Episode #43

The one about your “Before Unit”

Episode #43

  • Dean shares his strategic mindset for the Before Unit
  • How to think about your advertising and marketing budget
  • The distinction between compelling and educating
  • PLUS: How to create money-making “oil wells” in your business
Dean: Hey, everybody! It’s Dean Jackson.

Joe: And Joe Polish. Here we are. We’re live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dean: Together, in your hotel room.

Joe: Yeah. This is very exciting. If only we had this on video, you can see we’re…

Dean: Cuddled up in the bed.

Joe: Not per se, but we’re here. And it’s kind of close quarters. This is funny. We’ve got my Apple Air kind of propped up, recording, on my luggage, so we can have it kind of high up, so me and Dean hopefully get the best sound recording. I, personally, think I’m a little closer to the mic, so I probably sound louder.

Dean: Maybe I’ll move a little closer.

Joe: You should. For the benefit of our I Love Marketing audience. Today, we’re going to maybe clarify some confusion that some of our listeners have had on some of our recent ad clinics, and talk a little bit about going back to before units, during units, after units.

Dean: That’s the thing. I think this would be a great time for us to talk exclusively about the before unit.

Joe: Exclusively? Are you saying we’re not going to talk anything about during and after?

Dean: Nothing about during, nothing about after. Just thinking about this as just the before unit. I was telling you that what I see, when I’m looking at the ads, when we did the ad clinic episode – and it’s not uncommon, I see it all the time when people bring their ads – that the before unit really makes up the first 3 profit activators. Select your single target market, compel prospects to call you, and educate and motivate them to meet you. The thing that I see a lot is that people, in their ads, are putting #2 and #3 together. They’re trying to compel people to call, but they’re also trying to educate and motivate them to buy or to meet or to do whatever the next step is. They’re trying to do too much in the ads.

Joe: Let me say something to that, too. I had to go through that process in the beginning, and still have to remind myself continuously. Even the best-trained marketers, they’re impatient. One thing about a successful trait of driven entrepreneurs is that they operate out of a sense of urgency; they want to get results now. And a great definition of marketing is the quickest path to the sale. It’s kind of like you want things to go as fast as possible, but not so fast that you undermine the effectiveness of the promotions, and that’s exactly what you’re talking about. I used to test run ads where I would drive people to call a free recorded message, for example, but on the free recorded message I would find myself getting into selling what it is that they’re calling the free recorded message for. In that particular case, when I first started doing this back in 1992, when I first ran my first free recorded message ad, way before the Internet and all of that, just to remind everyone that’s like 20 years old or whatever.

Dean: Everybody around the world.

Joe: But the point is that I would start going into selling what was being offered in the free report. And you have to step back and say, “One step at a time.” Even if you have the greatest product or service in the world, you have to engage the person, and they have to identify themselves. Why don’t you take everyone through the psychology of that process? Maybe explain, again, cheese and whiskers.

Dean: That does apply the most to this. In the “More cheese, less whiskers” episode – which I would recommend if you’re thinking about your before unit, that’s one of the best episodes that you can listen to, to get that mindset. Often, the desire that people have is to use the ad for so many purposes. They think about the ad as their opportunity to get their name out there, and their way to let everybody know who they are. A couple of examples, I was just doing some consulting with a gentleman who was running an ad in the lifestyle magazine. He just sent me the ad to comment on, because he did a completely blind just cheese ad, and the magazine sent an email to the guy, saying, “Are you sure you don’t want to put your company name and logo and stuff in this ad? Most of the time people find that’s a good brand-building thing.” The magazine people are trying to get them to brand. This happens all the time.

Joe: I’ve got to say something about this, too. When you start using contrarian to what the advertisers MO is, or what they typically see, which is usually ineffective, brand building, no offer sort of advertising. In a lot of places, if you’re doing offline space ads filled with copy, you’ll start hearing things like, “It’s too cluttered.” Anyway, my point is that you have to be careful whose advice you’re taking. And when it’s coming from the person or the company that you’re actually giving the money to, and they start thinking – maybe with good intentions – that they’re giving the advertisers good advice, if you’re new to this, you have to put blinders on to what other people are saying.

Dean: You can’t second-guess it. Right.

Joe: Yeah. They will try to talk you out of doing effective advertising. In some cases, they’re not even trying to do it on purpose, they just don’t understand any better. What I learned early on is there’s a huge difference between someone who’s effective at selling advertising versus having advertising that is effective and that works. They’re 2 different things. I know Yellow Page people from way back when, like one of my very dear friends from high school was one of the top Yellow Page reps in Arizona. She, for years, made a 6-figure income selling Yellow Page advertising, and she was a great person. However, she had no experience in direct response. The best thing for her is a client that would run name, rank, serial number.

Dean: Like everybody else. That makes it easy.

Joe: Yeah. And then all of a sudden, you see one with a free recorded message, even Yellow Pages would hate. “Warning!” Anything that’s that contrary. To your point, not to completely go off on a tangent here, the point is I really want to highlight what you just said, because you can construct great advertising just to have it undermined by someone who doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about saying, “Are you sure you want to do that?” And then, all of a sudden, you start second-guessing or saying, “Yeah, maybe I should put my name in there somewhere. Maybe I should squeeze it in there.” And then, all of a sudden, you’ve just ruined what could potentially be a killer ad.

