Episode #26

The one with Marie Forleo and Yanik Silver

Episode 26:

  • Find out how Dean became Marie’s “Marketing Poppa”
  • Joe wonders who’s hotter…him or Marie?
  • Yanik shares his “Astonishment Architecture” approach
  • PLUS:Yanik and Marie share their best ideas for Before, During and After
For more Marie – MarieForleo.com
For more Yanik – InternetLifestyle.com
Dean: Hey everybody it’s Dean Jackson.

Joe: And Joe Polish ready to rock and roll today with all of you.

Dean: We’ve got a full house today don’t we.

Joe: Yeah this is going to be a really super-cool episode, and also we’ve got a couple of awesome guests and personal friends of ours and two of the sharpest marketers on the planet and also all around just great fun, awesome, high integrity people that delivery tremendous value. And so I think everyone in the I Love Marketing community and world are going to love these two. And they are the one and only Ms Marie Forleo, and Yanik Silver. Dean, I’d like you to give your take on Marie and Yanik in a moment, but I do want to let everyone know that Yanik, in order to coordinate this particular episode, to do it right on the, like a few days ago the last episode we posted was on Necker Island with me, Marie and Yanik interviewing Sir Richard Branson, and there’s then just a ton of comments, we really appreciate that, which is great.

Dean: The interview was great, you guys did a great job on the interview, so casual and relaxed and informative.

Joe: Of course and trying to pull something out of Richard is like pulling teeth.

Dean: It was brilliant and he was so relaxed, and quite smitten with Marie too.

Joe: Of course, he loves Marie, how could someone not love Marie. Let me say this though, because I do want to let everyone know that there’s going to be times during this episode where it’s going to be a little noisy in the background. Because Yanik has had to position himself in the quietest place, he could in an airport, in order to be on this particular episode of I Love Marketing. So he’s going to mute and un-mute his phone whenever he has to talk. So when you hear some background noise, don’t be annoyed by it, just realize that Yanik is just working really hard to make sure he was here, so he can contribute and be on I Love Marketing.

Dean: I like the real paradigm shift right there.

Joe: Dean introduce these two and say something about them.

Dean: I tell you what, I’m particularly happy to have these two on here, because they are both good friends, and I’m very excited about Maria Folio being on this call with us. Because I knew Marie Forleo when, as you say, I’m very excited because she was years ago, we did a tele-class series on how to write, publish and sell a money making eBook, and Marie Folio was one of the very first people who was in that class, and I’ll let her tell a little bit about that story. But I’m very excited about that, because look at her now, she’s a bigwig now, she’s fantastic: rich, happy, hot, all that stuff.

Joe: Rich, Happy and Hot is her brand, I just want to clarify that, because if you just say ‘rich, happy, hot…’

Dean: Do you know anybody that personifies their brand better than Marie?

Joe: Maybe, I don’t know if you’d look at me versus Marie, rich, happy and hot, which best sort of… But no, definitely it would be Marie. So Marie, welcome to I Love Marketing.

Marie: And thank you so much. I know we dive in a little later, I definitely want to talk for a hot minute about that story, because Dean really was, he’s like my marketing papa, he really took me into this whole world, and I think that was over 10 years, so we’ll dive into that a little bit later.

Dean: From marketing ‘who’s your daddy’.

Marie: Who’s your daddy, baby.

Joe: Let me say this too about both Marie and Yanik before we start asking them questions and they start talking about marketing and cool stuff. I was just with a friend over the weekend, and he was mentioning to me about how one of the principles that hardly anyone really talks about, there’s always marketing strategies and stuff and why people are successful. And everyone is always asking people that have what they consider having done well in business, how’d you do it, what’d you do, what are the strategies. And I’ll see a commonality between all of us, which probably doesn’t get talked about a lot is that we really strive to have fun, I mean we really go out of the way to have fun. And I’m not just saying that in a cliché sort of way – Yanik has built an entire business, Maverick Business Adventures, and he’s been extremely supportive, and my partner in doing these trips to Necker Island for the last three years, he does these crazy outlandish trips all over the world, where from fighter pilots, to zero gravity flights, to Baja racing, to probably stabbing and fighting sharks with swords and weird stuff.

But nonetheless, both Yanik and Marie, one of the main things that they not only do in their own businesses but for their clients is they really strive to make business an enjoyable endeavor, because in my opinion most corporate America, and probably corporate whatever world-wide kind of sucks and is mundane and is boring. And whenever you can set up your lifestyle and your business for yourself, for your team, for your vendors, for everyone involved with you, I think you’re just going to do better, because why the hell wouldn’t you. So let’s ask Yanik to say something, and I we’re going to test this now, he’s going to un-mute himself and talk, and we’ll see how noisy it is in the background. So Yanik, where you at?

Yanik: Here I am. I’ve been cornering the airport lounge trying to figure out the quietest spot; I’m not sure I got one. But I’m totally with you on the fun element, I see that’s a huge, huge part of business, and figuring out how to bring out that authentic  personality, and for me, it’s that fun and goofiness, and I think you can do that in a lot of ways in your business.

Joe: Totally. So let’s start with what do you do Yanik, what do you do, what strategies do you use, what is your business all about and that sort of thing, because I wanted to lead into some specific tactics. And strategies that I Love Marketing listeners and podcast subscribers can actually use in their business, but I first want people to get a real gist of who you are. Most people that are avid followers of I Love Marketing have watched the interview that we did on Necker Island with me, you and Marie, and they are interested in who the hell is Yanik Silver and who is Marie Forleo. So who are you and then talk about what you do and that sort of stuff.

Yanik: I’ve probably for the last 12 years, starting with a little ID at 3 o’clock in the morning, which is my first website, and then that started to explode and take off. And then I started teaching people to do what I have done, if I had taken their content or knowledge or expertise and turning it into something that they could sell online. And for the last three or four years, I’ve really created this Maverick business philosophy of making more, having more fun, and also giving more, and combining that all together is what I called Maverick Entrepreneurs. Kind of these three really big pillars.

Joe: One thing I probably should mention is that you tie in, as does Marie, as do I, we tie into a lot of the things that we do into raising money for foundations for charities, for entrepreneurism and things that we support, all of us. That’s what we do on Necker Island when we do the trips to Necker Island, we don’t keep any of that money, we literally give all of the money to Virgin Unite. And you go around the world, and you actually raise money for schools and for kids, and why do you do that?

