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I’ve been privileged to play a key role in building a community of followers for several businesses now. One of them was for a software startup whose team grew from 3 to 15 people over a 4 year period. That probably doesn’t sound impressive (and maybe it’s not) but we did it against all odds and those 15 people were the foundation to take everything to the next level!
We never had any investment capital and were totally self-funded so everyone working there knew we we’re walking a tightrope without a safety net. In terms of size, we were ants compared to our competitors down the road (literally) who were 50 and 100 plus people strong and we also couldn’t compete with them in terms of starting salaries or benefits. When we would hire new people they would immediately start receiving emails and LinkedIn messages from recruiters offering them positions with our competitors. Normally an employer might freak out about this but it was actually a joke around the office that this happened all the time. Sometimes I would get copied on emails (cc’d) from someone in the office turning down the recruiters offer… Those were proud moments for me and those days were more fulfilling than the highest revenue days or years we ever had.
It’s easy to look at that and think, “Who were these crazy ass people that chose to work for us when there wasn’t really any logical reason for them to do so?” It wasn’t necessarily in their best interest but they did it anyway. The simple answer is that they weren’t doing it for us, they were doing it for themselves.
The right people were immediately attracted to working for us the minute they walked into our office for an interview because we effectively communicated what we believed and it resonated with them. The creative learning environment where we taught our junior developers and interns how to express themselves through sound software development design and methodologies would then be used in the real world to change the lives of our clients and bring their own ideas to life as well. The politics and blame free environment we created allowed everyone to become their best by growing from making mistakes and trying new things then contributing what they learned by sharing with the rest of us. It was such a fun environment that developers from our competitors would hang out with us at the office on Friday or Saturday nights to drink and play games. The sumo wrestler logo was a point of pride to wear in and out of the office. We had to constantly have more shirts made because our clients and their family members wanted to wear them. One client told our CEO that our shirts were all over their office which was really cool.
I would speak at events and introduce myself by telling people a story about how a project we did for a client saved a local business with 50 plus employees who would have otherwise lost their jobs but that didn’t happen. In fact the product was such a success that not only did no one get laid off, it added an additional $4 million per year in revenue to their bottom line. When everyone showed up at the office we knew that we weren’t software developers, we were a tribe of magicians creating magic and sending it out to transform the world. What we did mattered because we did it for ourselves, our clients just happened to be a catalyst to make it happen. We bought into what we did for ourselves, not for them and they benefited greatly because of it. If you say and do what you believe you will attract people who believe what you believe. This is how leaders inspire people to do what they’re doing.
What is a culture? What is a group? What is a company? It’s a community of people with a common set of values and beliefs. When we have these things in common with each other it causes trust to emerge and we are more likely to do things we wouldn’t otherwise do.
Fifteen people who identify with, embody and value the same beliefs are worth 100 that are only interacting with you out of convenience or necessity. If I knew then what I know now, those 15 people would have been the foundation for expanding our tribe to 100 plus that would have easily put the company in the $50 million range.
It doesn’t matter what your product or service is. If you don’t understand people you don’t understand business and you won’t build a large community of people around yours. Simon Sinek said it best during one his is many talks about this very subject, “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it and what you do serves as tangible proof.” I would also ad that as a leader your role is to create things so that other people can be and do who they are within your community. They will then tell the world who they are and about your community, the one they are a member of as if it was their own because it’s about them and they’ve made it that way.
How do you encourage people to become part of your community? Part of this process is being able to recognize who they are. Chances are the people who want to join your community are all wearing some kind of advertising telling people what they believe in or are engaging in specific behaviors that tell you what they believe in. Think about Apple and how everyone that has one of their devices makes sure that everyone else knows it. There are people who believe what you believe in other communities out there who are either looking for a place that better suits them or did not know they were until you found them. Either way, they’re looking for you too. Once you find where those people could be and start getting your message in front of them you can figure out who among them are ready to join your tribe by communicating the beliefs about yourself and your community that they have in common with you. Once you find people who believe what you believe you will be automatically drawn to them and them to you.
When it came to expanding our tribe at the software company we created an environment at our office that embodied what we were about and brought our outside recruiters around to experience it for themselves so they could relay to their candidates the type of environment it was and see how they initially responded. This created the trust between us because they knew who we were looking for and that we wanted this type of person because we created the proper environment for them to thrive.
Another benefit of creating the right environment within our tribe was that those in it already began to extend the invitation to others like themselves when we were hiring new people. Since we had attracted the right people to initially be part of our tribe many of the people they knew had similar characteristics and beliefs. Most of our new hires ended up coming from referrals of existing employees because of it. As an added bonus we spent a lot less money, time and effort on recruiting than we otherwise would have. Our tribe had effectively solved this problem for us and even benefited because of it.