Dean: I had another example. I did a full-page ad in a big newspaper for a realtor in Kansas, a real estate company. Most of the companies run ads that look just like everybody else’s ad. They’ve got the big banner at the top, with their company logo and their slogan, and all of the houses underneath it. So, we did a full-page ad that looked like a feature article, that had all kinds of compelling stuff on there, featured some houses but in a format that kind of looked like the newspaper was doing a feature on these great deals that you could get. So, the guy ran the ad, and got more calls than they’d ever gotten on any of their real estate ads. But he got a call from one of his friends that, “Dude, you spent all that money on an ad and you didn’t even put your logo in it. Nobody even knows that’s your ad.” Nobody knows it’s your ad, yet more people called than any other ad they’ve even run. You have to get used to bypassing that, that you don’t care that people know that it’s your ad. All you care about is that people who are your prospects call, because it’s all cheese. It’s not about you, at all.

Joe: That goes back to if you want to be the most effect as a direct response person, as a marketer, as an advertiser, as much as you can leave your ego by the door when you go out, the better off you’re going to be. Brand-building, name recognition, advertising, for the most part, first and foremost, feeds the ego of the owner and the people that work for the company. Great direct response really feeds the value benefits pain of the marketplace. You want to give them cheese. That’s what they want. Yeah, if you were to hear comments like that from your friends, from other people, you start second-guessing yourself. But at the same time, you’re in the arithmetic business. And if your conversion is great, if your response is great, if you’re making money, it’s the highest response you’ve ever gotten, then who cares what anyone thinks?

Dean: I want to go off now on something else that you said. If the return on investment is there, that’s really what this is all about. That’s the whole point of doing it, is to create, in your before unit, a money multiplying system; a process that you can use predictably, again and again, and again, to deliver people to your during unit.

Joe: You call it bankable result. We’ve mentioned that on some episodes and stuff. For the most part… Am I being picked up okay here on the mic?

Dean: Yeah. Absolutely.

Joe: Bankable results, if we could wave a magic wand on everyone that’s listening to I Love Marketing, and out of all of the conversations we have, all of the strategies, all of the examples, all of the tangents I go on, at the end of the day, what we want is for our listeners to have bankable results, because that’s awesome.

Dean: I’m going to pull up that video of us on my evil scheme hatchery, where we were talking about bankable results. We have a video about that, that would tie up with this episode.

Joe: Go to ILoveMarketing.com, if you’re listening to this on iTunes, and watch that video. What do you mean by that, “bankable results?” When I said, “You’re in the arithmetic business,” that’s something I heard Gary Halbert say years ago. And that’s the beauty of direct response. It’s not just getting your name out there, it’s getting a response back, and it’s something that is trackable. If you can’t track it, you can’t measure it, then you really don’t know. There’s nothing worse than playing blind archery.

Dean: Did you see the video that I put up about predictability versus probability?

Joe: Yes.

Dean: Where you put money in a vending machine, and you know exactly what you’re getting? The context I set for people is, just like a vending machine, if you go to a vending machine, you’ve got lots of choices. You could put in your money, and you could get a Coke, you could get a root beer, or you can get a sprite. Whatever you want.

Joe: You should really choose a bottle of water, but for the sake of the example it’s still good.

Dean: Or you can get a bottle of water. But you can only push one button at a time. It’s that same kind of thinking that you want to take into creating a system. You select a single target market, and then you have an ad or a postcard, or a display ad, or anything that’s going to compel them to identify themselves. That’s all you’re looking for. When you look at it, if you do it right, you’ve got almost like you’re using an analogy that you’re setting up little oil wells that will continue to pump and work on their own to bring new prospects into your business. When you do that right, the good news about creating before unit systems is that you can use automation, you can use technology, you can use other people to completely remove yourself from that process. You shouldn’t have to be doing any of the work in your before unit to deliver people to your during unit, but you’re looking at it as a money multiplier. We do, for realtors, we have a company called MoneymakingWebsites.com.

We do an event every year with all of our clients coming together. What’s amazing to me is that they’re all using exactly the same website, because I’ve created it to be a lead generating template. A system, where you duplicate, just like Michael Gerber would talk about creating a franchise prototype that you can duplicate, and it works the same in Orlando as it does in Phoenix. The same kind of results. It’s driven by buying visits from Google AdWords. So, we buy visitors from Google AdWords, they come to the website; 20% of the leave their name and their email address, and then we’re building their list of people who they’re communicating with, to educate and motivate them to want to meet with them.

So, we’ve got all of the drip email campaigns and stuff. But what drives it is the more visitors that you send to the site, the more leads that you get, because the percentages are the same. So, we’ve got people in the same room, at the same table sometimes, who are sitting, and they think about their advertising as an expense or a budget that they have for advertising. A lot of them spend $10 a day, for example, on their AdWords budget. They’re spending $300 a month, and they’re generating $30,000 to $50,000 a year in commissions from deals that they do from their website. They’re sitting at the same table with people who are spending $20 a day, who are spending $600 a month, and are doing $70,000 to $100,000 a year. Same website, same thing, just that they’re spending twice as much money.

