it for 6 days. Have a link to your bait in the bio.
  48. There are no secrets to success, it’s the result of preparation and hard work.
  49. Same is lame. Stand out. Look different. Be unique. Even at first glance.
  50. Ad photos: try everything. Stock photos, photos of you, different backgrounds (city, nature, plain), vacations, luxury lifestyle, etc. Also, try to have red in the picture because it catches the eye.
  51. Use Canva, wordswag, FaceTune 2, and swish. Read Words That Sell by Richard Bayan. Read Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich by David Garfinkle. Headline generator: Use Loom for voice messages.
  52. Do giveaways to keep followers engaged.
  53. Good ad copy framework to use. (1) Picture of you looking down. (2) Headline: I didn’t even realize… (3) Write some text about how you realized how to solve the problem. (4) CTA that can solve the problem for the prospect.
  54. Good ad copy framework to use. (1) Picture of you smiling. (2) Headline: Ever want [goal]? (3) text about how you got the goal. (4) CTA.
  55. Make an Amazon influencer list (a step up from Amazon affiliates). Requires you to have a 1,000 person email list. Could get you an extra $100-$1000 a month.
  56. The Pew Research Center found that nearly 1/4 of adults had not read a single book in 2014. A 2019 report showed that the statistic remained the same. And most who bought a book didn’t finish it.

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