There’s an important marketing lesson in this picture:
Brian Therrien and myself on top of Mt. Mansfield, one of
the glorious 4,000 footers in Vermont
People want to see you as larger than life, because they want you to help them make their own lives larger. But they also want you to be a reachable and approachable “aspirational model”.
It’s a very hard balance to strike.
Paint yourself too high, and although they’ll see you as a giant, they’ll also perceive a chasm between your world and theirs entirely too large to cross.
Paint yourself too low, and there’s no real reason for them to aspire to be like you.
What you WANT is to make yourself into a loving, more experienced older brother or uncle and “paint yourself into their living room”. Emphasize your natural strengths so you look larger than life, but let them know your weaknesses so they know you’re really not that different than they are.
Take this picture for example. It hasn’t been altered or exaggerated in any way. Yet, despite the fact that I’m only about 8 inches taller than Brian, in this picture it looks more like 2 feet. (For the record, Brian’s a better marketer than I am. No one can develop telemarketing campaigns like he can… and if you haven’t heard the free MP3 “supercharge your phone sales” yet where we talk about combining my research with his techniques, you’re REALLY missing something important)
In fact, I look freakishly tall, almost like we’re from two different worlds, like I’m way into the clouds, and he’s just about reaching them. But if you look closely at our feet, you’ll see we’re actually standing at different levels.
Note this is NOT hidden… it’s 100% available for inspection by any observer. There’s no fancy footwork. It’s just the reality of the picture I chose to show you, which emphasizes my height. I could have picked a dozen other pictures, even some where Brian looks exactly my height, or maybe even taller, but I chose this one, because I know people LIKE to look up to me.
At the same time, anyone who knows me and my work through my audios and blog posts knows I’ll TELL you straight out I’m absolutely NOT a marketing genius.
I’m happy to emphasize my strengths so people will look up to me for those things worthy of admiring (I’m a hard working guy who’s spent a lot of time learning some unique ways to apply market research and psychology to internet marketing), but I’ll also point out my weaknesses so you know I’m a real person within reach. (I’ve had a LOT of failures. I’ve made a LOT of mistakes. I’ve lost a LOT of money.)
The formula is, show people the “pictures” which HONESTLY emphasize your strengths so you capture their attention and they CAN see you as larger than life, but then don’t be afraid to tell your WHOLE story (the good, the bad, and the ugly) .
Some people fail to create an aspirational model because they don’t show you the right picture to begin with. Either it emphasizes the wrong attributes or it’s just not believable.
Others fail because they hide their flaws in fear of what people would think if they REALLY got to know them.
I’ve actually found it takes BOTH of these elements, artfully combined to position yourself as a true “aspirational model”.
This is the essence of what I call “living room marketing”. I want my systems to give you a real sense of me, like we got to spend a weekend together at my house, having dinner together and sitting and chatting in my living room. I don’t want to be a giant out of reach, and I don’t want to hide my flaws.
But I DO want you to look up to and have faith in me for those things I really CAN deliver.
What picture are you painting with your marketing? Are you scared to let people see you as a giant? And if not, have you told them enough of your REAL story and your WORST mistakes to make yourself reachable and down to earth?
Have you invited them into YOUR living room, brother? (or sister)
Food for thought!
(Hope it helps)
Dr. G 🙂
PS – I had an amazing day with Brian on Mt. Mansfield. If you’ve never done it and get anywhere near, it’s worth the trip. (Of course, Brian makes it better, but I’d go back there myself just for the mountain)