The one where it’s your turn to try it
- How Dean learns to read prospects minds
- Joe shares word for word copy samples you can use right now
- Dean and Joe brainstorm lots of applications
- Plus: meet the best marketer in the world’s smallest niche
Dean: Hey everybody, it’s Dean Jackson.
Joe: And Joe Polish, live and coming at you from iLoveMarketing.com. So, good evening, good afternoon, whatever time it is, whatever part of the world you are at. Me and Dean are ready to share with you some applications of more awesome marketing, for those of you that love marketing. And if you don’t love marketing, I have no idea what you’re doing listening to the I Love Marketing podcast, because that doesn’t make any sense. But we’re going to make the assumption that you’re here to learn how to make money and use awesome, ethical, powerful, effective direct–‐response marketing to make your lives more easy, more lucrative, and more fun.
Dean: There we go.
Joe: What do you think of that, Dean?
Dean: That’s fantastic.
Dean: You know, I thought what would be a good thing for us to do this week is, because we’ve spent the last couple of weeks you were sharing about your first success that you had with your consumer awareness guide for carpet cleaning, and I was sharing the success that I had with the 6–‐Steps To Homeownership Guide, the funny thing that we kind of shared a little bit last week, that these are things that we did before we knew each other. I think that I the lesson in this is that consumer awareness or education–‐based marketing like that is probably the easiest, best way to get your feet wet with marketing. Just to kind of start thinking about flipping the switch and offering something of value to your prospects. So, I thought what we could do is maybe explain what’s going on with that, the psychology behind it, and the maybe the mechanics of how all that works, so that any of our listeners could apply that to their own business. What do you think of that?
Joe: I think that’s a fantastic idea.
Joe: Yeah, it’s something that me and you both had to kind of figure out the application ourselves, when we were using it in our own businesses and, I mean, of course, in the different businesses that we consult for and work, and our own. Of course, we are always going through the same process. What’s the application of the psychology, because I like to think of marketing, in a lot ways, as applied psychology. There’s a really great marketing book written in the ‘50’s called The Robert Collier Letter Book, and it was about copywriting, words on paper, which can now, of course, be translated to words on the Internet or videos, or audios, or like this podcast, wherever words are conveyed. Robert Collier said, “You want to enter a conversation that is existing in your prospect’s mind.” So you want to enter a conversation that’s already going on in the minds of your prospect. And one of those conversations, a lot times, is “I don’t know how to choose this company. I don’t know anything about this product or service.”
So, you want to insert the things into the brains, in the minds of your prospects and your clients, so that you can enter that conversation and answer the questions for them of “What do I do? Do I understand it? How do I make a decision on where to go forward and how to move with it?” So, that’s what education–‐based marketing really does, is it just educates people on what they don’t know enough of in order to make a buying decision or any sort of decision, or what do they not even know that they don’t know. Can I read a quote real quick, before we get started?
Dean: Of course.
Joe: Yeah, I was hoping you would say, “No, absolutely not.”
Dean: Yeah, no absolutely not.
Joe: Well, so there’s this book it was written years ago called The Book of Survival, by Anthony Greenbank, and there’s a quote that says, “To live through an impossible situation, you don’t need the reflexes of a Grand Prix driver, the muscles of a Hercules, or the mind of an Einstein. You simply need to know what to do.” And I love that quote because…
Dean: That’s great. Yeah.
Joe: Isn’t it? Isn’t it great? “You don’t need the reflexes of a Grand Prix driver, the muscles of a Hercules, or the mind of an Einstein to live through an impossible situation. You simply need to know what to do.” So, in order for you out there listening to generate more business, if that’s what you need marketing for, you don’t need to be a genius, you simply need to know what to do. So, we’ll do our best to kind of guide you in how to use education–‐based marketing in order to do what you need to do in order to get people to pay attention to you, and to do business with you. So, do you want to start or do you want me to start, Dean? How do you want to do this?
Dean: Well, I think we can start by looking at the first element of it, which is the prerequisite to using education–‐based marketing, is to flip the switch of your attention by taking the attention off of you and putting it on your prospect. Because if you’re going to offer something of value to entice your prospect to leave their contact information for you, to raise their hand and identify themselves, then you have to take the focus off of you and turn the focus on to your prospect. So, for me, as a real estate agent, that meant turning the spotlight off of me saying that I’m the best realtor in Georgetown, that’s I’m the guy you should list with, or that you should buy a home with because I’m me–‐me–‐me, and getting my name getting my name out there. I turned all of that off, turned that completely 180 degrees, focused all the attention on the prospect, and realized what they really want is they need to know “How do I buy a home?” They have all these questions about it.
So, if I make it seem like it’s easy by offering them the free guide, “6 Steps To Homeownership,” that was a very good outwardly–‐focused effort to kind of let first–‐time buyers know that here’s something that’s going to help you. Here’s something that’s valuable for you. It’s the same kind of thing that you would have had to do with your consumer guide for carpet cleaning. You know you have to take the attention off of yourself and your business and using your big logo and all that kind of stuff. I never did see any of the ads that you ran for your consumer awareness guide, but I’m assuming that they didn’t have your logo in there or the picture of your truck or all about you.