And then, they’re in the same room with Tom Cook in Toronto, who’s spending $6,000 a month and doing $1-million with the exact same website, and don’t see the complete elasticity, the relationship between the amount of money that you spend on the front-end is what you get out on the backend. So, when you start looking at that, what you’re looking for is what would this look like if you pushed the accelerator pedal? What does it look like, if you do it right with your before unit?” You’ve got a predictable system that you know that, if you send out 1,000 postcards, you get X response, and you convert that into so much money. Or you send out 10,000 postcards; you get 10 times that amount.

It’s all completely your choice when you set up a before unit system that’s based on direct response, and you’ve created the asset that gets people to call you. And you’ve created the assets that convert those leads into appointments. We talk about the bankable results. Those are the only things you can do that are bankable results of things that you can see as progress leading toward more money or leads. You can generate leads, you can generate appointments, you can get contracts, and you can get closings or money. Whatever is coming from that. We adapted it when we were doing the example on the whiteboard. We were talking about carpet cleaners. You get leads, you get appointments, you get jobs, and you get checks. That’s really the progression that you go through. You can do that at whatever volume you want.

Joe: To whatever degree your ability to manage it. The thing that Gary Halbert would always drill into people’s heads is that if you want to get rich, he would talk about it in the example of sending out letters. You send out 1,000 letters, and you get X number of results. You take whatever profit is left over, and Dean’s like…

Dean: Taking a $2 bottle of water out of Joe’s…

Joe: I don’t like that, because he reaches over, right in the middle trying to talk, and he just grabs it.

Dean: But, look. It says, “Who’s thirsty?” Oh, purified water. Complementary. So, there you go. I’m taking your complimentary water.

Joe: Yeah, real complimentary now, because that’s my last one.

Dean: There’s another one right behind you.

Joe: Basically, Gary would say that I would reinvest the dollars, the profits that he would make off of the 1,000, and put it into as many more letters as you can mail, and ramp it up until you’re mailing tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands.

Dean: The snowball, he’d call that. Yeah.

Joe: Yeah. That is the place that you want to get to. It’s a place that very few people ever get to, not because the strategies aren’t available to them. As a matter of fact, we explained the strategies and have given away not only the strategies, the how to do it, the psychology…

Dean: The templates.

Joe: Yeah, the exact templates. And anyone that came to our I Love Marketing conference got a whole book and examples throughout the training, and anyone that wants that stuff, just get our I Love Marketing training program, which is the videos of our I Love Marketing event. The thing is, still, people don’t do it. I think the reason a lot of people don’t do it is, for one, they haven’t created it yet. So, you need to create that, if you’re going to get that. Secondly, they just don’t quite understand it. So, you’re going to hear us say things that, in many ways, are redundant. But the biggest thing that I’ve learned about training is listening to ongoing training, reading books. It’s just continual reminders of the fundamentals.

I’ve done a lot of work at the world of exercise and fitness. I’ve had a lot of clients that do that. How many different ways can you write articles, like in a muscle magazine, about how to lift weights? But there’s the fundamental moves, like bench press, squat, and deadlift. Those are like 3 basic strength moves. If you want to be a powerlifter, you want to be strong; you want to be a bodybuilder, you’re going to do those. So, the more you just foundationally become more effective at those moves, the better everything else is.

Dean: You don’t need new, fancier moves. That’s exactly right. I forget which book it was in, but I was reading, years ago, about learning, and about PBS and Sesame Street, and there’s a show called Blues Clues, for kids. What they do on Blues Clues is they run one show all week. They run the same episode all week, and the kids get more into it the more they see it, because it’s an interactive show, in a way, where they’re talking to the kids from the TV, and they’re supposed to shout out the answers, and they learn better, and they like it more when they know the answer. So, by the 3rd or 4th time that they’ve seen the same show, they’re able to call out the answers, and they learn that way. When you look at what you were just saying about repeating stuff and the basic moves, what we talk about, the DNA of all of these profit activators is selecting a target market. That’s not going to change. And compelling them to call you is not going to change. And educating and motivating them to meet you, those are the basics, the baseline of the before unit.

The more depth that you can get of the understanding of the basics of that is going to be so much more profitable. But I wanted to say something else, what you were saying about Gary’s idea of snowballing things. I look at them, I talked about as oil wells, where you’re taking your R&D money, you’re taking your development money, and you’re developing an oil well that’s going to reduce – hopefully – gallons and gallons and gallons of oil, barrels of it. The same thing with you’re going to gush leads from this particular target market. I talked about the budgeting for stuff. If you do it where you pick up a target market that’s going to have a long-term, sustainable need, that you’re going to be able to continue to market to them, you don’t have to think about having all of the money at once to run a campaign for a whole year. All you really need is, I call it the “seed money.” Because at some point, whatever your buyer lifecycle is, the ads that you’re spending money on are going to start working and start generating 5 times, 7 times, 10 times the amount of money that you spend on them. And as soon as you get your first transaction, in most places, you’ve recaptured the money that you invested in the first place, to get that.

Now, once you’ve recaptured that money, it becomes this self-funding oil well that’s funding itself from the money that you are generating from using it. That’s the point where you let that continue to pump, and you go over, and you take the initial money and invest it in creating another oil well, which could be your second target market. That’s one of the big confusions that people have, when we talk about narrowing your focus to a single target market. I always say, “At a time. One target market at a time.” You’re not saying that you’re going to limit yourself to one target market forever. You’re going to limit yourself, when you’re creating that oil well, that you’re creating one oil well at a time. Then, you go on to another one. You can have as many as you want.

