I’d like to make a brief, but obvious point today, because there’s something I see over and over again across dozens of students and hundreds of customers…
“Outsourcing Disasters and Duplicating Failure”
The desire to duplicate oneself and offload work is only human nature. In fact, it’s one of the strongest elements I’ve observed in the entrepreneurial mindset.
So it’s only natural that people want to COPY other sales systems, and OUTSOURCE all the work involved in building their own.
The problem comes when people don’t take the time to ensure they’re copying SUCCESS, and when they try to OUTSOURCE something they don’t really fully understand or know how to supervise.
Because here’s the secret…
The success of a sales system doesn’t lie entirely in the words on the sales page, or even necessarily in the system as a whole. It relies much more on the understanding the writer has of the market. And since copycats can’t legally plagiarize the whole system, absent this understanding, they wind up copying an empty shell.
Moreover, it’s rare that a WHOLE system is successful. Lacking an exhaustive understanding of the market in which the system operates, people are prone to copy the failing elements just as easily as the successful ones.
In other words, many competitors are succeeding in spite of bad marketing, because just a few elements are right on target. Without thorough research and market intelligence, how do you know you’re not duplicating their failure?
There’s also a lot of talk these days of just outsourcing your marketing, or your market research, Glenn-Style.
Now, I’m totally in favor of getting help to scale up your operations. In fact, I’ve been working through John Jonas’ materials, and they’ve helped me to hire no less than 8 people in the Phillipines now. (You can watch the Outsourcing Webinar Replay through my affiliate link here. John has a lot of very useful advice for hiring full timers at $300/mo, and provides some training to get them started. I have a LOT of good experience with his hiring advice and resources, but can’t really say one way or the other about the training he provides for the outsourcers — I’d prefer you used them to do things you already do very well and just want to offload from your plate)
There’s a LOT you CAN outsource. You CAN outsource all the grunt work of setting up your automatic intelligence machine, doing some of the initial scanning of social media conversations, installing and managing your websites, installing wordpress blogs and plug ins, doing routine backups, setting up your surveys, programming scripts and databases, running through the first set of codes for your survey analysis, transcription, audio editing, video editing, article distribution, social bookmarking, data entry, a very, very rough first draft of your copywriting, and so on)
But in my opinion, you can’t outsource the STRATEGIC THINKING AND MARKET IMMERSION necessary to succeed in a project, especially in today’s competitive adwords auctions.
Somewhere along the way, if you want to build a REAL business, you’re going to have to spend a few hundred hours immersed in the market yourself.
Because no one’s really going to care about it like you do.
And because without doing this, you’re NOT going to pick up the subtleties which allow you to connect with the market above and beyond your competitors.
You simply won’t know what your customers “smell like”, and they’ll sense your templated, outsourced approach.
Because prospects in any market can “smell” honesty, integrity, and passion when it’s poured into a project.
In my experience, the people who try to outsource strategic thinking and market immersion wind up with MORE work, not less, in the long run, because their systems simply don’t perform. (You CAN partner with someone to champion a market for you, but only if they’re tested and proven in their entrepreneurial and strategic thinking abilities… and if they’ve got enough upside potential and skin in the game to make it worth their while)
A long time ago, I heard Brian Tracy say “if you want to make a mark in your market, make 100 phone calls to prospects and I promise you you’ll never look back”
At the time, I was starting a psychology practice in the midst of the collapse of indemnity insurance (doctors could no longer get so easily reimbursed for their high session fees as the big companies cut off the gravy train). My colleagues were all terrified, complaining, and going broke.
What did I do?
I made a few hundred phone calls to every psychologist, psychiatrist, counseling center, etc. I could find on Long Island. I asked them if they had any patients they were having trouble working with. I asked how I could help them. I asked if I could volunteer to see clients for free at their clinic for a day. I asked if I could work for them in any capacity whatsoever.
I also set up focus groups and individual interviews with people considering seeing a psychologist or counselor.
18 months later I had a private practice with 65 patients. (By the way, for any psychologists considering advertising, one of the critical insights was that no one looked for psychologists, only for counselors, ’cause “you’ve gotta be sick in the head” to see a shrink, “but everyone needs a little counseling sometimes” )
Why? I knew what the market wanted cold. I had more connections than any of my peers. I WENT THROUGH THE IMMERSION EXPERIENCE.
I’ve got several coaching students now who are really getting the value of this.
One of them spent the bulk of this year doing low-end consulting with literally hundreds of people looking for help with a particular software program. He’s now set up a lucrative PPC lead funnel in this VERY competitive space, and I’ll be utterly shocked if he doesn’t have a million dollar business in 18 months or less.
Another one got so psyched about immersion, he decided to make 1,000 phone calls to prospects in his market. ONE THOUSAND. Then he developed a training system based on his experience. (I can’t imagine anyone else’s training system in that very, very competitive market could possibly be any better. I can’t imagine any prospect not instantly sensing this after just a little exposure to his materials)
Moreover, both of these gentlemen are NOW in the ultimate position to leverage themselves and outsource their work. NOW they can replace themselves, and begin building multi-million dollar enterprises.
I guess what I’m saying is, we’re all in such a hurry to get away from the market, most of us never get into it deep enough to truly succeed.
And so we look for the short cuts…
And wind up copying failure, or outsourcing things we don’t really understand.
I’m not invulnerable to this… I’m human too, and always fighting a tendency to get lazy. (Plus, when you get a little money and can easily afford the help, it’s easy to think “I’m above this now”)
But when I look back at my successes, the #1 thing they all had in common were a passionate immersion period in the market, right there in the trenches with the customers and competitors.
Have YOU really immersed yourself in your market?
Something to think about,