Joe: No, not at all. As a matter of fact, if they had company name in it, it was kind of down at the bottom. It’s wasn’t the main thing they saw. The ads, like any good advertisement, had a headline. This is copywriting 101. A headline is an ad for the ad, it’s the marquee at the movie theater. Back in the day of newspapers, Dean, I would always tell people that, “Let’s think about a headline as an example. That’s when newspapers were actually the main way that people actually got the news in print, not the internet. Could you imagine trying to read the New York Times and there were no headlines, it was nothing but text of different articles, and there was no way to identify what one article was compared to another article? There was no life section, there was not sports section, there was no financial section.
Dean: They’d have just all blended right in.
Joe: Yeah, it was all blended right in. how difficult would it be to fish through all of that to try to find an article that had something do with something you were interested in reading about? It would be almost impossible. Yet, people do that constantly in their advertising. They don’t make themselves stand out, and if they do, they focus on themselves. Like what you were saying, they do the name of the company or how many years they’ve been in business, or they’ll put their dog in there. It’s the most ridiculous things, but they don’t know any better.
So, putting the focus on the consumer, where you’re focused not on you but really is what’s the consumer looking for. What do they need to read? How does it need to be laid out? So, going back to my Consumer’s Guide to Carpet Cleaning, it’s just that: Consumer’s Guide to Carpet Cleaning and Consumer’s Guide to Chiropractic, Consumer’s Guide to Web design, Consumer’s Guide to Cosmetic Surgery, whatever your thing is. And that is just a template. So, to make this as basic for everyone to follow, I’d almost think it was good for us to go back to talking about some of education–‐based tools that we created and then some of the ways we go those tools into the hands of prospects.
Joe: And you can either kind of take people through… See, I’m trying to be really nice today, because usually I’m just bulldozing over Dean because he’s not a very nice person. So, this gives me an opportunity on the I Love Marketing Podcast to do that. But today, I’m in an especially nice mood, so I want to see if you want to talk about it first and then, of course, I can one–‐up you.
Dean: Perfect. Well, when we talked about starting out with education, my first thing was the first time home buyers and doing that guide, 6 Steps to Homeownership. And then, the next thing that I did, I started thinking again – and I think the process here is what’s instructional, the process of how you think about it – and it ties in with what you were saying in the Robert Collier Letter Book, which is a fantastic book, by the way. I don’t know when that written. What year was that written?
Joe: I think it was 1950 or 1951. But again, I could be wrong. I’m known to be wrong.
Dean: It was written that late, and I’m not even sure it was that late, but it was written that late, it was sort of late in this guy’s career. It was a retrospective. So, it was talking really about everything that he learned in the 30 years prior to that. So it was in the early 1920’s and all those kind of things, when it was kind of in its infancy, direct mail. And so when he says you can only enter the conversation that’s already going on in their minds, that is a clue to you to start thinking like a prospect. So, when I start thinking like, “What are people thinking about when they’re thinking about moving to Georgetown?” because I already successfully had the first–‐time buyer guide, because I was focused on what they want to know.
What they want to know are, “What are the steps to buying a home? How much can I afford? How do I figure out how to get a mortgage? What do I do with all the paperwork? What do I do when I find a house?” All of that stuff, they really want to know that. And when you educate them, you kind of raise your esteem in their mind. You become the one that they turn to. Now, when I started thinking about that, another target market, another group of people who I wanted to serve were people who were moving into Georgetown, people who were moving into Halton Hills, who didn’t know exactly what to expect when they get there or what the houses sell for, or any of that. So, I created “The Guide to Halton Hills House Prices,” to give people an idea of the kind of homes that are available, the price range, give them maps and community information, and all the things that somebody who was moving to Georgetown would want to know.
So, I put that together and offered that as the free 1993 Guide to Halton Hills House Prices. So, people would eat that up. They would call for that because it’s exactly what they want to know. I really started to think about the arch that somebody goes through when they’re thinking about moving to a new community. They start by, “Well, what about Halton Hills? What about Georgetown? What if we went out there? I don’t know what houses sell for out there. Let’s go take a drive out there and let’s pick-up the real estate newspapers when we get there, and see what prices are. Maybe we’ll pop into some open houses or start gathering information.” Everybody, before they make any kind of a decision or any kind of a purchase, especially a major purchase like that, they’re going to do their homework, they’re going to do their research.