Joe: That’s where the challenged, creative, artistic mind of many innovative entrepreneurs. The non-innovators are easier to actually get to do this than the creative ones, because the creative ones – like me – I would consider myself very innovative and very creative from the standpoint of there’s a side of me that loves just figuring out new things, cracking the codes. And part of that is having the ability to say, “Well, it’s just not going to be able to do all of those things. You just can’t do them all right now.” Mary Ellen, who we just had lunch with, Mary Ellen Tribby, she’ll be a future guest on I Love Marketing. She has that great line, “One thing done equals money. 5 things undone equals no money.” One selected target market really gone deep with, not shallow, equals lots of money. That well is going to be profitable to the degree that you can go deeper and deeper, because it builds up more pressure. In some cases, when you start going farther down the well, to where most people are not willing to lurk, not willing to figure out where to go, that’s where the gold is.

Dean: You go all the way, yeah.

Joe: Sometimes, the most profitable goldmines are very, very deep, but most people are so shallow, trying to dig up a bunch of treasures, versus really trying to go very deep. Here’s the key difference, though, and one of the things that I really want to make clear. Marketing doesn’t have to be like that 7-year bamboo tree, where that’s where image advertising and brand building comes in, where you’re like, “Oh, keep getting name recognition. You’ll funnel all of this money. And then one day, it’s going to sprout, and you’re going to be well-known.” Every once in a while, that does happen. It’s like the persistence thing. Keep at it, keep at it, keep at it, never give up, never give up, which is good advice in a certain context, but terrible advice in like an advertising world. It’s like the best way to get out of a hole is to quit digging it. And if you’re digging a hole and it’s not going anywhere, go dig somewhere else. Dig with a different shovel. Dig in a different area, that sort of thing.

So, part of it is that we want you to have the 7-second tree, and you can run an ad and, boom, you can immediately see, like on the Internet, “Oh, people are visiting the site. People are opting in.” But like if you take I Love Marketing, we’re at a marketing conference right now. There’s about 900 people at this conference, and me and Dean, so many people here know us. I would probably venture to say that about 600 of the 900 people here have listened to something from me and you in the past, because we can’t go 10 feet without saying something. Great! I like it. It’s really cool. At the same time, I’ve had probably 20 people ask me, “So, what’s your monetization model for I Love Marketing?” It’s hard for them to hear, “We’re just putting good content out there. We’re just having conversations with people. We’re just talking about stuff we talk about all the time. At some point, people will want to buy stuff from us.” They can’t figure it out.

See, we have the luxury of being able to put some time into something here that may not financial come back to us, in many cases, for a very long time, because we have all of these other wells we’ve already set up. You’ve got your moneymaking websites, I’ve got Piranha Marketing, I’ve got my $25K group, you’ve got your eBooks. That’s what we’re talking about here. The thing is, no matter how creative and artistic you want to be, if you select a single target market, you get it right, you have it producing a great ROI, and you get that bad boy working, you just crank it out, and once you’ve got that machine running, boom, you can start another one. And that’s what we want for everyone. And that’s why we’re going to continue to redundantly talk about some of the things. If you don’t get the fundamentals right, it doesn’t matter.

The beauty of this is I had someone come up, who has been literally reading or listening to my stuff. He came to my very first marketing conference. He goes, “I’ve been following you for 20 years.” The funny thing is, that’s not possible, because I didn’t really study marketing until 1992. At the time we’re doing this, it’s almost at the end of 2011. We’re getting towards the end. But I knew he’d been following my stuff for a long time. He’s like, “I’ve been listening to I Love Marketing, and I love it, because I’ve heard all of this stuff before,” which he hasn’t really heard it all before, but he said, “I’ve heard all of this stuff before, and it’s just reminding me of things that I used to do that I quit doing. Thank you so much. I love it.” In a lot of ways, if this serves no other purpose than just to continually remind people, that is huge value.

Dean: It really is. It’s like Chet Holmes says about becoming a karate master. Becoming a marketing master really is the same translation. It’s not about knowing 8,000 moves; it’s about the 8 moves, the 8 profit activators, and doing them 8,000 times. That’s what it really is about.

Joe: Yeah. Again, I’m trying to talk about things I know nothing about, like martial arts. I went through Tim Larkin’s training, which is target focus training.

Dean: You could kill me with your bare hands right now?

Joe: Supposedly.

Dean: You can jump right over here.

Joe: But then I’d have to find someone else to do I Love Marketing with me, or I’d have to do it all myself.

Dean: Dude, I’ve got to tell you, I did last week’s episode all by myself.

Joe: Almost. That’s because we had a recording problem. No one knew the real story behind that.

Dean: But I’ve got to tell you, it’s so much nicer doing it with you. It’s so much easier to have the conversation. If you’re doing it on your own, you’ve got to outline stuff, and think through what you’re going to talk about.

Joe: And it’s easy with me, because I’m like a continual pattern interrupt. ADD tangents and the whole squirrel thing.

Dean: I’m glad you’re back.

Joe: Thank you. What was I going to say? I don’t know.

Dean: Tim Larkin, and you talking about killing me.