This payed dividends on the client side as well. It’s an interesting thing that occurs when your tribe is filled with members who are there for themselves… your clients greatly benefit. We continually overdelivered on our promises even when the client was doing things to get in their own way. This did make doing so more challenging and frustrating than it should have been at times but it didn’t prevent us from succeeding in most cases which increased the level of trust within our tribe and the key people in their organizations had with us. There were a few times we even received unsolicited referrals from our most difficult clients because of it.
Your Unique Value Differentiator:
This is not the same as what makes your business model or product different from your competitors. Everything discussed in this article has been about things that we have difficulty describing using words and language. This is why I used a story to depict the culture of my software company because describing it in so few words doesn’t capture the way I remember it or the way that it felt. Like I mentioned before when quoting Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it and what you do serves as tangible proof.” Someone who read my story above and just “got it” because they felt it make sense to them are the people who were drawn to become a part of our tribe, not for us but for them.
Your story about why you do what you do is what makes you different from everyone else because your story is uniquely yours.
What I wrote about Marketing Sherpa in the preface is an example of a brief story that also encapsulates why I do what I do:
”I’ve been an entrepreneur for 13+ years now and over this time I have developed a clear vision for a world where 98% of everyone on the planet are empowered in all 7 areas of life: Financial, vocational (career, business), social, familial, physical, mental and spiritual. This is the opposite of the world we live in now where 98% of the population is not empowered in all if any of these key life areas, especially financial and vocational. That’s why Marketing Sherpa was created. To focus on empowering people in these two areas of life that greatly affect our growth and fulfillment as human beings. That calling is what inspired me to write this eBook for 3 kinds of people because I believe they are the ones that can affect the most change the fastest to complete the mission at hand…”
I also address who I’m looking for to come on this journey with me:
“The newcomers to entrepreneurship and marketing who are just trying to make sense of it all so they can get off to a great start:
You know deep down that becoming a successful entrepreneur will change the lives of the people you love and those that you serve in your business infinitely for the better, but you don’t already have a business or know how to market it successfully online if you did.
The veteran marketer:
You’ve studied and practiced your craft but despite your best efforts you always come up short and don’t quite get the results you want. You’re always learning, growing and adjusting but never winning for some reason (been there).
Those who have a calling, purpose or message:
You HAVE TO figure out how to share it with the world because you know that the world will be worse off if you don’t and you’ll never reach your full potential otherwise!”
And how we’re going to work together to accomplish this for themselves and the world at large:
“Here are the 3 ways we go about doing this:
1) We’ll help people reframe and change their current beliefs with regards to business and finances. The technical aspect of achieving success is important but not the only component to creating long term business and financial success.
2) We’ll eliminate useless “learning adventures” where you spend years of your time and thousands ($$$) on courses, books, training, software and testing.
Learning adventures are when you go down these different paths that you believe will get you to your final goal. You learn some useful things along the way, but the most important thing you learned is to simply “not do that again” because it’s just another thing that didn’t work for you. There’s an infinite number of ways to do something and not get the results you want but only a few ways that will get you the results to move forward.
3) Give them Flash-bang memories…
These are moments in time that are painted so vividly in your mind you can remember every single detail like you’re right there.
That could be something like Invite your friends and family over to that big new house you’ve always dreamed of, meeting that special someone while traveling freely abroad or seeing that huge crowd of people welcoming you out on stage happen in slow motion as you get out into the world and make your mark on history…
These are the incremental results of your success from reframing your views and beliefs and eliminating learning adventures so you can get there faster.”
Don’t forget to use a CTA to give them a clear path to becoming part of your tribe:
“Will you become a Marketing Sherpa and join our community so we can all work together to make this happen? It’s would be our joy to have you!
If you feel like your story isn’t particularly special or creative it’s easy to get caught up in figuring out how to be original. Because who would join your tribe if there was already an existing tribe that was similar enough to yours?
The good news is that in today’s world, being original and creative doesn’t mean being first. It simply means being different and better. Only you can authentically be you and this is communicated when you’re being true to yourself so being “different” is built in to being authentically you. Better depends on how well you communicate what you’re about in terms of who the potential members of your tribe are. You have to make it all about them. The better you do that, the “better” you are to them.
The Tipping Point:
The moment of critical mass when your tribe creates an explosive forward momentum that is happening on its own without you being the driving force behind it is where it takes on a life of its own. In this scenario enough people will have adopted your message and tribe as their own that sharing it with others and the rate your message is delivered is increasing geometrically or exponentially.