So I put together a guide. I went a took 60 pictures of different house styles that were available in Georgetown, but them all nicely in a guide format, and put a little pricing grid so you could see these kind of homes, these 3–‐bedroom bungalows all are in this price range, price range B. And I had the foresight to kind of grid them like that, so all I would have to change to update the guide was change the price ranges, so that all the B’s were all going to go up relative to the C group. Same kind of thing. Even if they went up, all I had to do was change the inside page that showed the prices. But that little process of offering something when people are looking through that home’s magazine and the come across this ad that offered the free Guide to Halton Hills House Prices, they said, “That’s exactly what I want.” And they would do something like that the first time that the look through the newspaper, the first time they come across it, faster than they would call somebody on a particular property to find out any information about it.
So, when you think about that, what is the first step that somebody would do to start investigating whatever business you are in, whatever kind of service you’re offering or product you’re offering? What would be people’s first steps in order to educate themselves about that? So that formula of thinking about who your prospect is, it always starts with a target market. It always starts with that. Once you know who that target market is, you can do what may be the most valuable thing you could possible do, is to starting thinking like they would think about buying what it is that you have.
So, when you start thinking like that, you really kind of get into that mode and you get into that scenario of thinking, “Where would I go to get this information and what kind of information would I be most interested in?” And you can build the answer to that. You can build the solution by just thinking through, “What are the questions that they would have? What do they need to know in order to make this decision? What’s their criteria for comparing one option versus another option?” So, just thinking that through, and that would apply to anything. That would apply to any kind of a business. And you and I have seen this applied to countess different businesses. Did you evolve your consumer awareness strategy from the first guide to doing other types of educational marketing like that?
Joe: Oh, yeah. No, absolutely. Once I started teaching cleaners, then we have all the different sub–‐niches of that in the cleaning industry, from restoration to house cleaning, to hard surfaces. That’s kind of where it first started, then it started going into other service businesses, and we’ve got consumer guides for heating/air conditioning, for pest control, for home remodeling, for printing, for auto sales, on how to buy a used car, how to not get ripped off by a car salesperson, how to not overpay, medical, karate schools, florist, painters, everything from a very high level.
There’s this one organization, Pinnacle Care International, that’s a concierge medical service that created a consumer guide for very affluent people looking for the very best concierge medical and healthcare, consumer guides for graphic design, for lead conversion, for business–‐ to–‐business. We have consumer guides for nonprofit organizations, that explain. In many cases, they’re not called consumer guides. They can be free reports, they could be called educational booklets. We have guides that once someone’s already a client, how to actually navigate through the different services for employment agencies and credit repair, that sort of stuff. Back when Yellow Pages were such a big… which they still are, which is kind of funny. Most people would not think that, Yellow Pages, people advertise in anymore.
I don’t know if I mentioned this on one of our previous podcasts, but I recently went to Alaska and one of my Piranha members in the cleaning industry had been running Yellow Page ads for years with my stuff, over a decade, and they’re still running a Yellow Page ad where most people have just completely dropped out of the phonebook in its entirety. And they told me they were going to very big ROI. And what do they do in the ad? They drive people to a free recorded message, to basically get the recorded version of a consumer awareness guide and drive people to a website in order to get educated. So, yep, it’s applicable.
One thing I’d like to mention, Dean, you’re talking about your real estate application, I want to, again, read my consumer guide, but this time I want people to listen to it from a different angle. I’ll say it as if I’m reading it for the carpet cleaners, but I’d like you to insert your own business in it and see if you can come up with the number of the specific things. Going back to when I first paid a copywriter to write my consumer awareness guide, before I even understood all this marketing stuff – back in 1992, 1993 was when I first started using consumer awareness guides – I had to sit down with a copywriter and talk through all of the things that consumers didn’t know that they didn’t know about carpet cleaning.
And I needed to take something and make it sound exciting, because the typical promotion that I was doing was name, rank, and serial number, a blown–‐up version of my business card; the name of the company, what we did, list of services, phone number. To this day, that’s how many businesses are. They have their logo, they have their name, they have their list of services or what their product is, a list of features and, if they’re lucky, there’s some benefits. And a feature is what the product or service is and what it does. That’s the feature. The benefit is what the product or service does for the person using it; how they actually benefit.
So, instead of a brochure, I wanted something different, that was more valuable. So, on the very cover of this Consumer Guide to Carpet Cleaning, which literally could be an 8½” by 11” size paper, folded over as a booklet, and it could be printed on black and white paper, made very inexpensively if you’re doing a print version or, of course, a PDF, or however you want to put it online, and it would say, “Consumer’s Guide to Carpet Cleaning by,” your name and your company name. “Read this guide and you’ll discover…” You see, people love to discover things. In many cases, the word “discover,” in the right context, is better than the word “learn,” because most people don’t want to learn anything, they want to discover things.
