When I was a little bit younger, I spent a whole lot of my time throwing javelins (aka. sticks) around. I was fortunate enough to go on to do pretty well with it – I broke a few records, qualified for the world championships (in my age division), and then promptly destroyed my shoulder and never threw again.
It was a devastating time for me, because not only did it end my throwing career, it ended a number of sports I was playing at the time because they all involved high-impact to my shoulders. I tried to make out that I was fine with it, it’s just what happens, but internally I was absolutely devastated.
Now, in the scheme of things, not being able to throw a stick is not too serious. But at the time, all I could see was the end of a dream and nowhere to go. Looking back now, I’m glad it happened, and I wouldn’t change where I have gone since then for anything. I can also see exactly what I did right during that time, and what I did wrong.
Nowadays, the lessons I learned don’t get applied to throwing, but instead get applied to my business.
The 5 Lessons I learned from missing out on a World Championship:
When I first started throwing, I was way behind everyone else. While everyone else had been throwing for years, I started throwing at 16 because nobody else in my school was good at it and “accidentally” discovered that I had some talent.
In the same way I have done for so many things, I then decided I wanted to be the best at it and start working like crazy on improving. I trained for hours, twice every day, morning and night. And yet, after months of training, I really hadn’t improved all that much.
So, instead of training harder, I trained smarter. I figured out the things that were making large differences and focused only on those. I went from training for hours, to training for about 15-20 minutes. And yet, I was improving at an astronomical rate. Within 6 months I went from a mediocre competitor to the 2nd best in my state, then quickly progressed from there.
How does this apply to business?
The concept of the Minimum Effective Dose is this: the smallest input required to achieve a desired outcome. For example, to boil water you need to raise the temperature to 100 Degrees Celsius .. making it hotter will just waste energy, it won’t give you a better result.
What are the things in your business that will achieve fast growth and success? Do those and stop doing everything else. Do you have advertising in 15 different avenues, but if you took all that money and invested into 1 strong performer, it may increase your sales exponentially. Are you spending most of your time working with clients that don’t represent where you want to go with your business? Start focusing your time on the clients that will get you where you want to be.
When I applied the MED philosophy to my business I discovered that 90% of my time was spent on clients that I didn’t want to work with and/or were producing the smallest part of my income.
When I was following my own training method and starting to achieve some great success with my Javelin throwing, I made the stupidest mistake of all. I completely changed what I was doing.
For some reason, I thought that “now that I was in the big leagues”, I needed to start training how everybody else was doing it. I needed to follow the many recommendations that I was getting on a daily basis. So, I stopped my short (yet incredibly effective) training sessions and went back to working out for hours so that I could take that next step toward my goal.
What happened? I destroyed my shoulder and could not throw again.
How does this apply to business?
One of the most common things that I see from people that I work with is that they abandon the things that work for them as soon as those things start working. They get caught up in other projects and stop doing the thing that got them to start succeeding. Then, they just go straight back to where they started.
A strategy that will work for your business will work for your business. It will work when you’re not succeeding and will work when you are succeeding. Sure when you start seeing some success you can start adding other strategies, but why get rid of the thing that got you to where you are?
One of the great things about sports is that you start out knowing that success is going to take a little while. You know that you have to practice before you start getting better. When people start in business, for some reason we look at it with completely different eyes. We think that we need to succeed within the first few days, or else we need to abandon ship and find something new.
I wish it worked that way. Unfortunately it doesn’t. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll fail. You’ll cry. You’ll get stressed out. And then, you’ll succeed. Then you’ll fail again.
Business can be a tough game. But you can succeed.
When I was throwing, I undertook a different kind of training. I started using javelins that were weighted well above what I was supposed to be throwing, and kept working on improving my technique every day.
I was throwing around 50-55m (nothing to write home about, but not too bad for my age group at the time), then in one competition I absolutely smashed my personal best and threw almost 70m. It came out of absolutely nowhere. One throw was pretty average, then suddenly I was throwing international level distances. And I didn’t stop.
How does this apply to business?
Quantum leaps can happen in an instant. One advertising campaign can bring you over 100 clients, when you were expecting 3. The trick is to build your base business structure so that you can always handle the quantum leap when it comes.
What happens to your business if you get 100 clients in tomorrow? For a lot of businesses, this is actually devastating. They can’t handle the client list and then things start falling apart. Shortcuts get taken. Clients get missed. Business starts dying.
Always always always approach your business with the thought of scalability. If your business doubled overnight, could you handle it? You don’t have to have the staff hired, or the machinery sitting there, but you do need to know what you would do and how you would handle it.
Because those quantum jumps will either make or break your business. Be ready for them.
I was sitting in a bar a few nights ago chatting with some friends when the topic of business came up, namely, their business. Now this wasn’t like a doctor at a bar (“You’re a doctor? Well, I have this rash…”), I was genuinely interested in what they were talking about, so I began to probe them a little… verbal probing that is.
“Where are you heading?” “Who are your clients?” “How do you get your clients?”
It was that last question that struck me, because their answer was “At the moment only through Word-of-Mouth, but I need to start advertising to start getting more clients”. As someone who relies on word-of-mouth advertising in their business and who very rarely advertises, I was very interested in their word-of-mouth strategies… the problem was, they didn’t have one.
I could have asked about their strategies for any other marketing method and they would have had some sort of answer for me, but when it comes to word-of-mouth they had absolutely nothing.
Just like most businesses.
Most people have this thought that word-of-mouth advertising is hopeful advertising… you do a good job, then hopefully your client will like you enough to mention your name to others that are looking for your services.
A bit passive for me.
With a great word-of-mouth strategy you can not only create an army of you-loving sales people out of your clients, you can create even better relationships with your current clients! And it doesn’t have to be hard… in fact, the simplest strategy can look a little like this:
Be awesome at what you do.
This is not optional.
After you have completed your service / supplied your product / done your work / whatever, send your client a very brief email giving them some sort of helpful advice or friendly followup just to make sure that they know you have their best interests at heart. This can be as simple as:
Thanks for coming in for your massage yesterday – remember to drink lots of water today as the massage will have stirred up some toxins in your body so you need the water to flush them out!
Hope you are feeling more relaxed!
I hope you had a great time at your styling session today! Remember when you’re getting ready tomorrow to use more contrast like we spoke about today and let your bright yellow leg warmers really stand out!
Here’s to a stylish life!
Note: this is to be used with caution. Ask yourself this question… Do you care about the person and their business? If you can’t answer with a yes, stop now and don’t try to “woo” them into giving you a referral. People want to work with those that care about them, and you should want to work with people you care about.
