It’s so easy to fail in business of any kind.
And, the easiest place to make a living (on the Internet) is the easiest place to fail.
I’ve watched numerous friends over the years succeed dramatically in business.
Some I’ve coached. Some I’ve simply had the fun of watching them do well.
I’ve also watched a hell of a lot of people run their wallet into the ground because they failed to do three things.
- They get sucked into “Easy Money” Schemes
- They invest far too much money and not enough time into their business.
- They don’t market themselves (either because they choose not to or they do it poorly).
Today we talk only about marketing.
Is there such a Thing as “Easy Money”?
People who want to participate in Easy Money Schemes will ultimately figure out that the money is rarely in the downline. It’s rarely anywhere, except in the service you provide to your client and customer.
And my friends often miscalculate just how many people you must help to succeed in business.
And that is only one of many miscalculations they make.
They go to a seminar, hear the gal at the front of the room tell them how EASY it is and then they go home all fired up.
It’s not Easy!
Serving people is work.
It’s writing Coffee w/ Kevin Hogan every week and caring about the value, and the experience you get from Coffee.
Not everyone is destined to publish a text “magazine” each week. (Does the term newsletter do Coffee justice?)
So people try and adopt the model I use in business. And if they get all the pieces, they will do very well indeed.
Let’s look at success and failure when starting a proven model and what happens along the way, at each step where people screw themselves up. (This could take a few months, this article is part one!)
The money is in “the List.”
You’ve probably heard that before right?
Well, semantics aside, that’s not exactly true. Not the whole truth anyway.
The biggest obstacle you face and have to overcome when you publish a newsletter, magazine or put any free or paid information out there is the fact that people have gotten used to getting junk (from your competitors) disguised as helpful free or paid information.
Each week we get people who email us telling us they are closing their old email account because of spam but they want us to change their address so they can keep getting Coffee.
They don’t just close their accounts, they email their friends first.
Very little makes me feel better in the course of the day than getting these requests.
It means I’m doing something right.
People want to keep having Coffee with Kevin Hogan.
That’s cool, and, it’s something you can do, too.
“I Gotta Get Paid”
DISASTER ONE: Many people in business put out sub-standard information simply because they’re writing from a mentality of “I gotta get paid”; and when you do that, you completely forget about the people you’re writing to and start to concentrate on you and what you want.
That’s a Titanic recipe for disaster.
KEYPOINT: Whenever you write anything for your readers, subscribers, website visitors and customers don’t write with the sole intention of getting a check. Getting checks is nice but your business lives or dies based on how many people are certain you genuinely want to help them achieve their importance in their lives.
Sometimes I write with the intention of having you take an action that will cost you money. Typically this is an amazon promo where I ask you to go buy a book for $15, from amazon, so it helps build that book’s life. It gives it a jumpstart and that is something I can’t do by myself.
Aside from that, I rarely think about anything except sharing with people the latest research in a fun and interesting way, or perhaps getting people to see how they can really make a difference.
The mistake just about everyone makes is that without an effort from you to show your readers that you value them enough to part with real information and that you see them as more than just a dollar sign, you’re going to be lumped in a group with all the rest of your competitors. And that is a place you don’t want to be.
Individuals in business often behave as if they are desperate to make a sale and just like in real life, it’s obvious and that person will go broke. People don’t want to do business with someone who is terrified they won’t have a check next month. They want to do business with someone who they are CERTAIN of.
Responsive Readers Are Part of a Relationship
KEYPOINT: Responsive readers, people who become friends, are born from conscious efforts to build a relationship that matters.
People connect with other people.
They don’t connect with mindless robots that only want commission checks.
Now don’t get me wrong.
I’m fine for you to buy the products I recommend, (though I don’t really recommend or promote a lot of products anymore) but I’m not going to “force” that on you. When I do enough of the right things in your eyes, you eventually become CERTAIN. At that point you are fine to work with me and that is ideal for me.
People who email and ask, “Should I go to your training or X’s training?”
Answer: “Go there. If you don’t already know why you want to do Y then GO THERE. Email me next year.”
They do and they figure it out.