The best byproduct of building your tribe to your tipping point is not the revenue generated because of it. This is merely the result of something far greater. Russel Brunson said it best in his Expert Secrets book:
“If I can get someone to TRULY believe that my new opportunity is the key to what they want most and they can ONLY get it through my vehicle, then they have no other option not to buy. This is the key to launching your movement. Belief.”
In the same way that your community is a vehicle for your members to reach a goal or destination there are vehicles that serve as the infrastructure and delivery systems to facilitate this process for your community. This includes distribution channels to leverage for getting your message out into the world such as TV, YouTube, Facebook, Billboards and all other kinds of media as well as the secrets to packaging and presenting your message to inspire the belief necessary so that you as the leader are not responsible for being the tipping point anymore. You will have created something that has succeeded you, achieving the Holy Grail (the critical mass) that will effect in the world the change you seek.
The critical questions now is, “how do you get to this tipping point?” How do you package your product and marketing to get it in front of the right people? The best way I can tell you is to hack building your massive online community the same way you learned to funnel hack in the Sales Modeling For Success article. To get started simply find someone whose done it successfully and copy what they did! I wish I had been smart enough to do this back in the days of my software company but at that time no one had written a book like Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson where he straight up tells you how he built a community of 1 million plus entrepreneurs who happily pay him for his advice.
He takes you through the same 5 step process he used to build his massive community and all it will cost you is a few bucks for shipping. You don’t even have to pay for the book. Be sure to get your copy before they stop giving them away for free:
There’s no telling how long they’ll be running this promotion and if you REALLY want to get your message out to the world it would be unwise to pass this up!
There are a few other articles I’ve written that will help guide you through the process of developing a massive community of followers by answering some fundamental questions about how you go about doing exactly that.
They cover topics like how to determine who your perfect customer is so you can greatly simplify your marketing efforts by appealing to this person before all others. Once you have determined who this person is all the rest of your marketing decisions will be based on how they would react to what it is you’re wanthing to do:
Why great copywriting is the single most important contributing factor to the success of your marketing efforts and how to write great copy:
What marketing funnels are, why they are the future of selling online and how to use them to make sales for you:
How to ethically model competitor’s sales funnels so that you can stand on the shoulders of giants and take advantage of all the time, money and effort they’ve already spent on figuring out what works so you don’t have to:
I would read all of them at least once in order to maximize your ability to create marketing that is based in time tested principles and easily adaptable to whatever distribution channels you decide to use now and in the future. This is going to get you amazing results and eliminate up to 95% of the trial and error process usually involved with creating great marketing that converts for your business and changes the lives of your customers.
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Marketing is about changing what excites you in life from excitement into capital. This way you can do more of it and keep moving forward with it. That’s why it’s so important to really know and care about who your perfect customer and perfect prospect are because you’re not going to be excited about all of them and don’t necessarily want to do business with everyone who needs what you have to offer.
Once you have identified your perfect customer you will also know who your perfect prospect is. You’ll also be in a position to determine where to find qualified prospects, what to offer them, how to deliver on the value you’ve promised and what your value ladder should look like (more on this later).
Finding the qualified prospects that fit your product/service the most will keep your costs down, prevent headaches and provide more opportunity for profitability ($$$$) because they will want you to upsell them and provide them with more value. In fact, I would build into your perfect customer avatar (will cover shortly) that this person either have or be in the process of acquiring the financial means to take advantage of even a $100,000 offer for a product or service of yours.
This way, you’re not only going to be able to greatly simplify your marketing by appealing to a specific person but you’ll be building a community of people where a certain percentage of them actually could and will spend that kind of money with you…
One of the greatest old school copywriters of all time by the name of Gary Halbert said, “You are one sales letter away from being rich.” The reason for this is because your sales copy is what’s going to make or break you. Most people think look and feel is the most important thing but even ugly websites and funnels can convert well.
A good example of this are websites and funnels in the survival niche (emergency preparedness and survival skills). The best converting websites and funnels here are designed to be cluttered, use unappealing colors and bombard you with text. One of the most successful websites in this space is Survival Life which is owned and operated by DigitalMarketer. It generates over $1 million per month in revenue and if you go check it out then you’ll see that the look and feel isn’t the most important thing for your success in online marketing.
As the evolution of technology, online marketing and sales psychology advanced what Gary said has been modernized by Russel Brunson who said, “You are one funnel away from being rich.” If you’re unfamiliar with funnels then don’t worry, we’ll talk about those in the Marketing Funnels That Make Sales For You post.
