We spent the last few posts talking about a very important concept to your business – getting clarity. I mention that because it provides a nice segue into what I want to talk about for the next couple of posts.
It’s an area you definitely need clarity on in your business. One where you need to be as clear as you possibly can about what your objective is; what you’re trying to do; what success will look like, etc.
The area I’m talking about is getting clear about your communication with your prospects and your customers or clients.
And when I say communication, it could be anything. It could be emails. It could be a report. It could be videos. It could be blog posts. I mean, you name it. It doesn’t matter. I’m talking about communication in any format.
The Most Important Reason For Being Clear About Your Communication
So first let’s ask, why do you communicate with your prospective market? Well there’s the obvious answer – to make more sales. You want them to buy your stuff.
But that’s not really clarity. There needs to be a deeper reason. And you need clarity on that.
I don’t know how many of you will remember, but in the past I’ve talked about my retail clothing store. And how our goal when a customer came in was not to just sell them clothes, but to sell them on the store as well.
Doing that gave us the opportunity to sell them again and again and again. Had we just focused on selling them the thing they came in for, we would have probably sold it to them anyway, but we wouldn’t have created a new, frequent customer. We would have only created a sale.
So if your answer to why you communicate with your prospects, clients and customers is to make sales, then what you’re doing is narrowing down the potential of what you can get. You’re losing all ability to leverage each and every sale.
What are some of those other clarity goals you might have as you communicate with your prospects, your marketplace, your clients and your customers?
So I’m going to tie up my discussion of clarity today. We’ve spent the last couple issues on it and hopefully it has made some impact on your life and your business.
If you’re a Founders Club or BGS member reading this, you already know that. I’ve stressed the need repeatedly in a number or Founders Club reports I’ve written for you.
We touched on it in the Blueprint Report which helps you get clear about who your prospects are, what they want, who you are, what you want and then helps you build a business to bridge the two.
The Core Concept Report is all about getting clarity on that one message that helps you get what you want and helps get your prospects to become clients, to get what they want. The one message, the one sentence, that boils it all down.
The Core Myth is about getting clarity on the best way to transmit that core concept.
All these things fit together and it’s all about developing clarity so you can be more effective.
The Most Important Level Of Clarity
So clarity is one of the most important aspects or insights any person can have. And it doesn’t have to be about your business. Whether you’re a business owner, or you work 9 to 5… Whether you’re a student or a professional in the workforce… Whether you’re an artist, a bus driver, a plumber, a college professor…
The most important clarity you can get is about you.
So what about you?
What about clarity of who you are?… What you’re all about?… What it is you want?… And how you’re going to get it?
How much clarity do you have?
If we were to boil it down into more psychological types of phrases or definitions, we’d talk about how clear are you about your purpose, your mission in life, your spiritual beliefs, etc.
How clear are you about your identity, who you are and what you’re all about. How clear are you about your beliefs and your values, which values are most important to you, which beliefs you hold most sacred.
How clear are you about the skills that you bring to the table in your business and what the benefits are of those skills for others? How clear are you right now about the behaviors that are both helping you and hurting you.
The Most Important Benefit of Having Clarity
You see, the great clarity you have about these elements, the easier it is for you to be authentic.
Because, when you think about it, how can you be authentic if you’re not clear on who you are?
You can’t be authentic unless you’re clear about who you are. And that’s important. Because if you’re going to do video marketing or you’re going to do report writing or any of the type of cerebral type of marketing that ultimately requires you to get your prospects to make some kind of shift, authenticity in yourself helps make that a lot easier.
That’s an area where clarity greatly increases your ability.
And then of course we’ve talked numerous times about clarity about your market; about who your prospects really are and when you’re creating a video or message, any kind of marketing message whatsoever, the clarity about what it is you want them to think, what it is you want them to feel, what is it that you want them ultimately to do.
Do You Have Clarity?
The metaphor that, from my perspective, sums up whether or not you are operating from a position of clarity is – right now, do you feel more like a lion ready to pounce, just waiting cues you know you need to move forward… OR….are you more like a deer caught in the headlights uncertain, unfocused, confused, worried, afraid of what’s going to happen. Struggling without the clarity of exactly what you need and the exact steps that you need to take.