Yanik: I’m heavily involved in it just because I love the ripple effect that comes from it, I like never knowing what that one donation now can do. And we’re always involved in something that’s either self-sustaining or entrepreneurial related; it’s not just typically to give a donation for a donation and for charity in many cases, it’s usually for something that can be self-sustaining and can be really like a seed, they can plant something and grow something bigger. So anyway that we can support entrepreneurship, and I know we have kindred spirits that are all about that, and that’s what we’re all about.

Joe: And one last thing before we switch over to Marie and then she goes through the same thing, and then I’m going to let Dean ask some really more intelligent questions than I do. Since we all love marketing, what does marketing mean to you and why do you love it?

Yanik: That’s a great question. I think marketing gives you the opportunity to get in front of your customer in a way that positions you as an authority and expert; it sets you up to really; it seems like an easy question, but it sets you up to be the choice. And not only just be a choice, but the preferred choice, the one that they’re going to come to and really love to do business with you. So marketing is kind of everything that goes into before, after, and even during, when someone’s handing over their money to you for an incredible value proposition.

Joe: So why do you like it, why do you love marketing, you’ve spent pretty much your whole career, well maybe not in the very beginning, but you’ve spent the majority of your adult career in the field of direct response marketing.

Yanik: Yeah I just started when I was 14 years old working for my dad, telemarketing for latex gloves, and when I was 16 years old I was out on the road selling medical equipment. So I have been doing it for quite a long time, and the reason I love it so much is it’s just fascinating to me how you can use leverage in a lot of different ways with marketing. And when I learnt about direct response marketing, that leverage got even bigger. So at that point when I was just getting started it would be, we could fax an ad, we are now still perfectly legal, do a broadcast fax, we could do a direct mail piece, we could run an ad in a physician journal and get a lot of doctors raising their hands and coming to us instead of me going out and cold calling them, like I was doing before. So that was the first kind of glimpse of leverage. And they were coming with credit card in hand and that was totally unheard of for selling medical equipment. And then I learned about the internet world, and then the leverage even significant increased, because then we could have thousands and thousands of people hitting our website, and the marketing was doing all the work for us to get them predisposed to buy from us, or even directly buy from us at that point. And that was incredible. And to me, it’s about the leverage, and that’s what I love about marketing.

Dean: Yanik has really become, really embraced this whole internet lifestyle, and that’s really what, I think you and I are very similar in that way Yanik, that marketing, you say leverages, and you can really turn that leverage into an incredible lifestyle, can’t you.

Yanik: Absolutely, you have your mailing listing that they know you, trust you, like you, and so do I and so does Marie and so does Joe. So if we need to put something out there, because we had such a history with our list and people that love us, so we can leverage that by putting out a great offer and money will literally come in within minutes in many cases. And to have that leverage and to be able to live the lifestyle that you want to create. And that’s a big thing for me too is creating the lifestyle first, or at least thinking about what’s most important, whether it’s big rocks, the adventures, the unique experiences, spending time with my family, growing with my family, and then the business comes next. And how do we fit that around, not working 24/7 and then trying to figure out how to have a life around that part.

Joe: So Yanik, behave yourself in the airport, and we will come back to you momentarily. Marie Forleo, you are just a total badass, you’re funny as hell, you’re just one of the most super cool awesome people, you have a tremendous amount of fun, and you’re just a sharp marketer, and Richard Branson loves you so I can’t figure that out. But what do you do, what are you into, why do you love marketing and all that sort of stuff, tell us about you.

Marie: So what do I do, so the whole brand ‘Rich, Happy and Hot’, is dedicated to teaching women entrepreneurs how to mother-ef’n fall in love with marketing. Like to really leverage on my marketing, in particular, to grow their businesses so they can make more money and reach more people and have a great time doing it. But then we also kind of sit at the intersection of personal development, which is one of my first loves. I’m just fascinated with human behavior and psychology, and why people do what they do, and what makes people change. What I didn’t realize when I was a little girl, I used to actually do infomercials; you know like little kids when you were with your parents you like make videos. I realized this a couple of years ago; I actually have videos of me, I think from when I was seven, selling like pearl cream in home movies. I was fascinated with infomercials, and I don’t know what that has to do with anything.

Joe: It probably has a lot to do with it, that’s interesting.

Marie: Yeah really interesting… But the whole business is, for me I am absolutely in love with marketing because I love understanding what makes people tick. And in my experience it’s like if you have a product or a service that helps people, changes their lives, improves their lives, helps them save money, or make money, or get healthier or be happier, or be more impactful with their kids. It doesn’t matter what you are selling, if you don’t understand how to market it properly, it won’t get in front of the right people, you won’t make money, and essentially you’ll be stealing from the people that need you most.

So for me, marketing is just this incredible vehicle for connection and communication, and one of the reasons that I love it is because I feel like the best of who you are comes out when you’re really marketing. Like you have to really listen and understand someone else’s needs, you have to dig deep and really get to what are the psychological hot buttons, what are the pain points and the frustration points that another human being is going through, that you can solve. Then it forces you to communicate on such a level that you are standing shoulder to shoulder with them, and really let them know that you understand where they’re coming from and that there’s hope and there’s help.

And I think that marketing brings out the best in who we are, and that’s why I love it so freaking much, and it just gets such a bad rap, I hate that. And particularly for women, women are like, most women, you know this is obviously a broad generalization that I’m working to change. So many women are like petrified of sales and marketing, because they think it’s like your used car salesman, it’s slimy, it’s pushy, it’s too aggressive, and again that’s just total bullshit, it’s not true.

Joe: One thing I will say, a couple of things and then Dean would love to hear your comments on this. The comment you made about ‘you are stealing from people that you could help the most’, which is a strong statement if you think about it, and I think it’s an absolutely true statement. Because if you have something of value, be it something as simple as entertaining somebody, filling their stomachs with food because they’re hungry, or something that could dramatically improve their income, their self-esteem, their confidence, their effectiveness, their life in every area from health to fitness to money to you name it. And you’ve got a solution, and someone’s got a problem, and you don’t have the ability to communicate the solution to their problem in a way to where they will go and get it, for money or for free or for whatever. Because as we’ve proven, all of these marketing techniques not only can work in a for-profit business, but also in a non-profit environment.

