rule of marketing

The #1 Rule of Marketing


Always enter the conversation already taking place in the customer’s mind.” — Robert Collier


Earlier this week I was at dinner with friends where a variety of conversations were taking place at the table. My attention was suddenly pulled to a conversation about yoga.

Now, the truth is that yoga as a topic would not normally grab my attention. I think yoga’s great, but it’s not really a top-of-mind interest for me. Normally, my mind would have filtered this conversation out and my focus would have remained on the interaction I was already a part of.

However, this yoga conversation was different. My friend was recounting a recent experience where she ran a workshop for veterans to help them process trauma stored in their bodies through restorative yoga. She explained how one participant had a big emotional release at the end of the workshop as her body let go of anxiety and tension that had long been stored in her muscles.

That got my attention.

I immediately switched my focus to her story. Ever since I read The Body Keeps the Score last year, processing trauma through movement has been at the top of my mind as something that could help me and others close to me to improve mental health.

In other words, this particular story “entered the conversation already taking place” in my mind. This is one of the most important things you can do when creating content and messaging for your marketing and sales. You have to meet your intended customers where they are.

What are the top-of-mind pains and problems they think about regularly? What keeps them awake at night? What are they actively interested in and looking for? What language do they use when talking about these things? Why are these things important to them?

It’s imperative to know the answers to questions like these so that you can tie your message and value proposition to them.

Only then will you get through the “spam filter” in their mind and gain their attention.

Be sure to speak to pains, problems, unfulfilled desires, and unmet needs before you start talking about your solution.

Just talking about yoga will get lost in the noise. Talking about yoga as a way to improve flexibility and prevent injury is a top-of-mind topic that will stand out and grab the attention of a specific audience. Talking about yoga as a way to mitigate the effects of sitting at a desk all day working at a computer will stand out and grab the attention of another specific audience.

When creating content for the purpose of expanding your visibility, gaining the attention of your market, and generating leads, the #1 rule is to always enter the conversation already going on in your customer’s mind so that your voice doesn’t get lost in the myriad of conversation taking place at the Internet table.

Boost your revenue from any offer by 20%+ with this strategy

When looking for the highest ROI ways to grow your income as a thought leader, there are often low-hanging fruit opportunities that get easily overlooked.

These are opportunities that require little additional effort or work on your part and can be implemented with minimal changes to your existing product offers, marketing, and sales process.

Earlier this week, I was on a consulting call with the purpose of looking over a business owner’s revenue model to find just such an opportunity for her.

One stuck out at me right away that I would like to share with you because it’s something you can easily apply to your offers. In my experience, this technique boosts the income you generate from that offer by 20% or more.

In this case, the primary source of income for the individual on the call is high-end, high-touch coaching and consulting program where her clients pay for several months of training, personalized guidance, and hands-on feedback.

This offer costs several thousand euros. She doesn’t have any offers at lower price-points. As a result, this excludes a good portion of her list from being able to do business with her because they can’t afford it.

My advice to her was to add a second tier to this high-end offer, one that included the training, tools, and access to the community but didn’t include access to her guidance.

This would do two things. First, it would create an offer that is accessible to those who can’t afford the higher price. Second, it would allow her to make additional revenue from an existing program in a way that doesn’t require more time from her to maintain it.

Sometimes when I share this strategy, there’s a concern that implementing it will lead customers to take the lower-priced option thereby reducing revenue. However, I don’t find this to be the case.

This two-tier approach caters to two different types of buyers. Those who want high-touch access are happy to pay a higher price. They won’t give that up just to save some money.

This approach also works both ways. You can add a higher-priced “VIP” option to an existing offer that gives your customers access to additional support and guidance. Again, this could lead to a 20-30% or higher increase in revenue and sometimes even more.

One last thing to note is that a higher-priced VIP option doesn’t have to consist of additional access to you. There are a lot of creative ways to craft an offer that appeals to those who are ready and willing to spend more money with you given the proper value incentive.

3 insidious ways monetization shyness is killing your business

To continue our recent content about monetizing your expertise, I want to talk today about “monetization shyness” — something that will greatly hinder your ability to generate income if you don’t identify and fix it.

The danger is that we often don’t realize we’re doing it.

Monetization shyness typically shows up in three forms. Take a look to see which ones might be biting you.

1) Not Selling to Your Audience At All

For years, I — and I’m certain other colleagues — counseled Pat Flynn, popular marketing expert, author, and speaker, that he needed to sell his own courses. At the time, Pat’s income was entirely derived from affiliate commissions. Even though he was doing quite well, it was severely limiting his income growth potential and leaving his business at risk because his sources of income were all ultimately outside of his control.

Pat hesitated for years to create and sell courses because he was worried about backlash from his audience. It’s an understandable concern. He’d managed to build a large and loyal following and didn’t want people to tune out if he “sold out.”

Perhaps you have similar concerns. It certainly feels great to offer value and have your audience love you for it. We all love getting validation for our efforts. But validation doesn’t grow your impact and income.

You have to realize that in order to deliver the greatest value and impact, you must focus on those who are ready to invest time, energy, and money into what you offer. That means being okay with letting go of those who would take issue with you selling. Yes, you might lose a few people, but you’ll deepen the impact with those who stick around.

Today, Pat’s been able to build an even bigger and more robust business because he’s diversified his income streams and regularly promotes his courses.

2) Sending Too Few Emails for a Promotional Campaign

The other day I talked to a client who was disheartened by the poor performance of a promotion she ran earlier this year before she engaged me to work with her.

