Joe: Hello, it’s Joe Polish and no Dean Jackson. Dean Jackson is not here with me today, and I am literally in a hotel room, as weird as that sounds, with a very special guest and friend of mine, Mr…
Brendon: Brendon Burchard.
Joe: That’s right, Brendon Burchard.
Brendon: Not that it’s weird we’re in a hotel room together, I’m just saying.
Joe: We’re just here for recording purposes. He has his own room. No, there’s none of that weirdness. Brendon, you are a pretty well-known guy in the expert industry. I think you even call it that.
Brendon: I invented the industry, you know.
Joe: Of course, you did – and the Internet. We spent the afternoon with Peter Diamandis, and we had a meeting with the CEO of YouTube, at the YouTube headquarters, and it was a pretty good meeting. Peter Diamandis is an awesome dude, and we’ve got all kinds of cool stuff going on. Me and you have spent quite a bit of time together, and you are a very sharp marketer, businessman, and you literally have trained tens of thousands, maybe the hundreds of thousands range of people. So, who the heck is Brendon Burchard? What do you do?
Brendon: I guess my claim to fame is that I teach people how to share their how-to advice and wisdom with the world. So, you’re someone who’s been through a life experience or you’re looking to monetize your knowledge or experience or wisdom in any are of life, whatever the topic is, and you’re trying to figure out, “Well, how do I get paid for it, and how do I share it with the world to make a difference?” And traditionally the answer for that is, “Well, you write a book on it or you become a speaker or you do seminars, or you do online marketing, or you become a coach or a consultant.” And my job is to say, “Whatever your message is, let’s teach you how to monetize it and reach more people with it.” From that route, I started Experts Academy, and now we teach more people than anyone else in the world – comprehensively – how to succeed in each of those areas.
Joe: Okay, cool. And you’ve now got 4 books. And at the time we’re actually doing this recording, your newest book is about to come out. So, let’s kind of go through some of the books and topic areas, and I’m going to ask you some strategic questions on how to market, how to make money, and for all our listeners who many are entrepreneurs, many are indefinitely – roles where their income and revenue is based on their ability to produce results, so how people can just simply be more effective. So, let’s kind of go through some of your life experience, I guess.
Brendon: Yeah. Cool. So, yeah, 4 books. Never imagined that. The first one was sort of an accident, and then the rest have been pretty strategic and on-purpose. My story starts when I was a 19-year-old kid and I was in an accident. I got in a car accident, and it helped me realize what was important in life. It forced me to ask 3 basic questions, which are kind of my message. I think everyone should develop, “What’s your message in life? If you could tell the world anything, what would it be?” And the __ (3:56) that inspired mine was because after I was surviving and healing from that accident, I learned that we all ask 3 basic questions in life. We all ask, “Did I live?” as in “Did I live fully and vibrant?” That’s why I’m passionate and weird and enthusiastic.
Joe: And you are. You’re very enthusiastic, almost to the point of like it’s very uncomfortable.
Brendon: No, it’s true. You know what? I know, at the end of my life, I’m going to say, “Did I really live? And did I have fun? And was I free to express myself? And did I really enjoy life?” I know you’re that way, too. It’s such a huge part of me, that I look for reasons to have fun. The second question I learned that we’re going to ask is, “Did I love?” which is why we’re in a hotel right now. My wife will love this one.
Joe: Exactly. I finally met her. At least she’s real. I kind of questioned that for a while.
Brendon: It really forced me. Again, the action, I was 19; I’d just come out of the first breakup I ever really had that really affected my identity. This was a woman I thought I was going to be married to, our relationship fell apart in college. Then, I had my accident, and it made me think about that relationship. It made me think about every relationship in my life and think about who’s going to miss me, who am I going to miss. So, did I love? Did I love openly and honestly and completely? And the third thing I’ve learned, standing on top of a crumpled hood of a car after I escaped it after the crash, was looking down at my body and seeing all this blood, and realizing that we’ll all ultimately ask this last question in life of, “Did I matter? Did I make a difference? Maybe I didn’t change the entire world, but did I change somebody’s world?”
And at that point in my life, I was a young, sort of directionless young guy, 19 years old. You don’t know you’re supposed to be making a difference. I didn’t. You hear about it, but I really didn’t think about life legacy. That was the first thing. It was sort of Virgil’s quote. I don’t know if you ever heard that quote. The quote is, “Death twitches my ear. ‘Live,’ he says, ‘I am coming.’” You realize the inevitable is death is going to come. And when it comes, for me, I rounded a corner and it snuck up on me a little bit, and I escaped. But in that escape, I learned the questions that we all ask. And we will definitely wonder those few questions. The last 16 years, I spent time with people in hospices, towards the end of their life, and every single person ever met, towards the end of their life. If they have the blessing of conscious thought before going into that situation, they wonder questions like these, about living, loving and mattering.
So, that was my message, and I wanted to get it out to the world. Because I came back from that experience a completely transformed man. I used to be fairly nervous around people. I had a little bit of a shy element, believe it or not. I definitely had concerns about expressing myself and being as loud and bold as I wanted to be. After that, I said, “You know what? Screw them! I’m not going to dial it back anymore. I’m going to live life full-out, because I only have this opportunity.” I wanted to field the charge of living a fully-engaged life. So, I made that my decision, to do that. In that process, I went back to college. And I was so out there and so joyously living my life, what happens is to those who are the most enthusiastic, people follow. And because I was so enthusiastic, all these other students started following me and the groups I was in. I sort of became the “natural” leader in all these situations. So, I started studying leadership and communication, so I could be more effective.
Long story short is when I was in grad school, you had to come up with a professional project. And my professional project was studying leadership communication. And they said, “Brendon, write something for our students here.” So, I wrote this little handbook, put it in a binder called The Student Leadership Guide, and I took a job in corporate America, down here in San Francisco, where we’re at now, and I started doing leadership consulting at major organizations around the world. One day, about 3 years into that, I get this call. “Are you Mr. Brendon Burchard?” “Yes.” “I’m so-and-so, representing so-and-so university. We are using your book to train our students on leadership, and we’re wondering if you would come out and speak to us.” And I said, “I don’t have a book on leadership.” And they said, “No, no, I have it right here. It’s awesome!” I said, “What are you talking about?”