Just like the interview we did with Branson on Necker Island, we’ve collectively between, you guys have all been involved with me from the very beginning in this stuff we started doing with Branson, all of you have individually, Yanik and you Marie have done things separately with Sir Richard. And as a group, we’ve raised over $3 million for Virgin Unite, with the people we’ve brought into that funnel. So all of these marketing techniques work in any sort of environment, and I believe that marketers and salespeople are saviors, because if you don’t have the ability to communicate to people to where they are going to go and get it, nothing ever happens. And you’re right, it’s bullshit that it gets a bad rap, and people are viewed as you know they’re pushy. People love to be sold, they hate to be pressured, and they confuse a lot of things that have nothing to do with the type of marketing that we teach, they just throw it under this umbrella called ‘marketing’ and it gets a bad rap, which is ridiculous.

It’s like saying that a bottle of water is bad. Well, it depends, if you shove it down someone’s throat and they choke to death it’s probably bad, but if they need a drink, it’s probably really good. Well, marketing is like a gun, you can use it for going out and getting your food and for self-defense in the business world, or you can create a movement, or you can use it to try and scam people. So it’s all in the application and the intention behind it. And most of the marketers I know are some of the most caring, generous, awesome human beings on the planet that are making a gigantic difference. And there’s a lot of people that have great products and services, but they’re broke, and they’re not making an impact because they don’t understand marketing. So that was a stupid tangent I went on. But hopefully, there’s one or two things that might resonate with someone.

Yanik: Preach it, Joe, preach it.

Marie: Just like I’ll bring it back, because Dean mentioned at the top of the call that I was one of the first students in that course he was teaching about how to use eBooks to make money. And for me, I was just starting out as a life coach, and I was like 22 years old, which I kind of had balls at that point because who the hell is going to hire a 22- year-old life coach. I hadn’t really lived that much yet. So one of the things that Dean taught in that class, and I was fresh out of college, so I was still in that mode, and I kind of still am, I’m like a life-long learner. So when someone who I considered to have expertise is teaching, I take really good notes, and I try and do my homework as fast as possible. I remember Dean said ‘you have to really come up with a great headline; you have to come up with a great hook, because you need to capture someone’s attention, and you can’t get any further until you do that’. And he also told us to pick a topic that we’re really passionate about, that if you really believe in something and you want to research it, you really want to go for it, put all this information out in this eBook, it should be something that you’re interested in, and it’s going to go much faster that way.

And at the time a big topic for me was women and relationships, I was engaged to be married, and most of my coaching clients at that point were women, and so a lot of them, a bit portion of their life was about talking about boyfriends or husbands or things like that. And I remember I came up with the title ‘make every man want you’. And I don’t know if Dean, you approved it, or maybe I emailed it into you and said ‘what do you think of this’. But it was a hot title.

Dean: It was hot, you knew it right from the very beginning.

Marie: And it was ‘make every man want you, how to be so irresistible you’ll barely keep from dating yourself’. And that little eBook that Dean helped me get off the ground, is actually a Trojan horse, because while on the surface it seems like it’s about dating. It’s about much deeper shit that’s way more important than getting a guy, not that getting a guy is not important, but it’s about spiritual principles and things that help your whole life. And point is, that’s marketing. I always tell people, I don’t mind if I have to trick you into something really good, like coming up with a fancy title that hooks your attention because there’s so much noise out there – if I’m going to deliver something great, you’ll thank me for it later. And that was a lesson Dean, I don’t know if I’m twisting your words, but I feel like you started planting those seeds in my head very early about what it means to really be a great marketer and deliver amazing value, so I wanted to thank you for that.

Dean: You articulated it perfectly, and I think because you really got it and you’ve really embodied it in everything that you’ve done since. You really understand that the bottom line of marketing is, we talked about how marketing makes selling almost unnecessary or very easy because they’re coming to you preconditioned. Well what you are talking about here is having a clearly articulated, what’s in it for me message that you’ve got, is really the fuel that makes marketing work. And everybody is very self-centered, they’re only focused on what they really want. And when you are giving them exactly what they want in a way that’s compelling, it attracts people so powerfully. How could a woman who is reading that title and wants to find the right man, how could they resist a title like ‘Make Every Man Want you’? It’s impossible. Just like anybody who is going through a divorce that they don’t want, can’t resist the title like ‘Stop Your Divorce’. The whole thing though has to be that you have to deliver on what it is that you are packaging.

So you can’t have just the title and have it be empty and not have a really great strategy to help them make every man want them – that doesn’t work. You have to really truly deliver the very best solution that you can for them. And if you know that that’s absolutely true, just like you said sometimes they might not even know it and you know that they’re going to thank you later. I always say to people it’s like when people are reluctant to really get their message out there because they feel like that’s pushing their message on people, I kind of point out to them. I’d just said it two days ago in a café with somebody, I said ‘if we were sitting right here and this lady in the next booth here started going into anaphylactic shock, she started having an allergic reaction, and you had an Epi Pen right there, would you not go over and help this woman? Wouldn’t you feel a responsibility to do something?’

And it’s almost like when people’s pain is clear and urgent like going into an allergic shock like that; you’re going to do anything that you can for them. But when their pain is more internal, or it doesn’t seem like a life or death thing, we’re often more reluctant to really help people, or let them know that you can help them. But you have to have that same kind of conviction about what you do, which you do.

Marie: Yeah, and that books has turned into, like from an eBook, to self-published, to regular like traditional New York publisher, and it’s 11 languages around the world that little thing. So I wanted to thank you for that because I don’t feel like I ever had a chance to really properly thank you for being my marketing ‘who’s your daddy’.

Joe: I will just say that I don’t think he deserves any thanks. But I’m very happy for the success of it. It even allowed Yanik to come to grips with his attraction to men. So makeeverymanwantyou.com I think is the website for that book, right?

Marie: Yeah.