So, “Read this guide and you’ll discover how to avoid 4 carpet cleaning rip–‐offs.” So, I had to come with what are the 4 ways that carpet cleaners actually rip people off, and if there were 7 ways, I would have written the 7 ways. So, “How to avoid 4 carpet cleaning rip–‐offs.” So if you’re in say the auto repair industry, and there are ways that some auto repair companies actually rip people off or charge them too much, or have some that’s naïve about their car come in and pretend like something’s wrong with it, how do people actually take advantage of people? That was up at the top, because no one wants to get ripped off. So, that’s one of the reasons why, “Read this guide and you’ll discover how to avoid 4 carpeting cleaning rip–‐offs,” or “how to avoid 4 Web design, or lawyer, or whatever your industry is, what are the rip–‐offs that they have. That was the first one. The second was “6 Costly Misconceptions about Carpet Cleaning.”
By the way, one of the 4 carpet cleaning rip–‐offs is people that use bait and switch. That would be one. 6 Costly Misconceptions about Carpet Cleaning, such as you clean your carpets and they get dirty quicker. They never get dirtier quicker. That doesn’t make any sense, unless the carpet cleaner left some sort of residue that attracted dirt to it, or that steam–‐cleaning your carpet is going to damage the carpet. Well, it’s not going to damage the carpet. That’s actually one of the best ways to clean a carpet, but it has to be done by a real professional. Things like that. So, “6 Costly Misconceptions about Carpet Cleaning,” so you would put “6 Costly Misconceptions about blank,” or “2 costly misconceptions” or “17 costly misconceptions,” whatever your industry is. And then, I threw in a piece of interesting copy that said, “Crawling Critters and Crude: A Guide To The Slime, Grime and Livestock That’s Seeping, Creeping, and Galloping Through Your Carpet.” Well, it sounds sort of funny, but the purpose of advertising is to not be funny. You don’t want to try to humor people, you actually want to sell them something. You want to educate them. So, that was a piece of copy that just happened to sound really interesting, “Crawling Critters And Crude: A Guide To The Slime, Grime And Livestock That’s Seeping, Creeping, And Galloping Through Your Carpet.” So, whatever version you want to come up with, you could use something like that.
And then another question that consumers have is, “Well, what method do I use, dry–‐cleaning or do I use steam cleaning? What do I use?” Well, for one, there’s no such thing as dry–‐cleaning a carpet, like you would dry–‐clean clothes. You just couldn’t clean a carpet that way. You would destroy the carpet if you used the same solvents in the quantities that they would use at a dry–‐cleaner to clean clothing. So all methods of carpet cleaning utilize water, it’s just they do it with different ways. Some are with steam cleaning, some are with absorbent compounds. But the average consumer, including everyone listening to I Love Marketing, they don’t think about this stuff. They don’t know which method cleans best, because they’re having different companies.
So, if you are in an industry where there’s different methodologies, then you would have well what brand works best, what method, what strategy, what application. If there’s accrual accounting or there’s a different way of tracking anything, you would be like, “Well, what’s the best way to do it?” And then, we’d have “8 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing A Carpet Cleaner. Well, almost every industry has mistakes. “7 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing A Dentist” or “4 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Realtor,” or “10 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Business Attorney,” whatever the deal is. So, I put “8 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Carpet Cleaner.” The next one was “The Importance Of Value And Price.” Well, when people say, “How much do you charge?” well, compared to what? Compared to someone who provides a crappy product or service, or compared to the very best? What’s the difference between Motel 6 and the Four Seasons? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for just bare–‐bone price, but in many businesses people know the difference between Four Seasons or Motel 6, if they’ve ever gone and stayed in hotels, especially either one.
And most people have, at some point in their life, stayed at a really nice place or a really inexpensive place. But if they don’t understand your industry or your business, what’s the difference between this dentist over here that cleans teeth for $50 and the one over here that charges $400? What is the difference? Basically, it’s always really good to have something that addresses price. And then the next one is “Why You Want a Clean, Healthy Carpet.” Well, that’s kind of assumptive, because maybe they don’t. Maybe they just don’t care about healthy, maybe they just want it to look really clean because they’re having a dinner party 2 days from now and they just don’t want to be embarrassed. But why you want a clean, healthy carpet, not just clean, but healthy carpet. And then the next one was “100% No–‐Risk Guarantee. Well, we wanted to put 100% no–‐risk guarantee on there, because we wanted to take all of the fear out of doing business with you, as, in my case, my company. But, “Read this guide and you’ll discover a 100% no–‐risk guarantee.” Well, that just makes the assumption that you should never hire a company if they don’t offer a guarantee. And I believe that to be absolutely true. Given the choice of hiring a company that 100% guarantees that if you’re not happy you get all your money back, versus one that doesn’t, I’m going to feel a heck of a lot more safe with a company that offers, in writing, a 100% money–‐back guarantee.
And then the last one, on the very cover, was “4 Steps To A Fresh, Clean, Healthy Carpet,” so it sounds real easy. It was “4 Steps To A Fresh, Clean, Healthy Carpet.” It could be 2 steps, it could be 5 steps, whatever. And if this is for a personal trainer, it could be “6 Steps To Getting The Body You Desire In X Time Period,” or whatever, and then it will go on to say “Provided as an educational service by,” your company name, “specialist in carpet cleaning,” or whatever your name, your phone number, or your website, or your email, whatever you would put on there. So, that’s just the cover. I’d like to read some of the inside of it, to kind of break this down so that everyone listening kind of sees the application. But I wanted to see if you had any comments on anything that I’ve said.