Joe: No, the thing about you can try 4,000 moves once, or you can try 4 moves 4,000 times, and what’s going to make you better, and what’s going to have less complexity? Part of this, too, is not trying to narrow people’s ability to do a bunch of things. We’re really wanting to save time; we’re wanting you to be effective. There’s a big difference between activity and accomplishment, and I think most people are myriad in tons of activities, trying to do a bunch of stuff. There’s nothing sweeter than when you have a marketing system, or you have a process that you have put in place, and it actually works.

Every marketer that, for the first time, when they started having somewhat of a response to their robotic marketing methods, like say if you sell eBooks, the first time you actually made an eBook and you didn’t have to do any manual labor, there’s a switch that goes off in your head where you’re like, “Ah, I get it.” The people that become great marketers, that become wealthy in this sort of business, they have that moment. And once they have that moment, they either harness it, or they don’t pay attention to it, and they go off into their own habitual patterns of how they used to do things. I have a friend who – I won’t name her name – is a wonderful person.

Dean: What does it rhyme with?

Joe: The reason I want to do this, she just had some very tragic things that have happened recently to her. She made a comment, though, because she recently had a child, and she said, “You know, I used to be on the road, selling, speaking, and traveling all the time. Having a child forced me to actually have to figure out doing a lot” – and this is a very skilled marketer – “more robotic stuff.” She goes, “It forced me to have to figure out how to do a lot of online videos and things that I was doing, but I wasn’t really going deep with them.” And she goes, “My profits, this year, are up 20%. I’m traveling way less, and my life, in that area, is much easier.” She’s had some crazy stuff happen in the last couple months. Just that comment really hit me. You almost have to take 2 steps back in order to go 10 steps forward with this marketing.

Dean: That kind of reminds me, because one of the things that I do is I’ll look at leverage. My whole life, I built my business stuff around supporting my lifestyle. I’ve had that stance. I’ve always taken that approach. So, that needs leverage. You need leverage to be able to do that. There’s 4 things I look at for leveraging. The first thing that I look at leveraging is ideas. A better idea is the ultimate leverage. If you’re doing something like we just had breakfast with Jon Benson, and we’re going to actually do an episode with him today, we were talking about how he’s doing a regular sales letter for some of his eBooks, and getting a 1% conversion rate. He took the same stuff that’s in the letter, the same concept, and turned it into a video sales letter, which is an idea – I’m going to try a video sales letter – and bumped his response to 6%.

So, 6 times leverage on the same amount of visitors, without doing anything else. You flip it; you turn it into a video sales letter, just using that idea got you 6 times leverage. It’s profound. But it doesn’t cost any more money to leverage ideas. Having a better idea, studying the things that we talk about on these podcasts, maybe going back and scouring the transcripts for the word-for-word stuff that we share with people, and really taking that idea and applying it to what you’re already doing is really a power move. It’s really the ultimate kind of leverage. I look at that because ideas are the least expensive thing, but they’re sometimes the most valuable thing that you could leverage. The next thing I look at leveraging is technology. What could I do to replace myself out of this equation by replacing myself with technology? That could be a recorded message. That could be a website, a video, something that you can capture your idea, capture your thought, whatever it is, capture it and duplicate it without you having to be involved in it. Then, the next thing I look at leveraging is money. Sometimes, money is the easiest thing to actually leverage, but you have to have the idea and the technology set up to automate the process.

I mentioned all of the realtors. The easiest way for the people who are spending $10 a day on their website and making money from it – making a multiple, most times, 10 to 15 times the amount of money that they spend is what they get back when they follow the system – the easiest way for them to get double the results is to spend $20 a day on what they’re already doing. So, I just had this conversation with a realtor client who is running our listing system and getting 10 times return on every dollar that he spends on doing that. We just talked about we were doing some planning for 2012 for him, and made the decision that what if you send out twice as many postcards? Pick twice as big an area?

There’s the fastest, easiest way for them to bank, in advance, for 2012, doubling the results that they’re getting from their listing efforts. And then, the final thing that you leverage is other people. If you can leverage with an idea, you can leverage with technology; you can spend more money and just do those 3 without having to get other people involved, that’s fantastic. You really want to go even bigger, if you can get other people to do the parts of this before unit that require a human element, that’s what you’re going to look at there. It’s a big thing. I’ve been meaning to ask you about your easy button, when I talk about leveraging with people.

Joe: Oh, yes. For years, I’ve had great people on my team, for work. It’s funny, because I actually came back from Burning Man. For people that don’t know Burning Man, it’s kind of a freak show out in the middle of Playa, outside of Reno, Nevada, a couple of hours outside of Reno. BurningMan.com if you want to see this nonsense. Anyway, if you want to see a really funny video of me on YouTube – one day, maybe we’ll take it down, because it’s truly crazy. I’ve never worn any sort of outfit like that in my entire life.

Dean: You’re wearing it right now.

Joe: Yeah, I’m wearing it. You’ve got to see this. Don’t even say what it is. We should put the video on. No, that would be kind of risqué.

Dean: Only for the people who listen and remember.

Joe: Yeah, yeah. You have to go to YouTube and type in “Joe Polish Burning Man Annie.” If you put those keywords in, because there’s other videos up there. But anyway, that one’s pretty funny. I came back, and I was actually unpacking and doing a bunch of stuff, and I’m like, “Why am I doing this stuff?” Basically, you have this whole concept of an easy button, where you. I went out, and I hired myself an easy button. We’ll talk about that more in depth. Because there’s something on my mind that you said about money, spending money. And one of the things that I learned early on is that great, effective marketing never costs anything, but it always brings you more. When you’re talking about leverage, and you’re talking about rolling out, you used a bunch of analogies at the beginning of this episode, I’ve always loved the slot machine.