And we have a better relationship when they realize my competitors are like most people in business and that pretty much everything I do is about building relationships, friendships that matter to me and, hopefully, to you.
When marketing on the Internet, the big thing is that I have to earn your respect and appreciation by sharing amazing stuff with you that you can really use…or at least cause you to think, have fun or SOMETHING that matters to YOU.
A lot of people out there litter their connection time with people they meet on the Internet with push, push, push, push….
What’s that conversation going to be like when you meet THAT person, face to face?
I don’t like it.
Be Real. Be You.
Reality, write to people as people and take care of them like family. Care enough about them to be straight forward and authentic. Be, you.
KEYPOINT: You are required to pay your bills. You are required to be of use to a certain number of people on any given day so you can pay those bills. If you want people to eagerly anticipate, say, your next email with every intention of jumping on something you recommend, you should follow the three rules I’m about to lay down for you because that’s entirely possible to accomplish.
Here’s how to market in a way that matters….a way that causes people to want to do business with one person, you.
I have nothing against giving you specific techniques and strategies because they are important.
In fact, getting people to get off their butt and do something that will get their life (or business, or relationships) in gear is part of the persuasion process. It is required of one friend to DO that to help another. Otherwise the friendship is impotent if you can’t cause another person to act.
Evergreen marketing refers to the fact that I’m giving you proven concepts (that never stop working) based on the nature of the people you want to do business with.
Which is reminding me of DISASTER TWO. Are you doing business with the right people?
Along the way, you pick up people that you really DO NOT want to be doing business with. These are people who will cause you far more pain than you can imagine.
When you run into someone who you KNOW is going to be “more work than they are worth,” then do NOT do business with them.
Use THAT TIME and energy to focus attention on people you DO want to do business with.
“I want to talk to Kevin to ask him a couple of questions about the upcoming course/event/book/program and just make sure it’s right for me.”
Instructions to person picking up the phone:
If the person doesn’t get the relationship yet…if they haven’t figured me out, who I am and what it is I do for people I care about, GO TO THE OTHER PERSON’S EVENT and drop me an email next year.
Pretty much everyone knows I blew out my right vocal cord in 2001 and since then my voice gets pretty weak pretty fast. It SOUNDS good but I am literally under orders to speak only so many hours per week.
I remember getting an award at the National Guild of Hypnotists that year. I was starting to improve but I had just been to the Doc and I was on a “Speak only when absolutely necessary” basis.
Thankfully, the audience understood and I got the most cool award I could ever imagine. I whispered, “Thank You” and got a standing ovation that still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.
In retrospect, I am glad…because I had a LOT of people to thank. No one wins these kinds of awards without help along the way…and…I probably would have screwed up and forgot to mention someone.
KEYPOINT: In the future you should make a conscious effort to try and understand why something is done instead of just copying what you see someone else successfully doing. There’s always something more beneath the surface that you can study and learn from.
Make Your Intentions Clear
Relationship Marketing Secret #1: Do Your Best To Make Your Intentions Crystal Clear From The Start
If you aren’t a “known quantity,” then do this….When people sign up to your newsletter, the first letter they get should be a personal message from you to them telling them what they can expect as a subscriber and why it’s a good idea to stay subscribed and read every single email you send them.
Almost no one does this.
Your first message sets the tone for everything you do later. If you don’t set the right tone up front, it’s going to take you a lot longer to “warm up” your readers before they’ll do business with you.
When you make your first few emails about them and their needs, you know that they’ll start to wonder if you have something for them to buy. That’s a good position to be in because it puts your readers in a more receptive mood when you actually do present them with a direct offer.
Your readers will ask a lot from you over the years, you have the same privilege.
KEYPOINT: Put your own agenda, or at least the part that remunerates you, on hold for a minute.
KEYPOINT: Perception is reality. In other words, whatever someone believes to be the truth is the truth to him or her.
PERSONA POINT: With that in mind, “control” (as much as possible) your self so that your readers see you as you will want to be seen, forever. For some people this is a massive self-reinvention. For others only minor touch ups are necessary. But as soon as you go “live” in your business, you want your customers, clients, friends to have truth presented to them from you and then BE that TRUTH forever. You can control (to a great extent) how people perceive and react to you by carefully presenting yourself the way you want them to see you.