Well, what I’d come to find is the advisor at this university had printed it and was taking it to different groups around the country, and sort of photocopying it like a monkey and handing it out to people, and finally thought, “We could make money on this.” So, they bound it and they started selling it.
Joe: That’s funny.
Brendon: Then, I started getting the calls. And the funny thing is I didn’t know about this industry, where people get paid for their knowledge, as speakers or consultants, or whatever. So, I turned down all of these schools who’d call and ask; 30-some schools, I turned down in the course of maybe 6 or 7 months. And then, finally, this one school calls and says, “Our students are really passionate. Everyone loves this book. Most schools will only pay you $2,500. We’ll pay you $7,500 to come out.” And I didn’t hear the $7,500, I heard $2,500 times 30 that I’d turned down, and I thought, “Wait! This could pay as much as my career! What are you talking about?”
And I wanted to experience this thing, so I went and I spoke to the students. I was so passionate about it, I had so much fun on that money, I came back to my real job and everyone said, “Dude, you’re lit up! What were you doing this weekend?” I said, “I was speaking to these kids.” And they were like, “God, you’re so fired up!” And I thought, “I am fired up! And I made $7,500 this weekend!” I said, “There’s a career of me out there speaking somewhere, that I would really enjoy. I know it would make a difference, clearly, because students loved it.” And that’s what got me in the industry of offering my advice and knowledge and wisdom out to the world, first through speaking, then through live events, then through books, tapes, CD’s, programs, now online courses and bigger seminar formats.
Joe: Yeah. So now, you run a multimillion-dollar business and you basically wrote Life’s Golden Ticket, which came out of the experience of your car accident.
Brendon: Yeah. Because I realized what I’d been given. There was a moment that I was standing on the hood of this car, and I was watching the blood drain off of my body onto the hood of the car, and I felt life draining away. And I just happened to look down, and there was this glint in my blood, and it made me look up. And there was this huge, beautiful moon. That’s my famous moment. I share it all the time, on all of my stages. It was this huge, beautiful moon. I didn’t have an out-of-body experience. If anything, I felt more connected than I’d ever felt in my entire life. Totally engaged. But in that moment, I felt like the big guy had reached down and handed me life’s golden ticket. “Here you go, kid. You’re still alive. You can still love. And now, you’d better start making a difference, because now you know the clock is ticking.”
Joe: Let me ask you a question about that, because you hear stories from the stage from people. I’m going to play devil’s advocate here for a moment. I know you well enough to where I think I can, maybe. And this is not part of the planning of the interview here. Now, all of this went through your head during this period of time, like your life flashes in front of you. And I’ve not had that experience. So, when I hear certain things like that, it’s like, “Well, did you change history in your mind, looking back, and these are the reflections that you piece together? Or did all of this occur literally on the hood of a crumpled-up car, you’re bleeding, and this is going through your head?
Brendon: All that happened. But, to your point of did some of it change, yes. In a sense, when I experienced them, they were emotional sensations of those questions. For example, I remember having this mental thought and this physical thing of like, “Oh my God, I’m not ready to die.” You brace before a car accident. And the fear that shoots through you is really this question of, “Am I ready? Am I ready to go? Is this it?” The thought that comes beyond it, on that second tier, is “Did I live?” So, later on, I did. Later on, I put the questions to the emotional sensations. When I smacked my head on the car as we started flipping in the air, off this highway, at 85 miles an hour, and I started seeing images of people I loved, as I was seeing those images I felt the sense of regret. It was an emotional sensation. And what that regret really was, in reflection later on, was I was thinking about, “Did I love?” Did I love these people enough? They’re going to miss me, I’m going to miss them.
And when I hit the ground, I got knocked out. When I’d come to, Kevin, who was driving the car, my friend, he managed to get himself outside the driver’s side window. I can’t get out. My side, because the window frame, everything’s smashed down on top of me. So, I pull myself out through the front of this car, which the windshield’s a couple inches high now. The whole car’s crumpled down on top of me. When I pull out of this thing, I end up standing up on the hood, blood everywhere, and that was the one question I did ask. I remember looking down, I felt life draining away. I just thought, “Did I matter?” It was literally in my head, that question. So, I think the first 2 questions, like full disclosure, later on I put the conceptual understanding of what was going on in my body and I put it into words. “Did I live and did I love, and did it matter?”
Joe: What are your thoughts on why does it usually take some hitting bottom, some near-death experience, some complete upheaval of life, a divorce, a disease, a losing of something? Much of stuff that are breakthroughs don’t come out of someone gaining or inspirational moments, they come out of tragedy. They come out of loss. They come out of near-death. Why?
Brendon: That’s a great question. I think at the end of the day, it’s we take things for granted. That’s it. I think we’re an incredibly-blessed species. I think we live in a time that is so abundant and so opulent, and so incredible, no previous generation could possibly fathom what we currently have. But we’re all so busy with our day planners and our to-do lists and our checklists, humming through the busyness of life, that sometimes, bam, it’s something that interrupts that, that makes us look around and go, “Oh my God, what am I about? What am I for? What do I care about? I’ve just been running along.”
And often, too, as you develop more success and more skills, success and skills also lead to deep ruts of routine. And sometimes, something bumps you out of that rut and out of that routine, and now you’re up on the edges, and you can kind of look around and get perspective and realize what’s important and where you’ve been. And those times don’t have to come from tragedy. Those times usually come from perspective. That perspective can be gifted to you either by an awakening you have sitting on top of a mountain, just reflecting about your life. The challenge is most people don’t reflect about their life unless something causes the reflection.
Joe: So, you make it a daily practice. Well, maybe not daily, but you make it a regular practice.
Brendon: Good insight. You can go through a car accident that’s force upon you, or you could go to LifeBook. And it’s a situation that makes you purposely reflect. There’s nothing in the magic of one or the other, it’s just that that occasion of forcing the reflection. Most people, the reflection is forced by tragedy. Some people, it’s by triumph. But ultimately, if it’s by choice, then you end up getting in a place where you start making real decisions about what your life is going to be about. And that’s where transformation comes from.
