This week, Pete talks to Oren Klaff, author of Pitch Anything, a book we highly recommend to any business owner. They discuss pitching vs selling, and how pitching relates to all kinds of business, big or small, with lots of tips on making a good pitch.
This post is nothing more than a rant…
… a rant about ethics, a rant about gurus and a rant regarding congruency.
There are a lot of people out there peddling their ‘marketing advice’ and the only real substance they have to their credibility, is the fact they where able to sell you.
“Well you found out about me, so I must be good at lead generation (and marketing) … so buy my shit.”
And as true and self evident of a statement as that is … is it really congruent with the type of expert, advisor or mentor you want (or want to be)?
If you’re an “online marketer” then find someone who has sold real stuff, to real people online.
If you’re a small “real world” business, find someone who marketed (successfully) a “real world business”
If you’re looking for a business coach, make sure they have run multiple businesses (successfully), and not just bought a franchise
Don’t get me wrong, I really do encourage people to do a ‘Marketing Apprenticeship’ 1
Go out and ‘learn by doing” – Find a small business who needs traffic, and work on their Google Places listing /// Help a friend raise some awareness for their new book with some SEO /// Help get donations for the local animal hospital via Facebook or Publicity.
BUT the idea of an Apprenticeship is that
- Every party involved knows you are still learning
- Your compensation level is linked with the point above
- You don’t position yourself as a guru
- Did I mention an apprentice is still learning and not paid like a pro.
Just don’t start selling your advice, until you’ve got some actual real-world runs on the board.
Just because you’ve made some money in the stock market, doesn’t allow you to become a broker.
Just because you helped your niece with her long division, doesn’t mean you get to teach astro physics.
Just because you’ve built your Ikea TV stand, doesn’t make you a site manager on a Trumps next 80 floor skyscraper.
Just because you put a Wiggle Band-Aid on your 4year olds knee after soccer, doesn’t give you the right to oversee a triple-by-pass.
… all these professions require accreditation before you can educate others.
But when it comes to marketing and general business building advice, it seems everyone and their VA Ghostwriter can bottle something up and charge an arm and a leg.
When my first book was released, my good friend, mentor and best-selling author Steve McKnight gave me a piece of advise that continues to resinate (and drive me)
OK, so you’ve done it for yourself… but you have to do it for others now.
I had to go out and prove that what I’d done was replicable.
Until you get testimonials, case-studies and a track record of others implementing your processes, system and frameworks – you’re just lucky.
And it’s in these third party endorsements and successful “students” that your tribe will be born.
But, there is no congruency or ethics in charging others a fortune, while you get that track record.
Hang on a second
They say1; Teaching is the best way to learn
Does this age-old adage contradict everything I’ve just said ?
Well yes and no…
I agree that as I’ve (sporadically) written this blog and given numerous public presentations at no charge I’ve been able to refine my own thinking, mould my frameworks and improve on my ideas.
So with a resounding yes, the best way to learn is to teach.
.. but this “learning disguised teaching” shouldn’t have a price tag.
It should be given away in the form of stories, opinions, case-studies, test results, podcasts, presentation and blog posts.
Let these disguised teachings, build an audience, develop testimonials and third-party endorsements.
… and from that you can build a proven platform you can sell.
Have I personally been consistent with this philosophy ?
I hope so, but in hindsight properly not… like everyone I’ve slipped off the apple cart a few times. (and that’s just part of learning too)
I do know marketing, lead generation and conversion though. I’ve sold millions in everything; from sports memorabilia, to B2B products, to a range of tangible consumer goods and a full gamut of service offerings.
… and the latest intangible? AIR2.
And that’s where I attempt to focus my “advice” & teaching” (read: sharing of experience)
I do my best to try and limit my writing + speaking on topics such as financial management, HR and the legalities of business – because I haven’t come close to mastering those things yet.
… and when/if I do, I try as best I can to frame those as opinion pieces; just like this post you’re reading now….