Wow the hell out of your client with a thank you that will rock their socks off.
Send them over a bottle of champagne, or a ticket to that show they were talking about, or an iPad, or even just a beautifully worded hand-written letter.
If you really appreciate their business then really show them. It doesn’t take much.
Ask them if they know someone who could benefit from your services. Most people do. Or, ask them for a testimonial. This is prime time for getting either a referral or a testimonial because they are happy with your service (I’m assuming) and wow’ed by your thank you.
They feel like you really care about them, and so they are willing to share your information with anybody they think might benefit.
Keep in contact. It’s as easy as shooting them an email every 3 months saying:
How’s business going these days?
Hope everything is working out brilliantly for you!
You don’t have to ask them for work, you just have to keep in contact. It is amazing how many of these emails come back saying “I was actually just thinking about you and how much I need your awesome service again!”.
Word-of-mouth marketing can be incredibly powerful for your business… are you using it well?
With the many success stories of Online Businesses (large or small), it can be easy to think that starting your own is not only simple, it is guaranteed to succeed. Unfortunately, for every success story, there are many that either fail, or simply never go anywhere.
Here are 7 things that you need to think about before entering an Online Business – they can mean the difference between success and failure!
The problem with most online businesses? They market to who they think will purchase their product, not who actually will purchase their product. Get out their and do some market research and figure out who is buying what you are selling.
Get onto FaceBook and see the kind of people that Like your competitors FaceBook pages, use your competitors websites to see who they are marketing to, go out there and ask people if they would be interested in your product until you know who is.
A quick tip: magazines can offer a world of insight into your business. Every magazine you see on the shelf has teams of researchers and marketers figuring out exactly who their audience is and what they are interested in. If something is featured heavily in a magazine of your subject, maybe it’s time to focus on that thing yourself.
You want to figure out your market age, your market income, your market interests, anything that you can use to gain exposure through different mediums. Anything that can give you an insight on how best to market to them.
The easiest way? Ask them.
You have to sell a hell of a lot of $19 eBooks to make a living. So, what is your real product? Is it the eBook/Audio/Video/Shoes/Unicorns? Or are you using that product as a marketing exercise for your real product?
An eBook, a product, often they are elaborate marketing that gains an audience for your real work. Maybe it is consulting, speaking, teaching, whatever. Or maybe it is an eBook. Figure out what your real business is, and what you want it to be.
Even Michael Drew, who has personally taken over 70 books to National Best-Seller status in the US, knows that a best-selling book is a stepping stone onto other things.
If we look even at a basic sales funnel, the low priced product always leads us into bigger purchases. An eBook leads to a seminar, which leads to coaching, which leads to premium priced consulting. Which of these is the business you really want and how can your online business get you there?
Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having your business be books. Just know that there are so many more levels that you can use those books to springboard you into.
There are 2 types of scalability you need to worry about online. How is the physical work handled and can my technology cope? If your website suddenly ends up going viral (it can happen easier than you think) and you suddenly have 100,000 visits to your site in a week, most hosts will shut down your server.
Make sure that you have a hosting solution that can handle the large traffic spikes that you may end up with. Yes it is more expensive. Yes it is absolutely worth it. Nothing kills your business like being featured heavily online, then when people click on your link all they see is a server error.
Technology aside, what about simple time constraints? Online business is still business. If you are offering all digital products, scalability is often a lot easier than with physical products, because a sudden 50,000 order surge doesn’t have you sitting in your garage making thousands of products you weren’t expecting to sell.
Always have plans in place to make sure that you can handle it when your business grows. Sometimes, it could be argued that your business will never grow unless you have those plans in the first place.
If you are creating an online business in order to create a passive income on the side so that you never need to work again, you may need to consider the following: are you the employee in your own business?
Let’s look at most offline businesses for a moment. Why do they get started? Because people want to get away from their job and do what they love. What do they end up doing? They end up in a lot more jobs than they thought. They are suddenly the technician, the business development manager, the sales person, the bookkeeper, the marketing manager, the receptionist.
An online business is the same. What do you actually want to do with your time? How is that reflected in the work you are going to be doing in your business?
As much as we all would love to believe it, a real online business comes from more than setting up a website and walking away.
In any traffic generation campaign, you have 2 options. Paid or Free. Paid (Pay per click ads, banner ads, paid advertising to lists, etc) advertising works quickly and can get your business taking off fast when you need it. The problem? It costs money.
Does that mean you should focus on free traffic instead? No. Free traffic is only free in financial terms. It costs A LOT in time. Traffic is not generated for free in a minute a day. You need to work at getting traffic.
Now whether you go for paid or free traffic you have a lot of different options – Google Ads, FaceBook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Paid Banner Ads, ReTargeted Ads, getting featured on other sites, article submission, YouTube videos, Social Media posting, however you plan on getting traffic, make sure it is applicable to your market.
Do your CEO level business people use FaceBook or LinkedIn more? What about your 20 year old university students? Make sure you think about your market before you blindly go out and look for customers in the wrong arena.
What is the biggest problem in online business at the moment? Lack of trust and connection. Whilst people love to shop online, they miss out on the personal connection that comes from a physical store.
The best businesses realise this and do what they can to alleviate it. Look at Zappos – they haven’t built their business on shoes, they built it on customer service. Justin Herald calls every person that purchases sunglasses from him. What can you do to create a relationship with your customers?
Can you involve them in your personal life? Pat Flynn does that and has created an incredible business on helping people do the same. Could you use FaceBook to forge a relationship? Can you create a community on your website?
There is always something you can do to create a personal connection with your customers. Ahead of anything else, it is worth it.
People say that traffic is king in online businesses. I disagree. Conversion is king. What is the point of having 1,000,000 people visit your site if nobody buys anything? You need to be able to convert your traffic into sales in order to succeed.
Most of my clients have come to me after the frustration of being online and getting many hits on their sites, but never actually selling anything.
Whether you use A/B Split testing, heatmaps, eye tracking, 5 second tests, or any other technique, you need to know why people aren’t buying from your site. It could be as simple as asking vistors via a popup whether or not they would buy from you. Or it can be as elaborate as using a conversion analysis software to see exactly what customers do on your website.
At the very least, I recommend using Google Analytics in order to be able to see where people are visting your site, the actions they take on your site and of course where they have come to your site from. Armed with his information you can tweak your website to conversion brilliance and start actually making money online.
Remember that unless you try to improve your site, you are never seeing its potential. Increasing your conversion can be the difference between making a profit and making a loss. Always improve.