Dean: Okay, yeah. I’m listening with an ear to what the motivators are for people. Because it really is all about psychology, when you think about it, we know that people are motivated by either pain or pleasure, or they’re motivated to move away from pain or towards something good. And it struck me that these consumer awareness guides, because we always use kind of the fear–‐based, we kind of play up that avoiding these mistakes, because people will go much farther out of their way to avoid making a dumb mistake than moving towards something. Some people. But then, you can use that same thing with the moving towards appeal, by promising not just the information, but promising information that leads to a big, pleasurable benefit. I’m going to tell you about my friend Lane Bowers, who’s the world’s leading barefoot water skier, and how we applied all these same things to his barefoot water ski school. But let’s finish up and I’ll use Lane’s examples here of how we put together his free ebook, “How To Be The Best Barefooter On Your Lake.”
Joe: I love it. I love it. So once I’ve written those bullets on the front of the consumer guide, you would open it up and it would say, “Dear homeowner.” And if you’re business–‐to–‐ business, it would be “Dear business owner.” Or, if you’re a patient, “Dear patient.” If you are… What would be…?
Dean: A barefoot water skier.
Joe: Yeah, a barefoot water skier, or whatever. A runner, “Dear runner.” “Dear skier,” “Dear fly fisherman, or fisherwoman.” Or if you’re an alien, say you’re marketing to aliens, it would be like “Dear alien.” Yeah.
Dean: The Alien’s Guide to Moving to Earth. Yeah.
Joe: Yes, exactly, or to abducting whatever. And again, aliens, I think for movies, tend to abduct; but I really don’t think they’re that way. But anyway. So, you come to I Love Marketing to hear crazy people talk. Dean actually is crazier than me. Although I may sound weird right now, trust me, Dean is the crazy one.
Dean: That’s probably true.
Joe: So, “Dear Homeowner, choosing a carpet cleaner isn’t easy. Why? Because you’re bombarded with misleading advertising, confusing claims, and simply bad information from super–‐low prices and high–‐pressure sales to unqualified technicians and near–‐worthless methods. How do you ever find a qualified, competent professional carpet cleaner? You start by reading this consumer guide. In this fact–‐filled booklet, you’ll discover how to avoid 4 carpet cleaning rip–‐offs, 8 mistakes to avoid when choosing a carpet cleaner, and 4 steps to a fresh, clean, healthy carpet.” “We wrote this guide to help you better understand carpet cleaning. Now, with this information, you can make an informed, intelligent decision.
And if you have any questions about carpet or upholstery cleaning, you’re invited to call us at,” your phone number. “We’ve dedicated our business to educating consumers. We’ll be happy to help in every way. Cordially,” your name, your company, “specialists in carpet cleaning.” So, that’s like the first introduction. Again, we’re giving you this under the assumption that you’re ethical, that you’re qualified, that you deliver great services, and all that. And if you’re not, then you really need to get skilled at delivering an awesome, wow, incredible service that really ads value for other people’s lives. So, going with that assumption that you’re doing that, this sort of marketing is non–‐threatening, it’s totally ethical. Even if someone chooses not to do business with my company at the time, as a carpet cleaner, I’m still giving them very valuable information on how to make an informed, intelligent decision, which the paragraph I read says. Now let’s say, pick and industry, Dean, other than carpet cleaning that I could apply this to, that you could think of.
Dean: Do you even know what that is?
Joe: Why don’t you inform me? Something to do with kids, pets, what is it?
Dean: No, podiatry is a foot doctor.
Joe: Oh, really.
Dean: There’s a reason I said that. I just played golf today and I saw this…
Joe: You went to a podiatrist today?
Dean: No, no I played golf today, and one of the…
Joe: Oh, you played golf at the country club.
Dean: Yeah, yeah. One of the guys at my country club is a podiatrist.
Joe: Oh, I see. I see. Yeah, I’ve actually had to go to a podiatrist before. I won’t even go there.
Dean: Okay, so let’s say…
Joe: I’ve had, no actually I’ll tell you a story too. I have had a nail permanently destroyed by going to the wrong doctor for a hangnail that was so bad years ago. It was killing me. And I went to this doctor, and he literally injected me, into my big toe, and cut in. It will probably gross people out, if I tell the whole thing. But literally, it took almost a month for my toe to heal. And to this day, it’s always been sort of irritating. Had I had a consumer guide at the time to actually help me select that sort of thing…
Dean: Consumer guide to hangnails?
Joe: Yeah, could you imagine? So let’s not talk about that one. That one gives me nightmares. Let’s pick another one. Although, that’s an easy one, too: “Dear Patient, choosing a podiatrist isn’t easy. Why?” Blah, blah, blah.