There are so many quotes about how you’re more powerful than you realize. You’re more powerful than you know. And that’s true when you’re operating with a sense of clarity.
So I wanted to share that clarity with you. How to get the clarity of what you want, clarity of where you currently stand, clarity on anything that is integral to your life. Clarity is a performance enhancer.
It is an igniter of more progress. It’s an accelerator of progress. Because ultimately you’ll know what you need and where you need to go next.
When you finish whatever it is you’re undertaking, what do you hope will be true for you that hasn’t been true yet? What will be different? How would you know that your time was well spent? What would be different for you at the end? What will be true for you at the end?
Asking questions like these clarifies your goals in your mind. And when you do that, you naturally focus more on the things that are truly important for achieving your goal.
I want to backtrack just a little and re-emphasize the importance of clarity in anything you do.
Why We Sacrifice Clarity
Most people that I coach really lack the clarity they need when they walk into any situation. They rarely know what it is they’re trying to achieve and what they need to achieve it. And in the end, they never get what they want.
The reason for this lack of clarity isn’t because it’s hard to understand what it is you want and what it is you need and how to go get it. It’s because you’ve been trained your whole life to not think this way.
You’ve been taught to let an instructor or a guru give you the answer about what you need. And that’s simply not the best approach. Thinking that somehow an instructor or guru – a teacher in high school – a professor in college – even me, is supposed to take more responsibility for your life, your business, your success than you, simply won’t get you the results you want.
And if you walk into a situation without the clarity on what it is you’re expecting to get or why you’re expecting to get it or why you feel you need it to get what you want, then ultimately what you’re doing is putting responsibility for your success in the hands of someone else. You look to them tell you what it is you need and give you the answer that they think you need in order to progress. And I’m telling you that’s not the way a successful entrepreneur operate.
Let Me Share A Personal Story About This
I recently re-created the introductory webinar for my BGS program. It’s now a one-part webinar as opposed to two-parts. It’s been shortened to 2 1/2 hours as opposed to the 3 1/2 or 4 hours of the combined two part version. And so far so good. It seems to be really well received. Like it’s actually even more effective than our previous ones, so it was time well spent. A greater percentage of viewers are staying on longer and everything is going really well with it.
Now along those lines though, I was working with someone when I re-created this version. This time I was working with a gentleman by the name of Michael Cage whose name you may recognize if you’ve been watching some of my videos. I have a great amount of respect for Michael because I believe he is one of the few people that knows more about how to create high content webinars than I do. So I was very excited to get a chance to get his advice and have him work with me on it.
But during the creation process, I noticed I was even feeling some of these same feelings. I had a real desire for him to tell me what it was I needed re-creating this webinar. I was looking for him to be clear about the outcome that I wanted. I was looking for him to take over more and more of the responsibility for the outcome – even knowing everything I’ve just told you.
That’s because it’s the natural human condition to want others to tell us exactly what to do; to have our best interest at heart; and to just point us in a direction. While we can certainly get help as we go down a direction and even get advice on which direction, ultimately we have to realize that the responsibility of getting to our goals falls to us.
Anytime we hand over any of that responsibility someone else, we’re really giving away some of our power.
Getting Clarity Is Everyone’s Job
Now this isn’t the same as delegating or outsourcing. That’s assigning responsibility for an outcome, not responsibility for getting clarity to achieve your goals.
The point I really want to make here is that this is not just a problem of people who are opportunity seekers. It’s really something that everybody struggles with from time to time.
And you have to be aware of it. Because if you’re not, you tend to fall back on your old patterns, sacrificing clarity because you want the illusion of security. You want the illusion that someone else is working on your behalf. If you can believe that, you don’t have to embrace that reality of uncertainty because you think you’re gaining some degree of certainty by placing responsibility in the hands of the expert or the guru or the teach or the instructor or the professor.
And that’s just not the way you need to operate.
We’ll finish up this discussion in the next post…
Today we’re going to talk about getting clarity in your projects.