Joe: Gotcha. Okay, so what ended up leading you down the path of where you are now? It sounds, in a lot of ways, like you accidentally figured out that people are willing to pay for knowledge, while you were working a regular job in corporate America.
Joe: And you like, “Wow!” You made this sort of discovery, so you pursued this space. So, talk a little bit about where that’s taken you. What ended up happening when you wrote a book? What I really want to do for the purposes of our listeners is one of the things me and Dean constantly talk about, and maybe there will be a follow-up interview with me, you and Dean, or maybe you and Dean, at some point. Because you’ve got a lot of cool stuff going on, I will say that if this is your first introduction to Brendon, this guy has very expansive knowledge about a lot of business-building things. Our listeners, we constantly talk about education-based marketing, about getting your message out there, and your book, After Life’s Golden Ticket, was The Millionaire Messenger. What does that even mean?
Brendon: The Millionaire Messenger is that we all have a message that we’re trying to convey, making us a messenger. You might be conveying a message about your business or about your life, or about certain things that you want people to know about, and my argument is that literally, I believe, everyone can become a millionaire by offering advice, guidance and information to the world in one of the 5 main modalities that we teach in the information business, which is books, seminars, speeches, online courses, online products, online marketing, coaching or consulting. There’s millions to be made based on what you already know or what you could go quickly learn, synthesize, summarize, and share with others.
So, that’s what that book is about. It teaches people how to find their area of expertise, how to position themselves as experts, how to package their knowledge and content up, how to do promotions, and how to partner with others to get the message out in a bigger way, and grow revenue and make more of a difference. But the journey, the Student Leadership Guide was like this happy success. Life’s Golden Ticket, I felt at the time, was like my big life’s mission was to share this story. It’s a parable about a man who goes through a dramatic life transformation in his life and is forced, on this journey through this abandoned amusement park, to face parts of his life he’d never wanted to face and make a new choice for himself.
I wanted to get that book out to the world. And in some ways, it really succeeded. In other ways, it didn’t. What it taught me was I didn’t really know marketing. Because at the same time that was going on, I did my first big, live seminar event. I was waiting for Life’s Golden Ticket to come out, and I did a seminar event for college kids down at the Walt Disney World Resort. And long story short was someone at that seminar filed a frivolous lawsuit afterwards, claiming that they got hurt at my event; 19 people signed affidavits that this person never got hurt. They volunteered, as a matter of fact, all weekend, no problem, no complaint, went back home, and figured they could get some workman’s comp from their university and take advantage of the situation, which they did.
I knew to insure the event. I didn’t know to insure the event the days before the event and after the event, called load-in and load-out days. So, I got my shirt taken. And in that process, I went broke. I literally went into bankruptcy. I had to move out of my small apartment in San Francisco, into a small apartment with my then girlfriend, who now is my wife, and I, at one point, did the one thing that I think everyone does when a major transformation in their life changes. They do get hungry for something more, and they get a greater level of ambition into their life, to be something and do something. My moment came trying to learn how to do online marketing, because what happened was I wanted to fill more seminars, and I needed to make some money, quick. And I said, “I hear this online marketing can help.” So, I’m studying online marketing on my computer, in my girlfriend’s bedroom, in this tiny apartment, and I’m teaching myself to code at the same time, HTML, and I’m working really hard at this, way crazy hours, trying to figure it out, trying to turn everything around.
And one night, Denise comes in the bedroom, it’s very late, and she comes in and she’s trying not to disturb me as I’m working at this stuff. And she comes in the bedroom, kiss goodnight, walks around the bed, and she goes to get under the covers. Well, the apartment was so small, and I was working off a 3-legged little stool, that she goes to crawl onto the bed and all of my papers were on the bedspread, including all of my bills from this bankruptcy. She’s crawling under onto the bed, and whatever it was, I look over and I see my lady, sleeping under the weight of my own bills. And I was like, “Never again! I have to fix this situation. Here’s my woman, trying not to disturb my bills, and it’s my bills that are causing this problem and this situation I’m in. I’m going to learn about money. I’m going to learn how people make money.” I had to make $33,000 in a month, in order to be able to pay off the lawyers and just keep things afloat. I had no idea how people make $33,000 a month. I was like, “How do people do that?”
So, I started really investigating this industry to say, “How are people doing it? You hear about these millionaires in information marketing. How do they become a millionaire? Tell me where the money comes from. Tell me how many sales, selling what, and how do you do it?” So, I start studying everybody’s business and paying attention to how they’re doing it, interviewing a ton of people, getting into numbers, and I realized I could do it. I could really do it. And, I could do it in a different way, that also shared my message with the world. So, everything I ever talk about, this interview, every interview I ever do, all the books I write, at the core of that, in there, is always the emotional transformation I’m trying to get from the reader or share with people being blessed to be listened to, of “Did I live, did I love, and did I matter.” So, all of my marketing, between those 2 books, completely changed. Life’s Golden Ticket came out, did pretty well, but it took a long ramp-up time, I didn’t know exactly what I was doing.
And then in the 4½ years between Life’s Golden Ticket and Millionaire Messenger, learned how to write Millionaire Messenger in 3½ weeks, get it up online in a week and a half, get partners for it. And from the time I came up with the idea of the book to the time it was #1 on The New York Times and #1 on Amazon, #1 on Barnes & Noble, #1 on USA Today, it was 11 weeks total. And that’s what happens when you figure things out and you get really hungry to figure things out. And it’s not like, “Oh, I might go dabble.” It’s like, “No, I’m really going to get into this. I’m going to figure it out. I’m getting my fingers dirty. I’m going to pull open the hood, I’m going to really learn how this engine runs.” And that’s the day that transformation happens in people’s business. They’ve got to get serious about the money, the revenue generation, and the purpose of why they’re doing it.
Joe: Yeah. And that’s where people that don’t do well are not willing to invest the time. Maybe they don’t have the marketing stamina, maybe they undervalue marketing. But you are a marketer. There are a lot of things I’m going to ask you about, too, and I want you to be thinking about. For instance, what if someone is shy and doesn’t feel comfortable getting up onstage? How do they get messages out? Or should they even look at it? What if they don’t feel they can write? What if they don’t feel they’re articulate at all? Can they still make money with messages? The things that are probably going through a lot of people’s heads, think about that.