As soon as I looked the campaign over, I knew exactly what was wrong. In fact, it wasn’t really a campaign at all. She’d sent a total of two emails and made a handful of social media posts mentioning the product. That’s it.

There wasn’t any warm-up to the promotion. She hadn’t sent any content to empathize with her audience and build trust first. She was so bashful about promoting too much that she didn’t send enough content to properly establish the value of her offer and didn’t address concerns before giving the opportunity for her audience to buy.

Your offers deserve a proper promotional sequence of content. Your audience deserves to have all the information they need to make the best decision for them.

There is a way to send a proper series of promotional content while still creating immense value for your email list subscribers. In fact, when you do this the right way, you earn more trust and loyalty even from those who decide not to buy from you at that time.

3) Not Emailing Your List Often Enough

Did you know that your fear of people unsubscribing is costing you money? It’s never fun to see someone leave your email list. I get it. I filter those messages and metrics out because sometimes they get to me and I don’t want them to sway my strategic decisions.

Emailing your list less frequently to avoid unsubscribes is like deciding to eat more green smoothies to be healthier, but stopping just because your p**p turns green.

This study from Alchemy Worx shows that when they started emailing a client’s list twice as often, the rate of unsubscribes did indeed double. However, the average value of each person on their list (i.e. the average amount of revenue generated per email subscriber) tripled. They made a lot more money!

The bottom line: by trying to avoid unsubscribes the client had been missing out on significant income (and I would add impact).

The important metric is NOT how many people unsubscribe. It’s about value you create for, the money you make from, and the impact you have on those who stay on your list.

And please…don’t get sucked into the list-size ego-brag culture. If you base your success on the size of your list, I can name at least a dozen ways this will lead you astray.

No More Monetization Shyness

The solution to monetization shyness is to make a mindset shift. Believe in the value you offer, Believe that you deserve to get paid well for the value you offer. Don’t attach meaning to metrics that are more about ego than income and impact.

You have to know that your mission is to impact people’s lives and not play it safe with your ego.

The Only 3 Ways to Grow Your Income and Impact

How can you know what to focus on in your business in order to produce the greatest new growth?

It can be hard to decide where to invest your limited resources with so many options available to you. As a result, we easily end up overwhelmed, spread too thin, or focused on the wrong areas.

The best way to make your growth strategy clearer, more focused, and more effective is to first realize that there are only three ways to grow your revenue and deliver greater value to your audience: attract more leads, convert more leads, or boost lifetime customer value.

There is a myriad of tactics and strategies you can adopt, but all of them fall into one of these three areas. It’s important to first know which of these three is most important at a given moment based on the stage your business is in and your current goals.

Let’s take a closer look at these three areas and when it’s best to prioritize each one.

1) Attract More Leads

Typically this means building your email list of prospective customers and loyal audience members.

We often think of branding and visibility for growing our business, but these are only effective if they start people on a customer journey with your brand (i.e. they become a targeted lead). This is the first place to focus on a new business that doesn’t yet have a steady flow of leads.

Attracting more leads consists of launching new content marketing channels, putting into place paid ad campaigns, organic SEO, and PR to name a few.

2) Convert More Leads

This consists of building out your customer journey by optimizing your messaging, offers, pricing, and sales workflow in order to turn more prospects into customers.

Examples might include building or optimizing your sales funnel(s) or adding new sales channels such as webinars, sales calls, product launches, and email sequences.

This is a great place to focus once you have a consistent flow of leads coming in and even a small email list that you engage with regularly.

3) Boost Customer Lifetime Value

This typically means creating and selling additional products or services to existing customers. This grows the amount of money they spend with your business as well as the value you deliver to them during their “lifetime” as a customer. It also consists of adding “upsell add-ons” to current offers to increase the average value of each order.

For an existing business with consistent income and a growing list of existing customers, this is typically the first place to focus to grow your income the fastest because those who have already done business with you are much more likely to do business with you again. (And many businesses overlook this).

there are seven different income streams you can create with an online courses

3 New Ways to Generate Income with Online Courses

It’s no secret that digital courses are a great way to monetize your ideas and expertise.

But did you know there are seven different income streams you can create with an online course? Understanding these strategies opens up possibilities for growing your business using existing intellectual property.

Often, you can use more than one strategy with a single course offering.

Today, I’d like to share with you three of the seven often-overlooked strategies that I teach my clients and workshop students. The following is pulled from Launch Your Course — one of my online courses.

Strategy #1: Customer/Client Attraction

Online courses are a low-risk, low-cost way for a new customer to do business with you for the first time. It’s a lot easier for someone to invest in a lower-priced offering than it is to invest in services that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

The course gives them a taste of what you can do, earns their trust, and preps them to invest even more in your other products and services.

Small Biz Trends reports that you are 14x more likely to sell to someone who has already bought from you before. They are willing to spend a lot more money the next time they do business with you, too.

Strategy #2: Licensing

One of your greatest assets is the signature process at the core of your course. Once you’ve developed a signature process, other professionals may be interested in learning and using your system to serve their clients.

This allows you to not only make money both from training them how to deliver your process, but also from the ongoing licensing or royalty fees you charge them to continue using your system.

Strategy #3: Group Buys

Are there organizations that would be interested in providing your online course to a number of their employees, members, etc.? Offer them a bulk buy of your course with a possible discount depending on how many seats they purchase.

Some organizations will be happy to pay you so they don’t have to develop and deliver the training themselves.

This is a great way to generate big paydays. Imagine getting paid for thirty seats (or hundred seats) in your online course all at one time by only approaching a single customer or client.

Take a look at your current digital offerings and think about how you could use one or more of the strategies above to turn it into new sources of income.