You talked about predictability. A slot machine, instead of it being gambling, which is what most advertising is for many people – they just don’t know, that famous line, “50% of my advertising is working, I just don’t know which half” – what if you did know? What if you knew where every penny was attributable to, and you went to a slot machine, not like the slot machines that actually the odds are against you, but you actually had one that was rigged in your favor, because you knew how to make it work. You put in a dollar, and you pull the handle, and $5 came out. You would keep shoving dollars in there as quickly and as frequently as you could. People that have effective marketing systems, and we know many of them, we’ve had them in our own businesses, you can build it to a certain degree. You will create a slot machine, and it will crank out $X. I wish there was an endless one.

Dean: It’s like having a vending machine that sells $10 bills for $1. You put in $1 and you get back $10.

Joe: And when I say an endless one, this is not like you’re going to set one up and then… Set it and forget it always has a time limit, meaning ads will grow tired, things will happen in the marketplace. The dangers, opportunities and strength of the prospects, which is Dan Sullivan terminology, the DOS issues of your clientele and your prospects will change. You always want to be on top of this. However, you really can create a slot machine that works in your favor, and it’s never spending money. I literally want to slap people sometimes when they’re like, “I just don’t want to spend too much money.” It’s like, “Okay, let me get this right. You implemented a marketing strategy that I taught you, it cost you about $1,000, you just brought in $10,000 this month, and you’re hemming and hawing about doubling that or tripling that? Take the $10,000 and reinvest it. You’re just going to double or triple or quadruple. That’s how you get rich.”

One thing that annoys the shit out of me, I mean really annoys the shit out of me, is like I have friends – and so do you – where we will give these people advice, or we will give them connections, they will be within our spear of influence, they will go out and they will make a lot of money, and these same people won’t buy our stuff because they’re our buddies. We’ve met them, or whatever. Or they’re colleagues. I was talking to Eunice today, I was leaning over, and there was this person that got onto this stage, I made the introduction, and this person got this speaking gig, and it’s going to make this person 6 figures, this same person already has reached $1- million in revenue as a result of many things that I taught this person. Great person. Nothing to take away as the person.

There’s a side of me where I’m like, I don’t know if that’s a reciprocity issue or whatever, but I think I do plenty of random acts of kindness just for the sake of doing it. There’s other things where I’m like, “Hey, I’m going to teach you something, and if you go a little deeper with what I’m doing, you’re going to do better.” And I said, “Look how much money this person has made as a result of me, and this person has never given me a penny.” I go, “But what never occurs in their mind is, ‘God, how much better would I actually do if I actually gave Joe money? He’s already gone to bat from me at this level.’” And it’s not because I really need that person’s money. What I’m annoyed by is just the moronic fact that they don’t understand that. That’s the biggest challenge. We talked about that’s one of the biggest challenges with I Love Marketing being free is a lot of people, if they don’t pay, they don’t pay attention.

There’s a thing to be said that, if you really want to replicate yourself, really want to leverage yourself with what you just said, ideas, technology, money and other people, as much as you can, and the money issue, once you start getting results from the marketing that you’re using, reinvest more money into it. If you really set it up right, it’s never going to cost you anything. Dan Kennedy talks about it all the time. If you want to beat the pants off your competitors, the more you’re able to spend money to acquire a client and go deep with that, that’s how you buy speed. You buy speed. Literally, if you want to grow, you have to invest that money. So, my message here, to the best I can convey it, is don’t be one of those people that’s always trying to get a deal on growing your marketing. Look at what the ROI is. If every time you spend $X you’re bringing back more than $X, then spend $X as much as possible. Not recklessly, not foolishly, intelligently.

Dean: Yeah, strategically.

Joe: And the other thing you said about other people? Talk about that.

Dean: Well, talk about the easy button. It’s funny, as entrepreneurs – and Mary Ellen was talking about this today, too – that as entrepreneurs, you have activities. Some of the activities yield money, and some of them don’t. That’s the only real distinction that you make. But you’re in complete control of when you will do those activities, and what activities you engage in. You look at that most people have 16 hours in a day, a waking day, and it’s painful to see people value or think strategically about the business hours that they spend, and then be so recklessly blind about the personal hours that they spend. They’re spending time doing things that somebody else could do for $10 an hour.

Look at the things that you have to do to keep your life going, like going to the grocery store, and getting gas in your car, and washing your car, and going to pick something up, or waiting for a repairman; all of these things that are time that is completely not your best and highest use. It has to be done, and you do them, most of the time. This concept, I was talking with one of our realtor clients in Florida, and had her go through a list of her time and see where she is actually spending her time, and categorizing the activities as queen activities, princess activities, and ugly stepsister activities.

Joe: That’s funny.

Dean: You’re looking at the queen things are things that are what Dan Sullivan would call ‘unique ability’ things, where you enjoy it, you’re the best at it, it’s the thing that brings the most value, both in your personal life and in your professional life. Spending quality time with your kids, spending time on listing appointments or negotiating contracts, those are all queen activities. On the next level, there’s things that you do that are things that maybe you enjoy doing them. They’re not the highest best use. You could have somebody else do them, but you kind of enjoy them. Then there are things that are ugly stepsister things.