Dean: Exactly. So no, I actually played golf with my dentist.
Joe: Okay, let’s do dentist, because it will easier for me to pronounce than podiatrist. “Dear Patient,” or “Dear Toothache sufferer, choosing a dentist isn’t easy. Why? Because you’re bombarded with misleading advertising, confusing claims, and simply bad information from super–‐low–‐priced dentists to prices all over the map, to how do you determine who is the most qualified dentist, to pain–‐free methods, etc., etc. How do you ever find a qualified, competent professional dentist? You start by reading this consumer guide. In this factual booklet, you’ll discover how to avoid choosing the wrong dentist, 8 mistakes to avoid when going to the dentist, 7 questions to ask any dentist before you have any cosmetic surgery or orthodontics of any kind.
We wrote this guide to help you better understand. Making this decision now, with this information, you can make an informed, intelligent decision.” Now obviously, you can tweak it and there’s some terminology that I would change a little bit. Off the top, it’s pretty formulaic, and so you can take this sort of template and use it for anything. And I will tell you, please will spend 100’s of hours and 1,000’s of hours and never get anything even remotely as compelling or as close as what I just went over with everyone in the last 10 minutes.
Dean: Shortcut. Of course, we have all these transcribed, so they can just take it right from the transcript.
Joe: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And so, there you go. Even in the Nightingale–‐Conant program, there are templates of questions on how to create a consumer guide. I have a consumer guide generator that helps people walk though, but I’ve just explained the methodology on how to do it. And once you have this sort of education piece, it could become a template for a video, it could become a template for a seminar, it could become guides, you could put it on single pages, if you just want to have informational things that are handed out to people. You can use it online, offline, you can have free recorded messages, and there’s all kinds of different ways. How many different ways are there to learn, and educate and to teach? There’s so many different applications, once you get it created. So, I would encourage everyone, after listening to this podcast, to take a stab at creating your first educational communication to your prospects, to your clients, no matter what industry you’re in.
Dean: Yeah. So let me share with you how we did this with my friend Lane, then. So, my friend Lane Bowers, he’s the world champion barefoot water skier. Have you ever seen barefoot water skiers? Do you know what that’s all about?
Joe: I’ve seen it on TV, but I know nothing about it, other than I can’t do it.
Dean: Yeah, X games. He won a gold medal at the X games, and all that stuff. Basically, these guys water ski without skis. So they just go out in like 30 miles an hour, or maybe even 40 miles an hour, on the surface of the water with just their bare feet, right behind the rope, and they’re doing all these tricks.
Joe: Hopping like the Loch Ness monster and stuff?
Dean: Yeah, exactly. And so Lane is one of the best in the world at this, and he’s got a ski school here in Winter Haven, where people come from all over the world to come and train with him. He’s got a huge list of people who are barefoot water skiers. This is something that we’ve been working on this now for 10 years, and we started talking about how we could put together this. I started sharing with him this formula, and how can we apply this to barefoot water skier? So I asked him, “What do barefoot water skiers want more than anything? What’s the best thing?” I had this idea, because I know guys up on Ontario who barefoot water ski, and I know that they’re really competitive about it. When people start barefoot water skiing, they start out on water skis, a lot of the time.
And then, the big thing is to drop the water skis and to see how far you can go without falling. That’s the yahoo way of doing it. They go down and say, “I got all the way to that 4th dock before I fell,” and “Yeah I got all the way to that 5th dock.” So, they’re very competitive about it. So, we came up with this title for his ebook called “How To Be The Best Barefooter On Your Lake,” because that’s where everybody does their water skiing and they’re competitive with the guys that they ski with. So, we just went through and I started asking him questions like, “What kind of things do people want to know?” So, we have all of these bullet points that kind of offer big benefit, “The easy way to do barefoot skiing front deep water starts, from the boom and from the long line. How to do front and barefoot skiing back one–‐foots, like the pros, without killing yourself trying. Lane “Dawg’s” secret to easy front and back barefoot skiing toe–‐holds.”
And all these things, they don’t mean anything to us. But to those guys, that’s the language that they speak. This is the kind of thing that they need to know. And then, there was a funny one, because I was writing these bullet points for Lane and I was like, “The secret to making you back slalom look like a walk in the park.” And there was another one that, and I was saying the easy way to do front line–‐overs, I forget what the name of the trick was, and I could tell you he was a little bit uneasy about that one. And I said, “Well, why is that?” and he said, “Well, the reality is that one’s really hard. There’s no easy way to do that one.” He’s like, “What would be more accurate is, ‘Here’s a good look at a trick you’ll never do, a trick you’ll never be able to pull off.’” So anyway, we put this together and we put this on the front page of his website, and it was the only option that people had. The introduction to TheFootersEdge.com was “How To Be The Best Barefooter On Your Lake,” and you can take a look at that. It’s still up now at TheFootersEdge.com, but it’s the only option that people have on that front page. When people come to that page, they leave their name and their email address, and Lane has a huge list of all these people who are barefoot water skiers. And now, his ski school is full all the time, he’s got a thriving equipment sales business from all the people on this list, by offering them continually updated, new information. He’s constantly doing new newsletters and new video and knew tips and all these things that are free to maintain that relationship with people.