And really, it doesn’t even have to be a major project. I can be a minor project – anything you’re doing that requires several you should be looking to get clarity on.
I believe there are two questions for getting clarity on a project that we can ask.
- The first is, “Q: What does done look like?“. The big overarching question.
- The second one is, “Q: What does doing look like?“
In other words, when it’s complete, what will it look like? And, what are all the steps involved in getting it done?
Let’s look at these questions separately.
Are You Done Yet?
Q: So how do you determine what “done” looks like?
A: The way you surface the answers to that is by asking a series of questions like, “if this project was incredibly successful, how would it turn out?” “If it was everything I wanted it to be, how would I know?” “If this was a smashing success, how would it end up?”
So those are the types of questions that you ask to get extensive clarity about what does done look like. Obviously if it’s anything that is more than just a few steps, it requires that you actually spend a few minutes at the very least writing out your answer to that question so that you can have greater clarity.
Now once you understand that, the next step is to figure out what “doing” looks like. To do this you need to really start listing all the steps that will get you to “done.”
I think I’ve probably shared this before, but what I like to do to determine what “doing” looks like is to brainstorm all the steps.
I don’t try and make it linear – first step, second step, etc. – because if I do that, I box myself in too quickly. So what I try to do is just brainstorm all the steps first.
Then as I’ve kind of exhausted all the steps, then I put them in order. As I put them in order, I realize I might have forgotten certain things.
Once I get all that down, I’m able to put it into a step-by-step plan that will lead me to this outcome that I’ve already defined by determining what would this look like if it was an amazing success.
A Harder Question:
How do you know the questions to ask?
That brings up a more difficult question of how do you know what you need to know, to get clarity on anything?
To answer that, I’m going to go a little bit more global here for a second; a little bit more meta-level.
The answer is really pretty simple, but it’s not that easy to do. I’m talking about the ability for you, as an entrepreneur, to trust your instincts.
Why is it so hard to do?
Well you see, you’ve been trained ever since you were a child not to trust your instincts; that somehow your instincts were bad or wrong.
When you were a baby you wanted all your toys and your parents made you share them. When you went to school, you might have wanted to stand up and walk around; but you were forced to sit in class and pay attention. If you decided that something was interesting to you if it wasn’t necessarily interesting to your parents or your teachers you might not have been able to study it or get access to it.
You’ve been taught over time to trust outside experts to give you certain answers that ultimately you should be developing yourself.
The bottom line is, and this is just my perspective, because people don’t trust their instincts, they don’t know what it is they want or need.
They end up looking for answers without knowing what it is they need to know.
The problem with getting answers to questions you don’t know.
So they end up joining a program, they buy some books, they listen to an audio but they’re not really clear what it is they’re hoping to get out of it. So they go to wherever it is they’re going; the program, the audio, the course, the book, etc. hoping to find out what’s there and what potentially they need as opposed to walking in knowing exactly what they need and what they’re there for.
When you don’t trust your instincts you end up deferring to others to tell you more and more of what you need for the clarity. Ultimately you’re not getting your own clarity. You’re getting other people’s clarity.
Most of things that you want right now, whether you really want them or not, have been ingrained in you. Someone else has told you that you need to have it. It’s obvious what those things are. You want more money. You want a good relationship with someone who loves you. You want a good business that makes you feel like you’re making a contribution and getting the security and freedom that you desire.
So here’s another big question. Do you think you need something that you currently don’t have in order to get something you want? Do you think you need something that you don’t have right now in order to get more money; in order to have a good relationship with someone who loves you; in order to have a good business where you feel like you’re making a contribution?
And if you do feel you need something, what is it exactly? If you don’t know what it is you need to have in order to get that, how will you ever find it?
Unless you’re hoping that someone else takes responsibility for knowing what it is you need and therefore giving it to you. That is a very dangerous position to put yourself in.
I’ll share a personal story about that in the next post.
Have you ever bought a book or a course you thought would help you in your business, read through it and then not had a clue how what you just read will help you?
There’s a reason that happens. I’m going to tell you what it is.
