Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Marketing Power of Origin Stories

When I was a corporate consultant, one of the most interesting exercises I ever encountered was the “reason for existence” test.

You see, ginormous companies aren’t always as stupid as everyone says they are.  Before most of them will spend $50,000,000 on developing and advertising a new product, they force their management to articulate a very clear “reason for being”… they’ve got to justify WHY such a product should even exist.  (It’s kind of like when the bouncer makes you prove yourself to him at the bar “if you want to live”)

The point is, your prospects all know you’re in this for the money.

In fact, they know there are THOUSANDS of products on the market, each one of them eager to grab a few bucks from your prospects’ wallets/purses.

So WHY, they ask, do you have a right to exist?

WHY did you bring this product to market?

What possible reason on earth did you have for introducing yet another money grabbing effort?

That’s what you have to overcome.

And one of the BEST ways to do so is with an ORIGIN STORY.

An ORIGIN STORY provides the details behind your product.  It tells how the particular point of difference you’re trying to bring to market was “birthed in the fire” amidst a sea of mediocrity, charlatans, and scams.

More importantly, it brings the product to life by demonstrating the FIRST RESULTS ever obtained, AND THE PASSION WHICH DROVE THEM.

It proves you’re more than a man/woman with a cash register and your hand outstretched…

You’re a “man/woman on a mission!”

Listen to this intriguing interview (the first in a series) where Ryan and I discuss several concrete examples of origin stories, and begin to show you how to construct your own!

What’s your product/service’s reason to exist?

It’s something few people give much thought to, yet it’s utterly foundational for your marketing power.


Dr. G 🙂

PS – Can I get something off my chest?  I’m really annoyed at how few people want to give  CONVERSION the emphasis it deserves.  Social Media’s the hot thing these days, and if I were to take this to heart and “give the market what it wants”, I’d be blogging and podcasting all about Facebook and Twitter all the time.  Except I have trouble finding anyone who’s making serious money in social media… at least not anyone who can prove it to me with tracking.  On the other hand, EVERYONE I know who’s relentlessly focused on conversion has been able to build their business.  Because CONVERSION is the fuel that drives traffic online.  Drives me fricking nuts.  Makes me want to slap myself on the head with a spatula!  Hard.  So many people are wasting so much time, money, and morale.  (Terry Dean and I spent a year building the ultimate web-conversion product, not that too many of you will care.  Oh well, I guess that leaves more traffic, money, and fun for us!)

How to Debug Sudden Sales Drops

This month something hit me over the head like an angry housewife wielding a two headed spatula…

What seems self-evident to ME regarding the natural way to debug sales problems online, is really NOT second nature to others.

And it’s critical you develop your own comprehensive method for doing this, because I swear to my dead aunt Florence there WILL come a time when you face the following problem:

You’re humming along at a nice “cruising altitude” with  your business (even if  took you a LONG time to get there)

You’ve gotten into a regular rhythm for sales.  You’ve come to rely upon a certain level of monthly profits.

And then all of a sudden, blammo!  Your sales fall off a cliff.

You scratch your head (and other unmentionables) wondering what happened.  You ask yourself if maybe your Mom was right after all… you should have been a  doctor, lawyer, or accountant. (Or in my case, set up shop behind a couch with a cash register next to my chair)

Well, there really IS a step by step procedure for figuring these things out…

You don’t have to suffer in the dark…

In this uber-cool interview Ryan and I did this afternoon, we casually laid out exactly how we go about debugging sales problems, step by step.

So turn off all that other crap you’ve got going on your computer screen, tell your family to leave you the hell alone for once, turn up your speakers, and press play.

You’ll thank me for it!

Dr. G 🙂

PS – If you’re not yet part of my Make Them Buy Live Persuasion Webinars before this coming Friday, I’m going to drive to your mother’s house and tell her she was right!

PPS – Really, you don’t have to suffer in the dark.   I can teach you all sorts of market intelligence techniques to shed a blazing light on your market which will blind your competitors and show you exactly where the market gaps are.  But as a kind of parenthetical footnote, I thought you’d enjoy knowing that “No thanks, I’ll just suffer in the dark” is the OFFICIAL answer to “How many Jewish Mothers does it take to change a light bulb?”  (Trust me, I’ve got  first hand experience!)

IMPORTANT: An Emerging Trend in Conversion Graphics

Most of you know I spend a LOT of time rank ordering the winners in paid traffic markets, then analyzing patterns to see what’s working.  Something VERY IMPORTANT has started to emerge in the last few months.  Spend a few moments looking at this picture please (especially the eyes), then scroll down and I’ll explain…

So what’s the trend?

It’s emphasizing PERSONAL CONNECTION and REAL HUMAN ONE-ON-ONE SERVICE in markets where people are overwhelmed, confused, and tired of dealing with machines…

And it’s making this clear with ginormous, lovey-smiley pictures that make the prospect feel more like (s)he’s right in the middle of a full screen video chat with you as opposed to a website.

The landing page assumes the relationship. (Read that sentence again!)

Here’s an example. (Note: I’m not an affiliate, just for illustration)

In my opinion, there are a LOT of markets where one could both take this position and leverage it with this kind of a graphical enormity.

I know, I know…

You got into this because you wanted to stop trading hours for dollars…

You want to leverage your time with products instead of human contact…

There’s nothing wrong with that goal.