Look at any industry in the world. Any product, any service. Within 2 years of starting a business, 30% have failed. Within 5 years, almost 50%. But why? Of course, there are a million different reasons. Lack of capital. Inexperience. Ego driven businesses. Failure to plan. Overplanning. What about being different? Since 2006, how many people have “created” the next FaceBook? Or the next Apple, Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway? Every industry is over-saturated with competitors. Yet funnily enough, that can be a good thing. Why? Because it creates more opportunity for you.
Siimon Reynolds talks about an incredible piece of marketing by Patek Phillipe, the Swisse watchmaker. They offer beautifully crafted watches, all around the $5,000 to $10,000 mark. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Except that they stock a $1,000,000 watch. That’s right, one million dollars. And to top it off, in order to buy the watch you have to write to the CEO telling him why you deserve it! They not only have the gall to charge that much, they also make you prove you are worthy of it!
Psychologically, as soon as your need to prove your worth for something, you instantly try to, whether you want the product or not. It puts their brand as someone you want to be worthy of, rather than the brand having to be worthy of the customer. It positions every other watch in the store as good value. It positions Patek Phillipe as the immediate brand leader in your mind. This is one of the best marketing strategies I have seen.
Well, obviously not all of us are going to sell a $1,000,000 product. But what about make your brand different from everyone else? How can you set your business apart from the millions of other businesses all competing for your customers? You could:
We can all do something to differentiate our businesses. How can you make yours stand out from the crowd?
Today I had the privilege of speaking with Justin Herald, one of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs. He started out with Attitude Gear®, and from there has gone on to win the award for International Entrepreneur of the Year, and currently owns numerous other businesses.
In this conversation, you will hear Justin and I talk about:
Scott: Alright, g’day guys this is Scott Stuart from Scott Creative Design and today I’m very fortunate to be chatting with Justin Herald, one of Australia’s leading businessmen and entrepreneurs. He’s most famous, of course, for starting his clothing brand Attitude Gear at the age of 25 and turning that into a multi-million dollar business. He’s been named the International Entrepreneur of the Year and today, along with owning a number of different businesses, Justin focuses his time on speaking about his story and what it takes to succeed, as well as mentoring and coaching business people in their own endeavours. Justin mate, thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to have a chat with me. How are you going?
Justin: Yeah great mate, no problem at all.
Scott: That’s good. Mate now I’m sure over the years you’ve spoken a lot about Attitude Gear and of course your very famous story about how you took, what was it, $50? And turned that into a multi-million dollar business in under about 6 years. But the thing I’m particularly interested in right now, is why you actually started the business in the first place? I mean, obviously at the time you could have gotten another job or done a number of different options. What actually attracted you to starting business?
Justin: Oh look, you know what I actually fell into it, well I didn’t fall into it, it was just a means to an end for me and I wasn’t even looking at it as a business to be totally honest. My father’s a minister and I was constantly told by a certain person in the church that I constantly had an attitude problem, so the only reason I started Attitude was just to put it on the back of a few t-shirts just to upset the lady on a Sunday. So, that was it. There wasn’t much more to it than that, I wasn’t expecting anything from it, it was just one way to upset her and then the following Sunday I would have come up with another idea to upset her really. It was just one of those things that just took off. Which shocked me.
Scott: That’s great! You know at the moment, I’m working particularly with a lot of people who are trying to start their own businesses and, you know, some have these ideas and you know they’ve got a million different ideas every week and some take off and some don’t take off. What do you think the biggest difference between you and when you started Attitude Gear and a lot of people now who aren’t succeeding? What was your attitude going into it?
Justin: I think the difference, well first of all, ideas are like armpits. Everyone has 2 and most of the time they stink. Just because you come up with an idea doesn’t mean it’s going to work. I think the problem these days is everyone, sort of is basically counting all the money from what their idea could make before they’ve done anything. Where with me, how much it was going to turn over, how I was going to do it and all that, it wasn’t even in the back of my head. So, for me I don’t really get myself that emotionally attached nor have I ever to the business stuff. It’s just a thing that I do to get the stuff that I want. And I actually aim very small in my goals, which is a difference with a lot of people these days. You know they are aiming huge, and look the problem with that is you’re setting yourself up for a failure or a disappointment straight from the start.
Scott: Yeah, of course everyone is trying to start the next FaceBook.
Justin: Yeah, well it’s not going to happen. You know, look there’s only one FaceBook on the planet, they’ve got 6 billion people or whatever the hell it is these days. That’s the reality of the situation but you know, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, I’m just trying to make it roll a little bit better, so I’ve got a new sunglasses brand and there’s a million pairs of sunglasses out there, but I’ve just come up with a design on the arms that no-one else was doing, so that’s the only difference. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist.
Scott: That’s Intimidate, that brand isn’t it?
Scott: So, obviously you’ve succeeded very well in business, despite not really starting to do business, so right now, now that you’ve succeeded, you’ve made your millions with Attitude, what are your passions now and how are you trying to focus your life now?
Justin: Oh look, I love speaking, it’s something that I once again fell into, I love speaking at corporate conferences and stuff and I love mentoring business owners, it’s a huge passion of mine to see other people succeed. But on top of that, you know I’m just enjoying the moment. I’m enjoying life. Working in a business, and it doing really well, which is great, but you’ve gotta work really hard. So I’m also enjoying the downtime as well. I’ve got a bit more simpler life these days which I’m thoroughly enjoying, cause I don’t have all that extra hoohah that goes with it all. But yeah, for me I suppose, the main thing I do is speak at conferences. Which is funny in itself because I used to get in trouble at school for talking so now I’m getting paid for it.
Scott: Mate, I love how you’re so honest about business, you know most people are selling the fact that you can start a business in 5 minutes and you’ve got a million dollars in a month’s time, and particularly you having started in 1995, prior to the whole online revolution that we’re going through right now, obviously it was a different time, and you know you had to be a lot more personal. You had to get out there yourself a lot more. What was the attitude that you had going out there and knocking on the doors, and trying to sell your t-shirts and trying to get things in compared to people trying to sell stuff online now?