It’s something I’ve written about before. But in my opinion, it’s something you can never hear too often. To remind you that it’s something that you should always be thinking about.
It’s an area of thought that I believe, you can never have too much of. So that’s why I wanted to bring it up today and in my next couple issues.
I’m talking about clarity.
Clarity about the things you do in your life and business.
Today I want to give you a simple exercise that will help you get more clarity in everything you do. In fact, in my new training webinar, I do this exercise with my viewers to help them get clear on why they are even on the webinar.
Doing this exercise in my webinar is important because it surfaces criteria for the viewer that helps them sort through all the information I’m providing. It allows them to determine what they need – the important information that will help them move forward – out of all the information I teach on the webinar.
Three Questions To Personal Clarity
There are three questions that I ask in this exercise that will help you get more clarity about anything that you do.
The first question I ask people when they get on the webinar is:
1: “Q: Why are you here?”
There’s something that you want. There’s something that you believe watching this will get you. So why are you here? What’s the reason?
You can and should do this exercise with everything you do. In fact, you should do it right now. Ask yourself that question and write down your answer on a piece of paper. Why are you here reading this newsletter? What are you hoping to get today? What are you hoping to achieve with the information I’m sharing overall? So that’s number one.
Once you know the answer to number one, the next question to ask is…
2: “Q: Why is that important to you?”
Look at your answer to number one, and ask yourself that second question. Maybe your answer to the first question is:
A: I need help narrowing down my niche.
…Well, why is that important to you?
Maybe it’s important to you because until you know your niche, you won’t be able to build the business you want. And until you build the business you want, you won’t have the freedom that you know you can have. Something like that.
So the first question is “why are you here?” Then the second question is, “why is that important to you?”
The third question is, looking at your answers to questions one and two:
3: “Q: What will that do for you?”
So it’s “Why are you here?” “Why is that important to you?” “What will it do for you?”
Drilling down to get what you need
Ultimately, what I want is for my viewers to drill down to deeper levels of criteria that will get them the information that is most important to them. What I tell the attendees on the webinar is now that you know your answers to those three questions, use those answers as a filter for everything that comes next during the webinar.
I cover a lot of ground in that training and it can be overwhelming for a lot of people who sign up for it.
So by using these answers as a filter for all the information I give them, they are now better able to process everything that I cover. They can get the outcome they came for, both in the short term and in the long term.
Hopefully that’s clear to you. I believe it’s a service to the people who get on the webinar to help them get the maximum benefit from it.
Ultimately, I believe that most people operate without enough clarity. So what I’m really trying to do is help those people who come to the webinar to get greater clarity than when they first arrived. If they have more clarity going in, they’ll get more benefit coming out.
And I want you to have the same benefit. So start asking these questions in front of everything you do. You’ll start finding more key information, faster than you ever thought possible.
In my next post, I’m going to cover a couple areas where I believe clarity is extremely important. And you’ll see how applying these three questions can give you a big advantage.
I want to share one final marketing tactic with you in this post.
Like I mentioned in your last post, a consulting client of mine – Agora Publishing – is set to break the $600 million mark this year. Much of that success is due to this technique I want to share with you now.
It’s a powerful technique that will let you leverage your current assets to their maximum potential.
In internet marketing, when a promotion’s success started to wane and an entrepreneur felt they needed a new one, they usually created a new product to go with it.
New promotion = New product.
Agora does it very differently.
Rather than creating a new product every time they need a new promotion, Agora keeps the same product and just creates a new promotion around it. If they have to, they might create a new premium, some kind of bonus that they’ll attach to some need, desire, or want on the part of their prospect that ties back into their product.
That may sound simplistic, but it’s not. And the key secret to their massive success is how they keep each new promotion fresh and interesting to their list while still promoting the same product over and over.
I’m going to show you how you can do what they do.
1 Little Words Make a HUGE Difference
We all make this mistake. I’m sure that you could find numerous examples where I’ve made it myself. But nonetheless it is important and something you need to keep in mind when creating a marketing message.
I’m talking about the power of certain words you use.