Joe: I think it’s become a movement at this point. By the way, Yanik, before you just are setting up how you’re going to insult the hell out of me, I’m totally kidding. So basically I want to point something out about what Dean, you said with Stop Your Divorce, and Make Every Man Want You. We did a couple of episodes ago on More Cheese, on I Love Marketing, and anyone that’s not heard that episode should really listen to it, because Marie and Yanik and Dean are masters at knowing how to convey cheese, what’s important. And what I would always tell people about women that I know, that were single and they want to meet someone, or they just broke up or whatever, I still I’ve told so many women to read Make Every Man Want You, because it’s a really awesome book, you use it as a hook. But any man, any woman can read that book and get tremendous great life advice on it.

And I would always tell people that ‘who’s Marie Forleo’. It’s like well she’s kind of like a life coach that is sane, because I know a lot of life coaches that really are kind of crazy, and the book is fantastic. But it’s a great lesson in marketing, and it’s a great lesson on what you can actually do with words. So even if you’re a dude, get the book Make Every Man Want You, just keep the cover hidden because your friends will think you’re weird. I’m sort of joking; you’re supposed to chuckle a little at that…

Marie: I think I should read it, because I’m from New York, I like when they read it on the Subway.

Joe: What I’d like to hear from you and Yanik, and it could be depending on how many you’ve got currently in your mind right now. I’d like to during this particular episode, Yanik mentioned before, during, after, Dean created the before, during and after model in real estate, and I think probably anywhere else I’ve heard it. What do you do before the sale, using marketing, to get business; what do you do during the sale to increase your average sale to make it happen, to bond with people, to set the stage for referrals and all that. And then what do you do after the sale so that people come back to you, introduce and refer your business to others. I’d love to hear one to three strategies in each of those areas from both you and Yanik, that our I Love Marketing listeners could actually apply in their own businesses, because both of you have so many strategies and techniques and things that you use, and have used and teach other people. And I think it’d be a real treat for everyone that is listening, to actually hear some of the techniques and strategies that both of you guys use. Does that sound like a good idea?

Yanik: Let’s do it. And Marie, you want to start with a couple of before things, and then I can chime in, or vice versa.

Marie: Yeah, why don’t we do that, and it sounds like you’re in a quiet place so I’ll go fast. So before, some strategies that I use, one is just a message that I use to write copy, but I find is really effective and helps people, because a lot of people struggle. I find with writing copy; they think it’s really hard, I’m not a writer, I can’t write copy to save my life. So I always talk about it, I use the friends filter – every piece of copy that comes out of my little fingers into my keyboard and into the world of the interweb, I write it through the friend filter – meaning if I wouldn’t write this to a friend, it’s not going on any piece of my marketing. So that stands for emails, that’s blog posts, that’s everything. So I literally treat my audience like they’re my buddies. So I’m from Jersey, I may throw a couple of f-bombs here and there, [laughs] you know what I mean. I talk very, very casually, and I let people into my life and tell them about little details that are going on, or what’s happening, or struggles that I’m having, or something that I just overcame, just like I would with my friends. And I’ve found that is one of the most effective before strategies, because it instantly increases the know, like and trust factor – it makes it easy, I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I’m a very casual person by nature, and I’m a very loving and connected person by nature. So I just can be more of me in my business, so there’s no difference between what I’m doing in my work life and my personal life. So that’s just one, and I’m going to hand it over to Yanik, and I’ll think of a few more.

Yanik: Okay, so I have something that I’ve created, which I call my astonishment architecture, and that’s just like we were talking about Joe, which is the before, during and after. And it’s really for any given product or services, a level of expected service or satisfaction or value by the end user. And it’s kind of our job to astonish them at each point of that contact or interaction, and on top of that, provide surprise and delight beyond their expectations if you can. And that’s what creates that incredible word of mouth that is even more powerful right now with how connected we all are online. So you could look at, there’s a lot of brands that do this incredibly well, we started this conversation because of the connection with Richard Branson. And I think Virgin America is probably one of the best companies out there that really does this in a big way, where they started with a blank slate and said what sucks about airplanes; I’m obviously here in the Delta Lounge, but hopefully, they don’t hear me.

But there’s so many things that suck about air travel, and they just went down the list, and they decided they were going to hit every single one of those, or at least as many as they could. And they could hit a lot more than they even thought about. Even something as simple as putting like a plug in your seat, and that was just incredible. So before anyone interacts with you, and I love what you are talking about Marie with getting them to know you. And I’m a big fan, I call it the good, bad and the ugly, and so on my blog, you’ll see a lot of good stuff, like if I travel to somewhere incredible, or have a great experience or incredible adventure, or whatever the case is. And then the bad might be I’ll post up a video of me doing stand-up comedy at the Improv in DC when I tried that one time, or something else really silly. Or the ugly might be me falling out of my attic when I was trying to do something for me wife, and she sent me up there because I’d never been in an attic and never knew that you only had to walk on the joints there.

And I literally fell through, and luckily I ended up stepping to the left instead of the right, so I would have ended up falling down two flights of stairs, and that would have been great. But most people are just scared to put that out there, they want to look perfect, and they want to look like they have it all together. And you really connect and bond with people, even if you’re not a personality-based marketer, you don’t have to be, but you can create, even like a creation story. You know who does this really well is you go around in the shopping, with food shopping, so many of the food there has great stories on the packaging, you look at Tom and Tom, Nantucket Nectars, I call them creation stories, which is how something started. And people always love that, they want to know how’d you get started and where’d you come from, and it’s just natural for us, it’s a psychological trigger the stories. And that’s just one way that we can kind of help prime the pump there for that before.

Marie: I’ve got one more to share, something that just came to mind that we do consistently. It’s actually a little strategy that has multiple benefits. So one of the things I always love to do is ask questions, and find out directly from our readers and from our audience, what’s going on, what’s frustrating them, what are they struggling within their business, how can we help. So I always put on any website that we’re promoting an event or something that we’re selling, like an information-based product, rather than just trying to totally get the sale off of the website. I often have something like ‘if you have more questions, email us’. And have someone just really take all of those questions that come in and categorize them, because, they’re perfect objections. They are either ideas for new products or services, they are fodder for me, for now, we do Q&A Tuesdays every Tuesday on marieforleo.com, where I answer reader’s questions.

