When I lived in England I studied direct response marketing with an elite group of entrepreneurs.
It reflects the sphere of influence principle, that you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with, because at that time in my life I was in a relationship with a man who built a business from virtually nothing into a sizeable cash-cow while we were together. Writing long daily messages to his intentionally grown followers meant there was little time left for us and as someone who had left everything and everyone I knew behind to move countries to make the relationship work, it was esteem depleting to be sure.
I learned a lot from him and am grateful, for both the good times and the contrast that helped me get clear on what I do want in my life. If I’m honest, I’ve tried not to mention him or our relationship too publicly out of respect for him, his kids and his now wife, but in not speaking into what I learned from it all I’ve been holding back the seeds of wisdom I gained from it. In a careful and sensitive way I’ll be sharing some of these insights as this series unfolds but for today I want return to the marketing approach I was exposed to because of him.
His mentors taught a version of marketing that focuses on developing a relationship with subscribers to help them get to know, like and trust the expert that wants them to hire them. It’s why we pay for automated email responders like the one I’m using now.
If this concept is new to you then pay attention to the strategy the experts you connect with use to get you to invest with them. You’ll notice they offer free and relevant value that hints at or even outrightly offers their services, sometimes teasing you with a ‘wallet opener’ which is an irresistible offer designed to get you hooked.
The theory is that if you’ll open your wallet once and like what you receive you’ll develop a Pavlovian response where each time an offer is hinted at your mouth will start to salivate just thinking about what you’re going to have the opportunity to buy next. I’m mildly exaggerating but you’ll notice most skilled marketers use a similar approach.
Transparency and integrity are fundamentally important to me so I like to let people know what’s happening while it’s happening. Not always the best strategy in business, but it’s what I prefer and I do my best to treat people how I like to be treated.
I haven’t used this model with you because I saw the cost of building a business the way I saw firsthand in England and some unconscious part of me was terrified to fall into the trap of becoming a slave to my business too. For years I’ve avoided actively promoting my services and the value I offer people, outside of those who’ve reached out to know how to work with me directly.
It’s semi-embarrassing to admit and yet what is left unspoken becomes like a helium balloon held underwater, waiting to create waves.
I’m done with hiding, and also with writing long-ass emails that no one has time to read fully either. I’ve recently subscribed to Seth Godin’s blogs and sometimes they’re only a few paragraphs long. I love them. Short, sweet, to the point and just enough to get me thinking which is the point of communication at the end of the day anyway.
While ironically not a short message today at all, I recorded a two minute message about how I’d love to take our relationship deeper so you can create a life and business you love; check out the video here now and prepare to have more of the veils lifted in the days to come.
Laura JeH – Namaste