Is there a downside?
If you present an image that is significantly different from who you are from today forward, you will have destroyed yet another relationship…. Yes, another…
You ARE who YOU CHOOSE TO BE.
If you are perfect going into today, you are lucky.
I have to constantly engage my left brain when I get upset so I don’t stick my foot too far into my mouth …avoiding unnecessary surgery.
Your choices are your conscious choices, but you need to be in charge of your nonconscious reactions and reactance as much as you can.
Have a Solid Persona
People will expect to see you similarly in your marketing as you are in person. Make sure you are comfortable with the persona you put into the public. Once it’s there…it’s there forever.
If you want your readers to respond to you in a positive way, you have to give them a solid reason to by giving them what they want before expecting to get what you want. This will become a lot clearer as you continue. Except in unusual cases, always keep in mind that people care about themselves… first.
People have nothing to base their opinions of you on other than the person/image you purposely or accidentally present for them to judge. As soon as you do the same things most of your competitors do, you get labeled as “one of them,” whether you are, or not.
Be selective about the company you keep.
Careful About Who You are Lumped in With
Think: “If people see me as ‘one of this group,’ am I OK with that perception?”
If not, you don’t hang out with that group.
The fact is, people should do this for every aspect of their life.
That’s why it’s so important to make your intentions crystal clear right from the start. Do something that your competition hasn’t thought of doing because they’re only thinking of themselves and what they want. Not what their readers/customers/clients need from them first.
KEYPOINT: Believe it or not, people can pick up on your intentions.
KEYPOINT: If they can’t (because you haven’t made your intentions clearly known) they’ll just guess at what your intentions are and for whatever reason, whenever someone has to guess at what your intentions are, they will almost never think of anything positive.
Fill in Your Own Gaps
FASCINATING FACT: Notice I’ve used the word “because” a few times in this article? If you remember The Psychology of Persuasion, I talk a bit about the word, “because”. It’s a word that denotes the concept, “X causes Y”.” Sentences with the word “because” in it are stated and typically perceived as FACTUAL.
Whenever you leave gaps in what you say, people will try to connect the dots on their own. That’s what the brain does. “Because” fills in the gaps between what you say and what you don’t say with the most logical (and most often the worst) explanation of what you mean. Use the word judiciously, because people will often judge you innocent or guilty and with good or bad intentions based upon how you use, “because”.
Your intentions (more accurately, what others to believe your intentions to be) have the power to move them to do things for you they wouldn’t dream of doing for anyone else.
Are you just trying to quietly slip into people’s e-mail inbox or are you introducing yourself and clearly stating your intentions for being there so they can feel comfortable about letting you into their space?
Unfortunately, people have been conditioned not to expect much in the way of useful information and knowledge without paying for it, so clearly stating your intentions is an absolute must. If you don’t, people will automatically assume that you only write to them so you can send them advertising.
Too many people are teaching you to build your list without teaching you that “a list” is a collection of emails or addresses that are owned by real people with real kids, with an elderly parent at home, having an argument with the wife and a stressful day going on and on.
Market to Real People (Because They Are…!)
These are REAL PEOPLE, with real feelings, real pain.
You either have ways you can be useful and helpful to this person, or you don’t.
No one else will tell you this because it’s much easier to see “a list” as a group of people who you “close” or whatever.
Do business with real people.
Because you are doing business with REAL PEOPLE, just about everyone who does business with you, will at least read the first message you send to them and make up their minds about you based on that first e-mail. Knowing this, doesn’t it now seem obvious that your first email is the most important and that you should do everything in your power to make sure people have the right “picture” of you and your intentions in their heads so they don’t draw their own conclusions about you?
Letting people draw their own conclusions is almost never good.
Because they didn’t learn in school HOW to draw their own conclusions, all that happens is a gut reaction in people and that initial reaction is pretty random.
Don’t be random.
Let people see that, know that, feel that, think that and then be DIFFERENT from your competition.
The BEST and FIRST place to be different is in WHO YOU ARE AS A PERSON.
Next time, we’ll pick up on six more cool strategies…
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