Justin: Well, you know, you can’t discount, I’ve just looked at yesterday actually, looked at customer equity and customer culture so I’m going into businesses, mainly big ones, to change the culture around the customer and this is where these days, people basically ignore the customer, even if you’re starting a business, the only one you;re selling to is the customer. So, back in my day, I sound like an old man now, before the whole internet thing kicked off, it was all about relationship, it was only about relationship. Now, with this whole online thing, we just seem to think we’re going to sit back in our office and watch a screen turn over a whole heap of money for us while we do nothing. You still have to run an online business like you would an offline business, there’s no difference in the whole thing. That’s where a lot of people get mistaken. I mean, I sell a lot of stuff online, say with Intimidate, and we sell out now and it’s all through online. But every single order that came through, on the internet, I would ring up and say thank you. As silly as it may sound. But it puts me so different against all of my other competitors or anyone else online. So, there’s still got to be basic principles and this is the issue I’ve got these days, especially with these get wealthy, get rich quick conferences out there, they’re not teaching people the basics of business, which is foundational. You don’t have any of that and no matter how good your idea is, if you don’t have any idea about your business, you’re stuffed. So it’s still hard work and you know, if success was easy everyone would be successful so, reality is it’s not easy.
Scott: Yeah, that’s true. I love how you said you actually call up everyone that orders some sunglasses and how that differentiates you from everybody online, you know with the online space, whilst it is so amazing that you can get out there to the entire globe, you know you really miss that personal touch that a physical store has or even a small one-man show has. Do you do anything else which gives that personal touch? Do you build your whole website and online business for Intimidate around that?
Justin: Well, when it comes to, and I’ve been doing this since day with with Attitude, but the only person that answers the phone in my office is me. Whether I’m away or not. And because, well 2 reasons. Number 1 I’m a tight wad so why would I pay $60,000 to get someone in to answer the phone to put them through to me, but number 2, I can’t stand the gatekeeper in any business. I can’t stand having to go through people, that have no idea who I am, and don’t understand that relationship or the connection I have with the person I want to talk to, but I’ve got to prove that to them. In business, I will not do the things that bug me when it comes to me being a customer. So I will take that out of the equation. And it’s a great point of difference, because the amount of people that freak out every time I answer the phone, which is weird because they want to talk to me anyway, then they go and tell other people about that whole process and it gets that good feeling out there into the marketplace. So, simple things like that, like we don’t have to reinvent the wheel as I said before. It’s about doing the simple basic stuff which I call doing business the old fashioned way. About going back to basics, and not losing the connection with the customer. And the reality is I’m in this position in my life now, purely based upon the average Joe Blow went out and bought my t-shirt so why would I go out and separate myself from that person? It just doesn’t make any sense.
Scott: Yeah, I love that attitude and it’s something that I teach a lot of my clients as well, is that if you couldn’t sell something offline, you probably won’t be able to sell it online. And if you couldn’t get out there and position yourself as someone trustworthy, being online doesn’t change that.
Justin: Yeah, there’s a lot of people that want to set up eBay stores, right? Well, there’s a gazillion people setting up an eBay store, so straight away you’ve got competition. Whether it’s the same product or not is irrelevant. So there’s got to be something that’s a point of difference. It may not even be that online aspect of it all. It could be all the offline side of it. So, for me which is a very easy thing to do, like it’s very easy to be a nice person, and to say thank you and please. So put that back into an equation when it comes to running your business and it’s amazing how many people sit there and go, wow, it shows people that I appreciate their business as a customer and my business grows.
Scott: That’s a great attitude, I love it. Mate, I was listening to one of your speeches and you were talking about, well the fancy name for it, the objection journal you had, as you were starting out and going into different stores and trying to sell in. You’d find their objections, you’d come up with strategies around them and then you;d go into the next customer and present those, so you’re always always bettering your pitch as you go through. Do you find that different now, these days, online or even offline if you’re still doing things, do you find that different now and how do you go about finding those objections from customers now?
Justin: Oh look, they pop up all the time. There’s a lot of stupid people in retail. My best assets in life are other people, because they make me look smarter. But, what we’ve got to start doing is not understanding why people are saying buy, but understanding why people are saying not buy. I’ll give you a perfect example. I went into a local optometrist a while back, at the start of the year, I walked in and the first thing he said was “oh, you’re the Attitude guy”. I said, “oh I used to be”. So there was a bit of a, he recognised me, so I got a bit of a tick there, I said “I’ve got a new sunglasses brand I’d like to show you”. He said “what’s it called?”, I said “it’s called Intimidate”, he said “I’ve heard of that”. There’s another tick. And then I said “can I show you the range?”, so I showed him and he said that he really liked it. There’s another tick. And he asked what my minimum order is, I said “1 pair of sunglasses”, he said “that’s good”. There’s another tick. I asked if he would like to order and he said no. I said “why not?”. He said that it was coming into Winter. Now I don’t think their as stupid as that bloke actually is, I’m pretty sure that the suns out in Winter. I’m pretty sure. But that was his whole theory. Now, it’s a dumb theory. So what I decided to do was overcome his stupidness basically, so for the next month, every time I order online from the local area, I’d send a cheque of 10% to this guy. And I knew he wouldn’t bank it, but after a month I went in there and he said “why do you keep sending me cheques?”. I said, well thats 10% of what I’ve sold in the last month, you make 100% out of every sale. Imagine how much money you would have made. He goes “I should have ordered them now shouldn’t I?”. Yeah you should. So, he gave me all my cheques back and he orders them So, there’s objections all the time, and most of the time people’s objections for not wanting to buy from our business is probably not going to be a valid one, it’s going to be an emotive one. So, the questions are the answers. We’ve got to start listening to what people are saying and what questions are they asking us, and only answer that question. Don’t answer anything else, because I let people talk when I’m selling to them and they’ll let me know how they want to be sold to. So the art of zipping our lips is what we need to do, and if someone gives you an objection that you can’t overcome, that’s fine. But you need to note it down and come up with an answer for the next time someone comes up with that objection. And that way, the more you can overcome objections really quickly, people then know and understand that you’ve got an understanding of your product, their market, it’s not as easy as coming up with a widget and selling it to someone. It’s just not that easy anymore. Because there is a lot more product in the marketplace. See when I started Attitude, there was me, No Fear and Bad Boy. They were the only ones in that space. Now, there are probably 100, 200 brands in that space. So, coming out with a clothing brand now, actually wouldn’t be that hard because there’s so many in that space, but you’re still only going to get a very small segment of the market.
Scott: And it’s funny, you know, you’re talking to a lot of people starting their business, the thing that they often tend to do is they position themselves, or they position their business where they think their customer is, as opposed to where their customer actually is.
Justin: Well, that’s because they’re putting their own head into the equation. See, I don’t get attached to my business at all, as I said before, I get attached to the outcomes of my business. I started Intimidate because I wanted a Harley, that’s it, that’s the only reason I started that one. So that being the case, I need to understand the market I’m selling to, not what I want them to be. What they actually are. So a bit of market research is not that hard. That’s pretty easy to do these days, it’s called Google.
Scott: I agree, it’s a pretty straight forward process now.
