Many years ago I devoured a Jay Abraham seminar called “How I Became a Marketing Genius.” It’s worth tracking down and consuming if you haven’t done so already… but that’s not what this post is about. (I’ve only borrowed the structure from his admittedly immodest title… something I always liked about Jay)
No, today I’m going to tell you how I became a CONVERSION “Genius”… because although it took a long time, it actually wasn’t very hard, and YOU can become one too.
First, let’s talk about the psychological mindset you need to achieve:
- MINDSET ESSENTIAL #1: The first step is developing an insatiable curiosity for why people buy. You’ve gotta take this to an almost “sick in the head” level where the infomercials on TV are more interesting than the movie or sports game you’re watching, where you’d rather talk marketing than eat chocolate ice cream (or have sex), and where it becomes difficult to have a conversation with normal people who care about what, to you, are mundane day to day issues. Got it?
- MINDSET ESSENTIAL #2: You’ve gotta be willing to look beneath the conventions of normality into the dark heart of society without losing your soul. That means you stop pretending that everyone’s nice and loving, stare the beast in the face so you can truly see human nature… but then when you’re just about to throw up you realize that striving for love and harmony are STILL the only worthwhile pursuits, not in spite of what you’ve seen, but because of it
- MINDSET ESSENTIAL #3: You need a certain level of “rational grandiosity.” You’ve gotta believe that despite the fact that the rest of the world opts to hide from reality, you’re going to be able to deal with it. Then you pursue the truth ruthlessly no matter what you find, all the while insisting you can take it.
Now, do you know how you know that you don’t have the mindset yet? If you feel compelled to dismiss the above as unnecessary, introspective and irrelevant to making money, that’s how. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we ALL feel compelled to ignore it… but if you can at least intellectually accept that connecting with the essence of human nature is a BIG part of becoming a conversion genius, well, then you’re at least half way there.
And the GOOD NEWS is that the other half is simple.
Because all you really need to do once you’ve got the right mindset and drive in place is focus on research, copywriting, testing, and list building. And NONE of them are complicated, you just need enough time, experience, and sweat to learn what really works:
- RESEARCH: Narrow your target market to make it more possible to study. (Choose a bulls eye keyword, etc) Then look at who’s winning the game in your clearly defined target, and study HOW they’re converting prospects. Finally, talk to your prospects and customers. Really, for Ch___t’s sake will you just talk to them already? I’ve been doing this for 8 years and I can only get maybe 5% of people to get on the fricking phone with clients. Yet EVERY TIME I DO manage to get someone to do it they are amazed by what they learn. Just fricking talk to them… I don’t care if you’re a research genius or not. The ONLY way to do this wrong is to avoid it. Nobody’s gonna start throwing money at you through your computer screen (in any kind of significant way) if you don’t talk to them to understand them first, OK?
- COPYWRITING: Look, this is elegantly simple too. It’s not about flowery words or amazing literary prowess. It’s about using words to show them (a) you understand their particular problem; (b) you’ve got the best solution for this problem in particular; (c) you can overwhelm them with PROOF that you actually CAN solve this particular problem; (d) you’ve got an irresistible offer to do just that and; (e) it’s not available forever or for just anyone, but in some way this is a significantly limited opportunity. And copywriting is infinitely easier once you’ve talked to your prospects
- TESTING: This is where the rubber meets the road. It’s easy to talk about testing, but it’s hard to implement a lot of them because you need enough qualified people to look at different alternatives to see which ones make them buy. Which means you’ve gotta have the capital and/or time to obtain the traffic… or work with someone who does! Still, this doesn’t make it a well-kept-secret by old men on the top of a mountain somewhere in Tibet, it’s a plain old wall of business risk. AND, you can watch what other paid advertisers are testing in public for FREE if you don’t have enough time or money to do your own. It’s not rocket science
- LIST BUILDING: Look, no matter what happens, your RELATIONSHIP with a significant list is what’s going to move you forward in this life. It’s PEOPLE out there who have the money with your name on it… and it’s the PEOPLE who care about you that are going to save you when Google issues the next mega-slap, Panda-Update-On-Steroids, not your tech geek or some secret you learn in an info course.
So that’s really it.
For some not-so-healthy reason I was born with a psychotic desire to figure out why people buy…
I arranged my life to make it possible for me to pursue this desire (at great sacrifice to other, healthier and more balanced pursuits in many ways, I might add)...
I stared headfirst into the pit of the human soul and, despite being disgusted by what I saw came out the other end even more committed to do good in the world…
And I used this to drive my constant research, testing, copywriting, and list building efforts.
Period, end of story.
Along the way I coached and treated a lot of people…
I taught a lot of what I learned…
And I got seriously burned on more than one occasion.
But I kinda like where I wound up.
Just a little (somewhat useful) rant the day after my 49th birthday here on a hot August day in New Hampshire 🙂
For what it’s worth,
Dr. G 🙂
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