How important is marketing? I would consider you a superb marketer. You understand psychology. You teach it, as much of what it is you do. You teach leadership, you teach a lot of things related to success in the expert space. Since I Love Marketing is all about mostly marketing, we’re just really trying, as much as we can – and I say we, me and Dean – to get people to really put emphasis on this area, because I think without it you’re kind of screwed, unless you’re lucky.
Brendon: Yeah. Marketing isn’t the most important part of the business, it is the business, period. There is no business without marketing. There isn’t, because no one’s coming in the door, no one’s buying. And the only thing getting them to come in the door is marketing. I think it’s the most important thing. We are so blessed today, that the entire modality of marketing has changed, in the last 5 years, so totally and completely and comprehensively, that the tools available for marketing are now free, easy, cheap, available to the world. And, anybody can use them. A lot of people fear marketing because of 2 reasons, in my mind: 1) they fear it because they say, “Well, I am not ‘a salesperson;’ and 2) the tech. They say, “Oh, I don’t know how to do it.” Especially in the online marketing days, which all marketing today, that’s decent and can prove high conversions, happen online. That’s why all ad budgets are moving to online. It’s why all major campaigns in any area, in any business in the world, has gone online and will continue to go even more and more online.
So, let’s deal with the tech first. People always say, “Well, the tech is hard.” Look, if you can use Facebook and Twitter, then you know enough tech to do anything you would ever want to do online, because all of the tools for marketing today, online, all of them have been built on the idea that the user should be able to go in and enter a field or select a button, or do something, and then hit “publish.” So, if you can fill in the blanks, you can market on anything. I do large-scale, multimillion-dollar online launches. It requires me to go upload image for the banner of my page, upload video for where I want the video to be, type in your Facebook name for the comments box to appear below, publish. Now, I’ve just got to get people to that site. Right?
Joe: Again, I’m going to play devil’s advocate. So, if someone wants to build a website, they don’t know how to build a website. What do you mean, “Just hit publish?”
Brendon: That’s it. All the tools have become like a blog. So, all of the marketing tools to build anything, like to build a marketing sequence. You used to have to hire a web designer, $25,000, to build you that. Now, you sign up for something like Optimize Press for $95. Not $95 a month, $95 once. It’s a WordPress theme. You go in, you type in your headline, you upload the image for the banner, you upload the video, you tell them your Facebook account or you tell them what kind of comments you want. What kind of button do you want to appear for the Buy Now, if you have a Buy Now? And then, you literally click a button that says “Publish,” and it goes live on the Internet. It’s there. It’s like crazy. That wasn’t even available.
Another great example, I’ll give you one that people are really scared of right now. It’s brand new. It’s a big deal. One year ago next month, I launched Total Product Blueprint. It did $4.1-million in 15 days, as an online launch. Huge! Huge! Right? For those of you who don’t know me, I’m from a really small town in Montana. My parents, working full-time, between the 2 of them, never earned $40,000. So, when I throw out these big numbers, of millions, believe me, I am grateful for them. And they also are shock-and-awe numbers to me. But that’s what’s possible today.
Anyway, I did a live webcast at the end of that thing, a year ago, with the technology in which I’m at my studio, pointing a camera at me, feeding into a computer, going over the Internet, and broadcasting live to anyone who wanted to watch it on the page, with chat roll beneath, that people could fill it out. That campaign was a 4-hour thing that I did. That cost $15,000 to pull that off. Last month, I did the same thing, same volume, same number of people looking at it, everything cost me $50. It went, in the span of 12 months, from $15,000 to $50. That’s how fast technology…
Brendon: $50. That’s how fast technology is changing, and how simple. The first time, it was hours and hours and hours to set it up. It was so hard. This time, it was literally clicking like 5 buttons. It was so fast. It was like, “Oh my God, the world is advancing so fast!” And we just met with the CEO of YouTube today, as you know, and he was even talking about live streaming the Olympics. And YouTube is going to make it ubiquitous to do live streaming. In the next couple years, it will be so easy. It will be as easy as uploading a thing to YouTube. So, the technology is there. The other part that scares people is they say, “Well, I’m not a salesperson.” And I say, “Great! Good! Because salespeople suck online!”
If you define yourself as a salesperson solely, you will never be a great marketer. And any great marketer who honestly considers themselves a marketer is also missing a piece of the boat, in that your identity, if you see yourself solely as a marketer, no matter how you define it, is limiting yourself and limiting your identity. For example in my industry, in the expert’s industry, the how-to advice category, I say, “You’re an expert.” If that’s too big of a word to bite off for people, I say, “Look, you’re a trainer.” All of my marketing, 100% of my marketing, is training. “I’m going to teach you these 5 things, how to do this,” and then I train them on it. Even my sales video that convert crazy, my sales letter says, “Hey, in this video, I’m going to teach you the things you need to know to succeed in this. I have a program for that.
If it can help you, great. If not, still watch this video, so you know all of the elements and the things that you will need to know, whether you learn from me or anyone else. At least you’ll know what you need to know.” And then, I just train them on what my product will train them on. I’m just a trainer. I’m a communicator. I think it’s important that people don’t see themselves boxed into a thing that most people wouldn’t want to raise their hand and say, “Yeah, Mom, I’m a salesperson.” By the way, I have no problem with sales. You do a great thing. I hope everyone watches it and then Googles Joe. He did a YouTube video called “Is Sales Evil?”
Joe: “Is Selling Evil?”
Brendon: “Is Selling Evil?” Absolutely, watch that. I think you do a great job of redefining the word “selling.” Ultimately, it’s adding value and it’s giving people something that supports them and serves them. And if you make a profit on it, great. So, I think there’s a way to look at it so that you don’t feel like that smarmy salesperson that everyone is so scared of being. Be a great trainer, educator, visionary, connector, person who adds value to people. If that’s how you have to define being a “salesperson,” then good for you. But, get over it. That’s why your video is so dang good. You’re just like, “Dude, get over it. Here’s what selling is and why it’s good.” The only reason we’re doing this interview is because someone sold us this laptop and this microphone, and it’s a great thing. I love how you define that. I think people need to look at their business and say, “Boy, what would happen to my business if I didn’t have the opportunity to enroll people and get more people to buy this?” You’d be dead.