But you’d be surprised at how many businesses don’t go out and solicit that information, and really let customers know on a very basic simple level, that you actually care about solving their problems. And you want to actually hear from them what is going on, and that someone on the other end, meaning customer service, is not just going to either ignore the message when it comes in. We actually have people on our team, my one girl in particular like answers every single email individually, it’s not a standard response, she actually reads it, responds, tries to help them out. And I think that makes a huge difference again as the market gets more crowded, it only takes that extra little bit of effort to let people know up front that you’re the kind of company that cares, and is going to take the time to respond, that they’re an individual, they’re a human being, even though the internet seems like this place where people can be anonymous. When you take that extra step to let people know that you actually care about them, I think that’s huge in the before phase.

Yanik: Yeah that’s a great one, and that extra step is absolutely huge. Do you want to talk about a couple of during?

Marie: Yeah, go for it, Yanik.

Yanik: So you and I both love design, we love brand experiences, just the whole; I look at every single touch point really contributes to the whole. And I even like from the package arriving at your door if you’re selling something that might be shippable, I’m a big fan of the t-shirt company called Giant Cupcakes, which is kind of a silly name. But this guy started selling out of his VW van, all these t-shirts, and then he makes these very limited edition t-shirts. And literally when the package arrives at your door, it looks like it could be cupcakes, and my wife loves cupcakes, and cakes, and anything like that, and she was all excited, and then very quickly disappointed when she opened it. It even has like freshly baked on there, and so she opened it up, and there’s a t-shirt.

Joe: That’s great, not only do you get impressed but you disappoint you wife at the same time, that’s awesome.

Yanik: [laughs] Yes, it’s a win-win all around. So even something as simple as your packaging and that design element, they go away towards the during. So as they’re experiencing what’s going on, so from that first touch point. And when I got a Voodoo computer before I switched over to Mac, the Voodoo PCs were really cool, really high-end gaming PC laptops, and you’d get the crate, and you’d open up the crate that it comes in, and it looks like this crate that comes out of the jungle. And you open up the box and it actually has a sound card in there that starts playing this unique tribal music, and you’d feel like you were part of the tribe that belongs to Voodoo PCs. So that’s two that comes to mind real fast.

Dean: Yanik, that’s all part of what you talk about with your astonishment architecture, and I wanted to talk a little bit about that word, ‘astonishment’, because a lot of people say you’ve got to deliver a great experience, you’ve got to wow people. But astonish is like taking it even up a level, because the things that you’re describing are things that you don’t expect. And if you start looking at that, where in your touch points can you add that level of astonishment? I think that really, it all helps build the feeling that people have, that really enforces your marketing.

Yanik: Yeah absolutely, and I’ve got one quick story, and then I’ll hand this over to Marie, because it’s actually a New York story. So I was dining with a friend of mine at the Modern Restaurant in New York City, which is Danny Meyer’s restaurant. And he has a great book out by the way, and he teaches what he calls enlightened hospitality. And it’s kind of that you anticipate what’s going on in the patron’s mind, and act on that. So this is a pretty fancy restaurant, and it’s a big tasty menu, a big wine-pairing menu. And the couple behind me and my associate, they’re having this knockout, drag out argument, I mean just you name it just really, really bad. And I can kind of compartmentalize and keep everything separate, but he was having a really hard time, and the waiter literally come over, and there’s 18 plates out. He literally came over with a pitcher of water and spilled it on the table, and he said ‘oh my God oops, I can’t believe I did that sir, I am so, so clumsy, I can’t believe that, we’ll have to move you right away’. And literally picked up everything and moved us to a quiet corner. And if that’s not astonishing, I don’t know what is. Obviously, I have to tell that story so many times because it really is so above and beyond.

Marie: Love it. Do you want me to jump in with some?

Yanik: Yeah.

Marie: So a couple of during, I’ll give you two examples from my own business and then one example from another business. One of the things we do for every time we have like a digital learning experience, recently we did Rich Happy and Hot B-School, which is online business school for women who want to make it big. And one of the things that we did which was fun for me, I love the medium of video, I love creating videos and making them outrageous and silly and goofy and fun. And the moment after someone purchase, we have this whole kind of happy dance video, which was hilarious, and then taking our customers through exactly what they need to do next, so there was no question, there was no stone left unturned. So it wasn’t like ‘wow I just dropped a lot of cash, now what?’ So there wasn’t that let down feeling.

So we kept the celebration going and really thought through as best as we could through the customer experience, so that they would know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the thing that they’d just invested in was perfect for them. And also after that, a day or two later, started releasing some extra surprise bonuses, letting them know about extra cool things that they were getting that weren’t even advertised, that weren’t included in the offer. One of the things that we do in our live program, so if you’ve got a business that’s live, and you work with people one on one, or in any kind of real person interaction. In our mastermind program, I often like to do the same thing, I think Yanik and I are a lot alike in this sense, where we love surprises. So at one of our mastermind meetings I set up a private boudoir shoot for all of our ladies, so they had a chance to, for half a day, be in this penthouse at a gorgeous hotel and get these amazing photographs done that they could take home and give to their husbands, their boyfriends, or whatever.

So it was like bringing one of their fantasies to life, that they just didn’t know was going to happen. And I find that like, with what Yanik was saying, adding in those surprises that astonish people, that really let them know that you’ve taken the time to think through what they really want, or what they may not even know what they want, but you’re delivering, is huge. Then another New York restaurant story which was awesome, it was a place called Deltosto, it’s a Mario Vitale restaurant that’s one of the higher end places downtown in the Chelsea area of New York. And Josh took me there one year for my birthday. It’s one of those fancy places that we don’t normally go to, because I’m not a very fancy girl – we go in, and we’re sat…

Joe: You’re kind of low rent, I just wanted to throw that in there.

Marie: [laughs] I’m kind of low rent, thanks, Joe.

Joe: I’m kidding, I’m kidding, let me undermine what you’re trying to say here.

Marie: I know that’s cool, I’m used to you. It’s been like 10 years since we’ve been friends, I’m used to this shit. Anyway, so I was about to put my purse down and up comes someone from out of nowhere with a cushion for my purse, so my purse would not hit the ground, they swooped in and put a little foot stool under my purse right before it was going to hit. And I was just blown away; I was like well I guess that’s what we’re paying $40 a plate for, or whatever it was. But it was those kind of little details that don’t take that much, that are easy to put in place that I think frankly most business owners are a little lazy, and they just don’t give it that extra thought.