You see, there are words that increase the chances of a sale and there are words that will work against you in that regard. Let’s start with the biggest offender.
Buy is a word that is simply not ideal. People don’t like to be sold, so telling them to buy is a big turn off for your prospect.
So what can you use instead?
How about “claim?” Think about:
Discover how you can claim your special report
…as opposed to:
Buy your special report here.
Can you see and hear the difference?
You can use the word “invest.“. For example:
Your investment in this special report is backed by our iron-clad guarantee.
Or how about “enroll“…
When you enroll to get the information in this special report…
This isn’t the be-all-end-all list, but you can see how they are an improvement over the word “buy.“
Don’t Make Your Prospect “Work”
Another word that can always be generally improved upon is “learn.”
People generally don’t like to learn. Learning is work. People much prefer to “discover.” Discovering is exciting. It implies “newness” or something that maybe no one else has seen or heard of before.
Or even better, if you are talking in kind of conversational tone, you could say “find out.” “Here’s how you can find out…“
Both words are less threatening to the prospect.
I sometimes see people use the word “things” in sales letters. As in “The five things you need to become…”
“Things” is a weak word. It’s very important to be specific in your marketing message. “Things” is just too vague. Tips, tricks, techniques, insights, secrets, strategies, insider tactics, etc. are all much better options than using “things.“
This list could go on forever. And I’m not going to spend the entire post trying to create a comprehensive list. Suffice to know and understand that you have to be aware of the words you are using in your marketing.
If your words imply work on the part of your prospect or anything confrontational (like the “buy” example,) you should think twice about using a different word in its place.
2 The Secret Reason Everyone Buys…
Now, I want to share one more important marketing concept with you.
I’ve saved it for last because it can be immensely powerful. It can really be your ticket to multiplying how profitable, how big, how successful your business can be. And also accelerate how fast you get to your goals.
But before I get into it, I want to kind of give you the right context here. There are two important pieces of information that I want to share with you that I think will help you appreciate the value that I’m about to give you.
The first is from Porter Stansberry. Porter runs the largest division of Agora – Stansberry & Associates. His division has grown to nine figures in a very short period of time. That’s over $100 million dollars. Thanks to his division alone, Agora will break $600 million this year.
Porter once told me that people buy for emotional reasons, but those emotional reasons never get full satisfied. That’s important. Once you know what a buyer has bought in the past, you have a pretty good idea of what they will buy in the future.
So for example, I buy a lot of books. There are a lot of good business reasons why I buy them. But there’s also some emotional baggage I carry around.
Let’s say I buy all these books because my mother and father thought I was stupid. That’s not true but let’s just say that it was as an example. If that were the case, then I’m really buying all these books because I’m unconsciously I’m trying to prove that I’m smart.
Well if that’s the case, there is no book that’s ever going to fill that emotional need. There’s never going to be a book that I buy, read, and say, “Ah ha! Now I’m smart! I don’t have to buy any more books ever again.”
It’s that emotional need that never gets satisfied that a marketer can tap into time and time again. That’s important to realize. I think it’s pretty profound actually.
And what’s more, we’re all subject to these emotional needs in some form or another.
I want you to think about that for the next couple days.
What kind of emotional needs might prospects in your market have that you would be able to fill. Make a short list. When I come back in the next post, I’m going to expand on this in much greater detail.
So let’s touch back on that original question from last post – how can I make money fast?
Like I said in the last post, when you don’t have a lot of resources to work with, that’s the wrong question. The better question is, “How can I quickly create value for some group of people that would be interested in paying for it?”
So last time we crawled into your prospects’ heads and answered a series of questions about the things they dislike or that frustrate them.
Before we move on (as a little bonus) I want to share a couple other general questions you can ask to target your market’s “value targets.”
These are a little more general than thinking through the answers that your prospects would give, but they’re just as effective.
- What problems are they facing?
- What are their needs and burning desires?
- Where does it hurt?
- What are their fears?
- What are their frustrations?
- What are their questions and doubts?
- What objections do they have?
So those are some other questions you need to fully explore.
You need to.