Joe: I do like the distinction that you actually make, too, because if someone thinks that they have to be in front of someone in order to make something happen, then one of the aspects of marketing, at least the type of marketing that we teach. Because there are probably a million different ways that someone can define marketing, I don’t teach name recognition or brand-building for the sake of just getting your name out there. We use direct response, copy-intensive, specific offers, speak to the benefits. We use compelling language, we create senses or urgency, and all of those sorts of elements. And if someone only thinks that the way they can do something is they have to be face-to-face or on the phone or whatever, they don’t see the can-and clone aspects, the leveragability.
One of the things you’re talking about today on YouTube was you’re a video marketer. You have made a tremendous amount of impact in the world, and your videos have been viewed by probably in the millions now, in terms of views of all of your stuff. You shoot that video once, but it can be watched over and over and over again. But a salesperson might be like, “Oh, I can’t do a video.” Oh, okay, so you’re going to do and do sales calls for the next year, but you’re never going to record this?” Or like your Millionaire Messenger, everyone’s got a story. You’re talking about you got in a car accident, and you pulled life lessons and “knowledge/wisdom” out of this, and you documented it and you started offering it to people. But it’s not just as easy as write a book. Writing a book is only one thing.
One of the things that me and Dean said before we started I Love Marketing, we had a conversation about let’s create a deeper meaning to what marketing even is. Let’s bring some respectability to this because the best __ (35:00) in the world, the most caring person in the world, that alone doesn’t make you rich. That alone, sometimes, doesn’t even make you any money, let alone make you rich. It’s not until you can persuade, until you can influence, until you can inspire. So, talk about that, because you think about it a lot, you train people how to do this. Every single person listening to us, right now, if they could add even a 5% increase to everything that they say, write, record from this point on, if they made it 5% more enthusiastic, more inspiration, more impactful, more engaging, their entire lives would change.
Brendon: Yeah, I think that’s true. I think in order to succeed more, we have to demand more of ourselves. Our natural way of being, it’s so important to tap into that and be authentic with it. And in order to grow, the only thing that makes us grow is challenge. We’ve got to challenge ourselves to push farther than we usually do, and there’s no place more than marketing in that, because what most people do is they’ll say, “Oh, I’ll pop on the line, and we’ll just kind of blah, blah, blah, blah,” and they won’t demand themselves to get into a positive state. They won’t demand themselves to ask the more intelligent question of, “How can we do this, and do it in a way that inspires more people? How can we do this in a way that demonstrates leadership? How can we do this in a way that helps people believe that they’re involved in a movement, that they’re involved in something important, that this isn’t just some little quick, cool, fun thing to share with their friends, But rather this thing is a significant effort going on, that they need to get behind, believe in, support, and do it now?”
Could I sell my seminar ticket by just saying, “Here are all things you’re going to learn?” Yep. But I’m going to take another step and say, “Here are all of the things you’re going to become, when you do this. Here are all of the opportunities that you’re going to have, that you never had before, when you do this.” I start painting a picture of a world in which they have more influence – we were talking about it today. I share this a lot with people. Part of your life as a marketer is to raise people’s level of ambition. Get them to see themselves in a higher state in life in which they would need your product or service, or how they could, by having your product or service, now operate at a higher state in life. It’s about painting that picture and about imbuing the ambition in them; not to falsely raise their hype energy levels so they can buy more stuff. Yeah, of course, you want that to be an outcome as a marketer. However, the magic is when they are truly moved to actually become a better person because you marketed to them.
That’s a big, bold statement to say, but that’s how I think about mine. When I do a marketing message, I say, “That’s pretty good, but will this move the needle in actually making this person more effective, more happy, more personable, more likely to chase their dreams, more likely to accomplish their dreams, more likely to give to others? Is my marketing message actually adding to the world or just being another sales message?” I think that’s the differentiation of what I call a leadership marketing position, which is when your marketing position isn’t just, “Here’s my stuff.” It’s, “Follow me.” As soon as you get there, it’s a whole different world. And most people are just trying to sell their product or service based on what they were taught, benefits and features. I say, “You’re not even selling a product. You’re selling an entirely different modality of living in which that person getting your stuff is a better person or equipped to be a better person, or equipped to give more.”
The usual devil’s advocate is, “Okay, I’m selling a spatula, dude. This sounds really great. Tell me why this helps me selling a spatula.” The answer is are you selling the spatula or are you selling the family dinner at Thanksgiving around the spatula? See, I’m selling Thanksgiving dinner. You’re selling a spatula. That’s why I win. I’m selling something bigger than the thing itself, because people want to think of themselves bigger. People want to be part of something bigger, so give them that in your marketing. When you see my marketing for my events, you think you’ve just tapped into a great hidden unknown about the economy. You never knew this world existed, and you’re like, “Oh, my gosh, I want to be part of that world.” That’s very different than saying, “You’re going to learn A, B and C.” It’s exciting. It’s exhilarating. It’s “I want to be part of that.” I think that’s important that we do that today, because that’s what it takes to stand out. Also, I think we should all be raising people’s levels of ambitions and standards in what we do.
Joe: It just makes it that much more enjoyable. David Ogilvy, the late David Ogilvy had a great line, where he was like, “You cannot bore people into buying.”
Brendon: Yeah, right. Enthusiasm sells, right? The oldest statement in the book.
Joe: My buddy Dave Kekich has his Kekich Credos, and one of them is “Enthusiasm covers many deficiencies.” If you have your act totally together, like you really are a great service provider, you really have a great product, you really care, but you have no enthusiasm. Someone that has a shoddy product, doesn’t really care at all, but just has more enthusiasm, actually has an advantage over you. That’s the hardest thing for some people to stomach. It’s like, “But, I’m really good! I really care!” Well, okay, great. But does the person you’re attempting to enroll or buy into what it is you’re offering, do they feel that? If you’re not evoking that emotion, if you’re not getting them intellectually and emotionally engaged, no deal. You don’t win the game.