Yanik: I love Marie, how you are talking about how you are just thinking through the customer experience of what happens next. And especially that one point where they’ve given you their faith, at the point where they’re like ‘oh God, what did I do’, and just reassuring them that it’s really smart, excellent. I’ll talk a little bit about a couple of after ones, and it kind of seamlessly blends in, so it’s what you just said is that an after or is it during, because they just get your money, and because technically so after that it could be after. But I look at it as anything that we could do to think ahead and create the surprise experience that you’re talking about, and I call these love gifts. And I like sending out random gifts throughout the year at really kind of random intervals, so not necessarily the holiday time or the normal times – we send out a birthday gift, but that’s kind of part of the course.

But we might send out, like for Thanksgiving last year what we sent out was a book, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand with a quote from John Galt on the t-shirt, and a sterling silver coin, that they all got was a John Galt coin. So that was kind of cool. And the people who I think do this really great, and not to make this a Virgin love fest, but I’ve also signed up for Virgin Galactic, and they do this incredible job, with the love gifts and creating what I call conversation crutches, and something that you have to talk about. So when you first sign up they send you this massive book, I mean like I have a picture of it somewhere where if you; Wine spectators magazine that I used to get is a big oversized magazine. And this would be like eight times the size of Wine Spectators, massive, massive book that comes to you, a hard-bound kind of book with all these HD photos of space that’s taken from Spaceship One, and all the history of space. It’s sitting in my office, and fortunately, I work at home, so nobody really comes in there that often, but when a few people do, they always look at it because it’s so big and you have to talk about it. And they also sent me these great cufflinks that weren’t very useful, because I lost them. But they were of the spaceship, and I call them conversation crutches because people will look at you and they’re like, and you have to talk about it, and it’s a great way of getting the conversation turn towards them really.

Joe: Yanik, you’re starting to cut out a little bit, but I’m thinking the idea that everyone should send their client’s condos. Because if they live in a condo, that’s a conversation crutch, every time someone’s in that condo, you’re like ‘Yanik sent it to me’. How do you not talk about it, do you know what I mean.

Yanik: Well I guess it depends on what the dollar amount is that they spent with you.

Joe: Yes, I know exactly. I don’t know if I mentioned this, I think I mentioned this on a past episode of I Love Marketing, is you know those little cat like things that have carpet all over them and they’re like little; they sell them in pet stores and stuff. And someone was selling them on the side of the road, and it was just the power of good copies, a bit sign that said ‘cat condos’, and I’m like what a great way to rename something stupid, you know.

Marie: And of course you stopped and bought a few, right Joe?

Joe: No, I didn’t buy any, but I took pictures of it – I literally turned my car around, I said I’ve got to take pictures of this. You know what I’ll do, I’ll find that cat condo picture and we’ll pop it up on I Love Marketing at some point in time. Unless I forget, and then we won’t, we’ll then have ruined the expectations that our I Love Marketing clients have for us, and then I will have destroyed the before, during and after segments that you guys are doing such a great job of giving people ideas for. Can I say one thing too though, that is a commonality that I want to reiterate. Is that Yanik and Marie really go out of their way to think about what is going on in the minds of their clients and prospects.

It all goes back to the famous Robert [name]*0:46:14.8, you want to enter a conversation that’s already existing in your prospect’s mind, and they are really thinking through the experience. Because whatever product or service someone is selling, if they can get something similar, or at least they perceive it similar somewhere else, the thing that’s going to differentiate you is the experience, and how you handle them. And that’s what great marketers that actually care about repeat business, really focus on and really think about. Because if you don’t exceed their expectations, there’s nothing worth talking about. If you want word of mouth marketing, you’ve got to give people something worth talking about, just like you were saying with conversation crutches. So go on Yanik, because this is really good.

Yanik: I’m going to go ahead and turn it over to Marie here.

Marie: Okay, so after. One of my favorite things, and Joe and Dean, I actually sent you guys a little text picture of this, but for our B-School program, we made up mugs that say ‘I Freaking heart Marketing’, with RHHB School on the back, and we sent that out to every woman who graduates the program, as a little graduation gift. And I can’t tell you, it’s a very simple gift, it’s something actually that I would like, I love drinking out of my little B-School mug. I can’t tell you how much goodwill that thing has created, not only that but just people Tweeting it, ‘oh I’m drinking out of my mug’, it reminds them that they love marketing.

So I think again taking it to that next level of thought, there’s so many people that can send out cheesy *0:47:58.8, to say ‘look I’ve done something cool ever’. That’s not what you want to do; you want to take it to that next level and really think about what something like Yanik just said, which is beautiful, like a conversation crutch. So many of our ladies have that mug just sitting out on their table or sitting out near their workplace, or they’re making videos, and all of a sudden they are drinking out of the B-School ‘I Freaking Love Marketing’ mug. And I cleaned it up; I have to say there was an internal debate, because I do like dropping F-bombs. And when I realized there were so many of our customers who have young children at home and I said you know what, let’s clean it up and say ‘I Freaking Love Marketing’. It’s a simple example of something we do after they graduate, after the program is done, and that’s what they get. But I love Dean; I just want to thank you for even creating that concept, because it’s helped me think about the business in different ways. I’m trying to think if there’s anything else special that we do.

Yanik: Can I jump in on one thing Marie, it just reminds me of something. The mugs are a perfect example, we have a *0:49:00.8 course that we sell, and we put together a personalized mug for everyone, and we’d give them this really cool comic, this cartoon of a woman and a man sitting at their computer and money pouring out of their computer. We did this way back, and so it got a great response, just like you’re saying, and it’s a personalized one that says ‘wow Dean, you really are an internet *0:49:22.0 genius’. And people loved their personalized mug with a picture of the money overflowing out of their computer. It’s kind of silly, and you were saying the *0:49:32.7 stuff, but it’s cool and personalized. You definitely have to add that element of cool, fun, and not make it something like a silly little pen that says ‘thanks for buying from us’ or whatever.

Joe: Or unless it’s a gold pen and it has my name on it, and it’s sent to me.