Justin: Yeah, but it’s amazing how many people complicate it though.
Scott: It’s funny, that leads me into another point where a lot of people who are, I call it paralysis by analysis, they’ve got 10,000 business plans and marketing strategies and all these different things for their business but they’ve never actually taken that first step and gone and found a customer. How do you help people get over that initial barrier and actually get them out there and actually running their business rather than constantly planning and planning ahead?
Justin: Yeah, well I seem to attract the people that won’t do that anyway, cause I’ve never done that. I’ve never done a profit and loss or a forecast or a budget or anything so, for me, even when it came to the sunglasses, before we launched them I got them all sampled up for free and chucked them up on FaceBook to see what their reaction was. If I got a reaction back going “they suck”, well I wouldn’t have done them. But when I get a reaction back going “I’d love to buy some”, alright, that’ll do. Yeah market research isn’t that hard these days, you know and this is where, this might offend some people, but I see business plans as a wish list. Like, if you’ve never done something before, how the hell do you know where it’s going to go? And it’s great to have it on paper and in theory, but unfortunately business just doesn’t follow a piece of paper. So, for me, that’s why I don’t spend a great deal of money setting anything up. Number one. Because Intimidate I only spent $150 setting up, so if it doesn’t work I’ve lost $150. So I’d rather get out in the marketplace and see if people like the thing, instead of sitting there for weeks on end coming up with a beautiful business plan that my bank manager might like, but the consumer won’t.
Scott: Yeah of course. A lot of the guys that I’ve worked with, they’ve spent such a long time creating the perfect product but they’ve never actually asked someone if they would buy it. Or they’ve never actually tried to sell it.
Justin: And you would probably see this too, but walk down to the marketplace and that business plans out the window cause it goes in a totally different direction. You think, well what a waste of time that was.
Scott: It’s interesting, you know, one thing I would love to ask you is nowadays, a lot of people who think about marketing and getting their brand out there, and even getting those initial first sales, it’s like the line stops at FaceBook. Once you’ve done a FaceBook strategy people start going, okay well what else is there? How else do we market to customers and of course, FaceBook only really started publicly in 2006, so there is a hell of a lot of marketing experience prior to that. How do you get people out there and looking beyond just those online strategies and getting them into a more personal space?
Justin: Well, you’ve got to become the brand, and this is the old fashioned way of doing things, but no-one seems to do it. I had a new mentoring client today and she said “I don’t want people to know that I own the business”. How silly is that? Like, you know I’ve become a brand within myself by default, it wasn’t something I set out to do. Sometimes I can’t be an idiot anymore, cause people know who I am. But you know what, if I start a new business now, people go and follow it and buy it, purely based upon the fact that they know who I am. So, we’ve got to actually get ourselves into the market place and be seen as, potentially, the market expert in that whatever. And that actually gets us more sales. I’m not a big fan of spending money on advertising, never have been, never spent any money on advertising actually. So I use FaceBook a lot, but I don’t do it the way that apparently all these FaceBook experts tell you you should that have 30 friends. I actually, it’s all about creating relationships again. And FaceBook’s a great way actually do market testing. On how your consumer thinks more so than your product. So, for example, I’ve got on my fan page, I think about 1,500 people. On my personal page there’s 4,600 people. So straight away I know that people want to relate to me on a personal level. So I can then relate to them on a personal level what I’m doing in business. And because I’m doing it that way, they get involved. And, I got a, probably about 3 or 4 months ago, I put up a post and I was talking to one of my mates saying “you watch how well this works”, and I put up a post going “if you work in an organisation that is having a conference or that has a conference coming up and they need a speaker, can you give me their name, nothing else, and I’ll ring them and if I get that speaking job I’ll give you 10% of my speaking fee”. I got 15 new speaking jobs. Using the consumer as my sales person. This is where we’ve got to start doing is looking, as that’s the old fashioned way of doing it as well, where if you’ve got a store or if you’re dealing with the customer or the end user like we used to do in the markets when I first started Attitude, I’d get them to go into the stores. People would pay me money for my t-shirt, I’d ask them to do me a favour and go into a store and stat promoting my brand for me. They’d do it for nothing! People just don’t ask them to do it anymore.
Scott: You know, it’s funny on that I was actually working with a lady recently who had over 85,000 likes on her FaceBook and on her email list she had around 60,000 and she contacted me and she, you know Scott, I’ve never ever sold a book. And I said, alright well let’s start at the beginning. Have you ever asked anybody to buy it? She said, well… no, but you know, I’m giving them the sales paths to get there. I said “let’s ignore all that and just ask people to buy it” and I think she sold something like 25,000 that week.
Justin: Yeah, you’ve just got to ask the question. The reality is, everyone is trying to do this stuff in a really funky, silly way. But no-ones ever proven that it’s going to work anyway. I’m very basic. 1 + 1 equals 2. So, that’s business. If you want someone to buy something they need to know it’s there.
Scott: That’s very true. Mate I love how you talk about how you never really got in and tried to create a brand, but you ended with one anyway. And now, from what I understand, a lot of companies come to you to ask you about branding and to improve their own. And the thing I think you do better than so many other is you’ve got an amazing story behind your business.
Justin: Which everyone would have. But they just don’t see it as anything that’s important. I don’t see starting a business with $50 as anything major. The media did. So I just go with whatever they think’s good.
Scott: I guess the impression is that to start a business you’ve got to put out thousands, if not tens, hundreds of thousands to get everything in place, whereas really a business can just be an idea that you sell to one or two people, and can just grow from there.
Justin: Yeah, well I’m very big on growing a business organically. So, just seeing where it goes. Every business has a natural progression, naturally good, naturally bad. But they’ve got a natural progression. It’s like, using an analogy, using the whole snowball thing. You get a snowball and roll it and it gets bigger type thing. And that’s how people grow business. They work in their snowball and working it it gets bigger. I don’t do that. I just worry about what gradient my snowball’s sitting on. So I don’t have to touch it if it’s steep enough gradient, I just need to get in front of it to make sure there’s nothing in the way to wreck it. So, that for me, FaceBook is a good avenue, it’s not the only avenue, it is a good avenue to see if there is any progression, natural progression, with this idea that I’ve got going now. If the answer’s now, well that doesn’t mean it’s over, that just means the consumer is not the customer is not the customer I’m after, there might be a middle man in there that’s got a better relationship or connection with the consumer that I’m trying to get. And, you know it’s suck and see really. Which is something that people don’t really like to hear. Because apparently it should be really easy. It’s not easy.