Brendon: Right. It’s very true. What makes marketing messages – over the course of a campaign – effective? Before I get to that answer, the word is “campaign.” The million-dollar insight in marketing that I got, that changed my whole game, was the difference between a promotion and a campaign. That changed everything.
Brendon: A promotion is I send out a postcard to all of these people, to give them this action to go, do, and buy. That’s a promotion. I’m promoting a one-time thing to do. A campaign is a series of promotions that leads to a desired end behavior. What you do is you string together a series of promotions that all start different conversations and raise different levels of ambition in the consumer, so that by the time you ask them to do something, they’re like, “Whoa.” In online marketing, that’s Jeff Walker’s product launch formula. You give them 3 videos that add tons of value to them, paints the picture of a whole new world, tells them what they could be, what they could participate in, what they could have, do, contribute, and then the last sales video says, “Now, if you like that free stuff, I’ve got this program over here that you can buy, and here’s what it does.” But it adds value first, then makes the offer. That’s the campaign. Most people are just asking for the sale.
Brendon: Don’t ask for the sale. Don’t go for the make-out session or sleepover on the first date.
Joe: In a lot of ways, I guess you can look at I Love Marketing as an ongoing campaign, because every week we’re just giving people tons of advice for free.
Brendon: Yeah, that’s right.
Joe: We’re not asking them to buy anything. Would we like it if they do? Of course.
Brendon: Yeah, you’re adding a ton of value to people, and that’s ultimately what it’s about. I learned that a campaign is everything. What makes a campaign effective is messaging. Messaging, a lot of people say, “Oh my gosh, Brendon, he’s such a great marketer because he’s so loud and crazy, and what a weird guy.” And I just laugh. I’m like, “Yeah, I’m excited. I genuinely enjoy what I do.”
Joe: You know what actually is kind of funny? People know we’re friends and stuff. And I’ll be at one of your events, speaking, or you’ll be at one of mine, or whatever, and unlike you, I’m actually very approachable. I don’t go and hide and have bodyguards and shit that try to keep me from my audience. I actually go out and interact with people. I’m not at the ego level that you are. I’m totally kidding. Brendon actually very much cares about his clients and participants, although you do seclude yourself. Let’s not kid anybody.
Brendon: For the protection of my voice.
Joe: Actually, it is, because you actually do create quite a fanfare. I’m even forgetting what the hell I was going to say.
Brendon: I was telling you how crazy I was, and you said you know people…
Joe: No, no. Okay, I know what it was. So, people come to me and they’ll be like, “Is this just a show?” And I’m like, “He’s really like this all the time.” I’ll call you in the morning and you’re like, “What’s up?!” And I’m like, “God!” You need to be a genetic freak in order to have this level of energy. But the point is that’s what you’ve trained yourself to do. You’ve developed this. And, frankly, I think that has a lot to do with your success and your effectiveness, because your clients love you.
Brendon: Smart people find out what they truly enjoy in life, and they do that. And they find out how they want to feel, and they cultivate that. Like you are the world’s greatest jokester and prankster. You found out, “That brings me joy,” so you do it all the time, which is great. And it’s one reason you’re successful. If we find the thing that we do that brings us joy, why not do it consistently? There are times I’ve been with you, you were wiped out and you were tired, but you’ll still find a way to make something funny, to reengage yourself and reengage others. That’s a choice. And now, it’s conditioning. It was a choice first, it was a commitment second, and then it became consistency third, and now it’s conditioned fourth. It builds along the way. So, I think, yeah, I’m crazy and I have fun at it, but it’s not my enthusiasm that actually wins the day. It’s the messaging.
When I was studying leadership in college, I remember reading something that was very, very interesting to me. So, I studied how the great leaders in history communicated. And I came across this study that they did, that they went out and they interviewed, they basically did a historical analysis and a live culture analysis in which they discovered what were the values that every culture in human history had and have across all cultures. It did not matter the culture. It did not matter the period in time. Every culture in history valued these things. I remember seeing that list and I thought, “Oh, my God. If that’s what everyone values, and I could speak to that in some way, I will always connect with humanity.” So, I learned those things. I memorized them to this day. Here’s what every single culture in the world has always valued: love, truth, fairness, freedom, unity, tolerance, respect, and responsibility.
Joe: You really do have this memorized. I’m sitting here. That’s pretty good.
Brendon: I was 20 years old, and the keys to life, right there in a little study. I’m like, “Unbelievable! That’s what people value.” So, throughout all of my messaging in my campaigns, I’m going to touch on each of those, about how being a part of what I do or taking advantage of becoming a messenger or an expert, that you will have the ability to move people, that you have the ability to be more transparent, that you have the ability to take responsibility for your life and your choices to imbue upon other people more respect, be a role model, all of these things that ultimately all illustrate those values in one way or another. It’s always been part of my brand, since I was 20 years old and I learned that. I thought, “That’s what I want to stand for.” It’s hard to argue against any of those. It’s like, “I’m against fairness.” But as soon as you bring up fairness, everyone will rally around that flag all day long; because when something is unfair, they will be pissed and they will fight for it.
So, find things that people will fight for. What they will fight for are those things. Find things that will mobilize people, cause a movement, and aim them to achieve more of those things. To expose truth is something everyone wants to be a part of. To give more tolerance and respect, everyone wants that – not the rightwing, but most people really want that. But everybody truly, genuinely wants those things, so make that part of what you do. And see yourself not as a marketer, but as a motivator of human beings. When you see yourself as a motivator of human beings, you tap into what is it that drives them, what is it that makes them feel fulfilled, what is it that makes them sense that they’re a part of something important.
Joe: I love it. Here’s what I’d like to do. We shot a video right outside of YouTube, and it was going to be a setup for this interview. And I said, “You’re going to learn how to do video marketing from Brendon,” and then you’re going to talk about how you do that. So, I have to ask you that question. As much as we can cover in a short period of time, what are some tips and suggestions? You are really good at putting together video quickly, getting it out there, and persuading people to follow you, to buy from you, to come to your events, that sort of stuff. What are some tips?
