Imagine that you had a car that only had two speeds – reverse, and low. Wouldn’t that be frustrating? You’d probably be able to go faster backwards than you could forwards.
Yet this is the scene that most businesses have.
Because people aren’t taught the system which runs businesses. I should know. I’ve been hard at entrepreneuring for some 15 years now, and only in the last two have been able to fire my last boss and get some real freedom into my life. (However, the 16-hour days haven’t quit. )
It was finally this year, in the last couple of months, that the last piece of the puzzle fell into place.
I can tell by the amount of hype by marketers to exclusively use “social media” and “search engines” that most people out there also have no clue. And that noise has only gotten worse over the years.
I don’t have all the answers to everything. My own scene has been to keep throwing things into the fan as tests, then see what stuck to the wall behind as a result.
What I’ve found out what works out of “conventional wisdom” averages out to be 95% BS and 5% truly workable.
The tool I’ve found as most useful is to look for systems. Natural systems. Things that work despite pandering politicians or celebrity endorsements or ads on the mainscream media channels.
Systems work throughout recorded history, through legends, through current times and enable you to envision a brighter, more prosperous future.
The Entrepreneur System
This tends to explain how all businesses get started and why they fail. But you are going to have to test this for yourself and not rely on what I tell you. Sorry. Just the way life is.
1. Understanding Success as a subject.
2. Understanding how to persuade others.
3. Being able to produce something valuable.
4. Promoting your product or service.
Let’s use what we know about indie authors and self-publishing.
The reason most authors keep their day jobs is just those points above. It’s not just writing books and putting them up on Kindle at a low price. If you don’t understand what success is and how to get it, you’ll never learn how to set and achieve goals (only 2% do.) Not knowing how to persuade others means that your description for that book will never get people to buy it. How to produce something valuable is a lot more than writing a single book and hoping. Promoting your book is also much more than sending out some tweets.
Before any author (or any entrepreneur) can really succeed, they need to know what success is. The most common and most useful way to learn this is to study books that were written by people who studied others who were successful. Chief among these were Abraham Maslow, Dale Carnegie, and Napoleon Hill. Earl Nightingale, Steven Covey, and more recently, Tony Robbins have been more modern-day examples.
You study successful people who studied success, and then distill what they considered was important. From this, you create your own success model to follow.
The second point after this is to be able to persuade others. Most of those above were known for their own ability to get people to act in their own best interests. While you can also note that through history, there have been a lot of people who influenced others to do bad things, the bulk of humanity has always been working to improve their conditions and those of people around them.
This is all “Golden Rule” stuff, which is also known as Cause and Effect. You can test this yourself. Go around and frown for a day at your job and to everyone you meet. You’ll make people grouchy around you and they’ll also leave you alone. Now, go around and honestly smile at everyone. They’ll want to start conversations, and you’ll find all sorts of happiness in your and their lives.
This is the core of Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
The next study to take up is that of the better copywriters. Also Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence.” All these copywriters agree: what works is to really just build on humankind’s natural habits. As a species, we really haven’t evolved much in our 10,000 years of recorded history. The core desires and motivations are still there. And that is probably why ancient texts like the Bible are still selling so well these modern days. Good copywriters can demand and get paid whatever they want, once they master the old texts which laid all this out in the 1920’s.
Third is to know your production model and hone it to a polished, sharp edge.
In Content Inc, Joe Pulizzi laid out the 6 simple points each of the many businesses he had studied all had in common where they succeeded. And those points (plus the one of setting goals and making them, covered earlier in that book) are the exact steps any author-publisher needs to take to build a truly working system and regular excess passive income.
It would be just as true if you were manufacturing cars, or buying and selling stock. You have to know your market and how it works, what it wants and how to get it to them. You also have to know how to deliver far more value than is expected. You have to go the second mile – and do this consistently for years and years.
You have to develop production habits that will see you through the rough times into the good ones, over and over. You have to build a body of work. There are very few one-shot wonders that had a great life after that single success. (Look up some Motown artists as examples.)
Fourth is Promotion.
This isn’t running advertisements. Currently, that has been made into a very bastardized version of the principle we are going to talk about. Once you see how simple it is, then you’ll see how to run ethical promotion.
For our use, although there are ways to run ethical advertising, especially via Facebook (currently – until they change it again) we won’t mention ads as a term because the majority of what’s out there builds dis-trust. People have trained themselves to purposely not look at ads, all in addition to their browser-installed adblockers.
The principle of effective promotion is this:
“Ask to get in front of other people’s audience and give then additional choices that they’ll appreciate.”
Related to that is to get that host to recommend you to their audience.
In chasing down the success of some of the top 6-figure authors, you’ll see they were showing up on other people’s popular podcasts in order to pitch their books. Amanda Hocking was commenting on the popular book blogger sites, who then reviewed her books to their own following. Wayne Dyer showed up on the Johnnie Carson show and got a huge boost for his first book, just like various comedians that got their start there. The Ed Sullivan show launched many careers on it’s own, as did American Idol, the Voice, and other talent competition shows.
How this differs from “normal” or “conventional” advertising is that people are willingly tuning in to find new entertainment, education, or inspiration. They’ve asked you to come into their homes.
On TV these days, you are trying to understand what is happening in the 15 or 20 minutes between interruptions, (some of which go on for 5 minutes in 30-second spots.) There is no continuity in these ads, except perhaps in how stupid they think we are.
It’s no wonder advertising is hated and despised. They don’t ask, they don’t give choice, they don’t give value.
The reverse happens when you’re a guest on a podcast, where you find out about the host and what type of information his audience is looking for. Then you deliver far more than was asked for. Similarly, guest blogging is writing articles for that audience which they really appreciate as you custom-tweak that article based on what they expect to see. Meanwhile, your article is then tweaked by the site editors to make sure it’s a good fit for that audience.
That is the key to promotion these days. Ask, be accepted, deliver value.
And that is why advertising has high fail rates and “content marketing” is replacing it. Meanwhile, selling ads is a convenient addiction for any platform that has to show a profit to its investors. Ask Facebook, ask Google, ask Twitter, ask Instagram. All social media is embracing ads and limiting organic reach – you can’t inform your followers unless you pay.
Why these four points work.
Because it’s a system, not another listicle to memorize. Not another fancy acronym.
These four points interact with each other to improve your result.
- The more you hone your personal success system, the better your esteem and higher your self-confidence will be.
- The more you refine your ability to persuade others, the more people you will attract and interest and enable to act on your offers.
- This then leads to delivering a valuable product, whether it is a physical object or service, or a virtual product such as an online course, or ebook or other content. The better you refine this offer, the more exchange you’ll be receiving. This means more income.
- But people never find the better mousetrap until you can routinely get in front of interested audiences to tell them. As you do, you build your own audience. Because of your own self-confidence and certainty, your own persuasion and empathy, your own high-quality delivery of valuable materials and services.
Test this all out for yourself. All of it. Don’t believe anything I say – unless and until you’ve found it to work for you personally.
In my opinion, the amount of your success and income depend on it.
If you have better ideas or examples, leave a comment below the show notes. Or drop me an email.
Thanks again for listening.
See you next time.
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