Scott: No, it’s not. So do you actually go into a business with a plan on how you’re going to make it sustainable after that initial surge of sales, or do you just go in and take it as it comes and see what happens.
Justin: Yeah, I do that. My favourite four letter word has always been “next”. So if things aren’t really going the way, with Intimidate for example, good brand, good idea, retailer is an idiot, they won’t put any product in their store unless someone in the same town or street’s got it which is dumb, so we sell direct to the consumer which is great. But, there’s a lot fo work to that, compared to going to one shop and they buy 20 pairs, 30 pairs of sunglasses, I’ve got to hit 30 different people to buy a pair of sunglasses. So, am I still enthused about that brand? Probably not. Still ticks over and everything but I sit there and go “next”. Hence why I’m now this big Customer Culture thing, because it’s more up my alley. I love talking, I love presenting, there’s a huge whole in the market which is customer service cause there is none anymore and it’s about going back to that. So, I chop and change, I’ve got so many different businesses anyway, but it’s what floats my boat at the time and working really hard, standing in front of retailers, trying to convince them that they should be making money just does my head in. So, I’d rather remove myself from that. Now if you’re just staring your own business, there’s a lot of frustration that goes with that and you can’t remove yourself from. I’ve been in it long enough now to know what I’d like to do and know what I don’t want to do. But that’s why I have so many different avenues of income, that enables me to find a happy little comfortable place to play in, basically.
Scott: So when you’re going into a brand or a new business venture, I know most people who it’s their first business, and I’m sure you were probably the same with Attitude Gear, where you go in and give absolutely everything to it and you never really have that moment where you walk away from it if it’s not working. Obviously now, having run quite a number of business, I’m sure you do have that, but do you go into a business going to give it absolutely everything and then willing to walk away, or do you just give it a little crack, if there’s a bit of market penetration or people are a bit interested then you go with it further?
Justin: Yeah, look it comes down to how much effort I’m putting in for the reward. I had a client the other day, and they agreed with me in the end, and obviously I was right, they were working harder and harder and harder and the business was going nowhere. And for 4 years. I’m a very good strategic quitter, and I think people need to get to that. Not everything’s going to work, so there’s got to be the time where you stick your hands in the air and go “you know what, I surrender”. It doesn’t mean that you’ve failed, it just means that you’ve learnt a whole heap of stuff you should never do again. And then when you go onto the next thing, you should be actually a lot further along, because there’s a whole heap of stuff you don’t have to actually overcome. So in the end I said to them, “you’re earning bugger all of your wage every week, or what you’re taking out of the business. You go and do the same job you’re doing now for someone else, and they’ve got all the drama to take care of themselves, you’re going to get 3 times as much taken home.” And they agreed, and they ended up winding the business up. They wanted to sell it, it was worth nothing. And they’re quite happy because they’ve got their quality of life back again. Just because you’ve got a good idea does not mean, and especially if no-one else is doing it, there could be reason why no-one else is doing it.
Scott: That’s true, a lot of ideas have never been seen before, but they’ve actually been seen by a lot but never worked. With that whole quality of life thought, there’s a lot of talk around creating passive income streams and that whole multiple streams of income. What are your thoughts on creating businesses just to create a passive income stream vs creating a business for that passion of creation?
Justin: Well, look I don’t agree with the term passive income because there’s nothing passive about making money. And even if you’ve got something that just ticks over on the side, you’ve got to put a bit of work into it to constantly ensure that you’re in front of peoples faces. And moving ahead with the times. With my website, the Justin Herald one, it just ticks over, I’ve done a lot of sales of CD’s and books and whatever, I don’t have to do a great deal on that other than make it contemporary and constantly making changing. Now I’m changing the website look and feel to make sure people want to come back. So that’s one aspect of that, but I actually enjoy the hands on work and I enjoy the startup of any business really, more than when it’s going really well. If you’re going to leave your job because you’re working too hard to get into a business of your own, well you’re going to be working twice as hard. That’s the reality of it. The bit I was saying, it takes 2 to 3 years until you make money in a business, so there’s a lot of work involved. So passive? Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to be passive. You might be able to get some sales that just tick over every now and then and do nothing for it, but that’s going to take a long time until a business is passive.
Scott: I know when I first opened my business and I left my left, and I had this expectation that I’m opening the doors and millions of people are going to rush to me, I’ll be doing what I love and I never really need to worry about it. But then, obviously it’s quite different when you actually start and all of a sudden you’re no longer just the guy that’s doing the job, you’re no longer just the employee. You’re also the business owner, you’re the accountant, you’re so many different things that people aren’t expecting when they start a business.
Justin: Well especially, and I had another client this morning, that has just left corporate and started her own business. She’s seen in the corporate world, everything gets paid for. So they’re just dealing with, and growing, a certain aspect of that business, which is just a very small part of it in their skillset, in her skillset. But someone else is picking up the tab. Now when it’s your own thing, your the one picking up the tab. So, from day one, which I actually worked out that I was very good at the whole business thing, didn’t know I was until I started it. But you’re the chief boss, you’ve got to do everything, you want to be good at everything. You want to get the business to a point where you can then start putting people into certain positions, of the stuff you don’t like doing or that you suck at. For example, if you are useless with the whole financial aspect, get a bookkeeper. They’re pretty cheap. But only when you can afford to do that.
Scott: Mate, one of the things that I just want to come back to was where you were talking about your brand, I don’t want to offend you but I think, to me, you have a very much love it or hate it brand. People are either in one camp or the other. Personally I think you’re fantastic and I love what you do, but a lot of people seem very afraid to put their personality out there. Not just who they are, but their real personality, in case they get those people that don’t like what they’re doing and what they’re offering.
Justin: Well, you know you can’t please everyone 100% of the time, it’s as simple as that. It’s not a deliberate thing, I’m just very comfortable in my own skin. If I pretend to be someone else, there will still be a percentage of people that don’t like me, but they just won’t say anything. There’s the old theory and it’s always been my little saying, but it’s none of my business what people think of me. I want to help people get to where they want to get to. If there’s people that don’t like that, my bluntness, so be it. I’m not fussed. It’s unfortunate because I actually am a nice guy, but you know I don’t really worry about that too much. And I don’t want to be fake either. Especially on the speaking circuit there’s just too many people out there that are fake. What they are on stage is not what they’re like off stage. Where for me, I am what I am, so it’s probably more consistent than most.
Scott: Yeah of course, well a couple of very quick questions, for those people starting a business right now, what would be the main advice that you would give them, going into a business today?