Joe: I’m thinking of the male version here. I’m making notes of this. I’m going to turn this into a tool: king, prince, dip-shit stepbrother.

Dean: Exactly. The whole thing is just eliminating all of the ugly stepsister things anybody could do. This is where when we talk about people say, “Money doesn’t buy happiness,” your idea is looking at money as freedom tickets. I look at our easy button, because that’s exactly the way we look at it, just like those Staples buttons, “That was easy.” I should probably tell that story, because I don’t know whether we talked about it. Have we talked about easy buttons?

Joe: We have a little bit. But, go ahead. When we’re done with it, I’m going to make a note; we’re going to talk about Operation Money Suck. See, I did everything I can to diverge you from your original mission here, but I think we’ve covered what we planned.

Dean: But Operation Money Suck will fit right into it. And the easy button fits right into it. One of the guys that does all of the design work for I Love Marketing, Jesse, got me an easy button one year for Christmas. I had it in the house, we kept it by the door, and every time we’d walk in to press the button and go, “That was easy.” So, I’m saying, one day, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we actually had a real easy button? You could just push the button, and it’s done.” So, I started thinking, “What kind of things would I have them do?” Like going to the grocery store. I don’t even think about it as the activity of going to the grocery store. I think about them in terms of what I call vignettes. I think about what I always want is the bottomless supply of water. I drink that Fiji water. So, right by the fridge, it’s always stacked.

Joe: If you really cared about the environment, you wouldn’t even be drinking that much bottled water. You’d have a nice filtration system.

Dean: There you go. So, the water is always there. There’s always the foods that we like in the fridge, at all times. We never run out of anything. You realize how quickly something goes, that my car would never run out of gas or be low on gas. I would never have to get it. It would always be clean; it would always have no stuff gathered up in it. My office would always be tidy and clean, and always have all the bottled water and the snacks, and mixed nuts, and all of that stuff would always be there.

Joe: What’s the deal always with food? Everything has to be a thing with food.

Dean: So, we found Courtney. She was not happy at her job. She was looking for something to do. She’s a great girl. So, Courtney does everything. She was looking for something better to do. But that’s the thing, is there are people. She’s thrilled to be a personal assistant. She loves that, and she’s proud of that. It gives her a variety of things to do. I’m building a project at my office, and she’s running around, getting fabric samples and ordering things. So, you start to think about all of the things that you could eliminate.

Joe: Things that you just want to offload all of these horrible things to someone else, and pay them less money than you would make to do them.

Dean: Exactly. Even if you’re not doing anything productive with the time, doing nothing is better than spending that time. Because nothing gives you the space to think about what you could apply to your before unit, how you could create. If you take that time, most people are so busy in their during unit, doing the business, that they don’t have time to invest in creating a before unit that can completely change the course of their business. It could change their life. But, they don’t have the time or the space. But if you start eliminating all of these things, that’s really a great place to start. People think, “I’m not in a position where I can do that.” If you can find 5 hours a week of stuff that you’re doing right now, that you don’t have to do, you can spend $50 a week to have somebody do that stuff, and use that 5 hours, instead of you doing all of those things, investing that time in creating a before unit, that’s really where it all comes from.

Joe: One of the things I was going to say, because I was joking about, “Oh, you’re making someone else do all of this work you don’t want to do, it’s like lesser-mortal stuff,” the reality is one thing I learned from Dan Sullivan early on is that there’s no bad work in the world. There’s just bad work for certain people doing it. Now, that’s not to say a lot of people don’t hate their jobs, hate what they do, and want something better. I made that joke – I want to point this out – where she was looking for something to do, and you’re like, “No, no, she was looking for something better to do.” We’re all looking for something better to do. The whole reason you’re listening to I Love Marketing is you’re wanting to better your best. Even if you’re doing awesome, you want to do better. It’s just one of the things about achievement, an accomplishment-oriented individual, is they want more, and they want to do things better.

Everything in life is about more, and anyone that wants to deny they don’t want more love, more money, more growth, more happiness, better weather, whatever it is, more entertainment, you want more. The thing is one of the traps that entrepreneurs get in is they compare what their level of success is. They’re like, “I would never want to do that,” so they feel guilty about having other people doing it. So, they end up doing it themselves. That’s one of the traits of the rugged individualist. “I don’t want to clean up. God forbid, I would make someone else do this,” whereas someone else doing it, that might be a Godsend to them. They may love it. Dan Sullivan has this person who he’s always told me, “She just loves to clean.” I’ve stayed at Dan and Bab’s home a lot of times. When I go to Toronto, I’ll stay with them. This woman is true. She wants you to leave laundry. She wants messes. She really enjoys cleaning stuff up. She is happy as can be being the caretaker of their home. Some people, “I would never want to do that work.”

Dean: Dan elevated my thinking about this whole easy button, too, because we were talking one time, and he was sharing the vision, the framework that they work from for creating their support environment is that they didn’t want to do anything at home that they wouldn’t do if they were staying at the Four Seasons. Their home life is based around not doing any more than they would do if they were staying at the Four Seasons. That’s kind of great, because it totally fits. They’ve got a beautiful environment, they’ve got great support.