Because I know and admit, I’m still in my apprenticeship in those areas of business
Who are this ‘they’ that everyone talks about? “They” say you can’t do this… “They” say you can’t do that… ↩
Yonderr.com.au Do you want to feel less like a climate criminal and more like a planet saving super hero? Of course you do. And that’s why Yonderr is coming. Yonder is a happy place where you can reduce your environmental footprint through buying carbon credits. No guilt trip, no confusing jargon. Just carbon credits that are accredited and squeaky clean. ↩
Not sure about you, but I use a tonne of email auto-responders in all my companies – and not just the online businesses. The sequential, set & forget marketing from the email auto-responders are killing it for my biggest real world company Infiniti Telecommunications.
See, I’ve been looking for a way to implement the same automated follow-up marketing offline via direct mail for about a year, and not a single direct mail print company (in Australia or USA) offered a solution. They all offered the ability to do a mail merge (variable data) print run, if I wanted to arrange a once off promotion, but nothing that even resembled an automated follow up sequence of post-cards and/or greeting cards.
Anyway, a friend ‘pitched’ a card sending business model to me over a year ago, which I completely blew off. It was an MLM business-model and he used the standard network marketing pitch as well – I had too many other projects on the go, didn’t want another income opportunity chewing up my time, and felt that I’d have to sell “snake oil”.
BUT, then after helping him out in a completely unrelated area, I got one of these cards as a small thank-you note… and the thing that stood out for me was:
The cards (and envelope) were printed in his own Handwriting – With a Local Postage Stamp !!
Yep, the platform they use to print these cards allows customers to fill out a form and have their handwriting uploaded as a custom font — blew my mind ! Just imagine how high the ‘open rates’ of these cards are – 98%+ ? (Puts the open rates of even the best email copywriters to shame.)
So, after a quick conversation I also learned that the platform allows clients all over the world, to not only send out single cards, bulk mailings, birthday/anniversary cards on pre-set date (which is cool in itself) …
BUT you can set-up an auto-responders style sequence, where clients can get a ‘thank you for buying’ postcard immediately, 17 days later a ‘hope it’s all going well’ two-fold card, then a ‘it’s probably time for a refill’ postcard 45 days later etc etc etc.
As I talk about in the ‘Preneur Hierarchy’ section of the book, the easiest people sell to are your existing customers, right ? Well, this is that follow-up, stay-in-touch, up-sell, back-end real-world marketing program on auto-pilot.
The thing that really annoys me, is they don’t really ‘pitch’ the auto-responder feature of their service – They are more focused on people sending one-off thank you cards to friends and family.
The other amazing thing is that it costs a lot less than $1 per card… and that includes postage!! (You won’t find hallmark anywhere near that price – and the quality is identical to me).
There library has over 10,000 card designs, but you can obviously upload your own designs (in under 2mins) for custom promotional mailings.
This is one of the best direct response marketing services I’ve ever seen…
Now regarding, the often dirty term ‘Multi-Level Marketing’ – Firstly, let me say:
You can become a customer of their service WITHOUT joining the MLM structure.
I wanted to make this clear again, because I am not trying to pitch you on ‘joining my downline’, I really do believe the direct marketing service they offer is a powerful one.
If you want to also have a opportunity to make some (good) coin along the way, great… They offer some very healthy sign-up commissions, plus a (residual income) $% of every card printed and sent from people (customers) in your downline. But, that side of things is all explained on a video over at their site.
Either way, I really encourage you to check out their direct mail services.
I’ve arranged a 7 Day Free Trial, so you can send 2 or 3 one-off cards to friends, customers or even yourself (to see the quality first hand) and trial their direct mail marketing platform.
Just visit http://bit.ly/7DayCardTrial, ignore the crappy site layout, and click the big banner at the top of the page, then follow the simple sign-up process.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to shoot me an email anytime – I’d really love your thoughts and feedback.
That link again is http://bit.ly/7DayCardTrial
P.S. Did I mention that once you’re a client they upload your OWN friggin handwriting as a font – and include a couple of signatures too !!!