So, I think that is kind of the real value of using that consumer awareness model or that informational type of model to attract the contact information of the people who you would love to have as your customers or your clients or your patients or whatever the right context is for you, coupled with a follow–‐up series of informational education that you’re constantly giving people updates. So with Lane, he’s constantly doing new videos and new newsletters. With the real estate agents, when I did the guide, I was offering a market watch newsletter, that gives people updates of all the news homes that have come on the market in any price range that they’re interested in. And that becomes your weekly ticket to communicate with those prospects.
It’s not just get the guide and then they’ll do what it is that you’re offering, but you’ve got a way now to continue to communicate with those people. I think that was an evolution. That was something that I learned not with the 6–‐Steps To Homeownership Guide, but with the Guide to Halton Hills. I learned that the great to do next is to continue to create what I call a flagship publication, that is your ticket to communicate with those people every single week, especially now that you can do it by email. Even though when I started doing that in 1992 and 1993, it was all done by direct mail. It was all mail. I would mail hundreds of people this bi–‐weekly newsletter, with all of the new properties that had come on the market.
And every single time I mailed those out, people would call me up and they would be ready now to start the process of looking at homes. As long as you understand that different products have different buying cycles, the buying cycle for somebody getting their carpet cleaned is probably shorter than the buying cycle for somebody buying a home or somebody coming to train or go to a ski school. So, having some educational material to follow–‐up with probably even more mandatory for things with a long cycle. Did you have anything after the guide, to continue to follow–‐up with someone?
Joe: Well yes, let me give a couple ideas though of what you just said, though. So for everyone thinking, “Okay, what would I possibly follow–‐up with people with?” because, yeah, there was definitely monthly newsletters that we’d follow–‐up with. Some of these ideas, I’ve used all kinds of variations of them and still do, even on my main website, which is my name. We offer a report on how to write an ad, which is very along the lines of stuff that you teach, Dean. We are so much in the same wavelength.
Dean: Very along the lines? Let’s just say it’s only slightly.
Joe: Very along the line. Yes. Yes. But like some ideas for people, based on what you said, if they’re at a loss for what the follow–‐up with, say they follow like the template that I went through on the consumer guide and they end up creating their first communication report, per se. Like one of the things for cleaners could be allergy relief secrets. It could be a DVD, it could be a report, it could be whatever, a little video or audio presentation. All consumers have questions. So, you could have frequently asked questions. You could start asking your clients any questions you have. And the funny thing is most people listening to us, they have tons of information in their head, they just never dumped it onto print, onto a video.
So, this just a way for you to organize many of the things you’re out there communicating daily, or you’re not communicating daily because you never thought about it until you heard me and Dean talk about it. So, whatever motivates you, you most likely have the knowledge, you just need to organize it in a way that it becomes useful to you. If you have all this knowledge but it’s sitting in your head, it’s not helping anyone, and it’s certainly not helping you leverage your time, because you’re delivering it, you’re just delivering it manually. The way that most people deliver this information is over the phone or in person, and that’s just an incredible waste of your time, if you can replicate yourself through these robotic methods of delivery.
So, frequency asked questions is one thing to start asking people. And if you have a whole list of them, think about what people ask you all the time, and then what are the answers. You can follow–‐up once a week, every few days, daily, depending on the life cycle, again, of the sale, because all sale cycles have steps to them. Another thing to think about is what do your prospects and clients hate about your industry, about people in your business? What are their irks? What are their frustrations? What do they complain about? And when you really pay attention to the complaints, you can address them in advance, whatever the client’s irks are. If you went out to your whole list and say, “What frustrates you about carpet cleaners? What do you hate about services businesses? What really irks you about going to the dentist?” that sort of stuff, and literally put your prospects thinking about those types of things and have them tell you, and then educate them on how to avoid those things. There’s a whole slew of stuff that, in many cases, you never even know really bother people until you ask them.
So, once you do some Socratic asking of questions, you start compiling some great stuff that you can create follow–‐ups with. In my case, with carpet cleaning, we’ve taught this and for years have used it, is a healthy home newsletter. So every month, you mail a newsletter for reminders. There’s always reminder postcards, there’s always reminder emails. We have text message follow–‐up now, where we actually collect the phone numbers of people’s cell phones, and we will text them on a regular basis, useful information. If you have videos that you have a YouTube channel, as an example, whenever you post a video you can do that. You can drip on people be creating everything from Facebook pages, Facebook fan pages, Twitter pages, that sort of stuff. So those are just different ways that I’ve done it and teach our clients to do it. Yep.