At the end of the day It doesn’t matter how much traffic you drive to a website or funnel that isn’t converting because it’s going to cost you more to acquire customers than the revenue the funnel is producing. Great copywriting and sales copy is more important today than ever simply because people are savvy and their bull**** meters are finely tuned thanks to being bombarded with hundreds and hundreds of advertisements every day…
For those of you unfamiliar with marketing funnels, I’m happy to introduce you to one of the best friends you’ll ever have and if you already have experience with them then you know why I would be doing you a disservice to not to write a blog post about them.
Marketing funnels are designed for the express purpose of turning prospects into customers by using sales psychology and online marketing methods. They take your prospects through an actual sales process that is designed to market directly to them in order to increase the likelihood they will take the desired action you want them to like subscribe, download, purchase and so on. How is this different from just buying something on Amazon.com?
Funnels focus on solving a specific problem for a specific prospect. For example, if I’m wanting to start being and feeling healthier then I’ll go to Amazon.com and search “multivitamin” then see this…
Before we jump into sales funnel modeling, the 4th step in eliminating up to 95% of the “trial and error” in the digital marketing process, lets quickly recap on what you should have working for you so far:
1) You should know who your perfect customer is and have created their customer avatar by answering the questions in the Know Thy Prospect And Win Big blog post as best you can, given them a name and have written their story. Now every decision you make will be based on if it’s something this one type of person would like or respond to how you want them to. The DotCom Secrets book I told you about earlier will help tremendously with this as well.
2) The sales and marketing copy you create for your ads and funnels should be based on the principles discussed in the Copywriting That Converts To Sales blog post to give them the maximum effectiveness possible for engaging your perfect customer. Sales and marketing copy play one of the biggest roles in your ad and funnels being successful. If you want save yourself a lot of time and frustration by having it all written for you in under 10 minutes then check out the Funnel Scripts software mentioned at the end of the previously mentioned post.
3) Now that you know who you’re marketing to and what to say to them creating funnels will bring it all together so you can present your offers and lead your prospects down the scent trail all the way to purchasing your product or service. As a huge bonus, you don’t have to learn how to design webpages, program anything or pay a $1,000/mo. for all sorts of testing software, integrations or someone else to manage it for you. I’d recommend using the ClickFunnels software mentioned in the Marketing Funnels That Make Sales For You blog post. You’ll thank me later.
Once you have all that working for you, the next step is to ethically take advantage of all the blood sweat, tears and money that your competitors have shed to figure out what already works in your industry or niche… so you don’t have to. This process is often referred to as “funnel hacking” which is a term popularized by Russel Brunsson who also happens to be the founder of ClickFunnels mentioned throughout my various blog posts. He says that, “When you learn about each funnel type and understand how it works you can funnel hack that and model it, you can dramatically speed up your success. That’s the power of this whole funnel hacking process.”
In other words, don’t reinvent the wheel. Find a successful competitor and ethically model what they’re doing because chances are they’ve spent way more time figuring out what works than you ever could let alone would want to.
There are legal and ethical ways to do this so be sure to pay attention to the guidelines given below otherwise you risk losing your credibility and getting sued. Copying anything that is copyrightable is considered stealing. Focus on modeling the process because that’s at least 50% of the funnel’s success. The other half belongs to copy, you can model that as well but it needs to be your own version of it…
Are you an author, coach, speaker or teacher that is aspiring to the next stage of your development by expanding your reach into the world, so that you can build a massive community, around your business or message?
There’s something magical that happens to those of us that are able to reach such heights by effectively penetrating the noise of the world with our divine messages…
…we transcend the way we think of ourselves and graduate from coaches, speakers, authors and teachers to healers, architects of lives and worlds, as well as philosophers and influences… of which the former parts are just a small but necessary piece.
The funny thing is that we often struggle with our own versions of the same things that our readers/viewers, students and audiences are struggling with.
Sometimes it’s about what our purpose is, what our message is, how to go about delivering this message and building success on top of the mounting frustrations that present themselves as challenges or obstacles to making a difference in first our own lives and then the world at large.
There is some good news though…all our previous failures are not unjustified wastes of time but rather opportunities that are on the way to the goals and dreams that we so desire. It just takes a new perspective and some creative thinking to fill in the gaps where we see holes in our lives, businesses and contributions to the world.
Here’s how we want to help each other succeed by focusing on new opportunities and thought processes to implement in ourselves and our marketing efforts. This is the foundation for building massive and profitable communities around our businesses and messages…