Brendon: Tips. I’ll give some performance tips and then some practical what-to-say tips. Performance tips. The day changed in my life when I realized, in real conversations like this interview here, this is all one take. I realized when I was on stages, speaking, that was one take. Seminars, one take. When you’re meeting with people, you get one take. You don’t get to go, “Oh, wait, I’m sorry I said that. Can I start over?” What happens to people, where they get messed up doing video, when they’re trying to do it, is their mind is giving them permission to screw up because they say, “Eh, we’ll just edit that out.” I realized my mind was giving me a self-fulfilling prophecy. It was saying, “Don’t worry. You can mess this word up. You can cut it out later. Just stop this.” And I found myself stopping and starting, stopping and starting.
Anyone who hates doing video hates it because they have to stop and start, stop and start. I realized, when you’re onstage, you don’t get that. So, I started looking at the lens like my seminar attendees, or like I was a speech or like I was at a meeting. The general metaphor I use is look at the lens like it’s your buddy at a barbeque. When your buddy at a barbeque comes over and you’re talking to him, you don’t talk to him and go, “Oh, wait. You know that sentence I just said? Let’s cut that out and start over.” You just talk. So I said, I’m going to do all of my videos one-take wonders. I’m going to look at the lens like it’s my buddy at a barbeque. Another trick is to speak not to the lens, through the lens. Look at the lens, but speak as if you’re trying to project to the wall behind that. The louder you speak, the more articulate you become, believe it or not, because it slows down your speech pattern, gives you one or 2 extra milliseconds to come up with your thought.
So, speaking louder allows you to come up with just a few more seconds of thought and you get it out there. It also projects better on video, on the other side. Nothing worse than a whispering video. Speak loud, project through the camera, like I’m talking right now – right through this camera. Actually, watch any of my videos – go to ExpertsAcademy.com – and you’ll see me go, “Hey, everybody, it’s Brendon Burchard.” It’s almost the level it sounds like I’m screaming. I’m not, but I’m speaking through the camera, as a friend. That’s really important. Another thing that makes videos personable – you’re talking to a person at your barbeque. Second is a level of occasion. I want you to speak like this is an important occasion for them, not just like, “Hey, everybody.” Say, “Hey, everybody, it’s Brendon.” I want them to know this is important. Pay attention. This could transform your life.
Third, I always teach frameworks. The one reason I’m here isn’t the enthusiasm, it’s the frameworks. Always structure your content. “I’m going to teach you 5 things in this video. There’s going to be 6 things you’re going to learn. I’m going to teach you 4 parts of this. I’m going to teach you phase one of that, phase 2 of this. I’m going to teach you the 7 habits of this.” Break it down so they know what’s coming, and you go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, so they actually feel like they learned something. If you just talk, they’re like, “Ehh….” Like this interview would be better if we told them specific questions we were going to answer, and then we taught a framework, in terms of the takeaways, then they’d write down one through 10. And, in their notepad, they’d have one through 10. When people have one through 10 on their notepads, they feel like they learned a lot.
Joe: But honestly, this interview would have been better if I was interviewing Frank Kern.
Brendon: Totally true.
Brendon: So, pick your subject.
Joe: We just interviewed Frank and Eben recently, too, which is funny because you’re friends with all of these goofballs.
Joe: That’s actually really, really good advice. That which you just said, that alone is worth people listening to this interview, because I know there’s many people that that has freed them from getting this shit right, and even doing it.
Brendon: Teach 5 things. And then, the last piece is end your videos, your audios, your speeches, your seminars, your coaching sessions, your live meetings, whatever, always end it on the crescendo, on the high note. When you do that, it’s the psychology of relevancy; people remember the last 30 seconds more than they remember the last 10 minutes. So, you want to end your videos with an emotional charge to them, no matter what you’re teaching, and they will always want to come back for it. So, watch my videos. At the end, you see me ramping up about 30 seconds out, every time. Build, build, build, build, bam, this thing’s over. That’s why people go, “Man, is there another one I can watch?” They want to watch it right now, because they’re in such a good emotional place.
Joe: That’s great. That’s good. This is good, because I’m just going to leave it so if we do a follow-up with you, we’ll have more to talk about, because I think we’re done.
Joe: I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Your book, your next book, which is going to be coming out real darn soon, by the time we’re actually going to put this interview out, what’s it called? What’s it about?
Brendon: The book is called The Charge: Activating The 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive. It’s a book that kind of changes the conversation about human ambition and achievement today, in that we all have, in an abundant society, we all have what we need to be happy, productive, and fulfilled. Most people feel kind of restless, right now, like there is something more but they’re not sure what to grasp or where it is. The challenge is we’ve all been taught to activate our human needs. If we follow Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we’ve all been taught, as a culture, “Do what you need, and you’ll be happy.” Well, we have so much choice today, no one does what they need – they do what they want. And in a society where we have more choice, what is it that actually activates us? What is it, today, that makes us feel more motivated, more productive, more confident, and more fulfilled? And it’s very different than what it was 10 years ago or 30 years ago, because society’s abundance and definitions have changed, and so have we.
So, here’s the thing. There are 10 human drives that make us feel alive. There’s baseline drives that are basic biological automatic needs and responses. Then, there’s the forward drives, the things that advance us in life, that make us feel really alive. They’re not as easy, though. They actually challenge us. They push us a little further. For example, challenge is one of them. You want to feel alive? One of the reasons most people don’t feel fully engaged in their life is they’re not challenged appropriately. If they were challenged appropriately, they’d find moments of flow and they’d find moments in which they’re totally engaged in what they’re doing, all sense of time loses, and they get excited about something. But most people, they’re scared to take on more challenges, because their plate is full. But their plate is full with meaningless things. But if their plate was full with meaningful things, they would be more engaged. And the way to do that is to put a bigger challenge on people. Another thing is creative expression. How much are you creating and expressing yourself in a way that allows you to feel fully expressed in life. Because if you don’t, you feel suppressed. And feeling suppressed leads to depressed.