Dean: I like that. The thing about having that vehicle, that flagship that you’re constantly communicating, even if it’s only 6–‐months worth, like if you just think that you’re going to consistently follow–‐up with somebody for 90 days or for 6 months, or whatever the normal buying cycle would be for somebody. Even for real estate, we’ve got people who follow–‐up with people for 2 years and then they pop, they ultimately end up buying a home. But carpet cleaning, somebody’s probably, if they’re a really good client, they’re probably going to get their carpets cleaned what frequency, would you say?
Joe: Every 6 months to a year. The average person does it about yearly, at least the ones that are concerned. And if you’re listening to this podcast and you’ve not had your carpets cleaned for a least longer than a year, you’ve really got to think would you sleep in your bed for a year without washing the sheets? Or would use the same towel for 6–‐months straight and never wash it? Would you wear the same pair of underwear for months on end and never wash it? And this is the same fabric that you’re walking around with your shoes and you’re feet and other people are walking around on it, and spilling things on and the gravitational forces. The carpet is a giant sink in the home, and I’m purely saying this to disgust people with this gigantic fabric in their home that they’re probably woefully neglecting, and it’s just filthy. So yeah, the average person goes 6 months to a year.
Dean: Even if you look at that, even if they had a 6–‐month postcard follow–‐up campaign, where they just think what you were just talking about, the things that irk you or the frequently asked questions or the things to ponder, new information, new developments, those kinds of things, and just kind of drip those things for 6 months, maybe even every other week for 6 months. And, while you’re doing that, in that wrapper of the valuable education is your opportunity to then make offers that are going to make it easy for people to take the next step.
Joe: Exactly, such as like the world’s most interesting postcard and that sort of stuff. What I want to say, Dean, before we wrap up, because I know we’re almost at that time for this amazing session, this podcast of I Love Marketing.
Dean: They go so fast, don’t they?
Joe: Yes they do. They do. And the feedback is much appreciated from all of you out there listening. So, please give us feedback, because then we know what it is you’d like and what you most want to learn about, and how you’re using it. We want to hear how you’re actually making money, because we love this stuff, we’ll talk about it even if we don’t hear from each and every one of you. However, we would love to hear and see the applications of these conversations, because this allows us to literally share what has been so beneficial and so useful to us and so many entrepreneurs out there. We love supporting and helping entrepreneurs, especially those that are really good at what they do and really create immense value, and just want more ways to let more people know about it so that they can continue to build and grow their businesses.
And the thing I want to say, Dean, is that when it comes to different services, like right now there’s different free recorded message services that we use at different times, I’m reluctant to actually say it, because sometimes a new service will come up and we’ll recommend different ones. I think me and Dean are going to look at listing our I Love Marketing rolodex and recommendation service for whenever we talk about different strategies on the I Love Marketing Podcast. On the website, we’ll have places where you can see different companies that offer services that we recommend and that you can use and that sort of stuff. And the ones that we’ve done our due diligence with and some of these companies will be ones that we use, and others we just feel are interesting companies and we’ll let you know about. But we’ll develop that as we got along with these podcasts. At least that’s my idea. And if it’s not on the site, then it means that Dean just shot me down because he’s Batman this month and I’m Robin, whatever the deal is.
Dean: No, I totally love that idea. That’s a great idea, because it is a valuable resource. So this concept of, I think we gave people a really good start of how to think about creating – we call it – a consumer awareness guide or a free report or an ebook, or a free book, or even an article, something that is an item that somebody who is your ideal prospect would find very valuable in their search. They’re beginning to search for a solution to the problem that you’re going to be able to solve for them.
So, I think this would be the perfect segue into next time, talking about what to do once people get that guide, or that report, or that book, to get appointments with them, because that’s really where it all happens – at an appointment or a sale, where they buy something for the first time or they invite you over to their house for the first time to give them a carpet audit, or to tell them how much their house is worth, or to do whatever it is that makes the most sense for a first step your prospects. I think that will lead perfectly right into in the next week, because there’s a lot to say about converting those leads. We’ve talking about create the tool that will generate them, but then what do we do one we’re getting all those people raising their hand.
Joe: Yep, and it’s more than tap–‐dancing with a box a doughnuts.
Dean: It really is. Oh, that’s funny.
Joe: So if you think this is what I Love Marketing is all about, there will be no tap–‐dancing with doughnuts.
Dean: That’s so funny.
Joe: At least for now. At least for now. So I think was great, Dean. That’s all I’ve got.
Dean: I think this is a good place to leave everybody, and then invite them back next time and we’ll talk about how to convert all of those leads.
Joe: That’s what I’m trying to say. So, thank you all for listening. iLoveMarketing.com. Vote for us on iTunes. Really high ratings, really high ratings.
Dean: Perfect. That’s what we need. Exactly. Tell your friends.
Joe: Thank you, Dean, as always and we’ll talk with you next time.