Marie: Everyone really needs one of those.

Joe: I swear we’re going to have to get our own store on I Love Marketing, do you know what I mean – this is just making me, we need to be mass distributing I Love Marketing mugs. But I don’t even think we should give them to our listeners, because after all, it’s not like we are charging them for this; they should be sending us money; people keep asking us, ‘what’s your monetization model with I Love Marketing, how are you going to make money out of all these people?’ And me and Dean are like ‘you know, we don’t have a monetization model, we’re just going to record really good content and put it out in the world. And if people like what it is that we have to say, they can go find us on Google and buy other shit from us’, because we do sell stuff, we all make a living. But it’s like with I Love Marketing, but I love that whole; you’re just giving me this whole idea of how we’re going to have I Love Marketing.

Dean: We’re going to have a lot of Christmas catalogues, it will be great.

Joe: Yeah, we’ve got to hurry. Those are all fantastic ideas. Now anything else before, during and after that you guys want to mention before I ask you another question to wrap up here?

Marie: No, that’s all I’ve got.

Dean: I’m going to say something then, because what Yanik and Marie are both demonstrating is that they’ve taken the time to look at the entire experience, and that’s really what that before, during and after model does, it gives you kind of a road map to look at it from the moment somebody shows up on the radar, till the time that you’ve already done business with them, they’re a client and you are nurturing that lifetime relationship with them. Everything that they are talking about has come from taking time intentionally to view that experience from their customer’s perspective, from the person who they are serving, from their experience. And I have heard this secondhand, so maybe Yanik can tell me whether this is true, or if either of you know it for sure.

But the reason that Virgin Airlines is so popular, especially Virgin America, is I had heard that the exercise that they did in creating the whole thing, was to go through an exercise saying, listing two things. What does everybody love about flying, and they brainstormed all of the things, everybody loves leather seats, everybody loves leg room, everybody loves having their own TV, everybody loves the power plug in the seat, all of the things that are positive experiences. And then what does everybody hate about flying, and listing all of those things, and trying to build that product, build their whole airline around giving people more of what they want, less of what they don’t want. And everything that Yanik and Marie have been sharing is really kind of demonstrating that that’s exactly the mindset that they take. Had you heard that exercise before Yanik, about Virgin?

Yanik: Yeah, I heard it as kind of a very open blank slate, just gave them an open blank slate and said ‘okay create what will really work and be amazing as an airline’, and absolutely they went through what works, what doesn’t work in flying. And I think it’s a powerful exercise, to just sit there, and it’s a simple thing to do, but it’s a harder thing to execute. It’s simple to think about it, but harder to execute. And quite frankly we don’t always get it right every single day either, but we strive for that, and we try and create the best customer experience that we can, because we know in the end that’s where the real return on investment is.

Joe: Exactly, and like to borrow something that probably originated in Twelve-Step groups, it’s about progress, not perfection. And so no one’s going to do any of this stuff perfectly, but the point is if you can keep adding improvements, everything constantly gets better. And one of the ways to stay engaged, because both of you are certainly very engaged, and people always ask. It’s so funny Dean, I’m starting to run into people in gyms and places where they are actually noticing me on video on I Love Marketing, which I get noticed once in a while, it’s not like we’re celebrities or anything, it’s just in the marketing world people hear about us and notice us and stuff. And I’m running into more and more people, and they’re like ‘you know I hope you guys never quit doing this, I hope you guys never quite doing it’.

And the reason you do certain things is sometimes it’s simply money, however the more engaged you are and the more interesting it is, the more your incentive is to improve it. So that’s why we are totally into I Love Marketing, because it’s fun for us. And we explained that in the very beginning episodes as to why we are doing this and what the motivation is behind it. So Marie and Yanik, like I started off with, I think having fun and in making your business enjoyable, is critical. And I think there’s a lot of skilled people out there, they may have their own businesses, they may work for a company, but if you’re not having fun, I think it’s only a matter of time before you either check out or your life just becomes so miserable, but you hang around because you need a paycheck. And I think that’s just a shitty way to live.

So everyone cannot instantaneously change their entire businesses to be enormously fun, however, there are things that people can do. And is there any recommendations that you have or mindsets that you have about enjoying business and fun that you can share with our listeners that would give them some things that they could think about or do to make the next five to ten years of their life infinitely better. Any thoughts on that, start with you Yanik? Marie, let’s start with you since you’re like ‘yeah…’

Marie: Yeah baby, I could talk about this all night. So a couple of things that come to mind are first of all just a kind of policy we have in my company is we don’t do anything, we don’t say yes to any project if it does not sound like fun. So there is that old saying, ‘if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no’. And I live by that. So if a partnership, an idea for a new product, an idea for a program, if any part of me just starts to shrink or die or my head just starts to shake no when I think about it, it doesn’t get on the schedule. That means it doesn’t happen. So the only things filling up our time are things that we absolutely freaking love. And I think on a micro level, the way to add more fun to your company is simply to not take yourself so damn seriously. It sounds silly, but dance breaks, if you are working from home, you can work in your underwear, which could give people some laughs or some cries, depending on how you look right now.

But there are so many little things that you can do. Even sending little jokes around with your company, and not being so formal and buttoned-up, that can do a lot. If you think about what you do in life, like people look forward to the weekend, or they look forward to when they “don’t have to work”. What are the things that you are doing during those times that you can start injecting into your workday. So I love to listen to music, I love to dance around, I love to act silly and goofy and act like an idiot. And I do that with all the people that I work with, and you know what, that makes their jobs a lot more fun, because they know, even though we are getting things done, it doesn’t have to happen in such a serious, buttoned-up like you know eyebrows furrowed together kind of way.

Yanik: I think with what we do, and it’s interesting again, kind of like the music and dancing around, and that’s so not me, unless it’s a really cheesy ‘80s song and I’m in a costume or something.

Marie: Yanik I’ve seen you dance, I’ve seen you dance brother.