Joe: And they work well, and they function well in that environment because they’re allowed to think better. Kind of like what you were saying. What Operation Money Suck is, is a term that John Carlton came up with, and it’s used in the marketing context, and we talk about it on our interview with John Carlton. If you want to listen to that episode with John, just do a search for “John Carlton” on ILoveMarketing.com. One thing that I will say, though, is if you want to make $100 an hour, or $1,000 an hour, and you find yourself dong $10 an hour work, then it’s not just that you are doing $10 an hour work, which really isn’t a good use of your time. For every hour that you spend invested in that $10 an hour work, you’re ripping up – say your goal is $1,000 an hour – $990 an hour. So, it’s not what it’s costing you for the easy button, it’s what you throw it away. It’s the opportunity cost.

Dean: It really is what it’s costing you.

Joe: My point is people are like, “I can’t afford to do this, hire this person, run this market.” Can you afford not to? If you really want to reach the goals, is it really an expenditure? So, part of what I hope this has done for everyone on this episode is really jarred their thinking, given them, some perspective, really helped them to select a single target market. It really is about focusing on ROI. What is your advertising really producing? You do not know how much you can afford to spend to acquire a client until and unless you know how much they’re actually worth. That’s something Jay Abraham is always talking about. The same thing goes with your own human time. How much is your time actually worth? The ultimate leverage, you kind of said it, everything that we talk about can be looked at these 4 types of leverage: ideas (hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas), and some technology (different ways to do things), money, and leveraging yourself through other people.

Dean: Which is really money, too. We even think about that. With other people, it’s just a little bit more of a step involved in finding the person. But, it really comes down to money, too. That’s just another way of leveraging money. But I always look at if I can leverage money that’s not attached to other people first, that’s a win, in my mind. That’s why I put them in that order.

Joe: We’ll put some accompanying videos with this episode, one or 2, or whatever. And then, why don’t you wrap up, and we’ll go full circle. And then as we do follow-up episodes, we’ll continue to talk about it. We’re going to talk about the same things over and over again.

Dean: We really are. We’re going in different levels. This one, I really wanted to kind of set the stage, philosophically, about your before unit, what the role of the before unit is in your business. It’s really your first level of freedom. It’s the level of being able to create as much money as you want in your business. It’s whatever is going to drive your business. Nothing is going to drive the profitability more than deploying a killer before unit, and spending as much as you possibly can on that, because you’re looking at it that it’s a money-multiplying machine. All of that said, the prerequisite for really ramping up your before unit is that you’ve got a during unit that can accommodate and increase in business.

Maybe very soon, a new episode, we can do us talking about the during unit and the importance of really creating a high-speed, low-drag system that can process all of the new business that you are capable now of generating. So often, the biggest thing, people spend money on ramping up their before unit, and then their business blows up because they can’t accommodate. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had people run an ad, do a campaign, get more leads than they can handle, and feel more overwhelmed because of it.

Joe: One joke I would always say to my Piranha members, when they would join, is one of the big issues is they would all of a sudden start having management issues because all of this business is coming in the door. And I would always say, “First, I’m here to create some management problems for you, along with some cash that’s coming in.” But at the same time, you can get too many leads. You can get too much business. In the worst-case scenario, people have gone to jail because they made promises they have been unable to fulfill. Now, of course, I don’t think anyone, unless you’re really not paying attention, it’s not the marketing that makes you go to jail, it’s the ability to deliver on stuff. That’s why it’s a 3-tier thing. It really is. It’s before, during, and after. And if you have all of those units of your business really solid, you have a very solid business.

Dean: That’s absolutely true. And when you said that, too, I don’t know if we really talked about the distinction of the before unit of your business, of thinking of your business modularly, like that. If you could almost imagine that the before unit of your business is completely separated from the during unit, the before unit is really operating, and the customer of the before unit is your during unit. They’re a supplier to the during unit. A lot of times, intermingling, getting people involved in running both of them, doing the before and the during, and the after, it becomes the during always ends up taking priority because that’s where all of the urgency happens. If you can imagine and start thinking about creating a separate unit, even if you imagine it, either physically or metaphorically in another building, if all they’re focused on is doing their part, the part of the before unit is delivering leads or appointments to the during unit, that’s the ultimate win.

Joe: Exactly. That’s what I’m trying to say. So, I will end this episode – because I want the last word and I don’t want Dean to have it – we wind this episode by reminding you to, if you are new to I Love Marketing, go back and listen to some of the original episodes. Most people will forget this. I will say it, though. The stuff we talk about here is really principle-based fundamentals. And 10 years from now, if you can remember this 6 months from now, a year from now, if you went back and listened to some of these episodes, you’ll hear it in a different way, and the transcripts are available to you.

It would be smart for you to really reference these things. You’ll be much better off, instead of reading a book or listening to an episode, to really master something. People would be much better served to spend less time reading and consuming tons of information and would be better off really mastering strategies, processes, methodologies. So, that’s what our hope is for you. So, thank you for listening to this episode. Please give us your comments on ILoveMarketing.com, and Tweet, and Facebook, and Google+ and whatever.

Dean: Carrier pigeon, smoke signals, tattoos.

Joe: However you want to get this out to all of your friends, loved ones, you name it, whatever works, tell everyone about I Love Marketing, because you owe it to us. You really do.

Dean: I Love Marketing.

Joe: .com.

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