(NOTE: The real title of this post should be “How a scuzzy little rodent made Glenn a better person”)
My #1 money making secret is Research.
#2 money making secret is contrarian advice
Know what #3 is?
“Let the market change you as a person”
Here’s why this is so important.
Everyone TALKS a good game when it comes to equating marketing with empathy for your prospects and customers. But truly empathizing with another human being means:
- making yourself vulnerable…
- being open minded and willing to change cherished thoughts and long held opinions…
- letting yourself FEEL the other person’s pain, joy, heartbreak, and despair…
- truly, deeply, and wholeheartedly absorbing their stories and desires into your soul…
It means changing as a person. (Really)
It means that in at least some small but significant way you’ve yielded your ego to the other person, let your values disintegrate, and then put yourself together again better and stronger. (A psychological term for this is “regression in the service of the ego”)
In fact, I only really know that I’m ready to go INTO a new market when I feel that I’ve been changed as a person.
I’ll give you a few examples to drive the point home, and I’ll show you how this translates into money making marketing insight.
HOW A SCUZZY LITTLE RODENT MADE ME A BETTER PERSON:
I have to admit I originally got into the guinea pig market as a purely mercenary marketing experiment (my first successful internet project). I didn’t have any long standing love for the furry little creatures.
In fact, I basically thought of them like my mother did… “scuzzy little rodents with hair” (I brought one home from summer camp when I was nine without telling her… that’s when I first heard them characterized in this charming way)
But I knew I could never ethically and honestly market guinea pig care books if I held onto those feelings and beliefs.
So I got myself a guinea pig (actually Sharon bought it for me for Valentine’s day in 2004) and started cuddling and playing with it every day.
But that didn’t really do it for me.
Still seemed a little scuzzy. Still seemed like a rodent, even though it occasionally made me laugh.
But then I started INTERVIEWING guinea pig owners (as in, you know, actually talking to people… like we OLD people used to do way back in the dinosaur era before computers), asking them WHY they wanted a guinea pig in the first place?
A surprising number of them said something like this “Because I got my little 7 year old Suzie a hamster last year and it died after just a few months. She was devastated, and it rocked the whole household. I heard Guinea Pigs live longer and I want our family to have a better experience. I want my little one to learn how to nurture and care for another living creature, and to successfully reap the rewards!”
This hit me in the heart.
I’ve got a little nephew who means the world to me. At that time he was only three. I remember how upset he was when his pet fish died.
Suddenly a guinea pig was no longer a “scuzzy little rodent with hair”, and I wasn’t an uncaring adult with no use for them. Now the little monsters were a vehicle of love, and a means to help create children who would responsibly pass love on.
What could be more important?
This immediately crystallized the USP for me: “Guinea Pig Secrets Which Can DOUBLE Your Guinea Pigs Life”
Then I just had to seek proof to support it.
Turns out there are about a half dozen little known guinea pig care FACTS which can double the average lifespan of a piggie. (AS A SIDE NOTE: You’ll be amazed just how ignorant the average market is, and how much blatantly wrong conventional wisdom gets passed around without scientific backing. You can almost always find facts to support a better outcome in any market!)
What you feed your guinea pig, the litter you use, how you insulate them from stress, etc. CAN actually double their life expectancy.
The real killer, it turns out, was that most veterinarians didn’t realize that guinea pigs had a different type of bacteria in their gut than cats and dogs. As a result, giving a guinea pig the same antibiotics as you’d give a cat or a dog can easily kill him. So veterinarians were frequently killing these little pets by accident, can you imagine?
Let me TEMPLATE this process so YOU can repeat it in YOUR MARKET:
1) Dig deep into the market with surveys, research, and other online intelligence (like I teach in the Hyper Responsive Club)
2) TALK to people. Go out and meet them. LIVE the same problems your market is living
3) Know yourself. Let yourself feel how the market is changing you.
4) When you get “hit in the heart”… when a deep feeling of change comes over you, know that you’re onto something which is probably the core of what your USP needs to be
5) Formulate your USP
6) Find proof to support it. (Intriguingly, there’s almost always proof available. The thing is, hardly anyone really digs this deeply in most markets, so there’s LOTS of gold available for the taking)
I hope this is getting you to start thinking.
Have you let YOUR market change you?
You should be able to articulate it in as much detail as I did above. If you can’t, it means you need to spend more time IN your market, talking to them, smelling them, living their pain.
Food for thought.
For SERIOUS thought,
Dr. G 🙂
PS – The weight loss (emotional eating) market definitely changed Sharon. She realized that these people were out of control and hysterical because nothing they could do THEMSELVES seemed to work for them. They really needed someone to do at least part of the work FOR them. That was a real problem, because overeating is usually something people really need to make a conscious decision to change.
But then she realized that HYPNOSIS could give people the head start they were looking for… that’s what would truly relieve their feelings of panic about their eating and bond them to her in a stronger way than ever before.
So she did nothing less than spend the whole summer getting certified as a hypnotist. (My wife does NOT mess around once she makes up her mind)
Here’s a very fascinating little MP3 we recorded for the weight loss market about hypnosis for weight loss. She’s already using it effectively with her clients. (SIDE NOTE: If you happen to be interested, take her up on it in the next few weeks before she gets too busy… she’s offering lower rates to jump start that part of her practice. Contact info at the end of the audio)
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