Yanik: It’s tough, with my lack of any rhythm. But the reason I mentioned that is because there’s some things that are going to be authentic and genuine for you, and it’s not like ‘okay I heard Marie say we need to dance around, so every Friday at 4 o’clock we’re going to turn on this music in our company’. If that doesn’t fit you, it’s not going to work for very long. So I’m always talking about what’s authentic, what’s genuine for you, and I love that fun part because there’s always something that is fun and you can inject that into your business. And I’m a big believer in unless you schedule it it’s never going to happen. So I have this huge ultimate life list of all the things that we want to do, experience, have, people I want to meet and so forth. And unless things get scheduled, it’s just too easy to say I’m too busy and have all sorts of stuff and crap in your inbox that you’re going to keep giving more and more attention to, instead of taking care of the things that are important but not urgent.

Joe: That’s exactly what I’m trying to say.

Marie: Joe what about you, I know you like to send really inappropriate gifts to your friends that you want to impress, right?

Joe: Actually it’s true, it is a strategy, I think you should send all kinds of goofy gifts from funny statues, depending; I think most people in some different ways, shapes and forms, it’s kind of like have situational sort of behaviors. It’s kind of like if someone drank beer, you would ask people, yes most people have drank a beer in their life, have most people been to church, yes, have they ever drank beer in church, no. So there are certain ways that you do certain stuff, but if you really look at your genius network is an example – genius networking is networking in a much different level, and being a genius networker means you network in a much different way. So I think being a genius marketer has a lot to do with really thinking about how to impact people.

And one of the best ways to impact people is to make them laugh, is to make them smile, is to mess with them, to like you said Marie, not take yourself so seriously. There’s this ongoing running relationship I have with Marty Edelston, the founder of Boardroom Inc, $100 million + a year company that they’re awesome, and they publish bottom-line personal on a bunch of different newsletters. Basically, he’s sent me a box of 27 live chickens, which people if they type in my name and I think chicks on YouTube, you can see a video of the chickens he sent me. And I’ve sent him Spiderman toilet seats; last month he sent me, which was ridiculous, like a real hamburger in a wrapper that was like moldy, FedEx, and a burrito, and I’m like what the hell is Marty doing? And Marty is a character, but you know it’s funny, and you cannot not think about that stuff.

So part of it is just, we send people relevant things, but we also send them non-relevant things. I’ve done a whole campaign where we’ve sent many of our top client’s finger puppets, and you can buy finger puppets at Ikea for a pretty low price, and there’s a website we use called ‘A Little Something’, that you can send people little gifts. But yeah, I’m a big fan of sending people really ridiculous annoying things, some that are so inappropriate that I won’t even mention them here. But those are typically reserved for [name]*1:01:46.2 and Frank Kearn are the biggest recipients of the completely inappropriate things, because those are not very nice people.

Marie: I have to say though, you’ve sent me some pretty inappropriate holiday cards that Josh, before he knew you, was like ‘who the hell is this guy sending you something with a big penis in it’. He wasn’t very happy, but then, of course, he got to know you, and it all worked out.

Joe: Yeah, that’s great. I don’t even remember that, so I’m glad we got that out on I Love Marketing, that’s good. A big penis, that is fantastic. But I think Dave Kekich, but buddy who has been in the wheelchair for over 30 years, has one of the Kekich credos that said ‘things are seldom as bleak when they’re going bad, or seldom as great as they seem when they’re going good. Lighten up; you’ll live longer’. And I think there’s so much wisdom in that, and one of the things my criteria, kind of like what you’ve said Marie, if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no – is ELF, is this easy, lucrative and fun, or is it hard, annoying lame and frustrating, is it hard, annoying lucrative and frustrating. So my criteria is this going to be easy, lucrative and fun. And things aren’t always easy in the beginning, so we don’t go into something thinking if it’s not super easy, don’t do it. However, if things are low hanging fruit and super easy, do them, and if they can never be easy, lucrative and fun, I don’t think it’s worth going into. And I think there’s this great saying ‘be willing to destroy anything in your life that’s not excellent’.

And I hope one of the takeaways from people listening to this episode, is that they really take a look at their business, they really strive to make it more enjoyable. And right now think of ten people that you could send a really funny goofy card, it doesn’t require putting something inappropriate in it, but just sending them something that will make them laugh, and just start that, because the best way to get started is to get started. And Marie and Yanik, you guys both produce incredibly valuable, great information products, you both put on events and seminars, Marie you have a great blog, Yanik you have all kinds of great stuff, from Maverick Business Adventures – how do our listeners find out more about you guys?

Marie: It’s marieforleo.com, it’s the easiest place to go, everything great there, tons of free articles and videos, it’s just a good time.

Joe: MARIEFORLEO.COM, so you get the spelling of Forleo right. And Yanik, the Russian Spiderman?

Yanik: Two spots, internetlifestyle.com, or Singular, which is my blog, all sorts of stuff there about business and so forth. Or of course Maverickbusinessadventures.com, or for the high-level entrepreneurs on the list, it’s Maverick1000.com.

Joe: Awesome. And we will be doing another trip to Necker Island next year, and we’ll probably, if you’ve not watched the interview that me, Yanik and Marie did with Richard Branson, you can go to Ilovemarketing.com and watch that video interview. And if you are interested in the next follow-up trips that we do to Necker, they’re all for a very large, they’re not cheap, they’re expensive trips, because the island is expensive to run and it’s very, very private and very exclusive, and you spend lunch and dinner and most of the days with Sir Richard Branson and us personally. But if you are interested in doing one of those trips, me, Marie and Yanik obviously just recently got back from the Necker trip, we’ll have a place where on that page where you can click and be put on the list if you are interested in that.

But beyond that, Dean, I’d like to give the last words and the wrap-up to you, and I just want to thank Marie and Yanik, because you guys were awesome. I’d like everyone to post a comment that they don’t like Dean for having this kind of a weird sound. No, so what we’ll do probably in the future is we may do individual episodes just with Marie, just with Yanik, but yeah I will just say that please post the comments of what you thought of this interview, and any of the different ways that you’re going to use any of the strategies before, during and after techniques that Yanik and Marie talked about, because I’d love to share with them the feedback on what they got from it. And that’s it. So Marie, Yanik, any famous last words from you guys?

Marie: No, just have a great time and thanks to both of you for having us on, really appreciate it.

Yanik: Yes, definitely appreciate it, thanks, guys.

Joe: Absolutely. Thanks, everyone and until next time, go out and have a kickass wonderful day and make someone laugh. Goodbye.  

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