Justin: Okay, research first of all. You’ve got to make sure, if you’re going to do something that someone else is already doing, the best way to do that would be to undercut them in price, cause if you go more expensive and you’re not heard of and not known, it doesn’t matter how much you think yours is better, it’s going to be compared with an existing brand or product. Don’t spend a great deal of money, try to find a way of doing it without spending, well, bugger all really. I don’t like spending money. You’ve got to have a personal goal too. Not a business goal. So what do you want out of starting your business, from a personal perspective. And not silly stuff like “I want to be successful”. I don’t know how you can tangibly touch that. It might be taking my family on a holiday, I want to have every weekend off, whatever it is, it’s something that when you achieve it you can sit there and go “man, this is pretty good”. Cause every time I get on my Harley now, the first thing that comes into my head is “man this is worth all that effort I put in”. Pretty simple stuff, you reward yourself. And number 4, you’ve got to have a crack. You’ve just got to get off your rear end and give it a shot. You know, this is as deep as I ever get, but this is my secret to success. If what you’re currently doing now is working for you, you’re doing it the right way. And if it’s not working for you, you’re doing it the wrong way. You can actually monitor that on a daily basis. You’d be surprised how many don’t though.
Scott: That’s true I always start every day with a 15 minute session on where I’m at, am I enjoying what I’m doing, or do I need to change something. So mate, what’s next on the card from Justin Herald, where are you going from here?
Justin: No idea.
Scott: Just taking it as it comes?
Justin: Well, I love the speaking side of things, I love the mentoring side of things. I’m enjoying that so I’m ramping that up at the moment, making a bit more structured now. And then launching the Customer Culture company, where I go into corporate, and teach them how to look after their customers better. Because customer service in the marketplace on the main is atrocious. So, it’s bizarre, you can sell 2 things to 1 person instead of 1 thing to 1 person just by being a nice person. You’ve doubled your income. Pretty simple stuff really.
Scott: Now I’ve just got one more question which is a personal question, obviously I got married about 7, 8 months ago, you’ve got kids, how do you find the family impact of running all your businesses?
Justin: Look I have structured my whole business around my family at the time and I still do now, I’ve got 2 daughters, 21 and 11. So I’ve structured everything around them. So my daughter, my youngest daughter, unless I’m away speaking mind you, I’ll pick her up from school, I’ll take her to school, once I’ve picked her up we’ll hang out. If you’re going to start a business, there’s got to be a personal reason behind it. It shouldn’t be, and I doubt it would be for anyone “I want to really really work my rear end off for no money”. So, there’s got to be a personal thing. For me, it’s to be able to have more quality time with my kids, and I stick to that. So, sometimes, particularly in the startup of things, it’s a lot of work and a lot of time, which I don’t put into the equation of startup, it’s just the way it is. So, there’s going to be times, but you’ve still got to make pockets of time for your family, cause that’s apparently why we’re doing it. So, there’s no point doing it for your family and never seeing them. So that’s where, that’s got to be set in stone right from the start. I mean, everything that I do now, I could probably start different types of businesses now, but it will take me away from especially my youngest daughter. I’m not prepared for that. So, nor will I do it. Money doesn’t mean that much to me that I don’t have a relationship with my kids.
Scott: Well mate, thank you very much for having a chat with me today. I know I’ve gotten a lot out of both what you’ve done in your business and also how you’ve gone about it, the attitude going into it and I’m sure everyone else will as well. So thank you so much.
Justin: Too easy mate. Thank you.
Let’s face it, most marketing sucks. Most ads fail, most websites don’t sell & most messages never get to their intended recipient. Companies spend millions every year on trying to figure out ways to get their message across, and yet still they fail (or even worse, they detract people from a sale!).
There seems to be no logic to what messages sell, and what messages don’t. Is it all just luck?
I would like to introduce you to the concept of the Triune Brain (or the 3 brains). This was originally created by the American Neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean in the ’60′s. Whilst times have definitely changed and neuroscience has moved on since then, still the basic principle is ignored by marketers the world over.
Obviously, any message has to take a path through your brain, before any thought is formed and then any decision can be made. The Triune Brain proposes that the message needs to travel through 3 separate sections of your brain, each with their own ability to put a stop to your message.
This is where any stimuli starts – this “brain” is called the Reptilian Complex because neuroanatomists once believed that the brains of reptiles were dominated by this structure. Hence, it is also the oldest of the 3 brains, with evolution dating back to the earliest creatures.
The Reptilian Complex is your “fight or flight” brain – it determines whether stimuli is a threat, whether you can mate with it or whether you can eat it. Imagine if you are walking through a jungle and a tiger leaps out at you, you don’t need to process anything except whether to run, fight or ignore it, complex brain power is not needed here!
So of course, stimuli has to start in the reptilian complex, because it gives you the most direct path to safety. Now, something very interesting about the Reptilian Complex, is it is also responsible for shutting down unnecessary information. You don’t need to see every single leaf in the jungle, you just need to see that tiger. So all stimuli has to pass through this first gatekeeper to get further into your brain.
Now, by being so fight or flight oriented, this brain is quick to shut down anything that it deems “boring” or “unnecessary”. So, without interest, you cannot get through this complex into the structures which can actually process your message.
In fact, your message hasn’t even been seen yet! It is judged immediately on whether or not it is holds interest and whether it is a risk. What does this mean for marketers? Most messages have been stopped by this brain and your message never actually gets “thought about” because you have a boring message and you haven’t alleviated the perceived risks of the customer.
When a message gets deemed exciting, or interesting, it moves out of the Reptilian Complex and into the Paleomammalian Complex (or the Limbic System). Now this brain has more evolution behind it, and is actually responsible for emotion, social acceptance, loyalty and love.
This brain cares about whether or not everyone else is buying from you, it cares not about the features of your product but how your product makes it feel.
The limbic system is the reason that marketing evolved into a benefits based structure, as opposed to the features based structure that dominated for so long. Where you talk not about how the car works, but the feeling you will have as you take that car along the sea side. After a long tie of features based marketing, Edward Bernays pioneered benefits based marketing, as well as the practice of getting influential people to lead the masses into the purchase of goods.
Both of these techniques cater directly to the limbic system, they create emotional responses to products (rather than calculated responses) and they give you social acceptance by purchasing a product (celebrity endorsements!).
What does this mean for marketers? Once you have gotten through the reptilian complex, you then need to establish emotion and social acceptance in order to be able to move into the 3rd brain, which actually makes the decision to purchase. Focus on the benefits to the customer, not the features of the product. Create authority through testimonials, client support, endorsements. Create a community of your customers, giving them the opportunity to have social engagement through your product.