P.P.S. Direct Mail Auto-Responders = No Spam Filters + Really High Open Rates + Less Competition (no one get’s “handwritten” mail anymore, unless it’s a bill)
P.P.P.S. Go and visit http://bit.ly/7DayCardTrial
P.P.P.S. And yes… given that it’s an MLM model, when you sign up for an account and implement this offline auto-responder service in your business, I will make a few bucks. But if you join their entrepreneur program I’m more than happy to ‘coach’ and help you grow your MLM business.
Sorry for the late notice, but I’m being interviewed by my mate Dale Beaumont for his next ‘Get Published Secrets’ Tele-Class tomorrow night, and I thought I should let you know about it.
Date: Wednesday 29th April 2009
Time: 8:00pm Sharp – 9:15pm Appox. (Sydney, Australia)
Dale’s a real guru when it comes to publishing, having released 16 international best-selling books.
During the teleseminar we are going to be discussing ‘all things publicity’ ; such as:
* How to turn almost any idea into a best-selling book
* How to generate a plan to create publicity and exposure
* Exactly what it takes to get the attention of the media
* How to get passed the gate-keepers so you can secure a story
* A step by step guide to writing a media release
* To perform well in an interview so you get asked back
* How to leverage of your media exposure to generate loads of additional sales
Ultimately this Tele-Class is your chance to learn the secrets to publicity and public relations and you can do so in the comfort of your own home!
Remember numbers for this Tele-Class are strictly limited to the first 100 people. To avoid missing out, register your details over at http://www.getpublishedsecrets.com/teleclasses
Recently, the ‘internet marketing’ community was buzz with a huge hoax masterminded by Frank Kern – I won’t go into it in this post, but you can read about it over at – Don Fleece, Traffic Mysteries, Confessions and Reality or on the Frank Kern Shenanigans Facebook Group.
Anyway… it got me thinking about a huge hoax that began as a practical joke by late-night radio raconteur Jean Shepherd in the mid-1950s. Shepherd was highly annoyed at the way that the bestseller lists were being compiled at the time.
Unlike today, these lists at the time were not determined only on sales figures, but also on requests for new books at bookstores.
Shepherd urged his listeners to enter bookstores across the USA, and ask for a book that did not exist. He fabricated an author, Frederick R. Ewing, concocted a title, ‘I, Libertine’, and outlined a basic plot for his listeners to use on skeptical or confused bookstore clerks.
Shepherd eventually proved his point, as the ‘fictional book’ became a bestseller. (See the play on words I used there – not only was it a ‘fiction book’, but the book itself was fictional by nature – I really should be a comedian.)
“It all started when I got into a discussion one day about people who pretend to know everything,” Shepherd wrote later in the Voice. “We thought it would be a good gag to undermine their faith by creating a demand for something that didn’t even exist. We dreamed up the name and the author on the spot.”
I recently came across an interview where the crazy tale is recounted in Jean Shepherd’s own words on Long John Nebel’s radio show from 1968 – it’s well worth a listen; as it has nothing to do with marketing, yet everything to do with marketing.
One of the best pieces of dating advice I ever received was this: “Picture your ideal partner, work out what THEY would want in a partner… and become THAT person.”
This process of getting what you want by first becoming what others want, recently clicked with me again… but this time in a marketing sense when I was reviewing audio’s from Eben Pagan’s Altitude Program.
In one of the sessions, Eben talks about the importance of http://preneurmarketing.com/Buffet.php
You NEED to understand what is really going on in the economic world. Make no mistake – there are issues – BUT- The same technology that we use to market our wares can be used to create fear and panic like we have never seen in history.
As I say in the video – After a lot of begging, pleading, blackmailing… oh yeah, and name calling, Dan and Ed have allowed me to put together this short “exclusive look inside the edge”
If you have been debating whether you should join the Edge, this behind-the-scene look will hopefully show you why you must be a member.