So, we’ve got to figure out what are the things that actually make you feel creatively expressed in your life? Contribution’s a big one. We all know that. But there are 5 parts of a contribution feeling like a contribution. You’ve met volunteers who are unhappy. So, giving is not the answer to feeling like you’re contributing. There are things you have to do to feel an internal sense of contribution and fulfillment. We talk about those in the book. So, the book, I think, is really going to change the conversation, because most people actually don’t know what drives them. But more importantly, even if they know it’s a drive, they’ll probably miss activating that drive. Most people know control. We all want control. It’s a human drive to have more control or certainty about our days. But the more that we seek to have that, the less happy we end up being. It’s almost counterintuitive. So, if you’re going to control anything in your life, what should you actually control to feel more alive, fulfilled and happy? That’s the type of stuff that’s in the book.
Joe: That is awesome. That’ s pretty good. What I’d like to do, out of all of the things that you have and that you’ve developed, talk about the association.
Brendon: Oh, yeah. It’s one of those things that, at some point, you realize where you can give back to what you’ve been given. But you realize, at some point in your life, that you should help a lot of other people. What I realized is that Experts Academy is thousands of dollars. Most people can’t afford to go there. And I thought, “Why can’t we just give away free information in this industry, so the people who want to learn how to be an author, speaker, coach, seminar leader, online marketer or trainer can become that? So, I’ve put together the Experts Industry Association. You’re on the board. We have a lot of people who really stepped up and became founders of this program with us. Jack Canfield, David Bach, Daniel Amen, Frank. The list goes on and on and on. There are 20-some people who really stepped up, leaders in the field, who said, “Let’s teach them stuff for free,” and people really rallied around it. So, we started the Experts Industry Association, and I think it’s going to be a very, very, very welcomed thing to the industry, so that people can learn how to do all this for free.
Joe: Cool. Cool. You’re actually going to be speaking at one of my 25K annual events. You actually are in 25K, thank you very much.
Brendon: Thank you.
Joe: You’re awesome. And all of your events, which I’ve been to many, are very, very good. I highly, highly recommend to our listeners that if you want real emersion and real training, very short, condensed, very high-energy. You’re not going to get much sleep, but you’ll walk out of there learning how to be better – you’ve created some world-class experts. You’ve taken people that were already extraordinarily skilled and many New York Times best-selling authors already, and you actually have taught them how to be infinitely better, more profitable, etc. We are doing an event in August, that you’re going to be at. That’s August 8 and 9, in New York City. If people want info on that, just contact my office at Piranha Marketing. Find that at my JoePolish.com, phone number and all that jazz. But basically, I want to ask you where’s the best place for people to start with you? Read your books? What do you recommend? Videos online you can direct them to?
Brendon: Yeah, I’ll give them my books. We’re friends, so I’ll give out my free sites. If you want to learn about Experts Academy and this idea of becoming a highly-paid expert, author, speaker, coach, seminar leader, online marketer, go to MillionaireMessenger.com, which is the book site, but go to MillionaireMessenger.com/free, and you can get the book for free. You pay shipping and handling, but you get the book for free. My new book, which is more in the self-help success genre, but it’s, I think, absolutely critical that every marketer read it, because you finally understand the drives that actually drive people, and how to activate them. That book is called The Charge. So, you can go to TheChargeBook.com/free, and you can also get that book there, free.
Again, you pay shipping and handling. This is the links I give to my friends all the time. I’m like, “I’m happy to send you a book. You pay the shipping to your house.” So, you go to those sites, you’ll get that, and you’ll also get some training videos along with that, for free, to go along with it. Full disclosure. At some point, you’ll get an offer from me sometime, because you’re subscribed to my list if you buy my book, but there it is. You can get a free book, and I think it will really help people think through these concepts that we talked about in the interview.
Joe: Okay, now you need to end this interview with some very enthusiastic sort of things, so they just want to come back and listen to more I Love Marketing forever.
Brendon: Yeah. Well, Joe Polish is here!
Joe: That, in and of itself, should be enough. But usually, it isn’t.
Brendon: I think at the end of the day, in all things in marketing and in all positioning your business, I have this saying of, “Never let your small business make you smallminded.” There are a lot of people listening to this, you have the ability to absolutely change the world. You have the ability to start movements. You have the ability to grow your business by a factor of 10. You have the ability to give back to your community. You have the ability to take care of your family in ways you never imagined possible, all of doing that requires learning how to market a message. If you don’t know how to market a message, whether it’s a cause message or a business-building message, then you cannot build what you want to build. You can’t have the fulfillment that you really deserve in life by having a level of achievement that actually reaches the masses.
Of course, we can all sit here and bliss out and decide to be happy. I believe in presence, I believe in gratitude and doing that. But I also believe that we were gifted with a pre-frontal left cortex to look into the future and to design the world better as we could see it. And I think it’s part of all of our mission to do that, and you can’t do that unless you can market a message. So, that’s why you’ve got to keep listening to this type of program. It’s free, and you have the ability now to put these types of things into play, get better and better at marketing, and make more of a difference.
Joe: Awesome. That was fantastic. Thank you very much, Brendon. Glad we had an opportunity to do this. We’re going to do a follow-up, at some point, with me, you and Dean. On behalf of all of my listeners out there, sorry that Dean wasn’t here, because usually I like making fun of him.
Brendon: That’s all right, I got to talk more.
Joe: Yes, exactly. And seriously, read Brendon’s books. They’re awesome. As far as content, there’s very few people that give as much value and as much content, in such a period of time. And I think you’re a great model for people to look at, who’s doing it right, that really does care about people. I think you’re way too damned enthusiastic. But that being said, the content is awesome. You really know your stuff. And you deserve all of the success you’ve created, because I know you’ve really put a lot of work into it. So, thank you for sharing your wisdom. Really appreciate it.
Brendon: Thanks, buddy.
- Brendon talks about learning how to market a message
- Seeing yourself as an expert
- People’s willingness to pay for knowledge
- Succeeding more and demanding more
- Raising people’s level of ambition
- What makes great videos
- Structuring your expertise in frameworks
- Activating the 10 human drives that make you feel alive