Finally, once you have gotten through those 2 brains, you finally have reached a brain that can think! The Neomammalian Complex is where all complex thought and rational processing happens. It is where your brain thinks operationally and plans into the future.
It would be natural to think that this is where decisions are made, but nothing can be further form the truth. For every 11 million pieces of information you receive, your Neomammalian Complex only deals with approximately 40 of them! Everything is being automatically assessed by your 1st and 2nd brains.
The amazing thing about your 3rd brain is that when a decision has been made by your 1st and 2nd brains, your 3rd brain works backwards to rationalize it for you! So the “logical decision” that you have made is actually being made without your logical brain!
A study in 2008 by the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig showed that any decision you make can actually be determined up to 7 seconds in advance by the 1st 2 brains!
So while your marketing logically works, and makes sense, it isn’t enough to convince someone to action through logic! You can only reinforce a message that has already been received!
What does this mean for marketers? Lose the features list until you have sold the emotion of the product. Alleviate risk rather than logically stepping people through why they need your product. Always focus on the benefits, not the process!
Most websites and marketing only focus on getting through the 3rd brain (the Neomammalian Complex), but never cater to the other 2, so they never succeed.
Think about Rolex, they don’t sell that the features of the watch, the sell that it is a Rolex.
How can you position your product better and get more sales?
Everywhere you go online, you will see bloggers, marketers and business owners jumping on the Webinar bandwagon. However, of all the webinars I have attended, and all the webinars I have given, there are some things that almost everyone does to kill their success.
I know when I first heard of people doing webinars, it was pitched to me in a way that said – put together a webinar (quick note: a Webinar is basically an online or digitally delivered seminar or presentation), get a little bit of traffic to the registration page and then follow the formula (more about the formula below).
In that early stage of my business, to me it sounded like an easy gold mine. So, I put together a landing page, I got traffic running through to the site and before I knew it I had a webinar with 12 people attending (my webinars have grown since then, I was so excited about those 12 people!). Surely, I thought, I’ll sell my premium product to at least half of them, so with 6 sales of a few thousand each, this will be a pretty wonderful exercise.
Now I should note, at that point in my business career I was plagued with a terrible thing called procastination. Actually I think that is the wrong word. It was more like fear.
I would put together these amazing ideas and concepts, then when it came time to pull the trigger I got stuck. I would think about all the different reactions to the idea I might get, I would think about all the different outcomes… and then stop.
The webinars were something that if I put in that early work, I had to do it. I had people sitting there on their computers waiting for me to talk. There really was no choice to back out once I’d started.
The day of the webinar came, I’d been practicing like mad, making sure that I delivered the best possible presentation. The amount of research I had done to make sure that this was a presentation nobody would forget was staggering. I learnt more in those couple of weeks than I had in the last year!
I delivered the webinar exactly as I had planned! I followed my scripts, I followed the formula of a good webinar… and got a grand total of 0 sales. If you’ve done any sort of presentation that involves selling your offer during that presentation you know how I was feeling right then.
With that result I had 2 options. Blame the crowd or blame the presenter. I chose to blame the presenter. I went over that webinar like a hawk to see what I had done wrong. And there was a lot. And watching other people do webinars, watching other people give presentations, watching other people try to sell from stage, I see these same things all the time.
You know the webinar/presentation formula (there are different ones all with the same basis). You speak for 45 minutes in which time you allude to a lot of content but don’t actually deliver it, you have the first 10 minutes about yourself, the next 10 minutes introducing the industry and marketplace in general and why people need what you are saying, the next 25 minutes jumping from content allusion to story telling to “seeding” your product, then you finish off with a 15 minute sell of your product.
Does this formula work? Yes. Will it continue to work? I think not.
People are getting more and more used to attending presentations and switching off the moment the sell starts. People are getting more and more frustrated at not getting any content. People are getting more and more annoyed at seeing the exact same presentation done by everyone and their dog.
In any industry, the people that succeed are the ones that do something different. Webinars when they first started generated a lot of success for those doing them, now people do them every day. Something needs to change.
What if you did a webinar and completely ignored the formula? What if you spent the time building a relationship with your viewer? What if you didn’t try to sell them something at the end? What if you removed the whole sales process and said to people at the very start that you’ll be selling them something at the end?
Or how about instead of the one way presentation you make it a question and answer session? Or a critique session? What if instead of talking about something, you presented you actually doing it?
Succeeding takes the ability to challenge what is and come up with something better.
Let’s be honest. Webinars are a sales tool. You present compelling information, then sell people on your product at the end.
In that model you have one reason for the webinar – to get a sale. Let’s think about that. When you walk into a store and the salesperson approaches you, how often do we think “fantastic, I can’t wait to be sold to!”. Um, never.
The interesting paradox, is that people love to buy. I know I love buying! I love it probably a little too much. There is even a term for it – retail therapy. So why is it people love buying, but hate being sold to? Surely that just makes the buying easier!
We hate sales that isn’t focused on the buyer. Sales, usually, is focused on the seller, on how to close the sale, on how to create a yes attitude before initiating the purchase.
Again, what if we flip this thinking on it’s head?
What if a salesperson were to approach you and genuinely look after your needs? What if they educated you and empowered you to make the decision? What if they chased your best interest, rather than chasing the sale?
What happens then? You create a relationship with the buyer. Trust in you that you have their best interest at heart. Then (as Derek Halpern puts it), people will stop wondering “will it work”, they will only think “is it right for me?“.
So, why are you running a webinar? Is it to create relationships with your audience? Is it to establish authority? Is it to educate your audience?
The motivation behind your webinar is a lot more obvious than you think.
I got to know a new friend at a party recently and as we were talking, we figured out that we have a lot in common when it comes to business, etc. He was this outgoing, hilarious, crazy guy that instantly created a bond with everyone around him.
Knowing that he did presentations and webinars I joined in and watched. It wasn’t him. He was so busy following the formula and making sure that everything was word perfect that he lost that thing about him that bonded me to him.
This happens all the time. I know it happened to me. We start reading off our sheet of notes and lose all sense of ourselves. We try to portray this professional and untouchable figure that people can’t relate to.
Remember, we watch TV for the characters, not for the story.
The easiest way to create a fan is to polarize them. Make them either love you or hate you. In the middle, they may as well hate you.
Be yourself, put down your notes and converse with your audience. They will love you for it. Or not.
Is that all the reasons why webinars fail? No. There are a lot of reasons and I already have a part 2 in the works with a few more.
If you want o join me in one of my upcoming webinars, visit here. Each month I present a 100% free webinar on a variety of topics, but they are all about building your business through online strategy or design.