In fact, this type of thinking is some of the most profitable thinking you can do because it leverages your marketing. And that’s one of the most powerful leverage points inside a business. (A lot of struggling entrepreneurs underestimate the value of thinking as not productive or a waste of time. That’s a huge mistake.)
Over the next few posts I want to give you some important techniques you can use to enhance your marketing – and boost your bottom line. (Given that we’ve just spent a couple days talking about being resourceful, I thought this might further your ability to do just that. To help you succeed at the levels that you’re capable of.)
One of the questions (or some variation of it) I still get asked quite often is – “how can I make some money fast?”
The truth of the matter is that that’s a bad question for someone who is just starting their business to ask.
You see, if you have a business – if you have stuff that you’re selling and you have a list of prospects and clients/customers – then there are things you can do to accelerate that process. Because you already have leverage-able assets that you use to do it.
I have another simple but powerful concept I want to share with you today.
It’s something that I’ve taught for a long time. You may have heard me talk about it before. But since it’s such an important time-saving, speed-enhancing concept, and because it ties back into Tuesday’s letter about needing resources versus being resourceful as you’ll see in just a minute, I thought it would be great to share this concept one more time.
This is about information and how you learn. I’m not talking about how you absorb and process information – whether your a visual, or auditory, or kinesthetic learner. I’m talking about information and when you learn it.
You see, there’s an important distinction. It’s called “just in time” information and “just in case” information.
This distinction deals specifically with the type of information you go out in search of. Whether that information is immediately useful to you, or whether you’re just looking to amass knowledge.
When it comes to doing deep, intensive research, you should only be looking for information that relates to moving forward to the very next step you need to take in your business.
Spoiled Milk and A Sure Sign of Resource Dependency
“Just in case” information and learning is a clear sign of a dependency on resources. While “just in time” learning demonstrates your resourcefulness.
Too many people buy courses; buy products; get interested in topics for “just in case” reasons. They do this based on the belief that when they need it, they’ll have it. The problem with that belief and behavior, is that information is kind of like milk.
It tends to go bad over time.
So if you’re doing a lot of “just in case” research right now on let’s say, pay-per-click, everything you learn could change in an instant with the addition of one new feature by Google a month from now. That makes all the work you did pointless. And all the time you invested would be wasted.
You really need to approach information gathering, studying and learning as it relates to your business, in a “just in time” way.
My coaching programs, the Founders Club and BGS are sometimes considered to be “just in case” programs. But the reality is, they’re not. In fact, they’re sort of the consummate “just in time” learning because they are the essential elements to grow a successful business.
When you look at something that you might be buying or might be studying, the first question to ask yourself is “am I doing this because it’s just in case I’ll need it later” or “am I doing this because I need this to move forward right now.”
This is one of the key aspects of being strategic in your business. It allows you to do less while getting more. Of focusing on only the things that are absolutely necessary.
I think now you can see how these concepts integrate into what we talked about in the last post. Being resourceful leads you to search for the information that would be helping you solve specific issues, specific challenges, specific obstacles to getting to your goals.
If it’s something that’s being promoted right now and you’re thinking that well, I might buy that now because I’ll have it later – that’s just in case.
Putting the Car Before the Driving Lessons
Here’s an example. A while back I got a couple of questions about a content platform that was being launched. I didn’t really know whether it was a good platform or not. I could assume it would be a good platform. But it didn’t really matter. Because the questions I got were asking me if they should buy it now even though they didn’t have a customer acquisition process, they didn’t have a front-end product, etc.
My only thought was “Why would you even think about buying a content delivery platform right now when you don’t have the fundamental parts of your business in place? Delivering content is not really your problem right now. Getting customers is. And if that’s your problem, then you shouldn’t even be thinking about making an investment in anything for delivering content.”
Would you spend $50,000 on a car before you even knew how to drive?
So that’s the lesson for today. Whenever you’re thinking about spending time or money on any kind of information or product. ask yourself “am I getting this information from a just in time perspective or a just in case perspective.”
Focus on the just in time for a couple weeks and see how much faster you’ll start making progress.