In fact, you may think me hypocritical  because I don’t offer a lot of human contact in MY business. (There’s the live webinars club and a personal coaching board, but otherwise I’m very hard to reach personally… on purpose)

But, respectfully, you’re missing several important pieces of the puzzle if you think this way…

First, I DO have a truly unique selling proposition.  It’s very difficult to find someone in the internet marketing space with my particular background… the ability to teach “point of difference” benefit promotion vs. “price of entry” benefit promotion with real proof behind him…

Moreover, you should realize I had to work a LOT harder to take this “mostly info products” position in the market place.  Those of you who’ve been on my list for 5+ years know that I’ve built out literally hundreds of full interviews, cheat sheets, webinars, and other free content gifts to support the effort.  You know I’m RELENTLESS about following up.   And some of you know the power of this first hand because you didn’t purchase anything significant from me for YEARS.

And the MOST astute among you will notice that even though I don’t provide tremendous personal contact MYSELF, I’ve significantly augmented my customer value by selling personal services.  Expensive services with good ROI for the customer.

Last, behind the scenes what you’re NOT seeing (and probably never will because I’ve got partners and competitive disclosure restrictions, etc) are human service companies I’m actively involved with.

I like my model and I’m sticking to it…

But that does not mean YOU  should emulate my exact model unless you’re (a) willing and able to put the same amount of tremendous resources I have into achieving this; (b) possessed of a truly unique selling proposition and (c) cognizant that you’re climbing a bigger mountain.

Because here’s the thing…

Every entrepreneur wants to leverage computers, the internet, and information products to protect their personal time which pursuing scale…

But every consumer wants to blast through all the computerized protection to get some real, human contact.

What this means for all of you at the very minimum is that if you’re struggling in your market it’s time to ask “Is there an opening for a massive human marketing play here?”

And if so, I’d recommend you get your ginormous mug up on your site, stat!  (Along with a clear offer so people know the human service you’re willing to provide at the right price)

What says all you Glenn Heads out there?

Onwards and Upwards,

Dr. G 🙂

PS – Go ahead, I dare you.  Look at Sharon’s eyes and smiley face again above and tell me you don’t want to work with her. Tell me that pictures doesn’t tell you she’ll work her butt off to make sure you get a fantastic return on your investment.  Tell me you can honestly look at that picture and think it wouldn’t be a fabulous experience for you and your business to have her personal help.  Know what?  You can still get it at (And if you’re making $5,000/mo or more in your business with either a reasonable value per transaction OR a high volume of transactions, it’s hard for me to imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to bump their conversion with more of the kinds of powerful, emotionally contagious testimonials she can get for you!)

A Phenomenal Book with a Really Stupid Title

It’s unusual for me to recommend a book. Not because I don’t read them (I LOVE BOOKS!), but because my criteria for what constitutes worthwhile pass-a-long material is pretty high.

Moreover, when I DO recommend books, people tend to view it as an “all or nothing” recommendation. So if there happens to be 80% phenomenal content but one or two psychotic rants within the book, I wind up with people thinking there’s something wrong with me for suggesting it. Now I’m not saying there’s nothing wrong with me (my Mom will counter that for you in a heartbeat!), but people take my recommendations to mean I want them to “swallow the book whole”… and that’s a dangerous thing to do, even for the world’s greatest masterpieces.

It’s the rare person, indeed, who knows how to “separate the baby from the bathwater” in a book, and can take a recommendation from a trusted source in that light…

Nevertheless once in a while something comes along which makes me want to take the risk.

A mastermind buddy of mine bugged me to read this particular book for months, and at first I was just kind of annoyed. (Like you, probably, I’ve got a LONG list on my Kindle I’m itching to get to, so sometimes I cringe when someone wants to put one at the top of the pile)

But because this particular buddy has been very influential to me over the years…

Because he’s been a very good friend and teacher to ME…

I humored him.

And I have to say I’m thrilled that I did!

I wasn’t immediately thrilled, mind you… the first 75 pages or so are very typical, rah rah, get you excited about making lots of money kind of stuff. In fact, if it weren’t for the source of the recommendation I would never have gotten beyond this…

And the NAME of the book was, in my estimation, just plain stupid. It makes it seem like a bunch of “me too” prairee poop which generally makes me nauseous.

But once I got beyond these things…

I felt like I really understand what Jim Rohn meant when he said a book was the BEST return on investment you’ll ever get. “Someone puts 30 years of their life experience into 300 pages and sells it for $30”, was Mr. Rohn’s exact quote, I believe.


Wait for it…

Without further fan fare, the incredibly stupid name of this phenomenal book is…


Here’s a guy who lays out what it took to build a lead-generation company from the ground up…

With a distinctly different philosophy of business, customer service, and wealth acquisition.

And I’ve got to tell you, if you calculated the ratio of the number of times I plan to read any book to the “stupid-ness” of it’s title and then plotted the results on a two dimensional graph, this one would be a total and complete outlier.

But I’ve also got to tell you the title will grow on you as you go through the book.  As will the author.

Key insights which changed this old man’s perspective on a number of important issues were:

  • The critical difference between consumption vs. production focus as an entrepreneur…
  • The 5 criteria to build a business foundation that leads to a high-liquidation event…
  • How to use customer service insights to beat your competition…
  • When and how to ignore your competition…
  • The downside of business plans and business planning
  • And several more.

I have NO relationship with the author, just think it’s worth your time, despite the ridiculous title and the first 75 pages or so.

Like my grandfather used to say “Meg fractem un quano bezzo!”

Dr. G 🙂

PS – Been working on my product and service catalog lately.  More to come soon.  Have a look if you haven’t recently please 🙂